Opinion: Apple’s privacy-first approach has downsides but is really paying dividends now

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

HomePod reviews almost universally agreed on two things: the speaker sounds incredibly impressive for the size and price, and Apple’s smart speaker is the least-smart one on the market. Both Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home speakers were found to be significantly more capable when it comes to answering questions and carrying out tasks.

This is not, of course, coincidence. Amazon opens its Alexa ‘recipes’ up to any third-party developer, and Google has long snaffled-up as much data as it can to make its smart assistants as capable as possible. Apple, in contrast, carefully controls the personal data available to both itself and to third-party developers …

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9to5Mac

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Larry Page’s flying taxis approach regulatory approval in New Zealand

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

<em>The Cora</em>

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce a new agreement with a company financed by Google co-Founder Larry Page to test autonomous air taxis for official certification in the country, reports The New York Times. Kitty Hawk, the company building the autonomous planes, has aspirations the partnership will lead to a commercial network of taxis in the country in the next three years. Kitty Hawk is already reportedly working on an Uber-like app that will allow customers to hail one of its air taxis.

In an email to the NYT, Ardern said; “We’ve got an ambitious target in New Zealand of being net carbon zero by 2050… exciting projects like this are part of how we make that happen.” Kitty Hawk’s self-piloted air taxi is…

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The Verge – All Posts

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Hunter2 wants to teach engineers to handle web app security with a hands-on approach

The Best Guide To Selling Your Old Phones With High Profit

 When Equifax was broken into late last year — one of the biggest security breaches in recent history — Fletcher Heisler wanted to make sure engineers got to know exactly what happened right away, and how to fix it. That’s part of the goal of Hunter2, a new online learning platform for engineers that’s designed to teach them how to handle these kinds of breaches in a… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Apple 2017 year in review: Apple embraces 4K with Apple TV and HEVC, slow and steady approach to creating original video content

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In an effort to grow services revenue, in 2017 Apple released the Apple TV 4K to support higher resolution televisions, and started investing heavily in video programming for the future.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

What Brands Can Learn From Target’s Approach to Hispanic Marketing

The following is a guest contributed post from Parker Morse, CEO and Founder of H Code Media.

Two years ago, Target launched a campaign they called #SinTraducción (“Without Translation”). The premise of the Spanish-only campaign was to use words that had no ready English equivalent – words such as “sobremesa” (a period of time after a meal spent conversing amongst friends and family) and “estrenar” (the act of using or wearing something for the first time). The goal was to create a conversation on social media, both between customers and the brand and between customers themselves. The #SinTraducción campaign marked Target’s first major marketing effort targeted directly at Hispanics – the first, but most emphatically not the last.

One of the reasons for Target’s decision to start marketing more consistently to the Hispanic audience was the realization that its core demographic had changed, from the suburban soccer moms who had previously been the focus of Target’s advertising to urban, Hispanic millennials. In the course of their research, the company discovered that Hispanic customers were more brand loyal and spent more than other demographics – which led to the brand stepping up their ad spend.

What can brands learn from Target’s approach to Hispanic marketing? Target’s experiences show the necessity of having campaigns geared specifically to the Hispanic audience; but more than that, it shows the importance of having campaigns that affirm the influence and relevance of the Spanish language in American culture, while also positioning the brand as one that understands and meets the needs of Hispanics.

One brand that has chosen to emphasize the everyday realities of Hispanic life, instead of relying on demographic cliches, is Honda. The auto company recently released an ad that was, in many ways, a rebuke of the manner in which many brands have courted Hispanic consumers. Instead of viewing the Hispanic audience as a group whose motivations and desires are unknowable (save with the help of many dollars poured into demographic research), the Honda ad presented Latinos going about their daily lives – getting groceries, going to watch a movie, and so on.

The president of the agency responsible for the ads, Andrew Orcí, said that the ad was born out of the sense that many brands see Hispanics as operating in specific categories or patterns, despite the fact that they (and every other demographic group) cannot be pigeonholed so easily. This is particularly the case with young Latinos, who “ping-pong between cultures, languages, interests and behaviors.” For Orcí, “not even a Latino can can define a Latino. They simply defy all expectations.”

Mazda too has taken an unconventional approach to marketing to Hispanics, airing ads “filled with Japanese language and imagery” in places such as Univision.com. The goal, according to Russell Wager, VP of Mazda North America, is to raise awareness of Mazda as a Japanese company, because of the “great affinity and trust” Hispanics generally have for Japanese brands. The campaign will start with ads highlighting Mazda’s Japanese roots and Japanese culture in general, before transitioning to more traditional Spanish-language advertisements. In the past, Mazda simply repurposed their ads for the general market; this campaign is the first one Mazda has produced specifically for Hispanic audiences, and surely won’t be the last, given that the company has tripled its investment in Hispanic marketing.

