AT&T Yellow and White Pages CD-RomAT&T, one of the largest telephone, internet and cable businesses in the world, has been adding disability information into their website to better serve their customers. Here are a few interesting features from AT&T that you might not have known about:White and Yellow Pages on CD-ROM: For those who prefer an electronic version of the phone book but would rather not log-in to the Internet and access Yellowpages.com, you can request a CD-ROM with your city’s information. It’s easy to access – put the CD into your computer and you can either install it onto your hard drive or run it off the CD itself. It also separates numbers by category of business or service, you can zoom into the pages, and you can print off pages as well.Alternative Billing Formats – You can receive your bill in large print, Braille, or audio format by contacting the National Center for Customers with Disabilities (NCCD). You can also receive alternative formats for product manuals and television guides.VoiceDial – Some people with physical impairments might have difficulty using their hands or fingers to dial a telephone number. VoiceDial is available to all AT&T users, but those with disabilities can apply for an exemption program that waives the $4.99 monthly fee.Hearing Aid Compatibility – AT&T has a list of their wireless phones with “M” and “T” ratings on hearing aid compatibility.Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier by Code Factory – These products do exactly what they say – Mobile Speak is a screen reader and Mobile Magnifier is a screen-magnification software. While they are only offered for four different types of mobile phones and they each cost roughly 90 dollars, they are options for those who wish to use Internet compatible phones that have more functions and capabilities than standard mobile phones.Phone Demonstrations – While shopping online is convenient, you might want to try out a mobile phone before you buy one (sound familiar to our theme, yes?). AT&T welcomes all of their customers to stop by a retail store to test products. Find an AT&T store near you to get a phone demonstration.Commitment to Research – AT&T has an Advisory Panel on Access and Aging that is composed of professionals in the fields of assistive technology, aging and other disability related issues.You can learn more about what AT&T offers by visiting their Commitment to Customers with Disabilities page. Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedAccessible Education in IndianaNovember 17, 2009In “Accessibility Reviews”Indiana Center for Accessible MaterialsMay 13, 2010In “Organizations”Books without boundariesApril 10, 2012In “Easter Seals Crossroads”
customer acquisitionKPIonboardingPerformance-Driven EconomyPXSales and marketing Previous ArticleStop Overlooking the Upper FunnelNext ArticleReinventing “Programmatic” for the Health Industry In a Performance-Driven Economy, Customer Acquisition Takes Center Stage Frans HulleMay 2, 2019, 4:00 pmMay 2, 2019 It’s getting harder and harder to relate to John Wanamaker’s famed quote regarding the ROI of advertising. For more than 100 years, marketers enthusiastically nodded along to the notion of, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” But these days, the notion of blind investment in customer acquisition initiatives has become a foreign concept to most.Today’s marketers, particularly on the media-buying side, have access to powerful tools that have shed greater light on the impact of activities throughout the entire sales and marketing funnel. New technology has enabled marketers to not only justify their budgets, but also to pinpoint what’s working, what’s not, and immediately make real-time adjustments to their campaigns. Now, that imperative to understand and adjust on the fly has come to the realm of customer acquisition and lead generation, which until recently was one of the last bastions of murkiness within our industry.A New Stage of Maturity In a business environment that is all about performance, today’s marketing executives are under a microscope to deliver new sales leads while constantly justifying their marketing spend. For too long, customer acquisition efforts have been fractured and ad hoc, making it difficult for marketers to fully understand their ROI by lead source and across campaigns—and to optimize their efforts accordingly. But that’s changing. Emerging players in mar-tech are disrupting the traditional lead generation process and bringing a new paradigm of accountability and optimization to the space.The future of customer acquisition will look a lot less like the herd of cats to which buyers are accustomed, and a lot more like the modern marketplaces that have emerged within the digital media realm. Formerly disparate customer acquisition sources and functions are being bundled together in a way that lets customer acquisition marketers gain a holistic view of the health of their campaigns and take action in real time to improve results. The immediate benefits of this integrated approach—as seen with the emergence of media-buying marketplaces more than a decade ago—will be evident in the following areas.Read More: 7 “Gotchas” for Data Engineers New to Google BigQueryEfficiency: Reducing Waste Through IntegrationOne of the main challenges facing lead buyers these days is the fact that they don’t just purchase customer leads from one source. According to an industry survey we just conducted, 66% of acquisition specialists are working with up to 10 sources. Often these relationships are managed in a vacuum. This process of one-to-one management is often manual and can be extremely labor intensive, even for marketers with well-refined workflows and processes.Today’s customer acquisition marketplace tools can not only streamline the onboarding process for new lead vendors, but it can also dramatically increase efficiency when it comes to viewing results and making changes to campaigns across vendors. Rather than pulling and comparing spreadsheets in varying formats across all partners, an automated exchange can provide the dashboard through which buyers can compare all campaigns, gain insight, and take action. And if a change is desired—say, a pricing change across all partners—that can be accomplished with a simple update by the buyer within the management tool. Previously, such a change across two dozen partners might have required two dozen emails or phone calls—not to mention follow-ups.Read More: What is Presentation Management and Why Do You Need It?Results: Translating Data into ActionThe bottom line of this massive transition within the customer acquisition space is that lead generation campaigns can at last become as performance-driven as marketers have always desired them to be. New marketplace tools are democratizing the industry and at last shifting more control to the buyers themselves.Emerging customer acquisition marketplaces are providing buyers with the insights and tools they need to take action. By enabling buyers to customize KPIs for their campaigns and then view the results—across all vendors—through that lens, these new technologies are helping marketers decide which sources to prioritize and how to adjust their bidding strategies to maximize ROI. When you think about it, this type of accountability is the natural evolution of the customer acquisition space—and a long-overdue upgrade to the marketing toolset.John Wanamaker might not have known which half of his spend was being wasted, but today’s marketers don’t have to accept such uncertainty. As the customer acquisition toolset at last catches up to its media-buying counterpart, marketers not only know when their dollars are being wasted—but they can also do something about it.Read More: In Focus: Mobile and Video Trends
