10 October, 2016

PwC loses top spot to Deloitte as world's largest firm

PwC Global has posted record revenues of $35.9bn for the 2016 financial year, an increase of 7% compared to 2015

The firm reported growth across all of its core practices and regions. It has, however, fallen slightly behind its Big Four rival Deloitte, which last month announced its own record revenues of $36.8bn.

The two firms are neck to neck in the race to be the largest accountancy firm in the world by revenue, a title that PwC did hold. According to the 2016 International Accounting Bulletin annual rankings, PwC snatched top place back after playing catch-up for the previous two years.

For the 2016 financial year, PwC’s $15.3bn assurance business grew by 6%, with a focus on IT, risk and data assurance.

Its advisory arm saw growth of 8% to $11.5bn on the back of increased client demand for consulting, forensics and deal-related work. A strong deals market pushed PwC’s tax business revenues by 7% to $9.1bn.

Regionally, China and India in particular helped boost revenue growth in Asia by 10%. North America and the Caribbean revenues grew by 8% boosted by the US. While in South and Central America, revenues were up 9%.

Revenues in Western Europe grew by 6%, while Central and Eastern Europe recorded an increase of 10%.

“To secure future growth, we are investing heavily in technology to enhance the quality and impact of our services and make the best use of the skills of our people. The world is changing rapidly and we are planning the services our clients, capital markets and other stakeholders will need tomorrow, as well as serving their needs today,” said global PwC chairman Bob Moritz.

“Whether it’s the tax and audit services of the future, blockchain or augmented reality, we are implementing a strategy to meet the long-term needs of our stakeholders and the career aspirations of our people,” he added.

The firm welcomed a record level of new joiners, adding a total of 58,081 people, including 26,780 graduates, more than half of which were female. Overall PwC’s global headcount grew by over 7% to more than 223,000 people. Asia and Central and Eastern Europe saw the largest increases in headcount.

A total of 665 partners were admitted, 27% of which were female.

“With the increase in female partners admitted this year and the highest ratio of female leaders in our history on our global leadership team, we are making progress; but there is much more to do,” said Moritz.

The firm’s UK business reported an 11% increase in its UK revenues this year, despite warning that the impact of the EU referendum is “still being worked through”.

Revenues at PwC UK grew to £3.4bn in 2016, from £3.08bn last year, while profits rose 1.3% to £829m. However, distributable profit per partner fell 5% to £706,000 as the firm invested in people and technology.

07 October, 2016

Bots are coming to LinkedIn

To take messaging to the next level, LinkedIn has built a bot described as an “assistant.” And while this mini-application is a first for LinkedIn, don’t expect the floodgates to open to third-party developers. With a professional focus, the company isn’t interested in letting bots that you’d find on Facebook enter its territory. In fact, LinkedIn wants to be more guarded to ensure the right experience — perhaps taking a page from Facebook’s David Marcus, who called bots “overhyped and underpowered.”

Weiner said that LinkedIn will do more with bots in the future, but for right now “the team is starting to walk before they run. They want to illustrate some use cases in regards to professional networks.” He added that under Microsoft ownership, there will likely be additional resources that’ll let LinkedIn do some interesting things, especially around the area of conversation. “Over time, when you start to introduce Microsoft’s library of capabilities, there’s going to be some exciting things happening,” he said.

One could assume that, over time, LinkedIn could open up its messaging service and data to third-party developers to build relevant bots. However, while it’s still testing the waters, expect the company to explore other internal bot-like services to improve the messaging experience.

I believe this is their intent through- “The idea is to remind people that networking is an important thing, and conversations can be made easier.”

Samsung acquires virtual assistant startup Viv, whose team built Siri

Device maker Samsung today said that it has acquired Viv, a startup that was building a virtual assistant based on artificial intelligence. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The move is clearly targeted at improving Samsung’s existing products, presumably most prominently smartphones.

“With Viv, Samsung will be able to unlock and offer new service experiences for its customers, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of the user and offers the user the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations,” Samsung said in the statement.

Indeed, Samsung does need to do more to improve automated contextual responses to users’ input through speech recognition, and the acquisition should help a good deal. Viv’s team previously helped create Apple’s Siri virtual assistant.

But even this week Google, the company behind the Android mobile operating system that Samsung phones use as a base, showed new first-party Pixel smartphones featuring a deep native integration of the Google Assistant virtual assistant, which first showed up in the Google Allo messaging app. Essentially the move shows Google outdoing one of its partners. Now Samsung is announcing its response.

The timing is also meaningful; Samsung’s high-end Galaxy Note7 has faced ongoing issues, including a recall.

As for Viv, it never actually launched and has been quiet about the technology it has been incubating since being founded in 2012, two years after Apple’s Siri acquisition. Investors include Horizons Ventures, Iconiq Capital, and Pritker Group Venture Capital.

06 October, 2016

Microsoft has killed its Band fitness bracelet

Microsoft provided the following statement:
"We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."

This news shouldn't be too surprising, given the generally poor reviews of Microsoft's first- and second-generation fitness trackers. Despite the fact they worked with both iOS and Android, many people complained about the Band's obtuse interface, short battery life, and uncomfortable form factor.

