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Facebook messenger addresses business visibilityFacebook messenger addresses business visibility

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Facebook's Messenger chat app is among the most popular chat apps today with 900 million monthly active users (MAU), up 29% from 700 million MAU last year. And at Facebook's annual F8 conference on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new tools that developers can use to harness the reach of Messenger to connect businesses to consumers. 

Facebook introduced a number of new tools aimed at helping developers not only build more complex bots for the platform, but also increase discoverability, and track engagement metrics. 

Messenger Platform is a set of tools for developers to build bots for Facebook Messenger, bringing a range of new functions to companies looking to leverage the popular messaging app. Developers will be able to use the tools to build bots that can send and receive text commands, as well as send buttons in Messenger that allow users to select from pre-written lists. For example, if a user orders a pair of shoes, the bot can send a button that asks the user to select their size, or the price range they want the shoe to cost. Bots have to be approved for security reasons before they're added and will be prominently placed below the People section of the search bar in the Messenger app, making it easy for users to cycle through different businesses or locate a specific business.  Discovery tools. Facebook also introduced Messenger plug-ins for websites, Messenger Codes, and a search feature for bots. These features will make it easier for consumers to search and connect with bots on the platform. Plug-ins will allow businesses to add "Contact us" links to their websites that will open directly into Messenger. Messenger Codes are similar to QR codes; they can be placed into ads and on business' websites. Users can scan these codes with the camera function within Messenger, which will open up a conversation thread with that business. Lastly, businesses' bots will be featured prominently in the search bar directly under "People."

Account Kit. This new login tool lets developers sign up users with just a phone number. Accounts are an expansion on the "log in with Facebook" button.  Apps that enable logins with this feature will ask users for their phone number. Once entered, users will be prompted to enter a code sent to that number, which will then allow them to log into the app without a password. In an example with Indian music app Saavn, the new feature increased sign-ups by 33%. With 85% of the top grossing apps in the US already using Facebook logins, this will be a big benefit for developers.

Analytics for Apps. Facebook announced a few improvements to its analytics tools which allows developers to measure how people are using their application. The service, which is used by 450,000 apps, will now provide developers with data on new user demographics, such as education and employment history. It will also allow push and in-app notifications, and an App Events Export API that will allow developers to analyze data offline.

The potential reach for businesses on Messenger is enormous; globally, users are sending three times as many messages across Messenger and WhatsApp as they did on SMS at its peak. Moreover, Messenger was the fastest-growing app in 2015 in terms of users. This was due in part to its growing presence internationally, particularly in some developing countries such as India.

Facebook Messenger is proof that messaging apps have evolved beyond simple tools for communicating with family and friends. Today, they are full ecosystems that include communication, commerce, and more.

Will McKitterick, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on messaging apps that takes a close look at the size of the messaging app market, how these apps are changing, and the types of opportunities for monetization that have emerged from the growing audience that uses messaging services daily.

Messaging App Report CoverBI Intelligence

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

Mobile messaging apps are massive. The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth. Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base. Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged. They’ve also built successful strategies for monetizing their services. Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.

In full, this report:

Gives a high-level overview of the messaging market in the US by comparing total monthly active users for the top chat apps. Examines the user behavior of chat app users, specifically what makes them so attractive to brands, publishers, and advertisers. Identifies what distinguishes chat apps in the West from their counterparts in the East. Discusses the potentially lucrative avenues companies are pursuing to monetize their services. Offers key insights and implications for marketers as they consider interacting with users through these new platforms.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the future of messaging apps.

Original author: BI Intelligence
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Sugar cane and other crops can be seen on farms near the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, June 9, 2015. REUTERS/David GrayThomson ReutersSugar cane and other crops can be seen on farms near the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence IoT Industry Insider subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

Agricultural technology startup CropX introduced a new version of its soil sensors and also announced that it closed $10 million in Series A funding. 

The 3-year-old company combines public data with data from its sensors to tell farmers when and how much to water different parts of their fields. This can help cut farmers' water usage by up to one-third, the company said. It also helps increase productivity by preventing farmers from over-watering their fields.

The new version of the soil sensors will cost $380 per unit — it typically takes two to three sensors to monitor one field. CropX also charges a $220 annual subscription fee for its cloud-based analytics service that farmers can access through the CropX smartphone app. The new version of the sensors can be installed in less than four minutes by simply screwing them into the ground. The previous version of the sensors took 20 minutes to install. 