AIInvocaJulia SteadLive PersonMarketing Technology NewsNews Previous Article4C Launches New Cross-Channel Video Solution to Help Marketers Reach Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Across Streaming EnvironmentsNext ArticleVerve Releases SDK 4.0 To Supercharge The Revenue-Generating Power Of In-App Inventory Majority of consumers prefer phone calls or in-person interactions over AI and automated experiences to complete transactions for healthcare, financial services, and moreBrands are betting on AI and digital communications to enhance their customer experience, and, in fact, experts predict 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human by next year. Yet according to a recent survey commissioned by Invoca and conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults, consumers don’t seem to have completely bought into interacting with brands through digital-only touchpoints and instead still value human support.The survey results show that 87% of consumers have reached out to a company and only had the option to communicate through automated communications, such as a chatbot. Among those who have reached out to companies and not been given the opportunity to communicate with a human, one in two (52%) feel frustrated and nearly one in five feel angry (18%). Only about one-third of consumers (36%) believe an entirely automated transaction process would be just as effective as completing the same transaction with a human when it’s for a product or service they’ve purchased in the past.Marketing Technology News: Extreme Networks to Acquire Aerohive Networks“While AI has been a real game changer for the ‘back office’ of business — think martech tools and the ways to run businesses more efficiently — this study suggests that it still lags on the front end of business — the consumer interactions. As a likely result, many consumers strongly prefer human interaction to complete certain types of transactions,” said Julia Stead, VP of marketing at Invoca. “Every company needs to be aware of its customers’ preferences and prioritize them in their marketing strategy. While AI and automation can help with simple interactions or requests, the option to connect with a human should always be on the table for consumers, especially in industries like healthcare and financial services.”The study, which was conducted to explore general consumer attitudes toward AI and automation in the brand experience, shows consumers are wary of trusting information or advice from AI-based interactions, especially when it comes to more complicated information. While nearly half (49%) of consumers would trust AI-generated advice for retail item information, only one in five (20%) would trust AI-generated advice for healthcare information and just 19% would trust AI-generated advice for financial services advice. Meanwhile, 38% of consumers say they’d trust AI-generated advice for hospitality advice, such as checking in for a flight or comparing flight and hotel options or restaurant recommendations.Marketing Technology News: Salesforce’s $15.7 Billion Tableau Acquisition Highlights Big Data as Key Theme, Says GlobalDataPhone calls are the winning channel for healthcare when it comes to completing a transaction, with 32% of consumers preferring to do so over the phone compared to 30% in-person and 25% online. The survey also proved brick and mortar is still alive; many consumers prefer completing transactions in-person across many industries, including retail, home maintenance and financial services. In fact, 46% prefer in-person for completing retail transactions (purchasing clothing, electronics, home goods), compared to just 35% who say they prefer to complete these types of transactions online, while 51% prefer in-person for completing financial services transactions versus 27% who prefer online. For home maintenance and improvement transactions, in-person tops the list at 39%, followed by online and phone calls (24% each).Survey Method: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Invoca from May 9-13, 2019 among 2,048 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.Marketing Technology News: Comm100 Launches Agent Assist to Boost Agent Performance and Customer Satisfaction Invoca Survey Finds Over Half of Consumers Only Offered Automated Communications By Brands Feel Frustrated When They’re Unable to Speak with a Live Person MTS Staff WriterJune 27, 2019, 8:09 pmJune 28, 2019
MediaRadar Study: Number of Companies Placing Native Ads Programmatically Increases YoY MTS Staff Writer12 hours agoJuly 23, 2019 advertising intelligenceMarketing Technology NewsMediaRadarnative ads programmaticallyNewssales enablement platform Previous ArticleJumpshot Strikes Strategic Partnership Deal with Ascential to Provide Marketers with Deeper Visibility into the Entire Online Customer JourneyNext ArticleArkose Labs Announces Private Bug Bounty Program with Bugcrowd to Strengthen Fraud Prevention System Progressive Named Top Buyer of Native Ads in q1 of 2019, Followed by Homeserve and Lendingtree MediaRadar, the leading advertising intelligence and sales enablement platform, released an analysis comparing year-over-year (YoY) native advertising statistics from Q1 of 2018 to Q1 of 2019. The deep dive discovered YoY renewal rates, the top buyers of native ads, the percentage of companies placing native ads programmatically, plus more.MediaRadar’s YoY native advertising study found that 34 percent of companies running native ads in Q1 of 2018 also did so in Q1 of 2019. However, of the top 30 native advertisers from Q1 2018, all but one ran native ads in Q1 of 2019. The majority of advertisers who dropped off were smaller brands that use the format sparingly.According to the analysis, the top three buyers of native ads in Q1 2019 were Progressive, HomeServe and LendingTree. In terms of industries, Media and entertainment companies remained by far the largest buyers of native advertising.Marketing Technology News: Adobe Survey Says That Voice and Screen Combined Are the Future“Even with a slight decline in the percentage of the market accounted for year-over-year, the media and entertainment industry more than doubled the market share of the next largest buyer of Native ads,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and Co-Founder of MediaRadar.Finance and real estate firms saw the largest increase in native ad investment, accounting for seven percent more of the dollars spent when compared to the year prior. In addition, Services & Retail saw three percent increases, while Tech saw a four percent decrease.Marketing Technology News: OpenText Automates Invoicing for Rosneft DeutschlandThe study also looked at how these Native ads were being placed. “Our study found that the percentage of companies placing native ads programmatically is increasing,” said Krizelman. “In fact, 76 percent of native advertisers placed native ads programmatically in Q1 of 2019. In comparison, just 62 percent did so in Q1 of 2018.”Marketing Technology News: James Liu Appointed to Board of Directors of Opera Limited
