Posts tagged with "Microsoft"

Trump Banning Tik Tok

By Eamonn Burke

President Trump announced Friday night that he plans to ban the social media sensation TikTok, calling it a “severance” from the Chinese-owned app.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told officials aboard his Air Force One flight in Tampa. “I can do it with an executive order or [emergency economic powers].”

This comes after TikTok has been accused of being a security threat from China, with whom tensions are currently high. ByteDance, the app’s parent company, has been accused of giving American users’ information to the country. Meanwhile, a Tik Tok spokesman assures that they are committed to their users’ privacy, saying that “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.”

The app could be saved from legal issues if the rumored acquisition by Microsoft comes to fruition. The two companies have had discussion and the deal is allegedly in the works, although Trump has voiced opposition to it.

The creators of Tik Tok have also reacted to the ban, and to the ongoing concern for data privacy on the app. One influencer, 18 year old Josh Richards is leaving the app due to the privacy issues after amassing more than 20 million followers on the app. He announces that he will transfer to rival app Triller instead, whose investors include Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and fellow Tik Tok stars like Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck. Other stars are simply just saying goodbye to the app in recent posts.

Duckwrth Coming Closer visual

Duckwrth – Coming Closer

Critically acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth releases his new track “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana today.

Listen to “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana HERE.

On the track, which is produced by LA based twins Two Fresh and G.L.A.M., Duckwrth once again instigates unpredictable and unprecedented genre alchemy. He threads together bouncy rhymes while G.L.A.M. fires back with a seductive counterpoint as their bars come together before the dancefloor-ready hook sung by Juliana Romana. This anthem glides between hip-hop and electronic only to border on unexpected pop bliss.

“Coming Closer” arrives hot on the heels of his buzzing feel-good anthem “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali, Radio Ahlee, & Bayli. HipHopDX praised its “melodic message of perseverance,” and Brooklyn Vegan described it as “powerful.” HYPEBEAST wrote, “The single serves as an uplifting anthem during these troubling times, featuring lyrics that showcase the artist’s ability to reminisce about the past and see a way forward.” Earmilk put it best, “The single plays as a welcome beam of light during a dark time.”

Over the last five years, LA-based wunderkind Duckwrth has quickly risen up the ranks as a promising star of the future of music. His collection of critically acclaimed projects including Nowhere (2015,) I’m Uugly (2016), Xtra Uugly (2017) and The Falling Man EP (2019), have transcended streaming platforms and landed in films, TV series, and brand ad campaigns and have received critical acclaim from a vast amount of outlets including NPR, The FADER, Complex, XXL and more. This cumulation has led the rapper to become an international touring staple, headlining shows globally and performing at Austin City Limits and opening for superstars Billie Eilish and Anderson .Paak. Duckwrth’s music has appeared on shows like CW’s All American, HBO’s Insecure and Real Time with Bill Maher and his song “Start A Riot” was featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. His music has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Cadillac, Microsoft, Peloton, Amazon and Apple Music, and he’s worked with fashion legacies like Levi’s, Vans and Fila, as well as high fashion men’s suit designer Paul Smith.

Follow Duckwrth: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Karol G) and Hollywood Records (Zendaya).

In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), Lionsgate (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films during 2017 in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production is the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Top 5 Mobile App Downloads

Top Five US Mobile App Publishers Hit 151.2 Billion in Google Play Lifetime Downloads

Recent years have witnessed a surge in app downloads, driven by the growing number of people using mobile phones. According to data gathered by GoldenCasinoNews, the five leading mobile app publishers from the United States hit 151.2bn in Google Play lifetime downloads as of May. With 123bn in lifetime downloads among Android users, Google LLC ranked as the leading mobile app publisher in the United States.

Google Meet is the Leading Google-published App:

In May, Google’s 183 published apps were downloaded a total of 278.9 million times worldwide, revealed Statista and Priori Data survey. With almost 21.5 million downloads, Google Meet was the leading one among them. Google Calendar, Google Play Games, and Google Assistant followed with 11.45 million, 11.12 million and 11.1 million downloads, respectively.

