ABL Member News * Technology Industry Trends * May 15, 2018
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from Adaptive Business Leaders by Mimi Grant

Bitcoin's wild reputation looks like it's getting a makeover. According to the New York Times, the New York Stock Exchange's parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, is working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin. And Goldman Sachs has announced it will be opening a Bitcoin trading unit, becoming the first regulated financial institution to offer this service.

Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin, is HOT. In fact, ABL Tech Round Table Member Dave Berkus, mega Angel and Venture Investor, believes "Blockchain will be the next Internet, changing . . . READ MORE >>>

Jason Ciment on: Watchdogs Call for Transparency Re: Censored Content

"If a company like Facebook can't even understand why its moderation tools work the way they do, then its users certainly don't have a fighting shot," a recent TechCrunch article declared. To address this, a coalition of digital rights groups are developing the Santa Clara Principles, a set of minimum standards aimed at Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech companies that moderate the content published on their platforms. The group shares the goal of coming up with a suggested ruleset for how major tech companies should disclose which content is being censored, why it is being censored, and how much speech is censored overall. The Santa Clara principles ask tech companies to disclose three categories of information: Numbers of posts removed, accounts suspended; Notice to users about content removals and account suspensions; and Appeals for users impacted by content removals or account suspensions. (Click for Full Article: TechCrunch, 5/7/18)
     COMMENTING ON THE TOPIC, ABL Member Jason Ciment, of GetVisible, said: "The recent hullabaloo with Facebook and the FTC is reminiscent of the earlier years in Howard Stern's life as a shock jock terrestrial radio talk show host. The FTC was issuing fines that exceeded a million dollars when Howard used language the FTC deemed to be irresponsible. Since Howard left terrestrial radio though, the social mores of society changed and radio stations now use language that he used to be fined for saying. I still remember the first time there was brief nudity on [tv show] NYPD BLUE in 2003 and the FTC levied penalties against ABC and 45 affiliate stations that aired the episode. My feeling is that courts will be inundated with lawsuits and the standards will adjust until a more comfortable medium is achieved. All the while, advertisers will keep pushing the envelope because the hungry consumers with wallets will trump FTC concerns. Additionally, the FTC simply doesn't have the budget to pursue that many claims at this time." (Jason Ciment, West Los Angeles)

Jae Son on: Disney's "Force Jacket" Allows Wearer to Feel Every VR Punch

We're only starting to take advantage of all that AR and VR can offer, Engadget notes, but now the challenge is to make the experience immersive, engaging your entire body in whatever your brain is perceiving. That's just what Disney is working on with the "Force Jacket." Until this point, any feedback your body receives during AR and VR is in the form of vibrations and touching a handheld device. But Disney's Force Jacket allows for an array of airbags and sensors to provide sensation over the entire upper body though applications of force and high-frequency vibrations. Users can feel touching, squeezing, punching, hugging, and even the sensation of a snake moving across the body. "This type of jacket could really revolutionize the way people interact with VR," Engadget enthuses. "Imagine if you could feel every punch or every bullet in a first person shooter. It has interesting and, frankly, fantastic implications for the future of the technology and the immersive reality it can provide." (Click for Full Article: Engadget, 4/26/18)
     COMMENTING ON THE TOPIC, ABL Member Jae Son, of Pressure Profile Systems, said: "One of the most interesting concepts in the movie "Ready Player One", directed by Stephen Spielberg (book written by Ernest Cline in 2011), is a haptic glove and suit that one can wear to interact with VR environments. Today, while the visual and audio effects of virtual worlds are incredibly immersive - after a few minutes of getting used to wearing and operating an Oculus VR Goggle and remote, your mind really does transport to you that virtual world, but the two limiting factors are that you cannot walk around or touch and feel things in the VR world. There has been a haptic glove for over a decade for R&D use, where cables pull on your fingers or vibration motors give you some haptic feedback, and Disney has now created this force jacket that one can wear to feel things on their body by using air bladders and thin film force sensors. The simulation of getting hit by a bullet, for instance, won't feel so realistic due to the slower response time of the bladder inflating versus a bullet hitting you, but then not too many people can tell you that it feels all wrong, and if they combine that with laser tag games, it's one step closer to a more lifelike virtual reality." (Jae Son, Ph.D., Downtown Los Angeles)

