ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * August 22, 2023
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ICYMI: Video Recordings and Slide Decks from ABL's recent event - "AI, ChatGPT & More Breakthroughs You Can Use!" - Are Now Available on the Password-Protected "MEMBERS ONLY" Section of the ABL Website, Under "Presentations"

Thanks to seven marvelous speakers - AI experts, all - and our host Harry Nelson, over 30 ABL Healthcare and Technology Members elevated their climb up the AI Learning Curve at ABL's recent in-person event, "AI, ChatGPT & More Breakthroughs You Can Use!" And now, we have made available recordings and slide decks of all the outstanding presentations, plus several attendees' takeaways.

California LightWorks (George Mekhtarian) Publishes Video Case Studies

In recent short videos, California Lightworks shares a couple of case studies: Wave Rider expands cultivation with California Lightworks MegaDrive LED system and How Nipomo Ag Used MegaDrive To Save Money & Improve Yields. (LA)

CuraeSoft's coAmplifi Software (Mark Parinas) Spotlighted by Nasdaq & Forbes

CuraeSoft has been featured in recent articles that examine the game-changing powers of the company's workforce management software, coAmplifi. Unleashing Workforce Potential: How Virtual Operating Headquarters Revolutionize The Fundamental Nature of Work, published by Nasdaq, Inc., talks about how the traditional concept of a physical headquarters is making way for a new, flexible model: the Virtual Operating Headquarters™. With coAmplifi, organizations can balance different work styles - be it remote, hybrid, or onsite - and boost productivity while maintaining a culture of accountability.
AND, CuraeSoft Enhances coAmplifi Platform With Tools for Employer-Employee Accountability in the Hybrid Workplace, from Forbes Australia, highlights how coAmplifi is meeting the shifting demands of the modern workplace, offering features such as timekeeping, project management, billing, payroll, and compliance tools.
MEANWHILE, CuraeSoft CEO Mark Parinas recently conducted polls on LinkedIn, along with providing some insights on the topics; see the results at the links: How would you describe your organization's level of workplace transparency? and Do you delegate tasks to your team? (LA)

myKaarma (Ujj Nath) Featured on Inside Automotive Program

Ujj Nath, CEO of myKaarma, was recently interviewed on "Inside Automotive," a program from CBT News, in an 11-minute episode entitled, Enhancing fixed ops performance with Business Development Company (BDC) software. BDCs are nothing new in the automotive industry and have been used for years to increase profits and efficiency in the service department. However, what sets myKaarma apart from other firms is its modernized format. "In the old days," explains Ujj, "what would happen is, if you call the BDC, it will ring multiple phones like a hotline, and the first agent that picks up will answer it and that's it." Now, however, companies communicate with their clients through a variety of channels, including texts, website chats and emails. This shift has helped businesses connect with more consumers. (LA)

Optimum Info (Arvind Verma) Shares Successful Collaborations with Vac-Con, Polestar & Kia

Optimum Info (OI) has recently published several success stories. Vac-Con Inc. Streamlines Warranty Process and Reduces Claims Processing Time details OI's wins for this manufacturer of hydro-excavation equipment.
AND, Polestar Streamlines Audit Program Management Globally with PRISM describes OI's success with this Swedish performance EV manufacturer.
WHILE, Kia Motors America Boosts Field Operations Productivity shares how OI and Kia teamed to implement a one-stop and integrated system to help district managers optimize their dealer contact meeting processes. (OC)

Parasoft (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D.) Offers Webinars & Articles on AI + Testing & Compliance

On the morning of August 29, Parasoft will present a live webinar - Accelerate Software Compliance With AI.
MEANWHILE, recent webinars are available to watch on-demand: Pros & Cons of Generative AI in Software Testing, as well as Take Software Testing to the Next Level with AI.
PLUS, read Parasoft's article, Maximizing AI in Software Development: Leveraging ChatGPT With Parasoft. (LA)

Project Insight (Thomas Leffler) Debuts New Website & Announces Upcoming 15-Minute Tutorial

