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Lamborghini Now Registers Cars On the Blockchain

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to certify heritage cars securely.  The platform also speeds up the process of tracing and authenticating these vehicles.

The move was announced in November 2019 following Salesforce’s launch of a hyper ledger-based blockchain platform back in May.  This will now mean that a network can be implemented, joining together many trusted participants who will be able to carry out checks each time a  Lamborghini’s is resold.

It is good news for both sellers and buyers because now every Lamborghini vehicle will have its own record of service.  Under the old system, the vehicle would be taken to  Sant’Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini’s Italian HQ to undergo around 800-1,000 checks for the vehicle to be resold.

It is a long and involved process involving collaboration between a network of photographers, repairs shops and auction houses to verify the vehicle’s parts and service history.

Fighting Counterfeit Vehicles

With the introduction of the blockchain certification, Salesforce and Lamborghini have announced that every car will be resold with a full record of service, including parts, previous owners and any restoration work.

The new system will mean that there is less risk of buyers being sold a counterfeit vehicle as all the entire process of authentication is conducted by Lamborghini and its trusted partners within the network.

In August 2019, Lamborghini’s conducted a pilot trial of Salesforce Blockchain when it certified it’s Lamborghini Aventador S.  This unique car has been protected as a work of art and certified using the  Salesforce Blockchain when it took part in the  Monterrey Car Week.

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to...

Tech News

Personalized News Now Available on Google Assistant

When we are looking for the latest news it is always helpful to get a list of all the day’s main headlines.  Instead of being limited to just one broadcaster the Google Assistant will now provide a tailor-made news playlist of all the top stories.

The feature, Your News Updates, will look at stories from across multiple news outlets and select them according to your interests and location.  Audio is a great way of conveying the news but the technology has been a lot slower to adapt than other media such as text or video.

This looks set to change. Google Assistant now allows the user to ask specific questions for example, ‘what is the latest news about Brexit’? And will respond with relevant news items.

Enter Audio Clips

The company has been busy behind the scenes developing its new service looking at providing focused clips rather than long podcasts or news items to make it more user-friendly now that time is at a premium for most people.

By dealing with news specific to the user it means that the audio clips are more relevant.  For instance, it can draw on your interests and then access more news sources to give you all the latest stories, then follow up the headlines with slightly longer more in-depth pieces.

There is an emphasis on your location too so that news items that you here relate to places that you know and care about.

The recommendations for news stories will likely get more refined as the AI gets more of an insight into your personal preferences.  If you skip an item, for example, it will pick up on this and offer more appealing stories.

It may eventually be tailored for context, for example, providing traffic reports when you are in the car.  It could even assess traffic, estimate the length of time you have in the car before you reach your destination and provide a story or other listening to fill that time.

Your News Update is currently available in the USA in English, but there are plans to expand the service globally in 2020.

When we are looking for the latest news it is always helpful to get a list of all the day’s main headlines.  Instead of being limited to just one...

Inspiring Stories Tech News

New Facebook & Instagram Donation Tools to Rival PayPal

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site this week.

Facebook is moving into an industry that is dominated by GoFundMe and PayPal and now the company has announced initiatives such as fundraising stickers on Facebook Stories, and the option to add donate buttons to video game streaming accounts and Instagram business.

The big guns, PayPal and GoFundMe are currently charging users 30cents for every donation, and a 2.9% processing fee.  Where PayPal will allow a lower charge of 2.2% on payment processing for nonprofits, Facebook has completely waived the fee for any type of donation.

People Do Donate

It is working well for the charitable causes too – they are seeing a rise in donors through the Facebook initiatives.  In 2018 PayPal was used by over 55 million people who made donations to nonprofits a total of $9.6billion.  In 2010, $5billion was raised through GoFundMe. Since 2015 Facebook has been instrumental in raising $2billion for nonprofits.

Facebook’s influence in digital payments is growing and this is likely to increase alongside its initiatives to help people fund non-profits.  The platform is keen to encourage groups and private messaging and incorporating donations and, while it will not provide a financial gain, it will encourage users to continue engaging with each other through Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in May that he was looking to encourage more group conversations on the platform and groups would be a more central part of the platform’s app.  The ability of a group to promote a cause and collect funds will assist him in this goal.