With 12.55bn in Google Play lifetime downloads, Facebook ranked as the second-leading mobile app publisher in the United States, revealed Statista and 42Matters data. The world’s most popular social network hit 2.6bn monthly active users in the first quarter of 2020. Statistics show that in March, Facebook was also the fourth most popular app in the Google Play Store worldwide, reaching 25.55 million downloads. Facebook Messenger ranked in seventh place, with 23.75 million downloads in March.

Microsoft Corporation took third place on the list of most successful US mobile app publishers, with a total of 6.67bn downloads among Android users so far. With millions of people spending more time indoors and online amid coronavirus lockdown, the US software giant has witnessed a surge in the number of app downloads in the first quarter of 2020. Statistics show than in March only, Microsoft apps were downloaded 97.8 million times worldwide, ranking it as the second-leading non-gaming app publisher in the Google Play Store that month.

WhatsApp and Instagram Reached Almost 9bn in Google Play Lifetime Downloads:

Statistics show that WhatsApp Inc was the fourth-leading US app publisher in May, with 5.74bn downloads among Android users. Statista data also revealed that one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide hit 2bn monthly active users in the first quarter of 2020, with the majority of that number based in India.

Instagram ranked as the fifth-leading app publisher in the United States, with 3.22bn in Google Play lifetime downloads. Statistics indicate the popular photo and video-sharing social networking service hit 1 billion active users as of April. The majority of that number or 120 million were based in the United States.

India represents the second-largest Instagram market, with 88 million users as of April. Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia follow, with 82 million, 64 million and 46 million, respectively.

The full story can be read HERE.

Rita Azar, 360 Magazine, illustration, corporation

Companies Profiting from BLM

By Eamonn Burke

As the nation grapples with the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among many others over many years, protests have called for massive police and corporate reform. Changes have already been made, as major companies and institutions have begun to exclude forms of racism and include new reforms and statements. However, as with many corporate sentiments, the genuine nature of these statements is being called into question and exposed as hollow.

It has become a trend for major companies to undertake policies and claim responsibility for social issues, in what is known as “Political Corporate Social Responsibility.” Media is flooded with brands preaching change and pledging to be a part of it. In today’s instant society, however, it is difficult to discern the true motives of these businesses in their support of the BLM movement.

Major companies like Microsoft and Amazon have been actively projecting support for the BLM movement, yet both corporations have shockingly low involvement of black people within their company structure. Intel joined in the trend with a cringey tweet as well.

Fast food companies like Wendy’s and Burger King, and Popeyes have also seemingly been using the movement to boost their reputation using tweets and ads, despite the fact that they thrive on minimum wage workers who are often people of color. The stark insensitivity is reminiscent of Pepsi’s distasteful ad that was pulled amidst the movement in 2017. Some companies, however, didn’t even try to voice support. One such company was Starbucks, who announced that employees were forbidden from wearing BLM merchandise, a policy that has since been reversed. Other food brands such as Quaker Oats are making real changes – the Aunt Jemima brand will be dropped because of it’s racial stereotyping, as well as Uncle Ben’s.

Following a petition signed by more than 5,000 people, Trader Joe’s announced in July that they would be changing the names of their “racist packaging” such as “Trader Ming’s” and “Trader José.” San Francisco High School student Briones Bedell, who started the petition, claimed that “The Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures — it presents ‘Joe’ as the default ‘normal’ and the other characters falling outside of it.”

The company is now going back on that promise, and have says in a new statement that “We disagree that any of these labels are racist,” arguing that they are meant to show appreciation for these cultures. Company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel originally had accepted the petition, acknowledging that it may have the opposite effect of its intended inclusiveness. Now, however, she says that they will only look into these types of changes from employees, not from petitions online.

The racial revolution in the wake of George Floyd’s death has seen the downfall of other brands and images such as Aunt Jemima and the Washington Redskins, but Trader Joe’s is the first prominent one to resist the “cancel culture.”

