Japanese Taxis Are Using Facial Recognition to Target Ads to Riders
If you took a cab in Japan this year, you may have come face-to-face with a tablet that scanned your face in order to learn your gender, age, and other characteristics — and used that data to target you with relevant advertisements. The facial recognition system is used in Japanese taxis to “estimate gender in order to deliver the most optimized content” — an intriguing preview of how pushy, personalized advertisements could one day roll out elsewhere in the world.
Scientists: New Device Appears to Defy the Laws of Thermodynamics
The laws of thermodynamics are pretty straightforward: Normally, heat from a hot object will flow to a cold one until they reach the same temperature, bringing the system to a state of equilibrium. Now, physicists at the University of Zurich (UZH) have developed a surprisingly simple device, described Friday in the Journal Science Advances, that they say temporarily allows heat to flow from a cold object to a hot one. In other words, the team acknowledges, the device appears to defy the second law of thermodynamics.
Microsoft-owned software development platform and community, Github is getting serious about the India market, and is now looking to hire a General Manager for the India operations, according to a job vacancy listed on its website.
Homigo’s fraud case has been transferred to Central Crime Branch (CCB) Bengaluru. Homigo founders and the main accused in the case — Jatin Mutruka, Akash Verma and Nikunja Batheja — are however still on the run.
Six months after raising $3 Mn from Innoven Capital, Bengaluru-based two wheeler rental startup Bounce has raised another $3 Mn in debt funding from InnoVen. The company now aims to increase the number of its vehicle to reach a critical density to make a meaningful impact on how the city commutes.
PerkFinance partners with organisations employing large number of blue collar employees such as hospitals where all para-nursing and para-medical staff are blue collared. PerkFinance’s CEO, Vikas Kothari estimated the share of blue collar employees in these organisations to be 80% of the total staff.
The second phase of technological transforms will not only impose a secular change in the BFSI ecosystem, but regulatory actions associated with the industry will also improve collaboration among several financial institutions.
Smartcar claims that its competitor Otonomo copy-and-pasted Smartcar’s API documentation, allegedly plagiarizing it extensively to the point of including the original’s typos and randomly generated strings of code.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a series of bold predictions today about the ability for his company’s cars to completely drive themselves. And Musk thinks it will happen sooner than most of his competitors — perhaps as soon as the end of this year.
Silicon Valley, though, thrives on disruption. And in an age when billionaires are on the ropes — and when tech leaders are reckoning with their corporate and personal responsibilities — there is new movement behind the scenes in tech to broaden the conversation that Gates began nearly a decade ago.
Who doesn’t know Binny Bansal? Co-founder of India’s first ecommerce ‘unicorn’ Flipkart, Binny was instrumental in building India’s best-known startup. But that’s not all. He also inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs, and has supported the ecosystem by being a mentor, an inspiration, a successful entrepreneur and an investor. Earlier this year, Binny launched xto10x Technologies with former EKART head Saikiran Krishnamurthy to offer tech tools and a learning platform for startups all over the world looking to scale up rapidly.
Binny has invested in 25 startups so far and multiple times in some – a clear reflection of his belief in their solution. In fact, in the January-March 2019 quarter, he emerged as the most active angel investor in the country, with five investments in just three months.
Bengaluru-based scooter-sharing platform Bounce has raised $3 million debt funding led by InnoVen Capital. Last month, it had raised $4 million in debt funding led by Sachin Bansal. InnoVen has invested a total of $6 million in Bounce. In January, Bounce had raised Rs 50 crore led by Sequoia India, Chiratae Ventures, Accel India, and ON Mauritius.
How incubator-turned-medtech company InnAccel is innovating for India’s needs
“This is a year of growth for us and we think if we are able to work with Viacom 18, it will strengthen our use case,” says Bhaskar Deo, CEO and Co-Founder, Trillbit Technologies. Trillbit is among the 12 startups invited to VStEP 2.0 Pitch Day – the second edition of the Viacom 18 Startup Engagement Program. As the 12 startups are all set to work with the internal business units at Viacom18 to carve out pilot projects, read why these startups say that VStEP 2.0 will supercharge their growth.
From helping Intuvision build a home-grown, affordable and high quality retinal imaging camera by simplifying their development effort, to helping Gaia, a data automation and analytics startup, make its device versatile and disruptive, each of the 39 startups incubated under the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge vouch for the effectiveness of the programme in their product and scaling up journeys. The countdown for the 4th edition of the programme has begun. Applications close on April 30, 2019.
