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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SourceCast: Episode 75: The HP Checkup

It has been a few months since we talked about HP/HPI/HPE.  With the HPE Discover conference taking place last week, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the status of each of the HP companies.

Photo: Gaelle Marcel

 

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Supplier Report: 6/9/2017

This is starting to get repetitive… IBM had another rough week.

There are rumors that Facebook-owned Whatsapp is moving from their current IBM-hosted infrastructure to an in-house Facebook solution.  Lululemon is also considering moving away from IBM cloud due to a recent outage.

As always, it wasn’t all bad news, IBM did score a 10-year outsourcing deal with Lloyds and they introduced a new transistor type for 5nm silicon chips (there was an insane amount of coverage on this).

Google is betting big on AI, and it might backfire due to their “lack of enterprise focus”.  Meanwhile Verizon is finalizing their acquisition of Yahoo and is expected to reduce their workforce by 20%.

Acquisitions

Artificial Intelligence

  • Why Google is betting big on AI

    Google may not be the leader of cloud computing, but novel developments have spurred Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, to openly recognise this as an economic opportunity and possibly a challenge. The release of second generation cloud tensor processing units (TPU) is making cloud computing and machine learning faster and more efficient.

    Google’s TPUs deliver an open source machine learning framework allowing massive scaling and dissemination of applications through the cloud. This innovation will expedite the process of intake, normalization, model training and deployment by essentially using machine learning to automate algorithms. In effect, this is automating deep learning by using machine learning. Google is calling this creation AutoML, and it is the breakthrough of the company’s AI research group, Google Brain.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3198635/artificial-intelligence/why-google-is-betting-big-on-ai.html

  • Why Google might lose the enterprise AI wars

    Two major obstacles stand in Google’s way to cloud AI dominance: data gravity and lack of backwards compatibility. To illustrate the issue of data gravity, look no further than Amazon’s Snowball device. This chair-sized flash drive, capable of storing 80 TB of precious enterprise data, is physically shipped to a customer’s on-premise data centers to load petabytes of data and then shipped back to Amazon for upload to AWS servers. Ironically, manual transfer is significantly faster and cheaper for large data sets than any internet method. Enterprises with data-hungry AI applications will have an easier time running algorithms on-prem or on AWS and Azure, where their data already lives.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3200184/it-industry/why-google-might-lose-the-enterprise-ai-wars.html

Cloud

  • Lululemon CEO blames IBM for site outage, says it’s looking at other options

    Some of Lululemon’s sales happen via its website, which is hosted on IBM’s public cloud. The site went down midday on May 22 and came back online about 20 hours later.

    “I talked to Ginni [Rometty, IBM’s CEO]; our team was up 36 hours straight,” Potdevin told CNBC. “We’re not satisfied with what happened. We’re looking at our options.”

    Other public clouds include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform. Lululemon could also opt to set up its own data center infrastructure and reduce its dependency on third-party cloud-computing resources. IBM’s other cloud customers include Citi, the U.S. Interior Department, Macy’s and Whirlpool.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/02/lululemon-ceo-blames-ibm-for-site-outage.html

  • Facebook is planning to move WhatsApp off IBM’s public cloud, source says

    The WhatsApp move, which could begin later this year, would result in IBM losing a high profile customer for its public cloud. A source claims that WhatsApp has been one of IBM’s top five public cloud customers in terms of revenue, and was at one point spending $2 million a month with IBM. (IBM says WhatsApp is not currently one of its top five public cloud customers.)

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/facebook-planning-to-move-whatsapp-off-ibms-public-cloud.html

  • Microsoft restructures cloud, data, AI organizations

    As part of a reorganization announced internally within the company on June 7th, Microsoft has chosen to restructure its cloud, data, and AI organizations. The changes reportedly take effect immediately and were reportedly announced by Scott Guthrie, and Harry Shum (via ZDNet.)

    Part of the changes include a new Cloud AI Platform organization, led by Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh. This division will be responsible for Azure Search, Azure Machine Learning, the Microsoft Bot Framework, R Server and the Algorithms and Data Science Solution team. Since Joseph Sirosh previously handled the Data Platform group at Microsoft, it now will be led by Corporate Vice President of Azure, Jason Zander, and be part of a new Azure + Data Platform Group.

    https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-restructures-cloud-data-ai-organizations

Datacenter/Hardware

Other

  • Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

    Those talks concluded today, with Lloyds announcing to staff it has “signed one of the largest cloud transformation deals” within the financial sector. The shift to IBM’s private cloud will take three years.

    “Most colleagues working in Infrastructure Technology Services supporting these systems and delivering change will transition to IBM, with a number retained in Lloyds Banking Group to manage the relationship, service and governance of IBM,” said the memo.

    As a result, around 500 staff will transfer to IBM on 1 September 2017. Some 1,000 contractors who currently support Lloyds Banking Group will also move to support IBM.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/06/lloyds_confirms_ibm_cloudy_outsourcing/

  • Amazon Wins the Race to $1,000

    Soaring gains among tech and internet stocks have concerned some investors, particularly those who remember the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. But others expect these stocks to continue to advance. Thomas Lee, a U.S. portfolio strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, on Friday forecast that Facebook, Amazon, Netflix Inc. and Alphabet—a group collectively known by the acronym FANG—could climb another 20% to 40% by the end of the year. These companies, he said, represent a dense concentration of earnings and sales growth that is hard to find elsewhere in the market.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-wins-the-race-to-1-000-1496440170

  • As the merger is completed, layoffs of up to 1,000 jobs at the combined AOL and Yahoo are expected

    According to sources, layoffs are expected to take place across AOL and Yahoo that could number up to 1,000 jobs. That is less than 20 percent of the combined company, according to sources.

    This action is not unexpected, given that both companies have a lot of redundancies, including in human resources, finance, marketing and general administration.

    https://www.recode.net/2017/6/7/15759274/merger-completed-layoffs-combined-aol-yahoo-could-reach-1000

  • IBM Community College Partnerships Support Next-Gen IT Training

    The technology company will collaborate with the participating institutions on curriculum design for next-generation IT skills; offer community college students opportunities for internships and apprenticeships; and hire students for IBM careers. The partnership will include schools in or near Columbia, MO, Rocket Center, WV, Dubuque, IA, Boulder, CO, Poughkeepsie, NY, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Dallas and Houston — areas which the company notes have traditionally been underserved by high-tech employers.

    https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/07/ibm-community-college-partnerships-support-next-gen-it-training.aspx?admgarea=news

Photo: Dawid Zawiła

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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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SourceCast: Episode 74: This Again? IBM’s War Against Remote Work

IBM is doubling down on eliminating remote work for employees. Since this topic won’t die, I am doubling down on the issue. This episode discusses if this will be a good long-term decision by IBM.

Photo: Roya Ann Miller

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