What you can expect from Android O

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The next version of Android, still just named “O” for now, is almost here. The Android O release candidate has just been released. And, unlike earlier Android releases, more users than ever should be able to use the new Android, thanks to Google’s Project Treble.

Project Treble has redesigned Android to make it easier, faster, and cheaper for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android. It does this by separating the device-specific, lower-level software — written mostly by the silicon manufacturers — from the Android OS Framework.

This change, which is being added in Android O, is actually this release’s most important new feature by far. While it will be invisible to users, it’ll enable smartphone vendors and carriers to bring new releases of Android to smartphones in weeks or months instead of the months and years (or never) we now see. It’s also expected to reduce Android fragmentation.

A new stable vendor interface between Android and the vendor’s hardware implementation bridges the gap between operating system and firmware. With this stable interface providing access to Android’s hardware-specific parts, device makers can deliver a new Android release to consumers by just updating the Android OS framework with no additional silicon coding.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), the Android O development team said, “We’re working closely with device makers and silicon manufacturers to both get required Android customizations (such as carrier-specific requirements) into AOSP, and reduce their cost and complexity when updating to the new version of Android. For example, Sony and Qualcomm have already contributed dozens of features and hundreds of bug fixes into AOSP [Android Open Source Project) so they no longer need to rework these patches with each new release of Android.”

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ANDROID O:

The only people certain to get the release are using Google phones. Specifically, you’ll get it on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, the Pixel C tablet, and the forthcoming Pixel 2

Faster boot and application start times – Google promises that with Android O, you’ll see faster boot times and applications launches. Overall, Android O will have snappier performance from the same hardware than what you’re seeing from devices running Android Nougat.

Picture in Picture (PiP) mode – With Nougat, you can already run apps in split-window mode, but this enables you to have an app that supports it running on top of another app. So, for example, if you want to watch a YouTube video while downloading files, you can do that.

Improved battery life – Who doesn’t want more battery life? Android O uses restricted background activities to squeeze out more minutes. This de-prioritizes background functions. This is in addition to improvements to Doze, which turns off idle applications. The net result could be as much as an hour or two more of battery life.

Contextual press-to-act options – I’m looking forward to this one. Android O will learn what you want to do when you click on information in an application. Say, as I did yesterday, I had to copy and paste an address from an email and then paste it over to Google Maps. It’s doable, but it’s difficult. After I do it a time or two on Android O, the system will work out I want to use Maps to get directions when I press on an address, and it will automatically start me on my way.

Improved Bluetooth audio – Tired of sub-par Bluetooth audio? Android O comes with native support for LDAC, Sony’s hi-res Bluetooth audio codec. With a bitrate of up to 990Kbps, LDAC promises to be close to lossless audio codec quality. Other changes will give audio application developers more control over sound quality. The end result should be better audio for all of us.

Notification Dots – Variations of this are already on custom launchers such as Samsung’s TouchWiz. With this, when a new alert or message comes to an application, an alert message appears over the icon. For example, I can tell at a glance on my Samsung Galaxy S7 that I have 17 unread messages in my email. Google is building this into Android O. In addition, if you long-press the icon, a pop up on the launcher window gives you a list of actions to deal with the notification. Yes, let’s ignore those inbox messages for now.

This combination of features will make Android even more a pleasure to use. The real improvement, as I mentioned earlier, is that with this release users will finally have a chance to use the most recent version of Android without having to buy a new phone.

Finally!

[“Source-zdnet”]

You Might Own A Software Company, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

Image result for You Might Own A Software Company, You Just Don't Know It YetAs an entrepreneur, whether you’re big or small, there’s a good chance you’re sitting on a successful software idea. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to develop software that can maximize the value of the business you’re already doing.

For Dan Martell, who was named Canada’s top angel investor in 2012 and is the founder of three successful companies, one of his biggest ideas came out of a small fix he created for his everyday work life. Dan would spend hours responding to professionals who were trying to network with him—and the process of scheduling a time to talk was a hassle. So Dan created some simple software that solved the problem.

