Two acres of land is enough to farm a sustainable food supply for as many as 150 people, and now a San Francisco startup is making it even easier to get that farm growing. Farm From a Box is a shipping container kit that holds all the essentials for setting up a two-acre farm (except the land, of course). Founders Brandi DeCarli and Scott Thompson got the idea after working on a youth center in Kenya where shipping containers were being used to substitute where infrastructure lacked. That project didn’t address food insecurity, though, which led DeCarli and Thompson to found their own venture specifically for that purpose.
Skype quietly announced that it will be ending support for its TV app. Why? Because smartphones have taken over.
The TV app was first introduced back in 2010 and was adopted by the likes of Panasonic and a range of other TV manufacturers. These days, however, the majority of Americans use smartphones. In fact, while in 2010 smartphone sales sat at around 300 million, since then, they’ve gone up to a massive 1.5 billion in 2015, according to Statista. Because of this, most users now prefer to Skype from their smartphones rather than their TVs.
Argo Medical Technologies mission is to fundamentally change the health and life experiences of individuals with spinal cord injuries.
Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page. Google is reportedly working on a messaging service largely powered by chat bots. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
When history looks back at the evolution of messaging apps like WhatsApp, it’ll point to our present time as when the definition of “messaging” changed. WhatsApp used it to connect people with other people. Now Google ,which tried to buy WhatsApp early last year before Facebook swooped in and picked it up for $19 billion instead, wants to build its own messaging service that connects people with computers.
Google is working on a secret messaging service that will deliver services through chat bots, similar to those already found in popular chat networks like Kik and WeChat, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that cites people familiar with the matter.
The company’s vice president of communications products, Nick Fox, is reportedly leading a team that for the last year, has been working on a messaging service that will be powered by artificial intelligence. The division is taking advantage of Google’s deep expertise in A.I. and machine learning to create bots that can understand conversational commands and respond in kind.
The service will be similar to Luka.ai, a SIRI-like app that you can hold a basic conversation with about local restaurant recommendations, according to the Journal. Another comparable example is Facebook M, a virtual assistant service similar to Siri that runs on Facebook Messenger Powered by both artificial intelligence and a team of human beings, its being trialled by beta testers in the Bay Area, California and can book travel, find products or suggest a good gift. You can ask M to order Star Wars tickets, draw you a picture, even write you a song. In such cases it can be hard to distinguish if you’re chatting with a bot or a human.
While the world’s biggest messaging app, WhatsApp, hasn’t introduced chat bots on its own network, Google’s project validates a strategy that other big messaging services have been chasing for some time. As inane and spammy as they might seem today, chat bots really are the future.
Since then Kik and others have put out their own versions of bots, no longer “spam” (though that’s arguable) because they’re sanctioned by the network’s creator. On Kik, you can chat with bots that are managed by brands like Funny or Die or the popular accessories maker Skull Candy and in effect become sucked into a newfangled form of advertising.
For example, earlier this year the advertisers behind horror movie Insidious 3programmed a bot named Quinn Brenner, with a name and profile photo that matched the main character from the film, to hold creepy conversations with the app’s users as a means to promote the movie:
In August 2015 Kik sold a $50 million stake to Tencent, the web giant that owns China’s most popular chat app, WeChat. This is meaningful because WeChat not only helped pioneer chat bots, but helped popularise them to its users base of more 600 million active users. Millions of companies now use WeChat as their main route to advertise to customers and communicate with them. Kik CEO Ted Livingston has said more “official accounts” are created on WeChat everyday in China than Chinese sites are created on the web.
Traditionally we interact with a company’s website by “navigating” through a visual smorgasbord of buttons, but WeChat takes that to the next level thanks to bots, which cut to the chase by answering your texted questions.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has has called this a “conversational user interface,” (and chat bots are an increasingly important feature in Slack too).
The growth of chat bots makes perfect sense when you think about it. As technology has gone mobile and our desire for more content has exploded, screens have got smaller. Something has got to give. The future will see funkily designed mobile sites trashed in favour of clever A.I. that talks to you from your phone or the wearable on your wrist.