Earlier this year, Target CEO Brian Cornell called attention to a trend that had him and his industry worried: the fact that Hispanics are increasingly choosing to stay home, and going out to shop less often. It’s not hard to see why Cornell is concerned, given that Target has consistently pumped large amounts of money into advertising campaigns centered around reaching that key demographic. In fact, the company increased its Hispanic ad spend by 20% last year, and has pledged to maintain that level of spending this year. Target’s holiday campaign the previous year was focused mainly on reaching Hispanics and families with children – another sign of the centrality of Hispanics to Target’s marketing efforts.

It’s certainly possible that spending in border towns, which has traditionally been a boon to retailers, has fallen this year, contributing to Cornell’s pessimism. But the biggest problem that retailers such as Target face is losing their customers to Amazon. This is especially true as Amazon begins to take measures designed to attract Hispanic audiences, such as creating a Spanish-language version of its website and offering its Prime services in Mexico. That being said, the fact that Amazon’s Spanish-language website is resonating with audiences demonstrates the important role the Spanish language plays when marketing to Hispanics.

In order to combat the “Amazon effect”, brands that wish to appeal to Hispanic audiences have to make themselves more accessible to those customers, whether it’s by introducing a Spanish version of their site or by launching ad campaigns that are designed to appeal to Hispanics as they really are, and not as marketers imagine them to be.

The post What Brands Can Learn From Target’s Approach to Hispanic Marketing appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


Mobile Marketing Watch

The Flow Bot Builder: An Uncompromising Approach to Bot Building

The following is a guest contributed post from Beerud Sheth, Gupshup’s founder and CEO.

With the ubiquity of mobile devices consumers want to be able to reach business anytime, anywhere. Also, they don’t want to have to tinker with browsers and apps; they just want to be able to have a quick chat with someone right now that can answer their specific queries. Shoppers want the right answers to their questions and find what they need quickly. Buyers will want to make a purchase instantly. And customers will want their problems resolved quickly by customer support teams.

This requires businesses to have the infrastructure and teams to support always-on, instant chat with a large number of prospects and customers. This is driving the recent interest in conversational interfaces by marketers. Conversational experiences are set to transform virtually every business function from marketing to sales to support.

There are many tools available for building conversational experiences. However, many of them are built for developers with technical skills. Marketers and designers need simpler tools better suited to their requirements. They need the ability to create conversational flows quickly and easily and tie it into their marketing campaigns.

To address this need, Gupshup recently launched the Flow Bot Builder. This is a graphical wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) tool that can be used by anybody irrespective of their technical skills. Designing a conversation with it is as simple as building a flow chart. Each node in the flowchart describes a bot statement or a potential user response. By creating a series of links between bot statements and user responses, you get a full conversation. Bot statements are not just plain text but can also include rich media such as images, audio, video and emojis. They can also include structured elements such as surveys, polls carousels and quick replies. This can take as little as a few minutes. Every step of the way, the marketer can quickly test the bot and iterate over incremental improvements.

While there are other graphical tools out there, most of them integrate with just one or two messaging channels. By being built on the Gupshup messaging platform, bots built on the Flow Bot Builder can run on 30 plus messaging channels across text, voice, web and app.

Since there is an inevitable trade-off between graphical tools and programmability, most other graphical tools limit functionality in exchange for usability.

Marketers that want their technical colleagues to program additional functionality or integrations find themselves severely constrained. However, the gupshup flow bot Builder is architected in a different way and side-steps the trade-off between usability and programmability. The Gupshup Flow Bot Builder is built on top of the Gupshup IDE Bot Builder. With one click, a user can convert the graphical flow into programming code and then have the full ability to make any programmatic changes to it. It is a fully integrated developer environment (IDE) that software developers are very familiar with.

This means that large teams can collaborate where the marketer or the designer may use the flow Builder to create the conversational flow and the software Developers add the integrations and other advanced capabilities to it in parallel. This is a critical requirement for advanced marketers managing diverse campaigns.

The flow Builder is also fully integrated with common development tools such as GitHub. This means that bot builders can share their bots with others or clone bots built by others. This further drives reuse of previously built bots as well as collaboration among large teams.

The flow Builder can also be tightly linked with campaign tools. This means that marketers can run campaigns whose call to action links initiate a conversation that’s modeled by the Flow Builder. Now, campaigns can become conversational that is they can answer additional questions that users may have about the offer.

The flow Builder is a game changer and a huge step forward in usability, simplicity, extensibility, channel support and team support.

