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In marketing circles it is well understood that the foreseeable future of customer engagement is content. The public is wary of advertising, particularly younger generations. In your face advertising has lost its appeal—evident in the declining effectiveness of banner ads and TV commercials. Today banner ads achieve only a .06 percent click through rate. But content is less salesy. By presenting interesting information or entertainment, a brand can put its name behind something that customers enjoy. Better still, they can put themselves right in the middle of a good story. In response to this trend among consumers, companies have doubled… This story continues at The Next Web

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When the OnePlus 5 arrived earlier this year, it was the closest the company had ever come to its original ‘flagship killer’ mantra. But for many potential buyers, there was one thing holding it back in after a year full of excellent smartphones: Bezels. Cue the OnePlus 5T. After months of rumors and speculation, the OnePlus 5T is now official, and it’s looking to close the gap with the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Google’s flagships, but at a much lower price. It’ll start at $499 when it goes on sale November 21. I’ve had the chance to play with… This story continues at The Next Web

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You’ve no doubt heard of cryptocurrencies by now – that weird, digital currency that went from being only used for buying drugs and paying off hitmen to now being common talk at restaurants and bars all over the world, with legitimate business groups investing millions into the digital tokens. Values in cryptocurrencies continue to skyrocket and new ICOs are popping up almost daily. Yet, there is still a huge disconnect when it comes to the general public,  traditional banking institutions and investors. Some of this is due to digital currencies still being difficult to spend for the general public, but… This story continues at The Next Web

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European gaming authorities have started investigating gaming loot boxes to see if they are a potential danger to young people. The Dutch De Kansspelautoriteit, or Gaming Authority, issued a warning earlier this month about games with loot boxes, saying it is investigating the relationship between lootboxes and increased chances of winning. The Belgian Gaming Authority is arguing that, because loot boxes offer you hope to get something to improve your game, but not certainty, you are essentially playing a game of chance — gambling, in other words. The first targets are “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” and “Overwatch,” two games with extensive… This story continues at The Next Web

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Following some summer talk that Google might be gearing up to launch a new Chromebook line, the company eventually released the revamped Pixelbook earlier in October. But, somewhat ironically, it seems that the internet giant is struggling to promote its new Chromebook line… on YouTube. Giggly Redditors were swift enough to notice that, for some reason, one of Google’s promo videos for the new Chromebooks was flagged for spam. “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams,” the blocked ad read. While it appears the Big G has since fixed the issue, Reddit… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Chromebook,YouTube,Google

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If you’ve been living in London longer than a month (about enough time to pay your deposit, pay your first month’s rent, and wonder where you’re going to find the money to cover the second month)—you know just how expensive the city can be. Not that it’s not worth it: after all, where else can you find so much music, art, theaters, and bars where you can drink to forget who you are (or at least how much money you’ve been spending to be who you are)? Well, however okay you are with your current financial situation in London, you’re… This story continues at The Next Web

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Yesterday, Japanese IT major Fujitsu announced its new ConnectionChain payments technology aimed at facilitating transactions between blockchains. The payments system intends to provide a means for different cryptocurrency networks to interoperate with each other. In a statement, the company said that there is an increasing number of activities around digital currency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICO). “Settlement between virtual currencies managed using Blockchains [sic], however, requires a reliable application to handle the currency exchange processing at the boundaries between the Blockchains [sic], and ensuring transparency in this process has been an ongoing issue,” the company said in the announcement. According to… This story continues at The Next Web

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For the last decade, most of the marketing world has focused on raw traffic acquisition through channels like SEO, content marketing, and digital advertising via Google AdWords and Facebook. But as clicks shift from organic to paid in some verticals, marketers are realizing that we are playing in a new world where driving the growth that seems to have come so easily for the last decade is going to require new strategies and tools. Conversion optimization is becoming a better understood practice, but at its essence, conversion optimization involves changes to your website or product to convert more visitors to… This story continues at The Next Web

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If questions about stuff like SEO and confusing site code make your eyes glaze over in half-comprehending fear, services like SiteGuru (lifetime subscriptions available now for only $39.99 from TNW Deals) are a simple step for handling those quirks before they become big problems.

