All posts on December, 2016


Trends

2017: AI’s Coming Out Party

AI will be having a big coming out party in 2017. While there are plenty of opportunities in this space for workers, executives, investors and partners, not every company that uses the term “AI” in its marketing will become a serious winner in the field. As advanced as AI is — and I have seen some technology that would blow your socks off — not every company is created equal.

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Exclusives

Radius CEO Darian Shirazi: Solve for Data Decay

“One of the interesting things about CRM and marketing automation is that most of these systems have poor data quality,” said Radius CEO Darian Shirazi. “Typically, customers buy data lists or get inbound leads, and the information associated with those accounts, opportunities and leads ends up decaying quickly and being inaccurate. The problem is keeping that information up-to-date.”

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Cybersecurity

Yahoo Suffers Major Data Breach Deja Vu

Yahoo has revealed that Net bandits stole data associated with 1 billion of its user accounts — one of the largest data breaches in Internet history. The theft, which occurred in 2013, is distinct from the theft disclosed earlier this fall, in which 500 million accounts were compromised, Yahoo CISO Bob Lord explained. Stolen data may include names, email addresses, telephone numbers and more.

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Community

Docker Delivers Containerd to Open Source Community

Docker on Wednesday announced that it will spin out containerd, a key component of its Docker Engine, for open source use. Containerd will provide an open, stable and extensible base for building non-Docker products and container solutions, the company said. Some of the top cloud providers have committed to making contributions to the project, giving it instant credibility within the community.

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Government

Cloud Enters Mainstream in Federal IT Investment Plans

U.S. government agencies will continue to invest hefty sums in cloud computing technology over the next five years. After that period, spending on cloud is likely to moderate, but the amount of investing will remain at impressive levels. Cloud computing is far from mature within the federal government, but it has reached a point at which it is a mainstream component of government IT resources.

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Trends

Sales, Marketing Poised for AI Revolution

Artificial intelligence will revolutionize marketing in the next five years, according to a Demandbase survey conducted last month. Eighty percent of the 500 B2B marketers who participated in the online poll, conducted last month by Wakefield Research, said they expected an AI-fueled marketing revolution. However, only 26 percent were very confident they understood how AI was used in marketing.

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Science

Gates Spearheads $1B Clean Tech Effort

One year after a powerhouse group of technology executives and venture capital icons met to form the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, the group, led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has launched a $1 billion investment fund to support clean energy startups around the world. The Breakthrough Energy Fund, chaired by Gates, is designed to jumpstart an entire new generation of entrepreneurs.

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E-Commerce

Amazon Prime Air Zips Through British Countryside

Amazon on Wednesday announced that it had completed its first drone delivery in the UK. During the private customer trial period, packages of up to 5 pounds will be delivered within half an hour. The first live delivery took place a week ago, when a highly automated drone delivered a bag of popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV to a customer near Cambridge. It took 13 minutes for the order to arrive.

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Transportation

Uber’s Self-Driving Fleet Takes On San Francisco

Uber on Wednesday rolled out a fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco, the second U.S. city to participate in its pilot project. Pittsburgh was the first. Riders who request an UberX — the lowest-priced Uber vehicle — will be matched with one of the self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs if one is available and if the customers are willing, according to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s Advanced Technology Group.

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Developers

CrateDB Launches Machine Data Innovations

Crate.io has announced the general availability of the first non-beta release of CrateDB 1.0, an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB is an SQL database alternative to NOSQL machine data management solutions. It gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only using NoSQL solutions.

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Customer Service

Salesforce Releases Texting Customer Service Chatbot

Salesforce has released LiveMessage, a chatbot that lets enterprises users engage customers through messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, SMS or MMS directly within its Service Cloud. Service agents can respond to customers on Facebook Messenger after accessing their records, for example, and the conversation automatically is appended and can be resumed later if necessary.

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Cross-borderEuropeLaws and regulations

Consumers still face restrictions while shopping online in Europe

Consumers in Europe are still not able to shop online in the European Union without being discriminated against because of their nationality. Online stores across the continent keep refusing customers from other countries, charging higher prices to foreign customers or creating virtual boundaries in some other way. This is evident Continue reading

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Tech Law

Facebook Investors Slam Zuckerberg, Andreessen

Facebook investors have accused director Marc Andreessen of secretly coaching CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding a major sale of shares he held. The structure of the sale enabled Zuckerberg to refocus on philanthropic activities while maintaining lifetime control over the company. The suit alleges that Andreessen secretly tipped off the CEO about concerns raised by other members of Facebook’s board.

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Virtual Reality

Magic Leap Catches Flak Over Tricky Video

It turns out the awe-inspiring video Magic Leap unveiled last year is not a demo of its still-secretive mixed reality technology, but a bit of sleight of hand from special effects firm Weta Workshop, which is credited at the beginning and end of the clip. Magic Leap’s post — titled “Just another day in the office at Magic Leap” — claims the video shows a game being played around the office.

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Government

Trump, Tech Bigwigs to Meet Wednesday

Some of high-tech’s heaviest hitters will be in New York City Wednesday to meet with President-elect Donald J. Trump. On the list of all-stars expected to attend the meeting are Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Safra Catz. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is likely to attend as well.

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Trends

Looking Forward

Traditionally in this year-end piece, I peer into my cloudy crystal ball and forecast the year ahead in CRM. Sometimes I’m close, other times not, but either way, my predictions quickly are forgotten. This year, I’ve decided just to say what I want rather than what realistically might happen. Since my vote has all of the authority of yesterday’s news, it will follow past prognostications.

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Tech Buzz

Gadget Ogling: Rolling Records, Designing Lawns, and Placated Phones

RokBlok is a portable record player without a turntable. It’s a block that dashes around the top of your records, and uses both its needle and built-in speaker to soundtrack your day. All you need to operate it are your records and a flat surface. If you’d like higher quality audio, you can connect it to your Bluetooth speaker or headphones. It’s designed with protecting your records in mind.

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Deals

LinkedIn Begins New Chapter Under Microsoft’s Wing

Microsoft last week closed its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn. LinkedIn will remain a separate company and Jeff Weiner will continue as its CEO, but he now reports to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Integration of the companies’ products is under way. Among many other things, a user’s LinkedIn identity and network will be made available in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite.

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