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2018年02月25日 19:17:40 | 作者:99社区 | 来源:新华社
Few words raise more consternation than ‘this time is different.’ Yet in the world of enterprise tech today, times are different — and they are likely to stay that way for a while.很少有哪句话比“这次不一样”更让人紧张。在如今的企业科技领域,时代的确是不同了,而且这样一个时代很可能会驻留一阵子。It’s not everyday that 0-plus billion companies split themselves in two. Recall late last month, eBay’s decided to spin off its fast-growing payments division, PayPal; last week, Hewlett-Packard HP -5.89% moved to separate its PC and printer divisions off from its enterprise hardware and service groups. And most recently, Symantec’s potential split into security and data storage.不是每天都上演资产超千亿美元的大企业的分拆大戏。但就在上个月,eBay公司决定剥离其快速增长的付部门PayPal;就在上周,惠普公司(Hewlett-Packard)决定将PC和打印机部门与企业硬件和务部门分拆。最新消息是,赛门铁克(Symantec)很可能会分拆为两家分别从事安全与数据存储业务的公司。On the other end, we just witnessed the largest acquisition in the history of cloud computing — where one of the largest software companies in the world, SAP SAP -0.77% , is buying Concur, a provider of on-demand travel and expense management software-as-a-service, for .3 billion.另一方面,我们刚刚见了云计算历史上最大的一笔收购交易:全球最大的软件公司之一SAP,正在收购企业报销管理务商,软件即务类公司Concur。Beyond the question of what these tech companies are worth, it’s important to ask what’s going on here? The developments can only be described as an “inversion” caused by a new shift in cloud computing. And I say inversion because the pattern we see today is almost the reverse of developments evident in the past.我们暂且不去讨论这些公司价值多少钱,目前亟需搞清楚一个问题:究竟发生了什么?这些新动向只能用云计算的新转变所引发的“逆变”来解释。我之所以用“逆变”这个词,是因为今天我们所见到的模式,与过去的发展轨迹几乎截然相反。The last time technology dominated the news cycle was in 1999-2000, during which we saw something interesting happen in the years leading up to the collapse of the tech bubble — we witnessed the simultaneous rise of not just new tech companies, but established ones too. While the number of companies going public eclipsed 300, the dominant players, such as Akamai AKAM -1.77% , BEA, Cisco CSCO -1.76% , EMC EMC -1.57% , Exodus, Level 3 LVLT -2.31% , Oracle ORCL 0.34% , Sun, etc. were able to sell both the technology infrastructure picks and shovels to both new and existing companies within the Fortune 500 (many of whom were busy preparing for what turned out to be the over-hyped Y2Kopalypse).上一次科技话题主宰媒体圈,还是1999年到2000年的事情。在科技泡沫破裂前的那几年,我们看到了一些有趣的现象: 科技新贵强势崛起崛起,但老牌科技公司的表现也相当不错。当时扎堆上市的新科技公司超过了300家。另一方面,一些市场主宰者,比如阿卡迈(Akamai)、BEA、思科(Cisco)、EMC、Exodus、Level 3、甲骨文(Oracle)和Sun,也能够把自家的技术架构工具卖给新兴和老牌《财富》500强企业(其中很多公司当年都在忙着应战被过度炒作的“千年虫”问题)。A rising tide was indeed floating all boats back then: As big established companies provided fundamental technological infrastructure to new tech firms, the businesses of existing firms grew rapidly. Cisco, for example, grew its revenue at rates of 50% to 60%, topping 0 billion in market cap; it was widely expected to become the first trillion market cap company.所谓水涨船高。随着老牌软件公司积极向新型科技公司提供基本技术架构,这些企业也在迅速壮大。比如,思科公司的营收以50%至60%的速度增长,市值一度高达5000亿美元。很多人认为它有可能成为史上第一家市值超万亿美元的公司。As evident today, that didn’t happen: Cisco’s market cap stands nearly 80% below its peak level. Meanwhile, the other large established companies that benefited greatly in the 1999 to 2000 run-up are either out of business (e.g., Exodus) or have been acquired (e.g., Sun, BEA, and Peoplesoft — all by Oracle). And if they’re still standalone companies (such as Akamai, Cisco, EMC, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, HP), then they’re showing very slow, if any, organic growth in their core computing businesses.正如你今天所见,这一幕并未发生。目前思科的市值只有全盛时期的20%。与此同时,其他在1999年到2000年大赚特赚的老牌软件公司要么退市(如Exodus),要么被收购(如Sun、BEA和Peoplesoft——这三家正好都被甲骨文收购)。如果他们目前还是独立存在的公司(如阿卡迈、思科、EMC、甲骨文、微软、IBM和惠普等),其核心计算业务的内生增长也是非常缓慢的,甚或没有任何增长。While all this is going on, what’s particularly interesting is that the number of companies being formed and amount of dollars invested in new enterprise technologies is growing significantly. Why the disconnect? How can enterprise tech be both out of favor and wildly in favor?与此同时,特别令人感兴趣的是,现在无论是新成立公司的数量,还是新型企业科技所吸引的投资额,都呈现出显著的增长。为什么会产生这种“脱节”现象?企业科技为什么一方面遇冷,一方面又倍受青睐?The obvious answer is that there’s a classic technology platform shift happening, driven by the move toward cloud-based computing. But perhaps less obvious is where, and how, this platform shift is happening. And what does it tell us about what may be coming next?