For Google to maintain its position as King of Search in that kind of world, it’s crucial that it also becomes one of the first popular services that we chat to, rather than passively read as a list of search results.
In October Google tried giving this project a leg up by acquiring 200 Labs, a startup that specializes in building chat bots for messaging platforms like Telegram, the Journal added, but 200 Labs declined.
If more people turn to chat bots to answer questions about restaurants or products, they’ll spend less time typing search queries into Google’s search bar. Google’s very livelihood could depend on this going well.
Work based social network sites like LinkedIn for some time giving Facebook a bit of competition, especially among professional people. To address this finally Facebook is going to launch a new version of its site keeping the demands of work based social network in mind. According to reports, this new website of Facebook dubbed as ‘Facebook at Work’ will offer an array of workplace features like chatting with colleagues, connecting professional contacts and collaborating with official documents. Even though the version has been rolled out for official use it will also allow users to keep their personal profiles. Expectedly enough, the move will create new viability of Facebook for the professionals and office users. This is one of those future projects of Facebook which is capable of enhancing its reach even inside the so called forbidden territory right now.
UAVs for providing network in remote areas
This is viewed as one of the top future projects of Facebook. For quite some time Facebook is planning to provide internet network in remote areas for its users with the help of UAVs. Recent speculation about Facebook’s buying of solar powered drones only confirms that. For sometime under the banner of Facebook.org the company is trying to bring internet connection for everybody around the world. Though it is still not clear how various nations would take these drones from the point of view of security, the move is supposed to leverage far greater access for the brand.
Flipboard like mobile news reader
Facebook is launching soon its own news reader service that shares the news contents shared by the users. This new Flipboard like news reader feature is developed with a view of making its mobile app more popular. The shared news published on a mobile friendly visual design format can help the readers to track potential news of their interests. As per latest reports, the project has found particular favor from Mark Zuckerberg and the design is planned keeping high end mobile devices in mind.
New version for office use
Wednesday, 2nd December 2015 we celebrate the 44th anniversary of the union of the 7 Emirates. A great event of the great nation.
What to expect: UAE major retailers will exhibit offering attractive prices for top brands electronics
Timing: 11 am - 11 pm
Duration: 4 days 25 -28 of November
Expected number of Visitors: 70,000
Tickets: AED 10 per person & VIP Ticket AED 40 per person
Location: Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Center (ADNEC)
Location map: http://www.adeshopper.ae/LocationMap.html
What to expect:
- 15 exhibition sectors: Gulfcomms, Network Infrastructure, Mobility, SME, Consumer Technology, Software, Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, Card Technology, Government, Hardware, Robotics, UAV, Autonomous Vehicles, 3D Printing
- More than 130 exhibiting countries
- More than 3,500 exhibiting brands including representatives from Facebook, Alibaba, Coca Cola, Boeing, BP and Vodafone
- Lots of Hot Stuff Technology and exclusive demonstrations
- Lots of conferences
- Retail and wholesale sectors
- More than 140,000 visitors
Exhibition location: Dubai world Trade Centre
18 October : 1pm - 7.00pm
19-21 October : 11.00am - 7.00pm
22 October : 11.00am - 3.00pm
Ticket price: 100 AED/day
For more details visit: www.gitex.com
Celebrities like Dwayne Johnson aren't the only people allowed to use Facebook's live streaming app anymore. The company is opening up the future, which works through a standalone app called Mentions, to journalists with verified Facebook profiles and / or pages. Previously, only high-profile public figures like actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, and other "influencers" were permitted to stream live video to users through the Mentions app. Replays are available once the initial live stream is compete, and Facebook also allows comments and likes alongside broadcasts like YouTube and Periscope.
"We want to make Facebook a better experience for journalists whether it’s used for news-gathering or better connecting with their readers or to drive distribution to their content," Vadim Lavrusik, product manager for Mentions,told wired . With the 2016 presidential campaign season underway, it's certainly a good time for Facebook to expand its criteria for who's allowed to broadcast live clips; they'll at least (probably) be more engaging than your random bit of self promotion from Michael Bublé, Serena Williams, or The Rock. If you think you're important enough to be streaming.