Eric Billiter

Eric Billiter

Followers 12
Following 13
US
Lloyds remains at the top of the chart with its 'By Your Side' ad backed by Hannah Grace's Praise You with Deezer still in second.The only newcomer this week is Misguided with its 'Spring Calling...' ad.The one minute short, backed by Yeah Boy's Stay, shows the new 90s inspired range from the retailer, edited on an old 90s video camera to exaggerate the vintage feel.Elsewhere, Simpy Be has dropped from the top ten while Boohoo's spring campaign lands back in the chart after missing out last week.
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In an interview with Engadget, Xiaomi’s Senior VP Wang Xiang explains why the company is not ready to sell phones in the US just yet.Xiaomi’s phones are often associated with great build quality and attractive price tags; for a lot of us, however, these phones remain just something that you read about online.That’s because while the Chinese electronics company has spread over 30 different markets in the last six years, availability in North America and Europe is still pretty much non-existent.Unfortunately for those in the US, Xiaomi still isn’t ready to launch its phones there.Instead, the company says it will continue to focus on developing mass markets.In an interview with Engadget, Wang Xiang, the company’s Senior Vice President, confirmed that despite Hugo Barra’s previous hinting of a possible smartphone launch in the US this year, Xiaomi simply has too much on its plate to expand into more “elite” and “premium” markets like the US and Western Europe:
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What are tech titans Google, Amazon and Uber agitating for to further the march of machine learning technology and ultimately inject more fuel in the engines of their own dominant platforms?Specifically, they’re pushing for free and liberal access to publicly funded data — urging that this type of data continue to be “open by default,” and structured in a way that supports “wider use of research data.” After all, why pay to acquire data when there are vast troves of publicly funded information ripe to be squeezed for fresh economic gain?Other items on this machine learning advancement wish-list include new open standards for data (including metadata); research study design that has the “broadest consents that are ethically possible,” and a stated desire to rethink the notion of “consent” as a core plank of good data governance — to grease the pipe in favor of data access and make data holdings “fit for purpose” in the AI age.These suggestions come in a 125-page report published today by the Royal Society, aka the U.K.’s national academy of science, ostensibly aimed at fostering an environment where machine learning technology can flourish in order to unlock mooted productivity gains and economic benefits — albeit the question of who, ultimately, benefits as more and more data gets squeezed to give up its precious insights is the overarching theme and unanswered question here.The report, entitled Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example, is the work of the Royal Society’s working group on machine learning, whose 15-strong membership includes employees of three companies currently deploying machine learning at scale: Demis Hassabis, the founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, along with DeepMind’s research scientist, Yee Whye Teh; Neil Lawrence, Amazon’s director of machine learning; and Zoubin Ghahramani, chief scientist at Uber.The report’s top-line recommendations boil down the more fleshed out concerns in the meat of its chapters, and end up foregrounding encouragement at greater length than concern, as you might expect from a science academy — though the level of concern contained within its pages is notable nonetheless.
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Twitch has helped bring Dungeons & Dragons to hundreds of thousands of viewers across the world.And there can be a lot of technical and artistic hurdles when it comes to setting up a decent D stream, so I asked Critical Role's Matthew Mercer what he thinks is essential to any successful D show in the video interview above.You can watch Matthew Mercer's show Critical Role every Thursday at 7pm Pacific time on Geek & Sundry Twitch channel.Watch my Dungeons & Dragons show Dungeon Life on YouTube and Facebook.
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UK
Network provider Three has apologised for issues affecting its service that left some customers unable to make calls or send texts.The company said the "temporary network issue" affected its services on Saturday afternoon and evening, and that it had since managed to restore calls and texts.It also advised customers still experiencing issues to turn their phones off and on.Some users may have had their texts sent to wrong numbers, with the company saying: "some customers and non-customers may have received a message from an unknown sender."There have been reports on social media of users receiving texts from random numbers, with Three adding: "Our advice is to ignore all text messages that you deem incorrect."A full statement from the company reads: "We have been working through the night to fix a network issue which was affecting customers sending and receiving text and making calls.
