Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte unveils packaging refresh in UK

first_imgChampagne Nicolas Feuillatte unveils packaging refresh in UKPosted By: News Deskon: May 30, 2018In: Agriculture, Beverage, Industries, PackagingPrintEmailChampagne Nicolas Feuillatte has launched a new visual identity, including premium-style packaging for the off-trade, and a new range dedicated for the on-trade in the UK.The packaging is part of a two-year rebrand, which sees Nicolas Feuillatte aim to be “the Champagne brand which reconciles luxury with emotion”.The new look was created to fully express this vision, which started with the creation of the new Nicolas Feuillatte emblem.Two distinctive collections are now on offer with one single identity. The off-trade range includes: Sélection Brut, Sélection Demi-Sec, Grande Réserve Brut, Grande Réserve Rosé, Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée Spéciale 2013 and Cuvée Spéciale Rosé.The new on-trade range includes: Réserve Exclusive Brut, Réserve Exclusive Rosé, Collection Vintage 2008 Brut and a Blanc de Blancs 2008. Nicolas Feuillatte managing director Christophe Juarez said: “It is with great pleasure that we roll out our new visual identity which is the final gem on the crown. This project has been years in the making and we believe the outcome looks elegantly premium while equally being modern and youthful. It is something we are able to do being the youngest of the Grandes Marques de Champagne. It’s a new era for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and we can’t wait to see these bottles in the UK.”Share with your network: Tags: Champagne Nicolas FeuillatteUKlast_img read more

Mondelēz stockpiling products in case of nodeal Brexit – report

first_imgMondelēz ‘stockpiling products’ in case of no-deal Brexit – reportPosted By: Martin Whiteon: September 11, 2018In: Business, Confectionery, Food, IndustriesPrintEmailMondelēz International is ‘stockpiling products and ingredients’ in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, according to a report from The Times.Mondelēz owns Cadbury, one of the UK’s largest confectionery brands, and the company’s European president Hubert Weber told The Times that the company was stockpiling confectionery products as a contingency plan in case no exit deal is agreed between the UK and European Union.A ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario would occur if the UK and the European Union do not sign a withdrawal agreement which establishes the future relationship between the UK and EU before the 29 March 2019, and an agreement has not been reached between the two parties at this time.Weber said: “Like the whole of the food and drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer.“However, we are also preparing for a hard Brexit and, from a buffering perspective for Mondelēz, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products, although you can only do so much because of the shelf life of our products.“We have a contingency plan in place to manage a hard Brexit, as the UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients, so that could be a challenge.”This news follows last month’s warning from the UK’s Food and Drink Federation, which claimed that a no-deal Brexit would represent a ‘grisly prospect’ for the UK’s food and drink industry, saying that the UK government “must deliver a deal with the EU” to protect the interests of UK shoppers and consumers.Share with your network: Tags: BrexitconfectioneryMondelez InternationalUKlast_img read more

Tainted milk China has moved towards zerotolerance model

first_imgTainted milk: China has moved towards ‘zero-tolerance’ modelPosted By: Alex Clereon: September 13, 2018In: Blog, Dairy, Health, Industries, Legislation, OpinionPrintEmailChina’s dairy industry has developed “a zero-tolerance regime for infant formula production” since the country’s tainted milk crisis ten years ago, with several layers of protection, according to Richard Hall, the chairman of food and drink consultancy Zenith Global.It is a decade today since news first broke of a food safety scare which would quickly become a major contamination incident, as the chemical compound melamine was found in infant formula products sold in China. The melamine crisis killed at least six babies and affected an estimated 300,000 more.But the country’s dairy industry has since got its house in order over food safety, Hall says.“First of all, permission has to be given to become a producer,” he explains. “This is restricted to those who have already invested in high-quality equipment and processes, on the basis of inspection and certification.“Because of the global importance of the Chinese market and a lack of sufficient capacity within the country, encouragement has been given to international companies seeking exports to China, as well as to Chinese companies willing to invest overseas and import.“The second layer of protection is that every product must conform to one of three age segments and every formula must receive prior testing before approval. This includes all ingredients and all innovation. It’s a procedure that often takes more than a year.“The third safety guarantee is what appears to be monthly sampling and testing of all products on sale in stores. This ensures the minimum possible scope for any question over quality and I understand full compliance has already exceeded 99.5%.Hall, who is also Chairman of FoodBev Media, has been in China talking to infant formula producers about the quality and confidence that exists within the country’s dairy segment today.He continued: “I was invited to visit the farming, production and packing activities of leading Chinese brand Feihe in the northeast of China and came away hugely impressed by the entire operation, but especially by the presentation, hygiene and laboratories.“An aspect I had never considered before, but seems obvious once stated, is that Feihe has sought to create formulae dedicated to the particular dietary requirements of Chinese babies. One of its more recent innovations is an organic range, which it believes has significant growth potential.“Overall, I found the Chinese dairy industry very confident that Chinese families are now receiving the best possible nutrition and service from infant formula products.“This was already vitally important under China’s policy restricting each family to one child. Since the policy was relaxed last year to allow two children, there hasn’t been a surge in the birth rate, but there has been an increase and the market for infant formula is expected to continue with strong growth for the foreseeable future.”The country’s ability to keep pace with demand will be an important consideration as it continues to recover from the tainted milk crisis ten years ago.There are signs that other markets in Asia are recognising this: last month, Japan started the process of lifting a ban on liquid infant formula products, which it said could be useful in the event of natural disasters because of their ease of preparation. It had previously banned the product in the absence of adequate safety standards, but is now investigating the possibility of opening the product back up to general sale in a controlled manner.Share with your network: Tags: ChinaDairyFeihefood safetymilktainted milklast_img read more

Tesco launches Jacks discount chain to rival Aldi and Lidl

first_imgTesco launches Jack’s discount chain to rival Aldi and LidlPosted By: Martin Whiteon: September 19, 2018In: Business, Food, Industries, RetailPrintEmailTesco has launched a new discount supermarket chain called Jack’s, which has been introduced as the retailer aims to fend off the rising threat of discount chains Aldi and Lidl and consolidate its position as the UK’s largest retailer.10-15 Jack’s stores will be launched in the UK over the next six months, and the first two Jack’s stores will open on 20 September in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire.According to Tesco, Jack’s will feature a simplified range of products and a low-cost business model to keep prices low for consumers and operating costs low for the retailer.Additionally, eight out of ten food and drink products stocked at Jack’s supermarkets will be grown, reared or made in Britain.The new supermarket is named after Jack Cohen, who founded Tesco in 1919, and the launch of the new chain forms part of Tesco’s centenary celebrations.Dave Lewis, Tesco Group chief executive, said: “Jack Cohen championed value for customers and changed the face of British shopping. He’s an inspiration for all of us and that same spirit still drives Tesco now.“It’s fitting that today, we mark the beginning of Tesco’s celebration of 100 Years of Great Value by launching a new brand, and stores bearing his name: Jack’s.“Great tasting food at the lowest possible prices with 8 out of 10 products grown, reared or made in Britain.”The move comes as Tesco seeks to retain its position at the top of the UK’s grocery retail market, amid rising pressure from its rivals.Discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl are growing increasingly popular in the UK, and the German chains have a combined 13.1% market share of the UK’s grocery market.Tesco also faces the prospect of losing its position as the UK’s biggest grocery retailer due to the proposed merger between rivals Asda and Sainsbury’s, which was agreed earlier this year.According to Kantar Worldpanel, Asda and Sainsbury’s combined share of 31.4% of the UK grocery market would eclipse Tesco’s 27.6% should the merger be approved by the UK’s competition authority.The Competition and Markets Authority launched a formal investigation into the proposed merger last month, citing concerns that the merged business could raise prices or reduce service quality due to a lack of competition in the market.Share with your network: Tags: Jack’sretailTescoUKlast_img read more

Stora Enso invests 350m euros to convert paper mill in Finland

first_imgStora Enso’s mill in Oulu, FinlandStora Enso invests 350m euros to convert paper mill in FinlandPosted By: Martin Whiteon: May 28, 2019In: Business, Industries, Manufacturing, PackagingPrintEmailStora Enso will invest approximately €350 million over the course of 2019-2022 to convert its paper mill in Oulu, Finland, into a packaging production site.The converted site will produce kraftliner for use in packaging for food such as fruit and vegetables, as well as heavy-duty packaging.The venture will involve the installation of a new virgin-fibre based kraftliner production line with an annual capacity of 450,000 tonnes; the modification of the pulp mill and drying machine for unbleached brown pulp, and will include investments to enhance the mill’s environmental performance.However, the company’s paper and sheeting plant will be closed as a result of this conversion project, with approximately 400 employees leaving their positions at the plant by the end of 2020, at which point the Oulu Mill will cease to produce woodfree coated paper.Approximately 180 people will be permanently employed at the site following the conversion.In a statement, Stora Enso claimed that the conversion was necessary as part of the company’s efforts to increase profitability, as the “market dynamics of woodfree coated paper have deteriorated”, necessitating a greater focus on the company’s packaging operations.According to Stora Enso, the Oulu Mill’s pre-tax profit margin is expected to improve by 15–20% once the kraftliner machine is running at full capacity, approximately four years after start-up.Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström said: “The conversion of Oulu Mill will enable Stora Enso to further improve its position in the growing packaging business and take a major step forward in its transformation.“We have proven competence in running large conversion projects successfully, as we have already converted one paper machine at Varkaus Mill to produce kraftliner.”Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, EVP, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division, added: “Economic growth, sustainability and food safety are key market drivers in the packaging business.“This conversion will allow us to provide customers with an innovative kraftliner product with high-performance qualities in terms of strength, printability and food safety.”Share with your network: Tags: FinlandpackagingStora Ensolast_img read more

