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Mutant Plants Suck Toxic TNT (Yes, That TNT) Out of Soil

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:00pm

A newly found gene is the key to breeding plants that can get harmful TNT contamination out of the ground.

The post Mutant Plants Suck Toxic TNT (Yes, That TNT) Out of Soil appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Laser Breakthrough Could Speed the Rise of Self-Driving Cars

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:00pm

New laser tech could make the eyes of autonomous vehicles smaller and cheaper.

The post Laser Breakthrough Could Speed the Rise of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

4K Blu-ray Players Are Here—Now We Just Need Actual Content

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:58pm

The achingly gradual transition to 4K just got a slight speed boost.

The post 4K Blu-ray Players Are Here—Now We Just Need Actual Content appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Audio Visuals: When a Dance-Off Turns Into a Fist Fight

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:55pm

Big flashy pop videos accompanied MTV's Video Music Awards, and across the internet everyone else seemed to be on the same page.

The post Audio Visuals: When a Dance-Off Turns Into a Fist Fight appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Survey: More Women Are Going Into Programming

Slashdot - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:55pm
itwbennett writes: We've previously discussed the dearth of women in computing. Indeed, according to U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics estimates, in 2014 four out of five programmers and software developers in the U.S. were men. But according to a survey conducted this spring by the Application Developers Alliance and IDC, that may be changing. The survey of 855 developers worldwide found that women make up 42% of developers with less than 1 year of experience and 30% of those with between 1 and 5 years of experience. Of course, getting women into programming is one thing; keeping them is the next big challenge.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple plans to announce 21.5-inch iMac with 4K display by the end of October and begin shipping in November (Mark Gurman/9to5Mac)

TechMeme - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:50pm

Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Apple plans to announce 21.5-inch iMac with 4K display by the end of October and begin shipping in November  —  Apple planning to bring 4K screen to 21.5-inch iMac in October  —  Apple is indeed planning to release a new version of its 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display this fall, according to reliable sources.

Categories: Technology

Garmin’s New Dash Cam Can Help You Avoid Crashes

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:30pm

Garmin's new $200 dash cam offers forward collision warning, bringing a high-tech safety feature to your aging clunker.

The post Garmin’s New Dash Cam Can Help You Avoid Crashes appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

That Chunk of Plane Debris Is Now Officially From MH370

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:19pm

The French Ministry of Justice has officially confirmed that the piece of plane debris that washed up in late July belonged to MH370.

The post That Chunk of Plane Debris Is Now Officially From MH370 appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Brain-Eating Amoeba Scoffs At Chlorine In Water Pipes

Slashdot - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:12pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Naegleria fowleri amoeba typically feeds on bacteria in water and soil. Human digestive systems have no problem killing it, but inhaling water that carries the amoeba gives it the opportunity to work its way into the brain after it sneaks through the nasal mucus. It happens rarely, but 97% of people whose brains start swelling because of this amoeba end up dying. Like most microorganisms, N. fowleri can be neutralized with concentrated chlorine. However, the systems we use to deliver tap water aren't so clean. Researchers found that N. fowleri can easily survive for 24 hours when it's mixed with the types of biofilm that tend to reside in water pipes. Increasing chlorine levels isn't a good option, since its reaction with these biofilms can generate carcinogens.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Hands-On: Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic May Be the First Great Smartwatch

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:00pm

Somehow, Samsung's new watches are the first ones to use a rotating bezel for navigation.

The post Hands-On: Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic May Be the First Great Smartwatch appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Kitchen Gear That’ll Make You Rethink Microwave Cooking

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 12:45pm

People don't really cook any more, but like to feel as if they do. M-Cuisine taps that desire. It's convenient, but not too convenient.

The post Kitchen Gear That’ll Make You Rethink Microwave Cooking appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Open Source, Technology

Earth Home To 3 Trillion Trees, Half As Many As When Human Civilization Arose

Slashdot - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 12:30pm
sciencehabit writes: Earth today supports more than 3 trillion trees—eight times as many as we thought a decade ago. But that number is rapidly shrinking, according to a global tree survey released today (abstract). We are losing 15 billion trees a year to toilet paper, timber, farmland expansion, and other human needs. So even though the total count is large, the decline is "a cause for concern," says Tom Spies, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Corvallis, Oregon, who was not involved with the work.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Your Connected Product Could Be Your Best Customer Engagement Tool

ReadWriteWeb - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:00am

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, futurist and author of X, What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business As Usual.

In a time when connectedness is part of everyday life and people have become online media platforms, customer experiences either work for a company or against it. Those experiences, now widely spread and shared so easily, have become the new brand.

Brands are, as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos once put it, "what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” 

See also: The Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Think about all the ways businesses have to engage customers before, during and after the transaction: social, mobile, digital (i.e. web), wearable devices, email, POS, signage, packaging, word of mouth, and so on. There’s also an entirely new channel arising that's flying under the radar of marketers today.

While not new to engineers, developers and savvy tech execs, the Internet of things (IoT) is set to become the next big trend for marketers and anyone leading service and support, product management and e-commerce initiatives.

Connecting The Dots

My colleague at Altimeter (now part of Prophet) Jessica Groopman learned in her latest research on IoT that consumers are expected to own over 20 simultaneous connected devices by the year 2020. Some of us are already close.

For those unfamiliar with IoT and its relationship to customer experience, think of it this way: Imagine that everything is connected to the Internet via a private network—your camera, watch, car, printer, oven, thermostat, lights, and more. Now imagine that each device learns how you use it.

Not only does the user experience improve through technology, but the information is managed through an intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) system of sorts. The manufacturer can learn about the customer's usage, behavior and preferences, and also anticipate needs—all in the name of personalizing and improving the user experience.

Doc Searls, author of the groundbreaking book The Cluetrain Manifesto (1999), introduced the concept of "Products-as-Platforms” a couple of years ago. He asked businesses to look at possibilities beyond marketing gimmicks. He envisioned a scenario in which customers were in control of relationships before, during and after transactions. He called this VRM, or vendor relationship management. His point was that people should be in control of relationships and products, acting as conduits, not dumb terminals.

Products, As Customer Engagement Tools

Imagine that your printer is running out of ink. Instead of merely displaying an alert, the same screen could connect you to Amazon or your favorite retailer to order replacements. 

See also: How Your Need For Detergent And Coffee Will Fuel Amazon's Smart Home

Amazon’s Dash button offers a similar premise, but requires manual input. However, this could happen even before you’ve run out, because the printer already knows your usage behavior and has anticipated the need.

This idea of “in product communication” is what companies like Aviata are working on. If they succeed, VRM not only becomes a viable option, it may even change the game for customer experience and ultimately the mathematics of the lifetime value of a customer.

Within the context of IoT, products can continue to work for your company, even after they’ve been purchased. These items could open new channels of proactive engagement, allowing you to redefine customer engagement beyond all of the channels you lean on today.

In other words, the product itself becomes a tool for engagement and personalized "experience architecture.” This is basis for the future of customer experience, a foundation based on personalization, meaningful engagement and additive value.

This new type of product communication is incredibly promising. It could change the dynamic for how companies build relationships with their customers, beyond warranty registrations and product support. This is the future of customer relationships. What it takes is to get there is vision, purpose, a sharp eye for what your users need, and the drive to give it to them. 

Lead photo by William Murphy

Categories: Technology