Amazon’s Invasion Of Kohl’s Has Begun

  • The discount department store is starting to accept returns of Amazon orders at 10 of what will eventually be 82 of its Chicago and Los Angeles stores.
  • The tie-ups, which were first announced last month, give Amazon added distribution for its growing portfolio of consumer gadgets as well as a free return option for its customers that don’t want to deal with the hassle of packing and shipping orders they don’t want.
  • For Kohl’s, the moves amount to a risky bet that the additional customer traffic resulting from the deal will outweigh the downside of strengthening Amazon, which has increasingly become a threat to every mid-market and low-price department store.
  • In an interview with Fortune, Kohl’s soon-to-be CEO Michelle Gass defended the move.
Jason Del Rey / Recode

FDA Selects Box To Help It Modernize IT Infrastructure

  • Box on Wednesday announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has selected the cloud content management company to help it modernize its technical infrastructure.
  • While the Box deployment will not be agency-wide, it is a strategically important deal for Box, given its growing presence in both the government and life sciences sectors.
  • The initial deployment should be relatively quick, but Box plans to work with the FDA as it develops new integration requirements and new Box use cases evolve.
  • "Many customers are asking us to become that connective tissue so people across agencies can work securely with each other, and have situational awareness where and when they need it," Hashmi continued.
  / ZDNet

Apple Continues Rolling Out Indoor Maps Of Airports In IOS 11

  • The recently added airports include O'Hare International and Midway International in Chicago, McCarran International in Las Vegas, Miami International, Minneapolis–Saint Paul International, and Oakland International.
  • The feature has also been available for Philadelphia International Airport and San Jose International Airport since iOS 11 was in beta.
  • When searching for these airports, Apple Maps users can tap "look inside" or simply zoom in to view terminals, boarding gates, security checkpoints, airline check-in desks, baggage claim carousels, information kiosks, restrooms, stores, restaurants, parking garages, and even escalators, elevators, and stairs.
  • Apple is also adding indoor maps to shopping malls, making it easier to find the exact location of stores, restaurants, restrooms, escalators, elevators, and stairs on each floor.
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors

WiBotic Unveils Its PowerPad Wireless Charging System For Drones

  • Seattle-based WiBotic today took the wraps off an integrated wireless charging pad for drones, as well as an onboard charger that weighs just 1.6 ounces.
  • The two new products are part of the University of Washington spinout’s strategy to provide a system for charging up robotic aerial vehicles as they go about their business, untouched by human hands.
  • The plug-and-play system is set up to send power wirelessly at short range from the pad’s transmitter to the charger’s receiver.
  • Until recently, WiBotic sold the system only as a development kit that had to be customized for specific applications.
Alan Boyle / GeekWire

Mozilla To Document Cross-browser Web Dev Standards With Google, Microsoft, Samsung, And W3C

Google’s New ‘Advanced’ Accounts Keep People Much Safer Online – But They’re Harder To Use

  • Google is letting you sign up to accounts that are much less convenient to use, but far more secure.
  • The company has announced the Advanced Protection Program, a new initiative designed to protect you from a number of online threats.
  • They won’t be for everyone, as they’re not as easy to use as regular Google accounts, but for some people that’s a price worth paying for increased security.
  • Once you sign up to the Advanced Protection Program, you won’t be able to access your Google account with just your email address and password.
Aatif Sulleyman / The Independent

Kony Announces Next Generation Digital Banking Solutions To Drive Customer-First Experiences

  • Introduces New Digital Banking Platform and Suite of Apps to Help Banks Deliver Unique Omnichannel Experiences with Greater Agility, Security, and Flexibility
  • Kony, Inc., the leading enterprise mobility and digital applications company today announced its Next Generation Digital Banking solutions to help banks and credit unions deliver exceptional customer-first experiences across any channel, in a cost-effective manner.
  • “Banks and credit unions are committed to meeting the escalating expectations for a seamless, “customer-first” experience,” said Thomas E.
  • Kony’s Next Generation Digital Banking Platform is the industry’s first purpose-built platform for digital banking that allows banks to deliver exceptional customer experiences seamlessly and securely across all of its banking services and channels.
Business Wire / VentureBeat

Alphabet Will Turn Toronto Into A Living Laboratory Of Urban Design

  • Keep Calm and … Massively Increase Investment in Artificial Intelligence
  • The report, coauthored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, concludes that “AI offers massive gains in efficiency and performance to most or all industry sectors, from drug discovery to logistics.”
  • The technology “can be integrated into existing processes, improving them, scaling them, and reducing their costs, by making or suggesting more accurate decisions through better use of information,” it adds.
Jamie Condliffe / MIT Technology Review

