Category Archives: Industry News

News You Can Use: 9/6/2017

  • Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry

    The EFF said “states and malicious actors” often turn to denial-of-service attacks when they try to silence voices. Cloudflare’s decision to deny security against these kinds of attacks to Daily Stormer signals that they can pick and choose clients, making it more difficult for them to fend off external pressure in the future, the EFF said.

    The censorship of Daily Stormer was decided by behind-the-scenes actors that are little known to the general public, rather than players like Facebook and Twitter, the ostensible windows of the internet that are in direct contact with users, making the moves more unsettling, said Mr. Prince.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-censorship-of-white-supremacists-draws-criticism-from-within-industry-1503144003

  • Would You Be Thankful or Horrified If the Emails You Got While on Vacation Disappeared?

    “While you’re on vacation, people who email you get a message, letting them know when you’ll be back. And then — the most important part — the tool deletes the email,” she wrote.” If the email is important, the sender can always send it again. If it’s not, then it’s not waiting for you when you get back, or even worse, tempting you to read it while you’re away.”

    While most companies likely won’t implement an office-wide system like Huffington’s, it’s a helpful reminder that if you don’t respond to that email right away, the world won’t come to an end. And as a business owner, if you want your employees to stay healthy and productive, it’s on you to encourage them to actually take that time away for themselves — and leave their inboxes behind.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/299268

  • Bryan Cranston: One Thing All Young People Should Do While They’re Still Young
  • To Succeed You Must Become a Knowledge Junkie

    Selling is hard if you haven’t made a commitment to it, but the truth is anything is hard without a commitment. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, if you aren’t committed to it, you will suffer. Being committed means you write down your goals and train daily to be better at whatever you do.

    Anytime I am having trouble getting what I want in my life, in my career, in money or in my relationships, I ask “What is it that I do not know?” It doesn’t matter if it’s more quality time with my kids, more income, more freedom, security, confidence or whatever it is I want, the first thing I look for is to become clear about my desire and then look for what I don’t know.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/299105

  • How to Run a Remote Startup Across Time Zones

    The water cooler effect has both positives (shared theories about what happened on Mr. Robot last night) and negatives (creates fertile ground for office gossip). But, overall it’s a good thing, and the remote team needs a chance to bond, too.

    Thankfully, there are some excellent ways to create a virtual space where everyone is included but no one needs to wear pants. The two most popular options are HipChat and Slack, with Slack edging ahead of the competition. The virtual communication tools connect team members and offer messaging sub channels, direct messages, customized calendars, task assignments and so on. You can start a channel dedicated to awesome high-five gifs or unexpected animal friendship videos. This can be instrumental in building a company culture for people to become invested in.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/291919

Photo: Ryan Wong

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News You Can Use: 8/30/2017

  • DreamHost is fighting DoJ request for 1.3M IP addresses of visitors to anti-Trump protest site

    Web hosting service DreamHost is fighting a Department of Justice demand to scoop up all the IP addresses of visitors to an anti-Trump website. The website in question, disruptj20.org, organized participants of political protests against the current U.S. administration.

    Blogging about its objections to the warrant yesterday, DreamHost’s general counsel describes it as “a highly untargeted demand that chills free association and the right of free speech afforded by the Constitution”.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/15/dreamhost-is-fighting-doj-request-for-1-3m-ip-addresses-of-visitors-to-anti-trump-protest-site/?ncid=rss
    Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site

    The Department of Justice initially used subpoenas to DreamHost to seek subscriber information about who ran the site. That’s fairly straightforward. But then they doubled down. They obtained a search warrant for an extremely broad array of data related to the site, including all stored records of access to the site or communications with the site. As written, it seems to demand data including the IP addresses of everyone who ever accessed the site and the content of every site visitor’s question or comment submitted through the site’s comment form, as well as all emails sent to or through the web site. The Department of Justice has filed a motion in the DC court where charges are pending to compel DreamHost to respond, and DreamHost has filed an opposition articulating its objections to the warrant.

    https://www.popehat.com/2017/08/14/department-of-justice-uses-search-warrant-to-get-data-on-visitors-to-anti-trump-site/
    Government Prevails in Bid for Anti-Trump Website’s Subscriber Data

    A judge in District of Columbia Superior Court on Thursday ordered DreamHost LLC, the host of the website disruptj20.org, to comply with a government warrant seeking information about the site’s subscribers. The government says the site was used to recruit and organize hundreds of people who rioted in the city on Jan. 20, the day President Donald Trump was sworn in, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage over nearly two dozen city blocks.

