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AI May Be Secret Weapon to Retain Sales Talent
May 9, 2018
Much of the discussion around sales and artificial intelligence has been outwardly focused. It's exciting to think about using AI to examine leads, sift through data, and help deliver answers that allow salespeople to close more and bigger deals. However, the excitement over using AI to organize customer information overshadows another use of AI that could be equally lucrative.
Microsoft Invites Everyone Onto Its Azure Cloud
May 8, 2018
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has sounded a call for computing to empower everyone. "The world is becoming a computer," Nadella said in the opening keynote address at Build 2018, the company's premiere event for developers in Seattle. "Computing is getting embedded in every person, place and thing. That's the opportunity that we have. It's in some sense endless," he added.
Echo for Kids, Retro Voice Assistants, and a Second Snap
May 8, 2018
Amazon is trying to rope in younger members of the family to use its Alexa voice assistant with the release of a smart speaker for kids. The Echo Dot Kids Edition has a rubber case protecting a standard Echo Dot and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy. It includes a one-year membership for Amazon's subscription service for kids' books, videos, games, education apps and Alexa skills.
Google Assistant Gains Momentum in Smart Home Race
May 5, 2018
Google Assistant, the artificial intelligence software built into Android handsets and the Google Home smart speaker system, now can control more than 5,000 smart devices. That's up from just 1,500 products in January -- and the list of supported products includes everything from cameras and security systems to doorbells, locks and lights, to dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.
Fitbit's Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment
May 2, 2018
Fitbit and Google on Monday announced a new partnership on healthcare. Fitbit will develop consumer and enterprise health solutions that will use Google's new Cloud Healthcare application programming interface. Fitbit also will move to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its products and services. Fitbit will leverage Google Cloud's infrastructure and security features.
AI-Based Customer Data Platform Supports ABM Operations
April 28, 2018
Lattice Engines, a provider of account-based marketing tools driven by AI, has announced the launch of Lattice Atlas, calling it the first customer data platform for ABM. The new platform synchronizes all customer data across a single, integrated view, making it easier for customers to see their data, no matter the source. Customers often have to view data across multiple tools and workflows.
Snap Doubles Down on Spectacles Wearable Cam
April 27, 2018
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, on Thursday released the second generation of its Spectacles, a wearable video camera that captures short clips that can be synced to a smartphone. The new version also takes still photos and is designed to be water-resistant. The new Spectacles sport the same basic Ray-Ban style design as the first iteration, but they have been slimmed down and are less bulky.
Amazon's Latest Delivery Scheme Involves Handing Over Your Car Keys
April 25, 2018
Amazon has added a new option to its Amazon Key service for Prime members: in-car delivery, which allows drivers to place packages inside a locked trunk or elsewhere in a car that is parked in a publicly accessible area. The Amazon Key In-Car delivery service is available at no extra charge to millions of Amazon Prime members who drive certain cars.
'Holy Grail' Exploit Puts Nintendo Switch Consoles at Risk
April 25, 2018
Devices built on Nvidia's Tegra X-1 mobile processor are at risk of attack from a flaw security researchers have revealed. The exploit chain discovered by Katherine Temkin and others affects any device running the chip, including the Nintendo Switch gaming console. Called "Fusée Gelée," the vulnerability allows anyone to run code on the chip by overloading a critical buffer when a system boots.
SalesHero's Robin Takes On New AI Sales Assistant Job
April 25, 2018
SalesHero has introduced Robin, a new AI-based sales assistant. Built for the sales rep, Robin can learn from a user's actions and automate processes to help improve daily sales productivity. Robin can access data from CRM systems, customer interactions, and SaleHero's own proprietary database of 45 million global company records to carry out the most tedious sales tasks.
A Home Robot Could Be Amazon's Next Gamble
April 24, 2018
Amazon could bring a home robot to market as early as 2019. Codenamed "Vesta," after the Roman goddess of home and family, the project is several years old, but hiring for it recently has ramped up with an eye toward placing prototypes in employees' homes this year. The robot could be a mobile smart speaker. Some versions of the product apparently have cameras and computer vision software.
With Custom Skills, Alexa Inches Closer to Being One of the Family
April 20, 2018
Amazon has introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, adding personalization capabilities to its smart speaker devices. The new tool provides pre-crafted templates for users to create customized experiences, such as skills for particular users. With Alexa Skill Blueprints, users can build into their devices experiences that are personalized for themselves, their friends and their families.
Federal Programs to Spur Private Sector IT Engagement
April 20, 2018
The U.S. government has launched two new programs designed to modernize and upgrade IT performance at federal agencies. Each program will involve significant participation of private sector providers as both advisors and contractors for IT equipment and services. The first program involves the creation of a federal Information Technology Modernization Fund to facilitate IT investments.
Facebook Rolls Out European-Style Privacy Protections
April 19, 2018
Facebook has unveiled a comprehensive series of privacy enhancements designed to extend protections required by the European Union's GDPR to all of the social media company's users around the world. The updates, which include major changes to the company's terms and data policies, fulfill promises CEO Mark Zuckerberg made to House and Senate members in Washington D.C., Facebook officials said.
The Electronics Industry: A Pawn in the US vs. China Chess Game
April 19, 2018
Rising tensions between China and the United States have led to growing concerns that a tariff war will have a negative impact on the electronics industry. Amazingly, the industry has been spared thus far, and with good reason. However, even if tariffs aren't imposed, there is a silent battle between the two countries that already has impacted the global electronics ecosystem.
