Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11’s war on 32-bit • The Register

Wireless speaker maker Pure appears to be more the first casualties in Apple’s war on 32-bit iOS apps.

Pure’s 32-bit Connect software for iThings won’t work on Apple’s new 64-bit-only iOS 11, meaning folks using Cupertino’s latest firmware and handsets can’t control their space-age hi-fis. The audio remote-control app joins various games, utilities and other 32-bit-only programs that are not allowed to run on iOS 11 and later.

Punters are urged to install the latest version of Apple’s operating system because it contains security bug patches. By upgrading or buying a new iPhone, folks have to ditch any old apps that haven’t been rebuilt as 64-bit ARMv8 executables, which includes Pure’s.

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Now Pure hardware owners who have moved to iOS 11 are complaining that their gizmos are “useless” without the Connect app to control them. Pure did not respond to El Reg‘s request for comment, and has not said when it expects a 64-bit app will be released. Android versions of Pure Connect are not affected, of course.

According to Pure’s website, a fix is in the works and an FAQ of workarounds via Wi-Fi can be found here. It may take some time for a rebuilt application to emerge as the people who wrote the code for the manufacturer are no longer in business, apparently.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, including the closure of our third-party app developer, and the subsequent release of Apple’s iOS11, a few of you may be experiencing issues accessing the Pure Connect app,” Pure told customers.

“Unfortunately, Apple’s decision to remove support for apps created prior to 2015, which don’t natively run in 64-bit mode, will undoubtedly affect many apps, including our own.”

Part of the problem, it seems, is Pure’s inability to maintain and update its own apps, and it is most likely not alone in this respect: companies that have outsourced their mobile app programming are finding themselves locked out of iOS 11 because they can’t get the code or the tools or the people to rebuild their contract-developed software. The iOS App Store shows that the last update to Pure Connect was on June 25, 2015, more than two years ago, so Pure has been without a mobile developer for a while, it seems.

So on the one hand, it’s a shame to see organizations that were relying on outside developers now being caught out by the iOS crackdown. On the other hand, it’s not an overnight change.

You can’t fault Apple for springing this one on companies and programmers. The Cupertino giant has been warning of the 64-bit changeover for years, and since early 2015 all new apps and updates have been required to be submitted to the online store in 64-bit mode. In March, the iOS 10.3 update also alerted world-plus-dog that all future versions of the firmware would not support apps compiled in 32-bit mode.

Apple’s last 32-bit-processor iPhone was the iPhone 5C, released in 2013 and discontinued in 2015.

“‘Due to circumstances beyond our control’ – yeah, and you’ve only had two years to update your app,” one Reg reader scoffed at Pure in an email to us earlier today. “That’s my Jongo speakers rendered useless after only a year.” ®

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Samsung Connect Home Review | Digital Trends

It’s a commonly held belief that the next big shift in smart home technology will be convergence — for good reason. Once you’ve added smart lighting, security and multi-room audio to your home, you may find your router is buried under a mass of proprietary communications hubs.

Multi-device controllers like Wink and SmartThings (now owned by Samsung) have helped to reduce the clutter. Samsung Connect Home takes convergence one step further by bringing together whole home Wi-Fi with a SmartThings controller. It’s an obvious progression, but one that has taken some time to reach the marketplace.

With SmartThings, Samsung has acquired great experience and execution in smart home control. It makes a lot of sense to take that proposition to the masses by packaging it in a router. But with little heritage in home networking, Samsung will need to be on form to compete with leading whole home Wi-Fi systems like NETGEAR Orbi , Linksys Velop and Google WiFi in a crowded marketplace. Read on to find out how well it did in our Samsung Connect Home review.

Samsung Connect Home mashes Wi-Fi and smart home control but convenience comes with compromise.

Samsung Connect Home is a compelling concept, controlling your home network and smart devices via a single, compact hub. Switch on lights, adjust room temperature, fire up the guest Wi-Fi and more.

Connect Home can operate the same extensive list of devices as a SmartThings Hub. It includes voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, smart lighting systems, including Philips Hue and LIFX, ecobee and Nest Learning Thermostats, security systems and speakers.

Like other whole home Wi-Fi systems, Samsung Connect Home takes a modular approach to networking. A single hub, priced at $169.99, supports wireless coverage in homes up to 1,500 square feet. For larger homes, a $379.99 three-hub mesh network extends coverage up to 4,500 square feet.

AC1300 network speeds (up to 866 Mbps at 5 GHz, 400 Mbps at 2.4 GHz) are match competitors such as Google Wi-Fi ($129/$299 for a three pack) and the first-generation eero ($199/$499), but are slower than NETGEAR Orbi and Linksys Velop.

Samsung Connect Home Compared To

For speed as well as smarts, the $249.99 Samsung Connect Home Pro offers the same wireless coverage with AC2600 speeds (up to 1733 Mbps at 5 GHz, 800 Mbps at 2.4 GHz) and a premium finish. Those with large homes (and deep pockets) can create a mesh network with up to five Home Pro hubs for extensive coverage.

Cute and compact hardware, packed with connectivity

The days of the monolithic, ugly wireless router are numbered. Whole home Wi-Fi systems like Samsung Connect Home are compact, aesthetically neutral devices designed to be scattered around the home rather than hidden in the basement or in a closet.

