Connectivity is central to every other digital experience and while it’s no surprise that data comes at a cost, the issue lies in trying to untangle its complexities.While the industry may agree on the need for simple pricing, this has only resulted in one or two subscription model-variants, designed to appease the largest subset of consumers.This pricing strategy is little more than a blunt instrument when trying to extract real value from data, though to date it hasn’t proven a large enough pain point to dispense with the competitive pricing wars and do something different.5G, however, is set to change all that, shining a giant spotlight on the problems associated with simple pricing models as networks seek to roll out new and more differentiated services.Setting these new 5G services aside for a moment, consider the vast array of elements that can be individualized now when it comes to pricing data plans:Peak or Off-Peak Time Used
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Cloud giant's blunt instrument clobbers loyal resellers tooMicrosoft's Toby Richards, General Manager of programmes within the Commercial Partner organisation, has explained the company's removal of free licences from the benefits assigned to resellers.Richards presented an "Ask me anything" (AMA) session yesterday on the subject of "Partner investments and incentives" – and there was only one thing on the mind of the participants.This was the removal of "Internal use rights" (IUR) from the licences granted to resellers who sign up for Microsoft's "Action Pack" or earn a gold or silver "competency" in a specific area.To be told 25 years later that the IUR benefits we've literally built our business around are being 'retired' in July 2020 comes as quite the shock... Having grown from 1 employee to nearly 90 over the years, licensing out the full stack that we're using now is going to be incredibly cost prohibitive.1 year isn't long enough to plan for this level of change.
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Indian youth kills friend over TikTok video – The New Indian ExpressWhat happened: A youth in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is accused of killing his friend after a TikTok video they uploaded together sparked protests in their village.The two went into hiding after realizing the controversy sparked by their video, in which the accused spoke ill of a particular community within their village.While in hiding, the two friends quarreled and the accused allegedly struck the deceased with a blunt instrument, killing him.The accused then surrendered to the police.Why it’s important: This latest incident could potentially further aggravate the relationship between Indian lawmakers and Bytedance, which has been under fire for not regulating hate speech and sexually explicit content on its short video app platforms.The incident comes just two weeks after the Tamil Nadu state government initiated a dialogue with the lower house of India’s legislature for a statewide ban on the short video app for spreading harmful content.
In a paper to be published in the Journal of Medical Robotics Research, a team of researchers have discovered a way to automate blunt dissection using the da Vinci surgical robot, which is controlled by the Da Vinci Research Kit (DVRK).Blunt dissection is the surgical separation of tissue layers by means of a blunt instrument.Surgical operations are first described as a series of tasks known as a Surgical Process (SP).An ontology, or a complex data/knowledge representation system based on the accurate description of agents in surgery, is developed to represent the SP in a way that allows it to be analysed in an automated manner.The computer vision algorithm selects one point on this line with the least depth and the surgical robot executes blunt dissection at this point.In all the test cases, the dissection progressed on the intended dissection line.
Microsoft’s landmark email privacy case is set to go before the US Supreme Court next month, and the company has received widespread support from other tech giants, members of US Congress, and foreign governments.One party that opposes Microsoft’s move?The case began in 2013, when Microsoft challenged a warrant for emails stored in a data centre in Ireland.The company argued that a warrant was not sufficient to demand emails stored outside the United States, an argument that the Justice Department has fought against all the way to the Supreme Court.Hundreds of organisations signed 23 amicus briefs supporting Microsoft yesterday, displaying broad support for the company’s position that, under current law, the DOJ must seek access to the emails through a treaty process with Ireland, not a warrant issued under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.“On Thursday, 289 different groups and individuals from 37 countries signed 23 different legal briefs supporting Microsoft’s position that Congress never gave law enforcement the power to ignore treaties and breach Ireland’s sovereignty in this way,” Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.
The earliest models weren’t particularly capable, with limited functionality, an anemic app selection and a reliance on a constant internet connection.It’s a success story by any measure, but it’s never been enough for Google.In 2013, the company released the first Pixel, a premium device designed to prove the category also could appeal to premium users.It’s also the first laptop to sport Google Assistant built-in, courtesy of a devoted key.At some point along the line, it made that transition into full-fledged laptop territory, like Pinocchio finally transforming into a real boy.Google appears to see the new Pixelbook as the Chromebook’s mainstream moment as a consumer laptop.
