Friday, 23 February 2018

NASA study highlights Antarctic ice flow changes.

NASA has completed a study that took massive amounts of satellite data to give a clear picture of how Antarctic ice flow into the ocean has changed. According to the study, the information gives the clearest picture yet of how ice loss is accelerating in the region. NASA says that the findings confirm that ice loss is accelerating from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

NASA used a computer-vision technique that compiled data from thousands of satellite images to give a very precise reading of the changes in ice-sheet motion. This work is expected to provide a baseline for future measurements of ice change in the Antarctic. The data can also be used to validate numerical ice sheet models that predict sea levels.

By Shane McGlaun.
Full story at Slash Gear.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Miso Robotics scores some cheddar for its burger-flipping robot.

Food service is the next industry to be turned on its head by automation

Miso Robotics, creator of a burger flipping robot named Flippy, today announced $10 million in Series B financing.
The round was led by Acacia Research Corporation.

Last year, Flippy scored a coup when it debuted with high marks a Pasadena CaliBurger, a trendy fast-food chain in tech-obsessed California. CaliBurger also preordered dozens of units for additional restaurants under a short-term exclusive contract.

"We are thrilled by the growing confidence in Miso Robotics and remain committed to fulfilling our goal of modernizing the $3 trillion global prepared foods industry," said David Zito, co-founder and CEO of Miso.

By Greg Nichols.

Full story at ZD Net.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Lawmakers May Back Rules For Federal Oversight Of Cryptocurrencies.

People dealing in cryptocurrency aren’t really fans of government regulation and oversight of the digital asset class. Cryptocurrency values often take a beating when it seems like some major countries might impose stricter rules on digital assets like bitcoin and others. According to a new report, lawmakers in the United States are moving to consider new rules that could allow stricter federal oversight of cryptocurrencies.

Reuters quotes several top lawmakers who say that there’s bipartisan momentum in the Senate and House of Representatives for action to tackle the risks associated with virtual currencies for investors and the overall financial system.

Some major U.S. banks have been concerned about these risk as well which is why they’re no longer allowing their customers to buy bitcoin with credit card because they don’t want that kind of credit risk on their books. Customers are free to purchase cryptocurrencies using their debit cards.

“There’s no question about the fact that there is a need for a regulatory framework,” said Republican Senator Mike Rounds, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

By Adnan Farooqui.
FUll story at Ubergizmo.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Facebook told to stop tracking non-users in Belgium.

A court in Belgium has ordered the social media giant Facebook to stop tracking people around the web who are not users of the service. The court has ruled that the data was gathered illegally and that it must all be destroyed. If Facebook fails to comply with the court ruling, it must pay a fine of €250,000 ($311,000 USD) per day up to €100m ($124m USD).

Belgium’s privacy watchdog had argued to the court that Facebook had broken privacy laws by using trackers such as cookies and 'Like' buttons on third-party websites. The court essentially agreed with the argument and said the company must stop following and recording internet use by people surfing in Belgium, until it complies with Belgian privacy laws.

By Paul Hill

Full story at Neowin

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Google takes AMP beyond basic posts with its new story format.

For the most part, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project was about what its name implies: accelerating mobile pages. Unsurprisingly, that mostly meant quickly loading and rendering existing articles on news sites, recipes and other relatively text-heavy content. With that part of AMP being quite successful (if not always beloved) now, Google is looking to take AMP beyond these basic stories. At its AMP Conf in Amsterdam, the company today announced the launch of the AMP story format.

The overall idea here isn’t all that different from the stories format you are probably already familiar with from the likes of Instagram and Snapchat. This new format allows publishers to build image-, video- and animation-heavy stories for mobile that you can easily swipe through. “It’s a mobile-focused format for creating visually rich stories,” as Google’s product manager for the AMP project Rudy Galfi called it when I talked to him last week. “It swings the doors open to create visually interesting stories.”

By Frederic Lardinois.
Full story at Tech Crunch.

Friday, 9 February 2018

What Is Fintech And How Will It Shape the Future of Banking?

Fintech is the innovation that seems to break down the barrier of the future in the finance field. Lionel Barber, Financial Times editor, said that “Nobody wants to be in banking, everyone wants to be in fintech”. Many call Fintech the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which emerged from the modern entrepreneur’s desire to adapt to his new needs, and experts describe it as the missing link between financial traditionalism and the finances of the future. The complexity and innovation of Fintech are the main ingredients that the citizen of the future needs, a mix between the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence and a sort of riot against the outdated, restricting finance systems that many had already resigned to using. Fintech’s rise to power forced traditional systems to adapt and offer new ingenious solutions to customers and startups. These solutions are meant to streamline their work and facilitate interaction between those who activate in the finance field. But what exactly is Fintech and how can we expect it to change the future of banking as we know it?

First, a bit of history
In general, banks and the finance field as a whole have been relatively quick to adopt new technologies and upgrade the services they provided to their clients. However, all of this changed in 2008, when the economic crisis struck and many institutions had to close down or dramatically change their portfolios to adapt to the new, stringent requirements of the market. They had to comply with new regulations, pay fines, impose stricter loan criteria to survive, being under constant stress. Adapting to those hard times favored their survival, but it did not drive innovation.

In the same period, technology was having an unprecedented boom. Lifechanging apps, services and products were released, such as the iPhone, booking apps, Airbnb, ridesharing apps, chat apps, cryptocurrencies or mobile payment systems. PayPal’s popularity grew and people had smarter options for everyday necessities. Mostly made up of millennials, that generation favored change, and by the time banks got back on their feet, there was already a considerable gap between the technologies offered by traditional banks and the rising standards of modern customers. They demanded more flexibility, convenience and a streamlined user experience – and Fintech was there to meet these standards.

Full story at The Future of Things.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

New emoji are coming - here's each one set to land on your phone this year.

It's that time of the year again where we welcome the new emoji onto our phones. Well, not quite yet but we do have the official list of 157 new emoji which are almost certain to appear on your phone later this year.

It comes direct from Unicode - the consortium in charge of issuing new little faces you can send to your friends on your phone - and other companies will soon adapt these into their platform.

You may recognize some of the options we've listed below, and that's because we already saw a list of 130 potential new emoji last year, but this is now the official final list that Google, Apple and others will begin adapting into its platforms.

By James Peckham.

Full story at Tech Radar.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

McDonald's is launching an even bigger Big Mac.

Hi, hello and welcome to another episode of McDonald's Make Your Day™. In today's installment, the fast food restaurant has announced the launch of a new, larger Big Mac in the UK.


Following successful trials in the US, Maccy D's is introducing two new sizes of its iconic burger in UK restaurants: the Mac Junior, and the Grand Big Mac. We're interested.

The Grand Mac comes with two heftier all-beef patties, two slices of cheese, more lettuce and onions on a larger sesame bun, while the mini version is essentially just a single-patty burger with special sauce and is intended to be "easily eaten on the go".

Full story at Digital Spy.
By Dusty Baxter-Wright.