A recipe to reverse tech decline

Make America tech again (MATA)

Here are depressing stats on the U.S.A.; the country ranks 25th in the world in R&D tax credits, is no longer in the top 10 in global innovation, is behind in the race for AI development, is behind in creating scientists and computer scientists, and is ranked #11 in world technology readiness.

Forbes provides specific instructions for government policy to reverse these trends:

  1. Implement a consistent data security and privacy policy similar to Europe’s GDPR standard. This provides a consistent standard for data protection and a guideline for enforcing violators.
  2. Use satellite technology to provide broadband to all citizens, and restore net neutrality.
  3. Increase the R&D tax credit to 25% to keep cutting edge tech development companies from setting up shot elsewhere.
  4. Increase annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) funding by at least tenfold.
  5. Healthcare must be pushed to adopt a standard for electronic health records (EHR) and must encourage the use of telemedicine and telecare technologies to lower costs and increase care across populations.
  6. Encourage the funding of digital technology to measure and analyze climate change and better quantify changes from year to year.
  7. Make it easy for knowledge workers to obtain H1-B visas (and their spouses).
  8. Increase competition within the Internet economy by shrinking the tech oligarchies.
  9. Spend generously on cyber security, increasing the budget by 25% per year until the problems diminish.
  10. Outline specific and substantial spending initiatives to lead in the development of artificial intelligence. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: Perhaps the U.S. Federal government can accomplish all of these objectives by breaking up the tech oligopolies, but rewarding the new baby techs lucrative contracts to accomplish these tasks, and giving them large tax credits and visa allotments. Break-ups could be bitter sweet launches into new businesses with new partners and plenty of government assistance.

Trouble on the horizon with fake nudes

A new app imagines photos of women with no clothes. The AI-powered app uses its database of images of nude women to find a best replacement for the clothed portions of the image. It only works for pictures of women. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: While this app may be the X-Ray glasses dreamed by many a schoolboy, it will get a lot of people in trouble. Scandal, libel, lawsuits. This may boost the tattoo industry as women feel the need to wear a “unique stamp” to disprove the authenticity of  fake nude photos.

Amazon using smart home as Prime Day feature

Amazon’s annual Prime Day campaign to pry open wallets which are generally funding other activities in July will include a number of smart home products from Nest, Ring, Echo, and others. The products will be offered at steep discounts.

dis-rup-shun: The smart home industry growth is currently attributed to the increasing availability of interesting ‘hero’ products like doorbells, IP cameras, and voice assistants. The big challenge, however, is converting the successful sales of end point products to systems that enable whole home functionality and a robust monthly service fee. A large number of companies including traditional home security players, as well as energy utilities, insurance companies, telcos, and retailers are determined to convert the 80% of the population without home security system, and the path to their wallets appear to be through cool, connected devices.

Companies work around Chinese export bans

Does the economic invisible hand know any boundaries?

The Trump tariffs have been aimed at China’s telco giant, Huawei, more than any other Chinese company, with the U.S. prohibiting sales of certain products by U.S. companies and by those of its trade partners. Now microprocessor vendors Intel and Micron have determined that many of their products do not violate the ban, and have resumed selling to Huawei. CNN

dis-rup-shun: The politics behind the trade ban are based on two premises: Chinese companies such as Huawei have violated patents, and the U.S. cannot afford for China, therefore Huawei, to be the leader in 5G technologies. If you are a multinational company based in the U.S. but heavily dependent on selling to all major global companies to meet 2019 sales projections and shareholder expectations, do you pursue all sales opportunities, or do you act in a nationalistic fashion to advance the U.S. 5G agenda? The industry leaders have spoken.

