Richard Adhikari

About the Author Richard Adhikari


Social Networking

Google’s Jigsaw Launches Troll-Thwarting API

A new tool is available to check the persistent harassment of online trolls. Google’s Jigsaw think tank last week launched Perspective, an early stage technology that uses machine learning to help neutralize trolls. Perspective reviews comments and scores them based on their similarity to comments people have labeled as toxic, or that are likely to result in someone leaving a conversation.

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Government

FCC Head Champions FM Radio for Smartphones

Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, last week issued a call for activation of the FM chips in smartphones. The vast majority of smartphones sold in the U.S. have FM chips, but they’re activated in only about 44 percent of the top brands, Pai said. Although that’s nearly twice the 25 percent figure of two years ago, it’s not good enough, he suggested.

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Products

Salesforce Adds Health Cloud Features

Salesforce this week announced new features and an expanded partner ecosystem for its Health Cloud at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference. The new features are lead-to-patient conversion, risk stratification and advanced segmentation. Salesforce also announced a slew of new partner-developed applications for Health Cloud available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

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Consumer Protection

US Rep Likens Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ‘Tyranny’

The Financial Protection Bureau has come under increasing fire from Republican lawmakers who now have the Trump administration to back their efforts. Long-time critic Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R.-Texas, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, compared the bureau to a tyranny in a recent interview. Hensarling reportedly is preparing legislation to enact CFPB reforms.

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Deals

Verizon Cuts Better Deal for Breach-Battered Yahoo

Verizon and Yahoo on Tuesday announced new terms for the acquisition deal they inked last summer. Verizon will pay $350 million less than the original contract price, which places the new value of the deal at $4.48 billion. Yahoo will be responsible for 50 percent of any breach-related cash liabilities incurred as a result of non-SEC government investigations and third-party litigation, under the new agreement.

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Social Networking

Facebook Gets More In-Your-Face

Facebook this week announced new features for News Feeds videos, along with an app for TV. News Feed videos now have sound turned on by default in mobile devices. This can be disabled in the Settings menu. A larger format to present vertical videos now is standard on iOS and Android devices. The feature became available as a preview last year. A Watch and Scroll feature lets users minimize the video they’re watching and drag it to any corner of the screen.

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Cloud Computing

AWS Unveils Chime Conferencing Service

AWS on Tuesday introduced Amazon Chime, a cloud-based unified communications offering that lets users engage in high-quality audio and HD video meetings across Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS and Android mobile devices. Companies just have to download the app; they don’t need to make upfront investments in hardware or software. Users can switch seamlessly between desktop and mobile apps.

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Personal Computers

Samsung’s Chromebook Pro Earns Respect

Some early reviewers of the Samsung Chromebook Pro characterized it as a “MacBook killer,” but others were more restrained in their enthusiasm. Jointly developed with Google and first demoed at CES 2017, the Chromebook Pro is slated for release next month. Samsung’s Chromebooks basically are lightweight productivity tools that rely heavily on access to cloud-based resources.

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Wall Street

Twitter Investors Bail Following Bleak Q4

Twitter’s share price plunged 12.3 percent, closing Thursday at $16.41 after the company released its Q4 2016 financial report. It fell further on Friday, trading at $15.54 mid-day. On the bright side, daily active usage grew for the third consecutive quarter and strong growth is expected to continue, the company said. Active monthly users in Q4 totaled 319 million, up 4 percent year over year.

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Products

Quip Adds Serious Muscle

Salesforce has announced new integrations for Quip, the collaboration startup it acquired last summer for $582 million. Quip, which operates independently, also added new capabilities to its product’s existing feature set, which includes smart notifications, chat built into every document and spreadsheet, and a smart inbox. Quip lets users direct-message group members.

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Vendors

Does Avaya Have a Post-Chapter 11 Prayer?

Is Avaya on the road to financial recovery? What will happen to business partners and customers if it is not? The company last month filed for Chapter 11 protection for itself and some of its United States subsidiaries — a move that makes it “the first major established technology company that’s dying as a direct result of the cloud,” according to Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research.

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Wall Street

Snap Seizes the Moment

Snap last week filed for a $3 billion IPO. The company’s private market valuation is $17.8 billion, but investors reportedly have valued it at between $20 billion and $25 billion. “Twenty-five billion dollars is just nuts, but that’s the market we’re in,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “This could provide an opportunity for the big gambler investors,” he suggested.

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Customer Service

Calling Facebook Customer Service? Beware of Fraudsters

Googling for a Facebook customer support phone number may connect users with fraudsters. A fraudulent number reportedly appeared not only as top result in a Google search, but also as a featured snippet — that is, highlighted in a box at the top of the search results. An investigator who called the number, posing as a Facebook customer who had been locked out of his account.

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Mobile

Samsung’s Note7 Post Mortem Turns Up 2 Problems

Samsung is set to release the results of its Galaxy Note7 investigation on Monday, explaining the underlying causes of the problems that led to the phone’s demise. The three independent quality control and supply chain analysis firms Samsung engaged to conduct the investigation concluded that the Note7 was affected by two separate issues. One was a battery issue; the other was the rush to market.

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