What consumers really want, however, is not posts on social media. They want real action and real change. This means companies should “Open Their Purse” and donate to anti-racism organizations. Many companies have, but many have also donated to campaigns for Congress people that are rejected by the NAACP.

The public is skeptical of these statements and promises, and not without reason. The history of major businesses like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have in the past had to cover up allegations of discrimation, and others fail to include minority members in their top ranks. Other major institutions like the NFL condemned the kneeling for the National Anthem just a few years ago, but is now apologizing and admitting the players were right. The question remains: have sentiments truly changed?

Brands and institutions are recognizing that being anti-racist and pro-BLM is selling more than ever. “Costs Signals,” which are the cost that companies pay to undertake these policy changes, are what should be used for judgement, says UPenn Marketing Professor Cait Lamberton to ABC News. Andre Perry, another ABC correspondent from Brookings Institution, warns that “These statements are a sign of defensiveness more so than an indication that they are proactively working to deconstruct racism in this country.”

For a list of donations made by major companies click here.

Microsoft AI x “Bode Vault”

Emily Adams Bode and Microsoft AI introduce the ‘Bode Vault:’ the first-ever digital quilt expert

Microsoft develops a custom-built digital library of thousands of hand-sourced materials, streamlining the NYC-based designer’s approach to creative process and production

Highly celebrated New York fashion designer Emily Adams Bode has partnered with Microsoft to develop the world’s first AI-powered digital quilt expert that draws upon an interactive archive of antique patterns as a comprehensive resource for design, production, inventory management, and storytelling. As the platform grows and develops its own internal intelligence, the Bode Vault is set to become an industry-changing tool for pairing the rich tapestry of human history with the best of machine insight.

Emily Adams Bode, the founder of eponymous luxury menswear brand Bode, was the first female designer to show at Men’s New York Fashion Week, the winner of the 2019 CFDA Award for Emerging Designer of the Year, and most recently granted the Inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation . Passionate about traditional garment making, her clothing is a nostalgic nod to American craftsmanship and the pieces she designs are deeply personal, each employing the timeless and historic garment-making technique: quilting. Marrying modern workwear silhouettes with the female-centric traditional techniques of quilting and applique, each piece is laden with its own history. All of the garments in the Bode line have a unique narrative that are based on a specific person or moment in history.

“I am excited to partner with Microsoft to help tell and share the stories of American quilts. This partnership uses technology to help us identify quilts in the field and in our stores. I aim to reinvigorate the rich history behind these textiles for my design team as we continue to grow with the potential of it becoming public facing.” says Emily Adams Bode.

With increasing demand, Bode is faced with the challenge of finding ways of organizing and categorizing an extensive inventory of bespoke raw materials — she looked to Microsoft as a long-time technical innovator within the industry to develop a solution for streamlining growth and efficiency. Initially trained on Bode’s existing quilt collection that was compiled by her team, as well as Bode’s extensive network of quilt experts and vendors to establish a rich historical reference toolset from which the Microsoft AI technologies could evolve. The result is a powerful design-to-production platform that draws from history’s most comprehensive library of textiles that is reshaping the company’s internal process, with the potential to do so for the fashion industry at large. Built with Microsoft Custom Vision AI and an integrated database system called Cosmos DB an extension of Microsoft Azure, the archive is trained on hundreds of images to make up a nuanced library that contains an archive of historic quilts of various patterns. From keeping track of inventory to offering up niche institutional knowledge, the archive is also an educational tool that it serves a host of essential functions for the business.

“The partnership with Bode demonstrates how Microsoft technology is unlocking creative and enterprise innovation for fashion designers and the industry,” says Maruschka Loubser, Director of Brand Partnerships at Microsoft. “Particularly for smaller companies, this allows them to rethink their process and structure with technology as a collaborative tool.”

For more information visit bodenewyork.com and microsoft.com/inculture.

