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Herding Cats And Other Friday-Before-The-Super-Bowl Stories

Jan 31 2014, 8:00pm CST | by

Herding Cats And Other Friday-Before-The-Super-Bowl Stories

I was delighted that when Search Engine Journal identified the 25 greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time this week that on the list, among the beer, snack, and soda ads, were two technology ads. The top one on the list, of course, was Apple’s 1984 ad, but further down was my favorite: the Electronic Data Systems’ herding cats ad.

The latter, of course, was vilified for not giving viewers a single clue as to what was actually being advertised, but the tag line still encompasses the desire of any CIO: “we bring together information, ideas, and technologies and make them go where you want.” Of course, EDS was swallowed up by Dell, and the Macintosh never came close to the PC’s installed base, but what the heck, the commercials were great.

Sweet 3D Cleats

More technology related to the Super Bowl: In Computerworld this week, Lucas Mearian notes that the Broncos and the Seahawks will have better traction, thanks to Nike cleats designed with 3D printers. More important for those who consider time-to-market a key metric, Nike said that its 3D printing technique enabled to not only reduce the weight of the cleat, but the time it took to design it, with a reduction “from months to hours.”

What’s The NFL’s CIO Worrying About?

As this is written, the weather forecast for the New York metropolitan area on Sunday is a downright balmy 45 degrees. It’s hard to imagine a Super Bowl with empty seats, but as it happens, it’s a different story with regular games. According to a CNBC story this week, “Ten teams played to stadiums less than 95 percent full on average in 2013, double the number from 2008. Meanwhile, TV ratings were higher than during any season since 2006.”

The culprit: technology. Fans are staying home because the viewing experience is better there. The story continues, “That’s why NFL Chief Information Officer Michelle McKenna-Doyle said she knows there’s a ‘couchgate’ problem.  … With smartphone usage growing about 20 percent a year, McKenna-Doyle must also convince team owners that mere cellular service is not enough. It must be integrated with advanced Wi-Fi networks to assure limitless wireless access for intensive applications.” That’s why McKenna-Doyle is working to create better connectivity at stadiums across America. What a cool job!

New Things For You To Worry About

While you may think your refrigerator is just chilling the beer on Sunday, two security vendors are arguing about whether it and other appliances might be causing havoc on the Internet. As NetworkWorld’s Ellen Messmer notes this week, “In the stranger side of the Internet of Things, Proofpoint said it uncovered a cyberattack in which compromised refrigerators and TVs sent out malicious e-mail. But Symantec says it saw no evidence of such an attack.”

Proofpoint refused to name “the models of the TVs and refrigerators thought to be sending out spam,” making it difficult to confirm its charges. Symantec, on the other hand, says it “has discovered worms that infect Linux-based IoT devices such as routers, cameras and entertainment systems.” (Disclosure: I play poker every other Tuesday with employees of both Symantec and Proofpoint, but they seem to get along pretty well.)

Charge Rage

Speaking of charges, just when you thought Silicon Valley couldn’t get any weirder, the news comes courtesy of the San Jose Mercury-News that the vendors calling on you are dealing with a different kind of road rage than they’re used to: it’s called “charge rage.” Apparently there are so many employees with electric cars in the valley that there’s a severe shortage of on-site charging stations. That’s lead to colleagues leaving nasty notes on windshields, unplugging others’ cars to charge their own, and demanding scheduling software for the chargers.

So if salespeople suddenly duck out during sales calls, it may be because they forgot to transport the Tesla or relocate the Leaf.

Email CIO Next Community Manager Howard Baldwin if you’re a CIO who wants to spout off in an opinion piece on a technology-related issue like herding cats.

Source: Forbes

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