France, China, and Silicon Valley: The fight to dominate AI and the rise of tech nationalism

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As new products and services have emerged throughout the history of capitalism, it hasn’t been unusual to see geographic clusters emerge that become an industry’s center of gravity. But the era of artificial intelligence has triggered an unusually direct response from countries that want to be at the center of a technology they see as b…Read More
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iPhone assembler Foxconn sees rise in holiday quarter profits despite gloomy expectations

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Among the gloomy predictions being made for iPhone X sales, analysts were predicting that lead iPhone assembler Foxconn would announce declining profits for Q4 2017 …

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Location Intelligence On The Rise: Three Use Cases to Optimize Your UX

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

In the age of Digital, there is still enough room for the physical.

It is clear that enterprises wish to bring the digital user experience into the branch or office. Today, the mobile and digital banking experience is already part of our visit to the branch. Banks are digitizing the customer experience in the branch by placing tablets, reducing the paperwork and therefore, also the time we are spending there (we all like an instant experience, right?). The need to ensure a perfect experience in this competitive reality is receiving prime location. In my journey to help digital enterprises with perfecting their user experience, I see a growing need from not only bankers and insurance agents that are now more dependent on their tablets but also from pilots, aircraft technicians and others who work in the field. They are using internal apps and services but with the criticality of these services, it does not leave room for mistakes or glitches.

Marketing forces have recently introduced a new model that combined the Digital & Physical aspects of targeted exposure: Cost-Per-Visit. This new business metric aiming to encourage in-store consumption of services/goods and for brands to pay publishers for ads only when a customer is being exposed to it while visiting a specific location. In other words, using the CPV model not only helps brands increase foot traffic and boost sales, but also helps foster a more trusting relationship between brands, agencies and vendors.

So now that it’s clear that digital enterprises that have physical branches are placing greater emphasis on location intelligence, the question is how do you ensure quality on all different locations?

Proximity advertising is a good example, but how about or more basic one: searching the right branch? Does your service have the right ingredients to allow location based search (e.g. find the close branches to my current location, etc.)? Let’s assume the answer is yes – how would you test that nationwide assuming you’re representing a bank with branches nationwide? Covering such use case, would be a trivial part of a standard daily/weekly regression cycle, right? The answer in most cases would be the ability to inject the location intelligence as part of the automation suite. I often encounter trivial use cases while working with Digital Enterprises to optimize their UX:

  1. Localization testing:
    1. Challenge: How do I test the level of service nationwide?
    2. Solution: Implementing sustainable automation process that includes:
      1. A Job triggered through CI (Jenkins) couple of times per day.
      2. Job runs a build of Parallel test executions using TestNG FW with 8 devices: 4 android & 4 iOS devices.
  • Environment conditions of the test includes emulation of 30 different locations where the service is being evaluated.
  1. Build include 4 basic cases:
    1. Initiate a Voice call
    2. Send & receive a text message
    3. Run a speedtest of the network up&down metrics
    4. Open a Youtube page and play a video

This is a real example where a customer is continuously testing the availability of services in critical locations and conditions.

2. Network condition testing:

  1. Challenge: Can I make sure that my service is rendering properly across different levels of networks?
  2. Solution: Define the right set of network engagement your customers are using:
    1. Run your regression cycle suite across the set of these network conditions, for example:
      1. 5G
      2. 3G
      3. 4G
      4. Airplane mode (as I may have sales reps traveling and they need to be able to consume services offline from the app).

3. Location testing on steroids:

  • Challenge: Can I tests advanced location-based use cases like driving, walking etc.?
  • Solution: Implementing sustainable automation process that includes one or more of the following:
    1. Inject GPS location intelligence as a capability in your script for static changes
    2. Inject mocked motion data to simulate driving/walking session that includes data from one or more of the smartphone sensors (GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope data). A great example of this is Usage Based Insurance (UBI) in the insurance industry.

 

As described in a previous blog – patterns are becoming more and more important.

The future of location based testing will likely include the implementation of smart intelligence and interactions with IoT (including BLE devices, other smart terminals and POS).

