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Wednesday - March 20, 2019
Instagram has introduced Checkout on Instagram -- an in-app purchasing tool -- as a closed beta for consumers in the United States. Among the 20 participating brands are Adidas, Nike, Burberry, Dior, Huda Beauty, Prada and Michael Kors. "Users in the U.S. can buy from a majority of these brands starting today, with all of them coming on board over the coming weeks," said Instagram spokesperson Paige Cohen. Instagram will continue adding brands to the closed beta, and it plans to expand Checkout beyond the U.S. in the future, she added. [More...]

Thursday - March 21, 2019
Facebook unveiled its Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. It will be available this spring for $399. With the Rift 2, Oculus "is following some of the trends set by Vive -- inside-out tracking, incremental improvement, and focus on comfort," observed David MacQueen, executive director of Strategy Analytics' wireless media strategies service. "I'm interested to see the continued focus on the gaming market from the announcement itself -- plus, of course, the actual launch is at GDC," he said. [More...]

Thursday - March 21, 2019
SparkyLinux can ignite your daily computing experience. Its spark is pushing me to rethink my computing priorities. Regularly reviewing so many Linux operating systems for Linux Picks and Pans has a serious consequence for my computing sanity. Normally, I have a flirtatious episode with a new release each week. I'm always on the lookout for something new and shiny. Then my flash-in-the-pan relationship flames out in favor of some other newly released rival a week later. I love the freedom of choice that open source Linux OSes offer. [More...]

INSIGHTS
Oracle MCX
Thursday - March 21, 2019
Oracle held its Modern Customer Experience conference in Las Vegas this week, and it was eye-opening. This is the fourth MCX conference and an important milestone for a company that came to the cloud later than its competition. No doubt about it, Oracle has done much in a short time to develop and deploy its customer experience vision, so it is now possible and fair to critique the company's progress. First off, becoming a cloud company is way more complex than putting your products in the cloud and taking orders. [More...]

 

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Has technology made transportation more or less safe?
Traveling by all modes of transportation has become riskier with each passing year.
In general, transportation safety has been improving steadily, despite some failures.
Some modes of transportation have been improving while others have become less safe.
We may have reached a tipping point where more tech means less safety.
Don't blame the tech -- greedy companies haven't done adequate testing.
Government regulators have not been playing a strong enough oversight role.