Apple touts developer success in response to allegations of ‘abusive trade practices’ in France

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It was reported yesterday that the French government is taking both Apple and Google to court over alleged “abusive trade practices.” Specifically, the government claims that neither Apple nor Google treat their developers fairly, citing factors such as non-negotiable commissions and contract terms.

Today, both Google and Apple have commented on the accusations made by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire…



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Success of smart cities depends on citizen engagement, says Gartner

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The success of smart cities is very much reliant on the engagement of its citizens and discussions between the government and citizens are critical to ensure that the right issues are taken care of, according to Gartner.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Dubai, UAE, Gartner analysts have underscored certain recommendations that CIOs in local government need to consider for the success of smart cities. Among the recommendations underscored are identifying and prioritising the issues that are negatively impacting the citizens and using technology to resolve these problems. CIOs are also recommended pay attention to the problems faced by citizens who are less tech-savvy.

Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research VP at Gartner, commented: "The key to CIO success is building objectives by developing key performance indicators (KPIs) that detect stakeholder priorities and measure success and impact. The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, is a perfect example of how incorporating these guidelines help in the execution of the of the smart city framework.”

By 2020, KPIs will be incorporated in nearly 66% of all smart city execution strategies to visualise the impact of mobility-related urban services.

The VP concluded: "Business strategies must clearly focus on the development of a seamless citizen service experience through digital access to information and government services. While preparing for the World Expo 2020, the Dubai government is focusing on creating thought leadership by implementing the most innovative technologies that create new modes of transportation (Hyperloo), energy generation (in conjunction with Masdar), or health and safety experiences.”

Meanwhile, Gartner argues that enterprises often seem to overlook the necessity to introduce change to the mindsets of their employees while initiating for a digital business transformation. An enterprise’s digital business transformation moves may become unsuccessful or slow down with the "fixed" mindset of its employees. Latest from the homepage

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Apple first tech company set up for ‘multigenerational success’, book argues, but that may hinge on Siri

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A new article today from L2 takes a look at an excerpt from the NYT bestseller, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Among the takeaways from the chapter, the author shares some interesting ideas on Apple’s success as it has moved from the dominating tech world to becoming an icon in the fashion industry. However, even though Apple could be the first tech company to have a good shot at multigenerational success, it has some serious competition to overcome from Amazon and its Alexa platform.



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Why prioritization and focus are the key skills for success

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

Everyone I know is working hard, yet only a handful are crushing it. Why is that? I think I have the answer and it comes down to our skills in two areas; prioritization and focus. I first noticed this phenomenon when working as a strategy consultant. As I became increasingly disillusioned with the incredibly long hours and seemingly low impact our work was having, I started assessing my future. As a young consultant looking ahead to the leaders, I came to the realization that the situation probably wasn’t going to improve. The partners of this firm rarely left the office…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Perfecto’s Proven Methodology for Cross-Platform Application Testing Success

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If you make your living building or testing applications, there’s one question you can’t avoid: “With the market constantly changing, which platforms do I need to test against to make sure I’m not missing something important?” Enterprise app development teams need to ensure a great user experience (UX), and in order to deliver that experience, they must keep up with change;  this is where Perfecto can be an invaluable partner. We continuously scan the market and map out specific tipping points that happen throughout the year: for example, when the latest major OS versions for iOS and Android become widely adopted. We also track shifts in the web market, such as silent updates of Chrome and Firefox browsers, of which dev and test teams must be aware in order to guarantee flawless UX. Building these market events into your planning cycle reduces risk and helps keep your customers happy.

In August 2017, Marshmallow was the most-used Android version, but Nougat was starting to make inroads

The Challenge

In order to minimize UX risks, you need to build a proper cross-platform testing strategy. For both mobile and web platforms, a few criteria must be taken into consideration. Whether you are a dev, test, or lab manager, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What are the highest traffic platform/OS combinations in a given location?
  • What is the leading OS platform (iOS vs. Android) in the relevant region?
  • What is the trend in the market for the most-used platforms?
  • What are the most common display types?

Factors reference guide breaks down each market into concise, useful categorizations

The Solution

With its ongoing, worldwide market analysis, Perfecto does the heavy lifting for you by recommending which mobile devices and desktop browsers you should be testing based on the location of your customers. Our methodology simplifies your decision-making process by breaking down test coverage into 3 categories: Essential, Enhanced, and Extended.

Graph showing Perfecto’s device coverage methodology


Examining the bulk of mobile traffic by operating system reveals that the Android usage is essentially split across five OS families while iOS usage is split between three OS families. Therefore, eight smartphones are required to cover roughly eighty percent of mobile traffic. In addition to operating system family, displays represent a second critical coverage aspect. Analyzing display characteristics identifies important clusters between screen size and pixel density. We have grouped these into categories: small, normal, large, and extra-large. Our top-10 list of smartphones and tablets represents the highest-usage platforms when accounting for operating system, display characteristics, and model.