    Chief Judge Robert Morin ruled that DreamHost was obligated to turn over subscriber data, but that prosecutors would have to tell the judge which data it intended to seize. The judge said he would oversee the use of the data to make sure the government’s seizure was limited to individuals linked to the riots and not people who merely posted messages or communicated with others through the site.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-24/u-s-prevails-in-bid-for-anti-trump-website-s-subscriber-data

  • Not even remotely possible

    Quite apart from the time and rent saved, there’s growing evidence that remote teams can be more productive than in-person ones. Consider: “We found massive, massive improvement in performance — a 13% improvement in performance from people working at home.” Consider companies like Automattic, Gitlab, InVision, and Zapier, all of which thrive as fully remote companies.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/13/not-even-remotely-possible/?ncid=rss

  • What Kind of Thinker Are You? A Hiker or a Race Car Driver?
  • Tech’s Damaging Myth of the Loner Genius Nerd

    Early on, children who are less comfortable with social interaction — particularly boys, who are more likely to be socialized that way — are channeled toward science and engineering, he said. Teachers generally focus on the technical aspects and not the interpersonal ones. The result is a field filled with people who dislike social interactions and have been rewarded for it.

    Silicon Valley culture encourages it. Google calls engineers who aren’t managers “individual contributors.” Technical skills are valued above soft skills or business skills. “Anyone who deals with a human being is considered less intelligent,” said Ellen Ullman, a software programmer and author of a new book, “Life in Code.” “You would think it would be the other way around, but the more your work is just talking to the machine, the more valuable it is.”

    Also:

    Computer programming was originally considered a woman’s job. They were programmers of the Eniac during World War II and at NASA, as shown in the film “Hidden Figures.” That began to change when programming professionalized in the 1960s. The stereotype of an eccentric genius who would rather work with machines than people was born, according to Nathan Ensmenger, a historian at Indiana University who studies the cultural history of the software industry.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/upshot/techs-damaging-myth-of-the-loner-genius-nerd.html

  • Three things procurement executives should know about Generation Z

    Members of Generation Z have an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit – a mindset that can help procurement to deliver value beyond savings. Again, procurement executives should emphasize the fact the function works with suppliers as well as other divisions, such as research and development, to deliver new innovative new products when recruiting graduates.

    While attracting and developing the very best talent is one of procurement’s key challenges, the function needs to think carefully about the differences between the generations to ensure everyone is comfortable and moving forward in their own personal development. Fail to keep ahead of the changes and procurement will quickly find itself at the back of the queue for talent.

    https://www.procurementleaders.com//blog/rachel-sharp/three-things-procurement-executives-should-know-about-generation-z-680204

Photo: Anna Wangler

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News You Can Use: 8/23/2017

  • Google Uproar Highlights Questions Over What You Can or Cannot Say at Work

    “There’s no unfettered right for employees to say whatever they want without facing repercussions from their company,” said Daniel A. Schwartz, employment law partner at Shipman & Goodwin LLP. “The question for companies like Google is, are you going to discipline employees for speaking their minds, when you’ve created a platform that encourages it?”

    Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai tried to strike a balance in a message sent to employees Monday. “We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Mr. Pichai wrote. Google hasn’t publicly named the memo’s author.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-uproar-highlights-questions-over-what-you-can-or-cannot-say-at-work-1502175014

  • 4 Meeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making and How to Fix Them

    There’s an adage that describes why you feel like you have to use up the whole hour: Work will expand to fit the time available, otherwise known as Parkinson’s Law. But you can — and should — break this law when the agenda items have been adequately covered.

    Resist the urge and instead think back to your student days, and the jubilation you felt when you were let out of class early. Then use the found time to do something more productive so you can thoroughly enjoy that Summer Friday.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298260

  • Inspire Confidence in Others with Compassion: A Life Lesson from the Kitchen
  • 3 Leadership Lessons From A Badass Female Yacht Captain

    Turn mistakes into teachable moments.
    “When I find that people make mistakes, in the past I was more quick to respond. I think with age and experience, I now stop and pause and I think about where the person was in their mind [when they made the mistake]. I don’t make snap decisions like I used to. They are human beings, they are not machines. Maybe they didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Maybe they’re going through a divorce. Maybe their mother has cancer. I think of that and that’s the pause [I take]. And then I think about how I can make this a teachable experience instead of a reprimanding experience.”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298507

  • Collaborate With Coworkers More By Sitting Closer To Them

    Researchers looked at 40,358 published papers and 2,350 patents that stemmed from MIT research between the years 2004 and 2014. In it they discovered that how close you sit to a person can have a dramatic effect on whether or not you’ll collaborate with them. Even a few hundred feet can make a huge difference.

