Tech companies have an obligation to join the fight against poverty, says Tipping Point CEO Daniel Lurie

The homeless situation in major U.S. cities is unacceptable, he says — and it is

Tech companies bear responsibility for addressing homelessness, especially in wealthy regions such as San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, said Tipping Point Community CEO and founder Daniel Lurie.

“What we’re seeing around the homeless situation here in San Francisco is unacceptable. We have 7,000 people that are homeless every night here in this city,” said Lurie, whose nonprofit organization pledged $ 100 million last May to reduce homelessness in that city over the next five years. “We can no longer just rely on government. We actually need the leadership of the Googles and the Amazons and the Apples.”

Lurie’s comments were part of “Revolution,” an ongoing televised town hall series examining tech’s impact on the future of work. The first episode with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was taped recently in San Francisco.

But not everyone made it into the final show that was aired on Sunday with Recode partner MSNBC, so watch Lurie’s comments below:

And watch the entire episode of “Revolution” here:

Recode – All

Apple Strikes Deal with WeChat to Enable Tipping Feature

Chinese iPhone owners are now able to send money through instant messaging service WeChat as part of a new agreement between Apple and the app’s developer.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant has just signed a deal with Tencent, which owns WeChat. The companies are said to be on a “mutual understanding” after a bitter battle over App Store rules.

Last year, Apple banned the app’s financial tipping feature on the grounds that it apparently violated the terms of the App Store. However, the company has since changed its position on the situation. The tipping feature is popular among users of the app because it gives them an easy way to make payments to content creators and their peers.

The deal will also see the company improve the feature so that individuals can send money to each other through WeChat. Other firms are likely to benefit from these changes, too.

Alan Zhang, an executive at Tencent, confirmed Apple’s change of heart on Monday. He said: “In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features.

He explained that the two companies are now on good terms. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the ‘tip’ function,” added Zhang.

But Apple has become tough with third-party payment apps in recent years. It’s previously argued that they clash with a payment mechanism in the App Store.  

However, the company has since amended this policy to allow tip-based functionalities. In-app purchases work in a similar way and have been popular among iOS developers for years.

iDrop News

Apple and Tencent strike deal to let WeChat users resume tipping

Apple and Tencent have reached an agreement to allow tip-style gifts to again be sent through WeChat, a messaging application that boasts nearly 1 billion users. While the specific date for reintroduction of tipping was not given, the “feature with Chinese characteristics” has been the subject of discussions between the companies for months.

Tencent previously allowed WeChat users on iOS to send gifts to WeChat public account holders, a Chinese way of rewarding stars and video content producers directly for entertaining people. In April 2017, Apple attempted to treat the tips as in-app purchases, subject to the company’s standard 30 percent cut of the transaction amount. Tencent responded by disabling the feature, claiming that it passed the gifts directly to the recipient, and was providing the service for free.

At a WeChat developers conference in Guangzhou, WeChat creator Allen Zhang said that the platform will be tweaked to pay the tip directly to recipients without WeChat serving as an intermediary, suggesting that Apple has been removed from the tipping loop. Further details have not been disclosed; we have reached out to both companies and will update this article if we hear back.

Apple – VentureBeat

Periscope’s stream tipping is available outside the US

Periscope's livestream tipping system is no longer a US-only affair — the Twitter-owned service has expanded its Super Broadcaster program to Canada, Ireland and the UK. As before, livestreamers who've received enough Super Hearts (which viewers pa…
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Periscope expands virtual tipping via Super Hearts beyond the U.S.

 Twitter’s big push to draw in more live video stars to its Periscope streaming service is now expanding beyond the U.S. The company announced today the Periscope Super Broadcaster program, which allows video stars to earn revenue from their streams through a virtual tipping mechanism, is now available in Canada, Ireland, and the U.K. Other countries will be added to the program soon,… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Ride-hailing services in NYC must now offer a tipping option

All ride-hailing services operating in NYC must make sure they offer in-app tipping, now that the city has made it a requirement. Authorities have passed a rule proposed by the Independent Driver's Guild (and backed by the Taxi and Limousine Commissi…
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Amazon’s 2017 Prime Day could mark an Echo and Alexa tipping point

7x Echos sold this year is a big deal.

