Living in the clouds- new technology trends 2013

Following Mr. B’s Advice to have a look at the latest technology trends for 2013, I ended up on Daniel Burrus page.  He is CEO and founder of Burrus Research Associates and sees himself as Keynote Speaker, Business Strategist and Global Futurist.Talking about technology trends he mentions amongst others “Cloud Computing and Advanced Cloud Services”.

“(Cloud Computing and Advanced Cloud Services) will be increasingly embraced by business of all sizes, as this represents a major shift in how organizations obtain and maintain software, hardware, and computing capacity.”- Daniel Burru

Daniel Burru is not the only one, who sees Cloud Computing as the coming technology business trend. It-magazines like “Computerwoche”describe Cloud Computing as

“one of the current and most important trends in the Business IT”

What does Cloud Computing actually mean?

According to NIST (national institute of standards and technology), Cloud Computing is defined as the following:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.“

Cloud Computing

We all know clouds and their general advantages from private use. With help of iCloud or Google Drive we can easily store, manage and exchange our personal data like photos and music, either between our different mac products or from other computers.

What is the advantage of enterprise cloud computing?

Cloud Computing providers like IBM or amazon describe more flexibility, nearly unlimited scalability and lower costs as the main advantages of cloud computing.

Does cloud computing only have positive sides?

After various blogs and magazines: definitely not!

Spiegel online just warned in an article by Ole Reißmann of an observation of European businesses and private users through the U.S.

Susan Bard, a business writer and CEO of Cypress Technologies describes in her blog 5 disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Besides the security issues of data volume, she mentioned amongst other the reliability of your internet connection and the dependence of your cloud computing vendor as disadvantages.

If you want to know more about Cloud Computing and how it works in detail just click here for a German version and here for the English.

What do you think of Cloud Computing? Is it the future app to run your business?

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Now let’s be honest: where do you get your music from?

After concentrating on the mobile industry and its problems with privacy rights I want to draw your attention to another industry we have to do with everyday, the MUSIC INDUSTRY!

So what is the current discussion about?

Its all about the Copyright! According to Online dictionary, Copyright is defined as:

the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
I guess everyone of you knows this scenario: You want to listen to a song, you click on the youtube link, and then it says: “GEMA does not allow this video”
Especially if you have been to a foreign country it becomes clear to you that you cant get access to a lot of music videos when you are in Germany.
So what does the GEMA actually do and what is it for?
GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 64,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one of the largest societies of authors for works of music worldwide.
And why are they doing this?
Music isn’t created “just like that”. It’s the result of an individual’s creative effort and therefore the intellectual property of the music author.
Supporter of GEMA are of course especially artists and musicians. With campaigns like “Mein Kopf gehört mir” (My head is my property) they demonstrate against the abuse of copyrights through the internet.
Opposers of the Copyright are especially the “Piratenpartei“. They claim in their actual program free access to music in the internet. Meaning that you can download music in the internet for free and legally. Of course the problem with that is obvious, who would pay the artists and musicians?
Are there any alternatives or middle ways?
A program which offers you a wide range of music LEGALLY is for example Spotify.  This application finances itself through advertising, furthermore the hours of music is limited. For 5 euros per month you can enjoy as much music as you want, without any ads!
Gray area in Germany is the streaming of films and series. There are plenty of pages on which you can stream your favourite serie, without paying. Whether this is helpful or not has everyone decide for himself.
Problem for Managers and Organizers
Imagine you are a clubowner or an organizer for a big event, what economic consequences causes GEMA?
-You have to budget the extra costs for playing music, of course.
In the past years Clubowners and Organizers of events got along with that. But since 2012 there was a change in tariff rates planned.  The original plan was to introduce the new tariff reform in January 2013. This did not happen, because the BVMV(Bundesvereinigung der Musikveranstalter) negotiated with GEMA and they could find a middle way. This middle way includes higher costs of only 5% in January 2013. In April 2013 costs should be raised for clubwoners for another 10% (For more detailed infos click here). The ultimate tariff reform should be introduced at the earliest in 2014.
What is the problem with the new tariff reform?
In order to simplify the tariff rates and make them more transparent GEMA wants to have 2 instead of the former 11 tariffs.  This means a lot of extra costs for a lot of people. Clubowners expect extra costs of 600 to 1200% and “club dying” because not everyone can adjust the extra costs with extra entrance fees. Lutz Leichsenring, member and spokesman of the Clubcommission Berlin fears:
“The money could end up with the Dieter Bohlens of this world, and not with the small actors.”
Procrastinating the introduction of the new tariff reform is a first success for the oppenents like   LiveKomm , Aktionsbündnis Kultur retten etc., but it doesn’t solve the problem in the long run.
What do you think? Is the GEMA necessary? Isn’t there another side of GEMA?

