Category Archives: Technology

Technology to Fashion

With the rise of ecommerce, many of us now do the majority of our shopping from the comfort of our homes. But buying clothes online can be daunting. Startups utilizing emerging technologies are trying to change that, such as a company that uses 3-D imaging to let you “try” on clothes before you buy to one that uses a chatbot to personal shop for you.

This year marks Decoded Fashion’s fifth annual New York Summit — a two-day event where leaders, innovators and upcoming designers come together to discuss the most disruptive and innovative technologies shaking up the fashion and beauty worlds. The summit covers a variety of tech topics such as new in-store tech experiences, augmented reality and projection mapping.

The event also features a competition, “The FROW,” where tech startups looking to change the future of fashion and beauty pitch a panel of professional judges and executives from companies such as Coach, Equinox, Parsons School of Design, Google, Simon Venture Group and more. Think of it like theShark Tank of fashion and beauty.

One prediction in the show boldly conjectures that women will forgo skirts in favour of pants in the year 2000. Others foresee cantilever heels and glass wedding dresses.

But certain flights of fancy like a climate-controlled belt and a telephone suit — educated guesses that were cutting edge in the 30’s — come pretty close to heat-controlled jackets and mobile phones.

Cut to the present.

It’s almost 2016 A.D. Several technologists and designers predict that real clothes will start resembling science fiction. Again.

Our History with Predicting Fashion

Whether it’s the retro-futuristic style of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the outlandish, leading-edge clothes designed by Gareth Pugh or Intel’s roboticspider dress that defends your personal space, the influence of fashion on technology and vice versa is apparent in the steady rise of experimental themes in popular culture.

Solution for Annoying Trick

images-13On Halloween, what’s better than snuggling up on your couch, popping a bag of buttery popcorn, and binge watching scary movies all night? Then the doorbell rings. It’s a group of trick-or-treaters. You pause your movie, get up, dole out the candy, and then sit back down.

Ding-dong. There goes the doorbell again. Pause. Get up. Candy. Sit down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

You don’t want to be “that jerk” with the porch light off and no candy on Halloween. But is it too much to ask to be able to watch Hellraiser orChildren of the Corn uninterrupted?

The struggle is real. Netflix thinks it has the answer.

Say hello to the Netflix Halloween Doorbell. It’s a contraption that goes over your existing doorbell that “plays spooky sounds and music from your favorite Netflix shows.”

In other words, the device can blast the theme song to Stranger Things, for instance, while alerting trick-or-treaters to the tub of chocolates you stashed on your porch.

Oh, wait, of course there’s a catch: You have to build the darn thing yourself. Netflix outlines all the supplies you need and even offers instructions for how to create it from scratch.

The Star Speakerphone

download-46Think back to the last time you were on a joint call with several co-workers. You were likely packed into a conference room, all collectively staring at the star-shaped speakerphone in the center of the table. The phone absorbed and transmitted important topics discussed, deals done, projects debated and to-do list items checked off.

The world has Jeff Rodman and Brian Hinman to thank for that technology, which can be found in nearly every conference room from Boston to Paris and Beijing to Tokyo. The pair created the phone in the early 90s after founding Polycom in Rodman’s San Francisco basement. Since then, the company, now based in San Jose, has blossomed into one of the world’s largest communication players with 71 offices in 31 countries and 3,800 employees worldwide.

Earlier this month I caught up with Rodman, now Polycom’s chief technical evangelist and speaker at upcoming NextCon — a business conference scheduled for November — to learn more about his path to building an iconic company and his advice for others who want to do the same.

Let’s start from the beginning. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

I always wanted to be an engineer. I’m not sure about the entrepreneur part. Looking back, I incorporated qualities from both my mom and my dad into my career and life path. My dad was a radioman in WWII, and I learned a love for technology through him. My mom is an organist and has played piano all her life. I now play the piano quite often.

How did you and Hinman come up with the idea for Polycom?

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, moved up to San Francisco after college to work as a development engineer and then relocated to Boston to work at PictureTel, a startup that was leading the way in video conferencing and collaboration. After a few years, my wife wanted to come back to California, so in 1989 we moved back to San Francisco. It was right around that time when Brian — a founder at PictureTel — and I started talking about launching a company. (Note: Polycom acquired PictureTel in 2001.)