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site...

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Tech News Vacation

The TSA is Working to Keep Your Laptop in Your Bag

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand throughout the nation.

This month the TSA announced the opening of a new facility on the lower level of Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The new method being tested is under the Advancing the Checkpoint Environment program, or ACE, for short.

The Innovation Task Force

The director of the Innovation Task Force, Jose Bonilla, stated that this new facility will allow them to assess the new technology and processes being considered.

It will also make it easy for them to make a demonstration of the unique network of capabilities without having an effect on current operations.

The usual TSA checkpoints at Terminal 3 are found in the upper level of the building, while the ACE facility can be found downstairs. For the moment, only domestic passengers flying United Airlines will be able to go through ACE lanes.

However, this will soon be expanded to other domestic and international airlines. The ACE checkpoint is open for 4 hours every day, from Sunday to Thursday.

Passengers that go through the ACE lanes can leave their laptops in their bags even if they don’t have a PreCheck and they will be able to bypass traditional checkpoints. This process also provides faster security screening because fewer passengers are processed on these lanes.

The main ACE trials involve advanced imaging machines that make use of CT tech to look into the carry-on bags of passengers.

The images are more detailed than the traditional images produced by X-ray scans, which is why it will no longer be necessary for passengers to get their things out of their bags.

Similar machines are also being tested on other airports in the country, such as JKF Terminal 7. As ACE continues being used, newer technologies and procedures will be introduced to guarantee its evolution.

In fact, one of the main objectives of the ACE facility is to allow the testing of different types of tech and processes in conjunction with each other.

Passengers going through the ACE lanes will still have to remove liquids from their bags as well as their shoes, but it may not always be the case. The procedure will evolve alongside the technology, so many more upgrades to the screening process will follow.

The feedback from passengers who have used the ACE lanes and from the agents who manage them is important to evaluate these new processes and technologies, which will help the TSA roll out these new procedures and machines more broadly.

So far, the feedback is great on the introduced innovations, so we expect to hear more about this very soon as it will eventually appear on other airports in the country.

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand...

Nature & Tech Tech News

Tel Aviv Named One of the Best Cities in The World for Female Entrepreneurs

What better place to start a business than in your hometown? Or so architect and entrepreneur Lihi Gerstner thought, and since her hometown happened to be Tel Aviv, she was right.

On opening her first hotel there, she told From the Grapevine, “It’s one of the most pluralistic cities in the world. It’s a place where you are judged the least on your socio-economic status, where you come from or on your gender and orientation.”

Gerstner is not the only one to benefit from the opportunities Tel Aviv has to offer, particularly to women. In a new report unveiled last week at the Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, the city was named one of the best worldwide for female entrepreneurs.

Every two years, 50 cities are ranked based on five characteristics: access to capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets. Amsterdam, Pittsburgh, and Toronto also made the list with San Francisco and Silicon Valley at the top. Mexico City proved to be the most improved, going from a ranking of 45 in 2017 to No. 29 this year.

Females Changing the World

Wired Magazine named Inna Braverman, who based her start-up Eco Wave Power in Tel Aviv back in 2011, on its list of “Females Changing the World.”

She told us, “Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Being a female entrepreneur adds an additional layer of difficulty to the equation. However, a supportive environment is like wind under our wings. When we feel supported, we feel that we can achieve anything – regardless of whether we are a man or a woman.”

Braverman is sure that her substantial success could not have happened anywhere else. “I truly believe that Israel plays a significant role in my personal journey, confidence and achievements,” she said.

Sivan Ya’ari, another female entrepreneur who has made it in Tel Aviv with her non-profit Innovation: Africa, reports a great support system in the city. “Tel Aviv has proven to be a hub for creativity and innovation which helps us continually improve and reinforce our commitment to being efficient and reliable in bringing solar, water and agricultural technologies to African villages,” she explained.