Going into this week’s Amazon Prime Day, the company’s Echo family of gadgets was already forecast to control 70 percent of the voice-controlled-speaker market for the year.

And with Amazon announcing on Wednesday that it sold 7x the number of Echos this Prime Day as last, we may end up looking back at this year’s Amazon-created shopping holiday as the moment that Echo put its competition in the rear-view for the foreseeable future.

By now, it’s a tech-industry inside joke that Amazon often gives growth numbers without providing a base number. As a result, I typically ignore them.

But with the lead Amazon has already in voice, and the great prices it was offering — $ 35 for the Echo Dot, and traditional Echos marked down 50 percent to $ 90 — I’m betting that the amount of devices sold this time around was a needle-mover.

The Echo Dot was the No. 1 seller across all of Amazon on Prime Day — Amazon’s No. 1 day ever — but the $ 90 price of the traditional Echo was also crucial because Google dropped the price of its rival product, the Google Home, to $ 99 this week.

And even if Amazon only broke even on these sales — a source says $ 90 is around the goal for production costs that Amazon had targeted with the original Echo — you could make an argument that it’s worth it in the long run, as the company layers more revenue-generating features on top of Alexa.

Now for the hard part — helping customers find good use cases for the devices, and getting them to come back again to use the voice apps they initially try. Amazon has started to quietly rolling out free, in-home Alexa consultations that are designed to help with this.

Recode – All

Stephen Hawking: We Are Close to the Tipping Point Where Global Warming Becomes Irreversible

A Dire Warning

Famous physicist Stephen Hawking issued a warning to humanity in response to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. Speaking to BBC News prior to a cosmology conference being held at the University of Cambridge this week in honor of his 75th birthday, Hawking said that Trump’s decision could cause irrevocable harm to the planet.

“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” the celebrated scientist told Pallab Ghosh from the BBC. The consequences, he explained, would be truly dire for the planet. “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.”

Of course, this might seem like an exaggeration on the part of Hawking, and becoming a Venus 2.0 may well be an extreme. Nevertheless, the effects of global warming and climate change are real and shouldn’t be ignored. “By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children,” Hawking added.

Facing the Problem

While the U.S. has indeed exited the Paris accord, several states have chosen to act independently to uphold the historic agreement’s commitment to fighting climate change. Three states have already formed an alliance, while Hawaii put a law into effect that formalizes its efforts to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. A number of industry leaders and innovators have pledged to uphold the mission of the accord, even in the absence of support from the federal government.

As governments the world over debate on the politics of climate change and global warming, the planet continues to endure its effects. The polar caps are still melting, even in spite of periodic freezing and refreezing. Simply put, there’s just less and less ice left with each year that passes. Several areas are also in danger of sinking, like the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana. Elsewhere in the U.S., a new study said that climate change will hit Florida, Arizona, Texas, and the states of the Deep South particularly hard, with not just longterm environmental, but economic, ramifications.

Hawking previously predicted that humanity’s days on Earth are numbered — down by about a hundred years, to be exact. At that time, Hawking posited, we’d have no choice but to flee to another planet. It’s a point he reiterated in the BBC exclusive. “I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome,” Hawking said. “There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarized technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous. The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space.”

Whether or not we leave Earth for good eventually, the ongoing climate problem is one we have to deal with for as long as we remain here. As Hawking noted, “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent if we act now.”

The post Stephen Hawking: We Are Close to the Tipping Point Where Global Warming Becomes Irreversible appeared first on Futurism.


Uber finally adds tipping, but only in select cities to start

Uber is in damage control mode following a string of negative stories in the press. It’s gotten so bad that CEO Travis Kalanick has stepped down. So now, Uber is launching a program to appease its drivers called “180 Days of Change.” The first change is tipping, which somehow Uber hadn’t added in its eight years of existence.

Riders will now be offered the option to tip their driver when rating a ride.

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Uber finally adds tipping, but only in select cities to start was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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