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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?  1 — Cloud companies consider Intel rivals after security flaws found, and Microsoft says chip fix may significantly slow some computers Some of Intel Corp’s data center customers, who have thousands of computers running cloud networks, may start using its competitors’ microchips to build new infrastructure after the discovery of the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws affecting most chips. Meanwhile, Microsoft gave its first assessment of the global problem, saying Intel downplayed the fact that the fixes for the security flaws in most processors may significantly slow down certain servers and harm the performance of some PCs.  (Source: Fox Business and Bloomberg) I’ll address this importance below. 2— In a related story…Microsoft pauses patches for AMD devices after bricking people’s computers. Microsoft suspended the release of its patches for the Meltdown and Spectre bugs after the patches apparently bricked computers that were running older AMD processors. After installing Microsoft’s fix for the chipset vulnerabilities, certain customers discovered that their PCs wouldn’t boot. Microsoft says this problem was due to AMD’s shoddy, unreliable documentation. (Source: The Next Web) Recommended by Forbes Meltdown Fixes Will Slow Intel Computers — Here’s All The Proof You Need Here Are All The Available Fixes You Need For Those Huge Chip Hacks — UPD… The Bitcoin-Cryptocurrency Fallacy CommunityVoice: Cyber Breaches: Who Is To Blame? MOST POPULAR Photos: The 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities TRENDING ON FACEBOOK Space Movies Are Not Realistic – Except For One – Says Famed Astronaut MOST POPULAR Photos: The Toughest Jobs To Fill In 2017 MOST POPULAR Time for Some Retirement Housekeeping Why this is important for your business:   Regardless as to who’s at fault here, the recent flaws found in these chips are significant and could result in enormous security issues. Microsoft and other software providers have done their best to rollout patches but unfortunately for those running older machines these patches aren’t optimal.  The bottom line: it’s probably time for an upgrade to Windows 10 and new machines. 3 — Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs. HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will be integrating Alexa voice recognition into Windows 10 laptops and desktops being released this year. The integration requires a special Alexa app for Windows that will be available in the spring, and most PC makers seem ready to integrate it on devices capable of far-field voice recognition to ensure there’s a good experience for the assistant. (Source: The Verge) Why this is important for your business: Voice recognition, artificial intelligence and virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana will be hot topics in 2018.  My prediction is that all of these technologies will find their way into the business environment within the next few years – there are already rumors of Amazon Alexa apps for businesses.  Keep your eyes open and embrace this technology where you feel it could help productivity. 4 — Retailer Overstock mixed up bitcoin and bitcoin cash, letting customers buy items at a steep discount. Recently, online retailer Overstock had a serious payment glitch that allowed its customers to use either bitcoin or bitcoin cash interchangeably. Since the two currencies have wildly different valuations, those who paid with bitcoin cash could buy an item for a fraction of the asking price. Overstock’s cryptocurrency integration partner Coinbase said the glitch occurred because its merchant partner improperly used the return values in its merchant integration API. (Source: The Verge) Why this is important for your business: A perfect example of how the complex world of digital currencies can confuse even the managers at big companies – and result in losses.  Be careful if you’re going to accept a digital currency for your products or services. 5 – As VC investment booms, AI and cybersecurity startups rake in the big bucks. Because 2017 was a rough year for cybersecurity, there was heavy venture capital investment in startups focused on the issue. The total was about $4.2 billion in VC funding, which broke the 2015 record. The four largest cybersecurity investments ranged from $100 million to $180 million, and NEA and Accel were the most active investors with 9 deals each. (Source: CIO Dive.com)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2018/01/14/oops-a-microsoft-patch-bricks-computers-and-other-small-business-tech-news-this-week/#31fc0d736efc

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