Thursday, October 31, 2013

10 tech products that belong to the walking dead (TechRepublic Blog)

Deathless, slow moving, yet relentless, the walking dead are among us in the form of scary, disintegrating tech bits that refuse to die. Here are 10 that need the double-tap.
 Image: iStock/johnnorth
 The zombie horde has nearly reached critical mass. Other than not nomming my gray matter, the only thing I would ask is that they take certain technologies back to the grave with them. There are some tech products and services out there that simply refuse to die! Why? Because some users and companies are frightened to give them up!
Well, I'm here to say it's time to let those pieces of technology amble off into the sunset with the walking dead. Which technologies? I have ten of they are.

1. Windows XP

The death of Windows XP will mean a lot of companies are going to have to make a major choice: which platform to migrate to? In all honesty, it's time for XP to go away. It's been around for as many years as the "Friday the 13th" franchise has entries. And like Jason Vorhees, Windows XP has had its time and should be buried. The biggest problem with the death of XP is the massive amount of hardware that will go with it. That hardware could be re-purposed (with Linux) or recycled. It should not simply be chucked into the dumpster to find its way to landfills. That is a ghost story that will come back to haunt us.

2. AOL

I cannot tell you how many times I've had to troubleshoot a problem on a client machine, only to find out they still use AOL. Can you imagine my horror when I see this? Why? Why? Why?!!! AOL should have died a tragic death long ago. And what's worse, some of these clients are using AOL for their business communication. For the love of Clive Barker, Gmail is free and considered far more respectable than AOL. Leave behind the Grand Guignol trappings of AOL and live!

3. BlackBerry

This one is a tough one. Anyone that travels frequently will tell you how desperately they cling to their Blackberry. It's cheaper to travel with. But the truth of the matter is, the technology is as dated as Full Moon Videos. Supporting Blackberry can be a nightmare and most administrators would rather users make the move to Android or IOS.

4. Dot matrix printers

Seriously...they still exist. I'm fairly certain Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly used dot matrix printers to print the first edition of Frankenstein. Why are they still around? Is it because some grave-robbing company still has tons of paper for the devices and doesn't want to part with that profit? Those printers should have died years ago. Let them go...please.

5. Fax machines

These are the stuff that drove the machines of torture during the Marquis de Sade era. They smack of mimeographs and modems. Technology has come so far – to the point where we can actually sign documents and send them with more reliability and security than the fax allows. Although there are plenty out there who would argue that the fax is too far ingrained into the world of business to go away, the ability to sign and send PDFs have clearly made the fax a ghost in the machine.

6. Internet Explorer-only web sites

Why are there still those out there coding websites to only work with Internet Explorer? Those sights are zombies in the world of business – slow moving, refusing to give up their narrow-minded scope, and causing no end of frustration and horror to those that have to interact with them. Companies need to come to grips with the fact that IE is not the juggernaut it once was. Developers need to create sites for every browser – including mobile browsers.

7. Internet Explorer

The Microsoft browser is riding on the coattails of it's former glory. Now? It's unsafe, unreliable, and as buggy as a rotting corpse. With so many other, superior, browsers available, everyone on the planet needs to stand up to the face of death that is IE and hold up the Chrome cross and the silver bullet of Firefox and back that sub-par browser back to the crypt.

8. Pagers

Hello? The original version of "The Evil Dead" called and wants its technology back. Pagers were cool in the 80s. Pagers were necessary in the 90s. Now? Pagers are simply a holdover for industries that simply don't want to acknowledge the ever-evolving scope of technology. Yes, it would mean setting aside an investment made decades ago, but it's time to make use of smart phones and give up the pagers (aka “beepers”).

9. VHS

There's a “found footage” horror film called V/H/S. If you can get beyond the found footage format (and the brutality of the film), it's not that bad. There was also a little title called "The Ring" which foretold of your death within seven days of watching a video on VHS. That premise wouldn't be possible today because they only people with VHS are convenience stores and businesses holding on to old-school surveillance tech. VHS is dead and buried. Let it go.