Microsoft will still be making health-focused products, but those will be in the way of software - interestingly enough, Microsoft's "Health" apps are now called "Microsoft Band." Still, don't expect any new fitness-tracking hardware from Microsoft anytime soon.

05 October, 2016

Salesforce just bought another company for $700 million after spending $4 billion over the past year

Salesforce has acquired marketing data software company Krux for $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Salesforce disclosed in a regulatory filing that it's paying $340 million in cash and the remainder in stock for the company. Krux CEO Tom Chavez confirmed the deal in a blog post.

Founded in 2010, Krux is a marketing software company that specializes in data analysis and intelligence. Marketers use Krux's software to better target customers. The company has raised $50 million so far.

Salesforce has been putting a lot of focus on boosting its data and predictive analytic capabilities lately, and Krux's software is expected to help Salesforce's marketing cloud offerings.

Krux is the latest in a series of companies Salesforce has bought over the past year. Salesforce has spent nearly $4 billion on acquiring companies like Demandware, Quip, and BeyondCore over the past 12 months, as well as making a failed bid to buy LinkedIn for over $26 billion (Microsoft walked away with the prize). Salesforce is also rumored to be interested in buying Twitter, a company with a $17 billion market cap.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff hinted during his most recent earnings call that he won't stop his record-high acquisition spree anytime soon, and would most likely keep it up through the end of the year.

"This M&A window, I talked about that I think on the last call, openly in the press, seems to have opened for the year," he said. "I think it will probably close, probably at the end of this calendar year. But it's been incredible time for us to acquire some phenomenal assets."

22 September, 2016

Netflix wants 50% of its library to be original content

Netflix is looking to shift its content mix even further towards original TV and movies, with a goal of achieving a 50 percent mix between its own programming and stuff licensed for its use by outside studios. The 50-50 target was revealed by Netflix CFO David Wells at the Goldman Sach’s Communacopia conference on Tuesday (via Variety), and Wells added that they’d like to hit that mix sometime over the course of the next few years.
As for its progress so far, Wells said Netflix is already about “one-third to halfway” to that ratio, having launched 2015 hours of original programming in 2015, and with the intend of achieving a further 600 hours by the end of 2016.

The benefit for Netflix with a shift to self-generated content is that the licensing situation is much simpler, and the investment made represents a cost that continues to deliver value long after the initial spend. Licensing arrangements with outside TV and film distributors have a fixed term, and thus represent a recurring cost if you want to continue offering their content in your library. Original content is a one-and-done expense (though admittedly higher up-front), which then permanently continues to the breadth and size of your video catalog.

Not only is creating owned content a fixed, one-time cost for Netflix, but it’s also facing higher competition for licenses to Hollywood and TV rights, since there are more streaming players out there. And the service seems to be hitting somewhat of a growth plateau in the U.S., owing in part to a bump in service costs, which is leading to cancellations. Original content production means Netflix can address niche audiences as well as mainstream with targeted project production, which helps add more potential subscribers once the more mainstream audiences are all onboard.

Original content from Netflix has been pretty stellar so far (Stranger Things and all Marvel shows are my personal favori

New messaging platform Mobilize raises $6.5 million

Group messaging continues to be a problem that large organizations have trouble solving. And its an area where venture investors have spent millions.
While many people use Slack, or communications tools from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and others, there’s no unified system for managing messaging.

That’s what Mobilize aims to be. The company raised $6.5 million in new financing from Trinity Ventures, Floodgate Ventures, Hillsven Capital, Array Ventures, Upwest Labs and a few angel investors.

“There are over a billion groups active today. Group communications solutions such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook have not evolved to meet their needs for situations where the communications are mission critical and not just casual chatter,” said Ajay Chopra, general partner at Trinity Ventures in a statement.  “Think of this as ‘Slack for external communications’ to actually get stuff done.”

The idea is that companies now rely on networks of loosely affiliated people to amplify their corporate or social campaigns. It’s kind of like the way political parties organize volunteers or large groups for campaigns.

“In the new economy, companies and organizations increasingly rely on large numbers of people outside their organization to achieve their missions. Groups have become business-critical and there is a growing need for group communication within every business,” said Sharon Savariego, chief executive and co-founder of Mobilize.

Savariego, who previously worked as a business development manager at uTest before raising millions from Trinity Ventures and others, has enlisted help from serial entrepreneur and tech executive Laura Yecies to help her manage the new business.

The crowd-sourced platform allows members to update their own profile information, and a communication system across email, text messages, calendars, and surveys.

“I have always been excited by the power and impact of new communication tools,” said Yecies in a statement.  “The time is perfect for a new category of Network Relationship Management products that we estimate to be over $65 billion in value.”

Car hackers found a way to trigger a Tesla's brakes from miles away

A group of security researchers have found a way to remotely hack into Tesla cars and play havoc with their settings - unlocking doors, adjusting chairs, triggering indicator lights, and even activating the brakes from miles away.

The Chinese research team, from the Keen Security Lab at Tencent, first privately disclosed their findings to Tesla, and are only publishing the details now it has been patched.

There's no evidence that anyone ever maliciously used this vulnerability to target Tesla cars - but it's still a terrifying reminder of the risks that face internet-connected vehicles.

