Improving your emotional intelligence can earn you a raise — here’s how

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

“Would you rather be smart, or kind?” For most of us, this would be a difficult question to answer. Both characteristics are valued highly in our society. Which do you choose? If you’re leaning toward smart, you’re not alone. It’s easy to associate intelligence with wealth and success. Meanwhile, kindness and its cousin — empathy — is often associated with passivity and weakness, especially by self-proclaimed diehard business people. But are these associations valid? Must we really choose between the two? The answer is no. Emotional intelligence results in higher salary and better job performance, that’s why you need to…

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Google open-sources AI for improving Portrait Mode in camera apps

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

Unlike most premium phones released over the past year, Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don’t come with a dual rear camera – but they still manage to pull off impressive depth-of-field effects that separate the background from the foreground with natural-looking blur. It actually uses AI to pull that off – and now, the company has open-sourced a similar technology that developers can use in their third-party camera apps for high-quality Portrait Mode-style shots like the one above. It’s called DeepLab v3+, and it’s essentially an image segmentation technology that uses a neural network to detect the outlines…

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Transparency at IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: Three Ways the Ad Industry is Improving

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The following is a guest contributed post by Tim Mahlman, President, President of Advertiser and Publisher Strategy, Oath

At IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, Unilever’s Keith Weed reiterated the importance of trust in digital advertising. Brands are demanding more openness and accountability. Fraud, viewability and brand safety are just a few of the concerns that have driven the desire for greater transparency in the ecosystem.

The industry still has ways to go in delivering on these demands. But transparency in digital is rapidly improving. Here are three areas, in particular, that are helping to bring about a new, more transparent era, hailed by Unilever, P&G, and others.

Third-party verification is table stakes

Today, advertisers are more interested than ever in how partners are spending their money. The biggest are reviewing media contracts in the hopes of getting more transparency and data from agency, vendor and publisher relationships. In response, the ecosystem is wholly embracing third-party verification. So much, in fact, that it’s becoming the industry standard. Now, a whopping 97 percent of advertisers want independent measurement of their media buys from companies like Moat and comScore — and they’re only going with partners who allow this. This is why the duopoly, after being hesitant about third-party verification in the past, is finally feeling the pressure. Third-party audits are simply table stakes today, enabling a new depth of transparency.

However, it is important to note that there is room to improve here. While third-party verification prevents agencies, vendors and sellers from having to grade their own homework, there are still questions to be answered. Third-party providers still need to be challenged to deliver more standardized reporting and metrics to cut down on discrepancy, while platforms must continue investing in their own technology to eliminate fraud and other issues.

Publishers will adopt ads.txt en masse and this is just the beginning of our industry being more transparent

Last year, the IAB launched ads.txt to bring more transparency to the programmatic supply chain. This is a more secure way for publishers to publicly identify the platforms authorized to sell their inventory, helping to limit bad actors. The idea is that as more publishers adopt ads.txt and post it to their domains, advertisers can avoid counterfeit inventory and have more confidence in what they buy.

This year, ads.txt adoption is going to explode among publishers. This was echoed at IAB ALM, by several of the biggest media companies. And while adoption is still relatively low right now, advertisers are increasingly demanding more tools for transparency. They want an accurate representation of media impressions and who is selling them. And they want to safeguard against counterfeit inventory through arbitrage and spoofing. Ads.txt helps. My company, Oath, supported ads.txt early on, knowing it would quickly become a game-changer. And we have already implemented it across our properties. We are also collaborating with publishers and approved resellers, and will begin enforcing ads.txt across all platforms, filtering inventory on domains where DSPs buy. But this is just the beginning. More advancements will roll out over the course of 2018 to protect advertisers’ media spend.

Vendors will be held to a higher standard

Today, advertisers want more from their technology platforms. In fact, they want more than just technology. They want trust. It’s not enough to simply activate data or offer distribution at scale. Demand-side platforms have to be more than just the pipes today. A lot more. Providing access to brand-safe, premium content is a game changer. With brand safety issues around the duopoly, many advertisers and agencies are concerned. It’s time to rebuild their confidence and trust. As a partner, it’s critical to be able to touch all aspects of a campaign: content, data and distribution. This is an unbeatable combination and it simplifies the digital supply chain, boosting transparency. Brand builders know that they need all three to be successful and the platforms that deliver against these needs will win in 2018. This is what I kept hearing in Palm Desert.

As we move ahead in 2018, transparency will continue to be a major concern in digital. But third-party verification, initiatives like ads.txt and the evolution of vendors relationships, are three ways our category is meeting advertiser demands.

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Google is improving Progressive Web Apps on Chrome and Chrome OS

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Near the end of last year, Google told developers that it was working to phase out apps in the Chrome Web Store, in favor of platform-independent Progressive Web Apps. While PWAs already fully work in Chrome and Chrome OS, Google has been trying to make them look and feel more like desktop programs. Kenneth Christiansen (a contributor to Chromium) has shared some screenshots of how the work is progressing, and it looks fantastic.