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There’s no laptop quite like the Surface Book. Though it was far from the first laptop that could turn into a tablet and had its fair share of flaws, its combination of light weight, detachable screen, dedicated graphics, and good battery life was pretty much unheard. More than anything, it was Microsoft’s first proper laptop. But now that the actual Surface Laptop exists, how does Microsoft differentiate the Surface Book 2? Well, by making it much more powerful, of course. I’ve been testing the 15-inch Surface Book 2 for about a week, and it takes everything about the original model… This story continues at The Next Web

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WhatsApp rolled out push-to-talk voice messages back in 2013, but the Facebook subsidiary has done little to improve the feature since then – until now. The popular messenger is experimenting with a feature to record voice messages without having to hold that irritating button, WABetaInfo has noticed. Here is how it will work: once you start recording a voice message, WhatsApp will display a new sliding interface for the microphone button. After approximately half a second, users will see an option to swipe up to lock into recording mode, allowing them to speak to their phones without holding the button.… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: WhatsApp

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Where did the dragons go? I remember when the Internet was a sword used to bring the most heinous people to justice. Those who quite rightly deserved their comeuppance. Y’know. Dragons. The Martin Shkreli’s of the world. People for whom there was no doubt that they were indeed bastards, and therefore fair game. I’m all for punching up. In fact, I think as a society we’re obligated to punch up. But the recent public shaming of harmless YouTube beauty icon Zoella sits uneasy with me. Missed the drama? You’re probably either over 23, or you don’t read Buzzfeed, but I’ll… This story continues at The Next Web

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Federal Communications Commission chief Ajit Pai is prepping to schedule a vote in December to nullify net neutrality principles in the US, which are currently in place to prevent internet service providers from blocking or delivering traffic from various sources at different speeds, reports Reuters. According to the publication’s sources, Pai is slated to reveal his plans next week; an FCC spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. The FCC chairman has had his sights set on slaying net neutrality since before he was appointed head of the agency. In January, word of his intentions to repeal the guidelines enforced… This story continues at The Next Web

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User generated content (UGC) has been a growing trend for business marketing and social media campaigns alike, and the ROI has been astounding. While UGC certainly has its fair share of limitations, it’s popularity certainly shows no signs of slowing down. Valuable first-party content has, of course, expanded beyond just influencer marketing. More importantly, UGC sells. Several apps have found a way to use UGC to create a powerful platform that forms communities and brings people together in a more genuine way. Here are five awesome apps that take the concept of user generated content to the next level. 1.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Since it launched three years ago, GitHub’s Atom text editor has been a formidable open-source option for coders, alongside cross-platform favorites like Sublime Text. But if it’s not already your weapon of choice, you might want to give it a go now that it supports real-time collaboration. The new Teletype feature lets you team up with fellow developers on a project and write or edit code together at the same time, with individual cursors and zero latency. GitHub notes that you’ll be able to use your own key bindings, packages, and themes while working with Teletype, so you won’t feel… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: GitHub

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After announcing that it would begin removing blue verification badges from accounts that violated its guidelines earlier today, Twitter kicked things off by stripping several white supremacists’ profiles of their ‘verified’ status. Among those in the dragnet are Richard B. Spencer, founder of the National Policy Institute think thank; there’s also Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August (he was verified a week ago). Twitter has changed their verification policy just to be able to censor me. Several other accounts were unverified including Richard Spencer and James Allsup while Baked Alaska… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Twitter

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Duolingo is today rolling out its Mandarin Chinese language course which, in addition to the usual “What’s your name?” questions, teaches questions about business and Chinese social media. The course teaches the basics of the language, including the four main tones and 1,000 common characters. The course’s designer, Masato Hagiwara, points out that Chinese can be a difficult language to learn and the course was designed with that in mind: “Given that it’s so widely spoken, we wanted to ensure that we developed a course that teaches the language as effectively as possible, especially to those who are beginners.” The… This story continues at The Next Web