Nexstar Digital Introduces TViQ Audience Solution PRNewswireJune 10, 2019, 9:47 pmJune 10, 2019 digital video advertisingMarketing Technology NewsNewsNexstar DigitalNexstar Media GroupTViQ audience solution Previous ArticleLuminoso Wins Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Leadership AwardNext ArticleUS Consumer Survey: Physicians Using Mobile Apps Seen as a Major Differentiator Amongst US Patients Giving Advertisers the Power to Leverage Station Data to Reach Digital Audiences At ScaleNexstar Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc., is pleased to announce the official launch of its proprietary TViQ audience solution, giving advertisers the power to leverage local broadcast audience data to reach their ideal viewers at scale across all forms of digital video advertising.TViQ, only available through Nexstar Digital’s (NXD) Platform Group (previously branded under LKQD), is the industry’s most-comprehensive broadcast-centric audience solution. Integrating millions of proprietary data signals from hundreds of Nexstar owned and operated (O&O) local television stations across the U.S., TViQ enables national and local advertisers to maximize their video reach across all screens. Nexstar’s proprietary first-party station audience data are some of the key elements that differentiate TViQ from other audience solutions.Marketing Technology News: MultiVu Launches Digital Marketing SuiteTViQ allows advertisers to reach beyond limiting age and gender categories and include a multitude of signals spanning behavioral trends, content and consumer interests, enabling them to create custom audience targets across the digital video landscape. The scalability of the NXD Platform, along with local and regional broadcast market expertise from Nexstar Media Group’s 174 television stations covering 38.7 percent of households in the U.S., gives advertisers a unique opportunity to build integrated media plans that maximize efficient target reach, and then activate those campaigns across multiple screens.Marketing Technology News: Live Data Is Now The Lifeblood For Telco Value Creation“Nexstar Digital is in a unique position to help advertisers navigate the complexities of video advertising across every screen and maximize target audience delivery across the entire Nexstar owned and operated portfolio of assets, which we expect to increase substantially in the near future. We are continuing our history of innovation by integrating and activating Nexstar audience data for digital advertisers, which creates powerful audience solutions for national, regional and local advertisers. Additionally, TViQ increases the value of inventory for our premium digital publisher partners, enabling them to grow their ad revenue across all screens,” said Greg Morrow, Head of Nexstar Digital’s Platform Group.Marketing Technology News: Informatica Unveils AI-Powered Product Innovations and Strengthens Industry Partnerships at Informatica World 2019
asha negiAsha Negi interviewAsha Negi Rithvik DhanjaniRithvik Dhanjani First Published: May 22, 2019, 12:24 PM IST Asha Negi, who catapulted to fame with Ekta Kapoor’s Pavitra Rishta, isn’t too sure about working again with her boyfriend Rithvik Dhanjani, who was also her co-actor on the super-hit TV show.Asha and Rithvik are one of the most loved couples on Indian television and both first tasted success because of their electrifying on-screen chemistry in Pavitra Rishta. However, despite their successful pairing, Asha is in no mood for them to jump on doing just any project. On when the two of them will feature together next, she told Mid-Day, “We are not the right people to answer the question because it depends on the producers. We have been offered [shows] in the past, but it comes with a lot of pressure because we have one hit under our belt. So, we have been sceptical about working together.” “If we do take up something, it will have to be different. We have a precious bond and don’t want to test it before the camera. For now, we are enjoying our own careers,” she added.On the professional front, Rithvik is currently hosting Super Dancer: Season 3 on Sony TV. Asha, meanwhile, is being seen as Gauravi—a righteous, responsible Maharashtrian girl—in ALTBalaji’s new show Baarish, which also stars Sharman Joshi in the lead role.Follow @News18Movies for more.
After Snapchat’s baby filter and gender swap filter, now FaceApp old-age filter has taken Twitter and Instagram by storm. Designed to create realistic transformations of faces using various filters and features, this latest app gives users a taste of what they would look like when they are old. Even though it was started by a few fans sharing the pictures of their favourite celebrities using this particular filter, it seems like everyone from television stars to Bollywood personalities have started joining the trend. From Pearl V Puri, Randeep Rai, Vivek Dahiya, Krushna Abhishek to Karan Veer Mehra, Suyyash Rai, Vishal Singh and Nisha Rawal, everyone took to their respective social media accounts to share their results after using the FaceApp filter on their pictures.Pearl V Puri: Pearl V Puri who is currently playing the role of Raghbir in Bepanah Pyaarrn took to his Instagram to share his picture post using FaceApp. He shared the picture by writing How am I looking ? Kya aap sab tab bhi mujhse itna pyar karenge? #pvp #buddha #greyhair #stylish #potd #amusing #raghbir #love #life #bepanahpyaarr #old #oldagechallenge #faceapp”Randeep Rai: Here’s how Ek Veer Ki Ardaas…Veera actor Vivek Dahiya looked like when he tried the app out.Krushna Abhisehek: Nothing can dull the cuteness of this chocolate boy, not even aging. Sharing a picture on his instagram he wrote ‘Kuch Aesa’ in the caption.Karanveer Mehra: Comedian Krushna Abhishek wrote, “At the age of 60 haha actually I don’t look that bad na hmmmmm not bad yaaaa YEH future hai boss. Jeeee loooo apni zindagi.”Follow @News18Movies for more Hott studio’s web series Couple of Mistakes famed Karanveer Mehra also tried this app out, this is how it turned out.Vivek Dahiya: bollywoodFaceApp ChallengeKrushna AbhishekNisha Rawal First Published: July 18, 2019, 6:35 PM IST
Tesla’s recent Model S fires prompt the company to update its battery software Battery pack suspected cause of recent Virgin Atlantic aircraft fire The evolution of NASA’s moon buggy is even wilder than where it landed Amazon Fire 7 (2019) Review Walmart Onn Android Tablet review Tesla has fixed a potentially fiery issue it discovered in China by sending out an over-the-air software update that modifies the battery pack’s charge and thermal management settings. The California-based company sent a team of investigators to Shanghai to look into the issue after a Model S exploded in a parking garage in April 2019.Tesla’s in-house investigators blamed the fire on a single defective battery module, a term that refers to a batch of cells grouped together. The battery pack in a Model S — and in almost every electric car on the market, regardless of manufacturer — is made up of several modules. The company hasn’t revealed why the module caught fire, but it explained that the over-the-air update it sent out will prevent additional fires, and help increase the battery’s life.The investigation began after a Model S exploded in a parking garage. The incident happened on the evening of April 21, and a video of the electric sedan going up in flames was widely shared on Chinese social media network Weibo before spreading to Twitter and Facebook. The company stressed that no one was hurt during the incident.Footage from what appears to be a security camera shows an early, pre-face-lift Model S backed into a parking spot. Smoke slowly begins to emit from the bottom of the car, where its lithium-ion battery pack is located. The Model S explodes several seconds later, and it quickly goes up in flames. The fire destroyed at least three other cars that were parked around it.We’ve seen Teslas go up in flames before, but it has almost always been after a high-speed accident. It’s a risk every car regardless of powertrain type faces; the fire usually starts when a flammable component, like a battery pack or a fuel tank, gets punctured. The scenario captured on film in Shanghai was highly unusual because the Model S wasn’t moving, and it wasn’t hit by another object.An electric ES8 crossover made by Nio, one of Tesla’s rivals, also caught fire in China in April 2019. The incident happened in the city of Xi’an while the car was being worked on. Nio looked into the blaze, blamed faulty battery modules, and issued a recall covering more than 4,000 cars. The two fiery incidents are similar, and they happened just days apart in the same country, but they’re completely unrelated.Updated July 1, 2019: Added information about over-the-air update. Editors’ Recommendations