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In the age of digital music and online streaming, physical music seems to have been largely left by the wayside.However, that hasn’t stopped audio enthusiasts from rekindling a public interest in vinyl records, and there’s a wide variety of turntables on the market today ranging from entry-level players to advanced models that cost thousands.Most of us who want to bust out the old vinyls (or try them for the first time) don’t need anything too fancy, and a solid record player like the highly affordable Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable fits the bill perfectly.This budget-friendly stereo turntable is belt-driven and can handle both 7-inch and 12-inch records at 33-1/3 and 45 RPM, letting you play the most common types of vinyls from singles to LPs.An anti-resonance die-cast aluminum platter and Audio Technica’s proprietary Dual Magnet phono cartridge deliver clear sound with a wow and flutter measurement of less than 0.25 percent, and a signal-to-noise ratio of less than 50 dB.This will keep you basking in the warm tones of analog audio without excessive distortion, to help you enjoy classic music as it was meant to be played.
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Consider this: Companies lose $62 billion every year due to poor customer service.NewVoiceMedia, the contact center vendor on whose research this figure is based, theorizes that great customer service is the critical differentiator and that investing in personalized and engaging customer experiences will help businesses retain customers and secure new business.Increasingly, major players in the financial services sector are coming to terms with the need to prioritize good customer experience.Over 75% of customers prefer self-service, meaning more and more people want to be able to take care of their businesses by themselves, using digital platforms in the comfort of their homes or offices.Nothing is more “complex and emotional” than the management of finances, which is why, when making major financial decisions, people want to work with professionals who can offer advice and recommendations and ensure they don’t make mistakes.Lubin’s theory is that “being there” for customers does not necessarily translate into interaction with actual people; rather, by humanizing digital channels, companies can give the customers the perception that they are dealing with people.
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30 Habits of Highly Productive Content Teams [Infographic]A successful content team needs to work together well, despite several moving parts.What gets them there are the habits they create, like looking everywhere for content ideas and consistently handling ad-hoc content requests.Google is trying to turn Image Search into a shopping toolGoogle is seemingly turning its image search into a shopping tool — a new feature called style ideas shows users looking for fashion merchandise what the items they select would look like with other items for sale.Snapchat will tell brands how many people saw their ads, then visited their stores, restaurants
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced his plan to unveil an electric semi truck this September.We’ve known electric semis were coming, but Musk’s announcement beat all but the most optimistic industry analysts.‘Tesla Semi,’ as it’ll be known, could also see a shift in business models.Estimated to have a 250 to 300 mile range, Tesla could offer battery swaps at specialty stations.In Tesla cars, this takes around 90 seconds.Analysts conservatively predict around five minutes in a truck.
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Amazon isn’t in Southeast Asia yet — the e-commerce giant pushed back plans to enter early this year — but that isn’t stopping future rival Lazada teaming up with a range of companies to offer an Amazon Prime-style membership package in advance of the U.S. e-commerce giant’s arrival.Lazada, the e-commerce firm that is majority owned by China’s Alibaba, today announced an alliance with Netflix and Uber on a membership program called LiveUp.For a fixed yearly fee of SG$28 ($20), LiveUp subscribers gain access to a range of deals across services from the companies.Those includes promotions and faster/free delivery for e-commerce stores Lazada and Taobao Collection, which is controlled by Lazada’s owner Alibaba, and offers for RedMart, the online grocery service bought by Lazada last year.There is also a free six-month subscription to Netflix, and discounts on Uber rides and UberEats meal deliveries.The service is initially available in Singapore — the market that Amazon is targeting as its first entry point for Southeast Asia — but the companies said they plan to explore “other collaborations throughout the Southeast Asia region.” In addition, a smartphone app will be available later this year.
