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Microsoft vs Sony: The war of the consoles is a war of attrition

What’s the first console that pops to mind when you think of gaming? Chances are high that it’s the Sony PlayStation 4, and with good reason.

Microsoft made the mistake of initially marketing its console, the Xbox One, as an entertainment platform, as was seen at its E3 unveiling. Sony, on the other hand, was very clear that a game console is about games.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Microsoft decided to bundle the $100 Kinect accessory as an essential part of the Xbox One platform and its faux pas when it came to sharing games didn’t help either.

Microsoft has learnt from these lessons, however, and has largely fixed most of these oversights.

While Microsoft’s been busy patching things up with the gaming community, a community whose fingers Microsoft has burned one too many times, Sony has been focussing on what it does best, games.

Games on a game console?

One just needs to glance through the list of games available on both platforms to see that Sony offers the better deal in that regard. With the Xbox, you only really get Halo, Gears of War and Forza (all of which will soon be playable on PC) and Sony offers The Last Guardian, God of War, Bloodborne, Uncharted, Ace Combat, Dragon Quest, The Last of Us, Gran Turismoand a whole lot more. Sony also managed to rope in legendary developer, Hideo Kojima, which should translate into some even more amazing games.

Number of exclusive games by connsole chart

The rest of the Xbox exclusive games are either available on both platforms, on Windows 10, or are timed exclusives that will eventually make their way to the PS4. Worse still, games released on both platforms generally look better and run at a higher resolution and frame-rate on the PS4.

Sony also has a dedicated following in Japan, a market that Microsoft is just not able to penetrate. North America, which has traditionally been an Xbox stronghold, has seen the PS4 take the lead by a significant margin. The PlayStation Network also boasts of 110 million users vs the 49 million on Xbox Live.

Things do seem to be looking up for Sony, but Microsoft is far from out of the running and in the end, may actually emerge victorious.

Don’t write off Microsoft just yet

Image: Statista

The PlayStation 4 is a great device with great games and a dedicated following, but its biggest problem is Sony itself. Companies like Apple and Samsung have eaten away at Sony’s smartphone market, it’s nowhere in the laptop space and even its TVs aren’t doing well. Sony Pictures Entertainment and the PlayStation division are, in fact, the only profitable divisions that Sony operates. In fact, it was only thanks to the PS4 that Sony actually managed to turn a profit last year. In fact, Pokémon Go has taken Nintendo’s value beyond Sony’s.

Image: Statista

Microsoft has been constantly undercutting the PS4 on the price front and it looks like they’re going to be doing the same with games as well.

Sony’s heavily dependent on the PS4 for revenue and Microsoft’s constant undercutting will take its toll on them. Microsoft can be an also-ran; it can afford it. Sony can’t.

The Windows connection

Another carrot that Microsoft is dangling in front of developers and gamers and that’s Windows. With Microsoft’s tools, developers can develop games on both, the Xbox One and PC. The similarity of current console and PC architecture means that this is far easier than it was in the days of the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Windows 10 compatibility also means that developers will tend to use the DirectX API, which is powerful, and a Microsoft exclusive. Sony has to rely on the open-source OpenGL API which is also powerful, but incompatible with DirectX. For a developer, it’ll take more effort to convert and optimise a game designed in DirectX to run on OpenGL. The reverse is also true, but the catch is that Windows supports OpenGL.

Cross-buy also means that a gamer can purchase a game on Xbox and receive a license for the same on Windows 10 as well. There are myriad issues that cross-buy brings up, not least of which is price on PC, but we’ll leave that for another story.

Moving beyond the console

As far as Microsoft is concerned, gaming isn’t as big a deal as Windows. Phil Spencer, the man who effectively runs Xbox, said that Microsoft wants to move beyond consoles. They’ve already set their sights on the future and are content to build a platform that users will want to use and developers will want to develop on. UWP (Universal Windows Platform) and other updates are also aiming to offer an almost seamless experience between Xbox and Windows.