10. DSL

Connection speeds continue to shoot through the least with some forms of technology. DSL? Not so much. If we were back in the 90s, the speeds and reliability of DSL would be unimaginable. Now? Comparing the speeds of DSL and cable is like comparing the walking speed of zombies from "Night of the Living Dead" and "28 Days Later." There is no comparison! Period. On top of slow speeds, the technology used to deliver DSL is as ancient and creepy as Vincent Price in "The Abominable Doctor Phibes."
There are so many tech products that should be in the grave; but for whatever reason, people hold on to their tech like their lives depended upon it. I say it's time to let the beast free and embrace the light of evolution and superior technology. Anyone refusing to upgrade is nothing more than meat for the walking dead.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu ...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tecnología: Por qué Apple quiere regalar su software

Consumer Electronics

Why Apple Wants Its Software to Be Free

Grobart is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow him on Twitter @samgrobart

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tecnología (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)


Why It's So Difficult to Climb Amazon's Corporate Ladder

Bezos occupies level 11
Inside the Internet juggernaut (AMZN), there’s near constant pressure to perform. In dozens of interviews ranging over two years for my book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, employees often sounded exhilarated as they boasted that they have never before exerted a more direct influence on products and customers. Just as frequently, they sounded frustrated and overwhelmed, beset by what they described as an adversarial culture and a grinding pace of work.
Amazon declined to comment on its internal workings for the book or the excerpt appearing in Bloomberg Businessweek. But in my interviews with rank and file employees, one common complaint I heard is that positive feedback from superiors is rare and promotions even rarer. This, it turns out, is probably by design. Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos seems to believe his managers must raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion and that only exceptional talent should progress within the organization. As he has done in so many other ways, Bezos has codified his beliefs within his company in the form of a custom called the OLR, for organization and leadership review.
OLRs are a set of biannual meetings at Amazon at which senior leaders in each department gather to debate the strengths and weaknesses of their subordinates, to approve promotions and, in some cases, target the worst performers for dismissal. An internal company presentation posted on the Web describes the custom.
“OLRs give us the opportunity to identify our future leaders and prepare them for their next challenging role,” it reads. “Our Least Effective 10% of employees will be targeted for appropriate action to keep Amazon’s performance bar high.”
Most Amazon employees know the OLR as the meeting where careers and livelihoods can be won and lost in an instant. Say you’ve worked tirelessly at Amazon for several years. You approach your boss, asking for a promotion and a raise, and he agrees. Good news, right? Not so fast. The boss, perhaps a vice president, attends an OLR that begins as most Amazon meetings do: With everyone reading printouts of a six-page “narrative” detailing the meeting’s agenda. After your boss’s fellow VPs quietly sit and read the pros and cons of your promotion, a debate follows, with various execs weighing in with their own experiences working with you.
The discussions can get heated. Only a limited number of promotions are handed out every year, so if you get bumped up, someone else’s favorite subordinate might have to stand still. Anyone in the room can sink a promotion. Thankfully, you are not present for the showdown.
This brutal approach to promotions is Bezos’s way of avoiding political or unnecessary advancement and applying the company’s corporate values evenly across the organization. Yet many employees I spoke to in the course of reporting the book complained that OLRs yield exactly the kind of politics they were created to prevent. Ambitious employees tend to spend months having lunch and coffee with their boss’s peers to ensure a positive outcome once the topic of their proposed promotion is raised in an OLR.
Some Amazon veterans also complain that their fates hang on the ability of their boss to make their case persuasively—as opposed to merely excelling at their jobs—and that new managers are often unable to get anyone promoted for years. And they say that anecdotes about their performance tend to dominate these meetings, rather than cold, hard data about what they have accomplished. Amazon is famously run by studying and responding to its own data; yet when it comes to promotions, decisions are often subjective and guided by human emotions and petty political dynamics.
OLRs aside, another reason it’s difficult to scale the ranks at Amazon is that the corporate structure is remarkably flat. There are only 10 “levels,” the classifications assigned to various job descriptions. Here they are, for posterity:
•Levels 2s and 3s belong to the manual laborers who work in the Amazon fulfillment centers and collect an hourly wage. There is, as far as I can tell, no level 1.
•Level 4 generally describes a new hire, perhaps a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
•Program managers or product managers are level 5. Senior product managers are level 6 and run one particular product or feature.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

En Camino: El ticket trasatlántico de $300...(BusinessWeek)

Budget Travel

The $300 Transatlantic Airline Ticket Is Coming


Thursday, October 10, 2013



For Imediate Release
October 9, 2013
(850) 717-9282


Awards honor Florida businesses for job creation, entrepreneurship, and export growth and excellence

 TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that nominations are open for the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards. Florida companies in select industries that have influenced the state’s economic growth and diversification are asked to submit nominations to Enterprise Florida by October 24.

