Keeping Track of Wandering Children

When searching for safety solutions for young children, more and more parents are turning to technology. A new watch produced by Filip Technologies uses location tracking technologies like GPS and Wi-Fi to help easily keep track of kids by linking to apps on parents’ smartphones. The watch’s technology helps remedy the common problem of losing young children in crowded areas such as grocery stores and playgrounds.

“The watch also has a red panic button that children can push if, for example, they suddenly become separated from their parents in a crowd. Then the watch starts dialing each of the authorized people until one answers. AT&T will be the network provider for the watch; its price has not yet been announced.

Sandra L. Calvert, a professor of psychology and the director of the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University, views the watches and related products as extensions of the way parents now use smartphones to keep track of older children.

‘From a child’s perspective, a parent is like an anchor,’ she said. These devices allow the child to move farther and farther away, yet the parent knows where the child is. ‘If a child gets lost in a store and can push a little button, their parents can find them,’ she said. ‘It helps them to know they are in a range that seems to be safe.'”

 

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Facebook Losing its Cool Factor?

http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/30/technology/social/facebook-earnings/index.html

Reports have recently surfaced that Facebook is losing its younger users, specifically young teens. While Zuckerberg has previously denied allegations that the site is losing its “cool factor” among its younger users, the company’s Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman admitted to struggles this week. “We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens,” he admits. 

Despite Ebersman’s admission, Facebook still remains a social media powerhouse. 

“Facebook’s sales jumped 60% over the year to more than $2 billion. Excluding one-time charges, Facebook earned $621 million — double the company’s profit during the same quarter last year.”

Meta’s Spaceglasses

This article introduces an invention produced by Meron Gribetz, the founder of Silicon Valley’s startup, Meta. Gribetz explains his high-tech spaceglasses, “a wearable computing device in the form of beefy eyeglasses stuffed with sensors, projectors, voice recognition, technology and more.” Coming up with the idea while studying at Columbia University, Gribetz wanted to create something that would immerse users into an augmented, 3-D reality experience. 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57610151-76/metas-spaceglasses-promise-mobile-augmented-reality/

 

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Have Your Voice Heard

Customer feedback is an important tool in making a company successful, but it is often difficult to collect. However, new technology has made the process much quicker and less painful.

“’We’re operating under the assumption that people enjoy having their voice heard,’ says Erik Schluntz, co-founder of Posmetrics, a startup focused on helping businesses collect real-time customer feedback with an iPad app. The app makes it easy for customers to answer a few quick questions within 20 seconds before leaving a store or hotel.

Posmetrics’ clients pay a monthly fee for use of an iPad with a dedicated app for customer feedback. The iPad is mounted on a stand so customers passing by can quickly answer a few questions. ‘People want to be able to help the businesses,’ says Schluntz. ‘We’ve found that’s incentive enough.’”

Posmetrics technology is already present in the hospitality sector, but the possibilities are endless for the emerging company.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/xerox/2013/10/23/new-technology-simplifies-collecting-customer-feedback/

Apple Secures its Spot at the Top

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Apple-Plays-the-Free-Card-79259.html

Apple continues to surprise consumers, but recently the shock is attributed to pricing. On Tuesday, the company released its latest operating system software, OS X Mavericks, completely free.

“The days of spending hundreds of dollars to get the most out of your computer are gone,” he continued. “Today we announce a new era for the Mac, because today we’re announcing that Mavericks is free.”

Bad news for Apple’s competitors, this pivotal move is predicted to have a defining impact on the industry. Competitors will now struggle to lower operating system prices and the prices of their electronic products in general. 

“Apple’s software approach is bucking trends in the software industry to get users to pay even more for programs by charging for them on an annual subscription basis.

‘We are turning the industry on its ear,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook told the crowd.”

Amazon Grosses Billions, Yet Struggles for Profit

This article discusses how Amazon.com struggles to make a profit, despite its growing number of successful business ventures. The company has a competitive line of tablets, an online education company, and recently introduced a PayPal-like payment mechanism, to name a few. 

“’Bezos has chosen to run Amazon to be the biggest, most powerful and successful retailer on Earth 20 years from now. Any fool could run it profitably today.’

Others argue that once a discounter, always a discounter. Amazon is branching out into many forms of commerce and technology, but at its core it sells commodity goods cheaply. A book from Amazon is the same book that it would be from any other retailer, and so is a package of diapers. Amazon also ships cheaply and has renowned customer service.

To make a significant profit, though, some or all of those variables will have to change, which might alienate customers and slow down that roaring revenue growth. That, in turn, would cause investors to demand profits even sooner.”

Technology: Increasing Safety, Decreasing Privacy

Federal grants, such as the $7 million awarded to Oakland, California, have been allocated toward technology-based police initiatives. Rather than fund measures to prevent terrorist   attacks as intended, the money has helped track citizens through methods such as license plate readers. 

The police has used other forms of technology to monitor citizens as well:

“The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States.”

While tech-enabled security measures can heighten safety and prevent crime, the loss of privacy may outweigh its benefits. 

Austin becoming the next Silicon Valley

Austin Ranks Among the Nation’s Largest Tech Hubs

Austin, Texas is growing as a national technology hub and one of the top cities to look for work. The article suggests that it is the city’s unique environment that draws in talent and capital from investors. 

The article noted:

“In 2011, Austin/Round Rock, with 10.7 percent of its workforce in tech jobs, claimed the No. 14th spot on the list of the top 25 Metros for high tech employment concentration in the country. The U.S. average is 5.6 percent.”

 

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Will Technology Make Us All Jobless?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2013/10/11/will-technology-make-us-all-jobless/

Researchers at Oxford University claim that 45% of America’s jobs will be “automated away” over the next twenty years. While many are fearful of their occupations becoming obsolete, the truth is that technology has been replacing jobs for centuries.

This article provides graphs and statistics to better explain how technology is impacting America’s job market and economy overall.