tech-newsLatest Data Leak Shows Need for Enhanced Cybersecurity Across Supply Chains

Verizon’s announcement this week that one of its vendors had accidentally exposed private information about millions of customers is another potent reminder that cybersecurity strategy extends across the entire supply chain. 

“Verizon says about 6 million customer accounts were made publicly available when an employee of Nice Systems put information into a cloud storage area and permitted external access to the information,” writes Jessica Guynn in USA Today.

To paraphrase John Donne, no company is an island. We’re all connected, and our responsibilities truly extend across the entire length of our supply chains. There’s just no escaping that simple truth in a globally networked 21st-century economy. 

Hopefully, Verizon’s mishap will serve as a wake-up call to companies that haven’t gotten the message.


Tech Legends Protest FCC’s Move to Weaken Net Neutrality 

In case you were wondering what it would take to unite Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Spotify, Tumblr, Airbnb and the ACLU, the answer is net neutrality.

An all-star cast of high-profile tech leaders, including Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and Tim Berners-Lee, has raised its collective voice to rail against the FCC, which has proposed weakening net neutrality.

The FCC’s move would benefit large telecom carriers and network providers, while potentially harming small businesses, entrepreneurs, tech startups and millions of ordinary citizens.

“The complete tally of groups and people involved in the protest, organized by activist group Fight for the Future, is massive,” writes Colin Lecher in The Verge.

Net neutrality is a major issue, and it deserves our attention. No matter which side you’re on, the FCC’s decision will impact all of us in the IT industry for years to come.


Amazon Surging Ahead in the Skills Race

Here’s an interesting data point that surfaced over the July 4th holiday weekend: Amazon Alexa’s “skill count” in the U.S. has exceeded 15,000.

What’s a skill count? It’s the number of discreet skills a smart assistant can handle.

Here are two more another amazing data points: Google Assistant has only 378 skills and Microsoft Cortana has a mere 65, according to a report in Voicebot. It seems pretty clear that Amazon is aiming for dominance in the smart assistant market, and it’s taking no prisoners on its march to the top.

It seems odd to me that Google and Microsoft have allowed themselves to fall so far behind the Amazon steamroller.

“Google and Microsoft both have large and well established developer communities. The thought has been these communities would come out in force and start building on the new voice platforms. It doesn’t appear to be happening yet. The developers of Google Assistant Voice Apps and Microsoft Cortana skills are largely developers that have already built for Amazon Alexa. Neither Google nor Microsoft seems to have effectively activated their developer communities and generated excitement about voice,” writes Bret Kinsella in Voicebot.


Yes, Elon Musk is Tony Stark

Tesla is apparently planning to build a new super-battery that can store 129 megawatt-hours of energy. How much energy is that? Enough to lift an aircraft carrier, writes Rhett Allain in Wired.

Rhett’s article is heavy on math, but the net takeaway is that Musk is counting on his battery technology to transform our world, and he’s making sure that Tesla is first-to-market with a new generation of incredibly powerful super-batteries.