David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Customer Experience

Study: Music Improves Customer Experience, Even in Serious Settings

Music can enhance the customer experience even in nontraditional retail environments, suggests a study released Thursday by Mood Media and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers. The study was conducted in France. Customers had a more favorable experience in five business locations — including gas station, optical, banking, sports apparel and pharmacy locations, the study found.

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Social Networking

Report Probes Social Media’s Threat to Democracy

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube may pose a threat to American democracy, suggests a new report from The Omidyar Group. The report follows recent disclosures about targeted dark post advertising, fake news and other abuses propagated by Russian troll farms during the 2016 election. Among the questions the report raises is whether the U.S. government may need to step in.

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E-Commerce

Walmart Throws Down Gauntlet to Amazon

Walmart on Tuesday outlined plans to grow its critically important e-commerce business in the U.S. by 40 percent over the next fiscal year. The company intends to leverage a series of key acquisitions and its more than 4,600 brick-and-mortar locations to mount a direct challenge to Amazon for millennial customers. Walmart is the largest retail operation in the world and the leading U.S. challenger to Amazon.

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Mobile CRM

AI-Powered Mobile Chatbots Promise More Efficient Customer Service

Helpshift’s new Web Chat application uses AI to help companies release scalable chatbots that can automate customer service through real-time interactions. The new AI-based tool, released last week, will boost Helpshift customers’ ability to provide enterprise-grade support to their customers, according to Helpshift, which specializes in customer support for the gaming industry.

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Cybersecurity

Report: Russian Hackers Penetrated Elite NSA Hacking Division

Russian hackers reportedly exploited a vulnerability in Kaspersky Lab’s software to steal sensitive cyberdefense data from a National Security Agency contractor. The incident, which occurred in 2015, involved a contractor who loaded classified information onto his personal computer in order to work at home. The information included hacking tools and other sensitive NSA data.

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Enterprise Security

HPE Gave Russia Deep Dive Into Security Software Used by Pentagon

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has allowed experts working with Russia to review the source code of cybersecurity software that is used by the U.S. Defense Department. The Pentagon uses HPE’s ArcSight software to protect sensitive computer networks. The review of its code was conducted by Russian firm Echelon on behalf of a Russian defense agency that deals with cybersecurity issues.

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Emerging Tech

AI Ripples Through Google’s New Product Lineup

Google on Wednesday launched a bevy of new products into its growing hardware and software ecosystem at its Made by Google event. Many of the new devices are infused with artificial intelligence capabilities. “Since last year and since Google I/O, we’ve been working hard, continuing our shift from a mobile-first to an AI-first world,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the gathering.

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Social Networking

Twitter to Test Drive Double-Wide Tweets

Twitter has announced a limited test to double the maximum tweet size to 280 characters. Twitter has been struggling to boost user engagement, and its tweet character limitation has been the subject of a longstanding debate among customers and company insiders. One reason for the possible change is to correct for the information imbalance between Asian and western language characters.

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Mobile

Amazon’s Alexa May Get Into Your Head

Developers at Amazon’s secret Lab 126 reportedly have been working on audio-only smart glass technology that would allow users to communicate with its virtual assistant Alexa. The smart glasses would connect wirelessly to users’ smartphones and transfer communications through a bone-conduction audio system that would negate the need for headphones. Amazon plans to release the device this year.

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Government

FTC Confirms Probe Into Equifax Data Breach

In a rare move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the data breach at Equifax that compromised the sensitive personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. The FTC announcement came less than a week after Equifax revealed that an unknown party had gained access to names, addresses, Social Security Numbers and other data belonging to nearly half the U.S. population.

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Enterprise

IBM Touts Top-Notch Security in Next-Gen Linux Mainframe

IBM has launched LinuxOne Emperor II, the second generation of its open source mainframe computer system. The new model has a layer of security and privacy not seen in a Linux-based platform before, the company said. “We saw in our success stories for Emperor that security was a recurring theme attracting new customers to the platform,” noted Mark Figley, director of LinuxOne Offerings at IBM.

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Deals

AI Tool Captures and Updates Contacts Automatically

Nimble has partnered with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically. The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user’s list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well.

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Cybersecurity

Credit Agency Equifax Cracked, 143 Million Consumers Exposed

Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major criminal data breach that exposed personal information of as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. between mid-May and July of this year. The attack exposed a range of sensitive personal data, including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases driver’s license numbers, Equifax said.

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Consumer Security

Credit Agency Equifax Cracked, 143 Million Consumers Exposed

Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major criminal data breach that exposed personal information of as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. between mid-May and July of this year. The attack exposed a range of sensitive personal data, including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases driver’s license numbers, Equifax said.

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Privacy

Vivaldi CEO Claims Google Retaliated for Privacy Criticism

Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner, the brains behind both the new Vivaldi browser and the early Opera browser, has accused Google of retaliating against his company after he questioned its customer privacy practices. Vivaldi’s Google Adwords campaigns mysteriously were suspended just two days after von Tetzchner’s criticisms of Google’s handling of customer data were published this spring, he said.

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Home Tech

Alexa, Cortana Become New BFFs

Microsoft and Amazon this week announced a deal that will let their voice-controlled digital assistants, Cortana and Alexa, engage in cross-platform communications. Microsoft customers will be able to access Alexa voice commands by saying “Cortana, open Alexa” on any device that supports Cortana, which is available on millions of desktops, laptops, tablets and other devices.

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Trends

Consumers’ Embrace of Mobile Apps Is Limited to a Choice Few

Mobile app use has become a powerful habit among U.S. consumers, based on new research findings. An increasing number of users have been spending their time consuming video, music and social media on smartphones and other mobile devices, but many are reluctant to try new apps. A large percentage of mobile app users’ time is spent on apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram.

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Deals

Apple, Accenture Team on iOS Enterprise Apps

Apple and Accenture on Tuesday announced a new partnership to develop iOS tools and services to help enterprises connect with their customers through iPads and iPhones. Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios, staffed by a range of visual and experience designers, programmers, data scientists and architects, as well as hardware and software designers.

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Cybercrime

Cyberthieves Train Their Sights on US Mobile Phone Customers

A relatively new form of cybercrime recently has been plaguing American consumers. Thieves have been hijacking mobile phone account numbers and then transferring services to a different device. Further, hackers have begun using mobile numbers to raid digital wallets and similar accounts. This type of theft has been successful even against the most sophisticated of consumers.

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