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EU may fine Google for uncompetitive practice

The European Union could fine Google a hefty amount and order the search engine company to stop giving financial incentives to smartphone manufacturers that include its search engine on devices by default. The company is also under scrutiny for pre-installed Google apps on Android phones, which the EU calls an uncompetitive practice as they limit third party apps' chances to be downloaded by users, as well as perceived favoring of its shopping service over competitors. The amount of the fine could be a percentage of Google's Adwords revenue in EU countries or purchases made in the Google Play Store.

Key Takeaway: 

The EU is expected to stop and fine Google for providing smartphone manufacturers financial incentives to have its search engine on default and having pre-installed apps on mobile devices which may give the company's products unfair use advantage over other applications.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

AMD unveils more powerful Bristo Ridge Pro chips to rival Intel's

Advanced Micro Devices has launched the new Bristol Ridge Pro processors for enterprise PCs which could be a serious contender to Intel chips that currently dominate the market. The chips are based on a 28-nanometer architecture the company launched early this year. The highest-performing chip, the A12, offers a clock rate of up to 4.2 gigahertz, 1 gigahertz faster compared to the 3.2 gigahertz of Intel's i5 6500 CPU chip, and has eight Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). According to AMD, the new chips are 14% better at CPU performance than the previous generation of PRO processors and 22% faster at graphic performance, while using two-thirds the power. They are compatible with the upcoming Zen processors, which will allow enterprises to upgrade their computers without having to buy new units. AMD also added controls based on the DASH security standard to enable administrators to remotely wipe or disable machines if a breach has occurred. Said chips will be shipping in the next months, and can be found in new HP and Lenovo machines.

Key Takeaway: 

Advanced Micro Devices, a rival of Intel, has unveiled its new Bristol Bridge Pro processors which are faster and offer better graphics than predecessors; new features include compatibility with upcoming Zen processors that will allow companies to upgrade units easily and the ability to remotely wipe data or disable machines if necessary.

Market Disruptions: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

Baidu introduces a voice-first keyboard app on Android

Chinese search giant Baidu released TalkType, the first Android keyboard app which receives voice as primary input. Its speech-to-text AI program developed by professors at Stanford University, using deep learning, is three times faster than typing on mobile devices and 20.4% more accurate compared to iOs' built-in English keyboard. In Mandarin, the program is 2.8 times faster and 63.4% more accurate. According to James Landay of Stanford, this technology may herald other mobile apps that feature speech as their primary input. The keyboard which is on Android for now also has swipe texting, keyboard themes, location sharing and emojis.

Key Takeaway: 

Baidu launched the first truly voice-first keyboard app which, according to the company, is three times faster than typing on a standard mobile keyboard app, both in English and Mandarin; could lead to the development of more apps that use voice as a primary input.

Market Disruptions: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

Yahoo hack brings to light insufficiency of SEC cyber disclosure rules

Yahoo recently announced that at least 500 million accounts were breached by hackers in 2014 blaming it on a state-sponsored actor. The company did not provide details on when the hack was discovered nor did it mention it during the sale of its core Internet business to Verizon. This announcement brings to light that existing SEC rules remain unclear as to what hacking incidents considered to have "materially adverse effects on businesses" need disclosure and the need to enforce them more aggressively to make companies comply. It also calls into question whether the current set of SEC rules is adequate to address disclosure of hacking incidents. According to a Reuters report, less than 100 of 9,000 public companies have disclosed a material data breach since 2010. There is currently no national requirement for companies to inform the public of data breaches.

Key Takeaway: 

The recent announcement of the hack on Yahoo in 2014 involving stolen data from more than 500 million accounts challenges SEC's existing set of rules on cyberattack disclosure, and highlights the need for it to be defined more clearly and enforced aggressively.

Market Disruptions: 
Transforming Business Models: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 30, 2016

SAP to channel more than $2 billion to its Internet of Things business

Software company SAP will invest €2 billion ($2.24 billion) in its Internet of Things business to capitalize on the growing market which is estimated to expand to €250 billion by 2020. It will be used in developing solutions for the enterprise over the next five years, intensifying marketing and sales efforts, and building IoT labs around the globe. SAP already has two solutions commercialized. The first connects business equipments to monitor efficiency, while the second includes features of the first service plus automated executions and advanced controls. A third, which SAP plans to develop could provide machine learning and predictive analysis. The investment will also be used to establish IoT labs possibly in Berlin, Johannesburg, Munich, Palo Alto, São Leopoldo and Shanghai, which will be open to customers, partners and startups interested in Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies.

Key Takeaway: 

SAP, realizing the huge market opportunity for Internet of Things, will invest more than $2 billion in its IoT business to accelerate the development of IoT solutions for companies and increase collaboration between customers, partners and startups.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 28, 2016

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