Slack has re-invented some stuff Lotus Notes did 20 years ago and declared it will make you more productive.They “work just like the Slack channels you’re used to using with your internal teams, but connect two separate organizations, giving both sides a shared space to work together and move projects forward.” Slack admins in each organisation retain rights to add their own users to the Channels, or not.And doubtless it also sounded good in the mid-1990s when Lotus/IBM/Notes/Domino allowed shared databases and applications that could include users from across different organisations.In those far-off days your correspondent worked with clients who insisted on that arrangement, deeming emails a blunt instrument and forcing us to acquire some Notes licences that IT really wasn't very keen on.Not many years later, vendors who caught the Intranet bug took things a step further by cottoning on to the idea of an “Extranet” that could be accessed by third parties outside the firewall.That idea was even layered on top of SharePoint a decade ago.
The related notion of Service Endpoint Agent (SEA) devices that I have written about is simply a continuation of emerging edge and fog computing trends that will ultimately drive the transformation of wireless networks into flexible, new, value-added service offering environments where said services are literally just one hop away.However, if we want to realize this vision,it will require that the edge transforms into a different type of mini-internet that behaves just a little differently than the wider internet that it connects to.So what is this idea of a mini-internetToday, there is too often a tendency in marketing literature to show the edge as a simple “box” that is collocated with some form of radio access units.These so-called edge boxes actually form part of a plurality of Layer 2 transport networks that typically connect said radio units to a point of interconnect with the Layer 3 internet.The problem with this basic architecture in the context of the larger service ambitions of 5G is that it is inherently weak when it comes to minimizing latency.
This week, the smart home hub celebrated the one-year anniversary at I/O of its announcements with a few key additions aimed at making its product a true competitor.From the looks of it, the company is playing the long game here, seeding mobile devices with Assistant and rolling out subtle upgrades that make its device less of a blunt instrument than Amazon’s offering.Certainly the company has the data infrastructure and mobile market share to find that success.But subtly and robustness are hard plays when it comes to the consumer market — particularly one utterly dominated by a competitor.If Google wants to set itself apart, it’s going to have make a show of it.Two years is a pretty large gap to overcome in the tech world, particularly when one company has managed to become synonymous with the category in the meantime.
Predictive analytics is sometimes lauded as a crystal ball, guiding companies away from business risks and toward business opportunities.One week before the election, Moody Analytics predictive models projected that Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide.Two weeks before the votes were tallied, the newspaper gave Mr. Trump an 8% chance of winning.A chastened Times, in an editorial entitled How Data Failed Us in Calling an Election, blamed its failed prognostication on predictive analytics, reprimanding it as a young science and a blunt instrument, missing context and nuance.If the pollsters predictive models can miss the mark by a mile, can businesses depend on the same technology to assess business conditions in making their forecasts?In the decades I ve spent advising companies on their data and analytics strategy, few mainstream events have sparked such discussion and elicited so many questions — from technology colleagues and business customers alike — as our recent election.
Governments shut down their citizens access to the global network 56 times in 2016, up 180 percent from 2015, according to Access Now, a digital rights organization.Nations such as Ethiopia, Uganda and Gambia were among those that shut down internet access nationwide.Shutdowns at times were targeted to certain regions or even neighborhoods.Governments also enacted digital curfews, allowing internet access during business hours but shutting it out at night.The closures often coincide with periods of political turmoil, such as around elections and during protests, Deji Olukotun, senior global advocacy manager at Access Now, told me.The increase in blackout periods is alarming, he said, adding:Governments have become more sophisticated in how they block access to the internet, Olukotun said.In Bahrain, for example, the government shut down the internet in a particular neighborhood to stop protests.In Gambia, the government shut down the internet countrywide during elections.The reason Olukotun believes there has been an increase in shutdowns is because more people worldwide are coming online, particularly through the use of their mobile phone.But governments have shut down the internet for other reasons — Ethiopia, Syria, Algeria and Iraq have closed the network to prevent students from cheating on exams.It s a blunt instrument, Olukotun said.
Some amazing things are possible using functional MRI fMRI technology, but until now it s still resembled somewhat of a blunt instrument in some ways: able to spot trends in thought, but not quite quick enough to detect the kind of subtle neuronal activity that s associated with higher order brain functions.That may be changing thanks to new rapid fMRI technology, capable of detecting brain oscillations around 10 times faster than previously possible.This is possible using the same MRI scanner, but by utilizing a new pulse sequence technique — a bit like an over-the-air software upgrade that doesn t require any change in hardware.In a new study carried out at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers applied this fast fMRI tech in an attempt to track brain activity during human thought for the first time.The results could help neuroscientists drill down far more accurately on brain activity, to not just find broad trends in fMRI data, but specific insights into the way the brain acts at various times — including hard-to-measure ones like under anesthesia and during hallucinations.Right now, we can say whether a picture prompts an emotional response in someone, Laura D. Lewis, first author on the paper, told Digital Trends.