In addition to the new sensors, CropX also said that it had closed its Series A funding round with $10 million in investment. The company's investors include Innovation Endeavors — Eric Schmidt's venture capital firm — as well as GreenSoil Investments and Finnistere Ventures. It also received investment from the venture capital arms of Robert Bosch and Flextronics, two of the largest sensor manufacturers in the world. 

Falling commodity prices have made it hard for farmers to afford IoT technologies like sensors and drones that could help them cut costs and increase productivity. This has led to much lower investment in IoT technologies in the agriculture sector compared to manufacturing, healthcare, and other sectors.

However, changing weather patterns and severe droughts in agricultural centers like California have turned agricultural water usage into a major priority for farmers. As prices for agricultural technology solutions decrease over time, they will likely find heavy adoption among farmers facing these pressures.

Agriculture is not the only area that will be affected by the arrival of the IoT Revolution, which is infiltrating more parts of our lives each and every day.

From connected homes and connected cars to smart buildings and transportation, every aspect of our lives will be affected by the increasing ability of consumers, businesses, and governments to connect to and control everything around them.

Imagine “smart mirrors” that allow you to digitally try on clothes. Assembly line sensors that can detect even the smallest decrease in efficiency and determine when crucial equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. GPS-guided agricultural equipment that can plant, fertilize, and harvest crops. Fitness trackers that allow users to transmit data to their doctors.

It’s not science fiction. This “next Industrial Revolution” is happening as we speak. It’s so big that it could mean new revenue streams for your company and new opportunities for you. The only question is: Are you fully up to speed on the IoT?

After months of researching and reporting this exploding trend, John Greenough and Jonathan Camhi of BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, have put together an essential report on the IoT that explains the exciting present and the fascinating future of the Internet of Things.  It covers how the IoT is being implemented today, where the new sources of opportunity will be tomorrow and how 16 separate sectors of the economy will be transformed over the next 20 years.

Internet of Things Report CoverBusiness Insider

The report gives a thorough outlook on the future of the Internet of Things, including the following big picture insights:

IoT devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. IoT devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.
 Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years.
 Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions because they will use IoT to 1) lower operating costs; 2) increase productivity; and 3) expand to new markets or develop new product offerings.
 Governments will be the second-largest adopters, while consumers will be the group least transformed by the IoT.

And when you dig deep into the report, you’ll get the whole story in a clear, no-nonsense presentation:

The complex infrastructure of the Internet of Things distilled into a single ecosystem
 The most comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of mesh (e.g. ZigBee, Z-Wave, etc.), cellular (e.g. 3G/4G, Sigfox, etc.), and internet (e.g. Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) networks
 The important role analytics systems, including edge analytics, cloud analytics, will play in making the most of IoT investments
 The sizable security challenges presented by the IoT and how they can be overcome
 The four powerful forces driving IoT innovation, plus the four difficult market barriers to IoT adoption
 Complete analysis of the likely future investment in the critical IoT infrastructure:   connectivity, security, data storage, system integration, device hardware, and application development
 In-depth analysis of how the IoT ecosystem will change and disrupt 16 different industries

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT universe, choose one of these options:

Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.

Original author: BI Intelligence
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matthew keysAssociated Press/Rich PedroncelliMatthew Keys, right, walks to the federal courthouse for his arraignment with his attorney Jason Leiderman, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

Journalist Matthew Keys was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted for helping members of the Anonymous hacking collective gain access to the computer systems of Tribune Media, his former employer.

The case has provoked outrage online because Keys was prosecuted under an anti-computer-hacking law that some say has led to "misguided" and "heavy-handed" prosecution.

Keys was indicted in 2013 for conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer and two other counts, after being accused of giving hackers access to Tribune computer systems in December 2010. He was found guilty by a California jury last October.

The Justice Department had requested a five year sentence, while Keys sought probation.

In a statement posted Wednesday on the website Medium, Keys wrote that he is innocent, and expressed hope that the policies and laws governing Americans' online conduct would change as a result of his case. 

"Under today’s law, prosecutors can use their discretion to bring those exact charges against people—including journalists—whenever they see fit," he wrote. "Prosecutors did so in this case. Until the law catches up with the times, there’s no doubt that prosecutors will do it again."

Keys was prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a federal anti-hacking statute which has been criticized in recent years for its harsh penalties. The law sparked national debate in 2013 after internet activist Aaron Swartz took his own life just months before he was scheduled to go to trial under the law. The 26-year-old had been indicted for downloading academic articles from JSTOR — crimes that could have yielded a 50-year prison sentence and $1 million fine. 

In response to Swartz's case, some lawmakers proposed "Aaron's Law," a bill that attempted to ease the CFAA's stiff penalties before it stalled in Congress.

