MADISON, Wis. -- When John Wesley Hyatt patented the first industrial plastic in 1869, his intention was to create an alternative to the elephant tusk ivory used to make piano keys.But this early plastic also sparked a revolution in the way people thought about manufacturing: What if we weren't limited to the materials nature had to offer?Over a century later, plastics are an abundant part of daily life.But these plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions.Using a plant-derived solvent called GVL (gamma-Valerolactone), University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering James Dumesic and his team have developed an economical and high-yielding way of producing furandicarboxylic acid, or FDCA.One of 12 chemicals the U.S. Department of Energy calls critical to forging a "green" chemical industry, FDCA is a necessary precursor to a renewable plastic called PEF (or polyethylene furanoate) as well as to a number of polyesters and polyurethanes.
As global leaders gather in Davos next week to try to create a shared future in a fractured world, what’s the role of marketers and creative agencies?They need to help their company seize the upside of disruption in this transformative age.Equally, they need to help their companies heed the call for a greater purpose beyond profit—hence the focus of the upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos on ‘creating a shared future in a fractured world.’So is disruption friend or foe?Worryingly, half of the CEOs surveyed admitted that their companies were not prepared to take advantage of the opportunities emerging from disruptive change.Marketers have a natural role to play in both helping create new solutions for disruption, but also taking purpose-driven brand thinking into the boardroom.
Amazon’s artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant, Alexa, is spreading like wildfire and we’re seeing more and more useful Alexa skills roll out every day.While voice search features were once limited to a few flagship phones, Amazon recently announced the Alexa app has been updated to bring these features to all Android devices.We’re going to start by taking a look at how to use the Alexa app on any smartphone, then on the next page, we’ll dig into the extra steps required to get Alexa working as a voice-controlled assistant on the HTC U11 or Huawei Mate 9 and explain what it can and can’t do.If you’ve never used an Alexa-enabled device before, it’s worth taking a few minutes to customize things to your liking.Tap the three-line menu icon in the top-left corner of the app to access the following:Music, video, and books: Sign into the services you want the Alexa app to use, but note that music services currently don’t work on the Huawei Mate 9 and HTC U11.
This morning in a press release, Intel announced that it has “issued firmware updates for 90 per cent of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years.” But it’s possible the flurry of patches is just beginning.These Intel CPU updates patch major vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre, which security researchers say affect most CPUs—including Intel’s.If you happen to have an Intel CPU made in the last five years, it might be time to consider applying one of those firmware updates just in case even more patches are imminent: Today the security world is wondering whether a new pair of attacks that are allegedly based on work related to Meltdown and Spectre is on the horizon—or just a hoax taking advantage of CPU-exploit fears.It’s been two weeks since The Register reported that nearly every CPU made in the last few years was subject to these severe security vulnerabilities, which could give bad actors access to some of your most precious data.Since then, Intel, which is reportedly most affected by the vulnerabilities, has been hard at work doing damage control.CEO Brian Krzanich tried to distract during his keynote at CES last week with esoteric talk of data and AI, and the company has been fairly religious about updating consumers as to the status of patches.
I used to think those coder bootcamps were a good idea.I’d met several motivated students and got lucky with some talent.It seems to have risen dramatically in recent years to $13,000 to $15,000.Download InfoWorld’s 29 tips for succeeding as an independent developer for valuable guidance from a solo—and successful—solo programmer.Given that high cost, I think a motivated self-learner can do a lot better on the online Coursera service, which has improved in recent years and has courses from many universities.You shouldn’t go through so fast you don’t retain anything, but often Coursera’s estimates are really conservative and underambitious.
Twitch has rolled out a plethora of features in the last few months, such as software extensions and a native raid function, and today, it’s launching its new Video Producer suite.This new tool designs Twitch broadcasts around prerecorded videos, enabling streamers to essentially hold viewing parties for their followers.The Video Producer suite will be available for all creators on Twitch, and it features two key tools: Premieres and Reruns.Premieres enables broadcasters to create a landing page for prerecorded videos as well as a countdown timer so viewers know when the show is going to start.Reruns are a scheduled showing of a prior broadcast.Unlike archived videos, though, viewers will be able to chat in real-time when watching a Rerun video.
KFC might be best known for its 'Finger Lickin’ Good' chicken but the colonel isn’t one to rest on his laurels, hence a promotional push from the brand to put its gravy side dish front and centre of its menu.Based on the notion that its savoury sauce is so good you can drink it KFC have ran with it to launch a TV campaign depicting a range of cocktails reimagined with your favourite meat juices as the chief ingredient.Created by Mother to promote the KFC Gravy Megabox the promotional push introduces the world to a range of never before seen mud brown drinks such as The Gravy Mary – ‘it’s bloody good’; The Southern Twist – ‘it’s all gravy, baby’ and The Fingerlickin’ Sour – ‘a sweet ride on the gravy train’.Professional mixologist Patrick commented: “When KFC came to me with the idea of creating genuine gravy cocktails, based on the growing trend of stocktails, I just couldn’t resist.The key was to find flavours and ingredients which perfectly complimented the distinctive taste of KFC gravy.For example, the Kentucky bourbon in The Southern Twist brings mellow, sweet spice notes to stand up against the savoury gravy.
