Author Archives: kmaslova

Comeback of indestructible

Think of the most indestructible phone in the world. Most probably you, or your friend had it. It’s Nokia 3310, remember?

Seventeen years after a glorious launch the father of the mobile phone is back.
The fan-club of the model was growing ever since, and now it’s time for a comeback.
Why people loved it so much? Numerous reasons, but the most common ones – indestructible, excellent battery, and best before-AngryBirds game “Snake”.
Nokia 3310, or improved version of it will be launched in a month for an expected price of 63$. For everybody who feels nostalgic about the past, or wants to quit online social life – Nokia is the solution.
Official launch – February 26. Probably, it’s not a new iPhone, but isn’t it exciting what happened to your favourite phone?

Reference:
http://mashable.com/2017/02/14/nokia-3310-coming-back-report/#4U3YrbcjpmqJ

Coding for kids. Necessary?

Modern school programs often include science classes, like maths and biology, physical education and ethics. School programs are improving, but not really changing. The way kids learn at school now hasn’t changed much since 1950s. But in the 21 century it may be harmful underestimate the role of the technology in our lives. Kids learn how to play iPad even before they learn how to speak. So, wouldn’t it be right to teach them useful knowledge.

It is believed that coding will become a new blue-collar job in the future – basic of the basics, something everyone should be able to do. School provides us with basic knowledge that will help us to adapt in the future workplace. But where’s the techno-part in this program. It seems, that they need a total makeover.

Luckily, some schools start playing by the rules of the new century, one of them – Victorian schools in Melbourne. They introduced computer coding for children. Now kids from early age are taught how to use, and what is more how to embrace technology.
Minister for Education James Merlino believes that The Digital Technologies curriculum will enable students to become confident and creative developers of digital solutions through computer coding and other advanced skills.

What do you think – is it necessary to teach kids coding at school?

References:

The Next Blue Collar Job? Coding


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/victorian-schools-to-introduce-computer-coding-for-children/news-story/8b96a6e8580da6330581444c183abbb4

Meet Lens, a Shazam for objects

Yesterday Pinterest has announced a launch of a new inside-app tool – Lens. It is a visual search technology, which works similar to Shazam. You take picture of an object – it can be anything starting from food to clothes, and Lens shows you the results, which are believed to be similar to yours.  Pinterest says it is built on the basis of machine learning and human curation.

With this feature you will be able to find clothes you like (if not the same – then similar), you can find a recipe with the food you want, or how different styles how to wear your favourite sweater. You can find the option on the bottom-right corner by tapping on the circle.

A few brands, including Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Target, have directly started using it. In the nearest future we cenexpect more brands to be using this platform, as marketers believe it to be very popular.

Lens makes searching for a new product easier and, what is more it is now curated only for you.

 

References:

Pinterest adds visual search for elements in images and through your camera

http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/8/14549798/pinterest-lens-visual-discovery-shazam

Things you didn’t know about Snapchat

It’s been a while since Snapchat filed for a $3 million IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. News about Snapchat is going public have flown all over the world twice and came back to the point, where it feels that our knowledge about the company is very humble, so why not enrich it?

Starting from basics:

  • Snapchat was initially released in September 2011, but did you know that original name was “Picaboo” (and now ghost-logo makes more sense)
  • First ad that appeared in October 2014 on Snapchat was a 20-second movie trailer for the horror-movie Ouija. It was one of the first steps to monetise the app
  • Number of daily users s constantly growing, in February 2017 it has reached 158 million daily users and 301 million monthly users.

Getting into some interesting statistics:

  • 11% of drivers admit using or checking Snapchat wile using the car
  • 16 heads of state governments have a Snapchat account and use it
  • 35% of users use Snapchat because of disappearing content
  • projected ad revenue for 2017 – $935.46 million

And finishing with the facts:

  • Snapchat has launched Snap Foundation, to help developing youth arts and education.
  • At first Snapchat was a school project
  • Snapchat had submitted a patent application for the process of using an object recognition system to deliver sponsored filters based on objects seen in a camera view, which totally changes the world of ads and marketing in general.

Share in comments what was new to you, or what wasn’t mentioned in the article. Let’s share wisdom!

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapchat

121 Amazing Snapchat Statistics and Facts (February 2017)

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/248136

The world is open to you (if you are a start-uper)

It seems, that the world has finally realised that technology is driven by inspired people, no matter where they come from. India, Belarus or United States – brilliant minds are equal in the eyes of a techno-evolution. Travelling to another country is ain’t easy, relocating there – sometimes becomes mission impossible. Unfortunately, not every country can boast its progress and business-friendly policies, which ease the work of start-ups. Yet fortunately, country by country in EU start to implement new regulations, that attract start-ups from all over the world.

