Hot off the press: "The State of OKRs - Global Enterprise Report"

#1 | Amazon, Apple, and Google join forces to develop connectivity standard


Amazon, Apple, Google, and Zigbee Alliance have joined forces to create a new connectivity standard for smart home devices. The ‘Connected Home over IP project’ will enable all smart home tools to work with all smart assistants or smart speakers. Currently, manufacturers have to use three separate communication protocols for their products to communicate with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri. This is a big win for consumers, too, which were frustrated by having to figure out which smart devices work with their smart speakers and assistants. And Apple might be the biggest winner in this initiative. Its HomePod speakers have only two percent of market share in the US due to a small number of devices they integrate with but the new standard could change that. Read more: http://bit.ly/2MdyYEp



#2 | Mercedes-Benz and Bosch to test self-driving taxis in California


Bosch and Mercedes-Benz will test a new self-driving taxi service in San José, California. Autonomous S-Class vehicles will ferry a select group of passengers between West San José and the city’s downtown area. Cars can be summoned to a specific pick-up point via a smartphone app. Also, safety drivers will sit in the front seats to monitor the driving and German companies hope that the testing will provide them with new insights about their automated driving system. They’ll also look into how autonomous cars can be integrated into a more complex mobility system that includes public transportation and car-sharing. Read more: http://bit.ly/2Z6qjbT  




#3 | Millions of child-tracking smartwatches can be tracked by hackers


Researchers at Pen Test Partners have found major vulnerabilities in the cloud platform developed by Chinese white-label electronics maker Thinkrace. The security flaw enables hackers to easily monitor the location of Thinkrace’s products, including child-tracking smartwatches. The research found at least 47 million vulnerable devices. Furthermore, experts at Pen Test Partners even managed to access recordings of conversations between parents and children stored on a vulnerable server of a smartwatch reseller. Many more people could be exposed, however, as Thinkrace ship devices to other businesses that resell them under a different brand. Fortunately, cyber-security professionals believe that the vulnerabilities were not widely exploited but that customers should stop using devices until the company fixes the problem. Read more: https://tcrn.ch/2Z4iPpO




#4 | BMW and Daimler exiting North American car-sharing market


Share Now, the car-sharing service owned by Daimler and BMW, has announced that it plans to exit the North American market by February 29, 2020. The service will also cease operating in Florence, London, and Brussels, with the company switching focus to a network of 18 European cities where its services remain viable. The German companies, however, are having more success with their ride-hailing venture, FreeNow, which is expected to double its revenue this year and remain a strong competitor to Uber and Lyft in Europe and Latin America. Read more: https://bloom.bg/34CpYit  




#5 | Spotify plans to let users discover music through their friends


Spotify is testing a new feature that lets users see what songs people they follow were listening and add them to their library. The new feature, called Tastebuds, was accidentally discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. Social sharing has never been a priority for the Swedish streaming giant whose app has no features for directly interacting with friends. Users usually rely on the company’s own playlists, which gives Spotify an influence over which artists get featured. And this provides leverage during negotiations with record labels that want to ensure their artists remain on playlists. Read more: http://bit.ly/2tv3VNG  





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