Project Insight (PI) has unveiled its new website at projectinsight.com and would love to hear your feedback.
ALSO, on the morning of September 13, PI will present a 15-minute Power Tutorial: How to Leverage Client View for Project Management. (OC)

Active Cypher (Mike Quinn) on: Cybersecurity Must Focus on Goals of Professional Criminals

In Cybersecurity Must Focus on the Goals of Criminals, recently published in InformationWeek, Active Cypher reports that today's cybersecurity architectures prioritize perimeter security and activity monitoring, which takes away the proper focus of what cybercriminals are targeting, the data. Our goal must be protecting the data. Firewalls aren't stopping many breaches, and monitoring technology isn't protection; it's a way to watch cybercriminals successfully steal information. Rather than relying on legacy perimeter defenses, such as firewalls, we must adopt an approach emphasizing identity-based security and letting the data protect itself with file-level encryption, which will directly address today's most significant vulnerabilities. (OC)

Alvaka (Oli Thordarson) on: Water & Wastewater Cybersecurity - Mitigating Risks

In Water & Wastewater Cybersecurity: Mitigating Risks for Critical Infrastructure, Alvaka states that it's essential to prioritize water and wastewater information technology (IT) cybersecurity as well as operational technology (OT) security. We must protect both of these in order to safeguard public health and ensure a reliable supply of clean water to communities around the world. However, a leading concern with trying to secure water and wastewater systems is the lack of effective uniform regulations and protocols. There are 200,000+ publicly and privately owned water and wastewater systems in America alone; most of them are not interconnected with one another. Each system has adopted independent command and control systems. This uniqueness can have both advantages and disadvantages, which Alvaka examines in this article, as well as what needs to be done to minimize risk. (LA)

Dave Berkus on: Budget vs Forecast + Outside Investors

In What's the difference between your budget and forecast?, Dave acknowledges that these are confusing terms. When does a budget become obsolete? Do we rely upon constant changes and call it a forecast? Dave spends a few moments defining these terms.
AND, in What do you give up when you take outside investors?, Dave declares that from the moment such an investor looks seriously at your company, the investor or VC partner is thinking of the end game, the ultimate sale of the company or even of an eventual IPO. There is no middle ground. Taking money from these sources involves resetting priorities over time. There is no such thing as a lifestyle business with outside investors.
ALSO, read Dave's recent posts, Need money? Read this! and Need investment capital? (LA)

Get Visible (Jason Ciment) on: Finding the Matrix that Establishes Your Subject Matter Cred + Chat GPT Content Writing Tips

Following Jason's impressive presentation at last month's ABL event, "AI Breakthroughs," he wrote about the importance of what followed his presentation: "The Q&A resonated and the room was on fire with a flurry of questions... Why do I write all this? The key point is highlighting what I think was my success that you could replicate - whether it's giving a talk, writing an article, talking to a prospect or client. No rocket science here. Just reimagining the fundamentals. Finding the matrix that establishes your subject matter credibility without sounding arrogant, and enough nexus points to the person or people you are talking to, that they feel you are not just listening to them but that you "get" their situation and that you have a pathway to help them."
ALSO, Get Visible has also made available its Chat GPT Content Writing Tips - "from crafting attention-grabbing headlines to creating compelling storytelling, our tips will help you captivate readers and leave a lasting impact."
AND, Jason suggests this link: Try this Chat GPT instruction prompt to get a better more truthful answer.
MEANWHILE, Jason recently guested on Steve Fretzin's podcast, talking about the positives and negatives of building your business solo vs having a partner. (LA)

GIDEON Informatics (Uri Blackman) on: Chain of Infection & Reducing Spread of Disease

In What Is the Chain of Infection and How to Break It?, GIDEON Informatics explains that the chain of infection is a concept that tells us how infections spread, just like a chain reaction. Understanding the chain of infection is crucial in combating the transmission of diseases. (LA)

