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Mobile Technology News, June 5, 2015

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Tweet And Delete: Politwoops' Demise Means Less Transparency In Politics
    Politwoops, the Sunlight Foundation project that curated deleted tweets from politicians, has been stopped in its tracks.

    In a post on its site Thursday, titled “Eulogy for Politwoops,” Sunlight Foundation President Christopher Gates explained that Twitter suddenly revoked the group’s access to its API, or application programming interface, which was used to tap into the database of tweets. The most recent deleted tweet on the Politwoops site is dated May 15.

    The service followed the Twitter accounts of congressional members and candidates, governors and gubernatorial candidates, the president and vice president, and presidential candidates. When it was launched in 2012, Sunlight touted it as “an illuminating rough draft of how politicians and campaigns hone their social media messaging and amend their record.”

    Gates noted that just after the service launched, Twitter contacted the foundation and told it Politwoops “violates our API Terms of Service on a fundamental level.”

    “We explained the goals of the project and agreed to create a human curation workflow to ensure that the site screened out corrected low-value tweets like typos, links and Twitter handles,” Gates wrote. “We implemented this layer of journalistic judgment with blessings from Twitter and the site continued.”

    Gates wrote Thursday:

    We are truly mystified as to what prompted the change of heart, and it’s deeply disappointing to see Twitter kill a project they had supported since 2012. It is also disturbing to us that our feed was cut almost three weeks ago and our only direct communication came from Twitter last night, when we were told that their decision was not something that we could appeal, and, most surprisingly, they were not interested in reviewing any of the email conversation from 2012. Clearly, something changed — and we’re not likely to ever know what it was.

    On Wednesday evening, Twitter released a statement to Gawker, which had reported on the lack of updates earlier this week before it knew the cause. In its statement, Twitter said it would “not restore Twitter API access for their Politwoops site.”

    Twitter continued: “We strongly support Sunlight’s mission of increasing transparency in politics and using civic tech and open data to hold government accountable to constituents, but preserving deleted Tweets violates our developer agreement. Honoring the expectation of user privacy for all accounts is a priority for us, whether the user is anonymous or a member of Congress.”

    In its Thursday post, Gates indicated he didn’t agree with Twitter’s decision.

    “We will honor Twitter’s latest decision, but it stands at odds with a fundamental understanding of our democracy,” he wrote. “A member of Congress does not and should not have the same expectation of privacy as a private citizen. Power can only be accountable with a generous application of transparency.”

    Over the years, Politwoops has helped surface tweets that were insightful about as well as embarrassing to politicians, including one from Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) that referred to “‘idiotic’ Republicans” and one from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) about how “hot” Cyndi Lauper was.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Unlock These Never-Before-Seen Photos Of The Tiananmen Square Protests With Your Phone

    Photographer Xu Yong was in Tiananmen Square 26 years ago when Chinese government troops opened fire on their own people — and he captured those moments.

    Hundreds — possibly thousands — of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed when tanks and soldiers entered central Beijing on June 3-4, 1989, to put down the student-led protests. Xu has held on to his camera negatives for decades and recently decided to publish them in an art book, titled Negatives, in what The New York Times called a “provocative” move against hard-liners in the current government.

    Xu’s book release coincides with the candle light vigil held Thursday night in Hong Kong by tens of thousands of students in solidarity with those killed during the Tiananmen Square protests.

    For the first time in the annual vigil’s quarter-century history, some student groups didn’t take part and instead held their own memorials, a sign of an emerging rift between young and old over Hong Kong’s pro-democracy identity that took root during the 2014 Occupy Central protests. The recent vigil was the only large-scale public commemoration of the victims on Chinese soil, and the Tiananmen events remain a taboo topic on the mainland.

    “Unlike digital photographs, which can be manipulated, negatives never lie,” Xu said about the unadulterated negatives.

    “On the attempt to cover-up and induce amnesia on an historic event, negatives have more direct impact as evidence than normal photographs or digital media, Xu wrote in a description of the project. “However, perhaps using this form to immunize against amnesia is not that important. What should be carefully considered are the social conditions that have resulted in the prolonged process of completing these works.”

    Xu’s more than two-decade-old negatives aren’t stuck in the past. They can easily be seen in color on smartphones. If you’re on an iPhone, go to your “settings” icon, hit the “general” tab, click “accessibility” and then mark the label “invert colors” to on. Android-users: go to “settings” then “accessibility” and select “inverted rendering” at the bottom of the menu.

    Once you switch the color spectrum, you can either view the negatives on your phone’s browser, or hold up the camera to a physical copy of the book or a desktop window to see the images in full color.

    Historical magic. Take a look.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Chrome for Android Updated with Inline Word Searches

    Google has released a nice update to the Chrome browser for Android devices with several improvements and new features.  One of the new features is the ability to tap a word on a webpage and Google will provide you information about that word or phrase at the bottom of the screen.  It is a handy little feature, especially if you run across a word you aren’t sure of the meaning or usage.  This update, version 43.0.2357.92 on Android phones for those keeping score at home, is available now and includes several other updates that make it a worthwhile download.  If

    The post Chrome for Android Updated with Inline Word Searches appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet
    (Image via Shutterstock)
    Image via Shutterstock

    By Fadi Chehadé

    The Internet, the greatest invention of our generation–several generations in fact–is in many ways a reflection of the American Dream. It’s vast and open, unlimited in its potential reach. It’s inclusive and welcoming. Anyone can be part of it and make a difference. The fastest growing part of the global economy is Internet-based, and the Internet accounts for a significant and growing portion of global GDP. According to Boston Consulting Group, the Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth and creating jobs.

    You’d be correct in arguing it’s an American-made innovation. We can trace the roots of the Internet back some 50 years to a U.S. Defense Department research program. But as the Internet has expanded globally, it’s become increasingly clear that one government cannot lay claim to it. The Internet is a worldwide resource. It belongs to everyone.

    Appropriately, the U.S. Government has long understood the Internet’s global potential. That’s why it helped create the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1998–a neutral, independent, and private-sector led organization designed to coordinate the Internet’s domain name system functions. Its operations are not made under the direction of one government, but through a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder policy development process involving business, civil society, engineers, academics, everyday users, and many governments (around 150 of them participate). Under that system, the Internet has flourished, connecting over 3 billion of us, through our billions of devices.

    Over the past two decades, the U.S. Government has gradually lightened its touch in its stewardship over the key Internet domain name system functions operated by ICANN. These technical functions are known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The U.S. Government is now prepared to give up stewardship over the IANA functions altogether.

    But why? And why now?

    The U.S. Government always envisioned that its role in the IANA functions would be temporary. In March of 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition out of its stewardship of the IANA functions. In its announcement, NTIA cited its belief that ICANN as an organization has matured and improved its accountability, transparency and its technical competence. NTIA also asserted that the Internet, managed and driven by the global community of diverse stakeholders, is in very good hands.

