The 5 Biggest Things In Tech You Missed This Week: 10/24

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Amazon is suing fake reviewers

From CNBC:

Amazon.com filed suit against hundreds of people it claims are publishing “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews on its website. The online retailer is pursuing legal action in a Seattle court against 1,114 unnamed defendants—whose real names are still unknown to the company—for creating false reviews for some products for sale. The action appears to be an extension of what the retailer did in April, when Amazon went after a group of websites who sold fake reviews.”

Why this is important for your business:

Getting good reviews on Amazon (like Yelp and other similar review sites) is extremely important to many small merchants and service providers. Sometimes people bend the rules. Don’t bend the rules.

Google acquires a 360-degree photography startup Digisfera to beef up Street View

From Venture Beat:

“ Google has acquired Digisfera, a startup focused on panoramic images. Digisfera’s employees will be joining the Street View team at Google ’to continue building great experiences using 360° photography.’”

Why this is important for your business:

“It’s not enough just getting “found” on Google Maps. Now you have to be seen. Smart merchants and other business owners are paying a little extra to hire a certified Google Street View photographer to take 360 views of their businesses so that customers can “go inside” and take a look around. And now Google is stepping it up with the purchase of Digisfera. Street view and other photography needs to be a big part of your online marketing strategy in 2016.”

Google Tries To Win Back Microsoft Defectors With Free Software

From Huffington Post:

“Google is escalating an attack on Microsoft’s lucrative Office software in an attempt to hit its longtime rival where it will hurt the most. The assault is targeting companies and government agencies paying for Microsoft’s suite of word processing, email, calendar, spreadsheet and other Office programs. If they dump Microsoft, Google will give them free use of a package of its competing software that normally costs $5 or $10 per user each month. The price for the “Google for Work” software will be waived for the duration of the defecting customers’ existing contracts with Microsoft or any other supplier. The offer is open for the next six months in the U.S. and will eventually be extended to other countries. Google is limiting the free usage to 3,000 people per defecting customer. Even with that restriction, Google will be foregoing $180,000 to $360,000 in annual revenue if a company with 3,000 people signs up for the offer. As an additional incentive, Google will pay up to $75,000 to each company switching to its software to cover the costs of making the change.”

Why this is important for your business:

Google is not rolling over in its fight against Microsoft, particularly in the world of office and collaboration software. Microsoft has lost market share for its Office application to the likes of Google and other competitors, which is why its recent release of Office 16 has many more cloud based features and functionality. Look for the battle between Microsoft and Google for your office application to continue to heat up…with more discounts and features to come.

A new fruit sorting robot could disrupt many industries

From Drives & Controls:

 ”A British design and development organization has produced a robotic gripper and vision system that can distinguish and selectively pick fruit of different varieties, shapes, sizes and colours. Cambridge Consultants says its system paves the way for robots to take on complex picking and sorting tasks involving irregular organic items – such as sorting fruit and vegetables, or locating and removing specific weeds from a field of crops.  “The custom-made hand adapts to the shape of the fruit and securely grips it without damaging it,” says the organization’s head of industrial products.“Once picked, the fruit can also be sorted by colour so that, for example, red apples can be separated from green apples.”

Why this is important for your business:

Machinery, particularly robotics, continues to get smarter and smarter. Although you may not have the resources to invest in these complex and expensive machines today, prices will come down. And equipment that can grab products, test, move, sort and package with gripper and vision systems like this fruit picking system will be come commonplace in the next decade. Get ready to invest or suffer the consequences at the hands of your competitors who do.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey apologizes to developers and wants to “reset” relations.

From Techcrunch:

“Dorsey went on to talk about how the company, turning over a new leaf, now wants ‘to make sure we have a great relationship with our developers… that we’re fulfilling and serving everyone’s needs….We need to have a better conversation with our developer community, with everyone in this room… We can’t stand alone. We need your help.’”

Why this is important for your business:

Its stock is down and its management has changed – Twitter has had a rough year. But Twitter is still Twitter and its enormous platform can now provide a wealth of opportunities to the creative development firm that wants to come up with innovative new add-ons and tools for the popular messaging service. With Dorsey back as leader, the tide could be turning.

One other quick thing:  a new study has found that Einstein was wrong about the speed of light, which calls into question our entire understanding of the universe. I’m not sure I understood I really understood it before, though.

 

 

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