While traffic share is easily determined for mobile devices, desktop browsers are updated more often and thus require a different approach. Perfecto builds the desktop browser set based on two criteria: browser version and operating system. Browser version selection should normally consist of the following: current version, current version minus one, current version minus two, and the most recent beta version. Given the long life of computer operating systems, it is best to look not only at the most current Windows OS but the previous two as well. For Macs, it is best to include the current version as well as the previous one.

Dial in to the right criteria to identify the desktop browser combinations required for your test lab

Wrapping up

In this blog, we have taken a look at the importance of having a solid approach to cross-platform testing. In a market where devices and platforms are constantly changing, such a strategy is essential to the efficiency (and mental health) of app development and testing teams. We offered a set of planning criteria for ensuring good coverage and great UX; this is followed by our proven methodology for guaranteeing good mobile and web testing coverage. Proper planning in this area, which requires constant vigilance with respect to market changes, is critical to reducing UX risk. Take advantage of Perfecto’s extensive experience tracking market changes and put our methodology to work in your application testing strategy.

For the up-to-date, real-world data you need to make sure your mobile and web testing strategies are up to the challenge…

Download Your Copy of the Factors Reference Guide Now

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Five Ways An Accelerator Can Propel Your Startup To Success

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Accelerators have appeared across the country and around the world. Their goal is to push startups further along — to help them grow into their potential and start benefiting the economy. Accelerators also want to share in developing disruptive new technology. In a Harvard Business Review article titled “What Startup Accelerators Really Do,” Booking Institution Nonresident Senior Fellow Ian Hathaway explains:

“Startup accelerators support early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentorship, and financing. Startups enter accelerators for a fixed period of time and as part of a cohort of companies. The accelerator experience is a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of young innovative companies, compressing years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months.”

The same article notes just how fast accelerators have grown. Hathaway identified 172 U.S.-based accelerators between 2005 and 2015 that together invested in over 5,000 U.S. startups. In that time, the companies involved raised $ 19.5 billion in funding. If you are debating whether you should apply to an accelerator program, consider these real-world ways that accelerators have enabled startups to succeed:

  1. Building A Team and Setting Up Shop

Accelerators can help startups meet new people who have the potential to become members of their teams. They can also help founders find a location their growing businesses can call home.

This benefit is illustrated by at least one member of the Ameren Accelerator, which is powered by the University of Missouri System and UMSL Accelerate and focuses on energy technology startups. Rebate Bus, which participated in the accelerator’s first cohort, has hired four full-time staff members and two interns from the Ameren Accelerator program. Rebate Bus CEO Joe Pater says, “UMSL Accelerate has given Rebate Bus a huge boost in development, marketing, and with the growth of our team.”

The company, which is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, is now establishing its operations team in St. Louis. To do so, it set up shop in the UMSL Accelerate office space at the conclusion of the Ameren Accelerator program. Rebate Bus found this an ideal way to help bridge the gap while it locates a permanent office in St. Louis. It plans to move from the accelerator’s space sometime during 2018.

Now Ameren Accelerator wants to offer the same kinds of support to other startups. It’s currently accepting applications for members to participate in its second cohort.

  1. Learning At A Faster Rate

Accelerators aren’t just for startups. Even companies that have been around for a while can transform themselves for the digital age. Consider how ManageHub Accelerator assisted L&R Lawn Equipment and Repair. While the company had been founded many decades earlier, the owner recognized that he needed to make his business sustainable for a new environment.

Working with an accelerator, L&R learned quickly about the new economy and technology and was able to improve its processes. According to Steve Seder, L&R’s director of operations:

Before using ManageHub, our business was chaotic at best. We had no idea what others were doing, and we had people doing the same jobs at the same time. Our operations were so out of line that it was costing us thousands of dollars without even knowing it. Now we are more organized, more creative, more efficient, and have a process to handle every situation that arises, making training easier and profits soar.”

The program helped L&R learn how to change what it did and take advantage of the new business realities. Its ManageHub experience marked a true transformation for the company.

  1. Making More Connections Faster

Startup SpotHero worked with the Techstars Chicago accelerator in 2012. During their participation in the program, the startup’s founders realized just how much the company benefited from all the connections the accelerator provided. SpotHero co-founder and CEO Mark Lawrence notes:

“Mentorship might seem like an obvious part of an accelerator, but we were surprised by how many incredibly talented mentors we had access to during the program. From the founders of OpenTable, GrubHub and CDW to the CEOs of publicly traded companies, we spent time learning from some of the most successful people in the world. We met with about 100 mentors 1:1 so we could really get to know them better, pick their brains, and learn from their experiences. Whether it was entrepreneurs, marketers, salespeople, or lawyers, each one forced us to start thinking about how these different specialties come together to form a profitable business. We developed strong relationships, and suddenly we had people, besides our families, who were invested in our success.”