    The current model of Internet governance is the only one that can keep pace with the global expansion of users, including where, how, how often, and in what language they’re using it. Continual evolution is key: Internet governance must evolve to meet the changing needs of all users to ensure the network remains available, open, stable, and secure. A report by Microsoft projects that the number of Internet users will grow to 4.7 billion in 2025, 75 percent of that growth coming from emerging economies. We must work together to take into consideration this changing landscape.

    Many believe that if the U.S. Government does not step aside, other governments, including some that are uncomfortable with an open and inclusive Internet, will step in to try to capture control of it through intergovernmental organizations. Alternatively, governments could become motivated to break away from the one, unified Internet to form their own national or regional networks, essentially fragmenting the Internet we know today. The result of this could be a patchwork of incompatible networks spread across different nation states, with long-term social, cultural, political, and economic casualties. Why take that chance?

    The ICANN multi-stakeholder community brings together thousands of representatives from large and small businesses and civil society with technical experts, researchers, academics, and end users from all over the world. Our role at ICANN is to coordinate this community. We are neutral and independent facilitators.

    Many stakeholders have been working tirelessly over the past year to meet NTIA’s guidelines for the transition of their stewardship role to the global multi-stakeholder community. Since March 2014, the community has spent more than 400 hours together on calls and in meetings, working to develop a proposal that meets the following guidelines:

    1. Supports and enhances the existing multi-stakeholder model.
    2. Maintains the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet Domain Name System.
    3. Meets the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services.
    4. Maintains the openness of the Internet.

    They also have to take into account that NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA’s role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.

    Should the transition fail, the United States could lose credibility in its quest to maintain an open, multi-stakeholder-driven Internet. The risk of fragmentation will grow and U.S. and global economies risk losing the commercial and social benefits inherent in the single, global, free, and open Internet where innovation happens, and on which we’ve all come to rely.

    I invite you to please join our process. If you have concerns, voice them. If you agree with the fundamental principles the proposal is based on, share that. Engage with the multi-stakeholder community and share your thoughts and opinions. It is critical to the success of our effort and the future of the Internet that we have as much participation in the process as possible.

    Fadi Chehadé is the president and CEO of ICANN, a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable, and interoperable. He will be speaking on a session at the Techonomy Policy conference June 9 on the Worrisome Future of the Internet. To attend, you can register here.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Techonomy Policy June 9 in DC: The Age of Data Exhaust
    By David Kirkpatrick

    Last month, Techonomy hosted a dinner in New York, and our guests wanted relentlessly to talk about data. Where will society produce it? How much can we manage? Who will control it? What will they do to us with it? How can individuals retain influence over it? These are elemental questions for our era. They are questions that not only citizens, but government itself needs to be methodically asking. The dinner had nothing to do with our impending Techonomy Policy conference on June 9 in Washington D.C., but it’s no coincidence that the opening session is entitled “Keeping America Innovative In the Age of Data Exhaust.”

    The speakers for that session include Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and veteran tech leader Steve Case. We sustain that quality level all day. We’ll hear from entrepreneur and investor Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and Plaxo, founding president of Facebook, and now, co-creator of the Economic Innovation Group, an ambitious bi-partisan project to stimulate tech-savvy growth for the American economy.

    Techonomy Policy aims to help seed critical dialogue about the challenges for government as tech’s progress accelerates. We’ve learned from our past events that there is an urgent need for innovators and policy makers to come together, to keep our economy moving forward and our country competitive. We aim to bring government leaders together with the innovators, entrepreneurs, and aggressive businesses driving such changes, in a constructive dialogue that doesn’t gloss over the challenges.

    One guest at the New York dinner explained that he is a close student of his own personal health, and gets regular blood tests. Each time, he logs the results in a spreadsheet to track his health metrics. And where does he keep that spreadsheet? In Google Docs, of course. So, he asked, what if, in some not-distant future, he’s driving along in a car controlled by Google’s self-driving software, and a head-on collision is imminent? Could Google’s algorithms instantly conclude he has little likelihood of long life, based on the spreadsheet, and sacrifice him in favor of the healthier occupant of the other vehicle?

    Hyperbole aside, what standards must data-owners abide by in a data-rich world? Who gets to use data? What will be our protections against data’s misuse, and who will define misuse? Can government actively and continuously engage with such questions? Maybe we can begin to figure out government’s role in situations like the Google Docs/driverless car example.

    The data explosion is just one of a dauntingly numerous variety of tech transformations now underway that will overturn norms in commerce, behavior, health, public safety, and work. What about the Internet of Things, as intelligence, control, and yes, data accumulation increasingly surrounds us, literally? Or the Blockchain, that inscrutable new way to securely organize any sort of information with no central authority or oversight? It increasingly seems like the most important innovation surrounding the digital currency Bitcoin. We’ll have multiple sessions devoted to both of these urgent topics at Techonomy Policy.

    Every day’s headlines underscore the need for unvarnished conversation between the changemakers and those who make policy and regulation. A guy who published online his plans for a 3D-printed gun is suing the State Department, which earlier ordered him to withdraw the documents because it said that publishing them was the export of military secrets. Now the guy’s high-powered lawyers argue that he was just publishing computer code, and government is violating his freedom of speech.

    On another front, the Federal Aviation Administration is finally, slowly, loosening up its super-tight regulation of drones. Selected companies can now test them beyond the line of sight of the operator. Meanwhile, other countries are galloping forward with this not-dominated-by-Americans technology. The world’s leading dronemaker, DJI, is Chinese. And in France, over 1,250 licensed companies fly drones in a wide range of commercial applications, including scanning farmers’ fields and analyzing from the air the soil chemistry to recommend precise fertilizer and irrigation recipes. The U.S. is falling behind.

    The new European Commission has a vice president whose entire charge is to work towards a continent-wide “digital single market.” At Techonomy Policy we will host both the European Union ambassador to the United States and his counselor on the digital economy. (Yes, he has one.) They’ll talk both about how the U.S. and Europe can work together and learn from one another.

    This stuff is happening, fast. How can government, designed in some ways deliberately to move slowly, accommodate the enormous changes underway? At Techonomy Policy we’ve got legislators, commissioners from the FTC and FCC, experts from academia, industry leaders from tech, investors, authors, rabble-rousers, and representatives from the core of the D.C. establishment. Only by bringing together such a diverse group, we think, can we push this dialogue forward with energy and sophistication.

    You should come. We’re all citizens, and it matters for our collective future.

    David Kirkpatrick will be hosting Techonomy Policy, June 9 in Washington, DC. To attend, you can register here.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Can Financial Services Use Social Media Right?
    Image via Shutterstock

    By Kitty Parry

    Did you know a tenth of HSBC’s workforce is in compliance? Or that the average corporate fine from the U.K.’s financial industry regulator increased nearly seven-fold from 2010 to 2013? Meanwhile, similar trends are being seen in the U.S. and around the world.

