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Data Sheet—Friday, September 18, 2015

For the past two years, German manufacturers have been trying to jumpstart the shift to the industrial Internet using technologies invented domestically. Now, American tech companies including AT&T, Cisco, GE, Intel and IBM are trying to muscle in on the action, reports BloombergBusiness. The good news: the tensions could mean the job gets done more quickly.

The article is the latest illustration of just how critical connected devices will be in reshaping manufacturing processes around the world. The other huge force, of course, is 3-D printing. New research released this week by one of the biggest manufacturers in that space, Stratasys, suggests the technology will move more rapidly into mainstream production applications over the next three years. Of course, it has a vested interest in saying so, but Hewlett-Packard’s recent decision to prioritize 3-D is another telling sign.

Today is the final day of the huge Salesforce customer conference. I’m guessing many attendees will be chatting about this thoughtful essay from The Information questioning the cloud software giant’s heavy reliance on partners (or acquisitions) for some of its most important innovations. (Registration required.)

I’ll say good-bye with advice from two of the most powerful women in technology: hiring tips from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and career longevity insights from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Enjoy your weekend!



Two lessons in Uber-nomics. It would cost an additional $4.1 billion annually to reclassify drivers as full-time employees rather than contractors. That’s according to a thoughtful analysis by Fortune‘s Stephen Gandel. Plus, Uber defends its practice of adjusting fares according to weather conditions, demand or time of day. After all, the goal is to get you there quickly, and drivers need incentive. (Fortune)

Alibaba’s fall to earth. The Chinese e-commerce giant is trading near its IPO price. That’s prompting soul-searching about the general health of China’s tech sector. (Wall Street Journal)

PayPal’s payments processing arm is growing like gangbusters. Braintree, which processes credit-card transactions for the likes of Uber, could handle more than $50 billion in commerce this year. For comparison, its closest rival Stripe manages “10s of billions.” (Fortune)

Apple wins latest round in Samsung patent case. What’s notable about this development, which prevents the sale of smartphones that use the infringed features, is that it could lay the groundwork for future litigation. (Journal)

Why BlackBerry’s patents are so strategic. Revenue from licensing deals leapt 150% in its latest quarter. Expect an even sharper focus on monetization. (Reuters)




Here’s why drone insurance may be the industry’s downfall

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved its 1,000th commercial drone permit. That bodes well for an industry expected to generate billions of dollars in economic impact over the next 10 years, particularly after a more cohesive set of commercial drone regulations is put in place by the FAA next year. But as commercial drones move toward ubiquity, the industry still faces a major obstacle in assessing and appraising drone-related liability and adequately insuring both drones and the companies that use them.


Calling from Havana. Your Verizon mobile phone now roams in Cuba. (Reuters)

100 million pinners and counting, as Pinterest reaches milestone. (Fortune)

The FBI’s former CIO is now a venture capitalist. (Fortune)

Comcast will pay $33 million to settle California privacy case. (Reuters)

The reinvention of ZenPayroll. The fast-growing payroll startup is now called Gusto, and it’s taking on sometime partner Zenefits. (Fortune)

Don’t feel so bad about using ad blockers. (Fortune)


Google’s NIH health hire: Smartphones can detect mental health breakdowns by Kayt Sukel

Has big data finally found its killer app? by Derrick Harris

Facebook takes aim at Twitter with news curation tool Signal by Mathew Ingram

Here’s why cell carriers freak out when you use your unlimited data by Stacey Higginbotham

Tech shows grate, which is why vendors call on Stevie Wonder, U2, Aerosmith by Barb Darrow




Take your lunch break. It could reduce your recruiting budget. (Fortune)




.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Zebra Technology AppForum: Bar codes meet the Internet of things. (Sept. 21 – 23; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

nginx.conf: The modern web. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)

Percolate Transition: Reshaping marketing through technology. (Sept. 24; New York)

BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)

Relate by Zendesk: Improve your customer engagement. (Oct. 7 – 8; New York)

I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)

Tableau Conference 2015: Tableau’s annual customer conference. (Oct 19 -23; Las Vegas)

Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)

Virtuous Circle Conference: Internet policy in the round (Oct. 12-13, Menlo Park, California)

CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)

CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)

Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)

FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)