Facebook Memories: A Central Place To View 'On This Day' Posts

, Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

The Facebook application displayed on a smartphone. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

</div> </div> <p><span>Facebook <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/06/all-of-your-facebook-memories-are-now-in-one-place/" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/06/all-of-your-facebook-memories-are-now-in-one-place/" rel="nofollow">has announced</a> a new section called “Memories.” Memories is a central place to view “On This Day” content. The Memories feature&nbsp;will also highlight friends that you made on that day in the past with collages and videos that celebrates “friendversaries.” In&nbsp;that section, there&nbsp;will be seasonal or monthly recaps of memories that are bundled into short videos or messages. And if you do not check the memories page for a while, it will show posts that you may have missed from the past week.</span></p> <p><span>In the announcement, Facebook product manager Oren Hod pointed out that over 90 million people use the “On This Day” feature per day. Hod also cited </span><a href="https://blog.prototypr.io/facebook-memories-the-research-behind-the-products-that-connect-you-with-your-past-f9a1d8a49a43" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://blog.prototypr.io/facebook-memories-the-research-behind-the-products-that-connect-you-with-your-past-f9a1d8a49a43" rel="nofollow"><span data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://blog.prototypr.io/facebook-memories-the-research-behind-the-products-that-connect-you-with-your-past-f9a1d8a49a43">research</span></a><span> that reflecting on memories can have a positive impact on people’s mood.</span></p>


Facebook Memories

</div> </div> <p> </p> <p>&quot;We know that memories are deeply personal — and they’re not all positive. We try to listen to feedback and design these features so that they’re thoughtful and offer people the right controls that are easy to access,&quot; wrote Hod. &quot;We work hard to ensure that we treat the content as part of each individual’s personal experience, and are thankful for the input people have shared with us over the past three years.&quot;</p> <p><span>If there are certain people, dates or date ranges that you would like to filter out from Memories, then you can set that up in the Preferences section:</span></p>


Facebook Memories Preferences

</div> </div>

<p><span>According to <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/11/17442720/facebook-memories-on-this-day-month-launch" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/11/17442720/facebook-memories-on-this-day-month-launch" rel="nofollow">The Verge</a>, Facebook also attempts to automatically detect and filter out negative memories based on certain keywords and reactions.</span></p> <p><span>The memories can still be accessed from the Memories bookmark to the left of the News Feed on the desktop version or under the “more” tab at the bottom-right of the mobile app version of Facebook. Links to Memories will also appear in notifications, the News Feed and you can also go directly to the section by going to </span><a href="http://facebook.com/memories" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://facebook.com/memories" rel="nofollow"><span data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://facebook.com/memories">facebook.com/memories</span></a><span>.</span></p> <p>Facebook originally announced &quot;On This Day&quot; <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/03/introducing-on-this-day-a-new-way-to-look-back-at-photos-and-memories-on-facebook/" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/03/introducing-on-this-day-a-new-way-to-look-back-at-photos-and-memories-on-facebook/" rel="nofollow">in March 2015</a>. And the &quot;On This Day&quot; feature had evolved from the Lookback video and Say Thanks video that Facebook released in 2014.</p> <p>This is not the only feature that Facebook announced recently. Last month at the F8 conference, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2018/05/06/social-media-roundup-facebook-dating-feature-instagram-video-chat-whatsapp-group-video-calls/#7f5d20fe12d4" target="_self">Facebook said it was launching</a> a dating feature, a Clear History function (see information about apps and websites you interact with and delete it), augmented reality in Messenger, video chat in Instagram and group video calls in WhatsApp.</p>” readability=”49.0961080222″>

The Facebook application displayed on a smartphone. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Facebook has announced a new section called “Memories.” Memories is a central place to view “On This Day” content. The Memories feature will also highlight friends that you made on that day in the past with collages and videos that celebrates “friendversaries.” In that section, there will be seasonal or monthly recaps of memories that are bundled into short videos or messages. And if you do not check the memories page for a while, it will show posts that you may have missed from the past week.

In the announcement, Facebook product manager Oren Hod pointed out that over 90 million people use the “On This Day” feature per day. Hod also cited research that reflecting on memories can have a positive impact on people’s mood.


Facebook Memories

“We know that memories are deeply personal — and they’re not all positive. We try to listen to feedback and design these features so that they’re thoughtful and offer people the right controls that are easy to access,” wrote Hod. “We work hard to ensure that we treat the content as part of each individual’s personal experience, and are thankful for the input people have shared with us over the past three years.”

If there are certain people, dates or date ranges that you would like to filter out from Memories, then you can set that up in the Preferences section:


Facebook Memories Preferences

According to The Verge, Facebook also attempts to automatically detect and filter out negative memories based on certain keywords and reactions.

