Microsoft is taking on Google’s Chrome OS direct, announcing a new push in sub-$200 notebooks that will target Chromebooks’ market share in classrooms.Launching at the Best education expo today, the new range of laptops kick off from as little as $189, competing directly with affordable Chromebook hardware from ASUS, Acer, and others.However, there are also software and service updates which Microsoft expects will sweeten the deal.A significant part of that will hinge on updates to Office 365.Over the next month, the company says, that’ll be in line for some new features.For instance, come February there’ll be dictation support, for voice-to-text.
Image credit: Hero Images | Getty ImagesWe’ve all heard that writing according to the company style guide is good for customers because it creates brand voice consistency.But does that still apply when customers are looking for help?It may be time to trade in the traditional brand voice for a more adaptive, empathetic approach to communication that puts the customer’s language and style, not your brand’s, at the center.They’re framing their problem in their own, often frustrated, imprecise, messy terms.One task of self-service knowledge is to close the gap between a customer’s framing of their problem and your solution.
Nurse Lucille Anderson is the first West Indian midwife to feature as a regular character in the series, and she’ll give viewers a fresh insight into what life was like for the Caribbean nurses who supported the NHS in the 1960s.Leonie Elliott is taking on the role and while you might not recognise her instantaneously right now, the part will put Leonie in the spotlight, so there’s never been a better time to get to know her better…One of Leonie’s biggest roles to date came in 2016 when she played Fiona - Clara’s flatmate - in the ‘Hated In The Nation’ episode of Charlie Brooker’s show.And you might have seen her on stage tooLeonie’s stage credits include a stint in ‘The Lion King’, a UK tour of ‘Annie’ and a Birmingham production of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.But her most high profile role came courtesy of Lenny Henry
As it’s been known to do every once in a while, Sony has kicked off a flash sale on the PlayStation Store.This sale comprises deals for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita, though those buying for PlayStation 4 are unsurprisingly going to have the most offers to take advantage of.If you’re going to buy something, you’ll need to act quick, because this sale isn’t going to last very long (though that should have been a obvious given its designation of “flash sale”).Though these flash sales can sometimes feel like a mish-mash of deals on games that aren’t usually top sellers, this particular flash sale actually has quite a few indie games that might be worth checking out.Of course, that’s assuming you haven’t already had the chance to play them, as a number of them have been available for quite some time now.Some deals worth considering on PlayStation 4 include discounts on Bastion ($3.74), Crypt of the Necrodancer ($2.99), Broforce ($3.74), Transistor ($3.99), and I Am Bread ($3.24).
Amazon is raising the price on Prime memberships for customers who choose to pay monthly instead of the full year upfront.The cost is going up from $10.99 per month to $12.99, according to Recode.While the $2 extra per month may not sound like much, it’s an 18 percent increase that works out to an extra $24 per year.That raises the total annual cost for monthly membership to $156, instead of the previous $132.In other words, customers who subscribe to Prime on a monthly basis, either because they can’t afford the full annual price upfront, or choose not to commit to a year at a time, are now paying an even higher premium over the $99 annual subscription rate, which remains unchanged.
Two of the world's biggest tech companies have reached a deal to collaborate more closely.Google and Tencent, China's biggest tech company, have agreed to share patents across a range of products and technologies, Bloomberg reported Friday.The cross-licensing deal between the tech mammoths is expected to ease Google's path of re-entry to China where most of its services have been blocked for years, as well as help with Tencent's bid to expand outside its home country.Google withdrew its search engine and related services from China back in 2010 when it decided it would no longer follow the censorship requirements of China's government.In March, Google released a new version of its Translate app there.In December, Google said it would open an artificial intelligence lab in China and quietly set up a new office in Shenzhen.
