The Thriving Market Of Smartphones

If there is one thing that can be said for the smartphone market, it is that it is thriving. One thing that can be said is that almost everyone has a smartphone, and yet people are still buying it. One good way to profit and continue to profit in the market is to come up with something that is highly advanced and come up with ways to keep it updating. There are always updates being made to smartphones which will keep attracting customers. This is a bit like computer hardware and software. Given that the world is more or less computerized and online, people are going to be looking for the latest technology so that they can handle their entertainment as well as productivity.

People that are in the market for smartphones are probably looking for the best smartphones they can get their hands on. These smartphones will cost a lot so they may have to save money.

It is hard to think of a time before smartphones. People were still enjoying their flip phones. The idea of watching high definition video was not considered possible. Now, these phones have large enough screens to display video that is easy to see. Another thing is that the phones have a high resolution so that images are clear and sharp.

One of the best aspects of smartphones is how simple and accessible entertainment is. While in older days, people would have to put on a physical media device to watch something on T.V. the smartphone makes it possible to watch high quality programming on their small screen. This makes things better for people who are constantly on the move.

A Look at How People Use Facebook

There is a fascinating article on the TechCrunch website where the author, Josh Constine, looks at how people use Facebook. Essentially, the article examines whether Facebook is bringing people closer, isolating us or both. Facebook itself seems to recognize that many people overuse their product and are now offering an app that can block areas of the site for 30 days if the user feels they need a break. Additionally, it will be sponsoring a conference where academics and other experts look at the possible negative effects of social media on society.

The author notes that people tend to use Facebook too much when their wills are weak often late at night. This is certainly true for me, and it was interesting to learn that others have the same problem. The author compares overusing Facebook to eating too much fast food, and this is an excellent analogy. Also, he mentions that one of the biggest regret users have after abusing Facebook is the time they lost. In fact, studies show that Facebook users are on the site an average of an hour a day.

On the other hand, Facebook brings us closer by connecting us with long-ago classmates, distant family members, fellow obscure hobby enthusiasts and more. Basically, the author distinguishes between good and bad Facebook use, and the article isn’t simply a condemnation of the technology. After reading this article, I came to the conclusion that Facebook is like most technologies – it’s good or bad depending on how it’s used.

Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that it’s better when people actively use Facebook to connect with friends and family than passively consume items that are routed to them by the site algorithm. Also, many experts have talked about how people who use Facebook may come to see their lives and themselves as inadequate because they are constantly bombarded with images of success and glamour from those they follow.

France Bans Mobile Phones in School

If you look around at the people in your vicinity, you may notice an alarming trend. Almost everyone is on their phone. All across the globe, it seems that now more than ever, people just cannot put down their smartphones. It’s dangerous and it’s quickly becoming a public health crisis. That’s because a whole slew of dangerous things is happening due to our dependency on phones. People are driving and not paying attention because they’re texting. Teenagers are crossing the street, looking at their phone, and becoming victims of accidents. Furthermore, predators and other evil people lurk inside social media apps. There is a country that won’t take a stand for this advancement in technology.

According to Reddit, France is banning smartphones from all primary, junior, and middle schools. The Education Minister even went as far as to call center it a “public health crisis.” He’s not wrong. Teenagers are paying less attention in school because they care more about what others are doing on social media. Cell phones are also ruining face-to-face relationships. Teens would much rather chat with one another through the phone than make the effort to have a real conversation.

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons to ban cell phone use in school is the fact that it can cut down on bullying. So many young girls and boys are victims of cyberbullying. Smartphones give bullies a platform to voice their opinions which are often cruel. Jean-Michel Blanquer even said that children don’t play at break time anymore. It’s sad when children, even very young ones, would rather sit on a phone instead of interacting with their peers, run around, and have fun. This is very detrimental to their overall health because they’re not getting as much exercise as they should.

There have been previous studies done which show that banning smartphones is also great for student’s grades. These studies showed that test scores improved for 16-year-olds by %6.4. It’s easy to see why. When you take away a big distraction like a smartphone, you leave room for other activities like studying.

