Fortnite v3.3 Update Released, Adds Remote Explosives, Supply Llamas, More

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Epic Games has now released Fortnite 3.3 patch notes for latest v3.3 update of the popular game on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, which covers both the Battle Royale and Save the World game modes. Here are the details.

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AirPower wireless charging mat for Apple Watch and iPhone arriving in March, claims supply chain

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Another publication has latched onto rumors that Apple will be launching its AirPower wireless charging mat in the next few weeks, with a report from DigiTimes about Taiwanese component shipment increases claiming the Apple-designed power accessory will arrive by the end of March.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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In an audit of supply chain partners, Apple found increased labor violations in 2017

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Enlarge / An iPhone assembly worker works with Apple supplier Pegatron in an image distributed by Apple. (credit: Apple)

Each year, Apple releases a report called the Supplier Responsibility Progress Report detailing its audits of the labor practices of its suppliers around the world. Apple reports violations it finds at various categories of severity and gives its suppliers ratings based on how they treat their workers.

The 12th annual report was released this week, and in it, Apple says it found more violations than it did last year, at least in part because of new suppliers and partners added to supply chain.

Out of 757 suppliers included in the audit across 30 countries, 197 were being audited for the first time. Apple found twice as many “core violations” in 2017 as it did in the previous year. Core violations are those that Apple “considers the most serious breaches of compliance” and for which it claims to have “zero tolerance.”

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Apple axed 10 smelters and refiners from supply chain in 2017, maintains 100 percent participation in conflict mineral audit

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Apple issued its annual Conflict Minerals Report for the 2017 calendar year to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, noting the removal of 10 smelters and refiners that failed to participate with third-party audits in a timely manner, while another 6 were axed by partner suppliers.
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Supply chain makes claim that Apple is already planning to ditch the iPhone X notch in fall 2019 releases

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A questionable report from South Korean sources suggests that Apple is preparing a new display without a notch — for phones 18 months down the road.
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Finisar tour shows 700,000-square foot facility closer to producing TrueDepth VCSELs for Apple’s supply chain

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Apple supplier Finisar intends to make its new 700,000 square foot facility in Sherman, Texas the ‘VCSEL capital of the world,’ the firm’s vice president and general manager revealed, as part of tour of its under-construction production lines that will eventually supply the laser-based components used in the iPhone X as well as other industries.
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JDA Software partners with MIT to develop predictive supply chains

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Supply chain specialist JDA Software has announced a joint research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create innovative new supply chain capabilities.

The multi-year agreement is designed to explore intelligent edge technologies, such as machine learning, AI, the IoT, and advanced analytics, to help organisations predict supply chain demand. The result will be a “unique, prescriptive supply chain”, according to a joint announcement from the companies.

JDA’s product development and Lab teams will work closely with MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), led by supply chain specialist Dr David Simchi-Levi, MIT professor of engineering systems.

“I’m very pleased JDA has entered in to a multi-year research collaboration with IDSS to develop sophisticated machine learning algorithms that may accelerate research in this area, as well as JDA’s digital solutions,” said Dr Simchi-Levi.

“The collaboration will make use of multiple data sources and emphasise the combination of machine learning, optimisation, and consumer behaviour modelling.”

Predicting behaviours

Under the agreement, new use cases will explore algorithms for both predictive behaviour and “prescriptive cognitive optimisation”. These will go further than current supply chain processes by not only taking into account past behaviours, but also by determining future behaviours based on a variety of demand signals.  

“It is more critical than ever to infuse innovation into every aspect of the supply chain, as edge technologies such as the IoT and AI are essential for their digital transformation,” said Desikan Madhavanur, JDA’s executive VP and chief development officer. 

“This collaboration allows us to tap into the extraordinary mindshare at MIT to accelerate research into more intelligent and cognitive capabilities moving forward. We are excited to be working on the future of supply chains with MIT, and to double-down on researching enhanced, innovative, and value-driven supply chain solutions.” 

No more monoliths

In an interview with Internet of Business, JDA CEO Girish Rishi said: “One monolithic supply chain is not going to work anymore. Monolithic supply chains are dead.