Its been happening everywhere Santa Fe saddened but not surprised by shooting

first_imgThe Observer In the semi-rural town an hour from Houston, residents suggested it has become not a matter of if, but when and where Since you’re here… Santa Fe, Texas school shooting Tom Dart in Santa Fe, Texas Texas Sat 19 May 2018 09.09 EDT Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter ‘It’s been happening everywhere’: Santa Fe saddened but not surprised by shooting Topics Normally bustling on a Friday lunchtime, Pook’s Crawfish Hole was closed. Where the giant roadside sign might usually promote the restaurant’s specials, it said: “Thoughts and Prayers With Santa Fe.”In the deserted interior, a television mounted on the wall near dangling models of crustaceans was tuned to a local news channel’s coverage of the school shooting that had unfolded that morning just a couple of miles away. Santa Fe shooting: Texas governor confirms 10 people dead and 10 wounded Share on Messenger @Tom_Dart Share on Pinterest Facebook US crime Students from Santa Fe high school listen during a prayer vigil. Photograph: David J. Phillip/AP Santa Fe shooting: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ met with louder calls for change Share via Emailcenter_img The Observer Share via Email Read more Share on LinkedIn Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts)Interviewer: “Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This could not happen at my school?’”Santa Fe High School student: “No. It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always felt it would eventually happen here, too.”pic.twitter.com/MPxVScd3QEMay 18, 2018 Raymond Doreck’s family has run a meat market in the town for 45 years. His daughter attends courses at the high school but was not there on Friday.As images from rolling news reports flickered on the computer monitor on his desk, he confronted what he fears is a modern reality with no easy solution. “You have to look at it that it could happen anywhere. You just hope that it doesn’t. I don’t know how to stop it and I don’t think gun control’s the answer,” the 56-year-old said in his small office, around the corner from a preparation room where trays of spicy beef jerky were stacked high.“We grew up having guns, hunting, none of that ever happened when we had guns. We went to school, used to have guns in the back of our pickups, on the racks. Long as you didn’t take them inside, you know? Nothing like that ever happened.”Outside the front entrance, at a flagpole next to a life-sized model of a cow, a man lowered the Stars and Stripes to half-staff. Share on Facebook “It’s just a shame and hopefully there will be changes nationwide to secure these schools. I’ll leave that up to the professionals,” Vicknair, 39, said. “I think we’ve got officials and stuff that can make those decisions.”Not yet swallowed by Houston’s ever-expanding suburbia, Santa Fe is a spread-out place of about 13,000 people with quiet streets lined with single-storey ranch-style houses, some with front lawns as big as basketball courts.Less racially diverse than other parts of Texas – a large majority of residents are white – and with a slightly higher average household income than the state as a whole, it has a semi-rural character. Still, with the busy Highway 6 running through the centre of town (and past the scene of the slaughter) it is easy enough for residents to commute to Houston, the Gulf coast seaside resort of Galveston or the oil refineries and chemical plants of Texas City.Until now, it was perhaps best known for a case in 2000 in which the US supreme court ruled that the school district’s policy of allowing student-led prayers before football games was unconstitutional. First published on Fri 18 May 2018 17.39 EDT The Santa Fe shooting was the 16th shooting this year at a school during school hours that caused injury or death.Photograph: David J. Phillip/AP Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. features Santa Fe, Texas school shooting Pinterest Shares247247 Vicknair had a similar reply to a similar question: you never think it’ll happen here, right? “People say that, but I always … ” He paused. “Yes. I think that kind of stuff can happen anywhere.”The father of three added: “It makes you wonder. Like I hear people say all the time, [school is] supposed to be a safe place. But I guess nowadays it’s just not.”Santa Fe high school had been placed on lockdown in response to a potential threat as recently as 28 February, when police were called after reports of popping sounds.The deaths and injuries in Santa Fe happened three months after 17 students and staff were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, generating an immense amount of activism and attention, but has not so far translated into meaningful political action.On Friday night, several hundred people, many wearing the green colours of the high school’s sports teams, attended a vigil for the victims in the town. The event featured prayers led by local pastors and speeches by Ted Cruz, the US senator from Texas, and the governor, Greg Abbott, who told the crowd that Texas politicians would work to find solutions that return “normalcy” and “safety” to schools.This was the 16th shooting this year at a school during school hours that caused injury or death. Combined, the tally of the previous fifteen incidents is 21 deaths and 46 injuries. Read more Share on WhatsApp Pook’s opens from January to June, when the crawfish from Louisiana, the next door state, are fresh. But on this day it was shut. “Out of respect,” said Gregg Vicknair, the owner. A sign on the door encouraged would-be patrons to attend the candlelight vigil planned for the evening to mourn the 10 dead.Community gatherings are the most natural and common short-term response in the aftermath of such a tragedy; what felt different from the norm in Santa Fe after the latest American school massacre was the sense that despite theshock, such events happen often enough that it would be almost naive to experience disbelief. Even for some children, it seems, it has become a matter of not if, but when and where.A television journalist’s interview with one Santa Fe student, Paige Curry, went viral on social media. “Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This isn’t real, this would not happen in my school?’” the reporter asked her.Curry gave a rueful semi-laugh. “No, there wasn’t,” she replied. “It’s been happening everywhere, I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too.” Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Spain to beat Japan in world life expectancy league table for 2040

first_img Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Topics This article is more than 8 months old Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Reuse this content People in Spain are predicted to have the longest life expectancy in the world by 2040 – beating Japan into second place – and much of the reason is to do with the way they eat, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study of the global burden of disease.In the years to come, the biggest threats to our health and longevity will be obesity, high blood pressure and blood sugar, tobacco use and drinking alcohol, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, US, which has produced the forecasts.“Spain does really well in those,” said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the IHME at the University of Washington, “although tobacco is an area where they could be better. But current life expectancy is very good.” The Spanish, who are expected to have an average lifespan of 85.8 years, do particularly well in terms of diet, he said. Spain’s health ministry funded the Predimed study, the biggest investigation into the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.Japan, which has for many years enjoyed the highest life expectancy on the planet, is set to lose its crown, according to the Global Burden of Disease study published online by the IHME and in the Lancet medical journal, with an average lifespan just slightly behind at 85.7 years. “Men are not doing so well,” said Murray. “Smoking is probably part of that and obesity has gone up for men but really not for women.” Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share via Email Ageing Twitter Shares913913 Sarah Boseley Health editor The data from the study, which is continually updated with research and statistics from every country in the world. For the first time, the team have produced forecasts not only for the most likely life expectancy and health outcomes for 195 countries and territories, but also best and worst case scenarios.“In my mind the difference between better and worse outcomes is what governments and the global community could achieve,” said Murray. The data demonstrate what will happen if policies are adopted that drive down smoking, improve the supply of clean water, reduce obesity or tackle air pollution.The authors say that all countries are likely to experience a slight increase in life expectancy, but the rise will be slower than previously. The UK is likely to rise up the league table from 26th place to 23rd, with life expectancy increasing from 80.8 years in 2016 to 83.3 years in 2040. UK also expected to rise up league table, but US predicted to fall 20 places Health Share on LinkedIn The top 10 causes of death in the UK will be ischaemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer, lower respiratory infections, COPD, colon and rectum cancer, stroke, breast cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. But there is “great potential to alter the downward trajectory of health” by addressing key risk factors, levels of education and income, the authors say.The US will fall 20 places, from 43rd to 64th, as other countries surge past. The average lifespan of 78.7 years will rise only slightly to 79.8 years.The US has been tumbling down the life expectancy league for a while, said Murray, worsened recently by the impact of deaths linked to the opioid crisis. “We really see this slowing down of progress. There is a whole literature about why the US has been progressively underperforming compared to Europe,” he said. There was nothing in the trends to suggest this would change. On the really big causes of death, such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and injuries, “the trends are not as favourable as what we are seeing in Australia, New Zealand or western Europe.” Heart disease news Support The Guardian This article is more than 8 months old … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Spain to beat Japan in world life expectancy league table for 2040 Japan Since you’re here… Last modified on Fri 19 Oct 2018 08.45 EDT Share via Email Cancer Tue 16 Oct 2018 18.30 EDT The data demonstrate the health improvements if policies are adopted that drive down smoking, among other lifestyle factors. Photograph: Dani Cardona/Reuters Share on Facebook ‘People just have less time now’: is the Mediterranean diet dying out? Murray said he was disappointed at the continuing gulf in life expectancy between the best and worst performing nations in the league table. “I was hoping that by 2040 we would have more convergence than we are seeing and that the world would be less unequal,” he said.The bottom ranked nation, Lesotho in southern Africa, is expected to have life expectancy of only 57.3 by 2040 with the Central African Republic on 58.4, Zimbabwe on 61.3 and Somalia on 63.6. The IHME team are warning that a resurgence of HIV/Aids could further decrease life expectancy.“Inequalities will continue to be large,” said Murray. “The gap between the ‘better’ and ‘worse’ scenarios will narrow but will still be significant. In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated, and die prematurely. But nations could make faster progress by helping people tackle the major risks, especially smoking and poor diet.” Fresh produce on sale in Bilbao, Spain.Photograph: Alamy Share on Pinterest Smoking Spain Spain Facebook Read morelast_img read more

