Dell ranks near the top of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

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The company supports diversity among its employees around the world. Four years after its acquisition of EMC, the computer giant continues to spend more than $4 billion a year on research and development. Last year, more than 40,000 of the computer giant’s employees participated in 13 employee resource groups across 60 countries, and through a program called Project Immersion, Dell employees can also lead courses at select historically Black colleges and universities. Each year, the company honors outstanding contributors along its supply chain during its Innovation Olympics. Read Full Story

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The 10 most innovative artificial intelligence companies of 2020

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Graphcore, Nvidia, and eight other companies pushing the art of AI forward. Artificial intelligence has reached the inflection point where it’s less of a trend than a core ingredient across virtually every aspect of computing. These companies are applying the technology to everything from treating strokes to detecting water leaks to understanding fast-food orders. And some of them are designing the AI-ready chips that will unleash even more algorithmic innovations in the years to come. Read Full Story

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The 10 most innovative security companies of 2021

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Why Graphika, Identiq, ZecOps, Beyond Identity, and more top our list of the best cybersecurity firms this year. With so many people working from home on their personal devices during the coronavirus pandemic, cybersecurity has gotten more important than ever. Security companies have developed new ways to protect people from malicious activity on their phones and computers—even when they’re on their own—by detecting phishing messages, political misinformation, denial-of-service attacks, and other types of cyberattacks. They’ve also come up with new techniques to help stop fraud by confirming that people are who they say they are without relying so much on passwords and centralized databases that can themselves be targets for criminals. And they’ve built new systems for securing people’s most sensitive business data, whether it needs to be accessible on corporate servers or on individual employee cellphones. Read Full Story

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Sonatype ranks sixth on Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

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The software company cracks the list for the second straight year. The open-source software development company encourages employees to take one day every other week to work on a passion project—more than half of Sonatype’s products began as “innovation day” experiments. Employees can also take advantage of biannual hack-o-­vations, forming small teams to devote an entire week to developing a new idea. Last year, the company launched Sonatype Labs, an internal think tank and incubator focused primarily on open-source security. Read Full Story

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Miss Hipmunk? Meet Flight Penguin, its founders’ new travel search engine

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This Chrome extension—which makes money by charging consumers, not doing deals with airlines—shares some of the much-missed travel site’s user-friendly DNA. In January of 2020, travel search Hipmunk shut down . The closure came less than four years after it had been acquired by business travel giant Concur, itself part of the even more gigantic SAP. It was one of countless examples over the years of a large company buying something small but innovative and then losing interest. But Hipmunk was so pleasant and useful that some of us are still in mourning: Last week, when a friend asked me for advice on travel booking sites, the first words out of my mouth were “I used to love Hipmunk, which is no more.” Read Full Story

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How Dell is redesigning its products for circularity

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From computers that instantly disassemble themselves for recycling to AI-powered efficiency updates, Dell wants to be circular by 2030. As our electronics die and are replaced by newer, faster models, there isn’t much of an infrastructure for recycling them. Most of that e-waste eventually ends up in landfills. But the industry is beginning to move toward circular design—including Dell, which is working to redesign every part of its products so that they can be recycled or reused rather than thrown out. By the end of the decade, for each product that it sells the company also aims to recycle or reuse an equivalent product. Read Full Story

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Introducing the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators

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Here’s how we compiled our second annual list. For the second year, Fast Company is recognizing organizations that have created cultures enabling employees at all levels—not just top executives, computer scientists, or researchers—to innovate. We’ve expanded the list from 50 to 100 companies, schools, and nonprofits of all sizes, from SōRSE Technology, a 30-­person startup, to Siemens, a 173-year-old conglomerate employing nearly 400,000 people worldwide. We’re also introducing a whole new category to this year’s list, having invited companies to nominate internal groups for recognition as Innovative Team of the Year. Read Full Story

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Netflix’s rollout of its 2021 movies sends a message to rivals Disney, HBO

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The streaming giant’s slate of films this year includes more than 60 titles bursting with A-list talent. Last year, Netflix dropped a Twitter thread announcing its slate of 2020 movies. This year it’s upped the ante, perhaps sensing that in a world now populated by Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and others , the company needs to strut its stuff with a little more hoopla. Read Full Story

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The 10 most innovative companies in augmented and virtual reality

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Snap, Supernatural, Valve, Qualcomm, Nreal, and five more companies creating the future of computing today. Consumer virtual reality (VR) headsets took a stride toward the mainstream with the release of Oculus Quest 2 this year, while augmented reality (AR) experiences have been mainly phone-bound—consisting of Snapchat overlays and Apple ARKit apps. Still, some compelling AR and VR content was produced, such as the Solastalgia short film that took honors at the Sundance Film Festival, and Valve’s new game, Half-Life: Alyx . Because of the pandemic, some businesses have begun thinking about bringing far-flung employees together to collaborate using spatial computing. These are the companies whose products did the most to push mixed reality forward during 2020. Read Full Story

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