10. Backbytes: Mad Hungarian plan to tax every gigabyte of dataIn a world where we hear of dastardly governments doing quite preposterous things, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when we heard of the Hungarian government’s plan to tax ISPs for every single gigabyte of data that their users download.
Inevitably, the ridiculous tax would be levied at the ISP level, and would be passed on to consumers, who understandably complained – not just on Facebook, they even managed to arrange a sizeable demonstration in the capital, Budapest. According to one estimate, the tax could have raised the equivalent of around £450m (if people didn’t change their behaviour) – except the government actually backed down following the demonstration.
9. For Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Homebase, Morrisons and others, the information revolution wrought by the internet has just begun
While it has been clear to see the impact that online-only companies, like Amazon.com, eBuyer and Ocado, have had on retailers, forcing them to drop prices and grow their own online presence, what many of the well-established retail giants may not have cottoned onto is the amount of information that shoppers can now share, and learn about retailers’ dirty little marketing secrets.
This dissemination of information is at the heart of supermarket giants’ increasing challenges at the hands of discounters, yet their management don’t seem to understand that the game has changed: information is power, and is increasingly being used by consumers against established retailers.
8. Hybrid cloud – the future is open source
While moving to a hybrid cloud model is indeed the path many companies are seriously contemplating, or have actually moved to, many stick to proprietary hybrid cloud services from the likes of Google, Amazon and Microsoft Azure. John Leonard looks at open-source alternatives to those services, such as OpenStack and Docker. Could these give enterprises a more affordable and flexible alternative? Computing’s research seems to point in that direction.
7. The Nadella controversy has highlighted an opportunity gap not just a pay gap
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s excruciating foot-in-mouth moment when he suggested that women in the IT industry should stop trying to close the “gender pay gap” and instead “have faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along”, provoked much discussion about the so-called pay gap.
Writing for Computing, Suzy Dean, the CEO of a Microsoft Gold Partner in the UK, however, believes that the focus on the pay gap isn’t the right issue – it should have been about the opportunity gap between men and women. She backed this up with figures from the likes of Gartner and Harvey Nash on the paucity of female CIOs. She feels that the first step in getting this right is to move on from the Nadella story altogether.
6. David David MP: Only a minority of MPs care about internet privacy – and even fewer know much about technology
In a surprising, and yet refreshing response to a question from Computing, David Davis MP claimed that only a “small, but significant minority” of MPs in the House of Commons care about the issues of internet privacy and state surveillance raised by the Edward Snowden revelations.
Davis also claimed that Home Secretary Theresa May “was either being mischievous or didn’t know what she was talking about” when she described meta-data as just your phone bill. But this, he added was just the way things were among MPs, who are typically in their forties and don’t understand a great deal about technology.
To conclude, Davis suggested that our society was run by people with degrees in ‘piss-poor economics’ (PPEs). Ouch?
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