Why it matters: The word “socialism” does not carry the same stigma it did in the past, now that it has been resurrected by celebrity politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Young people’s political views often change as they grow older, but their support for socialistic policies is a sign that the old rules of politics are changing fast.
Gen Z and millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electoratein 2020, and what they’re looking for in a presidential candidate is shifting.
The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
Millennials’ top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.
Gen X’s top issues are: access to health care, terrorism/national security and the national debt — the same top issues for boomers and older.
… that today is Bicycle Around the World Day? In 1884, Thomas Stevens started a bicycle trip around the world. The trip took him over two years and nine months to complete! Get out your bikes and ride!
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.”
Engaged employees are self-driven, highly productive, take less time off and proactively keep customers happy! Given this undeniable connection between employee engagement and organizational success, more and more companies are now realizing the value of employee satisfaction and motivation. Employers can no longer afford to ignore the well-being of their biggest asset – their employees. […] Read on »
Despite recent disappointing economic statistics, many small businesses are determined to press forward on a growth path. Even for those that hesitate to hire during this uncertain economy, can’t help but think about that next product or service line that would propel the company. Regardless of where you are in economic uncertainty, here are five […] Read on »
Employees are among the most important resources for every business. The performance of the employees will directly affect the output of your company. Therefore, for your small business to succeed, you need proper human resource management. However, many small business owners focus so much on marketing and growing their business and ignore the human resource. […] Read on »
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
This is a short, special Earth Day edition of the Brain Pickings newsletter to celebrate this precious planet we share with some abiding wisdom from the woman whose courage to speak inconvenient truth to power awakened the modern environmental conscience and inspired the creation of this holiday. If you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – for nearly thirteen years, I have been spending incalculable time, thought, and resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.
In 1962, after pioneering a new aesthetic of poetic writing about science and the natural world, the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907–April 14, 1964) catalyzed the modern environmental movement with her epoch-making book Silent Spring — a courageous exposé of the pesticide industry, illuminating the profound interconnectedness of nature. It stunned and sobered humanity’s moral imagination, effecting a tidal wave of unprecedented citizen concern, with consequences reaching across popular culture and policy, leading to the creation of Earth Day and the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Carson had been following the science of pesticides and their grim effects on nature, meticulously glossed over by the agricultural and chemical industries, for more than a decade. Already the most esteemed science writer in the country, she used her voice and credibility to hold the government accountable for its abuses of power in the assault on nature. “Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent,” she wrote to her beloved. Fully aware that speaking out against the pesticide industry would subject her — as it invariably did — to ruthless attacks by corporate and government interests, she saw no moral choice but to defend what she held dearest by catalyzing a new kind of conscience.
Carson’s aim with Silent Spring was threefold — to transmute hard facts into literature that stands the test of time, to awaken a public hypnotized into docility to the perils of substances so mercilessly marketed as panaceas by chemical companies, and to challenge the government to rise to its neglected responsibility in regulating these perils. She admonished against the fragmentation, commodification, and downright erasure of truth in an era when narrow silos blind specialists to the interconnected whole and market forces sacrifice truth on the altar of revenue. When citizens protest and try to challenge those forces with incontestable evidence, they are “fed little tranquilizing pills of half truth.” In a sentiment of striking resonance half a century later, Carson exhorted: “We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating of unpalatable facts.” Above all, she countered the pathological short-termism of commercial interests with a sobering look at “consequences remote in time and place” as poisons permeate a delicate ecosystem in which no organism is separate from any other and no moment islanded in the river of time.
Photograph by Bill Reaves from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)
In June 1962, five days before the first installment of Silent Spring made its debut inThe New Yorker, the terminally ill Carson summoned the remnants of her strength to take her very first cross-country jetliner flight and deliver a long-awaited commencement address at Scripps College in California, excerpted in Figuring(public library), from which this piece is adapted. She titled it “Of Man and the Stream of Time” — hers, after all, was an era when every woman, too, was “man.” It was a crystallization of Carson’s moral philosophy, a farewell to the world she so cherished, and her baton-passing of that cherishment to the next generation.
She told graduates:
Today our whole earth has become only another shore from which we look out across the dark ocean of space, uncertain what we shall find when we sail out among the stars.
The stream of time moves forward and mankind moves with it. Your generation must come to terms with the environment. You must face realities instead of taking refuge in ignorance and evasion of truth. Yours is a grave and sobering responsibility, but it is also a shining opportunity. You go out into a world where mankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery — not of nature, but of itself.
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