Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 10/16/2013 3:17 pm

Mark your calendars, Apple computer fans, 1:00 PM Eastern Tuesday, October 22. That's when Apple holds a press conference where it's expected to announce updates to its iPad line. Apple's e-mail invite says the company has, "A lot to cover,” and it's expected to announce more than just an upgrade to its iPads. The event takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

A computer glitch that affected the food stamp system caused chaos at some grocery stores in Louisiana last weekend. Shelves at a Walmart were cleared and aisles were clogged with carts after the food stamp system went offline. Walmart allowed people to continue shopping despite a malfunction that prevented the store from seeing EBT Card balances. That's when dozens of people decided to go grocery shopping. Police were called to control the crowds and some even compared it to Black Friday. When shoppers realized they could only buy $100 worth of food, they abandoned their carts.

BlackBerry has appealed directly to its customers to stay loyal. BlackBerry published an open letter in newspapers around the world Tuesday that touts its technology and financial position. The ad stresses that the embattled smartphone maker has substantial cash on hand and no debt. The letter also talks up BlackBerry's social network, security features and corporate appeal. What the letter does not mention is that BlackBerry is for sale and has received a preliminary $4.7 billion buyout offer from Fairfax Financial. BlackBerry announced last month that it plans to lay off 40-percent of its global workforce by the end of the year. The first round of cuts began last week, with 300 employees let go.

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