最明显的是,经典的技术平台正在发生变革,它正朝着云计算平台方向转型。但另一个不太明显的问题是,这种平台变革正在什么地方,以什么方式发生?它是否预示着下一步将会发生什么事情?The first elements of the cloud-computing shift took place at the applications level: New companies were created to deliver existing application functionality via a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Think of examples like Salesforce.com CRM -2.81% for customer relationship management, or Workday for human resources.向云计算平台的转型首先发生在应用层面上。近年来,一批新建立的公司开始通过基于云技术的“软件即务”模式向用户交付现有应用功能,比如客户关系管理应用Salesforce.com和人力资源应用Workday。The second elements of the cloud-computing shift are being seen at more infrastructural levels of the technology stack: databases, networking technologies, storage technologies, and so on. Think of examples like Nicira (acquired by VMware for .25 billion) in software-defined networking; Servicenow (a recent IPO) in systems management; or Arista Networks (another recent IPO) in networking equipment.向云计算平台转型的第二波发生在基础架构层面,如数据库、网络技术和存储技术等等。比如Nicira(已被VMware以12.5亿美元收购)的软件定义网络;Servicenow(最近刚刚上市)的系统管理技术;Arista Network(另一家最近刚刚上市的公司)的网络设备等等。But here’s the thing: Unlike in the 1999 to 2000 era, where established tech companies were the natural beneficiaries of venture capital investment into new companies (and turned out to be the survivors after all the dust settled), this time the established firms are potential casualties of a cloud-computing platform shift.与1999年至2000年那个时代不同的是,在那股风投资本进入新公司的热潮中,老牌科技公司是自然而然的受益者,也是尘埃落定后的幸存者。然而这一次,在向云计算平台的转型中,老牌科技公司很可能成为受害者。To be fair, established technology platforms haven’t entirely disappeared. As we’ve seen in past platform shifts, enterprises have big investments in existing applications that rely on this infrastructure — so obsoleting them overnight is never an option.必须承认,传统的技术平台并没有完全消失。我们在过去几次平台转型中也曾发现,企业对依赖于这种技术架构的现有应用做了大量投资,所以要想一夜之间让它们退出历史舞台是不可能的。But as new applications take advantage of modern technologies, the existing technologies go largely into “maintenance” mode. That means that new revenue from licenses at legacy businesses starts growing more slowly and declines over time, while the annual maintenance and support streams from existing customers becomes the primary source of revenue. For example, IBM IBM -1.30% has reported nine straight quarters of declining top-line growth in its core business. And we are seeing early signs of this for most other established tech companies: Strong cash flows are being generated by the maintenance revenue streams, but new license revenue growth from the legacy businesses is slowing substantially.但是随着运用现代技术的新型应用不断出现,现有技术在很大程度上进入了“维护”模式。这意味着传统软件的销售收入将增长得越来越慢,最终会逐渐衰退,而维护与持现有客户所产生的收益将成为其主要收入来源。比如,IBM公司的核心业务增长率连续9个季度下滑,其它大多数老牌科技公司也显现出了这种状况的早期征兆:大量现金流来自维护收入,而传统业务的销售收入显著减缓。So who will remain standing in the aftermath of the current shift? Acquisition activity is one great indicator. That’s where news that SAP decided to acquire Concur, coupled with its previous acquisition of SuccessFactors (which was founded byAndreessen Horowitz partner Lars Dalgaard), signals that the company is leading the charge in evolving to the cloud-computing paradigm. Their acquisition strategy to date illustrates that SAP is committed to being a leading player in cloud applications in the same way as it created a massive enterprise applications franchise by riding the previous client-server platform shift.那么在这波转型彻度完成后,谁将会继续屹立不倒呢?收购行为可以被视为一个很好的指标。比如SAP决定收购Concur,再加上此前它已经收购了SuccessFactors(该公司由安德里森o霍洛维茨基金合伙人拉尔斯o达尔加德创办),说明这家公司正在全力向云计算领域进军。SAP的收购战略说明它致力于成为云应用领域的领军者,正如上一次在向用户—务器平台转型过程中,它在企业应用领域大获成功一样。SAP is not standing idly by. Why? Because the financial consequences of being on the wrong side of technology platform shifts can be monumental.SAP并没有坐以待毙。为什么?因为在科技平台的转型中,“站错队”的经济后果可能极为严重。Take a look at the market cap of the 10 largest enterprise incumbents (of which SAP is a member): There’s more than .3 trillion of market cap in this group. But if you look at the 2012 to 2014 class of enterprise IPOs, we’ve created only about billion in new market cap (and one company, Workday WDAY -1.08% , is around 25% of that amount). Add in enterprise Mamp;A by the top incumbents in that same timeframe (before the .3 billion SAP-Concur acquisition) and we’ve seen only billion in acquisitions. And most of those acquisitions were not really of modern cloud-based technologies. There’s much more to come.