This week, I discovered the existence of another company that I had never thought of that I had forgotten about. It was a reminder that we should not underestimate the annoying.
One of those companies is called Polly, and if you know what it does, you have a gold star. It makes gadgets like telephone headsets for corporate call centers and speaker gizmos for office conference calls.
This is not a good thing at all, but it can be useful, and Poly is profitable and worth $ 1.7 billion.
The buyer, HP Inc., makes a lot of money selling computers and Hulking printers to businesses. It’s a snooze that made HP worth close to $ 40 billion, or nearly eight times the value of WeWork, a company that was thrilling and almost short of money and died in 2019.
For Cubic residents, the products may not be the whistle-blowing miracles we envision from Silicon Valley, but the world runs on boring technology that requires tedious companies to do monotonous but important things. Many companies that sell this technology create rivers of cash, even if only five people are able to explain it, for example, software giant SAP.
My goal is to take a few minutes to help us realize the numbness that surrounds the world.
I don’t know what technology my employer uses to process my paycheck. Most of us will never see the Amazon computer server that launches Netflix on our TVs. The U.S. healthcare system relies heavily on patient records from a software company called Epic. You may not know what Oracle is, but if you’ve bought something online, you’ve probably interacted indirectly with one of its databases.
We would never write Valentine in this kind of annoying software, but we need it to work. Dull things can make things better for us, such as enabling telemedicine calls or helping to check for diaper stock before going to the store.
Many technologies designed for business are smelly or stuck in the past, but it’s all nuts and bolts. Companies that create dull technology for companies will probably last longer than Doritos-on-demand start-ups. And this is a gold mine. Businesses and governments are expected to spend about 5 4.5 trillion on technology this year. Some of the world’s most valuable technology companies like Microsoft, SAP, Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and ServiceNow are annoying.
Annoyingly Libran – always rational, easily hurt emotionally, very passionate and maybe a little too intense. It can also be a political asset. Facebook can’t buy a packet of chewing gum without government regulators suspecting the company is conspiring to cause tooth decay worldwide. And when a company tries to buy it, every antitrust alarm bell goes off.
Yet in January, Microsoft announced a nearly $ 70 billion acquisition of the video game Titan Activation Blizzard. Regulators may still block takeovers, but Microsoft may try in part because of its identity as one of the least controversial of the technology superpowers. Microsoft’s revenue is higher and its value is much higher than Facebook’s parent company Meta. But it doesn’t use most product businesses to do things like crunch data, say, communication tools that have been misused to spread conspiracy theories.
Mark Gorenberg has dedicated his professional life to snoozing technology. In the late 1980’s, he worked at Sun Microsystems, whose technology includes Unix and Java in almost every single piece of current technology. Gorenberg described the sun as “very annoying but it drove everything.”
Since then, Gorenberg has worked for investment firms that specialize in supporting young firms that sell largely pornographic technology to businesses.
He told me that many of the so-called enterprise tech companies were not the most cutting-edge. But he is betting that the dull sector will become the center of exciting innovation.
Gorenberg talks about innovations, such as the recently released technology that Microsoft uses to help software write itself. Its investment firm, Zeta Venture Partners, supports one start-up that scans car accident records to conduct insurance claim assessments and another identifies potential network failures before the Internet goes down.
He is talking about a future where annoying technology is essential but also has some advantages.
If this technology can be a little exciting and can help us all, great. But there will always be a foundation of annoying technology that touches our lives and the world – even if we don’t know it exists.
Want a good cellphone call at home? Give it a try.
Brian X ChenConsumer technology columnist for The New York Times suggests what to try if calls on your smartphone sound awful or drop while you’re at home.
Many of us experience spotted cellphone calls at home. This can help you use Wi-Fi calling, which will route a telephone call through your Internet connection. This often gives us more reliable and better quality phone calls than funneling into our local telephone networks, especially if we are not next to a cell tower.
Generally, smartphones do not automatically use Wi-Fi calling, so here’s how to turn on this feature.
On iPhone: Open the Settings app, select the option for the phone, select Wi-Fi Calling, tap the bar to turn on the feature, and fill in some details about where you live. (When you dial 9-1-1 it helps law enforcement identify you.)
On Android phonesWi-Fi calling settings may change, but try: Open the phone app, tap the option for more, then select Settings. Select the option labeled Call and tap Wi-Fi Calling.
One caveat: Wi-Fi in your home may not be a great option if it is stained. Here’s my past column for solving Wi-Fi problems at home.
Before we leave.
Yes: The hackers appeared to be urgent requests from law enforcement officials for several Internet companies to transfer information about their users. According to Bloomberg News, Apple and Facebook were deceived by the claims last year, and provided information such as addresses and phone numbers that were then used in the harassment campaign. (A subscription may be required.)
You may have noticed that almost all reel videos on Facebook: Vox’s Record Publishing reports that Facebook’s efforts to push those bite-sized videos into our feeds mean that 11 of the 20 most visited Facebook posts in the United States in the last three months of 2021 represent reels. And a bunch of reels anonymous, re-posted Video or spammy type from TikTok, writes Vox.
Related to On Tech: Facebook will turn you into real love.
Long hangover when countries block websites: After Turkey banned Wikipedia in 2017, it took years of legal challenge to get the online encyclopedia backed up. The Washington Post reports that the struggles for Wikipedia could be a foretaste of the future for Facebook, Twitter and other banned sites in Russia. (A subscription may be required.)
Related: Annie Rowarda, a young woman from Michigan, is compiling some weird Wikipedia pages. An example: the entry of “The Most Unwanted Gun”, a fancy tune from the 1990s.
This hug. (It’s not annoying.)
A flamingo known by its leg tag, No. 492, escaped from a Kansas zoo in 2005 (Independence Day). My colleague Daniel Victor has ridiculously described the life of the fugitive No. 492 over the past 17 years and the people who were surprised to see a flamingo in Texas.
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