Apple and IBM’s latest partnership is about helping Japanese seniors with iPads

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple, IBM, and Japan Post are teaming up for an ambitious project aimed at connecting Japanese seniors through customized iPad software. The project will employ iPad apps written by IBM and integrated into Japan Post’s existing services, helping seniors coordinate services like household maintenance, medical services and caregiving. Japan Post is the country’s largest postal delivery services, and also handles many basic caregiving services for seniors. The new apps will also integrate with existing Apple services like FaceTime. Japan Post CEO Taizo Nishimuro described the goal as “designing experiences that are easy to use for seniors, the kind of intuitive experience the iPad is famous for.”

The project was announced at IBM’s new…

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The best keyboard for Android

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Survey the vast landscape of Android phones you can buy, and you’ll find devices of all sizes, designs, and prices. Many of them have giant screens, which are great for all the cool stuff you can do with a smartphone, like browsing the web, playing games, and making video calls. But what you won’t find are phones with physical keyboards, and it can be pretty hard to type on a phone with a nearly 6-inch screen, especially with one hand.

Fortunately, for years Android has let you customize the keyboard you use, and there are countless options in the Google Play Store. You can get keyboards that let you trace, keyboards with non-standard layouts, keyboards that shrink down to tiny sizes, and keyboards that let you drop in images and emoji…

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The best keyboard for the iPhone

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are by far the biggest smartphones Apple has ever made. Those big screens are great for everything from browsing the web, to watching video, to playing games. But aside from being more difficult to put in your pocket, it can be hard to type on these larger phones, especially with one hand. Banging out a quick message or email with an iPhone 6 Plus in one hand and a piping hot coffee in the other can be quite a chore.

Let’s face it, Apple is never going to add a physical keyboard to the iPhone to make typing easier. But iOS 8 does let you install third-party keyboard apps that can make your thumbs happier. Since iOS 8’s release last fall, there have been countless keyboards added to the App Store,…

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This is the clearest look at Ben Affleck’s Batman yet

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The more we see Ben Affleck’s Batman, the more menacing and completely void of joy he looks. We’ve caught glimpses of him in previous teaser photos and the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but this is probably the best, most straight-on look at Affleck as the Caped Crusader yet. It’s basically an unmodified version of the heavily stylized posters that were tweeted by director Zack Snyder last week.

This Batman poster hasn’t yet been released through official channels, but according to Polygon it’s been floating around various forums and looks to be genuine enough. Affleck’s got some legitimate chin stubble going on, a look that previous actors who donned the batsuit never explored. But it’s a perfect match for the bleak,…

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Uber’s SOS button will send live GPS updates to police in India

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Uber added an “SOS” button to its app in India following the alleged rape of a passenger last year, and today Uber has announced plans to start improving that button in a significant way. Starting in the city Kolkata and potentially rolling out elsewhere, activating the SOS button will now send live GPS updates to local police, provide police with information on the driver, and send details on the passenger reporting the issue, in addition to initiating a phone call with the police as it initially did. That information, which should enable police to track an Uber vehicle, will appear on a display that Uber installs for the local police.

Uber says that it’s been testing the service in Kolkata and is now in “advanced discussions” with…

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Apple Looking Into Built-In Telephoto iPhone Camera Lenses

See the original posting on TechCrunch

olloclip-iphone-6 Apple’s iPhone is just about the best smartphone camera you can get, but a new patent application provides a good indication of how it could get even better. The patent is for a “small form factor telephoto camera (via AppleInsider) and describes how the company might make a camera with a narrower field of view, but a much higher magnification factor, and also how such a camera… Read More

Go Ahead, Play Prince Of Persia In This Tweet

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Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 9.33.05 AM If you want to relive your classic MS-DOS gaming experiences, you need venture no further than Twitter. The Internet Archive’s website-embeddable games also now work directly in tweets, when you’re viewing them on the web, or in native embed like the one below. Jordan Mechner’s classic Prince of Persia is a good place to start, if you ask me, but anything in this… Read More

Amazon Instant Video for iOS finally lets you stream movies and TV in HD

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Amazon’s finally getting around to a much needed update for its Instant Video app on iOS today. Version 3.0 adds the ability to stream movies and TV shows in HD. Yes, everything’s been standard def until now. The update also allows you to watch content using your cellular data; previously, Instant Video simply wouldn’t work unless you were on Wi-Fi. Obviously people should be mindful of their monthly data limits while doing this, and thankfully Amazon has also introduced some quality settings that determine how good video will look — but also how much data you’ll suck down while watching Transparent or Mozart in the Jungle.