“So you have to adapt to your market, to your customer segmentation. And the monolithic way of approaching it belongs to yesterday. It slows down the velocity of how you can respond.”

Rishi added that JDA has increased its R&D expenditure by 20 percent, and that 40 percent of its research expenditure overall is now targeted at AI, machine learning, and the IoT.

• JDA Software also announced today that it plans to open a new London office within the next two months, and will be employing 100 new data science professionals in the US, and 100 more worldwide.

Internet of Business says

For many organisations, a whole range of business processes have long been a drag on innovation: warehousing, supply chain management, and distribution among them. For too long these have been reactive, monolithic, slow, and static. The promise of the IoT is to make these processes smarter, more agile, more responsive, and – as this agreement suggests – more predictive. That can only be a good thing, both for business efficiency and the environment.

Read more: Interview with JDA CEO Girish Rishi

Read more: Five predictions on the future of smart warehousing 

Read more: PAL value chains: how IoT transforms manufacturing and supply

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“Monolithic supply chains are dead”: Exclusive interview with JDA CEO, Girish Rishi

Monolithic supply chains are dead, says JDA CEO Girish Rishi. Companies must now be bold enough to reinvent themselves and focus on redefining customer segmentation. Chris Middleton reports.

Supply chain software giant JDA recently announced record Q4 results on the back of a strategic shift toward AI, machine learning, and a more consultative, services-based approach. Internet of Business caught up with CEO Girish Rishi in London for a one-to-one chat about supply chain strategy, just over a year into his leadership of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company.

Internet of Business: You’ve shifted JDA’s focus towards AI and machine learning, just as IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and have done within their businesses. How are these technologies and the IoT impacting on customers’ supply chains?

JDA CEO, Girish Rishi.

Girish Rishi: “I’ll give you some examples. Weather patterns in the world are dramatic – global warming, hurricanes – and you cannot anticipate them. But what you can do is, as weather data happens – or as social networking data happens with teenagers, let’s say in the fashion sector – you can pick that data up and pivot your supply chain. You can direct mobile containers or fleets, or goods or types of goods, to certain locations to adapt to real-time events.

“Returns processing is another area that customers are working with us on. There are customers who tell us that 40-50 percent of what they sell online is returned. And 20 percent of what they sell in the last three months of the year before Christmas is returned.

“But how can you anticipate what will be returned? And when things get returned, what do you do with them? Currently, they just lie in the back room; it’s lost money and inventory. But now there is tangible and proactive planning that you can achieve with AI and machine learning. These are some of the new use cases that we’re working on with customers.”

A story we’ve covered a lot on Internet of Business is organisations that are using sensors to track the movement of goods all the way from production to retail. How far away are we from widespread adoption of this type of technology, of being able to track everything in the inventory and the supply chain? And what are the obstacles to making that happen?

“I believe those will become mainstream in the next 24 months. I come from some of those technologies – RFID, IoT – and there’s been an abundance of deployments. But the challenge is, it’s isolated in local sites and the decision systems about what you can do with that data have yet to created.

“There’s an announcement we put out with a customer, Academy Sports – and we’re deploying now in about 20 stores with them – where perpetual inventory data is driving sales in the store. Let’s say I’m looking for trousers size 34/30 and I can’t find any. I can go to the store clerk and he can look up real-time inventory and say, ‘It’s not where it’s supposed to be, but we have it in stock’.

“So the opportunity is how can you, in real time through RFID, IoT, and data on pallets, serve your customer’s interests? And if you don’t have that in an online marketplace or a physical store, how can you fulfil that need?”

Read more: MWC 2018: Smart wine, tools and cities from Deutsche Telekom IoT

We’ve been writing about how a number of retailers – Mango and Nieman Marcus among them – have been using digital fitting rooms to upsell products, while linking in with inventory and supply chain management. Customers enjoy these innovations, but if you’re a more traditional or conservative business, or not as advanced as those companies, what advice would you give to strategists? How can companies like JDA help organisations to think about the future?

“You have to go out and understand who your customer really is, with much greater deliberation. And if the answer is broad, mass-based, and not specific, then you need to work on defining your customer segmentation more clearly. Also, what format is your master data in, and how actionable is it? We run into a lot of customers whose datasets are not actionable.

