Andy Haas

Andy Haas

Followers 61
Following 14
China
For all its drawbacks as a system of governance, you have to admit that communism, with its rich history and Big Brother overtones, makes for an ideal video game setting.Two-fisted shooters that let you blow the brains out of evil reds?Sneaky super-spy stealth games in which you set up both sides against each other?Even communist-friendly versions of city- and world-builders are out there.All of that makes Black the Fall (for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC) easy to enjoy from the get-go.It’s a moody little thriller in which you’re a machinist trying to escape from a communist country that’s closely based on Ceausescu’s Romania – in fact, the developers called on their own experiences of living through that horrifying regime.
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China
Think again–good old-fashioned brick and mortar stores have been attracting investment, the latest coming from Meituan-Dianping.The Tencent-backed on-demand services provider is planning to invest into so called “new retail”, Reuters is reporting.The term, coined by Jack Ma, refers to a new format where internet technology connects and optimizes offline outlets, online stores, and the overall supply chain.Some of the goals for new retail include intelligent self-service, anytime anywhere access, and high efficiency.Brick and mortar stores still make up over 80 percent of total retail sales in China.Alibaba and JD have both been investing in the offline retail market, with many projects covering un-tapped rural areas.
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UK
Less than a week ago, headlines declared that a market-shaking fork in Bitcoin had been averted.But the people backing a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash have now announced that the expected compromise between warring factions is dead.The debate over a so called “hard fork” in Bitcoin has been going on for two years.The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is getting older and it’s reached highs of more than $2,600 in recent months.This was, in part, to keep a check on the speed of its growth and to serve as a security measure against cyber attacks.Supporters of the new Bitcoin Cash (BCC) want a larger data cap on blocks.
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UK
Don't panic, because Cyber Monday is here to give you yet more opportunities to bag a tech bargain for yourself.That's right, the sales last all the way across the weekend, so you've got plenty of time to do your shopping - and we've got the very best Amazon offers right here.As well as pointing you towards the most attractive deals, we'll also give you some general tips about how to go about your Cyber Monday 2017 shopping at Amazon.Cyber Monday deals quick linksAmazon Prime and Cyber MondayOne way to get ahead of the pack on Cyber Monday is to sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription, or make use of the one you already have: some of the bargains you'll see are exclusive to Prime members, or exclusive to Prime members for a limited time.
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UK
Google is finally taking the most logical step towards growing its streaming business: it’s set to merge YouTube Red with Google Play Music, which should make it easier for subscribers to find the tunes they want without all the confusion of the company’s myriad offerings.That’s from Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, who confirmed the move at the New Music Seminar conference in New York.What we don’t yet know is whether it’ll lead to the launch of an entirely new product.For now, it sounds like Google will simply create a new brand under which both services will be offered with a single subscription.But I’m hoping that the merger also sees the company make YouTube’s premium tier available globally.YouTube Red is currently available in just five countries, and, as an example, India isn’t one of them.
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US
David Meikle spent 16 years at Ogilvy & Mather, trouble-shooting for major accounts (think BP, Nestlé).His new book, How to Buy a Gorilla (from Lid Publishing), is about when and how to take risks, and the necessity of doing so.His message is not only relevant to the relationship between brands and agencies, but to the need for transformation across business teams, from marketing through PR to content production.A business which won't take risks (buy gorillas) is a business begging to be disrupted.And he has a whole bunch of monkeys to back him up.And here's the ad which started it all:
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China
And while we’ve been waiting to see Lenovo’s K7 Note model to appear in the coming days, a mystery Lenovo K8 Note device hit Geekbench earlier today, revealing some of its key specifications.Based on the GeekBench listing, the K8 Note should be equipped with a Deca-core Helio X20 chipset and 4GB RAM onboard.There could be a Snapdragon variant too, who knows?Plus, it will run Android 7.1.1 out of the box and it will be updated to Android O in the future.Don’t forget that we already know that Lenovo is prepping to launch the K7 Note model, which should feature a 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 660 chipset, 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
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UK
On June 25, 2016 at 6pm ET (2pm GMT), a flash of visible light appeared in the sky that, depending on your location, could have been visible with binoculars.It wasn’t a plane or a star: it was a gamma ray burst, one of the most violent explosions in the universe, from a source 9 billion light years away, possibly a black hole.And you’re afraid of explosions here on Earth?Image: Snapshot of burst via S.Karpov, G.Beskin (SAO RAS and Kazan Federal University, Russia), S.Bondar, E.Ivanov, E.Katkova, N.Orekhova, A.Perkov (OJS RPC PSI, Russia), A.Biryukov (SAI MSU and Kazan Federal University, Russia), V.Sasyuk (Kazan Federal University, Russia)This gamma ray burst, named GRB 160625B, was special.The telescope watched the light show happen live and evolve over time.