Effectively, Microsoft has the weaker console and fewer exclusives (30 on the Xbox One vs 100 on the PS4), but Microsoft is offering much more than just a gaming platform.

Microsoft is building an ecosystem; Sony is only building games.

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Schaumburg, IL, USA (11 June 2018)—ISACA, a global business technology association serving more than 450,000 professionals, installed its 2018-2019 Board of Directors at its Annual General Meeting in Chicago, Saturday 10 June. Rob Clyde was elected to lead ISACA’s board as chair.

“It is an incredible privilege and opportunity to lead this dynamic organization as we help enterprises navigate digital transformation and help individuals transform their careers,” said Clyde. “I am grateful to serve alongside a global professional community that is ensuring the technologies and advancements we embrace are safe, secure, reliable and resilient for both individuals and for enterprises.”

An industry leader within the security and technology space with more than 30 years of experience, Clyde is managing director of Clyde Consulting LLC, which provides board and executive advisory services to cybersecurity software and other companies. In addition to his role as ISACA’s newest chair, Clyde serves as executive chair for White Cloud Security, board director for Titus and executive advisor to HyTrust and BullGuard. He is also a Board Leadership Fellow of the U.S. National Association of Corporate Directors. Prior to his current board and executive advisory work, Clyde served as the chief executive officer of Adaptive Computing, was chief technology officer at Symantec and cofounder of Axent Technologies.

At ISACA, Clyde previously served as board vice chair and director, chaired the board-level ISACA Finance Committee, and served as a member of ISACA’s Strategic Advisory Council, Conference and Education Board and the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) Advisory Panel. He is a frequent speaker at ISACA and other global cyber security, technology and governance conferences. He also serves on the industry advisory council for the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department of Utah State University (USA).

“Rob has served ISACA and our global professional community for many years, and his technical expertise, paired with his business acumen and leadership skills, make him an ideal choice for ISACA board chair,” said ISACA CEO Matt Loeb. “The expanding digital business challenges and risks facing the enterprises and professionals we serve requires innovative thinking, including new expert resources, assessment tools and training solutions. Our 2018-2019 board members are remarkably experienced and dedicated individuals who will contribute to ISACA’s increasing visibility, influence and impact globally.”

Also named to a new leadership role on ISACA’s Board of Directors is Vice-chair Brennan Baybeck, vice president of Global IT Risk Management for Oracle Corp. Baybeck has more than 20 years of experience in IT security, risk, audit and consulting, and has worked in various industries designing, implementing and operating enterprise-wide programs to address global security risks. He has held leadership positions at Sun Microsystems, StorageTek and Qwest Communications.

In total, 13 leaders were installed on the 2018-2019 ISACA Board during the organization’s annual business meeting:

  • Chair Rob Clyde, CISM, managing director of Clyde Consulting LLC
  • Vice Chair Brennan P. Baybeck, CISA, CISM, CRISC, CISSP, vice president of Global IT Risk Management for Oracle Corp.
  • Director Tracey Dedrick, former chief risk officer, Hudson City Bancorp
  • Director Leonard Ong, CISA, CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, CPP, CFE, PMP, CIPM, CIPT, CISSP ISSMP-ISSAP, CSSLP, CITBCM, GCIA, GCIH, GSNA, GCFA, associate director at Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Director R.V. Raghu, CISA, CRISC, director of Versatilist Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Director Gabriela Reynaga, CISA, CRISC, founder and chief executive officer of Holistics GRC Consultancy
  • Director Gregory Touhill, Brigadier General (ret), USAF, CISM, CISSP, president of Cyxtera Federal Group, Cyxtera Technologies
  • Director Theodore H. Wolff, CISA, head of IT & Security Global Assurance practices in Vanguard’s Global IT & Security Risk and Control group
  • Director Tichaona Zororo, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, COBIT 5 Certified Assessor, CIA, CRMA, IT advisory executive with EGIT | Enterprise Governance of IT (Pty) Ltd.
  • Director Matt Loeb, CGEIT, CAE, FASAE, ISACA chief executive officer

Past chairs who remain on the ISACA Board are:

  • Director and Chair (2017-2018) Theresa Grafenstine, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CPA, CISSP, CIA, CGMA, CGAP, managing director at Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Director and Chair (2015-2017) Chris Dimitriadis, Ph.D., CISA, CISM, CRISC, ISO 20000 LA, group director of Information Security for INTRALOT
  • Director and Chair (2014-2015) Robert E Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC, chief product officer at XebiaLabs

The 2018-2019 Board will lead ISACA as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Photos and biographies of all board members are available at

United States and China.

