p Fear of artificial intelligence is real, and Canada has a problem on its hands: The country may soon be killed by cuteness.After taking trips to the US and Europe, Japan's Pepper robot will soon start working for Canada's ATB Financials bank.The humanoid robot will be greeting customers in Calgary later this month, reports ZDNet."Banks suck at creating great customer experiences," admitted ATB Financial's Chief Transformation Officer Wellington Holbrook at the SAP Sapphire Now conference in Orlando last week."What we're learning from Pepper is people actually love engaging with a cute little robot that can dance and say nice things to you."Pepper, an AI-powered robot developed by Japanese carrier SoftBank, debuted in Japan early 2015.
p The Hoffman Agency has appointed Caroline Hsu as the Asia Pacific managing director.Hsu has over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and branding.She previously worked as chief marketing officer of Appier and head of communications for Google Taiwan and Hong Kong."From an industry perspective, we are at a tipping point of change in the branding consultancy industry.More and more clients are looking to work with brand consultants that better understand their business pain points," said Hsu"With my experience from the client side, I have the insights to lead the team in taking an integrated marketing communications approach to solving our clients' business problems and further build brand momentum.
This includes an Intel Core i7 7700K CPU, 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, a 512GB Samsung 960 Pro SSD and a 4TB WD Black for storage -- all neatly installed in a MSI Z270i Pro Carbon AC motherboard.For those looking for a more budget conscious option, there are plenty of choices available around the H270, Z270, and X99 chipsets.Origin’s configuration tool allows for countless different hardware combinations to suite your price and performance needs.Since the graphics card is a founder's edition variety, this allows for great thermal isolation between components.Finally, the additional case fan helps cool the motherboard, RAM, and storage drives.The front of the case has an illuminated Origin logo at the top as well as power and reset buttons below.
p While Quora has been around for almost seven years, it’s been a little slow when it comes to monetization through advertising.The question-and-answer site first launched ads last year in April 2016, but since then it’s only existed in closed beta to pre-approved advertising partners like Mulesoft and Shopify.The startup just announced that it’s opening its self-serve ad platform to the public, just over a month after it reached unicorn status by raising $85M at a valuation around $1.8 billion.Advertisers both large and small will be able to create text-based ads and mobile app install ads – both of which look particularly native and nonintrusive.In terms of targeting, advertisers can use topic targeting (which is how Quora categorizes its Q) to advertise within specific topics like Science, Politics or Cryptocurrencies.You can also target by geography and platform (like desktop or mobile).
p /p p /p Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature following an explosion in Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and left more than 50 injured.p /p p /p The explosion occurred around 10:30 p.m. BST (5:30 p.m.ET) as thousands of people were leaving an Ariana Grande concert.p British Prime Minister Theresa May said officials are "working to establish the full details" of the what police believe is an "appalling" terrorist attack./p p Safety Check asks people in the area of the incident if they are safe, and publicly marks them as such if they say they are.Users can see which of their friends have marked themselves safe, and asks those in the area if they are.
p Meizu M5C was unveiled officially earlier today in China and it surely looks good for the budget/mid-range market judging by its specifications./p p /p p The affordable smartphone now has a polycarbonate body and it’s available in 5 distinct colors: black, gold, red, blue and pink./p Join GizChina on Telegram p It’s also quite light (for a device of this type) weighing 135 gr.and somewhat thin at 8,3mm.It packs a 5 inch HD display and it comes equipped with a quad core Mediatek SoC clocked at 1.3GHz along with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and microSD slot (it takes the place of one SIM slot unfortunately).The Meizu M5C has an 8MP main camera with f/2.0 and a 5MPixels selfie camera with support for ArcSoft beautification algorithm.
p Food startups are apparently still steaming hot as French startup Frichti just raised a whopping $33.7 million (€30 million).Frichti is currently available in Paris and nearby cities.It handles everything in-house — from cooking to orders and deliveries.Verlinvest and Felix Capital invested in today’s funding round, with existing investors Alven Capital and Idinvest Partners also participating.I’ve already covered Frichti and everything is still true today.Frichti stands out from the rest of the (crowded) competition with a simple promise — healthy meals with a common signature among all options.
p Online education platform Yangcong receives USD 14 million for Series B /p p Yangcong /p p Founder: Yang Linfeng /p p Founded in: 2013 /p p Financing status: RMB 97 million (USD 14 million) Series B financing in 2017 /p p Online education platform Yangcong on Monday landed USD 14 million for its Series B round to integrate artificial intelligence and big data technology on its platform to provide students with customized learning suggestions./p p Yangcong is an online education platform that provides interactive teaching videos and game oriented learning experience for middle school students.It also aims to help students improve their learning efficiency.In addition, its platform collects data from the students’ learning process, as well as provide customized learning suggestions./p p It creates a series of learning videos based on the syllabus, using funny language to illustrate each knowledge point.Students will then be asked to finish a small test to check if they have mastered the knowledge point.