The result was an award-winning software application called Clarity.

“It was never meant to be an ‘idea,’” Dan says. “Clarity was just a way for me to schedule phone calls from people who were emailing me asking to pick my brain… and then it became a 50,000-person expert network.”

Your idea is what counts. You don’t need to be a technical person or a computer programmer to come up with the next big software solution. Given today’s easy-to-use, pre-built software building blocks, just about anyone can assemble a new application.

Dan continued, “The technology has become essentially ‘modularized.’ When Clarity was built, the first version, we used just three API modules: Stripe for payment, Facebook for the account, and Twilio for the connectivity. That was it…and it was built within a day.”

Those three pieces were all it took for professionals to connect, setup a meeting, and pay each other for the expert advice they needed. Dan is confident you can bring your idea to life with the same ease.

You Need a Microscope, Not a Time Machine

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go back to 1999 to turn a simple idea into a success. Today’s business environment is just as fertile. Dan says that’s because each level of innovation “unlocks” the next one.

“That’s what gets me excited,” Dan explained, “because I believe most companies have an opportunity to look at software. If you’re a successful company, then there’s something you’re doing—a process, a system, a methodology—that’s working for you.”

It’s just a matter of figuring out what you’re already doing right, picking apart why and how it works, and then developing that into a platform other businesses can use. Most important of all, when you craft your idea, avoid the distraction of the digital.

It’s About Solutions in the Real World, Not Programming

The technical term for this kind of business model is SaaS—Software as a Service.

Cloud-based service companies have been the textbook examples for this kind of service, and yet the definition has continued to widen as new types of businesses expand into the digital realm.

This even includes the now-famous taxi service Uber. “A lot of people didn’t think Uber was a big idea, since it was such an analog, off-line interaction,” Dan says. “People were [obsessed with] the ones and zeros,” instead of the world-changing potential of drivers and riders physically meeting up in the real world. The software just initiates the connection and secures the payment.

So find the idea first, then attach the digital relevance. You also don’t have to worry about fulfilling everything yourself. Dan says it’s key to remember that Uber is the world’s largest taxi service, but it doesn’t own any taxis. Just as Airbnb works like a massive hotel chain, but doesn’t own any rooms or hotels. That’s what makes service-based software so efficient at solving problems.

Dan says creating this kind of software is within anyone’s reach, especially if you have experience or already own a business. “If you already have a customer base, then build software that’s relevant to them… and then you have ready, built-in customers.”

Use SaaS to Boost the Value of Your Company

Dan is walking proof that software builds up business value. In 2009 he decided to expand the reach of his consulting business, which he did by creating a software platform that made it easy to network with other small businesses in San Francisco. The result was his first SaaS company, called Flowtown, and its value grew over three years as it added more than 50,000 users.

This value can add a consistent boost to your revenue, especially if you’re in a cyclical or seasonal business. Or you can cash it out completely, as Dan did when he sold Flowtown for a tidy sum to Demandforce.com.

Now it’s your turn. SaaS could be the perfect opportunity for you to take what you already know and transform it into software.

Even though people tend to fixate on the legendary stories—like the 18-year-olds who built Facebook—Dan wants to assure seasoned entrepreneurs that hard-won business experience is still the best path to success.

“It’s not about being technical anymore,” Dan says. “It’s about do you know how to build a business, do you know how to present a compelling offer to the right customer in the right market. I think software enhances all of your current business efforts by adding a much better upside.”

For more valuable insights, check out Dan Martell’s popular Youtube channel.

Garrett Gunderson is the founder and Chief Wealth Architect of WealthFactory.com, and a financial advocate for entrepreneurs.

[“Source-forbes”]

How Technology Can Help You Engage Your Audience the Right Way

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If you’re looking for a scapegoat for just about any of the world’s issues, you probably know technology makes a good choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talk about how technology and being “plugged in” is making relationships harder than ever.

