Apple Breaks Ground on $1B Austin Campus
Apple announced the construction of its new 3 million square foot Austin, Texas campus, beginning Wednesday. President Trump visited and toured the current Austin plant, where Apple’s Mac Pro is manufactured. The new campus will open in 2022 with 5,000 new employees, and room to grow up to 15,000. Surely, this is an outgrowth of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s relationship with President Trump, along with receiving a round of tariff exemptions for computer parts from trade regulators in September.
“The Mac Pro has been a key piece in Cook’s negotiations with President Trump over the China tariffs,” writes Lauren Feiner with CNBC. “Many Apple products are assembled in China, but Cook decided to keep Mac Pro assembly in the U.S. after President Trump made clear he would not give Apple any tariff exemptions if he moved the assembly outside the U.S.”
As a technology leader, I view the project as a net positive for the U.S. Apple claims it’s on track to deliver a $350 billion contribution to the U.S. economy between 2018 and 2023, according to CNBC, a huge step forward in a bright future for tech.
Salesforce Debuts AI-Powered Voice Assistant at Dreamforce
Salesforce rocked the tech market at Dreamforce 2019 this week, releasing a major overhaul to its own AI office software. The now voice-activated Einstein software is aimed to be a business-focused variety of software like Alexa or Google Assistant for the workplace, according to a Fortune article.
“Salesforce’s push into voice-interactive software underscores how tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google all believe voice-activated digital assistants represent the next wave of how people interact with computers and other devices,” writes Jonathan Vanian in Fortune.
I’m unsure of whether voice assistant technology is as conducive to office applications as home applications, but the implied automation within Salesforce is certainly a push in the right direction — just one of many cutting-edge technologies exhibited at Dreamforce 2019.
Tesla Releases an Earthshaking New Model to its Lineup
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been teasing the concept of a pickup truck from his company for almost six years. Revealed Thursday, codename “Cybertruck” serves as Tesla’s most utilitarian model, but still packs the Porsche-level performance the manufacturer is known for, according to an article in The Verge.
“Pickup trucks are currently the fastest-growing segment in the US, and they tend to sell for sky-high prices,” writes Sean O’Kane in The Verge. “Even with direct competition from established players (like Ford’s forthcoming electric F-150) and newcomers (like Rivian), there is a ton of money to be made in pickup trucks.”
Tesla is certainly the best-known electric car manufacturer, and if Musk keeps moving forward with market entrants like this, I predict Tesla will become a superlative asset for the U.S. economy.
New Disney Streaming Service Raises Security Concerns
Disney revealed its new Disney+ streaming service on Nov. 12, and already, security threats have been the subject of thousands of user complaints. At its launch, Disney+ attracted over 10 million customers to its $7 monthly subscription fee, according to a Washington Post article. Hackers have been changing login credentials, effectively locking the owners out, and selling the compromised accounts on the web for as low as $3.
“Disney takes the privacy and security of our users’ data very seriously,” a company representative writes, in an email to The Washington Post, “and there is no indication of a security breach on Disney+”
Disney seems to take cyber security as seriously as its main competitors, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Though the news broke hard for Disney, I feel the service will be a huge success in the tech market — Disney shares are still trending up.