Tech Talk Thursday: April Announcements Worth Noting

Tech Talk Thursday: April Announcements Worth Noting | HTR

While this month had a scarcity of hardware announcements, April had plenty of other trending stories that involved blockchain, the cloud, AI and, of course, cybersecurity.

Here are the six announcements about technology that I’m watching…and so should you.

Top Tech Announcements for April

Alon Launches First Public Blockchain Network

Their vision is to provide a network of bridges and processes to share information among entities. However, to do this right, Alon established a not-for-profit with the goal to establish protocols for interconnected blockchains. To drive adoption, they will use cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, as a trusted payment method for this protocol.

Business Impact: Blockchain is coming and this announcement is analogous to the introduction of the World Wide Web. The significant is in three areas: standards, cryptocurrency and public communication, which Alon believes will be vital to the acceptance and scalability of blockchain.  

RHEL Announces Better Hybrid Cloud Option

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 provides a consistent foundation for the hybrid cloud. It has enhanced security, tools to reduce storage costs and provides improved usability. It works with Microsoft Windows and Azure, allowing for scalable, flexible application use in an enterprise.

Business Impact: Most of the reasons companies who have Microsoft-based applications have been resistant to moving to the cloud, are diminished with this announcement. Its virtual optimizer can reduce storage costs by up to 83 percent. This solution also blends hardware and cloud-based systems seamlessly, maximizing on total system efficiency.

Amazon Introduces Robot

Vesta, an AI prototype robot, will be in Amazon employees’ homes by the end of the year. It is expected to have advanced cameras, computer vision software and the ability to navigate through a home like a self-driving car. Vesta will be able to listen and physically complete a variety of tasks.

Business Impact: If voice assistants gain acceptance in the workplace, this will be the next best thing. However, much like Alexa, the concern about data privacy still looms and until this is resolved, I doubt there will be full acceptance for this type of robotic technology on job sites.

The End of Passwords

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance announced a new spec, Web Authentication (WebAuthn), that has been promoted to the Candidate Recommendation stage, which is a key stage in the Web standards process.

WebAuthn allows browsers to expose hardware authentication devices—USB, Bluetooth, or NFC—to sites on the Web. These hardware devices enable users to prove their identity without requiring usernames and passwords. 

 Business Impact: Most cybersecurity experts agree; passwords are one of the weakest links to get to an organization’s data. Because WebAuthn is accepted by Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, look for developers to implement this standard for all systems within the next year. If your business does not have a cybersecurity policy in place today, this should be your first order of business along with vetting two-factor authorization and facial recognition as improved ways to currently protect your company’s digital assets.

Intel Announces 8th Generation Core Processors

Intel’s i9-8950HK processors has six cores and twelve threads. It provides 4.7 times faster game loading speed, 1.7 times faster media loading and improves battery life of a machine.

Business Impact: This processor is designed for game developers and gamers. It allows for faster content creation and faster consumption of games.

Mozilla Provides Altered Reality Browser

Firefox Reality is a new kind of web browser that has been designed to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Business Impact: This maybe the way individuals choose to browse the web, previewing and purchasing applications from the cloud, rather than purchasing apps from an operating system store. Stay tuned on this development…especially if Google and Microsoft add this feature their browsers.

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