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How Deep Learning Could Fix Trump and Healthcare
May 22, 2017
Nvidia earlier this month launched a massive new push for intelligent machines, including what is likely the most expensive volume workstation in the world designed for this purpose. IBM, which has a tight relationship with Nvidia, launched a quantum computing processor that has a good chance of massively increasing the speed and intelligence of thinking systems.
Walmart Delivers E-Commerce Stunner
May 19, 2017
Walmart on Thursday reported soaring e-commerce growth during its fiscal first quarter, along with strong organic sales figures -- results that suggest rival Amazon may have a fight on its hands. Online sales grew a stunning 63 percent during the quarter, perhaps in response to the company's newly introduced free two-day shipping and its upgraded mobile app.
E-Commerce Gets the Einstein Treatment
May 17, 2017
E-commerce brings together several themes that relate to our current fascination with artificial intelligence, machine learning, bots, mobile technology and the like. It's actually more than that, because it represents an underserved part of CRM. Until fairly recently, there were few tools that retailers could use to reach online customers for marketing and sales.
Veeva Offers Cross-Stack Customer Insights
May 12, 2017
Veeva Systems earlier this week announced Veeva CRM MyInsights, a new cloud-based data visualization capability producing tailored insights within Veeva CRM. MyInsights lets users of tablets or other mobile devices access, analyze and visualize information in real time. It includes fixed reporting for sales and activity data and a new, customizable HTML5/JavaScript framework.
Amazon Adds Show to Echo's Tell
May 10, 2017
Echo isn't just for sound anymore. Amazon on Tuesday announced Echo Show, a new version of its popular smart speaker that comes with a 7-inch color touchscreen, 5-inch front-facing camera and dual 2-inch Dolby speakers. With its screen, it can show YouTube videos, access home security cameras, display photos and scroll lyrics as you listen to songs from streaming services.
John Oliver's Viewers Flood FCC Site With Net Neutrality Concerns
May 9, 2017
Comedian John Oliver, incensed over proposed changes to unravel Net neutrality protections for consumers, unleashed a torrent of criticism against the FCC and urged viewers to register their protest online. The response led to a digital meltdown on the agency's site Sunday night. Oliver targeted a proposal that would loosen Net neutrality regulations.
AI Is Still in Its Formative Years
May 4, 2017
The convergence of algorithmic advances in multilayer neural networks, the evolution of PC graphics processing units as massively parallel processing accelerators, and the availability of massive data sets fueled by the Internet and widely deployed sensors -- big data -- has enabled a renaissance in software neural network modeling techniques commonly referred to as "deep learning," or "DL."
The Grim Upward Trajectory of Mobile Fraud Risks
May 1, 2017
More than 8,600 retail locations will shut down this year, following the 5,077 that closed last year, based on data from Credit Suisse. Moreover, 2017 could surpass 2008 -- the worst year for retail closures on record -- when 6,163 stores shut down operations. However, unlike 2008, when overall consumer spending declined with the onset of a global recession.
Marketing Firm Zeta Global Turns Heads With $140M Funding Round
April 29, 2017
Cloud marketing automation firm Zeta Global on Thursday announced that it has raised $140 million in its largest ever round of financing. Former Apple CEO John Sculley and David Steinberg cofounded the company in 2007. GPI Capital led the Series F financing, which includes $115 million in equity and $25 million in debt. Zeta will use the funds to advance its growth plan through strategic acquisitions.
Internet Giants Ramp Up Fake News Defenses
April 27, 2017
Three major Internet brands this week announced initiatives to combat "fake news" online. Google revealed that it had tweaked its search processes to help bring high-quality content to the top of search result pages. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced a new online publication that aims to fight fake news by pairing professional journalists with legions of volunteer community contributors.
Apple Slashes App Store Affiliate Commissions
April 26, 2017
Apple stunned the wider development community on Monday with an emailed announcement that it has decided to slash commissions for App Store affiliates from 7 percent to 2.5 percent, starting May 1. The cuts apply to all apps and in-app content, Apple said. However, they do not apply to commissions for movies, music, books and TV, which will remain at 7 percent.
The iPhone Model's Impending Obsolescence
April 24, 2017
VCRs gave way to DVD players, which in turn have given way to streaming services. Brick cellphones evolved into flip phones, which were swapped out for two-way pager phones and then wiped out by the iPhone model. Tape players gave way to the Walkman CD player, which gave way to the iPod, which also ended up in the iPhone model. I think we soon will see another big industry shift.
Google Mulls Ways to Banish Bad Ads
April 22, 2017
Google reportedly has been working on a plan to install an ad blocker onto its Chrome browser. It also has been considering a collaboration with Microsoft, Facebook and other firms to develop a set of standards that would determine which types of advertising to block from websites. That effort presumably would aim at blocking abusive ads without jeopardizing ads from legitimate firms.
Take Marketing Off Autopilot and Get Creative
April 19, 2017
More than a quarter of marketers went into marketing because they wanted to be creative, researchers have found. So why do so many B2B marketing efforts seem exactly the same? The reason, in part, is that some things work well. In nature, convergent evolution leads different kinds of organisms to similar solutions when they work. The number of strategies that will lead to success is limited.
Will Amazon Go Reinvent Retail?
April 14, 2017
Every time I walk into a retail store, I grumble about the same pet peeve. After walking the aisles and filling the basket, you then must go through the most inefficient checkout process. First you unload everything in your basket, then it's rung up, then you put the items in bags that go back into your basket before you can walk out of the store. There must be a better way.
Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess for Google Home
April 13, 2017
Burger King in essence hijacked the voice-activated Google Home speakers in some consumers' homes. In a 15-second television ad, the camera zooms in on a young man wearing the company uniform who says, "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?" The trigger phrase for Google's AI Assistant activated Home speakers situated nearby, prompting them to read Wikipedia's description of the Whopper.
CloudCraze EVP Andrew Witherspoon: For Successful B2B, Set Aside Expectations
April 12, 2017
"If there's anything true about B2B service, you have to do it in the context of the customers themselves in order to be successful. That's our philosophy," said CloudCraze EVP Andrew Witherspoon. "What is the purpose of CRM and marketing? It's to reach out, find and engage prospects, and to move them through a buying cycle. All those capabilities are on a CRM platform.
Spam Czar Nabbed in Spain May Have Link to Election Tampering
April 12, 2017
An alleged spam kingpin with possible ties to election meddling in the U.S. was arrested in Spain last week under a U.S. international warrant. Pyotr Levashov had been vacationing in Barcelona with his family. Levashov was arrested for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the Russian news outlet RT reported, but the DoJ said the arrest was not connected to national security.
Why VR Is Failing
April 10, 2017
As a market, we seem to have trouble learning that three key elements are necessary for a new technology to take hold: It has to appear complete, it has to be compelling, and it has to seem like a value -- that is, be affordable. Compared to what we have today, the car that opened up the automotive market in the U.S. was none of those things -- yet it was incredibly successful.
Google's Fact Check Labeling System Goes Global
April 8, 2017
Google has extended the Fact Check feature it introduced last fall. Publishers now can display a Fact Check tag in news stories everywhere that Google News is available. The company also has introduced the Fact Check feature globally in Google Search, in all of the languages it supports. Not all stories will be fact checked, though, and only certain publishers will be able to participate.
Twitch Aims to Get Ahead of Steam
April 6, 2017
Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform, has launched its highly anticipated online game store. It includes goodie bags and other incentives, both for gamers who take the plunge and streamers who provide the content. Twitch earlier this year announced that it would be selling games and in-game content directly through the online store, competing with major gaming sites like Steam.
What Is Verizon Promising With Its New Oath?
April 4, 2017
Verizon on Monday confirmed reports that it will rebrand its AOL and Yahoo businesses under a new entity called "Oath." AOL CEO Tim Armstrong delivered the message via a tweet. The rebranding is part of a plan to reinvest millions into the legacy digital content companies with the aim of creating a major new platform. The "Yahoo" and "AOL" names will live on under the overarching Oath brand.
Reversing Net Neutrality
April 3, 2017
When one side or the other in a political debate refused to accept a decision, it used to be simply annoying, but lately it has become dangerous to business and to the economy. The current administration's wants "to jettison the Obama administration's net neutrality rules, which were intended to safeguard free expression online," Steve Lohrmarch wrote last week.
Now World's Second-Wealthiest, Bezos Travels to Different Drumbeat
April 3, 2017
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has entered more rarefied air, having leapfrogged billionaires Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffett to become the second wealthiest person in the world. Bezos -- CEO of the e-commerce retailer and cloud services provider -- last week enjoyed a jump of $1.5 billion to $75.6 billion net worth, after his company announced a deal to acquire Souq.com.
Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 8: Winning Has Little to Do With Phones
April 3, 2017
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 has launched, and its target of choice is the as yet unlaunched Apple iPhone 8 Anniversary Edition. These phones are critical for both companies. Apple survives largely off the iPhone today, and Samsung is trying to recover both from its burning phone problem and from its top executive being arrested on bribery charges. Neither firm can afford a big loss to the other.
Online Freedom of Speech May Be in Peril: Pew
March 30, 2017
Trolling, cyberbullying, harassment and just plain nastiness have become commonplace online, and this situation is likely to remain unchanged or worsen over the next decade, suggests a Pew Research report released Wednesday. Researchers polled more than 1,500 technology experts, academics, and business and government leaders on the future of free speech online.
Translating Website Visits Into Quality Leads
March 30, 2017
Back in the day -- like, 1993 -- every company had to have a website because it was the thing you did! A website was something new, fresh and shiny, and it allowed the marketing team to reach more people than ever before. It was on the Internet, which automatically made your company seem cool. It was totally rad! Within about 18 moths, though, everyone had a website and the novelty wore off.
Amazon Confirms Deal to Buy Middle East E-Commerce Leader Souq.com
March 28, 2017
Amazon has agreed to buy Souq.com, the leading online retailer in the Middle East, reportedly edging out rival Emaar Malls' $800 million offer. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Amazon reportedly agreed to pay less for Souq than Emaar had offered. Souq, led by cofounder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, claims to be the largest online retail and marketplace platform in the Arab world.
Medium Is Looking for a Few Good Founding Members
March 24, 2017
Medium, the online publishing platform launched by Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, has announced a $5 monthly subscription membership upgrade that promises a better reading experience and better content. Medium on Thursday opened the subscription offer to a limited number of people who meet certain criteria, according to Williams, who is Medium's CEO.
Advertisers Flee YouTube Over Offensive Ad Placements
March 23, 2017
Several top U.S. advertisers -- including AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson -- this week pulled out of their agreements with YouTube due to their ads appearing with videos advocating extremism, or with other offensive content. Such placements represent violations of their agreements with Google. "We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," AT&T said.
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What do you think of today's voice recognition technology?
It's great -- the tech has improved vastly in recent years.
It's the wave of the future, but quality is still hit or miss.
I like it for texting, especially when I'm driving.
I only use it when I have to, like with IVR systems.
I avoid using it, because most voice systems are still terrible.
It's an unnecessary frill that I can easily live without.