Bradley Liss

Bradley Liss

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The whirlwind of last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is in the rearview mirror now.Here’s what stuck out to us last week, as well as a couple of numbers from this week:Click here to read Adweek staff writer Marty Swant’s first-hand account of playing ping pong against a robot—and winning!All told, Amazon hosted nine presentations and workshops about Alexa at CES, which doesn’t include the dozens of other companies that mentioned Alexa.Check out staff writer Ann-Marie Alcántara’s recap of all of the new devices including Alexa.Speaking of Alexa, a report from Verto Analytics claims that Alexa’s monthly users have increased by 325 percent in 2017, equivalent to 2.8 million users.
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Natural disasters and extreme weather events were the only risks to rank above cyberattacks in terms of likelihood in 2018.Cyberattacks have been ranked as the third greatest global risk of 2018, following closely behind natural disasters and extreme weather events.The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018 has delivered this outlook for the year ahead, noting that concerns have jumped in comparison to previous years.Cyberattacks have also been joined in the top 5 risks by massive data fraud.The report states that businesses have recorded a doubling of cyber breaches in the past five years, spiking from 68 per business in 2012 up to 130 per business in 2017.“Cyberattacks being ranked as the third most likely global risk should come as a warning to businesses and governments across the world.
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AB InBev is bringing its Stella Artois brand to the Super Bowl for the first time since its Big Game debut in 2011 with a 30-second spot called “Taps,” which stars Matt Damon.Created by the agency Mother, “Taps” and the “Make Your Super Bowl Matter” campaign are the latest in the brand’s broader “Buy A Lady A Drink” effort, which launched in 2015 and highlights the brand’s ongoing partnership with Water.org.In the spot, Damon, a co-founder of Water.org, addresses viewers about something they probably take for granted, “clean water at the turn of a tap.”Error loading player: No playable sources foundDamon showcases the Stella Artois chalice, the center of the campaign since its inception, and asks viewers to purchase one chalice to provide five years of clean water for someone in the developing world.Each year, Stella Artois offers limited-edition chalices representing countries Water.org supports.
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Amazon expands Echo range as it looks to maintain smart home dominanceThe Echo Spot, Amazon’s latest Alexa-powered smart device, will be released in the UK later this month as the company continues its bid for smart home dominance.The 2.5-inch circular device is primarily intended as an alarm clock or to be a smaller stablemate of the Echo Show, which is larger and more expensive.Users can watch videos, play music, see commute and weather information and even set an alarm on the unit’s display.Amazon also thinks people might use it in the kitchen so they can see recipe information or set timers while cooking.The Echo Spot has four microphones and enhanced noise cancellation so it can hear users from across the room, even when music is playing.
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There's a man in Cornwall in possession of a licence to keep a leopard as a pet, and he does indeed have a leopard as a pet in Great Treverran, not far from Fowey.That's interesting enough a thing to write about on a Monday after another weekend of nothing but Trump news, but there's more.This man's in trouble because his leopard escaped for a week and is accused of eating a few local sheep.The chap's pet clouded leopard broke free after bad weather damaged its compound, with neighbours telling local news sources that the animal escaped on Boxing Day and allegedly spent at least a week chomping sheep on a similar meat-based festive binge to that enjoyed by us humans.The animal has since been recaptured after a farmer caught it in a fox trap.Cornwall Council is now facing calls for the man's magical leopard licence to be revoked, and has launched an investigation.
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Photo by Vlad Savov / The VergeWhen it first launched in October, Google’s Pixel 2 XL was met with a ton of criticism — much of it coming from me — about its sub-par display.Among the issues identified by reviewers were muted colors, a potential image retention problem, and, most obvious of all, a horrible blue shift anytime you were looking at the screen at an angle.It was all serious enough to prompt Google to extend the Pixel 2 XL warranty by a year and issue a software update to recalibrate the phone’s colors.The one thing Google couldn’t fix was that blue color shift, but as it turns out, that problem isn’t universal to all Pixel 2 XLs: some devices out there don’t have it nearly as bad as others.I was first alerted to this fact by the Jerome Ortega video above, wherein he demonstrates how his newer Pixel 2 XL has a warmer display that exhibits very little color-shifting when tilted at an angle.
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While a lot of CES’s flashier showings revolved around cars, or massive televisions, or VR, or robots, equally revolutionary are less-conspicuous bits of tech that aim to make life easier for a subset of users.Case in point, the Freemie Liberty breast pump, which debuted this year.The Freemie Liberty pump, developed by Dao Health, is hands-free and is attached to a timer.Mothers can set the timer to pump, and it will stop when the timer runs out.This frees the mother up to do other things, though Dr. Stella Dao, the Freemie’s inventor, thinks it’ll most likely help mothers sleep: “We know that the normal release of hormones during the milk letdown reflex can make moms sleepy.”The Liberty has a rechargable battery and is designed to be mobile, with a detachable belt clip to which the timer attaches.