Chinese ecommerce company JD.com has signed a share subscription agreement as co-lead investor in its Vietnamese counterpart Tiki’s recent Series C round of financing.Upon completion of the investment, JD.com will become one of Tiki’s largest shareholders.The partnership will see JD.com and Tiki work together in a range of areas including merchandising, cross-border trade, logistics and fulfillment, technology, financing, and operational capabilities.The two companies will also cooperate to deliver a wider authentic selection from global brands to consumers, while helping Vietnamese local brands in expanding internationally via JD’s global platform.“We are very excited to continue our Southeast Asia expansion with Tiki, a company that has a deep understanding of Vietnam and a reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Winston Cheng, president of international at JD.com.“With JD.com’s expertise in leveraging social media for ecommerce, Tiki’s partnership with VNG in social network and mobile payments is a natural fit as we aim to provide differentiated services to suppliers and consumers in Vietnam.
Microsoft has applied to patent a brain control interface, so you'll be able to "think" your way around a computer device, hands free.Last year, Facebook claimed to have 60 engineers engaged in BCI [brain computer interface] but Microsoft isn't going to take this sitting down.It's erm, sitting down and thinking really hard.The application Changing an application state using neurological data was filed last year, and published last week.The inventors recently filed a related patent for a continuous motion controller powered by the brain.(US 2017/0329392: Continuous Motion Controls Operable Using Neurological Data).
HTC doesn’t seem to be done trying to milk all that it can from the U11 brand, even in 2018.It also doesn’t seem to be done mixing up specs and features to try and sell its growing number of almost indistinguishable models.This time though, it is adding at least one new feature to make it worthy of its moniker.It was way back in 2014 when it launched the Desire EYE.It had only one “eye”, that is, a camera, front and back.It set itself apart by having the front camera be the same quality as the main rear one, still uncommon even today.
We've been saying it for years at this point, but there's so much car tech at CES that you could almost call it the Las Vegas Auto Show.But this year more than ever, cars -- from EVs to dashboard technologies and more -- were at the forefront.However, one of the most interesting trends was the way the tech and automotive industries doubled down on partnerships and cooperation at CES 2018.And not just partnerships between automakers and suppliers, but also partnerships between companies that may have historically competed with one another.The silicon peddler also announced its new Xavier computer, hardware designed especially for autonomous cars and AI that will be used in partnerships with Audi, Bosch, ZF, Here and Zenrin.Toyota's showcased a new e-Palette autonomous vehicle concept and announced a new e-Palette partnership with Amazon, Uber, Pizza Hut, Didi and Mazda to share autonomous technologies and explore smart cities of the future.
Mary Barra has gained the respect of her colleagues and industry analysts in her time at GM.Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesCEO Mary Barra has transformed General Motors by cutting unprofitable ventures and investing in the future.Her focus on efficiency and efficacy has driven the decisions she's made in over 35 years of working at the company.When General Motors CEO Mary Barra was the company's vice president of global human resources, she thought the company's dress code was too complicated.It was a simple idea, but not an easy one, as the managers beneath her complained that their employees were taking advantage of the rule change and coming to work in unprofessional attire."I want them to take ownership of the rules and say, 'You're accountable to lead your team,'" she said at the 2015 Catalyst Awards.
Apple’s plan to migrate China-based iCloud user accounts to a local host on Chinese soil is already running into controversy after the iPhone-maker appeared included accounts registered overseas in the data.China-based users were informed of the upcoming migration yesterday, which Apple said “will allow us improve the speed and reliability of our iCloud services products while also complying with newly passed regulations that cloud services be operated by Chinese companies.”However, after talking to a number of users, we found that Apple has included iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts in the data that will be handled by local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) from February 28.Apple has given China-based users the option to delete their data, but there is no opt out that allows them to have it stored elsewhere.That has concerned some users who are uneasy that the data migration is a sign of closer ties with the Chinese government, particularly since GCBD is owned by the Guizhou provincial government.When asked for comment, Apple pointed TechCrunch to its terms and conditions site which explains that it is migrating iCloud accounts based on their location.
Amazon's ad revenue could reach $4.5 billion in 2018, according to an analyst note by JPMorgan.Its scale and data, fast growth, investments into developing advertising channels and reputation among advertisers make it well-positioned to emerge as a big player.Amazon is well-positioned to emerge as the third scaled digital ad platform after Google and Facebook, with its ad revenue set to surpass $4.5 billion in 2018, according to a note by JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth.Here is why JPMorgan thinks Amazon's ascent is inevitable:Amazon has a killer combination of both scale and dataAmazon's sheer scale and data makes it a considerable alternative to the duopoly.
