Amazon Officially Eliminates Cashiers…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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Is Bitcoin Crashing?…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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Oops! A Microsoft Patch Bricks Computers…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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Big Data: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, the Cloud…and other 2018 trends

In his latest book, “Thank You For Being Late,” Thomas Friedman highlighted 2007 as one of the most pivotal years in technology: 2007 saw the birth of Hadoop, the iPhone and Amazon’s Kindle for instance.  My bet is that 2018 will start a new era for the technology space, very much like 2007 did.  I see two reasons for this: the cloud will change the game because it has become a measurable strategy for Microsoft, Google and Amazon.  Big Data will be less about technology.  It will be more about management practices and processes.  And data engineers will be forced to rethink their world as the enterprise mindset for analytics excellence shifts.

There is ‘a catch’ embedded in each of these predictions however.   Let me try to convince you of my beliefs…and let me know if I don’t…

The Cloud Fallacy

You’ve heard it before: the Cloud is huge.  Microsoft, Amazon and Google have built multi-billion dollar businesses because enterprise CIOs are betting read more

How an AI ‘cat-and-mouse game’ generates believable fake photos

The woman in the photo seems familiar.

She looks like Jennifer Aniston, the “Friends” actress, or Selena Gomez, the child star turned pop singer. But not exactly.

She appears to be a celebrity, one of the beautiful people photographed outside a movie premiere or an awards show. And yet you cannot quite place her.

That’s because she’s not real. She was created by a machine.

The image is one of the faux celebrity photos generated by software under development at Nvidia, the Santa Clara computer chipmaker that is investing heavily in research involving artificial intelligence.

At a lab in Finland, a small team of Nvidia researchers recently built a system that can analyze thousands of (real) celebrity snapshots, recognize common patterns and create images that look much the same — but are still a little different. The system can also generate realistic images of horses, buses, bicycles, plants and many other common objects.

The project is part of a vast and varied effort to build technology read more

Apple May Be Purposely Slowing Down Your iPhone…And Other Small Business Tech News This …

I write about technology developments for small business owners. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) </div> </div> <p>Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?</p> <p><strong>1 — Apple might be slowing down old iPhones to preserve battery life.</strong></p> <p>Reddit users noticed recently that Apple appeared to be slowing down old iPhones that have low-capacity batteries. It seems Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time. The company denies doing this to get people to buy new phones but instead says it’s addressing an issue with devices containing older lithium-ion batteries that results in unexpected shutdowns. (Source: <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/20/16800058/apple-iphone-slow-fix-battery-life-capacity" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Verge</a>)</p> <p><strong>Why this is important for your business:</strong></p> <p>The company isn’t doing anything wrong per se, but they could’ve been a bit more transparent, don’t you think? The takeaway for anyone using an iPhone – both personally and professionally – is that the older models will perform slower than newer ones so if you’re looking to increase your productivity you might want to trade up!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>2 — Twitter rolls out stricter rules on abusive content.</strong></p> <p>As a sign it’s moving quickly to enforce new rules aimed at reducing ‘abusive content’, Twitter suspended the accounts of well-known white nationalists this week—starting with the far-right group Britain First, which regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence. Twitter says it looks at many factors, including the post context, cultural and political considerations, and the severity of the violation. (Source: <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-12-18/twitter-rolls-out-stricter-rules-on-abusive-content" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">US News</a>)</p>" readability="35.629581993569">

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Apple might be slowing down old iPhones to preserve battery life.

Reddit users noticed recently that Apple appeared to be slowing down old iPhones that have low-capacity batteries. It seems Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time. The company denies doing this to get people to buy new phones but instead says it’s addressing an issue with devices containing older lithium-ion batteries that results in unexpected shutdowns. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

The company isn’t doing anything wrong per se, but they could’ve been a bit more transparent, don’t you think? The takeaway for anyone using an iPhone – both personally and professionally – is that the older models will perform slower than newer ones so if you’re looking to increase your productivity you might read more

AI Has Been Creating Music and the Results Are…Weird

Can Artificial Intelligence Be Truly Creative?In late May, a small crowd at St. Dunstan’s church in East London’s Stepney district gathered for two hours of traditional Irish music. But this event was different; the tunes it featured were composed, in part, by an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, dubbed folk-rnn, a stark reminder of how cutting-edge AI is gradually permeating every aspect of human life and culture—even creativity.

Developed by researchers at Kingston University and Queen Mary University of London, folk-rnn is one of numerous projects exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative arts. Folk-rnn’s performance was met with a mixture of fascination, awe, and consternation at seeing soulless machines conquering something widely considered to be the exclusive domain of human intelligence. But these expeditions are discovering new ways that man and machine can cooperate.

How Does AI Create Art?

Like many other AI products, folk-rnn uses machine learning algorithms, a read more

AI will transform the economy — but how much, and how soon?

There are basically three big questions about artificial intelligence and its impact on the economy: What can it do? Where is it headed? And how fast will it spread?

Three new reports combine to suggest these answers: It can probably do less right now than you think. But it will eventually do more than you probably think, in more places than you probably think, and will probably evolve faster than powerful technologies have in the past.

This bundle of research is itself a sign of the AI boom. Researchers across disciplines are scrambling to understand the likely trajectory, reach and influence of the technology — already finding its way into things like self-driving cars and image recognition online — in all its dimensions. Doing so raises a host of challenges of definition and measurement, because the field is moving quickly — and because companies are branding things AI for marketing purposes.

An “AI Index,” created by researchers at Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute read more

#breadcrumbs 2017 – the ripple effect

Google has a new plan for China, and it’s not about search

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during a Google event in Delhi January 4, 2017. — Reuters picGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during a Google event in Delhi January 4, 2017. — Reuters picMOUNTAIN VIEW, Nov 1 — More than seven years after exiting China, Google is taking the boldest steps yet to come back. And it’s not with a search engine.

Instead, Google’s ingress is centred around artificial intelligence. The internet giant is actively promoting TensorFlow, software that makes it easier to build AI systems, as a way to forge business ties in the world’s largest online market, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

It’s a wide pitch targeting China’s academics and tech titans. At the same time, Google parent Alphabet Inc is adding more personnel to scour Chinese companies for potential AI investments, these people said.

“China is a tremendous opportunity for any company because it is by far the single largest homogeneous market,” said Kai Fu Lee, who headed Google’s China operations before the company left in 2010. The market dwarfs read more