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AI in Healthcare: Independent Living for Consumers
July 22, 2019
AI applied to healthcare includes a collection of technologies that enable machines to sense, interpret, act and learn. AI implementations for digital health can be relatively simple when they are focused largely on personal patient engagement, or vastly complex when working with big data sets, highly specialized diagnostics, and the workflows of multiple highly complicated organizations.
Why We All Need to Learn to Live on Camera
July 22, 2019
I was struck by a recent video of a soldier who apparently took some woman's parking spot and then went off the rails when she objected. He bad-mouthed the U.S. military and the U.S., abused his wife, and put his child at risk. A decade ago we probably wouldn't have seen this incident, but now there is a good chance that anyone who misbehaves, as this guy clearly did, will be caught on camera.
How Alternative Lending Sources Can Help E-Commerce Companies Grow
July 20, 2019
E-commerce companies must surmount a variety of unique challenges to grow. At any given time, companies may encounter a desperate need to spruce up the look and feel of their website and mobile app, boost their digital storage capacity, or optimize the way they process transactions so that customers can make purchases on different online platforms seamlessly.
The Path to Interstellar Travel Starts With Looking Up
July 19, 2019
Earthlings have a natural inclination to gaze at the heavenly bodies. Many even dream of reaching for the stars. Mae C. Jemison actually is planning to get humans to other solar systems within the next century. Her goal is not an idle fancy. She has already been to space and back. Now her passion is to unite humanity to focus on traveling beyond our solar system.
How Sales Reps Can Solve 3 Nagging Document Problems
July 18, 2019
Technology has so empowered today's customers that they are totally in control of the sales process. This means that the quality of the customer experience is a determining factor in whether a sales organization succeeds or fails. Consider, for instance, that more than half of customers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn't make an effort to personalize communications with them.
5 Ways for Amazon Sellers to Elevate Their Brand
July 18, 2019
We all want to be rich and successful, but if it was easy, we'd all have it. When it comes to Amazon, however, finding success isn't impossible. All it takes is focus and determination. To start, business owners need to alter their thinking and overall goals. Going from $0 to $100,000 in the first 30 days of a new venture sounds great, but it isn't realistic.
Mnuchin Sounds Alarm Over Facebook's Money-Minting Plan
July 17, 2019
The Treasury Department has "very serious concerns" about Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency, according to Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity, like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking."
Code Cracker Turing to Be on 50-Quid Notes
July 16, 2019
Alan Turing, the British mathematician known for his World War II code-breaking exploits and for a test to distinguish between human and machine intelligence, will be on 50-pound notes in the UK by the end of 2021. The Bank of England, which made the announcement, explained that Turing, who died in 1954, was chosen from a field of 989 eligible characters after a public nomination period.
The Online Grocery Shopping Comeback
July 16, 2019
Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Some shoppers love walking up and down the aisles, seeing what's new, looking for what's on sale, and getting new ideas. They often pick up things that weren't on their list. However, while many shoppers love that experience, others don't. They would rather run in and out as quickly as possible. That's where online grocery shopping comes into play.
For the Love of Bricks
July 16, 2019
I've been spending time this summer barnstorming Barnes & Noble bookstores in New England signing copies of my book on repairing climate change, The Age of Sustainability. These were my first visits to bookstores as a seller, not a customer -- and I previously hadn't visited a store in a while. I wasn't prepared for what I found: The experience was palpable.
Isn't It Time to Buy Cyber Insurance?
July 15, 2019
Every day we read stories about data breaches and cyberattacks on business and government websites, and the resulting the loss of personally identifiable information. Cybercrime is on the rise, and given the ever-evolving methods of attack, meaningful relief and reliable measures to fend off cybercriminals are unlikely in the foreseeable future. Companies need to insure against cybertheft.
Making Amazon Prime Day Work for You
July 15, 2019
For Halloween, we buy all kinds of crap we shouldn't be eating and feed it to our kids. When Valentine's Day approaches, husbands and boyfriends live in fear of getting their significant other's gift wrong again. Fourth of July is when we buy expensive things we can burn and piss off our neighbors. Of course, there are the various gift-giving holidays that are linked to specific religious groups.
Social Media, Crafters, Gamers and the Online Censorship Debate
July 12, 2019
Ravelry, an online knitting community that has more than 8 million members, last month announced that it would ban forum posts, projects, patterns and even profiles from users who supported President Trump or his administration. "We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy," the administrators of Ravelry posted on the site.
The Subscription Model: The Shining Star of E-Commerce
July 11, 2019
Subscription sales have become a strong part of e-commerce. Everything from razors to dog toys to movies is being sold on the subscription model, and there is no sign of letting up. "Our customers tell us that opening their BarkBox with their dog is one of the best experiences they share every month," said Allison Stadd, vice president of marketing at Bark, about its monthly dog supply box.
Workers' Prime Day Strike Could Pose a Problem for Amazon
July 9, 2019
Amazon workers at a Minnesota, fulfillment center plan to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of Amazon's Prime Day sales event. The strike threat reportedly is linked to unsafe working conditions at Amazon's warehouses, caused by low wages and pressure to meet shipping demands. Union officials also want a larger portion of temporary warehouse workers converted to full-time employees.
