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Tech Talk

Advice and Consent

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Apr, 2018 Issue

When you stop to look closely, there are lots of technologies in use at your business. There’s a computer, your Internet connection, maybe a computer network and various types of servers. There are also printers and copiers as well as your phone system. For retail operations, there are point-of-sales systems. There’s credit card processing, word processing and spreadsheets. There’s accounting software, scanners, document storage and retrieval, computer security. The list goes on and on. (In all the excitement, I forgot to mention email, text messaging and social media.) Frankly, it’s overwhelming.


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Driving Your Business with Technology

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Mar, 2018 Issue

I just looked at the “10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018” from Gartner (formerly the less-impressive-sounding Gartner Group), who makes their money by being smart about technology for big companies who can afford their subscriptions and consulting services.


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The Blockchain Gang, Part 3

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Feb, 2018 Issue

For the past two months, I’ve been writing about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, so-named because the blockchain technology that underlies them is based on cryptography (encoding data so that only people with the proper keys can read it). Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ether and LiteCoin work like cash, in that they are anonymous.


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The Blockchain Gang Part 2

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jan, 2018 Issue

Last month, I introduced the idea of “distributed ledger technology,” which is another name for the blockchain, a way of accounting for transactions without a central trusted authority. The most well-known public blockchain is associated with the Bitcoin digital currency, and is used to keep track of transactions of that asset without a central bank.


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The Blockchain Gang

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Dec, 2017 Issue

There’s a lot of hype around blockchains these days. It all started with Bitcoin—a form of digital currency, which doesn’t require a central bank to operate. Bitcoin is like cash: it’s anonymous, and using it carries no transaction fees (unlike credit cards). Bitcoin (and to a lesser extent other digital currencies) has grown in popularity since that time, and increased in value. If you had bought a single Bitcoin in June of 2013, you would’ve paid $128.10. On October 1 of this year, that same, single bitcoin was worth $4,280.11, a 3,300 percent increase. (Bitcoin has been around since early 2009. In late 2009, the first exchange of real dollars for Bitcoins valued a Bitcoin at about 10 cents.) 


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Security Breach!

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Nov, 2017 Issue

Last month, the names, addresses, birthdates, and Social Security numbers (SSNs) of 143 million Americans were revealed in a security breach at Equifax, one of the “big three’” credit bureaus (along with Experian and TransUnion). Since this personal information is essentially your identity in the modern world, the breach is a Very Big Deal, and opens those affected to identity theft, especially as it relates to applying for credit.


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Trump and Tech

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jan, 2017 Issue

In his 1997 book The Art of the Deal he [Trump] wrote "I don\'t even know how to turn on a computer."

I’m writing this in early December, but barring some unexpected event, Donald Trump will become the POTUS on January 20, 2017. It seems appropriate to consider what this means for technology, if anything. To quote Scientific American, “President-elect Donald Trump’s views on technology and tech policy were not prominent campaign features on his contentious path to the White House.”


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The Quick and the Dead

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Dec, 2016 Issue

While we may be deeply complex individuals, our expression of that complexity is sometimes markedly less apparent.


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A World Without Work

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Nov, 2016 Issue

When the cost of a robot is less than the cost of an employee (considering benefits and turnover), companies will increasingly turn to an automaton.


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Eye in the Sky

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Oct, 2016 Issue

PSS has made it possible to follow someone who commits a crime forward and backward(!) in time to see where they came from and where they go.


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Summer Doldrums

Author: Michael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Sep, 2016 Issue

It's nice to see an application that takes people outdoors and gets them walking.


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Debugging

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Micael E. Duffy
Jul, 2016 Issue

It is nearly impossible to write bug-free software of any significance.


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Neural Networks

Author: Michael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jun, 2016 Issue

Whether it’s a real brain or an artificial one, the trick is to train the damn thing.


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What's Next?

Author: Michael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
May, 2016 Issue

Google has talked about 2020 as a target for fully functioning self-driving cars, and that’s probably a realistic expectation.


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Back to Work

Author: Michael E. Duffy
Apr, 2016 Issue

My number-one complaint with the online job process is that rarely do you hear much from the companies you apply to.


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RIFfed

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Feb, 2016 Issue

I'm fortune I have a skill set that (I think) remains in demand.


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The Internet of Things

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jan, 2016 Issue

What does the IoT mean for you and your business? I think it represents a huge opportunity.


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The Dark Web, Part 2 of 2

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Dec, 2015 Issue

A peek inside the elusive world of the Dark Web.


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The Dark Web, Part 1 of 2

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Nov, 2015 Issue

A peek inside the elusive world of the Dark Web.


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The Cautionary Tale of Ashley Madison

Author: Micael E. Duffy
Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Oct, 2015 Issue

Is your business safe from hackers?


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Everything's Amazing

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Sep, 2015 Issue

As technology advances, are we starting to take it all for granted?


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A Little More Uber

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Aug, 2015 Issue

A closer peek under the hood at Uber


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Uber for Everything

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jul, 2015 Issue

Service providers, like Uber, are cashing in on convenience.


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Trending Now

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
Jun, 2015 Issue

The robot army is coming.


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Reusable Software

Columnist: Michael E. Duffy
May, 2015 Issue

Why is software so expensive and time-consuming to build?


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In this Issue

Rebuilding Better

Building a new house can be challenging—especially if it’s something you didn’t plan for or expect. It’s a scenario facing thousands of families in Northern California who lo...

Starting Over

Last October, Sonoma County experienced a natural disaster of epic proportions. Many people perished when tens of thousands of acres were ravaged by a firestorm. At least 4,655 homes were destroyed ...

Getting Back to Business

The October fires blew in on gale-force winds devouring with little discrimination thousands of homes both humble and grand and numbers of businesses large and small. Burning to the ground with equa...

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