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A $22,000 Microsoft Surface Will Soon Be For Sale…And Other Small Business Tech News

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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 

1 — Microsoft’s giant 85-inch Surface Hub 2S will arrive in January 2021 for $21,999.99

No, it’s not the laptop. It’s something much bigger. Microsoft shared this week that their 85-inch Surface Hub 2S will officially be available for purchase this coming January, and the option to preorder was made available last week. Priced at $21,999.99, the hardware was supposed to be released this past year. According to Microsoft, the Surface Hub 2S has assisted in bridging the gap between teams working remotely as well as doctor’s offices, hospitals, and schools. The bigger screen will also help in social distancing when people return to the office. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

$22,000 may seem like a pretty steep price to pay for a computer but it really is more than that – it’s a giant display and central system for managing virtual conferences and if you’re like most businesses you’re going to be juggling a lot of meetings with employees and customers at home, in remote locations and in the office. If you want to make it a quality experience you should be investing in quality technology and the Surface Hub has always received good reviews. This product is definitely geared towards corporate customers, but I’m betting many small businesses will find the investment worthwhile.

2 – Microsoft Teams is getting fake coffee shops, breakout rooms, custom layouts, and is launching new Cortana features for business users.   

Microsoft recently announced new features for their Together Mode, which was designed specifically to address COVID-19 remote work meeting woes. While Together Mode is not new to Teams, some of the features — such as virtual conference rooms, auditoriums, and coffee shops — are. The features will use machine learning in order to instantly accurately place people in the seats of the virtual spaces. Microsoft also shared that they are rolling out several Cortana features which include giving users the ability to use their voice to make calls, play emails, and navigate their inbox. Additionally, Teams Rooms devices will soon have Cortana to help create a more efficient touchless experience as people begin to return to offices. (Sources: The Verge, Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Will Microsoft Teams surpass Zoom? Well, if the software giant continues to innovate with new features like these as well as making the application more pervasive and user friendly I can see this happening in the not-so-distant future. My advice to clients that are already using Office 365 is to go all-in on Teams and get training on other Office 365 apps that integrate with it.

3 — Facebook is starting to enable creators to take more control of their images.  

Facebook released information last week that they are going to start giving publishers and creators autonomy regarding how their images are utilized on the social media platform. Updates to Rights Manger for Images and Rights Manager in Creator Studio will now use technology that will be able to match images in order to help creators manage and safeguard images, allowing greater control over where and how their material is shared on both Instagram and Facebook. (Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine)

Why this is important for your business:

A great step forward to protect your intellectual property. With Facebook’s help you can better manage your proprietary images and photos and get more control over how they’re being used.

4 —Companies can track your phone’s movements to target ads.

With privacy concerns being a major focal point for tech giants Apple and Google, companies such as Neura, Sentiance, and NumberEight are starting to use sensor data based off of physical movement from phones in order to help ads target audiences. With many smartphones containing multiple sensors that help track a person’s physical movements, these companies will be able to target ads based on things such as when users wake up, go to sleep, when they are active, commuting, and more. (Source: Ars Technica)

Why this is important for your business:

Yeah it’s creepy but welcome to Marketing 2021. Brands are already tracking everything we do and now they want to track everywhere we’re going. You may have an ethical issue with this, but it’s legal and if you’re trying attract new customers to your store or location this is the kind of technology you’ll be needing in the next few years. I would take a closer look at what Neura, Sentiance and NumberEight have to offer and if their marketing tech will provide a good ROI for your business.

5 — Google will no longer let developers charge for Chrome extensions. 

Google announced this past week that they will stop charging for Chrome extensions. While the tech giant disabled the paid feature temporarily, they will be moving forward with permanently making that change. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

From now on, if your business does development and wants users to pay for a Chrome extension, you will not be able to look to Google to help process the transaction. Google shared that developers have multiple options to help them handle payments, as compared to 2010 when the web store was first launched.

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Pakistan’s Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO seeking ban on Islamophobic content- Technology News, Firstpost

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 Pakistans Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO seeking ban on Islamophobic content

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking a ban on Islamophobic content on the social networking site, the government said on Sunday.

In the letter, shared by the Pakistani government on Twitter, Khan said that “growing Islamophobia” is encouraging extremism and violence “across the world” – especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.

“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” Khan said.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.



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Week in Tech (Oct 19-25, 2020): iPhone 12 preorders, LG rollable OLED TV launch and more

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Written by Anuj Bhatia
| New Delhi |

Updated: October 25, 2020 9:36:48 pm


iPhone 12, iphone 12 per-orders Indian, iPhone 12 price in india, LG rollable TV, Galaxy S21, ps5, ps5 india price, pS5 india release dateThe iPhone 12 starts at Rs 79,900 for the base model, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro will set you back by Rs 119,900 for the base model

This week, our news team reported on some of the biggest news in tech. The biggest news stories this week included the continuous buzz around the iPhone 12 lineup. For the first time, Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in India. If you are unsure about which iPhone 12 to buy, we broke out the differences, and here’s what consumers should consider.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy S21 flagship smartphone hogged the limelight months ahead of its debut. Renders of the upcoming flagship leaked online, giving users a closer look at what the Galaxy S21 could look like. This week we also saw the arrival of LG’s rollable OLED TVs in South Korea. The 65-inch rollable TV is flexible enough to roll up and down.

