New Facebook Video Calling App Starts Rolling Out

Bonfire, a group calling mobile app with next-generation features, is quietly rolling out on the iTunes App Store adn Google Play. This app is being developed by Facebook, and it may signal the direction that instant messaging and personal communications will be handled by the social media giant in the near future.

 

The app is currently being tested primarily in Denmark, a country known for its excellent wireless broadband infrastructure. Bonfire can accommodate up to nine callers in a single video chat session; early user reviews indicate that the app works flawlessly and without any noticeable lag. Facebook is borrowing a page from the Snapchat strategy book by adding quite a few stickers, filters and augmented reality features to Bonfire.

 

When users first install Bonfire to their smartphones or tablets, they only have access to about a dozen stickers and filters; additional features can be downloaded as desired. Naturally, a Facebook account is required to use Bonfire; video calls can be started with simple invitations that are as intuitive as those found in Snapchat; one of the best features of Bonfire is the ability to instantly share and post conversation snapshots to Instagram or Facebook.

 

Although Bonfire will eventually become an integral component of the mobile Facebook experience, the current version and user interface mostly resembles Instagram. The target audience is clearly younger users since they are the most likely to engage in group video calling these days. It is readily apparent that Facebook wants to offer younger users as many features as Snapchat does; to this effect, the augmented reality extras and the stickers are mostly fun features that younger users are more likely to enjoy.

 

An interesting aspect of the current Bonfire test by Facebook is that it somewhat resembles what Google has been doing over the last few years: testing different messaging apps and retiring those that do not perform as strongly as expected. Google currently has four major messaging apps, and they are not entirely compatible with each other.

Achievements of Rick Smith is Securus Technologies

There are many things that we have heard about being in jail. Most of the ordeals are very scary. Most of us are even afraid to associate with an individual who has a history of being in jail. Detention facilities are seen as brutal places where only tough human beings are bled. Thanks to Rick Smith of Securus Technologies, the story has changed.

Rick Smith, the CEO and Chairman of Securus Technologies has taken the company to another level. It is now ranked as the most reliable high technology company. The users say that this is because the gadgets are convenient and reliable.

One area that Rick Smith seems to have emphasized on is improving the detention life. The inmates are the biggest beneficiaries of his projects. Through Securus Technologies, the convicts can now comfortably communicate with their loved ones. There are many options for communication that Rick Smith has introduced. Read more on PRNewsWire.com.

There are the video calls and audio calls that the convicts and the relatives can use during visitation. Initially, there were just audio calls. However, Smiths passion for videos led to the innovation of video calls in the facilities. Smith argued that when people see each other, communication is more efficient compared to when it’s just the voice they can hear. A video call brings some connection.

Read: http://warondemocracy.net/all-you-need-to-know-about-rick-smith-the-ceo-of-securus-technologies/

Rick Smith also saw the issue of having to queue during visitation as a waste time. Securus Technologies has, therefore, come up with ways to help the relatives schedule visitations in advance. By doing this, the relatives go at their own pace. They do not have to wait for long hours before seeing the inmates.

The other program that Rick Smith Securus has introduced that has proofed effective is the ability to call from home. Sometimes the relatives may be too busy to drive to the detention facilities to see their loved ones. Other detainees are in facilities that are far from their residential area. It is therefore impossible for the relatives to drive to the jail regularly. Rick Smith has given such individuals the option of calling through a webcam.

Rick Smith has been able to do all this because of the skills he possesses. Before becoming the CEO of Securus Technologies, he was the President and CEO of Eschelon-Telkom. His reign in the society is always remembered. He played a huge role in ranking Eschelon. He elevated the revenue of the company to $350 million from $30 million.

The other factor that has contributed greatly to the success of Rick Smith is his educational background. He has a degree in Engineering and masters of the same. Smith also has a masters degree in Mathematics and an MBA. Visit securustechnologies.com for more info.

Addicting Apps Are No Accident

When an addicting app is released, people look at the developers and say how lucky they are that the public loves the app. Addicting apps are rarely happy accidents though; there is big money in having teens glued to their phones, using their favorite apps all day long. In 2016, apps revenue was $52 billion worldwide.