For some, I’m sure that’s probably true. At the end of the day, though, technology is a tool, and your relationships with other people — including your audience — depend on how you use it.

For marketers, technology presents an opportunity for you to reach and connect with your audience. Content marketing tools, for example, help you plan and craft your brand’s most engaging messages. Social media tools help you get them into the hands of the right people. Marketing automation platforms help you streamline and automate your processes, among other things.

The only catch? You can’t entirely remove the human element from the equation and let technology do it all.

Learn the Golden Equation: Technology + authenticity = engagement

If you had your choice between an engaging, personalized message from an authentic thought leader at a company and boring, automated content coming from an impersonal corporate logo, which would you prefer? It’s no contest: We’d all choose personalized content from real humans.

Marketers can use technology to create that content, deliver it, measure their efforts — any number of things. But tech, as ever-present as it is, won’t magically result in audience engagement and stronger relationships. Like I said, it’s a tool that needs to be used to make your job of connecting with your audience easier than before.

Sadly, too many brands forget their role in building those relationships and overlook the human elements that are necessary to make their messages resonate. They then wonder why engagement is low, assuming technology has created this huge trust barrier and made it harder to connect instead of looking in the mirror to find the root of the problem: They haven’t humanized their brands or used the right content to communicate that.

Make the shift from me to you

Talking “at” versus talking “with”: It’s a big distinction. Too many companies are knee-deep in the former, pushing out information like that boorish uncle at your folks’ annual Fourth of July picnic who simultaneously says everything and nothing.

In the past, brands would develop an idea or a message and push it out for everyone and their mother to see, whether those recipients truly cared to see it or not. In my business and marketing book, “Top of Mind,” I call this “Me Marketing,” where marketers only push out what they want and focus on themselves in the process. (I’ve yet to meet one person who truly enjoys getting spammed with a ton of promotional emails that were clearly sent out en masse with no personalization at all.)

Today, effective brands and marketers are taking a different approach. They have shifted to what I call “You Marketing” and have begun creating content for the actual audience members receiving it.

There’s a much greater focus on what audiences want and how they like to receive information, engage with content, and work with brands. Marketers need to listen to and authentically engage with audiences, and they need to do it on that audience’s terms. Technology can help.

Pursue new technology for better relationships

One example of a tool that’s taking the modern customer experience and running with it is PingPilot. Launched by SCORCH, this software aims to change the conversation between businesses and individuals by allowing people to choose their preferred means of communication. The means of conversation can change depending on the client’s needs — live chat, voice, and SMS are all viable channels. Essentially, businesses move over and give consumers the keys to the car, as well as the wheel.

Over time, this allows brands and consumers to forge sincere bonds based on trust and live interactions, not chatbots or automated replies. Each touchpoint becomes an opportunity to build a better understanding of customers; data from these interactions can improve the company’s marketing stack and explode lead generation, not to mention conversions.

This is a prime example of how technology actually helps build stronger personal relationships and connections, not replace them.

Everyone loves to hate something, but it’s time to pull back from blaming technology left and right. Instead of cursing a technology-rich world that’s made Snapchat filters and hashtags so ubiquitous you hardly notice them anymore, it’s wiser to look deeper into what those selfies and hashtags mean to the people who make, view, and engage with them. Authenticity between brands and audiences has technology at its core, but it takes human hands, minds, and hearts to execute it.

John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” You can book John to speak here.

[“Source-forbes”]

Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers – these are the ones you shouldn’t buy

Image result for Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers - these are the ones you shouldn't buy

Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.

While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don’t warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.

I’ve listed the Apple computers you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.

Some of these computers are part of Apple’s recent back-to-school promotion , where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren’t worth your time or money.

[“Source-businessinsider”]

Have you had bad experiences with Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile tech support?

Image result for Have you had bad experiences with Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile tech support?

