Surprise! Spotify now says its Weeknd debut beat out Apple Music

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Spotify on Wednesday issued an update regarding streaming figures related to The Weeknd’s new album "My Dear Melancholy," saying it beat Apple Music’s debut of the same record by 3 million streams.
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Rugged silicone Apple Watch band will beat the elements in style

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Best List: Nomad Rugged Strap for Apple Watch Nomad, makers of minimalist, practical accessories for Apple Watch and iPhone, now offers a strap that is not only designed for active wearers, but it’s really good-looking as well. And, at 40 bucks, it’s a super sporty and stylish alternative to the higher-priced Nike Sport Bands by Apple. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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GDC 2018: ‘ThunderDogs’ is a Slick Multiplayer Dogfighting Game from ‘Beat Street’ Developer Lucky Kat

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Developer Lucky Kat makes some of my favorite mobile games, like Beat Street [Free], Sky Chasers [Free], and Combo Critters [Free]. So of course I was excited to see what they had to show off at GDC 2018. Especially because what I saw briefly from them during last year’s GDC was a very early prototype of what ended up becoming Beat Street. This year, Lucky Kat was showing ThunderDogs, a top-down multiplayer dogfighting game. It’s an “.io” game like Agar.io or Slither.io or really the any number of similar games that have flooded the market when that genre got popular a year or so ago. The difference here is that wonderful Lucky Kat polish, which is something a lot of these games lack. Even though this was a pretty early build, ThunderDogs should be soft-launching in the next month or two with a full launch planned for later this year. Check out our hands-on video.

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Galaxy S9 and S9+ Beat iPhone X in Drop Tests, But Still Suffer Severe Damage

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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are using 20 percent thicker glass and a stronger aluminum frame, both of which are designed to cut down on damage from drops. Samsung says the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are more durable than previous devices thanks to the new materials.

SquareTrade today conducted its traditional breakability tests on the Galaxy S9 devices to test Samsung’s claims. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ did indeed manage to beat out the iPhone X and older Galaxy devices, but they still didn’t fare well when dropped.


In every drop test, conducted from a height of six feet, the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ shattered. The two devices bent at 230 and 210 pounds, respectively, and both were cracked in a 60 second tumble test. The Galaxy S9 earned an overall breakability score of 71, while the larger Galaxy S9+ earned a score of 76.

Back in November, SquareTrade conducted the same tests on the iPhone X and deemed it the “most breakable iPhone ever” as it too shattered at the front and back when dropped from a height of six feet.


The iPhone X actually fared worse in SquareTrade’s tests and showed more extensive damage and breakage in every durability test. It earned an overall breakability score of 90, much higher than the S9 and S9+.

PhoneBuff also recently did some side-by-side drop tests to compare the Galaxy S9+ and the iPhone X. In a back drop test, the iPhone X held up while the Galaxy S9+’s glass back shattered. A side test comparing the iPhone X’s stainless steel frame to the S9+’s aluminum frame also saw the iPhone X come out on top.


A third facedown drop on the display side of each smartphone saw the Galaxy S9+ win out over the iPhone X, which cracked. Overall, PhoneBuff used a numbered rating system to compare the drop results, giving the edge to the Samsung Galaxy S9+ because it held up better to a repeated drop test.

While the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ appear to have fared slightly better than the iPhone X in drop tests, the two devices are still made of glass and still shattered. They shattered to a somewhat a lesser degree, sure, but broken is broken. All glass smartphones, regardless of manufacturer, need to be used with caution and protected with a case as necessary.

Unsurprisingly, neither the iPhone X’s “most durable” front and back glass nor the Galaxy S9’s 20 percent thicker glass with “enhanced durability” can hold up to concrete and similar hard materials when dropped.

SquareTrade and PhoneBuff may have conducted these tests using specialized equipment for consistent results, but drop tests are never scientific and are not a reliable measure of durability because there are so many variables to take into account when a device is dropped in the real world.

Samsung, like Apple, offers an extended warranty that covers accidental damage. Priced at $11.99 per month, Samsung Premium Care allows Samsung device owners to submit three accidental damage claims in a 12-month period with a $99 deductible required.

Apple’s AppleCare+ for iPhone X costs $199 up front and provides coverage for two incidents of accidental damage. Screen replacements require a $29 deductible, while all other damage is subject to a $99 fee. Sans AppleCare+, it costs $279 to repair a damaged iPhone X display and $549 for all other repairs.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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DHL US trials robots, AI, AR & crowdsourcing to beat Amazon

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Parcel delivery and logistics firm DHL said today that it is piloting a range of new connected technologies in the US, including collaborative robots, AI, and augmented reality glasses.

The move comes in the wake of retail and Web services hyper-company Amazon’s recent announcement that it is moving into deliveries in America.