We will recap these stories, and we will look ahead to the next week on this edition of our weekly tech news roundup.

Apple begins taking preorders for the iPhone 12 in India

You can now pre-order the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in India, with the new phones going on sale from October 30. Since Apple now has an online store in India, it is easy to pre-order the iPhone 12 of your choice. Keep in mind that the iPhone 12 lineup could be in short supply due to heavy demand. The iPhone 12 starts at Rs 79,900 for the base model, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro will set you back by Rs 119,900 for the base model. The other two models in the iPhone 12 range — the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Max – will not be available for pre-order for another few days. Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max from November 6.

LG rollable OLED TV RX goes on sale in South Korea

LG is finally selling a rollable OLED TV. After years of teasing, a 65-inch rollable OLED TV is on sale in South Korea for $87,000. That’s a lot of money for a TV, but LG’s signature OLED R isn’t an ordinary TV. The 65-inch OLED screen is rollable in nature, meaning it can be hidden in a base when the TV is turned off. LG display first showed off a prototype rollable display at CES 2018. In the following year, LG demoed a fully functional rollable TV at CES 2019.

PlayStation 5 will get a ton of media streaming apps

Sony this week confirmed that the PlayStation 5 console will launch with a slew of media streaming apps, including Apple TV and Spotify. The PS5 media remote, which will be sold separately, will have shortcut buttons for four prominent services: Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, and YouTube. Additional apps coming to the PS5 include Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The Japanese giant has already confirmed the price of PS5, but we still don’t know the release date of the next-generation console. In the US, the PS5 will go on sale on November 12.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 renders leaked by insiders months ahead of launch

2020 hasn’t ended, and we already have leaks about next year’s Galaxy S21 lineup in the form of renders. Renders of the upcoming handset show the potential design language of the Galaxy S21, revealing a familiar look from the front. According to leaks, the phone will have a 6.2-inch flat display with an Infinity Edge punch-hole display that will house a selfie camera. Interestingly, Samsung has made changes to the back of the phone with a “wrap-around” triple camera housing prominently visible. As such, take these images with a pinch of salt until Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S21. Rumour has it that the South Korean major plans to launch the Galaxy S21 series in January next year.

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The Week in Business: A Headache for Big Tech

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Welcome to the weirdest (and legitimately scariest) Halloween week ever. Surprisingly, candy sales are up this year — perhaps it’s the stress eating? Here’s what you need to know in business and tech news going into Monday. — Charlotte Cowles

The federal government is finally making good on its threats to crack down on big tech. The Department of Justice announced a major antitrust lawsuit against Google and accused the company of deploying unfair business tactics to squelch its competitors. (The only precedent for a case like this occurred nearly two decades ago, when the government sued Microsoft.) Google rejected the allegations and said the suit would “artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices” and hurt consumers. But many consumer advocates say it’s high time to regulate big tech more aggressively. Next up: The Federal Trade Commission is planning to vote on whether to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker behind the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, has pleaded guilty to felony charges and will be required to pay more than $8 billion in settlement fees. The company admitted to rewarding doctors for pushing prescriptions for its drugs, thereby contributing to an opioid crisis that has resulted in the deaths of more than 450,000 Americans. It still faces thousands of lawsuits in several states. As for the wealthy Sackler family, who own the company: They’re being held accountable in a separate settlement, to the tune of $225 million in penalties.

It’s been over a year since the financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide after being charged with sexually abusing teenage girls, but his case continues to haunt his business and personal associates. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, remains under arrest and has been silent on charges that she recruited victims for Mr. Epstein. But in a four-year-old deposition, released this past week, she vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Elsewhere, new revelations about financial ties between Mr. Epstein and Leon Black, the founder of the investment firm Apollo Global Management, prompted one pension fund to halt new investments with the firm and others to consider doing the same. Apollo’s board announced that it was investigating Mr. Black’s relationship to Mr. Epstein.

Social media platforms are struggling to fight the spread of misinformation leading up to the election, particularly as Russia and Iran have mounted new interference campaigns to hurt the Democratic presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. But nobody’s happy with how it’s going, particularly lawmakers. Now, the Senate has called for the chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter (Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey,) to testify on Wednesday about how they’re handling hate speech, misinformation and privacy. The hearing will focus on a law that shields tech companies from liability over the content posted by their users, while also allowing them to moderate it. President Trump has claimed the rule is unfair, and wants an overhaul.

Like many art institutions, the Brooklyn Museum is struggling to absorb the pandemic’s impact on its revenue. But unlike many of its peers, it has resorted to selling notable pieces from its holdings to pay its staff and care for the rest of its collection. This week, Sotheby’s will auction off a selection of the museum’s Impressionist and modern artworks, including paintings by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. While de-accessioning is usually prohibited by the Association of Art Museum Directors, the association has made an exception because of the pandemic, and will allow such sales to proceed through 2022.

The first report on the United States’ third-quarter gross domestic product — the broadest assessment of the economy’s health — will be released on Thursday, and is anticipated to show the fastest growth on record. But that’s because it follows a record drop in the second quarter, when many businesses were forced to close under lockdown measures. Either way, don’t get too excited by the numbers. The country’s economy is expected to slow considerably in the fourth quarter, especially as a wave of new infections hampers reopenings and, in some cases, results in more shutdowns.

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