Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons

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US
p Thanks to James Corden, CBS will now join a number of other major media publishers in creating content for Snapchat’s Shows – the social service’s smattering of short-form original video series found in the app’s “Discover” section.The network announced this morning that James Corden will star in a new show on Snapchat called “James Corden’s Next James Corden,” arriving later this fall.The series’ premise is a fictional reality competition where the late-night TV host goes looking for a replacement.As CBS explains in its description of the series, Corden “knows that someday, years and years from now, he’ll have to hand over the reins to a new host, and he wants ample time to select and groom a worthy successor.”CBS notes that James Corden isn’t actually leaving The Late Late Show any time soon, in case that’s not clear.However, Corden does seem to be getting involved in the production of a lot of digital media outside of traditional TV these days.
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China
p Chinese technology giant Huawei Technology unveiled three new Matebook products in Berlin on Tuesday, in an effort to expand income channels for its struggling consumer business group.Of the three newly-launched products, the Matebook X and Matebook D series, which feature indivisible keyboards in a conventional clamshell design, reflect the first laptops by the company in a conventional clamshell design.The MateBook X is an easy-to-carry 13-inch fanless laptop which is also the first notebook to feature Dolby Atmos Sound System with speakers co-designed with Dolby.Available in grey, gold and rose gold, the colour options show that Huawei is seeking to broaden its appeal to female consumers.The Matebook E series features a 2-in-1 tablet with a folio-style keyboard that rivals Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface products.The 15.6-inch Matebook D series features high-end specifications
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China
p The Elephone P8 Mini is the Chinese phone manufacturer’s latest budget camera-centric device with mid-range hardware and a killer camera setup./p p /p Join GizChina on Telegram p Today we get to know a very important detail which many GizChina readers will be happy to hear, that is: phone weight.Elephone have indeed just revealed that their freshly launched P8 Mini will weight only 133 grams!/p p That is quite a light phone considering it comes with a full metal body, don’t you guys agree?/p p Let’s now have a quick recap for those who have missed the Elephone P8 Mini in their news feed.The budget phone comes with a 5-inch Full HD display, 16MP front-facing camera and two 13MP shooters on the back.
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p Huawei just unveiled its Honor 6A affordable Android smartphone earlier today made especially for teenagers or those of us with “tight” budget./p p /p Join GizChina on Telegram p The device runs on Android 7.0.1 Nougat, has great battery life and it will be available in two variants: one with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage and a second with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage, both with microSD expansion of course.It packs a 5 inch HD display and its powered by a Snapdragon 430 SoC that can deliver impressive performance with minimal battery consumption according to the Chinese manufacturer./p p The Honor 6A comes with a 3020 mAh battery, has a 13MP main camera on its back with full HD video support and a fingerprint reader just below it.On the front it packs a 5MP selfie camera with wide-angle support for great portrait shots.The device offers full 4G/LTE connectivity with VoLTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n (2.4GHz), and it will be available at an affordable price (115$ for the base model-145$ for the high end variant).
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p Levels of trust in traditional media are increasing across Europe as the public increasingly questions the veracity of what they see and read online during times of mass political change.According to a new EBU study, Trust in Media 2017, which includes results from around 1,000 interviews in 33 countries across Europe, broadcast media remains the most trusted media throughout Europe.Broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK have launched fact-checking divisions this year in order to convince viewers of the accuracy of broadcast news reporting versus online environments.Radio is the most trusted medium, trusted by 59% of EU citizens, closely followed by TV at 50%.In the last five years, trust in both media has continued to grow across Europe.While trust in the written press has also increased over the last five years, it is generally still not seen as a trusted medium in most European countries.
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p Anyone still in any doubt about the seriousness of Ford’s impending self-driving car intent will have had their illusions shattered this morning when the company announced that Jim Hackett, former head of its smart mobility arm, is to be its new chief executive.Hackett will fill the shoes of Mark Fields who is due for retirement as Ford seeks to position itself as a lead player in the sector from the top down amid criticism that it has been slower to position itself in the sector than rivals such as GM, not to mention new kids on the block such as Tesla, Google and Uber.Hackett inherits a business currently languishing in the doldrums as a result, facing the onerous challenge of turning the tanker around, but as the man who helped inject new life into jaded office furniture maker Steelcase by focusing on open-plan offices he is perhaps best qualified to do so.Welcoming the challenge Hackett said: “I am so excited to work with Bill Ford and the entire team to create an even more dynamic and vibrant Ford that improves people’s lives around the world, and creates value for all of our stakeholders.I have developed a deep appreciation for Ford’s people, values and heritage during the past four years as part of the company and look forward to working together with everyone tied to Ford during this transformative period.”Despite making his ambitions clear Ford still lacks a roadmap to get there with Hackett vague on what his first tasks will be beyond streamlining the decision-making process, by shattering its hierarchical management to allow more bottom-up thinking.
