Facebook rolls out new family emoji, but there’s something missing

Facebook has rolled out 125 new family emoji, expanding the default yellow skin tone to include light, medium, and darker tones, and more family combinations. Though the rollout enables users to have more options, all of the family members that comprise each emoji still share the same skin tone. That means there’s no representation of interracial families.

Last year, Microsoft added 52,000 family emoji to its Windows 10 update with different combinations that included interracial families and single parent families, the first time an operating system had ever done so. Though well intentioned, Facebook’s step in being inclusive falls into the trap of not accounting for all possibilities.

As noted by TechCrunch, multi-tone family emoji…

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 back panel leaks along with the launch date

Xiaomi is yet to announce the humongous Mi Mix 2 with a massive display and minuscule bezels. But what is still unknown is how the phone will look on the front. Thanks to a Weibo leak we know how the back panel is looking. The complete package will be revealed on September 12, according to another leak from China. The image reveals a white ceramic back with two circular cutouts in the top part. This can mean the phone will either have a dual camera setup on the back or the fingerprint scanner will be positioned below the primary cam. There are dual stereo speakers on the bottom and…

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Samsung leader found guilty of bribery and embezzlement

Samsung will have to operate without its acting leader for a few years, now that a South Korean court has found Lee Jae-yong guilty of bribery and embezzlement. The executive has been sentenced to five years in prison, much shorter than the 12 years…
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Samsung boss sentenced to 5 years in prison for corruption


Following drama-ridden couple of months, Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced to serve five years in prison on corruption charges. The decision comes after the Samsung boss was originally detained back in February for bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas. The ruling was delivered yesterday in a court in South Korea, the BBC reports. Despite denying all charges, Lee was facing up to 12 years in prison for making donations in the vicinity of $ 36 million to non-profit organizations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a close acquaintance of disgraced former president Park Geun-hye. In return, the Samsung boss purportedly received…

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Dutch school solves scheduling problems with Winvision IoT

Dutch school solves scheduling problems with Winvision IoT

To solve its classroom scheduling problems, Netherlands-based Drenthe College turned to IoT powered by Winvision, a Microsoft CityNext partner.

According to the school, staff were facing the same problems many schools go through. With 11,000 students, finding free classrooms and meeting spaces and establishing a working schedule for when these would be occupied proved difficult.

In dealing with this problem, the school has constructed several new buildings over the past 10 years. Supposedly, staff also took to manually counting the number of students and staff in a classroom at any given time to predict usage.

But despite these efforts, new space was still not being used effectively. Estimates of classroom usage during afternoons found that, in some buildings, up to 35 percent of the rooms stood empty, but some students and staff were still spending at least 15 minutes looking for an available room.

A smarter solution

In a bid to tackle the problem, Drenthe partnered with Dutch IoT company Winvision, a partner of Microsoft CityNext, which focuses on smart city projects.

Replacing Drenthe’s outdated scheduling system, Winvision targeted underutilized spaces by installing over 500 Bluetooth-enabled sensors throughout the college. These sensors track movement and sound to determine whether or not a room is being used. They also gather data such as temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels, to provide a comprehensive view of the environment in that room.

That data gets fed into Microsoft’s Azure IoT hub, which connects to the school’s scheduling system and uses Azure Stream Analytics to provide real-time updates about each room.

Students can also now access the scheduling system via a mobile application, allowing them to see if a room is free, what the temperature is like in there and book it online. And with Azure Machine Learning, the system is able to better predict room availability for the week ahead.

Read more: Dutch city of Dordrecht uses IoT for smart city planning

Immediate and unexpected benefits

The mobile application means the search for rooms no longer takes up valuable time, meaning that students and staff aren’t wandering the halls in their search. Overall room usage has  jumped to 85 percent from 65 percent in September 2016, when the technology was deployed.

However, in addition to solving the college’s immediate scheduling problems, Drenthe claims it has saved $ 163,897 a year in energy costs, due to the environmental data collected. It has also used the system to track the location of school laptops and even predict drop-out risk for students.

The project has been so successful, Winvision claims, that it has since helped to install over 3,000 additional sensors at colleges around the Netherlands.

Read more: Ulster University rolls out Sigfox-based IoT network

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