 Governor Scott said, “These awards provide well-deserved recognition for Florida businesses working to diversify and expand our economy. Florida’s economic turnaround continues thanks to our job creators that provide opportunities for Florida families. I look forward to recognizing these innovative businesses and appreciate all they do to make sure families can live their American Dream.”

 The industries recognized this year include:

·         Aviation/Aerospace                

·         Corporate Headquarters  

·         Distribution/Logistics                        

·         Education/Training

·         Emerging Industries

·         Financial/Professional Services  

·         Homeland Security/Defense  

·         Information Technology

·         Life Sciences

·         Manufacturing                          

·         Marine

·         Trade/Export Services

Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope said, “This awards program allows us to recognize companies for their outstanding accomplishments. There are so many great companies across all industries in our state, and we are excited to recognize some of the most successful businesses for their dedication and contributions to Florida’s economy.”

 Three awards will be given in each of these categories:

·         Governor’s Business Expansion Award: For Florida companies that expanded their operations in 2012, investing capital and creating jobs for Floridians.

·         Governor’s Newcomer Award: For new-to-Florida companies that began business operations in 2012.

·         Governor’s Export Excellence Award: For Florida companies with new or significant increases in documented export sales in 2012.

·         Governor’s Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award: For Florida start-up companies or innovative companies that have set a standard for entrepreneurship and creativity in the past three years.  

Companies will compete with others in similarly sized markets. In each category an award will be given for the following market segments:

·         Mid Market: County population up to 150,000

·         Major Market: County population 150,001 to 800,000

·         Mega Market: County population 800,001 and higher

 The entry deadline is October 24, 2013 at 5 p.m. For more information and to submit a nomination, please visit
Enterprise Florida, Inc. is a partnership between Florida's business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fuego en las Baterías frena las acciones de TESLA (BusinessWeek)

Few accident reports will be scrutinized as closely as the one involving a Tesla Motors (TSLA) sedan this week in suburban Seattle. Video of the Model S ablaze sent Tesla shares down as much as 9 percent on Wednesday, and fallout from the fire continues to pressure the shares today.
The motorist was driving south of Seattle through Kent, Wash., when he believed he struck metallic debris and pulled off the highway, the Associated Press reported. The automaker, which has seen its shares surge about 400 percent this year, said the blaze occurred after the driver hit “a large metallic object,” which affected one of the 16 modules on the car’s battery system. “Because each module within the battery pack is, by design, isolated by fire barriers to limit any potential damage, the fire in the battery pack was contained to a small section in the front of the vehicle,” Tesla spokeswoman Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean told the New York Times.
Given the news and an analyst downgrade, Tesla shares have declined about 11 percent the past two days.
Such a fire “had to happen at some point,” Deutsche Bank (DB) analyst Dan Galves wrote today in a note to clients. “We expect that negative news flow and investor concern over the impact to demand of this incident will put negative pressure on the stock in the near-term. And these are meaningful concerns, as this is a new technology and one in which sensitivity to safety risk is very high.” Given the $70,000 car’s record of tens of millions of miles on the road without a fire, however, Galves described the fire as “an isolated incident that could happen to any vehicle.” Deutsche Bank has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of $200.
In August the Model S received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in all tested categories, prompting the company to perform a bit of preening in its self-accolades. As a result, the most prominent item on Tesla’s home page is a photo of a Model S with the words, “The safest car in America.” Which is one reason why a battery-related fire, if it develops into a pattern, could be more than a bit of a bummer for the upstart automaker.
Before news of the fire erupted, Robert W. Baird & Co. on Tuesday downgraded Tesla, saying that much of the company’s future growth has already been priced into the stock. Among analysts tracked by Bloomberg, seven rate the stock a hold, five a buy, and three a sell.
Bachman is an associate editor for