Tech Talk Thursday: Feb Announcements Worth Noting

Tech Talk Thursday: Feb Announcements Worth Noting | HTR

February brought a few, tepid hardware and software announcements. However, there were other note-worthy activities: source code leaks, OS cybersecurity, SAP cloud initiatives and social media changes that rounded out the month.

Here are the eight notices that caught my attention in February.

Top Tech Announcements

Samsung Announces S9 and S9+ Smartphones

These new phones each have a super AMOLED display, 64 GB memory, 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and super slow-motion video option. They have 360-degree stereo speakers that are forty percent louder than the S8. The SmartThings app allows connection and control of IoT devices in the office.

Business Impact: This announcement does not offer a significant improvement over the S8. This device makes sense for business owners who have Galaxy S7 or below models and want to upgrade to the latest Galaxy offering.

Intel Invents Smart Glasses

Information sent to these glasses is beamed to the wearer’s retina. Vaunt, the name of this beta devices, uses a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) to shine a red monochrome image onto a holographic reflector on the right lens of the glasses. That image is sent to the retina, which is always in focus.

However, because Vaunt has no camera, touchpad or microphone, the application use is simple and basically revolves around notifications. It can allow users to see things such as text notifications, map directions and shopping lists.

Business Impact: The assessment by tech analysts is it is too simple for visually-intensive applications such as AR, but it is a great step toward bringing wearables closer to looking like every day specs, which testers like. Stay tuned for more improvements in Vaunt.

Google Offers Mobile Story Tech Solution

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework is intended for “bite-sized,” visually engaging content constructed primarily of interactive photos and text. While not completely new, Google has placed more emphasis on it this year due to their mobile first, indexing direction.

Business Impact: Google prefers AMP pages over non-AMP pages because of the mobile speed factor. AMPs appear 60% more often in a search result, especially when there is a trending news story.

If you manage a news, entertainment, or music website or have a content-rich blogging platform, your organization should use AMP to rank higher and develop stronger reader connections.

iOS Source Code Leaked

Github leaked a portion of Apple’s iOS 9 source code on their site. The speculation is this leak will jailbreak older devices and may create a security vulnerability to Apple’s current operating system. While it is unclear how the leak occurred, research indicates up to seventy percent of all iOS devices could be exposed.

Business Impact: If your organization owns or leases Apple devices, it is in your best interest to upgrade all devices to the current iOS level (11.2.6 as of today) for security purposes. In addition, check into cybersecurity options your company recommends for protecting all your iOS devices.

SentinelOne and Microsoft Offer OS Threat Protection

SentinelOne, an endpoint cyber protection company, in conjunction with Microsoft Windows Defender, is now going to feed Mac and Linux endpoints seamlessly to a Windows Defender ATP console.  This will enable security analysts to see and remediate threats across these three platforms. Using AI, this solution will also proactively protect devices.

Business Impact: This easy-to-install system allows for cybersecurity protection across multiple platforms and it a good solution for a Microsoft-centric business. 

Suse and AWS bring SAP Customers to the Cloud

Suse and AWS have teamed up to provide Linux Enterprise on-demand, by allowing users to only pay for what they use. This impacts SAP Hana and S/4Hana clients who currently do business with Suse and wish to remain on their open source platform.

Business Impact: Suse customers will have no choice but to move to the AWS cloud. However, with the deployment of AWS Quick Starts and the use of Amazon business support, along with an attractive price point, Suse doesn’t expect much resistance to this solution.

Facebook Changes their Algorithm

Mark Zuckerberg, in an attempt to stop fake news and create a more conversational tone on their channel, has changed the Facebook algorithm. The shift is away from business pages, which without paid advertising, will most likely be hidden from a user’s timeline.

Business Impact: While this announcement will have little to no impact on corporations who have deep advertising pockets, it sends a strong message to small businesses that Facebook doesn’t care if they stay or they go. There has been an overall negative tone associated with this recent decision and it has caused social media experts to recommend a pull out of this medium to many of their clients.

Center for Humane Technology Turns to Tech Addiction

A group of former Google, Facebook and Mozilla execs and the coalition Time Well Spent, have formed the Center for Humane Technology whose goal is to lessen the impact of technology on the development of children and young adults. A 2015 survey found, teenagers use social media nine hours a day. Sixty percent of parents felt their kids were addicted to their devices and fifty percent of teens felt that way, too.

This group hopes to unhook users from their devices, get youth engaging with real people and push for better consumer protection policies against abuse. 

Business Impact: Since teenagers will be in the business world over the next two to eight years and likely working for individuals who are not so tied to their technology, it is vital to have a balance between high touch and high tech. More research needs to occur in this arena and with the explosion of AI and mobile apps, it is unclear how technology will drive our day-to-day business interactions in the not to distant future.  

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