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Target Adds a New Way to Give Gifts This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here and that means almost everyone is shopping. More than ever, there has been an increase in people shopping for gifts online. That’s because it’s essentially taking the easy way out. You don’t have to drive around from store to store, wait in line, and shift through racks and shelves to find what you need. Everything is available at the click of a button.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to online shopping, there are new innovations this holiday season. No longer are there the same old options of giving a gift, money, or a gift card. According to TechCrunch, Target has added something new.

If you’re unsure if someone will like a gift, there’s a new option. You can email them the receipt for what they’re getting. The recipient then has the option to accept the gift, exchange it for something else, or exchange it for money. It’s great for when you’re buying for someone and you’re not %100 sure what they like. This is also great if you’re buying clothes for someone but aren’t quite sure of their size. Many wonder why not just send a gift card? Target views this as a more personal version of a gift card which makes sense. This shows that you at least tried to find something that they would like.

It’ll be interesting to see if this is the way of the future and if other stores will follow suit. It’s not a bad idea because everyone wins with a gift like that. There are still some people out there who are old fashioned and will say nothing beats unwrapping a personal or homemade gift. In today’s society, it’s harder than ever to shop for people. That’s because there’s millions of different gift options and even though you think you know someone, you can still have doubts. That’s why Target is doing this. They want to show that it’s not impossible to shop for the impossible person.

Why Interswitch has not Made Good its Promise to go Public

In 2016, speculations were rife that Interswitch, a payment processing firm based in Lagos, Nigeria, would be the first African tech firm to be listed both on the Lagos and London stock exchanges. The tech firm would be listed at a $1 billion valuation. All indicators were right, Interswitch had selected investment bankers, and Helios Investment Partner stood by the company as a primary backer.
Almost two years later, Interswitch has not gone public; neither has any other VC backed African tech firm. TechCrunch sought to establish why Interswitch has not made good its promise. However, it appeared as if Interswitch is unwilling to discuss the matter as the spokesperson for the tech firm reserved their comments regarding the pending IPO. Nevertheless, TechCrunch found out that Interswitch had partly addressed the matter in the last quarter of 2016. Through Akeem Lawal, Interswitch divisional officer, Interswitch had blamed “unfavorable equity markets,” while affirming it would go public before the end of 2019.
In pursuit of more information on Interswitch’s delay to go public, TechCrunch sought the opinions of some Nigerian tech insiders. Also, TechCrunch wanted to establish whether another company could be publicly listed before Interswitch.
Tayo Oviosu, the CEO of Paga—a Nigerian mobile money firm—suspects that Interswitch had not gone public owing to macroeconomic dynamics in Nigeria. He added that 2016 was unfavorable economically to launch an IPO. The weak Naira made it impossible to fetch a reasonable IPO valuation or opening share price. Consequently, Interswitch would have been valued lower than its actual market standing. Omobola Johnson, a senior partner at TLCom Capital, echoed Oviosu sentiments. Apparently, all analysts agree that 2016 was a bad year for a private company to go public. Johnson is also a former Minister of Communication Technology.
While Interswitch remains capable of going public anytime, Johnson named some companies which he believes might be listed soon. They include Andela and Flutterwave and Kenya’s Twiga Foods. Nigeria’s 2017 economic outlook is a marked improvement from 2016.

Apple Is Trying to Build a Self-Driving Car

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook recently gave an interview where he admitted that the company is hard at work trying to develop the world’s first self-driving car. Cook admitted that the A.I. required for such a project would have to be incredibly sophisticated. Companies like Google have made headlines in their attempt to create self-driving cars. However, Apple is the world’s biggest company. Therefore, the fact that they have entered this industry raises the stakes considerably. Cook did not give any indication as to how long Apple has been involved in this project. He also did not say how far along the company is. He did say that this project is one of the top priorities for the company.

