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INFOGRAPHIC: Optimizing Images To Get Through Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm - AllFacebook

INFOGRAPHIC: Optimizing Images To Get Through Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm - AllFacebook | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
Many Facebook marketers agree that images are the most powerful type of posts for pages seeking engagement. But with Facebook's page post sorting algorithm (externally known as EdgeRank), only a fraction of a page's fans will see posts.
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2016 Software Trends: The Evolution of Enterprise Software

2016 Software Trends: The Evolution of Enterprise Software | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
This is an exciting time to be in enterprise software. With the cloud and software as a service, we have a new chance to get it right.
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加薪六萬,真能留住「消失中的教授」?

加薪六萬,真能留住「消失中的教授」? | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
《遠見》一月號〈消失中的教授〉出刊後,陸續被多家電視台、報紙追蹤報導,亦引來多位教授投書發言。__「頂尖學術人才流失」議題發酵十餘天後,上周六,台大率先在校務會議宣布,部分科系新進助理教授將加薪六萬,並提供三年宿舍。如此一來,新教授薪資將達新台幣13萬元,超過正教授的十萬元。__台大電機系教...
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立委衝啥毀Lesson 1 - 《立院出代誌:為什麼我們關心的法案總是過不了?》

立委衝啥毀Lesson 1 - 《立院出代誌:為什麼我們關心的法案總是過不了?》 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
蛤!你知道我們選出來的立委24小時都在幹麻嗎?出席開會的時間竟然只佔了他一天的四分之一!那其他時間,他們揪竟~究竟~在幹嘛呢?
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法律業被科技衝擊的未來,與修車廠的寓言

法律業被科技衝擊的未來,與修車廠的寓言 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
有一位讀者留言問我:『你們平常都是討論科技的發展,可否偶爾分析一下被科技影響的領域?例如,可否分析法律業受到的科技衝擊?』

的確,順著一項科技創新思考 -- 例如 Apple Watch -- 比較容易,因為影響所及較明確。但從被衝擊的產業的角度思考比較困難,因為不知道衝擊來自何方。既然我也身為律師,何不從我最熟悉的法律業開始試試?

以下我會簡短介紹一下法律業的特色,接著用一個生活化的比喻來預測未來的趨勢。
專業服務業:沒有中介者的市場
律師的起點是服務個人。然而今天法律業最大營收來自服務企業。例如台灣的理律、常在等中大型事務所,以及我以前在美國任職的「大所」(BigLaw),都仰賴企業客戶。律師是專業服務業(professional service provider)的一種。企業遇到糾紛時,請律師事務所出面擺平。平常律師則負責確保企業不會捲入麻煩之中。

這種 B2B 型的律師事務所,受到的科技衝擊與有物常談的 B2C 企業不同。最大的不同,是 B2C 市場需要中介者(middleman),而 B2B 一般不需要。

B2C 的轉變基本上是一個「去中介,然後再中介化」的過程。計程車行(舊中介者)被 Uber(新中介者)取代,旅行社被 Expedia 取代,媒體被 Facebook 取代,百貨公司被 PCHome 取代。過去的中介者的利基在於掌握有限的資源,例如計程車執照、機位、印報機,或是黃金地段。新的中介者的利基則在於掌握廣大的使用者,例如乘客、旅客、觀眾、或是消費者。

網路與軟體流通了資訊,解放了通路(distribution)。過去壟斷的大眾媒體、集中型物流、大型零售與大眾品牌的影響力逐漸淡化;新興的,是小眾媒體、離散式物流、垂直通路與個人品牌。從某方面來說,這次選舉許多候選人移除身上的黨徽,也是因為個人就可以傳達辨識度,不再需要連結至大型品牌。

而 B2B 市場(marketplace)中的參與成員遠少於 B2C,本來中介者就不多,科技帶來的衝擊在哪呢?要切入一個複雜的問題,我通常從簡單的比喻思考。比如說:修車。

