Reassessing the Dominance of Tech Giants
Is it okay for the global tech market to be dominated by five American-born giants? What's the downside of a scenario in which Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are calling the shots?
Those difficult questions were skillfully posed and pondered by Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times earlier this week.
"I have argued that the companies' size and influence pose a danger. But another argument suggests the opposite - that it's better to be ruled by a handful of responsive companies capable of bowing to political and legal pressure. In other words, wouldn't you rather deal with five horse-size Zucks than 100 duck-size technoforces?" he writes.
Manjoo raises many good points in his article, which is worth reading and discussing. As he clearly indicates, there are alternative scenarios that could be far worse.
Sony Revives its Robot Dog, With New AI Powers
Possibly in an attempt to regain its old sparkle in the consumer marketplace, Sony has reintroduced its robot dog, aibo. The updated version has AI capabilities, but it's not being marketed as a replacement or alternative to Amazon's Echo or Google's Assistant.
"The new version (which Sony is marketing as 'aibo' instead of the prior 'AIBO') comes equipped with a powerful computer chip, OLED displays for eyes and the ability to connect to mobile networks," write Yuji Nakamura and Yuki Furukawa in Bloomberg Technology. "The AI-enabled canine is another sign of Sony's willingness to take new risks. After a deep restructuring that gutted its workforce and product lineup, the electronics maker now expects to report its highest-ever operating profit this year."
Security Firms Probe Deeper into Bad Rabbit Mystery
New details from the Bad Rabbit ransomware attacks are emerging. Two cyber security firms, FireEye and Kaspersky Lab, are peeling back some of the layers of mystery and revealing more about the malware and its possible origins.
And there's even a hint of good news: "Researchers from Kaspersky Lab discovered flaws in the Bad Rabbit ransomware that could give victims a chance to recover encrypted data without paying the ransom," writes Michael Heller of SearchSecurity.
According to Heller's article, the security researchers discovered that Bad Rabbit doesn't delete shadow copies of data, offering hope that victims could recover files using standard methods.