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Microsoft, Amazon respond to Facebook privacy concerns

Microsoft, Amazon respond to Facebook privacy concerns

Microsoft and Amazon were called out in a New York Times investigation of Facebook this week, as customers of the social media site that received data about users that Facebook didn’t receive permission to distribute.Microsoft received information about Facebook users’ friends, the report said, and Amazon got contact info about people, also through access to their friends.Microsoft acknowledged the Facebook report Wednesday morning, but said it did not use data from Facebook to create profiles for advertising on its Bing search engine.
Congressional Democrats Release Report On Marijuana Legalization’s Economic Benefits

Congressional Democrats Release Report On Marijuana Legalization’s Economic Benefits

Democrats on the congressional Joint Economic Committee published a report on Tuesday highlighting the “economic benefits of legalized cannabis at the state and national levels.”Titled, “The National Cannabis Economy,” the report finds that the marijuana industry brought in more than $8 billion in sales in 2017, with sales estimated to reach $11 billion this year and expected to soar to $23 billion by 2022.“The growth of the cannabis economy presents opportunities for greater job creation, more tax revenue, and better patient care,” the report concludes after summarizing the banking and tax fairness issues that current federal policy causes for state-legal marijuana businesses.
Smartglasses Maker North Picks Up Intel's Vaunt Patents

Smartglasses Maker North Picks Up Intel's Vaunt Patents

When wearables startup North officially unveiled its Focals smartglasses in October, the stylish frames strongly resembled, in form and function, Intel's canceled Vaunt smartglasses.Now, North's Focals may be about to have even more in common with Vaunt, as the startup has acquired the patent portfolio behind Intel's shelved project.On Monday, North CEO Stephen Lake revealed, in a report from The Verge that his company, formerly known as Thalmic Labs, has purchased about 230 patents and applications, along with related "technology and assets," that would bring North's total patent arsenal to more than 650.
Last-Minute Shoppers Increasingly Trust Only Amazon to Deliver

Last-Minute Shoppers Increasingly Trust Only Amazon to Deliver

SEATTLE — Olivia Zimmermann started her holiday shopping early this year, buying a Bluetooth speaker from Best Buy for her sister. It was supposed to arrive by Dec. 10, two weeks before Christmas.The speaker never showed up — and the post office said it had delivered the package to a different town. Best Buy apologized and offered to reship it. But Ms. Zimmermann, who works in marketing in Chicago, was over it.“I just want a refund,” she told the retailer, and then added: “At this point, I have already ordered from Amazon because I know for a fact it will be here when they say it will.”
Annual Smart Speaker IQ Test

Annual Smart Speaker IQ Test

We recently tested four smart speakers by asking Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana 800 questions each. Google Assistant was able to answer 88% of them correctly vs. Siri at 75%, Alexa at 73%, and Cortana at 63%. Last year, Google Assistant was able to answer 81% correctly vs. Siri (Feb-18) at 52%, Alexa at 64%, and Cortana at 56%.As part of our ongoing effort to better understand the practical use cases of AI and the emergence of voice as a computing input, we regularly test the most common digital assistants and smart speakers. This time, we focused solely on smart speakers Amazon Echo (Alexa), Google Home (Google Assistant), HomePod (Siri), and Invoke (Cortana).
Bitcoin crosses $4,000 for the first time in two weeks

Bitcoin crosses $4,000 for the first time in two weeks

Bitcoin has surpassed $4,000 for the first time in two weeks, continuing to break away from a months-long rout.The price of the world’s best-known cryptocurrency climbed almost 7 percent to $4,037 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk’s index tracker.The last time the digital currency was trading at the $4,000 level was on Dec. 4. It began to plummet in mid-November after months of stability, restoring volatility in an asset known to jump or fall hundreds of dollars within hours.It has fallen almost 80 percent since a record high near $20,000 in December last year. Earlier this week, bitcoin began to jolt upward on the anniversary of the cryptocurrency’s all-time high.
Why Autodesk Just Spent $1.15 Billion On Two Construction Tech Startups

Why Autodesk Just Spent $1.15 Billion On Two Construction Tech Startups

Autodesk’s construction software business is getting its second acquisition-fueled jolt of the past few weeks. The company announced on Thursday that it is acquiring startup BuildingConnected for $275 million.The acquisition of BuildingConnected comes exactly one month after Autodesk announced plans to acquire PlanGrid, another construction tech startup, for $875 million in November (the deal closed today). Together, the two acquisitions mean San Rafael, California-based Autodesk has paid $1.15 billion in a month for the startup companies.
Apple is at the ‘forefront of vulnerability’ to the next phase of the US-China trade war, strategist says

Apple is at the ‘forefront of vulnerability’ to the next phase of the US-China trade war, strategist says

A trade war between the world’s two largest economies is likely to evolve into a dispute over intellectual property rights over the coming months, one analyst told CNBC Friday, with Apple set to bear the brunt of any further fallout.A long-running trade dispute between the U.S. and China has rattled financial markets in recent months, with a global stock market sell-off gathering pace in December amid escalating concerns of a possible economic slowdown.President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared a 90-day cease-fire at the start of the month, but external observers remain deeply skeptical about the chances of Washington and Beijing agreeing to a comprehensive trade pact in the proposed timeframe.
Delayed thermal camera for Mavic 2 Enterprise at CES 2019 instead

Delayed thermal camera for Mavic 2 Enterprise at CES 2019 instead

We have been informed by one of our trusted sources, that the thermal camera for the Mavic 2 Enterprise, that was to be announced today, will be announced at CES 2019 instead. There is no explanation provided for the delay, but it seems that DJI has thought at the last moment that it might be better to launch the thermal camera for the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, at the Consumer (!) Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, together with the new ‘Pro’ Remote Controller with built-in display for the Mavic 2. There’s also more information on the type of delayed thermal camera btw… Jump right in.
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.


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