“I couldn’t think of another city where our engineers could be able to brainstorm with other motivated change-makers in the fields of social impact and international development to directly transform the lives of the people we reach.”

The inaugural Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit, an international gathering of top young talent, brought women from 39 countries to Tel Aviv earlier this year, and in the meantime, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg plans to visit the city in August this year to launch Facebook’s new offices.

Sheryl is well-known and loved for her 2013 book Lean In, a manifesto for women in the workplace. The offices, called “Playground,” will be a space offering courses and house start-ups as well as developers and business working on newer technology.

What better place to start a business than in your hometown? Or so architect and entrepreneur Lihi Gerstner thought, and since her hometown happened to be Tel Aviv, she was right.

On opening her first hotel there, she told From the Grapevine...

Entertainment News Tech News

Snapchat Challenging Netflix

Snapchat is taking on its rival services with a new feature which allows users to watch “Creator Shows’ original content. In case you don’t know about Original Shows, they are with celebrities and influencers like Arnold Schwarzenegger creating videos for Snapchat.

These videos are constructed and displayed inside the app as short, vertical original shows.   Arnold Schwarzenegger has a show called “ Rules of Success” with Arnold Schwarzenegger” which is made up of motivational words from the actor.

There is a new advancement making these shows available in a Nexflix-style.  At this time, the shows are integrated into the “Discover” section of the app, but according to Mashable, users will be able to swipe from the Discover page to access a dedicated “Shows” section on the app.

Cleaner and Shorter

Also, it seems cleaner than other parts of Snapchat making it much more comfortable for users streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The layout is in a grid form which has shows you have recently watched and those you have subscribed to.

A spokesperson for Snapchat said the company is presently testing the feature but has not said when it will become fully available. Snapshot is currently pushing ahead with original content.

The new shows are targeting the majority under 34 Snapchat user base including a scripted drama called “Two Sides”. This show is about a teenage couple breaking up and then showing both sides of the argument at the same time.

New programs, documentaries, and comedies are also featured and the company who owns Snapchat said the time being spent watching these shows has literally tripled over the past year.

Snapchat is taking on its rival services with a new feature which allows users to watch “Creator Shows’ original content. In case you don’t know about Original Shows, they are with celebrities and influencers like Arnold Schwarzenegger creating...

Tech News

The Latest, Most Anticipated New Tools Coming To iOS 13!

During Apple’s annual developers’ conference (WWDC) they announced its latest most anticipated new tool for iOS 13.  During the conference, an Apple representative revealed how the setting will look like on various apps including Apple Music, Photos, and News.  It will be available on iPhones through an app with an owl icon and is slated to debut in the fall.

As Dark Mode on Mac was launched last year, it should not be a surprise that the new mode is dark!  So what is all the fuss about?  Simply, experts believe it’s easier on your eyes and possibly will save on your battery power.  That said this is what you can expect:

Its New Look:

As it is a Dark Mode, the color scheme is dark and offers a black background on the phone.  It also comes with a gray keyboard and various icons to keep it from looking to stark or too bright as offered on a white background.

Apple’s support page for installation of the dark mode on Mac states the setting makes it easier to stay focused on your work because the content will stand out while the controls and windows are somewhat in the background. That might possibly be debated.

This feature works on iPhones, iPads, and apps in the Apple environment.  It can be turned on automatically at sunset or the time you schedule it for.

That said, this dark mode is not something conceived by Apple,  it is very popular on various platforms and devices such as Twitter, Samsung Galaxy, smartphones, and Google’s Chrome browser.

Better Battery Life:

Even though some experts have claimed the battery will have a longer life, Apple has not jumped on that bandwagon.

Smartphones use OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) in their displays.  Selecting a black mode on a phone with an OLED display can actually use less power than your basic white background.  Therefore, you could save on power if the display is black causing greater improvement to your battery’s performance.

Also, if you are in a dark environment, you will not stand out with a white background shining in your face!

