Twitter Sheds Its Egg

When the folks at Twitter changed the social network’s default profile avatar in 2010, they were practically obsessed with avian imagery. Since then, each new Twitter account has received an egg with a randomly assigned, single-color background. That standard changed on March 31, 2017. Now, one might call Twitter egg-free.


Please forgive that shell of a joke and focus on the fact that the microblogging giant has replaced the egg with an image that practically begs the Twitter user to upload a different avatar. Today’s default image looks vaguely like a person. It features a bonbon-shaped head above a pair of rounded shoulders. Two shades of gray comprise the image.


People will find this graphic boring, and that fact benefits Twitter’s vision. The team in charge of this design change would like to see much less of their newly introduced gray blobs across Twitter than they have of the egg for the last seven years.


Twitter never foresaw the egg’s icon status. The company always intended for users to upload personal images. Alas, people’s actions are difficult to forecast. Some users fell in love with their egg avatars. With the gray blobs, perhaps users will be less attached and more likely to convert to other images.


Importantly, the egg has known mixed status. Though intended as a placeholder, it became a mask for Twitter’s nefarious sector. Users who would rather troll others than add to the community’s collective value have kept their eggs for years. Now, they will likely continue hiding behind Twitter’s new gray blobs, but the brand has unmarried itself from its problematic avatar.


Further, the egg was an emblem of fake accounts. Services that offer to boost people’s follower counts do so by creating thousands of phony accounts and using automation to follow their clients’ accounts.


The old-school eggs may become the Twitter equivalent of vinyl records. Some users will surely upload egg images to remind themselves of a time when users’ pages were laden with bird-related images.


May Twitter’s gray-blobs graphic be as unpopular and simultaneously successful as the company hopes!


Cloudera Prepares To Go Public

Hot on the heels of a very successful IPO by Snap, on March 31big data giant Cloudera filed paperwork announcing its plans to go public. Cloudera built its very successful enterprise big data platform on top of open source Hadoop platform, and has cut out a huge market share. Hadoop, invented by Google and refined greatly by Yahoo, allows for very cheap distributed storage of large quantities of data. While much of Cloudera’s project is open source, their success has come from building out a number of proprietary tools aimed at business managers and other non-technical staff. This packaging has allowed the startup to outpace competitors like Hortonworks and MapR when it comes to sustained growth.


Cloudera’s announcement comes as many other highly regarded tech startups are planning to go public. API management platform MuleSoft and data analytics purveyors Alteryx have already launched very successful IPOs this year, and other companies like Yext and Okta are planning to go public as well. The first quarter of 2017 has been a hot one for tech IPOs, following a relatively small number of IPOs from the sector in 2016.


Intel has been one of the primary backers of Cloudera over the years, as have venture capital firms like T. Rowe Price and Accel. Last year, Cloudera reported a gross revenue of $261 million, up significantly from the previous year’s $166 million. By launching their IPO now, Cloudera is continuing a trend of tech copmanies going public before turning a profitable year. Last year, Cloudera lost just under $187 million when all expenses are factored in, although that number is a significant narrowing from their 2015 numbers. Cloudera seeks to raise over $200 million in their IPO, and while stock prices have not been announced the company is expected to be valued at $4 billion.


Japan Omits Bitcoin from Consumption Tax

Japan has officially accepted bitcoins as a valid form of payment for goods and services. As the nation readies equipment to accept transfers of the cryptocurrency, many bills pertaining to tax reforms have also been put into consideration. One particular legal issue is the consumption tax’s relationship with digital currencies like bitcoin. Japan’s consumption tax is a municipal law levied on anything that is used to purchase goods and services that functions similarly to VAT, GST or sales tax.


Before the relevant tax bills were ratified, bitcoin and similar digital currencies are subject to JCT, the Japanese Consumption Tax. While Japan’s consumption tax is currently set to eight percent of an item’s price, this is expected to rise to 10 percent by October of 2019.


Japan’s National Diet passed legislation in March 27 that would reform the tax laws, including amending the Fund Settlement Law from last May. These amendments were agreed upon back in December of 2016. As things now stand, the Fund Settlement Law defines virtual currencies like bitcoin as being exempt from JCT, beginning on the 1st of July 2017. The specific legal classification for digital currencies phrases them as “asset-like values” suitable for payment and transfer. This means that while bitcoin transactions no longer face eight percent taxation, trading the digital currency is still affected by capital gains tax.