律師之於企業,就像修車廠之於車主。平常車子送去保養,是為了維持汽車正常運轉。車子出事時,也需要找修車廠修理。就像企業平時有法律顧問,訴訟時需要訴訟律師。從修車廠受到的科技衝擊,可以預見律師這一行的轉變。

以下的修車廠比喻,大家應該可以很容易的對應到企業、律師事務所,以及其他產業角色。當譬喻太複雜時我會括號說明。
網路前的修車廠行銷
網路帶來的第一步影響都是資訊。因此首當其衝的是傳統修車廠的行銷方式。傳統的修車廠必須在一個資訊貧瘠的環境行銷自己。

過去網路不發達時,修車廠要招徠客戶,必須透過有限的大眾媒體廣告曝光。例如爭取曝光在財富雜誌的「年度百大修車廠」名單。除此之外,還可以靠老客戶推薦,以及參加「台灣 500 大車主」等「人脈」方式拓展。


2015 美國百大律師事務所名單。圖片來源:American Lawyer
對車主來說,修車是一個高度專業又客製化的過程,因此車主無從比較好壞。當市場的資訊不足,規模與名氣便是重要的品質訊號(signal)。『既然我不知道誰修得好,那就找最大間的吧。至少老婆大人(董事會)就算抱怨價格,也不會質疑品質。』

而且一旦車主選定了修車廠,就很難更換。一來如上述,搜尋修車廠很累。二來新的修車廠必須重新檢查、熟悉汽車,等於重複花費前期成本。既有的車廠掌握汽車的歷史紀錄,擁有很大優勢。

回到律師事務所本身。在網路不發達的時代,搜尋跟比較事務所很困難,因此規模跟名氣是重要的行銷優勢。企業一旦選定了事務所,很難更換。因此企業最有效益的作法,是把大小法律業務都交給同一家事務所。這促成了一站式(one-stop shop)的大型綜合型事務所的興盛。
網路後的修車廠行銷
當網路出現,資訊流通,修車廠的行銷方式隨之改變。車主開始可以在 Youtube 上學習如何修車,以及學習如何選擇修車廠。車主們也可以在論壇中交換修車廠的評價,以及比較價格。


常見的請求推薦文。圖片來源:Mobile01 
一部分修車廠覺得傳統媒體的曝光方式太被動也太不準,於是改從針對車主的需求入手。一個修車廠建立了「冷氣不冷」部落格,分享維修冷氣的 know-how,聚集有冷氣問題的車主。這叫內容行銷。

另一部分修車廠更進一步,提供工具,例如監測冷氣狀態的 App。一旦冷氣故障,修車廠便能透過 App 及早聯絡潛在客戶。這是向前整合。

還有一些修車廠發現其他企業能更早預見潛在車主。比如說修車廠發現當冰淇淋及野外帳棚銷量提高時,冷氣故障的修繕需求也會隨之大幅提昇。因此修車廠與與歐都那登山用品店合作,提供「買帳棚送冷氣檢查」服務,精準捕捉到潛在客戶。這是大數據。
服務由判斷驅動轉為資料驅動
當車主走進修車廠時,會發現新型修車廠的服務也非常不同。

傳統的修車廠檢查完車子之後,會用口頭描述故障原因,並且用喊價的方式報價。『這個零件我算你便宜啦!時間喔,我保證下週一中午前完成!』

但他們會發現一批新來的修車廠,不但改用 3D 動畫解釋問題,還提供詳細的規格清單。甚至直接給車主一個汽車狀態連結(dashboard),讓車主隨時可以看到修繕的進度。

這些新進競爭者不只呈現方式精美,其真正的優勢在於整個組織都是以資料驅動的。他們不再用「師徒傳承」或是「內訓」的方式累積修車知識,而是以軟體與資料庫,將汽車資料與修車 know-how 整合,以軟體介面的方式即時輔助修車師傅。他們的估價更便宜、耗材存量更少、工時預估更準。