The memories can still be accessed from the Memories bookmark to the left of the News Feed on the desktop version or under the “more” tab at the bottom-right of the mobile app version of Facebook. Links to Memories will also appear in notifications, the News Feed and you can also go directly to the section by going to facebook.com/memories.

Facebook originally announced “On This Day” in March 2015. And the “On This Day” feature had evolved from the Lookback video and Say Thanks video that Facebook released in 2014.

This is not the only feature that Facebook announced recently. Last month at the F8 conference, Facebook said it was launching a dating feature, a Clear History function (see information about apps and websites you interact with and delete it), augmented reality in Messenger, video chat in Instagram and group video calls in WhatsApp.

China's Xiaomi books $1 billion quarterly loss ahead of blockbuster IPO

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi booked a first-quarter net loss of 7 billion yuan ($1.09 billion) ahead of its blockbuster initial public offering.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Xiaomi store in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China April 7, 2018. Picture taken April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

That compares with a net loss of 43.89 billion yuan for the whole of 2017, according to its draft prospectus.

When one-off items are excluded, Xiaomi said it made a net profit of 1.04 billion yuan in the first quarter, compared with 3.9 billion yuan for the whole of 2017.

Its smartphone shipments jumped 88 percent thanks to strong growth overseas, helping Xiaomi’s revenue rise to 34 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) for the period. That compares with 114.6 billion yuan for all of last year.

Xiaomi did not reveal a fundraising target or the number of shares on offer in the filing.

It is expected to raise about $10 billion in a Hong Kong IPO that could be the largest listing globally in almost four years, sources have said.

Up to 30 percent of the offering is expected to be sold as Chinese depository receipts on the mainland, sources have also said.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Edwina Gibbs

Streaming The Next Ed Sheeran? Steereo Plays Unsigned Acts Into Ubers &amp; Lyfts

Ed Sheeran performs at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Sam Tabone/WireImage)

We’ve all had those awkward Uber rides: when polite chat with your driver runs dry, and you’re grateful for the pop hits blasting out from the radio.

But what if the cab ride homeor to the airport, or your officewas a place of musical discovery: a mini gig venue where you could hear the hottest unsigned artists from around the world?

This is the concept behind Steereo, a streaming service that soft-launched in New York and Austin in March.

It’s already live in 8,000 Uber, Lyft and Juno cabs, and has played songs from 1,000 rising artists in over 250,000 rides. These tracks are organized into Steereo playlists by genre, showcasing everyone from Brooklyn’s pop-soul songstress Enisa, to Nashville’s modern countryman Charlie Rogers, and San Francisco Capella pro Mario Jose (who’s already opened gigs for Grammy Award Winners Pentatonix).

“We want people to be able to consume great music, and not be force-fed the A-list major artists who are on heavy rotation on radio right now,” Jennifer Cullen, one of Steereo’s cofounders, tells Forbes.

Steereo could even be where the next Drake or Taylor Swift is discovered, says it’s Director of Operations. “We let the bands dictate who the new Ed Sheeran will be, rather than whoever the big music labels are putting their money behind.”.  

Photo courtesy of Steereo.

Steereo streams unsigned artists into your cab.

Inspiring Steereo

Given that 15 million people use rideshare apps daily, and that the digital audio advertising was $31 billion last year, Steereo certainly has an intriguing business model.

But can it really win big in cabs? A space where Spotify and Deezer have already been—a space where consumers might be perfectly happy listening to whatever’s on the airwaves, or plugging in music from their smartphone?  

Cullen who is based in Dublin, Ireland, is one of Steereo’s four cofounders who believe that answer is yes: she says that Steereo doesn’t just solve a real problem for unsigned artists, it incentivizes drivers to get their passengers involved.

It was Cullen’s brother, the singer-songwriter Keith Cullen (now signed to former CEO of Virgin Records, Warner Bros and EMI, Phil Quartararo), who first inspired the streaming-on-wheels concept. As Keith’s manager, Cullen had seen first-hand how difficultand expensiveit was for him to break into the industry.

“The real struggle for the unsigned artists out there is that there’s so much talent, but also so much noise,” she explains, pointing to the traditional publicist model where it costs anywhere from $500,000-$2 million to launch an unsigned artist in a major market.

Photo courtesy of Steereo.

Steereo playlists are curated by genre.

Steereo significantly undercuts this cost, charging unsigned artists a monthly fee of $12.99 which allows them to upload music to the platform’s app, see their analytics, and buy “boosts” (these come with personalizable budgets, a bit like Facebook or Youtube ads).

Drivers, on the other hand, are financially encouraged to bring Steereo into their cabs and get riders on board (they are paid per second, and make on average $120-$300 a month, Cullen claims).