According to the government of Japan, the profits earned from the trade of bitcoin are considered income that originates from business ventures and miscellaneous endeavors. Conversely, the sale of bitcoin for investment reasons means that it can be taxed for capital gains.


The bitcoin currency was created in 2009 and owes its creation to an allegedly Japanese man who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. This likely explains why bitcoin subunits are known as “satoshis.” Although bitcoin has risen in popularity as the leading form of digital currency, opening itself up to federal examination, it is not the first; Wei Dai created “b-money” and Nick Szabo came up with “bit gold.” Unlike its forebears, bitcoin is more properly classified as the first decentralized form of digital currency.


Google Chromebook for Schools

Google made a major revelation about its Chromebook program during the Bett education technology conference in London recently. Apart from revealing that there is over 20 million teachers as well as the student who are currently using Chromebooks a minimum four times a month and that there is more than 70 million G Suite for the education users. The tech giant also illustrated the use of new convertible Chromebooks due with USB-C charging, stylus support as well as the world facing cameras. They are the Asus Chromebook C213 and Acer Chromebook Spin 11.



During this announcement, Google made it known that it would enable the admin to have full control over the Android apps that are functional on the Chromebooks that they give the students. Another good news for the Chromebook users is that it will come with the Adobe community suits for the Android that have now been optimized for the Chromebooks.



It can be clearly seen that Google the Chromebooks and the G-Suit for the Education are a major success for the tech giant, at the same time the company is working with hardware partners to make the devices even more attractive for the learning institutions. Rajen Sheth one of the Googles’ executive noted that the company had focused on the feedback that it was receiving from teachers. The topmost request that the company received was that teachers wanted devices that merges the advantages of the tablets and laptops with a full keyboard.



It was until the introduction of the Android apps on Chrome OS that it became more possible to have Chromebook with the touch screen because the Chrome OS was never optimized for touch. With the hybrid devices such as Asus Flip as well as the upcoming new devices from Asus and Acer, the Chrome OS makes so much sense.



One feature that was particularly noted is the Chromebook’s world facing camera. Once the user flips the keyboard on the more conventional convertible so that they can use it as a laptop, the user will get a user-facing camera. However, the devices comes with a second camera that is situated on top of the keyboard. This camera opens up a wide range of new user case of the Chromebook in schools.


Five States to Legalize Electronic Devices Repair

Legislators in five states have indicated their interest to introduce a law that would enable the right to repair electronic which will make manufacturers sell the parts of their products to the independent electronic repair experts shops if the law is passed it will also make their diagnostic and service manual accessible to the public. Another purpose of the bill is to control the authorized repair shop that is also used by the manufacturers to establish an after-market monopoly. For instance, Apple has never given any licenses to the independent companies to repair iPhones though several companies did repair its products on regular basis.



These independent repair shops do so under the radar of the law. They go for the product that is the counterfeit from the Chinese market or finding parts from the recycled devices. Previously the Homeland Security department raided the premises without their knowledge of the sold counterfeit parts. Considering that many parts of the commodity have been communized this is a confusing distinction. Though the main concern is as a result of the iPhone there other electronic gadgets that have been targeted by the new legislation such as the servers, cameras the Internet of Things devices as well as other devices that make use of the software, they have all had their issues with the right to repair. This has been made possible by the companies making their products parts difficult to buy as well as imposing the artificial software lockdown on the diagnostic system of the devices.



The states that begun this process are Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Kansas, and Minnesota. One of the reasons for passing the bill is the fact that few licensed channel results to overpriced repair prices and a large number of overturn of the electronic items. Another reason that validates this bill is a large number of the electronic waste that is brought about by the lack of the capability by the owners of the devices to afford the repair the broken parts of the electronics.



This bill not only affect the independent repair firms; the repair parts and diagnostic manual will also be accessible to the consumers thus making it easier to repair their own electronic devices. The bill is being sponsored by the a small lobby group made up repair companies.


New Way For iOS App Developers to Respond to Their Users

When the iOS 10.3 is finally released it will become with the capability for the developers to respond to the customer feedback. This was announced in the release notes came out with the firmware’s beta build. Apple anticipates that their new improvement for the feedback infrastructure is in high demand and it is what the developer community has been looking for. Android platform has had this feature for quite some time now.