The market is already heading in this direction: by analyzing historical location data and detailed behavioral patterns, digital enterprises can gain comprehensive insights into consumer preferences and habits which can be used for hyper-targeted campaigns and other engagement models.

Remember, the key for perfecting the experience is to BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.

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The rise and rise (and rise) of ’Fortnite’

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It's safe to say that, when a video game that counts Drake among its fans has breakfast TV shows around the world discussing its effect on younger players, it has truly made it. No, we're not talking about Grand Theft Auto, but Fortnite, Epic Games'…
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Fortnite Battle Royale Scams Are on the Rise as iOS Launch Looms

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

Massively popular multiplayer game Fortnite is coming to iOS and Android — and scammers are taking the opportunity to try and cash in on the excitement. On Monday, Fortnite’s developers, Epic Games, recently began taking sign-ups for for its Invite Event on iOS. Users who sign up and receive an invite will also get a […]
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SUV Sales Rise Worldwide, Despite Their Effect on Climate

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

Most drivers only need a sedan to navigate the sometimes pothole-ridden, but relatively flat, big city roads. But for many consumers, larger vehicles that could nail an off-road test drive seem to remain a must. And despite the fact that these often-massive sports utility vehicles (SUVs) not only cost more, but also pollute more, SUV sales continue to climb.

According to the latest data from an automotive research firm Jato Dynamics, the global demand for SUVs hit a new record in 2017, totaling 34 percent of global car sales for the year. The vehicles were particularly popular in North America, Europe, and China, despite the fact that all three regions struggle with severe air pollution — a problem that more fuel-guzzling SUVs is unlikely to solve.

“Everyone is jumping on SUVs,” said Matthew Weiss, JATO Dynamics’ president for North America, The New York Times reported.

The New “Family Car”

Since the 1970s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to reduce air pollution by requiring automakers to improve vehicles’ fuel efficiency. However, for off-road vehicles and SUVs, pollution restrictions have remained lax.

SUVs are a middle-class favorite in the U.S., thanks to a marketing operation that successfully bypassed increasingly strict environmental rules. In order to penetrate consumer markets, U.S. automakers pitched SUVs as the new “family vehicle”. The rebranding was so effective that, to date, it still speaks to consumers more than modern electric or hybrid cars do.

Companies like Volkswagen continue to expand their SUV offerings — the German automaker, which currently offers only four off-road models, plans to increase those options to 20 SUV options within the next two years.

China’s Pollution Paradox

The juxtaposition between a global need to address pollution problems and consumers’ love for bigger, less fuel-efficient SUVs takes center stage in China. The pollution crisis choking Beijing and Shanghai  prompted the Chinese government to drop coal in favor of solar and other clean energy sources. As the United States increasingly embraces a pro-fossil fuels agenda, China continues to champion global climate action.

Despite accounting for 43 percent of global electric vehicle (EV) production, China’s appetite for SUVs is increasing. According to the research firm McKinsey, in the last four years SUVs were responsible for 66 percent of the overall growth in China’s car sales.

One one hand, that could be because bigger vehicles are considered a status symbol, particularly among young people, but SUVs could also accommodate China’s growing family size after the government dropped its one-child policy.

A sustained growth in diesel-powered SUV sales, particularly as the vehicles’ electric counterparts struggle to take off, could significantly hamper China’s deliberate environmental conscientiousness.

Transportation accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Industry trends like this one — in which SUVs continue to trump EV — have the power to tip the already precarious environmental scales towards increasing urban pollution, rather than decreasing it.

The post SUV Sales Rise Worldwide, Despite Their Effect on Climate appeared first on Futurism.

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Dell reverse merger with VMware: rumours rise of April deal

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

Since January, rumours have been flying that Dell is planning a reverse merger with its VMware subsidiary, which would allow privately held Dell Technologies to become a publicly traded stock again without going for IPO.

CNBC quotes sources close to the matter who say that founder and CEO Michael Dell is now discussing details of a deal to take the company back into the public market, perhaps as early as April.

Dell and VMware are reportedly considering an equity exchange to give Dell access to VMware’s cashflow by merging the companies into a new publicly traded entity.