 

Google and Apple are not the only big players in this game. The American auto makers have already made it very clear that they are very serious about developing driverless cars in the future. Ford has already spent $1 billion on a driverless software company. General Motors has also made a significant investment into developing this sort of technology. It remains to be seen which of these companies will have investments that actually pay off. The race to be the first company to get a self-driving car on the market has never been more competitive than it is now.

 

Apple is always very secretive about the various projects they are working on. The self-driving car project is no different. Tim Cook was very stingy with the info that he would reveal. He would basically only confirm that the project is indeed underway. He also said that people have been hired for various positions of importance on the project. He would not confirm who those people are or what their positions will be. Apple just recently opened their new headquarters building in CA that is shaped like a flying saucer. It took several years to build. The self-driving car is the first major project to be announced since the building opened.

 

 

 

Recent news article about funny viral internet trends

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Horsey McHorseface Takes the Gold

Many of you may remember awhile back when the British government used an internet poll to name their new research vessel, then got their collective crumpets in a twist when the winning entry was “Boaty McBoatface.” They then went on give it the slightly less amusing name of the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Now, the internet has a new champion, a race horse named Horsey McHorseface. Well, if you can’t have a boat, the obvious next best choice is to get a horse.

 

 

The owners, who bought horse who would become Horsey McHorseface back in 2015, thought the name would be a good way to generate some positive media buzz. In an interview with CNN, the horse’s manger discussed the events leading up to picking the name “We had a laugh about it in the office and thought, ‘Hey, why not.'”

 

 

Getting your name out there is great, but victories are that much better. So, imagine the excitement when the three-year-old gelding whose name helped it became a cult figure amongst the racing crowd (not to mention having 24-million Twitter followers), proved it’s not just a one trick pony by winning his first race. Horsey took a trip from his home in New Zealand to the pull a last second victory at the Cessock Racetrack in New South Wales, Australia beating the less amusingly named “The Big Dreamer” and “Lucky Starlet”

 

 

Coming out this massive victory it does raise the rather pertinent question of have we reached the peak of the trend Something McSomethingface? Or, with this new victory for funny names, will this only encourage others to run this trend straight to the glue factory?

Xbox, Minecraft, and What’s New in Tech

Modern technology had made it feasible for nearly every consumer to get their hands on a personal virtual reality device. Virtual reality is a hot topic, as everyday consumers are just now readily obtaining such technology. Despite virtual reality being so popular, Xbox One X’s new release said nothing about virtual reality on the upcoming console.

 

Some gamers had expected Microsoft to release news regarding a virtual reality headset with the Xbox One X, because of Microsoft’s increased attention to virtual reality hardware. These VR headsets are expected to be produced by partners Dell, HP, and Acer, among others, with selling points lower than those of HTC and Oculus. Microsoft did say that they expected to further simulated reality on computers, not necessarily on the upcoming Xbox One X.

 

Microsoft has, however, announced some good news. The upcoming Xbox One X will feature backwards compatibility all the way back to original Xbox games.

 

Not all news is Microsoft-related, however. Minecraft has recently been granted the ability of multi-console availability, allowing players to save the same worlds across all devices.

 

Electronic Arts recently announced the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront 2. This game will allow players to game from the view of multiple popular, recognizable characters such as Darth Maul and Luke Skywalker. EA will also be releasing Madden 18.

 

Madden 18 is more than just another football game — players have the option of playing a story-based game mode called “Longshot.” The new mode is similar to a movie in which you, the player, controls what paths the character takes. Madden 18’s new Longshot mode will showcase Mahershala Ali as its featured actor.

 

Accelerators Continue Funding AI for Business

Artificial intelligence is most often seen as a consumer-driven innovation. AI-powered home assistants are available through numerous platforms and are designed to make life efficient. However as more businesses are struggling to make sense of their data, artificial intelligence is prepping to take on a new role in the office. From bots to analysis, AI for business is gaining accelerator funding.

