Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons

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Following 22
US
David Jones has confirmed it will be opening a series of new food halls focused on providing premium food offerings to Australians.With the stores set to offer dine-in experiences, along with premium grocery items for sale, David Jones will commit AUD $100 million to the project over the next three years.David Jones previously attempted to venture into premium grocery retailing, establishing the Foodchain in 2000, before closing it by 2003 after the concept failed to take off.John Dixon, Chief Executive Officer of David Jones, however said customers today are increasingly telling David Jones that they view retail as a leisure activity and a “place to meet”.“Food drives footfall, it drives a greater frequency of shop and increases dwell time,” Dixon said.“Strategically food is going to play a very important role in terms of how we can differentiate ourselves from other retailers, it’s also something the online pure-plays can’t do.
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Car parking service platform Parkbees receives USD 5.9 million for Series A+Financing status: RMB 40 million (USD 5.9 million) Series A+ round in 2017Car parking service platform Parkbees on Tuesday received USD 5.9 million for its Series A+ financing round to combine car financial services with its platform.Parkbees is a car parking service platform that operates a car parking app and other car related services.It reconstructs the entrance and exit of parking lots, and combines it with the Internet so that managers can monitor the parking lots in real time.It also integrates information and data of the parking lots in cities on its app, which helps users search available parking spaces nearby easily.
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The playlist, entitled ‘Chill’ is muxed based on editorial curation and algorithmic interpretation of your musical tastes.An updated Chill playlist will be delivered every Sunday to users who join the test group, which will roll out through the summer.Its focus, unsurprisingly, is chill-ass music.Theoretically, this should show you with music you may not be familiar with that fits the category, while simultaneously being music that you like and actually care about.While the 27 million Apple music users listen to a lot of different kinds of music, one of the prime themes is apparently that they all like to relax — and they use music to do it.This is where it gets tricky, because one person could consider Motorhead’s “Burner” the ultimate in smooth jamz, while another person might think that John Tesh’s Roundball Rock is the pinnacle of repose.
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It seems that India is Xiaomi’s good charm the past months and the Chinese company is always welcomed there.Recently Xiaomi was announced “the most preferred brand in India”, overtaking Samsung and Apple and today, Manu Jain, Xiaomi India’s Managing Director announced that the company sold over a million Redmi 4 units in just 30 days!He tweeted about it using his official Twitter account, confirming that the affordable pricing of all Xiaomi models (especially the low-mid range ones) is welcomed by Indian buyers who prefer this type of smartphones.In case you don’t remember, the Redmi 4 is a budget smartphone that was announced back in November 2016, equipped with a Snapdragon 625 SoC, a 5 inch full HD display, 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage.There’s also a more affordable variant, with 2GB of RAM as well as 16GB of internal storage.Both versions have microSD slots for expansion and a 4100 mAh battery for impressive standby times.
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The Blueye Robotics Pioneer underwater drone bridges the gap between professional-grade remote operated vehicles (ROV) and remote control toys.Most professional-grade ROVs cost $5,000 to $10,000; the Pioneer comes with everything you need to get started for $3,000.The Blueye Pioneer has a deep diving range, up to 150 meters – that’s eight times deeper than the best human SCUBA divers can go.It also comes equipped with an HD camera (1080p at 30fps) designed to work well in low light situations and provide low-latency video streaming.The unit doesn’t require you to buy an on-board base-station; you can control the device with a video game controller or an app on your smartphone.The CEO of Blueye, Eric Dyrkoren, says the company’s mission is to create a high-end submersible ROV for consumers:
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Rickshaw Travel, the independent tour operator committed to providing enriching, immersive, meaningful travel experiences, has announced it will launch new trips to Japan by September 2017 and has appointed Rooster PR as its retained UK press office following a competitive pitch.This year, Rickshaw will be launching a range of bite-size trips and itineraries across Japan, including experiences in Hiroshima, Takayama, Nara & Kyoto.Travellers will get the chance to experience the real Japan, whether it’s sake tasting in a local brewery or learning how to become a traditional Japanese gardener.As part of its growth strategy, Rickshaw has appointed Rooster to manage its pro-active and re-active press office to build brand awareness and aid company growth.This will include developing and implementing a content-focused PR plan, targeted media outreach, maximising press trip opportunities and crisis management where required.The agency will also help Rickshaw educate press and consumers about the importance of meaningful travel and plant the seeds for those who could be inspired to ‘travel with meaning’.
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Miss having an intercom in your house?Amazon has a new take on the in-home communication system with its popular Echo smart speakers.The company has added a feature to its Echo line of smart speakers that will turn the devices into hands-free intercoms.The online retailer will roll out the update in the next few days through an updated Alexa app on iOS and Android, and it will be available on all Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show speakers.The update is designed to work in a household with multiple Echo speakers.First, you name your Echo devices by room ("Rob's office," "Kitchen," and so on).
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Top Toyota RAV4 Model Picks:Most sensible: Toyota RAV4 2.0D-4D Business EditionMost fun: Toyota RAV4 2.0D-4D ExcelDon’t bother: Toyota RAV4 2.0D-4D ActiveMust-have tech: Toyota Go Plus 3D sat nav, Toyota Safety SenseThe roads are choked with SUVs, their owners looking down on lesser mortals and having quite a time of it – unless they’re driving a Toyota RAV4.