Setup is straightforward, though does require pulling out your phone. From the Alex app, head over to the settings tab. There, you’ll be able to link your iCloud Calendar account with your Alexa account.Currently, Amazon says, those using Alexa in the US, UK, and Germany will be able to integrate iCloud Calendar. It brings the total number of scheduling services that the virtual agent supports to five, with Apple’s having lagged behind rival systems from Google and Microsoft. Those with a Google G Suite account, a regular Google account, an Office 365 commercial account with an Exchange Online mailbox, or an Outlook.com account can pair their calendar up with Amazon’s service.It’s worth remembering that your schedule will then be available to anybody who asks. Since Alexa still doesn’t support multiple profiles, she’ll respond to whoever asks about the agenda that day. Similarly, anybody will be able to add new entries to your calendar.In contrast, Google announced support for up to five different accounts on Google Home earlier this year. The search giant’s smart speaker uses voice identification to differentiate between users, and automatically picks the correct associated accounts from which to pull the data they’ve asked for. Ironically, though, the Google Assistant is limited in other ways.NOW READ: Vaux makes Echo Dot a battery-powered smart speakerIf you’ve got a G Suite account – formerly known as Google Apps – for which you or your company pays Google for the privilege of hosting email, calendar, and other services, right now Google Home isn’t compatible with them. You can’t get calendar information or, indeed, other smart services such as asking when an upcoming flight will leave based on confirmation emails in your inbox. For that, you’ll need a free Google account instead.In short, until Amazon adds voice differentiation between people, or Google adds G Suite support, neither is the ideal way to manage a business calendar unless you live alone. If you’re eager to give iCloud Calendar integration with Alexa a try, you can enable it today. Amazon’s Alexa now supports iCloud Calendar, allowing the virtual assistant to check your schedule on the Apple service. The update means that users of the Amazon Echo – as well as the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap – can get an instant read-out of what’s on their agenda for the day, by asking “Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?” There’s also support for adding new appointments, again all by voice. Story TimelineAmazon Echo Show gives Alexa a screen and free video callsWhy did Amazon Echo Show just cannibalize this major Alexa advocate?With “Amazon Fire TV Edition”, 4K TVs now come with AlexaAmazon Alexa now controls your DISH DVR by voice
Story TimelineGalaxy Note 8 may debut Qualcomm’s new flagship chipQualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is Vivo’s secret weaponQualcomm Snapdragon 450 launches to tackle mid-range devicesQualcomm demands US iPhone imports be blockedAnTuTu shows 3 Moto Z models with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835Qualcomm under fire: Patent battles up, profits downHTC Vive standalone VR headset runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835US ITC will investigate Apple over Qualcomm’s patent infringement claim Modules will offer “entry-level computer vision” – making it inexpensive for manufacturers to integrate passive depth sensing. That means easier scanning of the whole world, with tiny power requirements. Qualcomm also hits the other end of the spectrum with Premium Computer Vision with active depth sensing – for the higher-end smartphones coming next year, more than likely. With this premium module, the smartphone will be able to create “incredibly accurate” depth maps – as shown in the video above. With this premium module, depth maps will contain “over 10,000 points of depth” and will be able to detect the tiniest of changes in depth: as small as .1mm apart. Expect these bits and pieces to make their way into Android smartphones within the next few months, made for release either late this year (unlikely) or early next year (quite likely). The dawn of the depth sensing smartphone is here. Spectra 2nd gen, AR for AndroidsI should be a bit more clear when I say “never seen before” because some of this has appeared in other markets – like video game consoles. Think Xbox Kinect – but jammed into a smartphone camera chip. The 2nd-gen Qualcomm Spectra ISP improves image quality, camera speed, and for the first time includes depth sensing.NOTE: When I say Androids, I’m speaking in a general sense. Qualcomm technology exists in many different types of devices, but dominates the world of Android smartphones here in 2017.Qualcomm suggests that this technology will allow smartphones to sense depth from their camera in high resolution with high accuracy. Both of these elements are accomplished with what Qualcomm describes as “very low-power”. That’s particularly important when smartphones have standard sized batteries – especially if they’re made to be everyday personal-use devices, too. 2nd-gen Qualcomm Spectra ISP Features per Qualcomm:• Superior photographic quality with multi-frame noise reduction and super resolution• Improved camcorder video quality with motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF)• Inline gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) to reduce unwanted vibrations when recording videos• Machine learning accelerated computer vision for advanced used cases like face detection and improved bokeh photography• Accurate simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for XR use casesXR stands for Extended Reality – another term that describes the many ways in which we’re augmenting reality with devices with displays. Another way to say this is Mixed Reality – there’s also Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Modules to bring AR to allThe Spectra Module Program has been running for around a year for both single and dual-camera devices. This program allows smartphone manufacturers to use Qualcomm’s technology to make devices with high-quality cameras faster. Fast than if they’d have to have done the integration and development of separate modules themselves – Qualcomm streamlines. The new modules this year have active sensing for improved biometric authentication – with iris authentication, for example. Your eyes will be scanned by your smartphone sooner than you think. Samsung isn’t the only one with the ability to make this happen. Right this minute the biggest names in smartphones are speeding toward the next “big thing” in mobile devices: Augmented Reality. Qualcomm is the latest company to make a public showing of their efforts with what they call “Qualcomm Spectra ISP, 2nd Generation.” That’ ISB as in Image Signal Processor, this paving the way for high-powered smartphone cameras that can do things we’ve never seen before.
