News Briefs: September 2018

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Texas Border Business

As originally published in Texas Border Business newsprint edition September 2018

Trump’s Economic Adviser: ‘We’re Taking A Look’ at Whether Google Searches Should be Regulated

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(Image for Illustration only)

The Trump administration is “taking a look” at whether Google and its search engine should be regulated by the government, Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s economic adviser, said Tuesday outside the White House. The announcement puts the search giant squarely in the White House’s crosshairs amid wider allegations against the tech industry that it systematically discriminates against conservatives on social media and other platforms. Source: The Washington Post


Breaking Down the Barriers of Human-Computer Communication

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(Image for Illustration only)

Many of us regularly ask our smartphones for directions or to play music without giving much thought to the technology that makes it all possible – we just want a quick, accurate response to our voice commands. With more businesses using artificial intelligence to engage with consumers, the industry is working to make those interactions more human-like, said Zhu “Drew” Zhang, associate professor of information systems and Kingland Faculty Fellow in Business Analytics in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business. Source: Newswise

Coca-Cola Takes Plunge into Coffee With $5.1 Billion Costa Deal

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(Image for Illustration only)

Coca-Cola Co has agreed to buy coffee chain Costa for $5.1 billion to extend its push into healthier drinks and take on the likes of Starbucks and Nestle in the booming global coffee market. Paying about $1.3 billion more than some analysts had expected, Coke will use its distribution network to supercharge Costa’s expansion as it chases coffee chain market leader Starbucks and its almost 29,000 stores across 77 markets. Source: Reuters.com

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Ford Recalls Two Million Trucks After Reports of Seat-Belt Malfunction

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(Image for Illustration only)

Ford Motor Co. is recalling about two million pickup trucks after it received reports of a seat-belt equipment malfunction that could cause smoke or fire, marking a setback for its top-selling F-Series product line that generates the bulk of its profit. Source: Wall Street Journal

 

Clinc is Building a Voice AI System to Replace Humans in Drive-Through Restaurants

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(Image for Illustration only)

Clinc is expanding its focus on fintech into new verticals that could take advantage of its conversational artificial intelligence. The Ann Arbor-based company recently took the wraps off its new system that aims to provide quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s and Taco Bell with a voice assistant in the drive-through window. Source: TechCrunch

Tech Stocks Drop as Congress Scrutinizes Social Media

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(Image for Illustration only)

Technology companies dropped Wednesday as Facebook and Twitter executives testified before Congress. Consumer-focused companies like Amazon and Netflix also slumped. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told a Senate panel they are working to stop manipulation of their services by foreign countries. Legislators criticized Alphabet, Google’s parent company, for refusing to send its CEO to the hearing. Source: apnews.com

Groceries: Adults Ordering via App Could Nearly Double by 2022

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(Image for Illustration only)

More than 30 million adults could use an app to order groceries by 2022, according to new estimates. That’s up from approximately 18 million this year, according to a forecast released Wednesday by eMarketer, up from 12 million in 2017. (They defined “app” as a mobile app whose primary function is ordering groceries on demand, as well as meal kit services.) Source: Barron’s Next

 

Driver Responsibility Program

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(Image for Illustration only)

In Texas, unpaid traffic tickets can lead to suspended driver’s licenses — and even jail time — thanks to the Driver Responsibility Program. The program fines people for certain offenses like speeding or driving without insurance. It was enacted in 2003 to fund the state’s emergency trauma care system, and around 75 percent of the state now has immediate access to such facilities. State lawmakers acknowledge the program unfairly penalizes the poor — but they’ve struggled to eliminate it. Their biggest challenge? Finding another income stream to replace the roughly $144 million the program brings to the state, about half of which funds trauma centers. Source: Texas Tribune

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