Half Past Nine (Kenneth Shen) on: Questions that Empower & Great Onboarding Strategies

In a recent post, Kenneth Shen of Half Past Nine wonders what's the best way to ask questions that empower people instead of pushing them toward one decision or another. He suggests: What's your recommendation here? What's the ideal outcome here? What do you think the most important factors are here? What's the risk here, and do you think it's worth the reward?
AND, in another post, Kenneth discusses the critical importance of onboarding new employees and concludes that great onboarding comes down to little subtleties; he offers examples of such. (LA)

Instil (Adam Miller) on: Successful Transitions in Donor Relationships

In How to Set Up Successful Staff Transitions in Your Development Department, Instil notes that shifts in staffing can impact donor relationships. By taking thoughtful steps to steward donors through these periods, you can keep connections strong. Instil covers five steps to ensure a successful succession plan for your development department.
AND, in 8 Strategies To Decrease Fundraising Staff Turnover, Instil shares that if the people who make up your development team are frequently changing, it can be hard to maintain critical donor relationships. Instil explores eight solutions for decreasing fundraising staff turnover. (LA)

Greg Lebsack on: Ethical Leadership Strategies for Innovation, Profitability & More

In Innovation as a core value - Creating a culture of innovation, Greg outlines eight strategies to create a culture of innovation within your organization.
AND, in Ethical Leadership: The Cornerstone of Sustainable Profitability, Greg discusses how such leadership builds trust among consumers, attracts top talent, inspires teams to perform at their best, and mitigates risks associated with unethical behavior.
PLUS, in Leading By Example - 5 ways to shape your culture and team's success, Greg delves into inspiring your team, building trust and credibility, setting performance standards, cultivating a positive work culture, and driving innovation and adaptability.
WHILE, in Leading with Impact - 10 Proven Tips for Successful Leadership, Greg shares tips that have shaped his own leadership journey. (OC)

LookinLA (Ali Payani) on: Mastering Fast Decision-Making

Ali Payani, CEO of LookinLA, recently published an article in Fast Company - Mastering fast decision making to accelerate your business success, in which he shares how mastering the skill of fast decision-making can consistently position you ahead of competitors, empower you to navigate shifting markets, and expedite goal attainment swiftly. (LA)

Orange Crew (Laith Pahlawan) on: Top IT Strategies for Data Backup & Recovery

In a recent post, Laith Pahlawan, CEO of Orange Crew, shares some "top-shelf IT strategies related to data backup and recovery strategies. Every business owner needs to be using these, especially now that the Internet has changed everything in the business space." (LA)

ProProfs (Sameer Bhatia) on: Best Free Help Desk Software, Creating Online Quizzes & Certifications

In 15 Best Free Help Desk Software and Ticketing Systems for 2023 (Free Trials Included), ProProfs breaks down pros and cons and offers tips on how to make the best choice. Plus, learn how to maximize the benefits of free help desk software.
AND, in How to Create an Online Quiz for Business or Education, ProProfs discusses how to create professional-looking and engaging quizzes suited to your needs, including best practices to ensure you get the desired results.
MEANWHILE, other recent resources from ProProfs include How to Create the Best Online Certification Programs and a 1-minute video entitled, How Towle Driving School Streamlined Post-Training Exams - ProProfs Case Study. (LA)

The Joy Factory (Sampson Yang and Miranda Su) on: How Digital Transformation Enhances Operations & Quality Control

In The Future of Manufacturing: How Digital Transformation Enhances Operations & Quality Control, The Joy Factory explores key areas where manufacturing facilities can benefit from digital transformation and how comprehensive tablet solutions can address these needs. This includes streamlining operations for excellence in manufacturing, quality control, compliance and regulatory adherence. (LA & OC)

Marshall Toplansky on: Industrial AI & California's Business Climate

A recent episode of the "Feudal Future Podcast," hosted by Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin - entitled Industrial AI - includes robotics engineer, Wyatt Newman, and executive director of the Twin Institute, Michael Grieves, to discuss industrial artificial intelligence. The episode shares that there is a huge revolution happening in the industrial world using AI and Digital Twins to improve manufacturing and business processes.
ALSO, Marshall has shared a video synopsis of his recently completed study on California's business climate. (OC)

