TalkingPointz Insider May 2022
The Most Important Enterprise Communications News from May 2022
May was a bizarro month. Normally, bizarro can mean unconventional, but there’s also a Superman/Seinfeld interpretation of backward. Starting with the former, it appears the gods are angry.
There’s no shortage of tech companies that have seen a significant portion of their valuations disappear. The explanations are broad, but realistically, the market wants nothing less than guarantees. One possible explanation is that the market is adjusting from ridiculously overvalued levels. That’s plausible, as the market has been pretty good for about a decade.
These decreases in valuations have ripple effects. In “Top Gun”-speak, executive egos are writing checks that their shareholders can’t cash. This is probably what occurred with Mr. Musk and Twitter. Companies that raised funds in 2021 on high valuations may be serving humble pie at their next round. Meanwhile, the PE folks are sharpening their knives for a feast.
It’s not just stocks; most investments are sour — and that includes crypto. Evidently, stable coins aren’t. Cathie Wood thinks the fact everything is down is a good sign. “You know you’re in a bear market, and maybe close to the end, when everything starts acting alike. And we’re seeing the capitulation of one market after another.” She says that crypto is a new asset class, and should not look like the Nasdaq, but it does. Of course, Cathie has been wrong about everything in the past year, but she’s bound to get one right eventually.
But the bigger bizarro is the backward version: In May, coronavirus reversed its downward trend with a new rise in cases (I was one). Hiring shortages reversed into layoffs. Elon is working to reverse himself out of Twitter. The Supreme Court seems determined to reverse Roe v. Wade. Apple, and several others, reversed their policies on return to work.
We may even be on the cusp of reversing globalization. You know, that thing that kept a steady supply of electronics, clothes, toys, and other goods abundant and cheap. There’s a distinct possibility that supply chain turmoil and geopolitical conflicts will further accelerate the reversal of globalization. If markets shift to favor domestic products, or at least products made by friendlies, we are likely to see ongoing shortages and price hikes.
The narrative is always right, though it certainly changes a lot. The pandemic narrative was that we were all cooped up at home and had to spend every dollar and every hour online. Peloton and Zoom skyrocketed. Then the pandemic ended, and the narrative caused Peloton (more than Zoom) to crash. Then the war in Ukraine (so sad), along with more supply chain issues and more pandemic, created a very confused narrative (sell) — at least until next month.
We can theorize and analyze all we want, but that doesn’t change the pending R-word concern. A recession is more likely than it was. That means we can stop talking about pandemics and get back to work to lay off staff — or is it better to RIFfH? It’s been long enough that many managers will be terminating staff for their first time.
General Industry News
RCS Is Here: I love writing about RCS — it’s the new standard that’s always a year away. Even worse, I always believe it. I’ve only really been excited about RCS for a few years now, so I am not as sour as those that have followed it for the past 15. RCS is the next gen of SMS, and it’s desperately needed. SMS is so limited that most of us prefer to use proprietary islands from Apple or Facebook in order to get things like typing indicators.
A few years ago, Google decided to step into the fray and sort things out. It was not altruistic as Android needs something better than SMS to compete with iMessage. Whatever the motivation, it was clear the carriers will never resolve RCS on their own. Google offered an implementation specification, the willingness to host services, and a free client for Android phones.
Google announced at its IO event this month that RCS now has 500M global MAU. That’s a bigger number than expected, but it may not be big enough for Apple to acknowledge. Apple confirmed last year that it does see iMessage on iOS as a competitive advantage.
Google also announced E2EE support is coming to RCS group chats (encryption for 1:1 was added in 2020). The lack of encryption is an area critics use against RCS. Of course, encryption is one of the traits that’s also used against Apple and WhatsApp #GoFigure. The group encryption feature will launch in open beta later this year.
Does your UCaaS provider support RCS?
