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MultiTech Continues IoT Leadership in LPWA and Security

September 12, 2017

One of the longest-running companies in the connectivity business, MultiTech has stepped up their IoT leadership. Specifically, in the world of LPWA. At MWC Americas the company demoed NB-IoT with T-Mobile. Company spokesperson Sarah Brown told me in an in-person interview that this is the first demo of its kind in the US.

Apple Chooses Qi for iPhone 8 and iPhone X Charging

September 12, 2017

Whatever wireless charging tech Apple decided to use would spark a trillion-dollar upgrade cycle in cars, gym equipment such as treadmills, office furniture, night-tables (especially in hotels), coffee-shop furniture and basically all flat surfaces.

Just to stay competitive, Dunkin' Donuts will upgrade all its tables to keep pace with Starbucks and there may not be a restaurant that can afford to ignore the trend.

We are talking world-wide here - over a trillion dollars will easily be spent. Some of the upgrades would have happened anyway but do not underestimate the power of Apple to force companies to piggy-back on their success.

Apple could have gone with its own standard and taken a piece of this new trillion-dollar space through licensing but instead they decided to use Qi, the standard we first talked about in 2013 when we were a bit thinner.



Because Apple went the open route, and decided not to make money from their newfound wireless charging dominance, the industry as a whole will flourish.

There will be no Apple-tax and subsequently all vendors have a new standard to focus on. Expect Microsoft laptops to benefit as well because they soon will have to embrace Qi. Ditto for Chromebooks and all Android devices. We saw Qi powering an electric kettle four years ago so it will likely be able to handle the charging of much of our electronics - not servers but at least much of what we put in our laptop bags.

Expect dirt-cheap Chinese Qi-power mats.













Paul Ryan: Smartphones Are Cleaning FEMA Out

September 7, 2017



According to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, people are using smartphones to apply for FEMA assistance at unprecedented levels and as a result it is nearly out of funds.

This wasn't possible in past disasters because people needed PCs, electricity and homes which weren't flooded or destroyed to connect to the internet.

Hurricane Harvey and it's immense amount of flooding has destroyed a large number of homes (above) while Hurricane Irma has already hit land in the US territory of Puerto Rico and will hit the US mainland soon. Even worse, hurricane Jose isn't far behind Irma.

Smartphones have made the pace of everything happen more quickly and asking for assistance from FEMA is no different and while this is great for those in need, it will put inordinate strain on government budgets to ensure the emergency fund stays solvent.







Why IoT Companies Will Soon be Chasing Lumavate

September 5, 2017

Few people have heard of Lumavate but at the conclusion of this post you'll be convinced that they likely point to the future of at least one segment of the IoT market.

Before we get into the company, lets delve into the company's latest news. Don Brown has led a $2 million dollar seed investment.

The reason this matters has to do with integration.

Dr. Don Brown is someone who gets a fraction of the press he deserves. If he lived in Silicon Valley, the tech media would worship him 24x7. Because his last company was located in Indiana, he flew somewhat under the radar of the general media while revolutionizing the way trillions of dollars were spent in the call center market.

I first met Don when he launched Interactive Intelligence around 1995.







Tunnel is the Professional way Call Centers Text Customers

September 4, 2017

WhatsApp revolutionized consumer texting. Slack did it for business. Tunnel wants to do it for call centers.





There is no shortage of vendors who will allow your call center to send text messages via an API.

Roku IPO Reminds us Tech is an Oligopoly

September 3, 2017



Roku is a company that defied the odds - competing in a market with Apple, Google and Amazon and somehow persevering by making superior products in what is without a doubt a highly commoditized space. To make matters worse, Google and Amazon really don't seem to care too much about profitability - Amazon in general and Google/Alphabet for its businesses beyond search.

Still, despite the challenging competitive environment, Roku has persevered and done well.

The company's investors are about to partially cash out via an IPO and in its filing documents it tells us that two of its most popular services, YouTube and Netflix pay them virtually no money.

Tech is an oligopoly of sorts. In 2015, Om Malik wrote about the winner-take-all nature of Silicon Valley.

Here is an excerpt:

This loop of algorithms, infrastructure, and data is potent. Add what are called network effects to the mix, and you start to see virtual monopolies emerge almost overnight.











Watch out Slack, Here Comes Flock

September 2, 2017

There is no shortage of competition for the enterprise messaging customer. Slack is the acknowledged leader but Cisco, Microsoft and everyone seems to want to get in on the market. The latest is Flock, a cloud-based team collaboration service, which has attracted 25,000 enterprise users and customers including Tim Hortons, Whirlpool and Princeton University.

According to Bloomberg: 
A teenage entrepreneur who became a millionaire by 20 before sharing a billion-dollar fortune at 36, Bhavin Turakhia isn’t afraid to think big. Now he’s putting $45 million of his own money into building a rival to Slack and other office messaging platforms.

The bottom line is the price Flock will charge is more than $3 per user less than Slack.


Does This Stat Show IBM was Wrong about Telecommuting

August 31, 2017

7% or less than 2 out of 25 workers feel productive in the office during normal business hours According to a recent FlexJobs survey on remote work. 66% of professionals believed that they would be more productive if they worked remotely.

The reasons cited in favor of remote work? 76% wanted "fewer interruptions from colleagues and fewer distractions," 70% sought to "reduce stress from commuting," and 69% preferred to avoid "office politics."

How do these stats square with the strategy changes by companies like Yahoo! and IBM to move people back into the office? Without passing judgement - in both of these cases the companies faced tough competition and weren't performing up to expectations so maybe a change was made in the hopes of an improvement.

Perhaps these two cases are outliers.

When we look at the stat regarding 76% of people wanting less interruptions and distractions, how does this align with the move to the open office environment?







Lack of Cybersecurity Training Just Cost 8 Million Dollars

August 31, 2017

The Cybersecurity problem gets worse by the day and as we have covered before, there is an increase in attacks targeting money-transfer. In fact, while ransomware isn't going away any time soon, the sheer amount of money which can be scored from a wire transfer scam is so enormous that ransomware pales in comparison.

As we just wrote:

  • Money transfer attacks occur when company employees are tricked into wiring money to a hacker account through what looks like a legitimate email from their boss or other authorized authority. By hacking mailboxes, malicious users can learn patterns and terms used by an organization and subsequently use these terms against them. Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars are lost by corporations each year through such attacks.

Some time back we wrote about Portnox and how they add visibility and control to help secure networks.

Burning Man Live Stream

August 31, 2017

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