Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we talk about the launch of two new Amazon services, announcement of Jay-Z’s streaming music product, IBM’s commitment to the Internet of Things, and the hack of GitHub being attributed to the Chinese government.
Amazon launches Home Services and Dash Button
Amazon announced two new services this week: Amazon Home Services and the very interesting Dash Button.
The online retailer is jumping into the on-demand services fray by launching a marketplace that allows you to instantly hire a professional to assemble your bed, clean your home, fix your plumbing, and more. Amazon vets the service providers and promises a money-back guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction. Amazon Home Services is fully available in LA, San Francisco, NYC, and Seattle, but there is some availability of contractors in other less populated areas.
Amazon also launched the Dash Button, which is a small physical accessory that allows you to easily order a product just by pushing a button. The product was launched the day before April Fools Day, and because it’s so unique and crazy, many thought it was a prank. Indeed, it is real.
There are Dash buttons for Gillette shaving cream, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Gatorade, and many other partnering products. You can stick the Dash Button in the appropriate place where you would most likely need to order products, such as placing a Tide button by your washing machine. And hitting the button sends an alert to your Amazon account via WiFi to order that single product of which you just ran out. Crazy.
Jay-Z launches new music service Tidal
Rapper and music mogul Jay-Z just launched Tidal, a new subscription music service that is “co-owned” by powerful musicians like Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Daft Punk, and many others.
There’s been a big riff between streaming radio providers like Spotify and the artists whose music they stream. Musicians claim that they don’t get paid enough by online music services, and Jay-Z looks to change that with Tidal.
Tidal is offering high-fidelity streaming for $20 a month and regular quality streaming for $10. The service will also provide exclusive content from artists on the platform.
With so many free streaming services available, will users pay this subscription fee just for exclusive content? I’m not so sure. It seems like Jay-Z only has musicians’, not consumers’, best interests in mind.
IBM goes all in on the Internet of Things
IBM has pledged to invest $3 billion over the next four years to wrangle the huge troves of data generated by internet-connected devices like smartphones, wearables, home appliances, and more.
IBM is teaming up with companies like Twitter and the Weather Company (parent to The Weather Channel) to build cloud-based data products and services for developers to create and improve data-intensive applications. The company is training over 2,000 consultants, researchers, and developers to help organizations harness the massive amount of data to improve their businesses.
GitHub cyberattack linked to China
GitHub, the world’s largest online software code repository, was hacked last week. After further investigation this week, all signs point to the Chinese government as the culprit.
The company has reported that two specific sites hosted by GitHub – the anti-censorship site GreatFire.org and the Chinese edition of the NY Times – are the pages that are under attack. This suggests that the hackers are supportive of the Great Firewall of China, which censors anti-Chinese sentiment. Additionally, investigators have found that the malicious code that forces users to constantly reload the aforementioned pages have been spread by the use of Chinese search engine Baidu, who denies any wrongdoing.
The cyberwar continues.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.