In February, Dell disclosed in an SEC filing that a reverse merger was one of the “potential business opportunities” being discussed. Analysts have suggested VMware’s board could hold a “majority of the minority” vote on the deal.

Dell’s $ 67 billion acquisition of EMC – announced in 2015, completed in 2016 – was the biggest in tech industry history. As part of the deal, it acquired a majority stake in VMware, which continued trading as a public company, while EMC was taken private.

However, that deal will be dwarfed by any deal between Qualcomm and Broadcom, as reported by Internet of Business earlier this week.

Internet of Business says

The acquisition of EMC freighted Dell with an estimated $ 50 billion of debt. A reverse merger – selling itself to a company in which it owns a majority stake – would allow investors to monetise their support of Dell taking itself private, while also tackling its debt problem.

Alternative strategies would include Dell selling its 80 per cent stake in VMware, buying the remaining 20 per cent, or going for IPO five years after taking itself private. The reverse merger is thought to be a simpler option than relisting, unlikely thought that may seem.

• Dell recently announced that it was investing $ 1 billion over the next three years in a new central IoT division. This will focus on developing next-gen products, research, and partnerships, across everything from driverless cars to smart light bulbs, with a focus on edge computing and the distributed core. Dell has also invested in a number of IoT startups, including security specialist Zingbox.

Last month, Internet of Business reported that revenues from Dell EMC’s Internet of Things and OEM business in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) passed the $ 1 billion mark.

Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Dell sets out new IoT strategy

Read more: Dell takes a fresh look at IoT with Aerofarms


 

IoTBuild is coming to San Francisco, CA on March 27 & 28, 2018 – Sign up to learn all you need to know about building an IoT ecosystem.IoT Build

The post Dell reverse merger with VMware: rumours rise of April deal appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

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As flagship prices rise, are you considering more affordable options?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Last year, Apple made waves by not only announcing the iPhone X with its unique “notch design”, but also because the company was charging quite a bit of money for the entry-level variant of the handset. The price of entry to get on the train for Apple’s newest flagship smartphone was $ 999 in the United States, and even higher in other countries.

Of course, this is Apple and price is something that has always been something that gets put under the microscope. With so many competing products out there, and most of it available for a distinct difference in price on the lower end, the fact that Apple all-of-a-sudden wanted to start charging a grand for its newest phone wasn’t all that surprising.

Some had even argued that it was only a shock that it took this long.

Still, Apple didn’t only launch the iPhone X and call it a day. It also offers the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and there are still older models to choose from, too. If you want an iPhone but don’t want to fork over $ 1,000 to do so, there are ways to do that.

Not that Apple is seeing a huge backlash against the pricing, though. The company’s latest quarterly earnings were huge, and part of that comes from iPhone X sales. Even as rumors swirl that sales for the newest iPhone weren’t that great, Apple’s own sales figures and statements suggest the opposite. At the very least, it looks like the iPhone X has been selling well as far as Apple is concerned.

Will other companies see the same thing happen when/if they raise prices for their own phones?

We might find out this year with the upcoming Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Word on the street is that Samsung is going to charge quite a bit of money for each handset, in the same ballpark as the iPhone X. And since this is Samsung, the possibility that it may be following in Apple’s footsteps doesn’t seem impossible.

One has to wonder if Samsung will have a harder time selling the Galaxy S9 at a steeper price point, though. The newest next big thing for Samsung probably won’t be all that different from the Galaxy S8 before it. At the time of this writing Samsung hasn’t announced the new flagship yet, but rumors only point to a variable aperture in the camera system, a dual camera system on the Galaxy S9+, and a repositioned fingerprint reader.

None of that really seems to beckon a higher price tag.

All of that got me thinking: Are higher smartphone prices making you consider switching away from the premium flagship tier and opting for more mid-range devices? There’s no denying the mid-range market has improved a lot over the years, and there are some great options to look at.

Are you planning on switching to a more affordable smartphone in the near future? Or are you sticking with the premium models, even if their prices continue to rise? Let me know!

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