The smartphone notification dilemma

Smartphone apps are now providing as many as 73 notifications per day to average users, or roughly every 15 minutes of awake time. App researchers consider if our society should develop appropriate norms for the number of messages we receive and then expect tech providers to conform, or will people continue to have to make constant decisions about when they choose to interrupt their actions, conversations and thoughts. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Smartphone etiquette continues to be uncharted, and given the legitimate business messaging that occurs on the smartphone via Slack, Teams, WeeChat, SMS, iMessage, LinkedIn, and email, to name a few, banning smartphone usage in the conference room is doubtful. Blending attention at home with work alerts, or at work with personal alerts is a skill that must be mastered for success in both domains. A smartphone free zone, meeting, or experience will be transformational to those that get to experience it.

Air traffic control system getting prepared for drones

Raytheon is the company that develops tracking technology for the U.S. air traffic control system. It has signed an agreement with AirMap, a company that maintains the largest unmanned aircraft tracking network, in order to integrate drone tracking into its commercial and military aircraft tracking system. Airmap has $43 million in funding and currently works in the Czech Republic, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: The rate of drone innovation is outpacing regulation, such that effective delivery networks will be ready before regulators are. As an important global infrastructure provider, Raytheon will help bring commercial drone usage to market in the next half decade.

Selling school assets for better wireless

A national dilemma is brewing as spectrum once reserved for educational institutions and often unused may be auctioned off for 5G development by large carriers. Much of the Educational Broadband Service has remained unused, however some school systems have leased the spectrum to carriers who have generated revenue from the assets. Critics of the resale plan are concerned that the sale of spectrum will still not help with the problem of serving rural residents who remain without high speed broadband facilities. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Rural broadband infrastructure is simply a cost that no one wants to bear, as the economics will never work. Spectrum licenses should be sold with the requirement that the buyer fund or directly supply some portion of rural infrastructure to get the job done. If rural communities have access to leading-edge communications infrastructure, workers can reverse migrate from cities and relieve rising cost of living pressures.

When tech giants become property developers

Alphabet, Google’s parent, plans a smart city in Toronto

On Monday, Alphabet’s subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, released plans for its $1.3 billion smart city on the Toronto waterfront. The plans boast private investment of $38 billion by 2040, and the creation of 44,000 jobs and $4.3 billion in annual tax revenue. Locals are mixed on support of the venture, which is yet to win full support of urban planners and city leaders. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: Tech giants’ disruption of real estate markets in places like Seattle, San Francisco, and Austin have previously been with the help of the usual brokers, financiers and builders. Alphabet is making its own rules in Toronto and showing that it is more powerful than the local establishment. On the one hand, established city leaders are suspicious of grand ambitions backed by big money and the arrogance associated with big tech. On the other hand, the smart cities vision will take decades to evolve organically unless accelerated by a visionary company that just builds it.


Facebook’s future inside a ringed fence

Facebook has been the PR whipping post for all that is wrong with the Internet, social networks, and disclosure of personal data. Despite all the bad press and example making by regulators, its subscriber count is up 9% and its revenues, 30%. Forrester researchers say that the company’s undoing will not be public opinion or legislation, but will be its own shift to focus on private messaging as this move will stall growth of social networks, and will prevent the company from selling more personal information to advertisers. Meanwhile, the watchful eye of regulators will make it very difficult for the company to acquire new companies. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: The notion that Facebook has painted itself into a corner is hard to fathom, as statements of direction can change in the blink of a CEO’s eye. The fact that Facebook continues to grow, and continues to be an important source of news and information for its 2.3 billion monthly users portends that, despite bad press, it will be the virtual water cooler for years to come. It’s $540 billion market cap means the company can spend a great deal on public relations and congressional lobbying. 


How to slice up big tech

Kara Swisher shares thoughts on competition and how big tech is too big to challenge. The Recode editor shares thoughts on how regulators might break Google, Apple or Amazon into some logical pieces and encourage new entrants into markets that have been ceded to the giants. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: January 1, 1984 was the day that AT&T’s monopoly ended and baby bells were created. While the decision was rough on AT&T, many of the bells thrived by merging, acquiring, and entering into new businesses. The action accelerated communications technology, including wireless telephony, and spurred the strongest tech economy in the world. History has shown competition to be economic lifeblood and dominance to lead to stagnation.