Given the iPhone X’s $1,000 price tag, the biggest concern consumers have isn’t going to be whether Face ID can be fooled by their long-lost twin sibling. It will be whether the most expensive iPhone ever will survive an accidental drop from your hand, pocket, or bag. Compounding matters is the fact that a screen replacement will cost $279 while a back replacement will cost $549, at least without an AppleCare+ extended warranty. So how does the iPhone X fare in such unwanted incidents? Unfortunately, tests don’t exactly give an answer to those. On the other hand, the iPhone X cracked easily when SquareTrade dropped it first on its side and most especially on its face. And unlike PhoneBuff’s test, the back cracked on the very first try as well. Curiously, in both cases, it seems that the bottom swipe up gesture was the first thing to stop working when the display gets broken. Phone drop tests have a strange irony that they become more useless as they become more scientific. While controlled, scientific drop tests allow for repetition and confirmation, they hardly reflect real-world accidents. It gets even worse when slightly similar tests and methods yield very different results.PhoneBuff and SquareTrade, the latter specializing in device insurance, each made their own iPhone X drop tests and reached very opposite conclusions. Granted, some of the factors were different, but they illustrate how unreliable such tests can be. In PhoneBuff’s case, for example, the iPhone X fared remarkably well, outlasting the bigger and more traditional iPhone 8 Plus. At the end of the day, these videos will all agree on one thing: you will definitely want to protect that $1,000 investment. It doesn’t matter whether the iPhone X will crack on the first or the fifth drop. You wouldn’t want to risk it anyway. At the very least, get yourself an AppleCare+ to mitigate the brunt of the cost of repairs. But do remember that you’re only allowed up to two “almost free” repairs in two years. After that, you’ll be riding the same boat as any other iPhone X users in the world.
Facebook researchers have been developing a machine learning technology that can add eyes to a selfie in which the subject is blinking. The company detailed the technology on its Research website recently, explaining that in-painting is used to remove the closed eyelids and replace them with what appears to be the subject’s own eyes. Facebook uses artificial intelligence for a variety of features and purposes, and one could soon be improving images in which your eyes are closed. Yes, if you’re taking a selfie yourself, you’ll likely just retake the image. However, if you’re in a selfie with someone else — or simply got caught off guard by a camera — this tech could make fix the simple mistake.According to a research paper published by Facebook this month, the system utilizes a generative adversarial network, more commonly called a GAN. With the technology, machine learning can learn the user’s eyes, then use that data to fill in the blanks when the person blinks. Because the system already knows what their eyes look like, the results look true to life.Assuming the subject’s face isn’t obscured by hair, their eyes aren’t behind glasses, and similar things, the system appears to do an excellent job of imitating the real thing. This is somewhat like an extension of existing photography technology that does things like remove red eyes from images.As with any research effort, it’s possible that Facebook won’t implement this into an actual, final product. It’s also possible that we could one day see this introduced in a Facebook product, potentially on Instagram where it would arguably be most useful. The full paper can be accessed here.SOURCE: Facebook
Facebook has launched a new monthly subscription fee feature for Facebook Groups, the company announced today. The new feature enables Groups administrators to add a monthly cost to the group, though Facebook says this is a pilot project at this time. Only a small number of Facebook Groups currently have access to the feature, but you may see a charge showing up on your own favorite Groups in the future. Facebook Groups is the social network’s way for people with a shared interest to get together digitally and partake in that interest. These groups can be public or private and they’re controlled by an administrator who manages them. Those administrators will soon get to choose whether the group should come with a monthly fee.The company is testing the feature at this point and it appears to be the result of requests from admins. It makes sense to offer a subscription feature as a default option given how much time some administrators spend managing their Facebook Groups and making content for them.Facebook points out that some administrators already charge subscriptions for their members, but must do so in a convoluted way that includes a secondary subscribers-only group and manual payment tracking. The new feature simplifies everything by directly giving admins the tools they need.AdChoices广告For now, at least, the feature is limited to a very small number of groups and Facebook indicates it will be tweaking the product based on what it learns from them. It’s unclear when the company plans to introduce the subscription fee as an option for all Groups.SOURCE: Facebook
It’s definitely the last place you’d expect to see an ad, especially on your smartphone. Most of the time, you’d see ads in media apps or some third-party utilities. Indeed, Xiaomi’s MIUI has an “MSA” framework that does serve up ads in the custom ROM’s apps. Apparently, that now includes the Settings app.Redditor chootingfeng revealed the abuse of screen space in a post asking whether it was OK to uninstall the said MSA. Xiaomi was already known to serve up ads in other parts of its MIUI apps but this was a new low in users’ opinion.Many called to mind how Amazon employs ads on its Prime Exclusive phones in exchange for a significant discount. There are, however, a lot of differences, that put Amazon in a better light. For one, Amazon limited the ads to specific places, like the lock screen and a home screen widget. It also gave users the option to pay their way out of it. Amazon also stopped doing such ads after Google imposed some requirements on Play Store apps that put ads on lock screens without being lock screen apps themselves.AdChoices广告No such luck for Xiaomi users as the ads are embedded into apps. And since Xiaomi doesn’t have to play by Google’s rules, it won’t have any reason to make changes. And if the ongoing outcry from Xiaomi users is any indication, the company isn’t going to budge any time soon. Everyone loves to hate ads. Even when they can have benefits, the way they’re being misused has made even the plainest of consumers wary and tired of them. Companies, however, are always finding ways to bend rules and shove ads down their own users’ throats. The latest example comes from the smartphone market with Chinese giant Xiaomi sneaking in ads in all its apps, including, surprisingly, the Android Settings app.