“The CFAA is so inconsistently and capriciously applied it results in misguided, heavy-handed prosecution,” one of the bill's supporters, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), said last April, according to The Hill. “Aaron’s Law would curb this abuse while still preserving the tools needed to prosecute malicious attacks.”

Later in 2013, the law again attracted scrutiny when it was used to sentence the Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison. Hammond had faced a potential 30-year prison sentence before he pleaded guilty to one count of computer fraud and abuse for hacking into Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, and delivering 5 million stolen emails to WikiLeaks. 

 Keys sounded off on his displeasure with CFAA in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

BTW: Sharing a Netflix password is a terrorism offense under the broken CFAA law. Worth reading considering today. -

Critics of the law took to Twitter on Wednesday to protest the outcome of Keys' case, pointing out the disproportionate harshness of his sentence in contrast to the severity of his crime. Many noticed that Ethan Couch, the so-called "affluenza teen" who was ordered by a judge to remain in jail Wednesday, received the same prison sentence as Keys, despite causing the deaths of four people.

Others pointed out that despite Keys' prosecution, the hackers who committed the actual website defacement have never been charged. Wired reported last year that US authorities have known the identity of the real hacker — allegedly a 35-year-old living in Scotland — but never pursued charges.

Attorneys for Keys could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for Tribune Media Co also could not be reached for comment.

The charges against Keys alleged that in 2010, shortly after Keys left a job at a Tribune-owned television station in Sacramento, Calif., following a dispute with a supervisor, a story on the Tribune's Los Angeles Times website was altered by Anonymous hackers.

Prosecutors contended that Keys urged on the hackers after supplying a password. Keys's lawyer argued he was operating as a professional reporter trying to gather information about members of Anonymous, an amorphous group that often conducts multiple hacking campaigns at once.

The alleged events in the indictment occurred before Keys joined Thomson Reuters as an editor for in 2012. A month after Keys was charged, he said Reuters dismissed him. A Thomson Reuters representative had declined to comment on the case.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Tiffany Wu)

Original author: Michelle Mark and Reuters
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Faraday Future groundbreakingBryan Logan/Business InsiderFaraday Future and Nevada state officials attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the electric-car maker's first US factory.

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Some four months after electric-car company Faraday Future announced plans to build its first US manufacturing facility in Nevada, the ceremonial shovels have been driven into the ground.

"Welcome home, Faraday. Welcome home," Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval declared as he took the stage at the construction site in North Las Vegas on Wednesday.

About 4,500 jobs will be created in and around the planned 900-acre factory that will house the assembly line for Faraday Future's forthcoming electric autonomous vehicles.

Some of the core technologies for those rides are in the advanced stages of development, according to Nick Sampson, Faraday Future's SVP of research and development and engineering. He tells Business Insider that the process has been a smooth one so far.

"We're testing both mechanical and software systems, and before the end of this year, we'll have full prototypes that represent our production cars."

"Our first vehicle will be at the premium end of the segment," Faraday Future representative Stacy Morris told Business Insider last week.

"The cars will have industry-leading range, and the connectivity and the streaming technology will be the unique selling point of the Faraday brand," she added.

Faraday Future factory siteBryan Logan/Business InsiderA view of the site of the forthcoming Faraday Future auto plant in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The site of the Faraday Future plant is about 500 miles south of Tesla's Gigafactory battery plant — about the same distance as Los Angeles is from California's capital, Sacramento.

It's being built in the desert of North Las Vegas, about 30 minutes outside The Strip, in an area that was nearly suffocated by an economic dry spell just two years ago. Fitch Ratings in 2014 warned that the city was close to defaulting on some of its $436 million of outstanding debt, Reuters reported at the time.

The project is ambitious, to be sure. Faraday Future, backed by Jia Yueting, a billionaire Chinese media mogul, wants to complete the factory in roughly two years.

"This is just the beginning," Faraday's VP of global manufacturing, Dag Reckhorn, said. "We are laser-focused on making this project a reality for Faraday Future and the community around us."

Reckhorn added that local hiring for the factory has already begun.

Faraday Future groundbreaking   1Bryan Logan/Business InsiderA rendering of Faraday Future's factory.

Crews will start grading the land at the site this quarter, but there are still some details to be squared away in the meantime — including construction contracts, which Faraday representatives say are being finalized.

The company officially took ownership of all 900 acres of the North Las Vegas property on Wednesday.

