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Submission + - Spain's Link Tax Taxes My Patience (

rsmiller510 writes: Spain's new tax on linking to Spanish newspaper articles is ill defined and short sighted and ends up protecting a dying industry, while undermining a vibrant one. In another case of disrupted industries turning to lawmakers to solve their problems, this one makes no sense at all, especially given the state of the Spanish economy and the fact that it comes 15 years too late to even matter.

Submission + - A curmudgeonly view of Yo (

rsmiller510 writes: Yo, an application that simply lets you call your followers with a "Yo" and nothing else has somehow inexplicably captured the imagination of press and public alike this week, reaching the heady territory of a million downloads, but I'm here to tell you this little baby is just a flash in the pan. And by the way, you there, get the hell off my lawn with your smartphone.

Submission + - Can anyone design a job application platform that doesn't suck?

Esther Schindler writes: Why does it take a half hour and triplicate-input-redundancy to apply for a job online? Why can’t these online application platforms just pull in LinkedIn data and be done with it? Isn’t it easier for these job application systems to just read our resumes and cover letters? Lisa Vaas has techie and business answers to these questions, hypotheses, and more.

...But half an hour later, I’m still fiddling with the thing, tweaking and correcting improperly filled-in fields as my life slowly drains away. I’m not even given a chance to see how the ATS translated my resume to populate its fields. Vaya con dios and fare thee well, job application.

Just from a user experience viewpoint, it’s irritating. . . .Why can’t these online application platforms pull in LinkedIn data and be done with it? Is all this really necessary to apply for a job? Or is it a Darwinian endurance test to winnow out the impatient and those lacking the ability to put up with horrific user interfaces?

A few questions come to mind: Why can’t somebody just create an ATS that doesn’t suck? Also, Wouldn’t it be easier for them to just read my cover letter and resume?

Submission + - Box can no longer play the underdog -- and that's bad news (

rsmiller510 writes: For years, Box has played the role of the innovative and disruptive startup, but being plucky and forcing the big guys to do business differently isn't gong to be enough moving forward. When Box filed its S-1 this week, it moved into new territory and it's going to be tough to play the role of plucky upstart once it's a publicly traded company, but it's no easier to transform into a mature stand-alone cloud vendor where very soon investors are going to want to see profits and results..

Submission + - Let's put an end to the cloud-mainframe comparisons (

rsmiller510 writes: There was an SNL skit in the 1990s with Mike Myers called If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap, and when people mixed up Scotland and Ireland, he would angrily point to a map and say “There’s Ireland! There’s Scotland! There’s the bloody sea! They’re different!” I feel that way when I hear old-school IT pros try to argue that the cloud is just an update of mainframe time-sharing. They're different and it's time we put that argument to rest.

Submission + - Management Lessons from Heinlein

Esther Schindler writes: Robert Anson Heinlein was an influential science-fiction author who created great page-turning stories, invented a “future history” that was in some ways prescient, and had a major impact on the SF field. But, it turns out, Heinlein’s short stories and novels also have quite a few good pointers for anyone who needs to make things happen.

The most obvious items that spring to your mind, I expect, are from Lazarus Long, such as this one:

Heinlein’s recurring character, Lazarus Long, certainly offers plenty of management advice. In Long’s first appearance in Methusaleh’s Children, in which another character asks what Long expects a meeting resolution to be, he says, “A committee is the only known form of life with a hundred bellies and no brain.” That’s an oft-quoted quip, but too often it leaves off the next line: “But presently somebody with a mind of his own will bulldoze them into accepting his plan. I don’t know what it will be.” It was an important thing for me to learn: The plan that is adopted often is not “the best” but the brain-child of the most persistent communicator.

...but it turns out to be a minor example. See if you agree with these, and what you'd add to the list.

Submission + - Just when you thought IT was safe again, here come the wearables (

rsmiller510 writes: Wearables are a brand spanking new area in technology, so much so you probably have yet to see them show up in your business, but chances are at some point, some C-level executive is going to want help connecting his fitness band to his laptop and when he does...boom!'ll have entered the age of wearables without even knowing it. Over time, we'll start to see these devices move from their current consumer focus to more practical business applications, and while this might feel like it's far off into the future, it's probably going to happen sooner than you think.

