Richard Adhikari

About the Author Richard Adhikari


Transportation

Uber’s Self-Driving Fleet Takes On San Francisco

Uber on Wednesday rolled out a fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco, the second U.S. city to participate in its pilot project. Pittsburgh was the first. Riders who request an UberX — the lowest-priced Uber vehicle — will be matched with one of the self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs if one is available and if the customers are willing, according to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s Advanced Technology Group.

Read more 0 Comments
Customer Service

Salesforce Releases Texting Customer Service Chatbot

Salesforce has released LiveMessage, a chatbot that lets enterprises users engage customers through messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, SMS or MMS directly within its Service Cloud. Service agents can respond to customers on Facebook Messenger after accessing their records, for example, and the conversation automatically is appended and can be resumed later if necessary.

Read more 0 Comments
Virtual Reality

Magic Leap Catches Flak Over Tricky Video

It turns out the awe-inspiring video Magic Leap unveiled last year is not a demo of its still-secretive mixed reality technology, but a bit of sleight of hand from special effects firm Weta Workshop, which is credited at the beginning and end of the clip. Magic Leap’s post — titled “Just another day in the office at Magic Leap” — claims the video shows a game being played around the office.

Read more 0 Comments
Deals

LinkedIn Begins New Chapter Under Microsoft’s Wing

Microsoft last week closed its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn. LinkedIn will remain a separate company and Jeff Weiner will continue as its CEO, but he now reports to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Integration of the companies’ products is under way. Among many other things, a user’s LinkedIn identity and network will be made available in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite.

Read more 0 Comments
Deals

Fitbit Pulls Pebble From Rock, Hard Place

Fitbit has announced an acquisition deal with smartwatch maker Pebble. It clearly has been struggling, having laid off 25 percent of its staff earlier this year, when CEO Eric Migicovsky acknowledged that money was tight. “Fitbit is acquiring certain assets of Pebble, including key personnel and intellectual property specific to software and firmware development,” a Fitbit spokesperson said.

Read more 0 Comments
Consumer Protection

Bill Bolsters Legal Efforts of Wells Fargo Fraud Victims

U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation to stop Wells Fargo from enforcing arbitration agreements with victims of fraud it perpetrated against them. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Rep. Brad Sherman, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Justice for Victims of Fraud Act of 2016.

Read more 0 Comments
Social Networking

Tech Giants Team to Battle Terrorism Online

Facebook has teamed up with Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to fight the proliferation of terrorist content on the Web. The tech giants will create a shared industry database of hashes for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos, or images they have removed from their services. They may use these shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on their platforms.

Read more 0 Comments
Smartphones

iPhone Envy May Have Felled Galaxy Note7

Samsung’s desire to match the iPhone 7 Plus led it to implement an aggressive design and manufacturing approach that led to problems with its Galaxy Note7 — including some instances of the smartphones bursting into flames, Instrumental reported last week. Instrumental engineers tore down a Galaxy Note7, and found “tension between safety and pushing the boundaries,” CEO Anna Shedletsky revealed.

Read more 0 Comments
Deals

Twitter Buys Yes for Product VP Talent

Twitter has purchased Yes and named the mobile app startup’s CEO, Keith Coleman, as its new VP of product — a challenging post. Coleman will be Twitter’s third VP of product this year and the fifth since 2014. Twitter’s main problems are monetization, which has plagued it since its founding; slowing user growth; and stiff competition. Coleman’s supporters cite his previous experience at Google.

Read more 0 Comments
Social Networking

Facebook Videos Explain AI in a Nutshell

Facebook last week released six videos to educate people about artificial intelligence. AI will bring major changes to society, and will be the backbone of many of the most innovative apps and services of the future, but it remains mysterious, noted Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of AI research, and Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning in an online post.

