Dwight Black

Dwight Black

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US
Shazam, known for its eponymous music recognition app, has launched a new augmented reality (AR) platform for brands, artists, and users around the world.Founded in 2000, Shazam offers a mobile app that lets you identify songs playing in the background by tapping a button.But it has long since branched out into other verticals, including TV, and the company recently announced its billionth app download overall.Back in 2015, Shazam announced new visual recognition smarts, moving beyond its audio roots to allow users to scan things like magazines, posters, and packaging that creates what the company refers to as “dynamic pieces of content” — this may include special offers and the ability to buy goods.Now Shazam is taking things to the next level with AR features that promise to “bring any marketing materials to life,” including advertisements, packaging, and other physical objects, through scanning mini Shazam “codes.” In terms of the kind of content users can unlock through Shazam, well, it could be anything from 3D animations to games and product visualizations.For the launch, Shazam says it has partnered with Beam Suntory, the company behind Jim Beam bourbon, among other alcoholic brands, with U.S. Shazammers able to unlock a branded memory game from next month.“We knew we were onto something big when we released visual image recognition in 2015,” said Shazam CEO Rich Riley.“With the rapid rise of augmented reality, it is a natural evolution for Shazam to be a first-mover in delivering AR at scale.”Shazam’s new AR code-scanning technology will be powered by yet another London company, Zappar, which just a couple of weeks ago raised its first outside funding to the tune of $3.75 million.What Shazam is offering here is, of course, nothing new.Fellow London startup Blippar has been offering something similar for several years, but what Shazam is selling to brands is its existing reach — its app is already used by tens of millions of people globally.“One of the things missing from augmented reality for advertisers has been a frictionless way to deliver these experiences at scale,” explained Greg Glenday, Shazam’s CRO.“Because Shazam has such a massive install base and consumers are already accustomed to using the app for discovery — we have now solved that problem.The possibilities for a brand to bring their products to life or make their advertising more engaging are quite literally only limited by the imagination.”
US
If you wanna read it on LinkedIn or connect with me, here's the link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-seo-facts-you-need-know-google-rankbrain-2017-paul-gallipeauGoogle first announced RankBrain on October 26, 2015 in a Bloomberg interview.It uses machine learning to help Google rank websites in its search engine.The goal is to provide Google users with the most relevant search results.Consider using your ads as a means to tell people to search for your brand and product on Google.Aim for a 60% CTR or higher for these branded searches because a high bounce rate probably hurts your rankings now.
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UK
When it comes to making money, Google has one mission and one mission alone: get its free apps and services in as many hands as possible.That’s the very reason why Android was such a brilliant move on Google’s part.By building a top-notch iOS rival and giving it away for free to any device maker that wants it, Google has created a scenario where well over a billion people access its apps and services constantly each day.The more they use their phones, the more data Google is able to collect.And the more data Google collects, the better it can target ads.As we discussed in an old article titled “The truth about Google and evil,” Google does so much to help people, but it’s an advertising company first and foremost.
UK
Sometimes it feels like computers have reached peak speed.Often times, when trolling YouTube or playing a quick round of Overwatch the limitations on performance seem tied to something else.AMD’s new Ryzen processors comes perilously close to changing the game.In recent years, AMD has kind of become the ugly cousin to competitors Intel and Nvidia.On the graphics side, Nvidia has stomped AMD to hold the majority marketshare—Nvida’s cards are found in most gaming laptops, and a lot of workstations too.There’s the 1700, which retails for £329, the 1700x, which retails for £399, and the top of the line 1800x, which retails for £499.
US
Nina Freeman, a game developer and host of the Independent Games Festival Awards, drew her loudest applause of the night before thousands of game developers as she expressed sympathy for those “affected by the Muslim travel ban.”A number of game developers said they could no longer travel to the U.S. for the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco because of the travel ban announced by President Donald Trump.Her outspoken comment was a contrast to the DICE Awards, where none of the recipients mentioned Trump or the travel ban.“I urge you to donate to the ACLU,” Freeman said.She got cheers, and the table next to me stood up and yelled, “Fuck Trump” over and over.Clearly, the developers aren’t holding back at this event.While Freeman was vocal, none of the award winners brought up Trump or the travel ban.In fact, Brendan Chan, winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Quadrilateral Cowboy, was choked up.All he said, was, “Thank you.”
US
The company confirmed that it s taking punitive actions against harassers, which were spotted in the wild earlier in February.When Twitter s algorithms discover an abusive tweeter, the company will temporarily reduce that person s reach.Anyone who doesn t follow that user won t be able to see their tweets for a set cool down period, such as 12 hours.Since these tools are new we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them everyday, the company said in a blog post.As for the new stuff, it includes added filters and a better interface design to help users silence the trolls.An important new filter, for example, will block any messages you get from a Twitter account with the infamous egg placeholder profile image.
