Michael Colon

Michael Colon

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Following 20
UK
Blockchain might actually prove helpful for a changeIn an effort to demonstrate there are actual uses for blockchain technology, global professional services biz EY and Microsoft have teamed up to offer companies a way to manage rights and royalties.Ubisoft - a Microsoft game publishing partner - intends to test the system, which relies on the Quorum blockchain protocol, Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and supporting technologies."The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting," said Loic Amans, SVP of finance and strategic planning at Ubisoft, in canned remarks.It will, we're told, offer almost real-time insight into sales transactions, info that tends to be useful for marketing analytics.Paul Brody, EY global innovation leader for blockchain, contends blockchain tech is ideally suited to this particular situation.
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UK
If you’ve treated yourself to a shiny new computer then the excitement might be tempered somewhat by the thought of having to shift all your files and programs over to the new machine.We can’t sit down in front of your computer for you and tell you exactly which bits of data you need to move over, so you’re going to have to run some level of audit yourself—it’s probably a good idea to do this before you start, rather than waiting until afterwards and realising you’ve lost a folder full of vintage 1990s movie poster scans.Make a note of where your important files and folders are saved, the apps you use most often, and the folders those apps use.If you can use the new and old computers in tandem for a while we’d recommend it, as it helps you to work out what you need and what you can leave behind.It’s simple but it’s effective, as long as you know where all your files are in the first place, and haven’t spread them across every corner of your hard disk.You can get both old and new computers on the same Wi-Fi network and transfer files that way, for instance, but the hoops you have to jump through (especially when working with different OSes) and the limited access to files and folders you get make this method hard to recommend over the ones we’ve already mentioned.
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China
The “garage” conjures an image of bootstrap dynamism and success, so much so that a very prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm headed by co-founder Guy Kawasaki has been christened Garage Technology Ventures.With a seed capital of Rs 10000 (less than $200), entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw set up a company which today has revenues inching towards the half a billion-dollar mark.The garage metaphor operates at both the level of the entrepreneurial psyche, as well as at a subtler and important level, in terms of the role that the “garage” plays in the entrepreneurial process.The garage as a goalFirst, the “garage” represents an inspirational ideal.In strategic terms, the location and the cost of the ‘incubator’ can be far more important than the actual size, the condition or the elegance of the place.
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China
Xiaomi is expected to launch the 4th device in its Mi Pad series of Tablets which is dubbed as Mi Pad 4 at an event a few days from now in China.Only recently, the company confirmed to us the device could come with the Snapdragon 660 SoC and an 8-inch screen with Full-HD, while other specs are also flying around in the form of rumors.Now, ahead of the official unveiling, the company has confirmed via its official Weibo account that the upcoming Mi Pad 4 could be the first of its Mi Pad series to sport the AI unlock, and if that pans out, then users of the upcoming device would only just have to gaze at their tablet in order to get their units unlocked.While this is something exciting, it should be noted that the feature which relies on the front facing camera may not be as secured as the Find X’s front-facing 3D camera, and the 3D module found in some other devices.According to previous reports, the Mi Pad 4 is expected to house a 13MP/5MP camera combo, with a massive 6,000mAh battery, while it is unsurprisingly tipped to arrive in two variants – one WiFi and one LTE-enabled either in 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB memory configuration.If rumors are to be believed the Mi Pad 4 might come with a price tag of CNY 1,499 ($230) for the base variant, while the other variant might go for as much as CNY 1,999 ($305).
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China
After all, payments have accounted for much of Ant’s success, and the firm holds licenses to operate in key financial areas.And it’s on track to reach this goal.Ant started out as Alipay, an escrow service for Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, in 2004.It was only this February that Alibaba finally bought ownership in the firm, taking a 33 percent stake.Just as Alibaba provides marketplaces for sellers and buyers to trade, Ant runs platforms that allow financial services firms to reach end-users.For instance, Bank of Nanjing has been using Ant’s risk control technology and Huaxia Bank has leaned on Ant in its transition to blockchain, AI, and biometric verification.
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UK
Apple has released an update for GarageBand, its audio recording and editing application.The software is popular amongst both amateur musicians and podcasters, and will no doubt hold its appeal as Apple has made it even better: there are 1,000 new loops, among other things.This update brings the software to version 10.3.GarageBand has been around for years and is free for macOS/iOS users to download.The software packs a bunch of features that you’d typically have to pay to access, not the least of which is a large library of sound effects and loops for use in productions.Version 10.3 greatly expands that library, as mentioned, bringing 1,000 additional urban and electronic loops.