Emily Adams Bode,  Bode Vault, Microsoft, Vaughn Lowery, Sam Berman, 360  Magazine,
Emily Adams Bode, Bode Vault, Microsoft,  Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine
Cyberattack, IAITAM, tech, 360 MAGAZINE

IAITAM v MICROSOFT

Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) CEO Dr. Barbara Rembiesa issued the following statement today:
 
Microsoft’s announcement that it will let end-users buy some of their own apps and licenses through Office 365 should be regarded with great concern by business owners, financial officers, and IT Asset Management (ITAM) program heads.” 
 
“This is the road to chaos and monumental waste, particularly if other software makers follow suit.  By basically bypassing all controls on licensing and purchases within companies, it will be incredibly difficult to know what has been purchased, who has purchased it, when it needs to be renewed, what needs to be ‘patched’ and which software is no longer being protected against hackers.  The result will be a rat’s nest of confusion, bad records and huge fines.”
 
“For years now, I have emphasized that you cannot manage what you do not know you have. For that reason, IAITAM developed a centralized ITAM model that incorporates 12 Key Process Areas (KPAs) and a set of best practices that assists IT Asset Managers with executing those processes. These identified best practices allow the ITAM program to be centralized, while the people they manage have appropriate empowerment and decentralized control.”
 
“For the model to work, the ITAM Program Manager has to be able to set up a program that tracks and stores information about specific IT assets with a centralized view of those assets as needed and required for future planning and compliance purposes. This includes being able to identify what software is in the environment and ensure that the software is licensed properly. The program begins with Acquisition Management and ends with Disposal Management. During that lifecycle, a Software Asset Manager needs to know that what the organization has in its environment remains compliant.”
 
“However, Microsoft’s announcement will change all of that.”
 
“Microsoft has said that on Nov. 19, 2019, it will begin allowing end-users to purchase Office 365 Power Platform low-code services, PowerApps, PowerBI and Flow. The user would be responsible for paying for the transaction and the applications themselves would be licensed to the user. The specific services are meant for business users and not IT administrators nor developers. The way most prior and existing licenses have worked, users would have to get permission from their administrators (to include the IT Asset Manager) to add those services.”
 
“Under the new way of doing things, if an organization receives an audit letter from Microsoft, the software publisher will have information on what is installed or supposed to be installed in the environment as an outgrowth of the business-driven transactions. Because the end-user would be in control of the license, the IT Asset Manager would have no way to prove what licenses are in the IT environment. This could lead to huge fines, as well as a security issue. If Microsoft finds that the organization or its end-users cannot prove software license compliance, the publisher could receive millions of dollars in penalties because the organization would be out of compliance.”
 
“The job of an IT Asset Manager is to protect an organization from losing control over its IT assets. Remaining in compliance with software license terms is a major money-saving aspect of a mature ITAM program. Without being able to prove compliance, the program’s core competency would collapse, and its value would become severely diminished.”
 
Following ITAM best practices is a roadmap for organizations to protect and get the most out of their IT assets. IAITAM offers courses and training opportunities throughout the year for agencies and businesses seeking to strengthen their cybersecurity and IT management.

ABOUT IAITAM
The International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, Inc., is the professional association for individuals and organizations involved in any aspect of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management (SAM), Hardware Asset Management, Mobile Asset Management, IT Asset Disposition and the lifecycle processes supporting IT Asset Management in organizations and industry across the globe. IAITAM certifications are the only IT Asset Management certifications that are recognized worldwide. For more information, visit www.iaitam.org.

One Hour Translation: Google Wins the Battle of Real Time Voice Translators

OHT used expert in-house linguists to compare the performance of Skype Translator, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri in translating business and tourism expressions from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87) 

Google Assistant is the top performing real time voice translator, according to a benchmark conducted by One Hour Translation (OHT), an online platform which provides translations in more than 100 languages and 3,000 language pairs.

With demand for real time voice translation on the rise, OHT decided to test out the leading services: Skype Translator (run by Microsoft Translate), Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, and rank them for accuracy.

