Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

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A Wee Pin Drop

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Fascinating follow up by the WSJ on Daryl Morey’s Oct. 4 pro-HK Tweet: It indicates that around 50% of the Tweets at him came from accounts with 0-13 followers, and 4,855 of those users had never Tweeted previously. Where did all those new tweets come from??

Earnings season for the quarter is in full swing.

IBM had Q3 revenue of $18B, down 3.9% YOY, with Red Hat sales of $371M, and cloud revenue up 11%. Netflix, Q3 revenue of $5.25B, up 31% YOU with 158M paid subscriptions globally.

Huawei, overall sales at $86B, up 25% YOY, smartphone shipments up 26% YOU (to 185M units through Sept of this year).

Some noteworthy funding…Invoca, AI-powered call tracking and conversational analytics firm, raised $56M bringing its total financing to $116M

Galileo Financial raised $77M Series A led by Accel and provides APIs for backend integration for fintech startups.

One from India, MyGate, a Bangalore startup with a security and community management app for gated communities: $56M Series B from Tencent, others.

Ex-Cisco-ites raised $145M for Pensando Systems, which builds custom hardware for processing data at the edge.

Oh, and one other wee bit of news: The U.S. FCC has approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Did you hear the pin drop?

Written by turbotodd

October 17, 2019 at 9:52 am

Go Pixelbook

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I was too busy being busy to watch yesterday’s Google announcement, but here’s my short list of what I saw announced: Pixelbook Go Chromebook, Pixel 4/4XL smartphones (with gesture controls and “Face Unlock,” Nest Mini, Nest WiFi, and Pixel Buds. And a Pixel 4 Recorder app that can record and transcribe audio simultaneously (that one actually sounds handy).

The Pixelbook Go is probably the most alluring of the shiny new GOOG objects, and the $649 makes it Google’s most affordable Chromebook yet – although this version won’t flip into tablet mode (only major downside I read about).

I bought a Pixelbook and a year and a half later am still most pleased with the product. While it runs no Mac or Wintel programs, I’ve spent far less time updating or maintaining the Chromebook than any other computer I’ve owned, pretty. And while it doesn’t necessarily do everything I want it to, it does pretty much everything I need it to. 

Meanwhile, LinkedIn has thrown down the gauntlet against WeWork and its “Meetup” group. The company has launched a new “Events” feature, a free tool to plan, announce, and invite people to meetups. This just WeWork/Meetup has faced a backlash for announcing a $2/per-RSVP service charge.

Yeah, Meetup not WeWorking.

Written by turbotodd

October 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

Posted in 2019, chromebook, google

Tagged with , , , ,

Bot Smoke

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Happy Monday. Tech conferences and announcements worthy of note this week.

India Mobile Congress got started earlier today in New Delhi. The always-interesting Gartner IT Symposium|Expo starts this weekend.

And tomorrow Google’s hardward event is expected to see the announcement of the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixelbook, and new Google Home speakers.

Rumor is the Pixel 4 will include its iteration of a Face ID tech for secure authentication, and support for gesture commands using radar-detection technology.

Story this AM about a congressional committee and the MA attorney general investigating whether millions of bot-generated social media messages about e-cigarettes misled consumers about safety and health issues.

Specifically, the committee is looking for evidence of deceptive or misleading use of social media for targeted marketing and advertising.

Nicotine marketers, you’ve come a long way, baby!

And, the winner of the 2019 Call for Code was announced at a gathering at the UN this weekend. The Barcelona-based Prometeo team built an AI-based platform to monitor and act on firefighter health and safety in real-time and over the long-term. Congrats!

Written by turbotodd

October 14, 2019 at 10:10 am

A Changing SAP

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Big news on the enterprise software front overnight. SAP announced that CEO Bill McDermott would be leaving the company after nearly a decade at the helm. McDermott has overseen SAP’s shift to the cloud, and the company’s stock was up 75% over the past five years.

Board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein were appointed co-CEOs.

For SAP clients out there, also know that IBM just rolled out a new open source SDK that lets users call Watson services directly from ABAP code in SAP systems. ABAP is the primary programming language supported on the SAP NetWeaver ABAP server platform.

