Macaulay Culkin stays Home Alone again for Google Assistant

first_imgThe modern version of Kevin McCallister is much more laid-back than the original. Google got former child star Macaulay Culkin to reprise his most famous role for an ad for Google Assistant. Review • Google Nest Hub review: Still the smart display to beat Dell Online The video ties in with Google Assistant’s launch of a bunch of Home Alone-themed Easter eggs this December. At least this time, nobody gets hit in the face with an iron. 0 2019 movies to geek out over The video is both a nostalgic revisiting of the 1990 hit Home Alone and a clever way to show off what Google’s voice-activated devices can do. Culkin once again finds himself at home alone around Christmas time. He uses a Google Home Hub, Google Home Mini and his phone to check his calendar, set reminders, order pizza and adjust the house temperature. The narrative this time plays out very differently from the movie. The thieves never make it inside thanks to a Google-triggered “Operation Kevin” that activates the front door’s smart lock and sets a whole sequence of house-protecting events into motion.  CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Best Buy Turns out it’s a lot easier to defend your house from bandits when you have the Google Assistant. Take it from @IncredibleCulk. #HeyGoogle pic.twitter.com/9OifLkJHOP— Google (@Google) December 19, 2018 How To • Google Assistant, Android Q, Google Nest Hub Max: Google’s big plans for the rest of the year Walmart $99 See it Tags See Itcenter_img Mentioned Above Google Home Hub #heygoogle Have you ever wondered what Kevin McCallister is like as an adult?  Me neither. But just in case you’re curious you should totally watch this #ad pic.twitter.com/uO9qMPrUT3— Macaulay Culkin (@IncredibleCulk) December 19, 2018 See It Google Nest Hub “Turns out it’s a lot easier to defend your house from bandits when you have the Google Assistant,” Google tweeted on Wednesday.Culkin dropped an arguably snarky remark on Twitter, saying, “Have you ever wondered what Kevin McCallister is like as an adult?  Me neither. But just in case you’re curious you should totally watch this #ad.” Share your voice $99 $99 See It News • Get the Google Nest Hub for just $67 Preview • Google Home Hub joins the fight to put a screen on your countertop 77 Photos $79 Post a comment Google Assistant Googlelast_img read more

