By TMCnet Special Guest,
12/19/2014

The role of the modern CIO is being reinvented, today’s CIOs must be aligned with business initiatives for productivity, growth and profit to be successful. This is in addition to core initiatives such as supporting the successful adoption and implementation of emerging technologies, driving continued improvements in operational efficiency and end user experience. It is for those reasons we believe CIOs will seek to achieve the following in 2015;

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
12/19/2014

Frequent readers of my periodic postings on cyberattacks know that I receive literally hundreds of emails from various members of community every time there is a major event. The ongoing hack of Sony has created a treasure trove of opinion on the matter. Without going into all of the ramifications of the latest cause célèbre, especially the ones about the role of the press in publishing the leaked materials and the decision of theater owners to not show the movie “The Interview,” which apparently set off the attack, I wanted to share some of the observations from my go-to experts on such matters.

By Bob Wallace, Founder, Fast Forward Thinking LLC
12/18/2014

In what could be the latest instance of too little too late in technology, media and entertainment, AMC Theaters is teaming with MoviePass, to trial a subscription option in a few markets next year that lets consumers watch a movie a day for between $35 and $45 a month.

MoviePass requires an annual commitment and carries termination fees for those who cancel after just a few months. That should be changed as consumers don’t seem to be thrilled by term commitments and early termination charges.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
12/17/2014

2014: The year of the data breach. Although technically the trend started with the massive credit card heist at Target last holiday season, 2014 really saw the perfection of the art, with big hits at Home Depot, Sally Beauty, Michael’s, and yes, the celebrity iCloud photo leak. As bad as it’s been, 2015 will see no slowdown in incidents—but rather, will feature a few key evolutions in strategy and purpose on the part of criminals, as indicated by the latest high profile attack, on Sony Pictures.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
12/17/2014

For most broadband Internet subscribers in the United States, the top of the heap is somewhere around 10 Mbps. Sure, there are other options, and sometimes it seems like service is getting faster, but for most people, the idea of Internet that goes as fast as, say, Google Fiber just never comes into play. Gigabit Internet access in general, meanwhile, just never seems to enter the equation, not even as a thing that's vaguely been heard of like a character in an old fairy tale. A new study from Pivot Group and Telecompetitor, meanwhile, shows just how far divorced from people's perception the idea of actually having gigabit service is to most consumers.

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC
12/17/2014

It’s a busy time at the Federal Communications Commission. Not only is the commission working to fill out its ranks, it’s negotiating the delicate task of setting rules for and auctioning spectrum, reviewing industry M&A proposals, trying to figure out how best to guide the industry in its migration to newer technologies like IP, pushing to close the digital divide between rural and urban/suburban, and rich and poor, and modernizing E-rate. Oh and, by the way, it also continues to grapple with the complex issue frequently referred to as net neutrality – a topic about which industry debate never ends.

By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor
12/17/2014

TMC's Techfast newsletter for Wednesday, December 17, 2014:

Telecom Company Accidentally Takes Down Internet in NH, VT

Routine maintenance effort goes very wrong; customers vexed.

Web Analytics See Expanded Role in the Contact Center

All that data is pure gold to marketers.

By Laura Stotler, TechZone360 Contributing Editor
12/16/2014

2014 has been an exciting year for cloud computing, for both those providing infrastructure and services and those using those solutions. The cloud is evolving to meet the needs of end users and enterprises and infrastructure and services are also transforming as service providers better understand how to meet customer demands efficiently and cost effectively. 2015 promises to be a standout year for the cloud, with adoption rates expected to rise significantly and with increased usage will offer challenges and milestones.

By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor
12/16/2014

TMC's Techfast newsletter for Tuesday, December 16, 2014:

Buenas Dias! Frontier Communications Adding Bilingual Call Center Workers

In a bid to corral more customers, telecom giant is reaching out for a wider audience.

Employee Engagement Needs a Starting Point

Guess where? With management.

By Maurice Nagle, TechZone360 Web Editor
12/16/2014

With the sun setting on 2014, it is time to look ahead at what 2015 may have in store. The proliferation of the availability of Wi-Fi is creating fertile ground for the wearable space and connected devices for both consumers and the enterprise alike. An “undiscovered” gold mine of data will prove to be the impetus of enterprise investment in this “tapped” but unrealized connected future.