這些新型的修車廠的骨幹為資訊,因此他們的組織形式可以更靈活。遠距工作、外包、派遣(temp)、自由業(freelance)與鬆散的修車師傅平台(expert network)也應運而生。他們可以更靈活的調動人力,並且隨時增減工作項目。

大型修車廠有足夠的資料可以自建系統。偏遠地區的小型修車廠,或是專精特定問題的垂直型修車廠不行。於是有人會提出數據平台,集結同性質的資料,例如「賓士汽車」數據平台、「柴油引擎」數據平台,或是「長程旅遊」數據平台。有些車主不願交出自己的數據,因此一部分的平台會由修車學校提出,採開源共享的形式。

車主們會開始主張「我的車子的資料應該屬於我」,並推動標準化的資料格式。車主會要求修車廠將汽車的「病歷」儲存在車子的晶片中。這大幅提高車主換修車廠的自由,使得修車廠競爭加烈,並專注在品質的提升與透明化。

回到法律業。新型的律師事務所將提供更數據化、更可預測的成果報告。事務所的組成會更靈活,同業或異業合作更方便。而由於企業的資料全面數據化,因此更好分析、移動、整理,也更容易驗證。
更大型的一站式服務
接著一些修車廠會研發出連線晶片,裝在汽車上。現在車主不用等到拋錨時才去找修車廠,晶片會時時回報汽車的狀態。當車子有異狀時,甚至車主自己都還未發現,修車廠就會打電話來說:『周先生,我看你的冷氣效率降到 45% 了,需要進廠檢查一下嗎?』

很快的,車主發現不只汽車,家中其他東西也都有了晶片。包括保險箱(會計部)、手機(財務)、冰箱(研發)、瓦斯爐(業務)等。這些晶片產生不同的資料,描述車主一家的生活狀態。

此時車主心想,把這些資料整合應該更有用吧?畢竟當冰箱內沒有食材了,我就可以預測瓦斯爐做不出菜來。保險箱內錢沒了,車子便無法加油了。於是車主要求所有的晶片要能夠互相溝通

此時支援晶片的軟體公司(不是比喻,就是軟體公司),突然發現資料都在自己的手中。『何不乾脆我自己吃下這一塊呢?』最終,車主發現全家的重要物品都選擇了同一套作業程式(IT 系統)。這一套作業程式提供不同的 API 與 plug-in,讓修車廠、保險箱服務商與冰箱維修商,能夠連結至系統並提供服務。

以法律業來說,這是指律師服務會更加「嵌入」(embed)企業客戶的工作流程之中。事務所可能直接派遣律師,常駐企業內。同時,會計師、財務管理、分析師、顧問等外部服務也會嵌入企業的工作之中。而所有的服務都需要連結公司的資訊與訊息系統。最終,所有的專業服務都要依據 Slack 的 API 提出專業化的應用程式。
新的商業模式
隨著修車廠與車主的連結更緊密、溝通更頻繁,有些修車廠會提出訂閱制(subscription)的商業模式,收取固定費用來提供基礎服務。

由於成果越來越數據化,因此越來越容易定義。有些修車廠將會提出以降低事故率為業績目標的「結果即服務」(outcome as a service)做為獎金。比如說「若你汽車的故障率降低 1%,我當年額外收 2 萬元台幣」。 越來越多車主不會特別思考選擇修車廠的抉擇,因為修車廠的服務已經內含在汽車晶片費用之中。

當然,網路與軟體無法取代人的判斷,只是改變人負責判斷的範圍。仍有少數非常龐大的大型貨櫃車,需要特殊的專科修車廠。這些專業修車廠擅於解決複雜、從未見過的問題,因此能收最高額的費用。

另外會有一些專業化車廠,專精特定的問題,例如引擎、冷氣等。過去這些車廠接觸不到客戶;就算接觸到了,客戶也無法把資料移出。但隨著資料的自有化、標準化,以及資訊流通,車主更容易要求長期合作的「訂閱制」車廠找「修冷氣第一名」車廠負責修冷氣。這種精品(boutique)修車廠與上述的高端修車廠都會蓬勃發展。