Beyond this, brands can also partner with artists through audio messaging, branded playlists, event sponsorship and music licensing, a model that has seen the platform generate revenue since launch, says Cullen.

The idea is that in future Steereo could start to use the data it collects in smart ways.

“The goal for us is to be able to start to see trends, so we can push artist towards labels and say, ‘Look this is what people are really consuming, these are the songs that are really hot right now,” says Cullen.  

Musicians could even see where their fans are located and arrange local gigs, she adds.

Photo courtesy of Steereo.

Jen Cullen, cofounder at Steereo.

Breaking into a tough scene

Cullen says she has already faced “resistance” from some because of the sheer novelty of Steereo, and believes the startups journey has been made harder by the sexist stigma that remains in both the tech and the music industry today (in the U.S. hold just 25% of computing jobs, the number of women in tech falls to 17% in the U.K., and there is a broad underrepresentation of women across the music industry).

“We are predominantly led by females, and in the tech industry and in the music industry, that’s perceived as a negative. People don’t take you as seriously,” she explains.

However, where possible, Cullen has tried to turn any prejudice to her advantage. “You’re never seen as a threat,” she laughs.

Having a team straddled across Belfast in Northern Ireland and in New York and L.A. in the U.S. has also brought its own unique challenges. “The time differences are insane,” says Cullen, describing the team’s three weekly meetings, and their efforts to be in the same country whenever possible.

But Cullen says she loves the different cultural elements this transcontinental approach brings: “the typical Irish ‘If in doubt, drink tea’, the aggressive ‘Get it done’ mentality of New York, and the energetic ‘Anything is possible’ feeling of L.A.”

“Combined we all bring something great to the table,” she says.  

The future for Steereo

Today Steereo is part of Sparkplug, the accelerator run by global marketing communications company Y&R. Soon it will leave to join Quake Capital’s accelerator in LA, Cullen explains.

The next step for the startup will be the development of a customer-facing Steereo app so that you don’t have to rely on your Uber driver to control what you’re hearing.

Steereo’s cofounders are also focused forging new partnerships to allow music fans to use Shazam to get more information on songs, such as links to an artist’s Facebook, Soundcloud or their iTunes store. And the team is currently closing a $1.5 million fundraise to help it scale, with plans to grow in New York before taking on L.A., London and China (where Cullen has already met with major players like Tencent).

Ultimately, Cullen says she wants people to think of Steereo in the same way they think of other music-tech leaders like Spotify or Pandora or Deezer.

“There’s no denying the future of music is technology-based, but it’s now about finding a balance between art and tech,” she says.

Your awkward Uber journey could be numbered. Who knows, you might even discover the next Ed Sheeran.

Location Based Advertising: How Brands Should Avoid Appearing Like Creeps


Recently, Mark Zuckerberg appeared in congressional hearings to discuss matters relating to interference in the last presidential election and concerns about data privacy in general. The main issue of concern was Facebook’s methods when it comes to gathering and storing information.

During the hearings, it became clear that many lawmakers might have little understanding as to how the internet works. However, some of their questions did correctly represent the concerns that many people have. A great majority of Facebook users today wonder:

  • Is my personal information being collected without my consent?
  • How is that being stored and who has access to that information?
  • Why do the ads I see appear to be so creepily precise at times?
  • Can I control access to my personal information?

These concerns are global in fact. In Europe, a new privacy law, General Data Protection Regulation was rolled out last month, and it significantly changes requirements for businesses that collect and store customer data. The changes made are so great that it will impact many brands operating in and outside EU markets.

Of course, it shouldn’t take regulation for companies to be respectful of customer concerns. Instead, they should be proactive. This begins with approaching marketing tactics such as location based advertising with discretion, and sensitivity to privacy concerns.

Understanding customer perspectives on personalization

According to a report on CX trends, most customers find personalization to be at least a bit creepy. Despite this, brands are using personalization and localization now more than ever. For instance, “near me” searches on Google – when the user adds ‘near me,’ ‘nearest’ and nearby’ in their search query – increased by 200% in 2017. What’s more important is that 40% of brands acknowledge their approach is off-putting. That’s nearly half that are using personalization in ways that they know people will find to be disturbing.

In addition to this, social platforms like Snapchat are releasing tools that make location based advertising even easier. In spite of this, brands are better off taking a very judicious approach to targeted advertising. Here are some tips to help.

1. Implement transparency

Customers should not have to dig to find information about their data and what you do with it. When they find it, they shouldn’t need a law degree or an attorney to interpret your disclosures. Instead, make it easy for customers to request and receive this information. Then, present it in plain language that makes it easy for them to understand.

Customer-facing employees should also understand your data usage policies. This puts them in the best position to be able to explain them to customers.

