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Technology Pioneers 2012

by on Apr 03, 2012

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The disruptive impact of technology can either be interpreted as a dangerously destabilizing force or as an open door for creative change. In either case, there are winners and losers. It is difficult ...

The disruptive impact of technology can either be interpreted as a dangerously destabilizing force or as an open door for creative change. In either case, there are winners and losers. It is difficult to ignore the disruptive aspects of technology in 2011. The bankruptcy of Borders, the US bookstore chain, was testimony both to the growing proliferation of e-readers like the iPad and the Kindle, and to the giant conglomerate’s failure to adjust to market changes quickly enough. It also raised serious questions about the future of the giant bricks-and-mortar discount chains when consumers can easily compare prices and order on line. Blockbuster, which had built its movie rental business on the ability of its networked computers to predict which movies were likely to be the most popular, suffered a similar fate. This time it was the consumer shift to watching streaming videos online. Conventional TV and cable companies also felt the pressure. Sony Pictures, which had cashed in on the growing fascination with gaming online and had turned out to be a major hit with its PlayStation network, was forced to suspend operations for a month in April because it had not taken sufficient security precautions to protect its network. LulzSec, a group estimated to be six youthful hackers, cracked into Sony servers and stole passwords and confidential information concerning a million customers. Clean-up and insurance costs from the debacle were estimated at more than US$ 170 million.

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