5G is Coming — Here’s How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage It

from readwrite Sprint’s recent launch of its 5G network in Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas; Houston; and Atlanta offers consumers and entrepreneurs a glimpse into the future. As rapid download speeds and seamless connectivity take hold in cities around the world, tech entrepreneurs will have more opportunities than ever before to make an impact. With 11.5 million people having access to Sprint’s network already, imagine what will be possible as that number grows. 5G will unlock new opportunities in every space. The healthcare, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing industries will all be significantly more capable of innovation and growth as these networks take shape. More here.

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Shareholder Value Is No Longer Everything, Top C.E.O.s Say

from NYTs Nearly 200 chief executives, including the leaders of Apple, Pepsi and Walmart, tried on Monday to redefine the role of business in society — and how companies are perceived by an increasingly skeptical public. Breaking with decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy, the Business Roundtable issued a statement on “the purpose of a corporation,” arguing that companies should no longer advance only the interests of shareholders. Instead, the group said, they must also invest in their employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers. “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, […]

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Labor Dept. Says Workers at a Gig Company Are Contractors

from NYTs The Labor Department weighed in Monday on a question whose answer could be worth billions of dollars to gig-economy companies, deciding that one company’s workers were contractors, not employees. As a result, the unidentified company — whose workers, it appears, clean residences — will not have to offer the federal minimum wage or overtime, or pay a share of Social Security taxes. And while the decision officially applies only to that company, legal experts said it was likely to affect a much larger portion of the industry. The move signals the Trump administration’s approach to the way gig […]

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How Amazon Automatically Tracks And Fires Warehouse Workers For ‘Productivity’

from The Verge Amazon’s fulfillment centers are the engine of the company — massive warehouses where workers track, pack, sort, and shuffle each order before sending it on its way to the buyer’s door. Critics say those fulfillment center workers face strenuous conditions: workers are pressed to “make rate,” with some packing hundreds of boxes per hour, and losing their job if they don’t move fast enough. “You’ve always got somebody right behind you who’s ready to take your job,” says Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a prominent Amazon critic. Documents obtained by The Verge […]

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15 Months Of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook

from Wired THE STREETS OF Davos, Switzerland, were iced over on the night of January 25, 2018, which added a slight element of danger to the prospect of trekking to the Hotel Seehof for George Soros’ annual banquet. The aged financier has a tradition of hosting a dinner at the World Economic Forum, where he regales tycoons, ministers, and journalists with his thoughts about the state of the world. That night he began by warning in his quiet, shaking Hungarian accent about nuclear war and climate change. Then he shifted to his next idea of a global menace: Google and […]

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How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras

from Slate Over the weekend, news outlets reported that a New Zealand man named Andrew Barker had found a camera, hidden in a smoke detector, in his Airbnb that was livestreaming a feed of the living room. Barker was in Cork, Ireland, on a 14-month trip around Europe with his family when they checked into the rental house. Once they unpacked, Barker, who works in IT security, conducted a scan of the Wi-Fi network and found a camera the owner had not mentioned. He was then able to connect to the camera and view the live feed. The next day, […]

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‘Retail Apocalypse’ Now: Analysts Say 75,000 More U.S. Stores Could Be Doomed.

from WaPo Widespread closures have roiled the retail industry, but many more stores are likely to shut down in coming years to keep up with a shift to online shopping, according to a report by investment firm UBS. An estimated 75,000 stores that sell clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026, when online shopping is expected to make up 25 percent of retail sales, according to UBS. Roughly 16 percent of overall sales are made online. Analysts said the closures would affect a broad variety of retailers, affecting an estimated 21,000 apparel stores, 10,000 consumer electronics stores and 8,000 […]

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Farm Bankruptcies Shed New Light On Perils Of Big Agriculture

from Axios Chris Petersen, a third-generation hog farmer who says “I bleed rural” and tears up at the fate of family and friends, has found a way to keep his small holding going, and avoid the exodus that so many are making. His grown son and daughter have, too. But meanwhile, Petersen is at war with the big companies that he says are destroying the culture of smaller places like Clear Lake. “We are going down the same road as the Russians with the collective farm system,” he told me yesterday. “There, the government controlled it. Here, it’s the corporations.” […]

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It’s Time To Break Up Apple

from Fast Company A recurring theme of the last two years–politically, culturally, economically–has been yelling out loud what was supposed to be merely whispered or implied; throwing caution to the wind and, essentially, telling on yourself. That’s exactly what Apple did yesterday. This Monday, the beloved tech giant announced its big plans to seek fresh revenue in areas where it’s already built a significant audience. You’ve been able to get loans to purchase Apple products–now it’s launching the credit card to end all credit cards. Before, you could read news on Apple’s News app–now the company is partnering with some […]

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The Servant Economy

from The Atlantic In March 2009, Uber was born. Over the next few years, the company became not just a disruptive, controversial transportation company, but a model for dozens of venture-funded companies. Its name became a shorthand for this new kind of business: Uber for laundry; Uber for groceries; Uber for dog walking; Uber for (checks notes) cookies. Larger transformations swirled around—the gig economy, the on-demand economy—but the trend was most easily summed up by the way so many starry-eyed founders pitched their company: Uber for X. This micro-generation of Silicon Valley start-ups did two basic things: It put together […]