2. Let your customers know why you collect the data you do

Customers tend to be less prickly about the information you collect when they understand why you collect it. If they understand that you collect and store information to present them with relevant ads for products they need, they will be much more receptive. You can even use it as an expression of commitment to customer service.

For example, your data collection statement could say:

“We collect the data that we do to provide you with the best possible experiences. This includes offering you products and services you will find most useful. This is done through the content that we present, including ads, and the online experience we create for you.”

Brands can even go into specifics about their collection of location specific data.

3. Use upfront collection methods first

People rarely get upset about your using information that they give voluntarily. This is especially true when it’s information they can opt out of providing. This can be done through polls and surveys. Brands can even include extra spaces on forms for voluntary information. Even providing customers with a field to ‘Tell us how we can serve you better’ is a great way to get information for targeted advertising without it feeling too intrusive.

4. Use data in ways that helps customers, not just for marketing

“Most people are aware of the risks of data breaches and the consequences of those,” said Michael Gall, CEO, Internet Business Solutions, Inc. “If customers feel as if their data is only being used to help you target them with advertising, that may not seem like a worthwhile risk. After all, why should they feel comfortable with your collecting and storing sensitive information if all you are going to do is use it to increase your bottom line?”

By using their information in ways that can help them, in addition to marketing to them, you can mitigate their unease. For example, a shoe manufacturer might collect information to market specific shoes to customers based on what is available at stores in their area. At the same time, they can also use that information to customize a rewards program.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may become privy to sensitive information. This includes information on personal tragedies, sexuality and gender, political views, and medical conditions. Be respectful. There is simply information that should be off limits for targeted marketing and advertising. It’s good for your business, and it’s good for your customers.

Is Digital Transformation The Key To Competing With Amazon?


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Amy Kenly, Vice President in Kalypso’s Digital Innovation Practice. Kalypso is a global consulting firm that guides some of the world’s largest brands on their path to Digital Transformation. While their experience spans high technology, life sciences and industrial manufacturing, a large portion of their clients are in retail as the industry shows increasing interest in new technologies.

While the retail industry outlook doesn’t seem as dire as it once was, it’s more important than ever for retailers and brands to execute to really thrive. In my recent articles, I’ve written about the investments retailers and brands should consider for the funds from their corporate tax savings. My conversation with Amy uncovers some additional perspectives for retailers to consider.

GP:  We’re seeing a lot of conflicting reports on the current state of the retail industry, with some claiming it’s a Retail Renaissance, and others saying we’re still in survival mode. What’s your view?

AK: Everything seems to be moving in a positive direction for the retail industry. The NRF has predicted 3.8 to 4.4 percent growth, which is strong. What continues to be challenging and volatile for traditional retailers is capturing their share of the growing revenue.

Innovative startups like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, for example, are capturing a growing percentage of retail sales, as are new direct-to-consumer business models that put suppliers in direct competition with retailers. With the closing of Toys R Us for example, Mattel – who used to distribute through Toys R Us – is now going direct to consumers.

This is making it very difficult for big, traditional retailers who are trying to find ways to differentiate themselves. While Walmart and Target are focused on figuring out e-commerce, which is good, it’s not a differentiator anymore.

Further, while larger retailers have a renewed commitment to private brands and new differentiated products in line with consumer demand, it can be harder for them to pivot toward new, digitally-enabled business models. We’re seeing them starting to acquire startups instead. Walmart ’s recent acquisition of Bonobos as well as Target ’s acquisition of Shipt are good examples.

Apple Loop: Latest Leak 'Confirms' New iPhone, iOS 12 Drops Sexy For Security, WWDC Fails MacBooks

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest renders of the new iPhone X for 2018, the hardware that wasn’t announced at WWDC, why iOS 12 stands for stability, the renewed focus on iPhone security, the disappointment of no new MacBooks at WWDC, and all the spoof products announced on the internet.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

First Renders Of The New iPhone X

As part of Apple’s push to expand the iPhone line-up (and increase sales of the iPhone family after years of declining share), the geekerati are expecting a budget version of the iPhone X (not to be confused with an update of the iPhone SE). What will it look like? Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reveals new renders of the budget iPhone X:

What Hemmerstoffer’s images and video (embedded below) show, is a 6.1-inch design which blends the chassis of the iPhone 8 and a single rear camera with the fascia of the iPhone X, complete with Face ID facial recognition module and the distinctive notch. On the flipside, this means no Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

…Hemmerstoffer notes this currently unnamed budget iPhone X (my naming bet is simply ‘iPhone’), will also pack wireless charging, stereo speakers and a new A12 chipset. So this is basically a single-camera iPhone X for over $200 less.

More here on Forbes.

