Good morning, CIOs. For several years, enterprise tech companies have talked about the idea of the digital twin, a digital version of a physical thing such as a wind turbine or jet engine or human body, upon which analysis can be run and situations simulated without fear of blowing up the real thing.
At the moment, you won’t find too many digital twins in the wild. But in 10 years, digital replicas of industrial equipment in industries ranging from food and beverage to manufacturing and health care will be widespread, Elizabeth Hackenson, chief information officer at Schneider Electric SE, tells CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos.
By 2020, at least half of manufacturers with annual revenues in excess of $5 billion will have at least one digital twin initiative launched for either products or assets, according to Gartner Inc. Schneider is among several companies selling software for this market. Do you have any interest in developing a digital twin? Let us know what you think.
HERE COMES 5G
Why being first matters. The race to be the first 5G country has begun—and the winner stands to gain a lot, the Journal's Stu Woo reports. Don't believe it? A study by U.S. wireless trade association CTIA concluded that America’s 4G leadership led to roughly $125 billion in revenue for U.S. companies that could have gone elsewhere had the country not been at the technology’s forefront. No 4G dominance, no Facebook Inc., no Netflix Inc., no (shudder) Fortnite... maybe.
Innovation angle. “The proverbial guys in the garage have a shot” to test business ideas if the newest wireless technology is available, says Roger Entner, lead analyst at telecom research-firm Recon Analytics. “If the network is not there, they don’t have a shot at all.”
Security angle. "Officials believe Huawei could spy on behalf of the Chinese government, which becomes an even greater risk in a 5G era, in which exponentially more machines and everyday objects are connected to the internet. Huawei says it would never spy on behalf of any country."
5G wireless technology raises security fears. With 5G, hardware is expected to be less critical to future networks, as software does more of the work, says the WSJ's John D. McKinnon.
The good. Software-defined networks make security much more flexible and resilient. For instance, if there’s a breach, it can be contained fairly quickly to a small area.
The bad. As software becomes more important, defects and bugs in the coding can provide great points of entry and tools for attackers, according to some experts.
The takeaway. With 5G, the telecommunications system itself will become so central to everyday life that experts fear it will create an ever-larger target for malicious actors.
5G will come, but slowly. One of the huge obstacles separating consumers from downloading films in seconds (or autonomous cars chatting amongst themselves about yesterday's game) is the infrastructure required. Because 5G waves are positioned so much closer together, they can’t travel very far on their own, the WSJ's Marc Vartabedian reports. Carriers say the solution is more cell towers, but making 5G a widespread reality, even within cities, requires thousands of new towers. Building all those extra 5G-equipped towers is expensive, especially for a country as sprawling as the U.S.
Car makers can't wait. The Journal's Chester Dawson reports that the shift to 5G could pave the way for a range of new features, such as vehicles that can “talk” directly with each other on the road—a catalyst for more widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles—and entertainment options that make the car’s back seat feel more like a home theater.
MORE TECHNOLOGY NEWS
Before it was hacked, Equifax had a different fear: Chinese spying. Two years before Equifax Inc. confirmed a breach that exposed the personal information of tens of millions of people worldwide, the credit-reporting company in 2015 contacted the FBI about suspected Chinese spying. The company believed that some former employees had removed thousands of pages of proprietary information before leaving and heading to jobs in China. The WSJ's Aruna Viswanatha and Kate O’Keeffe have the story.
Adding to suspicions. The Chinese government had recently asked eight companies to help it build a national credit-reporting system.
Extreme measures. "At one point, Equifax grew so worried it began building a way to monitor the computer activity of all of its ethnic-Chinese employees, according to people familiar with the investigation. The resource-heavy project, which raised legal concerns internally, was short-lived."
The case stalled. "The FBI wanted to pursue a criminal case... Equifax began to worry about legal exposure and how onerous the inquiry could become... and eventually reduced its cooperation with law enforcement."
And so... Some investigators believed Equifax’s intense focus on the matter contributed to a delay in the company’s understanding the extent of the 2017 hack of consumers’ information
EU advances on copyright bill opposed by Silicon Valley. The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a draft copyright bill with provisions aimed at forcing tech giants to pay more to media companies for music and news content that is used on their platforms. The Journal's Sam Schechner and Valentina Pop have more.
Also, killer robots. The same parliament on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for an international ban on developing, making and using weapons that don't require a human's input on use. Reuters has more.
Silicon Valley goes to D.C. Pt. CLVII. The Senate Commerce Committee later this month will hold a hearing on the privacy practices of big tech companies, the WSJ's John D. McKinnon reports. Expected to attend are privacy executives from Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Twitter Inc., AT&T Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and Apple Inc.
Apple launches bigger, pricier iPhones. Introducing the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max ($1,099), the 5.8-inch iPhone XS ($999), and the 6.1-inch iPhone XR ($749). Apple Inc. on Wednesday also showed off a new smartwatch outfitted with sensors that could help elbow the company into the cardiac-monitoring market. Crave more? See Tripp Mickle's take in the WSJ.
More Tesla departures. Tesla Inc.'s global head of finance, Justin McAnear, is leaving the auto maker, a week after chief accounting officer Dave Morton tendered his resignation less than a month into the job, reports Bloomberg.
Fewer homeowners in North and South Carolina own flood insurance than five years ago, signaling many won’t have access to ready cash if they need to rebuild after Hurricane Florence. (WSJ)
The Trump administration is giving Beijing another chance to try to stave off new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese exports, asking top officials for a fresh round of trade talks later this month. (WSJ)
K. Guru Gowrappan will become CEO of Verizon’s media and advertising business on Oct. 1, with founder Tim Armstrong leaving at year-end. (WSJ)
Calling a surge in teen use of e-cigarettes an epidemic, the head of the FDA said he is considering pulling all flavored e-cigarettes from the U.S. market. (WSJ)
The Morning Download cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning.