IDG Contributor Network: What makes Samsung Galaxy S8 the best phone you can buy

I pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S8 as soon as Samsung started taking orders. The phone arrived last week. For purposes of comparison, I have been using it alongside my iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL.This review is based on my own experience and how the phone could help me in my personal and professional life.Beauty lies in the… First things first, the hardware. Samsung Galaxy S8 is powered by MSM 8998 Octa Core 2.35Ghz (Quad Core) + 1.9Ghz (Quad) processor and 4GB of RAM. But beyond that, it’s a beautiful phone — from tip to toe. If I can paraphrase a dialogue from the movie The Matrix, I would say, ‘there is no phone, it’s just the screen.’To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
http://www.cio.com/article/3192518/mobile/what-makes-samsung-galaxy-s8-the-best-phone-you-can-buy.html#tk.rss_consumerelectronicsMicrosoft Office 2010

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Facebook and Google completely dominate the digital ad industry (GOOG, FB)

Mark Zuckerberg

Google and Facebook together accounted for an astounding 99% of revenue growth from digital advertising in the US last year, according to an analysis of IAB estimates by Pivotal Research senior analyst Brian Wieser on Wednesday.

In a note to clients seen by Business Insider, Wieser said that both ad giants captured a combined 77% of gross spending in 2016, an increase from 72% in 2015. Facebook specifically accounted for 77% of the digital ad industry’s overall growth, he noted.

The overall US internet ad industry grew 21.8% from $59.6 billion to $72.5 billion in 2016, according to the IAB. But due to Google and Facebook’s dominance, “the average growth rate for every other company in the sector was close to 0” last year, according to Wieser.

While Pivotal’s calculations aren’t exact, (Facebook and Google don’t disclose their specific ad-only revenues from the US), Weiser wrote that the data highlights “the degree to which Google and Facebook dominate the industry presently.”

“The big point is that if Google and Facebook are the primary interfaces to buyers, over the long-run they own the relationships and the related data,” Wieser told BI via email. “Every partner they work with is subservient.”

SEE ALSO: ‘Do not go into media if you do not have very thick skin’: Founder of Bustle and Bleacher Report explains how he built 2 companies worth hundreds of millions by age 33

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NOW WATCH: WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell on Snapchat becoming the ‘third force’ to Google and Facebook

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An urban designer explains why self-driving cars will only make life worse

Self-Driving Car

Peter Calthorpe isn’t interested in the wonder of self-driving cars picking kids up from school or fetching couch potatoes their fast food order.

As the urban designer relayed from this year’s TED conference, what autonomous vehicles offer in terms of convenience is far outweighed by their isolating effect on people’s daily lives.

“Putting people in their private bubbles, whether they have a steering wheel or not, is the wrong direction,” Calthorpe told TED chief executive Chris Anderson after his talk.

Transportation enthusiasts often paint the cities of tomorrow as bustling with four-wheeled vehicles but devoid of people to pilot them. Private companies like Uber and Ford see cities as hubs for AI-powered transit. Without humans to run red lights or forget a turn signal, accidents and traffic will be relics of a bygone era.

Calthorpe doesn’t dispute those breakthroughs, but he does ask people to reconsider their priorities as that future draws closer. His talk implicated sprawl — both low-density suburban sprawl found in the US and high-density urban sprawl found in China — as the “villain” of our urbanizing planet.

Self-driving cars “will revitalize sprawl in a way that I’m deeply frightened,” Calthorpe said.

People will treat their cars as butlers or chauffeurs, he fears, giving people even less of an incentive to put down their phones and laptops and talk to their neighbors face-to-face.

Instead, he’d like to see cities become more walkable, more bike-friendly.

During his talk, he discussed how a decreasing percentage of city-dwellers own a car, but nearly 100% of the streets are still dedicated to driving. He says the imbalance ought to tilt more toward pedestrian-friendly modes of transit.

They might be less flashy, but they are the kind Calthorpe says help societies truly thrive.

SEE ALSO: Pittsburgh’s new artificially intelligent stoplights could mean no more pointless idling

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NOW WATCH: The Navy is building an autonomous underwater drone to hunt down enemy submarines

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Verizon's go90 boss is out as Verizon fights to save the video service it's spent over $200 million on (VZ)

chip canter

Chip Canter, the GM in charge of Verizon’s millennial-focused go90 video service, is out, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

Canter, a former NBCU exec, joined go90 last April, a few months after the service’s launch. Go90 was conceived as an ad-supported cross between YouTube and Netflix that would broadly appeal to young people, but it has struggled to attract an audience since its debut in October 2015.

In preparation for go90’s debut, Verizon made big content deals with little oversight, often for slates of shows over multiple years, according to multiple go90 insiders interviewed by Business Insider. Verizon spent $200 million last year on programming, according to a former member of the go90 team briefed on the budget.

