Online Collectables

Myriah Q. hasn’t stopped moving since the moment I entered the bar. She’s got patrons seated on the sidewalk and the backyard areas, and she is pacing between opposite ends of the venue to keep up with the happy hour rush. Occasionally, she hops behind the counter to mix drinks, restart the music playlist, or organize menus. Suddenly, the phone rings — for the third time. Myriah looks at the caller ID, ignores the call, and resumes her dance. “I don’t have time for spam calls,” she explains. “I’m busy enough as is.” But the call wasn’t exactly spam. Twenty minutes earlier, I’d asked the bartender at Sweet Afton, an Irish pub in Astoria, New...

Mar
21
2019

What is 5G?

5g Network

What is 5G? 5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before. Combining cutting-edge network technology and the very latest research, 5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps expected to soon be the norm. The networks will help power a huge rise in Internet of Things technology, providing the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world. With development well underway and testbeds already live across the world, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world by 2020, working...

Ugandans quit internet services

Economic fears raised as online subscriptions plummet in months following launch of levy created to curb ‘gossip’. Millions of people in Uganda have abandoned social media after punishing taxes were imposed on the use of networking sites and on money transactions using mobile phones. A daily levy, introduced in July to tame “idle talk” online and raise revenue, affects more than 60 online platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. To use such sites, Ugandans are expected to pay a tax of 200 Ugandan shillings (4p) a day. In the three months following the introduction of the levy, the number of internet subscriptions to such services fell by more than 2.5 million, according to the Uganda...

Finish Line

Design is about making an idea possible, it’s not about having an idea. In reality, your idea is the cheapest thing you own. “Ideas aren’t worth that much on their own. Even the most brilliant idea is just a starting point, not something magical. A significantly compromised but executed design is infinitely more valuable than an abstract notion in mental isolation.” (Thought Merchants) The other day I was reading a great article by A List Apart on the illusion of control in web design. The article talks about how we, as designers, try to scrutinize every detail of an interaction — from pixel-perfect designs, to beautiful animations, to each tiny fraction of a second of...

Singles Day

Singles’ Day is the world’s biggest shopping event. In less than a decade, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. turned a quirky celebration for unmarried young adults in China into a global extravaganza drawing in thousands of retailers and hundreds of millions of shoppers of all ages — hitched or otherwise. It’s spread to other e-commerce operators and will include more brick-and-mortar stores than ever before this year. The big unknown: To what extent, if any, the brewing U.S.-China trade war will cut into Singles’ Day sales… read full article

https

Starting in July, Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure,” according to a blog post published today by Chrome security product manager Emily Schechter. Chrome currently displays a neutral information icon, but starting with version 68, the browser will warn users with an extra notification in the address bar. Chrome currently marks HTTPS-encrypted sites with a green lock icon and “Secure” sign. Google has been nudging users away from unencrypted sites for years, but this is the most forceful nudge yet. Google search began down-ranking unencrypted sites in 2015, and the following year, the Chrome team instituted a similar warning for unencrypted password fields. The Chrome team said today’s announcement was mostly...

mailbox

Nobody reads an email newsletter. Just like nobody watches American Idol and I’m a Celebrity. Nonetheless, all three formats are still very much alive. This article is only about the newsletter, which many brands still consider to be one of the most robust sales channels. The Email is Far From Dead. The email is an ancient service, and it already existed during the days of the Arpanet. Thus, it is no surprise that it is declared dead now and then. After all, the new is always the enemy of the old. And if the tech Taliban were in charge, the days of the good old email would be long gone. Luckily, there are other people...

Companies ought to carry out adequate checks on the ability of borrowers to repay travel loans on time. Otherwise, a surprise disruption such as an Icelandic volcano or an economic downturn could prompt defaults. Several major sellers of travel, such as Expedia, United, JetBlue, Southwest, and Lufthansa, are testing extending credit to U.S. consumers to enable them to pay for their vacations over time rather than up-front. Paying for a trip in monthly payments primarily appeals to consumers with average credit ratings who are willing to accept short-term, interest-based loans. But consumers with high credit scores also appear to be getting tempted into splurging on luxury trips if companies lend them credit on attractive terms.The...

decentralize

Beyond the semi-monopolies of Uber and Airbnb… Four years ago, on Christmas Eve in my small hometown of Yakutsk, the temperature fell down to freezing -45°C and all the local taxi services simultaneously doubled their prices — leaving loads of people stranded in the Siberian winter. Angry and frustrated, a bunch of students formed a public group on VK.com, a popular Russian social network, where anyone could submit a request for a ride, and those who owned cars could accept their calls for help. A year later the group had 50,000 subscribers. A little later on, I gathered a lean team and transformed the group into a mobile app based on the same simple premise...