Coffee Briefing Jan 10, 2023 – Salesforce cuts workforce; Dirac partners with Blackberry QNX; Shopify announces Commerce Components; and more

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What’s new this week

Dirac partners with BlackBerry QNX to enhance in-car audio experience and boost new revenue streams for automakers
Source: Dirac

Swedish-based digital audio company Dirac announced it has partnered with BlackBerry QNX to integrate its Dirac Opteo Professional solution into the QNX Acoustics Management Platform to make it simple and affordable for automakers to digitally upgrade the performance of sound systems in high-end vehicles. The companies have already started to work on the first implementation in a high-end electric vehicle for a leading European manufacturer.

Dirac Opteo Professional will be accessible on all QNX supported chipsets through the QNX audio framework. This removes the need for automakers to install audio software in either the head unit SoC (system on chip) or in a separate digital signal processor (DSP) – which can take a long time, while also being a pricey and complicated process. 

Beginning with Dirac Opteo Professional, the partnership will expand to include Dirac Opteo Premium and Dirac Opteo Performance solutions, for mid- and entry-level vehicle sound systems respectively, and the Dirac Virtuo immersive audio solution.

Thomson Reuters completes acquisition of SurePrep

Source: Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters Corporation announced that it has closed its acquisition of SurePrep, a California-based company providing 1040 tax automation software and services. In November 2022, Thomson Reuters announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire SurePrep for US$500 million in cash.  

The acquisition supports Thomson Reuters’ strategy of pursuing both organic and inorganic growth opportunities as it looks to promote cloud-based workflows for professionals through digital solutions and open, smart, and connected platforms. 

SurePrep is designed to help accounting firms increase productivity and profitability, using artificial intelligence to automate both the collection of digital documents directly from clients and the processing of those documents. Its products and solutions include 1040SCAN, SPbinder and TaxCaddy. 

Salesforce announces cut to workforce 

Salesforce has announced that it will cut about 10 per cent of its workforce, which will impact over 7,000 employees, and close offices in certain markets.  

In a letter to employees and a corresponding filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Salesforce chief executive officer Marc Benioff cited the challenging environment for the decision.

Benioff also noted that Salesforce had hired too many people during the pandemic. Salesforce claimed 79,000 employees last February, a 30 per cent increase from 2020.

Employees impacted in the U.S. will receive a “minimum” of five months worth of pay, as well as health insurance and added benefits. For those outside of the U.S., Benioff said workers can expect similar levels of support. 

Shopify announces Commerce Components
Source: Shopify

Shopify has launched Commerce Components by Shopify, a composable stack for enterprise retail designed to meet its the unique needs.  

Featuring all-new back-office management designed specifically for enterprise, Shopify says that Commerce Components by Shopify gives retailers the speed and flexibility needed to build for the future. 

According to the company, Commerce Components by Shopify provides access to Shopify’s components such as checkout, which it says converts 72 per cent better than a typical checkout, and 91 per cent better on mobile. It also includes flexible APIs for building customer experiences that integrate easily with a retailer’s preferred back office services.

Other features include storefront search, which helps customers find products through AI-enabled search, fraud protection, and a tax and payment platform, as well as data and marketing analysis features.

LG partners with Canadian automotive supplier

At CES 2023, LG Electronics announced that it is partnering with Canadian automotive parts manufacturer Magna to develop a proof of concept for an automated driving-infotainment solution, aimed at providing new customer experiences and advancing the future of mobility.

Under the agreement, LG and Magna will explore the integration of LG’s infotainment capabilities with Magna’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and automated driving technologies. Additionally, this concept will focus on creating executable in-vehicle infotainment (IVI)-ADAS solutions to better meet carmakers’ vehicle programs.

This collaboration follows a joint venture LG and Magna announced in July 2021, LG Magna e-Powertrain Co.Ltd, to manufacture e-motors, inverters and on-board chargers, as well as related e-drive systems to support the shift to autonomous vehicles for carmakers.

“We are excited to work with Magna, now in the automated driving sector, to develop a proof of concept that could bring value expanding beyond our cockpit domain,” said Eun Seok-hyun, president of LG VS Company.

More to explore 

From smart poles to EABs: Valeo Group making some noise at CES

CES is an opportunity for successful but lesser known companies, be they large or small, to make a name for themselves, and one organization that has done just that is Valeo Group.

Canadian first EV, Project Arrow, debuts at CES

Last week at CES, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) unveiled a working prototype of Project Arrow, Canada’s first zero-emission connected vehicle.

Amazon to cut 18,000 jobs

Troubles in the U.S. tech sector continue, as e-commerce giant Amazon announced Wednesday night that “a little more than 18,000” jobs will be cut.

Bell partners with Snapchat to bring 5G-powered AR experiences to Raptors fans

At the Toronto Raptors game tonight, Bell and social media company Snap Inc. (Snapchat) will introduce a new immersive experience for fans, using Snapchat’s gamified in-arena 5G Augmented Reality (AR) Lens.

Canadian AI management firm announces AI governance solutions to enable board oversight

NuEnergy.ai, an Ottawa-based tech company that focuses on AI governance solutions, seeks to equip senior corporate leaders with the knowledge, framework, and software to interact with AI governance solutions and include AI governance in their risk registers.

CES 2023: Intel unveils new mobile processors

On Jan. 3 at CES, Intel announced its 13th Gen Intel Core mobile processors and introduced 32 new processors with a plethora of features and capabilities for various laptop segments.

Stolen data on 200 million Twitter users now being given away

Twitter account information on 200 million users, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Donald Trump Jr., is now available for free on a hacker forum, according to security researchers.

Channel Bytes January 6, 2023 – Rackspace kills Hosted Exchange service; AWS now encrypts S3 by default; New channel chief at CSG; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

DoNotPay offers to pay $1 million to let their robot argue a legal case, lab-grown retina cells make retina cells, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture approves vaccines for honeybees.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on support ending for Windows 8.1, Mac ransomware and a proposed US change for telecoms for reporting data breaches

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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