Cibola Systems & Sidebench CEOs to Lead Design-Thinking Course

Lisa Perrine, of Cibola Systems, and Kevin Yamazaki, of Sidebench, along with another industry leader, are going to facilitate a three-day course on design thinking at InfoComm 2018, in early June. The three instructors use design thinking in different industry roles, which ultimately cover the three points of view that create an exceptional experience - space, technology, and content. (from Cibola: Lisa Perrine; from Sidebench: Kevin Yamazaki, both West Los Angeles)

Cornerstone OnDemand Presents "Convergence" Conference & Integrates with Facebook's Workplace

Cornerstone OnDemand will host its annual client conference, Cornerstone Convergence, from June 4-6, 2018, in downtown San Diego, connecting 2,000+ learning and HR professionals with keynotes, workshops, and networking opportunities. Founder and CEO Adam Miller will present the opening keynote on June 4 at 8:30 a.m. PT, where he will discuss how the fourth industrial revolution is dramatically transforming the workforce landscape and how organizations can start building dynamic learning cultures to thrive in an economy that will soon be entirely skills-based. Adam's keynote will be live-streamed on the home page of the Convergence websiteMeanwhile, Cornerstone announced that it is officially integrating with Workplace by Facebook to promote stronger cultures of learning and collaboration at work. (Adam Miller, West Los Angeles)

GF Piping Offers New Pipe & Valve Support System

GF Piping Systems (GF) has introduced a new pipe guide and valve support system specifically designed to eliminate stress transfer to plastic pipe caused by normal thermal expansion and contraction, improper installation, or seismic events. Mechanical stress on plastic piping systems is one of the leading causes of premature leaks. Typical pipe clamp products often create unintended fixed points throughout piping systems that permanently lock in stress. To address this challenge, GF's new Stress Less Pipe and Valve Support System maximizes the service life of PP, PVDF, HDPE, PVC, CPVC, and ABS industrial piping systems by providing proper support. (Mike Smith, Downtown Los Angeles)

Nortridge Software & Payix Announce Strategic Alliance

Payix and Nortridge Software have formed a strategic alliance to help lenders connect with their borrowers and improve their ability to collect payments. The collaboration allows Payix to offer real-time integration between its suite of collections tools and the Nortridge Loan System. Nortridge clients can quickly add the Payix solutions to their existing collections tools with virtually no IT work on their part. The Nortridge and Payix teams collaborated in the development of the seamless web services interface, ensuring that transactions could be carried out in real-time and without interruption, making it easy for borrowers to pay anywhere and anytime. (Greg Hindson, Orange County)

Tanner CEO to Present Nutrition Science Workshops in May & June

On the evening of May 23, and again on June 28, John Tanner, Ph.D., CEO of Tanner Research, will present a Nutrition Science workshop, where he will share his story about how he suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest in 2009. Since then, he has studied intensely the causes of heart disease, and found that it can be completely avoided through a proper diet - and cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and about 30 other diseases can be reduced, avoided, or reversed by this same diet. John will field questions and participants will continue nutrition discussions in small groups. The free workshop, to be held at Tanner Research in Monrovia, includes a meal and your choice of one of the top books on nutrition science. (John Tanner, Downtown Los Angeles)

TechMedics Looks Forward to "Casino Royale" Networking Event

On the evening of May 19, TechMedics will present a Casino Royale Cyber Security Networking Event in downtown Los Angeles, featuring drinks, hors d'oeuvres, casino games, and prizes. Each ticket includes $1,000 in playing chips. "You must defeat our evil hacker dealers in a high stakes game of your choice," TechMedics declares, and "your next mission is to take as much cyber security knowledge back with you as you can." (James Moon, Downtown Los Angeles)

GeBBS Partners with Prospect Medical Holdings & BioScrip, Inc.

