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World War “IT” — Are Linux Duffers the “National Guard” of Tech?

BBS MenuOne of the conversations I’m having more often (say in the past 20 months) is “continuity” planning — in the event that “World War IT” breaks out — how are businesses going to continue?

  • If communication utilities are hacked? How will we rebuild B-B and B-C networks if the internet is shaky — fall backs like a BBS might serve as an order processing platform.
  • How to operate in isolation for a while? If we’re not connected to a WAN. Inventory — where is that box?

These dialogues are more often “beer” fueled … and not really actionable but they have a strategic vein. Few I know are actually going to the time/expense to build systems, collecting old bones into unpowered piles that can be used as “bricks” — rebuilding networks that have been damaged. There are some, though…

The challenge we’re facing is sort of on the DHS front and there is a certain symmetry to it.

Think of it like this: Linux IT Duffers are the National Guard of IT.

There is a widening dialogue (Link) within Microsoft and Windows circles particularly – about alternatives that are quick, inexpensive and secure. An essential element is modest hardware requirements. Linux shines on all of those aspects.

If you’re hoarding and/or building systems and storing “IT Bricks” in your closet, let me know.  I’d like to take this temperature — fill in the Poll below?

Back of the napkin proof: Why Engineers will always earn less than Managers.

Back of the napkin "proof" of why Engineers will always earn less than managers

Back of the napkin “proof” of why Engineers will always earn less than managers

Finally, mathematical proof that highly trained Engineers with knowledge across many disciplinary boundaries — will always earn less than management.

Understanding the proof requires a “pre-calculus’ understanding of basic math. This of course implies that managers, no matter how hard they try can ever actually understand what we’re saying.

And we Engineers, being a fraternity of the under-appreciated, will never, ever tell them. Why? Well, simply because we really actually love what we do. And we’d do it even if they weren’t paying us.  (Shhh!!)

Free internet research tool online — big data.

Filtering for US and for appliances I was surprised to snag this current stat: 85% of use internet user have a smartphone and use it online. Is your website mobile ready?!!

Filtering for US and for appliances I was surprised to snag this current stat: 85% of use internet users have a smartphone and use it online.

Is your website mobile ready?!!

Thanks Google.

http://www.consumerbarometer.com/

Make your own charts, test your theories.  Because this is Google, the presumption is the enormous database and statistics behind the results assure a level of interest that isn’t available elsewhere.

No, seriously.  Thanks Google.

Astounding. Share your surprises here.

Mobile Phone App

Mobile: Connecting Shoppers to Local Stores

Article worth a look:

New Research Shows How Digital Connects Shoppers to Local Stores

“The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic shift: In-store foot traffic is down, online research is up and smartphones are becoming increasingly important to the consumer’s in-store shopping journey.”

Google’s “Android One” – Phone for the 2nd & 3rd World Customer

Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes - 10's of millions of units globally.

Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes – 10’s of millions of units globally.

Elsewhere in this blog I’ve noted with interest that some of the biggest companies on the planet are taking aim at supplying emerging markets where extreme growth is due to literally explode in coming years.

Corroborating this mega-trend is Googles’ launch of the “Android One” phone.

Curt Prins, Mobile Strategist, explains some of the deeper and very interesting details in a fascinating post on LinkedIn.com.  Curt notes:

Instead of adapting to price sensitivities within emerging markets, Apple’s iPhone 6 starts at $649 (without contract) and tops out at $949. That’s an impossible purchase when the average household income in India is just US$7,700.

Talk about barriers to market entry!

Google’s Android One launched in India this week for just $105, and carrier subsidies will drive that price down into the $60s. Amazon India’s massive inventory sold out in a matter of hours. Google understands what works in Mountain View might not in Mumbai or Manila.

Notice the order of magnitude difference in price?

Anyway I completely agree with his assessment that data costs outstrip the costs of hardware — and keep users from going with smartphones.  This is why some of what http://www.internet.org is doing is so important. Curt notes:

Google has also eliminated OS access from wireless carriers–like Apple did with AT&T seven years ago. Google took it a step further by understanding the great expense of mobile data for most users within India. They partnered with Airtel to allow Android One users to get free OS updates for the first six months—in time for a critical update to their more energy-efficient Android L OS. These users will also get up to 200MB of free data for app downloads per month.

I still don’t know how this will affect me and my teeny business, but I expect it will.  Noticing that it is happening hopefully prepares me to position myself earlier than some who have become completely enamored with Apple and the iPhone 6 launch here in the US and seem blind that the market of billions of users remains untapped.

Investors that bought Alibaba this week?  Smell the same opportunities.

 

 

URL Redirects – Important links during Web Presence migrations

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management -- and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management — and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

We are in a season of Web Presence upgrades.  For those operating self-hosted sites with WordPress.org, you should be aware of the recent release of the WordPress 4.0 site engine / CSS.

Matt Mullenweg <m@wordpress.org> circulated the following announcement the other day…

Just a few days ago, we released WordPress 4.0 “Benny” which has already been downloaded almost three-and-a-half million times! This release includes major improvements to the plugin directory, a much more pleasant environment to write in, with better embed support and an auto-expanding editor, and finally media has been made more functional and beautiful.

http://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/

The reasons to upgrade are compelling … see those at the link above.

Anyway — if your upgrade means a complete web migration — you’re replacing a legacy site altogether — you’ll have issues with URL’s.  Here are some things to note.

If you have analytics data you should use it to design page titles in your new site.   If you don’t there are some other tools you can use that will help you anticipate the best keywords. (Ask us?)

Designing the page titles is important, but not critical — just realize that you can re-word these things as time passes.

But what about all of the existing SEO results that point to your old pages?  In your new site you should be able to install what are known as URL redirects.  These accept traffic from the old URL and “land” those visitors on the new page.

Be sure you have analytics operating in the new site.  You’ll be able to see which URL’s are being visited, but importantly — you ‘ll also be able to identify old URL’s that you need to provide redirects for.

Internet.org – Redoubling Efforts

6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.  Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.

6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.

Worth reviewing this weekend…

News about Internet.org creating free network access for users:

PCWorld.com News Article July 31, 2014

The position http://internet.org develops comes from the basic statistic:

Only 1 out of every 3 people can go online.

Why aren’t more people connected?

  • Devices are too expensive.
  • Service plans are too expensive.
  • There’s no mobile network to connect to.
  • Content isn’t available in the local language.
  • Awareness of the value of internet is limited.
  • Availability of power sources is limited.
  • Networks can’t support large amounts of data.

Internet.org urges:

“Together we can remove these barriers and give billions of people the power to connect.”