我们不妨看一下目前十家最大的企业科技巨头的市值(SAP也是其中之一):它们的总市值超过1.3万亿美元。但如果再看看2012年到2014年的IPO数据,你就会发现,这些IPO只创造了600亿美元的市值(Workday一家公司就贡献了其中的25%)。如果把同一时期十巨头的并购行为也计算在内(在SAP以83亿美元收购Concur之前),我们发现收购总额只有300亿美元。其中大多数收购标的并不是真正意义上的云技术。So despite all the excitement about the number of new enterprise technology IPOs of late, we haven’t seen the final salvo in the battle. Not even close. As the above numbers illustrated, there’s more than 10 times the amount of legacy market cap outstanding compared with the amount of new market cap created through IPOs or acquisitions to date.所以说,尽管最近企业科技领域的一连串IPO让很多人兴奋不已,但现在还没有到云技术向传统平台发起“总攻”的时候,甚至差得还远。正如前文数字所说,传统技术占据的市值与最近的IPO和并购所创造的市值相比,相差何止十倍。That means we’re going to see the acquisition ‘arms race’ escalate, and number of new enterprise IPOs continue to grow. And not only will we see the legacy players engage in more acquisitions, but we will likely see acquisitions from some of the larger new incumbents — like Saleforce.com and Workday — as they seek to stay ahead of the curve.这意味着,我们将会看到收购领域的“军备竞赛”持续升级,同时,加入IPO大军的企业科技公司也会越来越多。不仅传统科技公司会进行更多的收购行为,一些新兴科技巨头很可能也要大举收购,以保持竞争优势,比如Saleforce.com和Workday。Acquisitions alone don’t tell the entire story, though. Perhaps even more interesting is the corporate splits and spinoffs I mentioned earlier. The legacy enterprise players are now reconfiguring themselves into more focused, slimmer, and presumably more agile players so they can better compete in the brave new world. (To further complicate things, making targeted acquisitions of new technology companies will most certainly be part of the legacy players’ post-split strategy, too).不过,收购并不等于全部。更有意思的是前文提到的企业分拆与剥离。传统企业科技公司现在正想方设法地使自己变得更专注,更苗条,进而成为更灵活的竞争者,以便更好地在这个全新的世界中竞争致胜。(对新型科技公司进行定向收购,几乎肯定是这些传统科技公司在分拆后会采取的策略。)Either way, the signal is clear: There’s a platform shift happening. This time, the legacy players won’t survive by relying on their old lines of businesses. And as previous startups are becoming the new legacy players, some of the older incumbents are trying to reconfigure themselves into startup-like businesses. Another inversion of sorts.不管怎样,信号都是明显的:目前平台转型正在发生。这一次,传统科技公司恐怕难以依赖老旧的业务吃老本。上一批初创公司即将变成新的“传统”公司,同时一些“守成者”则试图瘦身成类似初创公司那样的企业。这又是另一种逆变。Acquire or split. No one seems to be going at this organically, from within. Something that’s been forgotten is that Concur started out as a conventional on-premise software company before making the difficult and sometimes costly shift to being a SaaS company. As its CEO noted over five years ago:不管是收购还是分拆,似乎没有人愿意自发地从内部变革自己。人们大概忘了:Concur一开始也是一家传统软件公司,后来它做了个艰难的决定,付出了高昂的代价,才转型成一家软件即务类公司。该公司CEO五年前曾表示:“I don’t believe large companies can make the conversion. Forget their genetic code. How many will take the pain? Companies won’t reinvent themselves… Cash flow will get crushed. You have to layoff. The transition is really hard and it’s very sudden. If you’re north of 0M it’s hard. Over B it’s impossible.”“我不相信大公司能实现这种转型。且不说什么‘基因密码’,有多少家公司愿意承受这种痛苦?企业都不想重塑自己……现金流会被摧毁,而且你需要裁员。转型的过程是非常艰难的,而且非常突然。如果你的市值是1亿美元以上,转型会非常艰难;如果超过10亿美元,那就是不可能的事情。”There, at least, not much has changed.至少从这个角度来看,目前还没有多大改变。 /201410/336508Digital messaging used to be so simple. Once the modem#39;s screeches, clucks and beeps ended and I was connected to AOL#39;s servers, all my friends would be right there, y to chat. When cellphones untethered us from our computers, texting was all we needed. Sure, it turned our thumbs into gymnasts, but it was manageable.发送信息曾经再简单不过了。一旦调制解调器发出刺耳的哔哔声,我就连上了美国在线(AOL)的务器,我所有的朋友都会在那儿,做好了聊天的准备。当手机将我们从电脑上解放下来后,短信能够满足我们所有的需求。当然,这也使我们的大拇指变成了上下飞舞的体操运动员,但是一切都在掌控之中。Now I feel like taking cover behind the couch to dodge the messages flying at me from every which way -- text messages, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Twitter direct messages.而现在,我的感觉就像是躲在沙发后面,躲避着从各个渠道扑向我的信息―文本短信、iMessage、Facebook Messenger、谷歌环聊(Google Hangouts)和推特(Twitter)私信。Having more options doesn#39;t feel like a good thing. Everyone#39;s on different services, which makes group conversations hard. Most popular services are also missing features like voice memos and receipts.选择过多并不见得是件好事儿。每个人都在使用不同的务平台,这令群聊难以进行。大多数热门的务平台都不具备语音备忘录和已读回执等功能。