GeBBS Healthcare Solutions has announced a Healthcare Information Management (HIM) and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) partnership with Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc., which operates 20 hospitals nationwide with 3,790+ licensed beds. GeBBS will provide innovative HIM solutions to help Prospect enhance their overall revenue cycle operations. Also, GeBBS recently partnered with Bioscrip, Inc., the largest independent national provider of infusion and home care management solutions. GeBBS will provide end-to-end revenue cycle management and strategic outsourcing solutions to help Bioscrip leverage their people, processes, and technology to reduce operating and capital costs, recover revenue, improve patient satisfaction, and increase productivity. (Nitin Thakor, Los Angeles)

Ceresti Debuts Tech-Enabled Service to Improve Dementia Care

Ceresti Health recently launched its technology-enabled service for dementia care, which enables adherence to care plans for the 10% of Medicare patients that cannot be directly engaged due to their dementia or cognitive impairment, a patient population that drives 26% of total Medicare costs. Ceresti's service incorporates family caregivers, utilizing a combination of technology and remote health coaching to deliver personalized education, coaching, and support to increase caregivers' knowledge, skills, and confidence. Ceresti has validated and optimized its first-of-its kind service in multiple studies, including in a pilot study with Landmark Health, a home-based medical care organization. (Dirk Soenksen, Orange County)

Dave Berkus on: Working Capital, Early Hiring & Lines of Credit

IIn So, what if you run out of money?, Dave suggests that if your company doesn't have at least a month's working capital needs on hand in the form of cash, receivables that will be cash, or an untapped credit line as a fallback, you should worry over cash flow issues on a daily basis. Any disruption to the tedium of daily activity from weather, disaster, revenues slowdown, or product problems will stress the company infrastructure if there is not a cushion to use during such times. Stress of this type always forces you or senior management to lose focus upon strategic issues and drop into day-to-day tactical mode.  And, in Have you made the mistake of hiring too soon?, Dave discusses the practice of hiring based on sales forecasts, and cautions that there are many times in which the near-term future for your industry is hard to predict. At these times, hiring ahead of demand may be the wrong move, reducing flexibility and reducing reserve resources. During such times, you should consider using temporary employees to fill demand as needed.  Also, in Here's a rule for companies with outstanding loans, Dave first describes long-term vs. short-term debt, and then discusses asset-based financing vs. unsecured loans/ lines of credit. He laments that many companies have gotten into trouble by using the easy availability of short-term lines of credit, meant for rising and falling working capital needs, to make payments upon long-term obligations such as asset loan payments when due. And worse, some even purchase assets such as equipment with money from short-term loans. Matching the term of a loan with the life of the asset is an important business principle, he stresses. (Dave Berkus, Downtown and West Los Angeles)

GetVisible Provides Digital Reputation Tools & SEO Tips

Jason Ciment of GetVisible has provided a complementary way to get a scorecard report for the reputation of your website and brand, as well as other tools that can help you with your online reputation:  > Use this tool to search blogs, Facebook and Twitter for your brand.  > Try the Social Mention tool.
     GetVisible also suggests four ways to help service businesses and law firms increase rankings on Google for local-oriented searches in a neighborhood or city:  > Validate your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) listing online. Look for any typos.  > Validate your business listing on Google> Put your city and a keyword into your meta tags. Use the Yoast plugin> Validate your Schema. Don't want to code, Try this instead. (Jason Ciment, West Los Angeles)

Intellect on: Digital Transformation & QMS

In How Digital Transformation and Quality Management Play Important Roles in Optimizing Your Business, Intellect's Romeo Elias points out several ways that a digital transformation will help automate business processes, thereby optimizing your business operations, including: > Provides the capability to leverage software and tools that revolutionize the way companies operate, such as Customer Relationship Management, Business Process, and Quality Management Systems (QMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning.  > QMS eliminates defects, ensuring you're consistently creating quality products and services that meet expectations. (Romeo Elias, West Los Angeles)