Related: 7 Signs It’s Time to Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur

He moved out, and we got to work in my basement. We wanted to create a company that would let people collaborate wherever they were. We had ideas around document collaboration, but eventually decided to get into audio first and started talking about how to create the next great speakerphone.

How did your idea morph into the star-shaped phone?

We wanted to create a speakerphone where you could talk with anyone and interrupt the same way you do when you are in the same room with another person. That was an unusual concept at the time. Back then, speakerphones pretty much only allowed the person with the loudest voice to carry the conversation; that person’s voice would drown out other conversation.

We created a technology that mimicked in-person conversations and, at first thought, it could work perfectly just as a super speaker inside an existing phone on a person’s desk. When a conference call needed to happen, colleagues could gather around that desk. We priced it out and realized it would cost $400 per phone. And this is 1991 we are talking about.

Regulations Are Changing the Construction Industry

download-47Drones are changing businesses left and right, and companies are racing to integrate them into new industries. The expression “the sky’s the limit” doesn’t seem to apply to drones. So far, their applications have been limited only by the imaginations of their operators.

Construction, in particular, has benefited immensely from the advent of drone technology, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Mapping drones can conduct surveys of large job sites in a fraction of the time it takes a team of experts to do the same job.

The FAA takes an evolving stance on the use of drones for commercial means. The agency recently changed an important aspect of the law regarding who can pilot small drones. Those provisions could have significant impact on the way UAV technology progresses in the coming years. I connected with Dick Zhang, CEO of Identified Technologies, to find out more.

1. Part 107 reduces barrier to entry.

Until recently, a company needed to receive a Section 333 exemption from the FAA to apply any kind of drone toward commercial use. TheFAA’s website says that 1,692 petitions have been denied as of July 2016. The staggeringly high volume of requests alone causes delays in processing.

“The petition process takes too long for most firms interested in using drones,” Zhang says. “We were one of the first companies to obtain an exemption for construction applications, and it wasn’t easy. I’ve found that many of our customers come to us specifically because they want to circumvent the costly petition process.”

The recently announced Part 107, also called the Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule, substantially reduces the barrier to entry for pilot drones. Now, an operator doesn’t need a commercial pilot’s license to fly a drone for commercial purposes. Under the old rule, Zhang’s company had to send a licensed pilot to every construction site it mapped even though its drones fly themselves. Construction companies now can operate one of Identified Technology’s drones with very minimal training.

2. Part 107 increases agility.

Mapping a construction site with a drone is an enormous leap in efficiency and accuracy. A project that could take a team six weeks to complete can be done by a drone in minutes, and it can be repeated every day if necessary. Programmers can load drones with imaging technologies that produce incredibly detailed maps. This gives project managers groundbreaking insights into the finest details of their built environments.

Using a drone can save huge volumes of time, help to avoid costly mistakes and — depending on the project’s size — save builders thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars. A simple mistake that causes a week’s delay could result in huge losses due to equipment-rental costs and payroll.

Part 107 makes drones more accessible than ever. Identified Technologies’ blog recently included this game-changer: “The costs of paying for commercial pilots will be eliminated, which will dramatically reduce your drone mapping costs.”

What Stopping Millennials From Being Loyal to Brands

Marketers can grumble all they want about non-loyal millennials, but that doesn’t change the reality that they’re going to need to adapt if they wish to capture this younger market.

New data shows that 18-to-34-year-olds do in fact want to commit to specific products and companies. A recent survey by Facebook IQ of 14,700 U.S. adults and found that millennials are 1.75 times as likely as baby boomers to say that they’d like to be more loyal to brands. The survey examined sentiments and behavior related to five industries: auto insurance, airlines, hotels, grocery and restaurants.

Millennials have different habits and expectations than their parents’ generation. Technology allows them to move around for work, and moving is 1.44 times more likely to be a barrier to them buying auto insurance than it is for boomers. The tech-savvy younger generation also expects to be able to get in contact with brands quickly, and it turns them off when airlines and hotels aren’t readily reachable.