Easier On Your Eyes:

Apple claims this dark mode on the screen is much easier on your eyes.  It is a welcomed change compared to the very glaring white backgrounds found on many websites and other backgrounds.  It’s been proven that too much stark exposure to white screens can cause eye fatigue and headaches.

Neurobiology Professor at the University of Alabama, Paul Gamlin, said the dark mode might actually be beneficial for sleep.  His studies on cells in the retina showed that the eye powers the circadian rhythms and drives pupil responses.

Using the dark mode on your iPhone in the evening and during the night could have less of an impact on your circadian rhythms, your sleep cycle, and your wake cycle.  Gamlin said that bright light in the evening hours has been known to shift the rhythm in your “central circadian pacemaker”.

On the other side of the coin, Dr. Euna Koo, an ophthalmologist at the Stanford Byers Eye Institute, believes it is much easier for readers to have darker fonts against a lighter background.  She does not believe that the dark mode has an effect on eye health, given the information that is available.

She believes the duration of time is of greater importance than the intensity of the brightness when discussing the effect of this dark mode on eye fatigue and eye health.

I guess, whether the dark mode has any impact on your eye’s health or if the life of your battery is improved, is still up for debate.  What we do know, the colors and text pop out and is a really nice alternative to all that boring white background we have come to accept for so many years.

During Apple’s annual developers’ conference (WWDC) they announced its latest most anticipated new tool for iOS 13.  During the conference, an Apple representative revealed how the setting will look like on various apps including Apple Music...

Inspiring Stories Tech News

Nudes Lined Outside Of Facebook’s Headquarters In New York

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun slowly rose.  Approximately 125 people decided to pose naked outside the headquarters to challenge the company’s suppression of artistic nudity.

Participants covered their nipples with stickers of photographed male nipples which were provided by different celebrities including Andy Cohen, Andres Serrano, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Tunick, Adam Goldberg, and Mpagi Sepuya.

The group worked with the National Coalition Against Censorship to point out their rigid and old-fashioned gender inequality that exists within Facebook’s policies.  It’s deemed acceptable that men can go bare-chested but not women.

#WeTheNipple

Both Facebook and Instagram are on the same page regarding their policies. It seems their policies accept images of nipples when a woman is giving birth, breastfeeding, or revealing scars from a mastectomy.

Global policy management, Monika Bickert marked this up to safety and consent. She told Business Insider, that it’s very difficult to determine the age of a person or to determine their consent.  On top of that, even if it’s obvious the person gave their consent to a photo, did they give consent for the image to be shared?

The NCAC argued that various platforms such as Instagram, have global audiences so banning all photographs of nude human bodies is an outdated and old-fashioned position of shame and censorship.  There never seems to be a problem in artwork found in museums or art galleries, just on social media.

Tunick, the leader behind the Sunday Protest said the work he’s allowed to post is essentially different from the work he made.  He said every pixelated nipple only succeeds in sexualizing censored work.  He also added that censorship actually breaks his spirit.

That said, YouTube has allowed for artistic nudity for a long time after changing their policies more than 10 years ago which seems to have taken place after the NCAC and EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation ) stepped in.

Will Facebook and Instagram reverse their standing anytime soon?

NCAC sent a letter to Bicker requesting they change their stance to welcome and respect the arts.  Director Christopher Finan believes there are many solutions and suggested that individual users have the ability to create filters to screen or block images.

As of Monday, the NCAC said that the #WeTheNipple had been blocked on Instagram and over 500 images supporting the art have been removed.  A spokesperson for Facebook said they have been in touch with the NCAC and look forward to keeping an open dialogue with them and other groups for more details and information.

I guess, only time will tell if both sides of the aisle can come to a compromise.  Nudity is a difficult issue for all involved.  Artistic expression should always have a place while censorship in an effort to protect younger people should be heard as well.

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun...

Nature & Tech Tech News

‘Squishy’ Robots Can Jump From Huge Heights – and Survive

Every year, we seem to find more and more stories that show us both the horrifying power of AI, and the incredible potential that it holds. However, for years, these stories are becoming more and more impressive; further examples of just how much society as a whole is changing.