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Facebook introduced rich gameplay features for its Instant Games cross-platform gaming experience for Messenger and News Feed on both mobile and the web at its F8 developers conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday.Calvin Grunewald also announced in a blog post that the social network plans to introduce a new games tab to make game discovery easier for users, adding that Facebook plans to enable developers to use game bots to let players connect to games via actions taken directly in Messenger chats.Facebook is also rolling out a closed beta of its Gameroom Platform software-development kit for Facebook Gameroom, which will enable developers to port games that are built in a variety of engines.Grunewald offered more details on the new Instant Games developments from F8:More than 1.5 billion games have been played on Instant Games across Messenger and Facebook News Feed within the past 90 days.At F8, we introduced rich gameplay features to give developers more control of the gaming experiences they create.
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Alipay, the online and mobile payment system owned by Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial, is set to launch in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Phillipines.The move is the result of a merger between Ant Financial and HelloPay Group, the company behind the online payment platform, helloPay, which was established for use on the ecommerce site Lazada.The deal will see helloPay rebranded as Alipay and its staff will become part of the Ant Financial Services Group.However, the rebranded platform will remain a separate entity to Alipay, all its features and services will remain the same and it will continue to provide payment services on the Lazada platform.Douglas Feagin, senior vice president of Ant Financial, said, “There will be no impact to helloPay’s users and payment partners.We will continue to innovate and provide users with safe, fast and convenient payment services.”
UK
The first sighting of a halo of hydrogen wafting around the Milky Way has been revealed today.It was thought our galaxy had this kind of halo of diffuse gas, based on what we knew about other galaxies, but it had never been directly observed until now.Spiral galaxies like the Milky Way are made up of a central bulge surrounded by a disk and spiral arms, but these only make up a tiny part of its mass."We infer its existence through dynamical simulations of galaxies," said Dennis Zaritsky, a professor at the University of Arizona and co-author on the new paper in Nature Astronomy."And because the ratio of normal matter to dark matter is now very well known, for example from measuring the cosmic microwave background, we have a pretty good idea of how much baryonic matter should be in the halo."Baryonic matter means anything made up of quarks, in other words ‘normal’ matter we can see.
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Star Wars: The Last JediDirector Rian Johnson confirmed to MTV the that the movie’s iconic opening crawl is a solid three paragraphs long.Even if it picks up right where the last one left off, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions about what the state of everything is.Things get sticky in a new international poster, courtesy of Coming Soon.Jason Momoa shared a few pictures of himself on Instagram kicking it with Ocean Master.A couple of new international posters show Lightning McQueen staring down some sinister looking race cars.
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If you've pre-ordered Light's L16 camera, you'll be pleased to know that the first units will finally start to ship in July.Images showing the final design of the crazy 16-lens camera from Silicon Valley-based Light have emerged ahead of the device’s July shipping date.The L16 camera, which promises DSLR-quality images but in a much smaller package, first came to our attention back in 2015, and since then has received a $30 million cash injection from GV (formerly Google Ventures) to help drive its development forward.What is expected to be the launch design shows a few subtle changes in the L16’s appearance, as noted by Light Rumors.The flash, for example, has moved from above the Light logo to among the 16 lenses, which, as a consequence, sees the laser focus assist module pushed slightly to the right.It also seems that an attachment slot for a wrist strap has been added to the side where you’d hold the camera in your right hand.
