On Episode 462 of the Waves of Tech, we are diving into a variety of tech topics that matter to you! A recent worldwide crackdown on email scheming resulted in 281 arrests, the seizing of million of dollars, and the shutdown of an organized criminal organization. McDonald’s is making news with their purchase of a voice technology company with hopes of changing the ordering systems around the world. MoviePass officially closed their doors this week after blowing through venture capital funds and creating scandals and unrest with customers. A United States transportation agency is requiring hybrid manufacturers to install car alert sounds to warn pedestrians and the visually impaired. Lastly, Amazon is coming under attack after their modified their algorithm to favor their own goods and products.
International Email Schemes Brought Down
The Department of Justice released an extensive press release stating that nearly 300 individuals from nine countries were arrested for alleged “cyber-enabled financial fraud”, which is the equivalent to email scamming and frauding. The coordinated effort with other government agencies also resulted in the seizure of $3.7 million. That’s what we call progress.
- Nigeria was the biggest culprit with 167 persons arrested, followed by the USA
- Five biggest scams – romance, employment, online vehicle, rental, and lottery
- Assets, infrastructure, and other items were removed from criminal organizations
- Great to see agencies working diligently to protect business and consumers
Reinventing the Fast Food Experience
The fast food industry is a unique beast trying to maintain reasonable prices for consumers, keep employee costs low, and drive new clients through their doors. And that is where McDonald’s continues to be a thought leader and technological innovator in the space. With their recent acquisition of Apprente – a voice recognition technology company.
- The new technology will assist in drive-thru, kiosk, and mobile ordering systems
- The popular fast food chain is anticipating lowering wait times with tech integration
- McD Tech Labs will be the beginning of a heavy investment is new technology
- McDonald’s continues to hire data scientists, engineers, and tech experts
MoviePass Finally Dies Out
In a formal posting on their website, MoviePass has shut their digital doors for good. The posting stated, “Although we do not currently know what the future holds for the MoviePass™ service, we hope to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future.” After bleeding out $70 million of venture capital, the adventure in entertainment is done.
- MoviePass tried to be a disruptor in the business and ended up alienating itself
- A tainted history plagued with pricing irregularities, password scandals is not good
- CEO Lowe made enemies with AMC, Regal, and Cinemark executives quickly
- The parent company sees no way forward for the funding of MoviePass
Those Quiet Hybrids Can Make Noise
We’ve all been walking through a parking lot and were surprised by an electric vehicle or hybrid that we did not see or hear. There are some obvious safety concerns over that. But now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing automobile makers allow sound choices for electric vehicles to alert pedestrians and cyclists.
- The transportation agency is requiring sound options built-in by September 2020
- As hybrid vehicles grow in popular in building and buying, this is a smart integration
- According to Reuters, 125,000 pedestrians/cyclists are injured annually on roads in USA
- Wonder what sounds – synthetic motor, acceleration, squealing, yelping…
Amazon’s Search Algorithm Illegal?
In news that is nothing less than not shocking, regulators and politicians are pounding down the doors of Amazon now regarding the search algorithm. Amazon recently made news by tweaking their system to favor their own line of products over other sellers. The intention to promote their own goods is raising major concerns in small corners of the government.
- Amazon is already the focus of a federal antitrust probe by regulators and others
- Multiple fines have been leveraged against giant tech firms over the last few years
- Establishing your own goods and services over another is good business, nothing more
- We do not hear about consumers complaining about algorithms and search results
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