Las Vegas among US cities given grant by Smart Cities Council

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The names of the 2018 Readiness Challenge Grants winners are finally declared by the Smart Cities Council – Birmingham, Alabama; Cary, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky; and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The victorious cities will get 365-day expert, vendor-neutral mentoring as well as free customised products and services from organisations including Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES. In addition, on-site Readiness Workshop will be carried out as part of the council’s initiative to receive information from each workshop and work towards the development of a shareable Readiness Roadmap which offers guidance for the community’s smart city programme implementation.

Using the Smart Cities Council’s Readiness Roadmap, Birmingham will provide a collaborative framework for many ongoing smart city projects including Open Data portal, smart street lighting and community Wi-Fi.  On the other hand, Cary will utilise the Readiness Roadmap to take forward several of its smart city projects including "One Cary” – a move to have a 360-degree view of the entire city via the creation of a single core platform.

With the help of the training and assistance received from the Council, Las Vegas will work towards its goal of becoming a fully connected smart city by 2025. Louisville/Jefferson County and the Council will work together to utilise smart technologies to overcome challenges related to transportation, telecommunications and public safety. With its Readiness Roadmap, the Council will support Virginia in creating the foundation for various initiatives including the establishment of a cybersecurity and privacy plan as well as the creation of sustainable funding for smart city projects.

Elsewhere, the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port by cargo tonnage, is getting ready for a digital transformation with IBM’s cloud-based IoT technologies. The preparation starts with the development of a centralised dashboard application which collects and processes real-time information related to water, weather and communications. Latest from the homepage

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Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Pac-Man’, ‘Zen Pinball’, ‘Final Fantasy Record Keeper’, ‘Gangstar Vegas’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. It’s a bit of a short list this week as far as interesting updates go, which might be fortunate since I’m sick as a dog at the moment. While I’m a little loopy from my cold medicine, I think I found some interesting game updates to look at. Either that or I found a bunch of pictures of alpacas. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

Sky Gamblers – Infinite Jets, $ 4.99 Alas, poor Sky Gamblers! I knew it, friends; a game of Infinite Jets, of graphics quite fancy. References to ill-fated Danish princes having been done and excised from my system, I can now move on to this rather nice update. It includes 12 new airplanes, 8 new weapons, a new San Francisco mission for the campaign, and some improvements to the multiplayer system based on feedback from players. Oh, and bug fixes. The rest is silence.

FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper, Free Record Keeper has done quite a few cross-overs in its time. One might argue that the game’s very premise is built on game cross-overs. At first, it largely kept within the main Final Fantasy series, which then bled out to side games before giving away to games that barely had any connection at all. Thus, it was really just a matter of time before the game dove right into a cross-over with Square’s other huge worldwide franchise, Kingdom Hearts. Recruit Sora and Riku, battle Ansem and company, get Kingdom Hearts costumes for characters like Cloud and Tyro, and scope out the brand new backgrounds inspired by the Kingdom Hearts games. Everything is Sora, and now so is this game.

Candy Crush Soda Saga, Free Yes, this game is still plugging away with new levels. The update notes rarely say anything specific, and that’s again the case here. So basically, you can look forward to 15 more levels of matching candies and filling the play field with soda. Are there any new gimmicks? Maybe! But maybe not. The only way to find out would be to play through hundreds of levels, and while I would do anything for these articles, I won’t do that. No I won’t… do… that.

Gangstar Vegas, Free Gangstar Vegas sure is a Gangstar game set in Vegas, alright. That means sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose bigger. That’s Vegas, baby. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In update terms, that means new cars, new costumes and character customization options, new weapons, and some refinements to the UI. This new version also improves compatibility with newer devices and features. Does anyone have any more Vegas cliches I can trot out? I’m having trouble stretching this paragraph out.

Faily Brakes, Free Apparently, Faily Brakes is two years old now. Was the Flappy Bird craze really that long ago? Probably longer, I guess. I’m not going to look. Anyway, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the game has gotten a pretty nifty update. The hero, whose name is Phil, heads back to the 1980s because we’re not done with that decade yet. What you get is a new level with some secret cars hidden in it, an improved store, and a new Retro Future theme. Don’t worry, though, you can still play on the Classic themes if you want. The brakes may have failed, but the game has done anything but.