When it comes to food, millennials seek cleanliness and healthiness. They are 2.5 times more likely than boomers to list a store’s hygiene level as a deterrent to stopping there, and they are twice as likely than boomers to cite a lack of healthy options as a barrier for dining at a restaurant.

Another aspect that might stop millennials from clinging onto brands is their finances. Facebook IQ found that survey respondents who report a household income of $150,000 or more are 32 percent more likely to be loyal than those who report a household income of under $35,000.

Millennials, according to the survey, were born roughly between 1982 and 1998. Many of them, especially those born in the ‘90s, have not had much time to build their careers and earn hefty salaries. This could explain why millennials are not as loyal as brands would prefer: They don’t have the money (yet). One company that looks to address this issue is Whole Foods Market with its new chain of 365 stores, designed to offer affordable products along with quality and transparency — other values that millennials prioritize.

Another demographic millennials have yet to fully transition into is the parent set. The survey found that new parents are slightly more likely to be brand-loyal than non-parents across industries. Forty-two percent of parents with a child under 1 describe themselves as loyal, compared with 36 percent of people with no children.

Perhaps when more millennials become parents, they will forego brand experimentation and become more loyal to hotels, restaurants and other companies that they know will provide the necessary amenities when they have their children in tow.

Luxe New Car Is a Volvo

Volvo — a carmaker not typically known for its flash — has unveiled a luxe version of its high-end S90 for the Chinese market. The move is part of a reboot under a new owner to position Volvo as a world-class exporter. These luxe cars and a handful of other models will be produced in China, not Sweden, where the company is headquartered. Some say the shift helps it better compete with other automakers in one of the world’s top markets.

The upgrade provide the Jeeves experience. First off, there’s no front passenger seat. In that seat’s place is a special console that can store shoes, serve as a footrest or give a backseat passenger with long legs space to stretch out.

The change (previewed at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2015) helps “meet the chauffeur-driven executive customers’ need to relax or work while on the move,” a Volvo design executive explained in astatement.

A backseat console includes a small built-in refrigerator. It’s large enough for two bottles of bubbly and comes complete with two handmade crystal glasses (from Orrefors, the esteemed Swedish glassmaker).

A fold-out worktable can keep mobile moguls productive as can a special display screen that appears at the tap of a finger (and can replace your laptop screen). The display can be used for work or entertainment, with a system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Of course, the car is semi-autonomous and its safety systems cover cities and rural areas. There’s even a feature called Large Animal Protection.

Affair of Bots and Bookkeepers

Business owners, be forewarned: The AccTech (accounting + technology) bots are taking over. But they’re not the towering metal giants or eerily humanoid robots of sci-fi nightmares. These bots are lines of code that grab information and communicate with humans about your business operations. They know (almost) everything before you’ve even whispered the thought, and they might want to take your bookkeeper’s job — or maybe just work alongside her.

I had a recent conversation with Jan Haugo, CEO and vice president of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers USA (ICBUSA), who emphasized all the ways emerging technologies will transform the role of small business bookkeeping. In particular, we discussed how machine learning and artificial intelligence will enable accountants to interact with bots the same way they would with a human co-worker.

Accounting technology brands such as Xero are already capitalizing on this trend. It’s continued its innovation by releasing AI tools that will minimize — and ultimately eliminate — the amount of transaction coding businesses must do. This may seem scary now (at least for a few old-school number crunchers), but as technology develops and people cozy up to the practice, bookkeeping bots will continue their industry domination.

The evolution of your company’s bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers play a vital role in many organizations, but what happens when bots handle the flow of information and render several of their manual tasks redundant? The common perception of bookkeeping as a reactive role focused on tracking and managing data gets turned upside down.

Technology is reaching a point where humans don’t need to be involved in data collection and management. #ZeroDataEntry — meaning functions such as the recording of invoices can occur automatically and without human intervention — is quickly becoming a reality for many accounting teams.

The bookkeepers of the future (and, perhaps, the future is now) will go beyond understanding debits and credits and your business’s current software. Bookkeepers must be able to think about technology, address workflow issues and add value on the topics of finance and operational strategy. Evaluate the effects of tech on your company, and decide how your current bookkeeper fits into this future narrative. She can assist in future-proofing your business if you give her a chance to become that AccTech advocate.