Estonia and France are being the most proactive countries of the EU – they are first to introduce start-up visas. Now, a non-european citizen can relocate and continue changing the world in those countries.

Here is what Mari Vavulski, the head of Startup Estonia and initiators of the program, says:

“Compared with most of the other startup visa programs, the Estonian one differs by offering preferential terms for obtaining a visa or a permit for both the startup entrepreneurs who wish to set up or relocate their company to Estonia as well as employees seeking to work for Estonian startups”.

Sounds good, ha?

French tech visa isn’t far from that:

Its general features are:

  • Validity: Four years, on a renewable basis.
  • Family: “Talent Passport – Family” residence permit granted to spouse of the main applicant, guaranteeing identical family treatment and automatic labor market access (as an employee, business founder, etc.).
  • No work permit is required for any work performed as an employee.
  • Upon certain conditions, a fast-track procedure will be provided.

Congratulations Estonia and France for being the most far-sighted countries!

Startup visas have been introduced in more that 10 countries around the world, and we hope, that a lot more are about to come. For the technology sake.

 

References:

http://visa.lafrenchtech.com

Estonia launches a startup visa programme

 

Top 25 passwords of 2016. Are we really concerned about our privacy?

Recently, a fresh list of most common passwords was published by Keeper Security. And honestly, they are ridiculous.  We continue talking about identity thief on Internet, but we do not even bother protecting ourselves on the very first level.

Keeper has analysed 10 million passwords from data breaches in 2016. Below is the result of the most popular passwords of the web in 2016.

Isn’t it terrible? Even trying to be creative we are still so predictable (the example of “1q2w3e4r” and “1q2w3e4r5t” are the prove of it). Around 17% of the users still have the password “123456”. Privacy is not a joke, and we as users have to grow up, because those passwords could’ve been used in 2000, not in 2016.

If you find your password in this list – shame on you. If not – double check.

 

References:

https://blog.keepersecurity.com/2017/01/13/most-common-passwords-of-2016-research-study/

The most common passwords of 2016

Half of the world’s population do not have access to Internet

We tend to think of Internet as of something inherent, a part of our life that has rooted so deeply, that is almost impossible to cut of. But is it the real situation for the whole world?

How many people in the world you think don’t  have access to Internet? 10 per cent? Or 20?

The reality can be very different from what we expect.

According to different sources more than half of the world’s population doesn’t have an access to Internet. Could we even think that in 21st century, when about 61% of web users feel addicted to the Internet, 54% of the world will be disconnected from the world wide web? And what are those countries?

Among countries, who have less than 3% of penetration of Internet in the population are African countries like Somalia and Niger, followed by Asian less developed countries (e.g. Myanmar). Generally, 50 first countries with smallest percentage of penetration are African and Asian countries.

This information has to be taken into consideration especially while establishing an international company, or while expanding abroad.
If you think of promoting your product in Africa, opening a new branch of the business, or even travelling to the unknown country it is always worth checking Internet statistics, to prevent your business from bankruptcy, or just from an unpleasant surprises.

 
Sources:

http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/

Internet Addiction Statistics

The cost of your personal data

What do we give up our privacy for? The answer is – a picture. Or, to be more precise an app, which makes you look like a doll on the picture. But what exactly are giving up to have a doll look?

Please, meet the Meitu – Chinese app, that gives you a Japanese-anime inspired makeover. Who doesn’t want to look good on the picture? But let’s see if it’s really worth it.
Here’s the screenshot of the privacy policy e.g. things that you allow the app to control:

What foe the photo-app needs the access to our calls? Or even our identity?
The app has collecting the data, which is not only private, yet also valuable and sometimes even dangerous for ourselves. one of the most dangerous thing that you give the access to – is your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). The main purposes of the IMEI are: identify mobile devices, and prevention of a theft. In the wrong hands your IMEI can be used in order to track you, your calls and messages, or even to clone your phone. Meitu claims, that it will only use your data for five following purposes:

(I) To improve product functionality and upgrade user experience, thereby offering better services for the user;

(II) For identity verification, security control and customer services, so as to ensure the normal use and security of Meitu;

(III) To enable Meitu to better understand the interests of the user to help Meitu to respond to user’s individual demands;

(IV) Meitu may use the user’s personal information to prevent, find and investigate the practices of fraud, endangering of security, illegal actions or other conduct violating the agreement, policy or rules between the user and Meitu or its associated parties, so as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Meitu or its associated parties;

(V) To enable the user to participate in the surveys of Meitu’s relevant products and services.

However, you are never aware of real situation until it gets obvious disaster.

So, how much are ready to give for a cute picture of yourself? Not your personal data, for heavens sake.

