Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Alphabet Inc (GOOGL): Allo Chat Privacy Concerns Are Way Overblown

Allo has top-notch encryption features, but they're turned off by default

After last week’s Google I/O event, Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL, GOOG) annual tech-centric State of the Union conference, there has been an increasing buzz surrounding one of the company’s latest reveals, the Allo chat app.

The buzz hasn’t been focused on Google’s seemingly backward efforts to decompile its flagship Hangouts chat app, and replace it with multiple standalone apps. Instead, the focus has been on the company’s decision to make end-to-end encryption an optional feature that users must manually enable.

And of course, why wouldn’t privacy and encryption be the focus in today’s post-Snowden era?

Since Edward Snowden’s infamous whistleblowing, the entire nation has been overwhelmed and inundated with a constant, exasperated and sometimes hysterical barrage of news articles, blog posts and videos identifying and criticizing every potential risk — regardless of how minuscule — to our individual privacy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The 7 Coolest Things Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Does

There are a number of lesser-known, but undeniably cool perks to using Amazon services

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) has evolved in the past two decades from a simple online bookstore to the undisputed king of e-commerce, serving as the go-to platform for all things retail. Now a worldwide household name, AMZN connects millions of shoppers with retailers, effectively cutting out most of the other middlemen to provide lower prices.

But while most people are familiar with Amazon’s position and features for online shoppers, not everybody is aware of some of the company’s other offerings and capabilities.

Here’s a look at some of the coolest things that AMZN does.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

5 Baffling Reasons Why Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Is Dying

A long line of bad decisions and unstable management has killed Yahoo

By today’s tech standards, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) is a dinosaur. Founded in 1994, Yahoo was a dominant force that shaped the early stages of the evolution of the internet.

Over the course of its 21 years, Yahoo has built a massive online ad business, as well as a search engine and suite of successful website properties that currently rank as the third most-visited on the internet.

With a billion-or-so monthly visitors and properties such as Tumblr, Flickr and Yahoo Finance, why isn’t Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer generating enough revenue to pay the bills?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Move Over Siri — Viv Labs AI Assistant Is Finally Ready

Viv Labs is preparing to reveal a revolutionary AI assistant

The team responsible for creating the iconic Siri assistant, which was scooped up by Apple Inc. (AAPL) in 2010 for a whopping $200 million, has been quietly working on another artificial intelligence assistant, code named Viv, for the past few years. According to sources such as The Washington Post and The Next Web, Viv Labs is finally ready to reveal its creation to the world, with a public demonstration scheduled for Monday, May 9th.

Geeks far and wide are giddy with anticipation, as the features and capabilities described by Viv’s creators will be a significant leap forward for artificial intelligence. Nearly two years ago, I introduced Viv Labs and shared my personal excitement about this project in another Twisted Nonsense Exclusive article, “Viv Labs: The Little Tech Company That Could Change the World.”

To put it simply, Viv Labs wants to create an independent, universal assistant that can handle almost any spoken request. According to the company’s website, “Viv is taught by the world, knows more than it is taught, and learns every day.” Also, “Viv radically simplifies the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything.”

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Intel Corporation: With Withdrawal From Mobile, Is INTC In Trouble?

Focusing on profitable areas makes sense, but might not be enough for INTC

The road to the mobile processor arena has been a constant uphill battle for Intel Corporation (INTC) since the company began that journey eight years ago with the introduction of its Atom architecture in 2008. That was two years after management “famously dismissed the opportunity to develop a processor for the iPhone, citing the low profit per handset and development costs.”

Unfortunately for INTC, by the time management made the decision to enter the smartphone processor market, it was too late.

In the years since, Intel has dumped billions of dollars into development, and while its silicon has indeed come a long way, the chips have failed to capture a significant portion of the mobile electronics market.

On the heels of mixed quarterly results last month, management announced a major restructuring plan that includes eliminating 11% of the company’s workforce — 12,000 employees worldwide by mid-2017 — and focusing the majority of efforts on its data center and Internet of Things businesses.

Last week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich further clarified the changes that will take place and reiterated the company’s strategy for the future, which boils down to focusing on INTC’s most profitable segments and axing those that are not (namely, the SoFIA and Broxton products).

The obvious question, then, is what can INTC stock investors expect in the coming years now that Intel has exited the fastest-growing segment of the technology industry?