Paul Ryan who bit his lip as Trump ran wild says goodbye

first_imgShare via Email Why Bernie Sanders is (still) the most progressive choice for president Reuse this content Warning of the direct challenge that China’s authoritarian model poses to the west, he said: “The sense I get, from when I have travelled overseas as speaker, is that our allies wonder whether we are still in the game here. When we show that our way of doing things still has juice, that we can do the most good for the most people, liberty gains ground. When we get complacent, we risk seeing more countries go in the direction of the autocrats. A confident America stands up to its challengers by committing to the pillars of international relations.”Under Ryan, Congress approved the biggest tax cuts in decades, boosted defence spending and rolled back Obama regulations to protect clean air and water. He described the House as “the most productive we have had in a generation”, citing the passage of more than 1,000 bills, though most were minor.But the national debt is surging, Medicare and other welfare programmes are growing and the attempt to tear down Obamacare foundered in the Senate. “In this Congress, we came within one vote of real healthcare entitlement reform,” Ryan said wistfully. “Think of that.”His remarks were met by polite applause from the mostly white audience. But even as Ryan spoke, across the street Congress was struggling to avoid a partial government shutdown over Trump’s demand for taxpayer money to build a wall on the Mexican border. @smithinamerica Wed 19 Dec 2018 14.58 EST Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Topics Nathan Robinson features Share on WhatsApp US federal government shutdown 2019 Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest The outrage gets marketed and industrialised, resulting in less passion and less energy, he continued. “We default to lazy litmus tests and shopworn denunciations. It is just emotional pabulum fed from a trough of outrage. It is exhausting. It saps meaning from our politics. And it discourages good people from pursuing public service.“The symptoms of it are in our face all the time. And we have to recognize that its roots run deep, into our society and our culture today. All of this pulls on the threads of our common humanity, in what could be our unravelling.”Ryan admitted that “the drivers of our broken politics are more obvious than the solutions” but that he intends to work on the latter in the next chapter of his career.He also took what many will interpret as a swipe at Trump’s brand of “America first” isolationism that has given succour to dictators and left allies reeling. “A confident America leads the world, too,” he told the audience. “Not with bluster, but with steady, principled action. Remember, history has a way of repeating itself.” Paul Ryan US Congress Pinterest Ryan said: ‘Today, too often, genuine disagreement quickly gives way to intense distrust.’ Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Ryan, the outgoing House speaker, delivered a farewell address in the great hall of the Library of Congress, surrounded by white marble arches, stucco decoration and a high ceiling of painted panels, gold ornaments and stained glass. High above his head was the maxim: “The history of the world is the biography of great men.”Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate for president in 2012, was seen as a small government policy wonk and rising star of the Republican party. But then came Trump’s hostile takeover. At first, Ryan offered resistance, describing the then presidential nominee’s criticism of a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage as “the textbook definition of a racist comment”.But like most other Republicans, when Trump steamrollered his way to the White House, Ryan learned how to bite his lip and look the other way. He paid the price last month when the Republican majority in the House of Representatives was swept away by a blue wave of Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, who is set to regain the speakership.Their victory followed a campaign in which they attacked Republicans, led by Ryan, for trying to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.Wednesday’s farewell after three years as speaker was effectively a concession speech not only to Pelosi but Trump, who owns the Republican party now, sending Ryan’s brand of conservatism into retreat. The Wisconsin congressman, who served for two decades, did not mention the president by name but offered some coded criticism.Flanked by the stars and stripes, with busts of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson looking on, Ryan did deliver a warning about America’s “broken politics”. He said: “Today, too often, genuine disagreement quickly gives way to intense distrust. We spend far more time trying to convict one another than we do developing our own convictions.“Being against someone has more currency than being for anything. Each of us has found ourselves operating on the wrong side of this equation from time to time. All of this gets amplified by technology, with an incentive structure that preys on people’s fears, and algorithms that play on anger. Outrage is a brand.” Paul Ryan Play Video Read more David Smith in Washington Paul Ryan, who bit his lip as Trump ran wild, says goodbye to politics US politics ‘Outrage has become a brand’: Paul Ryan bemoans ‘broken politics’ in farewell speech – video Read more House of Representatives … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook Share via Email Republicans 1:17 Share on Messenger Shares417417 He used to be the future of the Republican party. On Wednesday Paul Ryan, seen by critics as an arch enabler of Donald Trump, left the political stage at the grand old age of 48. Share on Twitter US government shutdown: what is it, will it happen and who’s to blame? Last modified on Sun 20 Jan 2019 14.40 EST Donald Trump Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Outgoing speaker attacks ‘America’s broken politics’ in farewell speech but doesn’t mention Trump by namelast_img read more

Robot Revolution

first_img“When it comes to robots, we’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities!”I entered the Museum of Science and Industry this morning with wide eyes and a childlike curiosity.  As soon as we pulled up outside, we were greeted by a large banner of a robot.  I exclaimed, “Okay, I don’t care how much it costs we have to go see that exhibit!”The exhibit, coined “Robot Revolution”, features over a dozen robots, each manufactured for different tasks and abilities.  When you first enter the exhibit, you’ll be greeted by RoboThespian.RoboThespian:RoboThespian is a life-sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction.  He is made of steel and plastic but moves just like a human.  I noticed he fidgets his fingers and moves his eyes around while singing and acting.  He is fully interactive, multilingual, and user-friendly, making it the perfect companion to communicate and entertain.Click here to learn more about RoboThespian.EKSO:Next, I saw an exoskeleton in real life!  Even though I have written about them before, it was interesting to see one in person.  In case you’re unfamiliar, exoskeletons are designed to benefit persons who are unable to walk such as those with:Spinal cord injuryMultiple sclerosisMuscular dystrophyAnd moreExoskeletons can provide mobility once they’re attached to the user.  In other words, they can help people with different mobility impairments learn to walk!Click here to learn more about EKSO Bionics.FANUC Delta Robot:Remember that hilarious episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel get jobs at an assembly line?  Everything ended up going too quickly and they weren’t able to keep up.  This is where the FANUC Delta Robot comes into play.  The FANUC robot is one of the more common robots found in today’s society.  It is commonly used in factory assembly lines due to its ability to select and sort items with precision and speed.Click here to learn more about FANUC Robotics.VERSABALL:The VERSABALL was one of my favorites from today’s exhibit as I could see myself using it multiple times daily.  Every single day I find myself dropping medicine, money, pens, and other small objects.  The VERSABALL is a highly adaptable squishy gripper.  To use, simply drop the inflated ball on the object, and the particles inside the gripper surround the item to pick it up!  Amazing!Click here to learn more about VERSABALL.EMYS:Humans have dozens of muscles in their faces that express a few basic emotions and communicate subtle messages.  EMYS’ design was inspired by these facts.  In sum, it is a robotic head with a friendly appearance and outstanding interactive capabilities.  He is able to move, speak, and express emotions.What’s fascinating about EMYS is how his developers chose to design him.  He is very expressive and emotional but doesn’t look too humanlike.  “Three independent discs move when he speaks, and his eyes effectively express a wide range of emotions.  At the exhibit, however, EMYS was limited to showing the following emotions:AngrySadAfraidSurprisedHappyClick here to learn more about EMYS.LiDAR:Have you heard about self-driving cars yet?  There are many prototypes available, but the Google Car in this particular exhibit used sensors called LiDAR (“light” + “radar”).  The description on the LiDAR reads as follows:“The Google self-driving car’s software combines GPS data and sensor information to tell the car where it’s located.  Sensors also give 360-degree information about other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and random hazards that run into the road.  The software predicts what is likely to happen next based on learning from past experience. It takes all the information and chooses a safe speed and route, taking care of the driving so riders can enjoy the journey.”Click here to learn more about LiDAR.The exhibit will be at the Museum of Science and Industry until February 4, 2018.  Click here to learn more!Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedDisney’s Big Hero 6 and Robots in Real LifeNovember 12, 2014In “Products and Devices”Robots4Autism: Teaching Social Skills for LifeFebruary 25, 2014In “Tech Tips”From Workplace to ShowcaseFebruary 25, 2015In “Autism”last_img read more

Serene Innovations Super Bed Shaker

first_imgThe last two blog posts have discussed two different bed shakers (Vibio and AlarmDock) for heavy sleepers or individuals who are hard of hearing.  Another example of a bed shaker is the Serene Innovations Super Bed Shaker.The Super Bed Shaker gently wakes you up with vibrations that gradually increase in strength.  It pairs directly with your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth.  To get started, simply download the free app, customize your alarm settings, and tuck the device under your pillow or mattress.Features of Serene Innovations Super Bed Shaker:Will wake even the deepest of sleepers with powerful, increasingly strong vibrationsAlerts to important phone calls, texts, and social media notificationsSnooze from the app or button on shakerRechargeable battery lasts up to 45 daysLow battery indicator 9 language options: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Norwegian and ItalianAutomatically updates to local time when travelingComes with bed shaker, charging cable and belt clip so you can secure it to your pillowClick here to learn more!Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedVibio Bluetooth Bed ShakerApril 5, 2018In “Hearing”AM281 – Vibio Bluetooth SpeakerApril 6, 2018In “Accessibility Minute”Silent Call AlarmDockApril 10, 2018In “Products and Devices”last_img read more