Chris Dyer on:Feedforward, Not Feedback

In Give Feedforward Not Feedback, PeopleG2's Chris Dyer describes an exercise devised by Marshall Goldsmith, a prolific business author and editor - called feedforward (vs. feedback). "We can change the future. We cannot change the past," Goldsmith explains. "Feedforward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past. By giving people ideas on how they can be even more successful (as opposed to visualizing a failed past), we can increase their chances of achieving this success in the future." Chris urges everyone to try Goldsmith's exercise using real-life issues at your next meeting. Ask your team to pair off, and have each person tell their partner what they need from them going forward. That's it. When they finish, their partner does the same for them. Then, everyone changes partners until each person has shared with at least three other people, including the one in charge of the meeting. The results? You can expect new ideas for what is to come, and a positivity spiral arising from the ways in which you discussed it - feedforward cannot involve a personal critique, since it is discussing something that has not yet happened. (Chris Dyer, Downtown Los Angeles)

Taylor Digital on:Local Biz Searches & Social Media Algorithms

In How to Set Up and Optimize a Google My Business Account, Taylor Digital's Randy Taylor says that the easiest way to show up on local searches is to have your business registered and verified with Google My Business. You may be thinking that yours is not a "walk-in" business, and that you work with people who are local and at a distance. Even so, having your business show up in local search can increase local opportunities.  And, in The Current Breakdown of Social Media Algorithms, Randy explains that if your reach has decreased on any of your social platforms, it may be an issue of changes in the algorithms. For example, Facebook used to give favor to brands and their messaging and ideas, but recently has made changes to favor posts that communicate "meaningful interactions." Each social media platform favors certain types of posts, media, and timing at a given moment, and while they are usually up front about these algorithmic changes, it will still take some trial and error to find a good groove for your brand. Randy goes on to provide a brief breakdown regarding the current state of social media across the different social platforms. (Randy Taylor, Orange County)

Subbu Murthy on: Growth of Chief Digital Officers

UGovernIT's Subbu Murthy, Ph.D., notes that Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) are on the rise, although even today there are three times as many CIOs as there are CDOs. If we assume that a significant number of CDOs and CIOs are on LinkedIn, Subbu says, then we have about 300,000 who carry the title CDO or CIO. Roughly 75% are CIOs and 25% are CDOs. "I suspect that five years back, we had a very low number of CDOs. Now there are 75,000," Subbu says. "A few points to note: in many organizations CIOs perform the role of the CDO. Some organizations have both the CIO and the CDO; I doubt if organizations have a CDO but not a CIO." (Subbu Murthy, Ph.D., Orange County)

Ransomware, Tech-Support Scams, Email Fraud: Which Cost Victims Most?

The FBI has released a report listing the most complained about and most costly internet-related crimes. The report is compiled from 301,580 consumer complaints of suspected criminal internet activity filed with the agency's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in 2017. For the year, total reported losses to internet crime stood at $1.41 billion - slightly down from the $1.45B reported in 2016. The internet crime most complained about involves goods or services that were either delivered by the victim but not paid for by the crooks, or paid for by the victim but never received. Second on the list are breaches of personal data; third come phishing emails, texts or calls apparently from legitimate companies or contacts requesting personal, financial or login details - often the first step towards other criminal acts.
     But the most costly internet crime according to the figures is business email compromise, the scam that targets businesses working with foreign suppliers, or simply ones that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The FBI said these scams continued to evolve over the past few years. The classic version sees crooks hacking or faking the email accounts of a company's CEO or CFO and then sending a bogus email to staff, requesting wire payments be sent to accounts controlled by the fraudsters. Crooks have also used fake emails to demand personally identifiable information or wage and tax statements. (Click for Full Article: ZDNet, 5/8/18)
     Meanwhile, the head of the Small Business Administration recently received a letter from U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), a ranking member of the committee, urging the SBA to improve the content and delivery of cybersecurity assistance for small business owners. To demonstrate the need for greater focus on cybersecurity, Risch and Cardin shared some troubling statistics: 42% of small business owners were victims of cyber attacks in 2015, and the resulting financial costs averaged $7,000, but quadrupled to $32,000 if bank accounts were also hacked. (Click for Full Article: Small Business Trends, 5/9/18)