The post The Flow Bot Builder: An Uncompromising Approach to Bot Building appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


Mobile Marketing Watch

The rise of D&D liveplay is changing how fans approach roleplaying

One of the great era-appropriate quirks of Netflix’s ‘80s-nostalgic fantasy adventure Stranger Things — which recently returned for a feverishly anticipated second season — is that the preteen geeks of Hawkins, Indiana, are obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons. The first and last times we see them in season 1, they’re playing D&D. They don’t return to their on-screen game in season 2, but they still talk about their real-life adventure as if they’re an adventuring party, right down to assigning themselves character classes. It’s part of the text of Stranger Things, but also the metatext: threading elements from D&D into the show’s narrative helped creators Matt and Ross Duffer create an addictively familiar world for fans of Steven…

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The Verge – All Posts

Medigate aims to take a new approach to IoT healthcare security with $5.35m funding

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all set to revolutionise the end to end healthcare process; from wearables which collect patient data in real-time, to algorithms which can come up with new diagnoses. Yet securing all of these devices is the major risk.

Meet Medigate. The startup, based out of Israel, has just secured a $ 5.35 million (£4.08m) funding round for its platform, which secures networked devices alongside medical records, device servers, and other enterprise systems. The capital was raised by YL Ventures with additional funding from Blumberg Capital.

As the company explains in an FAQ, medical devices are not regular IT endpoints, and therefore current security solutions do not provide an appropriate layer of protection as they do not address the medical workflow. Medigate’s solution, the company claims, through offering discovery and identification, threat detection and attack prevention, fuses medical understanding with cyber security expertise.

In a blog post, seen by IoT News prior to publication, the company’s CEO, Jonathan Langer, cited the WannaCry ransomware attack back in May as the ‘big bang’ for both the industry and his company vision. Langer went back and forth with healthcare CISOs to determine both the immediacy of the threat – quickly confirmed – and that his idea both resonated and was unique to the market.

“I went back to the CISOs and tried to understand what made the clinical networks so susceptible to cyberattacks,” Langer wrote. “The short answer was that the ‘defence in depth’ cybersecurity paradigm just doesn’t apply to clinical networks and a new paradigm was needed.

“The reason is the endpoint solution (EPS) layer in medical devices, whether legacy or newly manufactured, are not ‘normal’ IT infrastructure end points because they are situated in mission critical environments, are not internet-facing, and use [Food and Drug Administration]-approved software.

“These unique characteristics were exactly what I was looking for,” Langer added. “What if we could create an additional layer of defence, compensating for lack of EPS, that was dedicated to the medical devices and the clinical networks?

“The thought of this prospect was incredibly exciting.”

According to a blog post from Yoav Leitersdorf, managing director of YL Ventures, the next few months will be spent packed full of meetings with US-based healthcare CISOs and medical device manufacturers, building an R&D team, and thinking through go-to-market strategies.

From the investment side, Leitersdorf noted his team were struck by a ‘superb team solving a huge problem in an open space with deep technology.’ “The case here was obvious – the proliferation of connected medical devices in healthcare creates a lot of value for providers and their customers, but it also represents an ever-expanding number of entry points for cyber attacks,” wrote Leitersdorf. “As we see often in this industry, novel technologies are usually accompanied by novel threats.”

According to a study issued by ZingBox in July, there remains a series of ‘misconceptions’ around IoT healthcare security. More than three quarters of IT decisions polled within healthcare organisations were said to be confident, or ‘over-confident’, about the security of connected devices on their network.

You can find out more about Medigate here.

Picture credit: Medigate. From left: Pini Pinhasov, Oran Avraham, Jonathan Langer, Vitali Sepetnitsky, Nir Benudiz, Itay Kirshenbaum

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Novel approach to AI wages war on writer’s block


A clever author with some programming skills – or perhaps developer with writing chops – has created an AI to help overcome one of the most common plagues a scribe can face: writer’s block. And she could use your help with the project. The worst sight a writer can behold is a blinking cursor on a blank page. Our human propensity for art can be stifled by the sickness known as “writer’s block,” but we persevere – certain that once the first line is written the rest will form itself. Researcher Janelle Shane, in a recent blog post, detailed her…

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The Next Web

3 reasons why top-down approach to product strategy are a bad idea


Many of the tech companies I’ve worked for have employed a top-down approach to product strategy. This typically entails a small number of leaders within the organization — usually from the C-suite — dictating the entire product roadmap. While a top-down approach is definitely better than no plan at all, it doesn’t always lead to long-term success. There are many risks associated with this strategy — here are three to watch out for and a few tips for avoiding those pitfalls: 1. Getting distracted by shiny objects Pivoting too quickly to pursue new ideas at the expense of core business…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web