Plenty of upstart apps offer more powerful messaging plus lots of fun features, including sketch pads and meme generators. You haven#39;t fully expressed yourself until you#39;ve used animated stickers.很多新晋应用程序都具备更强大的信息收发和其他许多有趣的功能,包括素描板和搞笑图片制作工具等。只有你在用过卡通贴图之后,你才能淋漓尽致地表达自己。I set out on a journey with friends and family to test four services: WhatsApp, which gained fame for Facebook#39;s billion acquisition of it, along with Kik, WeChat and Viber. I even called on my parents, who usually stick to texting and emailing, and have no patience for complicated apps and social networks.我发动我的朋友和家人对以下四种应用务进行了测试:WhatsApp、Kik、微信(WeChat)和Viber,其中WhatsApp以Facebook对其斥资190亿美元的收购获得了外界的关注。我甚至还邀请了我的父母,他们通常只是发短信和邮件,对于复杂的应用程序和社交媒体,他们全无耐心。All of these apps work similarly. You download it (most are available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and even BlackBerry) and enter your phone number. Then you watch as the app scans your phone#39;s address book for contacts who use the service.上述四种应用程序使用起来大体相同。你把它们下载下来(大多数应用程序都持iPhone、安卓(Android)手机、Windows手机、甚至黑莓(BlackBerry)手机),然后输入自己的手机号码。接着等待应用程序扫描你手机通讯录上该应用程序的现有用户。You can send a text to those not yet on the service, requesting the favor of their presence. Once your people start turning up, you can chat with them privately or form groups.你可以向尚未启用该应用程序的联系人发送消息,邀请他们加入。当你的联系人接受邀请后,你就可以同他私信或群聊了。I began with WhatsApp, the easiest for getting started and creating chat groups. When I enlisted my mom, she asked why these were different than text messaging, but quickly answered her own question.我最先测试的是WhatsApp,这款应用程序最容易上手,也最容易创建群聊。当我向我母亲发出邀请后,她问我,这款应用程序与短信究竟有什么区别,但是她自己很快就找到了。She said chatting felt speedier than texts and iMessage. She loved sending short recorded voice messages to my sister and me. The app makes it easy to throw in photos and , and to set your status so people know if you#39;re available.她说,相较于短信和iMessage,她觉得WhatsApp更迅捷。我母亲很喜欢给我和我发送语音信息。这款应用程序令照片和视频分享变得很简便,另外,设置自己的状态也很容易,这样别人就知道你是否有空了。WhatsApp was the only one my parents didn#39;t need help figuring out. But the app lacks features, digital stickers and other multimedia gimmicks.在这四款测试应用中,WhatsApp是唯一一款我父母不需要指导就能掌握的。但是,WhatsApp的功能有限,不具备数字贴图和其他多媒体工具。It also doesn#39;t have functional tools such as desktop chat, which lets you keep up with your mobile buddies while chained to your computer.WhatsApp还缺乏一些功能工具,比如桌面聊天等。当手机和电脑连接后,桌面聊天功能可以使你在电脑上和朋友继续聊天。Kik, incredibly popular with teens because of the crazy multimedia features, allows you to search the Web for fun stuff such as GIFs and YouTube s and drop them into your chat. You can doodle, insert stickers (yes, I paid for a South Park pack), even add your own words to popular meme photos. There#39;s a Snapchat-like feature to transmit self-destructing images.Kik在青少年中极其风靡,原因是它具有非常强大的多媒体功能,该应用程序允许用户在网络上搜索GIF和YouTube视频等有趣的内容并在聊天中进行分享。你可以随意涂鸦、插入贴图(我就花费2美元购买了一套南方公园的贴图),你甚至可以在流行的搞笑图片上写上自己的话。Kik还附带类似于Snapchat “阅后即焚”的功能。Kik, though, doesn#39;t offer easy access to basic and audio messaging that my family loved in WhatsApp. And for all the fun I had using Kik with friends and colleagues, my parents couldn#39;t have been less interested. Kik#39;s interface is cluttered and confusing, like a teenager#39;s bedroom.我们全家都非常青睐WhatsApp上轻松收发视频及语音信息的基本功能,但Kik并不具备这一功能。并且,我和朋友、同事在使用Kik时所得到的那种乐趣对我父母没有产生丝毫吸引力。另外,Kik的用户界面混乱不堪,就如同青少年的卧室。Huge in China, WeChat falls between Kik and WhatsApp, with a handy Web chat mode and a large selection of stickers -- including animated ones from Pixar movies.在中国极受追捧的微信介于Kik和WhatsApp之间,微信拥有便于使用的在线聊天模式,并且附带大量的贴图―其中包括皮克斯(Pixar)电影中的卡通贴图。Initially I scoffed at the chat sticker trend, but the cartoons are a fun way to respond to messages without having to say much.起初,我曾对贴图的风靡嗤之以鼻,但是卡通贴图确实一种是勿需多言并且有趣的信息回复方式。WeChat#39;s standout feature is an amusing walkie-talkie mode. Hold down the large circular button to talk, release it to hear your friends. Fun for a few minutes? Yes. Practical for everyday use? Probably not.微信的出色之处还在于其有趣的边走边聊模式。按住大圆键即可讲话,松开即可听取好友的留言。用个几分钟是否有趣呢?是的。日常使用是否实际呢?可能是否定的。WeChat is short on some basics. The overall interface is dull and certain expected features, like showing a message has been received, are missing. Also, my mom and my sister found it the hardest to set up.微信在某些基本方面表现不足。微信的整体界面较为乏味,并且缺乏一些应有的功能,比如显示信息已被对方获取的功能。此外,我母亲和都认为微信是最难设置的。