Google’s Eavesdropping Home Mini: Who’s Watching the Watchers?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Digital home assistants like Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo owe users much more than privacy; if they are to be truly trusted, they must also explain how they think and how they make decisions.
  • Fortunately, regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will begin asking such questions. The only problem is that artificial intelligence (AI) may not be able to provide any answers.

Google was quick to lay blame for its recent eavesdropping Home Mini fiasco on a ‘hardware bug,’ rolling out a quick update that purportedly prevents devices from inadvertently recording and reporting on overheard conversations should their owners accidentally press the wrong button. From now on, Google Home Mini will only record what you say after you capture its attention via “Hey Google” or “Okay Google.”

In other words, it was a simple case of user error and a misunderstanding of how one intelligent home device in particular works. No more button, no more problem, right? Not even close. Read more of this post

Without People, There Would Be No Artificial Intelligence

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Machine learning (ML) algorithms are incredibly powerful, and companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and realize that – hence their intense interest in operationalizing ML and DL tooling.
  • But, those algorithms alone are no guarantee of value. Whether you’re predicting the weather or optimizing a delivery route, AI lives or dies according to the humans within whose care it finds itself.

Can we truly know whether or not we’re living out our lives as a part of a simulated, holographic model of the universe as proposed by mega-entrepreneur Elon Musk? Should we even care about such things? If you’re at all concerned about the weather – about the expected path a hurricane will take, let’s say – then the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ I would argue in fact that we are living out our lives based upon countless simulations. Read more of this post

TM ONE (Telekom Malaysia’s Business Arm Brand) is Going Beyond Domestic Market with Its Twin-Core Data Center

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• TM ONE is launching twin-core data centers in Malaysia, targeting businesses in Malaysia and Singapore as well as service providers

• While the features and price may be comparable against services offered in Singapore, there is a trade off in latency and options for exchange partners

TM ONE (the business arm brand of Malaysian incumbent carrier, Telekom Malaysia) is launching twin-core data centers in south of Malaysia and the capital city. The first data center is planned to be commercially launched in November this year while the second one is expected to be ready next year. The data centers will be Uptime Institute Tier-III certified for design and construction, and comply to other industry standards such as TVRA, PCI DSS, ISO-27001, ISO-14001, GBI and US LEED for security and green technology. TM will also offer carrier diversity and wide exchange options through its partnerships with various carriers as well as service providers. As TM is going beyond its domestic market, targeting the Singapore-based businesses and service providers, does it have unique values to challenge the existing players and win the market there? Read more of this post

A New API from Tableau Suggests a More Active Role for Analytics Within Business

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• At its 10th annual user conference, modern BI leader Tableau unveiled a means by which customers can embed business processes within the Tableau interface, effectively upending commonly accepted ideas about the role of analytics in business.

• With Tableau’s new Extensions API, companies can start to think about analytics, not as a passive, informational adjunct to business processes, but instead as an active participant in the business itself.

These days APIs are a dime a dozen. Every vendor has one (or two), supporting basic routines like software automation or enabling more elaborate objectives like application embedding. The driving factor powering the proliferation of APIs is simple. They grant both interoperability and extensibility, two traits that are crucial to success – particularly within the enterprise data and analytics marketplace where heterogeneity reigns supreme.

Read more of this post

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Risk Missing the Point as They Start Fibre Roll-outs

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

• Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone both target business parks with fibre roll-outs

• Customer expectations and experience are missing from their agendas

Probably the last thing Deutsche Telekom needed last month was Vodafone announcing a EUR2 billion fibre network rollout targeting 100,000 companies in 2,000 business parks across Germany. The former incumbent had already responded, somewhat grumpily, to criticism that it is doing too little too late, with a ten-fact list setting out its broadband policy and strategy, which dovetails with the German government’s ambition of national availability of 50Mbps broadband access by 2020, and 100Mbps by 2025. Read more of this post

The Bad Habits of Using Business Buzzwords

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• Collaboration vendors’ use of vague industry jargon tricks people into believing something important is behind the technology they represent, rather than describing how technology can be applied to solve business problems.