FBI, ICE Turn Drivers' Licenses Into Facial Recognition Gold
July 9, 2019
State motor vehicle departments have become a rich source of facial recognition data for and FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Researchers at Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy & Technology reportedly used public records requests to gather a cache of documents that show the agencies have turned state DMV databases into the foundation of a vast surveillance infrastructure.
Anticipating the Merger of Apple and Oracle
July 8, 2019
After reading about the departure of Jony Ive, I'm trying to wrap my head around Apple without a design focus. Now this isn't as hard as you might think, given the last truly successful Apple product came out around a decade ago and was called the "iPad." It is also somewhat ironic that Apple just effectively relaunched the iPod, the product that Steve Jobs rode to Apple's massive success.
How to Run a Profitable Business on Amazon
July 6, 2019
Selling on Amazon can be an extremely profitable business all on its own. Third-party sellers like small business owners and authors on Amazon's marketplace account for 58 percent of gross merchandise volume. This provides a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to make a massive profit. However, most entrepreneurs stop the process at taking a sale rather than scaling it into something great.
The Threat of a Deepfake Fiasco
July 5, 2019
An AI technology called "deepfake" may be the next big threat we face as a society. Consider a recent video clip of Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg saying some outlandish things. You might think it is real -- but it's a deepfake. It's his image, and it sure sounds like him, but he never actually made that speech. "Can't be," you might think. "That has to be Zuckerberg talking." Wrong.
Can You Hear Me Now? Staying Connected During a Cybersecurity Incident
July 3, 2019
While good communication is pretty much universally beneficial, there are times when it's more so than others. One such time? During a cybersecurity incident. Incident responders know that communication is paramount. Even a few minutes might mean the difference between closing an issue vs. allowing a risky situation to persist longer than it needs to.
5 Effective Ways to Reduce E-Commerce Churn
July 2, 2019
The subscription model forms the backbone of the revenue streams of many SaaS companies. In fact, more than 90 percent of software providers expected to migrate to a subscription-based business model by 2022, according a Gartner report. Despite the higher rates of adoption, companies often struggle with keeping subscription customers, leading to high churn rates and lost revenue.
The Democratic Debate That Wasn't: How Tech Could Help Elections
July 1, 2019
I watched the Democratic debates last week and was struck by three things: I'd likely rather watch paint dry; the application of technology to improve the experience was nonexistent; and I'd bet that if the Democrats don't up their game President Trump will have them to thank when he wins re-election. I'll suggest some ways technology could be used to improve events.
Reality Check: Your Customers Have 'Baggage' Too
June 28, 2019
The definition of "baggage" varies depending on whom you ask. For instance, a travel agent or a road-weary businessperson will describe a container used to carry personal belongings on a trip. A therapist might describe emotions from previous relationships that hamper a person's ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. What will a customer service leader say to describe "baggage?"
The Growing Menace of Weaponized Deepfakes
June 27, 2019
The U.S. House Intelligence Committee recently heard expert testimony on the growing threat posed by "deepfakes" -- altered videos and other AI-generated false information -- and what it could mean for the 2020 general elections, as well as the country's national security overall. The technologies collectively known as "deepfakes" can be used to manipulate and falsify images and videos.
NSA Admits Improper Collection of Phone Data, 2nd Time Around
June 27, 2019
The ACLU has released documents showing the NSA improperly collected Americans' call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018. The unauthorized collections occurred just four months after the agency announced it was deleting more than 620 million call detail records acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Technology Tools and Customer Engagement: It's Complicated
June 25, 2019
The most successful brands today are those that have created engaged audiences and an exceptional customer experience. They have managed to humanize the most unsentimental of buying processes, and somehow made it look easy. Providing a world class customer experience is so profitable that Gartner has estimated the CX and CRM software market alone to be worth $48.2 billion and rising steadily.
Proposed Law Would Force Big Tech to Reveal Value of Consumer Data
June 25, 2019
A Democrat and a Republican have filed a U.S. Senate bill to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data they collect and how they leverage it for profit. "When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. "These 'free' products track everything we do."
The Greening of E-Commerce
June 24, 2019
E-commerce by its nature involves a lot of packaging and shipping, and e-commerce companies can't always control how their products get sent. There are ways to make these processes more sustainable, however, and the benefits might well be worth the effort. "E-commerce won't stop growing anytime soon," said Mark Bastiaanssen, CEO of Shiptimize. "Many models are currently being tested."
6 Things We Won't Be Able to Live Without in 2035
June 24, 2019
Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for instance, but we are due to be up to our armpits in them by the end of next decade if the impressive number of trials continue to go well. I touched on the drone drop issue a little last week, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
Plot Thickens With Dish's Interest in Sprint, T-Mobile Wireless
June 20, 2019
The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has been dragging on for quite a long time, but it finally may be in the home stretch. To get the deal approved, Sprint and T-Mobile might have to sell off some of their wireless assets to competitors. Many were surprised to see Dish Network's interest. What would this mean for the merger and for the wireless industry as a whole?
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Which type of cybersecurity threat concerns you the most?
Theft of my personal assets
A serious privacy invasion affecting me or a close family member
Reputation damage affecting my business
Child pornography, drug and weapon sales, and other Dark Web crimes
Activities that might compromise free and fair elections
A life-threatening attack on the nation's infrastructure