Industry leaders reply

In response to Should Facebook’s currency be blocked? Former Lowe’s Iris Smart Home VP and GM Kevin Meagher replies: In the UK in the 18th and 19th century single large employers (mill owners/mines/steel mills) in towns and regions created and issued their own currencies to pay staff.  This currency was only recognized in businesses owned by the companies and their partners so what was paid to employees eventually came back to the company.  It was a great way to squeeze competition out of the town and hold everyone hostage to what was in effect a feudal system.  I’m pretty sure this happened in some early settlement in the US.  How the wheel goes round!


Why the laws of competition don’t apply to tech giants

Monopolies, duopolies, and the role of regulators

The network effect, which states that the value of components in a network increase as the members increase, makes tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Apple almost impossible to slow down once they gain critical mass. The more users of a platform (iOS, for example), the more apps are developed for the ecosystem, making the ecosystem more valuable. Competing with that platform becomes extraordinarily difficult as exponentially rising network value creates insurmountable barriers to entry. Microsoft’s failed mobile OS is an example (see next article). The Verge

dis-rup-shun: As The Verge states, competition is good for the consumer and good for the economy. If the forces of competition are not able to scale the barriers to entry into network-based businesses, then it is the job of government regulators to level the playing field, or at least monitor the powers of those that control the network and access to its markets.

Microsoft’s biggest error ever

Speaking to Village Global venture group, Bill Gates said the biggest mistake in Microsoft’s past was missing the opportunity to be the alternative (to Apple) mobile OS provider – an opportunity lost to Android, which Google purchased in 2005 for the purposes of defeating Microsoft’s mobile strategy. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: For those that tried Microsoft mobile phones, you recall that the company really blew the customer experience opportunity. At the time, there were Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia and upstart iPhone. Microsoft’s error was to think it could squeeze the bloated WinCE operating system into a phone form factor. Rather than looking at the opportunity as a fresh, new ecosystem, Microsoft (Steve Ballmer) saw mobile phones as tiny Windows devices. The error launched Google’s fortunes in the Android business, both in licensing software and building handsets, while missing, likely forever, a future in mobile for both Microsoft and close partner, Intel.

Smart products suffering from lack of intelligence

TechCrunch reports on Samsung SmartThings’ release of a new camera, smart plug and smart bulb. The products work as expected but are described as not very exciting.

dis-rup-shun: Unfortunately much of the smart home industry is still competing on devices — expecting the white box or switch with the most features or protocols to prevail. Machine learning, however, is the competitive differentiation that will make smart homes intelligent homes. By using data profiles of users and ‘understanding’ habits, as well as deviations from those habits, connected products will operate for users, not by users, and will become ubiquitous in new homes and buildings. Connected products that do not use data and data analytics for their operation will remain lackluster to the markets.

Hackers have infiltrated over 10 mobile carriers

According to cyber security firm Cybereason, hackers have infiltrated over ten global wireless carriers and, prior to detection, could have shut the networks down at any time. The firm says none of the carriers are in the U.S., but spread around the globe. CNet 

dis-rup-shun: Global infrastructure, including energy grids, wireless networks, and banking networks are dangerous prizes for hackers. With escalating tensions with Iran and ally, Russia, the West can expect a sharp increase in cyber attacks, and the future of defense will increasingly involve hardening networks and scanning for breaches.

