Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Apple kicks off a product blitz.

Apple introduced several new products this week, including iOS 12, three new iPhones, revamped iPad Pros, Apple Watches with larger screens, a new entry-level laptop with a sharper screen, a pro-focused Mac mini desktop computer, and new accessories like the AirPower wireless charger. Unfortunately, Apple also said that the new tariffs recently imposed will force it to raise prices for some of its popular offerings like the Watch and AirPods. (Source: Bloomberg)

Why this is important for your business:

If your business uses Apple technology, you’ll be excited by the faster speed and battery life of the new iPhones and iPads (contractors and construction people: check out the ability to take accurate measurements from your iPhone too). What interests me the most is the added health related features in the Apple Watch, like the electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram. How will this affect your wellness programs and even your healthcare insurance benefits in the future? As for the higher prices, maybe all that extra productivity will make up the difference, right?

2 — Verizon claims its ‘Ultra Wideband 5G’ will be better than the rest.

Verizon and the other major wireless carriers in the country are competing to see which one deploys 5G first—the service that promises to be much faster and more responsive than today’s networks. Verizon says its ‘5G Ultra Wideband’ service, which uses a super high-frequency wireless spectrum, makes it better than its competitors. The company also says three other assets set it apart as superior: millimeter wave spectrum, an end-to-end fiber network, and small cells. Verizon says its 5G broadband replacement will debut in October in Houston and Indianapolis and in California in L.A. and Sacramento. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

As mentioned above, all of the carriers are moving to 5G. That means faster speeds for our business purposes. Is Verizon that much better? Maybe, maybe not. But let’s at least hope these faster networks come with improved security too.

3 — British Airways breach caused by credit card skimming malware, researchers say.

A threat researcher at security service RiskIQ says that credit card skimming malware installed by hackers on British Airways’ website a few months ago was what caused a data breach of more than 380,000 credit cards. The airline lost payments through its website and mobile app over a three-week period, but travel information wasn’t affected. RiskIQ suspects it might be the same group that was behind the Ticketmaster breach, in which hackers targeted a third party that loaded code on Ticketmaster’s websites and then siphoned off thousands of transactions. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Are you accepting credit cards on your ecommerce site? If so, then the risk of this happening to you is just as great – maybe even greater. Talk to your payments and ecommerce providers about what they’re doing to make sure that your customers’ credit information isn’t being skimmed because if there’s a problem you’re going to be held accountable.

4 — HP’s new 3D printers build items not of plastic but of steel.

This week, HP announced the Metal Jet printer, an industrial-scale 3-D printer that builds items out of steel rather than plastic and would enable the company to get into large manufacturing sectors such as automobiles and medical devices. Currently, many of the products printed by the Metal Jet may be cosmetic, such as key fobs with custom engravings. HP says it will likely be years before consumers can buy a car with 3-D-printed metal parts under the hood. (Source: WIRED)

Why this is important for your business:

3-D printing has gotten a bad rap of late because of the people who want to use these devices to print firearms. But the reality of this technology is catching up to the hype. Printing metal will enable machine shops, distributors and service facilities to significantly increase their turnaround times while decreasing their inventory levels.

5 — PayPal now gives instant access to money from online sales.

PayPal – who currently serves 19.5 million businesses announced this week the launch of a new service called Funds Now that will give select online businesses access to their completed sales within seconds by eliminating holds, delays, and reserves so they can spend their funds immediately. Funds Now has already been extended to more than one million businesses using PayPal at no extra cost. (Source: PayPal)

Disclosure:  PayPal is a client of my company, The Marks Group PC, but I have received no compensation for this item.

Why this is important for your business:

For all those business owners – like myself – who scratch their heads wondering why their cash isn’t “available” for days after a payment was received, PayPal is finally resolving that issue. Could this be the beginning of the end of the annoying bank “float” that delays our access to our cash? Let’s hope so.

 



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