1. All Jeep Compass Models Offer Excellent Ground ClearanceEven the two-wheel drive Jeep Compass comes with a respectable 7.8-inches of ground clearance, with the option of four-wheel drive adding another 0.4 inches on top of that number. It’s no surprise that the Trailhawk model rides the tallest, however, with 8.5 inches of ground clearance available thanks to more aggressive tires and a suspension that has been designed to tackle rugged terrain.2. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk Doubles Your Approach AngleThanks to differences in the design of its front fascia and bumper, selecting the Compass Trailhawk provides an approach angle to off-road obstacles of 30.3 degrees. This is double the more modest 15.8 degrees found with the entry-level Compass, and almost twice what the regular 4×4 edition of the SUV has to offer. The Trailhawk also delivers a breakover angle of 24.4 degrees and a departure angle of 33.6 degrees.3. The Jeep Compass Offers Two 4×4 SystemsMost versions of the 2017 Jeep Compass feature the option of Jeep Active Drive, a four-wheel drive system that is completely automatic in its operation. Active Drive doesn’t just work in an off-road setting but can also intervene on the road in order to help improve stability and performance while cornering, and when not needed it uses a power take-off system to disconnect the rear axle to boost fuel efficiency. The Compass Trailhawk introduces a new wrinkle with Jeep Active Drive Low, a 4×4 system that adds a unique 20:1 low-range gear suitable for crawling across difficult trails, through mud, or up hills.4. The Jeep Compass Features The Selec-Terrain SystemEvery four-wheel drive equipped Jeep Compass comes standard with the Selec-Terrain system, which allows drivers to customize stability control, throttle sensitivity, traction control, transmission behavior, and 4×4 functionality based on the surface that must be traversed. Settings include Auto, Snow, and Sand/Mud, with the Trailhawk model gaining an additional Rock setting. Snow maintains a maximum 60/40 torque split front and rear while locking out first gear to enhance traction on launch, while Sand/Mud can send 100 percent of engine output to the rear axle should it be required. Auto constantly monitors driving conditions and shuttles power accordingly, only locking in four-wheel drive when necessary, and Rock is designed to help the Jeep Compass climb over obstacles and up treacherous inclines.5. The Jeep Compass Offers Off-Road Cruise Control The 2017 Jeep Compass has been completely redesigned, and while it’s primarily aimed at commuters looking to leverage its ample storage space, comfortable cabin, and available four-wheel drive, it can also deliver legitimate off-road capability worthy of the Jeep name. Check out these 5 things you need to know about off-roading the 2017 Jeep Compass. The Jeep Compass provides two unique methods for controlling your speed while trail driving. The first is hill descent control, a feature that lets drivers lock in a slow and steady pace that the Compass will maintain, despite the tug of gravity, by leveraging its anti-lock braking system. Hill ascent control offers essentially the same functionality, but instead provides measured forward progress when the Jeep is pointed uphill, or even moving across flat terrain. Each feature lets you focus on your steering inputs and picking the correct path rather than dealing with constant throttle and brake variations. Story Timeline2018 Jeep Compass hits reboot on aging crossoverRedesigned 2017 Jeep Compass fully modernizes brand’s entry-level offerings at 2016 LA Auto Show2017 Jeep Compass First Drive: All-new compact SUV has off-road cred
Look, I’m not going to suggest that the X5 should be your very first port of call when you plan your next Shackleton-style expedition. All the same, what BMW has achieved here is worthy of some praise. Notably, many of the improvements could have parallels in more urban settings the X5 is typically found in. A relatively tight turning radius, for instance, meant t most narrow paths we ended up on were handled just fine. Only one three-point turn was required, in fact; I can see that being just as valuable in the mall parking lot. For most SUVs in this class, climbing a steep, muddy hill while banking sharply left might be a challenge. That wasn’t the case here, and thank goodness; I really didn’t want to be “that guy” who needed rescuing.You can’t say the X5 doesn’t give you every warning it can that mistakes might be easily made. The onboard camera system, for instance, loads up automatically on the dashboard display as the front or rear end starts to approach an object. Useful, certainly, when you’re navigating mud-rich hills, but just as valuable when you’re trying to squeeze into that last Compact spot. In all, I suspect we put the X5 through far more than most buyers will ever venture into, and it shrugged it off without complaint.VerdictThe X5 has come a long way from its acronym-defining beginnings. It’s a perennial best-seller for BMW, and this 2019 X5 should continue to sell many more when you consider the significant and readily-noticeable improvements to the cabin design and the far sportier exterior. Long-time BMW people should find plenty here to their liking, but anybody looking for a full-sized SUV that refuses to compromise on on-road refinement, while still delivering the talents to back up the go-anywhere appearance, should make sure the 2019 X5 is on their shortlist. Bigger, bolder, and brighterThe 2019 BMW X5 makes no compromises when it comes to luxury. Grown in length, height, and width to offer more space than ever before, particularly in the rear quarters, it also introduces a bevy of innovative features and equipment to make it more practical than the outgoing X5. What, you might ask, is the difference between an SAV and an SUV, or Sport Utility Vehicle? To understand that properly, you need to remember that, when the BMW X5 was launched twenty years ago – yes, it has been that long – it wasn’t pretending to be an off-roader. SUVs back then were lumbering mechanical monstrosities, with a durable but hardly refined ladder-frame construction. BMW envisaged the X5 as more of the ‘Sport’ than the ‘Utility’ and so it coined a new name to describe it.It was also BMW’s first attempt at creating an SUV. Sure, it came with all-wheel drive and the choice between a manual or automatic transmission, but it was still built on a unibody chassis similar to a sedan or wagon. That paid dividends for how it drove, far more akin to a proper sedan than anything else. Nowadays we might even call that a crossover, albeit one with luxury and sporty driving as its lodestars. The increase of approximately 1.1-inches in length and 1-inch in height are fairly par for the course, as vehicles typically get larger generation to generation. The biggest change, though, is the width of the new X5. Increasing by 2.6-inches, it gives the BMW a more muscular and athletic stance. That’s not something the Germans could take a risk with, either: the BMW X5 has a huge following, and that audience demands something suitably