但擁有最大市場的,將是新的「一站式」(one stop shop)服務。這不再單指包辦所有汽車維修項目,而是指包辦汽車、大門、保險箱、冰箱等所有產品維修的超大型綜合服務。它們擅於整合跨裝置的所有資料,能夠提出廣泛、整體性的建議。

回到律師業。資訊的流通,將模糊企業與「外部」服務業的界線。企業將可以外包更多核心的業務給外部服務,而外部服務也可以同時服務更多企業。過去企業的財務長、法務長,未來或許也可以請外部服務。數據化則使工作更容易定義、監測,也更容易跨領域合作。

這個修車廠故事是我對法律業的預測。其他專業服務業是否也心有戚戚焉?

註:當然律師與修車師傅還是不同。比如說律師有執照的限制、獨立性規範。也有人會提出法律諮詢無法標準化或產品化(productization)、人的判斷無法用軟體取代、線上論壇無法提供人與人之間的信賴感,以及企業不願意分享資料等等。這些我都同意。我提出這放眼大約 30 年的譬喻,目的是從客戶的需求出發,提出科技帶來的可能性。



特別感謝以下朋友針對原草稿提出建議:Dien Chang,Ellie Chang,Cecily Pan,Chia-Heng Seetoo,Hsu 先生,Tim Chen,Wei-Chen Lu。列名不代表他們同意本篇觀點。

參考資料:

Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption
Clay Christensen and Dominic Barton on Consulting’s Disruption
Surviving Disruption
The Dentist Office Software Story
Strategic moves
The Funnel Framework
How to Price Business Services
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10 hottest tech skills for 2016

10 hottest tech skills for 2016 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
Gunning for a banner year in IT? Make sure you have
these skills in your toolbox.
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What are Educause's top 10 IT issues and technologies of 2016?

What are Educause's top 10 IT issues and technologies of 2016? | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
News, voices and jobs for education professionals. Optimized for your mobile phone.
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王盈勛:大學整併只是一場無謂的假戲 - 獨立評論@天下 - 天下雜誌

王盈勛:大學整併只是一場無謂的假戲 - 獨立評論@天下 - 天下雜誌 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
我們的教育部不是不久前才說,後頂大時期的大學政策發展目標,是希望校校有特色,但令人不解的是,是大學校還是小學校比較容易有特色?僅因規模與地理區位接近就整併,如何能增進學校特色?目前規劃中的大學整併方式,既無力回應少子化問題,也與發展大學特色的政策背道而馳......
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The best smart gadgets that stole the show at CES 2016

The best smart gadgets that stole the show at CES 2016 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
From sneakers that track your steps to a food scanner that reveals how many carbs are in your meal, these gadgets took the spotlight at CES 2016.
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ORU freshmen are all wearing fitness trackers in pioneer program

ORU freshmen are all wearing fitness trackers in pioneer program | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
It's part of the school's whole-person education philosophy initiated a half century ago by the university's founder, the late Oral Roberts.
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10 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2016 - InformationWeek

10 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2016 - InformationWeek | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
Google slipped off its perch as the No. 1 place to work on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list, unseated by an Internet travel company. Here's a look at 10 top tech companies where you may want to hang your hat in the new year.
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10年內 1/3大學教授爆退休潮 卻苦聘不到新老師 | 品閱雜誌 | 中央社即時新聞 CNA NEWS

10年內 1/3大學教授爆退休潮 卻苦聘不到新老師 | 品閱雜誌 | 中央社即時新聞 CNA NEWS | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
週一晚上,漆黑的指南山下,政治大學商學院七樓燈火通明,企管系講座教授司徒達賢正在上個案討論課。 | 品閱雜誌
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總統辯論統計 一張圖看朱蔡互批次數