AirPods vs Galaxy Buds The best wireless earbuds are

first_img How To • 17 tricks to help you get the most out of your Apple AirPods Galaxy Buds are Samsung’s answer to Apple’s AirPods Apple AirPods $159, £159, AU$229 Review • Apple AirPods updated review: Getting better with age Apple Mentioned Above Apple AirPods See It 13 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Design: AirPods are light, Galaxy Buds are snugIt’s hard to miss the AirPods when they’re dangling from someone’s ear: The bud rests inside the ear while the Q-tip-like cylinder sticks out down your earlobe. The AirPods are only available in white. The Galaxy Buds are slightly bigger and protrude more than the AirPods, but they sit more snug in your ear thanks to different wingtips that you can swap out for a better fit. The Buds come in black, white or yellow.The Galaxy Buds sit securely in your ear thanks to interchangeable tips so you can choose the best size for your ear. Angela Lang/CNET The fit and comfort level obviously depends on the shape of your ear, but in general we found the AirPods were slightly more comfortable, especially for extended wear, because they’re so lightweight. The Galaxy Buds looked nicer and more subtle in our ears. Both stayed in place during everyday activities like commutes and workouts, but the Galaxy Buds felt more secure because of the tighter hold. The tips of the AirPods make them susceptible to falling out if you brush up against them with your hand. Neither one is fully water resistant, but the Galaxy Buds have an IPX2 rating which means they’ll withstand intense sweat sessions.The downside (or upside depending on what you’re looking for) of having a tighter seal is that the Galaxy Buds block out more ambient noise than the AirPods, even when you’re not listening to music. The open design of the AirPods means you hear a lot more of your surroundings and you don’t have to take them out to have a conversation when you’re not listening to anything. We’ll discuss the actual sound quality in more detail later. Both these earbuds magnetically clip in to their cases for storage and to recharge the battery. The Galaxy Buds have a slightly larger case that looks a bit like a cylindrical pillbox or contact lens case, while the AirPods have a smaller case that reminds me of dental floss. Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds for a more secure fit (although we do prefer the AirPods’ case)Features: What else can these buds do?The AirPods and the Galaxy Buds pair automatically with their companies’ respective devices as soon as you crack open the case. The first time you bring the buds near the phone, just tap to connect and you should be ready to go. The connection experience is not as seamless with devices outside of their respective ecosystems, but you can still pair them both manually from the Bluetooth settings on any phone, tablet or laptop.  apple-airpods-6Click open the case and your AirPods or Galaxy Buds connect to your phone. Angela Lang/CNET Once paired, both buds let you tap to control calls, music playback or summon a voice assistant (Siri or Bixby, respectively). Customize the AirPods controls from the Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and pick from four different options: play and pause, skip forward, go to the previous track or summon Siri. When paired with Android, the Galaxy Buds can be customized through the Galaxy Wear app. They offer the same tap controls as the AirPods, plus the ability to adjust the volume from the buds. You can increase or decrease ambient noise and tune the sound quality from the app. If you’re using the Galaxy Buds with an iPhone, however, you’ll only be able to use the default controls. The level of customization on the Galaxy Buds is unbeatable, but if you do choose to customize the taps, remembering what gesture controls what feature may take some time to master. If you lose either of these buds, you can use your phone to find them, but neither of the “find my buds” features is perfect. On the iPhone they only show the last location where they were paired, and sometimes didn’t ring or show up as found until they were next to the phone. The Galaxy Buds don’t show their location on a map and only play a chirping sound when you ping them — an effect that only works if the buds are turned on and connected. Remember, you won’t be able to ping either of the buds if you’re using them with a device outside the ecosystem. Bottom line, try not to lose either one.Winner: Galaxy Buds for the level of customizationSound quality: Galaxy Buds offer more for audiophilesOut of the box, the sound quality on the Galaxy Buds is notably richer. Because of its tighter fitting design, you don’t have to pump up the volume as much to hear your music. If you’re listening to the AirPods by themselves, the sound quality is perfectly adequate. It’s only when listening to them side by side with the Galaxy Buds that we noticed they sound a littler thinner and weaker. The AirPods’ more open design also means you also need to crank up the volume if there’s a lot of ambient noise competing with