Submission + - The sign of a mature mobile strategy: Agility trumps security every time (

rsmiller510 writes: It may seem counterintuitive at first to IT pros trained to think security first, but speakers on a panel at Mobile World Congress last week agreed that in order to achieve the agility benefits that a good enterprise mobile app can bring, the company may have to put business benefits ahead of security. That's not to say that security doesn't matter, but it can't be so important that it stifles the benefits the mobile app can offer an organization. And in fact, all organizations go through a defined maturity pattern where they start with security first and gradually realize that mobile is not only about security. Once they see the light, it's only then they can reap the benefits of moving a business process to a mobile context.

Submission + - IBM researcher: Companies won't invest in data privacy until society demands it (

rsmiller510 writes: Of course we have the ability today to collect all kinds of data on people, but what we lack is the art of subtlety when it comes to using that data to understand people better and give a personalized experience that feels amazing instead of creepy. IBM researcher Marie Wallace says that as a society we are far behind our abilities to collect and process data, and we need to demand data privacy so that our politicians and the companies we frequent online will take us seriously. But do we have the gumption to ask?

Submission + - How to Tell Your Client That His "Expert" is an Idiot

Esther Schindler writes: It’s a danger for any consultant, and for most inter-departmental internal project staff: To get the work done, you need to work with someone else who supplies expertise you lack. But when the “expert” turns out to be the wrong person how do you tell the client (or boss) that you just can’t work with that individual? It’s possible to do so, but it does take a deft hand. Here's one set of instructions, but surely there are plenty more you could add.

Submission + - Android can't escape the Pandora's Box of openness (

rsmiller510 writes: As a large company with a target on its back, Google has to walk a fine line when it comes to Android. That's because when it made Android open source, it left it vulnerable to forking where it could eventually lose control of its own project. It's an issue Oracle has faced in the past and one Google has to be wary of even if as a mature OS, it's more difficult to pull off at scale.

Submission + - The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory 1

Esther Schindler writes: We all know how important tech standards are. But the making of them is sometimes a particularly ugly process. Years, millions of dollars, and endless arguments are spent arguing about standards. The reason for our fights aren’t any different from those that drove Edison and Westinghouse: It’s all about who benefits – and profits – from a standard.

As just one example, Steven Vaughan-Nichols details the steps it took to approve a networking standard that everyone, everyone knew was needed: "Take, for example, the long hard road for the now-universal IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. There was nothing new about the multiple-in, multiple-out (MIMO) and channel-bonding techniques when companies start moving from 802.11g to 802.11n in 2003. Yet it wasn’t until 2009 that the standard became official."

Submission + - Apple: It's a lot harder to disrupt health care than entertainment or phones (

mattydread23 writes: Buzz is mounting that Apple is getting into the quantified health space — the company has met with the Food & Drug Administration and has hired medical and health care experts in recent months. But Apple is going to have a very different battle if it hopes to disrupt health care — the industry is mired by massive tangles of regulations, and many healthcare providers have a dim view of the data collected by and shared by wearable devices.

Submission + - Why a Google Ethics commission is an oxymoron (

rsmiller510 writes: Ah, you have to love Google. After people raised concerns about its purchase of Deep Mind, an artificial intelligence company, Google reportedly responded by saying it would form an ethics commission to make sure that all of Google's artificial intelligence research was on the up and up. Excuse me while I spit out my coffee, but Google and ethics go together about as well the House Intelligence Committee. Which of these things is not like the other and who in their right mind is going to trust Google to be self-policing on anything, never mind AI?

Submission + - Why VMware just spent $1.54 billion on AirWatch (

rsmiller510 writes: By now you've heard the news that VMware spent $1.54 billion to purchase AirWatch, but the real story isn't that they did it, but why they did it and what that means to the mobile device management market. It's worth noting, for instance that this is the fourth deal by a large company for an MDM vendor in the last year or so, but this one's a little different because AirWatch is the belle of the ball and the one company with a significant customer base and that's actually making money. And you can be sure that there are big companies out there pausing this morning and seeing which players are left on the board.

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