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March 2018

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How Tech Helped Nab the Austin Bomber

March 21, 2018

As tech permeates a greater part of all our lives, it is becoming more and more difficult to pull off a large-scale string of bombing without getting caught. Case in point, the Austin Bomber whose name we will intentionally not release was caught in part thanks to video evidence at a FedEx store, store receipts and suspicious Google search history.

The bomber blew himself up as authorities closed in.

The bomber who was an unemployed college-dropout killed two and injured four leaving package bombs on doorsteps, one with a tripwire and one shipped via FedEx. Authorities do not know at this moment if others were involved or more packages are out there so if you see something suspicious please dial 911.

Hopefully the rapid pace at which law enforcement was able to find the bomber thanks in-part to technology will serve as a lesson to the next would-be bomber that you will be caught quickly.

From a civil libertarian perspective one wonders how ethical or even legal it was to acquire "suspicious" search history. The ACLU hasn't made any statements yet... We'll see if the media covers this angle going forward.

What We Got Wrong and Right in our 2017 Predictions

March 20, 2018

On December 9, 2016 we made the following predictions. Some we realized were ahead of their time but we figured, it was worth taking a risk. Topics ranged from tech to the economy and even the strength of the dollar. We've scrutinized our results.

IoT and Blockchain Could Stop Package Bombers

March 20, 2018

The people of Austin are being deluged with package bombs. Within a few weeks, there have been packages left on doorsteps, connected to tripwires and early this morning exploding in a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas. So far, two people are dead and four others have been injured.

Police have told residents to stay indoors. Obviously, if you don't leave your house, you need to order online.

Talkdesk Really Differentiates with Enterprise Contact Center

March 19, 2018

In a short amount of time Talkdesk has amassed 1,400 global customers according to an exclusive interview we had with CEO, Tiago Paiva (above left; Yours Truly on the right).

We've followed his company's progress since inception and through sheer will and a tremendous investment in engineering and development, the company has lured away many customers from not only legacy systems but other cloud providers. They bill themselves as a next-gen cloud using microservices, an API-driven CPaaS communication layer, built-in SMS, omnichannel and many integrations like Salesforce and ServiceNOW. They also have adopted the latest cybersecurity standards and guidelines such as SOCII, BPDR, HIPAA and PCI-DDS.

Talkdesk AppConnect

Tiago explains much of the reason for the company's rapid growth is due to the fact that nobody likes their contact center solutions. By focusing on things like quick set-up (about four weeks), free online training, AppConnect app store, custom dashboards, self-service changes and  data-based routing, the company's commitment to innovation is leading to market share gains.

Talkdesk Data-Based Routing

In addition, the system has an average 4.22 MOS score, greater than 99.99% uptime and six global data centers.

Customers include IBM, MongoDB and companies whose names we can't disclose.

WWIII: Fight Between BigTech AI, Regulators and Lawyers is Coming

March 15, 2018

The EU's GPDR or allows General Data Protection Regulation which goes into effect next year includes a right to an explanation of decisions made by algorithms and a right to opt out of some algorithmic decisions altogether.

The challenge is, some conclusions might not be able to be explained, more importantly as you may have read today on a guest post from Nick Wallace, correlation is not always easy to understand. Penicillin's antibiotic properties have been proven through correlation for about 80 years but until recently, it wasn't known why it has been so effective.

Similarly, if a person opts out of such programs - it may mean they miss out on an entire assortment of new designer medications which would be most effective for them thanks to AI and big data algorithms.

There seems to be a concern among regulators that somehow these algorithms will have a racist outcome or that they may may target the less fortunate, etc. Similarly though algorithms could indeed help determine who in minority and poor communities is the most likely to pay their bills on time and subsequently receive a lower interest rate.

Seeing both sides of the coin however may be a dream which never happens because another disturbing blow to AI took place today.

EU GPDR Devastating to AI

March 15, 2018

Very important guest blog post originally found on Techzone360.

Last September, a U.K. House of Commons committee concluded that it is too soon to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). Its recommendation comes too late: The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force next year, includes a right to obtain an explanation of decisions made by algorithms and a right to opt-out of some algorithmic decisions altogether. These regulations do little to help consumers, but they will slow down the development and use of AI in Europe by holding developers to a standard that is often unnecessary and infeasible.

Although the GDPR is designed to address the risk of companies making unfair decisions about individuals using algorithms, its rules will provide little benefit because other laws already protect their interests in this regard.