Biospectal (Eliott Jones) Named a Finalist in MIT Solve's 2023 Global Challenge

Biospectal is a finalist in MIT Solve's 2023 Global Challenge, chosen from 1,500+ submissions and 120+ countries. Biospectal's OptiBP is competing in the Health In Fragile Contexts Challenge. The finalist from each Challenge category with the most votes will be announced during the Solve Challenge Finals on September 18, 2023 - a live pitch event bringing together global investors, philanthropists, and other cross-sector leaders who are making big impacts across the world. (BA)

Eitan Medical (Roger Massengale) Launches Award-Winning Infusion Management Platform

Eitan Medical has launched Eitan Insights, a new cloud-based infusion management system designed to meet the unique needs of home and specialty infusions. Eitan's infusion systems, Sapphire with its new universal plug and play cellular accessory Sapphire Connect, and Avoset with the AvosetGo app, are now within reach, connecting and transmitting infusion treatment data to Eitan Insights, which has already been awarded the "Best New Technology Solution - Drug Delivery" designation from MedTech Breakthrough, an independent organization. (OC)

LigoLab (Suren Avunjian) Shares Dire Consequences of Neglecting Laboratory Modernization

In Cost of Inaction: The Dire Consequences of Neglecting Modernization in Laboratory Operations and Informatics, LigoLab discusses the high risk of sticking with outdated laboratory information systems, delving into the costs of: reliability, functionality, competitive edge, stagnation, revenue, missed opportunities, compliance and security, labor, frustration, and patient care. (LA)

Onward (Steve Grau) a Top Winner in Healthy Aging Sandbox Challenge

Onward was selected as a winner of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's Healthy Aging Challenge Sandbox Program. The Challenge seeks out innovators with solutions that support healthy aging by helping older adults live as well and independently as possible. Each of the four winners received $50,000 to use as tuition to work with their R&D Sandbox partner to further scope, test and validate their products. (BA)

Providence Digital Innovation Group (Marcee Chmait) Discusses Digital Healthcare Topics

Providence Digital Innovation Group (DIG)'s recent article - The Digital Front Door is So Yesterday - explores if the digital front door has delivered on its promise. Despite most health systems making progress in building out their digital presence and making improvements in putting services online - the simple answer is no.
AND, Providence DIG's article - Distribution And Decentralization Are Crucial In the Healthcare Sector - declares that systems must leverage the expertise of partners to truly serve their community's whole health needs. They must invest in the power of digital to connect those relationships both on the front and back end for systems and consumers alike. Fueling healthier communities is not a one-person job. Health systems must lean into that reality - designing and steering a connected ecosystem that accelerates and streamlines a person's ability to take charge of their health. (LA)

Wipfli (Jeff Johnson) Addresses AI's Ability to Elevate the Power of Small Businesses

Wipfli has published a perspective article - Artificial Intelligence Will Elevate the Power of Small Businesses,
AND shared a short video of the recent Wipfli segment on the television program, Military Makeover: Operation Career, hosted by Montel Williams.
MEANWHILE, Wipfli's technology team has been named to Accounting Today's and Bob Scott's top VARs lists for 2023. The annual rankings list the top value-added resellers, technology consultants and implementers in the accounting software space. Wipfli was ranked #13 on both lists. (BA)

"AI won't replace people - but people who use AI
will replace people who don't."

IBM report
Thoughts on AI: "Sure AI is Hot, but is it an Actual Market or a Platform Piece?"