Twitter Busted for 2FA Abuses: The FTC fined Twitter $150M for marketing via customer 2FA numbers. Evidently, companies can’t claim that customers’ personal info will be used only for 2FA and then use it for targeted ads. Personally, I prefer authenticator apps over text for 2FA.
Carahsoft = Twilio.gov: Carahsoft Technology Corp. added Twilio’s solutions to its GSA IT Schedule 70 contract. The move makes Twilio’s APIs even more accessible to federal, state, local, and education markets. Twilio is also available on the following Carahsoft contracts: NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V; National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint; National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA); E&I Cooperative Services Contract; OMNIA Partners; The Quilt; and California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS).
The Three Most Important Things to 911: AT&T claims it’s the first carrier to deploy GPS location-based routing for mobile calls to 911. The feature enables the carrier to accurately locate and route 911 calls within 50 meters of wherever the call was placed. It’s an improvement over the status quo, which routes calls based on the cell tower location (often a 10-mile radius). The service is available now in about 15 states, with nationwide support expected “by the end of June.” T-Mobile announced the service in 2020 but evidently got lost.
Cellphones are dumber than landlines when it comes to providing location information to 911 centers. The GPS radio in the phone is not only totally separate from telephony signaling but also restricted in general to foster customer privacy. We recently learned that carriers would illegally sell customer location data when they could.
For location data to pass to public safety answering points (PSAPs), Apple and Google created software that shares location data only when 911 is dialed. This approach is actually quite reasonable and enables smartphones to better meet user expectations, as most assume location data is passed to 911. However, it also creates a new vulnerability. It’s simply a matter of time until the feature is hacked, exploited, or turned on by default in a response to some future matter of national security.
Canada Bans Huawei: Canada has given in to US pressure to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment in its emerging 5G networks. In a statement, it cited national security concerns for the move, saying that the suppliers could be forced to comply with “extrajudicial directions from foreign governments” in ways that could “conflict with Canadian laws or would be detrimental to Canadian interests.” Canadian providers must remove all ZTE and Huawei equipment by the end of 2024 for 5G and the end of 2027 for 4G.
Canadian telcos now join the remaining members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) in spending billions removing and replacing Chinese equipment in their networks.
Starlink: SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink is now available in 32 countries around the world. Global reach is expected for a satellite company, but more impressively, SpaceX can ship systems immediately. Musk tweeted a screenshot showing availability across most of Europe and North America, as well as parts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand. The entire continent of Africa is shown as “Coming Soon.” Starlink prices have a one-time charge of $600, and monthly plans start at around $110.
Leadership Changes: Mo Katibeh recently joined RingCentral as CMO (from AT&T) and has already received a promotion to President. The higher title adds human resources and corporate strategy responsibilities to his role, which included marketing, sales, and customer experience. The provider also announced that Sonalee Parekh has been appointed as RingCentral’s Chief Financial Officer. She brings experience from HPE.
Dialpad once again appears in this section with another C-level hire. This month, Dialpad announced Danny Gunter as its first Chief Customer Officer. Gunter comes to Dialpad via RingCentral and Avaya.
CMO Joyce Kim departed Genesys and accepted the same role at Twilio. She arrived at Genesys without contact center experience in 2020, about a year after CEO Tony Bates. Her accomplishments at Genesys are vague, in part because she didn’t interact with analysts. Her predecessor, Merijn te Booij, designed the current branding and oversaw the brand integration of ININ.
It does not appear Kim left an obvious successor. Merijn te Booij does not appear among the 11 execs on the Genesys leadership page despite his EVP GM title. He held the CMO role for over four years and has been at Genesys for nearly 19. Another contender, Keith Pearce, left Genesys earlier this year after four years in its marketing leadership. More changes are expected to occur. When Kim arrived at Genesys, she came with an entourage, and she presumably will do the same at Twilio.
Typically, a pre-IPO company has an irresistible lure, but the markets are not favorable now for IPOs. Meanwhile, stock options at Twilio are likely very lucrative as its stock price is down nearly 80% since July.