p IPG Mediabrands have announced the promotion of Jacky Tang to chief operating officer, China with immediate effect.This follows the launch of Ansible Singapore and Mediabrands Society in Hong Kong.In Tang’s new role, he will oversee agency operations and integration across specialised business units.He will be based in Shanghai and report to Tam Wan, chief executive officer, IPG Mediabrands China.Tang has over 20 years of media industry experience in areas such as planning, buying and negotiation.Tang’s previous roles in IPG Mediabrands include managing director of Magna and president of Magna China.
p Ke Jie, the world’s top-ranking Go master, will be humanity’s last hope to even the score in the battle of minds against artificial intelligence, when they embark on a three-match battle in Wuzhen this week.The showdown, which will be fought over three days, will be the second time the 19-year-old Ke faces AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence programme developed by Google DeepMind.In a January online match, AlphaGo dispatched Ke convincingly.Another victory by AlphaGo carries particular significance, as China was where the game of Go, known in Chinese as weiqi (圍棋) was first played some time before the Zhou dynasty of 1,046 to 256 BC .The game, also commonly played in Korea and Japan, Go has been the benchmark for the competition between artificial intelligence and humanity for decades, ever since IBM’s DeepBlue vanquished the chess master Gary Kasparov in 1997.“Most people view this as man versus machine, while I disagree,” said Demis Hassabis, CEO and founder of DeepMind, at the kickoff of the tournament in Wuzhen in Zhejiang province.
p The Russian Interior Ministry has announced the arrest of 20 people following raids related to a malware campaign dubbed “Cron” which had been emptying victims' bank accounts.A Russian security company, Group IB, reckons the raids also thwarted plans to take the campaign international – to Great Britain, Germany, France, the USA, Turkey, Singapore, and Australia.The ministry says the campaign netted 50 million roubles (around US$883,000) – a relatively paltry amount, indicating the plot collapsed before it got a full head of steam.The raids were widespread, including people living in the “Ivanovo, Moscow, Rostov, Chelyabinsk and Yaroslavl regions and the Republic of Mari El”, and the ministry says the group was organised by an unnamed 30-year-old resident of Ivanovo.Group IB, acknowledged by the Interior Ministry as a partner in uncovering the malware group, says the malware scum infected more than a million devices, at the rate of “3,500 mobile devices per day”.Infections were spread either by booby-trapping apps counterfeiting sites like PornHub, Navitel (navigation), Framaroot (to root Androids), or Avito (a Russian classified advertising site); or via text messages linking to compromised Websites.
p Researchers have found more digital fingerprints tying this month's WCry ransomware worm to the same prolific hacking group that attacked Sony Pictures in 2014 and the Bangladesh Central Bank last year.Last week, a researcher at Google identified identical code found in a WCry sample from February and an early 2015 version of Contopee, a malicious backdoor used by Lazarus Group, a hacking team that has been operating since at least 2011.Additional fingerprints linked Lazarus Group to hacks that wiped almost a terabyte's worth of data from Sony Pictures and siphoned a reported $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank last year.Researchers say Lazarus Group carries out hacks on behalf of North Korea.The malware included Trojan.Volgmer and two variants of Backdoor.Destover, the disk wiping tool used in the Sony Pictures attacks.Trojan.Alphanc, which was used to spread WCry in attacks that took place in March and April attacks, is a modified version of Backdoor.Duuzer, which has previously been linked to Lazarus.
p Singapore announced a host of virtual reality initiatives as part of building blocks for a digital economy.In an opening address at the Infocom Media Business Exchange, minister of communication and information, Yaacob Ibrahim announced the pilot project of VR in primary schools, as well as use in clinical training.Singapore regulator, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will be working with production company Beach House Pictures to pilot the use of VR in social studies in five primary schools.“Through the pilot lessons, about 400 students in primary four and primary five learnt about the design and architectural features of buildings as well as characteristics of high-tech farming,” said Yaacob.“In this pilot, Beach House Pictures worked with MOE (Ministry of Education) to develop exciting VR content closely aligned to the social studies curriculum.Beach House Pictures has also collaborated with local start-up Hiverlab to develop a customised VR classroom application for teachers to guide students on VR experiences to different locations around Singapore,” he added.