According to Haugo, the U.S. lags behind other countries in this area, so how can you help to close the gap? With the shifting demands of the bookkeeper, do we have enough of the “right” candidates in the market? And what can you do to accommodate for this new role?

These are all important questions. So here’s some advice on finding (and retaining) bookkeepers who will drive your organization into the new era of accounting:

1. Know your skills gap — and fill it!

According to a survey of American executives, 45 percent believe a lack of skilled labor hinders growth, and another 30 percent believe it negatively affects their businesses’ profits. This is magnified when dealing with numbers professionals. So find out what’s missing, and identify the skill sets that are most critical to your company’s growth. Doing so will help you recruit the right people to fill the gap.

But don’t just hire a bookkeeper because your friend recommended her or because you share an alma mater. Instead, conduct your due diligence to ensure you’re building a strong, versatile team with each new recruit.

2. Recruit from a pre-vetted talent pool.

It’s more crucial than ever to hire and retain top-notch talent — especially when direct replacement costs up to 60 percent of the previous employee’s salary. But as a small business, you need people now, and you can’t rely on outdated educational institutions to generate the workforce you need. So start looking for candidates elsewhere.

If you’re not sure where to find top accounting talent, check out progressive industry resources. Accountex (formerly The Sleeter Group) and Xero invite top-level individuals to speak at their conferences. These panelists are change agents and leaders within the community, making them valuable additions to your network. If they can’t help you directly, they may have the resources to find the right person for you.

3. Go beyond the bank reconciliation.

Look beyond a candidate’s recordkeeping prowess or whether she can complete a bank reconciliation. Instead, ask if she’s familiar with Xero, and see if she can discuss any of the 400-plus apps that exist within her market.

Evaluate her attitudes around cloud accounting and the impact of technology on the industry. Knowing a few tricks with QuickBooks Desktop and Excel won’t cut it, but familiarity with Expensify, Hubdoc, Avalara or Zapier indicate an awareness of how tech transforms bookkeeping.

Come for Windows and Stay for Surface

Microsoft’s Windows 10 event, scheduled for Wednesday, actually could focus more on hardware than on the operating system, given that the next Windows 10 refresh is expected in March.

A new Surface device — possibly an all-in-one computer with a 21-inch or larger screen — could be in the offing.

Whether Microsoft will unveil updates to its Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices or showcase products from its OEMs has generated some debate.

Windows Insiders have been testing new Windows 10 features, including trackpad innovations, noted The Verge. It might announce a F.lux-like feature to reduce blue light in Windows 10, as well as a new HomeHub smart device control feature. Further, Microsoft might bring its Holographic shell to Windows 10 PCs.

What Makes Sense

“It’ll be a hardware event,” predicted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“This is the expected refresh of the Surface product line,” he told TechNewsWorld, because “all that Surface stuff belongs to the Windows 10 group.”

Although some of the speculation may be groundless, “the all-in-one device makes a certain amount of sense because Microsoft hasn’t had a desktop Surface product yet,” Enderle pointed out.

“The smart money’s on the fact that they’ll probably have a Surface all-in-one, and the Surface Book and Surface Pro will probably be upgraded,” he said. “It’s about time.”

Improvements in battery life, higher-resolution screens, better touch technology, and “a better overall stylus experience” probably will be unveiled, Enderle suggested. “Everybody has improved their stylus resolution and screens have been getting better.”

However, don’t expect the Surface Book or Surface Pro to get any thinner, because “they’re already pretty thin and will run into thermal limits,” he noted.

The Surface all-in-one PC “is what’s most likely to be announced,” R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research, also said.

Expect deeper integration with Cortana services, Microsoft’s Power BI and more, he told TechNewsWorld..

Moving into AR, VR and Games

Microsoft also might push virtual or augmented reality, Wang suggested. “Look for the battle for VR and AR to continue. With the rumors of the iPhone 8 integrating VR and AR, this is a chance to pre-empt Apple.”

Microsoft might make “some type of announcement to counter Nintendo’s Switch with their devices,” he noted, “but we’re not sure if this will happen.”