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Legal Scholar Tim Wu Says The US Must Enforce Antitrust Laws

from Wired LAST WEEK, PRESIDENTIAL candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) announced an ambitious plan to break up big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon and block them from selling their own products on their platforms. Warren called out Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and Google’s acquisition of online advertising giant DoubleClick as examples of the deals she’d like to see reversed. But why were these companies allowed to grow so big—and these purchases allowed—in the first place? In his book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, published in November, legal scholar Tim Wu explains […]

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The Biggest Hacking Risk? Your Employees

from readwrite This January, a hacker broke into Ethereum Classic, one of the more popular cryptocurrencies, and began rewriting transaction histories. Until recently, blockchains were considered unhackable, but it’s clear that cybercriminals always find vulnerabilities. Here’s the lesson: If a blockchain can be hacked, no one is immune to the threat of cybercrime. And businesses are frequently exposed in unexpected ways. One of the easiest vectors for a cyberattack is employee negligence. Easily avoidable mistakes, such as using the same passwords at home and at work, put company data at risk. According to a report from information security company Shred-it, […]

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Capturing Intent Is The Only Way To Future-Proof Your Products

from Forbes Product design has always been about a geometry – all design software starts that way. New tools, such as nTologopy’s new Field model, promise change. In doing so, they can help make corporations more agile, prevent product obsolescence and bring about distributed manufacturing. Manufacturers and product developers are facing both increased pressure to innovate and rapid shifts in manufacturing technology. They need to update their product portfolio often and make sure they are using the latest technology to stay competitive. Today’s product design process compounds their problems. Engineers go straight from customer requirements to design by deploying what […]

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Amazon Filed A Patent Application For Tech That Could Link You To Your Identity And Job

from Buzzfeed.News Amazon has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for technology that could one day scan your face and identify who you are, use visual cues to figure out the kind of work you do, and potentially track you as you move around. The patent application, which was filed in August 2017 and made public on Thursday, offers insight into Amazon’s possible ambitions for Rekognition — the company’s powerful facial recognition tool that it has aggressively pitched to law enforcement agencies across the US. While a patent application doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon plans to implement the […]

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As McKinsey Sells Advice, Its Hedge Fund May Have a Stake in the Outcome

from NYTs The sins of Valeant Pharmaceuticals are well known. Instead of spending to develop new drugs, Valeant bought out other drugmakers, then increased prices of lifesaving medicines by as much as 5,785 percent. Patients had no choice but to pay. Valeant’s chief executive, J. Michael Pearson, was hauled into a 2016 Senate hearing and verbally thrashed by lawmakers. “It’s using patients as hostages. It’s immoral,” said Claire McCaskill, then the Democratic senator from Missouri. One executive went to prison for fraud. The company’s share price collapsed. It hadn’t always been that way. Before Valeant’s fall, its stock was a Wall Street […]

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Supposedly ‘Fair’ Algorithms Can Perpetuate Discrimination

from Wired DURING THE LONG Hot Summer of 1967, race riots erupted across the United States. The 159 riots—or rebellions, depending on which side you took—were mostly clashes between the police and African Americans living in poor urban neighborhoods. The disrepair of these neighborhoods before the riots began and the difficulty in repairing them afterward was attributed to something called redlining, an insurance-company term for drawing a red line on a map around parts of a city deemed too risky to insure. In an attempt to improve recovery from the riots and to address the role redlining may have played in […]

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The Real Reason Tech Struggles With Algorithmic Bias

from Wired Are machines racist? Are algorithms and artificial intelligence inherently prejudiced? Do Facebook, Google, and Twitter have political biases? Those answers are complicated. But if the question is whether the tech industry doing enough to address these biases, the straightforward response is no. Warnings that AI and machine learning systems are being trained using “bad data” abound. The oft-touted solution is to ensure that humans train the systems with unbiased data, meaning that humans need to avoid bias themselves. But that would mean tech companies are training their engineers and data scientists on understanding cognitive bias, as well as how […]

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4 Ways to Prepare for the Next Wave of Digital Transformation

from readwrite The next wave of digital transformation is on the horizon — and it’ll be a veritable tsunami. A 2017 SAP report showed that 84 percent of organizations think digital transformation is vital to their success but that only 3 percent have completed their transformation initiatives. This wave will consist of applications built by citizen developers. Soon, these developers will be able to build their own applications just like business users can build out their own spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. Where’s IT in all of this? Right now, companies relying on IT alone to propel digital transformation are running at a pace that’s […]

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The Battle For Silicon Valley’s Soul

from The New Republic Last year, as Big Tech drew comparisons to Big Tobacco, and the industry’s CEOs were hauled before Congress to explain why government propaganda and harassment had been allowed to continue unchecked on their platforms, Silicon Valley searched its conscience. At Google, employees urged the company to stop facilitating Chinese censorship and providing artificial intelligence for drone warfare. At Amazon and Salesforce, they tried to prevent ICE and Customs and Border Protection from usingtheir software. And across the field, workers called for safer workplaces, freedom from harassment, and better working conditions for the contractors, janitors, and food service employees who keep business […]

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