Overhyping IBM’s Watson Is Dangerous

H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb and IBM SVP David Kenny
H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb, left, and IBM SVP David Kenny announced Feb. 1 that H&R Block’s tax professionals at approximately 10,000 branch offices across the U.S. would use a new, consumer-facing technology that incorporates IBM Watson – the largest deployment of Watson in retail locations.

Watson is the Chuck Norris of cognitive computing.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

By now, every tax practitioner has noticed H&R Block’s highly touted alliance with IBM’s artificial intelligence engine, Watson.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: The 10,000 Steps a Day Myth | Tiny Recorder Also Transcribes | FM Radio Begins Leaving the Airwaves | France to Let Drones Deliver Mail | Amazon Launches a Cashier-Free Convenience Store | The Next Target for Amazon’s Echo May Be Your Office | Amazon Patents Tiny Drones for Police | Google’s Getting Serious About Hardware | Microsoft Surface Phone: The Latest Rumors
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
READ MORE →

The 10,000 Steps a Day Myth

Woman using activity tracker at gymHow fitness apps can do more harm than good.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Around 21 million fitness trackers were sold in 2016 and the 2017 forecast by Gartner is 25 million, with the promise of monitoring and improving activity levels.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Tiny Recorder Also Transcribes | Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering | New Satellites Will Soon Allow Flights to Be Tracked in Real Time  | New Device Prevents Insulin Overdoses | Charge Your Phone With the Fabric in Your Sweater | The 10-Digit Passcode to Your Private Life
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Devices and health apps that advise people to walk 10,000 steps a day could be doing more harm than good, scientists have warned.
READ MORE →

New Tiny Recorder for Notes-on-the-Go

Man wearing voice recorder clipped to collar while drivingHashtag feature allows sorting of notes by category.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Senstone may be one of the world's smallest wearables – and perhaps one of the most useful.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering | Underwater Imaging Updated for iPhone 7 | The Flash Drive with 2 Terabytes | Go Abroad and Take the Internet With You | Wearable Aims to Help the Blind Move Safely | The New Gadget that Turns Your SmartPhone into the Ultimate Remote | Number-Changing Credit Card May Help Eliminate Fraud  | How CPAs Are AMPing Up Their Websites for Mobile Clients
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The tiny device has one function: to help you keep track of your ideas, to-do lists and notes while you're on the go.
READ MORE →

Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering

Screen grab of Starbucks appBeta testing in iOS is going on now, with Android available later this year.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Starbucks is embracing voice-based computing with the launch of a new feature in its mobile app called My Starbucks Barista, which allows customers to order and pay for their food and drinks just by speaking. This includes being able to modify their drink order, as if they were speaking with a barista in real life.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Underwater Imaging Updated for iPhone 7 | FM Radio Begins Leaving the Airwaves | France to Let Drones Deliver Mail | Amazon Launches a Cashier-Free Convenience Store | The Next Target for Amazon’s Echo May Be Your Office | Amazon Patents Tiny Drones for Police | Google’s Getting Serious About Hardware | Microsoft Surface Phone: The Latest Rumors | Flaws in Wireless Keyboards Let Hackers See Everything You Type
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Additionally, the company is launching a skill for the Amazon Alexa platform that lets customers reorder their favorite items by speaking to their Echo speaker or other Alexa-powered device.
READ MORE →

Underwater Imaging Updated for iPhone 7

Diver holding underwater cameraThe new models should be available in June.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

ValsTech, Inc. has just started a new KickStarter project for an underwater housing for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: FM Radio Begins Leaving the Airwaves | New Satellites Will Soon Allow Flights to Be Tracked in Real Time  | New Device Prevents Insulin Overdoses | Charge Your Phone With the Fabric in Your Sweater | The 10-Digit Passcode to Your Private Life | Meet Monica, Your New Virtual Assistant
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The company was named after one of its founders, underwater housing pioneer Valentins Ranetkins. He is the founder of the industry-known manufacturing companies Amphibico and Aquatica. Ranetkins is also known for designing the first underwater housings for National Geographic.
READ MORE →