Sunday, December 10, 2017

TechTalk December 5, 2017 (best podcast UAE)

There is more than enough gadget and tech news out there and who is talking about it
that you can turn to and trust? TechTalk on Nightline with James and Andrew of course.

We had a great chat about the Sony Xperia Touch and the FitBit Ionic 2
cool pieces of tech that you are going to need!

Click for the podcast.
The Notes.

Alexa in the office

Amazon is bringing its AI assistant to the workplace with a new service called Alexa for Business. The news was announced today by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels onstage during the keynote address at the AWS re:Invent conference being held this week in Las Vegas.
Alexa for Business will be able to place meeting calls with Cisco, Polycom, Zoom, and other communication companies that can respond when you say “Alexa, join my meeting.” The platform will also include Salesforce to answer questions about business performance, Concur to share business travel itinerary information, RingCentral for voicemail readings, SAP SuccessFactors for HR, and other third-party voice services for the enterprise.
A series of features added to Alexa this year make the AI assistant better equipped to enter the workplace, including the ability to make phone and video calls, plus the incorporation of calendars from Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.

Is this the future of movies and tv?

Mosaic, which is available today for iOS devices, started out of frustration. Soderbergh was getting increasingly annoyed with the Hollywood system and starting to realize the general structure and grammar of what a film looked like hadn’t evolved in decades. At the same time, Casey Silver, the former head of Universal Pictures, was trying to develop a new way to tell stories. In the summer of 2012, when Soderbergh was promoting Magic Mike, Silver approached him with a fairly rudimentary idea to use the technology available through smartphones and apps to let viewers interact more directly with the characters they were watching. Soderbergh was interested, but wary—he didn’t want to do anything that felt "game-y." But they kept talking and soon, the director says, “it very quickly evolved into something that went beyond what the original concept of what this thing was, and more into the territory where we ended up.”

Top hashtags

Apple app money

Cook told the audience that 1.8 million Chinese developers have made around $16.93 million on the App Store, according to Reuters. Thats about a quarter of the $70 billion in total revenue developers have earned since the digital marketplace launched in 2008, a stat Apple trumpeted earlier this year ahead of its annual WWDC conference.
China is essential to Apple's global success, as the country offers a huge opportunity as the world's largest smartphone market. The country passed the US to become the biggest spender on apps in 2016, so the proportion of App Store earnings shouldn't come as a big surprise.
Apple manufactures its products in China but faces stiff competition from domestic companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo, which offer less expensive smartphones that are popular with the growing user base.
Cook's appearance marked the first time he attended the conference, and Google's Sundar Pichai also attended to take part in a panel on the digital economy, according to Bloomberg.


Xperia Touch

Makes surfaces come to life LITERALLY turns any surface into an interactive resource!

-android N operating system
-100 lumen brightness

-want longer battery life!
-cost 5799 at Jumbo and out of stock!
-would love to see this married with Alexa or Google Home

Approximately one hour usage in continuous video playback mode1
Ambient light
Human detection

FitBit Iconic 1399
Got to see the launch of this fitness wearable in Dubai last week with
-has some smartwatch features but is not a smartwatch
-can sync for message alerts and you can put music on it, comes with wireless headphones, cool!
-coach feature is nice, on board video coaching possibility
-great when running, data is awesome on the app on your phone or even better on the computer
Square and beveled so you can do many activities and it is not in the way
-swimming measurements!
-and auto detect that is cool!

How photoplethysmography works.

Photoplethysmography is a long word with a short explanation: light can be used to measure blood flow.
When your heart beats, blood flows, and the volume of the blood in your wrist changes. Blood—interestingly enough—absorbs green light. The higher your blood volume is, the more green light is absorbed.
To calculate blood flow, PurePulse shines a green light onto the skin and uses light detectors called photodiodes to measure how much light is being absorbed. This measurement is used to determine how many times your heart beats per minute.