 

 

Companies today find it difficult to score the right balance when it comes to customer support. Microsoft is no exception, and we want to hear about your experiences with the company related to mobile product support, good or bad. Community member 73blazer experienced an issue with Windows 10 Mobile and the official Mail app from Microsoft. After updating it to the latest version, it ceased to work in Continuum mode.

As expected, 73blazer decided to hit up Microsoft for some assistance. What wasn’t expected was the bad experience. First off, Microsoft Office support was involved, and they were unable to offer assistance and eventually redirected our poor member over to B2x, an outsourced support platform Microsoft uses for hardware and other support. After providing the IMEI number of an HP Elite X3, 73blazer was informed that only Lumia phones are covered for support through this particular channel.

Do they even have it? I tried desperately Friday to get some insight into an issue that is clearly a bug, to no avail. Basically, the issue is the new version of the mail app that came out earlier this week, won’t launch in continuum mode. Elite x3 had it. I pull out my 950xl which hadn’t updated in a while mail launches there in continuum mode, update the mail app, mail won’t launch in…

REPLY

After supplying the same information for a Lumia 950, both soft and hard resets were recommended (clearly we’re looking at someone reading from a list of instructions to hand to consumers). It got worse from there, and so our forum member contacted HP support. They were more helpful and offered to take the problem up with Microsoft directly, supplying 73blazer with a case number to reference.How have your past experiences gone down when you got in touch with Microsoft for support? Do you have any tips when it comes to Windows 10 Mobile and specifically Lumia devices? Hit the link below and sound off in our community forum.

[“Source-windowscentral”]

All you need to know about YubiKey for Windows Hello and Windows 10b

Image result for All you need to know about YubiKey for Windows Hello and Windows 10

The first companion device for Windows Hello is now out. Here is how to use YubiKey with WIndows Hello and what it can — and cannot — do.

Microsoft’s bio-authentication system Windows Hello is one of the most demanded features users want with new PCs. Currently, the most popular are fingerprint readers, facial recognition using IR cameras, or iris scanners (for phones).

Another new Windows Hello method is just starting to come to market: companion devices. In theory, wearables like smartwatches or your phone could be a yet another way to validate your authenticity. YubiKey’s new app for Windows 10 fits into this category. Today, I’ll review it and show you how it works.

YubiKey – What it is

YubiKeys by Yubico are small USB devices that you carry around with you to add two-factor authentication (aka ‘2FA’) to various apps and services. For instance, if you use LastPass to store all your passwords you need one master password to unlock them all. That’s a huge security vulnerability because if someone managed to get that password, they would get all the rest too in your safe. By using a YubiKey, the attacker would physically need your USB YubiKey in addition to your password to unlock your virtual safe.

Sure, 2FA is an extra step. Besides typing in your password, you need to insert the YubiKey, wait a second, and press on the touch-to-sign metal area on the key. It’s super easy to use, but still a little more work. Nonetheless, when it comes to security that type of protection is wanted — and needed — by many.

Other services that work with YubiKey included Google, Dashlane, KeePass, Dropbox, Evernote, WordPress, GitHub, and other things like disk encryption.

There are three main types of YubiKeys on sale right now:

  • YubiKey 4 (USB)
  • YubiKey 4 Nano (USB)
  • YubiKey NEO (USB and NFC)

They range in price from $40 for the regular USB versions to $50 for the USB and NFC variant. With NFC users can also use the YubiKey NEO for Android mobile phones and presumably any other system with NFC.

At CES 2017 Yubico announced YubiKey 4C, which is a USB Type-C device to keep up with modern PCs and computers. That version goes on sale in February 2017 for $50 as well.

YubiKey for Windows Hello

Recently, Yubico released a new app called YubiKey for Windows Hello in the Windows Store. The free app lets you link your YubiKey to your PC (not Microsoft Account) as a companion security device.

While not bio-authentication e.g. fingerprint or face recognition adding a YubiKey to your PC lets you unlock and log into the computer just by inserting the physical device into the PC.