References

https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/meitu-app-privacy-issues-why/

https://www.maketecheasier.com/imei-number/

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mt.mtxx.mtxx&hl=ru

http://www.wetheunicorns.com/news/meitu-anime-photo-app-hack/#rJ2dPt8UfBbvFzD8.99

What makes Amazon greatest IT-company in the world? A guide to the company of the future

What makes Amazon great?  Why and how the company has become so big?
– Inspirational management? Well-knit team? Company culture? Or innovativeness? Or probably all together?

All those components have led to a unique synergy that drives the company ahead, and innovativeness is probably the main part of the progress.

Being proactive is ain’t easy. Thinking out of the box is a huge skill developed with years, and trained by the experiences. Managing the technology and the change in a fast-developing world is an art. Jeff Besos is an artist who  has implemented numerous successful innovations in the company. Here are the best of them, those who made Amazon one of the leading IT-companies in the world.

Amazon Go

In 2016 Amazon introduced the most advanced shop in the world. Smart shopping is real – no lines, no cash desks. The shop is supported by the application Amazon Go, which allows to do any transaction with the help of the smartphone, just scan the item and put it in the basket. Special technology, called Just Walk Out, automatically detects when the products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.
Currently it is often only for Amazon employees in a Beta program, yet in 2017 it will open to the public.

Prime Air
First Customer delivery

Amazon is not the first company to use drones as a delivery vehicle, but Amazon is the first to put it into their business strategy, not only  use it as a promotional tool. The very first parcel was delivered in December, 2016. Amazon will continue using drones in the area of Cambridge.

Airship warehouses

In 2014 Amazon has filed a patent for using airship warehouses that would work in tandem with drones to make a delivery. Amazon calls those air stations “Airborne fulfilment centres”(AFc), which are aimed to be used in the times of a high demand (e.g. Christmas holidays) to deliver goods to metropolitan areas using drones. They will be dispatched directly from the AFc, which will make the delivery faster than ever.

What else has Amazon planned for us in 2017? We’ll see. But we can be sure – it’s going to be astonishing.

 

 

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5 Ukrainian startups that are about to break through

 

How many Ukrainian startups do you know?  At best – Looksery (purchased by Snapchat), Grammarly and Jooble.

Too bad. Theres far more to learn about.

Here are 5 hottest startups of 2016 that are about to break through. Whether you are a tech-lover, startuper, or an investor – have a look at the list and learn where the real deal is.

Ain.ua online portal, devoted to startups and entrepreneurship, has conducted a study among business angels, investors, and entrepreneurs, who were asked to point out startups, which developed and achieved something in the past year.

1st place – Sixa

Sixa – a personal computer in the cloud

“Sixa is a full computer that operates right from the cloud via a client app. It supports various devices and is capable of running the most demanding applications. With Sixa users can easily deploy a cloud computer optimized for different tasks and access a powerful virtual computer without hardware upgrades” (www.sixa.io). This app not only allows you to have a powerful computer without actually having it, but also save the costs of utility bills and free you from buying expensive hardware. In 2016 Sixa has received the investments from legendary Y Combinator, receive $300,000 from the venture fund TMT Investments, and finally received $3,5 mln from Californian fund Tandem Capital, abd Ukrainian Digital Future and Horizon capital.
Currently, they launched beta-version of the service, that everybody can try for free.

2nd place – Mobalytics

Mobalytics – Personal performance analytics for competitive gamers

The platform measures players’ performance, helps them define their strengths and weaknesses and provides personalized advice, based on Gamer Performance Index, on how to improve your skills. The app was first introduced during TechCruch Disrupt in San Francisco, where it victoriously took the 1st prize. Shortly after the big triumph the startup received $2,6 mln investments from Almaz Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst and GGV Capital.

3d place – People.ai

People.ai – sales productivity platform powered by AI

The app analyzes sales managers’ performance and displays the statistics to the employer, helping to identify who works best and who underperforms. Startup received the investments from the Y Combinator, as well as many funds from business angels.

4th place – Hideez Technologies Inc.

Hideez – hardware cybersecurity project

In 2016 Hideez launched their first product – Hideez Key, which stores all the digital keys and certificates on one device, allowing unblock smartphones, laptops, open RFID-locks or authorize mobile payments. It also works as a anti-thief sensor for the thongs like wallet or keys, as it distances from the smartphone it is connected to, the app will notify the user of the loss.

And finally last but not least – SolarGaps

SolarGaps – world`s first solar smart blinds.

SolarGaps is all-in-one energy solution. With the help of solar panels on the blinds, which generate electricity from solar energy, you can supply yourself with own electricity and save on your electricity bills.
This great invention has received a support from the investors of $1 mln over this summer. So, we are definitely going to hear about them soon.

 

References

http://ain.ua/top-10-ukrainskix-startapov-2016

 

People.ai is using machine learning to rewrite the sales ops playbook

 

 

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