UK
Alcatel on Monday announced three new Android phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, including a new high-end device that ships with an amazing, albeit unnecessary gimmick: an LED-covered back.The rear panel lights up for notifications and alerts, turns into an equalizer visualization when you listen to music, or just lights up the room in a fun pattern whenever you want such a feature.I m pretty confident that I would not use this type of handset cover on any device, and that I d switch to the regular cover that also ships in the retail box.If you put neon lights under your car, this phone might be for you.If you re a young mobile device user, which is where Alcatel is targeting this device, the A5 might be for you.You can customize the pattern that shows up on the back with the help of a special app.
Sweden
Google har gjort källkoden till E2Email, ett krypteringssystem för e-post, öppen för allmänheten.”E2Email i är inte en Googleprodukt, det är nu ett projekt helt drivet av öppen källkods-rörelsen, där passionerade säkerhetsingenjörer från industrin varit med och påverkat”, skriver Google i ett blogginlägg.E2Email är ett så kallat ändpunkt till ändpunkt-system, med obruten kryptering, som bygger på Javascripts kryptobibliotek.Systemet kan användas med hjälp av en Chrome-förlängning för att integrera Openpgp i Gmail.Valet att släppa E2Email fritt är ett led i Googles krypteringsprojekt Key transparency, som har målet att allt fler ska surfa krypterat.Google är själva rätt öppna med att E2Email just nu är lite ”barbent”, men hoppas att det blir ändring på det nu när alla kan vara med och föra systemet framåt.
Sweden
Skadlig programvara, eller malware som det också brukar kallas, är mjukvaruvärldens största gissel, men lyckligtvis är det lite av en raritet på Mac OS.Det existerar absolut på plattformen, och varje gång det rapporteras om en ny typ blir vi Mac-användare vettskrämda.Ett klassiskt fall är Keranger – mer känd som den första ransomware-attacken mot Mac-användare.Ransomware (gisslanprogram) är en mer specifik form av skadlig mjukvara som historiskt varit ett problem på pc men inte på Mac.Keranger drabbar Macar via en populärt bittorrentklient kallad Transmission.Men mer om det senare i artikeln.
Sweden
Ecotank från Epson är en udda bekantskap i skrivarutbudet.Eller för dig som vill skriva ut foton.I bägge fallen handlar det om små volymer och höga utskriftskostnader, då skrivarbläck som säljs i små patroner är hutlöst dyrt och måste bytas ut med jämna mellanrum.Med Ecotank vände Epson upp och ner på det.Vi testade en av de första Ecotank-modellerna som kom 2014, och tyckte redan då att det var en behändig skrivare, och trots ett rejält påhäng för bläcktankarna en hyfsat kompakt liten sak.Men med stadig hand är det superenkelt (om än fortfarande inte helt kladd-fritt) att fylla på, och det är ju som sagt inget du behöver göra särskilt ofta.
UK
An early spring may sound nice, but it comes with serious consequences—both to human health and the environment.Temperature-sensitive plants have started to become active earlier than normal, sprouting leaves and flowers in coastal California and southern Nevada through to the southern Great Plains and the Atlantic Coast.A related study published late last year showed that spring has been arriving earlier than usual in three out of four US National Parks across the US, and that half of all National Parks are experiencing early springs compared to last century.And yes, the US-NPN says this trend is likely the result of climate change:These findings are consistent with the fact that the instrumental record shows that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded for the globe, and that it was the third record-breaking year in a row.Researchers have noted that 16 of the 17 hottest years recorded occurred since 2000.
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UK
In its ongoing quest to produce a phone people actually want to buy, LG has announced it'll be launching a new mass-appeal handset with an enormous 4,500 mAh battery.Due to be unveiled at - you guessed it - Mobile World Congress, the LG X Power2 is the first of LG's new X range, a set of devices each centred around one feature that "are usually found only in premium smartphones."In this case, it's a giant battery twinned with a 5.5-inch HD screen, to satisfy people who want to mainline Netflix without being chained to a power socket.Apparently "designed to operate for an entire weekend without recharging," the X Power2 claims to offer 15 hours of back-to-back video viewing from a full charge.Alternatively, it can do 14 hours of sat nav or 18 hours of "web surfing" people still use that term?When you need to power back up, it won't take too long despite that oversized battery: the phone includes quick charging, and can refill by 50% in an hour.
UK
A platform based on behavioural science attempts to strip bias out of hiring so candidates are judged only on their abilities, avoiding any possible influence from aspects such as gender and ethnicity.The platform, called Applied, has been developed by the Behavioural Insights Team, a company originally set up by the UK government to apply behavioural psychology to government services and policy.Multiple studies have suggested that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to be interviewed or offered jobs than equally qualified applicants from non-minority backgrounds.Yet there is evidence that companies with a staff diverse in ethnicity and gender are likely to outperform those with more homogenous workforces.To help avoid this behavioural bias, the Applied system forgoes CVs, instead asking candidates to each complete the same five questions that relate specifically to the job they re applying for in an online portal.All answers to each question in turn are then evaluated by up to three recruiters from the employer, without them knowing which answer came from which candidate.