Sweet device with lots onboard
Everything you need, all in one platform
From beginners to experienced athletes, Fitbit’s most advanced device to date offers personal, actionable guidance to motivate you to reach your goals – all while keeping you connected with apps and notifications, no matter what smartphone you have.
·    Personal trainer with Fitbit Coach App: Access workouts or listen to expert-designed running and walking Audio Coaching sessions to increase endurance, speed and form on your schedule.[i]
·    Running companion: Automatically track your run with the new Run Detect feature on Ionic that kicks-in GPS tracking – just step out the door and go; see real-time pace and distance; auto-pause to grab some water or take a breather and automatically resume when you start running.
·    New swim exercise mode: With water resistance up to 50 meters, use Ionic in any body of water and see your real-time laps, exercise duration and calories burned for pool swims.
·    Industry-leading GPS: The unique design and integrated antenna inside Ionic provide a stronger connection to GPS and GLONASS satellites, delivering industry-leading GPS performance. Leave your phone behind and see pace and distance right on your wrist, as well as record elevation climbed, split times, and a map of your walk, run or ride in the Fitbit app.
·    Improved heart rate technology: Ionic has enhanced PurePulse® heart rate tracking with greater accuracy during exercises like cycling, intervals and running; better measure calorie burn, see real-time heart rate zones to optimise intensity, and track resting heart rate 24/7.
·    New sensor technology: The introduction of a relative SpO2 sensor for estimating blood oxygen levels opens the potential for tracking important new indicators about your health, such as sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.
·    Motivation through music: Leave your phone at home and find the motivation to jumpstart your workout by storing and playing more than 300 songs on device (2.5 GB of storage), or downloading and listening to your favorite podcasts. Connect Ionic to the new Fitbit Flyer™ wireless headphones, or any Bluetooth device of your choosing.
·    Smart notifications you need most: With extended smartphone notifications, receive call, text and calendar alerts, as well as notifications from apps on your smartphone like Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, Slack, Snapchat and more.
·    Multi-day battery life: With five-day battery life on a single charge (10 hours with GPS or playing music), Ionic will outlast any activity you do during the day and still track your sleep all night.[ii]
In addition to these new features, Ionic has everything you love about Fitbit – automatically track your steps, calories, floors climbed and sleep stages, see your cardio fitness level (estimated VO2 Max), maintain moments of calm and more.

1st text!
Be prepared to feel ancient -- the first text message is 25 years old. Engineer Neil Papworth sent the first SMS on December 3rd, 1992, when he wrote "merry Christmas" on a computer and sent it to the cellphone of Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. It was a modest start, but it ultimately changed technology and even social norms.
It took a long time for SMS to find widespread adoption, both because of the cellular networks themselves (coverage was far from ubiquitous in 1992) and phones whose buttons revolved around dialing rather than typing. But then the smartphone arrived. In the US alone, the volume of messages surged from 12.5 billion per month in 2006 to 45 billion a year later. By June 2017, there were 781 billion messages passing around in the country. Messaging was suddenly easy, and SMS was ready and waiting to take advantage of that newfound freedom.

December 14! Try to get one!

OnePlus teased the device via at the Bengaluru Comic Con in India, and will unveil it in Mumbai at a popup store on December 14th, with ticket sales kicking off on Thursday. In a teaser video (below) it also revealed what looks like a new, more geometric font, but that might be strictly part of the Star Wars branding tie-in.

Facebook Messenger for kids!

Here's how it works. When you download the Messenger Kids app, the first thing you'll do is authorize it with your own Facebook account. This does not log you into the tablet -- all it does is use your account to authenticate it. You then create a completely separate Messenger Kids account with your child's first and last name. Again, this does not create a Facebook account for the child, and their name will not be publicly searchable. Oh, and don't worry, Messenger Kids is also ad-free.
So how is your kid supposed to make friends on Messenger Kids? Well, the only way they can do that is through you. The parents are the only people who can add contacts for their kids. And the only way they can do that is through Facebook. Adding adult family members like grandpa and grandma is easy, because they likely already have Facebook accounts. Adults can use the normal Messenger app to talk to the kids on Messenger Kids -- it's completely interoperable.
But let's say your child wants to befriend other children, like his classmate Peggy, on Messenger Kids. What then? In this case, you have to already be Facebook friends with Peggy's parents. If Peggy is already on Messenger Kids, you'll see her name under her parent's name and you can tap it to add her as a friend to your child. Peggy's parents will then have to approve your contact request in order to ass your child to Peggy's contact list as well.
As for the app itself, well, it's very visually oriented. The home screen has big shortcuts to frequent contacts like friends and family, with a heavy emphasis on real-time video chat. "Kids really like real-time communication," said Cheng. "They want to be in the moment, back and forth [...] Kids see it as play." Of course, Messenger Kids also allows for normal text-based communications as well, just like regular Messenger.
That is also why the video chat on Messenger Kid is loaded with emojis, GIFs, selfie frames and stickers, all of which have been screened for kids and are age-appropriate. In fact, Facebook actually built a custom art team just for Messenger Kids, and worked with child development experts across the country to come up with what would be good for kids at this age, developmentally, and what would be good for families. One particular photo mask, for example, is an AR experience that helps educate kids about vaquitas, an endangered species of dolphins, and immerses them in a scuba-diving environment.
Facebook told us that it took great pains to reach out to child development experts such as the National PTA, the Center of Media and Child Health, the American Association of Pediatrics and many more as part of an Advisor Committee when developing Messenger Kids.
"What we learned is that parents want more control over who their kids have contacts with," said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of safety. "They want the content to be appropriate, and they want to have better control over time spent on these technologies." At the same time, Davis said that parents also want their children to be digitally literate, and to build the skills necessary to communicate in the modern world.
"Messenger Kids was designed to bring families together for conversations, as kids learn how to navigate the digital world," said Cheng.
Messenger Kids is available for preview in the US starting today. It's iOS-only at launch, but will roll out to Android users later this month.
Code Maven and Game Maven are interactive programming tutorials from Crunchzilla. Code Maven and Game Maven use the same style as the popular Code Monster javascript programming tutorial. That style is to present a piece of code with instructions on one side of the screen while providing a visual of the outcome on the other side of the screen.