them.airpods-galaxy-buds-2You’ll be able to hear more of your surrounds when wearing the AirPods. Angela Lang/CNET Sound on Galaxy Buds is tuned by AKG, and you have the option to customize the sound profile in the Galaxy Wear app. The app also gives you an Ambient Sound setting that brings in more outside noise when paired with Android devices and has a Voice Focus option that makes voices stand out. In the real world, these features do let in more ambient sound and let you hear voices more clearly, but it can sound like you are in an echo chamber, and you still don’t get as much ambient noise coming through as you do with the AirPods. The AirPods don’t have a native app, but you can use an equalizer in your music app to adjust the sound. We still preferred the AirPods over the Galaxy Buds for walking commutes or runs where you have to be aware of your surroundings, even with the Ambient sound option enabled. For calls, we had the opposite experience. Both buds have dual microphones, but the AirPods isolated the voice better in the call while the Galaxy Buds let in more ambient noise. The AirPods sounded much clearer and louder to the person on the other line. Winner: Galaxy Buds for sound quality, AirPods get points for call qualityPerformance and battery: Which can go longer?The Galaxy Buds support Bluetooth 5, while the AirPods have Apple’s W1 chip. We conducted an informal range test where we paired them both with their respective phones, started streaming from Spotify and left them on a table. Both were able to get an impressive distance from the table before the music started to cut out, but the AirPods were able to get about 5 feet (1.5 meters) further than the Galaxy Buds. apple-airpods-galaxy-buds-9USB-C or Lightning? Angela Lang/CNET The Galaxy Buds did, however, outlast the AirPods in terms of battery life by almost 2 hours. We were able to get about 5 hours of continuous playback with the AirPods and almost 7 hours with the Galaxy Buds. But the AirPods hold more charge in the case than the Galaxy Buds, so you’ll be able to get more juice out of them on the go if you don’t have access to an outlet. The AirPods use a lightning cable to charge, while the Galaxy Buds have a USB-C port. But the Galaxy Buds have a charging superpower up their sleeve that the AirPods don’t have yet: wireless charging. Not only can the case be charged on a charging dock, if you have a new Galaxy S10, S10 Plus or S10E you can use your phone to charge them in a pinch. Winner: Toss up. The AirPods have a slightly longer range and more total battery life, but the Galaxy Buds last longer on a single charge and can charge wirelesslyLet’s break it down: Which one is the best?The Galaxy Buds are the clear winners. They have more features and offer greater customization at a cheaper price than the AirPods. But it also depends on your use case. The Galaxy Buds are the obvious pick if you have a Galaxy or Android phone and your main priority is sound quality. But the AirPods may be better if you’re looking for seamless integration with your iPhone and want a well-rounded set of buds that you can wear in just about any scenario.  See Galaxy Buds at WalmartThat said, it’s important to keep in mind that the AirPods are 2 years old at this point and can still hold their own against the brand-new Galaxy Buds. Apple is expected to release a sequel to the AirPods in the coming months, so check back for updates to this comparison when that happens.  See AirPods at Walmart 9:34 News • Apple AirPods 2 deal: $139.99 (save $19) Apple AirPods vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds: How to choose? See it at Walmart Apple AirPods $138 See it Editors’ note: This story compares the original AirPods, first release in late 2016, with the 2019 Samsung Galaxy Buds. Shortly after it was posted, new 2019 AirPods were released. Read the new AirPods review for more information.Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds are giving Apple’s AirPods a run for their money. Like the AirPods, they are in-ear, truly wireless headphones. They have a magnetic charging case that can give you a boost on the go and seamlessly integrate with Galaxy phones. Unlike the AirPods ($159, £159 or AU$229), the Galaxy Buds ($130, £139 or AU$249) can charge wirelessly. The Galaxy Buds also cost less (apart from in Australia).But the specs don’t always tell the whole story. We tested both these buds for about a week to find out which one comes out on top — and help you decide which is right for you. • Preview • What it’s like to live with AirPods Versus Samsung Galaxy Buds CNET may get a commission from retail offers.center_img Monoprice Share your voice Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 AirPods vs. Galaxy Buds Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. $184 Walmart See It Comments Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? 38 Mobile Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See it at Walmart reading • AirPods vs. Galaxy Buds: The best wireless earbuds are… $159 Tags $130, £139, AU$249 See All Bluetooth Samsung Applelast_img read more

