Chip in the Hand, Privacy Out the Window, OAF, and an Apple a Day

Another juicy week in the tech news industry. We’ve voluntarily given up our privacy, why not up the ante by chipping ourselves. Epicenter, Yahoo/AOL/OATH, and Apple feature in this week’s stories on the Talk of the Mountains, First News 570, with Mark Starling. Make sure you listen in.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Photo Credit: NBC News

NOT CONTENT WITH HIRING NOSY RECEPTIONISTS EPICENTER CHIPS EMPLOYEES TO KEEP TABS ON THEM
Back-in-the-day, the nosy receptionist worked a side hustle by keeping tabs on employees as they came and left the office. That, “must have been an awesome lunch,” was code for you should get your ass back to work. Fast forward to the 90s and the first proxcards were used to know who coming in late and lying on their timesheet. New for the 21st century and straight out of Black Mirror, Swedish company, Epicenter is chipping employees and doing away with proxcards. 160 or their 2000 employees have agreed to have a near-field RFID chip implanted in the meat between their index finger and thumb. Epicenter employees will be able to pay for food at the cafe, exchange contacts, use RF activated door knobs, and of course fill out their timesheets. Of course this could lead to invasions of privacy. But, what’s privacy?
Read more

YAHOO CONTINUES IDENTITY CRISIS POST VERIZON BY HITCHING UP WITH AOL AND CALLING ITSELF OATH
Yep. AOL and Yahoo, two early Internet pioneers and behemoths in their hey day. Both companies have faced issues as social platforms and mobile were smaller, faster, and just plain cooler. OATH, is now saying that it will rule the digital world and deliver exciting and impactful content to Internet users. Yahoo for years faced an identity crisis across its apps and properties, AOL failed to innovate for its excited and marketable audience, and now we have the taking an OATH and teaming up. I’m not convinced. Oh, and Marissa Mayer will not be taking one.
Read more

APPLE MAKES COMPANIES AND BREAKS COMPANIES
Take it from me. Having a big ass company as a customer is good business. And take it from me, having a big ass company as a customer is bad for business. Imagination Technologies is experiencing that feeling right now. The graphics chip maker boasts Apple as one of it’s largest customers to the tune of accounting for 50% of its revenue. Well, Apple is now deciding to build their graphics technology for their next set of phones. Thereby, putting Imagination Technologies future prospects into question. IT for their part says that they don’t believe Apple will be rolling their own tech, but after watching the company make their own processors, I’m not convinced. And, this is coming on the heels of Apple’s mega deal with Samsung for the purchase of 70 million OLED screens for hopefully the iPhone8.
Read more

Stomach Pumps, Bots Invade Brexit, and Best Buy Makeovers: Tech Talk with Mark

Here’s this morning’s round up on First News 570 with Mark Starling.

NEW WEIGHT LOSS DEVICES SUCKS THE FOOD OUT OF YOUR BODY
A little disturbing, but approved by the FDA regardless, AspireAssist is a new weight control device that gives obese individuals the ability to pump food directly out of the stomach. The device consists of tube that is inserted into the stomach and is accessible via a port on the outside of the body. A suction device hooks up to the port and is used to suction food directly from the stomach into a collection bag. 4000 physicians are intending to sue the FDA to prevent the sale of the device because they are fearful it will lead to eating disorders. The device is manufactured by Pennsylvania company Aspire Bariatrics.

MICROSOFT PAYS CALIFORNIA WOMAN 10,000 DOLLARS AFTER FAILED WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE
Sausalito, California travel agent, Teri Goldstein took Microsoft to a court after a failed Windows 10 update brought her travel agency business to a crawl. A computer Ms. Goldstein uses to run her business suffered after her computer crashed and was unusable after a forced Windows 10 update. After her business suffered, Ms. Goldstein sued Microsoft and took them to court. Microsoft agreed to settle with Ms. Goldstein instead of incurring more legal expenses. It’s a small claims item, but hundreds of thousands of users complain about forced operating system upgrades. Most consumers try to downgrade or deal with the slow down, but Teri Goldstein took Microsoft to court and won. For most consumers, the decision to upgrade their computer’s operating system can be confusing and if you are running old hardware, can be tripping to your every day usage. Microsoft is pushing to get 1 billion devices upgraded to Windows 10 by 2018. Currently, there are more than 300 million machines running the new operating system.

BOTS INVADE PETITION CALLING FOR A SECOND EU REFERENDUM VOTE (BREXIT)
Shortly after UK voters elected to leave the European Union, an online petition hosted by the UK government has been signed over 33,000 times by bots. A petition was filed for the UK government to hold a second referendum vote on leaving the EU. Users from the notoriously michievous picture site, 4chan claimed that they ran scripts to sign the petition numerous times. The UK government’s petition site doesn’t have a system in place disallowing the use of software that can automatically register and sign the petition, such as Captcha. The UK government stated that they had to remove 77,000 signatures because they believed they were submitted by bots. The petition for a second referendum has 3.6 million signatures, more than any other petition on Parliament’s website.

CALL BEST BUY TO GIVE YOUR HOME A TECH MAKEOVER
Typically, you’d call an interior decorator to breathe a little life into your boringly decorated home. Or if things have gone too far, you’d call Extreme Makeover Home Edition or Hoarders to come packing. Consumer electornics retailer, Best Buy has gotten into the home makeover market. Best Buy is launching an In-Home Advisor service to help consumers setup their electronics, make interconnections between gadgets, and of course recommend technology upgrades. Best Buy will send consultants to a consumer’s home, browse around their house and deliver to them a customized plan for the homeowners to get the most out of their tech. Best Buy has launched the service in Atlanta, San Antonio, and Austin to gauge interest and decide on a nationwide rollout.

 

You can hear me talk technology and laugh and giggle with Mark every Wednesday on First News on 570 at 6:13 a.m.

theSync LIVE!: The e-Commerce Show!

In case you missed it.  Herlen, The Rod, and I were in the studio leading in the season 4 premier of Game of Thrones. We had Modev’s Pete Erickson on the phone sharing details how Apple proved all of the naysayers wrong by selling out of Apple Watch pre-order inventory.

During the second half of the show, we talked about a recent Baltimore Sun article that highlighted many of our city’s small business owners concern over Amazon Prime Now being activated.  Prime subscribers can now get Tide with Bleach, diapers, and even fresh groceries within the hour thanks to Amazon building a new warehouse in town.  Arun Saraswat joined us and shared how this could actually be an opportunity for Baltimore’s business owners thrive and used Amazon to better reach the customers.  And finally, we closed out the show with Brian Williams from purchaseblack.com who shared how small business owners can target black consumers through the web.

Make sure you subscribe to theSync using iTunes or download our app from the Google Play store.