Tag 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.


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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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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Tim Armstrong Doesn’t Say The Wrong Thing About Women In The Workplace

I will no longer think snarky dial-up-tone type thoughts when I see an AOL email address appear in my inbox (not often, but still happens).


Editor’s note: Fara Warner is editorial director of Aol Tech and This Built America.

In the past few weeks and months, conversations about women in our industry have run the gamut from companies such as Apple and Facebook willing to pay to freeze women’s eggs so they can put off having children and Satya Nadella’s karmic misstep to the data-rich, but solution-poor disclosure of just how few women are at the top of tech.

But Tim Armstrong showed other tech CEOs how to speak with respect and admiration about women in the workplace during his comments onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London. The comments came after Josh asked him about his own missteps when he talked about women and how “distressed babies” had been at the heart of a reason to make changes in Aol’s employee benefits. Not a proud moment for any CEO.

This time around, he spoke about women…

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Akeneo Raises $2.3 Million To Replace Excel For Catalog Management

Personally, if I never have to deal with another Excel spreadsheet, it will be too soon. So I say BRING IT ON, AKENEO.

But seriously, this is an interesting-sounding product and of course, we like niche products that solve real-world problems.


It currently takes more than four months for a famous luxury company based in Paris to put new collection items on its website. It’s a nightmare for multiple people who have to fight with Excel to add all the relevant data. And before you know it, the next collection is already there.

This is where Akeneo comes along. Akeneo is a CRM for product information. Instead of adding people and information, you add products so that it’s easy to push your catalog to your websites, apps, stores and third-party vendors. The French startup just raised $2.3 million (€1.8 million) from Alven Capital.

“There is a lot of work to collect all the information about your products. Right now, everything is manual, mostly with Excel files,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric de Gombert told me in a phone interview. “This can become quite expensive, and we make it a lot more…

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The Ugly Truth About Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem

This topic has been coming up a lot lately… Though start-ups that have a women at the helm or as part of the founding team generally achieve higher levels of success, male-run start-ups are more likely to be funded. 

Sure, I think it’s safe to say there’re simply more male-run start-ups, but if we don’t become aware of the problem, it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.

So to all the male funders out there, don’t shy away from female-led companies simply because the founders are “not like you.”

The Dow Jones report, “Women at the Wheel”, found that companies have a greater chance of either going public, operating profitably or being sold for more money than they’ve raised when they have females acting as founders, board members, C-level officers, vice presidents and/or directors. At successful companies, the median proportion of female executives was 7.1%; at unsuccessful companies, 3.1%.


The Ugly Truth About Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem

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3-D Printer (a classier looking one than ours)

We wish we had this 3-D printer… It’s like the Apple version of our DIY monstrosity (see previous post).

Formlabs 3-D Printer

3-D Printer (a classier looking one than ours)

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