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UCLA bioengineering professor Ali Khademhosseini has led the development of a tissue-based soft robot that mimics the biomechanics of a stingray.The new technology could lead to advances in bio-inspired robotics, regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics.The study was published in Advanced Materials.The simple body design of stingrays, specifically, a flattened body shape and side fins that start at the head and end at the base of their tail, makes them ideal to model bio-electromechanical systems on.The 10-millimeter long robot is made up of four layers: tissue composed of live heart cells, two distinct types of specialized biomaterials for structural support, and flexible electrodes.Imitating nature, the robotic stingray is even able to "flap" its fins when the electrodes contract the heart cells on the biomaterial scaffold.
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While messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Google Allo have all incorporated end-to-end encryption into their products over the last few years, Skype has lagged behind.But now that’s changing—Skype is adding end-to-end encrypted messaging, with the help of Signal.“Microsoft joins a growing list of organisations including WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, and Signal itself that have integrated the open source Signal Protocol into their messaging platform,” Signal said in a blog post.“With hundreds of millions of active users, Skype is one of the most popular applications in the world, and we’re excited that Private Conversations in Skype will allow more users to take advantage of Signal Protocol’s strong encryption properties for secure communication.”Skype’s new Private Conversations will only enable encryption in conversations between two people—it won’t work for group chats.Private Conversations also won’t sync across devices, which means if you start an encrypted chat with a contact on your phone, you won’t see it logged on your computer.
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New York-based Boxed, the startup for buying food and household items in bulk, is in talks to be acquired by Kroger for about $500 million.Other retailers are also expected to be making bids.The news was first reported by Forbes and confirmed to TechCrunch by a source with knowledge of the situation.We’re hearing that the company is aiming to make a decision this weekend.Founded in 2013, Boxed is effectively an online Costco competitor.With just a few taps, customers can order large boxes ranging from cereal to laundry detergent.
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A big pension fund and an activist investment firm Thursday said they had filed shareholder proposals pushing Facebook and Twitter to take more responsibility for managing content on their platforms, including mistreatment of women, fake news, election interference, violence, and hate speech—in other words, the same issues that have kept social-media giants in the crosshairs for the past year.The proposals accuse both companies of responding to concerns with inadequate disclosures and content policies that “seem reactive, not proactive.”The resolutions are the latest sign that concerns about potential ill effects spawned by a handful of giant technology companies have moved from Washington to Wall Street.On Sunday, a pair of activist investors — the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the hedge fund Jana Partners — targeted Apple with a public letter urging the company to address a growing body of research that smartphones can harm children’s mental and physical health.In a response, Apple promised new tools for parents, and said, “We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”Jana Partners’ role in the highly publicized letter took some by surprise because the hedge fund usually wages those kind of public campaigns to restructure companies, not crusade for social issues—a sign that financially focused investors believe concerns about smartphone addiction in children could affect Apple’s bottom line.
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Can you relax when there's a pillow wrapped around your head that streams a barrage of ambient nose into your ears and pulses orange light onto your eyelids?I felt more amped than calm when I tried on the Dreamlight, a Bluetooth-connected sleep mask on display on Tuesday at the CES tech show here in Las Vegas.The creators of the mask will launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the product this month.The Dreamlight is a gray, cushioned mask that covers your eyes and ears.After you fasten it on, an orange light dims and illuminates that is supposed to be a guide for your breathing: inhale as the light goes on, exhale as it goes off.Ambient sound also plays to block out noise -- I heard a mixture of what sounded like light jazz and rainforest sounds.
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Incorporating location intelligence into digital strategies can engage consumers in real time, increase brand loyalty, and provide actionable data.Learn how to captivate customers and prospects with location-based behavioral data when you join this VB Live event.It can be leveraged to gather competitive and market intelligence, gain insight into customer behavior, capture foot traffic for analysis, improve user engagement by delivering dynamic location-based user experiences, and deliver the right content to the right audience via targeted campaigns.Location data has also been historically overlooked.It had a reputation for inaccuracy, and the information it was able to deliver in early days — pretty much customer latitudes and longitudes – did not add a whole lot of power to the marketer’s arsenal.But advances in both mobile devices and location data technology mean that location data has grown both in breadth and depth.