Firefox 60 Debuts: World's First Browser with Password-Free Logins

Mozilla has released Firefox 60 with support for a new option to sign in to websites without using a password. That's thanks to an emerging W3C standard called Web Authentication, or WebAuthn, which is enabled by default in Firefox 60 and is coming later this month to Chrome 67, and Microsoft Edge. It's also under consideration for Safari. By removing passwords, the WebAuthn API will make phishing attacks a lot harder and gives users more convenient authentication choices, including hardware security key dongles such as a YubiKey device, fingerprint readers on smartphones, or facial-recognition systems like the iPhone X's Face ID. A key advantage, like the FIDO Alliance's predecessor U2F standard for security keys, is that WebAuthn generates cryptographic public-private pairs for signing in, which means no shared secrets that could be leaked if a site is hacked. (Click for Full Article: ZDNet, 5/10/18)

Waymo to Launch Self-Driving Car Service This Year; Uber Anticipates Flying Taxi Service by 2023

Waymo, the Alphabet Inc subsidiary that has been testing autonomous vehicles on Phoenix area streets, announced this week it plans to launch its self-driving car service in that city "later this year," according to VentureBeat. Users will hail a vehicle via the Waymo app on their phones, and the vehicles will be completely autonomous with no one in the driver's seat. It's unclear whether a Waymo employee will be in the vehicle at all. Waymo said it would release additional details closer to launch. (Click for Full Article: Silicon Valley Business Journal, 5/9/18Meanwhile, Uber's flying taxis are set to debut on a demonstration basis in three test markets - Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dubai - in 2020. Commercial flights are targeted to start in the test markets in 2023, followed by large urban areas worldwide. (Click for Full Article: Silicon Valley Business Journal, 5/10/18)

In Concession, Trump to Help China's ZTE "Get Back Into Business"

President Trump pledged on Sunday to help ZTE Corp "get back into business, fast" after a U.S. ban crippled the Chinese technology company, offering a job-saving concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks this week. Trump's unexpected announcement was a stunning reversal, given Washington's tough stance on Chinese trade practices that have put the world's two largest economies on course for a possible trade war. Sources briefed on the matter said Beijing had demanded the ZTE issue be resolved as a prerequisite for broader trade negotiations. The U.S. Commerce Department last month banned American companies from selling to the firm for seven years as punishment for ZTE breaking a 2017 agreement after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran and North Korea, an investigation dating to the Obama administration. The penalty cut off ZTE's access to key components such as semiconductors, prompting China's second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment to say last week that it had suspended its main operations. (Click for Full Article: Reuters, 5/13/18)

Democrats to Force Vote Wednesday on Net Neutrality

Senate Democrats will force a vote Wednesday to repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled FCC. The measure, which is backed by all 49 Democrats and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, is expected to pass in the Senate but its future in the GOP-led House is doubtful and President Trump is unlikely to back it. Democrats are employing the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress to repeal agency rules and regulations on a simple majority vote - instead of a 60-vote threshold needed to break procedural hurdles on most legislation - if lawmakers act within a narrow timeframe after an agency puts a rule into place. Republicans have used the same technique to reverse several Obama-era regulations. While Democrats recognize they are unlikely to reverse the FCC's rule, they see the issue as a key policy desire that also galvanizes their base voters, a top priority ahead of the midterm elections. (Click for Full Article: CNN, 5/14/18)

Artificial Intelligence is Now a Major at Carnegie Mellon University

Undergrads at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science can now major in Artificial Intelligence. The new degree is touted as the first of its kind in the nation, and it takes aim at a high-salary computer science job market primed for growth. It's also in line with a trend toward increasing specialization within American undergraduate computer science programs. That's in part a response to upward pressure from students abroad, including in developing countries like India, Lagos, and Kenya, where a new generation of cheap computer science talent has attracted interest from Silicon Valley. Numbered are the days when BS candidates choose among a small handful of computer science tracks and graduate as generalists. (Click for Full Article: ZDNet, 5/10/18)

Apple Asks FCC for Flexibility as it Explores 95-to-3000GHz Wireless Options

5G cellular technology is still months or years away from major deployment, but that's not stopping Apple from looking ahead to the next generation - or two - of wireless technology. A just-published letter to the FCC reveals that Apple is already considering potential applications of 95GHz to 3,000GHz wireless technology, urging the agency to leave substantial portions of the ultra-high-frequency radio spectrum unlicensed or shared - all in the name of market innovation. (Click for Full Article: VentureBeat, 5/7/18)

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