In Kolkata, Wi-Fi Takes a Back Seat to Physical Infrastructure

Kolkata's "mobile paradise" is found in a small cyber-cafe, where the days of broadband and PCs are still alive.

I thought I would spend two weeks in Kolkata, India, sitting on my family’s patio backdropped by palm trees, leisurely writing away. But there was a fatal flaw to my plan: My family warned me upon my arrival that I would have to find an office building that provided public Wi-Fi access before I could get online. The inconvenient problem is city-wide. Annanya Roy, a college student in Kolkata, says she is starved of good Internet coverage on campus. “We are a community with the wants of Wi-Fi, settling for something far less contenting,” Roy says.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Partner Insights

Bedside Data Is Good for What Ails Us

litt photo

Amid the clamor in Washington over the Affordable Care Act, the medical community is trying to stay focused on improving outcomes for today’s patients—and those who will require treatment tomorrow—by finding ways to strengthen the quality of care. Whether it’s the receptionist who confirms patient identities by making sure every file contains a photo, or the surgical team that uses an evidence-based checklist to avoid infections, improving care is an effort that benefits from widespread contributions.   More


Aetna CEO Bertolini: The Middle East Will Have Technologized Healthcare Before the U.S.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini isn't afraid to speak his mind about the American healthcare system—even when that means underscoring its many failures. Bertolini talked with us at our recent Techonomy 2013 conference in Tucson, Ariz., about his views on U.S. healthcare's "recalcitrance" in accepting technology, and his hopes for changing that. "We've got a lot of really good technology in helping people survive diseases and get well again, but we haven't really focused on how we create a healthy human being and a better society," Bertolini said. This puts the U.S. at risk of falling behind, he added, speculating that countries in the Middle East will achieve better, more technologized healthcare systems before we do.   More


As Government Support Tightens, Scientists Must Become Better Communicators

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Nine months into federal budget sequestration, there’s no shortage of studies, articles, and speculation about how trimmed funding is having an impact on the U.S. There is far less work going into figuring out how to right the ship. One answer, painful to many scientists, is that they have to become a little better at marketing. Otherwise we will end up with less visionary science. In the life sciences, the sequestration cut 4.9 percent from the budget of the National Institutes of Health, a move that has already been felt at universities, research organizations, and medical centers around the country.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business

FDA Tells 23andMe to Stop Selling DNA Tests

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Citing concerns "about the public health consequences of inaccurate results" from its Personal Genome Service, the FDA on Friday told 23andMe CEO Ann Wojcicki in a stern Warning Letter that her company must "immediately discontinue marketing" the service "until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device." The Twittersphere responded with shock and some outrage.   More

Media & Marketing Partner Insights

How Marketers Can Use Data to Stay Employed

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It's getting easier to follow users as they walk through the digital landscape. New data-driven marketing tools can extract increasingly meaningful and nuanced insights from peoples' footprints—including their credit card statements, web browsing history, and social media history. When I say nuanced, I mean nuanced: retail stores are even using customers’ phone GPS to track how long they stand in the yogurt aisle. This makes older techniques like retargeting—a cookie-based technology that keeps brands visible even after traffic has bounced—seem like a shot in the dark.   More

Techonomy Events

Immortality and Collaboration: Onstage at Techonomy 2013

The Saguaros were vibrating outside the hall in Tucson during Techonomy 2013 last week, such were the energy waves emanating from the stage. Or perhaps the foundation of business was shaking. I don't know. One thing that is clear is that the giants of old industry are really starting to think differently about how to conduct their business, organize their companies, and evolve their products.   More

Global Tech

Web Firms Flock to Routers, China Mobile Goes Global

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First it was smartphones, then it was Internet TV, and now wireless routers have become the latest flavor of the day for Chinese Web firms, as everyone looks to drive traffic to their sites and services in the fast-evolving market. I previously wrote when security software specialist Qihoo 360 entered the router space in June, and now a new report says smartphone maker Xiaomi, search leader Baidu, and game specialist Shanda are preparing to enter the sector as well. Meanwhile, in a separate but related telecoms move, leading telco China Mobile is making a feeble move into the international market with a relaunch of its Jego service that it suspended shortly after an original roll-out earlier this year.   More

Internet of Things Partner Insights

True Stories of the Connected: Rural Healthcare in Northern Canada

The Internet of Everything is connecting people, process, data, and things every second of every day. In this episode of True Stories of the Connected, a Canadian doctor demonstrates the power of video and telehealth as he works to keep in contact with patients who are sometimes hundreds of miles away in a remote, tribal village. Amazing things happen when you connect the unconnected.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

How the ’60s Counterculture Is Still Driving the Tech Revolution

From left, David Kirpatrick, Stewart Brand, Walter de Brouwer, Ina Fried. (Photo by Asa Mathat)

