Category Archives: Reblogs

News flash: CIOs are sick of cloud everything

Amen. We stepped away from using “THE CLOUD” last year, except where we had to, limiting that phrase to only where it was applicable to a specific service we are integrating into our product. It was a good lesson in not hopping on the buzzword bandwagon just to seem hip.

Gigaom

For those who wanted cloudwashing to just go away, 2014 wasn’t a very good year. But that won’t keep CIOs and other techies from hoping the practice — in which vendors and others append the term “cloud” to almost anything, whether it’s relevant or not — will die in the coming year, as CIO Journal (paywall) pointed out in its year-in-review opus.

The problem with the term “cloud computing” is that it has been stretched, molded and tortured to mean almost anything and has been applied to cover decades-old hosted solutions. As a result it means too many things to too many people to actually mean anything at all. “It gives non-IT people something to say and feel like they know what they’re talking about,” Shawn Wiora, CIO of Creative Solutions in Healthcare, told the journal.

Cloud was the only term that showed up both the CIO Journal’s list and Gigaom’s Jeff Roberts’…

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Misfit Debuts A New “Swarovski Shine” Wearables Collection Featuring Crystal Jewelry, Solar Charging

Continuing our tour of new wearables that are actually pretty…

TechCrunch

Misfit, the maker of “connected” products including smart home items and its flagship wearable device, the Misfit Shine, has today teamed up with Swarovski to introduce a new product line focused on bringing a more fashion-forward sense to its wearables collection. The Swarovski Shine Collection, as it’s called, combines Swarovski’s crystal jewelry and Misfit’s activity and sleep tracking technology in two new wearable products and nine accessories, jointly designed by both companies.

Notably, one of the two wearables is also solar-powered – a first for Misfit, and for activity/sleep trackers in general.

Both wearables are waterproof – one of them being a clear Swarovski Shine with a crystal face, and the second, a violet Swarovski Shine that uses a patented technology that allows the device to power itself without the need for batteries. Previously, all of Misfit’s small, round Shine devices came with a small tool that allowed you to fairly easily pop…

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The Ring Is Real

Being able to use custom gestures to control smart devices? Awesome! There’s a new Precious in town.

TechCrunch

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It’s been almost a year since Takuro Yoshida and his team blew up Kickstarter with the Ring, a wearable that uses simple wand-like gestures to control gadgets in the home.

Promises abounded: You’ll be able to control the lights in your home with the flick of a finger. You’ll be able to change the song on your iPhone, turn up the music, or even snap a photo.

And then, as is the case with many hardware projects, Logbar (the company behind Ring) ran into a few obstacles. Manufacturing was delayed, as the team worked to make the device smaller and more (truly) wearable, and other delays put the product months behind schedule. In fact, early backers only received their units in December of this year.

But all that said, the Ring is still an attractive wearable, in my opinion. We caught up with Yoshida at CES…

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These 5 trends will change social media in 2015

This is an interesting look at the world of social media change as we head into the new year. The landscape is broadening and deepening, and the note about IoT at the end is certainly most intriguing.

“The challenge in 2015 will be how to more intelligently integrate the fast-growing Internet of Things with social media. This might start with tapping users’ social graph — their unique network of friends and followers — in better ways. A very simple example: a smart fridge that tracks your Facebook Events, sees you’re planning a party and how many people have RSVP’d and alerts you to make a beer run. By listening to social media in more sophisticated ways smart devices stand to get even smarter in the year ahead.”

Financial Post

To gauge how much you followed changes in social media this past year, here’s a pop quiz: 1) Which new social media network is known as a “virtual bathroom wall” and is already causing concern among Canadian school officials? 2) Which platform recently drew one million signups in just five weeks — eight times as fast as Facebook — with promises to share its ad revenues with users? 3) Which messaging service now allows users to transfer money using just their debit card information, free of charge?

If you had no idea they are Yik Yak, Tsu and Snapcash, don’t worry. Just a few months ago, almost no one else did either. The pace of social media change has always been brisk and is now accelerating, leaving in the dust entrepreneurs and businesses who are struggling to incorporate new tools.

