Right-wing people use Facebook as a major rallying space, in the US

Brad Parscale — the digital director of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign — told “60 Minutes” that of everything Mr. Trump did that year, the thing that actually moved the needle was Facebook.

“Facebook was the method,” Mr. Parscale said. “It was the highway which his car drove on.”

That highway is still open. And right now, the fastest cars on it have M.A.G.A. bumper stickers.

The street finds its own uses for The Cluetrain.

Original source: What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?

Properly managing tech debt to be well positioned for the unexpected

“I’ve noticed in recent tech exec interactions that those who had started on digital transformation and modernization efforts in the last few years have seen outsized returns during the pandemic. Well beyond their expectation for a given project.

“Advance Auto, a classic retailer had rolled out a new e-commerce effort recently, but during the pandemic, they had to close stores to customer traffic. They quickly pivoted stores to local distribution sites, partnered with local couriers, and today have order online / deliver in 30 minutes in most markets.”

—Ian Andrews

Original source: Cloud-Native Is Our Future: Can The VM Pioneer VMware Lead It?

Application modernization requires more than just technology, lots of consultative analysis

An analysis of things to fix:

The assessment is fairly detailed, tailored to each organization and helps them to benchmark each line of its business against other areas of its company, the overall industry and specific leaders within that industry. The final assessment, an example of which is below, reveals where the company’s bottlenecks are and where they can make the biggest and most impactful investments, Google said.

For example:

"Examples of these practices include driving alignment between developers and operators, lean product development, and technical practices such as implementing loosely coupled architectures, continuous testing, and more,” Teich said. “Modernizing applications and software development processes is one of the hardest challenges facing today’s enterprises. With Google CAMP, large organizations across all industries can modernize to generate powerful business outcomes.”

Original source: Google updates Anthos and debuts a new app modernization program

Running apps with both VMs and containers

“Customers say ‘it sure would be nice if we did not have to have two separate systems and learn to do things two separate ways,” Gracely said. “They have been asking us to be able to add virtual machines in the Kubernetes world,” for databases, queueing systems or other applications.

And:

According to a recent Gartner study, for example, only 30% of global organizations’ environments ran on containers in 2019 — although the percentage is expected to more than double to 75% by the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, similar stuff from Azure and VMware.

Original source: Red Hat Says VMs Are No ‘Second-Class Citizens’ in OpenShift

Always keep the tanks full

His system also offers a low barrier to entry. Psychologists have found that one reason we procrastinate is self-doubt and efficacy issues—the upfront costs of a new project often loom large when future outcomes are so uncertain. But the costs of jotting down just one well-formed note isn’t a deal-breaker. If an idea has value, it will rise to the surface as more related notes emerge.

Original source: This simple but powerful analog method will rocket your productivity

Using an agile product cycle to respond quickly to market needs

Here, the “market” is COVID, but the motions and lessons learned are universal, e.g., on enterprise compliance:

Right trumps fast: Throughout the project, we strove to maintain a constant balance between doing things right and doing them fast. Striking such a balance can lead to some challenging decision-making, but a key learning for the team was to default to doing the right thing, which avoided rework and wasted time down the line.

Original source: Developing During a Pandemic: The Lessons We Learned

Paying attention, diary form

I began to wonder why the verb that goes with “attention” is “to pay”. Is it a debt? A duty? A tax? An outlay of energy? Work seems to be involved in the phrase, or perhaps sacrifice. And what do we get back, if we pay it?

I couldn’t believe, as I worked through my notebooks, the smallness of some of the things I had noticed 30 years ago. My god, I was the queen of attention! How I paid $1.19 for two chops. The fact that I ironed a tablecloth. A grown man who had never heard of Dolly Parton. A nun who said she had blushed “as red as these carrots”. My friend’s golden shoes. Some garden dirt that smelled like mushrooms. A hard-boiled egg. A handful of 3B pencils. A shred of Christmas tinsel caught in a doctor’s hair. How precious these things seem when I come upon them again, what treasures, what tiny bombs of meaning, though when I wrote them down I thought they were nothing but chips and fragments between bouts of narrative – the raw material that I used for daily practice.

Original source: Is a woman of my age allowed to be happy when the world is going to hell in a handbasket?, Helen Garner

COVID tech spending

Specifically, 59 percent of executives surveyed say that COVID-19 has created an impetus to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, yet approximately four in 10 say they will halt investment in emerging technology altogether as a result of COVID-19. Executives have shifted their focus to must-have technologies, and 56 percent of those surveyed say cloud migration has become an absolute necessity due to COVID-19.

However, investments in a number of emerging technologies will likely increase over the next year, such as 5G (44 percent of respondents expect spending to increase compared to 26 percent who expect spending to decrease); process automation (43 percent expect an increase compared to 25 percent who expect a decrease); AI (39 percent versus 31 percent); hybrid cloud and/or multi-cloud (38 percent versus 28 percent); blockchain (34 percent versus 30 percent); edge computing (34 percent versus 33 percent) – with the exception of smart analytics (32 percent versus 35 percent).

Original source: KPMG survey, Companies shift emerging tech investments amid COVID-19

Looking in the mirror

Research on mirror meditation (Well, et al, 2016) finds that 10 minutes of looking at one’s own reflection with no goal other than to be present with oneself reduces stress and increases self-compassion (and has no effects on narcissism). Female participants report greater comfort with their appearance (e.g., more comfortable not wearing makeup) and more focused attention on their internal feelings than their external appearance after doing the practice regularly (Well, 2017).