How did it work? According to a statement Tesla provided to The Verge, the targeted vehicle needed to be connected to a malicious Wi-Fi network, and using the web browser. If it is, then the hacker can take control - no physical access to the vehicle required. It affected vehicles including the Model S, that used (then-)up-to-date firmware.

The range of things the researchers could do range from the annoying to the potentially deadly. For example, when the Tesla was parked they could open the sunroof, trigger the indicator lights, and move the driver's car seat. They could also unlock the car door without the key - every thief's dream.

While moving, meanwhile, it gets more serious. The Chinese researchers were able to open the trunk adjust wing mirrors, and control the windscreen wipers, all of which could be fatally distracting. And worst of all, they found a way to trigger the vehicle's brakes from miles away, doing it in a video from 12 miles away

And here's the full statement from Tesla,

"Within just 10 days of receiving this report, Tesla has already deployed an over-the-air software update (v7.1, 2.36.31) that addresses the potential security issues. The issue demonstrated is only triggered when the web browser is used, and also required the car to be physically near to and connected to a malicious wifi hotspot. Our realistic estimate is that the risk to our customers was very low, but this did not stop us from responding quickly.

"We engage with the security research community to test the security of our products so that we can fix potential vulnerabilities before they result in issues for our customers. We commend the research team behind today's demonstration and plan to reward them under our bug bounty program, which was set up to encourage this type of research.

21 September, 2016

Microsoft surprised everybody by announcing what's probably its last Nokia phone

Microsoft may be in the process of selling its feature phone (as in, not smartphone) business to Foxconn, but that apparently hasn't gotten in the way of the launch of the new Nokia 216 - making it likely the last Microsoft-made Nokia phone ever.

The Nokia 216, a super basic phone with a pair of lousy 0.3 megapixel cameras, a web browser, a 24-day battery(!) and not much else, isn't going to distract people away from the iPhone 7, nor is it meant to.

Instead, it's a last-minute play for developing nations like India, where smartphones are only still building up momentum, and where Microsoft has historically had its only real successes in the phone market. Instead of any of the Windows phone operating systems, it's a stripped-down, more old-school interface.

17 September, 2016

Apple CEO Tim Cook just hinted at what could be Apple's next big product

Apple CEO Tim Cook loves to talk about virtual reality and augmented reality - two emerging computer platforms that require the user to wear a headset consisting of a set of glasses.
He says "there's a lot of cool things there" in both fields but is personally more excited in augmented reality, which is more like Google Glass than Facebook's Oculus.

"There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality - both of these are incredibly interesting. But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far," Cook told ABC News in a interview published on Wednesday.

Augmented reality superimposes computer graphics onto the real world, either on a smartphone screen or through a dedicated headset.

AR "gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things - visually - for both of us to see. Maybe it's something we're talking about, maybe it's someone else here who's not here present but who can be made to appear to be present," Cook said.

Ultimately, the advantage of augmented reality over virtual reality may be that it's less immersive, according to Cook. "Virtual reality sort of encloses and immerses the person into an experience that can be really cool, but probably has a lower commercial interest over time. Less people will be interested in that," he said.

This isn't the first time Cook has talked about augmented reality and virtual reality. The company reportedly has a team of hundreds working on headset prototypes.

"I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it's something we're doing a lot of things on behind that curtain we talked about," Cook told the Washington Post in August.

And during Apple's most recent conference call, he suggested that AR can be huge, while praising Pokemon Go, one of the few mainstream AR apps.

"I know there are people who want to call [AR] a new computing platform and we'll see, I think there's a tendency in this industry to call everything new 'the next computer platform.' However, that said, I do think AR can be huge," Cook said

16 September, 2016

With over 100 million monthly players, this is officially the biggest game in the world

"League of Legends" is officially the biggest game in the world, boasting a staggering 100 million monthly active users, according to an interview with the game's creators on Polygon.
Made by Riot Games, "League of Legends" is classified as a MOBA - that's short for "multiplayer online battle arena." Players compete against each other in teams of five, attempting to destroy their opponents' base before they can do the same.

One of Riot Games' founders, Brandon Beck, said the following regarding its insane player numbers:

"It's hard to parse, but at the end of the day, those things don't even feel real," said Beck. "The coolest thing is actually when we're at the live events and get to meet fans face to face. Only then does it start to feel real. Otherwise, they're just numbers on a screen all over the world."

As a point of comparison, its closest competitor, "Dota 2," has just 13 million monthly players.

Box and IBM just rolled out the first product they built together since making last year's blockbuster deal

And after a little over a year, the first product they've built together is finally here.

Box rolled out a new product called Box Relay which helps users custom build workflows so they can automate and track their whole work process.

For example, a salesperson may have a work process that involves four or five steps, including approvals from the sales manager, finance and legal departments. Instead of having to pull up different documents through multiple software apps, Box Relay allows the user to automate everything within Box.

"Enterprises are really looking to change the way they work. Box Relay is all about dramatically simplifying workflow in a single place," said Box CEO Aaron Levie

Relay is the first of a series of announcements Box is set to make during Box Works, its annual user conference that will be held this week. The company is expected to roll out a completely redesigned product called All New Box as well.