“As consumer expectations are rapidly evolving due to a number of major trends, including e-commerce, urbanisation, and sustainability in particular, logistics providers are being challenged to provide more flexible and efficient services,” said DHL today.

DHL Supply Chain has introduced robotics in its warehouse operations – including LocusBots and Sawyer collaborative robots – along with augmented reality glasses. The mix of technologies is designed to improve ‘smart picking’, productivity, and order fulfilment.

LocusBots work autonomously in warehouses to find and move goods, as this video explains.

DHL Supply Chain President of Retail, Jim Gehr said: “Innovative technology is becoming an extremely important element in e-commerce logistics because of changing customer demands.

We are using software technology to speed order flow and to more efficiently organise distribution centres. Hardware solutions like LocusBots allow for faster picking. What we look for is a smart combination of software and hardware.

Last year, the Deutsche Post DHL group trialled autonomous robot deliveries in Germany using its PostBOT vehicles (pictured above), and has also been trialling ‘Parcelcopter’ drones.

Meanwhile, the company’s DHL Express division has been piloting artificial intelligence in its customer applications to further enhance its responsiveness and customer service.

The company said today that it has “registered a 10 percent increase in shipment processing accuracy through increased automation at its hubs and gateways”, while its on-demand delivery online service has increased first-time delivery success for e-commerce shipments from 80 percent to 92 percent.

Last-mile services

As part of the delivery giant’s widespread internal transformation via IoT and digital technologies, its DHL eCommerce unit has also launched ‘DHL Parcel Metro’, a new service that helps online retailers satisfy customer demands for same- or next-day delivery.

Parcel Metro uses customised software that allows DHL eCommerce to create a ‘virtual delivery network’ of local or regional contract couriers along with crowd-sourced providers. This ensures maximum flexibility and capacity over the last mile, it said today.

The new service is now available in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, and will be launched in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington DC later in the year.

Bobby Shome, Global Business Development Director at delivery management specialist Centiro, explained the thinking behind the strategy: “DHL’s launch of a same-day delivery service for US online retailers drives home just how important the last mile has become in retaining and attracting customers.

“These new delivery options from DHL will allow smaller online businesses in the US to successfully compete with larger, more established retailers, like Amazon, which recently launched its own delivery service.

“For all the progress that’s being made, however, retailers mustn’t lose sight of the fact that they risk damaging relationships with customers if the delivery service does not meet expectations. As such, it is critical for retailers to retain visibility over the delivery process, and ensure they have the technology in place to make this possible, regardless of the promises being made by carriers.”

Internet of Business says

The digital and connected transformation of retail, the supply chain, and deliveries continues apace, and is centred on customer need. As more and more people opt for the convenience of shopping with a click, any old-fashioned lags in the system rapidly become unacceptable. However, all organisations should be wary of any automated system that increases the end-customer’s workload, even as it speeds up the delivery experience.

Read more: Alexa for Business: Amazon’s voice getting louder in enterprise, it claims

Read more: Amazon Go store previews the future of retail in Seattle

Read more: DHL trials smart warehouses in three European locations

The post DHL US trials robots, AI, AR & crowdsourcing to beat Amazon appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Amazon Expected to Beat Apple to $1 Trillion Valuation This Summer

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Apple currently holds the position as the most valuable company in the world, but experts believe that Amazon could end up overtaking the firm. According to Reuters, the current prediction in Wall Street is that the e-commerce giant is closing in on the iPhone Maker. It could soon reach the $ 1 trillion valuation mark. When […]
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Amazon could beat Apple to $1 trillion market cap by one week

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Amazon could beat Apple to become the world’s first $1 trillion company, a new report suggests. While Apple’s market cap currently stands at $893 billion to Amazon’s $752 billion, the online retail giant is rapidly closing the gap. By current trajectories, it will beat Apple to the $1 trillion mark by a mere week. Apple’s […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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iPhone X and 7 Beat Samsung Galaxy S9 in ‘Awkward’ Benchmark Results

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 went head-to-head with several Apple iPhones in an early benchmark testing. And despite being Samsung’s latest and greatest technology, it still can’t beat the iPhone X in terms of performance. According to benchmark comparisons conducted by Anandtech, the Galaxy S9 with an Exynos 9810 CPU lost to the iPhone X’s A11 […]
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Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone: Did Samsung beat Apple’s best?

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Samsung’s Galaxy S8 series, with its edge-to-edge display and features like iris scanning, offered smartphone buyers a refreshing alternative to an all-too familiar iPhone experience in early 2017. Now the Galaxy S9 is here and things are a little different. The iPhone isn’t boring anymore. With an edge-to-edge display of its own, as well as […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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