    The regulatory clampdown is happening at the same time that technology is transforming our world. Just this month, New York State’s top financial regulator granted the first license to a Bitcoin exchange, giving it bank-like status. This is technology literally throwing down the gauntlet to our monetary system.

    Social media is another case in point. Communication has suddenly in a few short years shifted online and into the public forum. But regulated financial firms face complicated limits on what they can say and which of their employees can say it. These old regulations are challenging as social media tools impact behavior. For example, if employees are endorsed by clients and peers on LinkedIn in an innocent manner, that may be viewed as a testimonial and therefore influencing a client/customer’s decision–which in turn breaches policy. Such breaches of policy are out of the company’s control.

    Unsurprisingly, firms have themselves also made numerous mistakes with this new medium. JP Morgan Chase cancelled a Q&A on Twitter after it descended into a tirade of anti-company abuse. A well-intentioned idea went awry because the channel (Twitter) was not used effectively. Human error also creeps in: none other than the CFO of Twitter publicly tweeted plans about a company purchase. The message was apparently intended to be a private direct message–a mishap so common it has its own name: a “DM fail.” Meanwhile, even everyday tasks like archiving, retweeting, or managing testimonials (such as those LinkedIn endorsements) impose significant compliance burdens. The challenge for financial services to adapt to this breakneck technological change is intensified by the tough regulatory landscape.

    But how can regulators keep track of the industry when practices are evolving so quickly? As we hear so regularly, banks have blockbuster budgets that give them access to the world’s finest minds and technology. Predicting where future compliance failures might arise means not only foreseeing business developments, but also how consumers will react to them.

    So on the one hand, examples of regulatory overreach can be found in recent years with cases such as Britain’s Financial Services Authority vs. Einhorn. Mr. Einhorn was accused of insider trading, even though the FSA acknowledged that his actions were not deliberate. They imposed a large fine to demonstrate there are laws by which the industry and members must abide. And we’ve seen much unnecessary demonization of individuals or the industry. On the other hand, regulators have overlooked activities that shouldn’t have gone on. Just look at the numerous recent cases of rogue trading.

    Regulators and finance are a mismatch of forces. As long as they battle each other, a sub-optimal outcome will occur. The key is to get them working together through a global conversation, and then embedding best practice through effective training for staff.

    I founded Social Media Compliance because I saw that social media was an area that could pioneer this model of regulation. A third party, sitting between the regulator and talking to the industry, could collect information on business challenges and concerns, and feed this into the regulator. At the same time, that party could push for clarity and assurance from the regulator about where the goal posts were.

    In the U.K. we have been working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority on its final guidance on social media. For industry, we have drawn up a Charter that gives firms guiding principles that help them remain compliant. We have expanded on these principles to develop a platform for financial services to engage in social media. We are now beginning talks with global regulators and aim very soon to expand the platform to other countries.

    Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has said that trust and openness must be two of the three pillars of the post-2008 finance industry. Trust is essential because without it, the powerful financial industry loses its license from the public. Openness, meanwhile, breeds strength. “Opacity hides frailty,” said the eloquent governor.

    Social media, and indeed wider tech platforms, have a huge role to play in promoting these pillars. If any country can figure out a constructive framework for financial institutions to interact with consumers and the public through these new tech tools, it’s likely other countries will emulate it. With this in mind, the Social Media Charter Association is holding our inaugural Global Regulators Summit this December.

    The status quo, where banks are building “war chests” of money for fines into their forecasts and holding back from providing services because of compliance risks will only drive the industry’s reputation further into the abyss. This is not good for profits, staff morale, or social cohesion.

    Instead, industry must form a body that addresses these challenges, and shows the public and regulator it is dancing to a new tune: one that expounds creativity and ethics in technology use, not creative ethics.

    Kitty Parry of Social Media Compliance will speak about the challenges for regulators in a social media era at Techonomy Policy, June 9 in Washington, DC. To attend, you can register here.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Why Asia Matters for LinkedIn
    Image via Shutterstock

    By Will Greene

    As LinkedIn works to connect all the world’s professionals, CEO Jeff Weiner is increasingly setting his sights on a bigger vision — to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Since Asia accounts for a large portion of that workforce and a rising share of global economic activity, its importance for the professional network is bound to grow.

    At Techonomy 2014, Weiner envisioned LinkedIn as a platform that connects all the world’s workers, companies, and educational institutions. This is not an impossible dream. LinkedIn already has more than 364 million registered members globally. Many use the service actively to establish their professional identify, find opportunities, and engage with professional content.

    Yet with 68 million members in Asia, LinkedIn’s presence there is relatively small, especially considering the region’s vast population and rising centrality for the global economy. While the professional network includes more than half the world’s knowledge workers, less than a third of those in Asia are members.

    LinkedIn’s user base is growing quickly in some parts of Asia. It has over 13 million members in Southeast Asia, more than double what it had there in mid-2013. It also includes more than 30 million in India, up from 20 million just two years ago.

    China has been harder. Back in 2013, the professional network had only 3 million Chinese users, less than Australia at that time. It had not yet opened a China office or released a Chinese version of the network, despite having already localized to Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

    In 2014, LinkedIn started making aggressive moves into China. It launched in Chinese and inked deals with two prominent Chinese venture firms, both with connections crucial for navigating China’s tricky regulatory environment. Unlike other American tech giants like Google and Twitter, LinkedIn also decided to accede to government censorship requirements.

    On account of these measures, LinkedIn’s user base in China grew to roughly 8 million in 2015. But in a speech at a tech conference hosted by Morgan Stanley in 2014, Weiner estimated China still has roughly 140 million professionals and students. And as 250 million rural Chinese migrate to cities in the next decade, the urban workforce may continue to grow.

    The good news for LinkedIn is that China’s emerging middle class is hungry to connect with global professionals, companies and educational institutions. In Japan, where self-promotion and job-hopping are culturally discouraged, LinkedIn may face greater friction. Today, it only has a little over a million Japanese users, despite early efforts to localize to the country.

    Curiously, many Japanese professionals are more likely to use Facebook for professional networking than LinkedIn. In a March 2015 LinkedIn post, an American entrepreneur in Japan wrote that Facebook gives Japanese professionals a greater opportunity to build personal connections as they network, which is important in their business culture. It also allows them to share their achievements discreetly and indirectly, such as through photos of work events.

    The same holds true in South Korea. “Facebook is still Korea’s default business networking tool,” says Nathan Millard, CEO of G3 Partners, a tech-focused PR firm based in Seoul. “Koreans are gradually getting onto LinkedIn, but it’s happening slowly.”

    In Southeast Asia, LinkedIn is faring well in most markets, but has yet to crack the million-user mark in Vietnam. Having used LinkedIn’s premium products for several sales and recruiting projects in the country, I’ve noticed decent uptake among Vietnamese professionals working at foreign companies, and those with foreign education. But very few professionals with primarily local experience, on the other hard, are on LinkedIn.