Streaming TV to look like cable you just cancelled

How streaming TV is repeating the evolution of cable TV

Wired lists seven free streaming services with advertising that you will want to have as backups to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accounts: IMDbTV, the Roku Channel, Kanopy, Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle, and Vudu.

dis-rup-shun: If you are old enough to remember when cable TV was a new thing, you remember that for a reasonable monthly fee, your three-channel rabbit-ear antenna TV could become clear and sharp. Then came more channels. Then came movie channels such as HBO. Then came original content, like the Sopranos. Now that 76% of us U.S. households have Netlix and 51% have Amazon prime, we see the add on of many more streaming ‘channels’ or services. The next step will be bundling of many services into streaming packages, enabling one to access many services through a single sign-on and credit card authorization. With the pay TV providers such as AT&T driving those bundles, these new services will come from the same providers who used to offer cable TV packages. Once again we will be buying packages from big TV providers — but this time based on when we want to watch.

How apps get to the Apple App Store

Apple’s process for reviewing and approving or rejecting apps for publication on the App Store includes over 300 human reviewers who speak 81 languages, at two offices in Sunnyvale, CA with a goal to complete review of a submission within 24 to 48 hours. Each reviewer must review between 50 to 100 apps per day to ensure they run properly, are not illegal, and do not contain prohibited content. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Apple fan or not, one must credit the company on the high quality of available apps. Apple takes up to 30% of revenues generated from sales on the app store, so the company has an incentive to provide a quick turn-around and ensure a good app experience. TechCrunch states that 2/3rds of an estimated $75 billion (2018) in app revenue is generated by Apple’s app store. The revenue gap between Apple and the Google Play Store increased last year, with Apple advancing its lead. Research firm Sensor Tower states that rising revenue disparity is driven by increasing number of subscriptions to monthly services such as Netflix, and Tinder.

Drones for humanity

Eco-entrepreneurs are developing a working drone that will biodegrade in weeks after completing its mission. Otherlab of San Francisco has built a gliding drone made now from cardboard but later to be made of a mushroom-based mycelium material. The Apsara drone is funded by DARPA who required a design that not only could carry cargo to a designated spot, but that would also decompose quickly. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Given last week’s downing by Iran of a $220 million U.S. surveillance drone, it is easy to consider drones as weapons, but this brilliant drone design will enable humanitarian aid of emergency food supplies and medicines in an effective and responsible way — likely helping to maintain populations that are caught in the cross hairs of military actions.

Kano, the Erector Set of today, will boost STEM interest

Microsoft has invested in UK youth computer maker Kano which will now run Windows 10. The $300 computer kit comes with creativity and development software which encourages kids to design 3D objects, build their own programs, computer art, and collaborate with other builders through a youth version of Teams collaboration software. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Today’s youth have most often clamored for Apple to be their first device. By introducing a computer designed to engage youth prior to the age of ownership of first computer, Microsoft has seized on an opportunity to develop renewed interest from tomorrow’s newest scientists. Hopefully the move will address the shortage of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students by developing an early interest in computer science. 

How Amazon will wreck the pharmacy industry

How Amazon will wreck the pharmacy business

Amazon quietly entered the pharmacy business in 2017 and introduced PillPack, a direct to home prescription drug business that packages pills by daily dosage, with dates and times to take the medicine printed on the package. The retail pharmacy heavyweights currently play middle man by negotiating discounts from drug makers for large health insurers, creating special pricing for insurance networks. By selling directly to insurance companies, Amazon will cut out the retail pharmacy giants. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Amazon’s disruptive move will benefit the consumer with lower drug prices and, possibly, lower health insurance premiums, but will destabilize the retail pharmacy industry by forcing it to rely more heavily on the sale of non-drug products, a battle it is already fighting against Amazon.com and Prime. One answer is for retail pharmacies to move more aggressively into care clinics, a trend well underway, putting further pressure on doctor and hospital chains to become more consumer-friendly as they are forced to compete with retail pharmacies for walk-in healthcare.