Early trepidations that some Nevada state officials had expressed — specifically about the size and availability of Faraday Future's financial resources — have been alleviated.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee applauded the work of the state Legislature and Faraday reps for their due diligence in sealing the deal.

"We plan to succeed," he said.

Original author: Bryan Logan
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Four Seasons Lanai swimming pool, Larry EllisonFour Seasons LanaiThe swimming pool at Larry Ellison's Four Seasons LanaiWhen Larry Ellison bought most of the island of Lanai in 2012, he obtained two Four Seasons hotels. The Oracle founder spent years renovating one of the properties and in February the spectacular new Four Seasons Resort Lanai re-opened.

The new resort offers the kind of luxury you'd expect from a self-made billionaire with an obsession for high-end real estate.

Ellison was heavily involved in the design details and reconstruction and had the designer Todd Avery Lenahan and hundreds of workers "redo the lobby from scratch four different times, until the ocean views on entering were framed just right," reports Bloomberg's  Charles Runnette.

The renovation also including adding a $21,000 a night suite (among the most expensive in Hawaii) called the Ali’i Suite.

Ali'i is 3,984 square feet with three bathrooms that can accommodate 6 adults and two children. Naturally, it features spectacular ocean views.


Original author: Julie Bort
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Cut in halfCut In HalfThis is what happens when you slice a laptop with water.It may look like a just a stream of water, but loaded with enough pressure, industrial waterjets are powerful enough to cut through an inch of steel.

Or, if you're looking for some fun, slicing through everyday things like shoes or a laptop.

Business Insider talked to the creator of a new YouTube channel called "Cut in Half." This person didn't want to be identified since they are using the tool at work — albeit after-hours — but they did walk us through what it's like to turn highly-pressurized water into something that can slice a baseball cleanly in half.

Original author: Biz Carson
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cooper ignitionBI IntelligenceCooper Smith speaking at Ignition 2015Cooper Smith, Senior Analyst at BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, will be moderating three panels at Collision, taking place on April 26-28 in New Orleans. 

Book a one-on-one meeting with Cooper and Business Insider to learn about our forward-looking research offerings. BI Intelligence provides in-depth reports, daily newsletters, and an exhaustive library of charts and data focusing on six areas of the digital world: Mobile, Digital Media, E-Commerce, IoT, Payments, and Fintech. 

Meet with us at Collision>>


Original author: BI Intelligence
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Murthy RenduchintalaYouTube/QualcommIntel exec Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala.

Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala, the former Qualcomm copresident whom Intel poached last year, sent a critical message to the company's senior executives last week, according to a leaked internal memo obtained by The Oregonian's Mike Rogoway on Wednesday.

"Over the last three months I have conducted numerous project reviews with our execution teams, and there is a clear trend that has emerged in these reviews — a lack of product/customer focus in execution that is creating schedule and competitiveness gaps in our products," Renduchintala wrote in a note sent to Intel's senior management last week.

The report added that Renduchintala's creating three-person leadership teams for each of the new products under development, while constantly looking for outside talent to join the company. He also urged the executive team to spend more time improving Intel's focus on customer needs, the report said.

The memo is the latest evidence of Renduchintala's growing power within Intel. In November 2015, the company spent over $10 million in bonus payments alone to bring Renduchintala as president of the Client and Internet of Things (IoT) Businesses and Systems Architecture Group, a newly created group that oversees Intel's largest revenue-generating businesses, including its PC and IoT chips.

The news also coincides with the sudden departures of two long-time Intel execs who were leading the company's PC and IoT businesses. Kirk Skaugen and Doug Davis were put under Renduchintala's management after he was hired. Aicha Evans, who was leading Intel's mobile-chip business, also under Renduchintala's team, is reported to have left the company two weeks ago.

It's also a reflection that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is serious about relying on outside talent to boost the company's stagnant growth. Intel has hired a number of senior-level execs from outside the company over the past year, a huge change from its tradition of promoting from within. Some people even think Renduchintala's the leading candidate to succeed Krzanich in the future.

Intel declined to comment on this story.

Read the full story from The Oregonian here >>

Original author: Eugene Kim
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Screen Shot 2016 04 13 at 9.41.56 AMRR AuctionsThe rover prototype being driven by Wernher von Braun.

A prototype lunar rover once tested by NASA will be available for sale at an online auction this month, with an estimated price of $125,000 to $150,000.

The early prototype, known in official NASA documents as the "Brown LSSM," does not resemble the final Lunar Rover, which served the crews of Apollo 15, 16 and 17 on the surface of the Moon.

Its authenticity has been verified by former NASA engineer Otha H. Vaughan, Jr., who worked on the team of famous German-American rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.