Also at Twilio, Elena Donio became President of Revenue, assuming responsibilities for all go-to-market functions. As a result, Donio resigned from Twilio’s Board of Directors.
Karl Hantho departed his role as President Pexip Americas. He was a founder at Videxio US, which Pexip acquired three years ago. The merger pushed Pexip from infrastructure to an E2E video provider. I’ve always liked Pexip, but for whatever reason, the video industry seems to be embracing native interop more than it ever has before.
Dan Burkland, President of Five9, got the additional title of Chief Revenue Officer earlier this month. Burkland has been with Five9 for nine years. Michelle Randall Burrows joined Playvox as CMO. Back in the CCaaS saddle — she left Serenova in 2019. Christie Blake, VP Corp Comms, departed Talkdesk.
Meetings and Messaging
Cisco’s new Devices: At ISE, Cisco launched two new devices: the Cisco Webex Desk Camera 1080p and the Webex Room Bar. The Desk Camera is a webcam with 4X digital zoom, 8MP image sensor, various AI-powered tricks, and adjustable FoV (max 83°). The Desk Camera now comes in two models: the 1080 and the 4K. Cisco is expanding deeper into the desktop as companies like Logi expand into the conference room. The Desk Camera pairs nicely with the Desk Hub, an IP phone that uses an external camera and display.
The Webex Room Bar is a new appliance for smaller rooms. It has a 12 MP camera, 5x digital zoom, f/2.5 aperture, 120° horizontal and 95° vertical FoV. Priced below $2k, it’s a nice complement to the line. The real story here is how much Cisco has changed its video lineup. Historically, it focused on large rooms, but during this pandemic, it has launched a variety of devices for smaller rooms and personal/desktop uses.
Poly R30: At ISE, Poly also launched a new bar, called the R30. It’s a USB video bar similar to its P15 personal bar. The R30 is for rooms and the P15 is for desktops. The devices look similar, but but have a different camera unit. The R30 has a 4k camera and 120 FoV. It also has the Poly Director AI technology for smart framing. I enjoy seeing how this autoframing tech continues to improve. The latest version does an admirable job of switching zooms despite having only one camera. The R30 runs about $800 as a USB bar but can also be purchased as a room kit with compute and control for about $2K.
NEC Meet Webinar: NEC announced a new webinar product called UNIVERGE BLUE Meet. Until this month, UNIVERGE BLUE has been NEC’s brand for cloud-delivered communications services. So far, all of these have been supplied by Intermedia, but branded by NEC. Most legacy PBX makers transitioned to the cloud via a GTM partnership with RingCentral. NEC opted to work with Intermedia, and it appears to be a good partnership. Meet Webinar is the latest expansion, but there have been several already, including NEC Bridge and NEC’s commitment to underwrite Intermedia’s eventual IPO.
In an unrelated announcement, NEC also launched UNIVERGE BLUE Security monitoring. This is the first UNIVERGE BLUE service that is neither powered by Intermedia, nor comms. In other words, NEC is using the UNIVERGE BLUE brand for all cloud-hosted services.
Meet mmhmm for WWWeb: The company with the dumb name previously launched as a specialized application for webcam effects. The latest announcement is mmhmmm for Web, an all-in-one platform designed to bring advanced video effects to the general webcam-equipped public. Now as SaaS. My two cents: give it a few more months and consider acquiring it.
Teams Meetings Updates: Zoom Meetings can now be joined directly from an Android Teams Room. The feature, Direct Guest Join, was previously released on Windows-powered Teams rooms. To increase desktop layout flexibility, a new horizontal participant gallery is supported when content is shared. Everyone loves Microsoft’s Together Mode. Now, the meeting organizer or any presenter can start Together Mode for all participants. Together Mode is also now supported on the web client. And MS Teams now offers suggested replies to chats in 17 languages.
