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Data Sheet—Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If you thought the buzz around Apple’s product launch last week was loud, brace yourself for four days of Salesforce propaganda.

The company’s Dreamforce conference is expected to draw close to 150,000 customers and developers to San Francisco. That’s almost one-fifth of the entire city’s population. It even had to put up 1,000 attendees on a cruise ship!

Two of the most significant product introductions have already been made public this morning. The company is making a long-anticipated foray into the Internet of things, courtesy of its home-spun data processing technology called Thunder. It has also endowed its flagship Sales Cloud with some nifty sales intelligence features, such as when it makes sense to call a specific prospect. Plus, it’s getting much more aggressive at targeting smaller businesses.

Among notable tech executives that will walk across the stage this week: Cisco’s Chuck Robbins and YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to speak Wednesday. Expect an update tomorrow on the unprecedented alliance between the two companies, announced in May 2014. Enjoy your Tuesday!

 

TOP OF MIND

How does Facebook handle all that video? Especially on mobile devices. The answer lies behind the scenes in compression technologies that optimize playback speeds and artificial intelligence algorithms that speed uploads. The social network’s data center team shares some secrets. (Fortune)

TRENDING

GE creates new digital division, one that brings together its analytics software and Internet of things technologies. CEO Jeff Immelt’s goal: become a top 10 software player by 2020. Former Cisco executive Bill Ruh is in charge. (Reuters)

Alibaba wants you to know it’s nothing like eBay. The Chinese e-commerce giant is livid over a Barrons analysis suggesting its stock price could plummet another 50% this year. Here are some of its rebuttals. (Fortune)

Russia rules against Google in antitrust case. The decision could affect what services, such as digital maps, it is allowed to include in versions of the Android mobile operating system sold in the country. (New York Times)

The next thing in e-commerce? Digital payments unicorn Stripe is helping merchants like eyewear retailer Warby Parker and high-end department store Saks Fifth Avenue create “shoppable” tweets. (Fortune)

Strange twist in a lawsuit against Uber. Kevin Halpern claims co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp stole his idea for a ride-sharing service. The lawyer representing him just walked away from the case. (Fortune)

THE DOWNLOAD

Apple, Microsoft, and Google vie for control of artificial intelligence

As time has passed, one thing has been clear: it’s not easy to give your gadgetry human-like intelligence. Still, some of the world’s top technology companies are trying. Both Microsoft and Google have research arms focused on improving machine learning, and Apple is said to be hiring almost 100 artificial intelligence researchers. Here’s why all three companies are so focused on a booming market that is set to reach $11.1 billion by 2024, according to technology research firm Tractica.

BITS AND BYTES

IBM hires another high-profile outsider, this time to run its analytics-infused Internet of things business. (Fortune)

Microsoft is gearing up for a splashy product launch. The Oct. 6 shindig in New York will center on the latest overhaul of its Surface tablet. (Computerworld)

Financial industry regulators greenlight Bloomberg alternative. Secure messaging software Symphony gets its debut this week. (Fortune)

Apple will dominate smartwatch sales for the next four years, but its share will dip below 50% of the market by then. (Fortune)

Qualcomm buys into connected health technology. (Fortune)

MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS

Why paying more for your router is now a must by Kif Leswing

Did Apple drop the gaming ball with Apple TV? by John Gaudiosi

Here’s what happened when my iPhone met an Android Wear watch by Rick Broida

Why this could be the deadliest driving year in nearly a decade by Doron Levin

Mom wins huge fair use ruling in Prince “dancing baby” case by Jeff John Roberts

ONE MORE THING

This guy might have the toughest job in tech, digitizing the Library of Congress. (Fortune)