Original source: Taking Back the Male Gaze

Making money the Achilles Heal of software adoption

So okay, I can pick up a tripod of some sort from Amazon for not too much money — but speaking of money, here’s the big Achilles’ heel: while the free version of the app is fairly functional, upgrading to Pro costs €41.47. That’s nearly fifty bucks! Sure, I’d like to be able to use all my cameras; in free mode the app shows me the Wide 1x camera and the front selfie camera, but is it worth that much to use the Telephoto 2x or the Ultrawide 0.5x? Pro unlocks higher resolutions, and there are also a bunch of options to control focus, lighting, flash, zoom, and so on, which I would definitely have bought for a fiver or so — but not for this much. I already have a decent webcam at home (a Razer Kiyo), so I’d be using Camo only away from home, and I’d have to acquire and carry a separate piece of kit to do so.

Original source: Whammo, Camo

25 cents a gig pricing for systems management

The company is updating its New Relic One platform with simplified pricing, interface, portfolio, and a free tier for engineers to try and use the software, which instruments IT environments and applications. CEO Lew Cirne said the move is designed to make New Relic easier to consume and address the convergence of logs, infrastructure, and APM. Simplified pricing from 11 paid products down to three, moving to per-user pricing and a perpetual free license will make doing business with New Relic easier, he said.

Pricing is mysterious, critical, and this fascinating to watch.

Original source: New Relic simplifies portfolio under New Relic One as well as pricing in expansion play

Starbuck’s digital stuff: working

Some 3 million new users downloaded the Starbucks App and signed up for the Rewards loyalty program since April, up 17% on the first three months of the year before the COVID crisis hit home in the US. Over the same period, 90% of sales were executed via a combination of drive-thru and mobile order-and-pay, with mobile order usage alone now accounting for 22% of total transactions.

The best time to plant a digital transformation tree is ten years ago. Barring that, today is great.

Original source: Brewing resilience – how early digital vision is paying off for Starbucks

Open source as the new open standard, open sourcing to control your rival's competitive advantage

Theory: in a world of SaaS/public cloud, “open source,” is an implemented standard, instructions for plumbing, not the actual product sold.

The actually product (the thing sold, paid for) includes running the commercial software, storing the data, managing how the software is used. It can also include doing the unseen, tedious Morlockian work of making it “enterprise grade,” even “cloud grade.”

Giving away the open source stuff lets the commercial company (the SaaS) define and control its 3rd party dependencies – here, how New Relic’s data is collected and modeled. That is the blood and oxygen of a monitoring company: no monitoring data, no company.

As a strategic bonus: open sourcing things allows the SaaS to kill off (perhaps “limit,” to be less hyperbolic) areas of the market that rivals could own, differentiate, and monetize.

Kubernetes does this (IaaS becomes low value, table stakes, undifferentiated), not sure about Linux. Linux is something different: it is the product, not the standard.

There is a major flaw in my reasoning, viz. Kubernetes: all of the code to make it actually work below and around kubernetes can be proprietary, usually. The software defined networking (despite years of trying to open source this awhile back, it remains, largely, inaccessible alchemy), the security integration, the PaaS layer (though, actually, here, another instructive confounder to my present theory), etc.

But, perhaps, this illustrates my theory: those parts of the market have been defined as the place that competition can occur.

You would then expect rivals to open source those things to damage (pardon, again: “limit”) their rival’s competitive advantage, while keeping their own stuff closed. (“Closed,” of course can also – usually in public cloud – mean “only available as a running service in one of the big three clouds or a the SaaS in question.”)

Of course, all of the rivals can agree to give up monetizing parts of the market and all open source that part, all giving up on making money off it. This is usually done somewhat by accident, or with one large competitor reluctantly throwing in the towel and giving up after a long fight, as with HTML, RIA’s (Flash vs. HTML5 vs. Androind/iOS – not only open source here, but very much industry de facto standards),

Docker, and, of course, kubernetes. OpenStack was a failed instance of this theory: the public cloud companies would not see one of their core assets open sourced and made non-differentiating. Also, the whispers are that the OpenStack community has its own problems, not least of which the inability (and the lack of will) for its primaries to spend billions on building their own Datacenters and global networks out.

Build tools are an odd river in this terrain that I don’t know well: has Jenkins being open source really limited the commercial opportunity of commercial build tools and CI/CD?

And security – always security: somehow impossible to fully open source as in drive out all the closed source and monetizing possibilities.

(Also, Hyperic tried this open sourcing the systems management stuff. Perhaps too early for it to be successful, perhaps getting acquired just halted the corporate enthusiasm needed to pursue that course. That was too long ago to remember, recount, and reminisce. [Nagios was that deafening dull-thumb of the GPL death-cult, where “life” is a vendor’s ability to make closed source profit margins and scale top-line revenue to billions.])

Original source: New Relic Changes Business Model, Open Sources Agents and Instrumentation

OutSystems proof points, marketsizing on low-code

That means being able to change or add applications and services at near the speed of the start-ups. Hughes gives as an example a Fintech company that was failing to hire the talent it required to develop a new mobile app, so instead used the OutSystems platform to develop it, in seven weeks, using the existing developer team. The effort resulted in an increase in customer onboarding conversion of 30%.

Original source: Using low code to sidestep the disruptors – a market survival strategy from OutSystems?