Obama Warns About Dangers of Unbreakable Encryption at SXSW

Today's topics include President Barack Obama’s warnings about unbreakable encryption at SXSW, why the Cuban wireless market intrigues AT&T as Obama prepares for a visit to Havana, the launch of Google's new design portal for its mobile app and Website developers, and IBM teams up with Datawatch on data preparation for Watson Analytics.

During a session at the South by SouthWest conference on March 11, President Obama was asked about his views on the Apple-FBI case—in which the FBI wants Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c cell phone used by San Bernardino County, Calif., shooter Syed Farook—in light of the fact that the president and his administration are at SXSW asking the tech community to help improve government overall.

Though he couldn't comment specifically on the case, the president did provide a great deal of context and insight into his thinking on encryption and the balance between privacy and national security.

AT&T is among three large U.S. companies that are apparently eager to begin doing business in Cuba as President Obama prepares to visit the island nation March 20-22 for continued talks on normalizing relations between the two countries.

AT&T, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, and Marriott International are "seeking to complete deals in Cuba" as the president's visit approaches, according to a March 12 story by Reuters.

Google has unveiled a new portal designed to provide mobile application developers and mobile Website developers with expert tips on how to optimize their products for mobile users.

The portal, titled "Think with Google: Designing for Mobile Micro-Moments," features in-depth data that Google gathered from studying how a test group of more than 100 people used mobile apps and Websites.

The goal of the research was to identify mobile applications and Website designs that contributed to a positive mobile experience and those that caused problems and frustration for users.

"The results are two new sets of [user experience] principles with specific recommendations to help you improve your mobile experience and drive conversions," Google's UX research lead Jenny Gove said in a blog post.

IBM and Datawatch, a maker of self-service data preparation and visualization tools, have teamed up to help users quickly gain insight from structured and unstructured data using Datawatch Monitor and IBM's Watson Analytics with Cognos Analytics.

As part of the partnership, IBM will resell Datawatch Monitor, which enables so-called citizen analysts by making it easy to access, manipulate and blend data from a variety of sources.

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