    Similar circumstances prevail in many of Asia’s emerging markets, where LinkedIn’s membership skews heavily towards internationally-minded professionals. In such markets, LinkedIn is still valuable for high-level prospecting, executive recruitment, and advertising to professional audiences. For hiring non-executive staff in Vietnam, however, I’m much more likely to turn to local jobs sites like Vietnamworks and ITviec.

    Could LinkedIn eventually emerge as a tool for the entire global workforce, from factory workers and taxi drivers to lawyers and entrepreneurs? Could it open doors for students at vocational schools in emerging markets, just as it does for graduates from four-year universities in the developed world? Weiner has a bracing vision, but given that Asia’s population exceeds 4.4 billion, let’s just say that the opportunities there for LinkedIn remain vast.

    Will Greene runs TigerMine Ventures, an advisory firm that helps companies and organizations grow in Southeast Asia. And yes, you can find him on LinkedIn.
    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Empowering Women One Brand at a Time
    Image via Shutterstock
    By Leslie Pascaud

    Women are everywhere. No surprise, right? They do, after all, make up 50 percent of the world’s population. Yet, everywhere we look, women are a topic of conversation. Michelle Obama’s outfit choices on a recent tour of Japan are proclaimed to break down female stereotypes. Sweaty, jiggling, and fabulous women exercising on our screens chant “This girl can.” A woman’s mob killing in Afghanistan sparks a global #JusticeForFarkhunda movement. The banning of “India’s Daughter,” a documentary about the gang rape in Delhi, raises hackles across the globe. Meanwhile, Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins sheds light on sexism in Silicon Valley, even if she lost.

    Why so much activity stirring around the boundaries of gender? And why now? As cultural insight mavens, we see something fundamental taking place. Some people are calling it the Fourth Wave of Feminism. Fed up with everyday sexism and forged by other forms of activism, women are empowered by social media and other communications technologies. They are speaking up across all sectors, countries, and societies.

    This is a cultural movement that is bringing the diversity and complexity of women’s lives to the fore. It is pushing politics, culture, and brands to tackle the thorny issues of educational and job equality, freedom from violence, bias, and so much more.

    Of course “womanhood” in India is very different from the same concept in Indianapolis. Women in the U.S. have made tremendous progress in economic independence. The gender pay gap is narrowing. Women-owned firms now account for 30 percent of all enterprises, though you’d never guess it from the make-up of the investment industry. (Just 6 percent of partners at VC firms are women, for example.) The issues in emerging markets like India, Turkey, and Colombia are quite different as women suffer both from inadequate economic and social opportunity.

    But the underlying global forces are shifting in similar directions. Solidarity movements like #HeForShe are adopting a counterpoint narrative in order to advance public policy . The movement speaks to male leaders: imploring every CEO to close the pay gap; encouraging every head of state to make sure legislation does not discriminate against women; asking every father to ensure that his girls go to school. And smart brands too are getting in on the conversation–recognizing and honoring the multifaceted nature of womanhood and the complex ways its representations are evolving in culture. When 60 to 70 percent of women feel misunderstood by marketers, there is much to be gained by proving the contrary:

    • Under Armour proposes a motivational mantra reminding us that women athletes “will what they want” and affirming that “the space between woman and athlete is no space at all.”
    • The Celine fashion brand celebrates age and uniqueness via 80-year-old Joan Didion, “the new face of French fashion,” taking a stand that a women’s worth goes well beyond the superficial.
    • Walmart promotes women makers and businesses through its newly designed “Women-Owned” logo on product packaging and online.
    • Always redefines what it means to run #LikeAGirl.
    • And then, of course, there is Dove: Dove Real Women, Dove Self Esteem, Dove Sketches, and most recently, Dove Curls. Note: even Dove’s “arch nemesis” Axe (both Unilever brands) has changed its tune, moving from overt sexism to a subtler form of seduction.

    Yet for each brand getting it right, far more are missing the mark. Brands need to realize that “femvertising” missteps represent a real risk for their future growth. A few points to keep in mind:

    1. If you are engaging with an issue, ensure that it is coherent with your brand values and that you can “own” it. Two U.S. brands–Microsoft and Verizon–have recently jumped on the gender diversity bandwagon, both focusing on the female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) gap. Both are urging parents/teachers to encourage girls’ love of science. Both offer up poignant advertising which addresses a pivotal societal topic. Yet, one is likely to get more credit than the other because the issue is more closely aligned with its pre-existing brand equity. Microsoft’s “Girls Do Science” comes across as more legitimate, despite the fact that we find the Verizon “Inspire Her Mind” ad more compelling.
    2. Avoid clichés. The Subway brand took heat last October for suggesting in their ads that women should try to get fit so that they can wear sexy costumes for Halloween. Elle magazine’s response sums up the reaction: “How many eye roll-worthy moments can you fit into 30 seconds? Let us count the WTFs. Subway not only perpetuates the pressure for us to wear slutty costumes on October 31, but also takes it one step further saying we should diet to do it.”
    3. Make sure your tone is consistent with your brand character. Keds has been using Taylor Swift to promote “Brave Girls”–an emotive message to empower young women. But what is the relevance to Keds? Can shoes make you brave? Is it believable when there is no evident link to Keds’s brand character or values? We think instead they could be diminishing the meaning of bravery. A “brave” narrative is best told by a brand that is recognized for its own bravery. One doing this well is Brazil’s Cerveja Feminista beer, tackling the objectification of women in traditional beer and advertising by championing a non-sexist beer culture.

    Given the long road that remains to real gender equality, brands do and will continue to play an important role in supporting and even fueling this societal shift.

    There are more ways than ever before to begin meaningful conversations with and about women. Brands need to embrace the complexity of this topic, carefully choose the stand they seek to take, and communicate with conviction and authenticity. The ultimate goal will be to get to a place where the need to promote women’s empowerment becomes a relic of the past. But we sure aren’t there yet.

    Leslie Pascaud is executive vice president of branding and sustainable innovation at Added Value. This article was written with support by Emma Godfrey, brand project director at Added Value.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Bank of America App Updated With Fraud Alerts

    The official Bank of America app for Android has been updated with several new features including fraud notifications and the ability to verify your transactions within the app.  The updated versions, 6.4.2 for those keeping score at home, is available for both Android Phone and Android Tablets.  Along with this fraud activity notification feature, there are several other new features for consumers and for small business customers of nations 2nd largest bank. Bank of America – Free – Download Now With the new fraud activity notifications in the Band of America app, customers can verify transactions from within the app

    The post Bank of America App Updated With Fraud Alerts appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Israel PM attacks Orange over deal
    Israel’s Prime Minister has attacked the boss of the French telecom giant Orange for looking to pull out of a deal with an Israeli partner.
  • The Peculiar Charms (and Perils) of Electronic Voting
    Image via Shutterstock
    By Edie Lush

    It’s remarkable that in a world where it seems everything is becoming more digitized most of the globe still elects their political leaders with pencil and paper. Only a peculiarly-diverse handful of countries–including Belgium, Brazil, India, and Venezuela–use electronic voting machines nationwide. (The U.S. and other countries use them in some areas.) What these countries have discovered is that when you have a robust system the cost of elections falls, people’s votes count more, fraud is cut, and the results are known faster. And, rather extraordinarily, replacing paper with machines can change societies in ways that save lives. (For more, see below.)