“You have to look at what are the most impactful use cases. I gave you the example of returns, but there may also be seasonality. How do you make sure that the seasonal trending that you’re seeing is incorporated into your designs and into your inventory? These are areas where we can work with customers. How is your planning and your fulfilment aligned?

“But in most companies, planning is one function, and warehouse and transportation management are another. The promise of JDA is we offer intelligent fulfilment, where we take your forecasting data and we thread it into your fulfilment so it’s aligned. It’s a very consultative model.”

Read more: Retail IoT: Why Vodafone’s digital fitting rooms are a good fit for Mango

Transformation expert Sean Culey believes that the monolithic manufacturing and distribution process is breaking down. Why manufacture a million trainers in China and spend weeks shipping them worldwide when you can make one pair to order locally and deliver them the next day? To what extent do you think that future will happen on a wider scale, beyond the niche examples of Adidas’ Speedfactories? How can companies be bold enough to reinvent their businesses, refocusing on customer need rather than on lowest labour cost?

“I agree with Sean. One monolithic supply chain is not going to work anymore. Monolithic supply chains are dead.

“We have real world examples of this. Take Michelin. For years, they had one supply chain that fed into all their customer sectors. But now they have four different supply chains for four different types of customers. They realised that they were treating their high-value, high-margin customers the same as they were treating everyone else. So now they have a supply chain that treats high-value customers differently – and their winter customers, for example.

“I’ll give you another example, Bridgestone, another tyre company. They have 300 fulfilment spots in Japan, but just two in Germany. So what’s the reason for that? The answer is that real estate in Japan, in Tokyo, is very different. It’s very small. They have small warehouses and small service centres. And the Japanese user doesn’t schedule tyre changes, they just drive in. So they need rapid-response type fulfilment centres, unlike Germany, or the US, or the UK.

“So you have to adapt to your market, to your customer segmentation. And the monolithic way of approaching it belongs to yesterday. It slows down the velocity of how you can respond.”

Read more: PAL value chains: how IoT transforms manufacturing and supply

So will other countries move closer to the Japanese model of local fulfilment and rapid response?

“No, because they have totally different profile in terms of how customers buy tyres. One monolithic approach across the world doesn’t work. In Germany, they have two stock centres because there is a lot of warehouse space and they can afford to carry more inventory, but you can’t do that in Japan.

“So it all comes down to your understanding of your customer and the culture that you operate in. What’s the most adaptive supply chain that you can construct? And you have to be nimble about it. You need to redesign your factories and warehouses and your supply chains in order to adapt.”

Read more: Five predictions on the future of smart warehousing

We’ve been hearing a lot about the impact of robotics in manufacturing. To what extent has their impact been overstated? And how does this technology map into the supply chain?

“It’s different answers for different industries. In high tech and semiconductors, you are seeing ‘lights out’ factories with no human beings. But with robotics in the warehouse, we’re very early in the cycle. There’s a lot of experimentation with robots and drones in the warehouse, but it’s early. But over the next two years, we’ll see gradual adoption.

“Also in many markets, labour is cheaper than technology, than robots, so there are other dynamics that play into it. So I think once again you’ll see countries and industries respond very differently. There is very high-skilled, expensive labour, and on the other hand – with repeatable processes like in semiconductor manufacture – you will see great automation and robotics. And beyond robotics, there are other technologies – IoT technologies, sensors, pallet tracking, mobility.”

Read more: MIT’s NanoMap helps drones to navigate safely at high speed

You say that in some countries, labour is cheaper than robotics. But China is automating faster than any other nation in the world in order to keep its own costs down as its cities and middle classes expand. Meanwhile South Korea is the most automated nation on Earth, in terms of its robot density [the number of robots per 10,000 human employees]. Is the West losing the battle with Asia in terms of making our industries smarter, faster, and more efficient? Are we falling behind countries that are already cheaper in labour terms?

“Where China is investing is an important development for other countries to watch and learn from and invest in. Retraining workers: it will clearly have a social and political impact. We should not be fooled by that; it will have that impact. I think what you will see is labour doing different types of jobs, labour being more flexible.