FrontdeskAI Adds Intelligent Webchat To Family Of AI Assistants For Small Business

first_imgFrontdeskAI, the leading developer of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for small businesses and franchises, has announced the immediate availability of Sasha Online, an intelligent webchat solution for appointment-based businesses. Powered by FrontdeskAI advanced conversational AI technology that is already deployed in over 200 wellness companies and franchises, Sasha Online can quickly and intelligently respond to enquiries and appointment requests with human-like conversation that has contextual intelligence and that learns with every engagement. Sasha Online delivers immediate productivity and revenue generation through automated appointment scheduling and rescheduling and improved customer engagement.Unlike traditional webchats that are either very limited bot-based widgets or require manual support, Sasha Online provides the most advanced AI and contextual based capabilities that both automate and provide an enjoyable human-like experience to respond to website visitor’s questions and information requests. Because Sasha Online learns with every interaction, it remembers customers and their preferences, all adding to the customer experience.Marketing Technology News: MicroStrategy Scores Highest in Four Use Cases in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms ReportSasha Online can be integrated into customers’ websites within a few minutes.  Every deployment is customized to an individual business, including workflow, service options and brand & tone.  It does not require coding or system changes and seamlessly integrates with a wide choice of booking software solutions including Booker and MINDBODY so that appointment scheduling and rescheduling is automated while delivering the optimal customer experience.  Of particular benefit to franchise businesses is that Sasha Online ensures the franchiser keeps control of the brand voice and tone of its web presence while allowing franchisees  to manage their location specific information such as hours, services and promotions.  Sasha Online contextually switches to the relevant location so that the customers are immediately interacting with the right and relevant information.Sasha Online provides intelligence and reporting tools for franchises and individual business owners in terms of understanding the nature and frequency of enquiries, trends around appointment scheduling and cancellations, their most popular services and potential services that are not currently available but frequently requested.Marketing Technology News: Batterii Unveils New Co-Creation App to Eliminate All Traditional Focus GroupsBecause Sasha Online uses the same advanced AI technology of FrontdeskAI phone assistants — Sasha for Salons and Sasha for Fitness — which have already fielded over 300,000 customer enquiries, it has advanced intelligence specific to the wellness industry which delivers immediate value and impact.  With Sasha Online, appointment-based businesses now have omni-channel AI assistants including phone and web solutions to respond to customer information and appointment needs.FrontdeskAI customers typically achieve 30% increase in revenue within the first 30 days resulting from reduced miss appointments, easy rescheduling and productivity improvements.Marketing Technology News: Relativity Showcases a New Way to Analyze Short Message and Mobile Data FrontdeskAI Adds Intelligent Webchat To Family Of AI Assistants For Small Business And Franchises PRNewswireMay 27, 2019, 7:56 pmMay 27, 2019 appointment-based businessesArtificial IntelligenceFrontdeskAIMarketing TechnologyNewsSasha OnlineWebchat Previous ArticleOnline Purchasing Errors Directly Impact Business GrowthNext ArticleNavigating GDPR: Preparing for What’s to Comelast_img read more

Valve Introduces Machine Learning Algorithm to Recommend New Steam Games

first_img Finding games on Steam has always been difficult, but the flood of titles being published on the platform has made discoverability a massive problem for creators and gamers alike. Valve is attempting to improve the situation with a new game recommendation system that relies on AI, rather than user-curated metadata. The AI isn’t given any information about a game at all, rather than its release date, and it isn’t impacted by review scores or tags. Instead, it learns about games solely based on what players do.Valve writes:Underlying this new recommender is a neural-network model that is trained to recommend games based on a user’s playtime history, along with other salient data. We train the model based on data from many millions of Steam users and many billions of play sessions, giving us robust results that capture the nuances of different play patterns and covers our catalog. The model is parameterized so that we can restrict output to games released within a specified time-window, and can be adjusted to prefer games a higher or lower underlying popularity. These parameters are exposed to the user, allowing you to select whether to see only recent releases in the results, or go all the way back to include games released a decade ago. Similarly, you can choose whether to see mainstream hits, or deep cuts from the catalog. Regardless of the settings of the sliders, the results will always be personalized and relevant to the individual user.Valve’s ability to create recommendation engines, search tools, and discoverability enhancements that treat players and creators fairly has taken some hits over the past year. During the recent “Grand Prix” summer sale, Valve created a confusing competition around the event. As a result, gamers began removing indie titles from their wish lists en masse in an attempt to game the system and receive expensive AAA titles for free, out of a mistaken belief that deleting low-cost titles increased their chances of receiving expensive free games. Creators panicked. Having a game on your wish list means receiving updates when it goes on sale, and those notifications apparently have a major impact on how many copies a game sells overall. Developers are exceedingly unhappy with how the Steam sale played out this year, and many saw no uptick at all in either wish list pickups or overall sales.The new game recommendation system Valve is unveiling today isn’t a direct response to the Grand Prix debacle, but it’s an example of how the company is attempting to improve its own recommendation algorithms in ways that will be fair to game creators and help players find titles they want to experience. To date, Valve’s changes to its recommendation system have been controversial; an algorithm bug last year drove far more traffic to already-established titles at the expense of smaller titles. After the Grand Prix problems, some developers have lost faith that Valve is particularly interested in solving the situation.“Before October 2018 (and for a few months after that while I gave Steam the benefit of the doubt), I told anyone who asked me that Steam was 100% worth it for indie developers,” developer Yitz told Kotaku via Twitter DM:Now, that trust is gone, and it’s not because I’ve changed or become more cynical… This Steam sale was a disaster, but I’m far more concerned about the overall trend we’ve seen in the Steam algorithm since October last year: pushing unpopular (including ‘mostly negative’ reviewed) triple-A games over titles that Steam has more than enough data to know would be a better match for the consumer.I decided to take the Steam recommendation algorithm out for a spin, to see what kind of titles it would recommend for me, personally. In my specific case, I’m prepared for the algorithm to be a little less accurate — some of the games I’ve spent the most time “playing,” historically, are titles I’ve used for benchmarking, and it’s possible that will throw off the algorithm. I also have a very bad habit of leaving games alt-tabbed while running in the background, which can also drastically inflate my own playtimes.I have not spent 73.5 actual days of my life playing Fallout 4.That’s the default view when you login. Your top games are listed along the left, while recommended titles are on the right. Here’s the top game listing when you play with the “Niche” versus “Popular” slider. My “Popular” games list is on the left below, while the full “Niche” recommendations are on the right.Regarding its recommendation algorithm, Valve writes:One direction is to gather every single piece of information about a game, and then make guesses about what games are similar, and then recommend those “similar” games. But that allows for all sorts of weird distortions— just because you play a lot of Beat Saber, doesn’t mean we should only ever recommend you VR rhythm games. This model takes a different approach. It disregards most of the usual data about a game, like genre or price point. Instead, it looks at what games you play and what games other people play, then makes informed suggestions based on the decisions of other people playing games on Steam. The idea is that if players with broadly similar play habits to you also tend to play another game you haven’t tried yet, then that game is likely to be a good recommendation for you.The “niche” versus “popular” slider seems as though it could use some fine-tuning. Somehow, Metro 2033 Redux is the most popular title recommended for me under both options. But it’s odd that this game should be recommended to me in the first place, given that I own (but have never bothered to beat) Metro 2033. The same is true of Metro Last Light Redux. It makes sense to recommend Metro 2033 Redux to me if the only thing you’re examining is either hours played (I used it for benchmarking) or “number of games owned in the Metro series.” Examining the number of unlocked achievements in these titles would show that I barely played either.The other shortcoming I see in this data isn’t exactly Valve or Steam’s fault. I own Far Cry 3 on uPlay and Witcher 3 on GoG. I played games like Dishonored, Borderlands 2, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood using a friend’s Steam account. The quality of the recommendations is a bit mixed — I loved Dishonored and found Borderlands 2 relatively amusing, but was not a huge fan of Far Cry 3 and have never actually played very much of The Witcher 3. The “niche” titles are games I haven’t played or heard of, so it seems to be fulfilling its goals in that regard, though that also makes it more difficult to interpret if I’d like them.The goal is for this tool to be a better recommendation engine for games that isn’t susceptible to being gamed or manipulated, or that requires developers to worry about optimizing for underlying and unknown algorithms. The idea is for the AI model to watch what players are playing and recommend these games to people who play similar games to those people. We’ll have to wait for data on how it works, but discoverability has been a major problem for every kind of online store. Solving it, or even improving it, would be a major achievement for any storefront.Now Read:Gamers Hate the Epic Store, but They Hated Steam, TooSteam Prepares to Roll Out Revamped Library PageValve Lays Off 13 Employees, May Have Slashed VR Division Don’t Watch These Movies With Your Parents Valve Introduces Machine Learning Algorithm to Recommend New Steam Games Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet ‘Doctor Strange 2’ May Have A Different Version Of Nick Fury Natalie Portman Reacts to Being the Next ‘Thor’ Maisie Williams’ Transformation is Turning Heads 8 Comments Saying Goodbye to Johnny Depp Mahershala Ali Gives Respect To Wesley Snipes’ Role As Blade Wesley Snipes Fans Have Something to Say About ‘Blade’ Reboot Fans Are Absolutely Furious About That ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Rumor By Joel Hruska on July 12, 2019 at 9:47 am Tagged In gamingaimachine learningsteamvalvedeep learningGOGuPlaydiscoverabilitymetro 2033Steam Summer Salegame recommendationsGrand Prixrecommendation engineSteam games Post a Comment 8 Commentslast_img read more

