Spotify Testing New ‘Storyline’ Feature, Similar to ‘Stories’

Somewhat similar to its “Behind the Lyrics” feature, music streaming giant Spotify is now launching “Storyline,” a new feature meant to offer artists a platform to share insights, inspiration and more about their creative processes and the meanings of lyrics, songs and albums. The new feature is also similar to the “Stories” format that has been popularized by social apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and others, opening up a potential avenue for Spotify to create original content via a popular format.

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Microsoft Announces Launch of Azure Blockchain Services

In the past year, Microsoft has demonstrated a focus on blockchain technology. It previously launched a blockchain developer kit along with its Azure Blockchain Workbench. Just last week, ahead of its Build developer conference, Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Blockchain Services, a “fully managed service that allows for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks” which are “meant to help businesses build applications on top of blockchain technology,” according to TechCrunch.

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Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

The credit reporting company Experian is adopting machine learning to get a jump on identifying problems and predicting application behavior more reliably. Machine learning tools can help such Experian tools as ServiceNow, which monitors infrastructure performance and spots unusual, potentially threatening behavior. With machine learning, Experian hopes to head off and/or fix problems that could impact, and potentially lose, customers. The company also now mandates that monitoring be built into all new applications. Continue reading Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Israel-based technology company OrCam is introducing its compelling take on augmented reality at this year’s CES. The company’s device is similar to Google Glass, but the hardware is more discrete and does not save images or audio, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. The MyMe digital assistant is designed to give the user advice based on the world around them. The assistant speaks through a Bluetooth earpiece and the tiny camera clips to a shirt. All of the data processing is done in real time. Continue reading OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Walmart Reinvents Its Digital Operations to Overcome Amazon

Walmart Stores, with chief technology officer Jeremy King leading the charge, is in the midst of a dramatic overhaul of its digital operations. The goal is to create a digital presence as powerful as its brick-and-mortar one and, in the process, break Amazon’s record of successfully squelching most traditional retailers online. To do so, Walmart has invested serious resources into its effort: 15 acquisitions, 3,600 new hires and billions of dollars in the project code-named Pangaea, named after the pre-historic supercontinent. Continue reading Walmart Reinvents Its Digital Operations to Overcome Amazon

The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Amazon is throwing its hat into the IoT ring with a new service for developers through its Amazon Web Services division. The beta service, named AWS IoT, was introduced during the company’s annual AWS conference in Las Vegas. It is designed for developers looking to link Internet-connected devices — from smoke alarms and other household appliances to smartwatches and fitness trackers — with other hardware devices and applications housed on remote servers. The idea is that devices would communicate with each other and take commands from computers. Continue reading The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Mobile Devices Now the Largest Threat to Enterprise Security

A recent Check Point Software survey determined that enterprise network vulnerabilities often result from the ease in which company employees can now connect their mobile devices to insecure wireless networks. The study suggests that the threat level increases with larger organizations. For example, companies that use 2,000 or more devices experience a 50 percent chance that at least six devices have become infected with malware (something to consider since 82 percent of companies now have a BYOD plan in place). Continue reading Mobile Devices Now the Largest Threat to Enterprise Security

Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Linux production environments can now leverage Nvidia’s recently introduced GRID technology to power VMware’s Horizon 6 for Linux and provide visual effects and animation artists anywhere, on any device, with virtual Linux workstations running their familiar high-end applications. Nvidia’s VP of Enterprise Marketing Greg Estes showed a virtual workstation running simulations in Maya on the SIGGRAPH floor in Los Angeles with the application, processors and Nvidia’s GRID and CUDA technologies installed in a data center hundreds of miles away in Northern California. Continue reading Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Google has unveiled its new Chrome operating system designed for business customers, which includes changes aimed at allowing companies to operate many of their legacy software applications. Dell has announced new Chromebooks and management software designed to work with the new operating system. After years of pushing cloud-based systems for improved security and management, Google has learned that many companies require custom upgrades or rely on virtualized systems to address the multitude of applications that cannot easily move to the cloud. Continue reading Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

A privilege-escalation bug was identified in the latest version of Apple’s OS X this week by security researcher Stefan Esser. The vulnerability reportedly provides hackers with root user privileges that make it possible to infect Macs with rootkits and other malware. This type of bug is commonly used to bypass security protections created for applications and operating systems. According to Esser, the vulnerability can be found in OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and the beta version of 10.10.5, but not in the recent beta version of El Capitan 10.11. Continue reading Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

Internet of Things Moves From Hype to Huge Potential Value

With over 10 billion interconnected smart devices, the Internet of Things is rapidly moving from hype to reality. Over the next ten years, the number of interconnected smart devices is expected to explode to tens of billions, and continue an upward trajectory for decades to come. What does this mean in terms of economic value of the IoT? With the seemingly limitless potential of monetizing interconnected devices, McKinsey & Co. tackled that topic, made more complex since the Internet of Things is still in its nascent stages. Continue reading Internet of Things Moves From Hype to Huge Potential Value

Microsoft CEO Announces Departures, Corporate Restructuring

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that a series of executive changes would take place at the company, including the departures of former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and senior level execs Kiril Tatarinov, Eric Rudder and Mark Penn. Meanwhile, Windows head Terry Myerson will take on added responsibility. As part of the company’s shift from devices and services to productivity and cloud computing, Nadella has appointed a team to oversee the restructuring of Microsoft’s three engineering groups — Windows and Devices, Cloud and Enterprise, and Applications and Services. Continue reading Microsoft CEO Announces Departures, Corporate Restructuring

Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

At this week’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg explained to a packed crowd why he believes Internet.org will eventually help carriers convince consumers to increase spending on mobile content. The Facebook-backed service, currently available in countries such as Paraguay and Zambia, is designed to offer those in emerging markets free access to the social network and some other online applications. For many new users, this would represent their first time surfing the Internet. Continue reading Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

Cisco’s Intercloud and the Argument for More Internet Control

Cisco announced last week that the Internet requires a greater amount of control, and companies will work with governments to make that happen. Cisco and its partners have been developing the “Intercloud,” a proposed network designed to enable the next generation of standardized cloud applications by offering high performance, improved security and more control. The network intends to help companies comply with regulations involving the data that moves within their borders. Continue reading Cisco’s Intercloud and the Argument for More Internet Control

NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

The National Security Agency is funding a project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop the world’s first “polyglot” programming language that combines CSS, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, and more. Wyvern, the new language, intends to make Web programming easier. Files will be more organized, making it easier for Web developers to secure their websites, which seems to be the NSA’s primary goal. Wyvern is an open source project still in development. Continue reading NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

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