Twitter Cuts Millions of Followers to Combat Fake Accounts

In an effort to restore trust in its social platform, Twitter plans to “begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers” today, reports The New York Times. “Many users have inflated their followers on Twitter or other services with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to bolster their political activism, business endeavors or entertainment careers.” Twitter has acknowledged that easily creating or buying fake followers has negatively affected the legitimacy of the platform. Continue reading Twitter Cuts Millions of Followers to Combat Fake Accounts

Microsoft Shifting Its Focus From Windows to Cloud Computing

Microsoft is reportedly downgrading the scope of its Windows franchise to “reorganize its business around its growing Azure cloud-computing operations and its stalwart Office productivity business,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The move is designed to focus Microsoft on its biggest areas of growth. In its latest quarter Azure revenue jumped 98 percent while Office 365 grew 41 percent … In the same period, the More Personal Computing unit, which includes Windows, gained 2 percent to $12.17 billion.” Continue reading Microsoft Shifting Its Focus From Windows to Cloud Computing

Facebook Testing Business Messaging Tools via WhatsApp

Facebook, which bought WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014, is now testing two free business tools on the messaging service. WhatsApp Business lets small businesses answer customer questions and send updates; larger businesses can avail themselves of another free tool that plugs in to the WhatsApp platform. Facebook is also debuting verified profiles for businesses on WhatsApp, to distinguish them from individuals. Businesses in Brazil, Europe, India and Indonesia, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, are testing the new tools. Continue reading Facebook Testing Business Messaging Tools via WhatsApp

Business, Sports, Medicine Embrace Virtual Reality Training

Walmart plans to use virtual reality at its 200 employee training centers. It’s not the only business gravitating to virtual reality, as an increasing number of companies, in industries as diverse as construction to medicine, find that customized 360-degree video is an effective, less expensive and often safer way to teach employees. Walmart, which tested VR in 31 centers, now plans to use it as a key part of training for 140,000 employees annually. As a result, shipments of VR/AR headsets are on track to skyrocket. Continue reading Business, Sports, Medicine Embrace Virtual Reality Training

Students Discuss Their Media Habits at ETC Member Meeting

The ETC@USC has produced a 10-minute highlights reel edited from a one-hour discussion with a panel of eight USC students that took place at the ETC’s April 6th All Members Meeting. The panel of undergraduates included students studying business, the arts, journalism and technology. The students discussed what motivates them to go to a movie theater, the role of big screen TVs in their lives, what they think of VR and AR, what they would buy if they were given $3,000 to spend on entertainment, and a number of other interesting topics. Visit the ETC website or YouTube channel to access the video.

Continue reading Students Discuss Their Media Habits at ETC Member Meeting

Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

App intelligence firm Sensor Tower projects that Apple’s App Store will reach 5.06 million apps by 2020, making its catalog 73 percent larger than figures expected this year. The App Store debuted in 2008, reached 5,000 apps by the end of the year, and totaled 1.75 million apps by 2015. “New games fuel the App Store’s growth, because of both their popularity and because game makers have to release new titles often to keep users engaged,” reports TechCrunch. “48,231 new apps were released this May, with 43 percent of those being games.” Those were followed by apps for Education, Entertainment, Business and Lifestyle. Interface upgrades and search ads are expected to help with app discovery moving forward. Continue reading Major Growth Predicted for App Store in the Next Four Years

Accenture Study: Companies Experiencing Insider Data Theft

While businesses are continuing efforts to protect their data and combat outside hackers, many are facing data theft by their own employees. A survey of 208 organizations by Accenture Plc and HfS Research found that 69 percent “experienced an attempted or realized data theft or corruption by corporate insiders” over the past year. That compares to 57 percent from external sources. Media and tech firms and Asia-Pacific enterprises reported the highest rates, notes Bloomberg. According to Accenture chief strategy officer Omar Abbosh, businesses are spending about $84 billion annually to combat data theft that costs them $2 trillion, “damage that could rise to $90 trillion a year by 2030 if current trends continue.” Continue reading Accenture Study: Companies Experiencing Insider Data Theft

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

Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Facebook is launching a new service designed to be appropriate for the workplace called Facebook at Work. The service is almost identical to the regular social network, except for a white color scheme that replaces the iconic blue layout. The difference in colors is to help employer’s distinguish when someone is using a work account as opposed to a personal one. Facebook at Work will allow users to connect with colleagues to become more efficient around the office. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Today marks the last day that Google Glass in its current form will officially be available for $1,500 as part of the Explorer Program. Late last week, the company announced that it would stop selling the smart glasses and the device would no longer be developed by the Google X research division. However, Google Glass is expected to continue as a standalone project with former Apple exec Tony Fadell in charge. Fadell is known for helping to design the iPod and inventing the Nest thermostat. Google purchased Nest last year. Continue reading Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

Apple and IBM released 10 apps this week designed for businesses and governments. The apps are the first to come out of the tech companies’ new partnership and target sectors such as air travel, banking and retail. Apple is looking to put new life into its lagging iPad sales by drawing business users, while IBM hopes to catch up in the mobile space. The two companies are working with 50 corporations to create apps for Apple mobile devices; the next round is slated for release early next year. Continue reading New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

We recently reported that Hewlett-Packard has plans to split into two businesses — one that will target PCs and printing, and another that will focus on enterprise IT. CEO Meg Whitman promised “new computing experiences” from the former, the first of which we may see next week when “Sprout” is unveiled at a New York event on October 29. According to sources, Sprout combines a large flat screen display with a touch-enabled work surface and an overhead assembly featuring a 3D scanner and projector. Continue reading HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

Microsoft to Introduce Redesigned Start Menu for Windows 10

Microsoft is skipping from Windows 8 to a Windows 10 operating system, expected to launch in the middle of next year. The new version, which was unveiled earlier this week, is intended to work across many different devices, from those connected via the “Internet of Things” to touchscreen phones, tablets and laptops. Windows 10 also features a newly redesigned Start Menu, which combines the tile design of Windows 8 with the traditional list design in older versions of Windows. Continue reading Microsoft to Introduce Redesigned Start Menu for Windows 10

Google For Work: Software, Cloud Services Target Enterprise

Google is competing with fellow tech giants Microsoft and Amazon to offer businesses the best options for their employees, from laptops to software to cloud services. The company’s Google Drive for Work is designed to help co-workers share files, even if they were created in a Microsoft or Lotus program. Also, the company’s new pitch to workplaces has featured its cloud services, which provides computing power, storage, application storage, and mobile support for businesses’ online presence. Continue reading Google For Work: Software, Cloud Services Target Enterprise

Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

Foursquare has made dramatic changes in its smartphone app while rethinking its approach to local business recommendations. Since the company became popular in 2009 due to its check-in feature, Facebook and Instagram have taken much of that attention with their own check-in features. The revised app urges users to explore their surroundings while using Foursquare as their guide, with its database of 10,000 “tastes” to help users discover exactly what they want. Continue reading Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

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