One of the most recent findings was that a host of new robots that are capable of jumping from a helicopter – and landing safely – are here.

These ‘squishy robots’ have quickly become a very impressive example of where robotic science could go. Indeed, these ball-shaped robots were made by staff at UC Berkeley and Squishy Robotics. They managed to create robots that can fall as high as 600ft and not take any kind of fall damage whatsoever.

Seemingly, they are also able to move and shift into different shapes so that they can get out of unique and tough spots. It’s quite the story and could make them perfect for use in high-risk areas, such as disaster zones.

Their ability to analyze ground conditions, and to be dropped into tough areas from high heights without damage, is incredible. As is their ability to help shift and move into different forms to help fit into even the tightest of spots.

Help in Disaster Zones

UC Berkeley mechanical engineering professor, Alice Agogino, was very impressed. She stated: “Our rapidly deployable mobile sensor robots are designed to save lives, reduce costs and risks and increase the effectiveness of the emergency response,

“They can survive a high drop into a disaster zone and provide life-saving information to first responders. They can also work as co-robots with their human partners on the ground when they arrive on the scene.”

These robots could be used for all manner of solutions, and could eventually be used to help make disaster zones a little safer. However, they also have some very interesting uses that could be put to practice in day-to-day life, as Agogino noted:

“We are still working with NASA on a space probe, but as excited as I am about space robots, I was motivated to apply this technology to Earthly applications when I saw a report by the Red Cross and Red Crescent that 400 first responders lost their lives to save others in the last 20 years. Many of these lives could have been saved with better situational awareness before entering disaster zones,

“Our robots get information that first responders need in order to stay safe and respond faster and more effectively.”

This is all very impressive and shows the rapid and impressive growth of robotics equipment. With uses in both emergencies and disasters, these tools could be used to help make sure that more lives are saved, and fewer lives are lost. It’s set to be a major hit when it eventually becomes something that could be genuinely used on the field.

Every year, we seem to find more and more stories that show us both the horrifying power of AI, and the incredible potential that it holds. However, for years, these stories are becoming more and more impressive; further examples of just how much society as a...

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome Tech News

249 MPH? Japanese Unveil World’s Fastest Bullet Train

Train speeds are improving all the time. Did you know, for example, that Japan has just unveiled a bullet train that can move as fast as 249mph?

The Japanese have a unique habit when it comes to innovation, and tend to be pretty good at taking inventions higher than ever before. Well, with the new ALFA-X, you will be able to see a train that can hit speeds you would barely be able to believe.

When you get on a train, the aim is to get you somewhere without wasting any time. It’s the obvious and main reason to get a train; to help you get to somewhere faster than you would if you had just gone on-foot or alone.

For many people, trains are getting faster and faster than we can imagine. Often, if you were to find out the pace that a train was moving at, you would likely be surprised at just how fast it is.

The power of this train is already making experts blush; though it won’t be actually in service until, it’s estimated, 2030. So, someone has 11 or so years to board a train that can go close to 250mph!

This new treat will be used at around 224mph on average, which would mean that it would travel on average 10kph faster than the Chinese equivalent, the Fuxing Hao. This has the same top speed capacity, but it’s likely that the ALFA-X will win on consistency.

Historical Speed

At around 72ft in the nose area alone, the ALFA-X is an imposing piece of modern locomotive history. It’s going to help change the entire industry, it is hoped, bringing to light an even higher than expected standard for the future.

The futuristic, modern design will obviously make it stand out, while the imperious design style – with 10 cars in total – ensures it will be efficient as well as stylish.

The train will be part of the new Shinkansen high-speed railway lines which are appearing all across Japan. Testing will begin between Aomori and Sendai, during the evening, and will be a 3-year testing plan. This will provide ample time to perfect the overall style of the train, and make sure that it is capable of meeting expectations performance-wise.

Interestingly, the Shinkansen N700S only was agreed to be put into operation in 2020, which can hit speeds of around 186mph. This, though, will simply blow it away, adding a new level of power and pace onto the railway tracks of Japan. While it may not be as fast as trains using magnetic levitation, this will ensure that this particular kind of bullet train can still keep up with the very best.

