A mini program found in the Alipay app, the lead payments app run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, has attracted 40,000 car owners in its first 10 days.It tackles the now typically Chinese problem of parking chaos with the typically modern Chinese QR code.The applet called MoveCar (or 码上挪车 Ma Shang Nuo Che which translates roughly as “shift a car with a code” but including a pun on “mashang” meaning “immediately”) lets users create a pass with a QR code printed on it.The driver can then display the card somewhere inside the vehicle so that should someone want to contact the owner–for example if the car is blocking them in or is parked across their front door or side street–they simply scan the QR code.This allows the owner to anonymize his or her contact details and provides a way for others to anonymously send an SMS or call the owner to negotiate.Currently the usual way is for car owners to write their mobile number on a form typically provided for free as a promotional item.
Got your snow boots and your popcorn?Following on from last year's tech-inspired Sundance hits like "Ingrid Goes West", "Marjorie Prime" and "The Discovery", many of the features, documentaries and VR experiences debuting over the 10 days of the Sundance 2018 film festival reflect our preoccupation with technology.These are some of the stories to look out for that examine human stories and timely issues in our digital, tech-obsessed age.Many of the films featured in snowy Park City, Utah, focus on what it means to be young in the digital age.Like last year's award-winning Instagram fable "Ingrid Goes West", this year's "Skate Kitchen" centres on a young woman who discovers a new life via Instagram, in this case joining a real-life skateboarder crew."Rust" is a Brazilian coming-of-age drama about a high school kid whose intimate video is revealed to the whole school.
Want to upgrade your home office?BT promises compensation if speeds drop below 100MbpsBT is now offering ‘ultrafast’ broadband packages of 152Mbps and 314Mbps to consumers and is promising compensation if speeds ever fall below 100Mbps.More than 250,000 premises can take advantage of the new packages as Openreach’s deployment of G.Fast and fibre to the premise (FTTP) technologies gathers pace.“We are the first and only company to guarantee speeds of 100Mbps for our customers, even at peak times when people really need their broadband to deliver,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer.“Ultrafast technology is going to be a vital part of a transformation in the speed that our customers receive.
Chinese companies could be banned from US government contracts under the terms of a bill currently before Congress.If successful, it would mean that the likes of Huawei and ZTE would be shut out of any future government deals.There’s been disquiet in the US for some time about Huawei.Just last week, AT pulled out of a planned agreement to sell Huawei phones, while last year a federal grand jury ordered the Chinese company to pay $4.8m in damages to T-Mobile after it was found to have copied some designs from the mobile operator.The bill before Congress, which has been introduced by Texas representative Mike Conaway, seeks to “To prohibit the Government from using or contracting with an entity that uses certain telecommunications services or equipment, and for other purposes.” A few paragraphs later, the mention of the ‘entity’ makes more sense.“In its 2011 ‘‘Annual Report to Congress, the Department of Defense stated that, ‘‘China’s defense industry has benefited from integration with a rapidly expanding civilian economy and science and technology sector ... including Huawei, Datang, and Zhongxing, maintain close ties to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army).’’
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd., an organisation that promotes reliable and relevant regulatory testing approaches that protect human health and the environment while eliminating the use of animals, and Chemical Watch, the leading global regulatory news and information service for the chemical industry, have teamed up again to present a free webinar series focusing on non-animal methods and testing strategies that can be used to meet Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation requirements.This series updates the popular 2014-2015 webinar series and will reflect the significant progress in the use and acceptance of non-animal methods that has occurred in recent years.The webinars, which will be held between 25 January and 15 February, will be of interest to industry toxicologists, those registering chemicals, REACH consultants, and companies that want to know more about available validated non-animal tests and the ways in which other companies are using them.REACH requires that registrants ensure animal use is minimised.However, the Science Consortium estimates from recent reports that approximately 1 million animals have died in REACH tests, with more expected to be used in the coming years.The following is the complete list of new webinars:
This is not the first time Facebook has tweaked its algorithm, and unlike publishers, brands have been paying to play on Facebook for years.The one down side, however, is that ad prices might be driven up as people spend less time and scroll less on Facebook.Facebook is set to start playing up status updates from friends and family in the News Feed in a bid to promote more "meaningful interaction" on the platform, thereby effectively deprioritizing content from media publishers and brands.This is hardly the first time that the tech giant has tweaked its algorithm and cast doubts on the reach of branded posts, forcing them to put more ad dollars behind their posts."The latest changes Facebook is making further negate the value of having a prioritized brand existence.""Most – but not all – brands have long operated in an environment on Facebook where organic reach has declined precipitously and continuously over time to the point where it is often inconsequential as part of their overall reach," he said.