The Nintendo Switch is a new home gaming system unveiled last week. It can be used in single player and multiplayer modes, and it lets gamers play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose.

Marketing Works

Redstone 2, the Windows 10 update scheduled for March, will have several new features, according to Wang, including an Office hub, better Bluetooth GATT support, onDemand sync with Microsoft OneDrive, interoperability among devices, and gaming services to the devices.

Windows 10 had a 22 percent share of the global operating systems market in September, according to Netmarketshare. Windows 7 continued to dominate with 48 percent.

Microsoft reported that revenue from Surface products grew 9 percent year over year in constant currency in fiscal Q4 2016, driven by sales of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Sales totaled US$965 million, but Microsoft didn’t state how many units were sold.

Flaw Opens Door to New Dirty Cow Exploit

A Linux security vulnerability first discovered more than a decade ago once again poses a threat, Red Hat warned last week, as an exploit that could allow attackers to gain enhanced privileges on affected computers has turned up in the wild.

Users need to take steps to patch their systems to prevent the exploit, known as “Dirty Cow,” from granting access to unprivileged attackers.

“This flaw has actually been in the kernel for a better part of a decade — what’s changed isn’t the vulnerability itself, but rather the manner in which it’s being exploited,” said Josh Bressers, a security strategist at Red Hat.

“As attack methods have become more sophisticated, hardware has become faster, and the kernel [has become] more predictable, a bug that was once thought to be impossible to exploit is now possible to exploit,” he told LinuxInsider.

Out of the Shadows

Linux security researcher Phil Oester rediscovered the flaw while examining a server that appeared to have been under attack, he told V3.

A “race condition” was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled copy-on-write breakage of private read-only memory mappings, Red Hat explained in last week’s security update.

Unprivileged local users could use the flaw to access otherwise read-only memory mappings and increase their privileges on the system, the update states. The issue affects Linux kernel packages as shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5,6,7 and MRG 2.x.

Shipping versions of Fedora are also affected, and Fedora is aware of the flaw, the warning notes.

Red Hat advised users running affected versions of the kernel to update as soon as patches become available, adding that a system reboot will be required to make sure the kernel update is applied.

A patch for customers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 or greater will be available, according to the company. For several other versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an active Extended Update Support subscription will be required to access the patch.

Users who don’t have an active EUS subscription will have to contact Red Hat sales representatives, the company said. For those using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, 6.4 and 6.5, an active Advanced Update Support subscription will be required for access to the patch.

Possible Consequences

“The major risks are that an attacker exploiting this — and there has been an identified attack in the wild via HTTP — would be able to replace known binaries, including the replacement of core system applications, compilers and various publicly exposed systems — SSH daemons, Web servers, and so on,” said Kevin O’Brien, CEO ofGreatHorn.

“From a risk perspective, the age, ease of exploit, and reliability of this particular vulnerability is particularly concerning,” he told LinuxInsider.

Seeing a CVE of this magnitude, when combined with an in-the-wild implementation, makes this a critical issue for any systems administrator, O’Brien said.

That said, since the code must be executed on a local system and not a network, it’s a two-step process for the attacker, noted Red Hat’s Bressers.

Elements of Innovation

One of the things that has made Dell World very different is that at the end, one or more controversial speakers take the stage and provide an incredible amount of insight for the folks who haven’t left early.

All three of the last three speakers were fascinating, but it wasn’t until I wove all three speeches together that it became clear to me why innovation seems to evaporate the larger a company becomes. I was drawn in particular to why Netscape failed and Google, outside of ad revenue, largely has been unsuccessful, once you factor in economics.

I’ll walk you through this and then close with my product of the week: a new set of headphones from Plantronics, which have become my favorite travel headphones.

The 4 Elements of Innovation

The first speaker used, of all things, the creation of chemotherapy as his quintessential example of innovation. He told the story of how leukemia was a death sentence for children coming into the 1960s with not only a 100 percent fatality rate, but also a horrid end for each child. It was so bad that some doctors refused to see the children, he said, and nurses visiting their wards were covered with sprayed blood. It must have been incredibly difficult to see small children suffering in incredible pain, and the images no doubt deeply disturbed the hospital staff.