The bullet train has become a major part of Japanese travel culture, and for that reason many would be sad to see it go. Make no mistake, though, this new kind of train shows that – even with the growth of the maglev trains – there is still much love for bullet trains in Japan and beyond.

Train speeds are improving all the time. Did you know, for example, that Japan has just unveiled a bullet train that can move as fast as 249mph?
The Japanese have a unique habit when it comes to innovation, and tend to be pretty good at taking inventions...

Fashion Lifestyle Tech News

UK Using Smart Billboards to Secretly Ad-target Shoppers

Many shopping centers in the UK have adopted a new kind of ad technique that involves surveillance cameras in shopping center billboards. These cameras are used to spy on you in order to show you the “correct” advertisement. The new technology has the ability to identify your age, gender, and even mood.

The smart boards detect how long certain customers look at advertisements and then change what they display depending on who is walking past.

So far, The Sunday Times has happened upon 50 of these screens in the UK; several of them can be found at Westfield shopping center in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Apparently, companies utilizing this equipment don’t legally need to inform their shoppers that they are being filmed because the system complies with the UK’s data protection laws. Since no individually identifying information is being collected or stored, no laws are being broken.

First Company to Try This

One of the first companies to try this system out is Ocean Outdoor. The LookOut system is found in multiple tracking billboards throughout the UK.

Tim Bleakley, the company’s chief executive, told The Sunday Times: “We pioneered a facial detection technology which identifies the characteristics of the face to allow you to talk to advertisers about mood, gender, emotion and those kinds of things. We can measure the level of happiness or sadness. We can measure the dwell time.”

Bleakley told of how satisfied the supermarket executives of Waitrose were when they sprayed fake snow into the store and saw how evidently ‘customer happiness levels’ rose.

The cameras installed into the billboards spend every hour analyzing the shoppers to see what kind of people shopped and when they shopped. At times, shoppers are even inserted into adverts, a feature called ‘interactive advertising.’ One promotional video from Ocean Outdoor implied that the technology can determine how many ‘affluent’ people are in the area.

One of the billboards at Canary Wharf stated that 49 percent of people walking past that day were “affluent” and earned “over £100,000 ($129,000).”

The technology of Ocean Outdoor can be used on roadside billboards to figure the price of passing cars and advertise expensive things to those it thinks have lots of money.

Quividi is a French firm that also sells the facial detection technology and says that it collects and processes images of people in milliseconds but then deletes them forever once their basic profile information has been taken. Determining someone’s gender can be done with 90 percent accuracy within a five-year age bracket.

Many shopping centers in the UK have adopted a new kind of ad technique that involves surveillance cameras in shopping center billboards. These cameras are used to spy on you in order to show you the “correct” advertisement. The new technology has the...

Lifestyle Tech News

Canon Takes on Fuji with New Instant-Print CLIQ Cameras

The trend of instant print cameras has been storming the market in the last five or so years, and of course, Fujifilm has been at the forefront. In an age so accustomed to everything being on their phones, what was normal for the generations previous is novel to this generation – physical photos.

As companies begin to realize this, they’re wanting in. Fujifilm shouldn’t be the only one to profit, so Canon is one of the first to successfully – well, possibly, anyway – create their own instant print camera.

Their new cameras have just debuted and should be available for purchase in a month or two, but for starters, don’t even consider buying the cheaper one which they’re calling the IVY CLIQ. It has a horrible flash – which you’ll absolutely need with these cameras – and no access to the associated app, but more on that later. The CLIQ+, in Europe it’s the Zoemini S, is the more advanced version.

Unfortunately, Canon’s dependence on digital printing keeps them from surpassing Fujifilm, but their device is actually quite simple and easy to use. It contains 8 megapixels in the small sensor – more than enough to send the 2×3” Zink printer holding up to ten sheets of paper they’ve built into the camera.

If you’re in a hurry and want to keep it simple, it can spit them out in a matter of seconds, but you also have the option to edit them, add borders, crop, make duplicates, and more! This is where the app comes in.

