February 2021

Technophobia in the Land of Engineers?

first_imgIt’s essentially common knowledge that widespread skepticism of technology holds court in Germany. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as ‘technophobia’ in the land of engineers, or, as Newsweek teased some time ago, German ‘techno-angst’. When it comes to technology, Germans are suspicious: They don’t feel the need to get started with new technologies, as they prefer to stick with things they know and which they consequently don’t have to fear. A German term has even been created to refer to people with this sort of mindset: ‘ Bedenkenträger,’ or ‘worrier.’I have been hearing about ‘German technophobia’ for decades: Articles, commentary, lectures, and all manner of discussions have cited it thousands of times. It’s always been present in one form or another. We’ve always lived in a land of neo-Luddites, while other countries have had their fun with fantastic new developments such as the PC, Internet, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and Pokémon.Hold on, though. Is that really how people in Germany think? Would a country full of neo-Luddites and technophobes really export world-record volumes of technological products year in, year out? A report from the Handelsblatt business newspaper’s February edition proudly announced ‘A fourthrecord-breaking year for German exports. Germany exports goods valued at nearly €1,300 billion.’ Moreover, the four-time world export champion didn’t sell €1,300 billion’s worth of potatoes or hazelnuts – the bulk of the exported goods consisted of premium industrial products. These technical products are apparently of such a high quality that they’re valued all over the world – that €1,300 billion didn’t come out of thin air, after all. So a country that allegedly places a low value on technology produces top-notch technical products? And we’re meant to believe that these products are developed in a country full of technophobes? That doesn’t compute.Export statistics are one way of assessing the situation, and personal experience is another. I visit a lot of companies, particularly small and medium-sized ones. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never come across technophobes there – quite the opposite, in fact. The level of technical expertise on display at their facilities is impressive, and as far as initiatives such as Industry 4.0 are concerned, these SMEs in particular are leading the pack in terms of implementing digitalization. German SMEs are far from technophobic.As regards phenomena beyond the workplace, things look similar: For instance, the general German public got used to streaming services very quickly, and nobody campaigned to preserve video rental stores in Germany. On the country’s public transport networks, 80 percent of passengers are now so wrapped up in their smartphones that, for example, they forget to get off at their stop. That doesn’t sound like technophobia to me. Germans use cutting-edge digital technology to meet their needs, and have been doing so for a decade. The overwhelming majority of people also use technology without fear or suspicion. It seems like the prevailing stereotype of neo-Luddism doesn’t hold much weight.“There isn’t any general technophobia in Germany, although the press often claims that this is the case.ShareThere’s also research in place to bolster my point. A few years ago, the University of Stuttgart carried out a study to determine the extent to which Germans are open to technology. I wasn’t surprised by the results: “There isn’t any general technophobia in Germany, although the press often claims that this is the case. Germans are instead rather welcoming of technology, particularly in regard to consumer technology and technology at the workplace.” According to this study, in Germany, technophobia is felt to a lesser extent than it is in most other European countries, despite numerous claims to the contrary. Last year, Bitkom carried out a representative survey that specifically asked about Germans’ mindsets regarding digital technologies. The survey found that: “79 percent of survey-takers indicated that they have a fundamentally positive opinion of digital technologies.”I’m convinced that alleged German technophobia is just a false stereotype, one that won’t become more accurate through decades of repetition. This accusation often amounts to nothing more than a convenient excuse that inventors and manufacturers make for technological solutions that don’t actually work so well for their intended audience. When we provide people with technology with clear benefits for them, their work, and their day-to-day lives, then they aren’t skeptical – smartphones are a prime example here. I’m convinced that if we do our job well, people will be on our side.last_img read more

