May’s Top Tech News
A new month inevitably brings a whole new batch of tech news stories. It can be hard to keep up.
To help you stay on top of the main tech trends and updates you should know, we continue our series on top tech trends to watch this month.
Amazon Releases Echo Look
The smart home technology market continues to grow this month with Amazon’s release of the Echo Look, a new device that combines the abilities of Amazon’s Alexa with camera technology. The company is positioning the product as a way to get fashion advice from a digital assistant. The device will snap pictures of you wearing your different clothing options and provide feedback, along with suggestions for possible items to buy.
However, what may have sounded like a great idea in the boardroom is getting criticism from various sources for crossing uncomfortable privacy lines. Amazon has assured critics that the Echo Look’s technology will only focus on outfits – not, say, the other items that can be seen in a room in the background of a picture. For consumers unconcerned about privacy aspects though, the device can be useful for video chatting and clothes shopping, so it may still have its supporters.
Google and Facebook Take On Fake News
Both Google and Facebook have received criticism for the roles their platforms played in disseminating fake news stories. In response to the criticism, both companies are taking steps to help reduce the reach of news stories that aren’t authoritative or accurate.
Facebook has announced plans to target and weed out accounts that share fake news on the platform, in the hopes of stopping misinformation campaigns by governments or other political players.
Google, for its part, is working to limit how often inaccurate or offensive articles show up in its search results. They’ve updated their quality guidelines to help their human evaluators better gauge the accuracy of search results, and have provided users with a way to report inaccurate autocomplete suggestions and snippets.
Tech Companies Take a Stand for Net Neutrality
Businesses don’t always branch into politics, but on the particular issue of net neutrality, many tech companies have been quick to take a stand.
Over 800 startups recently came together to submit a letter to the FCC showing their support for net neutrality rules that are at risk under the new administration. Popular brands like Etsy, Warby Parker, Foursquare and Reddit are amongst the companies publicly backing the cause.
Collision Conference Meets in New Orleans
This week, “America’s fastest growing tech conference,” the Collision Conference takes over New Orleans with thousands of guests from tech companies throughout the country (and a few coming in from abroad). The conference sessions will cover topics ranging from using tech to improve the environment to marketing technology to internet security.
NextWeb Meets in the Netherlands
Billed as Europe’s leading tech festival, the NextWeb conference is scheduled to meet in the Netherlands on May 18-19. The conference will bring together thousands of entrepreneurs, developers, and investors and will have representatives from many of the best-known tech brands in the world, including Amazon, AirBnB, and Reddit.
New Tech IPOs: Cloudera and Carvana
The two big tech IPOs of the month are both valued at around the same price: $15 per share. Carvana offers an online car dealership and is overall valued at about $2.08 billion. Cloudera’s enterprise data company is similarly valued at just around $2 billion.
The Nation’s Biggest Tech Companies Have a Strong Quarter
It’s a good time to be one of the top tech companies in the nation (or an investor in them). Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all report rising profits in the first quarter of 2017. Google and Microsoft are both up by 28%, and Amazon’s profits have increased by 40%.
Most of us won’t be surprised to hear that the incredibly popular companies are still doing well, but seeing the continued growth they’ve managed can potentially tell us something about the overall health of the tech sector at this time.
As we move into summer, we’ll continue to keep our eyes on what’s happening in the tech world. Check back next month to see what tech trends to look out for in June.