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US
A new web-based "feedback" technology which allows therapists to accurately monitor how patients with depression are coping has been found to reduce the probability of deterioration during psychological treatment by 74%, a new study has found.Psychological therapy is offered to many people with depression and anxiety who seek treatment in the NHS, but while roughly half of these patients respond well to the treatment, up to 10% actually get worse.Known as "Outcome Feedback", the new technology was developed by an international team of researchers from UK, German and Dutch Universities, in partnership with PCMIS, a patient case management information system used widely by mental health services."Outcome Feedback" uses patient feedback to rapidly identify patients at risk of deterioration by tracking their symptoms and monitoring their response to treatment.The team behind the technology have now received a grant from the Wellcome Trust to implement the software across the NHS with the aim of improving the quality of psychological care.The grant will also enable the researchers to develop an e-learning programme to train NHS therapists to use the technology effectively.
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UK
Facebook’s previously announced language translation AI has finally brought direct Spanish translations to the company’s Messenger app.With this, users can see direct translations to and from Spanish/English without using a secondary translation tool.This is the latest step in AI-powered translations helping remove the language barrier.Facebook revealed the feature back in April, though it has been limited to Marketplace for users in the United States.That served as a testing period for Facebook, which is pleased with the results, according to TechCrunch, which got a comment from the company.Assuming you’re in the United States, you’ll start receiving prompts from Facebook’s “M” artificial intelligence system.
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AT has announced the upcoming launch of WatchTV, its new live television streaming service.The platform, which offers more than 30 livestreaming TV channels, will be included with a pair of unlimited plans set to roll out next week.Called Unlimited & More and Unlimited & More Premium, both include unlimited high-speed data with extra perks tossed in.WatchTV is, like DirectTV NOW, YouTube TV, and similar offerings, a way to watch live TV channels over the Internet.Unlike those competing services, though, WatchTV has two big differences: it is only $15/month, making it the cheapest option thus far, and it has less channels than multiple other services.Channels available under WatchTV are primarily big and well-known offerings, however, including things like Boomerang, A, TLC, Food Network, CNN, BBC America, Hallmark, TNT, and Cartoon Network.
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There's a new Google Assistant update available today, and it's going to make issuing voice commands to the AI assistant a lot less tediousContinued Conversation, first shown at Google IO in May, allows Google Assistant to automatically listen for followup commands after it answers the first question or command.This means you won't have to say "OK, Google" before every question or command in natural conversation.The Continued Conversation ends when you say, "thank you," or "stop," or when Google Assistant detects no speech for 8 seconds.Google isn't delivering this feature to everyone at once, though.Continued Conversation is rolling out.
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It’s Thursday again (funny how this seems to happen so frequently), which means that it’s time for another update to the Switch eShop.While some eShop updates throughout the first half of the year have been relatively quiet, this one most certainly is not.This, of course, is the week that Mario Tennis Aces arrives on the Switch, but it’s being joined by some other exciting games as well.For instance, we have the arrival of a new version of Minecraft to look forward to this week.Most notably, this new version is built on the Bedrock engine, which means that Better Together is rolling out today too, letting Switch owners play with those on Xbox One, PC, or mobile.All current owners of Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition can upgrade to this new version for free by heading over to by heading over to the Switch eShop.
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Ofcom CEO Sharon White has suggested the total cost of delivering adequate 4G coverage to the entirety of the UK landmass could cost as much as £6 billion.Speaking at Connected Britain in London, White said she was pleased with the progress in eliminating connectivity ‘notspots’ – both fixed and mobile – noting the improvements in coverage and speed since she assumed her role in 2015.That solid progress has been driven by commercial ambition, government policy, public funding and, I hope, a favourable regulatory environment.Situations like those are unacceptable in 2018.I feel like we’re a marathon runner reaching the final five percent [of the race].The terrain is getting tough and planning rules aren’t favourable.”
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China
Since the debut of the UMIDIGI Z2 lineup, the Z2 series of phones has quickly become one of the best expressions of what Chinese phone makers can achieve, even if they aren’t as big as say Huawei, Xiaomi or VIVO.The UMIDIGI Z2 Pro does indeed come with an industry-leading AI-driven Helio P60 chipset, paired with a very fashionable design, which is otherwise hard to find on similarly priced devices.The Z2 Pro is also available in new gradient colors, which is a big step forward from what we were used to see from phone manufacturers, usually limited to launching phones in Black, Silver, Red, Blue and so on.No doubt that many of us got tired of that.Nature is the greatest inspiration in the world in order to create beauty.Humans have longed to create since the beginning of their existence, and have always drawn inspiration from nature in some way, shape, or form.