"Mr. Vaughn states that the team actually flew the prototype on NASA’s KC-135 Zero G aircraft ‘to get some idea of how she would bounce with rubber tires and things like that,’" the auction house said.

The vehicle is in rather bad shape, and has spent an unknown amount of time sitting in an Alabama backyard after it was reportedly purchased at a NASA auction.

The prototype was spotted by a U.S. Air Force historian who reported the find to NASA, which, according to papers included in the sale, made at least one short-lived attempt to get it back.

It was later sent to the scrapyard of current owner Johnny Worley, who recognized its value and decided to preserve it.


Original author: William Fierman
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blu homes prefab tiny houses CabanaBlu Homes

Becoming a tiny house homeowner is now as easy as tapping away at an iPad.

Blu Homes, a California-based prefab home manufacturer, just launched a new line of micro houses that shoppers can customize on an app and get delivered to their property in a matter of months.

The cost starts at $250,000, depending on the logistics of delivery, installation, and the user's design modifications.

The benefits of living in a tiny house are almost too numerous to count. Monthly bills shrink. The homes are cozy, easy to manage, and have a small environmental footprint. And the size limitation forces tenants to unclutter their life — getting rid of unwanted stuff and embracing a sense of minimalism and purpose.

Still, the process of building one is a logistical nightmare. In some cities, tiny houses are actually illegal based on zoning codes.

blu homes prefab tiny houses Lotus MiniBlu Homes

Blu Homes aims to take at least part of the hassle out of going small.

To get started, you download the free Blu Design Studio app on your phone or tablet. You can explore layouts and personalize it by selecting design palettes, materials, and appliances that match your taste.

The Lotus and Cabana models, in particular, are stunning. Ranging from 400 to 640 square feet, they both feature massive windows and sliding doors to let natural light in. Their boxy shape gives them a modern flair.

Once you place the order, a Blu Homes representative reaches out to help start the processes of filing for a loan and talking to the local government to clear any construction setbacks. A housing regulations expert on staff familiarizes themself with the county rules.

The CEO of Blu Homes, Bill Haney, tells us he expects many buyers will place the tiny homes as accessory dwelling units on their properties — a legal loophole to sidestep zoning laws. A 400-square-foot unit that was previously part of the Blu Homes prefab menu, for example, was a popular choice for people wanting a home office or guest house. Because it wasn't a full-time residence, it adhered to fewer restrictions.

Factory Interior blu homes prefab tiny houseBlu Homes

The prefab tiny homes come together in a factory north of the Bay Area, where the company invites customers to visit their house during the construction phase. They take eight weeks to build on average, but up to nine months to execute from start-to-finish.

Once the homeowner has arranged to pour a foundation on their lot, Blu Homes will hoist the unit onto a flatbed truck and deliver it within hundreds of miles of San Francisco.

blu homes prefab tiny houses Cabana MiniBlu Homes

While the $250,000 and up price tag sounds like a lot, the homes are relatively affordable, especially in Blu Homes' native California. The Origin Pod, for example, runs about $355 per square foot, while a one-bedroom unit in San Francisco averages $1,028 per square foot. Still, the cost doesn't include land or the foundation.

It's easier than ever to go small — if you can afford it.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Follow Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2016.

Original author: Melia Robinson
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img_1635Jeremy BerkeMe, texting while walking.

A few weeks ago I undertook a daring experiment: I went without my iPhone for seven whole days.

It was a big deal for me. I'm 23, and I've been attached to a cellphone since shortly after I started walking.

The first thing I noticed that phoneless week was just how many people stare at their phones all day. I never noticed that before because I was looking at my phone, too.

The first morning I started my experiment was a Tuesday, so I joined the morning rush on the subway.

I felt like an alien, staring straight ahead at a series of bent necks and earbuds. The sounds of "Candy Crush" — a popular phone game — filled the train car, and I couldn't even listen to music to drown it out.

Once I arrived at my office, the elevator was the same story. As soon as the doors opened, all the screens came out. 

Out of sheer boredom, I tried to make small talk while waiting for the elevator. That's something I never do. Usually my phone is more interesting to me than other people. 

But perhaps most startling was the realization that so many people look at their phones while they are walking. The weekday New York sidewalks are almost like that scene from "Wall-E," an animated science fiction movie.

It felt a little dangerous, with so many people paying so little attention to where they are walking, not to mention the traffic streaming by them. We're really distracted by our screens. 

Scientists agree. 

