David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Gaming

Nintendo Unveils Labo, a DIY Cardboard Kit for the Switch

Nintendo, riding high off of record-shattering sales of its Switch gaming console, on Wednesday announced an out-of-the-box addition to the family, Nintendo Labo. With its Toy-Con creations, Labo could rewrite the script on the way gaming companies expand their audience to the children’s market. Nintendo Labo, a do-it-yourself cardboard kit, offers five different Toy-Con projects kids can use to learn and interact with the Switch.

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Enterprise

IBM, Maersk Announce Global Blockchain Shipping Venture

IBM and Maersk have announced a joint venture to create a platform based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, with the goal of creating huge efficiencies in the global supply chain. The goal is to use blockchain tech provide a more efficient method of standardizing shipping logistics. The partnership “has the potential to remake the shipping sector landscape,” said Brian Behlendorf of The Linux Foundation.

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Social Networks

Facebook’s Move to Dial Back News Ratchets Up Drama

Facebook once again has found itself at the center of a media storm, following Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement of plans to shift its focus away from news and business content and toward interactions between friends and family. The shift follows more than a year of heavy criticism directed against Facebook, including blame for failing to combat fake news during the 2016 presidential election.

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Chips

Intel, Microsoft, Google Scramble for Solutions as Patches Slow Systems

Major tech companies, including Intel, Microsoft and Google, scrambled to calm the mood this week after a large number of computer users reported performance problems linked to security updates for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. A firestorm of criticism has erupted over the response to the chip flaws, which researchers at Google’s Project Zero discovered in 2016.

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Home Tech

Google Assistant Makes CES Splash

Since launching the original Echo smart speaker in 2014, Amazon has expanded its line of Alexa voice-activated devices to reach a dominant position in the marketplace. Realizing it has a bit of catching up to do and possibly may need to redefine the ground rules, Google this week put the consumer electronics world on notice that this no longer is a one-horse race. Google threw down its gauntlet at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

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Emerging Tech

CES 2018: Artificial Intelligence at Home and Behind the Wheel

Artificial intelligence dominated CES 2018 in a big way on Monday with major announcements on connected car advances and home system technologies. Google all but declared war on Amazon with its Google Assistant voice technology making its presence known at nearly every turn on the showroom floor. LG rolled out a new lineup of high-end AI OLED and Super UHD televisions infused with its ThinQ AI technology and Alpha 9 technology.

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Mobile

New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center

A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called “Project eelo,” in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer. The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.

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Audio/Video

Roku Takes a Different Angle on Voice-Controlled Home Entertainment

Roku on Wednesday announced new software and a licensing agreement for OEMs to develop smart speakers, soundbars and multiroom audio systems that will allow customers to control their home entertainment devices with simple voice commands. The company also introduced Roku Entertainment Assistant, a new smart speaker technology that allows customers to use voice commands on supported Roku-enabled devices.

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Mobile

P2P WiFi Plan Challenges ISP Dominance

Open Garden has announced the launch of a new P2P service that allows users to share Internet connections and unused plan data for free, with compensation in a new cryptocurrency as an extra incentive. The company is offering the service through an app that can be downloaded from Google Play. The system requires no hardware other than an Android phone to participate in the Internet access sharing.

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Marketing

Most Marketers Struggle to Reach Targeted Customers

Sixty percent of the digital marketing professionals who responded to a recent survey reported difficulty in reaching their target audiences with messaging and content. Only 19 percent of those surveyed were “very familiar” with how automation could help drive marketing campaigns, according to Ytel. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said they liked to use phones for marketing.

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Tech Law

FCC Votes 3-2 to Upend Net Neutrality

The FCC on Thursday voted 3-2 to repeal Obama-era Net neutrality rules that prevented ISPs from blocking, throttling or otherwise giving preferential treatment to customers. Backers of the repeal characterized it as promoting greater technological innovation and freedom to conduct business. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spearheaded the reversal of the Title II Net neutrality regulations.

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Software

New Open Source Tools Test for VPN Leaks

ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks. Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github.

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Government

Internet Pioneers Urge Cancellation of Net Neutrality Repeal Vote

A group of 21 leading technology pioneers, including Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, signed an open letter to key congressional leaders asking them to pressure FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to cancel Thursday’s planned vote to repeal Net neutrality. The process is severely flawed, they argued, and a rules repeal poses an imminent threat to the Internet.

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Home Tech

Google and Amazon Square Off, Ignoring Customers in the Middle

A long-simmering dispute between Google and Amazon has escalated into a front-burner feud, following Google’s decision to block its YouTube video service from Amazon’s Echo Show, effective immediately, and from its Fire TV, effective Jan. 1. Google apparently decided to cut off YouTube as retaliation for Amazon’s refusal to carry its products, including Chromecast and Google Home, on its website.

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Government

Net Neutrality Battle Lines Drawn as FCC Vote Looms

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s long-brewing plan to repeal Net neutrality has the broadband, telecom and entertainment worlds at loggerheads. The commission’s expected Dec. 14 vote could result in a complete rewrite of the script for the Internet’s competitive landscape and consumer protection models. The repeal of Net neutrality would end restrictions imposed by the Obama administration in 2015.

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Cloud Computing

AWS Gives IoT a Boost With New OS, Services

AWS shone a spotlight on IoT and machine learning technologies earlier this week, with the announcement of a new operating system and several new services designed to encourage radical expansion of their deployment and use across multiple industries. The new OS, Amazon FreeRTOS, simplifies development, deployment, security and maintenance of microcontroller-based edge devices, according AWS.

