Category Archives: Industry News

News You Can Use: 6/21/2017

  • Why Remote Work Can’t Be Stopped

    Despite these moves by big companies, data indicates that the remote-work trend in the U.S. labor force is inexorable, aided by ever-better tools for getting work done anywhere. Surveys done by Gallup indicate that in 2016, the proportion of Americans who did some or all of their work from home was 43%, up from 39% in 2012. Over the same period, the proportion who only work remotely went to 20% from 15%. Amazon.com , American Express , UnitedHealth Group , and Salesforce.com allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time.

    Regarding tools used:

    For remote workers, the communications tools they use daily are the equivalent of these common spaces. The canonical example, owing to its explosive growth and creeping ubiquity, is the group-chat service Slack. It’s designed to make it easy for employees to communicate in ways that aren’t so different from the way they would around a water cooler or a conference table. Slack’s playful features, like on-demand animated GIFs, make it good for collegial interaction, while its library of chatbots and integrations with other enterprise software make it useful as a hub for communicating about and controlling many aspects of a business.


    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-remote-work-cant-be-stopped-1496577602?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • After London Attack, Tech Firms Urged to Do More to Fight Extremists

    Mrs. May said Britain must work with other democracies to “reach international agreements” to regulate cyberspace to prevent terrorism planning. Her statement ratcheted up already critical remarks her cabinet members made in the wake of a March attack, also in London, that killed five people near Parliament. Saturday’s London attack came 12 days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people outside a concert in Manchester, England.

    Also

    Many tech companies say they already work hard to police their platforms for terrorist content, and cooperate with judicial and police investigations. When it comes to propaganda, Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft Corp. all agreed last year to create a common database of identifiers of terrorist images to speed up flagging and removal of propaganda videos.

    Twitter said it suspended 376,890 accounts in the second half of 2017 for promoting terrorism. Twitter said it identified almost two-thirds of those itself, with less than 2% of accounts shut down because of government requests.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/british-leaders-call-on-silicon-valley-to-do-more-to-combat-extremists-1496598615?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People
  • Why “I’m Just Not Technical” is No Longer an Excuse in the C-Suite

    Acknowledge that investing in a partnership with experts, needs to be discussed. When it comes to securing your organization, it’s not about whether your internal team has the aptitude, it’s about the time. It’s not uncommon to hear that IT departments have roles that “wear many hats.” So you need to consider whether they have the time and resources to dedicate to maturing the cybersecurity posture of your organization? Be warned though: you get what you pay for from a partnership with a cybersecurity firm. This should not be the same team that is selling you hardware and/or assisting in the configuration and implementation process.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3199906/security/why-im-just-not-technical-is-no-longer-an-excuse-in-the-c-suite.html

  • Is Your Boss Getting Ready To Quit? How To Tell And What To Do

    Next, look at the landscape and think about what your options are, says leadership expert Susan Fowler, author of Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging. There is the potential for great change ahead. Think about what you want to happen next, she says. Are you ready to move up? Are you still motivated to be with the company? Is there an opportunity for you ahead? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself, she says. Once you have a vision for your next goal, you can begin to formulate a plan.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40426129/is-your-boss-getting-ready-to-quit-how-to-tell-and-what-to-do

Photo: Johannes Plenio

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News You Can Use: 6/14/2017

  • A breakdown of the US departure of the Paris Accord:
    Elon Musk, Google, Microsoft, and more decry Trump’s withdrawal from Paris accord

    In a speech delivered in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said withdrawing from the accord would “protect America and its citizens” and that he would seek new negotiations for terms more favorable to the U.S. “We are getting out,” Trump said. “But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great.”

    Also…

    Tesla’s Elon Musk and Apple’s Tim Cook reached out to the White House in recent weeks to underscore the reasons for remaining in the accord. This morning, Musk tweeted that he had “done all I can to advise directly” Trump and others in the White House. Musk sent another tweet shortly after Trump ended his lengthy speech, announcing his own departures from Presidential councils.

    https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/01/elon-musk-google-microsoft-and-more-decry-trumps-withdrawal-from-paris-accord/
    Why pulling out of Paris Accord damages America’s economic future

    If ending our participation in the Paris Accord slows the U.S. advanced energy market, our American companies will be at a huge competitive disadvantage globally. They won’t have a robust local market to build on. Before long, we will find ourselves buying energy technology from other countries, just as other countries now soak up our digital tech products.

    Worse, the damage can go beyond energy to all U.S. industry. New energy sources aren’t getting adopted just because they might stave off climate change — they’re getting adopted because they are becoming cheaper than carbon-based energy.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/02/why-pulling-out-of-paris-accords-damages-americas-economic-future/?ncid=rss

  • Supply Management Technical Difficulty

    But if we are talking about a true e-Procurement system that is going to be rolled out to everyone across a Global 3000 organization with the authority to make a requisition or spot buy, this will be tens of thousands of users, serviced by hundreds of Procurement professionals doing daily spot buys and MRO inventory management and dozens of strategic buyers and analysts looking for opportunities and conducting complex events using optimization and deep data mining, an average high end server is not going to do the trick. Multiple server instances are going to be needed, but they are all going to have to work off of the same data store, and a significant amount of this data is going to need to be accessed and updated in real time, so it’s not just a matter of replicating the database and allowing the users to go to town.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2017/05/29/supply-management-technical-difficulty-part-vi/

  • Do you need to be a dick to be a successful leader?

