Apple’s Business Chat Brings New Competition to Facebook

Apple is always on the move and always innovating. Maybe that is why the stock price seems to do so well so consistently. Debuting new products absolutely helps Apple succeed in the tech marketplace. The recent arrival of the new Business Chat continues the legacy of Apple’s ability to give the tech-craving public something else it wants or needs.

 

Business Chat is a rather generic name, but the name does get across what the new program does. The goal is to help facilitate business and customer service communications. The broader goal is more pronounced. Apple wants to use Business Chat to massively compete with Facebook Messenger. Business Chat is to take over the popular iMessage platform to the next level.

 

Expanded functions with Business Chat take the program to the proverbial next level and better increase chances for success.

 

New apps and programs find the road to public acceptance and popularity difficult. People like new things. They like new and improved things even more. What they do not like is uncertainty. Programs and apps bearing a name of a company they never heard of concerns them. With Apple, none of these problems arise. Apple is the quintessential tech company. Millions of loyal customers around the world faithfully purchase new releases. Customers who purchased Apple products for personal or business use in the past are sure to be enthusiastic about Business Chat.

 

Why did it take Apple so long to release a competitor to Facebook Messenger?

 

The Apple Watch puts forth an answer. The Apple Watch was bug-riddled and an embarrassment. The branding of the Apple Watch was ruined. Even fixing the watch brings forth no real solution. The name has been harmed in the public’s eye. As a whole, Apple is forgiven but the individual product is ruined. Management doubtfully wants to see the same thing occur with Business Chat.

 

Choosing to wait until business chat is near perfect makes sense. Apple’s brain trust knows what it’s doing.

Russia Has Developed A Cyberweapon To Attack Power Grids

Russian hackers aligned with the Kremlin have developed a cyberweapon with the ability to disrupt power grids. This malware, dubbed CrashOverride, is already cause for concern–with there already being interest expressed in developing it further to target U.S. systems.

 

Americans depend on the power grid almost entirely and an attack on it has been a long-speculated worst-case scenario. Gas pumps, hospitals, trains, cooling and heating, and hundreds of other ubiquitous systems that make American life what it is would all be brought to a halt.

 

So far, the malware is in it’s primitive stages. It was used in Ukraine last December to briefly knock out power to one-fifth of Kiev–only one power system.

The worry is that, with some tweaks, the system could certainly become powerful enough to threaten the United States power grid and put millions at peril should the hackers follow through with their alleged plans.

 

These developments come in the wake of the media controversy surrounding the US government investigating a vast and unabashed attempt by the Russian government to influence the outcome of the last US election. Former FBI Director James Comey recently testified before senate, mentioning that “hundreds” of organizations, political and otherwise, had been compromised by Russian hackers.

 

Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that took a closer look into the malware, released a 35-page document directed at the “electric sector and security community” noting it’s “potential implications” and dubbing the team credited with creating the malware Electrum. They are believed by the private sector to be tied to another team, Sandworm, that is credited with the attack on US industrial control systems back in 2014 and the Ukraine power grid in 2015. The private sector is certain that Sandworm and Electrum are not only both linked to the Russian government, but also essentially the same group. The US government has not released official implicating the Russian government involvement.

 

Uber Changes CEO Amidst Fiscal Woes

Uber seems to be everyone. The drivers are all over the streets and the company is always in the news. The sad part about the latter is the company is always in the news for something unflattering. Uber’s business fortunes have been awful lately. The company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Recently, it has been announced the company’s board has been thinking about “temporarily sidelining” CEO Travis Kalanick.

 

The directors seem to think there needs to be a new change in leadership. Still, no immediate decision to outright fire Kalanick has been made. If he does return to the company, greater oversight of his performance might be instituted. No manager likes to be placed in such a position, but the scenario may be unavoidable.

 

No real mystery surrounds why the board of directors thinks it may be time for new leadership approaches and a new direction. The company is losing a tremendous amount of money. Losses of the magnitude Uber experiences are soon to become unsustainable.

 

The serious question here is “Can anything be done to change the direction of the Uber ship and make things profitable once again?” Uber is a relatively simple concept. Through the use of an app, Uber facilitates freelance ridesharing to compete with local taxi companies. Uber is hugely popular among people who want to save money on short rides. Those working for Uber as freelance drivers seem to make decent money.

 

The amount of money generated into Uber’s corporate bank accounts seems to be underwhelming. The generation of revenue, while significant, is clearly not enough. Several hundreds of millions of dollars in losses supports the accuracy of this assessment.

 

Overspending could be a major problem in the operation of Uber. Whatever the reasons for the company’s losses, something needs to change or else the company will fold.

 

 

Augmented Reality Expected to Train Workers

There’s lots of talk lately that upcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments will cost many their jobs. But, technological developments both take and give jobs. However, the workforce needs to adjust. Even now, many jobs aren’t filled because there aren’t enough workers with right skills.

 

There are new technologies that should help with training, TechCrunch claims. The Augmented Reality (AR) is one of these technologies. For example, by putting AR glasses on, instructions and even holograms appear as layers on actual physical places such as factories or offices. With such help, it is possible to train people hands-on.

 

“AR headsets provide an idea…for hands-free operation, with the device at eye level, presenting information when needed. AR headsets can also bring powerful first-person views, which are valuable resources for field force automation,” stated Tractica, a research company.

 

Already tech giants are in this field. Microsoft developed Hololens. This mixed-reality device brings physical and digital objects, places, and people together for a wide range of experiences. Google’s Holokit brings virtual reality into effect through the use of a mobile phone and a special headset.

 

Meanwhile, Samsung has developed smart glasses that blur the line between augmented and virtual reality. Facebook is also working on augmented reality with Camera Effects developer platform. This technology relies on camera lenses rather than glasses.

 

Currently, only free augmented reality tools are produced and shipped to consumers. In 2022, Tractica estimates, the shipments will exceed 20 million units.

 

In the workplace, the AR technology is already being used successfully, although by very few companies so far. Boeing has been using AR to improve productivity of its workforce and its research shows that the workers who used it are not only more productive, but also more accurate and satisfied.

 

It’s not only about hardware when it comes to AR. It is also about content. So, expect that in the future there will be job openings for AR content creators. Some jobs will go, others will be created.