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p The Hoffman Agency has appointed Caroline Hsu as the Asia Pacific managing director.Hsu has over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and branding.She previously worked as chief marketing officer of Appier and head of communications for Google Taiwan and Hong Kong."From an industry perspective, we are at a tipping point of change in the branding consultancy industry.More and more clients are looking to work with brand consultants that better understand their business pain points," said Hsu"With my experience from the client side, I have the insights to lead the team in taking an integrated marketing communications approach to solving our clients' business problems and further build brand momentum.
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p Food startups are apparently still steaming hot as French startup Frichti just raised a whopping $33.7 million (€30 million).Frichti is currently available in Paris and nearby cities.It handles everything in-house — from cooking to orders and deliveries.Verlinvest and Felix Capital invested in today’s funding round, with existing investors Alven Capital and Idinvest Partners also participating.I’ve already covered Frichti and everything is still true today.Frichti stands out from the rest of the (crowded) competition with a simple promise — healthy meals with a common signature among all options.
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China
p Online education platform Yangcong receives USD 14 million for Series B /p p Yangcong /p p Founder: Yang Linfeng /p p Founded in: 2013 /p p Financing status: RMB 97 million (USD 14 million) Series B financing in 2017 /p p Online education platform Yangcong on Monday landed USD 14 million for its Series B round to integrate artificial intelligence and big data technology on its platform to provide students with customized learning suggestions./p p Yangcong is an online education platform that provides interactive teaching videos and game oriented learning experience for middle school students.It also aims to help students improve their learning efficiency.In addition, its platform collects data from the students’ learning process, as well as provide customized learning suggestions./p p It creates a series of learning videos based on the syllabus, using funny language to illustrate each knowledge point.Students will then be asked to finish a small test to check if they have mastered the knowledge point.
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p Chinese company LeEco is set to layoff almost all of its US-based staff tomorrow, according to sources, as it restructures both its business and its focus to stave off total failure of its US brand.Sources say that out of the 500 or so US employees LeEco currently employs, only 60 will be left.The meetings will be taking place in Santa Monica, San Diego, and San Jose via WebEx, according to the screenshot of the email.Sources speaking to the publication state that LeEco will announced US-based layoff tomorrow in all likelihood, but if not then, it will in coming days.The sources go on to talk about LeEco’s planned refocus, one that will ‘encourage’ Chinese-Americans to utilize the company’s streaming content library, the product with which LeEco first launched in China.The company has since branched out into hardware, offering 4K smart TVs and smartphones to consumers in the US.
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p To Sarah Bates, creative director at RPA in Los Angeles, being weird is perfectly fine.In fact, it’s pretty normal and desirable — especially those “non sequitur adventures” that make a person interesting in a creative field.This is one thing that makes a great creative — the actual authenticity of a human pitching another human in a real, honest way.Additionally, Bates, who has been at the Los Angeles indie shop for almost 7 years, feels that this engenders a unique take on creativity.Another aspect that makes a great creative, according to Bates, is fighting responsibly.This is the art and craft of what the work at an agency is ultimately about, helping find solutions — but in a way that carries both the potential for success and the ideas that creatives know can work.
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p Amazon’s free fruit stands are making locals and employees go bananas, but businesses in the area are split.Amazon first opened the Community Banana Stand in 2015, and there are now two on it’s sprawling corporate campus.Since then, it’s given away an estimated 1.7 million bananas from two separate stands to employees and non-employees alike.The employees running the stands are called “banistas” and “bananagers,” because Amazon are malevolent gods and won’t let a terrible pun go unexpressed, apparently.As the Wall Street Journal notes, the stands mean trouble for local businesses hoping to sell anything banana-related — why would anyone buy them when Amazon is giving them away?That said, Amazon chose the snacks due to how ec0-friendly they are.
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China
p Instagram is the most damaging social media platform when it comes to young people’s mental health, new research suggests.The photo-sharing app, which is owned by Facebook and has 700 million users worldwide, is considered the social media platform most likely to cause young people to feel depressed, anxious and lonely, according to a new UK-wide study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).In a survey of almost 1,500 Britons aged 14 to 24, the RSPH found that young people were most likely to associate Instagram with negative attributes and low self-esteem, resulting in poor body image and lack of sleep.Snapchat, the ephemeral photo messaging app, was also seen as a close contender, and most likely to leave users feeling bullied or left out by their peers.“It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH, which conducted the StatusOfMind report in collaboration with the Young Health Movement.Instagram said that it remains dedicated to keeping the platform a “safe and supportive place” for users, adding that it is working closely with experts to enhance the app to provide mental health support.
