Bill Gates says robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes

Bill Gates supports taxing the use of robots to slow the spread of automation and to finance other employment

In an interview with Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney, Bill Gates explains why robots that take jobs away from people shouldn't get a free pass when it comes to income tax. Read more from our interview with Gates here:

Source: Youtube

UPDATE: EU Parliament rejects proposal to tax robot owners to fund support for or retraining of workers who are put out of jobs by robots Via @Reuters

VR Desktop for Mac

VR Desktop is an application that enables you to use macOS together with Virtual Reality headsets. Whether it's for work or entertainment, VR Desktop takes your computing experience to the next level.

VR Desktop allows you to create a giant virtual multi-monitor workspace that works seamlessly with macOS and third party applications.
Experience your movies inside a grand cinema, or play games on a giant curved screen in space. Whatever you want to do, you’re in control.
Enhance your macOS experience by loading custom virtual environments with a multiple screen setup. Multitasking has never been easier.

Google Home adds the ability to buy products via voice

Google Home adds the ability to buy products via voice from select Google Express partners

What do you need to get done today? If picking up paper towels or stocking up on coffee is on your list, consider it done. To help you keep up with your busy schedule and shop for the things you need, we’re introducing shopping with your Google Assistant on Google Home.

Starting today, you can shop for your everyday essentials—from paper towels to vitamins. You'll be able to order from participating Google Express retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and more than 50 other national and locally available retailers.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Apple announces WWDC 2017

Apple announces WWDC 2017: June 5-9, at San Jose McEnery Convention Center, registrations for tickets start March 27

Apple® today announced its 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — hosting the world’s most talented developer community — will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. The conference, kicking off June 5, will inspire developers from all walks of life to turn their passions into the next great innovations and apps that customers use every day across iPhone®, iPad®, Apple Watch®, Apple TV® and Mac®.

Each year during WWDC, millions of talented developers around the world learn about Apple's breakthrough platform technologies ranging from programming languages like Swift™ to breakthrough developer APIs like SiriKit™, HomeKit™, HealthKit™ and CarPlay®. These Apple technologies inspire developers to continue creating incredible experiences for every aspect of customers’ lives and improve the way they manage their smart homes, cars, health and more for over one billion active Apple devices.

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Dubai's Steps Towards Becoming The Energy Smart City

At the end of last month, one of the largest solar rooftop power plants in the region started operating in Dubai, located in the Swiss power and automation technology group ABB's headquarters in Dubai's industrial area by the name of "Al Quoz”. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) inaugurated the plant. The attendees at the inauguration included many ABB and DEWA team members, such as the ABB President of Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), Frank Duggan, Executive Vice President-Strategy & Business Development at DEWA, Waleed Salman, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, and ABB Electrification division manager for the Middle East and Africa, Waleed Salman.

The 315-kilowatt (kW) solar project will enable the energy produced at the plant to supply electricity for ABB offices. Any surplus energy will then be transferred over onto DEWA's network. This supports DEWA’s Shams Dubai initiative, which enables customers to generate electricity and create solar power through photovoltaic panels on their rooftops. Thanks to ABB’s solar power technology, this project presents one of the first steps supporting His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai's Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, announced towards the end of 2015. To express his commitment to the project and strategy, Al Tayer said, “We contribute to the objectives of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.”

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 will ideally support the ultimate goal of making Dubai a global center of clean energy, and the UAE a leading example in sustainability practices. In terms of Dubai’s energy mix, it aims to increase the share of renewable energy significantly over the next 30 years. As His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained, “It aims to provide 75% of the emirate’s energy through clean energy sources by 2050, reflecting our commitment to establish a sustainable model in energy conservation, which can be exported to the whole world, and support economic growth without damaging the environment and natural resources. Our goal is to become the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.”
This solar project is illustrative of ambitious and significant sustainability efforts and their follow-through. Through this, Dubai has come one (small but significant) step closer to becoming the World’s energy-smartest city.

