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Why algorithms will be at the core of our AI-powered future, and why you should care

For the second year in a row, We Are Social had the privilege of presenting at Vivid Sydney this year. Already one of the world’s leading festivals, Vivid is a bit like SXSW: an amalgam of inspiring people, creative work, and fresh ideas across a variety of themes and topics. For our 2017 keynote, I joined forces with We Are Social’s Sydney MD, Suzie Shaw, to explore the impact that algorithms and machine learning are having on every aspect of our lives, and what that means for marketing. You’ll find our…

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Google hit with record €2.4B fine for abusing EU antitrust laws to stifle rivals

In a shocking turn of events, Google has been handed a massive €2.4 billion fine by the European Commission after allegedly abusing its dominance as a search engine provider to give illegal advantage to its own shopping services. The company is now forced to end the anti-competitive conduct within a window of 90 days. Otherwise, it will face penalty payments of up to five percent of the average daily global turnover of its parent company Alphabet. “Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage…

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Before Amazon’s Echo Show, there was the Chumby

Amazon is all set to begin selling its Echo Show this week: the touchscreen-equipped speaker can play music, function as an intercom, tell you about the weather, look up recipe videos and add items to your grocery list. And while it seems like an obvious addition to the company’s lineup of smart speakers, it really is an evolved version of a much-loved device from a decade ago: the Chumby. Designed to sit on your nightstand as an alarm clock would, the original $180 Chumby that launched in 2008 featured a…

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Amazon is building a translation service for your sites and apps

Amazon is set to expand its Web Services range of offerings for developers with a new tool to translate their apps and sites into multiple languages, reports CNBC. When it launches, the new service will see Amazon go up against Microsoft and Google, both of which offer translation APIs to enterprise customers. Amazon already uses its own translation tech in-house to offer product documentation in various languages. The effort to build this out for developers is being led by Aron Levie, the co-founder of translation software firm Safaba, which Amazon…

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Amazon Echo now works as a home intercom

Amazon has just pushed an update for its Echo family of smart speakers that enables a handy room-to-room intercom feature, making it a whole lot easier to snoop keep an eye on your entire family. If you’ve got multiple Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show devices around the house, you can now initiate walkie-talkie style chats between them with a voice command. You’ll need to first name each speaker and enable ‘drop-in’ on them, of course. In addition, you can start a call from the Alexa app on your phone…

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Mario 64 gets the Super Mario Odyssey treatment thanks to this modder

Upcoming Switch game Super Mario Odyssey looks to be a grand adventure for Mario, in the vein of several of his open-world, multi-environment platformers of days gone by. But there is one new feature: Cappy, Mario’s iconic red hat, is now sentient and capable of zapping Mario’s soul into the bodies of Goombahs, Bullet Bills, and even non-sentient objects. Mario then has complete control over the being, and can use it for various puzzles, while it gets to wear Cappy and a little Mario mustache (but it’s not possession, says Nintendo…

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The clueless parent’s guide to understanding Snapchat

Confused about Snapchat? You’re not the only parent. Snapchat is perhaps the most misunderstood of all social media apps. Is it a social network? A photo platform? A means for frustrated millennial expression? The short answer is yes, to all of those things. The longer answer, well… What is Snapchat and why does my daughter love it? Snapchat is an app that allows users to share pictures and videos with friends or complete strangers. But it’s not your average social media app because everything you share eventually disappears. Your daughter…

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Study shows just glancing at your phone makes you dumber

A recently conducted survey shows  smartphones might make their owners dumber, at least when they are left in plain sight. Researchers surveyed nearly 600 people to find out if our phones were taking up space in our cognitive thought process even if they were on silent or turned off. Turns out the answer is a resounding yes. University of Texas at Austin researchers had participants to perform a series of math problems while simultaneously being asked to remember a randomly generated word sequence that gradually updated. Participants were then separated…

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How high can shoe technology elevate your game?

Adidas, Nike, and Reebok would have you believe that purchasing their products will change your life. Is that just marketing convincing us that the shoe-makers are smart, or is there more behind the technology of footwear than hyperbole? The global athletic footwear industry will rake in an estimated 83.2 billion dollars in 2017. Those earnings are estimated to increase by two-percent yearly until 2024. A never-ending research and development cycle — that constantly touts each new arrival as the ‘latest greatest’ thing in shoes — drives these sales. The idea…

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Amazon’s robots are invading Whole Foods

Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of food retailer Whole Foods earlier certainly looked like part of a strategy to make a dent in the food delivery market. Now experts suggest the place it could start innovating the store is in behind the scenes, with warehouse robots. According to Bloomberg, Amazon will introduce robots into Whole Foods’ warehouses as a way to cut down on costs. Gary Hawkins, CEO of the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology, says of the potential cost-cutting measure: The easiest place for Amazon to bring its expertise to…

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