Millennials and Tech: It’s Not What You Think

Carl Weinschenk

In news that will be welcomed by companies hiring young people, a survey of about 2,000 16- to 35-year-olds in the United Kingdom and the United States, conducted by Atomik Research at the behest of identity management firm Intercede, found that millennials indeed care about cybersecurity.

Eighty percent of respondents, according to Dark Reading’s report on the research, said that the sharing of important personal information only with people holding authorized access is important or very important to them. Seventy-four percent said the same about location data, 58 percent for social media content, and 57 percent for purchasing preferences, the story said.

The bottom line is that the kids are alright. Intercede CEO Richard Parris was quoted suggesting that millennials are not that different from their parents after all:

Yes, they do share a bit more - but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t concerned with privacy or that they aren’t uncomfortable by the idea of that privacy being compromised.


Return of the Feature Phone

A decade ago, the cellular world was divided between basic phones and the one real smartphone, the BlackBerry. The world changed quickly, and basic phones are now marginalized. That’s a problem for those who either can’t or don’t want to hand over hundreds of dollars for a fancy phone. The problem is likely to grow as carriers end device subsidization and people are called on to pay full freight for their devices.

For that reason, it’s an opportunity for InfoSonics, which makes the inexpensive Verykool phone. CEO, Founder and President Joseph Ram points out that about 80 million Americans are under or close to the poverty line.

EWeek traces how the company cuts prices to the bone. Last month, Verykool released the Jet SL5009, which has a list price of $139.99. It has a 5-inch display, a 1 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to 64 GB.

Technology Is Hard, Marketing Is Easy

Iain Morris at Light Reading suggests that the marketers are ahead of the reality of software-defined networks (SDN). Reporting from the SDN Openflow World Congress, he writes that French carrier Orange is pushing back against what it suggests are unrealistic claims for the new technology.

During the keynote, Noël Foret, Orange's vice president of network control, suggested that overselling may lead to disappointment and less investment:

Foret hinted that some of his recent conversations at the board level have been less than comfortable because financial executives have been led to believe SDN and NFV can generate much bigger cost savings than are feasible.

Engineers and planners know that the transition to SDN and NFV will be long. Perhaps they should tell their bosses a bit more forcefully.

Battling Traffic Jams

A project being run by AT&T, the California Department of Transportation and the University of California, Berkeley is aimed at using technology to reduce traffic congestion.

Chris Volinsky, the assistant vice president of AT&T Labs, described the projects. Connected Corridors provides alternate routing in the I-210 area of Los Angeles. The options are put into a “play book” that commuters can use to avoid trouble spots. The Smart Bay Project is aimed at helping planners choose the best locales for infrastructure projects and improvements. The projects use aggregated and anonymized cell phone information to analyze the flow of people on the roads.

The goal is to use technology to create systems that can generally reduce traffic jams.

Net Neutrality Revisited

Among the debate points on the run-up to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) deliberations on net neutrality earlier this year were the impacts on the economy in general and investments in particular. The Hill reports that The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology plans to assess the impact in the autumn:

Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute recently charted a fall in capital expenditures by service providers — and suggested the rules could be one cause. Supporters of the rules quickly disputed that portrayal. But the claim, and the broader idea that the net neutrality rules were bad for business, has been pushed by conservatives and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

The bottom line is that the promulgation of the rules didn’t end the debate.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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