OnLeaks/ MySmartPrice

Budget’ 6.1-inch iPhone and 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus (OnLeaks/ MySmartPrice)

What Wasn’t Announced At WWDC

Lots of news to come out of this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference from Apple, but before we get to what did appear, it’s important to realise what was not on show. Apple refused the opportunity to show off any new hardware. No iPads, no Macs, no MacBooks, no peripherals, and perhaps most importantly, no mid-range iPhones to replace the iPhone SE. And WWDC was the best time to announce this upcoming smartphone, as I discussed earlier this week:

Assuming Taniyama-Shimura, there are enough signs in the supply chain that an update to the iPhone SE is coming. So the question becomes not of ‘will it arrive’ but ‘when will it arrive.’

…its non-appearance at WWDC tells us a lot about the handset.  iPhone sales this year need a boost. The iPhone X has not delivered the super-cycle it promised and sales are flat to slightly down year-on-year. Market share is approaching single figures, and relying on high-end handsets with high margins may be delivering financial success… but it doesn’t provide for growth or entry into new markets. The iPhone SE 2 can help balance the equation of revenue and market share by offering a low-priced gateway into Apple’s world of smartphones.

More on why Apple hid the SE 2 here.

Twelve Stands For Stability

Almost all of the focus at WWDC was on software, and the vast majority of that focus was on iOS. There have not been any major changes or additions, Apple has focused on the stability of the code to rebuild the bulletproof perception of the iPhone’s operating system. Zach Epstein is glad the new release is just ‘meh’:

It’s no secret that iOS 11 has been a complete mess for Apple. It’s not the travesty that whiny anti-Apple bloggers would have you believe, of course, but there’s no question that Apple made some big mistakes in iOS 11. It has had more security holes, annoying bugs, and performance issues than any version of iOS from recent history, and many of those problems still exist in iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4 now, more than 8 months after the software’s initial release.

We learned many months ago that performance and overall user experience were going to be Apple’s main points of focus in iOS 12. In fact, insider reports stated that Apple decided to delay the addition of several big new features in iOS 12 and push them back to subsequent releases, or maybe even until next year’s iOS 13 update. This way, Apple’s various iOS engineering teams could focus on improving performance in iOS and on refining the user experience, rather than on integrating complex new features.

More at BGR.

Next: Security is key, a requiem for macOS, and Conan O’Brien’s new iPhone…

?Mark Shuttleworth dishes on where Canonical and Ubuntu Linux are going next

Mark Shuttleworth looked good at OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. Not only were his company Canonical and operating system Ubuntu Linux doing well, but thanks to his microfasting diet, he’s lost 40 pounds. Energized and feeling good, he’s looking forward to taking Canonical to its initial public offering (IPO) in 2019 and making the company more powerful than ever.

It’s taken him longer than expected to IPO Canonical. Shuttleworth explained, “We will do the right thing at the right time. That’s not this year, though. There’s a process that you have to go through and that takes time. We know what we need to hit in terms of revenue and growth and we’re on track.”

In the meantime, besides his own wealth — according to the BBC, his personal wealth jumped by £340 million last year — he’s turned to private equity to help fuel Canonical’s growth.

And, where is that growth coming from? Well, it’s not the desktop. Found as users — and Shuttleworth himself — of the Linux desktop, Canonical’s real money comes in from the cloud.

Ubuntu remains the dominant cloud operating system. According to the May 8, 2018 Cloud Market statistics, on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, Ubuntu dominates the cloud with 209,000 instances, well ahead of its competitors Amazon Linux AMI, 88,500; Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS‘s 31,400, and Windows Server‘s 29,200. As another data point, the executives at the OpenStack cloud company Rackspace told me that although their company had started with RHEL, today it’s 60/40 Ubuntu.

OpenStack has been very, very good for Canonical, which is more than you can say for many companies that tried to make it as OpenStack providers or distributors. “With OpenStack it’s important to deliver on the underlying promise of more cost-effective infrastructure,” Shuttleworth said. Sure, “You can love technology and you can have new projects and it can all be kumbaya and open source, but what really matters is computers, virtual machines, virtual disks, virtual networks. So we ruthlessly focus on delivering that and then also solving all the problems around that.”

So it is, Shuttleworth claims, that “Canonical can deliver an OpenStack platform to an enterprise in two weeks with everything in place.”

What’s driving Canonical growth on both the public and OpenStack-based cloud is “machine learning and container operations. The economics of automating the data center brings people to Ubuntu.”

That said, “The Internet of Things (IoT) is still an area of investment for us. We have the right set of primitives [Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu for IoT and Snap contanizeried applications] to bring IoT all over the planet.” But, it’s “not profitable yet”.