 

Hooking people through apps is a science, at least according to California startup Dopamine Labs, which uses neuroscience and artificial intelligence to advise companies on how to build addicting features into their apps. With more than a quarter of all iOS app developers earning approximately $5,000 per month, it is easy to see why companies would pay Dopamine Labs to give them an edge in the increasingly crowded app market. Game apps bring in more revenue than any other type of app, primarily through purchases made in the app.

 

Addicting apps trigger a burst of dopamine in user’s brains, creating a euphoric feeling that they want to repeat by using the app multiple times per day. Facebook excels at the practice; the helpful notification that someone commented on the user’s post is a trigger, designed to get people to open the Facebook app. When someone likes the post, a reward encourages the user to keep opening the app and posting, hoping for more rewards.

 

Dopamine Labs uses artificial intelligence to advise clients when to reward app users, to keep them using the app for as long as possible at a time and repeatedly come back to it. Addicting features, such as push notifications, are literally built into apps that depend on advertising for revenue. Fortunately, the addiction is not self-destructive, and it is one parents can control easily with the push of a button.

NASA Sets Sights on the Moon

It’s been awhile since NASA has sent mankind to the moon and that always leads people to beg the question: are we ever going back? Over 45 years ago we made our first trip to the moon by way of a process called trans-lunar injection. Now, NASA is aiming to do it again with testing beginning at some point in 2019. This will be the first time that NASA has tested their Space Launch System along with the brand spanking new, Orion ship.

 

The Orion is going to go down in history books around the world if all testing goes to plan and the mission hits its expectations. The Orion mission will eventually have a crewed spaceship heading farther away from our planet than any other spacecraft has ever been. Orion will get nearly 270,000 miles away from Earth. To compare this distance a little easier: 270,000 miles away from Earth is the same as flying up to the Space Station and back home to Earth over 500 times.

 

The entire Orion mission is slated to take nearly 25.5 days. The mission will start with a four-day cruise up and to the moon before it is ‘injected’ into an elliptical orbit around Earth’s moon. The Orion Mission, also known as Exploration Mission 1, will sit in around the Moon’s orbit for nearly a week before spending another four days getting back home to Earth, where it will land somewhere in the Pacific Ocean near the assigned recovery utilities.

 

If this mission is a success, NASA plans to move toward manned expeditions in a similar fashion. Mike Sarafin is a NASA Mission Manager and he said, “This is the first of many missions to come that will use the deep-space exploration system to prepare our team.” Sarafin and his crew lately confirmed that they are hoping to have a ‘human test mission’ slated to take off at some point in 2023. These missions are considered the first step toward a manned mission to Mars.

Will NIO Give Electric Car Customers What They Want?

The future of electric cars comes with many question marks. At some point, these vehicles will become immensely popular. Electric cars offer a lot of things traditional diesel fuel cars deliver to customers. Electric cars, however, are a bit too new to attract large numbers of new customers. The Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO seems to understand focusing on user experiences may be the right way to build up customer numbers.

Izzy Zhu, NIO’s VP of User Development, has pointed out his company works very hard at creating the perfect hardware and software necessary to power an electric car. Zhu does stress that hardware and software must take a backseat to user experience and feedback. No matter how advanced the hardware or software might be, if the user experience ranks as poor, cars aren’t going to move in the market.

Poor user experiences mean a bad word of mouth, online reviews and more. Selling even the most advanced and sophisticated cars won’t exactly be easy when users dislike the models. Hence, revisions and improvements must be made based on user feedback.

One sign that NIO wishes to meet customer demands reveals itself in the current development of the E8. The E8 is the name fo the company’s new SUV model. A significant segment of car buyers maintains an affinity for the SUV. For families and active people, an SUV often delivers on needs. The sporty look of an SUV also appeals to those who wish to own a hip-looking vehicle.