Code Maven offers 59 lessons for students to work through at their own pace to learn programming fundamentals. After completing the Code Maven tutorials students are ready to move on to Game Maven where they can work through 37 lessons in which they will create three simple online games.
Code Maven and Game Maven are interactive programming tutorials from Crunchzilla. Code Maven and Game Maven use the same style as the popular Code Monster javascript programming tutorial. That style is to present a piece of code with instructions on one side of the screen while providing a visual of the outcome on the other side of the screen.

Code Maven offers 59 lessons for students to work through at their own pace to learn programming fundamentals. After completing the Code Maven tutorials students are ready to move on to Game Maven where they can work through 37 lessons in which they will create three simple online games.

Evernote and KEEP alternative!

Zoho Notebook is the alternative to Evernote and Google Keep that I mentioned in last week's edition of Practical Ed Tech Live. Zoho Notebook is a free and advertising-free tool for taking notes in typed, drawn, and spoken form.

Zoho Notebook is available to use on Android, iOS, and Mac OS. There is a Zoho Notebook web clipper to use in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Everything that you save in Zoho Notebook will sync across all of the devices on which you use it. There is not a limit to the number of devices on which you can use Zoho Notebook.

One of the first things that you will notice about Zoho Notebook is its clean design. All of your notes can be organized into notebooks with customized covers. Your notes can be typed, drawn, or spoken. The first minute of spoken notes is automatically transcribed to make them easier to later search for in your notebooks. Pictures and task lists can also be added to your notebooks.

Lucid Press an alternative way to publish cool content!

So cool

This is an AMAZON move

Google engineers have created a lean image-recognition system that could help guard your display when an unfamiliar face looks at it.
Facial recognition and gaze detection are nothing new for machine learning. But in a paper to be presented at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference next week, Google engineers say that they’ve been able to slim down the software required to perform those tasks so much that they can run reliably in almost real time on a smartphone. It takes the software just two milliseconds to detect a gaze and 47 milliseconds to identify a face.
To demonstrate why that might useful, they’ve created a simple tool, first reported by The Register and shown in the video above, that applies the software to a smartphone’s front-facing camera. Information gleaned from the detection algorithms is used to hide private content when a stranger looks at the screen. The software has a list of registered users, and if a face is found to be both looking at the phone and not on the list, a warning pops up and, in this case, a messaging app is hidden.
That’s neat. But the precise application is less interesting than the fact that it’s possible at all. This example is indicative of a larger trend toward AI that can run efficiently on less powerful mobile devices. Most smartphones, or devices like smart speakers, currently have to farm AI processing out to big servers via the cloud. But a desire for less lag and increased data privacy is driving many firms to shrink machine-learning software so that it runs on simple chips.
In fact, Google recently announced a new open-source machine-learning software library that’s dedicated to helping non-experts develop lightweight AI for mobile devices. So expect more and more examples of this kind of lean software in the future.
Best from Google Play! 2017

DIY with AIY

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