Zen Pinball, Free The dinosaurs have arrived in Zen Pinball with its latest update. Three new tables based on the Jurassic Park franchise have been added to the game via IAPs. The first table is based on Jurassic Park and tries to incorporate famous scenes from the film. Next, a table based on Jurassic World, the hit movie that revived the franchise. Finally, an original table called Jurassic Park Pinball Mayhem that is free to just go wild with whatever dinosaur-related shenanigans the good folks at Zen could come up with. I love dinosaurs and I love pinball, so this is an easy choice for this week’s coveted UMMSotW award.

PAC-MAN, Free Pac-Man and Sonic. At one point this might have seemed a monumental meeting, but both of these guys have seen better days. I even saw them slugging it out with each other a few years ago while Mega Man and Diddy Kong just stood there shaking their heads. The hatchet seems buried, however, as SEGA’s speedy mascot is now guest-starring in Pac-Man. Sonic-themed tournaments, a limited time Sonic maze, and more fun stuff await. If you like Sonic, I’d recommend checking it out just for the novelty factor.

Sonic Dash, Free That cross-over isn’t just in one direction, however. Gaming’s original icon has seen fit to visit Sonic’s world, and he has chosen the bafflingly successful original Sonic Dash as his host. Anyway, the usual rules apply here for guest characters. There’s a special reskinned boss, a playable character that is available for a short time, and gobs of stuff to collect if you want to keep that guest character around. It’s interesting that in spite of this game having two newer sequels, it’s this one that keeps getting the interesting new content added to it.

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!


Lyft and Aptiv extend their self-driving taxi pilot in Las Vegas

The self-driving taxis that were operated by Lyft and Aptiv in Las Vegas during CES are getting their tour of duty extended, according to Fortune. At the Detroit Auto Show, Aptiv CEO Glen De Vos said the fleet of semi-autonomous BMWs would continue picking up and dropping off passengers in and around the city, despite the fact that the annual electronics show ended on January 12th.

Perhaps more interestingly, the two companies are in talks to bring their self-driving cars to another market sometime in the future. Lyft is working with NuTonomy, a subsidiary of Aptiv, on a self-driving pilot in Boston.

During CES, Lyft and Aptiv’s robot taxis provided more than 400 rides to the 20 or so pre-programmed…

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The Las Vegas strip’s first eSports arena opens in March

Last year, Allied Esports and Esports Arena announced plans to convert a Luxor Hotel and Casino nightclub into the Las Vegas strip's first dedicated eSports arena. That arena is almost complete and is scheduled to open on March 22nd. To celebrate the…
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Cruising the Las Vegas Strip in the Smart Vision EQ concept car

Introduced at the Frankfurt auto show in September, the Smart Vision EQ from Mercedes-Benz is the automaker's EV concept that combines mobility, autonomy and connectivity. The result is a car built on the Smart Fortwo platform, can wink at pedestrian…
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Recode Daily: The day the lights went out in Vegas

Plus, Domino’s Pizza’s stock price grew even faster than Netflix’s, going cold-turkey on ride-hailing apps, and the rural Amish town that makes high-tech stages for superstars.

The power went out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday, leaving the cavernous main showrooms and hallways in the dark for nearly two hours and disrupting planned demos and meetings. Some of the thousands of technorati gathered for the most plugged-in trade show were reduced to using light from phones and windows. Next year’s big thing — batteries and generators. [Dami Lee / The Verge]

YouTube has punished video star Logan Paul, who recently published a clip that appeared to show the body of a man who had comitted suicide. Paul will be removed from YouTube’s “preferred” program for advertisers, and YouTube won’t pay him to make videos for its YouTube Red subscription service. [Julia Alexander / Polygon]

Journalist Moira Donegan says she created the “Shxxxy Media Men” list, a which allowed women to anonymously accuse men of sexual misconduct. Donegan unmasked herself in advance of a controversial Harper’s article about the list: “I don’t know what kind of future awaits me now that I’ve stopped hiding.” [The Cut]

Netflix and Amazon have joined Disney, Warner Bros. and other major movie studies are suing Dragon Box, alleging that its $ 350 streaming box facilitates piracy by making it easy to access illegal streams of movies and TV shows. The studios filed a similar complaint in October against TickBox, another device that enables users to watch streaming content for free. [Gene Madeus / Variety]

Domino’s Pizza’s stock price grew faster than Amazon’s, Apple’s or Google’s under its departing CEO. When Patrick Doyle took over as CEO in 2010, the massive pizza chain was basically in shambles. Eight years later, he’s stepping down, after presiding over one of the most impressive turnaround stories in modern business history. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

