Big Tech Concerned About Crypto Startups Poaching Talent

There are reports of a migratory wave of executives and engineers moving from Big Tech firms such as Google, Amazon, Apple and others to chase what is being described as “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” with startups whose business models rely on blockchain and involve everything from cryptocurrencies to non-fungible tokens. Google is said to be so worried about employee retention they’ve increased stock grants in categories vulnerable to poaching following the exit of Surojit Chatterjee to join Coinbase where he saw his stake in the company grow to more than $600 million in 14 months. Continue reading Big Tech Concerned About Crypto Startups Poaching Talent

Social Video App TikTok Makes Splash as E-Tailing Presence

TikTok made its shopping play this year, partnering with Shopify, then launching the TikTok World feature for creators and brands. The result has been items from clothes to cosmetics to tech accessories and household goods seeing sales boosts through exposure on the platform. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is said to have been viewed more than 7.4 billion times, and Amazon in May launched the category “Internet Famous: The Latest to Go Viral,” generously populated by products that “blew up” on the video-sharing service. Now brands are scrambling to leverage the social shopping made successful by TikTok influencers. Continue reading Social Video App TikTok Makes Splash as E-Tailing Presence

Clubhouse Fights to Retain Share in Now-Competitive Market

The social audio boom that grew out of COVID-19 lockdowns has resulted in a reshuffling of players in the chat app space, as Clubhouse fights to maintain its once-dominant market share against competition from newer entries like Twitter Spaces, Spotify Greenroom and Facebook audio chat. Discord and platforms focused on gaming and NFTs also offer audio conversation features, and Amazon is reportedly working on a similar feature. Founded in 2020, Clubhouse initially had only Discord to contend with, resulting in early growth and a funding round valued at $4 billion. Continue reading Clubhouse Fights to Retain Share in Now-Competitive Market

New Blockchain Divide Between Consumers and Tech Titans

Cryptocurrency and NFTs seem to be getting a much different reception from the average consumer than the tech titans that helped launch the crazes. While entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Chris Dixon have dropped millions-to-billions into various blockchain piggy banks, Ubisoft gamers, startups on Kickstarter and artists like Brian Eno are speaking out against everything from NFTs to digital coins. Gamers, in particular, have made their disapproval known, somewhat surprising given they’re typically first-movers, eager to try new technologies and push boundaries. Now, reports are emerging of a schism in the game world. Continue reading New Blockchain Divide Between Consumers and Tech Titans

Doc Reveals Theory Behind Facebook’s Defiance of EU Court

Facebook continues to feud with the European Union over data transfers to the U.S., which the EU’s highest court twice prohibited. “Facebook has been ignoring EU law for 8.5 years now,” says privacy advocate Max Schrems, whose 2013 complaint against Facebook prompted the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to conclude that the U.S. did not offer sufficient protection for EU data and transfers should stop. Schrems says the social giant takes “the view that the Court of Justice is wrong — and Facebook is right. It is an unbelievable ignorance of the rule of law.” Schrems has now obtained an internal Facebook document that explains the company’s justification. Continue reading Doc Reveals Theory Behind Facebook’s Defiance of EU Court

Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 recently introduced Qaya, a new service that helps creators build their own digital storefronts. Qaya, which was co-created by Area 120 founder-in-residence Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey, is designed to help creators monetize their products and services by offering them directly to fans via personalized storefronts that can be integrated with Google Search and Google Shopping. Currently in beta, the Qaya-powered storefronts can host up to 1,000 products each. Google Pay is built into the service, with support for subscriptions, tipping and one-time payments. Qaya also offers sales analytics. Continue reading Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Oracle is expanding its healthcare footprint and teeing up to turbo-charge its cloud business with the $28.3 billion purchase of medical software and IT firm Cerner Corporation. Many healthcare providers use Oracle database solutions, but the company says Cerner will be “Oracle’s anchor asset to expand into healthcare.” Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said in a statement that together the firms “have the capacity to transform healthcare delivery.” The deal — the largest in Oracle’s history — will provide “overworked medical professionals” with access to Oracle’s “hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications,” Ellison added. Continue reading Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

The Web3 Debate: Impending Revolution or Marketing Hype?

