Energy & Green Tech

A Recipe for Less Waste in the Food Service Industry

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Think twice before you throw out those leftovers—or maybe even take a picture. Globally, one-third of all food is wasted—1.3 billion tons of food in total. The U.S. alone trashes 40 percent of what it could consume, and much of this comes from the food service industry itself (which loses between $8 and $20 billion through food waste every year). Luckily, Andrew Shackman and his 10-year-old company, LeanPath, has found a way to change the way food service industry thinks about waste.   More

Analytics & Data E-Commerce Partner Insights

How Businesses Get ROI from Social Sharing

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Social-media-savvy businesses are turning their best customers into direct sales forces online. By leveraging the social networks of their biggest brand advocates, retailers can extend the reach of their product promotions. It’s word-of-mouth advertising at a massive scale. Some companies have been using this “social sharing” approach for several years to build brand awareness and drive sales. Until lately, though, such initiatives were hampered by unsophisticated methods for managing and engaging customers as well as tracking return on investment. Now, new tools and apps are available to develop a smart social sharing strategy that enhances customer experience while providing true ROI data based on sales conversions.   More

Cities Energy & Green Tech

Ford’s Farley Wants P2P Sharing and Electric Cars for Urban Mobility

As the urban population soars, city streets are growing increasingly traffic-clogged and difficult to navigate, impeding our ease of transit and, more critically, harming our environment. At our Techonomy 2013 conference, we talked to Jim Farley, EVP of global marketing at Ford, about the car industry and using shared ownership to tackle urban mobility. While business-to-consumer models (think Zipcar) have thus far dominated the shared-ownership market, they have struggled to succeed financially. Farley believes a peer-to-peer system of sharing vehicles is more promising. Electrifying the car industry, he added, will be an important part of developing this peer-to-peer system, enabling us to be more economical, more efficient, and kinder to our Earth.   More

Business Partner Insights

Collaborating Across a Multigenerational Workforce

Evolving Workforce Think Tank at Dell World

Most managers who work alongside recent college graduates know first hand that communicating and collaborating with this new breed of subordinates can be tricky. Dave Buchholz, director of consumerization for Intel IT, recalled a time a new 20-something employee proposed an idea via instant message. Buchholz said he has no problem with IM—but the employee was only a few feet away. Buchholz said he replied, “I think you should come over here and talk to me about it,” before looking in the employee’s direction and sarcastically waving hello.   More

Business

The Snapchat Saga Continues

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Right now Snapchat, the popular messaging app that makes users’ photos and videos disappear, might be wishing it could make something else disappear—all the bad publicity that’s been swirling around it since the start of the new year. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Bloomberg West Tuesday to talk with host Emily Chang about the Snapchat saga. “I’m not saying the Snapchat guys are jerks,” said Kirkpatrick, a contributing editor at Bloomberg. “I just think that they certainly are awfully confident considering the scale of their achievement.” He added that while Snapchat is reported to have 30 to 40 million active users, messaging app Whatsapp has 10 times as many.   More

Global Tech

China: Xiaomi, Huawei Set 2014 Goals, ZTE Adjusts

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The start of a new year is seeing two of China’s top smartphone and telecoms equipment makers lay out their new goals for 2014, with fast-rising Xiaomi aiming to continue its explosive growth as the more mature Huawei targets more modest gains. Meanwhile, another leading telecoms player, ZTE, is also detailing a major reorganization aimed at rekindling growth as it tries to diversify beyond its core business of building networks for big telcos. All of these plans are consistent with previous signals from each of the three companies, and in that regard aren’t very surprising. But they do provide a hint of where priorities will lie in the new year.   More

Security & Privacy

Is Snapchat a Security Sieve?

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A New Year’s Eve leak that exposed the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchatters confirmed what researchers had been forewarning since August—Snapchat is a security sieve. Hackers used a public security report, issued by researchers at the Australian-based Gibson Security in August 2013, to download the database of Snapchat user information and publish it as “SnapchatDB.” According to the hackers, their aim was to force fixes and send a message. Message received? With Snapchat’s slow response and so-slow-it-may-never-come apology, it’s hard to say.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Learning

Microsoft’s Mundie: Governments Impede Progress in Health and Education

With technology making transformative strides in business, communications, transportation, space, and beyond, why do two of society's most important sectors, healthcare and education, continue to lag so far behind? According to Microsoft's Craig Mundie—who as senior advisor to the CEO has spent years speaking with global leaders on the company's behalf—government may be the root of the problem. "The reason these two sectors have been resistant to change is because in almost every country [they] are controlled by the government," Mundie said in an interview at our Techonomy 2013 conference.   More

Government Learning Partner Insights

Will All Schools Have Nanotechnology Labs?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gets a lesson in nanotechnology from Wheeling High School student Drakkari Lott. (Photo: Ed.gov)

Setting up high school students with atomic-force microscopes and optical profilers so they can study nanotechnology may seem like a science teacher’s dream, but it’s already happening in at least one school in the United States. And the amount of outside financial support received by Wheeling High School in Illinois to make the lab a reality, coupled with efforts to encourage teachers to emphasize the field, suggests that more labs may soon be cropping up. The focus on nanotech in Wheeling and elsewhere speaks to its potential.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Kirkpatrick: Privacy Lawsuit Won’t Slow Facebook’s Momentum

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Two California Facebook users have sued the social network for violating their right to privacy—and profiting from it. Plaintiffs argue Facebook is secretly intercepting users’ private messages and scanning them for links to third-party websites, then selling that data to advertisers and marketers seeking to better target consumers. Facebook denied the allegations, saying they are “without merit.” David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy CEO and Bloomberg contributing editor, appeared on Bloomberg West last Thursday to talk about the privacy lawsuit and what ramifications it could have for the popular social media platform.   More

Business

Could We Lose Control of Killer Robots?