Relay's launch is another sign that the Box-IBM mega deal is bearing real fruit.

Last week, Box disclosed that IBM helped close eight of the 45 six-figure deals in the quarter, including one contract that was worth more than $500,000. IBM's massive sales channel is particularly effective in expanding in overseas markets, as more than half of the deals from IBM partnership happened internationally, Levie said during the earnings call.

"The partnership was intended to co-design and build modern technology solutions together. We're very excited that we've been able to deliver the first product," Levie told

30 July, 2016

PewDiePie,YouTube star made $8 million last year

PewDiePie, the most-subscribed YouTube creator with a dedicated audience of nearly 50 million peeps, had a pretty solid 2015. The wildly popular YouTube personality made just over $8 million last year, according to a report filed in Sweden and obtained by Variety. The best part? Dude also used his sustainable popularity to raise more than $1 million for various charities since becoming a household name
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, stacked up an inarguably impressive $8.1 million in pretax profit against a total annual revenue of $8.6 million last year. To break that down for anyone who despises math with an unruly fury, that means PewDiePie (likely) made way more money last year than you or anyone you know.

Microsoft released an iPhone app it says takes better photos than Apple's camera

Microsoft is trying to make the iPhone's camera better.Microsoft Research announced a new app for the Apple iPhone on Wednesday that uses artificial intelligence to take better photos. It's called Microsoft Pix. "It puts the skill of a professional photographer in your pocket," Microsoft researchers wrote.

The Microsoft Pix user interface is simple - almost too simple. It doesn't have any modes or settings. Instead, it lets the computational power of the phone identify the best settings for exposure, focus, and even the exact second to take the photo.

The app even has facial recognition technology that is used so the camera app won't take a photo if the subject's eyes are closed. It automatically takes photos in burst mode and then chooses the best single photo from the batch, deleting the rest.

Microsoft Pix also has built in-algorithms that correct for shaky hands and can turn a photo or video into a looping GIF.

The result, according to Microsoft? Better pictures with sharper focus and clearer color.

Microsoft Pix is free for iPhones and can be downloaded now.

29 July, 2016

Facebook crushes Q2 earnings, hits 1.71B users and record share price

Coming off an all-time high stock price of $123.34, Facebook in Q2 2016 smashed earnings again. The social network continued steady growth just slightly slower at 3.63% compared to last quarter’s 3.77%, adding 60 million monthly users this quarter to reach 1.71 billion. It scored $6.44 billion in revenue and $0.97 EPS, blowing past estimates of $6.02 billion and $0.82 EPS.
This is Facebook’s 16th beat out of 17 quarters since it went public at $38 per share. Wall Street reacted to the positive earnings with a 7.5% bump in after hours trading to $132.60. It also hit another milestone: 1 billion daily mobile user.

Revenue growth was 59% year over year, which looks favorable compared to competitor Twitter, who yesterday announced its YOY revenue growth sunk to 20% from 60% a year ago. With 84% of ad revenue from mobile, total ad revenue was $6.24 billion.

You can read more about the financial results here

If you get caught using a VPN in the United Arab Emirates, you'll face fines of up to $545,000

The new law states that anyone who uses a VPN or proxy server can be imprisoned and fined between $136,000-$545,000 if they are found to use VPNs fraudulently.

UAE is one of the first governments in the world to actually regulate on behalf of and for its telecoms companies in order to help them stem loss of revenue from VoIP apps.

Etisalat and du are the only two companies in the world that have been granted licenses by the UAE government to offer commercial VoIP services, which can be expensive, and rather than enable citizens and residents to have choice about what services they want to use, the government is assisting UAE's telecom providers in upholding a monopoly on voice calls made in the country.

Although experts have criticized the UAE and Etisalat and du in the past for seeking to block the voice calling features in Snapchat, Skype and Whatsapp from working in the UAE, the UAE's telecoms regulator stands by the Etisalat and du, and also says that the apps should be banned due to security concerns.

23 June, 2016

Sony Xperia E with artificial intelligence in your ear

Sony will produce the new artificial intelligence with the user’s ear and whispered.
Connection board of the phone, an application with the help of weather, appointments, social media messages, missed calls and news like that can respond to having to provide information commands on various topics device able to search in this way the internet can give you directions and dictation messages can be written even .
Spot news man seemed a little horse whispering, but it is not. whispering in your ear, things will no longer be an artificial intelligence. Thank you for following us the development of the technology. Sony Xperia E is called the device aims to whisper into the ear of the user with artificial intelligence. When the device is placed in the ear phone owner put it on the news this veriyor.tek via wireless devices, smartphones audiophiles it aims to live a kind of artificial intelligence experience.

22 June, 2016

Google now lets you sign in to email using a smartphone instead of a password

If you are tired of having to enter long alphanumeric strings to authenticate access to an account, Google has released a service just for you. Google now allows for a prompt to be sent on your phone, that can be used to gain access to your account.
Users need an Android phone with updated Google Play services or the iPhone 5S and later versions. For security reasons the phone needs to be secured from direct access to the applications from the lock screen. Android phones will need an active screen lock mechanism, and iPhones need Touch ID. Additionally, iPhones need the latest updated version of the Google App installed.