How Do SSDs Work

first_img You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet By Joel Hruska on July 18, 2019 at 8:29 am Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screen Here at ExtremeTech, we’ve often discussed the difference between different types of NAND structures — vertical NAND versus planar, or multi-level cell (MLC) versus triple-level cells (TLC) and quad-level cells (QLC). Now, let’s talk about the more basic relevant question: How do SSDs work in the first place, and how do they compare with newer technologies, like Intel’s non-volatile storage technology, Optane?To understand how and why SSDs are different from spinning discs, we need to talk a little bit about hard drives. A hard drive stores data on a series of spinning magnetic disks called platters. There’s an actuator arm with read/write heads attached to it. This arm positions the read-write heads over the correct area of the drive to read or write information.Because the drive heads must align over an area of the disk in order to read or write data (and the disk is constantly spinning), there’s a non-zero wait time before data can be accessed. The drive may need to read from multiple locations in order to launch a program or load a file, which means it may have to wait for the platters to spin into the proper position multiple times before it can complete the command. If a drive is asleep or in a low-power state, it can take several seconds more for the disk to spin up to full power and begin operating.From the very beginning, it was clear that hard drives couldn’t possibly match the speeds at which CPUs could operate. Latency in HDDs is measured in milliseconds, compared with nanoseconds for your typical CPU. One millisecond is 1,000,000 nanoseconds, and it typically takes a hard drive 10-15 milliseconds to find data on the drive and begin reading it. The hard drive industry introduced smaller platters, on-disk memory caches, and faster spindle speeds to counteract this trend, but there’s only so fast drives can spin. Western Digital’s 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor family is the fastest set of drives ever built for the consumer market, while some enterprise drives spun up to 15,000 RPM. The problem is, even the fastest spinning drive with the largest caches and smallest platters are still achingly slow as far as your CPU is concerned.How SSDs Are Different“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry FordSolid-state drives are called that specifically because they don’t rely on moving parts or spinning disks. Instead, data is saved to a pool of NAND flash. NAND itself is made up of what are called floating gate transistors. Unlike the transistor designs used in DRAM, which must be refreshed multiple times per second, NAND flash is designed to retain its charge state even when not powered up. This makes NAND a type of non-volatile memory.Image by Cyferz at Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.The diagram above shows a simple flash cell design. Electrons are stored in the floating gate, which then reads as charged “0” or not-charged “1.” Yes, in NAND flash, a 0 means data is stored in a cell — it’s the opposite of how we typically think of a zero or one. NAND flash is organized in a grid. The entire grid layout is referred to as a block, while the individual rows that make up the grid are called a page. Common page sizes are 2K, 4K, 8K, or 16K, with 128 to 256 pages per block. Block size therefore typically varies between 256KB and 4MB.One advantage of this system should be immediately obvious. Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can operate at speeds far above those of a typical HDD. The following chart shows the access latency for typical storage mediums given in microseconds.Image by CodeCapsuleNAND is nowhere near as fast as main memory, but it’s multiple orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive. While write latencies are significantly slower for NAND flash than read latencies, they still outstrip traditional spinning media.There are two things to notice in the above chart. First, note how adding more bits per cell of NAND has a significant impact on the memory’s performance. It’s worse for writes as opposed to reads — typical triple-level-cell (TLC) latency is 4x worse compared with single-level cell (SLC) NAND for reads, but 6x worse for writes. Erase latencies are also significantly impacted. The impact isn’t proportional, either — TLC NAND is nearly twice as slow as MLC NAND, despite holding just 50% more data (three bits per cell, instead of two). This is also true for QLC drives, which store even more bits at varying voltage levels within the same cell.The reason TLC NAND is slower than MLC or SLC has to do with how data moves in and out of the NAND cell. With SLC NAND, the controller only needs to know if the bit is a 0 or a 1. With MLC NAND, the cell may have four values — 00, 01, 10, or 11. With TLC NAND, the cell can have eight values, and QLC has 16. Reading the proper value out of the cell requires the memory controller to use a precise voltage to ascertain whether any particular cell is charged.Reads, Writes, and ErasureOne of the functional limitations of SSDs is while they can read and write data very quickly to an empty drive, overwriting data is much slower. This is because while SSDs read data at the page level (meaning from individual rows within the NAND memory grid) and can write at the page level, assuming surrounding cells are empty, they can only erase data at the block level. This is because the act of erasing NAND flash requires a high amount of voltage. While you can theoretically erase NAND at the page level, the amount of voltage required stresses the individual cells around the cells that are being re-written. Erasing data at the block level helps mitigate this problem.The only way for an SSD to update an existing page is to copy the contents of the entire block into memory, erase the block, and then write the contents of the old block + the updated page. If the drive is full and there are no empty pages available, the SSD must first scan for blocks that are marked for deletion but that haven’t been deleted yet, erase them, and then write the data to the now-erased page. This is why SSDs can become slower as they age — a mostly-empty drive is full of blocks that can be written immediately, a mostly-full drive is more likely to be forced through the entire program/erase sequence.If you’ve used SSDs, you’ve likely heard of something called “garbage collection.” Garbage collection is a background process that allows a drive to mitigate the performance impact of the program/erase cycle by performing certain tasks in the background. The following image steps through the garbage collection process.Image courtesy of WikipediaNote in this example, the drive has taken advantage of the fact that it can write very quickly to empty pages by writing new values for the first four blocks (A’-D’). It’s also written two new blocks, E and H. Blocks A-D are now marked as stale, meaning they contain information the drive has marked as out-of-date. During an idle period, the SSD will move the fresh pages over to a new block, erase the old block, and mark it as free space. This means the next time the SSD needs to perform a write, it can write directly to the now-empty Block X, rather than performing the program/erase cycle.The next concept I want to discuss is TRIM. When you delete a file from Windows on a typical hard drive, the file isn’t deleted immediately. Instead, the operating system tells the hard drive it can overwrite the physical area of the disk where that data was stored the next time it needs to perform a write. This is why it’s possible to undelete files (and why deleting files in Windows doesn’t typically clear much physical disk space until you empty the recycling bin). With a traditional HDD, the OS doesn’t need to pay attention to where data is being written or what the relative state of the blocks or pages is. With an SSD, this matters.The TRIM command allows the operating system to tell the SSD it can skip rewriting certain data the next time it performs a block erase. This lowers the total amount of data the drive writes and increases SSD longevity. Both reads and writes damage NAND flash, but writes do far more damage than reads. Fortunately, block-level longevity has not proven to be an issue in modern NAND flash. More data on SSD longevity, courtesy of the Tech Report, can be found here.The last two concepts we want to talk about are wear leveling and write amplification. Because SSDs write data to pages but erase data in blocks, the amount of data being written to the drive is always larger than the actual update. If you make a change to a 4KB file, for example, the entire block that 4K file sits within must be updated and rewritten. Depending on the number of pages per block and the size of the pages, you might end up writing 4MB worth of data to update a 4KB file. Garbage collection reduces the impact of write amplification, as does the TRIM command. Keeping a significant chunk of the drive free and/or manufacturer over-provisioning can also reduce the impact of write amplification.Wear leveling refers to the practice of ensuring certain NAND blocks aren’t written and erased more often than others. While wear leveling increases a drive’s life expectancy and endurance by writing to the NAND equally, it can actually increase write amplification. In other to distribute writes evenly across the disk, it’s sometimes necessary to program and erase blocks even though their contents haven’t actually changed. A good wear leveling algorithm seeks to balance these impacts.The SSD ControllerIt should be obvious by now SSDs require much more sophisticated control mechanisms than hard drives do. That’s not to diss magnetic media — I actually think HDDs deserve more respect than they are given. The mechanical challenges involved in balancing multiple read-write heads nanometers above platters that spin at 5,400 to 10,000 RPM are nothing to sneeze at. The fact that HDDs perform this challenge while pioneering new methods of recording to magnetic media and eventually wind up selling drives at 3-5 cents per gigabyte is simply incredible.A typical SSD controllerSSD controllers, however, are in a class by themselves. They often have a DDR3 or DDR4 memory pool to help with managing the NAND itself. Many drives also incorporate single-level cell caches that act as buffers, increasing drive performance by dedicating fast NAND to read/write cycles. Because the NAND flash in an SSD is typically connected to the controller through a series of parallel memory channels, you can think of the drive controller as performing some of the same load-balancing work as a high-end storage array — SSDs don’t deploy RAID internally but wear leveling, garbage collection, and SLC cache management all have parallels in the big iron world.Some drives also use data compression algorithms to reduce the total number of writes and improve the drive’s lifespan. The SSD controller handles error correction, and the algorithms that control for single-bit errors have become increasingly complex as time has passed.Unfortunately, we can’t go into too much detail on SSD controllers because companies lock down their various secret sauces. Much of NAND flash’s performance is determined by the underlying controller, and companies aren’t willing to lift the lid too far on how they do what they do, lest they hand a competitor an advantage.InterfacesIn the beginning, SSDs used SATA ports, just like hard drives. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift to M.2 drives — very thin drives, several inches long, that slot directly into the motherboard (or, in a few cases, into a mounting bracket on a PCIe riser card. A Samsung 970 EVO Plus drive is shown below.NVMe drives offer higher performance than traditional SATA drivers because they support a faster interface. Conventional SSDs attached via SATA top out at ~550MB/s in terms of practical read/write speeds. M.2 drives are capable of substantially faster performance into the 3.2GB/s range.The Road AheadNAND flash offers an enormous improvement over hard drives, but it isn’t without its own drawbacks and challenges. Drive capacities and price-per-gigabyte are expected to continue to rise and fall respectively, but there’s little chance SSDs will catch hard drives in price-per-gigabyte. Shrinking process nodes are a significant challenge for NAND flash — while most hardware improves as the node shrinks, NAND becomes more fragile. Data retention times and write performance are intrinsically lower for 20nm NAND than 40nm NAND, even if data density and total capacity are vastly improved. Thus far, we’ve seen drives with up to 96 layers in-market, and 128 layers seems plausible at this point. Overall, the shift to 3D NAND has helped improve density without shrinking process nodes or relying on planar scaling.Thus far, SSD manufacturers have delivered better performance by offering faster data standards, more bandwidth, and more channels per controller — plus the use of SLC caches we mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, in the long run, it’s assumed NAND will be replaced by something else.What that something else will look like is still open for debate. Both magnetic RAM and phase change memory have presented themselves as candidates, though both technologies are still in early stages and must overcome significant challenges to actually compete as a replacement to NAND. Whether consumers would notice the difference is an open question. If you’ve upgraded from NAND to an SSD and then upgraded to a faster SSD, you’re likely aware the gap between HDDs and SSDs is much larger than the SSD-to-SSD gap, even when upgrading from a relatively modest drive. Improving access times from milliseconds to microseconds matters a great deal, but improving them from microseconds to nanoseconds might fall below what humans can really perceive in most cases.Intel’s 3D XPoint (marketed as Intel Optane) has emerged as one potential challenger to NAND flash, and the only current alternative technology in mainstream production. Optane SSDs don’t use NAND — they’re built using non-volatile memory believed to be implemented similarly to phase-change RAM — but they offer similar sequential performance to current NAND flash drives, but with vastly better performance at low drive queues. Drive latency is also roughly half of NAND flash (10 microseconds, versus 20) and vastly higher endurance (30 full drive-writes per day, compared with 10 full drive writes per day for a high-end Intel SSD).Intel Optane performance targetsThe first Optane SSDs have debuted as excellent add-ons for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake. Optane is also available in standalone drives, and in a variety of server roles for enterprise computing. At the moment, Optane is still too expensive to match NAND flash, which benefits from substantial economies of scale, but this could change in the future. NAND will stay king of the hill for at least the next 3-4 years. But past that point, we could see Optane starting to replace it in volume, depending on how Intel and Micron scale the technology and how well 3D NAND flash continues to expand its cell layers (96-layer NAND is shipping from multiple players), with roadmaps for 128 layers on the horizon.Check out our ExtremeTech Explains series for more in-depth coverage of today’s hottest tech topics.Now read:The Worst CPUs Ever BuiltHappy 40th Anniversary to the Original Intel 8086The Myths of Moore’s Law<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> Quentin Tarantino’s 50 Greatest Quotes How Do SSDs Work? Easter Eggs In ‘E.T.’ You Only Notice As An Adult Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. The Surprising Reason Why Brandon Routh Is Returning to Superman Canceled Marvel Movies We’ll Never Get to See Iconic Movie Scenes These Actors Totally Regret Filming 0 Comments The Dangerous ‘Toy Story 4’ Scene One Million Moms is Protesting Tagged In storageextremetech explainsSSDNANDSSDshard drivesNAND flashsolid state storage Post a Comment 0 Comments Celebs Who Were Sadly Killed By Their Fanslast_img read more