McCann Connected has been appointed by Campus Living Villages to lead its digital creative, a role which will see the agency tasked with powering global growth at the student accommodation provider.McCann’s appointment followed a competitive review at the business as it seeks to build on its ‘Different, Defined, Dominant’ digital strategy.James McCracken, director of marketing and communications at campus Living Villages, explained: “We are extremely excited to be working with McCann Connected in helping us reach our goal of becoming an industry leader within the digital space.“We are a growing business and we need to constantly evolve to reach the needs of our target audience – students.We’ve got ambitious plans in 2018 to reinvent our digital platforms, raise brand awareness and aspire to stand out above our competitors within a rapidly developing sector.”Sharon Palmer, head of media and channels at McCann, added: “We are incredibly excited to be working with James and his team at Campus Living Villages.
NOAA's JPSS-1 satellite provided a visible image of the tropical storm after it made landfall along the Pilbara Coast in the northwestern part of Western Australia.On Jan. 12, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) posted warnings from Sandfire to De Grey, and inland parts of the northeast Pilbara including Marble Bar.That means that residents in those areas need to prepare for cyclonic weather and organize an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.On Jan. 12 at 12:36 a.m. EST (0536 UTC) NOAA's JPSS-1 or NOAA-20 satellite showed Joyce's compact center along the coast and bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center were mostly east and south of the center over Western Australia.At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Jan. 12 the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final warning on Tropical Cyclone Joyce.At that time Joyce had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph).
We're used to seeing spectacular Hubble Space Telescope images of ethereal nebulae.Now we have the chance to fly through the heart of one of the Milky Way's most scenic creations, the Orion Nebula.A Hubble video released Thursday takes a dramatic 3D dive through the nebula's glowing array of gas and dust.The visualization comes from NASA's Universe of Learning program, which provides educational resources to students and others interested in the space agency's astrophysics research.The team combined observations from both Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescope to create the experience of floating through the nebula.The video switches between visible and infrared views.
Microsoft began using TCO as a key metric to show that although an open-source alternative, Linux, was free to adopt, it could lead to higher costs as more deeply skilled teams would need to manage and troubleshoot Linux over the long term.The dollar amounts provided by mainstream cloud vendors for compute, storage, and other cloud-based services rarely provide customers with clarity about the full cost of running business applications in the cloud.This is particularly true when considering migrating legacy applications to public clouds.What’s the TCO of a highly complex but still mission-critical application that runs on premises (with manual updates and maintenance), and how does that compare to its total cost running that application in a public cloud (including the costs to rebuild for cloud and migrate it there)?For example, I once worked with a major hotel chain that was going all in with a single cloud service.Cloud TCO is particularly difficult to nail down when it comes to legacy applications that weren’t built for the cloud, applications that analysts estimate still represent the vast majority of enterprise workloads.
Alcatel isn’t really known for high-end phones, but the company might be looking to change that, as it’s just announced the new Alcatel 5 series, which is set to include things like 18:9 screens and facial recognition, as well, apparently, as large batteries and “fantastic imaging.”Yet all of that could come at a cost far lower than comparable flagships according to the company, though notably it hasn’t given an exact price yet, or full specs lists for the phones.But they certainly look high-end, as based on the press images the Alcatel 5 range will have brushed metal bodies, fingerprint scanners and edge-to-edge screens, with small bezels below.Alongside the Alcatel 5 range, the company has also used CES 2018 to unveil the Alcatel 3 and Alcatel 1 series.These phones are set to be even cheaper but still sport high-end features, with super widescreen 18:9 displays mentioned for both, while face unlock is mentioned for the Alcatel 1 and dual-lens cameras for the Alcatel 3 series.Their designs appear less high-end, but in the images we’ve seen both ranges seem to have fingerprint scanners, and the Alcatel 3 series could be glass-clad.
M, the human-powered personal digital assistant for Facebook Messenger that never emerged from its limited beta-test never will get to the masses.Facebook informed users—reportedly some 2,000, all in California—that the service will no longer be available after Jan. 19.Casey Newton of The Verge reported that contractors that had been working on M will be offered other jobs in the company.A Facebook spokesperson said, “We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot.We’re taking these useful insights to power other AI [artificial intelligence] projects at Facebook.We continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment.”