With the help of expert in-house linguists OHT took 16 business and 10 tourism expressions and translated them from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa. The same sentences were then given to real time voice translator devices, apps and digital assistants to see just how they performed. The results were rated by the linguists on a scale of 0 to 6.

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in three out of the four languages – Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87).  Overall Japanese was the hardest language to translate with an average score of 3.7.  French was the easiest language for the instant voice translator devices to translate with an average of 4.75, followed by Spanish (4.54) and German (4.41).

“The real time voice translators were more accurate in translating tourism related experssions in comparison to business expressions” said Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He attributed this to the use of a lot of business-related abbreviations which are not easily recognized by real time voice devices. Kaufman added that “despite the recent improvements in all of the assistants we tested, real time voice translations still cannot be relied on for business related content.”

Some examples of the sentences: “Stay on budget for this campaign, we can’t have it affecting our ROI”; “R&D are cutting too many corners, the product is undeployable”;  “Schedule a meeting between your CMO and our product manager”; “Do you have any allergies? This dish contains peanuts and avocado”; “I need to find the fastest way to the airport, my plane is leaving soon”; “My travel insurance should cover that bill.”

There are also new developments on the horizon in the field of real time voice translation. Among other advancements, Amazon is planning to release a DIY toolkit for creating translation apps and Xiaomi has released a new and advanced physical device for real time translations.

About One Hour Translation

One Hour Translation (OHT) believes that businesses should be able to reach any customer, anywhere, anytime, with no language barriers.

One Hour Translation’s AI powered cloud-based translation management platform, HALO,  helps enterprise customers reduce overhead by automating their translation process and workflow. HALO combines automated workflows, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) and professional translation services, to process all of the enterprise content quickly and easily via API/WEB. A dedicated NMT engine is automatically trained as the translations proceed and as a result the project’s cost keeps decreasing while translation speed improves. HALO is easy to implement and use, encrypted, secured and allows the enterprise to use any mix of its translators and reviewers with those of OHT, as well as any mix of NMTs for optimal quality and cost. The platform also allows OHT to manage a company’s resources and in-house budgets earmarked for translation in order to obtain the best possible results.

OHT is the leader in translations for enterprise customers, currently serving over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, HP, Xerox, Acer, Shell, Deloitte, HSBC, Procter & Gamble, IKEA, 3M, McCann, Allianz, Xiaomi and many other organizations.

One Hour Translation specializes in translation for 30 expert domains, including law, technology, marketing, website translation, applications, software and more.

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ONEs – OHT NMT Evaluation Score

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

Bloom: Open Space

Open to the public now, Bloom: Open Space is a new mixed reality generative music experience created by musician, producer, visual artist, and thinker Brian Eno and longtime collaborator, musician/software designer Peter Chilvers. For just five days, guests to The Transformatorhuis (Trafo House) at Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam can explore this unique MR installation that blurs the lines between the physical and virtual.

 
Based upon their highly acclaimed, award-winning app of the same name, the installation explores uncharted territory in the realms of both applications and generative art. Guests can use the Microsoft HoloLens to physically experience Bloom – tapping the air around them to create elaborate patterns and unique melodies with the simplest of gestures.

 
Says Eno, “I have always been interested by the possibilities that new technologies offer, particularly that subset which falls under the heading ‘things nobody ever thought of doing before.’ This offer was an opportunity to explore the possibilities of Bloom further and augmented reality further.”

 

Bloom: Open Space seeks to inspire creativity in line with Brian Eno’s innovations, while the HoloLens allows the audience to directly participate and become part of the total experience. Eno has consistently pushed the boundaries of music, sound, and visual art, continually challenging both himself and those who experience his work. Eno and
Chilvers have been experimenting with generative systems for about 15 years, and as well as Bloom, have also released a number of other apps including Scape, Trope, and most recently, Reflection.

