Google’s and Facebook’s share of the U.S. ad market could decline for the first time, thanks to Amazon and Snapchat

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But don’t worry. Digital advertising is still a duopoly.

Google and Facebook — the world’s biggest online ad companies — could see their share of U.S. digital advertising decline for the first time, thanks to slowing growth and competition from the likes of Amazon and Snap.

Google’s share is expected to decline from 38.6 percent last year to 37.2 percent in 2018, according to digital measurement firm eMarketer, while Facebook could shrink slightly from 19.9 to 19.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s ad business is expected to grow to nearly 3 percent of the market in that same period from 2 percent last year, for a total of $ 2.9 billion in ad revenue for 2018. Snap’s share of the ad market is expected to grow from 0.6 percent last year to 1 percent this year. Both Amazon and Snap ad shares are expected to grow through 2020.

Of course, these competitors are still tiny compared with Google and Facebook, whose absolute ad revenue is still growing. Google’s U.S. ad revenue is expected to rise $ 5 billion this year to $ 39.9 billion, while Facebook could rise $ 3 billion this year to $ 21 billion, according to eMarketer. Total U.S. digital ad sales will rise 19 percent this year to $ 107 billion.

Globally, Google has been seeing a decline in its ad share since eMarketer began measuring in 2011. Facebook, however, is still seeing ad share growth worldwide, rising to 17.9 percent of the world’s digital ad market in 2018, up from 17.2 percent last year.

Recode – All

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Apple’s Developing Its Own MicroLED Displays at a Secret Facility

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Apple is apparently designing and preparing to manufacture its own range of MicroLED screens at a secret facility in California. According to a report from Bloomberg, the American tech giant is developing prototype mini displays which could eventually be used in future models of the Apple Watch. For the past few years, Apple has has […]
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Motorola is more at risk of becoming irrelevant than ever – can it be saved?

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Motorola is in trouble. As it has been, frankly, for much of the past five-plus years. The Lenovo-owned smartphone brand once known for its positively prodigious portfolio hasn’t announced a new phone in well over six months. That was the Moto X4, which received a mixed reception and has gone on discount so frequently of late that it seems poor sales are probably a given (granted, it’s horrendously overpriced). But the X4 was never really competitive in its segment, and its reason for existence remains something of a mystery to me.

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Motorola is more at risk of becoming irrelevant than ever – can it be saved? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Uber’s transparency is key to making self-driving cars safer

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Yesterday evening, a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, struck a woman at a crosswalk. She would later die in the hospital as the result of the accident. Even though there was a human safety driver behind the wheel, the car is said to have…
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Apple, IBM partnership expands with new machine learning integrations

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Apple and IBM late Monday announced an expansion to their existing partnership that will allow customers to roll out advanced in-app machine learning capabilities through Apple’s Core ML and IBM’s Watson technology.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Uber’s self-driving car may not have been at fault for killing a pedestrian, but you should still be worried

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Following the horrific news that a woman was killed by one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday night, local police said that it would have been impossible to avoid the accident. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir said of the accident: The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them. His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision. The vehicle, which had a human in the driver’s seat, was said to be traveling at 38mph in a 35mph zone when it…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Uber
The Next Web

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5 Useful Weather Apps That Are Fun to Check Every Day

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Checking the weather is a daily ritual and a requirement. Whether you want just the data in a quick glance or desire an all-round fun weather experience, the right app can make your daily update that much more satisfying.

These aren’t the best weather websites. Old stalwarts like AccuWeather, Weather Underground, and The Weather Channel are at the forefront of online weather information. What you have here is a little more than that. In fact, some of the apps use the data of these reliable old sites and add a little pizzazz.

1. Hello Weather (Android, iOS): Weather at a Glance

useful weather apps check every day

Hello Weather is the new darling among weather apps, fast gaining a fan following. Its clean and neat design is the highlight, as the app gives you just what you need to know in a single glance.

