Several electronic and mobile payment options have become available, but most of us in the U.S. are still using plain-vanilla credit and debit cards with magnetic stripes. They use technology that dates to the first Nixon administration. That's not a problem in itself; I have no problem with time-tested security measures that work effectively. But just look around: Data breaches are everywhere, and those magnetic-stripe cards are often implicated.
Toys always reflect the larger culture -- its biases, fears and, most of all, its technology. New York's Toy Fair 2015 happened this week, and the latest round of new tech toys is bringing some of the most disturbing tech trends to children.
White Castle might not be the first company that comes to mind when high tech is mentioned, but the restaurant chain found itself in the middle of the patent troll controversy when it started sending menu updates from its headquarters to digital screens in restaurants around the country.
Two years ago, I asked Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin and curiousrat.com's Harry Marks -- both of them experts in all things Apple -- to share their ideas on what a successful mass-market wearable would be. In a world of smartphones, tablets, notebooks and miscellaneous gadgets, would there be a mass-market audience for yet another device to charge and keep track of? And would a smartwatch from Apple be disruptive enough to matter?
As the private sector continues to invest in data-driven innovation, the capacity for society to benefit from this data collection grows as well. Much has been said about how the private sector is using the data it collects to improve corporate bottom lines, but positive stories about how that data contributes to the greater public good are largely unknown.
When Amazon unveiled its cloud-based corporate <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2877217/aws-launches-workmail-for-the-enterprise.html">WorkMail email offering</a> last week (Jan. 28), it stressed the high-level of encryption it would use and the fact that corporate users would control their own decryption keys. But Amazon neglected to mention that it will retain full access to those messages -- along with the ability to both analyze data for e-commerce marketing and to give data to law enforcement should subpoenas show up.
Poor, slow-footed old Microsoft. It just can't adapt to changing times or keep up with more innovative, agile and forward-looking companies like Apple and Google. That's been the way many of us have thought of Microsoft for a long time. But it may be our thinking that's old and outdated.
Oh my gosh! The world's first <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2873379/uh-oh-google-here-comes-microsofts-hololens.html">holographic computing platform</a>! Is this or is this not the best thing ever?
Microsoft had an unusually kick-ass event this week. They trotted out the next version of Windows, which is called Windows 10.
In the last few weeks it's possible some of your Facebook chums posted messages on their walls in which they tried to revoke permission for the social network to use and distribute content they post.
Forget Windows 10. Here are the four most important words Microsoft said today: Windows as a Service
Microsoft's wide-ranging announcements about Windows 10 covered things as mundane as new customisations for the Windows 10 Start screen and as mind-blowing as a new computing holographic platform.
As you can tell by the name we've given them, patent trolls aren't popular critters. The game these operators play is shady and sleazy, bordering on extortion -- though it's completely legal. What they do is to purchase patents, with no intention of using or selling them, but rather to shake down as many people as possible by accusing them of violating the patent, even if the patent troll has no reason to believe that.
Last summer Microsoft talked its partners into trying to stop the growing popularity of Chromebooks in its tracks by making a big push during the holiday season. While full retail results won't be in for a while, we do know the laptop sales results from the most important retailer of them all, Amazon. Guess what. With that retailer at least, Microsoft and its buddies failed. Miserably.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have read numerous news stories about the widely publicized security breaches at <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2860745/it-security-in-2015-were-now-at-war.html">Sony</a> and <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2691246/jpmorgan-chase-says-breach-affected-83m-customers.html">JPMorgan Chase</a>. It seems as if everybody is a Monday-morning quarterback, with every other reporter voicing an opinion on how these breaches should have been prevented. In particular, I read two articles that specifically blamed the information security organizations at those companies for failing to properly stop the attackers. That's not fair.
Stats about online retailers' holiday performance poured into my inbox as the year ended, but one in particular really caught my eye. Amazon noted that its final Christmas Prime Now (same-day delivery) order was placed on Dec. 24 at 10:24 p.m. -- and was delivered 42 minutes later, at 11:06 p.m.
This year we are finally going to get an answer to one of the big questions in the technology world. For years, people have been debating whether Microsoft will retain its position as one of the world's dominant tech companies or steadily become less relevant.
You may have noticed that I take a rather cynical view of Microsoft. But I think I am able to recognize when it does good things. As a matter of fact, I think the company made some smart moves in 2014, and it's going to benefit from them in 2015.
Using sound for transferring data is nothing new. In the 1940s, when IBM tried to solve the problem of how to use regular telephone lines to connect two computers, it figured out a way to convert data into sound, send the sound over the phone and then convert it back into data. (Yes, I'm talking about the modem.)
Microsoft has had their Azure cloud services for years, however most enterprises really don't know what Azure can be used for to help their organization. Much of it has to do with Microsoft having released Azure long ago with today's perception of the service based on what Azure did years ago. It also doesn't help that Azure does a LOT of different things, so for someone to get their arms around how Azure can help them is like roaming around aimlessly in a grocery store trying to figure out what to make for dinner.