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US
Social media marketers, do you feel a brief pang of envy when a brand gets sassy on Twitter or Facebook?We may never get the sweet satisfaction of seeing a tweet full of biting wit go viral.The good folks at Sprout Social just released their Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index, and they’re taking aim at precisely that question.It lets people know that there are actual human beings behind the brand, seeking to entertain just as much as they inform.But we should make sure the humor is not all that we’re bringing to the table.Sprout Social found that while 3 in 4 consumers appreciate humor from brands, being funny was 4th on the list of what consumers really want from brands on social media:
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US
Brands can also filter by date range to analyze the impact of their campaignsLinkedIn Wednesday announced the launch of LinkedIn Website Demographics, a new tool that enables brands to tap into data from the professional network to see who has been visiting their websites.LinkedIn Website Demographics will launch “in the coming weeks,” and it appears to function similar to the Facebook pixel, a snippet of code brands can add to their websites to mine similar information on Facebook users who visit.In order to begin using the feature, brands must have the LinkedIn Insight Tag—a lightweight JavaScript tag—on their sites.The next step is to sign into Campaign Manager, click on Account Assets and choose Insight Tag.Websites will be listed as Verified if the tag is properly installed.
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US
Thousands of SMEs suffer from late payments and then find themselves facing gargantuan tax bills, which consequently forces them to dip into their cash reserves.Although the government’s Making Tax Digital timetable has been pushed back, it is becoming increasingly clear that embracing digital transformation is simply an inevitability.Many SMEs still rely on spreadsheets and other inefficient manual processes to manage their business expenses – which costs approximately £8.72 billion each year in lost productivity.To improve efficiency, businesses should consider investing in automated systems and cloud-based solutions which makes it easier to track and control expenses and thus remove administrative burdens and free up business time.Businesses should ensure they are taking full advantage of tax relief opportunities.Commercial property-owning businesses are entitled to claim capital allowances, a valuable form of tax relief for certain types of capital expenditure.
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UK
It might seem like photographer Mike Olbinski is always at the right place at the right time to capture Mother Nature’s fury.But for his latest film, Pursuit, he actually spent three months driving across 10 US states to capture this amazing timelapse footage, chasing storms and weather patterns for over 28,000 miles.Recorded using a pair of Canon 5DS R cameras which feature a 50.6-megapixel sensor customized for preserving fine details for sharper images, Olbinski captured over 90,000 photographs to create these timelapses.In other words, he wasn’t always in the right place at the right time, but if you keep your camera pointed at the skies, you’ll eventually capture something spectacular.
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US
This partnership between Oracle and the Bloodhound Project will target the land speed record with data playing a crucial role.Oracle’s cloud technology is being used in support of the Bloodhound Project as it aims to break the land speed record by reaching 1000 miles per hour.Oracle will be responsible for channelling the vast amounts of data that will be emitted from in excess of 500 sensors installed all over the vehicle with which the record is intended to be broken, Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC).The partnership is not only targeting blistering speeds and a record that has been proudly associated with Great Britain for over 100 years; it is also passionate about education, and inspiring a new generation to pursue technical skills.With this focus, the project has become a leading science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) opportunity for over 100,000 students across the United Kingdom every year.This initiative targets a critical shortage of skills that the world is facing, as an increasing technological world requires an increasing number of technical skill sets to maintain it.
