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Small Business Tech Roundup Don’t Buy A MacBook Right Now

By July 23, 2023No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

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

1 — A tech columnist warns: don’t buy a MacBook right now

Jason England of Laptop is calling attention to the buzz around Mark Gurman’s report that Apple will be dropping its M3 (MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) sooner than expected — late 2023 at the earliest. One reason given for its early arrival is the M3 hasn’t been impacted by supply issues like the previous M2 generation. The M3 silicon chip has been described as the best and most efficient chip yet. And now its release into the marketplace appears only months away. England’s advice for those looking to buy a new MacBook: wait. (Source: Laptop)

Why this is important for your business:

A contrarian view would also be to wait, and then buy the older MacBook versions which will I’m sure be discounted and are likely more than adequate for your needs.

2 Microsoft will charge businesses $30 per user for its 365 AI Copilot.

Microsoft 365 Copilot — described as the “the power of next-generation AI” is being offered to businesses at 30 bucks a month (Business Standard and Business Premium accounts). (Source: Yahoo! News)

Why this is important for your business:

Here’s everything you need to know about Copilot. It’s going to have a big impact on your business.

3 — Meta, Microsoft team up to offer new AI software for businesses.

Meta and Microsoft are partnering on “Llama 2” — Meta’s AI language model. Developers will have free access to Llama 2 through Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform. Llama 2 will be made available as “open source” technology. That decision has drawn some controversy as Meta has seemed to flip its position on restricting availability of its AI. “Open source drives innovation because it enables many more developers to build with new technology,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg stated. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

Why this is important for your business:

As AI evolves the big tech players will have their AI-based language and data models. If your business is heavy into Facebook or Instagram and you’re looking to build more AI functionality for your users, then this is a development tool worth researching.

4 — EnKash Launches “Olympus,” an industry-first 360-degree fullstack business payable, receivable & reconciliation platform.

Management platform EnKash has just released Olympus — a “smart digital payments platform especially designed for startups and traditional businesses.” (Source: EnKash)

Why this is important for your business:

The software is designed to simplify A/P and A/R processing. EnKash perceives a growing need to help automate payments systems of small and mid-size businesses where a lack of knowledge and resources has hindered the process. Olympus comes with a “plug & play integration capability… seamlessly wraps itself atop any business’s existing accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software,” as detailed in a company press release. Based in India, EnKash is tapping into the digital payments system that’s soaring in Asia.

5 — Posing as the owner, caller dupes an employee into stealing hundreds from business.

Here’s a cautionary story out of Wisconsin — a gas station employee received a call from someone posing as the owner. He informed the employee he needed $3500 as an advance payment for a $14,000 delivery on its way. Convinced the call was legitimate — and after explaining he didn’t have the money — the employee took $900 in bitcoin from a safe at an adjoining restaurant and made the deposit in Green Bay as instructed by the owner who turned out to be a fraud. Thanks to the attentiveness of a random passerby — a smashed window prompted a call to authorities who traced the call to a number in Mexico and another number with a Wisconsin area code. (Source: WALB-TV)

Why this is important for your business:

OK many questions here. There’s bitcoin — a digital currency — stored in a safe? The employee robbed a restaurant to pay for his boss’s delivery? A deposit was made in an unusual place — Green Bay? Two lessons here. The first is to test the IQ of the employees you hire. The second is to implement internal controls so that no one employee has the ability to move cash out of your business without prior, written approval from at least two others. Deepfake fraud is a growing security threat, but a little common sense can overcome this.

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