Back in December we began wondering about what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for Net Neutrality. Well, after the inauguration it took just a couple of days for the rubber to begin accosting the proverbial road. Last week President Trump announced the appointment of Ajit Pai as our new Federal Communications Commission Chairman, and he nestles in snugly with the anti-regulation/roll-it-back swagger of the new administration. Also, as a currently seated Republican FCC commissioner, he does not even need Senate approval to ascend to the Chairman’s role. (BUT: Due to the time left in his current commissioner term, Pai will have to be renominated and reconfirmed sometime this year.)
We had an authentic geek-out moment at the office this morning thanks to the Google Translate app (for iOS or Android). We watched a phone translate written Japanese into English… through it’s camera view via augmented reality! It’s kind of crazy and a little creepy, but mostly just plain awesome.
This past Friday, when most of the world was watching (or actively not-watching) the events in Washington, D.C., the formerly shuttered, Snowden-affiliated webmail service Lavabit announced it was re-launching with a new generation of email privacy and security.
If you’re unfamiliar with the history, here’s the gist: Lavabit formed in 2004, in part because of privacy concerns around email. They launched as an email service with significant protection and encryption capabilities and served a relatively small group of folk for almost a decade.
I started buying records 40 years ago. (It hurt to type that.) I am an unrepentant music fan and so have bought (and re-bought) music over the decades as the music industry has come up with new formats that promised “ease of use” and improved sound: High fidelity vinyl! Compact Discs! SACD! etc. I still have a massive library of LPs and CDs though my cassette collection drops out and mopes in boxes in my basement. It’s only in the past year that I finally broke down and got a Spotify subscription; it’s what all “the kids” are doing and my kids wanted it too.
Some details emerged today about Amazon’s “floating warehouses” and drone delivery ideas, which were originally patented back in 2015. Crazy interesting stuff. Jeff Bezoz and Amazon are certainly not shy about pushing the envelope.
If you’ve followed this blog, you know that we are avid proponents of Net neutrality. While the Obama administration has been generally friendly to keeping Net traffic free and open – all those moving bits and bytes being treated equally by carriers – the winds of change may be blowing colder with the incoming Trump administration. It’s time for interested parties – and that is all of us who use the Internet, every day – to begin watching the positions and policies of the President-elect and his team. Below are links to a few recent pieces of solid journalism to help bring you up to speed on the potential fight(s) ahead:
In the wake of the October 21st cyberattack on Dyn – an event that caused websites including Amazon and Netflix to go offline for hours – there has been a real rise in fear as to the ramifications of the Internet of Things. The Dyn attack was accomplished with malicious code that got into innumerable “smart” devices, from webcams to baby monitors, bombarding Dyn with requests and bringing its services to a halt – thereby crashing popular websites and services. But what if the goal had been to shutdown a power plant? Or to sever vital emergency communication lines? Or to bring down an airplane?
In our recent chatbot article, you might remember how we professed our love of API.AI’s awesome Natural Language Processing platform… Well, it turns out that Google were also slightly impressed – so much so that they have just acquired API.AI!
Remember to get in touch if you would like us to develop your next Google/API.AI powered chatbot!
In what looks like a really smart move, Google has purchased Apigee – an industry leader in the development, monitoring, and maintenance of APIs for mega-clients like Walgreens, the BBC, eBay, and AT&T. In a blog post, Google SVP Diane Greene succinctly sums up why the acquisition makes so much sense with Google’s cloud strategy:
Boyle Software is not alone in recognizing and promoting the fact that only companies with a clever digital strategy will survive. Every company, in every industry, in every country, needs a digital strategy – yesterday!