    So why hasn’t the world moved more quickly to voting via a machine? Unfortunately the path to electronic voting nirvana is strewn with rather deep potholes, principally around security and transparency.

    In 2006, the Netherlands reverted from electronic voting back to paper after Dutch campaigners hacked a voting machine, causing it to produce phony results. (They also taught the device to play chess.) Likewise, in 2012, Ireland’s nascent experiment with e-voting ended in frustration when €54 million worth of machines were sold to a recycling firm for €70,000 because the machines couldn’t be guaranteed to be safe from tampering, nor could they produce a printout so that results could be double-checked.

    But it’s far from all bad. I spoke to Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic, the largest privately-owned maker of electronic voting devices. (India’s machines are made by state-owned companies and Brazil has used several providers.)

    Smartmatic, based in the U.K. and the U.S., has manufactured over 150,000 devices to help conduct elections around the world. Their machines have counted close to 2.5 billion votes in over 3,500 elections. Smartmatic’s machines were not implicated in either the Ireland or the Netherlands disasters. Security is understandably at the forefront of Mugica’s mind. “It is critical to have a robust system. Our machines have over 200 security features and cryptographic algorithms to make them resilient to attack. The machines and software are foolproof, tamper-proof, and hacker-proof.” He hopes. In today’s attack-rich online environment, determined attackers seem to be able to undo almost any protections. But Smartmatic employs a state-of-the-art approach. It stores, tallies, and transmits votes with technologies similar to those typically used for banking transactions.

    According to Mugica, electronic voting machines increase the transparency of an election. He argues that the best way to increase transparency is to allow the hardware and source code contained in the software running the machines to be reviewed by all political parties and election monitors to check for bugs ahead of an election. (But as with most things political, controversy can still ensue. For all Mugica’s intentions, his company has sometimes been accused of withholding its source code.) Another feature intended to add transparency are the printed copies produced of each electronic vote. These can be verified by hand during post-electoral audits.

    Electronic voting machines can also make elections more accurate, which enfranchises people. Even optical scanners, which scan voter-marked paper ballots, popular in parts of the U.S., have a margin of error because people mis-mark their ballot. According to Smartmatic, when Venezuela migrated from optical scanning to Smartmatic voting machines in 2004, it lowered the amount of spoiled ballots from 10 percent to zero. Interestingly, the cost of running the election also halved–from $8-10 per voter to $4. Since there is no human participation, the processes of counting votes: summation, tabulation, and adjudication processes are fully automated. It’s cheaper to run an election with machines than people.

    Digitizing votes also saves lives. I spoke to Thomas Fujiwara, assistant professor of economics at Princeton University, about the effect voting machines had on the Brazilian election. At the beginning of the period studied by Fujiwara (1998-2002), 23 percent of the Brazilian population was illiterate. Paper ballots require Brazilians to write the candidate’s name or electoral number on a ballot–resulting in many error-ridden and blank ballots, especially in poorer areas. In mechanizing the vote, Brazil created a system that guided voters through the process, asking them to confirm their choice with a picture of the candidate they are supporting. More poor and illiterate voters then began to vote, which in turn encouraged politicians to address their concerns.

    These new voters elected left-wing political parties that promised–and delivered–a stronger state-funded healthcare system, which increased spending on maternal health. Fujiwara has shown that this increased spending directly after elections in 1998 and 2002 resulted in fewer babies being born underweight, a key indicator of infant mortality. For more, see his study.

    Voting machines have also saved lives in the Philippines. The Philippines is a nation of 2,000 inhabited islands where 18,000 political seats are up for grabs in each election. Vote counting used to take up to 18 hours in each polling station and then it took up to 40 days to reconcile the vote count nationally. In this interim period, dozens of lives could sometimes be lost in violent disputes that erupted around the vote count. Additionally, it was common for ballot boxes to go missing, causing more chaos and distrust in the election process. Electronic voting machines first went into use in 2010, and by the May 2013 midterm election the victors were announced between 2 and 48 hours after even the most remote islander had cast her vote on an electronic voting machine. The usual corruption and violence around the votes significantly diminished.

    Of course voting machines don’t solve all problems. As Judith Kelley, senior associate dean at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy told me, “Elections are huge, complex systems with multiple opportunities for cheating. Addressing fraud is a bit like playing whack-a-mole: as soon as you eliminate fraud in one part of the system, it pops up somewhere else.” In the U.S., the Supreme Court is dealing with a case of gerrymandering in Arizona. In Zambia, fishy results come from the most remote polls, where election monitors aren’t present. In India, political parties offer taxi rides, saris, and cash in return for a ride to a polling station in more remote areas. In effect, they’re buying votes. The machines may be clean, but sadly that doesn’t mean that the politicians and parties you’re voting for will be.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Educators Unite to Build Vietnam's Tech Talent
    Vietnamese student learns game design. (Photo courtesy of Everest Education, Ho Chi Minh City)
    Vietnamese student learns game design. (Photo courtesy of Everest Education, Ho Chi Minh City)
    By Will Greene

    Vietnam’s tech industry is booming. Software and electronics exports soared in recent years, and a domestic market for tech products and services is steadily gaining strength. For growth to continue, however, Vietnam must cultivate an increasingly skilled tech workforce. Educators and private tech companies are working intensively to make this happen.

    Companies across the Vietnamese tech ecosystem will benefit from a better talent pipeline. Electronics manufacturers, whose exports account for the biggest slice of industry revenues, need more skilled managers, engineers, and technicians. Outsourcing and product companies, who employ the lion’s share of skilled local tech workers, need better developers, product managers, marketers, and account managers.

    Since companies here are striving to produce higher value products and services, new capabilities in research, problem solving, and client service must be developed. But building such capabilities requires a major mindset shift at educational institutions, which typically emphasize rote learning over problem solving. Such a change will also challenge companies that opt for rigid hierarchy over the flatter structures that encourage creativity and initiative.

    To overcome these challenges, many Vietnamese tech companies are partnering with educators, NGOs, and government agencies. Although some companies still think of Vietnam as simply a place for cheap labor, the forward-thinking ones know the country has deeper potential.

    This potential comes from a strong cultural affinity for science, technology, engineering, and math skills–the so-called STEM disciplines. Vietnamese students often gain exposure to computer science and training at a young age, and earn high scores in math and science on international exams.

    Yet while students from the top schools often graduate with good technical skills, many employers complain that they lack practical experience, and that soft skills, such as teamwork and creative problem solving, tend to be particularly weak. English language abilities also need improvement.

