Hashtag Trending – WhatsApp outage; Alberta bans bots; Alexa for Business

WhatsApp was down for a few minutes and apparently, that’s a big deal. Alberta is getting tough in the battle against ticket-buying bots. And Amazon’s Alexa might just be your newest colleague.

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Trending on Google, WhatsApp suffered several minutes of downtime on Thursday. And I do mean suffered. Hitting in the middle of the day, eastern standard time, affected parts of the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. Such problems are rare for this Facebook-owned messenger service with more than 1 billion users. WhatsApp hadn’t offered any explanation for the brief outage. But some users suggested it was just a “first world problem” anyway. Maybe try just text messaging instead?

From Facebook, Alberta has banned ticket-buying bots. We’ve all been there. You’re waiting for your favourite band’s tickets to go on sale for your local concert. But somehow they’re all sold out just seconds after they go on sale. Well, no more for residents of Alberta. A new consumer protection bill passed through the legislature will require ticket sellers to cancel any tickets purchased by bots. If they don’t, they could be hit with a $300,000 fine or even jail time.

Trending on LinkedIn, Amazon’s Alexa is getting a job. So far the smart assistant has been able to help with tasks at home. Maybe you’re listening to this on your Echo right now. But Amazon says it’s coming to the workplace. Using shared Echo devices, workers will be able to use Alexa to start video conference meetings with a simple voice command. It could also help people navigate around a large building or order some new staples. Alexa will also be able to quickly retrieve information from popular business applications like Salesforce, Concur, or Splunk.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jacksonhttp://www.itbusiness.ca/
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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