A part of the Microsoft Music x Technology program, this collaboration transforms the way we experience and create music. The installation is open to the public in Amsterdam through February 25th, 2018. For those unable to travel to Amsterdam, you can get an inside look at Bloom: Open Space here: bloomopenspace.com

 

Event Details :
Bloom: Open Space
A mixed reality installation by Brian Eno + Peter Chilvers
Open now – Sunday 25 February, 2018

The Transformatorhuis (Trafo House) at Westergasfabriek
Klönneplein 2
1014 DD Amsterdam

 

APPLE × SAMSUNG

OF SMARTPHONES AND SUPREMACY —THE NEVER ENDING RACE BETWEEN APPLE AND SAMSUNG

Written by: Amardeep Singh

2016 and 2017 have been strange years for smartphone giants that seem to show no signs of backing out on every front. From Samsung‘s gadgets being seen as potential explosive bombs to Apple admitting its dirty tactics in slowing down its older phones for better sales, from Nokia making a valiant return with the 3310 to Google releasing Pixel. But before techies and phone savants declare their opinions on the best phone for the year as 2017 comes to an end, it’s important to review two of the most happening smartphones that had gripped everyone in hype.

IT’S ALL IN THE SPECIFICATIONS

The iPhone X debuted with a staggering size of 43.6 × 70.9 × 7.7 mm (5.65 × 2.79 × 0.30 inches) showing an absent home screen button when compared to the Note 8’s size of 162.5 × 74.8 × 8.6 mm (6.40 × 2.95 × 0.34 inches).

Initial advertisements by Apple boasted several of the phone’s  features such as a stunning 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display that shows a beautiful 2,436 × 1,125 pixels (458 ppi) home screen. Apple wasn’t just betting on visual appeal to be the main selling point but it seems that the new animated emoji( called animoji) clearly took the stage at the keynote speech.

The phone runs on an A11 Bionic  64-bit architecture with a 2716 mAh battery that Apple promises to power 12 hours of internet, 13 hours of video playback, 21 hours of talk time and up to 60 hours of audio playback. Cameras have seen a vast improvement in the latest release with a M10 motion co-processor being coupled with a dual 12MP rear (both with OIS) and a 7MP True Depth front that captures images up to 4K at 60fps. Video making too has been augmented with users now being able to shoot 1080p at 240fps. Beneath the silver or space Gray exterior the, the provides up to 64GB or 256GB of storage space and the newest iOS 11 framework.

All this for a standard price of nearly a $1000 which is likely to increase in the coming months as Apple hints the possible release of more color variants and even a rumored iPhone 9.

The Note 8 too isn’t much far in that regard when it comes to technology. While slightly heavier than its counterpart, the phone still takes the lead with a 162.5 × 74.8 × 8.6 mm (6.40 × 2.95 × 0.34 inches) size with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display and a 2,960 × 1,440 (522 ppi) resolution. While the rear camera is no different than the iPhone ‘s12 MP feature, the front has an 8 MP capability. Early reviews stated that the phone hosts features to create videos at 4K at 30fps and 720p at 240fps. The Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (U.S.)/Samsung Exynos 8895 (international) processor allows for 22 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet, 16 hours of video playback, and up to 74 hours of audio playback.

Available at three storage spaces of 64GB (U.S.) 128, 256GB (International) and two colors of midnight black and orchid gray, the phone will cost buyers $ 930.

VERDICT— WHAT THE PUBLIC HAS TO SAY

The iPhone X launch brought some radical changes to its generation of smartphones which were welcomed by some but ridiculed and criticized by most. Despite showing some amazing sales figures when compared to the iPhone 7 which was considered to be no less than disastrous on the public front, the Note 8 still holds a competitive edge against the former.

Buyers are specifically amazed at the uses for Google Assistant and the S pen along with several other features such as Bixy, peripheral ports and its special lock-in procedures.

However, newer versions of the Note 8 have attracted some hindrance after users reported that they were unable to charge even on plugging after using them for the first time. Users are also dissatisfied with facial detection, screen burning and short battery lives on the latest iPhone. And the company too seems to be on thin ice as it revealed details about slowing down ageing phones which took a big crunch at its stock prices.

But only time will tell if either company can maintain a stronghold of their investors and consumers as the year comes to another end.

Photo credit: Stuff.tv