One drawback with an SUV would be the cost of fuel. When fuel prices rise, the sales figures on SUV’s don’t always look great. Electric cars do present a cost-saving alternative when fuel prices increase. Manufacturing an electric SUV falls under the category of “meeting customer demands” and could draw more people into the electric vehicle market.

NIO wants to be a major player in the electric vehicle market. Making decisions designed to give customers what they want surely helps with succeeding in these plans.

Facebook Launches an AI Technology that Seeks to Reduce Cases of Suicide

Facebook recently announced the use of IA to detect worrisome posts emanating from its users: posts that suggest that a user is on the brink of committing suicide. The AI technology employed by Facebook scans posts from users and can locate suspicious posts which it highlights to human moderators. The technology will drastically reduce the time between when such posts are made and when Facebook makes an effort to help out the individuals involved. What’s more, the AI will also classify user reports based on urgency.
While the Facebook’s artificial intelligence system can identify posts from mentally ill people, are the human moderators ready to offer assistance to such people? TechCrunch reports that Facebook is dedicating a significant number of moderators to suicide prevention; this involves training them to deal with cases at whatever time of the day. Also, Facebook has some new partners in its mission to stem suicide on its platform. They include Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, etc. So far, Facebook has initiated over 100 “wellness check.” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of product management emphasizes that the social media’s AI is tailored to reduce the time between when disturbed user posts a comment or uses Facebook Live and when first responders reach out to the user.
There is no doubt Facebook means well with its AI technology, but experts are raising questions regarding its use. Could the technology be misused? Well, Facebook does not have all the answers at this point, and Rosen explains that Facebook saw an opportunity to help and the social media giant embarked on it. Notably, users cannot opt out of the AI tech scanning their posts.
Rosen states that mental experts had an input in the development of Facebook’s AI. According to him, many ways of stopping suicide exist but connecting distressed people with their family and friends beats them all. Facebook is in a unique position to connect people at risk not only to their friends or family but also organizations that can assist them.

Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Siemens eyeing Hybrid Technology to Propel Commercial Planes

The aviation industry is known for its notoriety for pollution and noise. In fact, the European Commission envisions an aviation industry that produces 60 percent lesser carbon dioxide, 90 percent lower nitrogen oxide, and 75 percent lesser noise by 2050. So far, the most significant efforts towards the European Commissions’ goals have been announced by Airbus, Siemens, and Rolls-Royce. Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ chief technology officer, is optimistic that hybrid-electric technology is the future of aviation.
The three companies are working on a joint venture, E-Fan X programme, that will test an electric engine alongside three jet engines on BAe 146 aircraft. As expected, the venture will cost the three firms tens of millions of pounds, but that is the price that the companies are willing to pay to make the aviation industry more eco-friendly. The three corporations are planning to fly a demonstrator plane in the next two years and commission commercial applications in 2025. A spokeswoman for the venture emphasized that the three companies are working on developing a hybrid technology as opposed to fully electric commercial planes as the latter has proved challenging.
Rolls Royce’s role in the venture is at the very heart of the project. The company will develop an electricity generator that will power the E-Fan X plane. Rolls Royce has a challenging task of making the generator lightweight without compromising performance. The Rolls Royce generator will run on jet fuel to generate power for the electric engine. Also, Rolls Royce will make an effort to store any excess energy in batteries; the energy will be handy in either taking off or landing.
BBC’s Theo Legget notes that the Airbus mission is laudable. According to him, jet fuel accounts for between 17 percent to 35 percent of an airline’s running costs. Therefore, the reduction on overreliance on fossil fuel will significantly improve an airline’s earnings. Although he supports the move by the three firms, he believes the technology needs to be proven.

Xiaomi and Baidu Unite to Undertake AI and Internet of Things

Xiaomi, a technology maker à la Apple, and Baidu, a high-powered Chinese search engine, will collaborate to develop artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

The companies revealed their partnership at Xiaomi’s Beijing conference on Tuesday. Baidu claims the title of the third highest valued public Chinese technology business, and Xiaomi is globally known as a very profitable privately-owned company.

Boasting a financial backing of $86 billion, Baidu concentrates on tech like AI and deep learning. Xiaomi, on the other hand, has made its name known in China and in developing markets with its low-cost devices.