Gold prices rise for 5th straight day close at threeweek high

first_imgGold prices rose for the fifth straight day on Monday to a three-week high in Indian markets in sharp contrast to the Sensex and Nifty that opened on a negative note and drifted further in the wake of weak global cues and disappointing factory output data for April.In tandem, gold prices touched a four-week high in Singapore market to $1,281.96 an ounce, beating $1,284.20 an ounce reached on May 16.”Gold has been up and $1,300 should be an immediate target at least for the coming week, with $1,240 being the support level,” Reuters quoted Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong’s Wing Fung Financial Group, as saying.A fall in Asian stock markets on account of cautionary approach expected to be adopted by central banks of major economies this week and worries of Brexit contributed to the spike in gold prices, according to the agency.The U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Bank of Japan are set to meet this week and are likely to keep interest rates unchanged in the context of weak global economic scenario.On Monday, gold prices gained Rs. 160 to close at Rs. 29,660 per 10 gm while silver prices declined marginally to end at Rs. 41,000 per kg.Silver had plunged below the Rs. 40,000-mark on May 20 but since then has been gaining steadily.The firm trend prevailing in the global markets along with strong buying by jewellers contributed to gold prices gaining on Monday, according to a PTI report. However, prices of the yellow metal could fall by Wednesday and an ambivalent stance of the US Federal Reserve could result in prices rising further, according to an analyst.”Gold could push a little higher during the early part of the week, but we expect it to hit some turbulence by Wednesday, the day of the Fed meeting,” Reuters quoted from a note by INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.”That is when we expect the bank to signal that it is warming up to a rate increase for July,” he added.last_img read more

BNP wants solution not conflict Moudud

first_imgMoudud AhmedSenior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed has said his party is trying to reach an understanding with the government for the sake of better elections in the country.Saying that the BNP will contest the next parliamentary polls, he made clear the party’s position that they want elections under such a government which would have no political ambition.”That’s why, we’re tryng to reach an understanding with the govenment,” he said at a programme in Faridpur on Friday.Moudud, a standing committee member of the BNP, pointed out that the BNP did not hold any protest demonstration in the past two years to create confidence in the ruling camp.”We didn’t do anything (protest demonstration) which can embarrass the government,” he said adding that they hoped that the Awami League govenment would show democratic attitude to reciprocate the BNP’s gesture of doing peaceful politics.The BNP leadership has been demanding fair elections to be held under an election-time neutral government.Moudud emphasised that “the BNP wants solution, not conflict”.He made the observations while replyng to questions from journlaists after distributing scholarship among students at Palli Kabi Jasimuddin’s home at Gabindapur village of Ambikapur union in Faridpur.The BNP leader said, “The BNP does not do vindictive politics. If the government does not come to an understaniding, it would mean that it is afraid of facing trial for their corruption and plundering of resources once they are out of power.”Moudud, a former vice president and law minister, alleged that the government has no accountability. “Killing, plundering and rape are going on unabated in the country,” he added.Moudud Ahmed went on to say, “We’ll try to reach the understaing until the last moment. If the government does not respond to our demand, there is no alternative to movement.”last_img read more