Facebook adds option for job postings tab on US businesses' Pages

Facebook adds option for job postings tab on US businesses' Pages, enabling autofill of some applicant information and replies via Messenger

We know that finding the right talent can be a challenge. 40% of US small businesses report that filling jobs was more difficult than they expected, which is surprising when you consider that these small businesses also employ nearly half of the country’s workforce.1
We're focused on building new ways to help make it easier for businesses to interact with the over 1 billion people visiting Pages every month. Businesses and people already use Facebook to fill and find jobs, so we're rolling out new features that allow job posting and application directly on Facebook.

Beginning today, businesses in the US and Canada will be able to post job openings, and their future employees will be able to easily find those posts on their Page or in the new jobs bookmark. This new experience will help businesses find qualified people where they're already spending their time—on Facebook and on mobile.

Google News expands “fact check” tag for stories on web and mobile apps

Google News expands “fact check” tag for stories on web and mobile apps to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina 

Over the years we’ve heard from Google News users that our efforts to label stories ranging from local to satire to user-generated have helped expand their view of what is happening in the world. Last October we added a new Fact Check tag to help people find news stories that have been fact checked, so they can understand the value of what they’re reading. Soon after, we introduced the tag in France and Germany.

Starting today, people in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina can see fact check tagged articles in the expanded story box on and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shopify announces $509 million total revenue in 2016

Shopify adds 133K net new merchants last year, bringing total to 377.5K, forecasts revenue of $580M-$600M, vs. $563.3M expected; stock up 8%+

Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP)(TSX:SHOP), the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced strong financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016.

“Our work at Shopify is to help entrepreneurs thrive in a space that’s changing all the time, and we did our job especially well this past holiday season,” stated Tobi Lütke, founder and CEO of Shopify. “That eight of our ten top sellers over the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend were merchants that had upgraded from lower-priced plans reminds us that today’s startups become tomorrow’s superstars, at a velocity that appears to be increasing all the time. As the engine powering the growth of these merchants, Shopify has an opportunity that stretches years into the future.”

“That we grew revenue by 90% and GMV by 99% for the full year 2016 speaks to the enormous opportunity in retail right now and our strategic position within it,” commented Russ Jones, Shopify’s CFO. “Throughout 2017 we will continue to build out our ability to seize this opportunity by expanding not only our existing features, such as channels, payments, shipping and capital, but also our facilities and infrastructure. These investments are timely, as we expect the number of merchants on Shopify to continue expanding rapidly and their collective sales volumes to continue to grow at a rate several times that of overall retail.”

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Google launches Cloud Spanner in beta

Google launches Cloud Spanner in beta, a globally distributed relational database service that the company's used internally for years, promises 99.9999% uptime

Announcing the public beta for Cloud Spanner, a globally distributed relational database service that lets customers have their cake and eat it too: ACID transactions and SQL semantics, without giving up horizontal scaling and high availability. 
When building cloud applications, database administrators and developers have been forced to choose between traditional databases that guarantee transactional consistency, or NoSQL databases that offer simple, horizontal scaling and data distribution. Cloud Spanner breaks that dichotomy, offering both of these critical capabilities in a single, fully managed service.
“Cloud Spanner presents tremendous value for our customers who are retailers, manufacturers and wholesale distributors around the world. With its ease of provisioning and scalability, it will accelerate our ability to bring cloud-based omni-channel supply chain solutions to our users around the world,” — John Sarvari, Group Vice President of Technology, JDA

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Etsy announces Etsy Studio

Etsy announces Etsy Studio, a marketplace for craft supplies set to launch with 8M products in April, to include 60 DIY tutorials at start with more each week

We've been supporting makers for 11 years. Now we’ve created a place to inspire everyone to make. It opens soon. Sign up and get ready for a world of unique craft supplies and projects.

Whittle. Sew. Snip. Twist. Build your business.
We’ve created a market that inspires making.
And it’s going to help sellers like you reach a whole new audience. Etsy Studio will showcase DIY projects alongside supplies and tools, making the path from inspiration through purchase simple for your shoppers.

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