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Thanks to Apple and its new augmented reality framework for mobile, one resourceful game designer has managed to render smash-hit title Minecraft in AR – and it looks infinitely fun.Toying around with Unity 3D and the recently released ARKit, AR enthusiast Matthew Hallberg has come up with a way to use Apple’s new framework to blend his physical surroundings with the virtual world of Minecraft.Much like the real thing, the game lets you mess around with various tools to build and break blocks – only this time around you get to this in the backdrop of the real world.As you can observe in the video demo, the improvised Minecraft game offers several different tools, including the notorious pickaxe, as well as a few other objects like torches and trees.One thing that avid players will notice is that the scale might be a little off from time to time: for instance, a torch is nearly as big as two blocks.But hopefully Hallberg can iron out these inconsistencies in future versions.
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Ever since you got that alarm clock that adapts to your sleep cycle, your calendar, and the traffic report, you practically leap out of bed.As you eat, the TV streams headlines tailored to your interests.You need to leave, like now, or you're going to be late to work.You have that presentation today.This raises an interesting question: In a gloriously connected, flawlessly optimized world where everything is a computer, what do you need with a smartphone?This week marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, which hit store shelves on June 29, 2007.
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The PR firm therefore concluded marketers must “[create] content and messages for their products and services that boast the advanced technology without setting off alarm bells that the technology will in some way harm them or be the death knell for society."If the state of the art is Tay, the AI that sought to mimic human interaction but quickly went haywire, the advent of AI programmed to develop sentience, or a degree of consciousness, seems ages away, said Divya Menon, marketing consultant at marketing and advertising consultancy Bad Brain.“Predicting technological advances is always a bad idea, but I'd say that within 20 [to] 30 years, we will have machines that are at least as good as human beings in just about every cognitive skill,” added Kentaro Toyama, WK Kellogg associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.An AI that is tapped in to 100m video cameras, the global weather infrastructure and the Internet would have such a giant and broad consciousness it would invariably be wildly different from our own.“In that case, it’s about humanity and machines blurring into one — imagine nano machines that are constantly improving your brain, expanded human-machine interfaces, artificial organs, etc.”However, Toyama said Kurzweil’s notion of a singularity is the moment when computers became as smart as us, but it is also the point at which computers become dramatically smarter than us because they would be able to use their intelligence to make themselves smarter and smarter, which they can do more easily because they can reprogram themselves.
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With the announcement of Apple’s ARKit, I’ve been bombarded with questions about what ARKit means for Augmented Reality (AR) developers, specifically ones building hard mobile AR technologies.So let me make it very clear up front what ARKit does to the AR developer market: It grows it.The Metaio SDK, as good as it was, was not quite up to Apple standards so we figured it was going to be a few years before native AR support was released.With rumors about better depth hardware coming on the iPhone 8 they could still surprise everyone with more robust depth support.Companies that have developed a monocular SLAM SDK for iOS will need to sunset that product.In reality ARKit takes one of the biggest costs off of their portfolios, allowing them to focus on building tools and products for some of the deeper problems in AR, namely mapping.
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Twitter has unveiled two new ads as part of its ongoing 'See Every Side' campaign, which aims to capture the multifaceted viewpoints the social network offers up to users.In a bid to help people better understand what the platform is all about, Twitter has been rolling out ads showing how celebrities and ordinary people engage with each other within its walls.The ads are airing across on-demand services like Hulu and Roku in the US and also on digital platforms.The latest film plays on Twitter's reputation for being a hub of debate and disagreement during topical events.It depicts how a hashtag can bring different points of view to the fore, with a heatwave – Summergedden – prompting a host of sweaty users to argue about climate change.— Twitter (@Twitter) June 19, 2017
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A majority of chief executives of mainland Chinese companies believe technological changes will “weaken” or “eliminate” some market leaders, but they also see such disruption as providing new opportunities, according to a KPMG survey released at the World Economic Forum in Dalian on Tuesday.Eight out of 10 chief executives of China-headquartered companies expect there will be major disruption in their industries due to technology changes.More than half believe that some of the traditional leaders in their sectors will be “weakened or eliminated by technological disruption”.The survey, titled “2017 China CEO Outlook – Disrupt and Grow”, polled 1,261 chief executive’s worldwide, including 125 from China.“The CEOs I speak with recognise they are operating in a rapidly changing and complex business environment,” Benny Liu, chairman of KPMG China, told a media briefing on the first day of the three-day forum in Dalian which has gathered over 2,000 business and technology leaders from around the world.“China’s restructuring process and an increasingly sophisticated consumer are leading to both challenges and opportunities, and CEOs are responding to this by embracing technological disruption to innovate their production and distribution models, as well as to create new products,” Liu added.