Hundreds clash with police in Indian Kashmir

first_imgProtesters shout slogans at a rally against the Indian government`s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy and impose a communications blackout, in Srinagar on 16 August, 2019. Photo: AFPHundreds of protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir clashed with police on Friday, even as New Delhi said it would begin restoring phone lines after a 12-day communications blackout.With the central government fearing protests and unrest, the Muslim-majority northern territory has been under lockdown since the first week of August, when the Indian government stripped the region of its autonomy.Police fired tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to disperse residents who tried to march down the main road in the main city of Srinagar after Friday prayers.Protesters hurled stones and used shop hoardings and tin sheets as improvised shields, as police shot dozens of rounds into the crowd. No injuries were reported.”We are trying to breach the siege and march to the city centre but police is using force to stop us,” one protester told AFP, adding that three people were injured in Thursday clashes with police officers and reservists.Sporadic clashes were also reported in other parts of the Kashmir Valley, the main hotbed of resistance to Indian rule for decades, where phone lines and internet connections have been cut off for nearly two weeks.Major towns and cities in the restive valley remained under curfew, with government forces allowing people to move only on special passes.Government forces erected steep barricades and used concertina wires to block roads.No big gatherings were allowed in the valley and most mosques were shut for the second consecutive Friday.”We want what is ours. We are not begging for anything but demand India should respect its promises,” a second protester told AFP.”We will not sit back until we achieve complete independence from India,” he said.The protesters marched along the lanes of Srinagar, carrying black ?ags — signifying grief — and placards with slogans including “Go India, go back”.Phone lines The clashes took place as a top official said that authorities would begin restoring phone lines in Kashmir on Friday evening, including in Srinagar.Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam did not make clear whether mobile phones and internet connections would also be reinstated.He said the restoration would “(keep) in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organisations in using mobile connectivity to organised terrorist actions”.Fearing an angry and potentially violent response to its move to end Kashmir’s autonomous status, India deployed 10,000 additional troops — joining the half a million already there — severely restricted movement and cut telecommunications.Kashmiri politicians — alongside university professors, business leaders and activists — are among the more than 500 people that have since been taken into custody.Celebrations for Eid, a major Muslim festival, were massively curtailed on Monday, with Srinagar’s main mosque shut. The building remained off-limits on Friday.Subrahmanyam said the government was aiming for the “earliest return to normalcy while ensuring that terrorist forces are given no opportunity to wreak havoc as in the past”.Anger Despite the lockdown, last Friday residents said some 8,000 people took to the streets and that the military used pellet-firing shotguns.The Indian government confirmed the clashes only after several days had passed, blaming them on stone-throwing “miscreants” and saying its forces reacted with “restraint”.Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947.Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have died in an uprising against Indian rule that has raged since 1989.The territory has been the spark for two wars and countless clashes between the two nuclear-armed arch-rivals, most recently in February when they conducted tit-for-tat air strikes.Officials in the part of Kashmir ruled by Pakistan said Thursday that three soldiers died in Indian shelling across the Line of Control, the de facto border, with two others killed in a separate incident.The Pakistani military also said its return fire killed five Indian soldiers. But an Indian army spokesman told the Press Trust of India news agency late Thursday this was “fictitious”.In a rare step, the UN Security Council was set to discuss the situation behind closed doors later on Friday, diplomats said.last_img

Excavation of Siloam Pool road leads to claims of attempt to Judaize

first_img Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Tagshomepage featured Jerusalem Siloam Pool,You may also like Sikh activists ask Kamala Harris for apology over beard ban for California prison guar … Share This! Michele Chabin We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 By: Michele Chabin “Therefore, there is nothing to prove,” he said.At the same time, “digging under the homes of the people of Silwan without their permission is a political statement and an attempt to Judaize” Jerusalem, Sharon said.“Of course, everything in our world is politicized. Archaeology is no exception.” Catholicism A table fragment embedded with colored stones that was discovered in the Pilgrimage Road excavation. Photo by Koby Harati, City of David Share This! By: Michele Chabin Michele Chabin,Load Comments,Former Sojourners staffer recounts personal opioid crisis in ‘Addiction Nation&# … center_img As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,JERUSALEM (RNS) — A recent ceremony marking the excavation of a road that archaeologists believe was used by biblical-era Jewish pilgrims — perhaps even Jesus — has drawn fire from Palestinians, who accuse Israeli and U.S. officials of trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem.The controversy is the latest political skirmish between Israelis and Palestinians over archaeological excavations.U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and U.S. Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt attended the event Sunday (June 30), along with Israeli officials and archaeologists. The City of David Foundation hosted the ceremony.Excavations continue of the Pilgrimage Road, which dates to the Second Temple period, in Jerusalem. Photo by Koby Harati, City of DavidThe road, which was at ground level 2,000 years ago but is now below ground, extends from the Siloam Pool (Shiloach in Hebrew) just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem to the southern part of the Western Wall.From there, pilgrims would have ascended to the Second Jewish Temple, on what is today’s Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, via a stairway.According to the Gospel of John (9:1-11), Jesus healed the blind man at the Siloam Pool.Silver coins found in the excavation of Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem. Some coins could have been used to pay half-shekel tithes to the Temple. Photo by Koby Harati, City of DavidThe site is in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed soon afterward. Palestinians want the territory, which much of the international community considers occupied, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.Palestinian officials say Jews have no historical or religious claims to the region. Israeli officials maintain present-day Israel and the West Bank were part of the biblical Land of Israel and employ archaeology to prove it.U.S. Ambassador David Friedman at the Pilgrimage Road inauguration. Courtesy photoFriedman, an Orthodox Jew and a supporter of Israeli settlements, said the Pilgrimage Road’s existence “confirms with evidence, with science, with archaeological studies that which many of us already knew, certainly in our heart: the centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.”After the event, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat called the excavation of the road and Siloam Pool, which is in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, “a settlement project that is based on a lie that has nothing to do with history.”In a statement, the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations called the road’s inauguration an “illegal act in occupied territory.”“It is deplorable that the officials of the right-wing Israeli government were accompanied in this illegal act in occupied territory by US government officials,” the statement said.Ilan Sharon, a Hebrew University professor of archaeology who was not involved in the excavations, told Religion News Service that any established scholar believes Jews lived here at some point in history. Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Share This! Share This! By: Michele Chabin Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Excavations continue of the Pilgrimage Road, which dates to the Second Temple period, in Jerusalem. Photo by Koby Harati, City of David Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Postslast_img read more