    The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP)–an international consortium of educational activists founded by Intel, Arizona State University, and USAID in 2010–is leading one of the most substantial reform efforts. The program aims to update the country’s engineering and technical vocational schools to ensure they produce work-ready graduates. According to Jeffrey Goss, HEEAP’s director, it currently focuses on electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering programs. But the organization aims to expand into other engineering disciplines including computer science.

    HEEAP’s primary target is to increase the number of engineering schools in Vietnam that meet regional and international accreditation standards. It has trained thousands of Vietnamese professors in modern techniques that emphasize applied learning and group problem solving over theory-based instruction. It is also helping Vietnamese universities implement modern IT systems to improve administrative efficiency, track progress towards accreditation, and enable online learning.

    As HEEAP works within existing educational institutions, the German and Vietnamese governments are partnering to create an entirely new one. In 2008, they founded Vietnamese-German University (VGU), a research-oriented institution with a strong focus on technical education. Accredited in Germany, VGU provides students with exposure to international curricula and research opportunities in engineering, computer science, and related disciplines. All courses are taught in English.

    VGU has a little over 1,000 students currently enrolled, and is still relatively small. But with $180 million in funding from the World Bank, the university is planning a campus for 12,000 students, lecturers, and researchers in 2017. Its goal is to become a leading research university in Southeast Asia.

    Other education activists are working to improve STEM training at primary and secondary levels. Tony Ngo and Don Le of Everest Education, a private tutoring company in Ho Chi Minh City, have been developing courses in applied math based on Singapore Math, as well as pre-college English based on Common Core. They also run Innovation & Technology Camps with local high schools like the International School of Ho Chi Minh City and Saigon South International School.

    Another initiative was the Young Maker’s Challenge, a competition that trained and assessed high school students from Ho Chi Minh City on projects that required programming, logic, and circuitry skills. Co-sponsored by Everest Education and Intel, the event catalyzed interest from all corners of the community. “We were amazed at how many local and international high schools participated,” said Ngo. “We’re definitely going to do it again this winter, but bigger.”

    Some are working to bring tech education to underprivileged children. Orphan Impact is an NGO that builds computer centers and runs after-school training programs for orphanages around Vietnam. Everest Education offers scholarship programs for students in need.

    Programs like these will build the talent pipeline for the future, but many tech companies need skilled workers now, so a growing number are investing in on-the-job training, mentorship programs, and continuing education

    Atlassian, an Australian maker of enterprise software, is one example. With over 150 people at an R&D center it founded in partnership with Pyramid Consulting, an IT services firm in Ho Chi Minh City, it invests heavily in training programs that include soft and hard skills, English language instruction, and work exchanges with its company headquarters in Sydney.

    “Our ultimate goal is to cultivate a product mindset,” says Thanh Phan, who leads Vietnam operations. “Vietnam has plenty of coders who can build things to spec, but it takes extra effort to get people to think from the user’s perspective and feel a true sense of ownership for their work.”

    Many other companies have similar priorities. KMS Technology, for instance, is an IT services provider that strives for deep long-term relationships with its clients. It has also incubated and spun off two products–a software testing management platform called QA Symphony and a Chinese chess game called WiTurn.

    “Since we often work with clients for years at a time, it’s essential that we get our developers to think, work, and act like our client’s own staff,” says Viet Hung Nguyen, managing director of KMS. “It usually takes 1-2 months of training for a new hire to become productive in this way.”

    Other industry supporters are taking further steps to build talent. The Finnish government launched an Innovation Partnership Program in 2009 that includes grants for early-stage tech companies, business groups, and community mentors. It is also developing a curriculum on entrepreneurship and innovation in Vietnam.

    And then there’s Anh-Minh Do, Vietnam’s leading tech journalist and a central figure in its emerging tech ecosystem. A reporter for Tech in Asia, he’s highly active in arranging lectures, programs, and other events. Some of his upcoming initiatives include a conference for mobile developers, a startup mentorship network, and a hackathon for agricultural tech.

    Vietnam still has a long way to go to become a global tech powerhouse. But expect more sophisticated tech to be “Made in Vietnam” in coming years.

    Will Greene runs TigerMine Ventures, an advisory firm that helps companies and organizations grow in Southeast Asia.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Use Eye Chart apps with patients the appropriate way

    How to use snellen eye chart apps the right way.

    The post Use Eye Chart apps with patients the appropriate way appeared first on iMedicalApps.

  • How Techonomy Bio Inspired My Southeast Asian Healthcare Journey
    Many pharmacies in Thailand and other emerging markets lack modern technology. (Photo by Will Greene)
    Many pharmacies in Thailand and other emerging markets lack modern technology. (Photo by Will Greene)
    By Will Greene

    Last year, I watched the inaugural Techonomy Bio conference from a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. At the time, I was working on my first healthcare consulting project–a market research study for German medical device manufacturers interested in Vietnam. I spent my days interviewing suppliers, distributors, purchasers, regulators, and other stakeholders, trying to make sense of the snarled Vietnamese healthcare system. Where was the opportunity for new, high-quality equipment in a country with limited resources? It was a challenging question.

    Due to the time difference between Vietnam and America, I couldn’t catch the live webcast of the conference, but in the week after the event, I ended each day by kicking up my feet and watching video footage of the 2014 conference sessions on my laptop. My mom was visiting that week, so it became something of a parent-child bonding ritual as well. She spent more than a decade as a rehabilitation counselor for methadone patients on Long Island, where she frequently struggled with all the bureaucratic hassles and inefficiencies of modern healthcare, so she shared my interest in healthcare innovation and reform.

    Watching those videos hammered home a fact that both of us already knew: in both developed and developing countries, much of modern healthcare is fundamentally broken. What we didn’t know was the extent to which innovations at the intersection of IT, biotech, and life sciences held potential to improve the situation everywhere. It was captivating, and also reassuring, since I think we both longed to feel safer, healthier, and better served by these two very different healthcare systems. Yet it also felt somewhat abstract. How would we, as regular health consumers, actually experience the benefits that were being discussed?

    Inspired by the conference and the questions it raised, I soon found myself immersed in news and research about digital healthcare trends. I was particularly interested in how digital healthcare was impacting the emerging markets of Southeast Asia, where I’ve been based since 2010. As I dug around on this topic, I started writing for Techonomy about what I saw. Through this research, I also got involved with mClinica, a digital health company that’s using mobile technology to improve access, affordability, and quality of essential medicines in emerging markets.

    My research ultimately painted a picture of a promising but underserved market for digital health. Across Southeast Asia, consumer health apps, IT-powered public health tools, health information systems, and other digital services have steadily emerged in recent years, but uptake has been limited by low per-capita health spending, lack of technological sophistication among consumers, and perplexing regulations. Yet development has been lifting incomes throughout the region, so opportunities for investment in health and many other industries are expanding.

