First up, we are diving into the growing issue of customer service in the technology industry as automation and in-store cuts become a common function of business – who is doing it right and who is getting is terribly wrong. An ex-Apple employee has been arrested for the theft of autonomous vehicle schematics and technical documents as he was getting ready to board a plan to his new job overseas with a self-driving car startup venture. Facial recognition technology is growing in popularity for many corporations, but very little is out there in the form of government regulation. Some Silicon Valley companies are saying the tech industry needs guidance on the ethical uses of software recognition now and in the future.
We are covering a bizarre collection of technology topics for the week. After learning of the stranded Thailand soccer team, Elon Musk put SpaceX and Boring Company engineers on the clock to create a mini submarine (a kid-sized escape pod) to assist with rescue efforts. Across the country and specifically in California, the risk of fireworks leading to wildfires and property damage is leading July 4 organizers to contract with Intel to create drone shows to celebrate Independence Day. eBay is ramping up their efforts to steal some attention and customers away from Amazon Prime Day by offering super discounted items to any and all visitors to their e-commerce site. Facebook is back in the news after flagging the text of the Declaration of Independence as hate speech. Their use of artificial intelligence to identify hateful posts still needs some fine tuning.
Mountain View’s Google Tax, Dell Going Public Again, AT&T Rates Increasing And Xfinity Throttling Data
We are heating up the mic with some strong takes and stern words for some choice companies. We start off calm with a discussion on the growing problem of major Silicon Valley tech companies impacting their hometown with transportation and housing issues. Mountain View is considering a tax on Google to pay for improvements. Next, the once popular PC maker Dell has announced plans to go public again after a five year hiatus from public trading. Now we get heated… AT&T announced several rate increases immediately after their $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Comcast announced plans to throttle data and hotspot functionality for Xfinity Mobile users. We obviously have strong opinions on both these matters.
A United States federal judge approved the merger of AT&T and Time Warner Cable. In effect, AT&T owns distribution, content, and media rights to nearly 100 companies across the world. Moreover, Comcast and Disney are battling for the acquisition of a 21st Century Fox stake to add additional content and rights to the asset class. This all may spell trouble for consumers as net neutrality regulations are set to expire thanks to the Federal Communication Commission. Next, the CIO of General Motors has transformed the Information Technology branch of the company in just under five years by insourcing over 10,000 jobs and focusing on innovation, research, and development. Lastly, we share a personal story of how one single app is changing the life of addiction.
The United States is now owner to the most powerful supercomputer in the world – Summit. The computer has the ability to compute 20 quadrillion calculations in just one second and is optimized for artificial intelligence specific applications. The gig economy is changing the way people lives their lives, travel, and earn an income. A couple is using Rover and Taskrabbit to earn a living while traveling around the in their RV. In 2015, a young teen struggling with depression and attempted suicides created an app to serve as a resource for others battling the same. Three years later, Amanda Southworth is changing the app space with her purposefully built apps. Finally, the VPNFilter malware infection has moved across international borders and has infected 500,000 devices.