I know what you did last summer… yours sincerely Whatsapp,T-mobile and friends

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We are chatting, texting, sharing and posting…every day. Recently, I recognized a change in certain “Everyday-Apps”. After sending messages via Facebook or whatsapp I could see whether my conversation partner  saw my message or not. I could even see when he or she was online for the last time.

A spy function? How come? And by the way, what happens with all the data?

While searching for answers on these questions, I found out

about another interesting fact:

According to “die Welt” the end of the SMS is near. After 20 years of confidential service, messaging applications like “Whatsapp” and Networks like “Facebook” replace our good old SMS. “Die Welt” underlines what I recognized in my personal life the last weeks. No one is responding on my SMS, everyone responds on Whatsapp.

HELP, Am I the only one still writing SMS?

As stated by “teletarif.de” big telecommunication companies like T-mobile already recorded less transaction volume, due to the fact that SMS demand decreased. Is the SMS dying out?

What makes Whatsapp such a good alternative to SMS?

Whatsapp makes the exchange of short messages, pictures and videos possible, without ads and without a high fee (there will be a fee of 0,99$ per year after a use of one year). Brian Acton ans Jan Koum, founders of the “whatsapp” application state on their blog that:

Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.

At WhatsApp, our engineers spend all their time fixing bugs, adding new features and ironing out all the little intricacies in our task of bringing rich, affordable, reliable messaging to every phone in the world. That’s our product and that’s our passion. Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it.

This sounds just great! As there is REALLY no advertisement on whatsapp, these entrepreneurs are very convincing…

But lets have a look on some other, neutral sources…

With respect to the report of “computerbild” and “heiser security” Whatsapp has a big security problem, sniffing and hacking into the conversations is easy, especially when the users are using the same LAN.

The CEO’s response regarding these accusations?  None.

ZDF heute looks at the problem in a different light. The insecurity would not only affect individuals, but the whole economy. Economic espionage will become easier and a profitable tool for criminal gangs and even governments. Todays business men and women would have more company intern information on their smartphones than in their dispatch cases.

Blogger Klaus Düll mentions on his “pretiosio-blogvarious alternatives. User can either switch to other, more reliable applications, tested by “Computerbild” or

become member of protest groups, which strictly boycott those kinds of applications and social networks. Its your choice.

Malte Spitz tried another way of drawing the worlds attention on the mobile phone sector and its insecurity. Watch his talk on ted.com to learn more about his experiment.

Together with “zeitonline” he visualized his project. Click here to follow  Malte Spitz 6 month travelling for example from Berlin to Frankfurt and back and see who he called in that time…

We definitely know now that our data is stored…we can either accept and ignore it or try to fight for our privacy rights.

What do you think, is there a chance to win this fight?

 

Green EnLIGHTenment- Ambitious entrepreneurs fight in the economic revolution of the 21st century

Enough about bad news, depressing topics and E-waste. My first two blog posts were just the beginning:Draw your attention on a topic, which is most of the time ignored by consumers and hidden by business men and women-planned obsolescence

But as always in history, there comes the point when people have to make a change, rethink old standards and reconstruct old products, its time for revolution!

There is a change.

Together with his partner Frans Otten, Warner Philips founded Lemnis Lighting, a subsidiary of Tendris Holding. A green StartUp company with the following philosophy:

Transition from current wasteful lighting solutions towards energy efficient alternatives without making concessions on customer needs

They produce the  Pharox LED lamp which saves up to 85% of  energy compared to normal light bulbs, by having the same bright and warm light. Another clue: the Parox Solar Kit. Using the sun as energy provider, this lamp enables you to not only have up to 45 hours of light but also to charge your mobile phone, iPod or whatever with the built-in USB connection.

Watch “The world in a different light” for a detailed look on Lemnis Lights philosophy and its projects.

As future business men and women, we must rethink, rebuilt and change, old fashioned business- and production models. This is the clear message of the mother of green StartUps, Tendris Holding. Located in the Netherlands, this company supports projects and entrepreneurs with their new, sustainable business models.