Trained Tough

first_imgIntroducing Dell’s New Latitude Rugged Extreme 7424 and Rugged 5424 and 5420 LaptopsThe world’s toughest jobs require some of the toughest training, and that very same discipline has yielded the next generation of Dell’s Rugged notebooks. Each system is tested over and over again to surpass standards and set the “toughness” bar higher. From factories to first responders, warehouse work to off-shore oil rigs, our customers need dependability, connectivity and 24/7 performance. And Dell is the only tier-1 vendor with ruggedized notebooks, 2-in-1s, and tablets to tackle the hard stuff.One of the most demanding Rugged users is National Geographic explorer and first ascent climber Mike Libecki. He has completed more than 80 expeditions, including adventures to places no human had previously set foot. Like his trips to Peru, French Polynesia, Greenland, Nepal, and India, Dell Rugged went with Mike on his latest journey to China, and more importantly, helped bring him back. In this video, Mike trades a taste of expedition life for a look at the completely re-designed lineup of Dell Rugged notebooks and explains why his gear absolutely cannot fail. is purpose-built, designed and tested to the point of failure, and trained tough to deliver uncompromised performance for demanding customers like Mike and McLaren. Today, we’re proud to announce the newest members of the Rugged family: the Dell Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme and the Dell Latitude 5424 and 5420 Rugged notebooks. No two Rugged PC customers are the same, but they do have something in common: the need to combine end-to-end security with Dell Latitude reliability and manageability, wherever they’re working and whatever they’re doing.Withstanding hard hits is merely table-stakes, and just surviving the elements is not enough. Our customers expect Dell Rugged PCs to advance and provide improved capability and experience. So these new notebooks deliver easier viewing, indoors or outdoors for greater usability, rain or shine, thanks to brighter (1000-NIT) and sharper full high-definition displays with better color gamut. And with this new generation of notebooks, customers can work with zero down-time thanks to intuitive, hot-swappable dual-batteries packing a combined charge that can last more than 14 hours.If optical drives are your external storage method of choice to back-up and offload data, the 7424 and 5424 offer an optional Blu-Ray burner for data density. Fewer discs equal less work. And for users who need more portability, the new 5420 is up to 22% lighter and thinner for increased accessibility without giving up Dell’s classic rugged versatility.With each new Rugged notebook, you’ll get improved security and quicker log-on through “Windows Hello” facial recognition, and greatly-improved performance thanks to the latest generation of Intel quad-core processors, workstation-class AMD graphics chips, huge storage options and a beefy new active cooling solution to keep it all under control in any environment.And because connectivity is so critical, these Rugged PCs are available with next-gen Cat16 4G/LTE. We are also excited to now support FirstNet with Band 14 access as an available option on our Rugged line, so first responders will be able to depend on connectivity when they need it the most.Ready to take a look? Head over to the Dell Rugged page on to find the configuration that solves your needs.last_img read more

Leadership: A Commitment to Our Customers

first_imgGartner, 2019 Planning Guide for Cloud Computing, Elias Khnaser, Lydia Leong, Douglas Toombs, Simon Richard, Joerg Fritsch, Alan Waite, Paul Delory, Traverse Clayton, Gregg Siegfried, Marco Meinardi, Gregory Murray, Nik Simpson, Kyle Davis, 5 October 2018Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, John McArthur | Kiyomi Yamada | Philip Dawson | Julia Palmer, 27 November 2018Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Philip Dawson, Kiyomi Yamada, Hiroko Aoyama, Julia Palmer, John McArthur, 28 November 2018Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.Based on IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, September 25, 2018IDG, CIO QuickPulse: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Delivers Value as it Goes Mainstream in the Data CenterGartner, 2019 Planning Guide for Cloud Computing Depending on who you ask, leadership means a number of different things. For many (including Merriam Webster), the defining attribute of a leader is simply holding an office or position of leadership. And sure, Dell EMC—#1 in global hyper-converged systems revenue1—is by all accounts a leader. But the true impact of leadership cannot be measured in the absolutes of a chart or balance sheet, rather in the degree to which they empower the people—and businesses—they work with. In this spirit, I am thrilled to share the results of Gartner’s November 2018 Magic Quadrant and companion Critical Capabilities report for Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI).We believe Gartner has recognized Dell EMC for continued HCI leadership, reflecting both our Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. To evaluate Dell EMC Critical Capabilities for HCI, Gartner again selected VxRail, our flagship HCI offering. Our overall Critical Capabilities rating for HCI increased over last year’s report. In particular, this year Dell EMC scored higher than any other HCI vendor in the VDI use case, and for the 2nd year in a row, highest in Business-Critical and Cloud use cases.A recent IDG survey shows that 50% of IT leaders are already running or planning to run business-critical applications on hyper-converged infrastructure, with another 20% considering it2. VxRail is the only fully integrated, pre-configured, and pre-tested HCI appliance on the market powered by VMware vSAN, the industry leading software defined storage solution designed for virtualized business-critical workloads and applications. Powered by the latest generation of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, VxRail is fully loaded with enterprise data services and configurable to meet any business critical use case—even floating active-active data centers aboard hospital ships (just ask Mercy Ships, a non-profit VxRail customer that provides free lifesaving surgeries to people where medical care is nearly non-existent). VxRail speeds time to value in the core data center (powering applications such as SAP HANA), at the edge, and importantly in the cloud as well.According to Gartner’s own research, “In 2019, hybrid IT will be the standard. Technical professionals focused on cloud must continue to advance cloud-first strategies, embrace multicloud and maintain on-premises environments”3. As an integrated cloud platform, VxRail offers multiple options to simplify the path to a VMware hybrid cloud environment, including VMware Validated Design (VVD) and, coming soon, VMware Cloud Foundation, with a focus on integration and brokering, which will deliver a seamless customer experience with automated deployment of a VMware SDDC architecture and LCM of the full end-to-end hardware/software stack along with choice of networking. For more on how VxRail is transforming HCI networking and simplifying the path to the VMware Cloud, check out Gil Shneorson’s recent blog.As the leader of HCI Product Marketing, on behalf of the entire Dell EMC HCI team, I am proud that Gartner has recognized Dell EMC in a continued HCI Leaders position. But more importantly, I am excited about what lies ahead for our customers. Dell EMC and VMware are continuing to increase our level of collaboration on VxRail—and it is our customers that will benefit from these ongoing joint investments. The less time IT spends on administration, routine maintenance, and support, the more time they can dedicate to innovation that drives business value—and ultimately leadership within their industry. Which brings me back to the theme of this blog: leadership. My definition of a leader is someone—or some business—that empowers and creates new leaders. When I speak with VxRail customers, I am consistently inspired by the creative, impactful ways they are leveraging hyper-converged infrastructure to make a difference for their businesses, and the world—from powering the next disruptive innovation to providing free lifesaving surgeries. I can’t wait to see what comes next.last_img read more