US
If you're willing to risk some bugs, then you can snooze your tabs and report issues with Firefox's two new experimental features.Mozilla introduced a Firefox Test Pilot program in May 2016 to give brave users early access to experimental features.Much like with Microsoft’s Windows Insider and other programs, joining the Firefox Test Pilot program lets users try out and provide feedback on features that will eventually make their way to everyone.It has released two new experimental features that are aimed at making it easier to come back to interesting material later and let Mozilla engineers know about problematic sites.Mozilla covered the details of the new features, SnoozeTabs and Pulse, respectively, in a post on their blog.More: Mozilla reopens its Test Pilot program for Firefox in the safest way possible
Sweden
It has been circulated many reports that Intel lays down its bet on the Atomprocessorn as a motor in the smartmobiler and Intel are looking for new markets.But it does not mean that you put down Atom as a trademark.on Tuesday, Intel launched the Atom C3000, which can have up to 16 cores.It is intended for storage and network equipment, and for iot devices, writes IDG News.the C3000 offers functionality that is usually found in serverprocessorer, network support, virtualization, and advanced error handling.Because the processors for storage and networking equipment do not require as much computing power fits Atom, which draws a bit of energy.
US
Following a scathing report of sexual harassment at Uber over the weekend, CEO Travis Kalanick hosted an all-hands meeting today, along with board member Arianna Huffington and Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey, to discuss the company s next steps.Huffington has now released an update to what was discussed in that all-hands meeting this morning in a post on Uber s newsroom with the following:I just joined Travis and Liane Hornsey, Uber s recently hired Chief Human Resources Officer, for the company s weekly meeting.We spent over an hour discussing women in the workplace — and talking about the review that s underway by Eric Holder and Tammy Albarran into diversity and inclusion at Uber.Travis spoke very honestly about the mistakes he s made — and about how he wants to take the events of the last 48-hours to build a better Uber.It was great to see employees holding managers accountable.
UK
It makes sense that the guy who wrestled as the People’s Champion—with the backstory of butting heads with powers-that-be—would look at DC Comics continuity and come away with this reading of the character.News broke a while back that Warner Bros.’ in-development Shazam movie would become a multi-part project, with a solo film focused on magically powered mortal Black Adam.It had been an open question as to whether Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson understood that he’d be playing a bad guy, someone who has killed many, many people in the comics, along with the entire nation of Bialya.But in the video below, he gives his take on how this villain can be interpreted as a hero.Here’s a partial transcript of what he says:“Yes, of course, Black Adam—in the mythology—is a villain.
US
Uber once again has come under fire after a former engineer published a blog post alleging widespread sexism during her year at the on-demand ride hailing service.On Saturday, Susan Fowler wrote about her experience where her claims of sexual harassment by managers were dismissed by the company, often with the excuse that her bosses were high performing .Within hours, the company s chief executive Travis Kalanick issued a statement and tweeted that he has ordered Uber s new human resources chief Liane Hornsey to conduct an urgent investigation and any perpetrators will be fired.Of note, the previous HR head Renee Atwood left in 2016 after joining in 2014.In November 2015, Fowler joined the company as a site reliability engineer SRE and was optimistic about her role there.They were still wrangling microservices out of their monolithic API, and things were just chaotic enough that there was exciting reliability work to be done, she wrote.But soon after emerging from training, her manager, whom she declined to name, messaged her with some inappropriate conversation.According to her blog post, Fowler reported the manager to human resources, but was told that even though this was clearly sexual harassment…it was this man s first offense, and that Uber wouldn t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to.What s more, she claimed upper management told her he was a high performer …and they wouldn t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.
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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has just published a 5,700 word "letter" on his profile, where he asserts that Facebook represents one of history's "great leaps."Though he covers a number of topics, what's most interesting is how he positions Facebook as a force for political change in the coming years.The problem is a fundamental contradiction built into the way he hopes to create what he calls a "global community" by essentially gerrymandering the Internet.In recent years, he says, the ideal of global community has become controversial.Though he never uses the word "nationalism," that's clearly what's on his mind.One example of a meaningful group is a page that helps connect refugees with people who are willing to provide them with housing.
US
Before I make a product-driven case for Snap Inc. achieving a $100 billion market cap by 2020, I should note that I ve been a Snapchat bear for much of the company s existence.The value proposition of SnapchatIn fairness to Snapchat, it didn t take long for observers to understand the potential of ephemeral, visual messaging to disrupt the hyper-curated and invasive world of social media, along with the unsecure and, well, boring experience provided by SMS and vanilla messaging apps.The core Snapchat experience offers three advantages over competing mediums for digital interaction:Authenticity: With less reason to worry about embarrassment, privacy or a scoreboard enabling you to directly benchmark your popularity to others, we have more reason to post what we want, without censoring or curating ourselves.As someone who experiences mild anxiety whenever I post a photo on Instagram or Facebook but will it get likes?
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