Cloud Tech, Docusign, Internet, Marissa Meyer, Salesforce, Yahoo

2014 – The Year Mobile Won

In an appearance on Bloomberg TV, Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlined his thoughts on 2014, general tech trends and Google’s biggest mistake that it plans to correct in 2014. Among other topics, a major sticking point was that if 2013 was to be the year of the mobile, then 2014 will be the year that mobile has won.

Mobile has been on a sharp rise for the last few years, and in 2012 many predicted that 2013 would show the best has mobile has to offer but other tech giants seem to agree that the best is yet to come.

Cloud giant Salesforce.com and CEO Marc Benioff dedicated their famed cloud convention Dreamforce to highlight the release of Salesforce1, a condensation of their business suite onto mobile. Benioff and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer continued to have a keynote on how going mobile-first was the way of the future.

In a lot of ways Salesforce is cloud, with no other true competitor in sight and cloud has always been about digitizing technological function to make it more fluid. Taking cloud services to mobile seems to be a logical extension of that.

Many important cloud based companies have either already endorsed Salesforce1 by supplying apps for the platform, made their own mobile improvement efforts or both in the case of companies like Docusign (whose CEO Keith Krach already collaborates with Salesforce) and their recent announcement of their 2014 Winter release and a focus on improving the mobile experience.

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Cloud Tech, Internet, Technology

Salesforce Announces New App Salesforce1 At Dreamforce 2013

If Dreamforce 2013 drilled anything into your head, it should be that Salesforce.com believes mobile is the future. The theme started with Marc Benioff’s key note and culminated in the announcement of the cleverly named Salesforce1, a mobile app that attempts to bring all of Salesforce.com’s mobile products under one roof. There is so speculation on what exactly Salesforce1 will offer but what does seem clear is that a priority is to offer a single platform with unmatched customization for both business owners who use the technology and developers who want to create apps for it.

Salesforce1 has taken an API-first approach that allows developers a lot more control over how they take advantage of the app. An app market called AppExchange has also been retooled on the Salesforce website, allowing developers to put their apps up for consumption.

Big cloud companies have already jumped on board and uploaded apps that are already available for Salesforce1 or will be very soon. Docusign CEO discussed the integration with Salesforce last month, and their app on AppExchange already has plenty of positive outlooks. Though not crowd favorites yet, other big companies like LinkedIn and Dropbox that have had past integration with Salesforce also have apps already presented.

Salesforce1 clearly has plenty of backing, and is continuing to ride the building wave of industry hype. That said Salesforce1 at its core is a refinement of existing products, not the creation of a new one. It’s hard to say whether or not it will have a significant impact but by making it the focus of Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce has certainly made sure that all eyes are on cloud mobile for a little while.

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Internet

Online Bitcoin Theft Rampant

Bitcoin continues to make headlines but the topics have certainly taken a turn for the worse. Following a meteoric rise to a peak of $900/btc, criminals have taken the logical next step and ramped up their bitcoin heists. In this case, the liquid nature of a digital online currency is its own downfall.  The easily transferred “wallet file” is the only tangible mark of a bitcoin so heists are nothing new, but heists that would have been worth thousands are currently worth hundreds of thousands or even millions.

A Denmark based company named BIPS released a statement on November 19th that they had suffered a heist of 1,295 bitcoins, or rough $1 million stating that “Regrettably, despite several layers of protection, the attack caused vulnerability to the system, which has then enabled the attacker/s to gain access and compromise several wallets.” The bitcoins didn’t come from BIPS itself but from many of its customers, whom BIPS promised they would contact individually.

And that’s not even on the bigger end. China’s GBL bitcoin exchange abruptly went dark in October, taking $4.1 million in bitcoin with it. Attempts to contact or trace the website owners have turned up nothing but dead ends, and at this point it is speculated that its investors were scammed.

The main takeaway from the last several months seems to be “don’t store your untraceable, easily hacked money on the internet.” Given that the online rate of bitcoin theft is increasing, users might find it prudent to make sure their wallet files are secure by storing them in a “cold” such as a USB drive, or take it a step farther and put that drive in a safety deposit box.

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Internet

Google And Microsoft To Block Searches That Lead To Child Pornography

Google, after initial resistance, have both capitulated and promised a worldwide block on roughly 13,000 search terms that may lead to child pornography at behest of British Prime Minister David Cameron. In a rare showing of cooperation with their chief competitor, Microsoft also stated that the Bing search engine would follow suit.

Mr. Cameron seemed pleased with the outcome, given Google’s initial claim that it “couldn’t be done and shouldn’t be done”. Despite this, he seemed unsatisfied and mentioned possible legal action if Google and Microsoft did not take further action.
The move invites a lot of skepticism, as a logical breakdown of the scenario finds that no child sex offender in their right mind is going to use a traceable Google search to find illegal media.

Illegal activity is often conducted through means such as peer-to-peer networking or underground online communities, and search engines have already been blocking inappropriate content for some time now.

Skeptics argue that at best, nothing will change and that this amounts to a very public but ineffective crusade on Mr. Cameron’s part. The worst case scenario is that a precedent has been set for censorship of any online content the government chooses via changes to the Google search engine.

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Internet

The Upcoming End of Net Neutrality

A vocal activist sect of internet users is up in arms over recent events in the battle for net neutrality. In a detailed article in Wired, Marvin Ammori tells a story of telecom giants AT&T, Comcast and Verizon endorsing legislation that would give them much stronger control over the content of the internet.

The gist of “net neutrality” as it stands today is that internet providers are forbidden from selecting sites to receive faster service than others. Though a simple statement, this agreement means that cable companies are unable to directly control online traffic by boosting service for certain sites and slowing down service for others. It means that content that is visible on the internet is ultimately judged by the user, not by a telecom executive.

Implications of striking down net neutrality are clear. Cable companies that control the physical existence of the internet will be able to deny service on a whim, and they have explicitly stated that they would be open to charging web domains to guarantee good service. Those who can’t afford the extortion are left with slower connections and therefore reduced traffic.

The case currently stands in the DC Circuit court as a complaint between Verizon and the FCC. The court heard arguments for both sides in September, but judges were skeptical on the terms of net neutrality, and seemed ready to favor Verizon. Even if the verdict favored net neutrality, it is likely that telecom companies would continue to pursue its dissolution.

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