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Getting CEOs to understand exactly what Alibaba does for brands outside of China is still a hurdle and has been the key focus of its London office since it was set up two years ago.But with the roll out of what it dubs a “unique” ad offering, the e-commerce giant is now looking to attract CMOs with the promise of being a “collaborative” partner rather than a closed data marketplace like Amazon, to which it is so often compared.It kicked off the week-long industry event revealing it had inked a deal with Publicis Group, giving the French advertising giant the keys to the vast amounts of data Alibaba carries on half a billion shoppers as well as users of Youku (Chinese version of YouTube), which it owns, and Weibo (Chinese-version of Twitter) in which is has a majority stake.Marketers can come in through one of four key pillars, the first of which is the ‘Brand Databank’ where Alibaba aggregates all the consumer data it has across its platforms, analyses it and then turns it into insights for brands to work against.The Brand Databank also acts as the base for the three other parts of Uni Marketing: Uni Strategy (which “provide a complete picture of consumer behavior” across touchpoints”), Uni Communication (a media planning and ad-serving tool which pulls information from across leading online Chinese media and feeds it back into the databank) and Uni Operation (where brands can create and deliver personalised content and manage consumer relationships across Alibaba touchpoints).“It’s a co-creation process between agency, Alibaba and advertiser for a much more targeted and better ROI type of advertising,” said Tung, saying it can plot a consumer’s “life journey” with any brand and tell advertisers how to personalise their comms and target the ad or other form of content accordingly.
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Arguably no banking technology in the last 50 years has been as disruptive as the ATM machine, celebrating its birthday Tuesday.Banking may look different on the surface, but its core functions look the same.Growth of mobile banking usage is slowing, mobile payments haven’t really taken off, and banks are re-investing in their branches as an important and evolving channel for their evolving customers.Like branches, ATMs are an important point of contact for banks and their customers that aren’t getting phased out because some people are becoming more digital — they’re getting upgrades.Banks want sleeker machines with larger screens and the functionality to perform as an automated teller that does more than dispense cash and take deposits.“The activities you can do on ATMs and mobile are very similar for those who are super mobile users with super high expectations of how an ATM should behave,” said Jose Resendiz, general manager for global financial services at ATM producer NCR.
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Mainland Chinese real estate listing site Uoolu (有路) is seeking to create a safer way for middle and upper class Chinese to invest in overseas real estate, according to its founder and chief executive.The key to winning customers, according to 34-year-old Huang Xiaodan, who founded the start-up two years ago, is to provide a higher value service where users can be assured of the quality of the real estate listings on the platform.What customers terribly lack is a sense of security.”Every month the app attracts between 800,000 to 1 million active users and transacts roughly 200 million yuan (US$29.24 million) worth of overseas property on its platform.A JLL report showed that Chinese outbound real estate transactions rose to US$7.5 billion in the first quarter, up 84 per cent from a year earlier.And as an increasing number of middle-class mainlanders scout for properties around the world, unscrupulous websites have been taking advantage of inexperienced buyers, often by exploiting the information gap.
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Over the past couple of months, umbrella rentals have become the latest sharing economy fad to hit China with three umbrella sharing startups pocketing funds of several million RMB (around USD 1 million).Last week in Hangzhou, local officers confiscated tens of thousands of umbrellas from umbrella rental startup Esan, just a day after the startup placed these umbrellas throughout public spaces in subway stations, train stations and shopping malls.The umbrellas were initially hung on street fences, but the city’s management unit took actions to take them down under the “city’s appearance and sanitation” regulation, local media reported.Zhao Shuping, Esan’s founder and CEO, told local press that the company is indeed facing issues over placement methods and will be trying to put these “shared umbrellas” into buckets instead.Founded in 2017 in Shenzhen, Esan in May secured RMB 10 million (USD 1.5 million) for its angel round.Its app functions just like a bike-rental app, showing locations of nearby umbrellas.
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Volkswagen is working with Nvidia to expand its usage of its artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies beyond autonomous vehicles and into other areas of business, the two companies revealed today.VW set up its Munich-based data lab in 2014.Last year it pushed on with the hiring of Prof. Patrick van der Smagt to lead a dedicated AI team that is tasked with taking the technology into areas such as ‘robotic enterprise,’ or use of the technology in enterprise settings.That’s the backdrop to today’s partnership announcement.VW wants to use AI and deep learning to power new opportunities within its corporate business functions and, more widely, “in the field of mobility services.” As an example, the German car-maker said it is working on procedures to help optimize traffic flow in cities and urban areas, while it sees the potential for intelligent human-robot collaboration, too.We want to develop and deploy high-performance AI systems ourselves.
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The U.K.’s Oxford University continues to be a hotbed of AI talent, fuelling not just academic research into AI but also the ambitions of startups and large technology companies alike.The latest Oxford-based AI startup to make headlines is Diffblue, a University of Oxford spin-out that is applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to software development.The young company has raised $22 million in Series A funding, one year since leaving academia.The round is led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, alongside Oxford Sciences Innovations (OSI), and the Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund (OTIF).Born out of ten years of research, Diffblue describes its core AI as being able to build an exact mathematical model of any code base, with just a few examples provided.The resulting model then allows a deep semantic understanding of what a computer program is trying to do, from which a number of aspects of software development can be automated.
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