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Tech Talk Thursday: Sept. Announcements Worth Noting

Tech Talk Thursday: Sept. Announcements Worth Noting

This month the biggest announcement was about the three new Apple iPhones. However, there were interesting developments from Microsoft, Facebook and Google, as well.  Here is a summary of the six announcements I think are valuable to business technology watchers and worth following.  

Top Tech Announcements for September

Microsoft Launches Office 2019

On September 24th, this version of Office became available on Windows and Mac platforms. For those individuals who don’t subscribe to Office 365, 2019 offers improvements in translations, accessibility and 4K video imports into PowerPoint.

Business Impact: If your business hasn’t jumped on the 365 bandwagon and isn’t planning to anytime soon, moving forward with Office 2019 will help keep hackers at bay and allow for better transition when your organization finally moves to Office 365.

Microsoft Starts Integrating LinkedIn into Their Product Line

Outlook users will soon be able to co-author documents with LinkedIn users in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Here’s a brief example of how this can be used for meeting preparation and collaboration: https://youtu.be/pVQaP8nsL1A.

Business Impact: Look for more LinkedIn functionality into Office 365 in the coming months. If your company doesn’t have a LinkedIn page or your employees are not on this platform, this is the perfect time to get these profiles fully built out and linked to the company page.

Google Builds Virtual Reality Motion Controllers for Mirage Headset

Daydream, Google’s mobile VR platform, is launching software support for motion controllers to allow for 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) when used with the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset. This is a cordless experience that uses machine learning to estimate the 3D position of the controllers. They also announced a see-through mode allowing individuals to see the real world through the viewer. This product was first announced at CES earlier this year.

Business Impact: Wireless VR headsets that allow for roaming without the fear of bumping into things, is one step closer to acceptance of this immersive technology in a crowded, working environment.

Google Adds Search to Android Messages

Individuals will be able to locate images, videos and text now through the search bar. This will allow a user to look through a conversation threads to find exactly what they’re looking for in a timely fashion.

Business Impact: Android users will be able to find items quicker, thus saving a lot of time looking for all the media associated with a client, employee or prospect.

Facebook Better in Their Fight Against Fake News

In their research outlined in Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media, Stanford University professors Allcott, Getzkow and Yu studied 570 sites from January 2015 to July 2018 and concluded the following:

  • Fake news sites rose steadily in Facebook and Twitter from early 2015 until mid-November 2016, while interaction declined more than 50% on Facebook and continued to rise on Twitter.
  • In 2018, Facebook shrunk the reach of all news sites because of algorithm changes to the News Feed.
  • Currently, false news stories get between 4-6 million engagements a month on Twitter (1.5%) while Facebook still has 70 million engagements (3.1%) per month.
  • However, Facebook has demonetized publishers of fake news by preventing them access to advertising tools and has human fact checkers to investigate stories.

Business Impact: As election season ramps up, make your workforce aware that fake news sites can also be linked to cybercriminal activity. Block social media usage at work, update your social media policy and/or train employees about ways to identify, block and report fake news.

Instagram Founders Leaving Facebook

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram, recently resigned from Facebook, noting that Mark Zuckerberg’s meddling has forced them out. With more than one billion users, Instagram has become a social media darling, especially with its stories format and introduction into IGTV.

Business Impact: Continue to track Instagram changes over the next few months and see what the next chapter is for these two creative geniuses. With them gone, Instagram may fall out of grace as fast as it gained traction.

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