On the frenzied AI dealmaking front, AI-powered checkout firm Standard Cognition has bought DeepMagic, which provides autonomous retail kiosks. This apparently to better compete with Amazon Go’s checkout experience.

DeepMagic allows customers to swipe a payment card when entering a smaller kiosk or store, pick up items that are detected by cameras and then walk out while having their card charged.

Sorry, no cash!

And for those of you who are using G Suite (especially those in newsrooms) who thought your documents were encrypted end-to-end, the Freedom of the Press Foundation says differently. 

Written by turbotodd

October 11, 2019 at 10:45 am

Good Grammar

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An update on the HKMap live app that Hong Kongers were using to keep abreast of protests in the semiautonomous city. Apple has now removed that app from its App Store just days after approving it.

This after the People’s Daily published an editorial hat accused Apple of aiding “rioters” in HK, according to a report in the NY Times. “Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings,” said the editorial.

Apple’s response: “…This app violates our guidelines and local laws.”

The Times: “With its reversal, Apple joins a growing list of corporations that are trying to navigate the fraught political situation between China and Hong Kong, where antigovernment protests have unfolded for months.”

Uh, more like a minefield.

Today’s funding feature: Grammarly, the nifty AI tool that currently helps 20M+ correct their written grammar, has raised an additional $90M round that brings its total to $200M and a valuation of $1B.

Grammarly is currently available via a number of web browsers and in Microsoft Word. The company will use this investment to suppor more platforms and focus more on the enterprise.

I look forward to leveraging Grammarly to address the elephant in the room and to do a deep dive..now, let’s take this offline!

Written by turbotodd

October 10, 2019 at 10:31 am

Diablo Winds

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Buenos dias.

The “diablo” winds have pushed CA’s Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to an unprecedented power shut-off that will affect up to 600K customers.

Those dry, warm winds can reach speeds upwards of 70 MPH, especially coming down mountain slopes,. P&E is playing offense by shutting the power down to try and avert any fire catastrophes like those witnessed in Paradise, CA last year.

Stay safe, my western amigos.

Meanwhile, Wired is reporting on a braindrain of astrophysicists leaving academia to work in the data science realm (particularly in machine learning). The lure? Job security, no tenure-track bottlenecks, money, and interesting work.

More interesting than studying the cosmos?! Apparently, as studying human beings can be just as complex and complicated as the heavens.

Back here at home on our little blue marble, right here in Austin, Austin AI startup SparkCognition has raised $100M in a Series C led by March Capital Partners, making that a total of $175M.

SparkCognition focuses on AI for specific industries, including oil and gas, defense, utilities, aviation, and financial services, and recently partnered with Boeing to form SkyGrid, a joint venture focused on unmanned aircraft system traffic management.

#whyaustin

Written by turbotodd

October 9, 2019 at 9:59 am

Not Playing Around 

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Happy Tuesday.

If you’re an macOS user the new Catalina version has now been released, and includes new apps like “Find My” and “Screen Time.” Also new apps like “Music,” “TV,” and “Podcast” apps to replace iTunes.

RIP, iTunes…we’ll miss you (not really).

And Apple’s new gaming platform, “Arcade,” is also now available and ready to give corporate American a massive productivity hit.

On the subject of hits, while most of the attention currently on China has to do with the NBA, the Trump Administration continues to wage economic war on the Middle Kingdom.

Bloomberg reported yesterday PM that the U.S. Placed eight Chinese tech giants on a U.S. blacklist on Monday, “accusing them of being implicated in human rights violations in the country’s far-western region of Xinjiang.

Those targeted include Hangzhou Hikvision and Zhejiang Dahua, which control as much of a third of the global market for video surveillance and have cameras around the globe.

This is the first time the administration has cited human rights as a reason for action.

Finally, to Playstation 5, which Wired is reporting will be available for the holidays in 2020. Not many deets yet, but the 5 will go SSD which will likely speed up game play.

Written by turbotodd

October 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

Posted in 2019, apple, china

Tagged with , ,

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