Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella turned the company around by focusing on its core strength in business services; betting big on the cloud; ditching failing lines, mainly the handset business; and opening up the culture.
Really an amazing turnaround; in the technology industry, dominant technology companies in decline, like Microsoft was, don’t make a comeback. I can only think of two examples other than Microsoft: Apple, which required the return of its charismatic founder, and IBM 25 years ago.
Starbucks is succumbing to pressure and putting porn filters on its public WiFi. An organization called Enough is Enough has been giving Starbucks grief for failing to protect its customers from porn. Enough is Enough says that public WiFi networks “are attracting pedophiles and sex offenders” and put children at risk. This sounds like bullshit to me from people looking to enrich themselves by scaring parents.
Executives from telcos and Cisco talk about the company’s new service provider strategy, including IoT, AI and 5G, and how those technologies are reshaping networking. Watch my video from Las Vegas – or, to be more precise, I was in front of the camera – my colleague Dan Allen did the bulk of the work putting it all together.
Facebook admitted on Thanksgiving eve it hired a PR firm to conduct an anti-Semitic smear campaign against critics. Facebook follows a long tradition of companies using major holidays to disclose bad news they want people to ignore.
I don’t know if it’s justified to claim, as the headline does, that these white Instagram influencers are “pretending to be black.” Only one is doing that – and she only did it for a while. The others are upfront about their ethnic heritage.
On the other hand, cultural appropriation is a thing. I view it as economic: Elvis Presley gets rich doing covers of “race records,” while the original performers struggle to make a living. I think the mainstream definition of cultural appropriation is more broad and intangible than the one I use.
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith is a Mississipi GOP Senator is going into a runoff election against her Democratic opponent, a Black man named Mike Espy who might end up the first Black Mississipi Senator since 1883. She made headlines last week with a joke about attending a “public hanging.” She also made public comments in favor of voter suppression.
Google says they made the donation before they heard about her comments and they never would have donated had they known. However, she espoused hateful views before her recent comments, and Google isn’t asking for its money back.
Did I Make a Mistake Selling Del.icio.us to Yahoo? (New York Magazine)
Much as I loved del.icio.us – and I continue to use del.icio.us clone Pinboard.in – del.icio.us was never going to be Facebook- Google- or even Twitter-big. People like images and design; a bare-bones text-only site was always going to be a niche.
(Oh, yeah, is that so, respond Reddit and Craigslist, sarcastically.)
After being confused by a USB drive, Yoshitaka Sakurada was forced to admit he had never used a computer. [Rob Beschizza/Boing Boing]
“Apple’s world-beating financial engineering is teaching the corporate world how to exploit Trump’s tax cuts.” [Cory Doctorow/Boing Boing]
Police want courts to compel Amazon to turn over Alexa recordings from the scene of a grisly double murder in a New Hampshire home – if those recordings even exist. [Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post]
Affluent parents, including many in Silicon Valley who work in tech, are limiting or eliminating their kids’ screen time. “It could happen that the children of poorer and middle-class parents will be raised by screens, while the children of Silicon Valley’s elite will be going back to wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction.” (Nellie Bowles/NYTimes)
Businesses are starting to realize nobody’s interested in VR. Seems like we have to go through this every 10-15 years with whatever technology is hot at the time, starting with text-based MUDs and MUSHes and MOOs in the 80s. (Joshua Topolsky/The Outline)
A catalog of ingenious cheats developed by machine-learning systems “AI trained to classify skin lesions as potentially cancerous learns that lesions photographed next to a ruler are more likely to be malignant.” [Cory Doctorow/Boing Boing]
The newspaper’s “morgue” has 5 million to 7 million photos dating back to the 1870s, including prints and contact sheets showing all the shots on photographers’ rolls of film. The Times is using Google’s technology to convert it into something more useful than its current analog state occupying banks of filing cabinets.
Specifically, it’s using Google AI tools to recognize printed or handwritten text describing the photos and Google’s storage and data analysis services, the newspaper said. It plans to investigate whether object recognition is worthwhile, too.
I’m intrigued by the potential of blockchain. But there are an awful lot of bullshit blockchain business plans out there, and it seems like this plan is one of them. It finds a problem that doesn’t actually exist, and suggests a solution that won’t fix the problem.