May 232015

Uber and other car services are claiming US disability laws don’t apply to them The Daily Beast reports.

It’s hard to think of how Uber can do more to alienate the community with the service pushing legal boundaries in many cities, avoiding taxes and trying to skirt employment laws.

The danger for all the new wave of companies in their trying to dodge laws is they are inviting restrictive legislation, particularly if they’ve alienated the community and electorate.

It may well be time for companies like Uber, SideCar and Lyft to start showing a bit of humility and tact. Hubris and arrogance may come back to haunt them.

May 032015

The sudden and unexpected passing of Survey Monkey CEO David Goldberg at age 47 yesterday is a genuine shock.

Last year we interviewed David for Decoding The New Economy and found him to be a gracious and intelligent interviewee – a genuinely nice guy who wasn’t fazed by me constantly confusing Survey Monkey with Mailchimp.

With the passing of David the tech industry has lost one of the smart, good guys. Condolences to the his loved ones.

Apr 262015

Security experts have hacked a teleoperated surgical robot Security experts hack medical robot.

In a recently published paper, a group of academics showed how they had been able to change the instruction sequences, override commands or even take full control of the Raven II medical robot.

That such a lack of security isn’t in the least bit surprising is a sad commentary on the world of connected devices and the Internet of Things.

At the root of this problem is the software running this equipment has security added, at best, as an afterthought given the designers work from the assumption operators are in the room with the equipment,

If we’re going to connect these devices to the public internet then security has to be built into them from the beginning.

Whether we’re discussing remote medical equipment, driverless cars or the smart home, hardening and securing IoT devices is going to be of today’s industrial challenges.

Apr 182015
In 2001 Microsoft released Windows XP

Over the years Microsoft has been on the receiving end of regulators’ investigators, the New York Times reports the company is now using that experience to run a global harassment campaign against Google.

That Microsoft are funding various groups to make complaints about Google shows how regulators, and reporters have to be careful about such campaigns.

Feb 132015
Smart rubbish bins sensor

Earlier this week we looked at Cisco’s claim that Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks will handle much of the world’s mobile data traffic by the end of the decade.

French company SIGFOX showed how investors are looking at the opportunity in these systems with a $115 million funding round two days ago.

What’s particularly notable about SIGFOX’s investors is how many of them are telcos themselves with Spain’s Telefonica, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo and South Korean SK Telecom being key shareholders.

Along with the telcos, who SIGFOX hopes will help them expand their footprint outside Spain, France, the UK and the Netherlands, there’s also a collection of industrial companies including Air Liquide and infrastructure giant SDF Suez.

That a diverse range of companies are moving into the LPWA market shows how important the stakes are for providers in securing a position in the the technologies that will define the Internet of Things as industries brace themselves for the massive rollout of connected devices.

Dec 262014

One of the ongoing tensions in the new media landscape is that between the demands of advertisers and content creators.

This isn’t a new thing as a 1959 interview between Mike Wallace and TV pioneer Rod Stering shows.

Sterling describes how pressures from networks and advertisers created often weird compromises along with a fair degree of self censorship among TV writers and producers.

Little that Sterling describes would surprise today’s online journalists, bloggers and social media influencers who find themselves subject to identical pressures today.