Shuttleworth thinks Ubuntu will end up leading IoT, as it has the cloud, “because a developer can transfer their programs from a workstation to the cloud to a gateway to the IoT. I want to make sure we build the right set of technologies so you can operate a billion things with Ubuntu on it.” To make this happen, Shuttleworth said Canonical currently has just short of 600 full-time developers.

As for the desktop, Shuttleworth finds it a “fascinating study of human nature that Unity [Ubuntu’s former desktop] became a complete exercise in torches and pitchforks. I’m now convinced a lot of the people who demanded its demise never used it.” That’s because, while “I think GNOME is a nicely done desktop,” many Ubuntu users are now objecting to GNOME. Shuttleworth also had kind words about the KDE Neon, MATE, and LXDE desktops. Still, “I do miss Unity, but I use GNOME.”

Shuttleworth would like to see the open-source community become “safer to put new ideas out into it.” Too often, “it’s obnoxious to someone else’s labor of love.”

That said, in business competition, Shuttleworth said, after people criticized him for calling out Red Hat and VMware by name in his OpenStack keynote speech, “I don’t think it was offsides to talk about money and competition. OpenStack has to be in the room where public clouds are discussed and Ubuntu has to be in the conversation when it comes to cloud operating systems. No one has questioned the facts.”

In a way, though, having given up on innovating on the desktop and on the smartphone market has been a blessing. “I can work with more focus on cloud and the edge and IoT. We’re moving faster. Our security and performance story can be tighter because we can put more time on both them.”

One thing that Shuttleworth believes Canonical does better than his competition is delivering the best from upstream to its customers. “Take OpenStack, we didn’t invent a bunch of pieces. We take care of stuff people need by trusting the upstream community. People find this refreshing.”

Canonical also succeeds, he thinks, because they eat their own dog food. “We learn stuff by operating it ourselves and not just developing it. We experience what it’s like to operate many OpenStack and Kubernetes stacks. We then offer these complex solutions as a managed service, and that reduces the cost for users.”

The result is a company that Shuttleworth is sure will lead the way in the cloud and container-driven world of IT.

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Thursday's Google Doodle Celebrates Anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar


Virginia Apgar was the first woman to become a full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 109th birthday of physician Virginia Apgar, who developed the scale doctors still use to quickly gauge the health of newborn babies: the Apgar score.

The Apgar score a 0-10 scale with five criteria: Appearance (skin color, ranging from blue or pale to a healthy flesh color), Pulse, Grimace (response to stimulation, ranging from no response to an unhappy expression to full-fledged crying), Activity (arm and leg movement), and Respiration. (Conveniently, those words spell out APGAR.) Most healthy babies score a 7 or above, and anything below a 3 requires immediate medical care.

Apgar graduated from medical school in 1933. During her residency, the chairman of surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian medical center steered her toward anesthesiology, partially because surgery was an especially difficult field for women to find career opportunities in at the time, but also reportedly because he believed she had what it took to advance the field in important ways. Anesthesiology had, until recently, been the domain of nurses, but by the late 1930s had become complex enough to require physicians, and the medical field was working hard to catch up.

By 1938, Apgar was the director of a brand-new division of anesthesia at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she spent the next decade running the department, developing a residency program to train new anesthesiologists, and treating patients.

Apgar was a faculty member at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in the early 1950s when she noticed that although the infant mortality rate was improving, that was mostly due to interventions after the first 24 hours. Within that crucial window of time 24 hours after birth, there had been no change in infant mortality since 1930. Apgar wanted to know why the medical field hadn’t gotten better at saving newborns – and how to fix it. The result was the Apgar score.

Later in her career, Apgar advocated for universal vaccination against rubella to help prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease, which causes miscarriages or severe birth defects. She also worked to promote testing for birth defects.

She died in 1974 at the hospital where she attended medical school and spent two decades of her career.

'Onrush' Review: The Hero Shooter Of Driving Games

Credit: Deep Silver

Onrush is a very different kind of driving game.

When I first booted up Onrush on my Xbox One X, I was fully expecting some kind of neon-infused, amped-up, spiritual continuation of the developer’s previous Motorstorm games. Something improved but safe, modernized yet familiar. What I got instead was a genre-shattering wrecking ball, a giant middle finger to standard driving game conventions. Onrush isn’t about racing at all, it turns out. It’s about reflexes, pure adrenaline and possibly most importantly, the kind of cooperative strategy usually reserved for hero shooters and tag team fighters.