總統辯論統計 一張圖看朱蔡互批次數 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
首場總統候選人電視辯論會27日登場,三黨總統候選人激烈交鋒。我們統計整場辯論會中,三位候選人提及對手及其他政治人物名字的次數,以蔡英文被提及65次最多,其中54次是由朱立倫提到,顯示朱對蔡攻擊最猛烈。
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Queen's Christmas speech brings message of hope for 2016

Queen's Christmas speech brings message of hope for 2016 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
Light can triumph over darkness, Queen Elizabeth II said in her annual Christmas Day broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth.
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16 mobile theses

16 mobile theses | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
We’re now coming up to 9 years since the launch of the iPhone kicked off
the smartphone revolution, and some of the first phases are over - Apple
and Google both won the platform war, mostly, Facebook made the transition,
mostly, and it’s now perfectly clear that mobile is the future of
technology and of the internet. But within that, there's a huge range of
different themes and issues, many of which are still pretty unsettled. 

In this post, I outline what I think are the 16 topics to think about
within the current generation, and then link to the things I’ve written
about them. In January, I’ll dig into some of the themes for the future -
VR, AR, drones and AI, but this is where we are today. 

See here to listen to the podcast we did around this. 

 

1: Mobile is the new central ecosystem of tech

Each new generation of technology - each new ecosystem - is a step change
in scale, and that new scale makes it the centre of innovation and
investment in hardware, software and company creation. The mobile
ecosystem, now, is heading towards perhaps 10x the scale of the PC
industry, and mobile is not just a new thing or a big thing, but that new
generation, whose scale makes it the new centre of gravity of the tech
industry. Almost everything else will orbit around it. 

The smartphone is the new sun

Resetting the score

 

2: Mobile is the internet

We should stop talking about ‘mobile’ internet and ‘desktop’ internet - 
it’s like talking about ‘colour’ TV, as opposed to black and white TV. We
have a mental mode, left over from feature phones, that ‘mobile’ means
limited devices that are only used walking around. But actually,
smartphones are mostly used when you’re sitting down next to a laptop, not
‘mobile’, and their capabilities make them much more sophisticated as
internet platforms than PC. Really, it’s the PC that has the limited,
cut-down version of the internet. 

Forget about the mobile internet

Mobile first

What would you miss?

 

3: Mobile isn’t about small screens and PCs aren’t about keyboards - mobile
means an ecosystem and that ecosystem will swallow ‘PCs’

When we say 'mobile' we don't mean mobile, just as when we said 'PCs' we
didn't mean ‘personal’. ‘Mobile’ isn't about the screen size or keyboard or
location or use. Rather, the ecosystem of ARM, iOS and Android, with 10x
the scale of ‘Wintel’, will become the new centre of gravity throughout
computing. This means that ‘mobile’ devices will take over more and more of
what we use ‘PCs’ for, gaining larger screens and keyboards, sometimes, and
more and more powerful software, all driven by the irresistible force of a
much larger ecosystem, which will suck in all of the investment and
innovation. 

Mobile, ecosystems and the death of PCs

 

4: The future of productivity

Will you always need a mouse and keyboard and Excel or Powerpoint for ‘real
work’? Probably not - those will linger on for a long time for tens of
millions of core users, but not the other billions - computing and
productivity has changed radically before and will change again. Big
screens will last, for some, and maybe keyboards, for some, but all the
software will change. It will move to the cloud, and onto mobile devices
(with large or small screens), and be reshaped by them. The core question -
is typing, or making presentations, actually your job, or just a tool you
use to get your actual job done? What matters is the connective tissue of a
company - the verbs that move things along. Those can be done in new ways. 

Office, messaging and verbs

Podcast: Slack

Tablets, PCs and Office

 

5: Microsoft's capitulation

Microsoft missed the shift to the new platform. Xbox is non-core, Windows
Mobile is on life support, Windows 10 is a good prop for the legacy
business that can slow but not prevent this change, and Satya Nadella has
explicitly stated that the decades-old strategy of ‘Windows Everywhere’ -
of trying to be the universal platform - is over. That doesn’t remotely
mean that Microsoft is dead, but it has to work out how to use the cash and
market position of the legacy monopolies to help it build new businesses.
That’s a big change from the past, where everything was about building
Windows and Office. But it’s not quite clear what those new businesses will
look like - Microsoft has to try to reinvent the connective tissue of the
enterprise. 