This new feature on the Apple iOS is a new way for the platform to monitor the App Store reviews and rating. It can also be viewed as an as the expansion of the iOS developer community that includes those who have been dissatisfied with the way that the stores handle the instances such as how the Dev Dash app got so disorganized as a result of the discrepancies of the customer rating.



The ability for the developer to respond to the rating and reviews of the customer is important since they can explain the issues or clarify what led to the customer’s dissatisfaction not for those customers who are being responded to but for the customer who might have experienced the same problem. This is particularly important for instances where the customer may have misunderstood some of the app’s features or they may be reporting a bug that has already been fixed by the current version.



This update is going to benefit the users as well. This would translate to the fact that the users are no longer going to need to email the developers for an issue that require a quick update, for instance, paid items not showing up in the app. Apple revealed that the new feedback will be implemented for the Mac App Store probably in the anticipated release of the 10.13 upgrade that is expected released in June. The current MacOS update is 10.12.3 that released this month.



In addition, the iOS trial version is releasing with a relating feature that goes a long way to enhance user experience. A developer has the ability to do this with the current system. The can request the user to rate the app however upon the user accepting to rate the app they will be directed to the App Store to rate the app. iOS will do away with this process enabling them to do all this without leaving the app.




Here Comes the Android Instant Apps

Google the tech giant has started rolling out the instants apps. During the developer conference known as the Google’s I/O developer that was held last year, Instant Apps for Android was tagged as a feature that would forever alter the way users use their mobile apps on their mobile devices.



According to the Android Developer blog, it was made known that the feature would be made accessible using a few apps as part of beta testing, through this users can participate in.



What do the phrase Android Instant Apps mean? Through the use of the Instant App feature, users will have an opportunity to download and run apps on their android gadgets such as tablets as well as smartphones. The users can do all this without having to install the apps.



While the users are visiting particular websites, the may come across an invitation to download a mobile app instead of using the website. The app will enable the streamlined mobile device experience to get to access the website content, however, the user can forego the installation process of the app and instead access the browser version of the website.



Through the use of the Instant Apps technology, the Android apps will load immediately on the android devices. While it may not be as fast as accessing the website the whole process will take just a few seconds. This will be much faster compared to downloading the app and installing it first. In order to benefit from this technology the developers will need to update their apps to include this functionality, this is because the Instant Apps utilizes the same technology found in the Android apps.



The feature is opened for limited testing just about 8 months after it was revealed, however, it is opened for the limited testing only. The initial apps to use this feature will be those Periscope, BuzzFeed, Viki as well as Wish. During this testing period, the android team will be collecting feedback from the user who will be taking part in the testing this amazing feature with the aim of expanding to more apps in the near future. There is also the room for the users who are interested in testing the Instant App, all they have to do id access the website of the initial apps offering this feature.


Tesla Committed To Bring Fully Self-Driving Capability to Its Vehicle In The Near Future.

Tesla world leading manufacturer of electric cars has always released groundbreaking technologies in the past. One of the most prominent technologies is the Tesla’s software timeline is autonomous driving. In the technology, there is enhanced autopilot that gives unique features and the full self-driving capability that regardless of its name it will not have a self-driving capability for a while, however, it could be beneficial to the royal Tesla drivers very soon.



In the past, Tesla had stated that it would be introducing the enhanced autopilot in December 2016 that was late because Tesla begun introducing is just recently, followed by updates every few months or weeks in the anticipation of the fully self-driving capability in the end of 2017.



This feature would be accessible to certain Tesla owners in the relation to the validation and regulatory permissions in various jurisdictions. For instance, the Michigan passed a law that would make it possible for the self-driving vehicles to be permitted in the public after passing the test.



Currently, Tesla sells the Enhanced Autopilot as well as Full Self-Driving ability. The Full Self-Driving will only be useful at least towards the end of 2017, a potential Tesla driver can save few dollars while buying the car this is because Tesla charges premium for activating this feature after delivery, apart from this there are other added advantages of but this feature, prior to Tesla is fully capable of delivering self-driving system.



The Tesla vehicles have 8 cameras, 1 radar, and 360-degress ultrasonic hardware suites, during the Enhanced Autopilot only have the cameras are enabled while the customers get the rest once they buy the Full Self-Driving functionality. Tesla believes that their Full Self-Driving that utilizes all the eight camera of the car is twice as good as the day to day average driver. Thus drivers should be a position to experience the difference between the technologies prior to Tesla introducing the level five autopilot in a vehicle.



