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RFID

ZigBee wants to be the Bluetooth of the Internet of Things. Too bad everyone hates it.

ZigBee is fighting for its place in the internet of things against Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and Z-wave. It has to overcome fragmentation, sneak into user’s homes and keep Bluetooth at bay. Can it do all three.
Poor ZigBee. As a wireless standard, it has long faced an identity crisis that pitted it against Wi-Fi in the home and proprietary standards or Bluetooth for low-data rates. But as companies such as Comcast embrace the connected home and thanks to anacquisition last year, the standard could get its day in the sun and a place in the home.

Silicon Valley Culture

Ballmer Resignation From Microsoft and Missed Strategic Inflection Points

Microsoft Missed Key Strategic Inflection Points. Much has been written this week about the announcement from Steve Ballmer that he will resign from Microsoft within a year. Microsoft shares bounced upward on the news, giving an indication of investor sentiment, which might have been expected to drive the stock down. Some bloggers have commented with praise on his 13 years as President of Microsoft. But no less than Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who also writes for All Things D, quietly tweeted an endorsement of the blog post below by Lauren Goode at “All Things D.” Goode chronicles the major product and strategic events over Ballmer’s helmsmanship of Microsoft. Perhaps the most glaring blunder has to be also the most recent: Windows 8.

Silicon Valley Culture

Time To Thin Out Ineffective Startup Accelerators

If properly managed and matched to local economic need, resources and capabilities, local accelerators can be a significant local economic asset. However, the problem with so many of these “everywhere else” accelerators, is highly unrealistic expectations to be “the next Silicon Valley”, failure to connect with local economic needs, excessive focus on any and every new Web app, and most importantly, poor management. It is also apparent to me that many of these more remote smaller communities are so distant from the mainstream economy, that many of the “great ideas” that come out of them, are embarrassingly late.

User Interface

How Gigabit Fiber to the Home Will Transform Education Way Beyond MOOC's

The post below caught my attention because of the current industry debate and competitive battle over deployment of much higher Gigabit Internet bandwidth via optical fiber to consumers, known as Fiber to the Home or FTTH, at prices much lower than they currently pay for even 50 Megabit Internet connectivity. Gigabit connectivity is already a reality in Hong Kong and South Korea, with Europe not far behind. The big cable carriers, Comcast and Time Warner, have actually argued publicly that consumers don’t want or need higher bandwidth. How they came to that conclusion is a mystery. Now Google has entered into direct competition with the cable carriers, deploying Gigabit FTTH in Kansas City and Austin, Texas to be followed by other locations, at prices a fraction of Comcast’s pricing for lower bandwidth.

Supercomputers

Larry Ellison's Extremely High Tech 2013 America's Cup Defense on SF Bay

This year’s America’s Cup Defense is a Tour de Force of technological innovation both on and off the water, Read on and I will explain. The America’s Cup events are hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay, and the defending team BMC Oracle, led by none other than Larry Ellison, Chairman and founder of Oracle in Silicon Valley. The qualifying races on Marina Green and San Francisco Bay. Every aspect of this has been planned in advance to showcase bleeding edge technology, and to turn the yacht races themselves into the spectator event The America’s Cup has never been,

Silicon Valley Culture

Social Media May Finally Have Become Radioactive to Investors…

One would think that this should have happened sooner….but, well, there is a human tradition here…Wikipedia currently lists 342 social media apps, emphasizing up front that their list is not exhaustive. I can think of at least two more local social media startups, one of which has just announced significant new investments. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds, the now legendary book by Charles Mackay, first published in 1841, remains a classic text revered for its insights into social psychology and economic bubbles.

Canada

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry?

Readers of this blog will recall last week’s post on the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) report on the mobile phone market. The problems for both Microsoft and Blackberry were exposed again for all to see. Microsoft’s Windows Phone market share at 3.7%, would have been even smaller without Nokia. Blackberry’s situation was even more dire. A few months back Microsoft and Blackberry opened another new patent war on each other, as if this would somehow help their situations.
This week Blackberry has announced the inevitable search for a potential buyer to take the company private, as has also happened recently with Dell Computer. The suggestion that Ballmer and Microsoft should consider purchasing Blackberry is actually a potentially very interesting idea. A broader market consolidation, with much larger implications, may be on the horizon.

Silicon Valley Culture

Now This Is Funny: Top Ten Reasons You're Not Ready for Today's Online World

This is not the Letterman Show. But it is very funny.. Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystem’s keynote address at an enterprise computing conference held in Pacific Grove a month or so ago. Scott is not particularly well known for his humor and perhaps better known informally for his appreciation of ice hockey. Someone must have helped him with this Top Ten list list of “reasons you ( or your Chief Information Officer) is not ready for today’s new online world.”

Google

Latest IDC Mobile Market Report Underscores Importance of Industry Analysis

Students of Industry Analysis will note the importance of high technology industry analysis firms, like International Data Corporation (IDC), which this week issued its quarterly reports on the state of key technology markets. The report has been seized upon, sliced and diced by the Wall Street Journal, and a host of other media sources. The technology blogosphere is alive with comment, PandoDaily, Gigaom, TechCrunch, Gizmodo have all been furiously offering their own spins on the IDC Report. It is amazing to see so much of the industry talking about nothing else but IDC today. Similar firms like Forrester, Gartner and others offer similar industry analysis reports, but IDC is the big dog, and the mobile market is their dog food.

Negotiation

Powerful Ways to Open Your Presentation

Fourth Year UBC Faculty of Management students will recall many of these points on “ice breaker” techniques to grab the attention of your audience. Use of any of these five suggestions may depend on your public speaking situation. Are you there to inform, inspire, entertain, or call the audience to action?…Is the situation solemn, serious, or relaxed? It can make a significant difference to the success of your speech.

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