Tech Bytes: 07.13.2017

July 13th, 2017

Topics: Customer eCommerce Finance Future of Work Mobile Products / Services Talent & Workforce

Tech Bytes

Daimler Deploys $110 Million Blockchain Trial – The German automaker Daimler AG has deployed a blockchain solution to manage a $110 Million bond with German banking partner, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. The entire loan process, from origination to repayment will be automated via the digital transaction blockchain solution. If the trial is successful, Daimler is expected to expand blockchain solutions to other applications.

If you’re looking to understand blockchain technology and its potential, Deloitte has put together a good primer, called Blockchain: Democratized Trust. The overview includes easy-to-understand explanations and visual diagrams:

Read More: Daimler AG Issues €100 Million Corporate Bond in Blockchain Trial
Read More: A Bank Replaced a Fax Machine with Blockchain. Was It Worth It?
Read More: Daimler and LBBW Successfully Utilize Blockchain Technology for Launch of Corporate Schuldschein
Read More: Blockchain Will Disrupt Every Industry


Infrastructure Vulnerabilities a Huge Risk Around the Globe – How long does the US have before its major infrastructure is attacked by a major cyber-attack? Two years, according to a survey of cyber professionals conducted by Black Hat ahead of its annual conference this summer. The attacks are increasingly state-sponsored, which presents a major resourcing challenge for private corporations unable to spend the types of dollars needed to protect their assets. Of particular concern are Russian hackers who have wreaked havoc on Ukraine’s power grid, shutting major portions of the country down on multiple occasions. Ukraine is seen as a testing environment for the types of attacks likely to expand to other countries. Just this week attackers breached a US nuclear power plant, although the attack was limited to a few PCs and never threatened control over facility operations.

Read More: Hackers Targeted a US Nuclear Plant (But Don’t Panic Yet)
Read More: Your Guide to Russia’s Infrastructure Hacking Teams
Read More: How An Entire Nation Became Russia’s Test Lab for Cyberwar
Read More: Portrait of an Imminent Cyberthreat
Read More: Black Hat Attendees Predict Cyberattack on US Infrastructure Within Two Years


Voice Assistants and AI Combine to Make Tech (and the World) More Accessible  – Unless you yourself or a close friend or loved one has a disability, it can be hard to fathom how different you experience technology if you are blind. Forget typing on an iPhone or touchscreen. But with smart AI, image recognition and voice-enabled systems, technology is rapidly becoming more accessible. Microsoft released Seeing AI this week. The app is a free iOS app that uses a smartphone camera and AI to narrate the visual world for seeing impaired users. The app can help with recognizing friends (and provide dtails on their facial expressions), scanning documents, using UPC codes to ID products and even helping users count money (and change). It’s a remarkable tool and demonstrates the potential of AI in the best way possible. Kudos to Microsoft.

Read More: Seeing AI
Read More: Microsoft’s New iPhone App Narrates the World for Blind People
Read More: Microsoft Just Released an Incredible New App that Helps Blind People See the World Around Them


Volvo Emerges as Tesla Competitor, Moves to Go Fully Electric by 2019 – As Tesla continues to struggle building its manufacturing operations, Volvo has emerged as a viable competitor in the electric car market. That’s because the company announced it will stop selling fossil fuel only cars by 2019. The company will sell hybrids and electric cars, which puts the firm in the same luxury electric market as Tesla. As news of Tesla orders drop outside the US (China recently registered

Read More: Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines
Read More: Volvo’s Electric Future
Read More: Volvo’s Electric Car Announcement: Turning Point or Nonevent?
Read More: Goodbye to the Gas Pedal


Featured CXOTalk Video of the Week: Exponential Energy: Technology and Policy
Energy is a crucial part of modern life. This episode examines the impact of exponential technologies on energy and power for the future along with the public policy implications. Join our great guests for an exciting show!

Pete Tseronis is the Founder and CEO of consulting firm Dots and Bridges, LLC. He was the former Department of Energy’s first Chief Technology Officer. In that role, Pete was responsible for providing strategic direction and vision throughout the Department and is charged with establishing a formal and sustainable federal technology deployment program that offers secure transformative innovative solutions to tough challenges.

Dr. David A. Bray is Chief Ventures Officer at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Previously, he was Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission.  He serves as a Visiting Executive In-Residence at Harvard University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Visiting Associate at the University of Oxford. He has received both the Arthur S, Flemming Award and Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership. In 2016, Business Insider named him one of the top “24 Americans Who Are Changing the World”.


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