Teams VDI News: Multi-window support is now available for Azure Virtual Desktop; Azure virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) supports background blur; and presenters can give or take presenter control VDI for Citrix. Live captions are also now generally available in Teams on VDI for Azure Virtual Desktop and Citrix. I did a post this month on Teams and VDI (sort of), here.
Teams Hardware: Now supported: Yamaha ADECIA tabletop microphones, Shure room DSP, Huddly L1 camera, and Logi Zone True Wireless Earbuds.
G Chat Warnings: Google will now offer warnings on G Chat messages that contain perceived phishing and malware threats. Previously, Google took a similar approach with Gmail threats.
ZoomRAMP: Zoom launched an App Marketplace for Zoom for Government. It is a standalone, FedRAMP-authorized shopping experience.
ZoomPRO: The previously launched Zoom Learning Center provides free content on “how to Zoom like a pro.” Learning Center courses span Meetings, Events and Webinar, Phone, and Rooms and are available in English, Spanish, German, and Japanese. Additional courses and languages are planned.
ZoomPaaS: Zoom released (beta) Jumpstart, its new builder solution. Jumpstart allows developers to integrate Zoom’s video services into new or existing apps. Presumably, voice and other services are coming to Jumpstart in the future.
Konftel and ScreenBeam: Konftel’s flagship video conferencing cameras and audio devices have been fully tested to work with ScreenBeam wireless collaboration and content-sharing. ScreenBeam Conference allows meeting room participants to wirelessly connect to the display, room camera, microphone, and speaker for flexible presentations on any meeting app of their choice.
Vyopta Updates Teams Rooms Integration: UCC monitoring and analytics provider Vyopta updated its integration with Microsoft Teams Rooms to provide Vyopta customers with more insight on Microsoft Teams Rooms. With the update, customers will now receive contextual analytics on the status of connected devices in the Teams Rooms. Vyopta supports endpoints and peripherals from Bose, Crestron, Cisco, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Logitech, Jabra, Poly, Surface, Yealink, and others.
Interactions 22: NICE hosted its virtual user conference Interactions 22 this month. In addition to the usual keynotes and best practices sessions, there was a virtual reality element. I have to admit, I am getting burned out on virtual events, but … I quite literally had COVID during this conference. It was a NICE reminder that these virtual events are for a reason. I had no fears about attending or infecting anyone — even in the metaverse.
First, let me commend NICE on the CEO keynote. I’m worse than the Old Guys in the Muppets when it comes to keynote presentations. The vast majority of CEO keynotes tend to be “look back, look at what we/I did” presentations. I like to hear about vision.
Barak Eilam of NICE offered an imaginative and thought-provoking journey into the future. I’ve watched it a few times and really appreciate the effort that went into it. The main message is the need to eliminate friction. I have to say, friction is the perfect enemy. It’s omnipresent and difficult to eliminate with older tech. The NICE path to frictionless engagements involves three steps: 1) Remove the middleman, 2) Transparency by design, and 3) Leverage the data (easier said than done). Transparency doesn’t get enough attention IMO.
I had a less favorable reaction to the VR element. Actually, friction is a good way to describe the VR aspects of Interactions. I know it’s early, and the tech will get better, but it’s nowhere near mainstream useful. Just to get to the virtual locked door of Interactions, I had to consent to three sets of ToS agreements (Including Microsoft and Facebook). Then I had to do it again, because when I denied Facebook the right to record me, I lost my ability to speak. I had to create a new MS user ID as my other three weren’t compatible. Then, my secret code for Interactions didn’t work, so support (and email) saved the VR day.
Now it was time to walk through the VR space. Emphasis on the walk and space. Why are VR venues so big? This thing was a Habitrail of stairs designed by MC Escher. And why do the common areas have such nice big chairs? The avatars can’t sit (nor do they have legs). That’s the main difference between a physical and VR event — all the common-area chairs are filled in physical conferences. The chairs are like the early softphones with purposeless, cartoon curly cords.