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Android P leak says Google improving notch design support, more deeply integrating Assistant

Essential Phone notch design

Android P is expected to be teased at Google I/O later this year, but details of the update have started trickling out today.

Google will reportedly update Android to better utilize notch designs on smartphones, like the one found on the iPhone X and the Essential Phone. Details on Google’s plans are light, but Bloomberg says that Google is hoping this move will get more iPhone owners to consider switching to Android.

Also said to be coming in Android P is deeper Google Assistant integration. Google is considering integrating Assistant into Android’s home screen search bar and allowing developers to integrate Assistant into their third-party apps.

Finally, the name. Each version of Android gets a dessert nickname, with each new version moving one letter down the alphabet. Android 8.0 is Oreo, and internally, Google is referring to Android P as “Pistachio Ice Cream”. Google may opt for a different dessert when it launches Android P to the public, though.

Android P is going to be another major release for Google, and it’ll be interesting to see how the company embraces the notch design that we’ve seen on the iPhone X and Essential Phone. Besides trying to woo iPhone owners over to Android, this move will be a smart one because we’re sure to see more Android phones launch with a notch in the near future, like the Huawei P20. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Alexa and Waze add depth to Ford’s improving SYNC infotainment system

At the beginning of the year, Ford announced it was adding two big names to its SYNC in-car infotainment system for iPhone users: Amazon Alexa and Google’s Waze. This week I got a brief first look at how both of them work.

The company was in town showing off the Ford EcoSport, a small economy SUV originally launched in China, which has since made its way to Europe and, now, the United States. Equipped with the latest version of SYNC 3, these tiny SUVs are about to hit American streets for the first time, with Ford hoping to take a new bite out of the growing market for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.

Alexa had already been in Ford cars in a more limited capacity, so let’s start with Waze. The Google-owned navigation service has been…

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New ‘Hearthstone’ Changes Aimed at Improving High Ranked Experience

Earlier today Ben Brode made an announcement regarding some changes that are coming soon to the standard ranked play format for Hearthstone [Free]. Now all ranks will require 5 stars to advance and players will only loose 4 ranks at the end of each monthly season. To adjust for the longer initial trek to rank 20, the first card back monthly reward will now require winning just 5 games. He said that experience is different depending on where you end up on the ladder. At the top of the ladder players experience a little too much backsliding from one season to the next. People at the bottom of the ladder feel like getting to rank 20 feels like a wall you hit very quickly.

So how will this play out? Higher ranked players are going to love this. If you play enough ranked hearthstone to get past the point where ranks require 5 stars, this is clearly a win. For players just getting into or coming back to ranked from a hiatus, the required amount of stars to get into the low teens is going to be almost doubled. Ultimately this is a push towards the people that play the game enough to get high ranks but don’t want to grind back to their previous position each month. The unfortunate side effect of this is that without any controls, people will start congregating at higher and higher ranks. The low-end star inflation seems like it may just be a stop-gap and Mr. Brode even came back to confirm that additional steps may need to be taken to prevent rank bloat.

This seems like the type of move that might have a vocal backlash but end up affecting far fewer players negatively than first perceptions may indicate. How many low rank players are out there worried that they can no longer easily get to 13-15 and then stop for the month? How many players starting out have hopes of only bouncing around in the high teens? Even if the initial journey takes longer, the appeal and prestige of the better ranks should now be even more palpable. I guess it will be up to the players to see long term gains outweigh potential short term frustration. In the mean time, Legend and upper numbered rank players can rejoice!

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12 Excellent Apps for Improving Your Physical and Mental Health

It’s a new year and many people are already failing on their 2018 resolution to stay active and healthy. If you have an iPhone or an Apple Watch there are many apps that can help you get back on (and stay on) track. Press the Right Arrow to Browse 12 Apps for Staying Healthy and Tracking Your Activity.

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India ranks top in improving broadband download speeds in 2017: Ookla

According to Ookla Speedtest Global Index, India ranks top in improving broadband download speeds in 2017 and has captured 2nd place in terms of showing the most improvement in mobile data speeds among the world’s most populous countries. India’s broadband speeds have seen a major jump with the average speed improving by 76.9%, pushing China and the United States to second … Continue reading “India ranks top in improving broadband download speeds in 2017: Ookla”
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How personalized data is quickly improving customer experiences

If “the customer is always right” is the golden rule of customer service, then “treat each customer as an individual” should be the golden rule for brand marketing. Every consumer wants to feel as though the brands they support view them as a unique entity, rather than another customer identification number. For years, brands were able to get by delivering mass communications and services to their buyers, but those days are gone. Today’s consumers want assurance that brands hear their unique voices, consider their original feedback, and deliver products and services that are tailored to their personal lifestyle needs. Thanks…

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