I looked at other popular apps -- Line, Telegram and KakaoTalk among them -- but they were so similar to WhatsApp and WeChat, I felt underwhelmed.我还关注了其他一些流行的应用程序―其中有Line、Telegram和KakaoTalk―但是,这些应用程序和WhatsApp与微信极其相似,毫无新意。Until I found Viber.直到我发现了Viber。Viber has many of the same text options as the others, but focuses on audio calling. Like Skype, if both users are on Viber, you can make audio calls over Wi-Fi or a data connection. Sound quality was good, though there was an echo on some calls.Viber拥有与其他应用程序相同的很多文本信息发送选项,但更侧重于视频通话功能。和Skype相同,如果双方用户都登录了Viber,你就能通过Wi-Fi或者其他数据连接方式进行视频通话了。While the app doesn#39;t pack as many tricks as Kik, it puts a good chunk of them into a tidier control panel. It also has Mac and Windows desktop applications.尽管Viber并没有附带Kik那么多的花样儿,但是它把不少有趣的功能都设置在了一个更为简洁的操作界面中。并且这款应用程序还有Mac和Windows的桌面客户端。As smart as Viber is, it needs a user-interface makeover before it can compete with WhatsApp.即便拥有强大的功能,但Viber也需要重塑其用户界面才能与WhatsApp相抗衡。(The company says it is working on an update to its outdated iOS app.)(该公司表示,正在开发iOS旧版客户端的更新版本。)So my journey ended with an edict that my family and close friends have group chats over WhatsApp, even though I#39;ll miss stickers and could benefit from Web chat. (WhatsApp declined to comment on its road map.)鉴于我的家人和好友都加入了WhatsApp上的群聊,我的测试也宣布告终。尽管,我将怀念微信贴图,并且本可以受益颇多。(WhatsApp未就自身的路线图置评。)I may never get everyone on the same chat service, but I#39;ve aly got some of my favorite people gathered on WhatsApp.或许,我永远不可能让每个人都齐聚在同一个务平台上,但是我已经把我最喜欢的一些人聚集在了WhatsApp上。Besides, the Facebook acquisition has piqued enough curiosity that more are starting to turn up everyday. It#39;s almost like those simpler AOL days, but without the melodious modem sounds.除此之外,Facebook对WhatsApp的收购也激发了强烈的好奇,越来越多的人开始使用这款应用程序了。以前那种使用美国在线的简单日子似乎回来了,只是少了调制解调器悦耳的声音。 /201403/280483

Nobody knows what the world is going to look like when the things around us get smarter -- when more and more of them are equipped with tiny radios that are connected to the Web.没有人知道,当我们周围越来越多的物品安装了联网的微型无线信号接收器,从而变得越来越智能化时,世界会变成什么样。Which is what makes the so-called Internet of Things(IoT, per Wikipedia) so interesting, especially now that Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) have begun to show their hands.所谓的“物联网”(按照维基百科的说法叫Internet of Things, LOT)正是因此妙趣横生,尤其是现在,谷歌(Google)和苹果(Apple)也要开始大显身手了。Google has been experimenting with Internet-connected eye glasses, and in January it spent .2 billion to acquire Nest Labs, the leading purveyor of smart thermostats and smoke detectors. With Nest, it also got Tony Fadell, an ambitious ex-Apple engineering VP whose previous claim to fame was the iPod.谷歌正在测试联网眼镜。今年1月,这家公司以32亿美元收购了智能恒温控制器和烟雾探测器的领先制造商Nest Labs。随着Nest而来的,还有雄心勃勃的前苹果工程副总裁托尼o法德尔,他曾因iPod广为人知。Apple has been seeding its stores with iBeacons -- miniature BlueTooth detectors for communicating with iPhones -- and it is rumored to be set to unveil, perhaps as early as next week#39;s developers conference, two new platforms: One for monitoring your health and one for controlling your home.苹果也在着手打造iBeacons,这是一款用于与iPhone通信的微型蓝牙探测器。还有传闻表示,苹果最快可能会在下周的开发者大会上公布两个新平台:一个用于监控人们的身体健康状况,另一个用于管理人们的房间。Who will make tomorrow#39;s smart devices and how they will interact with one another is anybody#39;s guess.人们都在猜测,谁将会是未来智能设备的生产商,他们又将如何同其他设备进行互动。;One vision,; writes Benedict Evans, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, ;is that all these devices will work on common, open standards, and talk to each other and interact in clever ways. And so, if you walk into the house with someone your security camera doesn#39;t recognise and your calendar mentions #39;date#39;, some sort of unified learning-based system will dim the lights, turn up the thermostat and start playing Barry White.;风险投资公司安德森o霍洛维茨基金(Andreessen Horowitz)合伙人本尼迪克特o埃文斯写道:“有种观点认为,所有这些产品都将按照共同的开放标准设计,彼此能够以智能的方式进行沟通和互动。如此一来,如果你与一位监控摄像机无法识别的人走进房间,而你的日历中写着‘约会’,那么某种一体化的学习型系统就会调暗灯光、打开恒温器,同时播放巴里o怀特悠扬性感的乐曲。The Barry White scenario is unlikely, Evans points out, given the history of earlier technologies that achieved First World ubiquity -- the small electric motor, for example, or the computer chip. They generally don#39;t share data unless they come packaged in a single device -- a well-eqipped automobile, for example.不过埃文斯指出,根据在发达国家实现过的那些早期技术的先例——比如小型电动机或电脑芯片,这种巴里o怀特式的情景不太可能出现。各种产品通常不会共享数据,除非它们被安装在同一种设备中——比如装备齐全的汽车。