Virtual presentations (meetings) are something we have nailed, but I can’t say the same for VR presentations. I had trouble hearing, I had to keep looking up to see the slides, and there was no way I could take notes because my eyes were covered. I couldn’t even sip my coffee. Though I will say that I’m very good at shooting VR hoops.
VR has immediate appeal for entertainment — though not much content. I can see it being useful in real-estate, engineering, and even customer service. I don’t see it particularly useful for events, at least not in the near term. That said, I do applaud NICE for taking the effort, and I truly appreciated the experience. Leaders take risks.
CIC Cics the Bucket: Genesys has finally concluded that it’s time for CIC to go away. This was something that Don E. Brown, Founder of ININ, seemed determined to do before selling the company to Genesys in 2016. CIC, currently known as Genesys PureConnect, was a breakthrough product a few breakthrough products ago. CIC migrated to the cloud better than many other premises-based solutions. It was well ahead of its time regarding the integrations and customizations that would become normal in the contact center.
The question is, how do you kill something that some customers still love? 1) Procrastinate as long as you can. 2) Outline a three-year EoL program. Genesys will discontinue new sales of PureConnect at the end of this year. Maintenance renewals will disappear in the fall of 2024, and Genesys expects to pull the proverbial plug at the end of July 2025.
Amazon Connect Updates: Amazon Connect now programmatically allows customers to stop queued callbacks. And it’s possible for customers to request multiple callbacks. The new StopContact API prevents duplicate callback requests, and Connect now supports up to six participants on a customer service call. Customer Profiles support was launched in APAC and Capetown. High-volume outbound communications are now available in APAC. Amazon is relentless. It just plods along with boring updates on a near weekly cadence. Nothing to see here folks… until POW.
WhatsEmoji: WhatsApp, always on the cutting edge, will be rolling out support for emoji reactions. In a word: Lol. Emojis will be limited initially, but all emojis and skin tones will be available as reactions sometime “soon.” Slack and Telegram responded with a bored emoji. WhatsApp will also be doubling the maximum size (from 256 to 512) of group chats.
Zendesk: Zendesk has added conversational AI features to its CRM solutions, enabling companies to automate customer interactions on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Nowhere in the announcement did I see a reference to CCaaS, but I did see digital is the front door, omnichannel routing, conversational data orchestration, and analytics. Zendesk also added WhatsApp as a channel on Zendesk Sell.
Five9 Global Expansion: Five9 announced the general availability of two data centers, located in Frankfurt and Amsterdam, with sights on EMEA growth. Currently, 10% of its revenue comes from Europe (10% may sound like a small number, but it’s not). It also announced a new development center in Portugal, where it intends to relocate many of its 176 Russian employees. Portugal is an interesting choice, possibly related to its second unicorn being a CCaaS provider, or possibly seeking better exposure to TalkingPointz Europe.
Balto Scores a Td: Balto announced the launch of its agent coaching suite on Talkdesk AppConnect. Balto was also in the Innovation Showcase at EC22 and will be featured in a June TalkingHeadz podcast.
Ooma CC: Ooma launched a new service called Office Pro Plus that features a simple CCaaS. The service includes call queuing, hot desking, and integration to Salesforce. The service starts at $30/user/mo. Ooma Office Essentials has 50 calling features for $20/mo, and Ooma Office Pro adds more advanced UCaaS features such as voicemail transcription and video conferencing for $5 more/mo.
Twilio State of Customer Engagement: Twilio published a research report on customer engagement. No surprises with Trend 1 (digital engagement drives RoI) or Trend 2 (personalization is critical). Trend 3 looks at the upcoming cookieless world, and Trend 4 is about trust. I found Trend 5, digital fatigue, the most interesting. Digital transformation is not enough; it has to be done right.
Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral is now available in Singapore.
8x8 Expands Ingram Partnership: 8x8 announced that Ingram Micro Cloud will expand the number of 8x8 XCaaS reseller partners.
