Technology Chief Executives Lobby for Federal Privacy Law

Congress just received an open letter on behalf of the Business Roundtable, an association comprised of the chief executives of the U.S.’s biggest companies. Signed by 51 tech company executives, the letter asks legislators to create a federal law on data privacy, thus avoiding the patchwork-quilt of state laws now being passed. Amazon, AT&T, Dell, IBM, Qualcomm, SAP, Salesforce, Visa, Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase, State Farm and Walmart are just some of the companies whose chief executives signed the letter. Continue reading Technology Chief Executives Lobby for Federal Privacy Law

Microsoft Rolls Out Additional Plans to Combat Patent Trolls

Microsoft revealed plans to expand its Azure IP Advantage patent troll defense program by offering its customers building Azure-compatible IoT services with access to a library of 10,000 patents that can help protect them from IP lawsuits, especially related to cloud computing. The tech giant also announced that it is contributing some 500 patents to the non-profit LOT Network, founded in 2014, which provides patents from a growing number of member companies and additional sources to help protect startups against patent trolls. Continue reading Microsoft Rolls Out Additional Plans to Combat Patent Trolls

Tech Firms Encourage Others to Join Open Data Initiative

Adobe, Microsoft and SAP announced the Open Data Initiative during last year’s Microsoft Ignite conference with the intent of creating standards that would assist customers in moving their data between the companies’ services more easily. Now the companies are looking to expand the program. At this week’s Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, they demonstrated how Unilever is effectively leveraging a new common data standard. They also announced the formation of a partner advisory council as a first step toward making the Open Data Initiative available to other companies. Continue reading Tech Firms Encourage Others to Join Open Data Initiative

Tech Firms Sign a Cybersecurity Pledge to Protect Customers

Led by tech titans Facebook and Microsoft, more than 30 tech companies have signed a Cybersecurity Tech Accord as part of their efforts to protect customers from cyberattacks and “the misuse of their technology.” According to the agreement, tech companies pledge not to assist governments that initiate attacks against “innocent civilians and enterprises.” Among the signatories are companies that power Internet technology and information infrastructure, including Cisco, Cloudflare, Dell, HP, LinkedIn, Nielsen, Nokia, Oracle, Symantec and VMware. Continue reading Tech Firms Sign a Cybersecurity Pledge to Protect Customers

Facebook, Google Pledge to Expand AI Investments in France

After top Google and Facebook executives met with French president Emmanuel Macron, the tech companies vowed to invest artificial intelligence resources in that country’s capital. Google will create a Paris-based AI lab focused on research into automatic learning, language and computer vision. Facebook, which already has created an AI lab in Paris, plans to double its 50-person team there by 2022 and spend 10 million euros ($12.2 million). Both companies also pledge to train that country’s citizens on digital tools. Continue reading Facebook, Google Pledge to Expand AI Investments in France

Amazon Enters the Workplace with Bow of Alexa for Business

Amazon, which currently dominates the virtual assistant market with its Echo speaker, is now launching Alexa for Business. With Alexa for Business, offices could potentially use the voice-enabled assistant to take care of numerous tasks. It’s a leap of faith since it is still unproven how many businesses would want to install an Echo in every conference room, design relevant programs or even want their employees talking to devices. Companies might also have concerns about sensitive internal information being in the cloud. Continue reading Amazon Enters the Workplace with Bow of Alexa for Business

Microsoft Introduces Windows 10 Update, Mixed Reality Tools

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system update will allow apps to work across devices, including those running rival operating systems from Apple and Alphabet. For example, in a feature called “Pick Up Where You Left Off,” a user can finish editing a document on an iPhone that she started on a Windows PC; both devices must have Cortana to work. The company also introduced Windows Mixed Reality motion controller, which enables gaming in virtual worlds and tracks movement via sensors in the device and the paired headset. Continue reading Microsoft Introduces Windows 10 Update, Mixed Reality Tools