Users have to use a computer or laptop to go to the Sign in and Security section of their account. You have to set up your phones in that interface, and go through a dry run that shows how you can sign in to email accounts using a phone. Once the sign in process is set up, every time you enter the account, a message will be shown on screen saying that a prompt has been sent to your phone. If Google’s suspicion detection algorithms get triggered, users will be asked to enter the password on the mobile device.

Google recommends that you do not use shared devices for this service, and only use the phones that you personally carry around. Anyone else who knows the code to unlock the screen can access your account using this feature. If a phone is lost or stolen, the device can be removed from the account settings. Users will still be able to access the account using the regular password if their phone is not available for some reason.

21 June, 2016

Smart shoes from Samsung – Palmdale Tech Time

The Samsung smart phone S7 brings another bomb next to’ll meet.
In verse too many leaks about a situation where there are no leaks in the S7 been amazing shoes. Of course, the shoe does not directly produce Samsung. But under the South Korean technology giant’s signature on the back …

It announced the production of a smart shoe with the statement made by Samsung. After a few days in Berlin will be announced at the Mobile World Congress have recognized that this shoe. IOFIT name given shoes. This sports shoes, the way you posture during physical activities with different pressure sensors are able to monitor your balance and weight distribution will. This data is then processed in real time, offering information about your performance to improve yourself.

Finally, Rivals going to collaboration, Gmail Supports Yahoo Mail App – Gresham Technology Time

Yahoo Mail makes nice with Gmail and adds Google’s service to their mailbox. It’s not uncommon for most of us to have different e-mail accounts, and from different providers.By adding Gmail access to the app, Yahoo! is making a last ditch attempt at making its smartphone app relevant after the Dropbox announcement of shutting down the Mailbox app
With this update, Yahoo Mail joins dozens of other email apps that already support Gmail

The company launched its password-killer Yahoo Mail app this October, but one glaring omission was a lack of support for Google’s Gmail and its roughly 900 million users.

That changed on Thursday with an update to the Android and iOS versions of the app. The update adds IMAP support for Gmail in Yahoo Mail, allowing users to manage Google’s web mail service alongside already-supported Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail and AOL Mail.

With this update, Yahoo Mail joins dozens of other email apps that already support Gmail, including Google’s own Gmail app, Inbox by Gmail, Outlook from Microsoft, Cloud Magic and so on.

Despite the lack of support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail has nonetheless proved popular among Android users.

According to Google Play statistics, Yahoo Mail has gained between 100 million and 500 million installs, which is far more than Microsoft’s Outlook app or Inbox for Android, which both currently have between 10 million and 50 million installs. Gmail has at least one billion installs.

Yahoo boasting its app will allow you to, “Search across your entire history of emails, from day one, for all connected mailboxes” and “Not just your most recent emails, which is how it’s done in many apps today.”

It’s also put the Xobni email analytics startup it acquired in 2013 to work in the Mail app as its intelligent contact manager, which presents contact information in summary cards.

There are a few differences in the way the Yahoo Mail app handles swipe actions for Gmail compared with other web mail accounts. For example, when managing Outlook and Yahoo email from the app, a left swipe will delete the email. For Gmail, the same action moves it to archive, which can be retrieved from the “All Mail” folder available in Gmail. That action is common across the iOS and Android apps.

Unrelated to its additional support for Gmail, Yahoo has also added split view support for iOS 9 on the iPad and introduced a new slide over action.

Yahoo has followed suit, adding AOL Mail, Hotmail and Outlook.com to the list of email providers supported in its Yahoo Mail app for Android and iOS. But, as you can probably tell, there was one major service missing from the list — Gmail. Now, there is an update that rectifies this.

Yahoo says that Gmail (and Google Apps) users who add their accounts to Yahoo Mail will be able to take advantage of all the big features available in the app, like “powerful search, smart contacts, rich compose features and Yahoo Account Key for password-free sign-in”.

That means, for instance, that they can search through all their emails, search for contacts, and have all the changes they make immediately sync with Google’s servers. There is also support for Gmail in Yahoo Mail’s desktop interface, making it easy to access the accounts from PCs.

Those who want to test the new update can grab Yahoo Mail from App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

On top of supporting Gmail accounts, the iOS app now also works in Split View and supports Slide Over on iPads. On Android, the app brings back select all, adds the ability to switch between mailboxes with a single tap, makes the inbox “more readable”, settings easier to navigate, touch targets bigger for the sidebar and back buttons, improves accessibility and lowers data consumption.

“If your iPad has iOS 9 installed, you can now open Yahoo Mail in a small sidebar by sliding it over from the right side of the screen. This is handy when you want to just quickly check for new messages or reference one particular message without leaving the app you’re already using. And for the recent iPads (iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2), you’ll be able to use Yahoo Mail side-by-side with other apps at the same time,” it notes.
There is also App’s Speed improving

Yahoo Mail users on iOS also should see a noticeable speed improvement in the app’s response to opening push notifications.

For Android, Yahoo has implemented a few design changes to make email more readable than its previous version by darkening text in message and conversion lists.