 

Marketing, sales and customer service are the areas most likely to see a rise in AI powered bots. Already, customers interact with AI powered customer service, but start-ups are now developing virtual agents that can replace live-chat agents and others. These bots aren’t entirely innovative in the sense that they merely extend the kind of artificial intelligence consumers use at home into their daily interactions with other services. But start-ups, like Clair, test consumer products and ads without having to engage with consumers at all. This establishes Clair as a true AI tool for business. Scribe, another recently seeded startup, uses AI to identify new leads. The tech can potentially replace sales reps, or at least take over one area of their job.

 

Analysts predict that AI-powered technologies are likely to pivot in the upcoming months. The current use of bots, for instance, might be one stepping stone toward other technologies that will be used in other settings. So instead of customer service, marketing and sales bots, organizations might start applying these tools in numerous ways and settings. The most recent commercials from IBM come to mind. In the ads, Watson helps basketball coaches run predictive analytics on player performance; Watson assists IT professionals faced with security issues and finally, Watson shortens the time it takes to complete tedious tasks. Watson may speak like a bot, but it doesn’t think like one.

 

Considering AI’s potential in an enterprise setting, it is no surprise that accelerators are backing AI business technologies. Bots might seem small right now, but they aren’t the end of the line.

 

2 Ways The Technology World Will Change In The Next Ten Years

Technology is always changing all around us. The pace at which it changes is incredibly fast and only getting faster. This is why many are excited to look ahead to the future and try to guess where it will go next. There are some saying that the next ten years are going to bring a lot of exciting changes to the technology realm. Network World has detailed some of these potential futures.

 

The Technology Industry Will Become More Diverse

 

One thing that some are very excited about is that it is expected that the technology industry itself will become more diverse. Right now it is primarily dominated by white men, but that is finally starting to change.

 

Silicon Valley has had to come to grips with the issue that there are not enough women and minorities in their ranks. It means that they are missing out on particular perspectives and they are not able to serve as broad of a market as they possibly could.

 

One tech company (Intel) even recently put out its diversity numbers and vowed to make them more accurately reflect the American public by 2020. That is a promising sign for us all.

 

Cloud Computing Will Be Everywhere

 

You could still confuse some people with the term “the cloud” in recent years, but that is starting to change. Cloud computing is already taking up an increasing amount of our technology life, but it is going to become exactly what we do with most things in the technology realm ten years from now if not sooner.

 

Cloud computing will make our lives easier because it will help to automate a lot of the processing that we have to do manually today. This is highly important because even a few seconds saved can make a big difference in the lives of the average person. This is an exciting element of the future that seems almost guaranteed to happen in technology.

Apple Shares Continues to Drop

Technology stocks in the US are on the plunge since Friday last week. Among the companies that have been affected most is Apple whose shares fell by 4 percent today. This happens to be the second day running as Apple had recorded a stock fall of 3 percent on Friday. This means that the technology giant has recorded a 7 percent decline in the last two business days. However, experts say that the Monday decline was as a result of the action carried out by Mizuho. Mizuho decided to downgrade their stocks to neutral which resulted in Apple’s shares dropping from $160 to $150. However, the managing director of Mizuho said that they believed that things are about to change and the stocks will pick in the coming days.

 

On Friday morning at around 10: 40 am, Apple stocks had dropped by 2.9 percent and they were worth $144.65. Correctively, the stocks fell by a margin of 2.9 percent on Friday. Apple stocks finished the day on Thursday at a high of $154.99. However, experts say that Apple gains in the coming weeks will be limited by the expectation that iPhone 8 will be bought by many customers across the globe. Since consumers are expecting the release of iPhone 8, they will not buy any iPhone in the coming months until the new model is released. Customers are also hopeful that the new iPhone will incorporate the new OLED display technology. However, customers do not expect to incur any extra cost on this feature.

 

Experts also say that Apple expansion in China will remain weak. At the same time, sales in India are expected to remain low as many people in the country cannot afford Apple devices. However, the company will experience growth in revenue in the coming two years. At the moment, Apple is estimated to have overseas cash holdings of $170 billion. The hard economic times facing the company is a sign that the market is currently characterized by volatility.