How smart companies use voice and bots to get and keep more customers
- The day is coming where marketers will have to redirect the time, energy, and laser focus on search engine optimization, and the millions of dollars spent on buying keywords and relevant content, to voice interfaces.
- And all these companies are focused on an urgent primary mission: to become the channel for the discerning consumer, the one who has found it easier than ever, as speakers get smarter than ever, to rely on voice chat with intelligent assistants to look for information, shop, and generally just get things done.
- To learn more about how to start integrating a voice chat strategy, where to start laying the foundation for the future of AI-powered voice assistants and interfaces, and how to optimize those experiences now and into the future, don’t miss this VB Live event!
Tensorflow 2.0 – a more user friendly API
- Please note: tf.layers will be removed, hence starting to use tf.keras right now to define your models is mandatory in order to be ready to 2.x. Look at the different approach: both generator and discriminator returns a tf.keras.Model and not just an output tensor.
- This tool has been created because the graph version has the great advantage of being “a single file” once exported, and therefore shipping trained machine learning models in a production environment is way more easier using the static-graph mode.
- This shouldn’t happen: please double check that the transition has been correctly implemented and if it is, open a bug report on GitHub. That’s a problem I’m currently facing, as I reported here: Tensorflow eager version fails, while Tensorflow static graph works.
A month after a botched debut that deleted people's files, the next big Windows update is finally starting to roll out
- The October 2018 Update, which brings an armload of new features to Windows 10, is finally starting to roll out to users starting today, according to a Microsoft blog post.
- This time, though, Microsoft says that it's going to be far more cautious about approving the update for users — if Windows 10 detects any kind of anomaly in your PC setup, whatsoever, the update simply won't appear for you.
- In a broader sense, Microsoft says that it's reforming the way that it develops and tests Windows updates to make sure that this never happens again — users in the Windows Insider beta testing program had reported this bug well before it went out to users, but Microsoft missed it thanks to a flaw in its feedback process.
Some of the NBA's top players are showing love to Nets breakout star after he suffered a brutal leg injury
- The NBA world was stunned last season when star Gordon Hayward sustained a gruesome leg injury just minutes into his Boston Celtics career.
- Now, it appears Brooklyn Nets rising star Caris LeVert has suffered a similar fate.
- With just 3.7 seconds remaining in the first half of the Nets' contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, LeVert attempted a chase-down block on point guard Jeff Teague and came down hard on his right leg.
- Coaches, players, and fans looked on in horror as LeVert crumpled to the ground.
- LeVert — who averaged 18.4 points per game on the season — looked well on his well to becoming a household name in Brooklyn.
- The Nets jumped out to a surprising 6-8 start on the season thanks in large part to LeVert's efforts.
- Head coach Kenny Atkinson recognizes that losing his young star will almost certainly derail Brooklyn's hot start.
Former Beats Music CEO is back with an electric scooter startup
- Launching on Kickstarter today, Unagi is looking to raise $30,000 and start shipping the scooters in January.
- Unlike the other electric scooter startups that have cropped up over the past year, Unagi is taking a different approach.
- Hyman is betting that after people become accustomed to riding electric scooters via the likes of Bird, Lime, Spin, Skip and so forth, they’ll realize it’s cheaper to just buy their own.
- The scooters are manufactured across 15 different Chinese plants, but Hyman said the company might start assembling the scooters in the U.S. Right now, Unagi’s minimum production goal is 300 scooters upon launch, but Hyman thinks it’ll probably be somewhere between 500 to 1,000.
- Hyman took a look at the scooter I’d been riding and didn’t see any apparent problems with it.
- For future models, Hyman said he’s thinking about security and locking mechanisms.
Measuring and Improving Your CI/CD Pipelines
- If you have anything more complicated than a very simple one build, one test suite, one deploy pipeline then this can be a difficult thing to achieve.
- We use a train metaphor for the pipelines involved in the shipping of our releases.
- Look at your builds and test runs and take a sample of timings for each type.
- Figure out what the median is and write it next to that build step or test run box in your pipeline drawing.
- In our pipeline we use a bot to orchestrate the pipeline stages, it co-ordinates the human workflow in a simple state machine by listening for prompts from engineers involved in the release.
- Look at your build steps and test suites with their timings.
- Can they be split into multiple parallel build steps / test runs?
Okay, one final Form D note
- The gist is that startups are increasingly foregoing filing a Form D with the SEC that provides details of their venture rounds like investment size and main investors in order to stay stealth longer.
- These days though, more and more startups are opting to use Section 4(a)(2), which doesn’t require a Form D, but also doesn’t provide a “blue sky” exception to start securities laws, which means that startups have to file in relevant state jurisdictions and no longer have preemption from the SEC.
- Companies that have a good reason to stay stealth may want to avoid attracting this attention by not making a public Form D filing.
- Form Ds are no longer common among seed-stage startups, and indeed, startup founders and venture investors have a lot of latitude in choosing how and when they file.
Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?
- By now you have probably heard of influencers, that group of internet-famous people who have more than a million social media followers and can make big money by plugging various brands.
- But as influencers — like the 20-year-old fashion model Luka Sabbat, with his 1.4 million Instagram followers — have grown in popularity, they have started charging more.
- Ms. Stutzman, a product specialist at Better Homes & Gardens, said her co-workers didn’t quite understand what she was up to on social media, even as her account has grown into a “part-time side hustle kind of thing.” Her parents were also mystified — until she snagged a couch from Burrow, a start-up, and a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., through Kate Somerville, a beauty brand.
- Erin Gee, a 34-year-old government worker and spin-class instructor in Ottawa with just over 1,200 Instagram followers, started promoting the Fré skin care brand after getting a direct message from the company.
Start-ups get employee share boost as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg raises limit
- Small business start-ups and their workers are set to win from the federal government's planned doubling of the employee share scheme limit to $10,000 a year per worker for unlisted companies.
- Mr Frydenberg said the government would simplify the regulatory framework for businesses offering employee share schemes and also increase the existing $5000 cap for unlisted companies paying workers in equity.
- The government's latest simplification includes creating a dedicated exemption for disclosure, licensing, advertising and on-sale obligations under the Corporations Act, expanding employee share schemes so employees can make a contribution and enabling small firms to offer shares without publicly disclosing commercially sensitive financial information.
- StartupAUS chief executive Alex McCauley said the government had already made important tax changes in 2015 to make it more attractive for start-ups to issue options to employees, reversing some of Labor's tax crackdown on employee share schemes in 2009.
How one family built an $11 billion start-up far from Silicon Valley
- Now Ryan and Jared Smith are selling Qualtrics International to European giant SAP for $US8 billion ($11b) - and they'll get to keep running the business.
- Ryan, who reportedly once turned down a $US500 million offer for his company, his family members and other major shareholders are now poised to get about $US7 billion for their shares.
- The Smiths moved to Utah around the time Ryan's father opted to work at Brigham Young University, and in 2002, the pair started Qualtrics, originally targeting academics that needed to conduct field research.
- Ryan and his family hold 87.6 per cent of Qualtrics through a holding company managed by the two siblings and father Scott.
- Ryan will continue to run the company as an entity within SAP's larger cloud business group, maintaining headquarters in Utah's Provo as well as in Seattle.