After months of launch delays, the clandestine spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman finally launched on Sunday evening on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.The mission, code-named Zuma, lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:00 PM Eastern, headed toward an unknown destination in low Earth orbit.In a tweet, reporter Peter de Selding of Space Intel Report said sources claimed that Zuma was “dead in orbit.” It was unclear who was responsible—the launch provider or the customer.And it implies that Zuma’s failure was caused by faulty separation from the Falcon 9’s second stage or the upper part of the rocket.WIRED reached out to SpaceX senior communications manager James Gleeson, who said the company doesn’t comment on “missions of this nature.” Zuma was one of SpaceX’s most clandestine missions yet, announced just a month before its initially planned launch date in November.SpaceX’s relationship with the government’s national security apparatus is fairly new, with Musk’s launch provider previously completing a secretive NRO mission and a spaceplane launch for the Air Force last year.
Vuzix, a Rochester, New York-based display provider, has been trying to resurrect the promise of Google Glass for years now, but this year’s iteration finally feels ready.The price right now is $1,000, but Vuzix hopes to bring it down to less than $500 with future generations.It has a battery life of anywhere from two to 12 hours, the company claims, depending on whether you’re using it mostly for notifications or for more intensive applications like accessing the web via Alexa, playing games, or using the front-facing, 8-megapixel camera.But beyond the soft glow of bluish white light an outside observer may notice pulsing behind the right side lens, you’d have to get up close and personal to tell a user was wearing a computer over their eyes.On one hand, that helps the Blade overcome one of the primary pitfalls Google Glass faced five years ago, when it became apparent that any wearer of the device was using a bizarre brand of wearable tech that made them look pretentious and out of touch.In my time with a developer unit on the CES show floor, the device never once stuttered, suffered a hiccup, or needed a restart.
Amid vocal calls for the company to act, Twitter today offered its first explanation for why it hasn’t banned President Donald Trump — without ever saying the man’s name.“Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society,” the company said in a blog post.“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”Twitter has faced regular calls to ban Trump since he was elected in 2016.Among other things, critics have accused Trump of inciting violence with his tweets.
While apps continue to grow in popularity as a primary route for people to interface with the digital world, there remains a very significant role for the web, and today, a startup that helps businesses build and run websites, specifically on WordPress, has raised a very large round of money.WP Engine, which claims to be the world’s largest WordPress host, has raised $250 million in funding led by Silver Lake, money that the company intends to use to fuel its international growth and continue developing its Digital Experience Platform, the product that underpins its main line of business.The company did not disclose its valuation (we’re asking) in its own announcement of the funding, but in its last round, in 2015 when it picked up a modest $20 million, WP Engine was valued at just under $194 million post-money, according to PitchBook.This would imply a current valuation of at least $444 million, or more if this was an up-round.It’s likely it was: the company boasts that it now makes more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue and has more than 75,000 customers, up 30 percent in the last year.The company, in fact, says that its platform powers 29 percent of the entire Internet today (compared to 13 percent in 2010), making it the biggest WordPress host around, and a significant player in its own right, putting to paid the belief that a company that is built on a platform (in WP Engine’s case, WordPress) it does not own is in a precarious state.
Fitness goals were doubtless part of your New Year’s resolutions, but getting fit doesn’t have to mean going to the gym.This audio fitness app provides users with unlimited access to a host of fitness classes, programs, and challenges, all curated by expert trainers.With more than 2,500 classes available on the platform, you can decide whether you want to take spinning, yoga, or a high-intensity interval training session, from just about anywhere you’d like.And best of all, Aaptiv’s entire catalog of classes are decidedly cheaper than your weekly SoulCycle addiction.Whether you want a more regimented workout at the gym, need something to do at home, or are hoping to stay fit during a business trip, Aaptiv can be of service.Different classes require different equipment, so you can determine what sort of workout will work best for you in any environment.
CES, the tech industry’s biggest annual trade show, kicks off next week, which means it’s time for various gadget makers to start teasing their most striking announcements.LG has already partaken in this process, and this week, its LG Display subsidiary furthered the pre-show hype by announcing a new 88-inch OLED TV panel with a super-sharp 8K resolution, which it will showcase at the event.To put that jargon in simpler terms: beyond being very large, this panel should have the infinite contrast ratio and deep colors of LG’s existing (and excellent) OLED TV panels and four times as many pixels as the already-crisp 4K TVs that have just recently fallen to mainstream prices.Officially, the new TV’s resolution measures at 7680 x 4320, which is twice the vertical resolution and twice the horizontal resolution of a typical 4K panel.LG only talked up the display itself in a press release.That isn’t much of a surprise, though.