To do this, all you need to do is download the latest update, head to ‘Add another mailbox’, and choose Gmail from the list of e-mail services offered. From then, you will need to sign in with your information, and Yahoo will sync it all in one neat little app. Users will be able to view, manage, and search through their Gmail account just as fast as they can with their Yahoo Mail account and others.

All access will be open, including the history of e-mails already existent. According to Yahoo, “they sync every single action across all your mailboxes”. You can move e-mails, delete them, mark them as read, or many others. When you’re composing an e-mail, you can choose from which account you want to send them, even though you’re using Yahoo’s app.

Also, it’s collapsed settings to a single page, aiming for simpler navigation, and made it easier to see where to sign out. Other improvements include larger touch targets for the sidebar and back buttons, and introduced “patches to reduce data usage on mobile networks”.

In addition to the Gmail support, Yahoo has also updated their Android and iOS apps in terms of performance. The Android update will arrive with a new look, faster performance, along with other enhancements. For iOS devices, the most major improvement was done for push notifications and the archive feature. It seems that Yahoo is making an effort at putting together a much smoother experience, and hopefully not fall behind its competition.

With the new addition of support for Gmail, it might be an app to consider.

Elon Musk is building a robot for household tasks

OpenAI is Elon Musk’s non-profit organisation, backed by over $1 billion in cash. OpenAI just posted technological goals for the company on its blog.

OpenAI is making a household robot to use for testing emerging artificial intelligence technologies. The robot is going to be off the shelf, and not manufactured by OpenAI.  The objective is to create the algorithms that would allow the general purpose robot to learn new household tasks.  OpenAI wants to start building agents, and then gradually keep building the capabilities of those agents. OpenAI also wants to create one bot that can learn and play new and various computer games.

Another goal is to teach machines better natural language communication. Google’s TensorFlow powers some of the most advanced natural language parsers around. However, these technologies still fall short for some applications. These include, having long conversations in natural language, understanding an entire document at once, and being able to follow complex written instructions. OpenAI intends to create the algorithms needed to accomplish this.

OpenAI is a non-profit made out of concerns over an existential threat to humans due to the potential for artificial intelligence to grow explosively. OpenAI has a rather unique approach to tackling the issue of the advent of superior artificial intelligence. It wants to dive in and ensure that the artificial intelligence created are as helpful to mankind as possible.

13 May, 2016

Google plans to ban ads from the 'harmful' and 'deceptive' payday lending industry

Google said that it will ban all ads from payday lenders, calling the industry "deceptive" and "harmful."Google's decision could have as much or even more impact on curtailing the industry than any move by politicians, as many payday loans start with a desperate person searching online for ways to make ends meet or cover an emergency.
Effective July 13, Google will no longer allow ads for loans due within 60 days and will also ban ads for loans where the interest rate is 36 percent or higher. The industry will join Google's other banned categories of ads, such as counterfeit goods, weapons, explosives, tobacco products and hate speech.
"Our hope is that fewer people will be exposed to misleading or harmful products," said David Graff, Google's director of global product policy, in a blog post that announced the policy change.
Payday lenders have long been a target of criticism by politicians and consumer advocates, who argue the industry charges extremely high interest rates to customers, who are often the poor. Payday loans are often used to cover an unexpected expense or to make ends meet before the next paycheck. But for many borrowers, short-term loans wind up being difficult to pay off, leading to a cycle of debt that can drag on for months.
A 2012 study by Pew showed the average payday borrower is in debt for five months, spending $520 in fees and interest to repeatedly borrow $375. The annual percent rate on a payday loan is 391 percent, according to Pew.
"There is nothing fair about triple-digit interest rates being charged on loans to working families," said Keith Corbett, executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending, in a statement. Payday loan stores reap billions of dollars in interest and fees on a product designed to force borrowers into repeat loans. Google is to be praised for doing its part to limit use of these abusive loans."
In response to critics, the payday lending industry has long argued it provides a necessary financial service to people in need of emergency funds.
"These policies are discriminatory and a form of censorship," said Amy Cantu, a spokeswoman with the Community Financial Centers Association of America, the trade group representing payday lenders.
State legislatures have long looked for ways to target payday lenders, but the payday lending industry has often found ways around new regulations. When several states capped the interest rates on payday loans, the industry pivoted into loans tied to auto titles or moved their operations onto Indian reservations.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new regulations to further restrict the payday lending industry. The rules are expected to be released later this year.
In a way, Google's announcement will likely have more of an impact than any new regulation. The majority of Internet searches happen on Google and the company also controls the Internet's largest advertising platforms. Google generates most of its ads through keyword searches, showing ads that are related to the subjects that its users are searching for.
Under this ban, users searching for words like "loans" or "places to get money" will no longer pull up ads from payday lenders in the advertising section of the search results.
Google, and its parent company Alphabet, has had a history of corporate activism. The company's previous motto was "don't be evil" which was replaced with "do the right thing" last year.