Lyft s new Amp device can display six different colors to passengers awaiting a ride.That s the message from Lyft Inc., which has created a novel way to shave valuable seconds off each ride and potentially enable drivers to pick up more passengers.Lyft, the smaller rival to Uber Technologies Inc. in the U.S. market, plans in the coming weeks to introduce a dash-mounted device for its hundreds of thousands of drivers that flash colors to passengers so they can more easily identify their rides.Once a rider has entered the vehicle, an inward-facing LED screen can display a preset greeting, such as Happy New Year.The new device is a blunt instrument in the war with Uber to attract more drivers and passengers after Lyft s chief rival rolled out an overhauled app earlier this month.It could also be a savvy, albeit expensive, way for Lyft to get a piece of hardware into cars it doesn t own, if, say, it one day wants to show advertising or anything else it might dream up.
Silicon Valley has a huge diversity problem, but a blunt instrument hiring quotas for diverse candidates still isn t the answer, according to Slack head of engineering Leslie Miley.The company has blind coding test examinations for potential candidates, they look outside of Silicon Valley Miley noted they just brought in someone from Tennessee and is now opening an office in Toronto, another highly diverse city, Miley said.I don t think they work, in particular in think it s another way saying we wont lower the bar, Miley said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.How you level it is, you don t just go to places like MIT and University of California — Berkeley and Stanford and focus on those places.I don t want to have to talk about this again, I don t believe in quotas, I think they re inherently wrong and I think there are realistic solutions that don t have quotas attached to it.And it s looking outside the traditional places that Silicon Valley giants, startups and venture capitalists may be pattern-matching into the best candidates.
Those hoping for a quick resolution to the cat-and-mouse game between Facebook and Adblock Plus will be disappointed to know that the back-and-forth battle shows no signs of letting up.On Tuesday, Facebook changed its desktop website so that visitors would see ads on pages even if they are running an ad-blocking plugin.It did this by making adverts appear as normal legit posts albeit with a little "sponsored" label on them, fooling anti-ad tools.Adblock Plus responded within a few hours by distributing a workaround that filtered out Facebook's sneaky ads.On Thursday night, Facebook updated its own site to once again circumvent the Adblock Plus block.The move was expected, since Facebook said earlier that day it would be moving to counter the Adblock Plus update, and warned the plugin would hide legit posts.
Well that was quick: yesterday we told you that Adblock Plus had rolled out new filters intending to stop Facebook's new desktop ads, but now just a few hours later, Facebook has hit back.Facebook has apparently implemented code to combat Adblock's workaround, striking back with a speed that even puts the Adblock Plus community's original answer to these desktop ads to shame.Facebook hasn't directly confirmed the roll out of this new code, but a source close to the company told TechCrunch that it was being implemented just a few short hours after Adblock Plus originally announced its workaround.Assuming that's true, Facebook likely had an answer to the new Adblock Plus filters before most users even received them, as Adblock Plus said yesterday that it would take about a day for filters to update automatically and begin hiding Facebook's desktop ads.For what it's worth, Adblock Plus definitely expected an answer to its new filters, saying in its announcement that this is ultimately a cat-and-mouse game.We're guessing Adblock Plus didn't expect Facebook to strike back so quickly, but now the ball is in the court of Adblock's community of users - they managed to implement a workaround in about two days time after these desktop ads were announced, but we'll see how quickly they can come up with an answer this time around.
Today s AdBlock Plus workaround to Facebook s adblock bypass ham-handedly removes posts from friends and Pages, not just ads, according to a new statement provided by Facebook to TechCrunch.We re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages.This isn t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue.Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people s hands.Facebook is likely to update its code soon to nullify AdBlock Plus workaround as the cat-and-mouse game heats up.We ll have more shortly
A mere two days after Facebook blocked ad blocking software, the ad blockers have managed to block Facebook s ad blocker-blocker.Thursday morning, Adblock Plus announced that a new filter for banning Facebook s ads has been added to the main EasyList filter list used by the extension.Adblock Plus s blog post warns that the new filter hasn t been heavily tested and may block additional content.An initial response sent out by Facebook suggests it may indeed be doing so.We re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages, a spokesperson told AdAge.Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people s hands.
A mere two days after Facebook blocked ad blocking software, the ad blockers have managed to block Facebook s ad blocker-blocker.Thursday morning, Adblock Plus announced that a new filter for banning Facebook s ads has been added to the main EasyList filter list used by the extension.Adblock Plus s blog post warns that the new filter hasn t been heavily tested and may block additional content.An initial response sent out by Facebook suggests it may indeed be doing so.We re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages, a spokesperson told AdAge.Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people s hands.
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