Although this is the partnership’s first public outing, several Xiaomi devices contain Baidu’s operating system DuerOS, which was unmarked as a product of the company until now.

The two companies are not making all details of their collaboration public at this point. However, we know they will develop technologies related to computer optics, voice recognition, deep learning, and further improvement of DuerOS. Future projects could include self-driving vehicles and robotics as these are two of Baidu’s interests.

If this collaboration leads to advancements beyond the Chinese market, it could validate the perks of tech sharing and establish both businesses as even stronger competitors in their respective fields.

In particular, Baidu has previously proven its commitment to alliances with hardware companies in order to promote its technologies. It waives license fees for the DuerOS with around 130 businesses, thus making it onto the hardware for smart tech as well as home appliances.

Earlier this year, Baidu collaborated with the start-up Raven to create a smart speaker. The company also worked with the cutting edge Swedish company, Teenage Engineering, to create the unusually designed Raven.

Samsung Announces a new Battery Technology

South Korean’s multinational conglomerate Samsung is always hitting the headlines for innovating cutting-edge products or technology. Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) announced that the multinational was an advanced stage of developing a new battery technology. The new technology would allow batteries to charge extremely fast over and above increased storage capacity. The institute went on to intimate that the technology would be useful not only for smartphones or other such devices but also electric vehicles.
Presently, people are increasingly relying on fast-charge technology. The fast-charge innovation shortens the time that batteries need to become fully charged to one hour, down from two hours that a cell takes to be fully charged when under regular charging. However, the recent innovation by Samsung could fill up batteries in just 12 minutes. Impressive.
Samsung had to develop a new battery altogether to achieve its goal. The new battery incorporates the use of graphene and as opposed to silicon currently used in lithium technology. A comparison between graphene and silicon reveals that the two are markedly different regarding performance; graphene transfers energy over 140 times faster than silicon. Also, it is 100 times more efficient than copper.
While it has not been proven, Samsung’s new battery technology could lead to a longer battery life than that witnessed in batteries currently used in smartphones and electric cars. Although Samsung has not spoken regarding how long the cells that incorporate the new technology would take before they are fully drained of energy, their ability to be charged in slightly over ten minutes make them convenient.
As if the news about the new battery technology is not enough, Samsung announced that it had found a way of mass producing the revolutionary batteries at an “affordable cost.” However, the tech giant did not mention when it expects to roll out the new batteries or whether it will incorporate them into its future devices especially the smartphones. Nevertheless, it is comforting that we may soon be able to charge our smartphone batteries in record time—12 minutes.

Samsung Battery Could Give Complete Charge in Mere Minutes

Samsung’s newly developed battery technology should charge smartphones, tablets, and electric cars in minutes flat, claims Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology.

The company affirms that the recent tech needs only 12 minutes to fully charge a device that now requires an hour to fill up, even with the use of fast-charge.

Samsung says that the technology utilizes graphene, a thin layer of carbon atoms procured out of graphite, which conducts electricity 100 times more productively than copper. The material transports energy 140 times quicker than the up-to-date silicon-based, lithium batteries, giving hope for a faster recharge than ever before.

Potentially, the new tech could increase battery’s energy-holding volume and provide its devices or cars with longer battery life. At this early stage, just how long these batteries could last is a mystery; however, the high-speed charging would mean uncommonly quick fill-ups, making the battery exponentially more user-friendly in the small span of daily time it would take. Spending the few daily minutes it might take to check in with a charger could lead to never running out of battery at all.

Current fast-charging tech in devices provides a 50% charge in thirty minutes, which is significantly quicker than a “regular” charge, giving a full charge in about two hours. The brand-new technology, however, would completely change the game.

Not only this, Samsung is assuring the public that they can widely manufacture the innovation and at a reasonable cost. As promising as the tech is, though, the company hasn’t yet made clear dates for the tech’s use in smartphones or other electronics.

At the moment, we can only suppose how fast this tech could charge Tesla vehicles and other larger electric gear.