Motorola today announced a permanent price cut on the Moto G5S Plus, the company's budget dual camera smartphone.With this price cut, the Moto G5S Plus is now available for Rs.14,999, down from its launch price of Rs.1000 price cut puts the smartphone in contention with the Xiaomi Mi A1, Honor 7X and more.The Moto G5S Plus is available exclusively on Amazon India and Moto Hub stores, in Lunar Grey and Blush Gold colour options.The Moto G5S Plus runs on Android 7.1 Nougat and is expected to get an upgrade for Android 8.0 Oreo soon.
You’ve got one level of Harry Potter fandom where enthusiasts re-read the books and re-watch the movies again and again.And then you’ve got David Lundell’s level of fandom, which inspired him to build a gorgeous, wooden Potter-themed coffee table complete with secret compartments you need a magic wand to open.The “magic” needed to access the table’s treasures is actually a combination of hidden switches, keyholes, and magnetically-opened locks that respond to a strong magnet hidden in the tip of Lundell’s wand.That would almost feel disappointing were it not for the beautiful rustic finish on the table which would make it fit right in, and probably go unnoticed, at Hogwarts.
A group of researchers at Osaka University has developed a new method for dialogue systems*1.This new method, lexical acquisition through implicit confirmation, is a method for a computer to acquire the category of an unknown word over multiple dialogues by confirming whether or not its predictions are correct in the flow of conversation.Many conversation robots, chatbots, and voice assistant apps have appeared in recent years; however, in these systems, computers basically answer questions based on what has been preprogrammed.There is another method in which a computer learns from humans by asking simple repetitive questions; however, if the computer asks only questions such as "What is xyz?"in order to acquire knowledge, users will lose interest in talking with the computer.This method aims for the system to predict the category of an unknown word from user input during conversation, to make implicit confirmation requests to the user, and to have the user respond to these requests.
YouTube on iOS will soon be updated with full vertical video playback support, getting rid of the annoying black bars and instead filling the entire smartphone screen with vertically-recorded footage.Until now, trying to play these vertical videos on iOS devices resulted in big black bars due to the app’s inability to adjust to the unique size.The new version, in comparison, features automatic adaption.Vertical videos have been around for years, but they’re no longer the frustrating orientation they once were.Most people watch videos on their mobile devices now, so videos recorded vertically simply fill the screen…if the app supports that.For YouTube’s Android and iOS users, that wasn’t the case, which meant having a video shrouded by big dark bars.
PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon State University scientists have developed a nanomedicine platform for cancer that can help doctors know which tissue to cut out as well as kill any malignant cells that can't be surgically removed.The platform allows for greater precision and thoroughness in cancer treatment.Nanoparticles tightly loaded with a dye compound are administered systemically - injected intravenously or into the peritoneum, the abdominal cavity.When they reach the tumor site, the tumor's intracellular environment effectively flips the switch on the compound's fluorescence.That enables detection by a near infrared (NIR) imaging system that helps surgeons know in real time what needs to be removed.Any glowing areas that can't be cut out are given phototherapy - irradiated with a near infrared laser, which causes the nanoparticles to heat up and kill the residual cancer cells.
GoCompare has acquired discount site MyVoucherCodes for £36.5m.The comparison site shelled out for the eight million e-mail subscribers and 45 million visitors that MyVoucherCodes attracts to the site each year and delivered £350m in revenue for the 3,000 retail brands it partners with, including Asos, Sky and Expedia.The site itself is projected to generate revenues of £11.8m for the 12 month period ending 31 December 2017.In the announcement today (19 December), GoCompare said the business would be "highly complementary" to its financial and utilities comparison services.“GoCompare believes the acquisition will increase the opportunities for frequency of engagement with savvy savers who use both comparison and voucher websites, introduce offers to incentivise conversion on both GoCompare and MyVoucherCodes, and provide a new channel for existing GoCompare partners,” the company said.“Both companies are focused on customer acquisition through SEO (search engine optimisation).
Xiaomi’s subbrand ZMI has just launched its smallest ever power bank of 3,000 mAh capacity.ZMI, known for making power banks, and car chargers, is a lesser-known subsidiary of Xiaomi.However, the smartphone maker has a number of sub-brands under its belt including Yi, AmazFit, Huami, and MIJIA.Speaking about the newly launched portable battery, it is called ZMI Power Bank Mini.As of now, Xiaomi has 10,000 mAh capacity power banks as the smallest in size.However, the 3,000 mAh power bank will take that crown.
When Dragon Ball FighterZ was revealed during E3 2017, fans were blown away by its art style.The cel-shaded look is the best we’ve ever seen, perfectly replicating the original 2D anime and earning Best Visuals from our Top Games of E3 2017 awards.In order to really appreciate the game, however, players need to see it in person, and Bandai Namco is making that happen with an open beta weekend two weeks before Dragon Ball FighterZ releases.To be precise, it begins at 3 a.m.ET on January 13 for pre-orders, and at 3 a.m.While the game is still releasing on Windows PC, there will not be an open beta for those users.