Companion App

The more advanced camera comes with a companion app which you can download on your phone. While this sounds novel, it may also be one of the downfalls of Canon’s latest product. The current market is thriving off of people that are tired of taking hundreds of photos on their phones just to never look at them again.

The concept of having a handheld photo keepsake without ever having to pull out your phone is exciting. So, having to mess around with an app on your phone doesn’t really capitalize on the current trend.

But who knows? Maybe the younger generation who could care less about quality and just like adding captions or funny edits to their photos and handing them out to friends will love these cute, colorful Canon cameras.

The other downfall is that Zink prints just aren’t good. They’re much cheaper than Instax Minis – less than half the price –, but they are for a reason. The resolution and color reproduction aren’t worth comparing with instant film standards. Instax, on the other hand, can capture color and detail quite well for an instant print camera.

The CLIQ+, or Zoemini S, will be sold for $160 while the IVY CLIQ with fewer megapixels, no app, and worse quality will cost just $100. However, the one pro of the IVY CLIQ is the happy yellow color it comes in!

The trend of instant print cameras has been storming the market in the last five or so years, and of course, Fujifilm has been at the forefront. In an age so accustomed to everything being on their phones, what was normal for the generations previous is novel...

Health Tech News

Advancement of AI Opens Health Data Privacy to Attack

A new study led by professor Anil Aswani of the Industrial Engineering & Operations Research Department (IEOR) in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley has revealed that what we’ve seen as exciting advances in artificial intelligence may be just the opposite.

He and his team discovered that the advances open the door for more and new threats to the privacy of health data. In the midst of current AI developments, current laws and regulations are no longer enough to keep our health statuses private. You can view all of their research on JAMA Network Open.

Aswani’s study, partially funded by UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, proved that artificial intelligence can identify individuals through tracking and learning daily patterns in step data (like that collected by activity trackers, smartwatches, and smartphones) and then correlating it to demographic data.

After gathering two years’ worth of data encompassing over 15,000 Americans, he concluded that the privacy standards associated with 1996’s HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) legislation require dire change.

We Need to Look at That

“We wanted to use NHANES (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) to look at privacy questions because this data is representative of the diverse population in the U.S.,” Aswani says.

“The results point out a major problem. If you strip all the identifying information, it doesn’t protect you as much as you’d think. Someone else can come back and put it all back together if they have the right kind of information.”

“In principle, you could imagine Facebook gathering step data from the app on your smartphone, then buying health care data from another company and matching the two,” he explains. “Now they would have health care data that’s matched to names, and they could either start selling advertising based on that or they could sell the data to others.”

The problem is not with the advancements and devices themselves but with how one can misuse these devices for their own personal gain.

“I’m not saying we should abandon these devices,” he says. “But we need to be very careful about how we are using this data. We need to protect the information. If we can do that, it’s a net positive.”

From this study covering step data, Aswani suggests that more than just the specific area of research could be affected. “HIPAA regulations make your health care private, but they don’t cover as much as you think,” he says.

“Many groups, like tech companies, are not covered by HIPAA, and only very specific pieces of information are not allowed to be shared by current HIPAA rules. There are companies buying health data. It’s supposed to be anonymous data, but their whole business model is to find a way to attach names to this data and sell it.”

As AI advance, information is easier to retrieve, and employers, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and others could begin to use it in illegal and unethical ways.

“Ideally, what I’d like to see from this are new regulations or rules that protect health data,” he says. “But there is actually a big push to even weaken the regulations right now. For instance, the rule-making group for HIPAA has requested comments on increasing data sharing.

The risk is that if people are not aware of what’s happening, the rules we have will be weakened. And the fact is the risks of us losing control of our privacy when it comes to health care are actually increasing and not decreasing.”

A new study led by professor Anil Aswani of the Industrial Engineering & Operations Research Department (IEOR) in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley has revealed that what we’ve seen as exciting advances in artificial intelligence may be just...