Microsoft, capitulation and the end of Windows Everywhere

 

6: Apple & Google both won, but it’s complicated

The mobile generation is unusual in that we seem to have two winners - both
Apple and Google won, in different ways. Conventionally, the bigger
ecosystem wins and sucks all activity into its orbit, but Apple’s ecosystem
has perhaps 800m active users, far larger than in previous generations, and
has perhaps half of global mobile browsing and two thirds or more of app
store revenue (a good proxy for overall economic activity). Android has
more users but Apple has more of the ‘best’ users (from a developers’
perspective). 

Indeed, one can also ask whether Google rather than Apple has a problem -
Google’s existential need is reach, and both iOS and Android give it reach,
but the reach it has on iOS is limited by what Apple will allow. And less
than a quarter of iPhone users have bothered to install Google Maps. 
Conversely, Apple’s weakness in cloud services and AI may end up becoming
an equivalent strategic problem over time. 

Ecosystem Maths

How many ecosystems?

What does Google need in mobile?

 

7: Search and discovery

The internet makes it possible to get anything you've ever heard of but
also makes it impossible to have heard of everything. It allows anyone to
be heard, but how do people hear of you? We started with browsing, and that
didn’t scale to the internet, and then we moved to search, but search can
only give you what you already knew you wanted. In the past, print and
retail showed us what there was but also gave us a filter - now both the
filter and the demand generation are gone. So, who has the traffic, and
where do they send it? How do AI, or discovery, or the platforms themselves
fit into this?  How much curation, and where? How do you get users?

Search, discovery and marketing

Google Now, Maps and Apple Music

Platforms, distribution and audience

Bay Area problems

Mobile is not a neutral platform

 

8: Apps and the web

There's an involved, technical and (for people like me) fascinating
conversation in tech about smartphone apps and the web - what can each do,
how discovery works, how they interplay, what Google plans with Chrome,
whether the web will take over as the dominant form and so on. But for an
actual brand, developer or publisher wondering if they should do an app or
a website, the calculation is much simpler and less technical: ‘Do people
want to put your icon on their home screen?’ 

Apps versus the web

 

9: Post Netscape, post PageRank, looking for the next run-time

For 15 years the internet was a monolith: web browser + mouse + keyboard.
There were other options, but for most normal consumers the web and the
internet were practically the same thing. The smartphone broke that apart,
but we haven’t settled on a new model. Competition between Apple and
Google, with Facebook trying to butt in, plus all the unrealised
possibilities of a new medium, means the interaction models of mobile keep
changing. Really, we’re looking for a new run-time - a new way, after the
web and native apps, to build services. That might be Siri or Now or
messaging or maps or notifications or something else again. But the
underlying aim is to construct a new search and discovery model - a new
way, different to the web or app stores, to get users.  

Apps versus the web

App unbundling, search and discovery

Mobile is not a neutral platform

 

10: Messaging as a platform, and a way to get customers. 

A big part of this hunt for a new runtime, and a new discovery layer, is
messaging. Facebook almost built this on the desktop and WeChat has managed
to build it on mobile in China. By turning messaging into a development
environment, you create an alternative to the web or the app store, but
without the binary installation problem of apps (‘is it installed or not?’)
and with your own new discovery and user acquisition platform. An important
strand of this is unbundling services - you unbundle content from apps into
messaging (or notifications) and you also unbundle messages from websites
(via email or apps) into your messaging platform, turning it into the new
connective tissue of your phone. At least, that’s the idea. 

Facebook and a few others want to do this outside China, but haven’t
managed yet (and building layers onto the OS is tough for anyone other than
the OS owner), and Apple and Google are also pondering how to take this
forward. 

Messaging and mobile platforms

Podcast: messaging and mobile platforms

WhatsApp sails past SMS, but where does messaging go next?

