Friday, May 13, 2016

TechTalk May 10, 2016

Jatin Mava join me from and we talk about the technology that matters.

The Podcast Link.

Meditation APP

Hi James,
Meditation is a life changing skill for adults but there is growing research showing how valuable it can be for children. It improves focus, reduces anxiety, improves sleep and enhances general wellbeing.  
Many people in the Calm Community have children and so we’re excited to launch Calm Kids, a growing collection of meditations and sleep stories designed with under 12 year olds in mind:

We’ve also heard from many teachers around the world who have been using Calm in their classrooms at the start of each of day.  We’d love to hear from you if you have similar stories to share or if we can help introduce Calm to your school or local community:
Have a wonderful day!
- The Calm team

PS. Look out for our next program - 7 Days of Managing Stress - which we’ll be launching later this month

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  • Supplied With: EN-EL18a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-26a Battery Charger, USB Cable Clip, HDMI Cable Clip, UC-E22 USB Cable, AN-DC15 Strap, DK-27 Eyepiece Adapter, DK-17F Fluorine-Coated Finder Eyepiece, BF-1B Body Cap, BS-3 Accessory Shoe Cover, BL-6 Battery Chamber Cover, Warranty, Network Guide

The autonomous car race!

Apple might be eyeing up an 800,000 square foot land plot that will serve as an R&D base for Project Titan, the company’s autonomous car project.
Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman said in a quarterly earnings call on Thursday that auto and tech companies are looking for space in Silicon Valley to test autonomous cars, according to WSJ.
“We’re seeing the Toyotas of the world, the Teslas of the world, BMWs, Mercedes. Ford now is out in the marketplace looking for space,” Coleman said. “I haven’t even mentioned the 400,000 square feet that Google’s looking to take down and the 800,000 square feet that Apple’s looking to take down for their autonomous cars as well.”
The increase in investment comes as more automotive companies start to embrace some form of automation. Tesla has already added automatic lane switching and Ford plans to install auto-parking in all cars after 2018.
More R&D and testing might lead to faster approval from the government on autonomous vehicles. It also gives developers like Google and Apple a way to test their car systems in a controlled environment.

QR codes lead to smart packaging and better targeted ads

Siri inventors make a better tool!
The creators of Apple Siri say they have made something better. They're calling it Viv. Siri provides a voice virtual assistant for Apple iOS devices. Viv aims to further personalize the assistance through artificial intelligence.
The inventors -- Dag Kittlaus, and Adam Cheyer, two former Apple employees -- and Siri co-founders plan to release the AI next week.
Powered by artificial intelligence, Viv can reportedly process and answer more advanced queries than Siri, with multilayered questions such as "What's the weather near Disneyland."
It can reportedly process an unprecedented volumes of data, to become the portal through which billions of people connect to services and businesses on the Internet -- if the AI becomes the tool integrated into other tools.
In this world, users will have the ability to "order a taxi, make a restaurant reservation and buy movie tickets in one long unbroken conversation," according to The Washington Post.
Viv is one example of a slew of emerging technology that will take search into a variety of software and inanimate objects, removing the need for a keyboard, and in some instances, the need for an application.

Surprisingly long form stories get a boost from mobile devices we are reading more!
McDonalds turns placemats into recording studios in dutch restaurants
Gone are the days when a maze or dot-to-dot on your tray-liner placemat was enough to get you excited in a fast food joint. In the Netherlands, McDonald's has gone all high tech with its placemats -- it's using them to help customers record music.
The chain has adapted mats in some of its Dutch restaurants with conductive ink, a small battery and a thin circuit board with 26 digital touchpoints. Customers place their smartphone on the mat and download the accompanying McTrax app to create music, choosing from in-house produced audio loops, synths and musical effects. They can also record their own vocals over the top.
The campaign was created by TBWA/Neboko with This Page Amsterdam working on the app and tech development.
Radha Pleijsant, creative technologist and Jan Jesse Bakker, digital design lead at TBWA/Neboko said in a statement: "The paper of the placemat is what makes this technique so innovative. The phone merely acts as the speaker and screen, which is easily connected to the placemat via Bluetooth, making the sure you can hear the music on your speakers."