SpotHero’s founders might eventually have made such connections on their own. However, they wouldn’t have had such a large group within their reach to help them so quickly. That proximity and number of connections sped the startup’s development.

  1. Getting A Different Perspective

As a startup founder, you live and breathe your business idea and tiny company. That passion is great. However, it can also blind you to certain things that a second pair of unbiased eyes can see. This might include limiting your audience, product, or service or finding a better price point for your offering. Maybe you are even going in the wrong direction. An accelerator can point you in the right direction even if that means pivoting.

In 2013, the Digital Greenwich accelerator worked with Student Tutors to help the startup look at its business idea differently. According to the accelerator’s case study on the startup, Digital Greenwich was able to advise the startup on areas where it had previously been struggling. Student Tutor CEO Abrar Akhtar explains, “It’s definitely been beneficial to participate in the program and go over strategies with the business advisor. We’ve been trying to work out how we can get as many new customers on board, and working with the business advisor has led us to develop a clear plan that allows us to target this potential clientele.”

  1. Practicing Until Perfect

When you are working on your own in a vacuum, you don’t make the time to do things that can help you succeed. One of those is honing your pitch to investors or crafting the best messages for your marketing campaigns.

Working with an accelerator, you can both practice your pitches and get feedback that can help you improve them. Credential Cabinet participated in the JFE Accelerator, which provided this benefit among many others. Co-founder Ely Greenberg explains:

Because we were in an accelerator, we also got to pitch in front of ‘mock’ investors before the pitch event. These were investors who could provide unbiased feedback. There is no ‘correct’ way to pitch. There are many articles about what to say and what not to say, but basically it boils down to telling a captivating story, demonstrating that you have a great team and product, and that you’re serious about building a great company. You should know the material on your slides, as well as the supporting facts.”

As a result of their accelerator experience, Credential Cabinet’s founders believe they improved their pitching skills due to the advice and feedback they received. They also learned about what didn’t work so that they could avoid those mistakes in future pitches. Overall, their confidence about pitching to investors increased.

An accelerator program can offer the perfect combination of mentoring, learning, access to funding, and strategic guidance. This environment allows founders to get the support they need to take their companies in the right direction for success.

The post Five Ways An Accelerator Can Propel Your Startup To Success appeared first on ReadWrite.


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Sony’s trying to cash in on Pokémon Go’s success with Ghostbusters World

Coming to iOS and Android at some point in 2018.

If you’ve been itching to catch more virtual monsters and Pokémon Go is starting to get long in the tooth, you’ll soon have a few new options to choose from. In addition to Niantic’s own AR Harry Potter-themed game that’s coming out this year, Sony Pictures Entertainment just announced it’s taking its own stab at this game type with Ghostbusters World.

Ghostbusters World will be available for demo during Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, and it’ll feature ghosts from the Ghostbusters movies, TV shows, comics, video games, theme parks, and also introduce original ghosts that are brand-new to the franchise.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Consumer Products, Ghost Corp, FourThirtyThree, and NextAge are all working on the game, and commenting on it, Ivan Reitman (Director and Producer of the original Ghostbusters movie) said:

The Ghostbusters Universe is rich in characters and Ghostbusters World is the perfect medium to get to know these characters in a whole new dimension.

Ghostbusters World will be available on Android and iOS when it’s released this year, and more information will be unveiled at the Game Developers Conference in March.

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Why nanotech IP rights could be big news for IoT success

Mash-Hud Iqbal, Senior Associate of intellectual property specialists Marks & Clerk, explains why IP protection is a much bigger element of IoT success than many people realise, especially when it comes to nanotechnology.

OPINION Most people understand that the Internet of things (IoT) is set to revolutionise our work and personal lives, by bringing ever more devices into an intelligent, global network. But what’s less well-known is that nanotechnology will be key to this process, by enabling a proliferation of new technologies, such as smart surfaces and the nanoparticles that will underpin next-generation devices.

In the global race to be at the forefront of these developments, it’s encouraging to see investments being made in nanotechnology hubs, and in high-spec facilities for the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. There is significant momentum building behind graphene research, for example.

Yet unlocking success in the nanotech market demands more than just ideas and investments; understanding the intellectual property (IP) aspect of the technology is critical.

Many businesses assume that IP consists simply of filing patents and trademarks, and so its wider potential is easily ignored. But there is a lot more to IP than that, as this article will explain. Developing a robust IP strategy can be critical to the success or failure of a business, especially one that deals with emerging technologies, such as nanotech.

Small tech, big questions

As with any significant innovation, nanotechnology raises important IP questions. How to classify these new technologies, for example, and whether products developed at the atomic scale meet current IP requirements, such as novelty or ‘inventive step’?

