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Fake news fallout: Global collapse in trust for social media platforms and search engines

ZDNet

Business must lead to rebuild trust says Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. AI has become one of the great, meaningless buzzwords of our time. In this video, the Chief Data Scientist of Dun and Bradstreet explains AI in clear business terms. Facebook, Google and Twitter's failure to deal with the damaging effects of fake news has created a broad distrust in social media platforms, search engines and news applications reports the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018 -- a survey of more than 33,000 people in 28 countries. But trust in journalism has improved greatly and there is now a wide divide between peoples' low regard for media platforms and their much improved respect for journalists and journalism.


Nuance CEO Paul Ricci to retire in March

ZDNet

Nuance Communications confirmed on Monday that CEO Paul Ricci will retire by March 31. SaaS has set off a revolution in the way companies consume services on-demand. We look at how it's spreading to other IT services and transforming IT jobs. Nuance said it will name a new chief executive on or before that date and has nixed plans to nominate Ricci for director of its board at its upcoming shareholders meeting. Ricci joined Nuance as the company's CEO in September 2000 and has served as board chairman since 1999.


GoPro to exit drone business, cites regulatory concerns; lay off 20 percent of workforce

ZDNet

GoPro said it will exit the drone business citing a "hostile regulatory environment" for the foreseeable future and lay off more than 20 percent of its workforce as it cuts cost after a big revenue miss. The company, which has struggled since going public in 2014, said its revenue for the fourth quarter will be $340 million, well below analysts estimates of $472 million. GoPro launched as a camera maker, tried its hand at content and evolved to improve its software platform. However, GoPro has struggled to maintain profit margins over time. The exit of the drone market is likely to hurt future growth.


Microsoft's IoT strategy is about the cloud more than the 'things'

ZDNet

CNET editors scour the 2018 International CES for the hottest new tech gadgets. Buried in a January 5 press release about Kohler's introduction of voice-command technology into the bathroom is a single reference to Microsoft Azure. At CES 2018, Kohler -- a designer of kitchen and bath products -- is taking the wraps off a voice-lighted mirror that works with Amazon's Alexa. There's also a Kohler Konnect application for iOS and Android devices that allows users to operate kitchen faucets, control smart toilets and adjust lighting in the bathroom. There's no mention of Cortana at all, which isn't all that surprising given how far behind Cortana is lagging its competitors in terms of new skills, or apps.


Solid state LiDAR to debut at CES (but only for developers)

ZDNet

Innoviz Technologies, which makes LiDAR sensors, announced today that it's bringing an early version of its solid state LiDAR technology to market. The device, called the InnovizPro, is geared toward developers and is an early version of a forthcoming solid state LiDAR sensor due out in 2019. The rush to market is a sign of how competitive things are getting in the sensor space when it comes to self-driving vehicles. This year's CES will feature a number of LiDAR and Radar solutions that are smaller, yield higher resolution, and are available cheaper than ever before. LiDAR (Light Imaging Detection and Ranging) has been around for about fifty years and was first developed by the U.S. military in collaboration with NASA as a means of measuring distance in space.


LG launches OLED lighting brand for cars

ZDNet

LG Display has kicked off operations of its OLED lighting production line that will sell under the brand name Luflex, the company announced. The firm will supply the flexible OLED lighting first for cars, and will then provide them for commercial spaces and lighting makers. Luflex is short for lux, or light source, and flexibility. LG's goal is to become the top brand in OLED lighting, the company said. OLED's use of organic material made it closest to natural light, and it consumes less power and produces less heat.


Bulletproof co-founder opposes Macquarie Telecom's AU$17.9m takeover bid

ZDNet

Macquarie Telecom Group's bid to wholly acquire competing cloud services provider Bulletproof has been thrown another curveball, with Bulletproof co-founder Lorenzo Modesto opposing the takeover. Modesto, whose company Domains and Web currently boasts a 12.6 percent stake in Bulletproof, told ZDNet he wants a higher valuation from Macquarie. "The unaudited Q1 management reports released by Macquarie in the bidder's statement show a strong improvement on the previous corresponding period and include a budget which, if achieved, would indicate a far higher valuation for the company," Modesto said. "As such, Macquarie's claim in the bidder's statement that'based on Bulletproof's unaudited management accounts for Q1 FY18 there is a continuation of this trajectory' would seem to be inconsistent with the management accounts released. "As a result, Domains and Web will not be accepting the bid as it currently stands, as we do not believe it delivers satisfactory shareholder value."


Qualys snaps up NetWatcher security assets

ZDNet

Qualys has announced plans to acquire NetWatcher assets to improve the firm's cloud security offerings. Earlier this week, the Foster City, CA-based firm said that it has entered an asset purchase agreement with network security company NetWatcher to purchase specific technologies. NetWatcher offers network security monitoring software which combines vulnerability management, intrusion detection, behavioral monitoring, security information and event management (SIEM), threat intelligence and monitoring in real-time. Qualys hopes that this technology, which also picks up on weak password use, unsafe behavior and outdated software, will improve the firm's cloud platform and incident response. The agreement will be made through a cash transaction.


Amazon says Alexa device sales broke records over cyber holiday weekend

ZDNet

Amazon says it broke records over the holiday weekend shopping binge, with millions of Amazon devices sold between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. The Amazon Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were "not only the best-selling Amazon devices, but they were the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon," the company boasted in a press release Tuesday. Amazon's newer Echo Spot device was also a strong seller and is now out of stock for the holiday season, the company said. The Echo Dot, meanwhile, was the big star over at Whole Foods Market stores. In a statement, Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon devices and services, noted that the surge in Amazon device sales means millions of new customers will be tapping into the company's AI assistant platform Alexa.


Samsung buys Korean AI startup Fluenty

ZDNet

Samsung Electronics has acquired South Korean startup Fluenty, which specialises in conversational artificial intelligence (AI). The acquisition, which was led by the South Korean tech giant's mobile business, will allow the company to integrate Fluenty's services to its own AI platform, Bixby. Fluenty, which was founded by former search giant Naver and Daum developers, has an app that suggests the best text reply based on AI technology. It was launched in the US in 2015 and South Korea last year. The service supports chat apps such as KakaoTalk, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Line.