Posted by & filed under Apple, Emerging Economies.

The battle for India’s online shoppers has triggered a smartphone gold rush.

Flipkart and Amazon are leading an online sales bonanza that will see Indians buy smartphones worth over $1 billion in just five days, according to tech consultancy Counterpoint Research.
Bangalore-based Flipkart said it sold 1 million devices during the first hour of an online phone sale on Thursday that was part of its “Big Billion Days” shopping festival. By the end of the day, it had sold more than 3 million phones.
Source: CNN Technology
Date: October 12th, 2018
Discussion
1) Why is it important, or maybe it is not, that 300 million Indians now have a smartphone?
2) Why is it important, or maybe it is not, that almost none of the smartphones Indians are buying are iPhones?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Cyberattack, Ethical issues.

A picture showing the inside of the car

Four Russians, a car full of electronic equipment, and a foiled plot to hack the world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog.

The Dutch security services say Russia planned a cyber-attack on the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague earlier this year.

At a press conference on Thursday, Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld said the plan was thwarted with the help of officials from the UK.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 8th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45747472

Discussion

1) There are some in the intelligence community who are describing this cyberattack on the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons by Russian agents as “amateur hour”.  I find it headshaking too, as what you see in the picture above, and the attack as described, is something that was being conducted 20 years ago and is called “drive-by hacking”.  The equipment in the photo, allegedly from Russian’s premier spy agency GRU, is about 20 years out of date too.  All of what is being described here can be done off a high-end gaming laptop fitted with an off-the-shelf hi-speed wifi card.  Given all that, what is going on here?

2) Cybersecurity attacks are clearly on the rise.  What are doing for yourself to better understand the risks, and how to control those risks, even if you don’t become a cybersecurity specialist?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Google.

Google is replacing its top advertising executive, Sridhar Ramaswamy, the first major management shakeup at the company’s most important business in half a decade.

Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Google’s business-applications unit, will step into the role on Friday, the company said. A veteran of search technology and artificial intelligence research, Raghavan will now oversee product and engineering for the world’s largest digital-ads business, which is on course to generate more than $100 billion in sales this year.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: October 1st, 2018

Link (10 free articles per month): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-01/google-ad-chief-ramaswamy-exits-search-ai-veteran-replaces-him?srnd=technology-vp

Discussion

1) This is a big deal, and is happening quickly.  Why is the move to have an Artificial Intelligence expert in charge of Google advertising?

2) What is your understanding of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to impact advertising and marketing?  What are you doing to improve this?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

WHAT WOULD IT take for you to give up your car? An all-access pass to a bicycle, maybe, plus some safe lanes to ride in? A smartphone, stocked with apps for cheap ride-hail services? A competent public transit system? A chauffeur, willing to drive you around instead? Lyft, the transportation service provider that has always said its goal is to get more Americans out of their personal cars, would like to find out.

On Wednesday, Lyft announced that it would expand its “Ditch Your Car Challenge,” an attempt to both promote its services—the company makes the whole idea of not owning a car a little easier, goes the argument—and to continue to cast itself as a traffic-busting, city-friendly transportation option.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: October 1st, 2018

Link (3 free articles per month) : https://www.wired.com/story/lyft-will-pay-ditch-your-car-will-it-work/?CNDID=54197592&mbid=nl_092918_daily_list1_p1

Discussion

1) “A report published by former New York City transportation official Bruce Schaller this summer suggests that Uber and Lyft have added 5.7 billion miles driven across nine US cities in the past six years. ”  Whoops!  Should companies like this consider the so-called “triple bottom line” which includes sustainability and issues to do with the climate and earth?

2) What would it take for you to give up your car?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues, Facial Recognition, Gaming.

Honour of Kings

One of China’s most popular video games is testing the use of facial recognition to check users’ ages.

Honour of Kings’ publisher Tencent announced the move at the weekend.

It said the trial would initially be limited to “thousands” of new players based in Beijing and Shenzhen.

The title has been criticised in local media over claims children have become addicted to it. But one expert questioned whether the test could be scaled up.

The mobile app resembles League of Legends and pits players against each other in multiplayer online battles set in a fantasy world.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45707469

Discussion

1) This is a Chinese game, so different rules apply.  Would and should this be allowed in the U.S., Canada or Europe?

2) What other applications are there of this technology?

Posted by & filed under Career, Privacy, Security.

Nuance Communications' Nina

The folks behind some of the technology in Siri, the iPhone’s virtual personal assistant, are bringing their voice recognotion technology to customer service applications, including bank, cable and credit card smartphone apps.

Nuance Communications (NUAN) last week announced the creation of “Nina,” a natural human language input software that is designed to understand customers’ questions about their accounts. Think of Nina as Siri’s cousin who lives inside your credit card app instead of your iPhone.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://money.cnn.com/2012/08/16/technology/nuance-nina/index.html

Discussion

1) How might you be able to build a new business around just this software?

2) What might be some of the security and privacy concerns with this software?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Entertainment.

LeBron James shoots against the Golden State Warriors

A last-minute Champions League-winning goal, or a Ryder Cup-winning putt – how much would you pay to watch those sporting climaxes?

If you’re an NBA fan, it will cost you very little.

Starting this season, fans will be able to watch just the last quarter of a game “in real-time” for $1.99

Source: BBC Sports

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/sport/basketball/45676015

Discussion

1) “There are limitations in the technology right now, but we’re working as quickly as possible so that, at some point in the near future, fans can choose to buy any part of any game.”   What are some of the technology issues that might be being mentioned here?

2) What are ALL the information systems that are needed to make this happen?

Posted by & filed under Career, Ethical issues.

A woman's face being read

Facial recognition tech is becoming more sophisticated, with some firms claiming it can even read our emotions and detect suspicious behaviour. But what implications does this have for privacy and civil liberties?

Facial recognition tech has been around for decades, but it has been progressing in leaps and bounds in recent years due to advances in computing vision and artificial intelligence (AI), tech experts say.

It is now being used to identify people at borders, unlock smart phones, spot criminals, and authenticate banking transactions.

But some tech firms are claiming it can also assess our emotional state.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44799239

Discussion

1) “A supermarket might use it in the aisles, not to identify people, but to analyse who came in in terms of age and gender as well as their basic mood. It can help with targeted marketing and product placement.”  What are some of the privacy issues around this?

2) How might you build an interesting new business around this technology?

Posted by & filed under Apple, Healthcare.

When Apple said its new Apple Watch heart monitoring capabilities were FDA cleared, they meant only FDA cleared, it seems.

The new Apple Watch touts a fancy new ECG, or electrocardiogram, monitor. It’s the type of device that is medically advanced enough to need clearance before public consumer use. Apple actually only got FDA clearance a day before its big event announcing the new Apple Watch, along with three new iPhones, Bloomberg reported. Now, it’s working on getting equivalent clearances internationally.

Source: Fortune

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: http://fortune.com/2018/09/22/apple-watch-heart-ecg-tracker-us/

Discussion

1) Why does the Apple Watch need FDA approval?

2) What sort of business could you build around the Apple Watch and its ECG monitor?