Every innovation starts with an act of insubordination. So said tech entrepreneur, futurist, and scientist Walter de Brouwer. “It starts with saying ‘no,’ with disrespect. If you respect and listen to everything, there is no innovation.” Does an insubordinate counterculture still drive innovation in today's cyberculture? It’s a question that a panel pondered at the Techonomy 2013 conference in Tucson last week. De Brouwer, CEO of health-tech company Scanadu, joined author Stewart Brand, tech journalist Ina Fried, and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick for an after-dinner fireside chat about the culture that’s now driving IT’s evolution.   More

Techonomy Events

Tech Entrepreneurs Agree: It’s Time to Regulate the Internet Ecosystem

From left, Dan Elron, Michael Fertik, and James Cham. (Photo by Asa Mathat)

Among the crowd of optimists and cheerleaders for the transformative power of the Internet, Andrew Keen stands out as a contrarian. The Internet is transformative, all right, he says: It’s transforming humans into commoditized products—bits of sellable data. The subtitles of Keen’s two recent books sum up his point of view: “How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture,” and “How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us.” Keen, who founded in 1995, joined a panel of fellow entrepreneurs and commentators at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson last week for a discussion on the theme, “Is the Internet for or Against You?”   More

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Why Microsoft’s Craig Mundie Worries About Weapons of Mass Disruption

David Kirkpatrick (l) and Craig Mundie. (Photo by Asa Mathat)

All the evils that can be done in the cyberworld fall into five categories, according to Craig Mundie: malicious mischief, crime, espionage, warfare, and terrorism. And there are three kinds of actors committing them: amateurs, pros, and governments. It’s a taxonomy that he says the industry only invented in recent months to give clarity to discussions about how to deter and defend against attacks. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick interviewed Mundie on stage at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson this week about cyber-insecurity and its impact on business.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

From Homebrew Computers to Biohacking: Innovators of Two Generations

From left, Andrew Hessel, Stewart Brand, Eri Gentry. (Photo by Asa Mathat)

Stewart Brand, president of the Long Now Foundation, joined Eri Gentry, cofounder of the BioCurious hackerspace in Sunnyvale and a research manager at think-tank Institute for the Future, for a wide ranging conversation about “Life 2.0” at Techonomy 2013, moderated by Andrew Hessel, a distinguished researcher at Autodesk.As visionaries of their respective generations’ maker-movements, Gentry and Brand see eye-to-eye on the transformative potential of technology in the hands of everyman.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Why Zappos CEO Hsieh Wants to Enable More Collisions in Vegas

(Photo by Asa Mathat)

Tony Hsieh has calculated that he spends “1,000 collisionable hours” annually in downtown Las Vegas. Collisions, or serendipitous encounters, according to the Zappos CEO, are a good thing and he’d like to see more people in his company’s new headquarters’ community having them. Hsieh is widely admired for having built an online retailer known for stellar customer service by nurturing a healthy corporate culture. At Techonomy 2013 in Tucson he described how he’s applying what he’s learned in 14 years running the company to transforming the Fremont East neighborhood surrounding Vegas City Hall—now Zappos central—into a “place of inspiration, creativity, discovery, and upward mobility.”   More

Techonomy 13 Techonomy Events Video

Innovation and the Coming Shape of Social Transformation

As tech- and connectivity-driven change floods across business, social life, government and governing, international relations, jobs, education, health care, and any other human activity you can name, where are we heading? How different is the world we are entering, what must we do to mentally and practically prepare, and what should we resist? Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick, HVF's Max Levchin, and Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Business Techonomy Events Video

Why Interpersonal Skills Are More Important Than You Think

Thomas Malone of MIT's Center for Collective Intelligence discusses the importance of interpersonal skills and shares his research on the intelligence of groups. Watch the video and read the full transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Business Techonomy Events Video

Power to the Platform

Being a platform on which other businesses can thrive has long been a holy grail for Net companies. Companies that want to loom large in the future almost have to control some sort of platform, ideally the center of an entire ecosystem devoted to the company’s survival. How should platform thinking inform the strategy of every business? How does it apply to industries not traditionally considered “tech”? How many platforms can the world stand? Writer Katie Benner joins Pandora's Tom Conrad, Deep Nishar of LinkedIn, and Charles Songurst of Katana Capital to discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events Video

Life 2.0

Bio-engineering is on the cusp of creating inventions that will radically change our perceptions. What will life be like when we can create it ourselves? Stewart Brand of the New Long Foundation, Eri Gentry of the Institute for the Future, and Andrew Hessel of Autodesk discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Security & Privacy Techonomy Events Video

Cyber-insecurity and Its Impact on Business

U.S. companies are losing client confidence and trust as news of ongoing surveillance programs and continued security breaches dominate headlines and water-cooler conversations. What can they do, what must they do, to combat customer and public skepticism while strengthening protections and security for users and themselves? Microsoft's Craig Mundie and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick discuss. Watch video and read the full transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Techonomy Events Video

The New CMO in a Data-Driven Enterprise

Some of the most important data available to companies concerns what customers think. The role of corporate communications is no longer only outward, but as a two-way conduit for opinion and opportunities. Ford’s Jim Farley not only serves as corporate CMO, but also runs the Lincoln division, and is on the front lines of a new way to develop and market products. Watch video and read the full transcript here.   More