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Artificial intelligence protects us from known and unknown threats, helps us connect to one another, and provides better answers faster and cheaper than humans do. But what about the unintended consequences that come with its use?

A new Insight from Bain & Company provides a list of risks to beware of when considering leveraging AI, among them:

  • Unlike traditional rules-based programming, AI models are statistical representations of the world. They provide answers based on their learning, but they are imperfect. Consider autonomous vehicles—their training data is growing exponentially and the models based on it are improving, but errors in those algorithms continue to be discovered, sometimes only after loss of life.
  • Overreliance on AI can lead to loss of skills, critical thinking, and understanding of the fundamentals of your business and what’s truly driving demand.
  • The lack of transparency in algorithms raises concerns about bias, since any algorithm trained on historical data will make conclusions that reflect the bias present in that data. As these algorithms take on broader roles—setting a price on an e-commerce site, determining car insurance rates, making hiring decisions—a very real risk is simply repeating how things have always been done.

How can these risks be addressed?

Bain & Co. advises that top executives be involved in establishing the goals and limits around the AI used by their businesses. Every materially important algorithm should also have a product manager to review and test the algorithm, audit its outcomes, and assess and improve its performance.

See the full Bain & Co. article: “Tackling AI’s Unintended Conseque


Source: Carrier Management

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Sheryl Sandberg found a nighttime routine that built up her resilience.

After the unexpected death of her husband, she began writing down three things she did well that day before she went to bed. It didn’t have to be a big thing: ran a successful meeting. Listened, when her instinct was to talk. Said something kind to another.

Sounds simple. But the results were game-changing.

“It is transformative,” Sandberg said. “I don’t think I realized how much time I spent beating myself up for things that went wrong, rather than focusing on the things that went well.”

Why Sheryl does this

In her book Option B, which has been translated into a free LinkedIn Learning course on resiliency, Sandberg said she struggled with self-confidence throughout her career. But, she managed to build up her confidence over time with the success of her book Lean In and helping other women break the glass ceiling – only for it to come crashing down after her husband Dave Goldberg’s unexpectedly died in 2015.

In the months after Goldberg’s death, Sandberg’s confidence was shot. Psychologist and Option B co-author Adam Grant noticed and told her the only way she’d build it back up again was by adopting self-compassion – which means approaching yourself with the same kindness and understanding you’d show to a friend.

Part of that is highlighting wins, instead of losses – much like you would accent a friend’s strengths, as opposed to picking out all their weaknesses. And one tactic for doing that is journaling each night three things you do well, instead of what focusing on what you failed at.

Sandberg took the advice in the months after her husband’s death and is forever grateful for it.

How this applies to you

Perhaps you haven’t gone through a tragic loss like Sandberg did. But the technique isn’t just for people going through hardship, it can apply to anyone.

I’ll take myself as an example. Before I go to bed each night, I too focus on everything I did wrong that day, while rarely giving myself credit for anything that went right.

All this does is make small struggles bigger, erode my confidence and lower my resilience.

I’d never treat anybody else this way. And that’s Grant’s whole point: we focus so much on building great relationships with others, and yet we often form terrible relationships with ourselves.

Maybe this is a foreign idea, and you go to bed each night thinking of all the great stuff you did. But, if that’s not the case, perhaps it’s time for a change – and to take time to write out what you did well, instead of what you did wrong.

According to Sandberg, that simple action will build your resilience, increase your happiness and ultimately make you happier. And it takes all of five minutes.

Seems worth trying.

By Sheryl Sandberg and Adam 

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