Yahoo Bolsters Encryption Between Data Centers, Promises New, Encrypted Messenger In “Months”

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

This afternoon, Yahoo detailed progress relating to the encryption of its various web services and properties. Most importantly, Yahoo now “fully” encrypts data moving between its data centers, as of March 31.

Yahoo was one of two companies that the NSA targeted with its MUSCULAR program, which tapped data cables between the foreign data centers of Yahoo and Google. A similar program had been found illegal in the United States. Google has made similar efforts to bolster encryption.

For users searching from the Yahoo homepage, and across most of its network, searches that are executed by users will be encrypted by default. Looking ahead, Yahoo will release a new version of Yahoo Messenger that will feature encryption in the “coming months.” This should cover video chatting, as well.

In conversation, Yahoo’s chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, stated that the company’s goal is to have “all data” sent to…

View original 178 more words

BlackBerry kills its relationship with T-Mobile

Raj Raghavan:

#undevice. A end of an era.

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

BlackBerry has decided not to renew its contract granting U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile a license to sell its smartphones, the company announced today.

But while BlackBerry is the one that’s officially walking away, T-Mobile did quite a bit over the last several months to help this break up happen. Back in September, the carrier yanked BlackBerry phones from its physical retail stores, and more recently offered a promotion for T-Mobile users to trade in their BlackBerry for an iPhone. I’d imagine BlackBerry was not pleased with either of these actions.

“Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen in a statement. “We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.”

BlackBerry said current T-Mobile customers that are still loyal to BlackBerry phones shouldn’t notice…

View original 6 more words

Thank you for disrupting me!

Image

Over the years, I have been impacted by disruptive innovation and I would like to thank the leaders for doing so. Some of them are gone but, most of them continue to make my life better.

AOL – Thank you Mr. Case for sending me a CD in the mail for a dialup service. I also setup my first email account @aol.com. I sent the first email to myself and heard “you got mail”.

Dell – Mr. Dell allowed me to buy my customized PC from a catalog directly and delivered it to my door. Got my first PDA from Dell but, used it for a short time.

Yahoo – My home page for decades, my first search engine and @yahoo.com has been my primary email account for 16 years. Thank you.

Netscape – This browser turned me into an online user. The rich feature set, the user design truly changed my experience on the internet. Thank you Mr. Andreessen and Mr. Clark.

Amazon – I ventured into the jungle of Amazon.com when I was trying to buy a book in late 90’s. I use it as my default store, am a proud prime member and continue to benefit from Mr. Bezos passion. Thank you.

E*TRADE – The trading fees and calls to the investor broker kept me away from Wall Street. Then, came E*TRADE. My first and only stock broker with simple fees, user experience and delivering Wall Street to my browser. Thank you.

Netflix – The pressure to watch a new movie in 24 hours for $3.99 from Blockbuster was relieved by Netflix. I started to look forward to the mail man. Family night was not defined by the video store. Thank you.

Blackberry – My first smart device with black and white email and a wheel. Used it for years for its reliability and simple feature i.e. emails. Then, Mr. Jobs and the apps changed my view. Thank you.

PayPal – I once had to pay a invoice to a small vendor but, the transfer fee from the bank was more than the amount. I have since, used PayPal and thank your for saving me money.

Google – I use it for more than just a browser. Google now, Google maps, drive and motivation for my Sunday hikes – Tracks. Thank you.

Apple – My Sony Walkman lived its life and was gifted my first iPod. Since then, there are cool white gadgets all around my house. Thank you for saving me money with $0.99 singles and getting rid of CD clutter in my car.

LinkedIn – This is my social media site. Spend hours on it and love the features. Thank you Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Weiner. They transformed business networking.

Twitter – I love to express my view in 140 characters. Helps my creative thinking.

I could go on with this list but, I would like to hear about your disruptions? Who has made your user experience and life simple?

Apple’s decision to ignore NFC is looking better every day

Raj Raghavan:

Emerging payments fees can be more expensive than credit card fees irrespective of the technology.

Originally posted on BGR:

For years, Apple pundits’ favorite game was to guess when the iPhone would finally support NFC, or Near Field Communication . If only Apple would support NFC, then mobile payments would take off, and we could finally stop paying cash and credit cards. But Apple never did support  NFC  and it appears it made the right decision:  According to GigaOm , major retailers Best Buy and 7-Eleven are ditching their NFC sensors in their stores. 

View original 287 more words

5 ways to succeed at mobile payments without really trying

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Not long ago, you could go into a store and expect to pay at the cash register. But increasingly, at many stores, you only need to find a wandering salesperson with a smartphone and a card reader — or simply pay through an app on your own phone. Tech companies big and small, from PayPal to PaySimple, have made it easier than ever to implement mobile payments into a business — whether it’s on employees’ phones or on a consumer’s phone. The options are bewildering, from standalone card-reading gadgets that plug into mobile devices to application programming interfaces (APIs) for adding payments to existing mobile sites. Read on to learn about five prominent mobile-payment options available today — as well as a few others worth calling out.

PayPal

PayPal, a legacy payment-processing company, has been cleaning up its application programming interfaces (APIs) and its software-development kits (SDKs). For example…

View original 393 more words

Eureka! moments

Eureka

Elon Musk in an interview with Fortune magazine recalled how he came up with SpaceX idea.  According to the magazine, His eureka! Moments happen every few months. Sometimes during his morning shower, sometimes late at night before sleep, sometimes, as on this occasion, waking at 2 a.m. 

According to Alice Flaherty, one of the most renowned neuroscientists researching creativity. “People vary in terms of their level of creative drive according to the activity of the dopamine pathways of the limbic system.” Dopamine is an ingredient for creativity.  Another factor according to Harvard researcher Carson: “a distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.’’

Entrepreneurs, business leaders with a passion to change conviction are always dreaming. I have been trying to figure out how to capture these eureka moments that seem to occur at oddest moments.  Every entrepreneur will agree that their passion is embodied in them 24 hours a day but, somehow we cannot seem to have those moments during the day at our desk or in a meeting.  There is no app to record our thoughts although the fitbit can tell us if we had a good night’s sleep.

I started to analyze these eureka moments. It depends on what I have been working late in the night just before bed or early in the morning when I wake up.  I cannot seem relax when there is a crisis or problem on my mind that I need to answer.  I feel frustrated and often wish I could think out of the box but, in reality the more severe the problem, the more my mind is clogged.

On the other hand, if I am working on an new idea just before going to bed or when I wake up early, I seem to have the eureka moments.  Innovation or incubating an idea reenergizes my adrenaline.  I have a recorder next to my bed to record my thoughts, a note pad in the car, in my hiking bag to just note the thought and not write a blog.  These notes are serving as valuable tool when it comes to approaching a problem.

Sometimes, I just want to get out of the bed and start calling my customer, colleague or my employee to give them a download but, have learnt to measure my interactions in a polite manner.  I do this by email spam.  Another moment is driving in the car with just the radio on.  It generates ideas for my next blog, challenge and in some cases a passion to learn something new.

While sleepless nights for an entrepreneur is a trait, getting some sleep maybe the solution to next problem.  The next time the team cannot come up with a solution, maybe they can take a shower, sleep, or jump into the car.

A shout to entrepreneurs and business leaders. What was your eureka moment and where was it?

 

Nokia’s Forking Of Android Could Benefit Google

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Back in October last year, I first heard rumblings that Nokia was working on an Android handset. “Devs rumor but rather solid, not confirmed by eye,” said my source. Not long afterwards, others began to report similar rumours. However, at the time it remained unclear whether this was simply the remnants of an existing skunkworks project that would never see the light of day — Nokia’s plan B, if you will, after it chose Microsoft’s Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform — or something more significant.

What I also couldn’t figure out was how Nokia had resolved the “risk of commoditization” that then CEO Stephen Elop had cited as reason for not adopting Google’s mobile OS over Microsoft’s platform in the first place, once the decision had been taken to ditch its own Symbian and MeeGo OS efforts. With today’s unveiling of the Nokia X — Nokia’s first Android…

View original 585 more words