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Is A $999 Monitor “Everything Wrong” With Apple Today?…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By June 9, 2019No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 — A $999 monitor stand is everything wrong with Apple today.

Tech writer Devindra Hardawar is not happy with Apple.  At its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, the company unveiled a $999 stand for its $4,999 Pro Display XDR high-end 6K monitor and Hardawar was not impressed.  He reports that even though it has an elegant modernist design and can smoothly tilt up to 25 degrees, while also holding everything firmly in place, skeptics wonder if the monitor stand is worth the price. They say it continues a recent trend at Apple—trying to upsell attractive tech that, in the end, doesn’t really benefit users. (Source: engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

Is Hardawar being too tough? Not at all. Apple had many other, mostly consumer-oriented announcements that it made at its WWDC 2019 but few that really turned heads – and very few that would significantly impact our businesses, I see two takeaways here.  First, you can sometimes go overboard on design and that can create a backlash with your customers. More importantly, Apple just continues to be an expensive  – oftentimes too expensive – technology option for many small businesses and given the thinking behind the $999 monitor, that trend looks like it’s going to continue.

2 — Hackers can now bypass two-factor authentication with a new kind of phishing scam.

Security experts have demonstrated an automated phishing attack that even low-skilled hackers can use to bypass the two-factor authentication—called 2Fa—that many of us use to protect our data. The attack can trick unsuspecting users into sharing their private credentials. It uses two tools—Muraena and NecroBrowser—which work together to intercept traffic between the user and the target website, acting as a proxy between the victim and a legitimate site. (Source: Fortune)

Why this is important for your business:

This is important stuff, particularly as many of us have adopted 2Fa to help secure out data and networks. Already we have hackers figuring out ways around this security and it’s only a matter of time before 2Fa may be widely comprised.  The solution? Experts say a physical device called a U2F key along with extra vigilance are two ways to help prevent the attacks.  Talk to your IT people about this now.

3 — Staples introduces an in-store co-working space designed for small business.

This week, Staples announced the launch of Staples Studio—a new concept in co-working spaces for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and commuters—which just opened in three Massachusetts Staples stores. Designed to foster an environment where businesses can focus on creating, collaborating, and connecting in shared workspaces and private or shared offices, the new Studios also offer perks like unlimited coffee, tea, and meeting room use. (Source: Business Wire)

Why this is important for your business:

It seems like everyone’s jumping on the co-working bandwagon and why not? With the proliferation of freelancers, contractors, work-from-home employees and remote workers there are plenty of places where individuals (and businesses) can set themselves up and rely on all the cloud based technologies that makes this possible.  Staples has an enormous small business customer base, and seems as a natural company to make this model work. Plus, if these co-working spaces succeed it may help their brick-and-mortar stores stick around.

4— Microsoft introduces a new dashboard to make sense of Windows updates and upgrades.

 Microsoft just unveiled a website called the Windows Release Health Dashboard, which shows the problems that prevent its users from receiving Windows upgrades. It offers timely info on the current rollout status and known issues—both open and resolved—across Microsoft’s feature and monthly updates, according to the company’s director of program management on the Windows servicing and delivery team. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

According to Microsoft, the new dashboard ‘provides a single page for each currently supported version of Windows so you can quickly search for issues by keyword, including any safeguard holds on updates, see the current status of each issue, and find important announcements.’ This seems like a useful tool for your company, particularly if you or your IT team is managing a fair amount of Windows computers.  (My company, The Marks Group, is a Microsoft partner).

5 — A startup bets high-tech dog lockers will get shoppers to leave pups outside the grocery store.

In Seattle this week, a startup called DogSpot debuted seven of its high-tech dog lockers as part of a national rollout. It chose Seattle due to its recent ranking as the top city in the U.S. for dogs. These lockable kennels have air holes and air conditioning, so customers’ dogs stay safe and comfortable while their owners are inside the grocery stores. The dog houses can be rented in advance by using an app. (Source: Geek Wire)

Why this is important for your business:

If you run a restaurant, shop or other business that doesn’t allow customers to bring their dogs inside, these guys may have come up with something that can help you draw in new business from people that would’ve otherwise walked right by.

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