You’ll find the current temperature and sky information at the top, followed by what’s coming up in the next few hours. Scroll down for forecasts of the next week. The data is presented in neat icons, graphs, and colors which, once you know what they stand for, you won’t even need to look at the data.

For any additional information, like humidity or pressure, Hello Weather adds an explanation of what the data means for everyday feel, so you don’t have to become a meteorologist. One of the cool features is that you can choose which weather source you want, including the aforementioned three stalwarts.

Download: Hello Weather for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Aerium (Android, iOS): Clean and Simple Weather Info

useful weather apps check every day

You shouldn’t need to be a weather expert. Your weather app should be doing that work for you. It should take the data, analyze it, and tell you what you need to do. And there’s finally an app like that in the form of Aerium.

Aerium is quite visual in how it works. Fire up the app and you get a whole screen ablaze in the color of whatever the day outside is looking like. Swipe left and you can set other locations to track their weather.

In general, Aerium is a simple but clear app to figure out the current weather without making a fuss about it. Nice, eh?

Download: Aerium for Android | iOS (Freemium)

3. HumorCast (Chrome, Android, iOS): Weather in Your Browser

useful weather apps check every day

HumorCast is a relatively famous weather app that started the trend of using funny messages for weather updates. I still think Carrot is the best snarky weather app, but HumorCast has a new trick up its sleeve: a Chrome extension.

If you spend most of your day staring at a Chrome window, then this is the app you need. That simple extension makes a remarkable difference in the convenience it offers. With one click, you can see the forecast for the next 10 hours, as well as the upcoming week.

And of course, HumorCast is ready with some crazy one-liners to sum up the current weather and mood. You might want to toggle the profanity level in the Settings before you install this on your home computer.

Download: HumorCast for Chrome | Android | iOS (Free)

4. Weather Puppy (Android, iOS): Puppy Pictures Make Everything Better

useful weather apps check every day

You know what makes a gloomy day seem much better? Puppies! Frowning puppies, happy puppies, droopy-eyed puppies and other such furry friends are waiting to tell you the day’s weather in this app.

Weather Puppy is actually a robust weather app with plenty of information in it. It uses Weather Underground’s data to give you forecasts, wind predictions, heat zones, and other cool visualizations. But the big seller here is the basic puppy weather forecast.

Look, most of the time, you’re going to quickly look at your weather app and move on. So why not check out a cute puppy photo while at it? And for when you need more details, Weather Puppy has all those available in the heart of the fun weather app. Win-win.

Download: Weather Puppy for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Will It Rain (Web): Answer a Simple Question, No App Needed

useful weather apps check every day

Not every location (or person) in the world needs a weather app. For some, the only question to be answered is whether it’s going to rain today or not. And that’s what Will It Rain answers.

Go to the site on your mobile or desktop browser. Either grant it access to your location or add the location yourself. And in a matter of seconds, Will It Rain gives you weather information for the next 10 hours, telling you the chances of rainfall and whether it’s going to be sunny or cloudy.

Have You Checked Out the New Dark Sky?

For the longest time, our go-to weather website was But now, that was bought over and replaced by Dark Sky, the excellent Mac weather app.

You can still use Dark Sky on the web or different mobile apps for all your weather forecast needs. But hey, it’s paid, so the aforementioned free apps are probably better to start with.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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Scott Pruitt’s Latest EPA Gambit Is As Clever As It Is Evil

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The more information, the better, right? Except when it’s not. Like when it’s just a tactic weaponized to obscure the truth. And now environmental science is about to be on the losing side of that strategy from the American Government.

Case in point: The Environmental Protection Agency may release the raw data behind every study it carries out. It’s hard to imagine this as anything but a good thing! But, believe it: Former EPA employees and scientists say the effort’s a ruse, and what appears to be a push toward openness is just another way to stifle science.

