Why Jensen Huang in the Taylor Swift of tech. Hashtag Trending for Friday, June 21, 2024

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Cyberattack on CDK Global Disrupts Auto Dealerships, Target Introduces AI Chatbot for Store Staff, Astronauts are stuck at the space station due to problems with Boeing’s Starliner and chip maker Nvidia becomes the world’s most valuable company with Jensen Huang being touted as the Taylor Swift of Tech.

All this and more on the “Baby you can’t hack my car” edition of Hashtag Trending.  I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

A cyberattack on CDK Global, a major software provider for the auto industry, has caused widespread disruption at thousands of car dealerships across the United States.

CDK Global’s software, used by 15,000 North American auto retail locations, manages crucial operations like online sales, in-person transactions, financial management, and profit optimization. The attack has forced many dealerships to halt or severely limit their operations.

One Hyundai dealer reported on social media: “We have sent home the entire business development center since they have nobody to call and can’t schedule service appointments. Service is dead in the water.”

Some dealerships have resorted to using handwritten documents and paper contracts to continue limited operations. Others can only perform basic services like oil changes, as they can’t access parts information or other critical data.

CDK Global has not yet provided details on the nature of the attack or whether ransomware is involved. The company told Bloomberg it had to “shut all systems down” to conduct extensive testing in response to the cyber incident.

This attack highlights the vulnerability of the auto industry to cyber threats and the cascading effects that can occur when a major service provider is compromised.

We’ve endured hacking of our national governments, our financial institutions and of our health care records, but just maybe if we’ll get serious if we can’t buy cars or get our cars fixed.

There’s more on this on the weekend show of our sister podcast, Cyber Security Today. It’s on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and you can find it at TechNewsday as well.

Sources include: PC Mag

Retail giant Target is rolling out a new AI-powered tool to assist its store employees. Called the “Store Companion chatbot,” this app will be available on workers’ handheld devices across nearly 2,000 Target locations nationwide.

Developed in-house, the chatbot uses generative AI to answer employee questions about store procedures, product locations, and customer service issues. Target’s Chief Information Officer Brett Craig explains:

“It’s really about trying to empower and improve how our team members effectively work with our guests.”

The move follows similar AI initiatives by competitors like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. For Target, it’s part of a broader strategy to leverage AI for both employee and customer experiences. The company already uses AI to help shoppers personalize their trips, both online and in-store.

While the primary goal is to enhance employee efficiency and customer service, some industry watchers question whether such AI tools might eventually replace human workers. Target maintains that the focus is on empowering staff and improving the shopping experience.

Sources include: Axios

Chip-maker Nvidia has surged to become the world’s most valuable company, with its market capitalization reaching $3.34 trillion. The company’s stock price has nearly doubled since the start of 2024, propelling it past tech giants like Microsoft and Apple.

Nvidia’s meteoric rise is fueled by its dominance in AI chip technology, which analysts are calling “the new gold or oil in the tech sector.” The company’s chips are crucial for training and running generative AI models like ChatGPT.

Chris Penrose, Nvidia’s global head of business development for telco, believes this is just the beginning: “The generative AI journey is really transforming businesses and telcos around the world. We’re just at the beginning.”

Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, has become a celebrity in his own right, with Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg dubbing him the “Taylor Swift of tech.”

While some analysts predict Nvidia could reach a $4 trillion valuation, others caution about increasing competition in the AI chip market. Regardless, Nvidia’s transformation from a graphics card maker to an AI powerhouse has cemented its position at the forefront of the tech industry’s next big wave.

Sources include: BBC

The return of two NASA astronauts aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft has been delayed again, highlighting ongoing challenges for the long-delayed program. Astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore, who arrived at the International Space Station on June 6, will now stay until at least June 26 as engineers investigate problems that occurred during the capsule’s journey to the station.

Key issues include helium leaks and malfunctioning thrusters, raising concerns about the spacecraft’s performance. While officials believe Starliner can safely return the astronauts, they want to gather more data before attempting re-entry.

This setback adds to a series of delays and issues that have plagued Boeing’s Starliner program, which is years behind schedule and over budget. It stands in contrast to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which has been regularly flying astronauts since 2020.

The extended mission allows engineers to analyze the spacecraft while it’s docked to the station. However, it also underscores the challenges Boeing faces in proving Starliner’s reliability for future crewed missions.

As the space industry watches closely, the success of Starliner’s return journey will be crucial for Boeing’s reputation in the commercial spaceflight sector.

There are a billion jokes you could make about Boeing, but I’ll save them until the crew are back safely on the ground.

Sources include: CNN

And that’s our show for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a daily news show, with a weekend interview show we call the Weekend Edition.

Show notes are at technewsday.ca or .com  – either one works.

We love your comments.  Contact me at editorial@technewsday.ca

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Fantastic Friday.






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