Apple and Google would love to be the company that cashes in on -- or at least controls -- whatever turns out to be IoT equivalent of a modern automobile, with its hundreds of integrated chips and battery-powered activators. But they#39;re approaching it from different angles -- angles that play to each#39;s strengths.苹果和谷歌希望利用成百上千的集成芯片及使用电池的激活器,从好比是一辆智能汽车的物联网中获利,或者至少获得对它的掌控权。不过他们实现目标的途径不同——双方正在从各自的强项入手。;Many wearables feel like they should be satellites for a smartphone,; writes Evans, ;either as a remote sensor or a remote display, but the value ... comes from the cloud-based analytics: is it more useful to know how many hours you slept or to get big-data based suggestions as to when you should go to sleep and when you should set your alarm? iBeacon is [a] fascinating part of this dynamic, because iBeacons themselves are not connected to anything, but they add intelligence to the physical world. So every wall or retail display or suitcase or package can become a piece of data.埃文斯写:“许多可穿戴设备都认为自己应当成为智能手机的卫星产品,无论是充当它的遥感器还是远程显示器,但是它们的价值……产生于以云为基础的分析能力:知道你每天要睡多少小时;或是从大数据中得到建议:应当何时入睡,应当设置几点的起床闹钟,这样是不是更加有用?iBeacon在这个过程中有着令人着迷的表现。因为它们并不与其他产品相连,却给物质世界带来了智能。如此一来,每一堵墙、每一排零售陈列柜、每一只手提箱、每一个包裹都能成为一部分数据。”;That is, sometimes the device is dumb glass (or a dumb sensor), driven by the cloud. And sometime the cloud is dumb storage, driven by the device.“也就是说,有时设备只是一块被云驱动的不能说话的玻璃(或不能说话的感应器)。而有时云则是由设备驱动的傻瓜式存储器。”;There#39;s an interesting Apple/Google dynamic here,; writes Evans. ;If most of these #39;things#39; are some combination of smartphone satellite and cloud end-point, where is the value and control? Apple#39;s hardware/software integration means it#39;s best-placed to make things work well, but Google is better placed to do much of the cloud stuff.;埃文斯说:“苹果和谷歌的发展动向非常有趣。如果大多数‘物件’都只是智能手机的卫星产品和云的终端,那如何实现价值和控制?苹果有着集成化的硬件和软件,意味着他们最适合让物品各司其职,不过谷歌则更擅长云系统的相关工作。” /201405/302089

The dumbest column I ever wrote was the one that suggested that if Apple wanted to sell a lot of iPhones in China it should stick with silver.我曾在一篇专栏中写道,如果苹果(Apple)希望iPhone在中国市场上大卖,就应该坚定不移地出银色版iPhone。事实明这是我错得最离谱的一次。This was just about a year ago. Rumors were flying that Apple was about to launch a champagne-gold iPhone because gold was such a prestigious color in China. I went looking for market research on national color preferences, and the closest thing I could find was a Dupont chart that showed that the best-selling automobile color in China was silver, not gold.这大概也就是一年前的事。当时传闻苹果即将推出一款香槟色iPhone,因为金色在中国是身份的象征。我查找了关于各国人色偏好的市场调研,还找到了杜邦公司(Dupont)发布的一份图表,该图表显示,在中国银色汽车最畅销,而非金色。Cars, it turns out, are not the same as phones.但事实明,汽车与手机是两码事。The gold iPhone 5S was a huge hit in China. It sold out immediately in Hong Kong and the mainland. Customers in New York City buying for export lined up around the block. Gold iPhones were soon commanding mark-ups of several hundred dollar apiece in China’s grey markets.金色版的iPhone5S在中国大获成功,很快在香港和中国大陆销售一空。在纽约,购买无锁版土豪金iPhone5S的买家排起了长队。很快,在中国的“灰市”,金色版iPhone手机每部需要加价数百美元才能买到。Apple, it seems, knew what it was doing. In December it finally cut a distribution deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier. In February, China Mobile announced that iPhones accounted for more than half of the phones on its brand new 4G network. By last week, that network had grown to more than 14 million subscribers.苹果当时就似乎胸有成竹。去年十二月,它终于与全球最大的运营商——中国移动达成了分销协议。今年二月,中国移动宣布,使用该公司全新4G网络的手机中,一半以上是iPhone。截至上上周,中国移动的4G网络用户已超过1400万。“China, honestly was surprising to us,” Tim Cook told analysts last week. “We thought it would be strong but it went well past what we thought. We came in at 26% of revenue growth, including retail and if you look at the units, the unit growth was really off the charts across the board. I found 48% growth that compares to a market estimate of 24%. So growing it two times the market.”蒂姆o库克日前向分析师们表示:“中国着实令我们吃惊。我们知道在中国市场的销售会很强劲,但结果比我们预想的还要好得多。我们的营收(包括零售在内)增长了26%,而如果按销售的产品数量计,可谓全面飙升,产品销量的增速高达48%,而市场预期为24%,所以实际增速是市场预期的两倍。”“Whoever proposed the champagne gold model can’t be rewarded enough for the cascading benefits Apple has enjoyed from it,” writes an American ex-pat who posts here as Jake_in_Seoul.署名“杰克在首尔”(Jake_in_Seoul)的一位驻外美国读者说:“香槟金版iPhone令苹果赚得盆满钵满,提议推出该模型的员工应该获得重奖。”