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Social Networks

Snapchat Draws Bright Line Between ‘Social’ and ‘Media’

Snap aims to combat fake news on Snapchat by separating content from professional creators from postings by friends and family. Stories and Chats from friends will appear on the left side of the camera, while Stories from content creators, publishers and other members of the community will appear on the right side. Snapchat aims to disentangle “social” from “media,” noted Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.

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E-Commerce

Cyber Monday Sales Shoot the Moon

Online sales hit a new record of $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday — a 17 percent increase from last year’s sales for the day — making it the largest online shopping day in history, based on Adobe Analytics data. Mobile shopping also broke records, starting with the channel’s first-ever $2 billion sales day. Smartphone shopping accounted for more than 21 percent of e-commerce revenue.

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E-Commerce

Black Friday Shoppers Embrace Mobile, Set New Online Records

U.S. retailers crossed a historic new threshold over Thanksgiving weekend as consumers set new records for e-commerce activity and embraced mobile shopping like never before. The record-breaking $5.03 billion spent online on Black Friday — a 17 percent increase — was in line with expectations. Consumers spent about $43.42 billion on e-commerce holiday shopping from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26.

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Internet of Things

Newly Revealed Flaw Could Subject IoT Devices to Airborne Attacks

Billions of voice-activated IoT devices may be subject to external attack due to BlueBorne vulnerabilities, Armis revealed. Hackers could exploit BlueBorne to mount an airborne attack, using Bluetooth to spread malware and access critical data, including sensitive personal information. More than 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers could have been impacted by the flaws.

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E-Commerce

Retailers, Etailers Brace for Invasion of the Black Friday Shoppers

A total of 164 million Americans, or 69 percent of the U.S. population, plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation. Upwards of 115 million people, or about 70 percent, plan to shop on Black Friday, the report shows, while 78 million plan to shop on Cyber Monday, 71 million on Small Business Saturday, and 32 million on Thanksgiving Day.

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Entertainment

Amazon Denies Rumored Plans for Ad-Supported Prime Video Service

Amazon has denied a report that it has been working on a free, ad-supported video platform to complement its subscription-based Amazon Prime Video service. Amazon has been in talks with various television networks, movie studios and other media entities about providing content to the site, according to the Monday report. Such a service would place Amazon in direct competition with Apple.

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customer service

Real Human Interactions Beat Automation, Survey Says

Customers prefer human interactions to IVR systems or other automated customer service offerings, according to a new report from B2B ratings firm Clutch. Businesses need to move carefully when outsourcing customer service operations, the research also suggested, because there are big differences depending on a number of factors, including how familiar reps are with the local language.

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Home Tech

Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem

Amazon has begun shipping its latest smart home product, a security camera that works with its Alexa personal assistant and Echo speakers. The Amazon Cloud Cam allows customers to live-stream activity inside their home 24/7. It features 1080p full HD resolution, two-way audio for communicating with family members or pets, night vision technology, and sophisticated identification algorithms.

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Gaming

High Price Undercuts Microsoft’s Xbox One X Mic Drop

Microsoft has released its long-anticipated and much-hyped Xbox One X console, promising to push the boundaries of modern gaming and video entertainment. It is the most powerful console in the world, with up to 40 percent more power than existing devices on the market, the company claimed. Xbox One X gamers can choose from 1,300 gaming titles — the largest lineup in company history.

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Cloud Computing

IBM Launches Private Cloud to Ease Public Cloud Transition

IBM has announced IBM Cloud Private, a software platform that allows enterprise customers to run applications and store critical data in an on-premises, private cloud environment. The new service employs a Kubernetes-based container architecture that supports both Docker containers and Cloud Foundry. IBM also introduced new container-optimized versions of core enterprise software.

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Developers

New Collaborative Platform to Spur Open Source AI Development

The Linux Foundation has announced an agreement with AT&T and Tech Mahindra to launch the Acumos Project, a new platform for open source development of artificial intelligence. The new platform is part of a broader effort to open up opportunities for AI collaboration in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. AT&T is a Platinum Member of The Linux Foundation.

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E-Commerce

Amazon May Disrupt Prescription Drug Space Next

The rumor that Amazon has set its sights on disrupting the pharmaceutical industry has gained greater currency recently, just months after the company set the grocery business on fire with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and in the midst of its widely publicized search for a second U.S. headquarters location. Amazon reportedly has taken major steps toward becoming a drug distributor and seller.

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Applications

New Search Tool Helps Firms Find the Best B2B Software Fit

Siftery on Thursday announced the launch of its new Product Alternatives search tool, which is designed to help companies find alternative B2B software products when replacements are needed.
It allows users to search a database of more than 40,000 software options, Siftery said. Its AI technology not only helps find suitable alternative products, but also ranks the various options.

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E-Commerce

Amazon to Let Delivery Drivers Open Your Front Door

Amazon has announced a new service that will allow Prime members to receive in-home delivery of packages with the help of high-tech smart locks that allow drivers to open their front doors. Amazon Key will launch officially on Nov. 8 in 37 U.S. cities and surrounding communities, with additional locations to be added over time. The service will be available at no extra cost to Prime members.

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Smartphones

Screen Burn-In, Piercing Sounds Beset Google’s Pixel 2s

Complaints have been mounting over display and audio issues with Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Consumers have reported a screen burn-in problem with the Pixel 2 XL, which refers to embedded functions leaving a ghost-like image on the display. In addition, there have been numerous reports of high-pitched noises and strange clicking sounds occurring during calls on the Pixel 2.

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Community

Linux Foundation Launches Open Data Licensing Agreements

The Linux Foundation has introduced the Community Data License Agreement, a new framework for sharing large sets of data required for research, collaborative learning and other purposes.
CDLAs will allow both individuals and groups to share data sets in the same way they share open source software code. The agreement could help foster an increase in data sharing across a variety of industries.

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