aggressive to park next to high-profile competitors such as the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Volvo XC90, and the Acura MDX.According to the designers, the new 2019 BMW X5 is intended to exude confidence and authority. I’d certainly agree with that, though I suspect the front grille may be polarizing to some potential buyers. In my opinion this is probably the best-looking X5 so far, no bad thing given that recent BMW vehicles have arguably lost some of their old flare. The shorter front overhang, similar to the freshly-announced Audi e-tron, helps, but the BMW is taller and more purposeful. Credit should also go to the long and sculpted hood, and slightly hexagonal wheel arches. “The BMW X5 embodies the origins of the BMW X family and, in its fourth generation, sends out its most powerful message yet in terms of presence and modernity,”Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, says of the car. “It defines a new X design language – robust, clear and precise.”The trademark kidney grilles are now oversized, and framed with a single-piece surround. LED adaptive headlights are standard, but you can have striking BMW Laserlights instead as an option. Even in the daytime you can spot them by virtue of a blue X-shaped trim inside the headlight clusters. Sadly they’re not powerful enough to slice apart the congestion ahead of you, but they can project a non-dazzling high beam of bright light for distances of more than 1,600 feet.The taillights are also outfitted with LEDs, while their shape follows the precise character line of the new X5’s flanks. They rise toward the rear, to further accentuate the broad and muscular shoulders. 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile rubber are standard – a reminder that this is really intended as an on-road car – while the M Sport trim gets larger 20-inch alloys. 21-inch and 22-inch wheels are optional across the range. Hitting all the ‘Utility’ high notesOn the inside, the new X5 is all business. The instrument panel is broken up by sweeping horizontal lines, while the center console rises up to the instrument panel so as to give easier access to the standard cubby holes, while enhancing the feeling of space up front. BMW has used some handsome, metallic-electroplated trim pieces, and the whole effect falls on the restrained side of luxurious. Story Timeline2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M reach 60mph in 4.0 secondsBMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid sports vehicle goes 13 miles on electricity5 Things You Need To Know About The 2017 BMW X5 40e iPerformance SUV2019 BMW X5 adds more tech and power to luxury SUV2019 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle pricing announcedBMW Vision iNEXT previews 2021 EV The creature comforts are just what you’d expect. Four-zone climate control, a panoramic glass roof now 30-percent larger than the old car, and standard ambient lighting with a pleasant “Welcome Light Carpet” that illuminates the entry areas when the doors are unlocked. The optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System – with its output of 1,500 watts spread across 20 speakers – is suitably loud and thoroughly crisp. A rear-seat entertainment system with a pair of 10.2-inch touchscreen displays with USB ports, a DVD player, and an HDMI socket is optional, and almost certain to keep the kids occupied on longer drives.Some of the most useful changes for 2019 come down to practicality. The two-section tailgate, for easier loading and unloading, is a real boon; tick the options box for the Comfort Access feature, meanwhile, and you can open or close both sections of the tailgate without lifting a finger. Throw in the optional Luggage Compartment package, and the cargo area can even lower itself automatically into the floor. As standard you get seating for five, but if you opt for seven seats then the third row gets electric adjustment, too.Under the hoodPower comes courtesy of a 3.0-liter inline six cylinder turbocharged motor in the BMW X5 xDrive40i. It’s good for 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, which arrives between 1,500 rpm and 5,200 rpm. As a result, the new X5 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. For those looking for more power from their SAV, the BMW X5 xDrive50i upgrades to a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, complete with 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. There’s enough grunt to tow a large trailer or a medium-sized boat, but when you’re not hitching up heavy loads you can do 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.Either way, you get a revised version of the 8-speed Steptronic transmission, now with wider ratios and new electronics. Power is transferred to all four wheels courtesy of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The new drivetrain can effectively split the amount of torque between the front and rear wheels, depending on which will deliver the best stability and enhanced grip. As you’d hope for a BMW, though, the rear-biased xDrive system can also transfer all the power to the rear wheels, for more aggressive straight-line driving. BMW doesn’t stint on safety features, either. For the 2019 model year, the X5 comes with the BMW Personal CoPilot driver assist system, that includes blind spot detection, rear and frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, pedestrian warning with city collision mitigation, speed limit information, and cross traffic alert rear. No compromise on the road – and a surprise off itThe new X5 proves that BMW is still very much in the game if you’re looking for a premium and sporty SUV. We started out on the road, where the handling instantly demonstrated itself much improved over the previous cars. There’s a solidity and purposefulness that just gives you instant confidence in how the X5 drives. My other big takeaway was just how quiet and smooth it is. Even with relatively low-profile rubber, there’s minimal road noise – or indeed wind noise – getting into the cabin. It’s big, but it drives much more like a smaller SUV; all that torque helps, but the X5 never feels less than nimble.Now, I have it on good authority that BMW’s customers weren’t really asking for the X5’s off-road abilities to get a significant upgrade, but somehow we still found ourselves on an off-road course. There’s no shortage of upgrades, mechanical and electronic, that contribute to making the 2019 X5 an unexpectedly capable mud-plugger, but suffice to say that it tackled a track that might give a Land Rover some challenges without complaint. The stiffer chassis along with features like Hill Descent Control make for a truck that needn’t stop short if you find yourself in more tricky terrain. In an industry obsessed with acronyms, you can credit the BMW X5 as being the first-ever SAV, or Sport Activity Vehicle. Back in 1999, people were left scratching their heads to discern the differences between an SAV and SUV. Fast forward to today, and the new 2019 BMW X5 is still an SAV to the core, but it’s certainly all grown up now. Larger, and more practical, the promise is up to seven seats of family convenience but without sacrificing the driving feel that the X5 has always been known for. 2019 BMW X5 Gallery