Health care just became the largest employer in the U.S., surpassing manufacturing and retail for the first time in history. The two fastest-growing occupations — personal-care aides and home-health aides — are projected to account for one in every 10 new jobs in the next decade, and the entire health-care sector is projected to account for a third of all new employment. [Derek Thompson / The Atlantic]

Here’s why a New York Times tech reporter weaned himself from ride-hailing apps.[Mike Isaac / The New York Times]

Recode Presents …

If you care about media, you care about Google and Facebook. So we’re talking to some of their top execs at next month’s Code Media conference. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Facebook’s Adam Mosseri and Campbell Brown join a list of impressive speakers who will be onstage with us at the Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach, California, Feb. 12 and 13. We’re not done adding names to that list — we’ve got a bunch of great ones we still haven’t told you about — but there’s no need to wait. Sign up here and we’ll see you there.

Top stories from Recode

Facebook is testing a new section of its app specifically for local news and events.

The social network is vetting local publishers that appear in this section.

A top U.S. lawmaker isn’t too happy that Apple is slowing down old iPhones.

Senator John Thune is pressing Apple to explain its “feature to throttle” to concerned politicians.

Expect to talk to your devices a lot more in the future.

If what we’ve seen in the first couple of days of CES is any indicator of what is in store for 2018, we can expect to be talking a lot.

Digital media companies are headed for a crash, Hearst Magazines president David Carey says.

On the latest Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Carey says advertising-independent web publishers remind him of Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story” — but not in a good way.

This is cool

Inside the rural Amish town that builds high-tech stages for U2, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift’s live shows.

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2018 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show stymied by blackout, heavy rain and flooding

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One day after the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show saw some exhibits close because of rain, a blackout has plagued the expo center and has run for an hour, and counting.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

ePlay to Demo AR Sports Fantasy Game at CES in Las Vegas

ePlay Digital Inc. announced Tuesday that they are demonstrating the latest version of its Augmented Reality (AR) Sports Fantasy Game at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

From the official release:

Basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer modules will be released alongside ePlay’s partners throughout the year. The game, sometimes called “Pokémon Go meets DraftKings” allows users to meet and draft 3D animated athletes in AR.

“Working with our partners and athletes directly, the mobile game is designed to increase engagement between athlete and fan,” says Trevor Doerksen, CEO of ePlay Digital. “Athletes and players can control their appearance in the game with selfies and via social media. All players and eSports viewing audiences walk between two worlds: the on-court, on-ice, on-field performance augmented by customizable 3D avatars, front and rear-facing mobile cameras, player narration, selfies, and actual game play.”

A range of critical elements for the game, including logos, player images, as well as the sports data that will underpin the fantasy statistics and scores will be supplied by sports data technology leaders Sportradar. Those statistics and scores, delivered off the back of Sportradar’s own partnerships and processes, will enable users to draft athletes and begin earning points and prizes.

“At Sportradar, we are committed to delivering cutting-edge data and products that push insight and engagement to new levels,” says Dave Abbott, SVP Innovation and Product Integration at Sportradar. “Where fantasy and Augmented Reality meets is a fascinating space and it is exciting to see our data chosen by ePlay to ensure their upcoming game titles are reliable as well as innovative and fun”.

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CAKE by Accelerize Named Sponsor at Affiliate Summit West Las Vegas Event

Kicking off the new year with a bang, Accelerize and its digital marketing software division CAKE announced Tuesday the company’s participation as both a sponsor and exhibitor at Affiliate Summit West, held January 7-9, 2018 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

Billed as the performance marketing industry’s premier global gathering, the event attracts more than 6,000 attendees, exhibitors and thought leaders from over 70 countries. ­

If you’re not familiar, Affiliate Summit West brings together a wide range of stakeholders – including global brands, agencies, online publishers, networks, media companies, technology providers and more – to network and learn more about the trends and innovations currently shaping the performance marketing industry.

The event features three main trade show areas that will include 300+ exhibitors and sponsors, as well as engaging presentations and panels from over 100 speakers, covering the top challenges and opportunities for performance marketers, as well as the latest industry developments.

“Performance marketing is demonstrating its value for today’s brands with tangible ROAS,” said Santi Pierini, CAKE President and Chief Operating Officer of Accelerize. “As marketers scale their affiliate programs, they need proven solutions that will enable them to manage, measure and optimize campaigns across multiple channels and partners. This is what we are delivering with Journey by CAKE, and we look forward to sharing our vision for Marketing Intelligence with attendees at Affiliate Summit West.”

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