In the interest of getting ahead of the curve, here’s…

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Twitter is tracking the apps on your phone

Just as an FYI, in case you didn’t already know this…

Gigaom

In its latest effort to improve its ad targeting, Twitter will start collecting information on what mobile apps its users have downloaded.

If you’re in the Pandora camp instead of the Spotify camp, Twitter will know. Harbor a penchant for celebrity gossip with both the TMZ and Perez Hilton app in your arsenal? Twitter will know. If you’re on a diet and you’re tracking your calories with an app, Twitter will know.

The company says it’s using the information to benefit you, by improving its recommendation engines on other Twitter accounts you should follow. As mentioned in the Twitter Analyst Call, an “instant timeline” for new users is also on its way. Information on what apps a person has downloaded could help Twitter build that.

The second purpose, one not mentioned by Twitter in its blog post, is the holy grail of free consumer web companies: Ad targeting. Twitter needs as much information…

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Meet Plague: An app plumbing the depths of viral networking

This sounds SO COOL. The collision of science, art and technology.
“In such an off-grid network, there’s no easy means of blocking individual users or flagging content. As devices get close to one another they link together, share their content and then disappear without a trace, truly emulating the behavior of epidemiological pathogen. It’s a fascinating concept in networking, but also one that’s a little bit scary.”

Gigaom

We use the term viral to describe the way information spreads across the internet, but a new social communications app has taken that concept to its extreme. Instead of using the word “virus” as a metaphor, an app called Plague developed in Lithuania is making the virus the model for how it spreads content from device to device.

Plague shouldn’t be confused with Plague Inc., the extremely twisted but highly addictive mobile game, but they share a similar goal: to engineer a virus that will infect the world. In Plague Inc. you’re stuck within the in-game world, though, while Plague spreads from phone to phone across the physical globe.

Plague screenshot sleep

Every disease is a simple bit of content, whether text, a link, a photo or a video. When you unleash it, it immediately seeks out the nearest four smartphones with the Plague app installed, infecting them with your content. When…

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It’s Time For Apple To Open Up

We are big, big fans of collaboration. So of course, it caught our eye in this article as a necessity for keeping data safe.

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: John Prisco is president and CEO of Triumfant.

The researchers at Lacoon Mobile Security identified the malicious software Xsser, capable of stealing text messages, photos, call logs, passwords and other data from iPhones and iPads. The discovery garnered international attention and rightfully so, as it is believed to be a product of the Chinese government targeted at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

This is not the first time the government has been accused of attempts to steal or spread misinformation, and it certainly won’t be the last. But political discourse aside, there are wide-reaching technological implications here  that are a little closer to home and it’s Apple that needs to listen.

Xsser is an example of what’s coming in terms of mobile malware. The whole concept of BYOD will turn into an unmitigated disaster unless mobile operating systems are protected. With Apple, you just don’t have enough access to apply that level…

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Feet-On With Boosted Boards’ New Faster And Cheaper Electric Skateboards

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This looks SO cool. Love this video, love this skateboard idea. Our inner 11-year-olds are doing backflips of glee.
*file under: tax return, lottery win*

TechCrunch

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If you want to ride a magic carpet, the Boosted Board is the closest you’ll get until they make that hoverboard run on asphalt. And now there’s an even more powerful model for climbing epic hills or hitting 22mph, and a stripped down model for casual boarders on a budget.

Y Combinator-incubated Boosted Boards launched it Kickstarter back in November 2012 and finally shipped its one electric skateboard with wireless remote in Spring 2014. Since then the company’s CEO Sanjay Dastoor tells me Boosted’s sold “thousands of boards”, even at its previous $2000 price point. Now it’s offering a few different models, all for much cheaper.

boosted-electric-board-vehicle-bridge

I went down the startup’s headquarters and factory in Mountain View to try out the new boards. You can check out the “feet-on” video above. I’ve ridden longboards for 10 years and have been Boosting since March, so here’s my take on the three…

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