1. China Uses Chip to Hack Companies?
There’s a hot debate surrounding China and whether or not they planted a microchip into 30 U.S. company servers, including Amazon and Apple. The initial report came from Bloomberg, claiming that Chinese spies infiltrated some of the U.S.’s biggest tech companies by inserting a microchip the size of “a grain of rice” into Chinese-manufactured servers. Bloomberg then states that Apple and Amazon both notified authorities, but are refuting all claims. Both tech giants retaliated with statements of their own, pushing back against these statements and admitting to conducting internal investigations based on inquiries. As Congress has yet to look into these allegations, if Bloomberg is right, Amazon and Apple could be facing severe consequences for lying, not to mention that many have been wary of using Chinese hardware from the start.
2. Target Launches Private Label Brand
As if we didn’t have reason enough to spend our entire paychecks on ‘Tarjay’, the department store retailer is launching their own private label brand for inexpensive merchandise. The brand, Smartly, will have over 70 products, most with white, minimalist, but humorous packaging. For example, their soap product has “smells like, well, nothing” written on it. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Target said Smartly is priced, on average, about 70% less than traditional brands, such as Procter & Gamble Co. labels like Tide, Gillette, and Charmin. The new line will be Target’s second generic brand for toiletries, undercutting prices on its Up & Up brand by about 50%.” Curious how they’ll compete with Amazon, as their private label is on track to make $25B by 2022.
3. FB Nosedives into Speaker Industry
Facebook released a smart speaker today, challenging rivals with its ease of use. Their motive is to make individuals feel as if they are all in the same room when chatting on the devices. The devices, Portal and Portal Plus, use an AI-powered, wide-lensed camera to refocus as you move about a room. The launch is a tricky move since Facebook has recently been under the radar for security flaws and the pricing is hard to match ($199 for Portal and $349 for Portal Plus), compared to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home that are both under $100. The speakers will ship in early November, just in time for Christmas.