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ECommerceTimes.com
Monday - July 13, 2015
walmart-sale-amazon-prime-day
Walmart on Monday announced it will offer an online sale to rival Amazon's Prime Day this Wednesday. The Walmart.com sale will be open to all customers, emphasized CEO Fernando Madeira, unlike Amazon's Prime Day, which is open only to members of Amazon's Prime program, which currently costs $99 per year. Asking customers to pay money to take part in a sale doesn't add up, Madeira said. [More...]

Sunday - July 12, 2015
microsoft-windows-10-groove-xbox-music
Microsoft's Music app, formerly known as "Xbox Music," will sport a makeover when it arrives rebranded in Windows 10 as "Groove," the company announced earlier this week. Groove's dancing partner will be the all-new Movies & TV app. "Groove Music Pass" will replace "Xbox Music Pass" as the name of the $10-a-month premium streaming service. The apps will be a go on July 29. [More...]

Friday - July 10, 2015
facebook-news-feed
Facebook on Thursday slammed the hood, wiped its hands, and introduced the latest set of upgrades to its News Feed engine. The all-new 2015 Facebook News Feed gives users more control over the content they see when they cruise the world's largest social network. The new tools allow users to set their top friends, and content from those accounts will be given preference over others. [More...]

Thursday - July 9, 2015
Sprint's Direct 2 You program seems to be another home run in its recovery-and-expansion effort. It follows the success of Sprint's Cut Your Bill in Half plan over the last few months. Direct 2 You started out in Kansas City, Miami and Chicago. It is now in 28 cities and expanding rapidly. Sprint just announced its expansion into New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver. [More...]

Thursday - July 9, 2015
The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday halted all transactions for three hours, due to what it maintained was a technical glitch. Trading continued on the other exchanges belonging to its owner, holding company Intercontinental Exchange. "The markets did not plummet with the shutdown," said Jim Wright, chief investment officer at Harvest Financial Partners. [More...]

Wednesday - July 8, 2015
microsoft-mobile-job-cuts-satya-nadella
Microsoft is again pruning the once-30,000-strong pool of employees who migrated to the company last year, when it purchased the bulk of Nokia's mobile handset business. More than 12,000 people already have been severed, and almost 8,000 more are due to get pink slips. Microsoft appears to be in need of a true standard bearer -- a device, built from the ground up that sets its vision in silicon. [More...]

Wednesday - July 8, 2015
apple-watch-sales
After a glorious first week of sales following its introduction in April, sales have slid rapidly for the Apple Watch, according to Slice Intelligence. Sales have plummeted to fewer than 20,000 units a day, down from an average of 200,000 a day during its launch week, when it sold 1.5 million units, reported Slice, which measures online purchasing activity through an app used by consumers. [More...]

Wednesday - July 8, 2015
Where is the U.S. government going with the cloud? With annual federal spending on the technology now well over $2 billion, it appears that cabinet departments and a host of other federal agencies "get it" in terms of appreciating cloud benefits. Yet many view the same spending pattern as evidence that the pace of cloud development at the federal level is far too slow. [More...]

Tuesday - July 7, 2015
More than 208,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao to step down. Many Redditers fear Pao will run Reddit into the ground, the petition claims, noting that alternative sites have sprung up in recent months and received vast amounts of traffic. The immediate cause of the unrest was last week's dismissal of Victoria Taylor, Reddit's director of talent. [More...]

Tuesday - July 7, 2015
amazon-prime-day
In celebration of its 20th birthday, Amazon plans to push wish list items into shopping carts and new customers into its Prime ecosystem this July 15, dubbed "Prime Day." The eve of Amazon's 20th anniversary, Prime Day will be packed with more deals than Black Friday, Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said Monday. The event kicks off at midnight on July 15. [More...]

Monday - July 6, 2015
hacker-team-hacked
Fireworks of a different kind rocked the security world this Fourth of July weekend, when news surfaced that hackers breached Hacking Team, an Italy-based firm that develops malware for governments and law enforcement. The attackers reportedly exposed 400 GB of data stolen from its servers. "It appears [Hacking Team] were compromised through social engineering, said Bugcrowd's Jonathan Cran. [More...]

Monday - July 6, 2015
ecommerce site search
Natural Language Processing allows users to search the way they speak by computing the overall meaning of a search query, instead of individual keywords. NLP helps ensure that users find what they're looking for, regardless of using incomplete, ambiguous, or unstructured questions. It's like having a human agent receive a query and return relevant results. [More...]