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HP has come out with a refreshed 15.6-inch Spectre x360 laptop, one with speed and performance that essentially replaces the desktop and will appeal to any creator.With a retail price of $1,500, the 2017 edition certainly delivers, with a quality entertainment center and a touch surface to let your imagination go wild.Armed with a 4K touch display, a 3840 2160 resolution, a 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake chip (i7-7500U processor), fast charging, and a larger battery, HP has made its 15.6-inch Spectre on par with the 2016 Spectre 13.In addition to Windows 10 Home, the HP 15.6-inch Spectre comes equipped with a 256GB PCIe NvME M.2 solid-state drive (SSD), 16GB DDR4 SDRAM, ports for USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB A, and USB Type-C 3.1 Gen1.This laptop is no brick, but it does have some weight to it, and I could feel it when lugging it around in my backpack to and from the office.This isn’t a device that you’d want to carry around like a MacBook Air — it certainly isn’t suitable for airplane usage, because it’s so big.Just like with the MacBook Pro and the Microsoft Surface Book, the HP Spectre is a premium quality device, not only internally but externally as well.With an aluminum chassis and a black (“ash silver”) and gold finish, the HP Spectre has a polished look that could be well received by creative professionals.It’s a change from last year’s model, which was only available in HP’s “natural silver” color.The keyboard is massive, and there’s no mistaking where the keys are — they take up nearly the entire width of the computer.There’s 1.5mm of travel and enough space between keys to make it easy to type out a script, email, or document without any problems.HP provides a backlit keyboard, but you can’t toggle the lighting levels — it’s either on or off.The trackpad on the 15.6-inch HP Spectre is wide enough that no matter where your hands are on the keyboard, you’ll be able to easily control the cursor.
China
Ice plumes shooting into space from Saturn’s ocean-bearing moon Enceladus contain hydrogen from hydrothermal vents, an environment that some scientists believe led to the rise of life on Earth, research published on Thursday showed.The discovery makes Enceladus the only place beyond Earth where scientists have found direct evidence of a possible energy source for life, according to the findings in the journal Science.Similar conditions, in which hot rocks meet ocean water, may have been the cradle for the appearance of microbial life on Earth more than 4 billion years ago.“If correct, this observation has fundamental implications for the possibility of life on Enceladus,” geochemist Jeffrey Seewald, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, wrote in a related commentary in Science.The discovery was made using NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which in September will end a 13-year mission exploring Saturn and its entourage of 62 known moons.The detection of molecular hydrogen occurred in October 2015 during Cassini’s last pass through Enceladus’ plumes, when it skimmed 30 miles (49 km) above the moon’s southern pole taking samples.
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Finally some good news for Uber: it will resume its ride-hailing service in Taiwan today, two months after suspending operations following a long-running battle with the country’s government.To avoid running afoul of local regulations again, Uber will partner with licensed rental car companies.After launching in Taiwan in 2013, Uber quickly faced backlash from local cab operators and the government, which levied fines against the company and its drivers for running unlicensed transportation services.In December, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan finalized an amendment bill that hiked the maximum financial penalty for illegal passenger transportation services from NT$150,000 (about $4,946) to NT$25 million ($824,500)—the highest fine for infractions of that kind in the world.This prompted Uber to finally suspend its services in Taiwan on February 10.A blog post announcing the return of Uber in Taiwan said that the company is “now partnering with licensed rental car companies to resume serving riders in Taipei.” The service will return to other cities soon.
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I thought it would be good to share a few tips I think could be benefit anyone just starting their career.Everyone you meet does something better than you can.With respect to your career, advocates have skin in the game.They will be on the lookout for opportunities where you can increase your impact and can even create opportunities for you.In the corporate world, many key decisions about your career are made when you are not in the room.A strong foundation in your area of focus is vital to having a great career, but the most important tool in your toolbox is your ability to figure things out quickly; sometimes on the spot.
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In April last year, Britain made the historic decision to leave the European Union.A website allowing people to register for the referendum deciding whether the UK remained a member of the EU bloc collapsed just hours before the vote, prompting speculation it was hacked to influence the result.A report from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs select committee said there were “indications” the website had been targeted by a botnet causing a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack which brought it offline.We do not rule out the possibility that there was foreign interference in the EU referendumThe situation has familiarities with a US investigation focusing on whether its presidential elections were influenced by foreign cyber hacking.US intelligence accuses state-linked Russian hackers.
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