Facebook’s new crypto-currency
This month, Facebook announced plans to launch ‘Libra’, its own digital currency. This will let users make payments with the crypto-currency via Facebook’s own apps, including WhatsApp.
Some have voiced concern over this, such as The Bank for International Settlements (BIS). They’ve stated that, while there are benefits from the adoption of digital currencies, it could reduce competition within the current financial system and create data privacy issues.
Despite the scepticism of some industries, the announcement made ripples for other crypto-currencies. The value of Bitcoin soared by more than 10% over the space of a weekend, hitting its highest price since March last year with $11,247.63.
Facebook plan to launch Libra in 2020.
Apple iOS 13
This year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference featured the announcement of the latest iOS update, iOS 13.
This year’s update will be available from September on iPhone 6s or later (including iPhone SE).
The update includes 2x faster app launches, a system wide Dark Mode, as well as swipe typing (so, only slightly behind the 2013 Android update).
AI cameras spot thieves
Walmart confirmed this month they use image recognition cameras in over 1,000 of their US stores to detect thieves at checkouts.
They use AI technology supplied by Irish company Everseen. Their cameras are able to spot items placed in a shopping bag that aren’t scanned at the checkout. Once the system tracks this, it calls on an employee to "help".
In a statement made to Business Insider, Walmart stated the "investment [is] to ensure the safety of our customers and associates".
When questioned by the BBC, Walmart-owned Asda said they don’t use image recognition in their stores. But with camera use on the rise, how much longer will it be before UK stores introduce this method of security?
The Raspberry Pi4
First released in 2012, the Raspberry Pi was introduced as a device aimed to teach children how to program code. Since it's launch, it’s become the best-selling computer ever made in the UK.
This month, they announced their 4th version: the Raspberry Pi 4. Retailers have already reported plenty of interest, with this latest version working three times as quick as its predecessor.
As well as the ‘basic’ £34 model, they’ve also introduced a £54 with increased RAM.
So, if you’re keen to get on the road to being a developer (and who wouldn’t be?), perhaps investing in the pi4 is the way to go.
Magento 2.3.2 Release
Another update released this month was Magento's 2.3.2 update. This release included over 200 functional fixes and 75+ security enhancements.
Security enhancements were at the forefront of this update. For instance, a new Paypal Recaptcha module that adds Google reCAPTCHA and CAPTCHA to the Payflow Pro checkout form.
But, the updates go beyond just security. There were also:
- Performance updates, such as improved storefront page response time
- Merchant tool enhancements
- Quality of life changes for admin tasks, such as mass editing
- Enhancements for inventory management
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