Facebook Peddles Future Behavior Data to Advertisers
April 17, 2018
Facebook reportedly has developed a new advertising service designed to predict the future behavior of consumers. The service uses FBLearner Flow, an artificial intelligence prediction engine the company introduced in 2016. The technology enables companies to target people based on decisions they haven't yet made. The data the new service taps is aggregated and anonymized.
Swedish Sounds, Cool Phones, and Smart Switches
April 17, 2018
Not quite content with furnishing every other aspect of our homes, IKEA has continued its push into smart home territory with its first Bluetooth speaker. The Eneby comes in two sizes: 8 x 8 and 12 x 12 inches. You can use it as a portable speaker with up to 10 hours of battery life with the optional $20 battery, and there's a handle for added portability.
Reining In Data-Crazed Tech Companies
April 16, 2018
Facebook has been in seriously hot water for its data monetization model almost from the firm's beginning. The Cambridge Analytica, election meddling and fake news scandals have turned up the heat. Facebook's problems aren't limited to the public and government backlash that spans several countries; the firm faces potentially devastating legal threats too.
Facebook and Google Could Be Nationalized in 5-10 Years
April 16, 2018
After I considered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Senate and House committee hearings last week, it became very clear to me -- and I expect many in Congress -- that social media companies need to be regulated. However, I think this is only a step in the path that governments -- and I do mean more than the U.S. -- will take to ensure their effectiveness and protect their people.
Lawmakers Lean In on Facebook
April 13, 2018
Following two days of often contentious exchanges between members of Congress and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the focus in Washington and Silicon Valley has shifted from how Facebook plans to change its data practices to how to implement some of those plans. The company already has taken steps to give its 2 billion monthly active users more control over their data.
What Should We Expect From AI?
April 12, 2018
Fear mongering about killer robots and the recent deaths connected with Uber and Tesla autonomous vehicles have rekindled concerns about AI in the machines around us. We are well beyond answering Alan Turing's question, "can machines think?" There is now good reason to ask how we should think of AI, and what we should expect from it. There have been phenomenal advances in just the past few years.
Palo Alto Networks Sales VP Amy Slater: Be Human
April 11, 2018
"People have a fear that if they show any type of vulnerability, that's a bad thing," said Palo Alto Networks Sales VP Amy Slater. "But I've learned over time that people want to work with and learn from humans. I've modified the way that I was leading, and in doing so I've become more approachable. Instead of being stiff and by-the-book, I started to create my own brand of being human."
Beyond CRM
April 10, 2018
We should start discussing what's beyond CRM. I chose the word "beyond" advisedly. CRM is far from dead or even in decline, so "after" would be incorrect. However, CRM already has changed so much that it may be time to rethink it. Also, many of the tangential technologies that have turbocharged CRM in the last few years, like social media, have drawn so much attention that some analysis is due.
Mysterious Disappearance of Zuck Posts Rings Another Facebook Alarm Bell
April 9, 2018
Facebook reportedly allowed CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other senior executives to delete messages from recipients' inboxes and chat threads, but it did not disclose the practice or offer the same capabilities to users. Facebook began using the tool after the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures to protect executive communications. Facebook later said it would make the feature available to all users.
Turning Social Media From a Problem Into a Solution
April 9, 2018
The shooting incident that took place last week at YouTube had less to do with guns than with the failure of the police to act on information in a timely way and the inability of social media to be anything but part of the problem. Google has been giving this issue little more than lip service, but I expect it has become motivated to do more, given that YouTube was the latest target.
Valve Soothes SteamOS Fans After Yanking Steam Machines
April 8, 2018
Valve has been working to reassure members of its community that it has not yet thrown in the towel on SteamOS and Linux gaming systems that have been hampered over the years due to performance issues, soaring sales on mainstream rival platforms, and generally weak demand. Valve recently withdrew SteamOS machines from its direct online sales portal.
Customization Tools Let You Have Enterprise Chatbots Your Way
April 7, 2018
Inbenta has released new APIs and SDKs that let enterprises customize chatbots. The company offers an artificial intelligence-powered natural language search and conversational platform. The new APIs and SDKs facilitate a number of chatbot capabilities: intent detection, decision trees, transactional intelligence, Content Digest and seamless escalation.
Intel Hits the Gas Pedal With 8th Gen Core Processors
April 5, 2018
Intel has unveiled its latest family of 8th generation Core processors. "As with previous new-gen Core launches, these initial solutions are aimed at customers who value high-end performance and dynamic market segments," said Pund-IT's Charles King. The 8th Gen processors incorporate Intel Octane memory, a smart and adaptable system accelerator for desktop and mobile platforms.
Digital Disruption
April 4, 2018
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfesson, who teach at MIT's Sloan School of Management, started writing about the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning almost a decade ago. Their early books provided deep insights into the way the era we live in would unfold. A lot of their ideas were on display last week at TrailHeaDX: The Salesforce Developer Conference in San Francisco.
Mozilla Trumpets Altered Reality Browser
April 4, 2018
The Mozilla Foundation has unveiled its plans for Firefox Reality, a browser designed specifically for mixed reality headsets. The browser combines the beneftis of Mozilla's existing Firefox browser with its experimental Web engine. Using Servo, Mozilla plans to experiment with entirely new designs and technologies for seeing and interacting with the immersive Web.
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