Jake, as regulars here know, is a keen observer of the Asian smartphone market. In January we re-posted a letter he wrote from China that adds some color (pardon the pun) to the Chinese iPhone story:常读这个专栏的读者都知道,“杰克”对亚洲智能手机市场的观察十分敏锐。今年1月,我们转发了他从中国发来的一封信,令中国的iPhone故事更生动起来。“iPhones here are not predominant, but are ily seen, certainly in the hands of wealthy and powerful, (e.g., a local real estate tycoon), but also surprisingly owned by the likes of hotel clerks and a remarkable noodle shop girl. Ownership seems to be a state of mind.“iPhone在中国没有占据市场配地位,但用的人也不少,有钱有势的人(比如说房地产大亨)肯定都是用iPhone,但出人意料的是,饭店职员甚至面馆也可能用着iPhone。购iPhone与否,似乎取决于心态。”“I was amused in a casual conversation to hear Samsung (known in China by its Chinese/Korean character name San Xing Sanxing “Three Stars”) referred to as a “Chinese phone”… I suspect this misunderstanding may not be uncommon and hence highly aggravating to Samsung.“在一次闲聊中,我听到三星(在中国采用其汉字名称)被人称作‘中国手机’品牌,太逗了。我怀疑不少人都存在这种误解,三星肯定对此很困扰。”“The iPhone, by contrast, is now called ‘iPhone’ (using roman letters) in every press article I’ve seen recently, and a Chinese character equivalent Ai Feng (Aifeng ‘Love Crazed’) is increasingly used only as slang in advertising, on Weibo, in blogs etc. The brand maintains its pristine foreign identity.“相比之下,在我近期看到的所有新闻报道中,iPhone都是采用本身的英文名称,而中文说法‘爱疯’日益作为俚语用于广告、微、客中。其品牌本身的外国身份很明显。“The fact that an awareness of Apple and the iPhone has so quickly and widely penetrated Chinese society is a remarkable achievement, one likely due to the perceived excellence of Apple technology and also to good timing, as cell phone culture comes of age here. As long as Apple continues to produce cool products, it will surely gain adherents in China as more and more people can afford them.”“苹果和iPhone在中国的认知度迅速广泛提升,是一项了不起的成就。这可能一是因为人们认为苹果技术卓越,二是因为时机刚刚好,因为手机文化正在中国发展到了一定阶段。随着越来越多的中国人能买得起苹果产品,只要该公司继续生产炫酷的产品,肯定会在中国获得大量拥趸。” /201407/316164

As they turn the calendar to September, investors have good reason to be wary. 日子行进到九月,投资者有必要警惕起来了。 The docket is full of news that could disrupt the Standard amp; Poor#39;s 500#39;s roughly 7% climb since June. On Friday, the Labor Department releases the latest jobs figures. On Sept. 12, a German court rules on the constitutionality of a critical rescue fund for the euro zone. And the Federal Reserve is expected soon to make clear whether there will be a third round of #39;quantitative easing.#39; 从日程表上的重要事件来看,标准普尔500指数自六月以来大约7%的升幅随时可能玩完。8月31日,美国劳工部(Labor Department)公布了最新的就业数据。9月12日,德国某法院将就欧元区一个关键的救助基金计划是否符合宪法规定作出裁决。此外,美联储(Federal Reserve)估计很快也将就是否推出第三轮“量化宽松”政策作出明确表态。 But of special interest to historians is the calendar itself. Put simply, Sept. 1 marks the start of a historically miserable month for stocks. 但在史学家的眼里,日程表本身最有意思。因为历史经验表明,一旦日历翻到9月1日,对美国股市来说就意味着悲惨的一个月开始了。 That isn#39;t reason enough for investors to make any drastic moves with their portfolios. But they could profit by avoiding stocks that have suffered pullbacks, say some analysts. 这当然不足以促使投资者对自己的投资组合作出任何重大调整。但有分析师表示,投资者如果能够规避那些历来习惯在九月下跌的股票,就可能获利。 Since 1926, in any given month, stocks of large companies have risen 0.9% on average, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. But in September, they have fallen by 0.8%, the only month with a negative average return. 据美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)统计,自1926年以来的任意月份,大盘股平均上涨0.9%,但唯有九月其平均表现是下跌的,这个月大盘股平均下跌0.8%。 #39;For whatever reason, there#39;s a predictable pattern where September has bad performance,#39; says Steven DeSanctis a strategist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch#39;s equity research team. 美银美林股票研究团队的策略师史蒂文#12539;德森提斯(Steven DeSanctis)表示,不论出于何种原因,九月美股表现差已经有定式可循。 The trend has baffled researchers for decades. Striking September events, such as the 2008 collapse of Lehman Bros. and the 2001 terrorist attacks, are partly responsible for the bad average, but they can#39;t explain the problems entirely. 这种定式已经困扰了研究人员数十年。一些“碰巧”发生在九月份的大事件,例如2008年的雷曼兄弟(Lehman Bros)倒闭、2001年的恐怖袭击,与股市在九月份糟糕的平均表现不无关系,但即便如此,也无法完整地解释这个现象。 For example, stocks have risen in only 50% of Septembers since 1926, the worst of any month and far below the 61.8% average success rate. 例如,自1926年以来的所有九月中,只有50%的情况是股市上涨的,比其他任何月份的统计结果都要差,远低于61.8%的平均上涨几率。 If someone started investing in 1802 and kept his money in stocks only during September, he would have lost more than half of his money by 2006, according to researchers at the University of Kansas. Do the same during any other month, and he would have gained at least 79% during the period. 