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tech in the spotlight

IBM’s Supercomputer Watson is Now Your Best Shopping Companion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 28, 2013 03:22 PM

It’s been more than two years since IBM’s Watson made its hit TV debut on Jeopardy! And now, Watson is the latest “cognitive, expert personal shopper” developed by an early stage partner in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, digital shopping company Fluid.

Their Watson-powered app—the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper—marries Watson’s transformational cognitive computing that provides dialogue-driven assistance with product recommendations and content, letting consumers make queries using Watson’s natural language processing (NLP). 

But, “Watson’s natural language capabilities are not what make it special,” Brooke Aguilar, VP Global Business Development at Fluid told brandchannel. “The big differentiator is that Watson is a learning machine and one that quickly learns from and adapts with each interaction. In the context of digital shopping this presents a tremendous opportunity for Fluid to give consumers highly engaging and rich shopping experiences that are personalized and become more so with continued use.”Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Intel Looks Inside for New CEO, While Brand Plans for Service Expansion

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 2, 2013 07:45 PM

While the computing world continues to shift around them, Intel has remained steady and true to form, remaing loyal to its infamous tagline: Intel Inside.

The company, which has staved off advances from competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and is posting $50 billion in annual sales has remained sure-footed even as it searched for a new CEO to take the helm after Paul Otellini retires in May. Despite rumors that the company was looking to an outsider to fill the role, its board selected current COO Brian Krzanich, an engineer who has been with the company since 1982. The company also elevated software honcho Renee James to President, Reuters reports.

While the duo will likely make a successful team, Intel hopes that the new appointments will aid in leading the company in a new, more mobile direction. While Intel's processing chips still sit inside many personal computers, the company is losing market share to companies like ARM, which makes rival chips for smartphones.Continue reading...


Apple Apologizes to Chinese Officials for "Misunderstanding"

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 1, 2013 04:04 PM

China's state-run media including CCTV went into the weekend bashing Apple and came out the other side doing the same. Tech writers and journalists agree China's smear campaign against Apple has backfired because the effect China's smear campaign is having on Apple's brand is worse than you think in some quarters, and not such a big deal in others (depending who you read).

China's "attack" on Apple certainly doesn't have a simple black or white outcome. The impact will be seen after the dust settles, and it will (especially now that CEO Tim Cook has reportedly apologized), with one Citi analyst projecting that the showdown could cost the company up to $13 billion in sales in the market.Continue reading...


Google’s Chromebook Pixel: Questions Arise Over Quality, Price

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2013 03:18 PM

Since Google began releasing its Chromebook laptops to the mass market in June of 2011, the machines have been known for their low prices and their focus on cloud computing. Now, the company has released its Chromebook Pixel, a laptop that is asking consumers to dig a little deeper into their wallets.

The new computer retails for $1,299 and more than a few tech bloggers are saying that while the Pixel has some nice features, including a fancy touchscreen and certainly is aesthetically pleasing, it might not be worth shelling out the big bucks when other computers deliver just as much for lower cost. TechCrunch notes that “for a machine aiming at power users, it’s a device surprisingly devoid of power features.” Techspot.com concludes, “We can’t fault Google for trying something different and bold with Chrome OS, but at that price it’ll be a hard sell when you can get more for less.” And so on.

However, Mashable.com makes a case for Pixel, starting its review by saying, “The tech pundit jury has apparently reached a solemn, sober verdict on the Chromebook Pixel laptop Google launched Thursday. And the verdict is ... ‘Oh my God, look at the sticker price!’” The review calls the rush to judgment a “pity” and goes on to note that the Pixel is “a pleasure to use, with a screen that's just as eye-poppingly beautiful as a Macbook Retina,” “incredibly fast,” and perfect for someone who is constantly on the go and looking for Wi-Fi access.Continue reading...

ad watch

Are Apple's New iPad Commercials Phoning It In?

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 12:02 PM

Veteran Apple watcher Robert Hof thinks Apple is phoning it in with the brand's latest commercials for the iPad, called "Together" and "Alive," and pulls together a slideshow of early Apple ads for context. Watch the new pair of iPad spots below and let us know what you think.Continue reading...

tech talk

Cook Says Innovation, Not Acquisition, Remains Central to Apple's Future

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2013 12:55 PM

If there is any specific forthcoming initiative tied to why Apple CEO Tim Cook's will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama at tonight's State of the Union Address, Cook's morning remarks at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference offered no clue.

But Cook — who also made no major product announcements or huge news in remarks made in conversation with analyst Bill Shope — nonetheless revealed that cash-rich, acquisition-shy Apple has evaluated far more companies than it has ultimately absorbed — and will likely continue to do so.

"We have looked at large companies," Cook said. "In each case that we've done that thus far, it didn't pass our tests."

He added: “Cash is not burning a hole in our pocket."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Era of Wearable Computers Seems Imminent as Apple, Google Explore Ideas

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2013 02:45 PM

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died before seeing two of his big ideas – an iCar and an iWatch – become reality. But word is that one of those visions may be coming to fruition in the near future.

The computer giant “is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass,” according to The New York Times. The watch will have some of the same functions as a smartphone, but the bulk of information about the gadget – when it might appear, cost, features – remains a mystery.

“Apple’s certainly made a lot of hiring in that area,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing and smartphones, told The Times. “Apple is already in the wearable space through its ecosystem partners that make accessories that connect to the iPhone."

She cautioned that an iWatch probably wouldn't be landing on store shelves anytime soon, though.Continue reading...

tech talk

Apple's Inner Workings: New Blueprints for HQ, Plans for Texas, Offices in Tokyo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2013 03:37 PM

When Steve Jobs announced in 2011 that Apple would be using 175 acres of land in Cupertino, Calif. to build a 2.8 million-square-foot office complex, the expectation was that it would be completed in 2015.

It's looking like a mid-2016 opening is more likely. But as plans for a groundbreaking move forward, the company has recently submitted a revised plan to city officials, offering more detailed (and pastoral — see above) glimpses of the futuristic facility for the Apple-obsessed.

Meanwhile, Apple is moving forward with plans for new offices — if however more conventionally designed — in Austin, Texas.Continue reading...

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