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The belief that humanoid robots are dangerous on the battlefield and need to be slowed before weapons systems become autonomous is at the heart of a debate raging in the robotic engineering community. On one side, there are people who believe that the use of unmanned robots must be stopped before war becomes an automated process. "Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch, said in a November 2012 statement announcing the release of a study, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots."   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Apple Could Shake Up Wearable Tech in 2014

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What’s in store for Apple in 2014? Will Apple shake up wearable technology and traditional television, or will it struggle to innovate? Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick speculated about Apple’s year ahead on Bloomberg Surveillance last week, predicting good things for the tech giant. Even in China, where Apple’s market share is relatively low, Apple has a “great opportunity,” said Kirkpatrick, who is a Bloomberg contributing editor. “It’s a very high-quality, well-respected product in China,” he explained, pointing to Apple’s standing as a higher-status, luxury brand. “In China, status matters very much.”   More

Business

Should CEOs Tweet?

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Multi-millionaire investor Marc Andreessen is tweeting up a storm. Since rejoining Twitter Jan. 1, Andreessen has issued close to 200 Tweets (prior to that, he had tweeted just twice in more than five years)—commenting on everything from poverty to philanthropy, pregnancy rates to Ashton Kutcher. Andreessen’s Twitter rampage has raised some eyebrows in the tech community, with one headline calling it “nutso.” But in today’s social-centric world, it may be good strategy.   More

Startup Culture

Why Do People Still Come to Silicon Valley?

The traffic is terrible, the real-estate ridiculously expensive, the public schools aren’t that great and the gulf between rich and poor is increasingly pronounced. So why do people still come to Silicon Valley? That’s the question we asked participants at a recent Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on innovation in Silicon Valley. The answers from our international audience were varied, instructive and entertaining.   More

Startup Culture

Can Silicon Valley Survive?

Silicon Valley hasn’t had one of its best years. There are more and more complaints about inequality, discrimination against women and minorities, lack of innovation and a focus on short-term economic gain. The Valley, veterans say, isn’t what it used to be. And, they go on, if Silicon Valley is to survive, it has to reinvent itself in an increasingly competitive global economy where most of the rest of the world is trying to emulate the Valley. So, I asked David Kirkpatrick, when I interviewed him at an Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on the future of innovation, how exactly can Silicon Valley reinvent itself?   More

Security & Privacy

Ray Kelly’s Tech-Centric War on NY Crime

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In the waning days of Bloomberg's New York, I threaded my way past multiple checkpoints and up a private elevator in Police headquarters to visit Ray Kelly, who leaves office December 31 along with the mayor. I wanted to understand how he'd used tech during his 12 years as Commissioner of Police, during which city crime dropped 40%. "When the administration came in, this department was the world's largest user of carbon paper and whiteout," is the first thing Kelly said. His apocryphal claim foreshadowed the rest of the interview.   More

Startup Culture

Are the Best and Brightest Still Coming to Silicon Valley?

Are the smartest entrepreneurs and technologists still attracted to Silicon Valley? Does the Valley still pull in the best and brightest from around the world? According to David Kirkpatrick, who I interviewed at an Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event, the answer may well be no. Kirkpatrick tells the story of a remarkably talented Chinese guy he met in Beijing recently who had read his book, “The Facebook Effect,” five times. “I was just amazed I stumbled across that in Beijing,” he told me. This guy, Kirkpatrick explained, was running a 20-person Beijing startup just focused on making Facebook games.   More

Startup Culture

Is Silicon Valley the Center of the Innovation Universe?

Silicon Valley takes it for granted that it’s the center of the innovation universe. But that, of course, is a weakness—which points to the often parochial and inward looking nature of many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors. So is Silicon Valley really the center of the innovation universe? That’s the question we asked an invitation-only crowd who came to the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto to hear me interview David Kirkpatrick at the Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast event.   More

Finance

Cyberthreats to Bank Accounts on the Rise

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On the same day that news broke that 40 million customer account records were stolen from retail giant Target, the regulator of the nation’s largest financial institutions warned that customers’ financial information is increasingly under assault in their banks as well. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday, in its Semiannual Risk Perspective, warned that “Cyberthreats continue to increase in sophistication and frequency.” The agency noted, “Known impacts include … identity theft, fraud, and theft of intellectual property.”   More

Cities E-Commerce

Brookings’s Bradley: A Sharing Economy That Serves All

We know the sharing economy as an efficient and convenient resource, and launchpad for trendy startups like Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit. But the sharing economy could help address needs for a much wider swath of society, instead of just enabling better options for the already-privileged. At Techonomy 2013, Brookings Institution fellow Jennifer Bradley discussed the sharing economy's opportunity for inclusion, such as creating an Uber-like system to help low-income people get to work, and enabling the sharing of essential "means of production" like 3D printers and power tools.   More