VOSS Webex to Teams Automation: VOSS Solutions announced the general availability of VOSS Automate 21.3, with a specific integration focus on Cisco CallManager and Microsoft Teams Phone System. The solution is designed to help customers to co-exist Cisco infrastructure and Microsoft Teams.
The automation workflows can assist with keeping track of a combined inventory of numbers, onboarding new users, licensing, or simply migrating services from one side to the other.
Subspace RIP: The shift in the markets will cause some failures. Subspace is among the first. The startup announced in mid-May that it is shutting down its global network. Subspace leveraged real-time gaming performance to assess network performance for other applications, such as collaboration. “Our technology is incredibly unique and advanced, but market conditions have changed in the last several months and made it difficult to execute at the scale we needed to meet our customers’ demands.”
Lang.ai raises $10.5M: Lang announced it raised $10.5M in a Series A round of funding. Lang’s platform integrates with help desk, CRM, and user-facing operations for feedback and requests. There’s so much going on in conversational AI, including an increasing argument that the sector will branch into applications such as CCaaS and others. Lang’s hook is its “unsupervised AI model.” A traditional supervised model trains against a given set of data — often static data. Lang’s purpose-built unsupervised model assumes “constantly changing” data.
Zoom Ventures: Zoom had so much fun with its $100M fund designed to support Zoom Partners that it has now launched Zoom Ventures, Zoom’s global investment arm aimed to drive innovation in the Zoom ecosystem and advance global companies aligned to Zoom’s core platform and adjacent markets. Zoom Ventures sounds more like an incubator. Sanjay Rao, head of Corporate Development, M&A, and Strategy, will head Zoom Ventures.
It’s happening again: This month’s fundraising section is a bit short. Are the flashbacks to dot.com and 2008 justified? I don’t think so, but clearly, a decade of free money is ending. Valuations are way down. Luckily, I moonlight in the greeting card industry.
Twilio and the Syniverse Saga: Syniverse had a simple plan: a $2.85B reverse takeover and SPAC path to NYSE. Instead, it will stay private (Carlyle PE is the majority shareholder), and it accepted a $750M investment from Twilio. The Plan B proceeds will be used primarily to pay down Syniverse’s existing debt. Syniverse is a major customer and supplier for Twilio. It facilitates real-time, personalized experiences for today’s leading brands.
E& Vodafone: Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC (Etisalat) bought a 9.8% stake in Vodafone for $4.4B. The price represents a premium of about 10% to Friday’s closing price for Vodafone shares, which have been trading at only about half of their 2018 high.
Etisalat Group changed its name to e&, one of several steps the provider is taking to diversify (I guess a provider investing in a provider is diversification). The company intends to be a long-term investor and does not expect to acquire more of Vodafone. E& is also seeking to buy out the rest of its Saudi Arabian unit in a $2.1B deal.
Telefonica and BE-Terna: Telefonica Tech acquired BE-terna, a leading European Microsoft Cloud solutions provider, for up to €350M. This gives Telefonica Tech a presence in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Adriatic region, and the Nordics as one of the top five leading European Microsoft solutions providers. BE-terna specializes in driving digital transformation based mainly on Microsoft. The transaction valued BE-terna at 13.7x its gross operating profit (expected EV/OIBDA 2022). Founded in 2005, BE-terna has a highly skilled team of +1,000 employees at 28 locations.
Zoom and Solvvy: Right on schedule, Zoom is bolstering its new CCaaS offering with its first acquisition. This month, Zoom entered a definitive agreement to acquire conversational AI and automation platform provider Solvvy. Zoom intends to bring Solvvy’s customer intent and workflow automation capabilities and customer experience analytics into the Zoom Contact Center platform.
Zoom is doubling down on developing its own CCaaS. The Five9 acquisition was probably a bigger gamble as Zoom has no experience with swallowing big companies. However, Zoom does have a super strength: rapid, innovative development. It’s decided to build its own CCaaS and will likely do so at breakneck speed. It will probably also make a few tuck-in acquisitions along the way for headstarts and acqui-hires.