Direct share offerings will put a squeeze on bankers

Collaboration tool vendor Slack went public this week without assistance from investment banks, gaining 50% value in its first day. The capital raise puts valuation of the company at $23.1 billion. Compare this to Uber’s IPO last month which, by absolute dollar valuation, was the worst performing IPO in history. Both Lyft and Uber have recovered somewhat from a bad initial offering. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Two large IPOs, Slack and Spotify in 2018, were direct (limited banker involvement) offerings. Both companies have enjoyed strong value growth since IPO. Uber and Lyft were heavily hyped by investment banks and crashed after offering. Before we conclude that bankers are bad, it is important to note that Uber and Lyft’s business models do not show profitability in the near term, and seem to be in multiple businesses. On the other hand, Slack is facing stiff competition from tech giants. If we assume that the market is sophisticated enough to understand the competitive landscape ahead of the IPO, then one conclusion is that bankers may be over-promoting offerings and that a more informed market later corrects. Expect direct offerings to become more commonplace, eventually forcing a correction in the fees charged by banking firms.

Zuckerberg outranks Tim Cook

Glassdoor’s anonymous survey of former employees’ views on their CEO has a number of tech CEOs ranking in the top 10. Ranking in the lower half of the 100 ranked are Facebook’s Zuckerberg at 59 (#1 is the best) and Apple’s Tim Cook at 69th place. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: Interesting to see Cook at the bottom of the heap, especially after a brutal year for Facebook’s public image. Does the secrecy inherent in Apple’s culture create distrust inside the family? Despite Facebook’s missteps, Zuckerberg has been quite penitent in public, perhaps gaining employee’s respect. It is rare for a company as successful as Apple to not become an arrogant empire, and perhaps more transparency would engender more employee admiration.

Netflix will eventually include advertisements, says industry

Netflix, with its 150 million subscribers, faces significant costs from developing original content. Industry insiders predict that Netflix will break its vow of no advertisements as production costs increase and the value of its audience reach soars. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Netflix continues to pursue a unique strategy — using debt to finance a very large catalog of original content that it can monetize over coming years. As other streaming services are launched from companies including Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Netflix subscriber growth will be challenged. The barriers to entry for streaming services have become original content — a very expensive barrier. As John Penney, CSO of 29th Century Fox has been telling the industry for years, there is simply not enough non-movie theater revenue in the TV distribution chain to support the costs of original content. The company’s stock price, however, continues to show confidence in the company’s ‘think different’ strategy.

Should Facebook’s currency be blocked?

The implications of a non-government financial currency

On Tuesday Facebook and the Libra consortium officially announced their new financial currency. Already, government regulators are seeking to press pause on the project until some big questions can be answered. U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry , the top Republican on the House Financial Services committee, has asked for an inquiry, and European regulators have immediately expressed concern. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Policy makers’ concerns about a privately controlled currency are many, including how to handle fraud, how to prevent money laundering, how to ensure stability of existing financial systems, and how to maintain the ability to influence monetary policy when buyers and sellers could move to another system if it was more favorable. We can liken this privatization effort to creating a private version of the TSA in other parts of the airport, creating alternative mail carriers (think UPS and FedEx), building alternative power grids on new poles next to existing, or creating private armies that will be deployed when corporate interests dictate. Sometimes a private currency would be favorable, and other times disastrous, but what is certain is that it would greatly undermine governments’ abilities to manipulate currency and the economy through fiscal policy. The irony is that before Facebook got involved, cryptocurrencies have been operated under fairly shady circumstances and now that a well organized entity is entering the fray, governments are ready to take action.

U.S. gaming market larger than China’s

Since 2015, China’s gaming market has been the largest. Given a 9 month ban by China’s government on approving any new games, the $37 billion U.S. market will again exceed China’s in total value. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: China seeks to change its citizenry’s high rate of addiction to gaming with the temporary ban. Chinese leaders, however, are failing to see the high correlation between video gaming and technical fluency among youth. China is focused on becoming the global leader in technology and therefore should encourage youth to immerse themselves in Internet and console gaming, where technical creativity may blossom.

