In the guest chair:
GreyCastle Security is a cybersecurity consulting firm focused on risk management, awareness and operational security. The company was established to counter rapidly evolving cybersecurity threats and manage risks in people, process and technology.
IFS360 is a fulfillment center that focuses on Ecommerce. With multiple locations, IFS360 uses ShipEdge technology which integrates with your shopping cart, gives you real time access to your inventory, prevents shipping errors, gives you transparency on all orders and billing, helps you with projections, etc.
Provider Web Capital is a specialty finance company with programs developed specifically to address the needs and complexities of the healthcare sector. Based in Atlanta, Georgia with offices in New York City, Provider Web Capital works with clients across the United States. Provider Web Capital has developed practice financing products designed to supply healthcare providers fast access to short term funding for their business.
In the local headlines:
- TAG Marketing is hosting it’s inaugural Geek Out on Marketing Technology conference which will be a one-day conference all about the technology behind marketing today. The conference will be held at the Loudermilk Center on April 13, 2016 and they are currently accepting speaking proposals from hands-on presenters who want to share insights on how they are mastering tmarketing technology. End users of marketing technology and martech vendors with compelling case studies are encouraged to submit speaking proposals.
- The company that produces TomorrowWorld in the Atlanta area and electronic music concerts in other parts of the U.S. and in 18 other countries, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday… but festival spokesperson Debby Wilmsen says, “the festival will have a bright future in the United States.” She added that there are “no concrete plans yet for TomorrowWorld 2016, but both the festival in Boom (Belgium) and the one in Itu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) will go ahead without any disruption.
- A Georgia hotel has taken the top spot on on U.S. News & World Report’s’ 2016 list of Best hotels in the U.S. The Lodge at Sea Island is the No. 1 pick and 3 others are in the top 100. The Cloister at Sea Island is No. 60, The St.Regis Atlanta is No. 64 and The Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta come in at No. 97.
- Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives will close a plant in Thomasville, GA, and cut about 250 jobs as part of a larger restructuring. The company will also close four other U.S. plants and one in China. This year could see more facilities closures, the company noted in a press release on fourth-quarter earnings. Caterpillar faces another tough year with the mining industry projected to continue to slow. Since Sept. 24, 2015, Caterpillar has closed nine facilities.
- IBM closed its reportedly $2 billion deal to acquire Atlanta-based The Weather Co.’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties and plans a major global expansion. The assets acquired include WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand. IBM will now bring weather.com into China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Japan, with the goal of increasing its global user base by hundreds of millions over the next three years.
- For the second time in less than a week, Georgia lawmakers are proposing to take back provisions in last year’s massive transportation funding bill pertaining to electric vehicles. Legislation introduced into the state House of Representatives Monday calls for reducing an annual fee on EVs of $200 imposed in the transportation bill to $75. This bill, introduced Monday, has bipartisan backing, but faces opposition from some legislative leaders who don’t want to reduce the revenue being generated by the $900 million transportation funding bill.
- Free snacks are back on American Airlines. The airline says it will start offering passengers on domestic flights complimentary snacks by April. Free snacks will be handed out on transcontinental flights this month. Early-bird travelers taking off before 9:45 am will receive Biscoff cookies. Passengers departing later will be offered either the cookies or pretzels. American had stopped offering free snacks in the main cabin in 2003.
- A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has won Elon Musk’s design competition to test their prototype on the futuristic high-speed transportation concept known as Hyperloop. The MIT team, composed of 10 students and several faculty advisers, will now go on to test their design by building an actual pod to race on a still-under construction one-mile test track near SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California home base.
- If you’re planning to attend the upcoming free Super Bowl City fan village along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the $35 NFL Experience amusement park at Moscone Center or the $30 “opening night”/media day in San Jose during Super Bowl week — or if you’re one of the lucky 70,000 with a game-day ticket to Levi’s Stadium — the league is tracking your movements – if you opt-in… which you will.
- Microsoft just put a data center under water. Yup under water. Microsoft just finished a three-month experiment operating an underwater data center. A server rack with the power of about 300 PCs was placed into a water-tight steel cylinder and lowered into the ocean off the coast of central California. The experiment was launched because current data centers are woefully inefficient. They’re built where energy and land are cheap (not close to where people actually live). And they waste a ton of energy cooling the massive computers. The ocean can solve those problems. Ocean currents can produce enough energy to power the sub-sea data centers. The cold ocean floor sufficiently cools the computing components inside the pod. And since most people live near the ocean, placing data centers under water could potentially increase the speed at which customers could access the information stored in Microsoft’s cloud. Very cool (pun intended).