I won’t lie—the early hours of Onrush were admittedly overwhelming and unexpectedly confusing for this seasoned gamer. Yes, the basic mechanics of commandeering the game’s virtual two- and four-wheelers won’t trip up most experienced players, especially if you’ve mastered a fair share of off-road rally games. But it’s just beyond these fundamentals that instinctual play goes flying out the mud-caked window. See, there’s no finish line and no placing in Onrush’s races, a complete lack of traditional first, second and third rankings to strive for. There’s only a massive, shifting, battling pack of vehicles chasing down specific objectives, and if you fall far enough behind, the game warps you back into the action. It’s Mad Max with less sand and guns, and minus that guitar-riffing marionette weirdo.

Credit: Deep Silver

If can manage it, play Onrush on a 4K display.

The modes available are relatively diverse and interesting, if a little lacking in sheer number. Overdrive, for example, has contestants accumulating points for their team by linking boosts and Burnout-style takedowns. Lockdown sees the relentless pursuit and tenuous claim of fast-moving, highlighted sections of track, while Countdown requires driving through green gates that add precious seconds to your team’s constantly diminishing timer. Then there’s Switch, which is an elimination mode of sorts which forces downed players to swap out for the next available steed. Regardless of the flavor, it’s all team-based, and in this way, the overarching effect is strangely reminiscent of Overwatch. Individual accomplishments are encouraged but ultimately trumped by the squad’s aims and the push-pull of group competition. It’s incredibly different for a driving game and takes some getting used to.

Speaking of Overwatch, the game’s vehicle roster bears striking resemblance to Blizzard’s varied battler lineup. Not in art direction or character design, per se, but in class distribution and special abilities. You’ve got your tanks, your attackers, your defense personas and also your lightweight speed demons. Each car or motorbike has its own strengths, weaknesses and Rush abilities. Think of the latter as an analog to Overwatch’s ‘Ultimates’, special moves unique to each character that give you a temporary leg up on the competition. You fill up your Rush gauge as you boost, take down adversaries, do tricks and obliterate AI fodder vehicles throughout each event. Once that tank is full, you can unleash a turbo boost combined with some kind of oppositional impediment or ally accouterment. These are always satisfying to activate, though they can be incredibly hard to control.

Credit: Deep Silver

The tracks in Onrush are pretty phenomenal.

The action here is, without a doubt, extremely intense. At any given moment, you’re one tiny error away from wiping out, one wrong turn from bending your metal frame around the nearest pine tree. This, it feels, is simultaneously the best and worst thing about Onrush. The excitement of so much chaos can be exhilarating, but it can also seriously impede your basic sense of control. I can’t even count how many times I crashed just because I literally couldn’t see what was coming up in front of me. On that note, there’s a seemingly random nature to some of Onrush’s difficulty, and a sort of learned helplessness that can overtake various stretches of repeated failure, especially online against grizzled veterans. Every so often I’ll get thrown into an event during which I never can survive for more than a few seconds, getting wrecked from all angles the moment I spawn in. This issue has alleviated somewhat as I’ve naturally become more proficient at the game, incorporating new strategies and better utilizing certain abilities.

It helps that from a technical standpoint, Onrush is a mechanical marvel. The game’s engine was built from the ground up to support dynamic weather, constantly shifting lighting and up to 24 cars on-screen at once. It looks gorgeous on Xbox One X, which can run the software at either 30 fps/4K or an unwavering 60 fps/1080p. I usually stick to the latter, though early on I was running it in 4K just to slow things down as I got my bearings. I will say that sometimes the dynamic weather, especially the snow blizzard effects, can really get in the way of gameplay. That’s probably intended, but I often felt it to be too detrimental to my field of view.

Credit: Deep Silver

Be prepared for a rather steep learning curve.

When everything is clicking, Onrush feels amazing, but until your skill can catch up with the insanity that’s happening on-screen, I can see this being a frustrating experience for less patient gamers. The career mode offers plenty of single player challenges to take on, while the online multiplayer runs smoothly and is definitely where the game shines, if you can get enough live players to jump in, that is. There’s also tons of neat unlockables—vehicle skins, driver outfits, tombstones (customized markers you leave behind after wrecking)—to earn via in-game currency and gear crates, which don’t integrate microtransactions, at least not yet. I can see myself playing this for a long time to come, as long as the online community stays active.

Even after hours of play, Onrush remains wonderfully difficult to classify. The stomach-churning drops of Hydro Thunder. The insane crashes of Burnout. The combo system and radical attitude of SSX. The nail-biting cooperative multiplayer mayhem of Overwatch. It’s a recipe that probably shouldn’t work as well as it does, and despite a steep learning curve, it creates what feels like the next evolutionary step in driving games. Or, at the very least, the initial iterative lurch toward a completely new genre.

