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Information technology

EU to impose higher fines for data breaches

The European Union recently set tougher data protection laws called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will introduce higher fines to companies for data breaches, from hundreds of thousands of euros to millions. The regulation is already in effect but mandatory enforcement will start in 2018. Fines can amount up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is greater, for major breaches and up to €10 million or 2% of global annual turnover, whichever is bigger, for less serious incidents. UK companies could collectively pay as much as £122 billion overall in 2018, a 90-fold rise from the £1.4 billion estimated regulatory fines for data breaches in 2015. The PCI Security Standards Council is urging companies to put in place standards and procedures to detect, prevent and counter cyberattacks in view of the rising costs of regulatory fines. In 2015, 90% of large organizations and 74% of SMEs in the UK reported a security breach.

Key Takeaway: 

Companies doing business in the European Union may face larger fines of millions of euros if found to be subject of data breach when the new and stricter data protection regulation takes into full effect by 2018.

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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

Modem that supports gigabit speeds will be available at year end

Qualcomm, Netgear, Ericsson and Telstra announced the first product, a hotspot, to support gigabit LTE speeds which will be available at the end of the year. The hotspot, a modem called X16, uses different technologies to reach gigabit speeds, including carrier aggregation and is faster than the 600 megabits per second maximum speed the current X12 modem offers. Qualcomm believes carriers will launch gigabit LTE services once X16 is available. It will also include the modem in its new chip for smartphones, expected in the market in 2017. It has also announced its plans for the Snapdragon X50 which will have speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second and will be commercialized in 2018. It will be featured in the next Olympics in Korea as a testbed for 5G technology.

Key Takeaway: 

The first modem to support gigabit LTE speeds will be available at the end of this year, which can be a gateway for carriers to introduce services with fast gigabit speeds.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

DeepMind’s new hybrid AI learns from memory on its own

Google's DeepMind built a new hybrid artificial intelligence that can learn on its own from the memory it already has. The system, called Differential Neural Computer (DNC), is hybrid because it has both a neural network and the data storage of conventional computers. This allows it to learn from examples as well as store vast amounts of data like traditional computers. From demonstrations, it was able to infer family connections on its own with just a few inputs about certain relationships. It also determined complex relationships and possible routes for a public transit system after learning the basics. This gives it capabilities much like the human brain where it solves new information based on data from its memory, leading to a future where computers can answer questions on new topics based on prior data or artificial intelligence systems that can reason independently.

Key Takeaway: 

A new hybrid AI called Differential Neural Computer, developed by DeepMind, is both a neural network and a powerful memory computer, able to learn and figure out new information from existing data in its memory independently.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

New sensor for driverless cars is smaller and cheaper

Quanergy, a startup based in California, has created a lidar for self-driving cars that is not only half the size of existing lidars but also cheaper. Its small size and cost can make better driverless cars. Called the S3, the new lidar is smaller than a camera with a weight of less than 11 ounces. It is also more advanced - it can scan objects and areas in higher resolution and greater range than other lidars. At a commercial price point of $250, the S3 is 32 times less expensive than a traditional lidar, and can produce half a million point-cloud data points a second. The sensors will be used in prototype cars next year and in commercial vehicles by 2018.

Key Takeaway: 

A new lidar system invented by Quanergy, which is more advanced, half the size and 32 times cheaper than existing lidars, can enable new designs for autonomous cars and develop smarter, more cost efficient vehicles.

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Publication Date: 
October 16, 2016

Amazon introduced its own music streaming app

Amazon introduced a music streaming service competitor to Spotify and Apple Music called Amazon Music Unlimited. Monthly subscription fee is same as Spotify, at $9.99, but for Amazon Prime Customers, the price is cheaper at $7.99. Amazon sees the connected home as the next battlefront for music streaming, after desktop and mobile. The company hopes to get customers to switch to its streaming service with AI features that enable users to play songs by quoting lyrics, mentioning the period when the song was released or through the use of adjectives such as playing happy songs on Echo using voice or through the Music Unlimited app. Echo users also get a discounted price of $3.99. It will be initially available only in the US. Aside from Spotify and Apple Music, Echo competes with the recently released Google Home, a smart speaker that also streams music from Google Play.

Key Takeaway: 

Amazon launched a new music streaming app called Amazon Music Unlimited which also works with the Echo device to play songs with artificial intelligence; the service is a direct competitor to popular streaming services Spotify and Apple Music as well as the newly released Google Home, a smart speaker, that streams music from Google Play.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
October 12, 2016

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