There are many acquisitions that have raised eyebrows or resulted in a general state of confusion among observers, both within and outside of the tech industry. Sometimes, acquisitions are made that don't seem to make any sense, at least not on the surface. Below are three such acquisitions made by tech companies this year and some educated speculation as to why they might have occurred.
I stopped journalling because I got online. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I am realizing that reconnecting, thinking how to package myself and my experiences in a palatable way, and "making memories" is getting in the way of actually living them. That is the one thing that today's technology has taught me. I may be able to get information and companionship instantly, but it doesn't mean that I should.
Toys and gender have been a pretty hot topic lately, with various movements to de-gender segregate the toy aisle gaining momentum on both sides of the Atlantic. Enter GoldieBlox. The toy's creator has been very vocal about the fact that GoldieBlox was designed to "disrupt the pink aisle." Instead, it does anything but.
Admit it: the last time you lost internet connectivity on the subway for 10 minutes, you didn't know what to do with yourself. It's easy to forget in our world of instant connectivity that more than two-thirds of the global population still don't have access to the Internet. There are two billion people online now, but a whopping 5 billion more are expected to come online within the decade. This tidal wave of new participation will create sizable opportunities and likely a few pressure points.
In 2014, the tech world will be less about reaching for mobile devices to check social streams and more about one-to-one or one-to-few connections using apps such as SnapChat and WhatsApp. Real business impact will come from these connective apps and will continue to erode revenues for conventional telcos. The next year will be less about social networks, and more about social connections. Hopefully.
The text I received a few minutes later nearly exploded through my handheld and enveloped me in OMGs, thanks yous and plenty of exclamation marks. Reading her words, "You SOOOO just made my day!" planted a huge smile on my face. I imagined my friend's face had a similar expression. Not bad for a 10-second text, eh?
It starts to feel like a no win situation, or as Mr. Polonetsky puts it, as though "the data genie is out of the bottle" and there is no turning back. Following the NSA leaks it became clear that Big Brother was watching, and listening -- but so are thousands of little brothers and sisters -- as anyone with smartphone in his or her pocket now holds a powerful surveillance device.
Startups often have to deal with one or all of three big issues: lack of capital, brand recognition and product penetration. While these are real threats and pose the biggest risk to success, startups often have advantages that cannot be found in large, established companies. Educating talent on these benefits helps them make an informed decision between the bright lights of the behemoth and the siren's call of the startup. So, what exactly are these benefits?
American documentary filmmaker James Benning's new film about the Unabomber, Stemple Pass, is one of the few true must-sees in this year's VIFF, and plays tonight for the final time. There is more than a usual amount of urgency in recommending audiences get out to see the film while they can, since it is unlikely that it will screen theatrically elsewise: although Benning regularly has films in the VIFF, none, to my knowledge, have yet returned for an engagement in Vancouver. The film may also never see distribution on home video, which is possibly a good thing; the challenges and rewards of Benning's cinema are such that you pretty much have to see his films on the big screen, with an audience, where there is no option of pausing the film, no way to dodge the demands placed on you.
Louis C.K. is a successful comedian who can afford to buy his kids practically anything. So it is a refreshing surprise to learn that there is one thing for which he refuses to open his wallet: cell phones for his children. Comedians can be modern-day philosophers and Louis C.K. has brilliantly nailed it. This touted technology is riddled with problems, especially in the hands of still-developing children and teens.
Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.