Harris County Did It And Now Travis County Is Suing Some Major

first_img Share pexels.comThe lawsuit, filed on Monday, claims the drug firms facilitated widespread addiction to opioids by promoting their use through deceptive marketing and falsely downplaying the risks.Travis County spokesperson Hector Nieto said the actions of those companies resulted in costs to taxpayers.“Whenever the county has to respond as a result of someone overdosing on opioids, suffering the effects of opioids, or being hospitalized because of opioids, at some point in time, Travis County winds up having to cover that bill,” said Nieto.Companies named in the suit have defended their practice in the past saying they’ve worked to mitigate abuse of opioids while ensuring they can be prescribed legally to treat pain.Harris County filed suit against pharmaceutical companies, and even a few doctors and a pharmacist, back in December.last_img read more

Five Useful Free Tools for Small Businesses

first_img 7 min read Brought to you by PCWorld November 19, 2010 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now These are frugal times for business, and an organization starting out might have very little money to spend on IT. Even if you’re part of an established business, you’re probably feeling the pinch.Here are five extremely useful computing resources that are free of charge for small business users — unlike some “free” services you might see that are only for home users. These choices have few if any restrictions, and are established services unlikely to shut up shop anytime soon.1. Google Apps for BusinessIf your organization has under 50 employees, then Google Apps for Business (formerly called Google Apps for Domains) is for you. It offers free e-mail under the umbrella of your own organization’s domain name (You can pay Google $10 to reserve a domain name, if you don’t already have one). You can also have your own private Google Docs system along with your own Google Calendar system.In use, the e-mail system looks and feels just like regular Gmail, except that your own organization’s e-mail addresses are used rather than a Gmail one (such as,bob.smith@yourdomain.com, rather than something like bob.smith1964@gmail.com). One nice touch is that the e-mail address book is shared automatically amongst your users.It’s all hosted on Google’s computers, so you won’t need your own mail server computer. You’ll benefit from almost zero configuration and maintenance, plus a promised 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Put simply, Google takes care of everything for you. The spam filtering is the same excellent system as Gmail, which is to say your employees just won’t be bothered by anything dodgy.There are some limitations on the free version. As well as the 50 user limit, each user account can send e-mails to only 500 recipients per day. This won’t be an issue for most of us, but it’s easy to imagine an enthusiastic sales person hitting that ceiling now and again. You also can’t send attachments larger than 25MB, although this will only be an issue for those working in the media industries who have to ship around large photographs or video files.Even if you have to pay to upgrade to the Premier Edition, which allows unlimited users and a host of other benefits, it’ll only cost $50 per year. Who can argue with that kind of value?Some service providers, such as Dreamhost, offer free-of-charge one-click configuration of Google Apps for any domains you have registered with them.2. DropboxDropbox is a sync and backup tool that makes use of the cloud to remotely store files. Once the Dropbox software is installed, you’ll find a new Dropbox folder on your hard disk. Anything stored in this folder is instantly transferred to Dropbox’s cloud storage system. This is done invisibly, and using the Dropbox folder is just like using any other folder on your hard disk.The benefits are that you can then install Dropbox on another computer and, using the same login details, recreate your Dropbox folder. Anything saved in the folder on computer A will automatically appear in computer B’s Dropbox folder, and vice versa. Indeed, you can add-in computers C, D, E, and so on, and even mobile devices can get in on the action. There’s a Web interface that allows access to files, too.Perhaps the chief benefit for business is that, should a notebook get stolen or lost, restoring its files is as simple as installing Dropbox on a new computer, entering the username, and letting it sync the contents (provided your employees have been trained to always save their files in the Dropbox folder, of course).Dropbox offers free 2GB of storage per user, which is enough for hundreds of modest office documents, and I couldn’t find any restrictions on business users signing-up for free accounts. All you need is to download the client software and sign up during the installation process, using your e-mail address.Before you ask, yes, it’s massively secure. SSL connections are used to make the transfer of data to and from the cloud, and all data is stored using AES-256 encryption. Even if a stranger were to somehow pull your data from the cloud, it would be gibberish.Each user can make the leap to 50GB of storage for $10 per month, or 100GB for $20. This isn’t a huge amount of money, although it could add up once your organization starts to grow.My colleague Rick Broida discussed a similar new service called SugarSync, which offers 5GB of free storage — 3GB more than Dropbox. However, my personal preference is to stick with the long-established Dropbox.3. Microsoft Security EssentialsLicense fees for antivirus software are taxing for those who use Windows. We’d rather not pay, but there’s no way of getting around it. Most free antivirus products, such as AVG, are free only for home users.However, Microsoft has recently opened-up its Security Essentials software for free small business usage. (It was previously free only for home users.)  Alas, the license agreement states you can only use it on up to 10 computers in a corporate environment, but this is still better than nothing. If nothing else, it means that you’ll have 10 fewer antivirus licenses to pay for. (For larger organizations, Microsoft offers its Forefront product range, which has various licensing systems.)The new Security Essentials looks good. It’s certainly good at spotting viruses, although it can be a little slow when scanning compared to competitors. However, considering the $0 price tag, I’m sure we can all live with this. Security Essentials is available for all recent versions of Windows, from XP up.4. LinuxDon’t worry. I’m not going to advise you switch to Linux on your desktop computers. From a purely financial standpoint this has rarely made much sense for smaller businesses, considering they usually pay for Windows licenses without any choice when they buy a new PC.Instead, I’m going to recommend Linux for your file servers. This avoids the need to pay for expensive Windows Server licenses. If you go with something like Ubuntu, the most popular form of Linux, you’ll pay nothing at all for an installation serving an unlimited number of client computers.Ubuntu’s other chief advantage is that, as a popular form of Linux, support is never far away. Googling any problem will almost certainly reveal somebody else who’s had the issue, or you can head over the hugely popular Ubuntu Forums to ask for help.In terms of technology, Ubuntu offers Samba, which can effectively recreate a modest Windows-like file and printer sharing setup. Both Macs and Windows computers will have no problems connecting, and will be unaware that they’re not connecting to a Windows server.If you have an old PC you can mess around on, try downloading Ubuntu Server and giving it a try. You might have to reach back into your memory to remember those Unix 101 classes, but there’s a wealth of free documentation out there to help you get started.5. Go-OO Office SuiteUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you probably already know about OpenOffice.org, the open source (and therefore free-of-charge) office suite. This keeps getting better with each release and is now a definite contender for lighter-weight office tasks. If you haven’t looked at it recently, it’s well worth a trial.I find it very useful for those upgrading from an older version of Office and who are confused by the ribbon-based user interface, found on recent releases of Microsoft Office.However, it’s been a busy time in the world of OpenOffice.org, and Oracle’s acquisition of Sun — owners of OpenOffice.org — has dropped a bomb from which the dust is still settling. The LibreOffice project has picked-up the reins but is still in beta testing stage, so at the moment I recommend the existing version of Go-OO as the best free-of-charge office suite around. Based on OpenOffice.org with some useful tweaks here and there, its chief advantage is support for Microsoft’s newer XML-based file format (such as the DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX file extensions), which is the default in all recent releases of Microsoft Office. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more

