Kenneth Childs

Kenneth Childs

Followers 54
Following 13
UK
The High Court has decided that a red-and-white "candy cane" house in Kensington can keep its unusual paint scheme, after the humourless local council told the owner to repaint it white.The house has been that way since 2015, reports the BBC, and the owner's been battling The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea pretty much ever since.The council told the owner – who's almost inevitably named Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring – that the stripes were "incongruous" and had to go.But Mr Justice Gilbert overruled them, declaring the decoration "entirely lawful."He went on to say the council was overstepping its mandate in using Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to decide how people can paint their homes.
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China
VistaJet is now the first international private jet operator that lets clients book flights on WeChat.The company hopes its newly launched service on the mobile platform can replace the convenience of owning or renting a private plane by allowing affluent Chinese consumers to charter a private jet virtually in an instant.“For Chinese customers who require guaranteed aircraft availability 365 days a year, WeChat could genuinely become an alternative to ownership — merely instant message our team, and we’ll organise the rest, to your own specific taste.” Vista Jet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr said in a statement.The launch comes amid the rapid expansion of VistaJet’s business in the Great China region in 2016, where the number of Chinese clients now makes up 17 percent of their current global customer base.Heading into the year of 2017, the company’s growth has continued in the first quarter, when sales of flight hours doubled compared to the same period the year before.Flohr said VistaJet intends to use the WeChat service to continue this expansion by reaching out to China’s digitally active consumers and simplify the way they charter a private jet.
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Nielsen Social Content Ratings for the week of April 17, as the latest El Clasico soccer match—FC Barcelona 2—generated 5.051 million interactions across Facebook and Twitter.National Basketball Association playoff tilt Thursday night, in which the visiting Indiana Pacers 119-114 (1.994 million total interactions across the two social networks), as well as another soccer match, Real Madrid’s 4-2 victory over Bayern Munich, at 1.635 million interactions.topped the television series and specials chart, with 549,000 interactions across Facebook and Twitter, followed by USA Network’s WWE Monday Night Raw (333,000).Image on homepage courtesy of juanrvelasco/iStock.
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Once derided as a silly novelty, emojis are coming into their own as a communication tool.New app Wemogee uses the ideograms to help people with aphasia, a language-processing disorder that makes it difficult to read, write or talk.Created by Samsung Electronics Italia (the company’s Italian subsidiary) and speech therapist Francesca Polini, Wemogee replaces text phrases with emoji combinations and can be used as a messaging app or in face-to-face interactions.It supports English and Italian and will be available for Android on April 28, with an iOS version slated for future release.Aphasia is caused when brain regions responsible for language comprehension and speaking are injured.One of the most common causes is strokes, but aphasia can also result from brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases.
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China
AVA Advisory, a Thai-owned fintech start-up, is planning the commercial launch of its first robotic adviser app for the financial sector in Singapore in the fourth quarter, aiming to create an entirely new breed of smart wealth and investment management activity.Using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in the robotic adviser or automated financial advice tools, the AVA Alpha Fund app can help customers manage and optimise their wealth and investment portfolio.“After spending 50 million baht (US$1.45 million) in developing the AVA Alpha Fund in the past 12 months, we’re ready for the commercial launch of our AI robotic adviser service in Singapore as the first country in the fourth quarter,” said Miranda Songpatanasilp, chief financial officer and co-founder of AVA Advisory.AVA Advisory is a Thai company but is registered and based in Singapore.Ms Miranda said the global robotic adviser will have US$8 trillion worth of assets under management by 2020.The emergence of AI will play an increasingly important role in financial investment services in Thailand, she said.
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UK
Spotify is preparing to enter the hardware game, judging by job opportunities recently posted online.The firm is seeking a senior hardware product manager that could “deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers.”A “trusted source” at ZatsNotFunny says this product is a “wearable.”Spotify didn’t go into specifics on the type of hardware it has in mind, but the posting outlines a “category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo and Snap Spectacles.”This appears to suggest Spotify has something completely new in mind that could have a knock on impact across the rest of the tech industry.Is Spotify working on some sort of wearable device, as the original report suggests?
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US
For years, automakers and hackers have known about a clever attack that spoofs the signal from a wireless car key fob to open a vehicle’s doors, and even drive it away.But even after repeated demonstrations—and real thefts—the technique still works on a number of models.Now a team of Chinese researchers has not only demonstrated the attack again, but also made it cheaper and easier than ever.A group of researchers at the Beijing-based security firm Qihoo 360 recently pulled off the so-called relay hack with a pair of gadgets they built for just $22.That’s far cheaper than previous versions of the key-spoofing hardware.The Qihoo researchers, who recently showed their results at Amsterdam’s Hack in the Box conference, say their upgrade also significantly multiplies the radio attack’s range, allowing them to steal cars parked more than a thousand feet away from the owner’s key fob.