Jack Nasar, a professor emeritus at the University of Ohio who studies phone use, found that people on their phones are 48% more likely to walk unsafely into oncoming traffic in a 2008 study, highlighted by NPR

wall eDisney Pixar ScreenshotKind of like this scene from "Wall-E." Seriously.

In another study, from 2013, Nasar found that injuries to pedestrians on their phones more than doubled between 2004 and 2010, according to NPR

And in a 2015 study, Conrad Earnest, an exercise scientist at Texas A&M University, sent 30 people through a course designed to mimic city sidewalks and streets — both with their phones, and without.

Earnest found that people who texted while walking moved more slowly and veered off their paths more than screen-free walkers. However, that didn't necessarily result in more accidents, according to NPR. 

So if I learned anything over my phoneless week, it's simply to look where I'm going when I'm walking. Besides, people-watching can be more fun than texting. 

Original author: Jeremy Berke
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"A Million Times" is an installation by art group Humans Since 1982. The installation is currently on loan at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Story and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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Original author: Stephen Parkhurst
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Google chairman Eric Schmidt looking downBusiness InsiderGoogle executive chairman Eric Schmidt

Google is investing billions in its data centers and hiring salespeople like crazy to take on Amazon in the cloud computing industry. It just held a big conference in March to get the IT world excited about its cloud.

So it was not good that on Monday, the Google Compute Engine cloud service went down for 18 minutes at 7 p.m. Pacific for just about all of its customers everywhere.

Compute Engine is the cloud service that Google has launched to compete head-to-head with Amazon Web Services EC2, where companies can rent space on Google's computers accessed over the internet.

While the world did not spin into an apocalyptic frenzy because of the outage (it didn't impact Google's regular services like search or maps or Gmail), such a big outage was a black eye. Companies like BrightCove, DataStax, Evite, HTC, Zulily use Compute Engine, Google says. 

More importantly, this is Google. Going dark for nearly 20 minutes just isn't supposed to happen. The company has systems and backup systems to prevent that.

So on Wednesday, Google published an apology, and a lengthy explanation. It also offered to credit its customers with 10% to 25% of their monthly bill,  more than the refund it promises in its service agreement.

The non-technical TLDR version: Someone was doing a semi-routine update to the network and hit a bug. Then the automated failsafe software that should have caught the problem and automaticaly fix it also hit a bug. Then the software went nuts and sent the wrong technical information across the whole network and boom, the network went down.

All told, that 20 minutes outage caused Google to make "14 distinct engineering changes" to ensure its cloud won't go down like this again. And more changes are coming "as our engineering teams review the incident with other senior engineers across Google in the coming week."

The Google Cloud team says, "We recognize the severity of this outage, and we apologize to all of our customers for allowing it to occur."

But the whole thing still leaves a little egg on Google's face.


Original author: Julie Bort
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gopro nick woodman ipoMike Segar/ReutersCEO Nick Woodman celebrates at GoPro's IPO with a few of the company's cameras in June 2014

Shares of action camera maker GoPro surged 19% on Wednesday, after news spread that it hired one of Apple's veteran hardware designers.

GoPro announced that it had hired Danny Coster, a longtime Apple veteran who is listed on Apple patents going back to 1995, to be its Vice President of Design. Coster was a key member of Apple design boss Jony Ive's team. At GoPro he will report directly to CEO Nick Woodman.

After the news, which was first reported by The Information, GoPro's stock climbed throughout Wednesday's trading session, finishing the day up 19% at $13.90.  Shares of GoPro traded hands at nearly three times the rate of its 3-month average. 

The big hire appears to have injected confidence among shareholders who have punished the stock in recent months over revenue shortfalls and concerns about the company's innovation. Shares of GoPro are down roughly 79% from their 52-week high of $65.49.

In GoPro's announcement of the news, Woodman said he first met Coster 15 years ago at a beach in Sayulita, Mexico, during a 5-month surfing trip in which Woodman developed the initial prototype for the camera.  

Original author: Alexei Oreskovic
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US New Well Oil Production Per RigBI Intelligence

Oil production in the US has skyrocketed since 2010, primarily due t0 due to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and utilizing horizontal wells. However, the global supply of oil has far surpassed demand. As a result, oil prices have dropped dramatically, and oil companies are facing steep revenue losses.

To combat this, oil companies are utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) technology to reduce their production costs by becoming more operationally efficient.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine why oil companies are connecting their oil wells, rigs, and exploration devices to the internet. We also look at the potential value these companies will realize from the IoT.