Report: Israeli settler population surged during Trump era

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — A pro-settler group says Israel’s West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years. That period coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity. The report by West Bank Jewish Population Stats shows the settler population growing by around 13% since the start of 2017 to reach 475,481. During the same period, Israel’s population grew by around 8% to nearly 9.3 million. The Palestinians and much of the international community view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. At least 220,000 settlers live in annexed east Jerusalem, which wasn’t included in the report.last_img read more

Biden rescinds abortion restrictions on US foreign aid

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has rescinded a regulation that barred U.S. foreign aid from being used to perform or promote abortions. The move also includes a restoration of funding to the U.N. Population Fund and withdraws the U.S. from an international accord that promoted anti-abortion policies. The steps come just a week after Biden was inaugurated and fulfills his campaign pledge to reverse measures that previous Republican presidents, including Donald Trump, instated immediately on taking office. The so-called Mexico City policy, or global gag rule, has been a political ping-pong ball for decades, bouncing back and forth between Republican and Democratic presidents since it was first enacted in 1985.last_img read more

Bolsonaro win in Congress seen hindering impeachment drive

first_imgBRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Lawmakers supported by President Jair Bolsonaro have been elected to head both houses of Brazil’s Congress in a major victory for the conservative leader’s effort to fend off a potential impeachment effort. In the most crucial decision Monday, Arthur Lira of the center-right Progressive party was chosen as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies with 302 votes against 145 for his main adversary. Any impeachment move would have to start in the lower house. Hours earlier,  senators elected Rodrigo Pacheco of the center-right Democrats party as the Senate president, giving him 57 out of 78 votes. Opponents of the president have been staging street demonstrations to demand his ouster over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Brazil hard.last_img read more

Man who wore horns at US Capitol to get organic food in jail

first_imgPHOENIX (AP) — A judge ordered corrections authorities to provide organic food to an Arizona man who is accused of participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns. The move came Wednesday after a lawyer for Jacob Chansley complained his client has gone the past nine days without eating because organic food isn’t served at the Washington jail where he’s housed. Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, said his client considers eating organic food to be part of his “shamanic belief system and way of life.” Court records say Chansley told investigators he came to the Capitol after the president appealed to patriots.last_img read more

Riot aftermath: Still-shaken lawmakers, troops stand guard

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — On Jan. 6, the U.S. Capitol was besieged by supporters of Donald Trump who were angered by the then-president’s election loss. While lawmakers inside the building were voting to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s win, Trump loyalists were marching to Capitol Hill and breaking in. Five people died in the violent melee, including a police officer. Trump’s impeachment trial begins Tuesday on a charge that he incited the riot. The toll of the siege is still being tallied, from the growing number of people charged with crimes to the continued presence of National Guard troops in the nation’s capital.last_img read more