    Much of this investment is led by the public sector. In March, I wrote about how NGOs are developing innovative tools to improve medical education in emerging markets. In January, I highlighted three NGOs using mobile tech to fight tuberculosis. And in September last year, I wrote about the growing range of software platforms available to NGOs for public health campaigns.

    Undoubtedly, such initiatives play an important role in global health, but their long-term sustainability and scalability is uncertain. As countries like Vietnam approach middle-income status, public sector funding tends to dry up and shift to more needy areas. But will improved infrastructure and health practices remain? In many places, that’s an open question.

    Private health tech companies, on the other hand, have greater potential to grow as emerging countries do, but there aren’t yet enough of them to address the many pressing Southeast Asian health challenges. Part of the problem is an ongoing shortage of investment and insufficient opportunities for collaboration. Unlike in the United States, Southeast Asia does not have dedicated healthcare accelerator programs like Rock Health or Startup Health. And although tons of venture money has poured into the region for hot tech sectors like e-commerce, investments in digital healthcare have been relatively thin.

    Kickstart Ventures, a Philippines-based accelerator and venture fund, deserves mention for its efforts to develop health tech in Southeast Asia. It was an early investor in mClinica, where I’m currently working. It was also an early investor in Medix, a cloud-based clinic management service that builds IT systems for hospitals, clinics, and dental practices. In addition, Kickstart is hosting a series of events about digital health in the Philippines that aim to further build the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is great, but Kickstart is a rare pioneer.

    In light of the opportunities and challenges for digital health in Southeast Asia, I was intrigued by the panel session on Advances, Opportunities, and Challenges at this year’s Techonomy Bio event, which I also watched from a hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City. The session consisted of an unscripted conversation between Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce and an active healthcare philanthropist.

    Benioff and Desmond-Hellmann seemed optimistic about the potential of digital health to improve lives in both developed and developing markets. Although some of this impact will be limited to affluent countries, advances in disease tracking and therapeutics, along with countless other innovations, will power major transformations everywhere. But despite recent progress, they agreed that more interdisciplinary work between experts in IT and healthcare is needed to speed advancements in digital health. They also agreed we need more investment in healthcare data, and tools for managing and analyzing that data effectively.

    Better health data is certainly needed in Southeast Asia. While some speakers and audience members at Techonomy Bio complained about electronic medical records in the United States, clinics and pharmacies in many Southeast Asian countries still use paper logbooks and receipts. This reduces service quality and creates huge gaps in health records. That’s one of the reasons I’m now working with mClinica. It is developing digital health platforms that connect pharmacies, doctor’s offices, pharmaceutical companies, and patients in Asia’s emerging markets. As these various stakeholders become connected, the opportunities to improve public health are enormous.

    Will Greene serves as director of New Markets for mClinica. He also runs TigerMine Ventures, an advisory firm that helps companies and investors in Southeast Asia.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • (VIDEO) WPP's Xaxis Launches "Light Reaction," a Mobile Performance Unit
    Becoming sort of holding company within its parent WPP, Xaxis is launching new, stand alone businesses.  The latest is called Light Reaction, a company that measures the impact of mobile advertising, says Brian Lesser, Global CEO of Xaxis in this interview with Beet.TV

    The new unit is an amalgam of two acquisitions of ActionX and QuismaX along with existing Xaxis technology.  Light Reaction is launching in 20 countries with 300 clients. The new company sells media on a per outcome basis, vs. a more conventional CPM, Lesser explains.

    Light Reaction is being headed by Xaxis veteran Paul Dolan.

    In other developments, Lesser says that Xaxis is growing its direct business with marketers who work directly with Xaxis.  He says the direct business in the U.S. accounts for $75 million in annual revenue.

    You can find this post on Beet.TV.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Augmented Reality: Enabling Learning Through Rich Context
    Image via Shutterstock
    By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

    In his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” Neal Stephenson envisioned the Metaverse: a three-dimensional manifestation of the Internet in which people interact and collaborate via digitally-constructed avatars. In the decades since, technology has advanced to the point where such a place no longer seems like science fiction.

    Stephenson’s Metaverse is a virtual reality space, a completely immersive computer-generated experience whose users have minimal ability to interact with the real world. In contrast to this fictional vision is today’s burgeoning field of augmented reality (AR), a technology that superimposes visual information or other data in front of one’s view of the real world.

    One of the most well-known AR technologies, Google Glass, projects data onto the upper right corner of the wearer’s glasses lens, creating a relatively seamless interaction between that information and reality. Today, such technologies tend to get noticed for either their novelty value or their role in privacy concerns. In the longer term, they can have tremendous potential to change the way we interact with our technology and with each other.

    When Google Glass was first released, many analysts focused on its potential to change the way media was created and consumed, viewing it essentially as a head-mounted smart phone. Since then, some people have reacted negatively to use of a device that can constantly film one’s surroundings or relay social media to the wearer in the middle of a conversation. When the devices were used in ways deemed intrusive, users sometimes received negative reactions from others. While the circumstances surrounding these instances of intrusive use may be considered controversial, they seem to have contributed to limiting AR’s potential as an integrated social media tool, at least for the time being.

    Perhaps in reaction, the focus on AR has shifted to its role in business–its ability to supplement workers’ perceptive abilities, enhancing efficiency. AR-enabled headsets have shown promise as real-time data translation tools, which can reduce the need for offsite data recording and tabulation. DAQRI Industrial 4D, for example, has developed an AR-integrated hard hat that can superimpose data across the wearer’s field of view for a variety of industrial applications. (DAQRI presented their technology at Techonomy 2014.) Workers can view instructions or maintenance/performance records for a particular piece of equipment, without having to process or reference the information on a separate device. By presenting data in context and in real time, AR has helped make data use less an actuarial process and more a source of immediately actionable information–a kind of conversation.

    Generally, the conversational aspect of AR is a fairly recent focus. Many of the use cases exploring the technology’s potential value have to do with streamlining repetitive actions. Improving supply chain processes, reducing waste, and increasing operational efficiency are priorities for most organizations, and AR can help give some companies a substantial edge. From real-time inventory management to maintenance records, AR technologies provide greater detail and more supporting data, which can improve both efficiency and accuracy.

    But efficiency is only one component of business competitiveness. Many roles that AR might supplement may soon be usurped by advanced robotics and other forms of automation. What is the value of AR when the people it is supposed to enhance are no longer needed to do the job? More fundamentally, in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world, many people consider increased efficiency secondary to the ability to collectively digest and act on rapid changes–in essence, the ability to learn.

    In this scenario, AR is in a position to gain value. Collaboration is the bedrock of innovation, and AR enables us to learn faster by working together. To do so, we typically rely on fundamentally human capabilities–imagination, creativity, genuine insight, and emotional and moral intelligence–that are difficult or impossible to automate. In the same way that AR enables us to use data more deeply, it has the potential to help us communicate more deeply and meaningfully with each other.