Here are some key takeaways from the report: 

Over the next three to five years, 62% of oil and gas executives worldwide say they will invest more than they currently do in digital, according to a recent Microsoft and Accenture survey.  Oil and gas companies will use IoT devices and their associated analytics to survey land for new potential drilling sites and extract the oil from the ground. Among oil and gas executives, 89% believe they can leverage analytics to improve business practices, according to Microsoft and Accenture. We estimate the number of devices used on oil extraction sites — primarily wells — will increase at a 70% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The devices will primarily be internet-connected sensors used to provide environmental metrics about extraction sites. By fully optimizing the IoT solutions available, an oil and gas company with $50 billion in annual revenue could increase its profits by nearly $1 billion, according to a Cisco study. 


In full, the report:

Explains the driving forces for the increase in oil production Examines how IoT analytics are being utilized by oil and gas companies in oil fields Identifies the types of networks needed to connect the devices Discusses the importance of mobile devices to control IoT devices


Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally.» Learn More Now Purchase & download the full report from our research store.» Purchase & Download Now



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Original author: John Greenough
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Manhattan Classic Car Club 36Hollis JohnsonPart of the Classic Car Club of Manhattan's collection.Tucked away in a former police stable on Pier 76, the Classic Car Club of Manhattan is an automotive Mecca on a decidedly not car-friendly island.

The 10-year-old club, which recently moved to its new home in Hudson Yards from SoHo, provides 400 members with access to a list of classic and exotic automobiles, along with a range of social activities.

"Some of the members are die-hard race fans or car enthusiasts," membership director (and amateur racing driver) Adam Miller said.

The club's collection is impressive both for its serious automotive firepower (think Ferrari 458 or Lamborghini Huracan), but also for a range of cars beloved by drivers — like a race-modified BMW M3 or an Acura NSX, a Japanese sports car famous for having been influenced by three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna.

Photos by Hollis Johnson.


Original author: William Fierman and Hollis Johnson
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Whether you're working in your office, walking down the street, or eating in a restaurant, there's usually one common factor: people are looking at their phones. Internal medicine physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston dropped by Business Insider to talk about the science behind why we are constantly compelled to check our mobile devices. 

Ruston directed "Screenagers," a documentary about the excessive use of mobile devices among children and teenagers.

Produced by Graham Flanagan

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Original author: Graham Flanagan
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Michael b. Jordan Kobe BryantApple/YoutubeA screengrab from the new Apple TV ad.Basketball player Kobe Bryant and actor Michael B. Jordan star in Apple's latest ad, which debuted on Sunday afternoon.

The video presents Jordan and Bryant in a trailer. Jordan is playing Bryant in a film about the Lakers player's life.

Byrant assumes that Jordan will only play the younger version of him.

However Jordan explains: "I'm playing you all the way through, with makeup and prosthetics and all that."

Jordan then plays a scene from the film using Siri on his Apple TV, in which Jordan is playing an old man version of Kobe Bryant. Annoyed by this, Bryant kicks Jordan out of his trailer.

Here's the full 60 second commercial:

The spot is Apple's second of for the Apple TV. The first, which came out in January, highlighted the apps that are available to download through the platform.

Kobe Bryant is known to be a massive fan of Apple products. In summer 2014, we reported that Bryant was working with Apple lead designer Jony Ive to test an early version of what turned out to be the Apple Watch.

Original author: Will Heilpern
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Canterbury Stained glass window n3Flickr/Jules & JennyBarnett says cash will seem 'as antediluvian as carrying a pouch full of gold.'Mark Barnett, the boss of MasterCard in the UK and Ireland, believes that in five years time cash will be practically extinct in Britain and Ireland — and in 30 years it will seem as old fashioned as the horse and cart.

Barnett told Business Insider at the Money2020 conference in Copenhagen last week: "By the time we get to another generation, 30 years down the track, will there be any cash? I very much doubt it. The idea of carrying coins — 2p, 1p, 50p all cluttering up your pocket — it will be an anachronism. It will seem as antediluvian as carrying a pouch full of gold."

'In five years time the vast majority of the cash will be out of the system'

Of course, MasterCard would say that. The more people use plastic to pay for things, the more business MasterCard gets.

But Barnett points to statistics that show it's not just idle fighting talk — Britain is already well on its way to ditching cash. Electronic payments overtook cash payments by volume in 2014 in the UK for the first time.

Barnett says: "We're quite ahead of the rest of the world, because if you take the world as a whole it's still 85% cash. I think in five years time there'll be practically none. There will be some, there might always be some. But in terms of the number of transactions, in five years time the vast majority of the cash will be out of the system."