Developer: Codemasters Evo

Publisher: Deep Silver

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One (version tested), PC

Release Date: June 5, 2018

Price: $59.99

Score: 8/10

Disclaimer: Free review code was provided for coverage purposes

Elon Musk Calms Down, and More From Tesla's Shareholder Meeting

When Elon Musk was a kid, he had so much trouble managing his time, that his younger brother Kimbal would lie to him about the bus schedule. Elon would show up a few minutes after the supposed arrival—and have just enough time to hop aboard. A few decades on, the whole world knows about Elon’s habit of blowing deadlines. And he admits it can be a problem.

“This is something I’m trying to get better at,” he said from the stage of Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum on Tuesday afternoon, at Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting. “I’m trying to recalibrate these estimates.”

A few days after a Twitter rage fest aimed at the media, a month after refusing to answer questions about Tesla’s financial state during an investors’ call, and two months after getting in a public spat with the feds investigating a deadly crash in one of his cars, Musk’s attitude when he appeared before his fellow shareholders was conciliatory. He even seemed emotional at times. “We build our cares with love,” he said, with a slight quaver in his voice. And he noted how brutal the auto industry can be, especially to newcomers. “It’s insanely hard just staying alive.”

For an hour and a half, Musk patiently fielded questions on just about every part of Tesla’s sprawling business. He said the Model 3 production rate will hit the long-promised 5,000 cars a week rate later this month, predicted an enormous increase in battery production, announced upgrades to the Autopilot semi-autonomous system, and even appeased PETA. If you missed the meeting, here are the key takeaways.

Elon Retains the Reins

The official business of the meeting included voting on the reelection of venture capitalist Antonio Gracias, Elon’s bus-catching brother Kimbal, and 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch to Tesla’s board of directors. (Only a third of the nine board members come up for election at a time—it’s like the US Senate that way.) Last month, activist investor the CtW Group urged Tesla shareholders to replace the trio with people who had automotive and manufacturing expertise. Another investor, Jing Zhao, filed a proposal to strip Musk of his position as Tesla’s chairman, which he has held since 2004 (he took the CEO job in 2008). But the shareholders stuck with Musk, reelecting the board members and nixing the leadership change by an overwhelming majority. (Tesla will file the exact vote count with the SEC in the next few days.)

The loss didn’t surprise CtW executive director Dieter Waizenegger, who argues control of Tesla is too concentrated in people tied to Musk. “This opinion is shared by a significant number of shareholders of Tesla,” he says. “We expect the final vote tally to reveal that.” Even if he’s right, Musk remains fully in charge.

More Model 3

Musk’s acknowledgement of his timeline trouble didn’t stop him from announcing that, by the end of the month, Tesla will be building 5,000 Model 3 sedans every week, which should be enough to start turning a profit on the car. The uptick is thanks to Tesla’s rebalancing of the workload between humans and robots in its factory in Fremont, California, where the company is adding a third Model 3 production line. It is also planning to open a factory in China, to go with its plants in Fremont and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Tesla is gradually expanding options for Model 3 owners, who so far have been limited to the version with an upgraded battery and premium interior, which starts at $56,000. By the end of this year, Musk hopes to start production of the version closer to the car’s $35,000 base price, with the smaller battery pack. Also coming soon: right hand drive.

New Products

Even as it struggles to build the Model 3, Tesla is planning on three new vehicles: the Semi truck, the revived Roadster, and the still mysterious Model Y. Musk told shareholders he’s hoping to start production of all three in the first half of 2020, though he has yet to specify where he’ll do that, or how. He’ll unveil the Model Y in March (it will be “something super special”), and expects the truck and the sports car to deliver better specs than the already very impressive numbers he announced last fall. Oh, and he’ll never build an electric motorcycle.

Autopilot Advances

Without getting into details, Musk said Tesla is making steady progress to improve its Autopilot feature, and is now working on adding the ability to change lanes and handle highway on- and off-ramps (Musk noted he was testing new software around 1 am this morning). For drivers who aren’t sure they want to spend $5,000 on the feature, Tesla will soon start offering free trials. Musk also reaffirmed his distaste for lidar, the laser shooting sensor most autonomous vehicle developers say is key to building a safe, capable robo-car.


Tesla now runs nearly 10,000 Supercharger stations around the world, the stations where its drivers (and no one else) can plug in and charge a depleted battery to about 80 percent in 30 minutes. And Musk is working to keep improving charge times, saying a three- or four-fold improvement is possible. (That’s only true for relatively new cars, he added, disappointing the 2012 Model S owner who asked him about it.)

Going Vegan

Unlike many automakers, Tesla has been offering leather-free versions of its cars for years, appealing to its vegan and vegetarian fans. But it’s still using some leather in its steering wheels, and a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) rep took the mic to press Musk on it. He explained Tesla can make leather-free steering wheels, but the work has to be done it its design studio, making it something of a pain. But he promised it’ll be easier once the Model Y comes around. Now he’s just gotta hit that 2020 goal.

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