Wednesday - July 1, 2015
apple-music
Apple rolled out its new subscription music streaming service Tuesday, and it has been getting mostly raves from reviewers. "Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods," wrote Walt Mossberg for Re/code. [More...]

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
microsoft-advertising-aol-mapping-uber-satya-nadella-mission
Some aspects of CEO Satya Nadella's vision for Microsoft are becoming more clear. For one thing, the company's interest in advertising is seriously on the wane. Microsoft reportedly has handed off most of its digital advertising sales business to AOL. Microsoft will retain control of its search advertising sales, however, and Bing will replace Google as the engine powering AOL's consumer searches. [More...]

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
Google has been tampering with the responses its search engine gives to queries and, as a result, has been hurting social welfare, alleges a survey conducted by Michael Luca, a Harvard Business School economist, and Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and former FTC advisor. Yelp sponsored the research. The team last week sent a paper reporting the results to the European Commission. [More...]

Monday - June 29, 2015
cisco-internet-of-things-iot
Cisco on Monday launched Cisco IoT System -- a new Internet of Things initiative comprised of 15 products geared toward improving device interoperability. As many as 50 billion devices and objects could be connected to the Internet by 2020, the company forecast, yet today more than 99 percent of things in the physical world currently are unconnected. [More...]

Monday - June 29, 2015
In the face of encryption that could block brute force attempts for years, law enforcement agencies at every level have been calling for keys that allow investigators to crack open smartphones and court cases alike. Some of the world's leading tech companies and privacy advocates have called for the White House to stand against any proposal to weaken the security software on consumer products. [More...]

Friday - June 26, 2015
IBM and Box have entered a global partnership to combine the two companies' best-in-class technologies and resources to transform work in the cloud. The two will offer customers IBM analytics and social solutions, IBM security technologies, the IBM cloud, and Box's cloud content collaboration platform. "IBM provides Box with a global go-to market footprint," said IDC's Chris Chute. [More...]

Thursday - June 25, 2015
Samsung has been disabling Windows updates by means of an executable file, Disable_Winduwsupdate.exe, that is part of its SW Update software. The issue came to light on Tuesday, when Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker published a blog post about his discovery when helping a user who was having problems. It seemed that Windows Update kept getting disabled. [More...]

Thursday - June 25, 2015
Not all innovation is good. Let me illustrate with a few examples of how poor innovation can harm a company. Bad innovation can quickly cut down a brand that took years to build. Generally speaking, innovation is good. Without innovation, we would still be driving a Model T and getting blocks of ice delivered to keep our refrigerator cool while sitting in our uncooled home listening to our radio. [More...]

Wednesday - June 24, 2015
The Internet is run by a bunch of geeks sitting in a darkened space, lit only by the glow from LED screens, right? That Hollywood image may be how the general public perceives what it takes to send and receive emails, deliver apps, enable electronic transactions, and store great gobs of data. There is much more to operating the Internet, however, including a challenging management environment. [More...]

Tuesday - June 23, 2015
Amazon's recently released first report on government requests for information revealed that from January to May, it received 813 subpoenas and 25 search warrants. The company fully responded and provided all the requested information sought for 542 of the subpoenas. It provided only some of the requested information for 126 of the cases, and it did not respond to 145 requests. [More...]

Tuesday - June 23, 2015
apple-music-taylor-swift-royalties
Apple has given in to a demand from pop diva Taylor Swift to pay royalties to owners of music streamed by its Apple Music service. "We hear you, @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple," tweeted Eddy Cue, who oversees Apple's content stores. "Apple will always make sure that artist[s] are paid." Cue's tweets might resolve the firestorm Swift ignited over the weekend. [More...]

Monday - June 22, 2015
apple-watch
Apple hasn't been saying much, as usual -- but insiders and analysts are fitting together pieces of the Apple Watch puzzle through sales estimates, revelations about the vast gulf separating production costs from final prices, and expected features of the next version. CEO Tim Cook recently said the company was off to an "exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch." [More...]

Monday - June 22, 2015
An Electronic Frontier Foundation survey published last week gave AT&T, Verizon and WhatsApp the thumbs down when it comes to protecting user privacy. Google and Twitter also got a black eye. The five were among 24 companies the EFF evaluated on criteria worked out over the past four years. WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, also took criticism in the EFF's fifth annual report, "Who Has Your Back?" [More...]

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Is Microsoft starting to get cool again?
Yes - thanks to Satya Nadella's vision.
Yes - but only in certain areas, like AI and VR.
Maybe - it doesn't seem as stodgy as before.
No - it never was.