    “Intuitively, there is a connection between space and collaboration,” Claudel observes. “That is, you have a better chance of meeting someone, connecting, and working together if you are close by spatially.” Even so, he says, “It was an exciting result to find that across papers and patents, and specifically for transdisciplinary collaborations.” He adds, “In many ways, this data really confirms the Allen Curve.”

    http://lifehacker.com/collaborate-with-coworkers-more-by-sitting-closer-to-th-1797774785

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

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News You Can Use: 8/16/2017

  • China’s Next Target: U.S. Microchip Hegemony

    Today, the industry is riven by a nationalist battle between China and the U.S., one that reflects broad currents reshaping the path of globalization. Washington accuses Beijing of using government financing and subsidies to try to dominate semiconductors as it did earlier with steel, aluminum, and solar power. China claims U.S. complaints are a poorly disguised attempt to hobble China’s development. Big U.S. players like Intel Corp. and Micron TechnologyInc. find themselves in a bind—eager to expand in China but wary of losing out to state-sponsored rivals.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-next-target-u-s-microchip-hegemony-1501168303

  • Does 99.5% planned uptime = 99.5% actual uptime?

    There are 744 hours in a 31-day month. Without digging further into how the vendor calculates the uptime percentage, it would be natural to do simple math and quickly determine that .005 downtime equals four hours per month. This seems very reasonable, on the surface, but remember math is tricky and the vendor controls the math. Some vendors calculate their uptime percentage as:

    Actual Hours System Up divided by (Hours in the Month minus Planned Downtime)

    The key question to ask is “how much planned downtime do you have in any given month?” You will find a wide array of answers to this question. For example, one leading vendor plans for 40 hours of planned downtime a month to apply patches, fixes, and general system maintenance. The very reasonable four hours of allowed downtime in their marketing equation equals 44 hours, or almost two days, of actual downtime a month. Very tricky!

    http://www.cio.com/article/3209041/cloud-computing/does-995-planned-uptime-995-actual-uptime.html

  • Kristi Hedges: “The Inspiration Code: How The Best Leaders Energize People
  • This is how Travis Kalanick is plotting his comeback as Uber CEO

    Some company executives are concerned that Mr. Kalanick could use a SoftBank investment to dilute other shareholders’ stakes while he continues to buy stock back from employees in a bid to amass power. And aligning with Masayoshi Son, the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, could provide Mr. Kalanick with a key ally, especially if Mr. Son seeks to appoint new board members who favor Mr. Kalanick’s return as chief executive as part of an investment.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/4045787/this-is-how-travis-kalanick-is-plotting-his-comeback-as-uber-ceo

  • Supply chain’s continuing image problem

    And this is making recruitment a challenge. DHL surveyed over 350 supply chain and operations professionals in the five major regions of the world as a basis for its research. Fifty-eight percent of the companies surveyed said that it is hard to find potential employees who possess the right combination of tactical/operational expertise and professional competencies such as leadership and analytical skills.

    Although supply chain managers are aware that their jobs require taking on a more strategic role, that perception does not seem to be shared by job candidates or even internally at managers’ own companies. According to the DHL report, almost 70 percent of surveyed companies said that their search for supply chain talent is hampered by a “perceived lack of opportunity for career growth” and the “perceived status of supply chain as a profession.” This same misconception is also an internal problem, according to the survey. Only 25 percent of survey participants agreed that their own companies view supply chain as equally important as other disciplines.

    http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20170728-supply-chains-continuing-image-problem/

Photo: Bryan Minear

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News You Can Use: 8/9/2017

  • AliAlibaba and Tencent are carving up Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem

    A much-cited report co-authored by Google last year showed that Southeast Asia has 260 million internet users with 3.8 million more going online per month. That’s tipped to grow the internet population to 480 million people by 2020. Sure, that isn’t China level yet — the country has 731 million internet users, half of which are mobile — but it does mean that, alongside India, Southeast Asia is a region of serious tech development potential.