Although Intel is often criticized for failing to scale its chips down to ARM’s level of energy efficiency, it still has the edge when it comes to raw processing power when TDP is not much of an issue. That’s especially applicable in research fields where the main concern is, to some extent, trying to make computers replicate how the human brain works. It’s for that exact purpose that Intel has developed its Loihi “neuromorphic” research chip that it has now put on a specialized system to provide the processing needs of special applications ranging from research to AI to IoT. To some extent, Intel is taking a shot at its rivals in the silicon market, especially those that are gearing their chips towards AI and machine learning applications. Almost all of these, including Intel itself, simply reuse the same chips and computing architectures from normal consumer computing and apply them for such purposes. Intel, however, is saying that for specialized uses, you will need specialized architectures as well.The Loihi chips, introduced in 2017, is such an architecture. The research chip was developed using the same principles found in biological brains to try and create a computer that more closely mimics how brains work naturally. Now it is putting those chips in boards that will go beyond the capabilities of organic minds.Intel showed off the Nahuku board pictured above that aggregates 8 to 32 Loihi chips. The Pohoiki Beach system, on the other hand, will combine several such boards to have a total of 64 Loihi chips working together to deliver processing power 10,000 more efficient than regular CPUs.AdChoices广告Intel envisions that these systems will be used by its research partners for creating ‘novel neural-inspired algorithms”, specifically for things like sparse coding, graph research, simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM), and path planning. These, in turn, can be used to advance the state of AI and machine learning used in everything from IoT appliances in homes to self-driving cars on the road.
Insurers Seek Rule Change That Would Boost Profits The industry wants to exclude brokers’ fees from being factored into administrative costs, which would reduce consumer refunds under the health law’s medical loss ratio rule. Currently, the rule requires plans in the small group market to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical costs and no more than 20 percent on administrative costs. Other stories look at access to specialty care and predicted Obamacare disasters that never happened.The Fiscal Times: How An Obamacare Tweak Could Save Insurers MillionsThe insurance industry is quietly pushing lawmakers to tweak a very wonky rule in the Affordable Care Act that could save them money and significantly reduce the amount consumers would receive in rebates each year. At issue is the ACA’s medical loss ratio (MLR) which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue from premiums on health care related costs and no more than 15 percent on administrative costs for large groups and 20 percent for small groups. If insurers don’t meet the MLR, they are required to rebate the difference to their customers. … Right now, the MLR includes payments to brokers and agents as part of insurers’ administrative costs. Industry trade groups want that changed (Ehley, 7/17). Kaiser Health News: Specialty Care Is A Challenge In Some ACA PlansPrimary care doctors have reported problems making referrals for patients who have purchased some of the cheaper plans from the federal insurance marketplace. Complaints about narrow networks with too few doctors have attracted the attention of federal regulators and have even prompted lawsuits. But they’re also causing headaches in the day-to-day work of doctors and clinics. “The biggest problem we’ve run into is figuring out what specialists take a lot of these plans,” said Dr. Charu Sawhney of Houston (Feibel, 7/16). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: One-Third Who Lost Badgercare Coverage Bought Plans On Federal MarketplaceAbout one out of three people who lost their BadgerCare Plus health insurance under the state’s unusual approach to the Affordable Care Act bought subsidized health plans on the marketplace set up by the federal law, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Health Services. The figures provide the first thorough look at the number of people who gained and lost coverage through BadgerCare Plus, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, under the approach taken by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. The approach expanded coverage through BadgerCare Plus for the poorest adults while dropping coverage for others who would be eligible to buy subsidized health plans on the federal marketplace (Boulton, 7/16). CQ Healthbeat: Skepticism Voiced Over HHS’ Ability to Verify Insurance SubsidiesHouse Republicans expressed doubt Wednesday that the Department of Health and Human Services will have a system in place to verify eligibility for insurance subsidies in time for the Nov. 15 start of open enrollment to buy 2015 coverage in health exchanges. Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants may get taxpayer subsidies as a result, suggested Rep. Bill Cassady, R-La., at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Much of the infrastructure for insurance exchange operations remains incomplete, asserted Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. (Reichard, 7/17). The Associated Press: House Passes $20B Bill Cutting IRS Tax EnforcementThe GOP-controlled House passed a $20 billion measure Wednesday that would slash budgets for enforcing tax laws and new financial regulations, and a healthy food initiative that’s a pet cause of first lady Michelle Obama. The House passed the bill on a nearly party-line, 228-195, vote. Companion legislation has yet to advance in the Senate and the White House has promised a veto of the House bill for numerous reasons, including a provision that would block the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the mandate on individuals to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. (Taylor, 7/16).Vox: 7 Predicted Obamacare Disasters That Never HappenedBack in the fall of 2013, it wasn’t exactly a bold move to predict Obamacare would turn out to be a complete disaster. Americans are “not interested” in signing up, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh declared on his radio show in late October. … These days, Obamacare seems to be working reasonably well. More Americans have health insurance now than did a year ago. People who bought Obamacare say they’re generally pretty happy with their health insurance plans and that they can mostly get a doctor appointment within two weeks. Looking back at expectations set last fall and this spring shows how terribly pundits and politicians expected Obamacare to go — and how much of the predicted disaster never actually happened (Kliff, 7/15). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.