Monday, April 27, 2015

For my Risk Management students: What does the loss of a global cash register network cost? Here is one estimate. Now figure how much you would spend to prevent errors like this.
Starbucks lost millions in sales because of a ‘system refresh’ computer problem
… The problem, caused by what Starbucks called a “failure during a daily system refresh,” occurred around 4 p.m. PST and forced baristas to hand out thousands of free drinks to surprised — and pleasantly happy — customers.
The faulty technology cost Starbucks at least a few millions of dollars. Here’s the breakdown:
On Thursday, the company reported $3.1 billion in revenue during the past three months for its “Americas” stores, which include the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
… the outage happened at 4 p.m. on a Friday. On a given day, most of Starbucks’ business certainly comes during the morning hours. So, let’s say each store lost about 10 percent of its total daily revenue during the outage.
By our rough estimates — calculated by journalists, not accountants — that means Starbucks lost around $3 million on Friday because of computer problems.

This was not the, “Hey Hillary. What new at State?” This was the, “Hello Mr. President, My name is Billy. I am in the 2nd grade. Please tell me what Hillary is doing at State.”
Russian Hackers Perused President Obama’s Personal Emails During 2014 State Department Breach
It looks like a cyberattack that hit the White House last year by Russian hackers was a bit more serious than originally presented. [Not untypical Bob] The biggest takeaway is the fact that president Obama's personal emails were accessed, including both sent and received messages. That's the downside; the upside is that it appears absolutely no classified information had been accessed. [Huh. Hillary said the same thing. Bob]

I've never been an advocate for a ban on tracking. I like to know which of my activities can be tracked and I'd like to believe that my government(s) do it appropriately.
Rami Essaid of Distal Networks thinks we’re too focused on stopping tracking when we should be more focused on transparency about it:
… the world is engaged in the wrong conversation when it comes to Internet privacy. Tracking happens – get over it. The conversation we should be having isn’t about absolute privacy, as the European Union seems to believe, but about transparency.
The fight should be about bringing tracking out of the murky shadows and into the sunshine of full disclosure. The Internet public has a right to know the “Five W’s” of tracking at every site they visit: Who is tracking me, what are they doing with the information, where, when and why?
Read more on TechCrunch. Do you agree?

Because they have a drug problem? Not according to the Board.
Carroll County to start randomly drug testing students
… “It was done as more of a deterrent,” [More than what? Education? Bob] said Assistant Superintendent Terry Jones of the unanimous Board of Education decision.
The board has been studying this issue since last September. It will include students in grades nine through 12, or roughly around 4,000 students. [No it will not. More bad reporting? Bob]
Jones explained that it will be only for the kids who participate in athletics, any type of extracurricular non-athletic program and those who drive and park on campus.

Is it a (real or imaginary) thing? Then you can talk to it and listen to it. That's the Internet of Things! All of my students should read this.
What Is the Internet of Things?
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Apr 26, 2015
What Is the Internet of Things?, Mike Loukides and Jon Bruner, O’Reilly Media: “The Internet of Things (IoT) is a blending of software and hardware, introducing intelligence and connectedness to objects and adding physical endpoints to software. Radical changes in the hardware development process have made the IoT—and its vast possibility—accessible to anyone. This report provides a high-level overview of the foundational changes that have enabled the IoT and examines how it’s revolutionizing not just consumer goods and gadgets, but manufacturing, design, engineering, medicine, government, business models, and the way we live our lives.”

Perspective. How important is China as a market?
It looks like iPhone sales in China are going to be bigger than in the US
Apple is set to announce its latest earnings today, and analysts are expecting that iPhone sales are going to be bigger in China than the US for the first time, Bloomberg reports.
Analysts from Creative Strategies are predicting Apple sold between 18 and 20 million iPhones in China, compared to between 14 and 15 million iPhones in the US.

(Related) Of course, that means China want to sell to China.
China Telecom Helps Fortify Alibaba's $590 Million Bet On Smartphone Vendor Meizu
Jack Ma thinks Alibaba can succeed as a vendor of smartphone hardware. In spite of Amazon's failed bid to make the Fire Phone gain mainstream success, Alibaba still dared to pay $590 million to get a minority stake at Meizu.
However, unlike Amazon's money-losing Fire Phone experiment, Alibaba has won the support of a major wireless carrier for its online shopping-centric smartphones. China Telecom will offer entry-level Alibaba smartphones to its subscribers.

Perspective. An Industry with significant 'barriers to entry.'
Department of Justice scuppers $30bn semiconductor merger
The proposed merger of Tokyo Electron and Applied Materials into a $30bn semiconductor equipment giant has collapsed due to competition concerns from the US Department of Justice.
… The number of players in semiconductor equipment, one of the world’s most technologically demanding industries, has been falling as research and development costs increase and the pool of customers shrinks.
Only a small number of chipmakers — such as Intel, TSMC and Samsung — now operate at the cutting edge of semiconductor technology, giving them significant power over equipment suppliers.
A merger of Applied Materials, the largest company in the sector, with Tokyo Electron would have had about 25 per cent of the total equipment market. But it would have had market shares closer to 50 per cent for some tools, such as silicon etching machines, forming a near-duopoly with Lam Research.

I have one student who admits reading romance novels. (That's 50% of my students who admit reading for pleasure.)
Why romance novelists are the rock stars of the literary world
… The amazing thing is that this historically derided genre is not only wildly successful (it regularly outsells both mystery and sci-fi; Romance Writers of America estimates the genre made $1.08 billion in sales in 2013) but also preternaturally friendly.
In an age where women are constantly encouraged to “lean in” at predominantly male workspaces, there exists this frequently ignored, yet massive and diverse, woman-steered industry where writers literally tutor their competition. As Bly says early on in Kahn’s film, the romance industry may be one of the last meritocracies left on the planet.

For my students. (I already have the book on hold at my local library.)
Socializing School Events With Social Media
Last week I received a copy of Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick's book The Art of Social Media. It's a quick read that is full of actionable items. One of the chapters of the book is about incorporating social media into physical events like conferences.
[Also check the resource links:

Who says your phone can't give you a virus?
    1. HTC Treats iOS Like an Illness

And finally, HTC thinks you may be suffering from a condition it calls, “Bi-Phonal Displeasure Disorder,” which takes the form of either “Samsung Affective Disorder (SAD)” or “Irritable Operating System (IOS)” depending on which phone you currently own.
You could tackle this horrible illness by taking a (completely made-up) drug called Cellami. However, according to the company there is only one real cure… the HTC One M9. Oh, it’s an ad. How disappointing. Still, as far as poking fun at your competitors goes, this is rather amusing.

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