How Do SSDs Work

first_img This ‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ April Fools’ Day Joke Broke Hearts The Surprising Reason Why Brandon Routh Is Returning to Superman 0 Comments Here at ExtremeTech, we’ve often discussed the difference between different types of NAND structures — vertical NAND versus planar, or multi-level cell (MLC) versus triple-level cells (TLC) and quad-level cells (QLC). Now, let’s talk about the more basic relevant question: How do SSDs work in the first place, and how do they compare with newer technologies, like Intel’s non-volatile storage technology, Optane?To understand how and why SSDs are different from spinning discs, we need to talk a little bit about hard drives. A hard drive stores data on a series of spinning magnetic disks called platters. There’s an actuator arm with read/write heads attached to it. This arm positions the read-write heads over the correct area of the drive to read or write information.Because the drive heads must align over an area of the disk in order to read or write data (and the disk is constantly spinning), there’s a non-zero wait time before data can be accessed. The drive may need to read from multiple locations in order to launch a program or load a file, which means it may have to wait for the platters to spin into the proper position multiple times before it can complete the command. If a drive is asleep or in a low-power state, it can take several seconds more for the disk to spin up to full power and begin operating.From the very beginning, it was clear that hard drives couldn’t possibly match the speeds at which CPUs could operate. Latency in HDDs is measured in milliseconds, compared with nanoseconds for your typical CPU. One millisecond is 1,000,000 nanoseconds, and it typically takes a hard drive 10-15 milliseconds to find data on the drive and begin reading it. The hard drive industry introduced smaller platters, on-disk memory caches, and faster spindle speeds to counteract this trend, but there’s only so fast drives can spin. Western Digital’s 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor family is the fastest set of drives ever built for the consumer market, while some enterprise drives spun up to 15,000 RPM. The problem is, even the fastest spinning drive with the largest caches and smallest platters are still achingly slow as far as your CPU is concerned.How SSDs Are Different“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry FordSolid-state drives are called that specifically because they don’t rely on moving parts or spinning disks. Instead, data is saved to a pool of NAND flash. NAND itself is made up of what are called floating gate transistors. Unlike the transistor designs used in DRAM, which must be refreshed multiple times per second, NAND flash is designed to retain its charge state even when not powered up. This makes NAND a type of non-volatile memory.Image by Cyferz at Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.The diagram above shows a simple flash cell design. Electrons are stored in the floating gate, which then reads as charged “0” or not-charged “1.” Yes, in NAND flash, a 0 means data is stored in a cell — it’s the opposite of how we typically think of a zero or one. NAND flash is organized in a grid. The entire grid layout is referred to as a block, while the individual rows that make up the grid are called a page. Common page sizes are 2K, 4K, 8K, or 16K, with 128 to 256 pages per block. Block size therefore typically varies between 256KB and 4MB.One advantage of this system should be immediately obvious. Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can operate at speeds far above those of a typical HDD. The following chart shows the access latency for typical storage mediums given in microseconds.Image by CodeCapsuleNAND is nowhere near as fast as main memory, but it’s multiple orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive. While write latencies are significantly slower for NAND flash than read latencies, they still outstrip traditional spinning media.There are two things to notice in the above chart. First, note how adding more bits per cell of NAND has a significant impact on the memory’s performance. It’s worse for writes as opposed to reads — typical triple-level-cell (TLC) latency is 4x worse compared with single-level cell (SLC) NAND for reads, but 6x worse for writes. Erase latencies are also significantly impacted. The impact isn’t proportional, either — TLC NAND is nearly twice as slow as MLC NAND, despite holding just 50% more data (three bits per cell, instead of two). This is also true for QLC drives, which store even more bits at varying voltage levels within the same cell.The reason TLC NAND is slower than MLC or SLC has to do with how data moves in and out of the NAND cell. With SLC NAND, the controller only needs to know if the bit is a 0 or a 1. With MLC NAND, the cell may have four values — 00, 01, 10, or 11. With TLC NAND, the cell can have eight values, and QLC has 16. Reading the proper value out of the cell requires the memory controller to use a precise voltage to ascertain whether any particular cell is charged.Reads, Writes, and ErasureOne of the functional limitations of SSDs is while they can read and write data very quickly to an empty drive, overwriting data is much slower. This is because while SSDs read data at the page level (meaning from individual rows within the NAND memory grid) and can write at the page level, assuming surrounding cells are empty, they can only erase data at the block level. This is because the act of erasing NAND flash requires a high amount of voltage. While you can theoretically erase NAND at the page level, the amount of voltage required stresses the individual cells around the cells that are being re-written. Erasing data at the block level helps mitigate this problem.The only way for an SSD to update an existing page is to copy the contents of the entire block into memory, erase the block, and then write the contents of the old block + the updated page. If the drive is full and there are no empty pages available, the SSD must first scan for blocks that are marked for deletion but that haven’t been deleted yet, erase them, and then write the data to the now-erased page. This is why SSDs can become slower as they age — a mostly-empty drive is full of blocks that can be written immediately, a mostly-full drive is more likely to be forced through the entire program/erase sequence.If you’ve used SSDs, you’ve likely heard of something called “garbage collection.” Garbage collection is a background process that allows a drive to mitigate the performance impact of the program/erase cycle by performing certain tasks in the background. The following image steps through the garbage collection process.Image courtesy of WikipediaNote in this example, the drive has taken advantage of the fact that it can write very quickly to empty pages by writing new values for the first four blocks (A’-D’). It’s also written two new blocks, E and H. Blocks A-D are now marked as stale, meaning they contain information the drive has marked as out-of-date. During an idle period, the SSD will move the fresh pages over to a new block, erase the old block, and mark it as free space. This means the next time the SSD needs to perform a write, it can write directly to the now-empty Block X, rather than performing the program/erase cycle.The next concept I want to discuss is TRIM. When you delete a file from Windows on a typical hard drive, the file isn’t deleted immediately. Instead, the operating system tells the hard drive it can overwrite the physical area of the disk where that data was stored the next time it needs to perform a write. This is why it’s possible to undelete files (and why deleting files in Windows doesn’t typically clear much physical disk space until you empty the recycling bin). With a traditional HDD, the OS doesn’t need to pay attention to where data is being written or what the relative state of the blocks or pages is. With an SSD, this matters.The TRIM command allows the operating system to tell the SSD it can skip rewriting certain data the next time it performs a block erase. This lowers the total amount of data the drive writes and increases SSD longevity. Both reads and writes damage NAND flash, but writes do far more damage than reads. Fortunately, block-level longevity has not proven to be an issue in modern NAND flash. More data on SSD longevity, courtesy of the Tech Report, can be found here.The last two concepts we want to talk about are wear leveling and write amplification. Because SSDs write data to pages but erase data in blocks, the amount of data being written to the drive is always larger than the actual update. If you make a change to a 4KB file, for example, the entire block that 4K file sits within must be updated and rewritten. Depending on the number of pages per block and the size of the pages, you might end up writing 4MB worth of data to update a 4KB file. Garbage collection reduces the impact of write amplification, as does the TRIM command. Keeping a significant chunk of the drive free and/or manufacturer over-provisioning can also reduce the impact of write amplification.Wear leveling refers to the practice of ensuring certain NAND blocks aren’t written and erased more often than others. While wear leveling increases a drive’s life expectancy and endurance by writing to the NAND equally, it can actually increase write amplification. In other to distribute writes evenly across the disk, it’s sometimes necessary to program and erase blocks even though their contents haven’t actually changed. A good wear leveling algorithm seeks to balance these impacts.The SSD ControllerIt should be obvious by now SSDs require much more sophisticated control mechanisms than hard drives do. That’s not to diss magnetic media — I actually think HDDs deserve more respect than they are given. The mechanical challenges involved in balancing multiple read-write heads nanometers above platters that spin at 5,400 to 10,000 RPM are nothing to sneeze at. The fact that HDDs perform this challenge while pioneering new methods of recording to magnetic media and eventually wind up selling drives at 3-5 cents per gigabyte is simply incredible.A typical SSD controllerSSD controllers, however, are in a class by themselves. They often have a DDR3 or DDR4 memory pool to help with managing the NAND itself. Many drives also incorporate single-level cell caches that act as buffers, increasing drive performance by dedicating fast NAND to read/write cycles. Because the NAND flash in an SSD is typically connected to the controller through a series of parallel memory channels, you can think of the drive controller as performing some of the same load-balancing work as a high-end storage array — SSDs don’t deploy RAID internally but wear leveling, garbage collection, and SLC cache management all have parallels in the big iron world.Some drives also use data compression algorithms to reduce the total number of writes and improve the drive’s lifespan. The SSD controller handles error correction, and the algorithms that control for single-bit errors have become increasingly complex as time has passed.Unfortunately, we can’t go into too much detail on SSD controllers because companies lock down their various secret sauces. Much of NAND flash’s performance is determined by the underlying controller, and companies aren’t willing to lift the lid too far on how they do what they do, lest they hand a competitor an advantage.InterfacesIn the beginning, SSDs used SATA ports, just like hard drives. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift to M.2 drives — very thin drives, several inches long, that slot directly into the motherboard (or, in a few cases, into a mounting bracket on a PCIe riser card. A Samsung 970 EVO Plus drive is shown below.NVMe drives offer higher performance than traditional SATA drivers because they support a faster interface. Conventional SSDs attached via SATA top out at ~550MB/s in terms of practical read/write speeds. M.2 drives are capable of substantially faster performance into the 3.2GB/s range.The Road AheadNAND flash offers an enormous improvement over hard drives, but it isn’t without its own drawbacks and challenges. Drive capacities and price-per-gigabyte are expected to continue to rise and fall respectively, but there’s little chance SSDs will catch hard drives in price-per-gigabyte. Shrinking process nodes are a significant challenge for NAND flash — while most hardware improves as the node shrinks, NAND becomes more fragile. Data retention times and write performance are intrinsically lower for 20nm NAND than 40nm NAND, even if data density and total capacity are vastly improved. Thus far, we’ve seen drives with up to 96 layers in-market, and 128 layers seems plausible at this point. Overall, the shift to 3D NAND has helped improve density without shrinking process nodes or relying on planar scaling.Thus far, SSD manufacturers have delivered better performance by offering faster data standards, more bandwidth, and more channels per controller — plus the use of SLC caches we mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, in the long run, it’s assumed NAND will be replaced by something else.What that something else will look like is still open for debate. Both magnetic RAM and phase change memory have presented themselves as candidates, though both technologies are still in early stages and must overcome significant challenges to actually compete as a replacement to NAND. Whether consumers would notice the difference is an open question. If you’ve upgraded from NAND to an SSD and then upgraded to a faster SSD, you’re likely aware the gap between HDDs and SSDs is much larger than the SSD-to-SSD gap, even when upgrading from a relatively modest drive. Improving access times from milliseconds to microseconds matters a great deal, but improving them from microseconds to nanoseconds might fall below what humans can really perceive in most cases.Intel’s 3D XPoint (marketed as Intel Optane) has emerged as one potential challenger to NAND flash, and the only current alternative technology in mainstream production. Optane SSDs don’t use NAND — they’re built using non-volatile memory believed to be implemented similarly to phase-change RAM — but they offer similar sequential performance to current NAND flash drives, but with vastly better performance at low drive queues. Drive latency is also roughly half of NAND flash (10 microseconds, versus 20) and vastly higher endurance (30 full drive-writes per day, compared with 10 full drive writes per day for a high-end Intel SSD).Intel Optane performance targetsThe first Optane SSDs have debuted as excellent add-ons for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake. Optane is also available in standalone drives, and in a variety of server roles for enterprise computing. At the moment, Optane is still too expensive to match NAND flash, which benefits from substantial economies of scale, but this could change in the future. NAND will stay king of the hill for at least the next 3-4 years. But past that point, we could see Optane starting to replace it in volume, depending on how Intel and Micron scale the technology and how well 3D NAND flash continues to expand its cell layers (96-layer NAND is shipping from multiple players), with roadmaps for 128 layers on the horizon.Check out our ExtremeTech Explains series for more in-depth coverage of today’s hottest tech topics.Now read:The Worst CPUs Ever BuiltHappy 40th Anniversary to the Original Intel 8086The Myths of Moore’s Law<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> The Most Inappropriate Comic Book Characters Ever Movies You Should Watch By Yourself Tagged In storageextremetech explainsSSDNANDSSDshard drivesNAND flashsolid state storage Post a Comment 0 Comments Jim Carrey’s Tragic Life Just Gets Sadder and Sadder Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. People are Furious ‘Cats’ Star Francesca Hayward Has White Fur Team Rocket Comes to ‘Pokemon Go’ You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet By Joel Hruska on July 18, 2019 at 8:29 am This is Where ‘Thor 4’ Will Take Place in the Marvel Timeline How Do SSDs Work?last_img read more