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Modern cars are built to withstand all types of crashes, including rollovers, but it doesn't mean they're perfect.Ford thinks it has a better solution for rollover protection.It was recently granted a patent for an external roof rack-mounted airbag system.Instead of a traditional airbag, which is inside the vehicle, these airbags drape over the side of the vehicle to help cushion the blow of a rollover.The airbags will be stored inside the rack attached to the vehicle's roof.When the airbags expand and drape over the side of the vehicle, they may be held in place by elastic tethers.
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UK
The ransomware that drove last year's boom in file-encrypting malware is back, and this time it's even harder to detect.Ransomware cost its victims some $1bn during 2016, with Locky one of the most widespread variants, infecting organisations across the globe.However, the start of 2017 saw a sudden decline in the distribution of Locky, to such an extent that another form of ransomware -- Cerber -- has usurped Locky's dominance.But after being all but written off, Locky is staging a comeback.Cybersecurity researchers at Cisco Talos have observed a surge in emails distributing Locky, with over 35 thousand emails sent in just a few hours.This time, however, the Locky campaign is harnessing an infection technique associated with the Dridex botnet, in an effort to boost the chance of compromising targets.
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UK
Friday The 13th is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 26, Gun Media and Illfonic have announced.Previously delayed to 2017 late last year, the kickstarter-funded survival horror title will be launching digitally for consoles and PC at the end of next month.Multiplayer will be the only component available at first, with a solo campaign planned as a free update later this year.It’s currently pinned for the summer so players shouldn't have long to wait.The 1v7 asymmetrical multiplayer experience has seven camp counsellors hiding away from a rampaging Jason Voorhees.You must either survive as the camp occupants or murder everyone as the iconic masked killer.
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US
Just a few days after the staff of The American Prospect wrote an April 18 stating their intent to form a union, the Prospect’s publishers have recognized it voluntarily, a sensical move considering the publication’s self-declared liberal and progressive bent.The staff noted that tradition in their letter, writing, “The Prospect has earned a proud reputation for our regular reporting and analysis on the state of the labor movement in the United States.Unlike many other organizations, the Prospect is an institution that understands the value of unions and collective bargaining in giving workers a meaningful voice, and in serving as a political buffer against growing inequality.”pieces on the unionization efforts among news publications during the past few years, a trend that the Prospect is now part of.The American Prospect staff is being represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, which is part of the Communications Workers of America.Among the news organization staff the Washington-Baltimore News Guild represents are employees of Agence France-Presse, The Baltimore Sun, Bloomberg BNA, In These Times, The Washington Post, the York Daily Record and the York Dispatch.
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UK
A fleet of properly driverless, fully autonomous cars should be allowed out onto the motorways of the UK by the end of 2019, backed by a development fund of over £8m from the Government's Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.Yes, we have one of those.A group of companies operating under the banner of DRIVEN is to use the Culham Science Centre test site and its 10km of private example roads and junctions to develop its vehicles, with the ambitious aim of creating: "...a fleet of vehicles to operate on public roads, with complete autonomy, within the next two and half years."The end result will be a fleet outing from London to Oxford, on motorways and everything, with the cars hopefully doing all the driving without the need for any input from the safety driver who will be sitting behind the steering wheel just in case anything random happens and a physical fallguy is required.Another vehicular acronym is involved too, with RACE -- Remote Applications in Challenging Environments -- providing help with AI and robotic systems.RACE's director Rob Buckingham said: "DRIVEN reinforces our aspiration to enable connected and autonomous vehicles to be widely adopted.
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UK
Uber broke Apple’s privacy rules in its iOS app in an effort to catch Chinese fraudsters, resulting in chief executive Travis Kalanick being hauled in to Cupertino for a personal dressing down from Tim Cook, it has been revealed.Apple prevents developers from identifying specific iPhones for privacy reasons, arguing that a phone that is completely wiped and resold should have no links to its previous owner; to that end, in 2012, the company stopped allowing apps on its App Store to access information like the “Unique Device Identifier” (UDID) and similar identifying information.But in an effort to prevent a particular type of fraud in China, where scammers load up stolen credit cards to make fake rides before wiping the phone and repeating the process, Uber broke Apple’s rules, according to a New York Times profile of Kalanick.The company even went to the effort of adding code to its app so that any user opening it inside Apple’s Cupertino headquarters wouldn’t see the rule-breaking code.That didn’t prevent Apple from discovering the subterfuge.In the meeting, Cook reportedly told Kalanick, “I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” and threatened to pull Uber’s app from the App Store if the company didn’t remove the fingerprinting feature.