    Crass title, but very interesting video (obviously there is some NSFW language)
  • Here Are the Airports You Can’t Fly From With Your Laptop

    In March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a rule that requires passengers flying to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries to put electronics bigger than a smartphone into their checked luggage. The DHS categorized cameras, e-readers, portable DVD players, tablets, travel printers and scanners and laptops as the devices that wouldn’t be allowed on board.

    The airports that were affected by the ban are Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Cairo International Airport, Queen Alia International Airport, Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport, Hamad International Airport, King Khalid International Airport, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and Ataturk International Airport.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295172

  • What Really Happened with Vista (interesting read)

    Microsoft badly misjudged the underlying trends in computer hardware, in particular the right turn that occurred in 2003 to the trend of rapid improvements in single-threaded processor speed and matching improvements in other core elements of the PC. Vista was planned for and built for hardware that did not exist. This was bad for desktops, worse for laptops and disastrous for mobile.

    https://hackernoon.com/what-really-happened-with-vista-4ca7ffb5a1a

Photo: Paul Morris

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News You Can Use: 6/7/2017

  • How Amazon hopes to win the cloud by hiring older engineers

    In my own experience, AWS teams have a healthy mix of older and younger employees. Still, AWS leadership isn’t driven by millennials, but rather by graybeards (James Gosling, Adrian Cockcroft, Tim Bray, and Andi Gutmans are just a few people called out by Governor). Management at most companies will tend to skew a bit older, but AWS is notable for how those people are discovered. As Governor noted: “Some other older companies have older distinguished engineers because they grew up with the company. AWS is explicitly bringing that experience in.”

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-amazon-hopes-to-win-the-cloud-by-hiring-older-engineers/

  • Will basic income mean the end of work? Nope.

    In fact, some of this rhetoric could be missing the mark. The evidence from many trials of unconditional cash transfers, including basic income plans, finds little evidence that work (or the desire to work) disappears in conditions of free money. In almost all cases, giving people regular payments hasn’t dampened their thirst for employment. In fact, UBI is a bit like the lottery, says Ioana Marinescu, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, author of a recent paper looking at the relationship between cash transfers and behavior. We may imagine that lottery winners all decamp to Florida (or similar) and sit by the pool all day. Actually, most lottery winners keep clocking in (though presumably less despairingly than before).

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40423154/will-a-basic-income-mean-the-end-of-work-dont-get-too-excited

  • AI Can Now Self-Reproduce—Should Humans Be Worried?
  • Aecom and IBM create “scorecard” to help cities prepare for disasters

    The scorecard is structured around the UN’s 10 Essentials of Disaster Resilience, a list that enables city administrations to identify priorities for investment and to track progress over time. The goal is to guide cities towards optimal resilience by providing a set of assessments that cover the policy and planning, engineering, organisational, financial, social and environmental aspects of disaster resilience.

    http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/aecom-and-ibm-create-scorec7ard-he7lp-ci7es/

  • I just want to say one word to you: Data

    You need a strategy: Tom Choi, executive director of CAPS Research, said that as procurement managers are tasked with looking downstream for ways to add value to their customers, a digitized ecosystem is crucial for business success. At the same time, the upsurge of Big Data and analytics technology (there are something like 163 platforms that an organization could subscribe to for data) has been rapid and radical, especially the increase in unstructured data from social and media outlets that does not easily fit in a box. Choi’s advice: Create an analytics team; convert your data into a form you can use; and then launch small projects that work or fail quickly. Use those learnings to start again.

    http://www.scmr.com/article/i_just_want_to_say_one_word_to_you_data#When:14:30:00Z

Photo: Tony Lam Hoang

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News You Can Use: 5/31/2017

  • Twitter’s VP of Europe: The glorious open-plan office dream is dead

    One 2014 study found we’re 15% less productive in open-plan workspaces, we have more trouble concentrating and we’re twice as likely to get sick with no walls to stop the spread of coughs and illness.

    “We perceived offices as having hierarchy, the boss had a better office, but in fact the truth is that offices, cubicles and little spaces were far better for our productivity and for getting your job done,” Twitter’s vice president of Europe, Bruce Daisley, told The Memo.

    Open Offices exist due to cost:

    “There are two reasons why offices are open plan, one is that we ripped down the walls of hierarchy, but two is because it’s a lot cheaper. We can fit lots more people in open plan,” says Daisley.

    And, sadly, that’s the reason why open-plan is here to stay.

    https://www.thememo.com/2017/03/15/twitter-vp-of-europe-bruce-daisley-the-glorious-open-plan-office-dream-is-dead/

  • Comcast tries to shut down pro-net neutrality site

    Internet advocacy group, Fight for the Future, says Comcast sent it a cease-and-desist order demanding the group take down Comcastroturf.com on the grounds that it violates the company’s “valuable intellectual property.” The site appeals for help identifying what it claims are fraudulent comments posted on the FCC’s own site, supporting FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plans to rollback net neutrality rules. Many comments have already been flagged as spam, or posted under people’s names without their permission. (It’s not the first time something like this has happened.)