What’s a poor smartphone maker to do when its latest grand plans for U.S. distribution fall through?Hire Wonder Woman, of course.With an AT deal reportedly falling through last minute, Huawei’s hanging a lot on its latest celebrity spokesperson, Gal Gadot, as it looks to spread brand recognition globally.Of course, the marketing’s likely been in the works for a while, and from the sound of reports, the AT deal only recently fell through, but it’s hard to shake the feelings that we’ve been through this before.CEO Richard Yu offers bullish predictions with regards to the company’s plans to conquer the States every year, and every year, it ultimately fails to crack the mainstream in a country where most phone purchases are made with help from carrier subsidies.But Huawei’s going big with the Wonder Woman star, giving her the title of Chief Experience Officer.
There are a lot of crazy demos at CES 2018 vying for your attention, but BMW's definitely makes the most noise.Burning a whole lot of rubber, BMW is doing autocross drives in the M5 on a closed course right outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.Pro drivers Johan Schwartz and Matt Mullins took me for a literal spin around the track, complete with donuts and drifting.Schwarz recently set a new Guinness World Record for the greatest distance vehicle drift in 8 hours: 232.5 miles around a ski pad.During that continuous drift the car needed refueling, so BMW partnered with Detroit Speed to make a custom dry break fuel system that could fill the tank mid-drift.To capture the ride experience, we stuck a GoPro Fusion 360 camera on the dash to see what it's like to ride with these drivers.
“Digital” has already become passé and a somewhat overused term, yet many companies are still struggling to fully embrace the digital shift.Yet machine learning, AI, blockchain, AR/VR, the IoT, robotics, cloud – just some examples of digital 2.0 technologies – are here to stay.Here are five of the biggest trends businesses should be prepared for in 2018.Digital transformation is not about executing a few random projects (updating a website, launching a new mobile app etc.GE, for example, has made hard decisions about what businesses are most important; divesting many of its financial services businesses along the way.It doubled investment in R, re-emerged as a technology company, and went global with its presence.
We’re on the Pacific time zone here in Vegas, so expect updates to start rolling in around 7am for us.That’s 10am on the east coast.We’ll be posting photos and news bits about these things, and we’ll be letting you know whenever we’re going live on Facebook (which will be often!)so you can follow along there too.
Har Gobind Khorana's interest in science began as a young boy under a tree in a small Indian village and lead to helping to decipher the genetic code.Born into childhood poverty , Khoran used scholarships and fellowships to advance his education to become a respected biochemist who was awarded a share of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.To highlight the accomplishment, Google on Monday honored Khorana on what would have been his 96th birthday.Khorana, along with no-Nobel recipients Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley, discovered that the order of nucleotides in our DNA determines which amino acids are built.These amino acids form proteins, which carry out the functions of a living cell.Google's Doodle illustrates how the scientists used three-letter combinations to represent the four chemical bases found in RNA: adenine, cytosine, uracil and guanine.
In recent years, ransomware has grown very quickly from relative obscurity to become one of the greatest cybersecurity risks facing organisations today.Ransomware is not a new type of threat: it’s been around in its current form for over a decade.However, in the last few years, it has risen to prominence as an increasing number of variants were released into the wild – and several high-profile organisations fell victim to them.Download this whitepaper to find out more.
Russia is assembling a new group of engineers who will be responsible for crafting the nation’s lunar exploration strategy.It’s another sign that a highly ambitious human space program is gaining steam in Moscow.The new department was created inside RKK Energia space corporation, Russia’s premier developer of human spacecraft that is responsible for the venerable Soyuz.The program had been stalling for several years due to falling prices for oil, the main source of revenue for the Russian budget.Although US saw the primary goal of the DSG as a springboard for missions to Mars, NASA’s international partners, including Russia, have been pushing the idea of exploring the Moon first.To coordinate various technical aspects of lunar exploration, the head of RKK Energia Vladimir Solntsev signed an order late last year to form Center No.