Category Archives: Tech

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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Perspective from the East Coast

“Sure, it’s “sexy and glamorous and fun” to work for consumer tech startups, said Robert Coughlin, chief executive of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, a nearly 30-year-old trade group, during an interview in his office at Technology Square on Main Street.

“That’s all good; we all love entertainment,” he added. “But if you’re an ambitious, talented IT grad and want to have a meaningful impact on society and your fellow humankind, you’d want to work in the life sciences.”

They will also point out that earlier generations of engineers there developed the machines, systems and software that would give rise to the PC revolution. They’ll note the region was the birthplace of business software, early Internet companies and firms that built the backbones of services you use all the time, including Nuance’s natural language processing in Apple’s Siri, the ITA airline data integrated into Google search or the Android mobile operating system.”

-from Boston Is an Innovation Hotbed and Doesn’t Care Whether You Know It

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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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