Google Bot-in-a-Box; Adele -Spotify Removes Shuffle; Facebook Messenger & IG-No Default End-to-End Encryption Until 2023; Just 21% of Remote Workers Aware of Cyber Threats; Crate ‘V-8’ -EV Conversion of Gas Cars; Ford Chip Shortage Workaround

Google has launched what they are dubbing conversational AI to chatbot interaction. Zdnet.com reports that the ‘bot-in-a-box system is designed to help businesses to get started more easily in setting up chatbots as part of their Business Messages service. The service allows organizations to connect waitpeople via Google Search, Maps, or their own business channels. For most small to medium businesses, it will have a great feature in that it uses Google’s Dialogflow tech to create the chatbots without the business having to write any code (or apparently employ coders, to say nothing of actual customer service PEOPLE!)

In almost every case, the poor artist is at the mercy of big music companies and streaming services…but not all. If you’re big enough, you can get changes made. According to engadget.com, Adele is one of those big shots. She has gotten Spotify to remove the shuffle button from album pages! Adele said in a Tweet that albums ought to be listened to ‘as [artists] intended’ as they tell ‘a story’. The shuffle controls for individual songs remain. Apple Music still has a shuffle button on its album pages. It remains to be seen if Adele can push mighty Apple into making the change, too. 

Facebook now says Messenger and Instagram may not get default end-to-end encryption until 2023! Theverge.com reports that it is part of the unified messaging system FB is trying to build across all its platforms. Facebook (or Meta) already has end-to-end encryption by default on its WhatsApp platform. One reason given for the delay is that they apparently don’t want the encryption to interfere with their ability to help stop criminal activity. 

A scary report indicates that only 21% of remote workers say they are aware of cyber threats. The report from Unisys, picked up by venturebeat.com, says that 61% of hybrid and remote workers fell primarily responsible for maintaining their own digital security…but the headline 21% are actually aware of sophisticated online threats. This will need to be addressed moving forward, since some 83% of employers now say that the shift to hybrid or remote work has been successful and will be made permanent. Most workers prefer to be remote between 1-3 days a week. 

A Chatsworth, CA company is building what they are calling a ‘Crate V-8’ EV motor to drop into older cars to convert to electric. Electric GT will sell single and double electric motor versions, made in the shape of a gas V-8. Motorbiscuit.com notes that you would still need a battery pack, but the cool thing about the crate V-8 EV is that it is designed to bolt right on to existing transmissions. Under what would be the valve covers on a regular V-8 are the DC-DC converter, and onboard charger, coolant lines, and pump. They hope to make models that will fit most common Chevy, Ford, & Chrysler products, and also some Toyota models. 

While the world scrambles with a shortage of computer chips…which has massively affected the automobile industry, Ford…to quote an old ad, ‘had a better idea.’ The Detroit auto maker quietly partnered with US-based chipmaker Global Foundries. According to reviewgeek.com, this should help Ford deliver more vehicles in 2022. In addition, Ford is working to bring chip design in-house…like Apple has done. This will be a boon to their regular chip use, as well as infotainment system use, EV platform, and their self-driving system that’s in the works.



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