See also this primer on WeChat from my colleague Connie Chan

 

11: The unclear future of Android and the OEM world

Android won the handset market outside of Apple, but it’s not quite clear
what that means. Attempts to make a straight ‘fork’ of Android (e.g. Kindle
Fire) fail on lack of access to Google’s services, but that doesn’t mean
no-one can create a mostly non-Google experience - this is what Xiaomi and
its imitators are doing and why Cyanogen is enabling as well.  And this
matters, because the OS, more and more, is a route to discovery of services
- if you control the OS you can shape what people do, far more than you
could on the desktop web.. 

Amazon and Android forks

Why do we care about Xiaomi?

Android taxonomies

 

12: Internet of Things

Our grandparents could have told you how many electric motors they owned -
there was one in the car, one in the fridge and so on, and they owned maybe
a dozen. In the same way, we know roughly how many devices we own with a
network connection, and, again, our children won’t. Many of those uses
cases will seem silly to us, just as our grandparents would laugh at the
idea of a button to lower a car window, but the sheer range and cheapness
of sensors and components, mostly coming out of the smartphone supply
chain, will make them ubiquitous and invisible - we’ll forget about them
just as we’ve forgotten about electric motors. 

This means, I think, that talk of standards for IoT misses the point -
‘connected to a network’ is no more a category’ than ‘contains a motor’,
and there will be many different platforms and standards. More important is
the fact that, especially in the enterprise, this explosion in sensors
means an explosion in data - we’ll know far more about far more, and that
allows fundamental system redesign. 

The internet of things

The home and the mobile supply chain

The industrial internet

 

13: Cars

The move to electric and the move (if and when) to autonomous, self-driving
cars fundamentally change what a car is, but also what the whole automotive
system might look like. Electricity changes the mechanical complexity of
cars and hence changes who might build them and what they might look like.
Autonomy and on-demand services change who buys them, meaning the buying
criteria will be different. But they could also change the urban landscape
just as much as cars themselves did - what do mass-market retail or
restaurants look like if no-one needs to park?

Ways to think about cars

Podcast: ways to think about cars

 

14: TV and the living room

The tech industry spent a quarter-century trying to get to the TV set to
take it online - that was going to be the mass-market computer. Now it
looks like this might finally be happening, but it’s almost a side-show -
Microsoft declares Xbox is no longer a strategic asset, TVs are accessories
to the smartphone, and it’s the smartphone, not the TV or PC, that
delivered the computing revolution and took computing into the living
room. 

TV, mobile and the living room

Notes on TV

 

15: Watches

Watches are maybe the most puzzling satellite in the smartphone solar
system. In theory they should be everything - the aim of every scifi
fantasy - yet today it’s easy to dismiss them as pointless toys. To me,
they’re an accessory - a useful and pleasing adjunct to your smartphone,
but they’re still very early. 

How is the Apple Watch doing? 

Why is Apple making a gold watch?

Ways to think about watches

 

16: Finally, we are not our users

The future is unevenly distributed, but so is understanding and interest in
it. In the tech industry we’re comfortable living with the latest things
and presume that everyone else does. But really, these services are
accessories and enablers of people’s lives, and they look at them
differently for what they can do for them. So most iPhone users don’t use
Google Maps, most people don’t use a calendar at all, and audio cassettes
are making a comeback, as normal people take ownership of the tech in their
lives and shape it to their needs. 

How many people care about Google Services?

In search of objects

Living in different worlds
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10 amazing parents who inspired us in 2015

10 amazing parents who inspired us in 2015 | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
This year, dozens of strong, accepting and badass parents made a difference. Here are 10 of our favorite stories.
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What Does the 'Freelance Economy' Mean for Engineers?

What Does the 'Freelance Economy' Mean for Engineers? | NIC: Network, Information, and Computer | Scoop.it
The use of freelancers can lead to greater flexibility and fewer limitations, resulting in a competitive advantage for small companies.
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