• Vendors should instead use plain, instructive language to explain how their technology can be a strategic asset that helps organizations meet their business objectives.

Every industry has its own unique jargon and buzzwords. Sometimes it’s useful, serving as a shortcut to ‘make sure we are all on the same page’; however, I have sat through far too many empty, jargon-laden vendor presentations and become annoyed at how ambiguous jargon inhibits effective vendor communication. Read more of this post

IBM’s Genius of Things: The Vendor Lays Out Its Portfolio for Industrial IoT

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• IoT solutions providers often struggle to assemble a set of offerings that allow customers to extract maximum benefit from the IoT, let alone provide a full stack of solutions from consulting to software to platforms to vertical solutions.

• IBM has the benefit of its Rational and Maximo software, already used by hundreds of companies in manufacturing, automotive, insurance, and defense, and repurposed/expanded to exploit IoT data to improve product design and operations.

IBM’s Genius of Things event in Boston earlier this month described in detail IBM’s solution set and roadmap for the Industrial Internet of Things (Watson IoT), along with insights on its positioning and differentiation, illustrated with customer examples. IBM has an impressive IoT portfolio that focuses on three areas: engineering connected products, driving operational excellence, and finding and sustaining differentiation. All three leverage elements of existing software products (primarily Rational application development tools and Maximo asset management software) that have been repurposed for the IoT or perhaps more accurately have been expanded to work with the diverse kinds of data that can be collected with IoT technology and analyzed in back office systems. In addition the vendor is using next-gen enablers such as AI, AR and Blockchain to provide differentiation. IBM is also aiming to deliver a full set of Digital Twin/Digital Thread solutions, which provide detailed 3D representations of a “thing” or connected product to aid in product design and continuous improvement, development, training, maintenance, usage simulations, and marketing demonstrations.
Read more of this post

Oracle OpenWorld 2017: Oracle Relies on Core Integration/API Strengths for Modern Development

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Oracle Integration Cloud Service supports adaptive case management via bots for automating processes.
  • Oracle has plans for blockchain via open source software technology, Hyperledger Fabric.

During last week’s annual user conference, Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle addressed application platforms trends by highlighting its core strengths in providing the industry’s leading integration and API management technology. Read more of this post

Telstra Vantage 2017: Redefining Managed Security

D. Kehoe

Summary Bullets:

  • Service providers are starting to build their own IP and open source capabilities to provider better interoperability, richer features, faster rollout and market differentiation within their product capabilities.
  • The market is changing from a defensive posture to one that can address security before, during and after an attack.

While 2017 has seen its fair share of security announcements across Asia-Pacific, with everything from the launch of a new SOC in one city (BT) to another portfolio refresh (CenturyLink), there have also been a few operators (e.g., NTT Group, Singtel and Vodafone) looking to consolidate and globalize their security capabilities. Some operators see a future not so much around filling out a portfolio with more and more products, but shifting focus from reselling to building their own ‘IP’ and using more open source at an accelerated pace. Two SPs with similar products leave little room for differentiation. Many businesses want to avoid vendor lock-in and demand interoperability. Providers, too, need better margins, as well as the ability to offer differentiation and wield more influence on roadmaps. Vendor roadmaps never seem to be fast enough in an era of DevOps. Read more of this post

Telstra Vantage 2017: Programmable Network Inches Ahead of Competitors in the Software-Defined Space

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises need a more agile network solution to support rapidly changing IT requirements and the migration of workloads to the cloud.
  • Telstra’s Programmable Network is designed to overcome challenges enterprises are facing, and the platform is developed and enhanced in-house through an agile and iterative approach.

Telstra Programmable Network (TPN) is an elegant platform designed to solve some issues enterprises are facing. In the digital era, enterprises need to move fast to transform their business and stay competitive. Increasingly, companies are gathering and analysing data to develop competitive advantages. IT needs to ensure that their network solutions are flexible to support digital platforms and hybrid cloud services. Speed (fast provisioning), agility (scale up and down) and cost-effectiveness are important with end users demanding more and the budget not increasing proportionately. In addition, with more applications and services running over the network, there needs to be tools to enable ease of management and visibility. Read more of this post