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/24/comcast-tries-to-shut-down-pro-net-neutrality-site/

  • Why Controlling the Masses Through Media No Longer Works
  • IBM’s Remote Work Reversal Is A Losing Battle Against The New Normal

    In a study published in Harvard Business Review in 2014, remote workers proved both more productive and more loyal than their peers onsite. In fact, IBM’s recent policy switch goes against its own research. In both a 2014 white paper by IBM’s Smarter Workplace Institute and in a conference panel the company hosted just weeks ago, its own experts suggested that remote workers tend to be happier, less stressed, more productive, more engaged with their jobs and teams, and believe that their companies are more innovative as a result of flexible work arrangements.

    At a time when smaller cities and rural areas are struggling, it’s backward-looking for a major corporation–especially one with such deep experience in remote work–to implement a policy that could take jobs away from regions that need them most. By demanding its employees flock to IBM’s urban headquarters, the company isn’t just sapping everyplace else of highly skilled talent, it’s also contributing to depopulating the communities where those remote workers live, and depressing local economies as a result.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40423083/ibms-remote-work-reversal-is-a-losing-battle-against-the-new-normal

  • Hedge funds vs. Silicon Valley

    “At tech companies, the permeating value is that they’re about trying to make the world a better place, whereas at hedge funds it’s about making more money,” Mr. Epstein said.

    Nina Kuklisova, a quantitative associate at a large financial-services firm in New York, said she gets between three and five inquiries a week from recruiters about job opportunities at other finance firms and technology companies. The 27-year-old, while not actively looking for a job, said she is open to switching to the tech sector. However, negative feedback from friends employed in tech gives her pause.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/battle-royale-hedge-funds-vs-silicon-valley-1495637466

Photo: Khachik Simonian

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News You Can Use: 5/24/2017

  • Former Google worker barred from Uber’s self-driving division by court

    A judge has ruled that Uber can keep working on its autonomous vehicles with one key condition: autonomous vehicle lead Anthony Levandowski must be removed from any of Uber’s LiDAR-based efforts. Prior to joining Uber, Levandowski worked for Google’s Waymo division and allegedly took some 14,000 documents pertaining to LiDAR and other self-driving tech on his way out the door. He’s still employed by Uber according to TechCrunch, and has voluntarily removed himself from the autonomous division as of late last month.

    TC also reports that the presiding judge ruled that information from Waymo essentially made its way into Uber’s tech by osmosis, “regardless of whether any documents were actually found on Uber computers and devices.”

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/15/uber-google-waymo-anthonylevandowski/

  • Supply chain toolkit: How managers prepare for the next crisis

    A tremor hit Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture last year. Hundreds of buildings fell, thousands of people were injured, and, for days, the world watched as a city destroyed picked itself back up. But the ripple effects of the quake spread beyond the island nation to global stores and dealerships as companies like Toyota and Sony halted production due to inventory shortages. Sony later reported the event cost the company over $1 billion.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/crisis-management-supply-chain/442273/

    “The first thing to do is go out there and get some education,” Schlegel says. “There’s a huge body of knowledge out there, a huge, emerging body in supply chain risk management.”

    Step two, Schlegel says, is building that always-hot supply chain buzzword: visibility. And that’s where mapping and monitoring come in. “Most of us don’t have it, whether upstream or downstream.” It’s not just about who suppliers are, or the price, but where they are located, he says. “You have to know where your suppliers, customers, DCs and contractors are. What you don’t know in the global supply chain will hurt you.”

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/operations-crisis-management-supply-chain/442218/#

  • Net Neutrality Update: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (NSFW)
  • How To Decline An Opportunity At Work That You Might Want Later On

    The message you want to get across is that you’d like to say yes, but unfortunately, this isn’t the best time for you. The tricky part is: That’s the same thing people say if they want to decline, but think punting comes off nicer than a flat no.

    To separate yourself from them, keep in mind that you have a totally different motivation. Their goal is to be nice–and hope the other person forgets about them. Your goal, on the other hand, is to share that you’re interested, but genuinely can’t make it work.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40421338/how-to-decline-an-opportunity-at-work-that-you-might-want-later-on?

  • The working dead: IT jobs bound for extinction

    “Previously, job seekers with high-demand technical skill sets and expertise were mainly hired into IT departments,” he says. “Nowadays, traditional IT skill sets are in demand across a wider variety of departments—from engineering and product management, to business intelligence and even design.”

    Instead of lurking around the server room, many sys admins can be found in marketing or sales departments managing their companies’ CRM implementations, notes CompTIA’s Stanger. But he adds that IT admins can still remain relevant by attuning their skills for the cloud-mobility-IoT era.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3196022/it-careers/the-working-dead-it-jobs-bound-for-extinction.html
    Not sure if I agree with everything on this list, but an interesting conversation starter. 

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