p When Instagrammers don’t get enough likes or think their posts look boring, they sometimes impetously delete them.But they can later regret this common emergent behavior which also deprives Instagram of monetizable content and your history in images that could keep you locked into the service.So Instagram is rolling out a new feature called “archive” that lets you hide any of your posts from everyone else, but keeps them safe for you to look at in private or restore to visibility.We were alerted when Matt Navarra spotted the feature earlier today, and now Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that this is a new feature it’s testing.Additionally, a spokesperson shared that “We’re always testing new ways to improve the Instagram experience”, and noted that the archive option creates a private space for personal viewing of old posts.The company will expand the availability of the archive option over the next few months as it continues to iterate on it.
p Quora, the place to get answers to questions on just about any topic you can dream up from people who know about it, has now opened its self-serve ads platform to advertisers globally.More than 300 advertisers from a range of verticals have been using the platform while in beta.Shopify, Hubspot, Thinkific, Udacity and Hired are among the companies that have been running campaigns.This under-the radar company is valued at $1.8 billion as of its latest funding round last month.Though it has been comfortable with a slow growth approach until now, as we reported in April, Quora has doubled its ads team, which includes several Facebook ad alumns, and is planning to invest in building out the ads platform.Quora currently offers two native ad formats — text and app install ad — that run on question pages and include a call-to-action button.
Wonder no more: The Guardian obtained “more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts” and shared its findings.of The Guardian reported that moderators are “overwhelmed” by the volume of posts they are tasked with processing, often leaving them with “just 10 seconds” to make decisions, adding that they found the guidelines on sexual content to be the most inconsistent, complex and confusing.Hopkins spoke with Facebook head of global policy management Facebook’s monthly user base of nearly 2 billion and said determining what types of content to allow and not allow is difficult, as content may violate the social network’s policies in some contexts, but not in others.We have a really diverse global community, and people are going to have very different ideas about what is OK to share.We feel responsible to our community to keep them safe and we feel very accountable.But it can be permissible to say: “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat,” or, “fuck off and die,” because they are not regarded as credible threats.
p Apple has never been shy about convincing Android users to switch to iPhones.In 2014 it put out a guide on how such refugees can easily make the transition.In 2015, it put out its first ever Android app, even before Apple Music came out, and it was a much maligned “Move to iOS” app.Now it is presenting a more creative way to do that, with five ads that subtly hint at why you’d want to make the move and a revamped Switch site that puts those into words.The Switch site has actually been up for quite a while now but, before today, it focused simply on the Move to iOS app, on how to make the move from Android to iOS.This time, however, it is putting a heavier emphasis on why you’d want to make the switch anyway.
p Billionaire Robert Bass’s dream of building a private supersonic jet is poised to get a boost from one of the world’s top engine makers: General Electric .Aerion Corp. is in talks with GE to power what could be the first nonmilitary plane to fly faster than the speed of sound since Concorde flights were halted in 2003, according to a statement Monday by the Bass-backed aircraft start-up.The discussions represent a step toward resolving a major obstacle in Aerion’s plan to develop a jet that could shave three hours off trans-Atlantic trips -- and shorten flights across the Pacific by six.Aerion, which already has a committed buyer for its AS2 plane, has been working with the engine manufacturers to meet noise restrictions and fly economically at speeds both slower and faster than the sound barrier.“The two companies will continue to participate in a formal and gated process to define a potential collaboration for an AS2 engine,” GE and Aerion said in a statement Monday.GE makes jet engines for large commercial aircraft producers, including Boeing Co. and Airbus SE planes.
p Virtual reality is set to become an important part of the future tech landscape, and Google Daydream is looking to get ahead of the curve.Google Daydream is set to get some pretty significant upgrades later this year, but before those major updates launch, Google will keep releasing Daydream-related software.Most recently, the company launched “Google Daydream Elements,” a collection of tech-related demos that show the best practices for building VR content.“Performance is critical to VR apps but can be especially challenging on mobile graphics processing units (GPUs).Many commonly available mobile shaders and per-pixel lighting solutions provide high-quality results but perform poorly on mobile VR systems due to extremely high resolutions, rendering multiple views, distortion, and general mobile performance issues,” said Google in a blog post.Daydream Elements currently covers three core principles to building quality VR content.
Astronomers want your help to figure out this cosmic riddleAstronomers worldwide are scrambling a worldwide effort to capture as many images of the famous “Tabby's Star” (also known as Boyajian's Star), which has abruptly entered a dimming phase.The mysterious KIC 8462852 has intrigued astro-boffins ever since Tabetha Boyajian worked out the dimming signature in Kepler observations from 2011 and 2013.Follow-up work revealed there were two mechanisms at work: a periodic twinkle, and a much longer-term dimming.Its behaviour has been attributed to a comet swarm, a broken-up planet, or a Ringworld-like "Dyson sphere" megastructure, all of which fail to explain the star to everyone's satisfaction.That's why, in response to a dimming event that started on April 24, the Astronomy Telegram put out a call for observations on Saturday.