The Real Reason Trump Blocked the Broadcom, Qualcomm Merger

March 13, 2018

U.S. regulators will often stop mergers and acquisitions because they are bad for the public in some way. Too much market control could inflate prices wildly, etc. When deals are killed it isn't always obvious why.

CafeX Sees Call Center Converging with CRM

March 12, 2018

CafeX EVP Sajeel Hussain sees a convergence between the CRM space and contact centers and he's in a great position to know as the company's Live Assist provides omnichannel capability to potentially 10 million Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers via chat co-browse and video capabilities. 

The solution comes out of the box with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the companies codeveloped the solution and have a Joint roadmap. The Azure cloud-based solution has delivered 4,500 trials in 12 months and has had 65 customer wins such as HP, District M and the NHS in the UK.

According to Sajeel the biggest pain points his company takes away for customers are are as follows. 

3Cinteractive Brings CMS and Orchestration to RCS Marketing

March 8, 2018

Thanks to RCS, rich messaging will be the default on all mobile devices meaning companies will have the ability to provide superior messaging and marketing to all customers according to Brian Heikes, VP, Product Mangement and Solutions at 3Cinteractive.

They recently launched some of the first campaigns on the Sprint network when they announced their RCS A2P deployment. Prior to this change, Sprint just allowed P2P RCS capability or person-to-person messaging. Now with the MAP solution, organizations now have the full power sending rich marketing messaging to all consumers.

In addition to the benefit of having RCS work on all handsets, its use allows companies to avoid needing to go through a BigTech gatekeeper who mines the data to sell competitive advertising.

In other words, if you look at the Facebook business model - the first step was to get companies to bring all their customers to the Facebook network by liking their pages. The next step was to charge companies for access to their own customers via algorithm changes and advertising.

External Battery Power Bank for Microsoft Surface Book

March 7, 2018

If you are looking for a large, external battery which can power a Microsoft Surface Book, we have good news for you. After hours of searching Amazon and Google we came across the Crave PowerPack CRVPP101 50000 mAh,Dual USB and Dual Laptop Ports Ultra-High Density Portable Power Bank.

(Exact product names used for your information).

Disintermediated News Companies Get Government Help

March 7, 2018

Disintermediation often is described as "taking out" the middle-man between buyer and seller but when if comes to news, the Big Tech companies such as Google and Facebook and perhaps even Twitter have taken the essence of news content - perhaps a title, snippet and photo and provided it for free to their users.

Of course quite often, newspapers and magazines provide their information for free as well but use advertising as a monetizing vehicle. Big tech companies have disintermediated the advertisers and the eyeballs.

The Democrats in the House of Representatives have gotten involved and introduced a bill today that would allow media outlets to band together to negotiate for better terms with giant tech platforms.

Rep. David Cicilline's (D-R.I.) Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would grant a temporary antitrust waiver for news publishers to collectively negotiate with companies like Facebook and Google.

Apple Must Buy Devialet

March 5, 2018

At ITEXPO A month ago, we asked a room full of about 500 techies how many wanted the HomePod from Apple. One hand went up. Dozens had Amazon Echos and Google Home devices however.

The bad news at the show later translated into lackluster sales as reported by analysts.

The problem for Apple in the smart speaker market is the low end is sewn up. Amazon is selling their Echo devices for a few dozen dollars.

FCC CTO Eric Burger and TMC CEO Rich Tehrani to Keynote Ideacom 2018

March 4, 2018

The pace of change in technology continues to increase and if your company generates its income from helping customers deal with these advancements, it's up to you to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Moreover, you need a general awareness of the regulatory environment and what issues are being addressed by the federal government; now and in the future.

It’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Yours Truly (Rich Tehrani) will be giving a keynote presentation at the Ideacom 2018 conference in Washington DC, April 8-10, 2018. The focus of our presentation will be on what resellers and MSPs need to know to adapt to the changing technology landscape.

IPTechView RMM from ABP Fills Important MSP Gap

March 2, 2018

According to Robert Messer CEO of ABP, the company's new IPTechView RMM, launched at ITEXPO, February in 2018, gives MSPS and VARs the ability to monitor and control virtually all the devices on their customer networks. PBXs, switches, IP cameras, IP phones, IoT, etc. The highly secure system is compatible with the GPDR standard for cybersecurity in Europe which means it should be fine for use in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The solution is meant to be complimentary to software from SolarWinds, Kaseya, Autotask and ConnectWise as it does not manage the PCs like they do.

What we liked best about it was the ability to see real-time views from the cameras it manages.

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