2018 is the year of graph databases Heres why

first_imgWith the explosion of data, businesses are looking to innovate as they connect their operations to a whole host of different technologies. The need for consistency across all data elements is now stronger than ever. That’s where graph databases come in handy. Because they allow for a high level of flexibility when it comes to representing your data and also while handling complex interactions within different elements, graph databases are considered by many to be the next big trend in databases. In this article, we dive deep into the current graph database scene, and list out 3 top reasons why graph databases will continue to soar in terms of popularity in 2018. What are graph databases, anyway? Simply put, graph databases are databases that follow the graph model. What is a graph model, then? In mathematical terms, a graph is simply a collection of nodes, with different nodes connected by edges. Each node contains some information about the graph, while edges denote the connection between the nodes. How are graph databases different from the relational databases, you might ask? Well, the key difference between the two is the fact that graph data models allow for more flexible and fine-grained relationships between data objects, as compared to relational models. There are some more differences between the graph data model and the relational data model, which you should read through for more information. Often, you will see that graph databases are without a schema. This allows for a very flexible data model, much like the document or key/value store database models. A unique feature of the graph databases, however, is that they also support relationships between the data objects like a relational database. This is useful because it allows for a more flexible and faster database, which can be invaluable to your project which demands a quicker response time. Image courtesy DB-Engines The rise in popularity of the graph database models over the last 5 years has been stunning, but not exactly surprising. If we were to drill down the 3 key factors that have propelled the popularity of graph databases to a whole new level, what would they be? Let’s find out. Major players entering the graph database market About a decade ago, the graph database family included just Neo4j and a couple of other less-popular graph databases. More recently, however, all the major players in the industry such as Oracle (Oracle Spatial and Graph), Microsoft (Graph Engine), SAP (SAP Hana as a graph store) and IBM (Compose for JanusGraph) have come up with graph offerings of their own. The most recent entrant to the graph database market is Amazon, with Amazon Neptune announced just last year. According to Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, graph databases are becoming a part of the growing trend of multi-model databases. Per Jassy, these databases are finding increased adoption on the cloud as they support a myriad of useful data processing methods. The traditional over-reliance on relational databases is slowly breaking down, he says. Rise of the Cypher Query Language With graph databases slowly getting mainstream recognition and adoption, the major companies have identified the need for a standard query language for all graph databases. Similar to SQL, Cypher has emerged as a standard and is a widely-adopted alternative to write efficient and easy to understand graph queries. As of today, the Cypher Query Language is used in popular graph databases such as Neo4j, SAP Hana, Redis graph and so on. The OpenCypher project, the project that develops and maintains Cypher, has also released Cypher for popular Big Data frameworks like Apache Spark. Cypher’s popularity has risen tremendously over the last few years. The primary reason for this is the fact that like SQL, Cypher’s declarative nature allows users to state the actions they want performed on their graph data without explicitly specifying them. Finding critical real-world applications Graph databases were in the news as early as 2016, when the Panama paper leaks were revealed with the help of Neo4j and Linkurious, a data visualization software. In more recent times, graph databases have also found increased applications in online recommendation engines, as well as for performing tasks that include fraud detection and managing social media. Facebook’s search app also uses graph technology to map social relationships. Graph databases are also finding applications in virtual assistants to drive conversations – eBay’s virtual shopping assistant is an example. Even NASA uses the knowledge graph architecture to find critical data. What next for graph databases? With growing adoption of graph databases, we expect graph-based platforms to soon become the foundational elements of many corporate tech stacks. The next focus area for these databases will be practical implementations such as graph analytics and building graph-based applications. The rising number of graph databases would also mean more competition, and that is a good thing – competition will bring more innovation, and enable incorporation of more cutting-edge features. With a healthy and steadily growing community of developers, data scientists and even business analysts, this evolution may be on the cards, sooner than we might expect. Read Next Amazon Neptune: A graph database service for your applications When, why and how to use Graph analytics for your big datalast_img read more

YouTube disables all comments on videos featuring children in an attempt to

first_imgYouTube has disabled all comments from its videos featuring young children in order to curb the spread of pedophiles who are using YouTube to trade clips of young girls in states of undress. This issue was first discovered, when Matt Watson, a video blogger, posted a 20-minute clip detailing how comments on YouTube were used to identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics. Youtube’s content regulation practices have been in the spotlight in recent years. Last week, YouTube received major criticism for recommending videos of minors and allowing pedophiles to comment on these posts, with a specific time stamp of the video of when an exposed private part of the young child was visible. YouTube was also condemned for monetizing these videos allowing advertisements for major brands like Nestle, Fortnite, Disney, Fiat, Fortnite, L’Oreal, Maybelline, etc to be displayed on these videos. Following this news, a large number of companies have suspended their advertising spending from YouTube and refused to do so until YouTube took strong actions. In the same week, YouTube told Buzzfeed News that it is demonetizing channels that promote anti-vaccination content. YouTube said that this type of content does not align with its policy and called it “dangerous and harmful” content. Actions taken by YouTube YouTube said that it will now disable comments worldwide on almost all videos of minors by default. It said the change would take effect over several months. This will include videos featuring young and older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior. They are further introducing new comments classifier powered by machine learning that will identify and remove twice as many predatory comments as the old one. YouTube has also banned videos that encourage harmful and dangerous challenges. “We will continue to take actions on creators who cause egregious harm to the community”, they wrote in a blog post. “Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform,” said YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki on Twitter. Despite her apologetic comments, she was on the receiving end of a brutal backlash with people asking her to resign from the organization. The internet is slowly becoming a harmful place for young tweens. Not just Youtube, recently, TikTok, the popular video-sharing app which is a rage among tweens, was accused of illegally collecting personal information from children under 13. It was fined $5.7m by the US Federal Trade Commission. TikTok has now implemented features to accommodate younger US users in a limited, separate app experience that has additional safety and privacy protections. Similar steps have, however, not been implemented across their global operations. Read Next Nestle, Disney, Fortnite pull out their YouTube ads from paedophilic videos as YouTube’s content regulation woes continue. Youtube promises to reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’. Ex-googler explains why this is a ‘historic victory’. Is the YouTube algorithm’s promoting of #AlternativeFacts like Flat Earth having a real-world impact?last_img read more