    That same Google report forecasted that the region’s ‘internet economy’ — i.e. all business generated from the web — will be worth $200 billion by 2025. That’s up from 6.5-fold from 2015, when it was estimated to be worth $31 billion. E-commerce alone is tipped to rise from $5.5 billion in 2015 to $88 billion in 2025, of which half will originate from Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country, according to the report.

    On Alibaba

    The first step was Alibaba’s $1 billion investment in Lazada, an Amazon-like e-commerce company serving six countries in Southeast Asia, in April 2016. The deal represented the first major investment into the region from a Chinese company.

    Alibaba has since firmed up its shareholding, paying another $1 billion in June to take its ownership to 83 percent, while, under its tutelage, Lazada expanded its business into groceries with the acquisition of Singapore-based Redmart while it launched an Amazon Prime-style offering in partnership with Netflix and Uber. Amazon is expected to enter Southeast Asia this year, with sources telling TechCrunch an original goal of launching Q1 proved to be too ambitious.

    On Tencent:

    Tencent, meanwhile, has a long-standing investment in Thailand-based media company Sanook, while it invested $19 million in a joint media venture with Ookbee, another Thai company. On the product-side, it has aggressively pushed its free-to-play music service Joox in Southeast Asia as a rival to Spotify, while it recently invested in U.S. karaoke app Smule which has strong traction in the region and plans to expand in Asia.

    “Through their investments and acquisitions, it’s very clear that Alibaba and Tencent are interested in Southeast Asia. They share our vision, that this region is ripe for opportunities in the e-commerce, payments, and marketplaces space,” Vinnie Lauria, founding partner at Singapore-based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures, told TechCrunch in a statement.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/22/alibaba-tencent-southeast-asia-game-of-thrones/?ncid=rss

  • Why Would Anyone Let Their Employer Stick A Microchip Into Their Body?

    The chips, RFID-compatible devices roughly the size of a grain of rice and typically injected between the thumb and forefinger, are strictly voluntary, the company says. About 50 out of 80 employees in the River Falls, Wisconsin, headquarters have opted in, as have the company’s college interns. They’ll be able to use the chips to unlock doors around the office, log in to computers and copy machines, and, naturally, make purchases at the in-office minimart.

    “Now, instead of remembering hundreds of passwords, we’ll be able to hold our hand over an RFID reader,” says CEO Todd Westby.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40444110/why-would-anyone-let-their-employer-stick-a-microchip-into-their-body

  • Knowing How to Tell a Good Story Is Like Having Mind Control | Alan Alda
  • Protiviti Study Contains New Findings on Value of Procurement

    According to a new procurement study by global consulting firm Protiviti, nearly half of finance leaders claim that 20 percent or less of procurement savings wind up dropping to their companies’ bottom line. Amid a business environment where monetary returns, business value and financial risk are under intense scrutiny, the survey report highlights a clear disconnect between corporate finance and procurement in the perceived value contributed by the procurement function to an organization’s profitability.

    According to the survey findings, the perceived disconnect stems from the way procurement functions track and communicate savings, as well as how they collaborate with finance departments and work with the business to ensure these savings positively affect the bottom line. Forty-one percent of those surveyed say that although procurement savings are being tracked (overall, less than half actually track absolute savings), the measurement and value are not being articulated across the organization. In addition, just over one in three view the working relationship between finance and procurement as collaborative, suggesting much room for improvement.

    http://www.scmr.com/article/protiviti_study_contains_new_findings_on_value_of_procurement

  • Do You Have Too Many Suppliers?

    As you can see, if you want a truly optimized award across a category, sometimes the organization will have too few suppliers. The right number of suppliers is the number that the organization ends up with after every category is optimally allocated across both the strategic spend and the tail spend. While it will usually be less than the number of (active) suppliers in the supplier database (as most organizations that do not do sourcing across all categories will end up buying from more suppliers then they need to), it won’t always be significantly less. You can’t always cut your supply base in half just because you think you have twice as many suppliers as you need. You properly source each category, and when all is said and done, the suppliers you have selected represent the proper pool size. Any remaining suppliers that aren’t absolutely essential for a non-sourced product or service get cut and then you have a properly sized supply base as it was properly designed. 10K vs 20K vs 50K is irrelevant. Only so much value comes from consolidation alone. Remember that.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2017/07/26/do-you-have-too-many-suppliers/

Photo: Melanie Magdalena

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