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was recently asked about an alleged killer who preyed on vulnerable people using Twitter, and how the company is working to prevent such tragedies in the future. Last month, a man was arrested in Japan on suspicion of murdering nine people. Based on Twitter accounts linked to him, he may have lured in vulnerable victims by targeting those who expressed suicidal thoughts on Twitter, reaching out to them professing sympathy. Their bodies were found in his home. Yesterday, Jack Dorsey gave his first on-camera opinion on the topic to Japanese site NHK, where he said, “We… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Twitter

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Remente recently released several new features for its personal development app. Until now it’s only been available on iOS and Android, but it’s also launched a web beta for premium users. One of the best digital life coaches available continues to get better. Among the new features included in the latest update: Me tab: a profile users can browse to more easily track goals across specific days Goal progress: all individual goals can be tracked with a new progress indicator Pin protection: users can now protect the app with a pin Journey mode: allows images to be attached to goals,… This story continues at The Next Web

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I’ve got to hand it to Motorola. When everyone else has all but abandoned modular smartphones, the company just keeps on churning out new Moto Mods. Today, the company introduced what might be the best one yet: A Polaroid printer that snaps onto the back of your phone. It seems to be pretty much exactly what you expect. Snap it onto the back of your phone, take a photo (there’s even a hardware button on the cae), and then print it right from your phone. You can also print your existing photos from Google Photos, Facebook, and Instagram. My only regret… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Motorola

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Google’s recent preview release of its open-source TensorFlow Lite software for machine learning developers signifies an exciting shift in the field of AI. The company’s dedication to developing AI capable of running algorithms on a mobile device — without connecting to the cloud — is laying the groundwork for the artificial intelligence of things (AioT) of the future. As far as consumer products go, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are among the most popular uses of AI in the mainstream. For as little as $30 or $40 a person can get their own interactive artificial intelligence – as long as… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Google

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Google today announced it’s bringing a new look to Maps. The new experience has brighter colors, clearer icons and an overall improved user experience. Over the next few weeks users will be introduced to new color keys and icons depending on the category, such as orange for food and drink and pink for health. This comes as an upgrade to the old design, where it was easy to mix things up as icons were small and similar in color. The idea is that now users can easily spot what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re out of town and… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Google

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The newest Bose headphones hope to “put an end to sleepless nights” by cancelling out barks, snores and other irritating noises while you sleep — and it’s the smallest product they’ve ever made. The noise-masking Sleepbuds, as they are called, are small wireless earbuds that you place into your ears while you sleep and block out any honking of taxi cabs, people talking and noisy neighbors as well as other sounds that could disturb your night. The earbuds connect to the “Bose Sleep” app on your phone, where you can choose which soothing sounds you prefer, out of 10 pre-loaded options. You… This story continues at The Next Web

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Even though smartphones have gotten good enough to compete with DSLR or mirrorless cameras in certain everyday scenarios, they still have one big disadvantage: fixed focal lengths. Despite smartphones now occasionally sporting two lenses, they don’t quite have the flexibility of a real interchangeable lens camera. That’s where accessories like Moment’s smartphone lenses come in. The company today announced it’s bringing its add-on glass and cases (which serve as lens mounts) to the iPhone X. Moment currently makes four compatible optics that cost $90 or $100: A wide angle, a 2x telephoto, a fish-eye, and a macro lens. These are… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: iPhone

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Skype today lost its appeal with a Belgian court which fined the company for not handing over user messages — which Skype says would have been effectively impossible. According to Belgian newspaper Het Belang Van Limburg (and thanks to a translation by The Register), Belgian authorities requested information from the company during a a 2012 investigation into a criminal organization which used Skype to communicate. It offered up metadata, but argued it couldn’t access the specific messages to give the police. The basis for the Belgian court’s complaint was that a national law requires telecoms companies to comply with data… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Skype

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