WebSite X5 Evolution 14 Improves Navigation Menu, Updates Effects And Templates

  • Incomedia has released a major new version of its wizard-driven web-building tool with the launch of WebSite X5 Evolution 14.0.
  • Version 14.0 focuses its new features in three key areas: usability, graphics and performance.
  • Elsewhere the template editor now offers multiple-choice, a magnetized grid-based layout and commands for placing and lining up Objects, which are used to create headers and footers.
  • The Backup Manager is now more proactive when prompting users to create backup copies, and it also allows users to schedule automatic deletion of old backups.
Nick Peers / BetaNews

An Abu Dhabi Sovereign Fund Is Doubling Down On Tech With More Cash, More Office Space And More SoftBank

  • A sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates is setting up shop in California, the latest Middle East investor to double down on an ambitious plan to turn oil money into tech money.
  • The Mubadala fund, which is based in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday that it would open an office in San Francisco in order to deepen its relationship with Silicon Valley.
  • The moves will strengthen the ties between Mubadala and SoftBank, the Japanese company which is buying ownership in some of the most expensive private tech companies.
  • Mubadala will also spend $50 million to $70 million in a $200 million total “fund of funds,” which will finance investments made by competing venture capitalists.
Theodore Schleifer / Recode

Track Your Dog’s Health With This Collar That’s Like A Fitbit For Pets

TV Producers Can Now See How Many People Are Watching Netflix Shows

  • For the first time TV producers will be able to see how many people are watching almost any Netflix show — including rival programming.
  • Netflix doesn’t provide ratings information, which has been a point of contention for Hollywood creators who typically rely on that data to make sure they’re getting a fair deal for their work.
  • The ratings are being made available from TV measurement firm Nielsen, which is now selling a wider array of Netflix’s audience data to more people.
  • The latest move, however, should provide a better window on how shows are performing on Netflix relative to other programming on the streaming service.
Rani Molla / Recode

Veo Robotics Raises $12 Million To Help Machines And Humans Collaborate More Efficiently

  • Veo Robotics, which is building a smarter, more intuitive robotics system for industrial applications, announced today that it has secured $12 million in funding.
  • Founded in 2016, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup provides AI-powered software that tells machines how to act and respond to humans in a manual labor setting.
  • “Our system builds a unified, semantic representation of what is happening in the workcell — where the robots are, where the people are, where the workpieces are,” wrote Veo Robotics cofounder and CEO Patrick Sobalvarro, in an email to VentureBeat.
  • Sobalvarro and his team are trying to reduce the manual labor humans shoulder in industrial work settings, leaving the heavy lifting to the robots.
Bérénice Magistretti / VentureBeat

ZTE’s Axon M Flip Smartphone May Kick Off Foldable Trend

Wattpad’s Storytelling App, Now With 60M Monthly Users, Adds A Subscription Service

  • Wattpad, the company behind a suite of apps for reading and sharing stories – including a fairly popular “chat fiction” app Tap, a rival to Hooked – is today adding its first ever subscription plan for its flagship application.
  • The service will cost $5.99 per month, or $60 per year, the company says, and will be available to the company’s now over 60 million monthly global users.
  • Today, those users spend over 15 billion minutes per month reading the app’s original stories.
  • Members who upgrade to Wattpad Premium will have ads removed both when browsing the web and mobile web, and will see a new theme in the native mobile app.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch

AppDynamics Announces Business IQ Updates, IoT And Network Visibility

  • AppDynamics on Wednesday is announcing a series of updated and new offerings, with the aim of giving CIOs the tools to contribute more to strategic business decisions."As CIOs get organizations to become more progressive and more agile, what they're looking for is a different kind of leadership," Prathap Dendi, GM of Business iQ at AppDynamics, said to ZDNet.
  • The updated version of Business iQ also comes with a tool called "experience level management" (XLM), which enables businesses to create custom experiences for certain segments of customers.
  • Meanwhile, the latest update of App iQ includes a new tool called KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analyzer, which uses machine learning to automate the analysis of application performance.
  / ZDNet

Intel Shipping Nervana Neural Network Processor First Silicon Before Year End

  • This week at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live 2017, Intel unveiled their Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP), formerly known as Lake Crest, and announced plans to ship first silicon before the end of 2017.
  • Under development for the past three and a half years, the NNP originated as the Nervana Engine deep learning ASIC, which was announced in May 2016 and had all the marquee features of the NNP: HBM2, FlexPoint, cacheless software memory management, and a high-speed interconnect.
  • In terms of the bigger picture, while the past year has seen many announcements on neural network hardware accelerators, it is important to note that these processors and devices operate at different performance levels with different workloads and scenarios, and consequently machine learning performance consists of more than a single operation or metric.
Nate Oh / AnandTech