12 May, 2016

Instagram just announced a new icon

nstagram's CEO Kevin Systrom unveiled the photo app's new icon.
This is the first time the Instagram app icon has changed since the introduction of Apple's flatter software design that was heralded in with iOs 7. The Instagram app itself has also undergone a redesign.
While the old Instagram app icon featured a brown and tan camera with a small splash of color in the form of a banner folded over its corner, the new icon is far bolder, and more colorful. While flatter in its appearance to fit in more with overall look and feel of Apple's iPhone software in a post-iOS 7 world, the new icon blends together bright colors with a distinctive gradient.
The new icon is part of Instagram's 8.0 update, which includes a total makeover. All of the same features are there, and everything is in the same place, but the app shares the same flat aesthetic as the icon. Instagram's other image editing apps Boomerang, Layout, and Hyperlapse have also had their icons updated.

29 April, 2016


As this chart from Statista outlines, the market has been shrinking since early 2012. Although 60 million PCs were sold in the first quarter of this year, that’s a decline of nearly 10% compared to the same quarter last year.

27 April, 2016

Moore's law — 1993 to 2013

26 April, 2016

Where are jobs most likely to be replaced by robots?

This chart shows the risk of jobs being replaced by automation in selected countries in 2016. 
Infographic: Where are jobs most likely to be replaced by robots? | Statista

24 April, 2016

Time to reach 100 million users (years)

Telephone: 75
Web: 7
: 4
: 2

22 April, 2016

Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies

Australia 77%🇦🇺
U.S. 72%🇺🇸
Spain 71%🇪🇸
Canada 67%🇨🇦
China 58%🇨🇳
India 17%🇮🇳

For smartphone ownership, the digital divide between less advanced economies and developed economies is 31 points in 2015. But smartphone ownership rates in emerging and developing nations are rising at an extraordinary rate, climbing from a median of 21% in 2013 to 37% in 2015. And overwhelming majorities in almost every nation surveyed report owning some form of mobile device, even if they are not considered “smartphones.”

18 April, 2016

Theft-proof Indian smartphone brand - CREO Mark 1

Bangalore based consumer technology company Creo today unveiled its proprietary stock Android based Operating System, the FUEL OS and its flagship smartphone, the CREO Mark 1. The device will be available on the company's official website and on Flipkart at Rs. 19,999.
While the price pushes it at the face of some serious competition, the Mark 1 claims to have some unique and compelling OS features to take on its rivals. Take Retriever, an app that would apparently ensure you never lose your phone. There's Echo, a voice based answering machine system completely independent of carriers and devices and Sense, a universal phone search that finds what you're looking for when you double tap on the home button.

Sai Srinivas, CEO & Co-Founder, CREO said, "We've been working long and hard to put out a product that redefines the way we look at hardware. In our fearless endeavor to make a smartphone that is more than just the sum of its great specs, we've built FUEL - an Operating System that'll give a new phone experience every month, with features that deliver on both, performance and functionality."

In terms of specs, the Mark 1 comes with a full metal body, 5.5" screen, Gorilla Glass 3 protection on both sides and 2.5D curves. There is a 21MP Sony IMX 230 Exmor rear camera and 8MP front camera and is powered by a 1.95 GHz True Octa Core Helio X10 Processor with 3GB RAM and a 3100mAh fast-charging Li-Po battery. There is also 32GB of storage that's expandable up to 128 GB, and 4G connectivity with smart Dual SIM.

Here are some of the Mark 1's most interesting features:

Sense - With Sense, you can find anything on your phone with a double-tap on the home button. Sense indexes everything from settings, apps, messages, contacts, photos, files to calendar events. Sense displays results as you type, letting you get to what you want in seconds.

Echo - Echo answers your calls for you when you can't. Set your own greeting and let Echo greet your caller and record messages for you. It works seamlessly without the Internet and without the involvement of carriers.

Retriever - The Retriever helps in detecting theft. It automatically triggers alerts to your Email ID anytime a new SIM is inserted into your Mark 1. The best part: it works without an active internet connection and even after a factory reset. The company claims this makes your phone 'un-stealable'.

Smart Roaming for Dual Sim - Designed for frequent travelers, Smart Roaming automatically makes sure your local SIM is set as the primary SIM and the Roaming Sim is made your Secondary SIM. Handy!

Smart Forwarding - A feature that auto-diverts calls from 'SIM 1' to 'SIM 2' in your Phone and vice versa when the network on either of the SIM cards is unavailable or unreachable.

Clean Inbox for Messages - The built-in SMS Inbox automatically detects spam and sorts your SMS's into categories like 'People' where you can see texts from people you know and business messages or spam.

Ultra Slo-Mo and 3D Photos - Mark 1's 21 MP rear cameras with Sony Exmor IMX230 sensor has the ability to shoot 120 FPS Ultra Slo-Mo videos in Full HD (1080p). The in-built camera app lets you snap 3D Photos with the Front and Back Camera.

On Demand Service - Users can just type 'CREO Support' in Sense and automatically Chat/Call with a CREO Support executive for any help with the Phone or its new features. Sense also shows the service centers closest to the user's location at that moment.

16 April, 2016

Airbnb just brought on a team of bitcoin experts from a tiny startup

ChangeCoin was best known for letting people tip each other with bitcoin, but now the majority of its team has joined home-rental startup Airbnb.