Wireless charging is slowly but surely becoming the norm for smartphones, which means it’s a great time to be a company that’s focused on producing reputable wireless chargers.In other words, it’s a great time to be Belkin.A few days ahead of CES 2018, the charging device company has unveiled its full line for 2018.There are a couple of wall-chargers and a trusty new power bank, but Belkin’s lineup makes no secret of the fact that the company's chief goal is to gain a bigger foothold in the wireless charging market than it already commands.As usual, there’s little need to worry about compatibility with wireless charging from Belkin, as the company affirms that the whole line is compatible with devices like the iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and virtually all other devices that are compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard.For starters, there’s the new Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad, which comes in a “variety” of colors for device matching and delivers a 10-watt charge.
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic.The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics.Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely that hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”Those were the defiant words of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post on Nov. 12, 2016, in response to numerous reports that fake news spread via the social network altered the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.However, Zuckerberg’s tone has changed quite a bit in the 14 or so months since his emphatic denial, to the point where “fixing these important issues” is the centerpiece of his annual personal challenge for 2018.As more evidence emerged on the impact that fake news spread via Facebook and other social networks may have had on the election, in a post exactly one week after the one quoted above, Zuckerberg began to acknowledge the issue, writing, “The bottom line is: We take misinformation seriously.
Apple may still be ahead on the PR front, but with over 80 percent of the world’s mobile devices running on an Android operating system, it’s clear who’s leading in the global war for mobile supremacy.Since you obviously want to get a great app idea or dazzling development work in front of the largest possible audience, you need to know Android.Right now, learn everything you need to know about Android the practical way with the Complete Android Developer Course.It’s on sale now for just $17 from TNW Deals.With top-rated web developer Rob Percival as your guide, you’ll get the full overview of the tools and procedures necessary to create on the Android platform.While any instruction can offer up what features are important and which methods you should consider, this course actually solidifies your learning as you create 14 working apps.
CBR’s Ellie Burns speaks to Assaf Baciu, Co-Founder and SVP Product & Engineering at Persado, about the concept of a ‘language cloud’.AB: A language cloud is an AI platform that is a combination of language, a knowledgebase, and algorithms, that is able to determine and generate the precise words and phrases that resonate best with any given audience or individual.It provides unique insights into the specific language and emotions that move the audience or individual to take action, which allows organizations to tailor messages in a way to generate the desired response.Marketing is an obvious area where this has enormous advantages – those marketers who use our platform to generate language and emotion are able to drive consumers to open an email, respond to push SMS, make purchases on landing pages or click-and-convert on display ads and social media posts, all by uncovering the precise language triggers to inspire action.”EB: How does a language cloud work?AB: Persado’s language cloud breaks new ground by using math, machine learning and natural language processing to analyse and extract the most effective language and emotions to engage a consumer or a given set of consumers.
A data breach at the Department of Homeland Security exposed the personally identifiable information on more than 240,000 current and former DHS employees, the department said Wednesday.The breach at the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) Case Management System affected 247,167 people employed by DHS in 2014, as well as subjects, witnesses and complainants associated with DHS OIG investigations from 2002 through 2014, the department said in a statement.Information exposed included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, positions, grades and duty stationsThe DHS said the "privacy incident" wasn't the result of a cyberattack and that acquisition of individuals' personal information didn't appear to be the goal of the breach.Instead, the files were discovered last May in the possession of a former DHS OIG employee during an ongoing criminal investigation, the agency said.The department said it sent notification letters in December to all those who may have been affected by the breach.
The LG SK10Y is LG's new flagship sound bar and, like last year's SJ9, it includes both Dolby Atmos compatibility and Google's Chromecast built-in (for multi-room music and control via the Assistant).The sound bar includes a wireless subwoofer, for a claimed 550W of total power, and the system also includes a pair of up-firing speakers for Atmos effects.In this way the sound bar bounces sound off your ceiling to simulate overhead sounds.The design is a little more subtle this time around with a wire mesh instead of those distinctive "gills".The 'bar is also designed to sit flush underneath the company's 2018 OLEDs and UHD TVs.In 2018, as a possible answer to Samsung's acquisition of Harman, LG is partnering with Meridian Audio to tune audio devices such as the SK10Y.
Silicon Valley giants could be faced with a tax penalty should they fail to prevent the spread of terrorism and extremism online, the UK’s minister of state for security has said.The minister, Ben Wallace, claimed Britain was the most vulnerable it has been for 100 years due to terrorism fuelled by radicalising online content.In an interview with the Sunday Times, Wallace claimed that the government was having to spend "millions" to de-radicalise people exposed to extremist content online “because content is not taken down as quickly as they [the internet firms] could do”.He warned that “patience is running out fast” with "ruthless profiteers" that put profit before public safety, revealing that tax measures were being considered as a means to make them cooperate.“Because of encryption and because of radicalisation, the cost of that is heaped on law enforcement agencies,” Wallace told the paper."I have to have more human surveillance.