Nearly 37 percent of the world’s population has never used the Internet, according to the United Nations. That’s about 2.9 billion people yet to experience the technology most of the other 63 percent now take for granted. But many feel the Internet is ready for its third act, Web3 (also known as Web 3.0). Companies trying to figure out what Web3 means for their business models are not helped by the fact that there is dissent as to what it will be. Decentralized, relying on blockchain, connected to the metaverse are among the themes being discussed. Although there’s a lot being written, it’s all rather fuzzy at this time. Continue reading The Web3 Debate: Impending Revolution or Marketing Hype?

Lawmakers Troubled About Rampant Sale of Consumer Data

When it comes to vacuuming-up consumer data, there is no distinction between that which is “personally identifiable” and that which is not, according to recent media reports. Data collection firms are reportedly hiding behind a false notion of privacy in order to keep Congress on track to allow the industry to police itself. This would enable the companies to continue mining personal information and selling it, whether to those trying to influence election outcomes, pharmaceutical firms trying to boost sales or insurance companies sniffing around for preexisting conditions. Continue reading Lawmakers Troubled About Rampant Sale of Consumer Data

Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspected of U.S. Data Harvesting

China’s SZ DJI Technology, a leading global producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, has come under scrutiny as a national security threat. The Shenzhen-based company is suspected of turning unwitting Americans into surveillance operatives by harvesting data about U.S. infrastructure from their drones. Last week, the Biden administration imposed a U.S. investment ban against DJI and seven other companies for enabling China’s military-industrial complex. Although the Treasury Department says human rights violations are behind the ban, reports say the FCC wants DJI’s products completely removed from the U.S. market. Continue reading Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspected of U.S. Data Harvesting

Twitter Offers New Auto Generate Caption Feature for Videos

New videos uploaded to Twitter will now have the ability to automatically generate captions and subtitles. This new feature is available on Android, iOS and the web version of the popular social platform. In the mobile app, auto-generated captions will appear when the videos are on mute; meanwhile, users can turn the captions on or off with the CC button in the web version. Further, mobile users can keep the captions in unmuted mode by adjusting the accessibility setting in their smartphones. However, Twitter is not allowing users to correct or change the captions before posting the clips. Continue reading Twitter Offers New Auto Generate Caption Feature for Videos

Apple Is Hiring New Team to Develop Wireless Chips in SoCal

Apple plans to set up a new office in Irvine, California to develop wireless chips. Job listings indicate the company is looking for individuals experienced with modem chips and other semiconductors. The new components could eventually replace those provided by third-party suppliers such as Broadcom and Skyworks Solutions. In a move that is part of a larger initiative by Apple to develop more tech in-house, engineers will reportedly work on RF integrated circuits, wireless radios, wireless SoC, and semiconductors for connecting to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Continue reading Apple Is Hiring New Team to Develop Wireless Chips in SoCal

TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

TikTok is introducing new camera and editing tools, a collaboration with Giphy, and support for 1080p video. The platform is also taking on Twitch and YouTube with TikTok Live Studio. The Windows program is currently in a test phase, allowing creators who download it to their desktop to stream live from the host computer or a connected device such as a smartphone or game console. This could keep TikTok fans in-app for live streaming, eliminating the need for third-party broadcast software like Streamlabs or OBS Studio. Continue reading TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

TikTok Adjusts Feed to Curb Repetition, Offers Users Control

TikTok is tweaking its For You feed so users won’t be recommended too much of the same content. The move follows a global spate of regulatory hearings that took social media companies to task for promoting content that intentionally polarizes adults and potentially harms children. In addition to “diversifying recommendations” in order to “interrupt repetitive patterns” around topics that may provide negative reinforcement, like “loneliness or weight loss,” the popular ByteDance platform said it is also introducing a new feature that will allow users to avoid specific topics or creators. Continue reading TikTok Adjusts Feed to Curb Repetition, Offers Users Control

Spotify Continues Push into Podcast Space with New Ratings

Music streaming and media services provider Spotify is implementing a five-star rating system, not unlike Apple’s, in an attempt to become a bigger player in the podcast discovery space. The challenger has been coming on strong. In a Q3 2021 earnings call, the company cited Edison Research and internal tracking to proclaim Spotify the No. 1 podcast platform in the United States, squeaking by Apple in monthly listeners. Now, Spotify is hoping that its ratings will help create its own heat-seeking list, comparable to Apple Podcasts’ “New and Noteworthy” curated list. Continue reading Spotify Continues Push into Podcast Space with New Ratings