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Alcatraz AI is Building Face ID for Corporate Badges

Ever experience the frustration of heading out of work for lunch and getting back to the office just in time to only realize that you left your badge upstairs on your desk? Now, you’re late and stuck waiting downstairs for one of your co-workers to be gracious enough to bring your badge down to you so that you can get back in.

Meanwhile, your boss is none too happy with you. And perhaps this is your third or fourth strike!

Well, it’s time you met Alcatraz AI, a start-up that wants to replace all the badge readers in your office with a Face ID-like camera system. With Alcatraz, any of the multiple sensors have the capability to identify faces and unlock doors effortlessly.

High-security buildings have made fingerprints and iris scanners a regular commodity, but your everyday business would end up with traffic jams at the door if they started using a fingerprint system. On top of all that, every time a new employee is hired, their biometric information would have to be added to the system.

This process would be tedious, especially for large companies with lots of employees.

Facial Authentication

However, with Alcatraz AI, facial authentication guarantees a quick, painless process. You begin with a badge, like the one you have now, but after you’ve used it a few times, Alcatraz Al has scanned your face enough to form a model. From then on, you can always leave your badge on your desk – or at home, for that matter –, and simple facial recognition will get you in the door.

Alcatraz Al has built custom hardware with three different sensors that include both traditional RGB sensors and infrared sensors for 3D mapping which they would install. Once everything is set and running, companies only need to pay an annual fee to continue using the platform.

Alcatraz AI can even detect tailgating – that is, someone trying to get in somewhere secure by following in an authorized person. It gives customers analytics and real-time notifications.

Overall, the process is much simpler and easier, and the ongoing license cost should be the same as what your company previously used to pay guards. The start-up has raised nearly $6 million already from Hardware Club, Ray Stata, JCI Ventures, Ruvento Ventures, and Hemi Ventures.

Ever experience the frustration of heading out of work for lunch and getting back to the office just in time to only realize that you left your badge upstairs on your desk? Now, you’re late and stuck waiting downstairs for one of your co-workers to be...

Tech News

Apple Introduces Its Own Credit Card

Apple Inc. is driven to do more and more to create more users and to make its users happier. The company is continually advancing and introducing newer technology, and now they’ve announced they’ll be releasing their very own credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.

Integrating the Apple Card will be especially useful for those who have already made it a habit to use the Wallet app and Apple Pay. According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, Apple Pay will reach 10 billion transactions this year and will be available in over 40 countries by the year’s end.

Over 70 percent of American businesses accept Apple Pay, and more are being added to that number daily while countries like Australia are already at 99 percent acceptance.

Signing up for the Apple Card is simple; all you have to do is sign up from your iPhone, and within a few minutes, you’ll be able to use it with Apple Pay. You’ll have complete control over the card from your Wallet app.

If you want to see you credit card bill, your recent transactions, or keep track of your spending, you just tap the card, and all the information is at your fingertips. You can even see where you spent the money. When you tap a transaction, the location shows up in a miniature Apple Map.

Go Titanium

You’ll also get a hard, titanium card along with the virtual one with a laser-etched name, but there’s no card number, no CVV code, no expiration date, and no signature on the card. All of that information can only be found on the Wallet app, and each device will have a different credit card number.

Every transaction gives you an instant 2 percent cash back, and with Apple purchases, it’s 3 percent! Physical transactions, however, are only eligible for 1 percent cash back. The cash back is credited to your account daily instead of at the end of the month.

All of your private information is guaranteed to be secure; in fact, Apple won’t even be able to see what you bought, where you bought it, or what you paid for it. Goldman Sachs agrees not to sell your data for advertising or marketing.

What makes this card even more unique than it already is is that you will have no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over-limit fees. You can easily set up a monthly plan to pay off your balance if you aren’t able to, and customer support is always at your fingertips via text messages through the Messages app.

Apple says the card will be available to customers in the U.S. this summer.

Apple Inc. is driven to do more and more to create more users and to make its users happier. The company is continually advancing and introducing newer technology, and now they’ve announced they’ll be releasing their very own credit card in partnership...