Collettes Doug Patterson says poaching groups from agents is in the past

first_imgTags: Collette << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Cindy Sosroutomo TORONTO — Travel is an industry based on relationships, and few are more important than the one between Travel Agent and Supplier. Ask any agent and they’ll tell you that working with a reputable, honest and loyal tour operator is paramount to their business, and they’ll easily fire off names of companies they regard as preferred and trusted.So when this valued relationship breaks down for any number of reasons, the damage can be irreparable. But Collette, which has a reputation for slighting travel agents in the past, is hoping this isn’t the case. After a short period in its nearly 100-year-old history during which it often poached group business from agencies, the family-owned company is now doing its best to right its wrongs and reverse the damage it has done to its retail relationships.“We are aware of the perception that Collette has taken groups from agencies in the past. I want to make very clear that this is not our policy. In the past we may have brought a larger percentage of groups directly to Collette, but now we are really focused on working through the travel agent,” said Doug Patterson, who was appointed President, Canada of Collette earlier this year.Patterson tells Travelweek that groups at one time brought in the vast majority of Collette’s business (it’s just shy of 50% today), thanks in large part to BDMs who sought them out. This, however, sometimes led them to bring groups directly to the company, essentially cutting out agents in the process. It was never an official company policy, says Patterson, who also noted that the last incidence of ‘poaching’ he has found dates back to 2008. “Since then, our commitment to the retail channel has been significantly enhanced. Agents are vital to our success – 98% of our bookings come from agents.”But are Patterson’s assurances a case of too little, too late? Absolutely not. Collette is proving that it’s not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk to the tune of agent-specific directives. He says that although the company is still searching out groups, when it does find them it now takes the necessary steps to match them with local agents.“If it’s an independent booking or a group, we will make a concerted effort to recognize if they’ve worked with an agent in the past, and if they’re planning on doing so, we will make a recommendation of somebody in their particular area,” he says. “We believe in the agent community. They provide a great service and we believe they should be rewarded for that.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Even more, Collette’s commitment to agents can be measured in dollars; according to Patterson, over the past five years, the company has brought over $10 million worth of group business back to agents. “I would say that’s a strong commitment,” he adds.To hammer home the message even further, Collette made the decision to not participate in the discount arena and work with agencies that slash its product prices.“If a retailer wants to discount our product, we will not work with them, whether they’re OTA or bricks and mortar. It was an expensive move walking away from accounts like this, but we believe our product stands on its own and our customers deserve the level of service provided by a dedicated travel professional,” Patterson says.Agents, so it seems, has started to take notice and are putting their faith back in Collette. One Ontario agent, who wished to remain anonymous, tells Travelweek that she’s willing to give the company another chance after it directly email marketed all members of a group her agency had booked a few years ago.“I know that the Collette rep we have here has been trying to push the fact that they are changing their ways and that things have been on an upswing,” she says. “They have been pushing everything back to the travel agent and are trying to rebrand themselves in a favourable light to agents.”On Collette’s direct marketing efforts, Pablo Keselman of Milton, Ontario, who has over 30 years of experience as a travel agent, chalks it up to simply a difference in culture.“Unlike here in Canada, American-based companies tend to bombard you with emails and are very aggressive as far as sales go, either by sending things directly to clients or sending too many emails to agents. This overloading of direct mail and brochures is a cultural thing; that’s just the way they operate in the U.S.,” he says.Keselman, who has a $20,000 group booking with Collette that’s ready for payment soon, says that he’s never had a negative impression of Collette. In fact, he’s always appreciated how the company has been upfront about their marketing tactics.“Collette certainly uses the database of my clients, who will get direct mail from them from time to time. However, when they send direct mailing to clients with a discount number or coupon attached, if they’re loyal to their agent, the assumption is they’ll call their agent to book,” he says. “I have absolute respect for Collette’s product and this has always been the case. They have a BDM that’s proactive, they will hold space for groups, and they will print your logo on marketing materials to send to clients. They’re a lot more trustworthy than they were in the past because they’ve made it clear that they want to work with us.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesPatterson, who confirms that the call-to-action on all Collette marketing materials today directs consumers back to agents, knows that misperceptions are hard to overcome and that people have long memories. So when asked what reassurances the company can give to agents that they won’t repeat ‘sins’ of the past, he is unequivocal in his answer.“Let me put it as clearly as possible – Collette will not attempt to take any group from your agency. In fact, if unfortunate circumstances arise and a direct relationship exists where an agency partner is no longer involved, we will pay the agency partner 100% of its commission due on that group and take any necessary corrective actions,” he says.And to those who are still skeptical despite his reassurances?“Call us on it. Mystery shop us. If an agent feels like this is happening let us know about it. We will always make it right.”Doug Patterson is also the star of Travelweek’s latest video series. See how else Collette is looking to work with agents: Collette’s Doug Patterson says poaching groups from agents is in the past Thursday, November 10, 2016 About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more