Conversational AI is rapidly changing every aspect of the contact center. Zoom is building out its core routing and queuing technology, but opted to acquire some AI tech. Solvvy isn’t particularly well known, but Zoom is more likely to value the mostly local team and core technology that it can leverage and scale.
Vonage and Ericsson Delayed: Vonage and Ericsson extended their mating ritual by three months (August ’22). Originally, the deal was expected to close 1H22. The issue/concern is a CFIUS review of the merger due to concerns over allegations that Ericsson made payments to the terror group ISIS in Iraq. In April, Swedish prosecutors confirmed they had opened a preliminary investigation into alleged bribes paid by Ericsson in Iraq. To make matters even worse, the trial of four former Ericsson employees accused of bribery in Djibouti began in Sweden’s Solna District Court on April 25.
Industry Events in June.
- Cisco Live
- Genesys Xperience (virtual)
This Month’s Goodreads
- Fraternal Order Of Police Helps Boost Telecom Smear Campaign Against FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn An FCC reformer is something AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Comcast, which were coddled throughout the Trump era, would very much like to avoid.
- Welcome to the era of the hyper-surveilled office In the past few years, both the scope and scale of corporate surveillance have ballooned.
- Google Finally Gets Serious About Android Tablets More than 20 Google apps will be updated with tablet optimizations in the coming weeks.
- Google shows off AR glasses that might make a case for augmented reality The key feature Google showed off was the ability to see languages translated right in front of your eyes.
- The End of Roe Will Bring About a Sea Change in the Encryption Debate It has been an unspoken prerequisite for “serious” discussion that American laws and law enforcement must be given a default presumption of legitimacy, respect, and deference. That was always bullshit.
- Two GOP judges just stripped social media companies of basic First Amendment rights A case that will throw the entire social media industry into turmoil if the Texas law at issue in this case is allowed to remain in effect.
- Acer’s Chromebook Spin 714 sports an upscale design and a built-in stylus I bought the Spin 714 last year. My typical use case involves about 20 browser tabs. Its performance is comparable to my M1 Macbook, which cost 4x more. If you can live in a browser, Chromebooks are an exceptional value.
- How IBM, Ford, DuPont, and Sony Passed on Windows, the Cadillac, Gore-Tex, and the iPod How could they skip Hoover passing on Dyson?
- Costa Rican president says country is ‘at war’ with Conti ransomware group Ransomware attacks have expanded from servers to companies to countries. Could a ransomware attack topple a country? Of course.
- I love the freedom and flexibility of working from home, but I'm also really lonely Research shows that giving and receiving help at work strengthens relationships and creates norms.
- The future of 911 is a little bit creepy As the 911 system adapts to the age of cellphones, it’s gaining access to all kinds of new data.
- New York City bids an official farewell to its last public pay phone The end of an era. Actually, the era ended some time ago. I’m sad to say it, but TalkingPointz will soon be removing its phone booth, too.
- Klarna used a prerecorded video message to lay off 700 employees I contend this is perfectly reasonable in 2022. Get over it.
- Microsoft to Slow Hiring in Windows, Office, Teams Groups Other big technology companies have been slowing or freezing hiring as stocks plummet and fears of a recession escalate.
- Thin Platforms The thing about chat is that, like any social product, it is only as useful as the number of people who are using it, which is to say it only works if it is a monopoly — everyone in the company needs to be on board. That sets up Teams to play the Windows role, but instead of monopolizing an individual PC, it monopolizes an entire company.
- Discord Is the World’s Most Important Financial Messenger, and a Hotbed for Scammers Despite the channels being private, a lot can be discerned from the names, description, and list of members.
- Depressed? This algorithm can tell from the tone of your voice A flat voice can indicate depression. This is true regardless of language or culture and appears to be universal.
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