Read more 0 Comments
Tech Law

Zenefits Pays the Piper

The California Department of Insurance this week announced fines totaling $7 million against startup Zenefits, a provider of cloud-based human resources services. The company’s former leadership “created an anything goes culture at the Internet startup, resulting in numerous violations of licensing requirements to protect consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Read more 0 Comments
Malware

Google Clamps Down on Sneaky Malicious Sites

Sites that repeatedly violate Google’s safe browsing policies will be classified as repeat offenders, the company said. A small number of websites take corrective actions after Google displays alerts on their landing pages warning visitors that they’re harmful. However, they typically revert to violating the policies after Google verifies that they’re safe and removes the warnings.

Read more 0 Comments
Social Networks

Russia May Kick Out LinkedIn

A LinkedIn block in Russia could be imminent, in light of last week’s court ruling that the company broke a law requiring personal data on Russian citizens to be stored on servers within the country. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecommunications and media authority, is waiting until it has the full text of the ruling before acting on it. Russia had 5 million registered LinkedIn members in Q1.

Read more 0 Comments
Transportation

First Hyperloop Could Blaze a Trail Between Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Hyperloop One, which aims to fulfill the vision of high-speed transportation promoted by Elon Musk, has signed a deal to develop a line between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. The project reportedly will have several stations throughout Dubai connecting the hyperloop system to Abu Dhabi. Pods will carry passengers and cargo between the two.

Read more 0 Comments
Government

Election Day Cybershenanigans Highlight Need to Shore Up Security

Hackers last week launched DDoS attacks against both presidential candidates’ campaign websites. The attacks were routed through HTTP Layer 7 of the OSI protocol. There were at least four 30-second attacks reported. “The websites were not penetrated by a cyberintrusion,” said John Costello, a senior analyst at Flashpoint. The attackers were unsophisticated hackers and not a nation-state.

Read more 0 Comments
Tech Law

Google Cites Amazon Competition in Response to EU

Google last week filed a response in a 6-year-old antitrust battle with the EU, which has charged that its search ads unfairly promoted its own shopping service and blocked rivals. The response addresses a revision the EC sent to Google this summer. The commission’s original statement of objections narrowly defined online shopping services to exclude services like Amazon, Google noted.

Read more 0 Comments
Wall Street

Facebook Share Price Falls Despite Blowout Quarter

Facebook on Wednesday reported a record Q3, beating analysts’ expectations for the fourth straight quarter, but concerns among investors about increased expenditures and the company’s future prospects drove down share prices. They closed Thursday at $119.95, down more than $7 from Wednesday’s closing price of $127.17. Friday saw little movement, with a closing price of $120.75.

Read more 0 Comments
Tablets

Lenovo’s Yoga Book Aims for Top Shelf

Lenovo’s recently unveiled 2-in-1, the Yoga Book, is available in Android Marshmallow and Windows 10 Home versions. Reviews have been mixed, with some praising its look and feel, but some considering its capabilities not up to scratch. Its Intel Atom processor doesn’t provide enough power for a workhorse device, they’ve argued. The Android version costs $500 and the Windows version goes for $550.

Read more 0 Comments
Trends

Many Customers Aren’t on Board With Self-Service Trend

Enterprises have been warming to digital transformation, but it’s crucial that they maintain a human element in their customer interactions, according to a study Verint published last week. Researchers surveyed more than 24,000 consumers and 1,000 businesses across 12 countries for the study. Organizations have to balance digital and human customer engagement to thrive and survive.

Read more 0 Comments
Personal Computers

Microsoft’s New Tech Targets Human Creativity

Microsoft made a slew of announcements at its New York City event Wednesday, focusing on the idea of user as creator. Among its new offerings: the Surface Studio, an all-in-one desktop computer with a touchscreen that’s 12.5mm thick; the Surface Dial, a new input device that provides haptic feedback; the Surface Book i7; VR headsets for Windows 10; and a revamped Paint app with 3D capability.

Read more 0 Comments
Tech Buzz

Microsoft Event: Come for Windows, Stay for Surface

Microsoft’s Windows 10 event, scheduled for Wednesday, actually could focus more on hardware than on the operating system, given that the next Windows 10 refresh is expected in March. A new Surface device — possibly an all-in-one computer with a 21-inch or larger screen — could be in the offing. “Microsoft hasn’t had a desktop Surface product yet,” noted tech analyst Rob Enderle.

Read more 0 Comments