While these can be tough to answer, the fact that some branches of nanotechnology (such as graphene) are highly emergent also presents significant opportunities.

If the next generation of nanotech gurus can get the IP right, then the limited availability of ‘prior art’ in the field – pre-existing knowledge that might limit the scope of a patent in a more established industry – could allow broad monopoly protection.

This would cover not only the patentee’s business, but also valid, relevant monopolies in ancillary, non-competing industries. Such opportunities could form the basis of lucrative revenue streams from licensing, with little risk posed to the patentee’s original business.

However, the flip side of this is the potential for overlapping patents and litigation. This is why well-drafted IP is vital to protect innovations in the space. Investing in this early may bring significant rewards down the line.

What is IP really?

IP comes in many forms, ranging from the well-known – such as patents, trademarks and copyright – to the less well-known, such as know-how, database rights, and integrated circuit topography rights.

Some of these IP rights exist automatically and for free. Others will need to be registered, and the process of doing so can be complicated.

Patents probably top the IP agenda for those working in the nanotech field. They are used to protect novel devices and technologies. However, capturing and explaining the essence of what makes an invention novel – and translating that into a successful patent application – can be challenging.

And that’s not all. Formulating a world-wide filing strategy is also important. This raises key questions of its own, such as where and when to file a patent application. The answers will largely depend on each individual business, so getting good advice early is essential.

But not everything in nanotech is about what happens at atomic level. Design rights will be crucial for protecting the particular shape or appearance of devices that rely on nanotechnology. Similarly, integrated circuit topography rights could be considered in certain countries.

Marking your territory

Another key IP area is trademarks. These are widely used to help protect the identities and values of countless products, but they also define a business in the public space, giving credibility to its products and embodying its reputation.

Even high-tech products such as smartphones – which are designed and built on patents – feature trademarks that may be crucial to their success. Any technologies spurred by the rise of nanotech will similarly be defined by them in the public realm, and by the reputation that those trademarks symbolise. Protecting them will be vital.

Then there is data, the oil in the IoT machine.

Database rights are one of the lesser known forms of IP, but they can be extremely valuable. The law says they could apply if there has been a “substantial investment” in obtaining, verifying, or presenting the contents of a database.

Given the broad applications of nanotechnology in fields such as medicine and computing, protecting and exploiting the IP inherent in data could be a key consideration for businesses emerging in this space.

Internet of Business says

There is a lot to consider for businesses looking to shape the future of the nanotech and IoT industries. Getting the IP right will ensure that it is the innovators who are rewarded, rather than the imitators. If entrepreneurs and organisations build IP into their business strategies early on, they will be well placed to capitalise on the enormous potential of nanotech.

Read more: Semtech develops disposable LoRa IoT nano-tag

Read more: Swiss company ELSE raises $ 3 million to launch IoT nanosatellite


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Fecal Transplants See Success in 90 Percent of Bacterial Gut Infections

Microbiome Renovation

Transplants are a vital part of healthcare, giving tens of thousands of people in the United States a new lease on life. While organ transplants are relatively commonplace, a new form of transplantation is emerging to fight a life-threatening infection — one that impacts nearly half a million Americans, and is annually responsible an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 U.S. deaths.

However, these doctors aren’t transplanting an organ; they’re taking the fecal matter of ultra-healthy people and transplanting it into patients battling a Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection, which causes severe diarrhea in sufferers.

Yellowish clusters of Clostridium difficile, the bacterial gut infection that fecal transplants have proven robust at treating.
Clostridium difficile. Image source: Wikimedia Commons/CDC

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has issued new guidelines that promote the use of fecal transplants to treat this infection. Poop transfers, if you will, may sound like a surreal way of treating any kind of illness, let alone a bacterial infection. Yet C. diff infections are most often the result of antibiotic use, which decimates the natural defenses of a healthy gut microbiome.

Fecal transplants are meant to take the microbiomes of healthy donors and allow them to flourish in the recipients, killing any C. diff infection along the way.

In the new guidelines, the ISDA notes a success rate nearing 90 percent of transplants, though long-term data on the effectiveness of the treatment is not yet available. A new registry is being developed by the American Gastroenterological Association, with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to track 4,000 patients for ten years in hopes of gathering this kind of data. Thus far, weight gain has been reported in some transplant patients. STAT reports that some are concerned depression, allergies, diabetes and asthma — all believed to be associated with the gut microbiome — could also be transferred.

Prior to the advent of fecal transplants, patients had to undergo surgery to remove infected colons if other options were exhausted. The new guidelines will empower healthcare providers to utilize fecal transplant treatments in more cases, especially in patients who have been resistant to traditional antibiotic treatments.

The post Fecal Transplants See Success in 90 Percent of Bacterial Gut Infections appeared first on Futurism.