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UK
The chief executive of email unsubscription service Unroll.me has said he is “heartbroken” that users felt betrayed by the fact that his company monetises the contents of their inbox by selling their data to companies such as Uber.Founded in 2011, the free web service allows users to unsubscribe en masse from mailing lists, newsletters and other email annoyances.To do so, it requires access to the users’ inboxes, and permission from them to scan the data for unsubscribe links.But following an acquisition by shopping app Slice in 2014, Unroll.me developed a side-business: selling aggregated data about users to the very apps they were unsubscribing from.The revelation came as part of a New York Times story about Uber, which was one of Slice’s big data arm Slice Intelligence’s customers: the cab app wanted to find out information about the corporate health of its key US rival, Lyft.The data Slice sells is anonymised – customer’s names are not attached – and it covers both Uber and Lyft ride receipts, but the company won’t confirm or deny its customer list.
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US
If your board game collection is gathering dust, it’s time to freshen up your options with Amazon’s one-day Gold Box deal.Nearly 100 games are available, including popular titles like Labyrinth, The Grizzled, Scotland Yard, San Juan, and a lot more.Just note that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, and the best stuff will likely sell out early, so don’t roll the dice by waiting.Bonus: This isn’t part of the sale, but if you don’t have the Catan base game, it’s down to an all-time low $26 right now as well.
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China
“My god, it’s full of stars!” is a classic cinematic line, and one often wrongly attributed to 2001: A Space Odyssey (it was, in fact, in its lesser and unnecessary sequel, 2010).Any sci-fi geek worth their salt knows it, which makes its use in the title of this mobile game all the more compelling.On the surface, Full of Stars (available for Android and iOS devices) resembles your standard spaceship shooter – Asteroids remade for the modern era.The gameplay is both responsive and challenging – you can blast your way through danger, pull out the hyperdrive to escape or just dodge everything by tapping left and right.If that was all it had, Full of Stars would still get a decent review, but it’s the flipside that gives the game its edge.An interactive fiction element, where narrative choices are to be made at every turn, gives every decision a real sense of consequence.
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LinkedIn Monday announced the launch of Matched Audiences, a new set of targeting capabilities enabling brands to zero in on the following three categories: Website Retargeting, Account Targeting and Contact Targeting.Eva Chau said in a blog post that Matched Audiences will begin rolling out this week for all LinkedIn advertising products including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and other native ad formats.Chau detailed how Matched Audiences work in her blog post:With Matched Audiences, you can use LinkedIn to retarget your website visitors, market to your contacts from your customer databases and marketing automation platforms and reach decision makers at target companies for your account-based marketing programs.Matched Audiences helps increase return on investment by enabling you to focus your efforts on the audiences and accounts that are most likely to drive revenue.Website Retargeting (pictured above) lets you create target audiences from your website visitors to nurture them with always-on campaigns.
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That's the tone of the apology posted by Unroll.me, an email decluttering service which takes a look at the subscriptions clogging up your inbox and rolls them neatly into one digestThat's because Unroll.me is owned by Slice Intelligence, which makes money by selling data on customer loyalty. receipts are a pretty good indicator of which services you use,
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UK
Farmdrop, an app that lets customers order groceries from producers, has raised £7m to challenge on-demand offerings from supermarkets.The online delivery start-up connects customers with farmers and manufacturers so they can order reasonably priced local goods while also making sure farmers receive 75pc of the retail price.After growing sevenfold last year and with expected revenues of £3m this year, Farmdrop is hoping to use the cash to expand its offering across the UK.The service, launched in 2014, is currently only available in London, but is on track to start deliveries in Bristol from September.Through the Farmdrop app customers can choose from a range of around 2,000 locally sourced products, from sustainable dishwasher tablets to eggs.The company alerts its 70 producers on what they need to supply every day around noon and then receives their deliveries and distributes it in packages to the customers.
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China
Korea has increasingly embraced paid streaming services as the main source of music content compared to other countries, according to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Wednesday.The IFPI said 41 per cent of internet users in Korea were subscribed to a paid music streaming service as of the end of 2016.This is the largest proportion among 13 countries, followed by Sweden’s 40 percent, Mexico’s 39 percent, Brazil’s 26 per cent and the United States’ 20 percent.Japan’s seven per cent was the lowest figure among all nations surveyed.The survey also revealed that 50 percent of Korean internet users had used a paid or free music streaming service at least once in the previous six months.An industry source said the survey results reflect national differences in music consumption patterns.
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