Rocket Ships, Transforming how retail banking works,How Does In-Flight Wi-Fi Really Work? + more

Many of us have heard much of Elon Musk’s aspirations around commercializing space flight with his company SpaceX, little has been known about Jeff Bezos’ own passion and aspirations around rocket ships.  This week, the New York Times gave us a look into his company,  Blue Origin, and while it is just a start, it seems like exciting things are to come from Bezos and the commercial space race should amp up a few notches in the near term.

Slack has gotten a lot of press of late, with its irreverent CEO and how it is extending its reach and new users at a rapid pace – over 2.3 million daily users at this point.  Arstechnica looks at how Slack got started (modifying IRC so non-technical people wouldn’t find it to be “a pain in the ass”), the desire to change how we work so we can all be virtual, what the transition to Slack was like for the author, the myth of increased productivity, and many other topics.

ZDNet takes a look at the rise of IoT hacking and the implication for security and solutions being pursued.  It’s a good look at how cyberattackers are exploiting any weakness or vulnerability they can find in the enterprise and as we see the growth of BYOD across companies as well as the numerous devices that can and do connect to enterprise networks, those attackers are using anything and everything they can get to to access and exploit networks.  The author suggests asking three key questions when evaluating existing and new assets that have access into your company’s network: what is connected, where is it, and what is it transmitting. That start to fill in the gaps when deciding what the proper protocols are and hopefully uncovering the unknown unknowns that exist in a firm’s network.

Retail banking has gone through a few bumps in the past decade and has struggled to keep up with changes in technology and the market.  TechCrunch puts some thought into what that will take to transform how retail banking works, from going all-in on mobile, the need to cross-sell and up-sell, act as a virtual financial advisor, and focusing on letting the data drive the business.  One thing is true: unless banks start shifting and adapting to accommodate the digitalization of consumer’s lifestyles, they won’t last in the long run.  Along with that, they have another article around the broken world of mobile payments and how to fix it.

I’ve posted several times about Unicorns and how they are and aren’t flaming out, what may or may not be happening from a bubble standpoint, and Bloomberg this week has some more insight into what’s happening from a mutual fund standpoint and how different mutual funds who have invested in various Unicorns are now viewing those investments.

If you’ve not heard of it, Google’s A.I. program AlphaGo has beaten another ‘Go’ champion, and it looks like it is on the way to claim the overall victory in the humans vs. A.I. tournament.  Rolling Stone has a two-part special report on the artificial intelligence revolution that is long but worth the time to digest – Part One is here, Part Two here.  Then there’s how augmented and virtual reality are being used to change how doctors treat patients and the potential there.

Facebook is eating the world.  Or so the Columbia Journalism Review states.  I’ll just leave that there.

Many startup companies make light of how easy it is to sell to big companies, and many of those start ups are here and gone before the ink is dry on those quotes because what sales they do make don’t necessarily have longevity.  Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce (that little company that no one thought would last in the late 90s) thinks the opposite is true: selling to Enterprise isn’t something that should be taken lightly and is something that takes time and focused effort, not just word-of-mouth.  In this article from strategy+business, Benioff explains why.   The contrast to it is Dropbox, which isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it seems like an incongruent comparison, as Salesforce is strictly Enterprise based, whereas Dropbox is heavily focused in the consumer space as well (and finds a lot of its traction resulting from that).

Last, we’ve all suffered the woes of lackluster in-flight Wi-Fi from the likes of GoGo.  I’ve always been a bit curious as to how in-flight Wi-Fi really works, and this week The Points Guy posted an article answering exactly that, making it so I didn’t have to go and do any pesky research myself.

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