Google Analytics need a fix?
In the advertising world, Google is the default for almost everything: search, display, video, ad serving, analytics. The products we know as DoubleClick, YouTube, Google Search and Google Analytics are ubiquitous for a reason -- they're damn good. But over time, damn good can turn into average and eventually degrade into bad. For publishers and marketers relying on Google Analytics "time on page" metric, we've moved past bad toward just plain wrong.
Why does this matter? How could a single flawed metric be cause for alarm? There are two reasons why this is significant to every marketer and publisher right now.
First of all, it's due to the absolute dominance of Google Analytics on the internet. According to BuiltWith, over 70% of .com sites in the U.S. currently use Google Analytics. Google's closest competitor is Facebook Domain Insights at a paltry 3% market share.
Second, as marketing continues its shift from banner ads to content marketing, the metrics we use to quantify success are also shifting, from clicks to attention-based metrics. We trust that our content is performing well because Google is telling us that people are spending time with it.
As co-founder of Pressboard, a content marketplace, this topic hits close to home. Every day we report to brand managers and agencies on how well their sponsored stories are performing across a wide range of online publications. Our reporting data was initially built on top of the Google Analytics API, until we started to see some disturbing inconsistencies. A story about financial planning would be showing 17 minutes as time spent on page, while a very similar story, on a very similar site, would barely crack the 1-minute mark. To better understand these anomalies, we dug through millions of rows of data across hundreds of stories. We soon found out that everything we thought we knew about "time on page" was a myth.
Here's how it really works. Google Analytics is installed on this site, so when you landed on this article, Google marked down the time; let's call that time A. When you're finished reading this article you may head over to another Ad Age article. Google will mark down that time as well; let's call that time B. By subtracting time B from time A, Google knows how long you were on this page. This timestamping method is clearly outlined in itssupport pages. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Fortunately, there are a handful of companies trying to solve this problem. The secret is being able to continuously monitor the reader's attention signals -- mouse movements, touches, scrolling behavior, tab activity. The more you know about the reader between time B and time A, the better positioned you are to know if they are still active -- or if you've lost them for good.
Chartbeat has been a forerunner in providing editorial analytics for media publishers. Sites such as Gawker, Forbes and Time count on Chartbeat analytics to tell them which of their stories are most popular among their readers. Medium has long focused on total time reading as its metric that matters. My company rebuilt its entire analytics engine and weaned ourselves off of the Google API in order to properly measure native content partnerships. If content marketing is going to continue its growth, the way in which it is measured must grow as well.
Moving beyond Google isn't an easy decision but I believe that we've given them enough of our time. Although it seems doubtful they were able to measure it anyhow.

Microsoft buying into internet of things
Microsoft has acquired a young internet of things (IoT) company called Solair from Bologna, Italy, which it says will enable its Azure customers to analyse data and derive new intelligence from IoT.
The acquisition of Solair for an undisclosed sum will give Microsoft access to key IoT products, including a gateway for collecting data and an enterprise platform that has been deployed in various industries, including manufacturing, retail, food and beverage and transport.
“Solair shares our ambition for helping customers harness their untapped data and creating new intelligence with IoT, and this acquisition supports our strategy to deliver the most complete IoT offering for enterprises,” said Sam George, Microsoft’s partner director, Azure IoT.
‘From the very start, our mission has been to help customers quickly and easily gain access to the huge benefits of the internet of things’
“We’re excited about their technology and talent – and delighted to welcome them to the Microsoft team.”

IBM and smart washrooms

BM announced recently that the professional division of Kimberly-Clark, maker of such household brands as Kleenex and Huggies, has adopted IBM Cloud to create a facilities management app that helps clients better monitor and manage restrooms remotely, lowering costs and improving consumer experiences.
Kimberly-Clark Professional’s new Intelligent Restroom app was built using IBM Bluemix development platform and through the use of the IBM Internet of Things Foundation service, facilities managers collect data and alerts from sensors integrated into restroom amenities, from soap dispensers to air fresheners, as well as non-amenities like entrance doors. All the data is managed and monitored through a central dashboard that can be viewed on desktops or mobile devices remotely.

IOS in fall will have home automation app!
There's no shortage of devices that support Apple's HomeKit platform. However, managing those devices is something of a mess -- you typically end up visiting separate apps to control your lighting, security and appliances. You might not have to worry about that when iOS 10 rolls around, though. MacRumors says it spotted an Amazon review from an Apple employee (verified after the fact) who claims that the next iOS release will have a "standalone" HomeKit app when it arrives in the fall. The staffer doesn't say how it'd work, but the implication is that it'd serve as a hub for all your HomeKit-compatible smart home gadgets.
There's no certainty that this HomeKit app will show up as promised, since there's always the chance that Apple will either delay it or scrap it entirely. There is evidence that this isn't just speculation, mind you. Apple used a shell company to file a trademark for a HomeKit icon late last year, so it's at least thinking about what a dedicated app would look like. As it is, Google isn't standing still between its OnHub networking and its internet of things platform, Brillo. A full-fledged HomeKit app might give Apple a competitive edge by taking some of the hassle out of automating your household.

Phones and Cancer

30 years of data shows no link between mobile phones and brain cancer

There is no causal link between mobile phone use and braincancer, a new epidemiological study by some of Australia's leading cancer specialists says.
Led by Simon Chapman, emeritus professor public health at the University of Sydney's School of Public Health, the study looked for an association between data on 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia between 1982 and 2012 and national mobile phone usage between 1987, when cellular phones were introduced to the country, and 2012. Australia is a particularly useful source for data of this kind, as all cancer diagnoses are formally registered by law, provided an extremely comprehensive data of nationwide cancer incidence.

Chapman and his colleagues Lamiae Azizi, Qingwei Luo and Freddy Sitas modelled the age- and gender-specific rates of brain cancer incidence over the period. As mobile phone use grew, Chapman writes in The Conversation, "we found that age-adjusted brain cancer incidence rates (in those aged 20-84 years, per 100,000 people) had risen only slightly in males but were stable over 30 years in females."

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