Though there no available fully autonomous vehicle among the Tesla fleet. Tesla has begun introducing the initial stage of the Enhance Autopilot that is not as similar to the first generation of the autonomous system. However, the company makes continuous improvements with the help of the information that is sourced from the owners who has chosen the Full Self-Driving functionality above of the Enhanced Autopilot, these drivers will begin experiencing some improvement thus making full use of the hardware.




Anthony Toma Is Revolutionizing The Entertainment Industry Through Nine9

Anthony Toma, the CEO of Nine9 The UnAgency, started his business by buying a modeling and acting franchise in Orlando. The franchise had 26 locations across the country. In 2003, he founded Coral Reef Productions Inc., which is now known as Nine9 Talent Agency. Anthony meets his team frequently to ensure that they have adequate tools and resources necessary to provide their clients with innovative services. He implements new ideas by brainstorming and poking holes on the same. After being satisfied that the idea is authentic, he presents it to his team for evaluation and trial. It is after the team has evaluated the idea that Anthony Toma floats it to the public. The successful entrepreneur pays keen attention to new ideas that he hears from other professionals. He analyzes them to determine their future impact. The executive is not afraid of failure since he believes it is a way of learning. Toma believes that failing does not make one a failure. After failing, one should keep on trying. In an interview with ideamensch, Anthony credited his success to implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) by Gino Wickman. Read Nine9 News Here .

About Nine9 The UnAgency

Nine9 seeks to build the careers of individuals desiring to penetrate and thrive in the entertainment industry. The company helps their clients, most of whom are models and actors, who are not represented by an agency, to achieve their career objectives. Individuals that sign up with Nine9 are guaranteed a real-time access to different tools and resources. These services are designed to benefit both the beginners and experienced models and actors. They provide them with a constant flow of opportunities such as print, promotional castings and gigs, music video, television, film, commercial and runways. Actors enjoy commission free services and a detailed talent evaluation process. Nine9 has advanced casting recognition software that matches actors with the most suitable castings. Since its inception in 2003, Nine9 has committed to delivering quality services through its highly experienced team. These experts have specialized in bookings, counseling and client relationships. for more .


Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Tested by Uber ATC Director Raffi Krikoviana

Uber ATC Director, Raffi Kirkoviana tested Uber’s self-driving cars on September 13th, 2016 to collect data involving its advanced technologies and riding experience. It took the Robotic Center at Carneige Mellon University 18 months to research and develop Uber’s latest autonomous technology. A small group of spectators were invited to observe the test drive of 14 Ford Fusions cars stimulated by cameras and radar equipment. The test started at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus near Downtown Pittsburgh and extended throughout the city and the Strip District. Kirkoviana shared his experience as a passenger and driver to TechCrunch.

The demostration began by an employee giving Kirkoviana a phone to use to request a ride on the Uber app. When Kirkoviana was positioned in the back seat of the Ford Fusion, he was instructed to select the ready-to-go button on a tablet that displayed a live view surrounding the automobile. He road with an engineer driver and front engineer passenger through Lawrence neighborhood, downtown, Strip District, and over 9th Street Bridge. The drive had good responses and encountered a few struggles when other automobiles were backing up or parked in a lane. The self-driving Ford Fusion also experienced a struggle while positioning on the bridge and approaching a truck.

The engineer driver had to change lanes manually when a big truck was parked in the same lane of the self-driving car and a city worker unexpectedly darted from in front of the truck. The self-driving cars received positive reviews involving its surroundings of stopped transportation, traffic lights and traffic laws. If there was a bus turning or picking up passengers, the Ford Fusion would automatically stop. The Uber’s advanced technology and intelligent software reads the red, blue and yellow traffic lights.

Kirkorian shared his experience driving autonomously back to the Uber Advanced Technologies Campus. He pressed a silver button on the console when a blue light turned-on on the dashboard. The front seat driver is able to return the self-driving back to the control of the driver by pressing a red button, the brake pedal, or accelerator pedal. He had to use the function to avoid a stopped van parked on a lane. After the test drive was over, Kirkorian described the ride as gentle with occasional stops.