    Recent developments in AR have improved its ability to help us learn and communicate. Perhaps the most pertinent examples are systems that let users share context remotely. For example, while today’s online learning spaces can connect individuals on a massive scale, they can also limit context. Text, pictures, and video are helpful, but face-to-face interaction is often best at conveying meaning. Recent entrants such as Microsoft’s Hololens and MagicLeap (where author Stephenson serves as “Chief Futurist”) show potential to share more information across greater distances, in a richer context. Hololens, for example, allows people to convene in a remote space by layering holograms over their current reality. By projecting data and 3D object models, and using advanced avatars, two individuals on two different continents could, in theory, discuss how to repair a piece of equipment on Mars as if they were both standing on its surface. As this kind of AR technology reaches maturity, many AR systems will combine the networked capabilities of existing online communication with the rich context of in-person meetings. This is an example of the true value of AR.

    This is not to say that AR can’t also be a powerful tool for increasing worker efficiency, or providing effective, context-rich social media interfaces. All of these potential outcomes are complementary benefits of the same mature capabilities. As we pursue more capable, less obtrusive technologies, AR has the ability to greatly change both our work experience and the ways we communicate. More fundamentally, however, as much of the world shifts its emphasis from economic efficiency to effective learning, it’s likely that the utility of AR will follow suit.

    John Hagel III, director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, is the co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge based in Silicon Valley. John Seely Brown is the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Android System WebView Updated for Android Devices Running Lollipop

    Google has released an updated version of the Android System WebView app that addresses several bugs around inline video playing and graphic driver bugs.  What is Android System WebView you ask?  It is actually installed on every Android device and it a Chrome powered application that allows Android apps to display web content.  It is an update that everyone should make sure they have installed on their devices, particularly if you have had some troublesome apps that won’t display web content or display it properly.  The new version is, wait for it… 43.0.2357.121. Also note that this update is only

    The post Android System WebView Updated for Android Devices Running Lollipop appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Facebook Introduces 'Facebook Lite' App For Emerging Markets
    By Yasmeen Abutaleb
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc rolled out a new Android app for its social media service on Thursday that uses less data and runs faster in regions with spotty connections.
    The app, called Facebook Lite, is available in countries across Asia and will soon make its way to parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe, Vijay Shankar, product manager for Facebook Lite, said in an interview. In many of those countries, people still use 2G networks, which are much slower and have less power than the 4G networks in many developed nations.
    “We want to offer people a choice so if there are limitations, they can still get the full Facebook experience,” Shankar said.
    The app uses less than one-half of a megabyte of data to limit data usage and rates for those in emerging markets. While it still supports Facebook’s News Feed, status updates, notifications and photos, it does not support videos and advanced location services.
    Facebook Lite is part of the world’s largest social media network’s expansion into emerging markets. Earlier this year, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Internet.org, a platform developed with six technology partners to connect 4.5 billion people with no current access to the Internet.

    (Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Richard Chang)

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Meat Without Animals and Sequencing the Planet at Techonomy Bio
    Genomic veterans, tech entrepreneurs, biotech startup executives, investors, medical professionals and others gather for Techonomy Bio, March 25 at the Computer History Museum. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)
    Genomic veterans, tech entrepreneurs, biotech startup executives, investors, medical professionals and others gather for Techonomy Bio, March 25 at the Computer History Museum. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)
    By Meredith Salisbury

    The over 200 people who descended on the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley this March for the second annual Techonomy Bio event learned we were heading toward growing meat, cell phones and houses. They learned as well that we are in a renaissance of progress in human health. But they also heard thoughts on why we have more allergies and worries about how the public thinks about science.

    The daylong program ranged from stem cells and bio-architecture to venture capital and public opinion about science, but the common thread was the intersection of progress in the dual realms of life science and information technology. As speakers noted throughout the day, the intersection of big data and biology has helped create a field ripe for breakthroughs.

    Attendees included genomic veterans, tech entrepreneurs, biotech startup executives, investors, medical professionals and others. “I go to tons of biotech events, including those I organize myself, and usually I hang out a lot in the hallways. This is the first one I’ve gone to that I don’t want to miss a minute of the program,” said one industry veteran. There were certainly lots of conversations in the corridors of the museum’s airy second floor, but virtually everyone at the event was there to learn something new. And most discovered there were things happening in life sciences they didn’t know were possible. Punctuating the program throughout the day, executives from startups funded by Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs gave short, fast-paced talks about a range of efforts: growing bone from stem cells, linking Alzheimer’s disease to bacterial infection, developing a patch to monitor the human gut and transmit results to a smartphone and quantifying stress for healthier living.

    A key theme of the day was that a shift from artisan to factory scale is taking place across many areas in life sciences. The opening panel kicked off with Drew Endy’s bold proclamation that synthetic biologists will literally be able to grow cell phones within two or three decades. Things got only more audacious from there. Other examples of the shift included bio-based production of physical bricks (with help from bacteria or mushrooms) and other materials for sustainable architecture, as well as lab-created meat and leather products to eliminate the need to kill animals. In the closing session, Sue Desmond-Hellmann from the Gates Foundation told Marc Benioff that bespoke therapies may seem out of reach, but that this kind of targeted medicine is indeed possible in the not-too-distant future. We may have customized medicine at scale, around the world.

    The flip side of the optimistic theme of endless possibility is the need to better understand and to recognize our responsibility for changes we introduce to the environment, humans or other species. Juan Enriquez, author of a new book entitled “Evolving Ourselves,” told Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick that we have created a parallel evolutionary system in which our interests often override natural selection. His examples ranged from IVF babies to antibiotic-laden animals. We must work to better understand what may result from these actions, particularly over the long term and take steps to ameliorate unintended negative consequences, he said. We get longer lives, but we also get developments like huge increases in people with allergies. A separate session included journalists and media leaders exploring the complex and increasingly fraught interaction between scientists and the public.

    Another topic that wove through several sessions was consumer-driven health. Several speakers talked about digital health and the critical need for developers to improve how results from such devices can be interpreted and shared with physicians. Other speakers drove home the point that healthcare needs better models to obtain consent and to manage sharing of increasingly complex data like genetic information. But during audience Q&A, several attendees from traditional healthcare organizations emphasized that so far physicians see little reason to trust or use consumer-generated information from health apps or wearable devices.

    Here’s a quick glimpse of Techonomy Bio moments that had attendees buzzing most:

    • Drew Endy said that if we haven’t sequenced literally everything in the world by 2090, “we’ve failed.”
    • Greg Simon from Poliwogg made a plea to tech developers to stop trying to add to our lifespan and to focus instead on letting us live well at home until we die.
    • Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Research Institute recounted the story of a patient going to an unregulated stem cell clinic and having adult stem cells injected around her eyes. When she began hearing a clicking sound each time she blinked, she went to a doctor and learned that the stem cells had turned her eyelids to bone.
    • Juan Enriquez says that after five major extinction events in Earth’s history, human survival depends on our ability to get off this planet.

    Original article published at Techonomy.com.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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