Five Lessons IT Can Learn from Flappy Bird

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Flappy Bird

Hi, my name is Mason, and it’s been 36 minutes since I last played Flappy Bird. My current high score is 24.

If you are anything like me, playing the latest viral mobile app phenomenon, Flappy Bird, has been equal parts joy, frustration, and addiction. The same could probably be said for the game’s creator Dong Nguyen, who followed through with his promise to take the game down from the app stores last week. Nguyen claims he took down the incredibly popular game due to its addictive nature. He said he designed the game to be a fun time waster, not one that would draw all the (perceivably) negative attention.

While I certainly can respect his altruistic reason for taking the game down, I’m sorry to s…

Microsoft Under Nadella: Reimagining Mobile and Cloud, Finally

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Well, the white smoke from the Microsoft CEO search chimney signaled this week that the company had finally selected a new CEO – Satya Nadella. The selection and the speculation about who would be named CEO of the venerable software behemoth was highly publicized and closely followed, mainly because the one-time software monopoly has repeatedly under-executed or just flat out missed major technology trends over the last decade.

So what’s the new CEO’s strategy to get the company out of the doldrums and back on track? Mobile and cloud.

In a letter to “softies,” Mr. Nadella was clear that mobile (devices) and cloud computing would be critical to a successful future for Micros…

Smartwatches, Google Glass and the Wearable Technology Chocolate Box

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At $8 billion in 2013 revenues (projected), the wearable technology market is nascent but promising. By 2017, revenue from these new devices is projected to grow to $20 billion.

Numbers like that are just one of the reasons I get excited about new technologies, and I’ve been particularly excited about wearable technologies. But so far, wearable technologies have a lot in common with Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get.

Take health monitoring and fitness devices, for example. They’re generating the vast majority of the revenue in the wearable technology sector. Why? Because the functionality of these devices is quite impressive. Most can track your movemen…

How Business Users Compete With IT Teams (And How IT Can Win)

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Successful companies know the importance of technology in business today. Nearly every aspect of those organizations has been automated in some form or fashion, from manufacturing to sales to customer service and beyond, to reap productivity gains. What many companies don’t know, however, is who’s going to lead the next generation of technology-driven advances now that business users are giving information technology (IT) pros a run for their money.

IT Knowledge: From Mystic to Mundane

Historically, the IT group has been the organization responsible for technology within a company. And while IT is a pretty good place to find job security, it’s also a place where you have to swim hard to keep up with …

The Burn-Proof CIO: 5 Tactics For Surviving The Red-Hot Tech Sector

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Technology is on fire. Technology-related sectors may have single-handedly pulled the economy back from the brink of disaster. A recent report by Ibis World reveals that 5 of the 7 fastest growing industries are related to technology. These industries are predicted to continue their meteoric rise in growth and importance.

The data might suggest these are boom times for chief information officers. After all, CIOs are responsible for the information technology (IT) department within a company. Their charter is to evaluate and implement technology that can increase productivity of the business and ultimately grow revenues and profitability based on the successful implementation of technology.

U…

Nine Nasty Enterprise IT Failures of 2013

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Nasty+IT+Failure

Nasty+IT+Failure

We are at the end of 2013. Looking back, it has indeed been a very challenging year for IT departments of organizations, big and small. Even many successful, reputable enterprises hogged the media limelight for unpleasant, IT-related reasons. Security breaches, identity thefts, outages, network failures and other problems led to lost revenue and to damaged reputations from negative comments in social media and press.  Following are a few prominent incidents that happened this year.

1. Adobe hack hits 38 million users

October 2013 – Adobe faced a cyber-attack and lost sensitive data including credit card numbers of at least 38 million users. This was one of the worst cases of hacking in recent time…

Teens Fleeing Facebook? Who Cares?!

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Facebook CFO David Ebersman recently admitted that the social network “did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.” But given Facebook’s performance in the third quarter of the year, who really cares?

Sure, Facebook and its investors might care. After all, Facebook generates a substantial portion of its revenue from advertisers trying to attract customers online. But if there was a decline, it had little if any negative impact on the company’s Q3 2013 impressive financial results.

Facebook’s Q3 revenue grew 60 percent to $2.02 billion, with profits of $425 million. The daily active user (DAU) count grew to 728 million. And the DAU count for users accessing Facebook fro…

Taking Stock of Tor: Top 5 Tips for Using The Onion Router

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The Silk Road and NSA spying may be old news, but The Onion Router (Tor) continues to generate interest among Internet users seeking online anonymity. Tor isn’t all upside, though. As I found out, you pay a price for privacy.

To put things in context, Tor hides your online activity, plain and simple. It covers your tracks, including your browsing history, identity and physical location. Tor also anonymizes the websites you visit and their operators.

While such activity might sound inherently nefarious, remember that Tor technology also grants anonymity to people fighting tyranny, oppression and other injustices. And for the record, the Tor Project was initially funded by the U.S. government.

Give…

Silk Road Raising Questions About Government Spying (Again)

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It’s a case that’s captured everyone’s attention — pirates, drug trafficking, hit men, government intrigue. By now, few people haven’t heard about Silk Road, run by the now notorious Dread Pirate Roberts, a pseudonym from the film “The Princess Bride.” It’s an interesting next chapter to perhaps the biggest news story of 2013 — Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA cyber snooping. Although there is new speculation about whether the FBI had help from the agency, it certainly showed the NSA that it too can flex its technology muscles, as it shut down purportedly a billion dollar illegal drugs website and nabbed its operator last week.

On Wednesday, Ross William Ulbricht, the al…

How CIOs and IT Teams Can Make IT Matter Again

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IT departments are being marginalized by SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and the rest of the cloud-driven “aaS”es. At least that’s what some are suggesting, like Scott Bils at InformationWeek. And I’m inclined to agree, at least in spirit, if not in the specifics.

Highly automated IT services give end users do-it-yourself options — or perhaps more accurately, do-IT-yourself options — that undermine the value IT departments have traditionally delivered. And that means chief information officers and the rest of the IT team must adapt to meet changing demands and expectations — or risk becoming marginalized into irrelevance.

The way I see it, most CIOs toda…