I am a glass half full kind of guy but recent events have me concerned about the security risks inherent with all these soon-to-be billions of devices—and the data they collect.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
12/16/2014

CrowdFlower is an interesting company located in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. What makes them interesting is that they have a technology platform that takes large, data-heavy projects and divides them into small tasks that are distributed to a multi-million-person, on-demand workforce around the world. In fact, the company says that contributors from 208 countries and territories have completed more than 1.3 billion judgments for CrowdFlower customers. And, in case you are wondering how they can get all of that work done it is through 5 million contributors, aka the smart crowd.

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
12/12/2014

This week marked an Hour of Code, a not-for-profit effort that backers believe will teach up to 100 million people to be computer programmers. The code.org website claims over 3.8 billion lines of code have been written by students and even President Obama got into the act by typing in a single line of JavaScript. Maybe next year, backers can talk about hackers with 5 minutes to discuss computer security—a much neglected field.

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
12/12/2014

This week marked an Hour of Code, a not-for-profit effort that backers believe will teach up to 100 million people to be computer programmers. The code.org website claims over 3.8 billion lines of code have been written by students and even President Obama got into the act by typing in a single line of JavaScript. Maybe next year, backers can talk about hackers with 5 minutes to discuss computer security—a much neglected field.

By Bob Wallace, Founder, Fast Forward Thinking LLC
12/12/2014

Lost in the viewer uproar over the retransmission dispute between CBS and DISH Networks last week was the very real possibility that the satellite TV provider won’t have CBS programming, or those of other broadcast networks, for the over-the-top (OTT) service it plans to launch by yearend.

Though DISH has yet to announce a channel lineup or pricing for the anticipated service, it appeared early on as if their OTT entry would differ from others because of it live sports content deals with the ESPN channel franchise and with regional sports networks (RSN) such as the coveted SEC Network and The Longhorn Network (University of Texas sports),

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
12/12/2014

It was a day that many thought would never actually happen, and not without reason. Considering the target in question, it seemed like a safe bet that The Pirate Bay would continue sailing forever, allowing quick and easy access to the latest in entertainment fare, as well as the most obscure and otherwise unreleased content. But when Swedish authorities descended on The Pirate Bay's offices, taking servers and computers alike, it began to look like the beginning of the end for the website, and by some accounts, there are some joyful folks out there who wouldn't be expected to be gleeful about the whole matter.

By Maurice Nagle, TechZone360 Web Editor
12/11/2014

Americans have always taken great pride in the Bill of Rights, the inalienable rights each human deserves. Over time we have seen some of these “rights” get some slight tweaking, and today the debate of free speech is brought into question. Should those in film and the media censor their work to avoid public or international repercussions? In the United States, it is easy to make the choice of not paying to seeing a film or buying a newspaper because of personal disagreement—other forms of consequences can be far more damaging, i.e. the current Sony hack debacle.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
12/11/2014

The online video phenomenon has seen a radical transformation since the early days of YouTube: where there was once just a collection of “v-logs” and cat videos, now there are professionally produced, Emmy-nominated TV series—and cat videos. And indeed, many see an inevitable shift to cloud TV becoming the dominant delivery model for home entertainment—a prediction bolstered by news that the FCC would move to put over-the-top providers like Netflix in the same bucket as cable MSOs and satellite TV providers.

By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer
12/11/2014

What are the consumer trends of 2015? Well, the New Year has yet to arrive, but Ericsson has released its annual “10 hot consumer trends for 2015 and beyond” report that takes into account the opinions of consumers from around the world. From their responses, the multinational communications and tech services company has developed its yearly list of the latest trends that should sweep the globe in the next 12 months and will inform technological progress through the rest of the decade.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
12/11/2014

As a result of a recent personal hacking incident, and in light of the ongoing attack against Sony and the almost daily onslaught of news about data breaches and identity theft, this clearly is the time of year not just to be jolly but extra specially vigilant. This is just as true if you are an IT security professional or just somebody who spends a lot of time online conducting personal transactions.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
12/11/2014

The Internet has been absolutely nothing if not a continuing evolution in progress, with its timeline shrunk to preposterous degrees sufficient that we could actually sit and watch it. But with the Internet's ubiquity has come a great many changes. A new report from IID says that, by 2016, most may not recognize the Internet of that era from what it is today thanks to steady rises in encryption and even countries banning each others' traffic.

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