Advertising Giant Dentsu Signs Partnership with Israeli Tech Firm Imprint

first_imgJapanese Advertising Corporation Dentsu INC. Has Signed a New Investment and Multilateral Business Cooperation Agreement With Imprint Social, a Tel Aviv-Based Media Technology Company Specializing in Digital Marketing EnginesDentsu is the largest advertising and communications corporation in Japan with over 60,000 employees. Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it is valued at over $13 billion. It has been combing the Israeli marketplace in recent years to find exciting tech companies in which to invest. The corporation, one of the largest of its kind in the world, and ranked fifth after Omnicom, WPP, Publicis and Interpublic, is continuing with its acquisitions and investments in Israeli technologies, while growing its strategic operations.Imprint is a digital communications company, barely six years old, which has developed remarkable capabilities to facilitate authentic personal networking in online communities around the world. A unique form of community marketing, Imprint’s technologies, and techniques are used to discuss ideas, disseminate high-quality information, and engage in public discourse and hot topics on social media. As a technology company, Imprint focuses on the application of digital marketing engines to organic interpersonal marketing and networking in the online social space.The company conducts discourse-based market research on social media to gain sophisticated insights and develop precise messaging strategies that work with varied target audiences. Located in Tel Aviv and employing a staff of 100 people, Imprint is a proven expert in digital intelligence, audience psychology and the behavioral science of online communities.While the exact scope of Dentsu’s investment in Imprint remains confidential, it is estimated at millions of dollars.Marketing Technology News: Aprimo Recognized as Winner for 2019 Microsoft Media & Communications Partner of the YearMasakazu Takemori, the Senior Solutions Manager of the Intelligence Solutions Center at Dentsu, stated, “Dentsu considers the strategic partnership with Imprint as both an investment and a tremendous opportunity. We’re delighted to be boosting Israel’s hi-tech sector to obtain innovative technologies and new services that Israeli companies have to offer.” He further added, “We will continue to actively seek new opportunities for the Japanese and broader Asian markets. We anticipate that the cooperation with Imprint will constitute a basis for the growth of the current transaction, as well as various future business developments.”Imprint’s CEO, Mark Goldblatt, believes the partnership has huge potential: “We consider Dentsu’s current investment in Imprint as key to our strategic cooperation in Japan and around the world. Dentsu is a global superpower in digital advertising, and it sees an opportunity for exposure for the Israeli industry. Our cooperation, which has been underway for almost two years, is already generating results for both companies.”Marketing Technology News: Say It Now and Booxscale win Amazon’s European Alexa CupImprint’s Chief Technology Officer, Motti Koren, added that “As a global leader in advertising, Dentsu is making a strategic investment in Imprint, which it considers integral to its future as a digital marketing engine. We see Dentsu as a natural partner for growth and technological specialization that will provide a global solution for other corporations and companies, both local and global. The third investment in an Israeli company by a corporation of Dentsu’s size and stature reflects the strengthening ties between us as well as Dentsu’s commitment to the Israeli tech sector at large, and we’re excited about this.”Marketing Technology News: Selligent Marketing Cloud Study Reveal Digital Marketers Struggle to Deliver Consistent Omnichannel Experiences Dentsudigital marketing enginesImprintMark GoldblattMarketing TechnologyNewsTokyo Stock Exchange Previous ArticleWestminster Abbey Partners With Avius to Measure Visitor ExperienceNext ArticleNICE Wins Two Consumidor Moderno Awards for Continued Customer Service Leadership Throughout Latin America Advertising Giant Dentsu Signs Partnership with Israeli Tech Firm Imprint MTS Staff WriterJuly 5, 2019, 11:22 amJuly 5, 2019 last_img read more