So, why bother? Most PCs today including laptops and desktops do not have a built-in Windows Hello system. By using YubiKey, you can cheaply add this to your PC while also using it with your other apps and services listed above.

Once inserted into the PC the system is unlocked all the time. Removing the key lets it lock again. A YubiKey is small enough to be carried around on a key chain making it easy to use with your home PC or laptop.

Setting up

Setting up YubiKey is very easy once you have the physical device in your possession.

  1. Download and run YubiKey for Windows Hello from the Store
  2. Select Register
  3. After inserting the YubiKey into a USB Port select Continue
  4. Optionally name the YubiKey (good if you have multiple keys) and choose Continue
  5. Follow the prompts to authenticate your key with Windows Hello
  6. When done choose Finish
  7. That’s it. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

    Setting up on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise

    For those with a Windows 10 Home license, the above steps are all that is required to get YubiKey working with Windows Hello. If, however, you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise editions, you will need to edit the Local Security Policy to allow companion devices.

    If you are unsure which version of Windows 10 you have only go to Settings > System > About and under Edition it should read as Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, or Windows 10 for Enterprise.

    If you are on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can modify the system to allow companion devices for Windows Hello. Here is how according to Yubico:

    1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor. To do this, press [Windows key + R], and then type gpedit.msc.
    2. In the Local Group Policy Editor, from the top level Local Computer Policy, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Secondary Authentication Factor.
    3. In the right pane, click the link to Edit policy setting. (You can also double-click the setting to Allow companion device for secondary authentication.) The default state is Not configured.

[Source:- Windowscentral]

Bored? You can now play ‘instant games’ on Fb Messenger

Facebook Messenger on Wednesday launched “Instant Games” in 30 countries to get users spend more time on its messaging app.

According to a report in Tech Crunch, the 17 “Instant Games” from classic developers like Bandai Namco, Konami and Taito, as well as newer studios like Zynga and King, are available on newer iOS and Android devices, and can be found by hitting the game controller icon in Facebook Messenger threads next to the photos and stickers buttons.

These games are built on the HTML5 mobile web standard and open instantly once screen is tapped.

Though its payment revenue has declined to $196 million in the latest quarter, 15 per cent of time on Facebook is still spent playing games.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

Everything you need to know about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released August 2, 2016 worldwide for everyone to try out Windows 10 in all its glory. Our definitive review of Windows 10 Anniversary Update showcased many things that non-Windows Insiders were seeing for the first time and there are a number of new Windows 10 features, tweaks, and more functionality.

Since last year, Windows 10 has made substantial strides in the number of tweaks, improvements, and fixes in Windows 10 through user feedback from the Windows Insider program. It’s been a long road to get Windows 10 to this point, but there is a long way to go before Windows 10 can be considered a finished product.

First unveiled in September 2014 and entered public beta testing in October 2014, Windows 10 was released on July 29th, 2015. Windows 10 is the successor of Windows 8.1, offering a return of a more classic version of the Start Menu. In addition, Windows 10 brings a number of features and improvements to pen and touch, as well as mouse and keyboard on the PC and Microsoft Surface devices.

Just a year ago, Windows 10 was touted as more than just the next Windows. Windows 10 was a new Microsoft experience, dubbed “Windows as a Service.” Windows Insiders could experience all the new features of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update much sooner than the general public, and be able to provide Microsoft with feedback on bugs, including what needed to be improved and what needed to be fixed.

Universal Windows 10 apps, Task View, Microsoft Edge, and Windows Hello support for some websites and apps, are just some of the new features now available in the Windows 10.

 

[Source: Winbeta]

How Age And Income May Show You Back ‘Brexit’

screengrab from VJU video 2

Eurosceptics have brought down prime ministers, dismantled governments and generally been a thorn in the side of leading politicians for decades.