The $16 billion company "acqui-hired" approximately seven engineers from the bitcoin company who had worked on ChangeTip, a feature that enabled individuals to tip each other with the digital currency via Twitter or Reddit, a source familiar with the acquisition said.
However, while Airbnb is reportedly interested in studying the technology behind bitcoin, the acquisition did not include any IP or assets of the company, so tipping via bitcoin won't become a standard on Airbnb yet.

ChangeCoin founder and noted startup mentor Nick Sullivan could not be reached.

Rumors swirled after its cofounder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk hinted that the company was interested in ways that people's online reputations could be shared to build trust in response to a question about the blockchain. Typically, only Airbnb would know if you trashed your last rental, but with blockchain technology, you could potentially be able to share that information so other people, like your landlord, could know if you're trustworthy or not.

Whether that will be come a priority to a business that's still embroiled in regulation battles and is rumored to be launching new trip experiences soon is unlikely. The company has split the ChangeTip engineers onto different teams already, the source said.

15 April, 2016

Twitter is boosting its partnership with SoundCloud and letting people listen to tracks within Moments

Twitter users can now listen to music tracks on SoundCloud within Moments - a part of Twitter that aims to help people quickly discover the most relevant content on the social media platform at any given time.

Twitter already allowed people to listen to tracks on SoundCloud's music streaming service through Twitter audio cards but showcasing SoundCloud music within Moments is a significant step forward in the duo's partnership.

A Twitter spokesman told that this "deeper integration into Moments will allow for a seamless listening experience across the platform."

"SoundCloud's inherently social infrastructure makes it easy to bring the newest music to the forefront, with 12 hours of new content shared on SoundCloud every minute."

Twitter launched Moments last October. The San Francisco-headquartered company built Moments in a bid to showcase the best text, photos, videos, music, and recordings from the sources that matter most.

"SoundCloud's millions of tracks will enhance Moments by adding a new/unique audio component," said the Twitter spokesman.

14 April, 2016

Facebook wants to make it easier for you to communicate with businesses

People are now exchanging more than 60 billion messages a day through Facebook's two chat products, WhatsApp and Messenger.

That's three times the number of traditional SMS text messages sent per day, Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the company's F8 developers conference. The company also announced its widely expected Messenger Platform to help businesses build intelligent chatbots to let companies and users communicate in Messenger.

Facebook's thesis is that some people hate talking on the phone and would rather do something - buy a shirt, order an Uber, make a dinner reservation, check their flight status - within a chat interface.

"You'll never have to call 1-800-Flowers to reach 1-800-Flowers again," Zuckerberg said on stage.

Messenger currently has 900 million users around the world."You're going to be able to build your bot for Messenger starting this afternoon," Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus later said on stage."Today could be the beginning of a new era," he said.

Facebook also officially talked about how its going to be making money from Messenger.For example, Facebook's going to start letting companies buy News Feed ads that will take users directly to their bots.

13 April, 2016

Ola Auto launches into 12 more cities; Target up to 2 million bookings a day by 2017

Ola announced today its launching the auto-rickshaw service in 12 new cities across India. Ola Autos is now available in a total of 24 cities across the country. The company targets to serve at least 2 million daily rides by end of 2017.
The new cities that were launched today are Tier II markets of Bhopal, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Kota, Surat, Madurai, Guwahati, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Jodhpur, Visakhapatnam and Udaipur. The24 cities in which Ola Auto will be present currently has over 3 million auto-rickshaws, and does over 30 million rides per day.

Nitesh Prakash, Senior Director, Operations at Ola said, "We are widening the choice of urban mobility for citizens over and above our current offerings like Micro and Mini in these markets, taking us closer to our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians."

The Ola app for auto-drivers is currently available in 8 Indian languages including English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. The company has over 100,000 auto rickshaws registered on its platform across 24 cities and plans to launch in more cities in the coming months.

Snapchat is stealing Instagram's teen users away

Snapchat is absolutely crushing Instagram when it comes to teens, according to a new survey by investment bank Piper Jaffray.
In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray's semi-annual survey of 6,500 US teens showed that 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27%.
The story for Snapchat is the complete opposite. In fall 2015, just 19% of teens said it was their most important social network. That ballooned to 28% this spring, edging out Instagram.
Twitter continued its slow decline, while Facebook saw a slight bump.
Here is what the full table looked like:
Here is another chart from Piper Jaffray that shows Snapchat's striking ascent among teens (the average age of respondents was 16.5 years).

19 February, 2016

E-commerce market may reach $45-50 billion by 2020: Study

E-commerce market size for goods is expected to jump about five times to $40-50 billion by 2020 from about $8-12 billion presently, says a report.

While travel is expected to account for 60 per cent of e-commerce sales by 2020, electronics would account for about 30 per cent, said the joint report by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India.

The growth of digital retail is dependent on the shift in the profile of Internet users and the total users likely to jump to 650 million by 2020 from 260 million.

"Urban users would nearly double from about 80 million to about 120 million," the report said.

The share of women users is also expected to grow from 29 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020.

The report also said that more than 400 million customers could potentially be digitally influenced by 2020, accounting for about 25 per cent of the retail spend. Digitally influenced spenders research products and pricing online while purchasing either offline or online, it said.

"About $250 billion of retail spends would be digitally influenced, accounting for about 25 per cent of the overall spend," the report noted.