Saeing SAS

Why Microsoft shouldn’t celebrate Cisco’s European Skype defeat too much


Cisco(s csco) has failed in its attempt to reverse the European Union’s approval of Microsoft(s msft)’s 2011 $8.5 billion Skype takeover – but the thinking behind the verdict should dampen any Microsoft celebrations.

When the EU green-lit the deal with no reservations, Cisco – which makes expensive videoconferencing gear for the enterprise — threw a hissy fit. It and Italian VoIP outfit Messagenet launched a challenge with the EU General Court, claiming the deal would harm competition. On Wednesday, the court dismissed the action in its entirety.

The logic behind this decision can be fairly summed up like this: Microsoft’s position in the consumer market is not enough of a sure thing to go worrying about market domination. The verdict should not make for comfortable reading over in Redmond:

“Even if the acquisition of Skype enables Microsoft to hold an 80 to 90% share of a segment of consumer…

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Bloc Party’s lead singer is releasing a 3D printed record, and so can you


What can you do with a 3D printer?

It’s a question I hear a lot, and there are many answers. But the most delightful application I’ve encountered so far came in the form of a thin, round disc–a record. This week, I slipped on a pair of headphones at Autodesk’s Pier 9 makerspace and early-’90s grunge eked out over a background of scratchy crackles: “Load up on guns, bring your friends/ It’s fun to lose and to pretend.” Nirvana. The band, I mean.

The record was printed by Amanda Ghassaei, a software engineer who works for online DIY-haven Instructables. Since she first posted her method for making the records on Instructables, it has garnered international attention. So much so that Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke announced he will use her method to 3D print records of a new song he is releasing next week.

Ghassaei decided to 3D…

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Why Cognition-as-a-Service is the next operating system battlefield


The Semantic Web may have failed, but higher intelligence is coming to applications anyway, in another form: Cognition-as-a-Service (CaaS). And this may just be the next evolution of the operating system.

CaaS will enable every app to become as smart as Siri in its own niche. CaaS powered apps will be able to think and interact with consumers like intelligent virtual assistants — they will be “cognitive apps.” You will be able to converse with cognitive apps, ask them questions, give them commands — and they will be able to help you complete tasks and manage your work more efficiently.

For example your calendar will become a cognitive app — it will be able to intelligently interact with you to help you manage your time and scheduling like a personal assistant would — but the actual artificial intelligence that powers it will come from a third-party cloud based cognitive platform.

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When trying to find innovation, look for the intersection of the physical and digital worlds


I remember my first forays onto the internet in the mid-’90s.

I could look at cars, buy airline tickets, and even see what other books people bought when I purchased the same book.  But there was barely a hint of confluence between the physical and the digital.

Today, the distinction between physical and digital is becoming a thing of the past. Today’s innovation is taking place at the very intersection of the digital and physical worlds. And it’s happening all around us, often led by chief marketing officers looking for new ways to differentiate their offerings.

What is digital-physical innovation?  In short, it’s the increasingly seamless merging of traditional offerings with new information technology capabilities to enhance the customer experience.

Take, for example, Tesco supermarkets in South Korea.  The company wanted to increase sales without creating more stores.  Tesco understood that Koreans work long hours and have little appetite for…

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