The person doing the stifling is Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA who is trying to give science the bureaucratic equivalent of a venereal disease. Pruitt recently spoke at conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, and told them he’d soon publish a new set of science reforms, E&E reports. The details of these reforms aren’t clear, but anyone familiar with Pruitt’s thinking is betting he’ll be pushing a requirement that the EPA rely exclusively on studies with public-facing data when drafting new environmental regulations. Pruitt actually tried to introduce a similar set of measures last year in a bill called HONEST Act, which didn’t gain the approval of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He’s back for a rematch, and one he can win, because it doesn’t require congressional approval.

And, okay: If a government relying on public-facing studies to write legislation sounds totally reasonable, you’re right. It sounds reasonable. After all, the EPA commissions about $ 4 billion in grants and other assistance programs every year. Some of that money gets allocated to research meant to assess the quality of the country’s air and waterways, track the effects of climate change, and screen the new chemicals manufacturers want to use to ensure they won’t harm people or the environment. These projects result in studies/reports the EPA releases once they’re finished, and the agency (ostensibly) crafts its policy based on these findings.

Again, this all sounds fine! In fact, it sounds a little too fine, given that it’s Pruitt who wants the transparency. For one thing, there’s the Trump administration’s apparent refusal to use data to inform its policies. For another, this push seems completely at odds with Pruitt’s hellbent mission of stripping the EPA of power.

For example:

  • The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment intended to document how climate change affects tropical regions? Pruitt’s EPA ended it seven years ahead of schedule.
  • In August 2017, the Department of the Interior (DOI) halted a study on the health impact of an extraction method used in Appalachia that had been linked to a number of health problems, including lung cancer and heart disease. “Stopping this study is a ploy to stop science in its tracks and keep the public in the dark about health risks as a favor to the mining industry, pure and simple,” Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources, told The New York Times.
  • And in late December 2017, the DOI also canceled a study meant to investigate how the department could improve the safety of offshore drilling projects.

So, now you wanna see the play: What does a push for transparency have to do with reduced investment in research? Here: Pruitt’s critics say that if the EPA were to base its policies only on studies that contain data that could be made public, the agency would actually become less transparent. Which makes no sense, at first. Stay with it:

  • Betsy Southerland, a former EPA official, explained to E&E how releasing raw data leaves scientists open to attacks from industry lobbies who may try to distort information in their own favor.
  • Moreover, requiring the agency to only base new laws on studies with public, reproducible data would prevent a lot of important research from informing policy making.
  • That word, “reproducible,” is key. Think of the investigation of the health damages suffered by the Hiroshima survivors, or the environmental impact studies following the BP PLC Gulf of Mexico oil spill: These are events whose baseline conditions can’t be replicated, but are important to science and policy-making alike.

Besides, they say, a process of check and balances is already at the heart of any solid scientific study — it’s called peer review. We want independent experts to assess the value of a particular study, because they have the specific skills required to do so.

Southerland and many others believe that measures like those Pruitt has suggested would hamstring this process by putting it in the hands of other players with specific interests, such as industry leaders. 

“[This set of reforms] is just done to paralyze rulemaking,” she told E&E. “It’s another obstacle that would make it so hard and so difficult to go forward with rulemaking that in the end, the only thing that would happen — in the best case you would greatly delay rulemaking; in the worst case you would just prevent it. It would be such an obstacle you couldn’t overcome it.”

If he pulls it off, credit where it’s due — Pruitt, come hell or high water, has once again figured out a way to hobble the EPA into irrelevancy while being able to euphemistically proclaim a push towards a more open government as he does it. But if you care about the planet you live on, well, put it like this: The less the EPA can push science forward, the less their ability to protect your environment, or at the very least, warn us about what we need to protect. And as Brandeis once wrote, sunlight is the best of disinfectants. If Pruitt can get away with this, you can almost certainly count on that sunlight having to cut through more pollution — figuratively, and literally — before it reaches us, first.

The post Scott Pruitt’s Latest EPA Gambit Is As Clever As It Is Evil appeared first on Futurism.


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The Archive is the best plain-text notes app on the Mac

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The Archive is the best plain text notes app on the Mac. It’s super slick, and fast to use. Even this first version is better than nvAlt and Notational Velocity.

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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