Companies of all stripes have begun embracing generative AI as a way to increase productivity and possibly even replace some workers. But the base technology has been around for decades. Over the last five to 10 years, big enterprise software companies have been building AI into their platforms without the same level of screaming hype we are seeing at the moment. As we find ourselves in the midst of this AI-induced frenzy, it could be useful to take a step back and see just what we are dealing with here. Is there actually an AI market in the pure sense, or is it enabling technology that will soon be built into everything, making how we view it less clear? (https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/13/is-ai-platform-or-market/?utm_medium=TCnewsletter&tpcc=TCdailynewsletter)

Generative AI Tops Gartner's Top 25 Emerging Technologies for 2023

Every year, Gartner identifies 25 key emerging technologies to watch in its Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies study. In the 2023 report, unsurprisingly, generative AI topped the hype cycle. To put together its list, the research firm identifies key insights about 2,000+ technologies and applied frameworks that it profiles each year. All of the emerging technologies chosen are projected to reach transformational benefit within two to 10 years. Gartner projected that generative AI will reach transformational benefit and plateau within two to five years.
Plus, there are plenty of other emergent AI technologies within the AI umbrella that have the potential to cause significant societal change. Specifically, the report flags AI simulation, causal AI, federated machine learning, graph data science, neuro-symbolic AI, and reinforcement learning as emergent AI technologies to look out for.
In addition to emergent AI, Gartner identified developer experience (DevX), pervasive cloud, human-centric privacy, and security as four emerging technology trend themes. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/generative-ai-tops-gartners-top-25-emerging-technologies-list-for-2023 )

Survey of IT Leaders: Most Regard AI Tools Positively, Even Though Over Half Haven't Used Them Yet

A new survey conducted by AMD found that 67% of IT leaders believe AI can increase employee efficiency. The survey of 2,500 global IT leaders discussed enterprise AI adoption and the leaders' current priorities for their IT departments. Respondents' optimism is notable given that the survey also found that over 50% of IT leaders haven't yet experimented with the newest natural language processing applications, such as Chat GPT, Bing AI, Google Bard, and others.
Over 50% of IT leaders also indicated that their organizations are not ready to implement AI right now and that a five-year plan to build AI into the enterprise fully is the best course of action. Even so, over 66% of IT leaders are already amassing budgets for AI project implementation. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/67-of-it-leaders-say-ai-can-increase-employee-efficiency/)

Epic Is Allowing Generative AI "Pals" Into Its Walled Garden

Epic is integrating new artificial intelligence clinical documentation capabilities for its customers through a partnership with generative AI company Abridge - Epic's first "Pal" in its "Partnership and Pals" collaboration program. Through the program, "Epic works with companies like Abridge to develop deep integration for their products and services, helping them innovate quickly for the benefit of more patients and providers," Epic VP Alan Hutchison said in recent Abridge news release. Abridge uses generative AI tools to reduce the administrative documentation burden on clinicians. According to the company, the tool can save providers two hours per day on average. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/epic-gets-new-generative-ai-pal.html)

A Look at Epic, Microsoft's Partnership

Epic Systems and Microsoft have had a long-standing partnership, but have since expanded their alliance as they look to develop and integrate generative AI into their products, as well as make Microsoft's cloud platform compatible with running the large EHR system. On Aug. 10, Microsoft said its Azure Large Instances, the company's cloud infrastructure, would be able to run Epic clients' databases. The application, according to the company, can run up to 50 million database accesses per second, and is designed to help healthcare customers achieve the scale needed to run Epic's EHR system.

Microsoft is also collaborating with Epic on generative AI that is tailored to the healthcare industry. The two have been training Microsoft's Azure OpenAI on a large collection of information so it can asynchronously draft responses to patient messages for providers. This integration will allow Azure OpenAI to provide draft messages to providers, who can then review the message and make any modifications before it is sent to a patient. The aim is to reduce the documentation burden on providers that significantly grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool is already being piloted by health systems such as Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health, UC San Diego Health, and Madison, WI-based UW Health. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/a-look-at-epic-microsofts-partnership.html )