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China
Xiaomi have finally revamped MIUI with an Android 7.0 Nougat-based version of the ROM and some new features.The new OS won’t hit your smartphone right away but let’s go ahead and see what improvements we’ll find!MIUI 9 comes with three main new features: Image Search, Smart Assistant and Smart App Launcher.Image Search will allow you to look for an imagine by typing keywords, kinda of what we already have on Google Photos.Then we have the MIUI Smart Assistant which is pretty much the equivalent of “Ok, Google” and Apple’s Siri.Lastly, with the Smart App Launcher you’ll be able to launch an app based on the contents present on your screen.
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UK
No-one really knows what the Gig Economy is all aboutThe Gig Economy is based upon either disrupting an existing big business model or it is providing the tech resources to small business to provide a better service to their customers.The Gig Economy is also known as the access economy, as a new way to rent a service or use of a product on a short term basis, keeping the investment down to a minimum and actually providing the consumer with certain efficiencies that the provider of the service could not afford to do themselves to due to the resources needed for technology development.We have all heard about Airbnb, Uber and the App Economy (what Slack, as a successful business has one or two things to teach every single business out there), the future of work, the future of the workplace and what many start-up founders strive for is to take their business to “Unicorn” status.I don’t think the future is actually going to be that dramatically different than what we have today.The chart below shows the daily impressions based on conversations on Twitter containing gigeconomy:
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UK
Google’s parent sees lower profit after being slapped with record Europe Union fineGoogle’s parent Alphabet has suffered a setback to its recent strong fiscal performance after it revealed a decline in second quarter net profits.Until now Google had been delivering stunning growth in both profits and revenues, helped by its principle cash cow, namely the advertising market, but also other ventures including its growing cloud business and revenue from its hardware (i.e Pixel smartphone) and Google Play Store.But in the last quarter (June to be exact) Google was slapped with a record-breaking fine of 2.4 billion euros (£2.1bn) by the European Commission for abusing its monopoly on Internet searches within the European Union.This fine has notably impacted Google’s second quarter financial performance, after Alphabet for the month ending 30 June, posted a net profit down at $3.5bn (£2.7bn) from $4.9bn (£3.7bn) in the same year-ago quarter.The profit would have been much larger had it not been for the EC penalty.
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UK
British gamers also prefer UK-made games to those developed abroad.A study has revealed that women in the UK will spend £1.1 billion on video games and video game accessories over the next 12 months.This follows multiple studies that have shown women to be more likely to play video games than men.The study was conducted by Barclays Corporate Banking and also found that women are more likely to play games alone than men are, and that mobile games are more popular than console games among those surveyed.Barclays also found that over the next two years, virtual reality headsets like the PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, are the pieces of gaming hardware British gamers are most likely to invest in.One in seven British gamers said they would choose to buy a game made in the UK over one made abroad, citing reasons including a preference for UK-based developers, games with a British sense of humour and compelling storytelling.
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UK
We seem to be experiencing something of a flurry of news about the upcoming flagship Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 phones from Google.Yesterday we had news about its speed, today we have more news about its looks.We may now have a better idea of what the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will look like thanks to digital renders based on leaked CAD designs.The designs were apparently given out to accessory makers so we’re fairly confident that they will be accurate.What adds further credence is that these leaks are provided by Steve Hemmerstoffer (who goes by the handle @OnLeaks), a trusted source for leaks.The source of the leak (@MySmartPrice) has made a very attractive video for the renders, which you can see below.
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UK
A cheap alternative to traditional laptops, they offer a safer environment for surfing the web, as well as smooth performance.But this means they don't slow down, unlike some Windows laptops, meaning they don't need to be updated as regularly to be kept safe and secure.Plus, since you can pick up a decent Chromebook for under £200 there has never been a better time to think about buying one instead of a notebook.The best Chromebooks for 2017Acer Chromebook 11: Acer's cheapest, no-frills Chromebook comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and an Intel Celeron processor.Asus Chromebook C201: A compact Asus Chromebook with an HD display, this device has plenty of connectivity and weighs less than a kilogram.
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US
Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital.Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems.Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler also participated in the round.Quite a few U.S. startups are trying to create the software to power autonomous vehicles — Drive.ai and nuTonomy to name a few.But unlike these startups, Momenta is merely a year old.The startup counts three ex-Microsoft researchers on its team and three PhDs.
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