Smart plugs are easy, cheap and powerful

To experience the power and potential of a smart home, one can easily start with a voice assistant and their choice of an inexpensive smart plug – a device controlled through an app or voice assistant which can turn off appliances based on rules set by the user.  CNET offers a guide to smart plugs and their apps.

dis-rup-shun: Smart plugs are a powerful way to experience the convenience, extra sense of security, and energy savings of home automation. Having lights turn on and off when you are away from home, or turning off an always-on cable box in the wee hours can make a difference on the power bill. Most all appliances, in their next generation, will offer built in control features, but in the interim, smart plugs are highly effective.

IOT devices will generate 79 trillion gigabytes of data in 2025

IOT devices include smart home, personal devices, industrial and medical devices

The universe of connected devices — both consumer, industrial and medical will generate 79.4 zettabytes of data by 2025. From now until 2025, data growth will be 28.7% annually (CAGR), and growth of video surveillance data, now that everyone will have multiple cameras, is expected to be 60% annually. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: First of all, what is a zettabyte of data? It is 1 trillion gigabytes, if that helps. It is a lot of data and will continue to grow rapidly as that data must be replicated, manipulated and translated to have meaning to both users as well as manufacturers of things and advertisers. What are the implications? Invest in storage and data analytics tools, storage, and services, such as cloud services, as these industries have a bullet proof future.

‘Normal’ looking eyeglasses that display data to the wearer

Focals by North are stylish prescription glasses that feature a heads up display on the inside so that you can see messages, appointments and streaming data without anyone knowing. The glasses are controlled by a joystick that looks like a ring on your finger. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: As soon as you deliver a rousing presentation in front of an audience without ever looking at notes or slides, you will be sold on Focals. Receiving directions while driving without looking at your phone or dashboard will be safer and easier. Imagine working a crowd and calling people by name, thanks to the facial recognition computing performed by your 5G connected eyeglasses.

Stop gaming and use your iPad to learn to play piano

Lumi is a new miniature keyboard device that uses lights and colors in conjunction with an iPad to teach people to play the piano (or the digital keyboard). For $249, one receives an app and a keyboard. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Music lessons are less prevalent for today’s youth than in prior, despite higher incomes and more technology. Making instruments that are extensions of personal technologies will further engage the attention deficit generation and will keep in circulation traditional instruments, or the current versions thereof. Using technology to increase the number of people who perform music is an under pursued opportunity.

Facebook enters the currency business

Facebook launches digital currency

Facebook and 27 other companies — many that are familiar brands in the finance, telecommunications and venture capital markets — are launching a digital currency called Libra. Unlike several popular currencies such as Bitcoin, Libra will be backed by a reserve of assets, will not be decentralized, and cannot be mined. Facebook assures the public that it will not use personal identification of Libra holders for advertising. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Facebook is already one of the largest countries in the world by population, so having its own currency is a natural evolution. The company is a long way from repairing its reputation for respecting privacy, making some suspicious about its monetary instrument. Crypto-currencies, however, have often been perceived as shady and a bit mysterious. Facebook, being a familiar brand despite recent events, is seen as far more regulated and will likely be seen as a safe dealer in new forms of currency, especially given the alliance it has formed with recognized brands.

U.S. approach to 5G will exclude rural coverage

5G is the future of telecommunications and the Internet of Things. The U.S. is fighting for leadership of the 5G build out as it will have implications for the country’s economy, defense and education. The U.S., however, has allocated only high band spectrum for 5G, whereas other countries are reserving mid-band spectrum for their future infrastructure. High band spectrum is more difficult and expensive to transmit. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Providing communications infrastructure for rural or sparsely populated areas has always been a money loser, requiring regulation and subsidies to offset costs. By building 5G on less efficient bandwidth, the U.S. costs for serving all of its population will be on average, higher, likely creating a greater divide between urban and rural populations. Space-based broadband, from networks of low orbit satellites being launched as we speak, could be a means for serving rural areas, but may also be a high cost solution.

