Richard Adhikari

About the Author Richard Adhikari


Audio/Video

Amazon Has Big Plans for Alexa in Homes, Cars

Amazon will unveil eight new Alexa-powered devices for the car and home before the end of the year, according to a report. They include a microwave oven, an amplifier, a receiver, a subwoofer and an in-car gadget. Amazon is expected to reveal some of the devices at an event later this month. All the devices will connect easily to Alexa, and some will have the voice assistant built in.

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Social Networks

Facebook Goes Into High Gear to Fight Election Meddling, Fake News

Defending against foreign interference in American elections is one of the priorities Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he has been focusing on this year. The issue is highly sensitive, and it is one that has garnered a great deal of discussion in media reports and on the Web. Special counsel Robert Mueller warned in a court filing this spring that foreign interference efforts were still going on.

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Smartphones

Apple Unveils Trio of New iPhones

Apple unveiled three new iPhones at a Wednesday in Cupertino. Along with the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR, Apple introduced the Apple Watch 4. “Our mission started with personalizing technology for the desktop,” said CEO Tim Cook, and it’s “now personalizing it for every aspect of our lives.” Apple aims “to put the customer at the center of everything we do,” he added.

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Customer Experience

7-Eleven Gives Nod to Apple Pay, Google Pay

7-Eleven has begun accepting Apple Pay, and Google Pay at participating U.S. stores. The stores will add support for the services throughout this month. The convenience store chain has more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries worldwide; 11,800 are in the United States. “A 7-Eleven is a ‘hit-and-get’ kind of experience,” noted Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

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E-Commerce

ShipBob Gets $40M Injection to Fuel Growth

ShipBob, which offers Amazon-type fulfillment services to small and mid-sized businesses, on Thursday announced it had raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Menlo Ventures. ShipBob’s end-to-end fulfillment solution involves a drop-ship model that lets clients deliver packages in one to two business days. Partners include Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.

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Online Advertising

Google Cracks Down on Tech-Support Scams

Google has announced new steps to combat the placement of fraudulent tech support ads on its platform. The company will roll out a verification program in the next few months to ensure that only legitimate third-party tech support providers can place Google ads. There are many legitimate providers that offer local or regional services, or affordable support for out-of-warranty products.

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Best of ECT News

A Model-Based Structure May Be Ideal in a Data-Driven World

Data science has become mission-critical to many enterprises. Companies in the U.S. will spend billions on third-party audience data in 2018 and even more on third-party solutions to use that data, as they move toward becoming model-driven. It’s not just a matter of harvesting data and then crunching it; companies have to map data against their business model in order to get the most out of it.

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Marketing

Ad Targeting Tool Leverages Real-World Relationships to Influence Buying Decisions

AdTheorent, which offers a machine learning platform for advertisers, has announced AdTheorent Relationship Targeting. This new product allows advertisers to harness the power of relationships with family members, cohabitants or friends to influence a consumer to take desired actions. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions, AdTheorent noted.

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Sales

New B2B Tool Aims to Lower Overhead, Raise Profits

Atlatl Software has unveiled its bCommerce Visual Configurator, which gives manufacturers access to the company’s 3D Visual Configurator via Web browsers. B2B buyers can use it on manufacturers’ websites to make selections and pass them on to the manufacturers’ sales reps in real time. Customer and configuration information in bCommerce is captured in Atlatl’s QuoteBooks Cloud.

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Cloud Computing

Google One Paid Storage Now Open to All US Users

Google has announced the availability of Google One as a storage upgrade option for people in the United States. The option will become available in other countries within the next few weeks. Users with paid Google Drive storage plans automatically were upgraded to Google One in the past few months, noted Pavni Diwanji, VP of Google One. Google One plans begin at $1.99 for 100 GB.

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Home Tech

Alexa and Cortana: Two AI Heads May Be Better Than One

Microsoft and Amazon have released a public preview of the integration of their Cortana and Alexa voice assistants. Cortana will be available on amazon Echo devices, while Alexa will be available on Windows 10 devices and on Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. “Our ongoing goal has been to make Cortana your intelligent assistant, wherever you need assistance,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

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M-Commerce

Square’s Cash App Supports Bitcoin in All US States

Square on Monday announced that Cash App users could buy and sell bitcoin in all 50 U.S. states. Square began testing Cash App’s bitcoin purchasing option last fall and officially launched the option early this year. However, it was not available in four states — New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming — because of their more restrictive regulation of bitcoin transactions.

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Smartphones

Galaxy Note9 Is Front and Center in Samsung’s Connected World

Samsung unveiled its much-anticipated Galaxy Note9 Thursday at its Unpacked event in New York City. The company made several other announcements as well, as it presented its vision for a seamlessly connected world. “We are creating a galaxy of experiences that span not just devices and locations but platforms and brands,” said DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung Electronics, at the event.

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