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US
Intel's chief executive Brian Krzanich has resigned after an investigation found he had a 'past consensual relationship' with an employee, effective immediately.The board of directors, from which Krzanich has also resigned, has named chief financial officer Robert Swan as interim CEO.An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel for Intel confirmed Krzanich's relationship to be "a violation of Intel’s non-fraternisation policy", which applies to all managers at the company.A statement from the company said that as all employees must respect Intel’s values and adhere to its code of conduct, the board has accepted Krzanich’s resignation.Intel's chairman Andy Bryant said:The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO.
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Conversations with the Google Assistant will involve less “Hey Google” and more chat moving forward, with one of the big features previewed at I/O 2018 arriving on smart speakers today.Continued Conversation allows users to have multi-part interactions with the voice-driven AI, without having to say the “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” trigger each time.The Assistant can already handle queries that span multiple requests.For instance, if you asked your Google Home for the weather forecast for the day, after getting that report you can follow up by asking “What about tomorrow?” The Assistant remembers that you were talking about the weather, and so understands the context of that second question.Continued Conversation, which Google detailed at its I/O developer conference a few weeks back, strips out the duplicated wake-words.While you’ll still need to say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” the first time, the Assistant will keep listening after making its response in case you have a follow-up question or need clarification.
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With World Wifi Day taking place this week, it seemed like a perfectly appropriate time to catch-up with Tiago Rodrigues, General Manager of the Wireless Broadband Alliance to discuss the work taking place to take wifi to the next level.Despite being a critical component of the connectivity ecosystem, public wifi has never seemed to meet expectations, Rodrigues hopes this is going to change in the future.“Wifi is a technology which has the potential to connect the unconnected and close the digital divide,” Rodrigues said.The main issue here seems to be customer experience.Many users, your correspondent included, choose to turn off wifi on devices while out and about, relying on 4G for a more reliable experience.For those who have unlimited or generous data tariffs this is a perfectly feasible option, though for some, it is not.
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Staff flings are frowned upon in US corporate tech world, and against Intel company policy, which bans bosses from having relationships with people who report to them, directly or indirectly.In a statement issued within this hour, the chip maker said:Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee.An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers.Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation.Krzanich will be replaced by interim CEO Bob Swan, who is otherwise the chief financial officer and an exec veep.
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Last week it was announced that Aldi's whiskies had won a bunch of prestigious awards, despite the fact they cost a lot less than other, more expensive brands.Turns out the discount supermarket's quality booze isn't restricted to spirits, because its champagne has just been named one of the best in the world.The £10.99 Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut just won a 'silver outstanding' medal at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge.It's proper Champagne too, from the right region and everything, where it's made by Philizot et Fils.The wine is supposed to taste fruity, with some floral hints, if that's the kind of thing you care about in booze.If you're looking to seem posh on a budget, then you'll already have been sold by the price tag.
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UK
BlackBerry is focusing on luring in more channel partners and developers to maintain growth, CEO John Chen told shareholders at the company's AGM.Chen has stabilised the business and jettisoned the devices unit that gave the company its name.Margins now reflect those of an enterprise software company – in the 70 per cents, compared to the 30-somethings when Chen joined the company in 2013, he said.Analysts expect a one-off fall in the results for the most recent quarter, due to be announced on Friday, but to rise after that.BlackBerry remains a curious amalgamation of secure enterprise productivity and communications, the result of a merger with arch-rival Good, an embedded OS unit, and an IP licensing unit that gets most of the headlines.BlackBerry clawed back $940m from Qualcomm a year ago, and is aggressively going after Facebook.
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If you’re a hardcore, key-mashing typist who must feel the key travel at each and every press, you really don’t have much choice as far as smartphones go.Fortunately, now you have a new choice, depending on the design, specs, and price that you find most convincing.The BlackBerry KEY2 definitely changes the game a bit and BlackBerry’s third Android QWERTY smartphone will finally be available to US buyers in just a few weeks.The BlackBerry KEY2 old school in more ways than just the keyboard.It’s definitely a classic, which might be a breath of fresh air amidst the increasingly identical smartphones in the market.At the same time, the KEY2 brings a lot of new things to the table, at least for BlackBerry.
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