NGDATA Enables Marketers to Design and Deliver DataDriven Individualised Campaigns in Minutes

first_imgNGDATA Enables Marketers to Design and Deliver Data-Driven, Individualised Campaigns in Minutes, Not Weeks PRNewswireJune 18, 2019, 3:10 pmJune 18, 2019 Intelligent Engagement Platform unlocks the power of personalisation for every marketer – no data science degree neededNGDATA announces a new platform that transforms marketers’ ability to tailor campaigns to individual consumers, enabling them to set up data-rich, insight-driven customer campaigns in minutes rather than weeks.NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform (IEP) has been engineered to overcome the challenges of turning huge volumes of data into individually tailored campaigns which create a unique experience for each customer.Traditionally many organisations have struggled to stitch together data from various sources to gain a true picture of consumers. What’s more, brands often lack the tools needed to connect every customer interaction across a growing range of channels, making it difficult if not impossible to adapt interactions with timely and accurate data. Finally, businesses in every sector are facing a chronic shortage of data science skills needed to turn data into actionable insight that result in revenue.Marketing Technology News: Blis Expands Into the Netherlands With First HireThe Intelligent Engagement Platform enables any marketer to supercharge their omni-channel interactions with rich and comprehensive insight on the unique Customer DNA of each individual. The IEP provides a simple and intuitive user interface that enables marketers to design and manage holistic, contextualised and individually-relevant campaigns at the push of a button. An evolution of the NGDATA CDP (Customer Data Platform) product, the IEP builds on these capabilities to further develop self-service analytics, orchestration capabilities and ‘out of the box’ use cases to facilitate faster time to market.“Customers expect a highly personalised relationship with brands, but all too often businesses are drowning in data and unable to get the right message to the right person at the right time,” said Doug Gross, CEO at NGDATA. “Turning data into insight has traditionally been a job for specialists, and it can typically take around a week to set up a new customer-focused campaign with all the relevant metrics.“NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform makes it simple and fast for any marketer, even those without data and technical skillsets, to design and implement customer-centric campaigns for a huge range of use cases to deliver on marketing goals. What we’ve added with the IEP is an intuitive push-button approach to using this insight to achieve specific goals.”Marketing Technology News: Shoppers Take Center Stage in the 2019 Retail Systems Research Report on eCommerce Website PerformanceThe new capabilities enable marketers to set up and manage individualised customer experiences in minutes, and to visualise audiences and measure consumer sentiment in real-time. They can also refine metrics as they go, ensuring the most accurate, relevant and timely experiences are recommended automatically by the IEP. The extensive possibilities presented by the IEP include ‘out of the box’ solutions to solve common marketing pain points, such as: driving customer acquisition in financial services, increasing the average transaction value in retail, and running customer retention and loyalty programmes in telecoms and hospitality contexts.Geert Van Mol, CDO at Belfius, one of Belgium’s top ten banks and long-standing NGDATA customer, adds: “The new NGDATA platform will put customer analytics and AI in the hands of our marketers and will help our marketing organisation to play in a whole new league by delivering the most effective and hyper-personal customer engagement in real-time on a daily basis”.Marketing Technology News: Mongolia’s Mongolsat Networks Optimizes Multi-Screen Video Delivery with Verimatrix and moTV.euNGDATA’s Intelligent Customer Engagement Platform is centred on three core capabilities:Unified Customer View, that provides a holistic, contextualized Customer DNA.Real-Time Omni-Channel 1:1 Interactions, enabling marketers to supercharge channel and execution systems with real-time actionable insights into individual customers, thereby maximizing targeting precision.Self-Service Analytics and Machine Learning, including capabilities such as audience clustering and lookalike modelling to discover, analyse and predict emerging opportunities from customer data. This enables marketers to deliver more relevant customer experiences.Marketing Technology News: Study: Consumers Reject Brands That Advertise on ‘Fake News’ and Objectionable Content Online customer engagementDoug GrossIntelligent EngagementMarketing TechnologyNewsNGDATA Previous ArticleSalesforce Research: State of Connected Customer Redefines Customer ExperiencesNext ArticleAppTek and yellaUmbrella Announce Systems Integration Partnership to Provide Market-Leading Tools for Media Localizationlast_img read more

Global Sports Entertainment Leader Topgolf Selects InMoment to Tap into Next Level

first_img cloud-based experienceEmployee Experience IntelligenceInMomentMarketing TechnologyNewsTopgolf Previous ArticleTechTarget Priority Engine Named Best Account Based Marketing and Sales & Marketing Intelligence Solution by SIIANext ArticleSingapore’s Conversant Leverages Verimatrix Secure Cloud for Multi-DRM Security Topgolf drives fun & engaging experiences to a global community of over 13 million consumers & 15,000 employees; expects to continue its innovation of world-class in-person and digital experiences via InMoment’s feedback approach Topgolf has selected InMoment, the leading cloud-based experience intelligence platform, to provide the rapidly growing company with the ability to better understand its unique and multifaceted human experience from both a customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) perspective.Topgolf pioneered a technology to make golf more fun and engaging, and has since emerged as a global sports and entertainment community focused on connecting people in meaningful ways. The company entertains more than 13 million guests annually across the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, with locations soon opening in Canada, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.Marketing Technology News: Mongolia’s Mongolsat Networks Optimizes Multi-Screen Video Delivery with Verimatrix and moTV.euTopgolf is implementing InMoment’s Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) clouds to ensure the company’s strong growth is informed by deep intelligence from these critical stakeholders. In addition to important CX functions like resolving cases, analyzing and exploring unstructured data, generating key metrics, and surfacing systemic issues and opportunities, Topgolf will leverage the InMoment platform to test the success of new products and services, detect high- and lower-value experiences by customer segment, spot both risks and new business opportunities, and more. The company will also track and analyze employee experience, empowering Topgolf associates to become more engaged and effective ambassadors of the brand.“As we continue to expand our offering into a dynamic, entertainment ecosystem, having the right strategy depends on a real-time understanding of the guest and associate experience, and how they affect each other,” said Topgolf CEO Dolf Berle. “We made the decision to move to InMoment because we want both a partner and a platform that can support our evolving, multifaceted business. The more intelligence we can unlock behind our guest and associate perceptions, what they value, and why, the more successful we’ll be in driving the right kind of growth.”Marketing Technology News: Study: Consumers Reject Brands That Advertise on ‘Fake News’ and Objectionable Content Online“Topgolf is brilliantly blending physical and digital moments across channels and over time, creating the kind of memorable experiences that provide huge value to customers, employees and the business,” said InMoment CEO Andrew Joiner. “Understanding the perceptions of these audiences and how they affect each other is both difficult and essential. Through our data science-powered platform, InMoment is uniquely able to deliver the level of detail, actionability and velocity to support Topgolf as the company scales. We are both honored and confident that we’re the right partner for this exciting challenge.”Marketing Technology News: Triton Digital Integrates Centro’s Basis Platform with the a2x Programmatic Marketplace Global Sports Entertainment Leader Topgolf Selects InMoment to Tap into Next Level of Customer & Employee Experience Intelligence MTS Staff WriterJune 19, 2019, 3:00 pmJune 19, 2019 last_img read more

20yearold Maharashtra Man Hangs Self as Part of Online Game Task

first_imgPune: A 20-year-old man allegedly hanged himself in Pune in Maharashtra while trying to complete a task in a Blue Whale-like online game, police said Friday.An official identified the youngster as commerce student Diwakar Mali of Lonikhand area of the city. “Before hanging himself on Wednesday evening, he left a note which said ‘the black panther which was in the cage is free now and he is no longer in any kind of restrictions. The End’,” the official informed.The official said the message was possibly alluding to his task in the online game, with Mali referring to himself as “black panther”.The handwritten note, in Marathi and English, has a drawing of a black panther along with a line which read “sun will shine again”, the official added.”According to family members and neighbours, Mali was addicted to a Blue Whale-like online game. It is suspected he ended his life while completing some kind of task,” said the Lonikand police station official.Mali’s mother, confirming his mobile phone addiction, said, “I appeal to all parents to put restrictions on their children’s phone usage. I lost my son but parents should pay attention to their children,” she said.The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ is an online game in which players are asked to complete tasks in a set time frame, several of which include self-harm and even suicide.The World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases has termed ‘gaming disorder’ as a pattern of gaming behavior (digital-gaming or video-gaming)characterised by impaired control and increasing priority given to gaming over other activities. Blue Whale Challengegaming disorderkilledmaharashtra First Published: July 20, 2019, 7:36 AM ISTlast_img read more

Twitters mobileinspired dark mode desktop makeover isnt just about looks

first_img Editors’ Recommendations Twitter 1 of 2 Previous Twitter center_img Twitter.com is looking a little more like the Twitter made for smartphone screens. On Monday, July 15, the social media platform rolled out a heavily anticipated redesign, bringing some of the tools of the app to the desktop experience, along with adding customization options, including a new dark mode. Twitter says the updated web platform is rolling out beginning today.Twitter’s new look brings several features that will feel familiar for users of the mobile app. The Explore section of the Twitter app, which curates a collection of tweets and live video based on your interests and even physical location from accounts you don’t yet follow, is now part of the left-hand side navigation bat that also houses quick access to messages and your profile page. Bookmarks also make their twitter.com debut, while lists are also now faster to access from within that same navigation bar.Tapping on the messages icon from that left sidebar opens a redesigned home for Direct Messages. Now, Twitter says the Direct Messages page allows users to see conversations and send messages without switching between screens.The heavily anticipated dark mode also arrives with the redesign, though as an option that doesn’t ditch the old blue background either. The display settings now include the familiar “dim” dark mode the white text on a dark blue background, along with a new “lights out” option for white text on a black background. Twitter also added new themes to change the icons and design aspects that use Twitter’s iconic blue to another hue.Both the dark mode and new color options are accessible within a few clicks by tapping on the more at the bottom of that new left navigation bar, then clicking on display. The same settings are also available from the display options inside the Settings menu.The update also makes switching between accounts easier, using a quick log out option in the left navigation bar.While the update brings a new look, new features and a handful of shortcuts, Twitter says the update is also designed to offer faster performance. But the company isn’t done making changes either — Twitter says the redesign also creates a better foundation for future updates to the platform. Next Here’s how and where you can watch the best 4K content Apple’s tvOS 13: Everything you need to know about the latest version Apple’s 12-inch MacBook and non-Touch Bar Pro are on the chopping block Android Q: Everything we know so far about Google’s next mobile OS How the Mac Pro’s modular internals prophesy a new future for PC designlast_img read more