Canter began to bring some discipline to the process at go90, and to more closely target audience segments, former employees said. But they also said he walked into a tough situation, with bad deals already signed, and a struggling tech platform. Now he’s gone, as VideoInk first reported.

It’s Vessel’s turn

Last month, Verizon made a sweeping attempt to fix go90’s tech by releasing a total overhaul of the tech platform. This new version was built by a team from Verizon-acquired Vessel, after Verizon fired over 150 people from go90 in January, mostly those working on the tech.

That team will now be in the driver’s seat. “Since integration, Richard Tom and the Vessel team have been on-boarded and are fully up and running and have delivered a strong product,” a Verizon spokesperson said. “Effective immediately, Richard and his team will assume full responsibility for all mobile digital video products.”

Tom is a former Hulu exec who cofounded Vessel along with former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. Vessel, which launched in early 2015, was widely praised for its recommendation and discovery engine. The problem was that it simply failed to find a big enough audience for its $2.99-a-month subscription model built around YouTube stars.

In October, Verizon bought Vessel — which had raised more than $130 million from venture capitalists — for an undisclosed amount. Verizon then shut Vessel down and the team got to work rebuilding the go90 platform.

Verizon seems to be happy with the work they did. Now it’s their chance to see if they can pull go90 out of the doldrums.

SEE ALSO: Verizon is planning to launch a low-price cable TV competitor this summer

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NOW WATCH: An artist uses water as his canvas to paint characters from the most successful Netflix series

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German court upholds WhatsApp-Facebook data transfer ban

Facebook must obtain the permission of German users of WhatsApp before processing their personal data, a German court confirmed on Tuesday.

Last August, Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to allow the transfer of its users’ personal information to Facebook for processing. That angered the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, which in September ordered the companies to stop the transfer until they had obtained users’ consent, and to delete any data they had already transferred.

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FCC chairman plans to 'reverse the mistake' of net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to kick off a proceeding to “reverse the mistake” of the agency’s 2-year-old net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

The rulemaking proceeding would be the first step toward repealing the regulations and reversing the agency’s 2015 decision to classify broadband as a regulated, telecom-like service.

Pai didn’t provide a lot of detail about his proposal during a speech Wednesday, but during the rulemaking, the FCC will seek public comment on how best to move forward with new net neutrality rules or guidelines, he said. The FCC is scheduled to release the text of Pai’s proposal on Thursday.

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IDG Contributor Network: How to prepare for the next major digital touchpoint, conversational commerce

“Digital” began to truly scale with the web, then expanded even further via apps and social.  Is conversational commerce (CC) the next major touchpoint?  Conversational commerce is defined as interacting with your customer in an automated dialog via voice or text. Based on our experience consulting large brands on the implementation of their digital innovations, and given trends on consumer adoption and technology-readiness, it is fair to say that we are at the dawn of the first wave of the broad implementation of conversational commerce.For several years, IBM has been painting a fanciful picture of its Watson technology’s ability to digest volumes of information, understand questions, and provide truly insightful answers.  Meanwhile, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with dialog-style interactions via Siri, Google voice search, and Alexa. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
http://www.cio.com/article/3192322/artificial-intelligence/how-to-prepare-for-the-next-major-digital-touchpoint-conversational-commerce.html#tk.rss_consumerelectronics

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Samsung DeX: The Galaxy S8 desktop dock really works

Can you survive business travel with just a Galaxy S8+ smartphone and DeX dock? Seven days of dedicated productivity testing says yes.
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This Universal Electronics Accessories Travel Organizer provides a flexible organization solution for your electronics and computer accessories. It helps make you better organized with all the small items and gadgets.  Made of durable and weather-resistant nylon with well padded semi-flexible covers.  It’s compact size of  8.8“ x W 6.1″allows it to easily stored in you laptop bag or backpack.  This travel organizers typical list price of $18.99 has been reduced 47% to just $9.99. See this deal on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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33% off MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths For Screens and Other Delicate Surfaces, 30 Pack – Deal Alert

This extremely soft, high-quality 6×7 microfiber cloth from MagicFiber absorbs and safely removes dust, oil smudges, fingerprints, and dirt from eyeglasses, camera lenses, computer screens, televisions, and other delicate surfaces without any harsh chemicals. It’s machine or hand washable, and is built to last. The cloths are highly rated on Amazon, where it currently averages 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 9,100 people (90% rate 5 stars: read recent reviews). Its typical list price of $29.99 has been reduced 33% to $20 for a pack of 30 individually wrapped, so you may decide to toss one in everybody’s stocking this holiday season. See the discounted 30-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths now on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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