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Cosmetic brand Avon India aims to raise awareness about breast cancer among women in India in its latest campaign.As part of the PayAttention campaign, Avon has rolled out a breast self-examination (BSE) video for women to help them identify the signs of breast cancer.It has also brought on board Dr. Mandeep S. Malhotra, breast oncoplastic surgeon to provide 10,000 free breast exams across cities.Avon has further joined hands with organizations such as the Indian Cancer Society, iCongo, survivors, celebrities such as Arjun Kapoor, Virendra Sehwag, Chelsea Clinton amongst many others, and social media icons such as Bhuvan Bam and Rohan Joshi to educate people on how a simple BSE when inculcated in one’s lifestyle can help save lives.The Drum spoke with Rahul Shanker, managing director, Avon India to find out the strategy behind this campaign.He said: "Avon has been known around the world for championing the fight against breast cancer – deep rooted into their philosophy of ‘Beauty for a Purpose.’ The insight our agency Zeno Group India focused on while conceptualising the campaign was that while women pay attention to a lot of things – their profession, their weight, their looks amongst others; one thing they don’t pay attention to is themselves and their health, specially their breasts.
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After cramming the Google Assistant into smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, watches, speakers, and headphones, Google is launching yet another form factor: smart displays.Remember the Amazon Echo Show?This is the Google Assistant version of that.Why settle for just a voice assistant when you can slap a screen on a "smart speaker" and read some of your query results?CES 2018 is when Google Assistant smart displays will arrive.No first-party "Google Home Show" has launched yet, but LG, Sony, JBL, and Lenovo are all signed up to produce the devices.
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If a community is resilient, it can withstand and recover from an unanticipated disaster, like an earthquake, fire or flood.But since every disaster and every community is unique, a uniform measure for defining "resilience" has been hard to come by for engineers and social scientists.In a new study, Colorado State University civil engineer Hussam Mahmoud offers an innovative approach to defining resilience that could help communities better prepare for hazards.Integrating a community's infrastructural, social and economic features, Mahmoud's team has created a dynamic mathematical model that quantifies, in space and time, how well a community would withstand a major shakeup - regardless of whether it's a natural disaster like a flood, or a social disruption like the Arab Spring in 2011.Mahmoud and graduate student co-author Akshat Chulahwat describe their "hazard-agnostic," finite element resilience model in the journal Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.They chose a fictional city to provide a proof-of-concept for their model.
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In an awfully hackneyed new-years-resolution post, every-day-normal-guy Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to lay out some of the goals he hopes the popular social media company will accomplish over the course of this year.But despite the rumors, adding Bitcoin to its platform was not on the agenda.“These issues touch on questions of history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology.I’m looking forward to bringing groups of experts together to discuss and help work through these topics.”This is when Zuckerberg brought up the topic of decentralization and using such technologies as a “force that puts more power in people’s hands.”“[M]any people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes [sic] it,” he continued.
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Intel says that it's already sending out fixes for the massive "Meltdown" and "Spectre" security bugs, with 90% of recent processors getting the patch by the end of next week.Google had previously said that there is no single way to guard against the Spectre attack.The bugs could make it possible for a hacker to access sensitive information, like photos or passwords, from almost every PC, phone, and tablet."By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years," Intel said in a press release Thursday.That still leaves a long way to go: The Meltdown and Spectre attacks are believed to present a threat to almost any Intel processor made since 1995.But safeguarding the last five years' worth of chips is a good start.
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In a blog post published minutes ago, Google’s Security team announced what they have done to protect Google Cloud customers against the chip vulnerability announced earlier today.They also indicated their Project Zero team discovered this vulnerability last year (although they weren’t specific with the timing).The company stated that it informed the chip makers of the issue, which is caused by a process known as “speculative execution.” This is an advanced technique that enables the chip to essentially guess what instructions might logically be coming next to speed up execution.Unfortunately, that capability is vulnerable to malicious actors who could access critical information stored in memory, including encryption keys and passwords.According to Google, this affects all chip makers, including those from AMD, ARM and Intel (although AMD has denied they are vulnerable).In a blog post, Intel denied the vulnerability was confined to their chips, as had been reported by some outlets.
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Introduces State of the Art Audio and Video Surveillance EquipmentAPEX, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 2, 2018–Force Protection Video Equipment (OTCQB:FPVD) announced today that it has recorded record revenues for the third quarter and year to date over 2016.The introduction of specialized video surveillance cameras to our product line is a welcome addition to many of our law enforcement customers.We will continue to add state of the art cameras to our product line to further increase sales.Many of our cameras are state-of-the-art designs using the Ambarella chip design.
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