Apparently there were four drugs that had some success, but they were all poisons. Each had a different function, each had terrible side effects, and each was potentially deadly. All of them individually only prolonged what was a horrid experience, so many doctors refused to use any of them.

One doctor, and you can read more details here,felt that all four might work where no one had worked before. Keep in mind the patients were children, each of the drugs individually was a deadly poison, and that doctor wanted to use all four. Oh, and since there was no animal counterpart to leukemia in children, the testing would have to be on live patients.

He got very little help and was constantly threatened with termination, but he was 98 percent successful, and his work became the foundation for modern day chemotherapy.

The speaker used this example to illustrate his contention that four elements are necessary for innovation to take hold: creativity, the ability to see an alternative; conscientiousness, the ability and drive to work to completion; contentiousness, the ability to fight against a common practice; and a sense of urgency, so the task will be completed in a timely way. (I agree with three of these.)

Interestingly, he also used Steve Jobs as an example, but those of us who knew Steve knew he was neither creative (the ideas always came from someone else) nor really conscientious (he got others to do most of the work). Just ask Steve Wozniak.

Jobs was a visionary, however, and he could see the value in someone else’s idea that others often could not. Also, he sure as hell was disagreeable and contentious. The Steve Jobs example suggests that all of the elements necessary for innovation don’t have to reside in the same person. It should be possible to create innovative teams that would have all of those traits and end up with something amazing.

But…

Not in a Large Company

The issue is that folks who are contentious and disagreeable, who are free thinkers, don’t survive in large firms. They become the nail that the rest of the firm pounds on until they either conform, die or quit. It is actually kind of hard to find visionaries who aren’t CEOs for the same reason.

Largely, they are forced to fit inside the visions of someone else, and I think that is why most large firms have to acquire much of their innovative technology after a while. It is why Xerox PARC could create the graphical user interface and mouse, but it took Steve Jobs and Apple to bring them to market.

I recall that the first iPhone-like phone I saw was created at Palm, and that group quickly was disbanded after being shot down by Palm’s then-CEO for having a stupid idea. It didn’t conform. Even at Apple, the iPhone required Steve seeing the threat of a music-playing phone to convince him to pioneer and then husband the product to market.

Microsoft also had a group that created an iPhone before Apple and even created a better tablet than the iPad, called the “Courier,” and both were killed before ever making it to market. It wasn’t that those firms didn’t have people who could innovate — they just treated them like problems, and instead of blessing and driving the related innovations, they forced them out of the company.

Google’s Approach

As the Dell World speakers continued, one of the other things that became clear was that the reason Google largely has been a copycat is that it lost track of its identity. The second speaker, talking about coming innovations, showcased a list of cutting-edge firms — all of which were created by directing people toward something the firm didn’t own and monetizing it.

Facebook didn’t own the content, Uber didn’t own the cars, and Airbnb doesn’t own the properties. However, Google was the king of monetizing what it didn’t own, and that was its entire model for achieving success.

The implication was that had Google realized what it was best at — monetizing access — then it would have created its own Facebook, Uber and Airbnb. Instead, it tried to copy Apple, Microsoft and eventually Facebook, but none of those endeavors has been particularly successful financially, and some have cut into their revenue and added to costs. For example, both Apple and Microsoft could have been partners instead of rivals.

I recall one of IBM cofounder Thomas Watson Jr.’s saying: “Be willing to change everything but who you are.” I think Google’s — now Alphabet’s — problem is that it no longer knows what it is.

Wrapping Up

Overall, the Dell World talks left me with two lessons.

One, that if you want innovation you have to identify those who are likely to innovate, and then back and protect them. Truly consider the concept of Skunk Works, (which has resulted in some of the most innovative products ever created) and the new policies at Ford, which expressly protect free thinkers.

Two, that if you don’t know what your core skill is, then you are likely to fail a lot. I could go down a list of companies, starting with Netscape and ending with Yahoo, that just forgot who they were and either failed or are in the process of failing as a result.

This suggests two other things: If you are a creative free thinker, then you don’t want to work for a big company that won’t protect you; and one of the first things you should ask when considering a new job is whether the firm knows what its core skill is — in other words knows more about what it is than its name suggests.