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p Many of the keyboards we’ve looked at lately have been multi-device models, in that you can pair two or more computing devices—smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs—to them simultaneously, and then switch back and forth with the touch of a button.Aside from Microsoft’s Universal Foldable Keyboard ($70), though, none have been small enough to consider carrying around with you – except Logitech’s Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480.The K480 is compact and light compared to many multi-device keyboards, including those in Logitech’s line-up.At that price, the only real issues left are — does it, as its more expensive siblings and competitors do, perform well, and is it really portable?Like the K780, the K480 has a groove that runs across the top (Logitech calls it a “smart device stand”) for holding your tablet or smartphone upright as you type.Since the K780 is significantly wider (15 inches vs. 11.8 inches) than the K480, it can hold larger devices, or two relatively large devices, at once, whereas the K480 is capable of holding most tablets, say, up to 10.1 inches in landscape orientation, or a smaller tablet (perhaps the iPad Mini or Google Nexus 9) and a smartphone in portrait orientation.
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p PayPal filed a trademark infringement suit against Pandora on Friday, claiming that the radio app’s blue P logo is “unlawfully similar” to PayPal’s own blue double-P icon.Pandora debuted its new sans-serif logo in October of last year as part of an overall company rebrand.Apparently it was too similar to the layered blue P logo that PayPal has been using since 2014, as the payment company claims Pandora is hurting PayPal customers who are confusing the two apps.The most amusing part isn’t the plethora of social media chatter published in the lawsuit.It’s PayPal’s evident disdain with the idea that it’s moving into music streaming.As it says in the lawsuit:
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p Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has plans to build a low-altitude drone logistics network in the northwestern Chinese of province Shaanxi as it looks towards expanding its logistics and e-commerce business to rural areas in the country.The network will span a 300-kilometre radius and include hundreds of routes and drone air bases for e-commerce shipments, according to the company.Heavy-load drones are expected to be able to carry loads of over a ton, and will be able to transport products to both remote areas and cities.The company’s move is part of a larger industry trend, where e-commerce companies such as Alibaba and US-based Amazon look toward automating deliveries and shortening delivery times for e-commerce customers.Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.Rural areas with poor infrastructure have long posed a challenge for Chinese e-commerce companies, as deliveries can be difficult to make.
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p Following Ofcom’s decision to tackle frustrations in exiting mobile contracts, 4th placed UK MNO Three has weighed in, as so often does, but seems to miss the point of the move.We imagine a drab office, where an army of joyless nit-pickers wander around in bland uniforms while searching for something else to complain about.That is certainly the impression Three gives as it seemingly decides to grumble about everything in the telco world.Only under GPL can you ensure that the best deals are not kept for consumers who wish to leave their existing network.”As far as we can see, Three has completely missed the point of the Ofcom idea to give control back to the consumer.Leaving a contract at the moment is a frustrating process; you have to spend what seems like hours on the phone, being passed from agent to agent, before finally receiving a PUC code to pass onto your next provider.
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p The management shake-up in LeEco’s Shenzhen-listed arm is a signal that investors are getting impatient for a turnaround at the financially beleaguered Chinese internet company, despite a US$2 billion cash injection from investors at the beginning of the year, according to analysts.On Sunday, it was announced through a filing on the Shenzhen stock exchange that founder Jia Yueting would step down as chief executive of LeShi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing, LeEco’s Shenzhen-listed arm.However, Jia would remain as the company’s chairman.Longtime Lenovo executive Liang Jun will replace Jia as chief executive at Leshi.Liang joined Leshi as an executive in 2012.The firm’s chief financial officer, Yang Lijie, was also stepping down due to “personal reasons”, according to the filing.
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China
Hooked is a new app trying to save fiction among the social media generation, one terrifying text message at a time.“Our goal was engagement, getting teenagers and millennials spend time in a narrative and complete that story and not get distracted,” said Hooked co-founder and CEO Prerna Gupta.The majority of stories are about 1,000 words, or about a six-minute read.But as it grows, the app has commissioned more serialised stories told in chapter form.The majority of stories are user generated, but the most popular material is from commissioned work, Gupta explained.Gupta co-founded Hooked with her husband Parag Chordia.
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p With the potential malware and virus threat looming above our heads more and more these days it’s maybe finally time to make the antivirus app an integral part of your basic Android go-to install package.The options are not yet as extensive as on the PC platform, but one of the key players there also has a dedicated Android app and I’m pretty sure you will recognize the name.And hey, AVG Antivirus is for free./p p /p p Of course the mobile antivirus app will offer some specific features tailored for the mobile devices and AVG is carrying arguably the most complete package out there.You can find all about it on the official website.Some of the prominent features include : /p Join GizChina on TelegramThe ability to scan your Wi-Fi networks and websites you use to check for viruses before your device ever even encounters them.A variety of different anti-theft features, two of which include the ability to turn on your phone’s ringer even if it’s on silent and the option to track a lost or stolen phone through Google Maps.Data protection services that allow you to lock or even completely lock your phone if it happens to fall into the wrong hands or is beyond recovery.Privacy-boosting services like an encrypted vault that protects your sensitive pictures, documents and more with a personal password and the ability to lock important apps installed in your phone.The camera trap service, which snaps a picture of anyone attempting to access your phone who’s put in an incorrect password 3 or more times.
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