LinkedSoft, Everything WWDC, Cyberterrorism + more


The big news at the start of the week was Microsoft’s planned acquisition of LinkedIn for $26 billion and change.  There’s quite a few articles, reporting, dissecting, and analyzing out there: Microsoft Pays $26 Billion for LinkedIn in Biggest Deal Yet, Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2B in cash, makes big move into enterprise social media, This Is How Microsoft and LinkedIn Plan to Take Over the World, Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, LinkedUp, Microsoft’s New Secret Weapon is Reid Hoffman, and I am sure others.  There are many opinions out there, and the one that you’ll read most is that Microsoft has been astoundingly horrible at integrating acquisitions over the years, at least with acquisitions of any size.  Many of those happened under Ballmer, and the success of this acquisition will tell a lot about whether Satya Nadella is the CEO Microsoft needs.  To me, the purchase is a confirmation that Microsoft is still trying to figure out who it is, but may be getting there.  All signs point towards the way consumer usage of technology will drive the shape/feel/design of the enterprise platform.  By purchasing LinkedIn, Microsoft gains the value of LI’s user data and metadata as well as expertise around a social media experience.  They failed to realize the value of Yammer, a relatively young company when it was purchased.  Perhaps by buying a mature social media platform Microsoft can dominate social media in the enterprise space, and at the same time it’s good to reflect on how LinkedIn’s stock was trending prior to the announcement.

Another less read Microsoft story this week was that Microsoft is the first large tech company to enter into the world of legalized marijuana.  Microsoft is partnering with KIND Financial to help set up software that allows states to track legal cannabis.

If you are a virtual reality skeptic, you need not feel like you are wandering in the woods alone – Nintendo is out there with you.  As evidenced at E3 this week (the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo gaming conference), everyone and their brother’s housecat is pitching VR except for Nintendo.  Find out why.

As a follow up to the Uber/Lyft stories from a few weeks ago where they pulled up stakes in Austin and left, here’s a piece on what happens when a major ridesharing company decides to abandon operations.  Along with that, we often hear about how a company is going to be the Uber for this or that business vertical.  Well, when it comes to healthcare, think twice before you listen.  Cracking the nut of on-demand service for healthcare is a ways off, as the quality of healthcare depends in part on continuity that current systems make it hard to achieve without a more robust information sharing system.  Yes, there are health records systems out there of note (Hi EPIC), however those systems don’t play well with even themselves, and that makes it tough to provide quality service on-demand.

It appears that 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising went to Facebook and Google.  Let that sink in for a minute, and then go a step deeper and look at how much data those two companies are able to leverage compared to all their competitors.

I keep coming back to fintech and featuring some bit of information about it each week it seems, but with good reason – it’s a hot and not clearly understood space where people in financial services hate it without really understanding it and yet want to own a piece of it.  Techcrunch this week had another good article about whether the industry is going to be a boom or a bust.  Goldman Sachs thinks that Blockchain could reduce administrative costs by over a billion dollars.

In other “you had to be hibernating not to have heard something about this this week” news, Apple’s 2016 WWDC conference took place with exciting results – Siri will be everywhere (Hi Cortana!), you’ll finally be able to delete those Apple stock apps that you never, ever use, Maps will supposedly get better and much more.  Oh, and OSX gets a new name (finally).  Take a look here for a round up and then listen here for some analysis, or alternately read about it from Wired or what Walt Mossberg has to say about it.  Oh, and while we’re going on about Apple, take a look at the American-made iPhone.

“Institutions facing data quality issues often respond like teenagers first experiencing acne.” Thus starts an article this week from Eduventures on how to improve data quality, or, in other words, to put your data on a diet.  We’ve all heard of the three, wait, no, now four Vs of data: volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.  Now add a few more to the list.

A few months ago I highlighted some of the issues facing us with regards to the vulnerability created by the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, how BYOD is impacting information security, and the risks faced by verticals that are slow to adapt/adopt technology and best practices when it comes to cyber security.  A good example of that is the hospital in LA that was held hostage because someone downloaded ransomware onto a local machine, a virus likely hidden a random software update.  I need to do a deeper dive into this in the future, but in the meantime, take a look at how the DNC got hacked by Russia this week,  how NATO is ill-prepared to deal with these attacks, how cyber insurance is changing the way we look at risk, and Silicon Valley’s role in the war against cyberterrorism.

 I know this has been a tech-heavy issue this week, but there’s a lot to share.  As well, the tragedy in Orlando is heavy on all of our hearts and minds.  I don’t think there’s anything I can say that hasn’t been said, and while I normally find a TED talk I find fascinating to share, instead I’d ask that you take a few moments out of your day to spend in silence in honor of those who lost their lives.

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