IBM Looks to Commercialize Artificial Intelligence with Watson

IBM is launching commercialization of its artificial intelligence technology Watson with the hope of growing it into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Big Blue has already invested billions of dollars and, currently, a staff of 10,000 employees to evolve Watson, which was launched as a business unit in 2014. The effort is beginning to pay off, as Watson is now assisting in diagnosing cancer. IBM is also marketing its AI in TV ads featuring Watson bantering with Nobel laureate Bob Dylan and tennis celebrity Serena Williams. Continue reading IBM Looks to Commercialize Artificial Intelligence with Watson

New Analytics Service from Amazon to Make Better Use of Data

Amazon is readying a new service, code-named Space Needle, designed to help businesses better analyze their growing collections of data. The service — which will compete with IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Tibco and others in the lucrative business intelligence space — could help the Amazon Web Services cloud-computing division secure more customers by housing more of their data. Amazon is in a strong position for an add-on service; clients such as Airbnb, Netflix, Nike and Pfizer already store their proprietary data on AWS. Continue reading New Analytics Service from Amazon to Make Better Use of Data

To Combat Patent Trolls, Google Offers Patents to Startups

Google has started a program to give away up to two non-organic patent families to startups. The offer requires those startups that gain patents to join the LOT Network, a cross-company licensing drive to decrease the number of patent-trolling suits. Canon, Dropbox, Pandora and SAP are among the other members of the LOT Network. This new move comes on the heels of Google’s April launch of a pop-up marketplace for companies to sell patents to Google. Google bought 28 percent of the total offered, some of which are available in this new program. Continue reading To Combat Patent Trolls, Google Offers Patents to Startups

Sony Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Employee Projects

Sony launched First Flight, a crowdfunding platform/online store for its employees’ projects seeking outside funding. In the company’s Creative Lounge, employees and outsiders can develop pitches and construct prototype products. Some of these nascent projects have been presented to senior Sony executives, and Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has given the Seed Acceleration Project (SAP) a relatively large amount of autonomy. Among the more developed products is the HUIS programmable universal remote. Continue reading Sony Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Employee Projects

HPA Retreat: Leveraging Analytics in a Multi-Platform Universe

Media organizations are behind the curve when it comes to making the most of analytics: 97 percent don’t have automated real-time media analytics solutions and 94 percent leverage social media only for marketing purposes. In an HPA Tech Retreat panel that looked at better leveraging of social media and analytics, HP Enterprise Services’ Steve Poehlein, who moderated, pointed out that, “there’s a deluge of all these different ways to see content.” “What do analytics mean to the entertainment industry?” he asked. Continue reading HPA Retreat: Leveraging Analytics in a Multi-Platform Universe

BlackBerry Calls Off Company Sale, CEO Heins to Step Down

BlackBerry announced yesterday that it will abandon a sale of the company, following two months of talks with potential buyers including Facebook, Lenovo and private equity firms. Instead, the struggling smartphone maker plans to raise $1 billion by issuing convertible notes to long-term investors including Fairfax Financial Holdings, the company’s largest shareholder. Additionally, BlackBerry said CEO Thorsten Heins will step down. The news resulted in a 16 percent drop in share price. Continue reading BlackBerry Calls Off Company Sale, CEO Heins to Step Down

Phone Companies Begin Selling Customer Data to Marketers

Major phone companies have begun selling data related to their subscribers’ locations, travels, interests and Web browsing habits. The availability of such data provides a long-anticipated and powerful tool for marketers, but not surprisingly raises a number of privacy concerns. Mining data for profit marks a shift in the relationship between carriers and subscribers, similar to what is typically expected today with services such as Google and Facebook. Continue reading Phone Companies Begin Selling Customer Data to Marketers

Watson Takes to the Kitchen: First Step Toward Big Data?

Watson — the computer running IBM’s artificial intelligence technology, famous for beating “Jeopardy” champions two years ago — will soon enter the kitchen in an attempt by the company to turn Watson into a commercially viable product. And it’s not only cooking; IBM is showcasing various uses for the technology, such as developing drugs and predicting when industrial machines need maintenance. Continue reading Watson Takes to the Kitchen: First Step Toward Big Data?

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