In the news: 5 tech news stories worth another look

Pete Roythorne

How long should you stay in your IT job?

Computerworld used that question for the framework of an article on the role loyalty plays in today’s competitive market.

“IT professionals … now switch jobs – and employers – faster than it takes ink to dry on a new business card,” the article says.

changeAccording to an engineering manager interviewed for the story, the key is “getting a taste” of different positions and the technologies used in those roles. Versatility is extremely valuable in today’s hyper-competitive IT job market.

“When you're in technology, you have to stay aware of the trends,” the individual says. “If you have that awareness, you can make sure that you don't become obsolete, especially as technology changes over the years.”

Nearly half (46%) of 244 IT pros surveyed last September by Computerworld admitted they “feel more pressure to create some movement in their careers.” Forty-three percent said “one to three years” with a company is the appropriate amount of time needed to gain the necessary experience.

Longevity, it seems, is no longer advantageous.

What else made this round-up? Read on:

Fighting back
The ongoing fight against terrorism now includes a new US task force. Its mission is to stop terrorist networks from spreading on the Internet.

According to WIRED, “The new group, the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force, will comprise members of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. The Department of State, meanwhile, will launch a new group called the Global Engagement Center, which is designed to help the US government work with partners to spread content online that counters terrorist propaganda.”

The White House announced the news on Jan 8, the same day officials planned to meet with Silicon Valley leaders. Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as representatives from Facebook, Twitter and other tech heavyweights were reportedly expected to participate.

‘We lack cyber policy’
Doesn’t it feel like hacks are constantly in the headlines? Well, what we hear about is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the former NSA director.

CNN Money reported that retired General Michael Hayden said the US government and companies harmed by hackers are equally at fault.

“The government hideously over-classifies it," Hayden said. “And the private sector, for fiduciary reasons, is reluctant to share it.”

Secrecy, the article explains, plays in to hackers’ hands. With limited information, instructors try to educate cybersecurity teams charged with protecting the country’s critical infrastructure.

“We lack cyber policy,” Hayden said. “We don't have shared information on which to begin to base that adult conversation.”

Tech stocks tank
Stock in technology companies went south on Jan 15.

As TechCrunch reported: “Universally, tech stocks crashed today alongside everything else, erasing billions in value across the board, as part of a bad day overall for the market. There’s not a whole lot of confidence throughout the market, but tech – even bellwethers like Apple – weren’t safe today.”

The skid for certain stocks was especially noticeable. TC listed nine:

  • GoPro: down 8.17%
  • Atlassian: down 6.15%
  • Twitter: down 5.58%
  • Square: down 5.08%
  • Box: down 4.95%
  • Fitbit: down 4.77%
  • Facebook: down 3.44%
  • Alphabet: down 2.84%
  • Apple: down 2.84%

Stay tuned. It’s a safe bet employees whose fortunes are tied to their shares certainly will.

Big deal brewing?
TV broadcast rights for the National Football League have always been a big (read: “lucrative”) deal.

Now? Count on another group of contenders to duke it out for rights to stream next season’s three NFL games played in London. Apple and Google are among the tech giants negotiating to buy the rights.

“Last year, the NFL partnered with Yahoo Inc. to live-stream a London game, the first time a technology company has streamed a game for free to viewers. Live-streaming is becoming increasingly popular as more consumers cancel their cable subscriptions, a practice known as cord-cutting,” according to Reuters.

Pro sports is widely considered premium content. The company that strikes a deal stands to strike it, well, even richer than they are now.