Tech & Telecom news — Nov 13, 2018


A tech reporter outfitting a new home tells her experience of being increasingly “locked in” by Amazon to buy almost anything, but she also identifies key skills for traditional, physical shops to resist to that push: creativity in the way they display products, good human customer service and differential / specialized stock (Story)



Signs of divergence increase between the approaches to growth at the two main American carriers, with Verizon relying on a differential network (now 5G), after not much success in online advertising (Oath), while AT&T is diversifying into content. For now, the stock market has rewarded Verizon’s focus on core business (Story)


SAP, a leader in ERP systems for back-office processes, will pay a lot ($8bn, 20x revenues) for Qualtrics, a private firm specialized in getting customer feedback and use it to identify early warnings of relationship problems. The rationale is that there’s value in combining these feedback signals with operational data from ERP (Story)

The massive adoption of smartphones, that has already happened, combined with the increasing penetration of the internet of things and cloud computing, are on the way to deeply transform industry and the whole economy. The WSJ (C Mims) just published a nice summary of the trends happening and their impact (Story)

Financial services

Clearbanc, a startup, is growing by offering startups cash to fund advertising campaigns to increase their user bases in exchange for a revenue share plus a fee. With this they claim to be addressing the emerging inefficiency of startups using VC money (selling equity) to buy ads, instead of funding product development (Story)


The regulatory landscape become a bit more cloudy yesterday for Comcast, as Trump tweeted his support for a demand by competitors to investigate anti-competitive practices by the US cable leader. As with AT&T (now owner of CNN, also targeted by Trump), these look like collateral damages of owning content (Story)


Network — Spectrum

The US auction for mmWave spectrum in the 28 GHz band will start tomorrow, to be followed by another auction for the 24 GHz band. These will be critical for coming 5G networks, and in particular for high access speeds, and potential wireless substitution of Fixed BB. AT&T and Verizon are expected to lead the bids (Story)


Artificial Intelligence

Amazon (Alexa) and Google (Assistant) are running to make their voice assistants ubiquitous, from homes to cars, and adoption has been faster than for any other technology. But apart from privacy concerns, actual usage data shows that the technology may still be immature, and not actually changing people’s lives (Story)

Palantir, the secretive but glamorous startup that helps organizations, including the US government to extract insights from analyzing large amounts of data, has reached a “unicorn” status with a rather impressive $20bn valuation, but has not yet managed to be profitable, and that may be delaying potential IPO plans (Story)


The version of the internet of things expanding to people’s bodies, with lots of wearable devices being developed mainly with health monitoring purposes, also brings new cyber security risks, as hackers can try to control these devices to hurt the user. So the debate now is if and how this should be regulated by the law (Story)

read original article at——artificial_intelligence-5