Thursday, October 27, 2016

For my Governance and Architecture students.
The Harvard Business Review Slack bot gives free business and career advice
The Harvard Business Review has made a Slack bot to serve up advice for business leaders, startup founders, and everyone else working with a team or in an office setting.
The HBR bot, which became available last week, draws on more than 200 HBR articles about best practices, from how to bounce back from a failed negotiation to the best ways to give team feedback.
Each piece of advice comes with an article and a bullet list of do’s and don’ts for the TL;DR crowd.
   HBR bot is made with Slackbot, a customizable bot made by Slack.
The bot is free, but the HBR paywall limits reading to four articles per month. 

Should my Computer Security students plan for this?  What evidence to gather and how to present it? 
Department Releases Intake and Charging Policy for Computer Crime Matters
   In the course of recent litigation, the department yesterday shared the policy under which we choose whether to bring charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: the 2014 Intake and Charging Policy for Computer Crime Matters.  This document guides federal prosecutors in determining when to open an investigation or charge an offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 

Is AI the next tool for IBM to rule the world?  Do we have a choice? 
IBM: In 5 years, Watson A.I. will be behind your every decision
   The Watson system is set to transform how businesses function and how people live their lives.  "Our goal is augmenting intelligence," Rometty said.  "It is man and machine.  This is all about extending your expertise.  A teacher.  A doctor.  A lawyer.  It doesn't matter what you do.  We will extend it."
   Watson technology will touch hundreds of millions of people by the end of this year alone, IBM's CEO said.
And in many cases, its user may not know it. 
   With Watson working behind the scenes on OnStar Go, drivers could get help avoiding traffic when they're low on gas, have a cup of coffee ordered and paid for before they get to their favorite café and get a reminder to get off the highway two exits early to make it easier to stop at the pharmacy after work.
According to Barra, the Watson-based OnStar Go will begin rolling out in cars in early 2017, and by the end of that year "millions of vehicles" will have it.
"We believe in the auto industry, in a period of five years, we'll see more change than in the last 50," Barra said.

A tool for disintermediation?  (Surprised I knew such a big word, aren’t you?)
Scotland to Start Own Stock Exchange Using Blockchain Technology
Scotland may get its own stock exchange using the latest, if unproven, technology to underpin the system.
Scotex is seeking to raise as much as 15 million pounds ($18.4 million) to start a regulated equity market next year, according to a statement on Thursday.  Executed trades will be processed by the type of distributed-ledger technology that drives bitcoin.
   On Wall Street, blockchain tech is being hailed as a way to reduce payment times from days or weeks to real time, freeing up billions of dollars in capital that’s now tied up until accounts are verified.
Scotex says trades on its exchange will clear nearly instantly and won’t require a clearinghouse, which collects collateral and monitors risks between traders.  The company says investors and brokers will get their money within 15 minutes after a trade is executed.

Insurance by the drink, and other innovations.  
Some cool insurance products are finally on the horizon
Trōv: In Australia you can buy on-demand insurance for belongings through Trōv.  You pick an item you want to insure, such as a laptop or camera.  Using a cellphone app, you swipe the coverage on when you need it and off when you don’t.
Fluo: In France, Fluo analyzes the travel insurance you may already have through your credit cards and sells you additional travel coverage to fill the gaps.  You request an analysis and get an answer in two minutes through an app.  The company says it soon will be able to analyze customers’ homeowners insurance policies.
Bought by Many: In the United Kingdom and China, London-based Bought by Many lets you join others with similar needs and challenges to find affordable coverage.  The company negotiates with insurers to get the best rates for the group on various types of insurance.  Examples of U.K. groups include bearded-dragon owners seeking pet insurance, people with Crohn’s disease shopping for travel insurance, and art collectors seeking home insurance.  The bargaining power saves members an average of 18.6%, the company says.
   One reason the U.S. lags behind other countries is how insurance is regulated.  Here, each state regulates insurance, so to roll out a product nationwide, insurers have to get approval from 51 insurance departments representing the states and the District of Columbia.  Launching a product elsewhere is often simpler because a company gets approval from a single governmental authority.

I wonder who programmed the “back your semi up to this dock” part? 
Uber has quietly launched its own 'Uber for trucking' marketplace called Uber Freight
The plan builds on Uber's acquisition of Otto, a self-driving trucking company that Uber bought in July for $65 million.
   The first product from Uber Freight is a marketplace to connect a shipper with a truck, much like the Uber app connects drivers and riders.
The way most shipping works for most companies today is by going through a brokerage firm, [There’s that disintermediation again.  Bob] which makes calls to trucking companies and arranges the best deals for its customers.  The broker takes a commission of between 15 and 20%.
To start, the Uber Freight marketplace will eliminate that middleman and offer shippers real-time pricing of what it will cost to move their goods based on supply and demand.  And yes, that might mean there's even surge pricing for trucks, although a lot of the marketplace details are still being worked out.  

Make your life better?
Gathering good reading material from around the internet is hard.  You can't trust your friends on Facebook.  Twitter is too noisy.  And even if you're a master of RSS, you probably spend too much time sorting through filler.
This is where Pocket hopes it can make a difference.  For the last nine years, the company—originally called Read It Later—has essentially run a glorified bookmark service, letting people save articles into a slick reading view on mobile devices and the web.  To date, Pocket's 25 million registered users have stashed more than 3 billion links for later perusal.
Now, Pocket is turning all those saved stories into recommendations, helping people find reading material regardless of whether they do any bookmarking themselves.

Perhaps it is not as dumb an idea as I thought.
Amazon reports huge growth in Dash Button orders, adds 60 new brands from PoopBags to Pop-Tarts
   Amazon said Monday Dash Button orders are up five times over the last year.  The company has added Bai, Cheez-It, Folgers, Fresh Kitty, Meow Mix, Milk Bone, PoopBags, Pop-Tarts, Powerade, Purrell Hand Sanitizing Wipes, ZonePerfect and others to its lineup of more than 200 buttons.
   For some brands, like Hefty, Peet’s Coffee, and Arm & Hammer, the majority of orders are coming from people using their Dash Buttons for quick refills, Amazon said.

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