In finally giving them the referendum they craved, David Cameron has, for now, amplified their voices further.

But who are the Eurosceptics, and why do they want to leave the European Union?

There are two key groups who tend to support a Brexit: older people and poorer people.

The impact of this can be seen in the likes of Clacton – the only parliamentary seat held by UKIP, whose local authority of Tendring is rated as the most Eurosceptic in Britain according to our Sky Data Brexit map.

UK Brexit Map

The least Eurosceptic areas of Britain are in yellow, the most in blue

In this Essex constituency, there are more pensioners than full-time workers, and more than half of voters are on incomes of less than £15,000 per year.

The factors which indicate someone supports a Brexit also manifest themselves in other, less obvious ways.

For example, Sky Data analysis shows Waitrose shoppers are more likely to vote Remain, while those who shop at Aldi are more likely to vote Leave.

Luxury car owners are more likely to be Europhiles, while those who drive small utility cars tend to be more Eurosceptic.

And more obscurely, if you like going fishing, you’re more likely to support the Out campaign – with the reverse being true of cinemagoers.

The main issue driving Leave supporters is immigration.

Two in three Britons (63%) say immigration has had a negative effect on British culture.

Boris Johnson at Vote Leave EU rally in Manchester

The EU is also seen as having a particularly negative impact for unskilled British workers, for whom 42% of Britons think the EU is a bad thing, compared with 16% who think it’s beneficial.

In short, poorer people are worried about their jobs and think their wages are being undercut, while older people feel alienated and intimidated by a multicultural, polylingual Britain that they don’t recognise.

On the other hand, data from YouGov shows the EU is seen as a good thing for our influence on the world stage, employment in the UK generally, and keeping prices down.

For now, neither side is winning the argument on the terrorist threat, nor on the economy – though we shall see if this week’s Treasury forecast of a Brexit costing each UK household £4,300 per year has an impact.

The fact only half of Britons say they have enough information to make an informed decision suggests that opinions may yet be changed ahead of June’s referendum.

 
[Source:- Skynews]

You don’t need a college degree to be a programmer in Silicon Valley

You don’t need a degree to be a programmer in Silicon Valley

Last week the Wall Street Journal poured cold water over one of the most popular rags to riches pathways in the world: the idea that talented programmers could get hired for great jobs as software developers at top tech companies — without necessarily having a college degree to prove their competence.

According to the Journal and Burning Glass Technologies, “it turns out that tech companies are more likely than other employers to require college degrees when hiring software developers.” The story noted that “Seventy-five percent of job ads for those roles at technology companies specify an educational requirement, compared with 58% of openings posted by the full universe of employers that are hiring software developers.”

For all I know, those numbers are probably true, but they don’t tell the whole story. Not even close.

The best programming jobs in Silicon Valley — from the plum internships to the regular hires with the big signing bonuses — go to the coders who are active in the software development community, not to people who submit resumes over the transom. Well known coders get recommendations and referrals that circumvent the requirements on the job ads, which are mostly written to reject as many unqualified applicants as quickly as possible, not to find the best ones.

If you’re hoping to get a job with an online application based only on your resume, then sure, that sheepskin can make a big difference. But if your programming accomplishments include more than just schoolwork, if you’ve created software that is known and admired in the community, then that degree requirement simply isn’t relevant for you.

Who you know and what you made

In fact, good grades in your computer science class most likely won’t even get you in the door. Recruiters at the top companies want to see initiative, and demonstrated ability to create programs that achieve and perform at scale. If you can show that, and/or have a referral from someone in the company or known to them, no one is going to care whether or not you graduated from college. In fact, recruiters for the top companies spend their time combing the software community looking for those people, and when the find one they’re not going to let lack of a degree get in the way.

Rather than look at the requirements listed on job ads, I’d like to see statistics on who actually gets hired at these companies, and the makeup of their current engineering teams. I suspect those figures would tell a far different tale than the one laid out in the journal.

 

[Source:- JW]