“We are working with one of the major outlets worldwide where we are putting their workforce on automated tools so that they can be deployed in different locations, and they’re doing different types of work. So you will see an evolution of what a worker does. It’s a complex question, as it goes beyond technology.”

Read more: South Korea most automated nation on earth, says report. The UK? Going nowhere

A lot of the press coverage about robotics has been negative and sensationalist, talking about job losses, rather than job creation. How unhelpful is this constant narrative?

“People should be aware that the type of job will change. The last 20 years of history in technology have automated lots of processes – tickets, boarding passes on your cellphone, and so on – and yet GDP is much greater and unemployment rates are lower. So what we have to be conscious about is that societies aren’t static, and they’re dynamic in terms of skill sets and learning and envisioning what these new jobs will be.

“So anytime you’re not dynamic and you’re static about the type of jobs, you’re going to be in trouble. I’m very optimistic that over the next 20 years that with AI, machine learning, and the IoT, the compensation of the workforce, and jobs, are going to grow, but the type of jobs will change.”

Internet of Business says

JDA has set up a Labs division to work with customers on co-innovation projects. This points to a future of companies not only learning from vendors at the cutting edge, but also of tech companies learning from their customers about how to run their industry verticals. These types of partnerships are the way ahead as we move into the connected age.

But as Rishi says, the old, ‘one size fits all’, monolithic approach to business is starting to lose ground. The future is smaller, smarter, more local, and more autonomous. In this fast-emerging world, the companies that are the first to break apart their monolithic processes – an artefact of a focus on cheap labour, rather than on smart labour – will win.

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Internet of Business

Tesla will supply free charging stations to office parking lots

Tesla is expanding its charging infrastructure into a new area: office parking lots. A new “workplace charging” program unveiled today offers businesses free Tesla wall connectors and will also cover installation, provided they meet certain qualifications set forth by the California carmaker. Tesla won’t cover the cost of operating the charging stations, and the company says there could be other permitting, construction, zoning, or labor costs.

The workplace charging stations will be compatible with all Tesla cars, but not with other EVs, and they won’t show up on publicly available Tesla charging maps. The wall chargers are 240 volts, or “Level 2,” which is capable of topping off a battery pack in a handful of hours, though the company…

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New Nanobots Kill Cancerous Tumors by Cutting off Their Blood Supply

Tiny Bots, Big Potential

In a major breakthrough for the field of nanomedicine, researchers have developed tiny autonomous robots that can shrink cancer tumors by cutting off their blood supply.

Using a technique known as DNA origami, scientists from Arizona State University (ASU) and China’s National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) programmed tiny robots to carry payloads of a blood-clotting enzyme called thrombin to tumor-associated blood vessels in mice. Once the nanobots reached the surface of those blood vessels, they sent the thrombin to the heart of the tumor.

According to the team’s study, which was published in Nature Biotechnology, the nanobots blocked the tumor’s blood supply and caused damage to its tissue within 24 hours of treatment. Two days post-treatment, the researchers saw evidence of advanced thrombosis, and after three days, they noted thrombi in all tumor vessels.

A Targeted Approach

Unlike chemotherapy, which takes something of a scorched-earth approach to fighting cancer, these nanobots are far more targeted in their attack thanks to something called a DNA aptamer.

This special payload on each bot’s surface directs it toward a protein called nucleolin, which is only generated in large amounts on the surface of tumor endothelial cells. Because it isn’t found on the surface of healthy cells, the nanobots pass right by them.

This is an extremely important aspect of this experiment because thrombin could be dangerous if delivered elsewhere in the body. For example, it could cause a patient to have a stroke if released in their brain.

So far, the researchers have only tested their nanobots in mice and Bama miniature pigs, but in both cases, the bots proved to be safe and effective at shrinking tumors. Now, the researchers are looking for clinical partners to help them take their technology to the next level.

Eventually, these nanobots could be used to target a variety of cancers, all without causing damage to a patient’s healthy cells.

The post New Nanobots Kill Cancerous Tumors by Cutting off Their Blood Supply appeared first on Futurism.