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Amazon unveils plans for grocery shop with no checkouts

Dec 05, 2016 - 10:11 PM - by Reverend
Amazon has revealed plans for a grocery shop without a checkout process, where customers will instead pay for the goods they have selected via an app.

The Just Walk Out shopping experience uses the same types of technologies found in self-driving cars.

The system detects when items are taken or returned to shelves and tracks them in a virtual shopping trolley.

Once the shopper leaves the store, their Amazon account will be charged and receipt sent to them.

The first shop is expected to open to the public in Seattle in the US in early 2017.

"Grocery retail is a crowded sector, and customers have incredibly high expectations of the Amazon brand," said Natalie Berg, an analyst at Planet Retail.

"If they're going to differentiate, they'll need to translate the fantastic customer experience that they have created online in a physical store setting. This is no easy feat. Removing the traditional checkout process does exactly that."

Customers will swipe into the store using the Go app. It will use computer vision, sensors and deep learning algorithms to keep track of what customers are picking up off the shelves.

Amazon has spent four years developing the shop.

"Despite significant investment in store technology, the checkout experience has been largely ignored," said Ms Berg.

"Retailers have made a lot of progress on mobile payments as a standalone option; however, very few have been successful in moving towards a comprehensive mobile wallet and thereby addressing the problem of long queues. This is where Amazon comes in."

The shop will offer ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by on-site chefs or by local kitchens and bakeries.

Grocery essentials such as bread and milk will also be on sale alongside Amazon Meal... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 333 Views

Mozilla Firefox 50.0.2

Nov 30, 2016 - 10:09 PM - by Reverend
Firefox is a free, open-source and cross-platform web browser.

English (US): Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit | Linux | Mac OS X

Release notes

Firefox homepage
  0 Replies | 1,239 Views

You can finally watch Netflix offline now

Nov 30, 2016 - 9:51 PM - by Reverend
Netflix wants to make your trip back home this holiday season a little merrier. The company announced on Wednesday that select TV shows and movies were available for download on Android and iOS. In other words, Netflix now enables offline viewing.

It’s not for everything, though. Most of Netflix’s original programming will be covered by the new feature, but some titles may not be due to licensing restrictions.
netflix offline available for download

The easiest way to see what shows can be downloaded is to tap the menu in the app, and then go to the appropriately titled “Available for download” section. Otherwise, tap on something you’d like to watch offline, and if it’s available for download there will be a downward arrow icon next to each episode. For movies, the download icon will appear in the details section just below the movie description.

Once you’ve downloaded something it shows up in another section of the new app entitled “My Downloads.”

The story behind the story: People have been waiting for Netflix to add offline viewing for a very long time. Netflix is not the first streaming service to get the feature. Amazon added offline viewing for Prime Instant Videos in September 2015, and Walmart-owned premium movie streaming site Vudu has had offline viewing for several years. However, both of those services aren’t a primarily subscriber-based service the way Netflix is. The closest competitor to Netflix would be Hulu, which doesn’t yet offer offline viewing. Hulu’s user experience chief Ben Smith said during a marketing event on Tuesday that the company was “working on it.”

  0 Replies | 1,212 Views

Gooligan worms its way into Android phones, compromises one million Google accounts

Nov 30, 2016 - 9:47 PM - by Reverend
If you tend to download apps from places other than the Play Store, your Google account might be compromised. Researchers at the security firm Check Point Software Technologies have uncovered a piece of malware that seeks to root your device in order to gain access to your precious Google account.

But the so-called Gooligan Trojan Horse isn’t after your credit card information or contacts list. Rather, the scheme is an old-fashioned money-making one. Once it has broken into your account, the malware proceeds to download apps from Google Play on your device and give them high marks and positive reviews on your behalf. Additionally, it may install adware on your phone that manifests itself in the form of intrusive pop-ups.

At least 1 million accounts have been affected by the Gooligan attack, and Check Point is seeing some 13,000 new devices infected each day, primarily ones running Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop. Phones running Marshmallow (6.0) or Nougat (7.0, 7.1) appear to be immune.

While this particular strain might be new, the vulnerability itself is old hat. Gooligan is essentially a variant of Ghost Push, which Google has been working for the better part of two years to tackle. And rest assured, the company is already investigating the new strain with Check Point to protect future users from being infected. As Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, noted on his Google+ blog, Google is constantly working to make sure vulnerabilities like Gooligan don’t happen in the future:

“We’ve taken many actions to protect our users and improve the security of the Android ecosystem overall. These include: revoking affected users’ Google Account tokens, providing them with clear instructions to sign back in securely, removing apps related to this issue from affected devices, deploying enduring... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,199 Views

The Samsung Galaxy S8 could give you super-sharp selfies

Nov 30, 2016 - 9:45 PM - by Reverend
Korean news publication ET News has cited sources as saying the Samsung Galaxy S8 will come with an auto-focusing front-facing camera. If true, it would be your selfies would be much sharper and clearer than before.