Comcast adds gaze control to its TV platform

The ability to control a device by moving one’s eyes is gaze control — a new form of gesture control which serves people who are not able to use a remote control or speak to a smart speaker. Gaze control is now offered in Comcast’s Xfinity X1 remote control software. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Gaze control joins gesture control (moving hands) and voice control to make computing highly accessible to everyone, opening up new job possibilities for people with disabilities but also changing the way we interact with devices in our lives. If our hands are full, the room is noisy, or we wish to interact with devices without others noticing, we will choose alternative ways of device interaction. Expect many control and entertainment devices to offer multiple interfaces for interaction.

Palm offers unlocked tiny smartphone

Whatever happened to Palm? The company now offers a tiny-sized Android smartphone with fewer functions and shorter battery life for $350. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: With smartphone penetration nearly 80% in the U.S. and nearly 50% worldwide, the maturing markets are ripe for niche products. Going for a bike ride? Take your tiny phone. Going to the beach in just your bikini? A job for the tiny phone.  A black tie affair? That’s a job for a smartphone by Rolex or Gucci or… you get the picture.

Is your privacy worth paying for?

Privacy browsers catching a wave

The public is increasingly weary of sharing personal information with the tech giants. Privacy browsers generally don’t allow cookies and provide information on what data is being requested of the user. Wired suggests six privacy browsers or plug-ins to your existing desktop browser that maintain your anonymity, to varying degrees: DuckDuckGo, Ghostery, TOR Browser, Brave, Firefox, Safari.

dis-rup-shun: Thanks to Russia and to Facebook, consumer awareness of personal information sharing is at an all time high. Apple is using privacy as a differentiator, seeking to further engender audiences and shame Google and Facebook for their aggressive harvesting of personal information. The campaign appears to be working. If our society moves to reduce the amount of data we allow tech giants to collect, will we be happy when free services become limited or require payment since maintaining our privacy renders advertising to be less effective?


Willo is going to change the way you clean your mouth

Startup Willo has raised $7.5 million from Kleiner Perkins to revolutionize the way you clean your mouth, claiming that the brush is an inferior solution that only cleans 46% of dental plaque. Details are not available, but the picture offered shows a different approach to dental hygiene. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: It is likely that this toothbrush replacement will collect data on our brushing habits and offer weekly emails to rate our dental care performance, because that is what every connected device seems to do, despite the fact that most of us aren’t that interested. What will be helpful, however, is to displace the annoying task of spending an hour with a dental hygienist twice a year. That value proposition will be well received.


Samsung Fold foldable phone ship dates undetermined

TechCrunch reports that AT&T and BestBuy have cancelled early orders of Samsung’s huge, foldable, $2000 phone that was originally scheduled for release on April 26th.

dis-rup-shun: The foldable phone will be a big hit among those that are willing to pay $2000 to have something no on else has. Having a device the size of a small tablet that will fit in a pocket will be great for travel, and if Samsung is able to add its latest Galaxy photo technology, it will be an amazing way to share digital photography.


Highlights from E3 gaming conference

E3 is the biggest gaming industry conference in existence, and 2019’s event just ended. Here are some highlights:

Microsoft’s next Xbox console will launch for holiday 2020 and will feature 8K games and 120 frames per second. It will be backwards compatible with prior generations, if anyone really wanted to play yesterday’s games.

Steaming services are coming. Physical disks are going the way of the Bluray movie disk…unwanted. A large number of streaming services are vying to do for gaming what Netflix did for movie watchers.

dis-rup-shun: The big three console makers have had an effective lock on the gaming space, but that’s about to change when premium content can be streamed to any connected device. Tether a Bluetooth game controller that is not limited to a console architecture to your iPad, smartphone, PC or smart TV, and high performance gaming breaks its traditional bounds. The Verge