Facebook recently announced the launch of Portal, its new smart home device for hands-free video calling. Portal can track information like who you call, how frequently you call them and which apps you use — and that data could be used to serve you targeted ads on other platforms owned by the company.
2. In other security news, two new companies backed by SoftBank are teaming up to keep hackers from accessing your vulnerable smart home devices. (Think lightbulbs and thermostats.) Most devices that fall under the “Internet of Things” umbrella are notorious for flawed security, meaning hackers could use them to spread malware, access user data or gain control remotely.
This group claimed to have hacked CNN, ISIS, and the Afghani and Israeli governments, but it so far hasn’t provided any proof of its latest claim. The Ghost Squad Hackers boasted of its exploits on Twitter, although it so far hasn’t provided any proof that it was behind the outage.
Former Nestle chief Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has said personalised diets and ‘individual nutrient cocktails’ are the future of nutrition ( Rex Features )
Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has joined the trend for personalized nutrition with a blend of artificial intelligence, DNA testing and the modern obsession with Instagramming food.
The program, that began in Japan, could provide the Swiss company with a wealth of data about customers’ wellness and diet as it pivots towards consumers who are seeking to improve their health and longevity.
In Japan, some 100,000 users of the “Nestle Wellness Ambassador” program send pictures of their food via the popular Line app that then recommends lifestyle changes and specially formulated supplements. The program can cost $600 (£463) a year for capsules that make nutrient-rich teas, smoothies and other products such as vitamin-fortified snacks.
The company is trying to figure out the algorithm between the test results and the genetic information and what they recommend as a solution.
Days after Banksy shocked the world by shredding his canvas Girl With Balloon (2006) with a built in shredder immediately after it sold for $1.3 million at Sotheby’s, the artist announced that the canvas and the frame it is still stuck in now comprise a new work, called Love is in the Bin (2018). The new work has been granted a certificate by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and will be on display at Sotheby’s New Bond Street saleroom this weekend.
“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one,” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Europe, said in a statement. “Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly-titled Love is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”
The auction house also confirmed that the winning bidder from Friday night is proceeding with the purchase, but did not reveal the identity of the buyer, just that it is a “female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s.”
“VDrop” machines are being installed at subway stations across the capital where your deposited dirties will be cleaned, folded, and ready for pickup within 24 hours.
To use the dry-cleaning service, you need to sign up online to receive a QR code unique to you. When you reach the VDrop machine, all you do is flash your code to receive a bag, shove your garments inside, and drop it into the machine (or hang it up if it’s something more delicate).
In the following 24 hours, the garments will be collected and taken to VClean Life’s depot where they’ll be gently cleaned using biodegradable detergent and conditioners before being returned to the machine for collection, again by using your QR code.
VClean Life has even incorporated a tracking system into the process, so if you’re keen to learn about the status of your shirts and pants, you can log into the app and find out exactly how they’re doing and when they’re ready for pickup.
The service charges 3 British pounds (about $3.90) per standard-sized garment, so dry-cleaning a suit will cost a very reasonable 6 British pounds.Many of the new VDrop machines will be appearing in the parking lots of subway stations rather than actually inside the premises. The first one has just started operating at Epping station in northeast London, with imminent launches lined up for others in Woodford, South Woodford, Loughton, and North Greenwich. More of its vending machines will soon be found at gyms, shopping malls, and offices, the company said.
The company’s workforce management practices have come under criticism from both lawmakers and employees in recent years. Some staffers are pursuing legal action against Amazon over claims of unpaid wages, while others are pushing to unionize.
Amazon’s wage raise could also boost its recruiting efforts amid low unemployment and moves by rival retailers to offer more competitive compensation. Walmart Inc. raised the minimum hourly rate for its employees to $11 an hour in January, while Target Corp. set its base pay to $12 a few months later and plans to hit the $15 mark by the end of 2020.
Amazon will start offering more competitive wages in the U.K. as well. The company plans to raise the minimum hourly wage to £10.50, or $13.60, in London and to £9.50, or $12.30, for the rest of the U.K. effective Nov. 1.