Hot ‘Deals’ are the fake news of online shopping, and you’re all buying it

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Want to understand the problem of fake news? Want to do it while seeing how much money you just got schemed out of by Google, Amazon, or Facebook? Then take one look at the online holiday shopping bonanza: Massive corporations, peddling questionable information, to a public without sufficient tools to help separate the good from the bad.

Black Friday just gave way to Cyber Monday, and now, the internet's lousy with "deals." Consumers have already spent over $5.3 billion online this shopping season, according to Adobe (which doesn't even account for weekend or Monday spending, which Adobe expects to add on another $3.4 billion). But how many people spent that money under the guise of getting a "great" deal, only to get an average (or even downright bad) deal?  Read more...

More about Facebook, Google, Amazon, Fake News, and Business

Warner Bros partners with Google & others to promote “Fantastic Beasts” with mobile spells, VR & more

fantastic-beasts You can now cast Harry Potter spells from your Android phone, thanks to Google and Warner Bros. Pictures, who have teamed up to promote the new movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” This clever trick, which Google tells us is part of a wider partnership between the two companies, lets you speak to Google’s voice assistant by saying “OK Google,” followed… Read More

Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft form new AI alliance

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Artificial Intelligence is now a part of our daily lives. It's on our wrists in the form of Apple's SIRI and in our kitchens thanks to Amazon's Alexa. We use it, but do not always understand or trust it.

Now, a collection of tech industry giants has joined together to close the knowledge and trust gap. The vehicle for this new level of understanding and, maybe, acceptance, will be a brand new mouthful of an organization: the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society. In conversation it will actually go by the more manageable "Partnership on AI." Member companies of the new alliance are all knee-deep in artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. They include Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google's DeepMind and IBM. Notably absent, for now, is Apple. Read more...

More about Amazon, Facebook, Deep Mind, Google, and Ibm

FreshDirect raises $189 million for grocery delivery

Image of grocery cart full of products in supermarket FreshDirect, a popular online grocery service on the East Coast, is arming itself with $189 million in additional funding.  The round was led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with W Capital and AARP Innovation Fund investing as well. The new capital will be used to help FreshDirect build up its “manufacturing capacity” and “open up some new geographies,” according… Read More

Pinterest hires a head of engineering for its new Seattle office

ruben ortega pinterest While there’s plenty of talent in the San Francisco Bay Area — where Pinterest’s main office is over at 5th and Brannan in San Francisco — it can be very costly to find and recruit that talent. And there’s a lot outside of San Francisco as well. One city, in particular, that Pinterest has turned its eyes to is Seattle. Last month, it opened an engineering office… Read More

Can foreign tech companies win in China?

shutterstock china flags As China’s digital business grows, it’s going to provide more opportunities for many players. Who “gets it” and who doesn’t will certainly not only be a function of “being blocked or not,” but equally (or even more importantly) those who have the right mindset and approach to the China context. Read More

Pat launches private beta to help AI understand what you say

Abstract watercolour painted speech bubbles in yellow orange pink blue and green. How many times have you wanted to throw your phone out the window of your car because Siri couldn’t understand the most basic phrases? Call Cheryl, no Vyshakh. Siri calls Cheryl anyway. Then a 20-minute argument develops with a series of “Hey Siri” commands followed by a string of unwanted Google searches and maybe even an iTunes song. I personally gave Siri a British accent… Read More

Microsoft announces professional degree program to fill the skills gap

microsoft Microsoft wants more data scientists in the job market. But some young people need to acquire their knowledge starting completely anew, while mid-career professionals need to build on their previous experience. To plug the skills gap for both categories, Microsoft launched a series of classes in data science through edX.org, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard… Read More

Facebook’s News Feed changes are kind of scary

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On this week’s episode of MashTalk, Lance, Pete and I talk about the changes happening with the Facebook News Feed (05:00) and how they will impact regular users, brands and news publishers. 

We then shift gears to talk about a slew of Amazon announcements – including the return of Prime Day (20:30) and the ultra-discounted Android phones Amazon is subsidizing with special offers on the lock screen (27:30). We also have a few thoughts about Android Nougat (34:30), the official name for Android N.

Moving on, we tackle some Windows 10 news (37:00), including the release date for Windows 10 Anniversary edition and the ultra-annoying, truly terrible way Microsoft attempted to force users to upgrade to Windows 10.  Read more...

More about Prime Day, Amazon, Windows 10, Facebook, and Tech

The battle for the post-digital world

small i/o logo Marketing in a post-digital world was a major theme of the 2016 Forrester Research Marketing Forum. At the event, analyst Carl Doty defined the post-digital world as one in which digital is embedded in our daily lives. In that context, he described the evolution of marketing: pre-digital marketing meant using mass media in a one-to-many approach; digital marketing was about data-driven,… Read More
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