堪萨斯大学(University of Kansas)的研究人员发现,如果某位投资者从1802年进入股市,而且只在九月进行投资,那么到2006年他会亏掉一半以上的资金。而在同样的时间和条件下,如果换作其他任何一个月份,这位投资者的账面价值至少会上涨79%。 Explanations for the September swoon are hard to come by, and harder to swallow. 美国股市的九月厄运让人很难琢磨,而且至今也没有一个令人信的解释。 The University of Kansas study suggests a sharp drop-off in the amount of daylight in New York in September might trigger seasonal affective disorder and make some traders more risk-averse. On average, New Yorkers see 3,147 fewer minutes of daylight in September than they do in August, the biggest drop of any month, according to the study. 堪萨斯大学的研究推测,九月份纽约白昼时间的大幅骤减可能引发了季节性的情绪紊乱,导致一些交易员的避险情绪加重。此项研究发现,在纽约,九月的白昼比八月平均减少3147分钟,减幅为各月之最。 But even the researchers aren#39;t confident in that explanation. #39;From the best of my ability, I think there#39;s something up with September. No matter how you slice it up, it#39;s bad,#39; says the University of Kansas#39; Mark Haug, one of the authors of the report. #39;It#39;s frustrating to not have an explanation.#39; 但即便研究人员自己对这个解释也不太确定。该研究论文的联名作者、堪萨斯大学的马克#12539;豪格(Mark Haug)说,“我最多只能说,九月份确实有些不同寻常的事发生。不管是什么,都很糟糕。但找不到一个合理的解释让人很抓狂。” To be sure, September#39;s poor performance could be due to mere chance. #39;I always look at this stuff and wonder, #39;Is it randomness?#39;#39; says Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist with Samp;P Capital IQ. 当然,九月股市表现糟糕也可能完全属于偶然事件。标普资本智商公司(Samp;P Capital IQ)首席股票策略师山姆#12539;斯托瓦尔(Sam Stovall)表示,“我每每想到这件事,就忍不住纳闷,‘这会不会就是随机性的呢?’” Mr. Stovall#39;s theory: poor earnings guidance for the third quarter and the rest of the calendar year causes weary investors to sell shares. 斯托瓦尔的解释是:公司欠佳的第三季度及当年后续时间盈利预测促使谨慎的投资者抛出股票。 Another possibility posed by researchers: tax-loss harvesting. A 1986 law forced most mutual funds to move the end of their tax years to October. So, many portfolio managers might be selling stocks with recent losses in September and October to take advantage of tax breaks, says Scott Gibson, a finance professor at the College of William and Mary who has studied the phenomenon. 研究人员提出的另一个猜想是:税收亏损收割(tax-loss harvesting)。根据1986年制定的一项法律,大多数共同基金的税收年度必须在10月份截止。威廉玛丽学院(College of William and Mary)的金融学教授斯科特#12539;吉布森(Scott Gibson)对此现象也进行了研究,他表示,因为这个规定,很多投资组合基金经理可能会在九月和十月卖掉最近有浮动亏损的股票,以获得减免税的好处。 In 1990, when the rules took full effect, stocks with recent losses that were widely held by mutual funds lagged their benchmarks by almost 7 percentage points in October. Those same stocks beat their benchmarks by nearly 7 points in November, as the effect wore off, Prof. Gibson says. 吉布森教授指出,1990年,上述法规完全生效时,共同基金普遍持有的最近浮亏的股票在十月份跑输对应的基准指数近七个百分点。而到了十一月,税收效应消失后,同样一拨股票又跑赢基准指数近七个百分点。 Since then, the effect has become less pronounced, presumably as more mutual funds caught on. 此后,税收效应的影响变得不再那么明显,这或许是因为有更多共同基金参与了进来。 But Prof. Gibson says it is strong enough that investors looking to pick up shares on the cheap would be well-served to wait. Companies that have more than 5% of their shares held by funds and have seen recent losses are candidates for continued drops in September and October, he says. 但吉布森教授表示,税收效应的影响还是很大的,希望抄底的投资者应当耐心等待。他说,基金持股比例超过5%且近期有浮亏的上市公司,其股价最可能在九月和十月继续下跌。 That would disqualify computer-seller Dell, which has dropped 10.8% in the last three months and is about 32% owned by mutual funds. 电脑销售公司戴尔(Dell)似乎很符合这个标准,该股过去三个月下跌了10.8%,其共同基金的持股比例高达32%左右。 Other companies with poor recent performance and high fund ownership include Delta, Ford, Hewlett-Packard,Netflix, and Research In Motion. 其他近期股价走弱且基金持股比例较高的上市公司包括达美航空(Delta)、福特汽车(Ford)、惠普(Hewlett-Packard)、Netflix和Research In Motion等。 But with rational explanations hard to come by, investors should stop short of making big moves out of equities, Mr. Stovall says. 但斯托瓦尔指出,对于美股的九月厄运,由于很难找到合理的解释,投资者也不应大举做空股票。 #39;You#39;re better off treating this information the way you would the pilot coming over the loudspeakers and saying #39;Please fasten your safety belt,#39;#39; Mr. Stovall says. #39;He#39;s not saying #39;Don the parachutes and assemble by the door.#39;#39; 斯托瓦尔说,对于这个九月效应和分析人士的提醒,投资者最好就像在坐飞机时对待机长通过麦克风的喊话一样,“系好安全带”就行了,而不应将机长的喊话理解为“背上降落伞包,到机舱门口集合”。 /201209/198525

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