IBM, Microsoft Launch Generative AI Managed Service

IBM and Microsoft have deepened their collaboration around generative AI, deploying a large language model managed service in Azure Marketplace. The IBM Consulting Azure OpenAI Service gives developers and data scientists access to generative AI tools, including GPT and Codex, and provides organizations with a suite of pre-built enterprise use cases for the technology. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/Microsoft-IBM-collaborate-generative-AI-enterprise-solutions/691090/)

Thinking of Investing in AI? - Here's IBD's Quick Guide to AI + Why and What to Consider & What It Does

This is an impressive primer on Artificial Intelligence from Investor's Business Daily: why you might consider investing in it all, which stocks to analyze, and why: https://get.investors.com/infographics/ai/

40% of Workers Will Have to Reskill in Next 3 Years Due to AI: IBM Study

An IBM report analyzes how the emergence of AI is affecting company business models, especially in how they leverage AI to carry out their operations and how it affects job roles. The executives surveyed estimated that 40% of their workforce will have to reskill in the next three years due to AI implementation, totaling up to a whopping 1.4 billion of the 3.4 billion people in the global workforce, according to World Bank statistics. However, 87% of those executives expect generative AI to augment roles rather than replace them. "AI won't replace people - but people who use AI will replace people who don't," said IBM in the report. (https://www.zdnet.com/article/40-of-workers-will-have-to-reskill-in-the-next-three-years-due-to-ai-says-ibm-study/)

Latest Workforce Term: "Grumpy Staying"

From "loud quitting" to "quiet quitting," various workforce trends have gained traction in recent years. Among the latest trends: "Grumpy staying." The term, coined by Insider in late June, refers to high-potential employees staying at jobs they are unsatisfied with but hesitate to leave in a tightening labor market, Fortune reported Aug. 9. The publication describes grumpy stayers as "typically employees who recently switched jobs only to discover that their new position isn't what they hoped for or feel stuck in a position they've held for years with no chance of upward mobility." Other terms that have been introduced include "bare minimum Mondays," "career cushioning" and "lazy girl job."
While members of Generation Z in entry-level jobs have often coined these phrases, emerging leaders, professionals with high potential for the vice president or C-suite level roles, are also "grumpy staying," Justin Hirsch, CEO of executive search and leadership consulting firm Jobplex, told Fortune. Moving forward, Mr. Hirsch encouraged employers to focus on employee engagement and talent development. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/the-latest-workforce-fad-term-grumpy-staying.html)

Even Zoom is Making Its Staff Return to the Office

Zoom, the company that powered the remote work revolution during the pandemic, is telling its employees to come back to the office. In a statement, Zoom said it's now enforcing a "structured hybrid approach," meaning that employees who live near an office "need to be onsite two days a week" because it's "most effective" for the video-conferencing service. "As a company, we are in a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate, and support our global customers. We'll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently," the company said. Zoom isn't excluded from the return to office trend that's sweeping tech companies.
In recent months, Google, Amazon and Salesforce have enacted similar policies, ending a Covid-era approach that gave employees more freedom to work from home. However, businesses have faced some pushback from employees after workers grew accustomed to greater flexibility. Even the White House is cracking down on remote work. It recently asked Cabinet agencies to bring federal workers back into the office more frequently in the coming months, according to an internal email obtained by CNN. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/07/business/zoom-return-to-office/index.html)

Several Tech Positions Among 20 Fastest-Growing Occupations

The number of jobs in the U.S. will increase by 8.3 million from 2021 to 2031 - according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which classifies workers into occupational categories based on the work they perform and their skills, education, training and credentials. Among the top 20 occupations forecast to see the greatest percent employment change by 2031 are: Data scientists - 35.8%; Information security analysts - 34.7%; Statisticians - 32.7%; and Web developers - 30.3%. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/20-fastest-growing-occupations-nurse-practitioner-is-no-1.html)