United we are strong

Projects like forum for the future or the german project Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft show that Tendris Holding and Lemnis Lights wont fight alone in the economic Revolution of the 21st century.  They include Blogs like the one of Jonathon Porritt, to spread the word of new ideas and ways to make the world a little better.

Are you in the fight?

Welcome to E-Waste-Hell- Did you enjoy your products?

Hello everybody!!

This is the second chapter of my planned obsolescence report.If you missed my last blog post just click here or watch this video for a quick introduction on what planned obsolescence is all about.

What problems does planned obsolescence cause?

Living in an industrialized country means that you dont have to do a lot with your own produced waste. We feel good because we separate our waste “comme il faut” , bring our old clothes to the used clothes collection and our E-Waste? Bring it to a special recyclable fraction dump ( unfortunately most people throw their old mobile phones in the normal dump anyways)  say “hasta la vista”and bye bye and get into a line in front of the next apple store to wait for the new iphone5.

If you want to see what happens with most of the E-waste from Europe, Australia and the U.S. watch this video or click on the report of last week.

Africa- the new worlds dump?

Looking at all these pictures from Ghana it seems to be the dirty truth.

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But what do laws and governments do against this?

According to the laws manifested on the Basel Convention in 1989 it is forbidden to export hazardous waste from the euro zone without permission. So how does the waste go to Ghana if its illegal? The waste traders mark the electronic waste as 2nd hand products. Ghana has not yet published a law which forbids the import of such waste.  As stated by environmental journalist Mike Anane and head of the Environmental Protection Agency Ghana Lambert Faabeluon

80% of the waste sent to Ghana is irreparable

What can be done against this?

As a normal consumer it is hard to change something or get involved directly. Politicians of all relevant counties must work together, change laws and make people obey them. What we as future business men have to do is concentrate on sustainable production. The big amount of waste will be a future issue and we have to fight against this. The idea of planned obsolescence is old fashioned and arose from a time in which sustainability was a foreign word.

Business models like the ones of Warner Philips are the ones we should get inspired from.

Future Business men must not only think in profits, but  in how to make profits respecting natural limits and resources.

For those of you who want more information, check what Greenpeace wrote on this topic!

“Throw- away- lifestyle” – Ever heard about PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE?

Help! I just wanted to update my Keynote program on my Mac. It didn’t work because I am still using Mac OS X 10.6.8. Unfortunately the latest operating system was required. This laptop is in use for not even 2 years.

Coincidence?

No definitely not. The Keyword is “Planned Obsolescence”.  According to Oxford Dictionaries planned obsolescence is a

policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of non-durable materials.“ 

 Referring to Cosima Dannoritzer’s documentary film “The light bulb conspiracy- the untold story of planned obsolescence” the model of planned obsolescence was already introduced in the early 20s. In order to ensure the continuous consumption of light bulbs, the biggest light bulbs producers in the world (mostly from the U.S. and Europe) founded a secret cartel called Phoebus. They limited the lifetime of light bulbs from 2500 hours to 1000 hours.  The cartel controlled the production of its member factories so that they won’t produce light bulbs which last longer than 1000 hours. But above all they controlled the consumers. By 1942 the U.S. government found out about the illegal cartel and after a 10-year process Phoebus and its actions were declared as illegal.

But did this change anything? 

After the world wide economic crisis in 1929, some economists not only saw the principle of planned obsolescence as a way to ensure the continuous consumption but also as a way to ensure employment. Defeater of this theory was Bernard London, he published 1932 his paper “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence”.

The U.S.  let the crisis behind and the economy started to grow. And grow. Planned obsolescence supporter like the industry designer Dr. Boris Knuf stay that without planned obsolescence there wouldn’t be products, there wouldn’t be the industry, there wouldn’t be all the jobs which are related to this mass of products.

Does this mean that planned obsolescence is indispensable?

According to critics like Serge Latouche and John Tackara planned obsolescence will destroy our planet sooner or later. Nowadays we should know that our globe does not have unlimited resources. A world in which consumption grows every day will take revenge sooner or later. We should ask ourselves the following questions:

What happens with all the dump we produce? Who are the ones who suffer? How would a sustainable economy look like? How can we as producers fight against this phenomenon? Are there any business models which take sustainability into account? 

My next blog posts are coming soon! I will dig in deeper into this topic and try to collect answers and opinions. Just follow the Blogbusters to be updated.