This is a daily recap of the top technology headlines, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.
Apple event confirmed for Sept. 7
Apple will hold its next press event on Sept. 7. Invitations to the event simply say “See you on the 7th.”
We’ll have full coverage here on the TechSummit Rewind.
Hackers targeted Arizona, Illinois voter registration systems
The FBI is currently investigating digital attacks on voter registration systems in Arizona and Illinois, according to an agency flash bulletin. The Illinois attack brought down the state’s voter registration system for 10 days in late July and stole data from up to 200,000 registered voters, while the Arizona attack introduced malware into the voter registration system but didn’t successfully steal any data.
The Department of Homeland Security has offered cybersecurity assistance to a number of states after the attack.
Fitbit unveils $100 “swim-proof” Flex 2, $150 Charge 2
Fitbit has unveiled two new fitness trackers: the $150 Charge 2 with heart rate monitoring and a larger screen, and the smaller, “swim-proof” $100 Flex 2.
The Charge 2 launches in September with the Flex 2 launching in October, however preorders are open now.
The Charge 2 features mid-workout stats, a screen that’s four times larger than its predecessor, and breathing exercises.
Meanwhile, the Flex 2 is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, and features automatic swim tracking. Call and text alerts are also featured on the device when your smartphone’s connected via Bluetooth.
The San Francisco-based company is also bringing a software update for its Blaze wearable, adding “extended notifications,” movement reminders, and clock faces.
In addition, the higher-end gold and leather designs for its Alta and Blaze wearables have gotten a September release date. Preorders for those are available now.
T-Mobile One Plus plan adds more tethering, HD video
T-Mobile has announced their One Plus plan as an add-on to the previously announced One plan.
One provides “unlimited” data, voice, and text messages, however there are limitations on tethering and HD video playback.
The One Plus add-on covers unlimited 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, unlimited HD video streaming (through day passes), and speeds that are twice as fast abroad when traveling to over 140 countries.
Tethering speeds under the standard plan have also been bumped up to 3G speeds.
One Plus will cost an extra $25/line/month, and will launch on Sept. 1.
Appeals court dismisses AT&T throttling lawsuit
A California federal appeals court dismissed a government lawsuit accusing AT&T of deception for throttling internet speeds for customers with unlimited data plans once their use exceeded certain limits.
The company could still face a fine from the Federal Communications Commission on the slowdowns.
“We’re pleased with the decision.”
-An AT&T spokesperson, in a statement
“We are disappointed with the ruling and are considering our options for moving forward.”
-Jay Mayfield, Federal Trade Commission spokesperson
Microsoft launches new resources to reduce hate speech
Microsoft has pushed out new resources for users of its consumer products to reduce hate speech. Users can now communicate directly with the company to report hate speech, and petition for reinstating content.
“We will continue our ‘notice-and-takedown’ approach for removing prohibited content on hosted consumer services, and the new form aims to improve the quality and speed of our reviews.”
-Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft chief online safety officer
Square brings payment, capital offerings to TouchBistro, Vend customers
Square will now offer Vend and TouchBistro’s customers full access to Square’s platform, including its hardware, payments infrastructure, and financial service offerings.
The new integrations are open now to a limited group of businesses, but the plan is to roll it out to all existing and future companies using Vend and TouchBistro over the next few weeks.
Respondable helps you write better emails with AI
Baydin, the company being the Boomerang for Gmail plugin, has launched Respondable, a Gmail and Outlook plugin that uses artificial intelligence to predict email replies and make suggestions about how to improve your writing and strike the right tone. Integrated directly into your email client’s Compose window, the feature analyzes your writing style, taking factors like word count, politeness, subjectivity, question count, and reading level into consideration to help you get your point across.
The tool scores your message based on the likelihood of you receiving a response and the aforementioned factors. If one factor receives a poor ranking, Respondable will give customized advice to help improve it.
“We’re excited about the prospect of using machine learning to provide actionable writing advice based on data. Historically, authors of writing style guides have not have access to large samples of data about what kind of writing is effective…Second, a lot of recent news coverage about artificial intelligence has focused on the possibilities that machines can someday replace humans. Respondable doesn’t try to write important emails on your behalf. Instead, if helps you unlock your creativity. It’s an editor that works alongside you – and one that you can and should ignore when your judgment says otherwise.”
-Aye Moah, Baydin product chief
According to Baydin, no message data is transmitted. However, if you use Respondable’s advanced machine learning features, Boomerang will pass along message data with enterprise-grade encryption, analyze it on a secure server, and pass it back through encrypted communication channels. All data is “immediately discarded” from the company’s servers.
Respondable is free to use, but more advanced parameters will require a subscription to either Boomerang for Gmail’s Pro or Premium plans, which start at $15/month.