Want Your Company to Work for Google? Here's What They're Looking For Now

Google recently posted several job openings related to its health business. Below are three open positions as of July 21:
>> Software engineer, Google Health: Will write product or system code for Google Health's software.
>> Senior staff machine learning tech lead, Google Health: Will lead efforts to apply machine learning capabilities to the healthcare domain.
>> Systems engineer, Fitbit: Will extract power data to optimize Fitbit devices (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/disruptors/3-google-healthcare-job-openings-4.html)

EV Battery Can Charge in 10 Minutes

China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) announced the development of a lithium-iron-phosphate electric vehicle battery that can charge in 10 minutes up to a range of 248 miles. CATL, which works with Tesla, Ford Motor, and other automakers, said it would begin mass production of the Shenxing cell later this year. (https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/battery-giant-catl-s-new-fast-power-pack-to-tackle-range-anxiety-1.1959580)

Think Twice Before Getting into That Driverless Taxi

As Cruise and Waymo face criticism from San Francisco officials over the safety of driverless cars, data shows the robotaxis are among the leaders in crashes reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involving vehicles with automated driving systems. (https://www.govtech.com/transportation/how-many-waymo-cruise-driverless-cars-have-crashed)

Where Was It During "Hilary"? Comcast's New Wi-Fi Extender Provides Cellular & Battery Backup During Storms

Comcast's Xfinity Storm-Ready WiFi is a range extender that features a four-hour battery and cellular connectivity that will click on when users lose internet and power. As the name suggests, the system is designed specifically to serve as backup for weather-related outages. The ISP notes that in the U.S., power outages average around two hours, and the system offers double that on a charge. When things are running smoothly, the system serves as a range extender, bringing the service provider's 10G network to pockets of your home that your standard router won't reach. Comcast is offering the system through a kind of hardware as a service model, charging users $7 a month over the course of 36 months. That price includes the "unlimited" backup cellular connection. (https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/15/comcasts-new-wifi-extender-provides-cellular-and-battery-backup-during-storms/)

Linear TV Viewing Sinks Below 50% as Streaming Soars to New Heights

In a first for linear TV viewing, cable and broadcast usage fell below 50% in terms of total share among U.S. viewers, according to Nielsen's July 2023 report. Cable viewing dropped below 30% for the first time at 29.6%, down 12.5% year-over-year. Broadcast usage decreased to 20%, down 5.4% YoY. Streaming services, on the other hand, accounted for 38.7% of total U.S. TV usage - a new record high for the category. Streaming usage has sky-rocketed 25.3% in the past year. (https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/15/linear-tv-viewing-sinks-below-50-nielsen-july-2023-report/?utm_medium=TCnewsletter&tpcc=TCdailynewsletter)

RCS to Emerge as SMS, MMS Upgrade

By 2026, approximately 50% of all cell phones will use Google's Rich Communication Services messaging, which features end-to-end encryption and recognizes traditional text messages along with GIFs, high-resolution images and other types of files. A recent TechRadar article provides "answers to a bunch of common questions you might have about RCS messaging including what RCS stands for, what benefits it offers, and which devices have access to it." (https://www.techradar.com/phones/what-is-rcs-messaging-the-imessage-rival-and-sms-text-replacement-explained)

That Doesn't Suck: Giant Vacuums Awarded First Tranche of $3.5B for Pulling Carbon Pollution from the Sky

The Biden administration is throwing its weight behind technology that sucks planet-warming carbon dioxide out of the air, selecting the first winners of a $3.5-billion fund dedicated to developing the machines scientists say will be needed to stop the worst effects of climate change. Projects proposed by a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. for Kleberg County, Texas, and by Climeworks, Battelle Memorial Institute and Heirloom Carbon Technologies Inc. for Calcasieu Parish, La., were selected for the first tranche of funding, up to $1.2 billion, the Energy Department said. The technology is "essentially a giant vacuum that can suck decades of old carbon pollution straight out of the sky," Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm told reporters. "If we deploy this at scale, this technology can help us make serious headway toward our net-zero emission goals." (https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2023-08-11/how-the-biden-administration-is-pouring-billions-into-technology-that-sucks-carbon-from-the-air)

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