Britain and Ireland are not alone either. Sweden has made so much progress toward turning itself into a cashless society that it now has 27% less hard cash in circulation today than it did in 2011; Denmark wants to allow shops, including restaurants, gas stations, and clothing stores, to stop taking cash; and the Bank of Korea has said it's aiming for a cashless society by 2020.

Barnett says: "We [MasterCard] think a world beyond cash is a good thing. Wherever you find high levels of cash — I'm not saying there's a causal relationship — but you get high levels of poverty, you get high levels of crime, difficulty in doing business, high levels of corruption, low levels of tax collection. I think in the end it's a good thing, a world beyond cash."

Apple Pay has 'shaken up the industry'

Why are we seeing a tipping point now? Plastic has been around for decades after all. Barnett says: "It's changing now faster than it ever has before [due to] big external factors — the first is technology. Let me talk about two of those technologies.

"One of the them is contactless, NFC [near field communication technology]. That's been around for 7 or 8 years but it was really only when we got TfL [Transport for London] so you could start using your credit or debit card on the tube, that it really took off.

"We see that now spreading out. People get on this tube, then they buy their coffee, then they buy their lunch, then they buy a drink and so on. That grew five times in a year — 500%. What it's doing is ripping cash out of the system very rapidly."

"That's also enabled another disruptor, probably the biggest disruptor in the technology sector in history and that's Apple," says Barnett. "The numbers aren't huge with Apple Pay but they're not nothing. We're seeing hundreds of thousands of transactions a month. That's shaken up the industry. Suddenly Android have announced they're coming, Samsung have made some announcements, all with NFC-type solutions on your phone."

How much more convenient is it really to get your phone out of your pocket than to get your card and tap? Apple and other smartwatch makers have found it tough to sell consumers on the big convenience leap of getting texts on your watch instead of phone. Couldn't they face the same problem of small benefits in the payments space?

"If you're competing on just the payment experience, the difference is marginal," Barnett admits. "But a card is just a card and a phone has all sorts of other things we can do with it like loyalty.

"Everybody is trying to find what you bundle in around the payment to make it relevant. For example, if every time you use your phone to pay, you've already pre-loaded all your loyalty programmes, they automatically get populated every time, you can redeem in real-time."

'It's going on to your phone'

MasterCard selfie payMasterCard/FlickrMasterCard's selfie pay technology in action.Right now, this is something of a pipe dream rather than a reality. As Barnett admits, Apple Pay is far from mainstream yet.

He says: "I think loyalty is going to be the thing that makes people move to the phone. But it could be other stuff. People really, really like real-time transaction notifications. When you do consumer research everybody says, no I don't want that, it will clutter up my phone. But when you actually do it, they love it. It just shows you, chuck out your research."

MasterCard itself is experimenting with new phone-based innovations to try and win people over, for example an app that lets you pay a restaurant bill on your phone and cut out the hassle of waiting for the bill. Or selfie pay, technology that allows facial recognition for authenticating purchases or even a NFC-enabled ring that can you pay with.

Barnett concludes: "I think if there's one thing we can say about where payments are going, it's going on to your phone. In a few years times, most of your transactions will go through your phone. There'll always be a card in the background and there'll always be a little bit of cash. But it's all going to the phone and there's a race to see which solution can capture the most [customers]."

Original author: Oscar Williams-Grut
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robots waiters restaurants food pizza mealChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty ImagesRobots deliver meals for customers at a restaurant on December 10, 2015 in Suzhou, China. The restaurant has four robots delivering meals, one robot welcoming and over ten robots performing.The inevitable robot uprising is still a few years off.

A string of restaurants in Gungzhou, China that used robots as waiters has run into a string of difficulties — ultimately closing down two restaurants and ditching almost all of their android assistants.

According to Shanghaiist (which bases its report on a Chinese-language Workers' Daily story), two restaurants in the Southern Chinese city have been forced to shutter due to constant issues.

A big draw of the robots is their price — the initial outlay (50,000 Yuan — around $7,700 or £5,400) and subsequent upkeep cost is less than the wages of a human waiter.

But there's a problem: The robots are, in a word, incompetent.

One (human) waiter said: "The robots weren't able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again."

Another (human) complained that "their skills are somewhat limited ... They can't take orders or pour hot water for customers."

A third restaurant is reportedly getting rid of all but one of their robots in favour of traditional, living wait staff. One of the restaurant owners remarked that the robots attracted tourists, but weren't economical. "The robots can attract plenty of customers, but they definitely can't reduce the need for human labor."

Original author: Rob Price
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