The majority of smartphones use fixed-focus lenses for the front camera, mainly because they’re small and it’s not seen as much of a requirement to have auto-focus. But now we’re really becoming a selfie generation, Samsung may have thought it’s high-time something was done to try and make our mugs look better (in pictures at least).

The technology could benefit group selfies too, and would help keep everyone in focus when using something like a selfie-stick, where you have little control over what the camera does.

Samsung is said to be testing autofocus actuators, which claim to have little effect on the camera’s size, so it shouldn’t protrude out the front, but it could have an increased effect on the price of the phone.

If the Samsung Galaxy S8 does arrive with autofocus on the front camera, it will join the Sony Xperia M5 and HTC Desire Eye, both of which already use similar technology. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be unveiled at or around Mobile World Congress in February 2017.

  0 Replies | 1,173 Views

Your Favorite Arcade Games Are Coming To Facebook

Nov 29, 2016 - 9:09 PM - by Reverend
Facebook is opening up its Messenger app to outside game developers, the company announced Tuesday, with some of the first titles including Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders and more modern fare like Words With Friends.

To start a game, Facebook Messenger users can tap an icon that looks like a video game controller located underneath the text entry field in a message, which will pull up a list of available titles. Once a player has finished a round of a game, his or her score will appear in the thread. Other friends in the chat will then be able to challenge that score and keep track of how each player stacks up via a leaderboard that appears when launching the game. The platform, called Instant Games, is launching in a closed beta to developers.

Facebook previously experimented with casual gaming in Messenger by adding hidden chess, soccer, and basketball games that can be accessed by sending the corresponding emoji to recipients in a chat thread. But this new update will be the first time that full third-party games will be available through Facebook’s chat platform.

By adding games to Messenger, Facebook is hoping to rejuvenate the boom in social gaming that occurred around 2010 with the popularity of games like Farmville. “There was a golden age of social gaming which was mainly on the Facebook platform where games were built on a social platform,” says David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products. “That hasn’t happened since.”

Games in Messenger are currently free, but Marcus says the company will be looking at “ways for game developers to generate revenue” next year. While games are turn-based in Messenger, Marcus hinted that simultaneous gameplay could be an option in the future. “We’ve been building more and more real-time stuff around voice and video, and we’ll continue doing more real-time things and that will... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,352 Views

Amazon imposes limit on reviews

Nov 28, 2016 - 9:58 PM - by Reverend
Online marketplace Amazon has placed a limit on the number of reviews shoppers can leave on the site.

In a bid to put a stop to false feedback, people can now write only five reviews a week of items not bought via the online store.

The change applies to most products and is part of efforts to clamp down on people selling positive comments.

The change is Amazon's latest step in its battle to ensure users trust its listings.

Earlier this year, Amazon began suing sellers for buying fake reviews and then imposed tougher restrictions on companies that offered free products in return for customers' ratings.

Users can still review as many items as they like if the goods are purchased via the website.

"The change makes a lot of sense. There has been a massive clampdown on fake, bogus and heavily influenced reviews recently," said Patrick O'Brien, retail analyst at Verdict Retail.

In October, Amazon announced the end of ''incentivised reviews".

While direct compensation for reviews had never been allowed, there was an exception - reviewers could until last month post a review in exchange for a "free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact", according to Amazon's website.

Now, that has changed. Such reviews can appear on the site only via Amazon's own program, Vine.

Amazon published its updated rules in its Customer Service section.

"You can submit five non-Amazon verified purchase reviews each week, starting on Sunday," it says.

Amazon also reserves the right to restrict reviews of certain products to users who have bought it via the site if "unusually high numbers" of reviews are submitted in a short period of time.

"Amazon's review system is very impressive in terms of the volume of reviews there, it's far... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,520 Views

Apple Is Teasing a Black Friday Sale for the First Time in Years

Nov 22, 2016 - 9:46 PM - by Reverend
Holiday shoppers looking for a bargain on Apple gadgets may not have to turn to third-party retailers this Black Friday. On its website, the company is teasing a one-day sales event set to take place Nov. 25, prompting Apple fans to “save the date.”

Apple has not yet revealed which items will be on sale, but the Apple Watch is prominently displayed on the page. Shoppers ordering in-stock items through Apple’s website before 5 p.m. this Friday will also be eligible for free two-day delivery, the company says.

Apple didn’t offer any Black Friday specials last year. In previous years, it bundled iTunes gift cards with certain purchases made on the shopping holiday. The teaser for this year’s event hints at deals that may include discounts on specific gadgets rather than just gift cards. It’s unclear whether the deals will be online only or in-store as well, but the teaser page says to “Come back this Friday to check everyone off your list.”

Apple’s Black Friday announcement comes as the company may be looking to boost sales around the holidays. Apple’s latest earnings results marked the third consecutive quarter in which year-over-year revenue had declined. And although Apple sold more iPhones than expected in the previous quarter, iPhone shipments fell by 5%, as CNBC notes.

  0 Replies | 2,610 Views

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