People walk by the Amazon Go brick-and-mortar grocery store without lines or checkout counters, in Seattle Washington, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Redmond – RTSUU23
By Alan O’Herlihy, Everseen
It’s easy to point to Amazon’s lack of experience in brick-and-mortar retail as an explanation for the difficulties it’s facing as it tries to launch Amazon Go. Retail is not for the faint of heart, so entering the space and trying to transform it seemingly overnight has inevitably resulted in some skepticism—and even a little bit of schadenfreude when the company missed its self-imposed, and highly publicized, launch date.
But the same can be said of many of the industries that Amazon has reinvented. Amazon had no business getting into books, video content, clothing, warehousing and delivery, etc. And yet it continues to redefine all of these, much to the dismay of early skeptics (not to mention, the businesses it has upended). Continue reading
Guest post by Charles Bell (@csbell88)
Slowly but surely, smart devices are becoming a part of our everyday lives, and there’s a great deal of debate about it. People wonder how far it will go, whether or not it’s truly good for us, and what risks or benefits may not have become fully apparent yet. Some of these topics were covered in a recent article about the IoT and machine learning, as related to home functions and everyday applications. But another area in which machine learning is becoming a fascinating topic is where autonomous cars are concerned. Continue reading
If you haven’t heard about the ongoing encryption showdown that has pitted tech giant Apple against the FBI, you’re probably not living on planet Earth. But here’s a quick breakdown: The involved parties are at loggerheads over an iPhone 5c recovered during the investigation of the San Bernardino massacre last December.
FBI is asking Apple to help it break into the phone by developing a special version of its iOS operating system, which would enable the feds to bypass security measures that protect against brute-force attacks. Apple is vehemently denying the request, maintaining that doing so will compromise the security of all iPhones and the privacy of its consumers. Continue reading
In my latest piece in TechCrunch, I gave a full breakdown of the ongoing debate between government agencies and tech firms over whether consumer devices and software should be embedded with strong encryption technology, and if manufacturers should bake backdoors into their products to allow security agencies access to encrypted communications.
I had started work on the piece weeks ago, and by coincidence, the brutal Paris attacks came to pass just as I was about to submit the final draft. The tragic episode has added a new twist to this ongoing conflict, and now government officials blame secure apps and hardware – and their vendors – for providing terrorists with the right tools to keep their schemes hidden.
I’m not wont to give an opinion on such issues in my pieces, and what I detailed in the TechCrunch article was a pure analysis of the issue and a reiteration of the arguments that each of the parties involved put forth. In this blog post, I will give you the hard facts, which in my belief prove that blocking encrypted communications and installing backdoors on devices aren’t the way to stop such attacks from happening again. Continue reading
Of course it is. With internet and mobile services accounting for a large part of our personal and corporate lives, hackers have a lot of means in their disposition to target us, harm us, steal our information and use it in malicious and evil ways.
Just look at the recent Ashley Madison hack, or the several huge data breaches in healthcare services which have resulted in the theft of personal information belonging to millions of people. If that isn’t enough, you can take a look at the OPM hack, in which Beijing-backed hackers took off with information belonging to more than 20 million U.S. federal employees, including fingerprint data for more than 5.6 million people. Continue reading
Let’s face it. Google has taken a few hard blows on the nose regarding the recent security flaws that have surfaced on its Android platform. And some of those loopholes are very dangerous. That was what my latest piece Tech Crunch focused on.
In the article, published yesterday, I gave a breakdown of the latest vulnerabilities in the Android OS, which seem to cast a cloud of doubt over the future of the most popular mobile OS in the world.
The feedback I got on the article was quite startling. Continue reading