The “Best” setting should probably be reserved for those of you with unlimited data plans; Amazon says streaming…

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Apple And IBM Team With Japan Post To Address The Needs Of An Aging Population

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Slack for iOS Upload Japan Post CEO Taizo Nishimuro was on stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at a special event aimed at the enterprise today in New York. The event was designed to highlight some of the fruits of the IBM/Apple enterprise partnership, through which IBM is developing software and support for large businesses, as well as helping to provision Apple hardware to corporate clients. Read More

Micro Tug Robots Can Pull Objects 2,000 Times Their Own Weight

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ClimbingTug Like the noble ant or the sassy-yet-lovable tugboat, Micro Tugs can pull more than their own weight. The robots, which come from Sanford’s Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab, use a “controllable adhesive” plate that sticks to surfaces only when shear pressure is applied. In one case a 12 gram robot was able to pull objects 2,000 times its own weight. “This is… Read More

First Click: Microsoft rips a page from the BlackBerry playbook

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Yesterday’s news that Microsoft will support iOS and Android apps sure was exciting. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:


“Developers wanting to bring their new and existing apps to the highly anticipated [Windows 10 OS] will soon have additional tools and options to enhance and expand their commercial opportunities. [Microsoft] today announced plans to greatly expand the application ecosystem for [Windows 10].”

“[Windows 10] is an amazing [OS]. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said [Satya Nadella]. “The upcoming addition of [iOS] and Android apps for the [Windows 10 OS] on the [Windows Store] will provide our users with an even…

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Personal Finance Startup MX Pulls In $30 Million Series A Funding From USAA and Digital Garage

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iPadMini-Spending MX, the personal finance startup formerly known as Money Desktop, has just inked a $30 million Series A funding deal led by a subsidiary of USAA. Tokyo-based VC firm Digital Garage also participated in the round.
MX had previously raised a healthy seed round from various early stage investors for $20 million late last year. This now brings the total amount of funding to $50 million for the… Read More

Real Estate Startup Suitey Rebrands As TripleMint, Raises $1.65M

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TripleMint Search Page TripleMint, a New York City startup aiming to take the pain out of buying, selling and renting an apartment, has raised $1.65 million in seed funding. Investors include Dominion Capital, Winklevoss Capital (yes, those Winklevoss twins), Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Kima Ventures, Archangel Ventures, Fabrice Grinda, Tom Falus (former president of Cushman & Wakefield) and Mike… Read More

Campus Job, Connecting College Students With Employers, Raises $7.8 Million In Series A

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campusjob Nearly eight months after launching a platform to connect college students with local job opportunities, Campus Job has raised a $7.8 million Series A round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Index Ventures, Box Group, SV Angel, Slow Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and others. The company originally launched with a model that allowed students to sign up on… Read More

Penguins use poo to melt snow

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Call it landscaping the penguin way: time-lapse footage from a colony of Antarctic Gentoo penguins appears to show the birds using their feces to melt snow in their breeding grounds. The images — captured by the University of Oxford’s Penguin Watch initiative — show the snow piling up before the penguins arrive, ready to breed. They quickly blanket the area with what looks like mud (here’s a clue: it’s not mud) and lo, the snow begins to melt.

whatever’s going on, the penguins aren’t doing it on purpose

Scientists studying the footage say it’s possible that the darker color of the poo is helping to melt the snow by absorbing extra heat — a process known as the albedo effect. “This is something we’re testing at the moment,” says Dr Tom…

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Lessons Learned at My Most Recent Job

See the original posting on DZone Python

Today is my first day of “unemployment” in the last 12 years. I’m switching jobs, soon to start at NerdWallet. This time, I decided to take a couple of weeks off in between to reset and reflect. Here are some thoughts from my last job.
Work (only) on projects with impact

Don’t waste time on projects that don’t have impact. In any organization, there are many projects that need to be done that…

Geek Reading April 29, 2015

See the original posting on DZone Python

Two top stories lead our day. First, Mashape open sources its Kong API management platform, which could be a big deal for anyone that writes externally consumable APIs. The second story is at Broken Links where they talk about the future of the open web. I am highlighting this one because it is something we need to keep thinking about before the web becomes a collection of silos.

As always,…

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