Most systems released in the last couple of years have been cut from similar cloth – white, puck-shaped hardware sporting twin Gigabit Ethernet ports (one for connection to your modem and a second for wired network devices), a power input and a reset button. No twinkly status lights, no spiky antennas but also no USB ports for storage sharing and, with just two ports, limited hardwired connectivity.

Samsung Connect Home Review

With integrated smart home device support, the lack of ports is less of a problem for Samsung Connect Home than its competitors. Packed with connectivity, it supports Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth 4.1 & Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wave2).

Under the hood, the Connect Home and Pro systems are a little different in architecture. Connect Home is powered by the Qualcomm IPQ4018 (700MHz Quad Core) processor with 512 MB RAM, while the pricier model gets a boost from a 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm IPQ8065.

Frustrating setup experience, requiring live Internet connection

Setup is performed with the Samsung Connect smartphone app, available for iOS and Android. The app frustratingly requires a live Internet connection, as you’ll need to sign up for (or log into) a Samsung account during the process. If your phone has data service then life should be more straightforward as long as it can connect to the router. However, I was unable to complete setup on either the Connect Home or Connect Home Pro using a Google Pixel XL smartphone running Android Oreo. It simply couldn’t detect the Wi-Fi hub.

The kind of setup experience that might see this product being returned to retailers in droves.

As that was the only device I had with mobile data, I was forced to dig out an old Moto X handset, connect that to the Pixel’s mobile hotspot for data service, then download and launch the Samsung Connect app to complete installation. The kind of hackery Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of, certainly, but also the kind of experience that might see this product being returned to retailers in droves.

Even when the router was configured, with the Pixel XL connected to its wireless network, the smartphone remained unable to detect and manage Connect Home’s settings. Samsung’s engineers clearly have some work ahead of them.

Fortunately, once the main router was set up, adding the two satellite hubs to the network was simple. Plug in, a few taps on the Connect Home app, a quick connectivity test and you’re done.

A home hub for all your connected devices

The Samsung Connect app manages both your home network settings as well as smart home devices from a wide range of manufacturers. As a bonus, if you own other Samsung devices with network connectivity, such as a newer Smart TV, washing machine, or fancy fridge, you can connect directly to those using your phone as a TV remote to schedule washing cycles and more.

Router controls are a little less intuitive and can be tricky to hunt down on the app, but the selection is reasonably comprehensive. Like most whole-home Wi-Fi systems, Samsung Connect Home isn’t going to serve the needs of advanced users looking for every possible network optimization tweak and widget available, but there’s a decent array of features that’ll suit mainstream home admins. They include bandwidth prioritization, port forwarding, guest networking, and light parental controls for restricting online access at dinner or bedtime.

While the app looks slick, it doesn’t take too long to uncover issues, particularly around device connectivity. For example, the My Devices section can be very slow to update when new devices are added to the network, meaning you never quite trust what’s being reported.  Worse still, without a live Internet connection, the Connect Home seems unable to provide any visibility of local network devices.

Samsung appears to be adding missed features and performance improvements with firmware updates – hopefully that work will continue over the coming months.

As a SmartThings hub, Connect Home does a decent job, but for some reason, devices must be set up manually. Samsung sent a SmartThings electrical outlet and multipurpose sensor for review, but Connect Home was unable to automatically scan and detect the devices. Once manually configured, though, both performed as expected with quick response times from the app.

Overall the Samsung Connect Home successfully combines home networking and smart home control in a single, compact hub – a real technical achievement. But this convenience comes with compromises and quirks that can cause frustration when using.

Strong wireless coverage, weak mesh networking speeds

We placed three hubs around a four-floor, 2500 square foot home. The main hub was positioned next to the cable modem in a second-floor bedroom. One satellite hub was placed a floor above in the attic, while the third was installed two floors below, in a basement where Wi-Fi coverage is patchy.

At short range, Connect Home performs really well. Average wired speeds of 893 Mbps and 385 Mbps are very good for this class of device. The Samsung Connect Pro boosted wireless speeds by 30 percent, with the average hitting an impressive 498 Mbps.

Whole Home Wi-Fi Systems Ethernet Speeds

Model Average Ethernet Speed (Mbps)
Linksys Velop 943
Samsung Connect Home 893
NETGEAR Orbi 858
Ubiquiti Labs AmpliFi HD 802
Eero (1st Gen) 761
Google WiFi 754

Test Clients: 2 x Intel NUC Core i5 PCs 

Whole Home Wi-Fi Systems Short Range Wireless Speeds

Model Average Short Range Speed (Mbps)
Samsung Connect Home Pro 498
Samsung Connect Home 385
Ubiquiti Labs AmpliFi HD 364
NETGEAR Orbi 337
Google WiFi 297
Linksys Velop 159
Eero (1st Gen) 156

Test Client: MacBook Air with D-Link DWA-192 AC1900 USB Adapter plus Intel NUC Core i5 PC

Wandering around the house with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the Samsung Connect Home was able to sustain a strong connection in both the attic and basement, but mesh networking speeds were less impressive. Average speeds of 181 Mbps close to main hub in the bedroom dropped to 61 Mbps in the basement and just 41 Mbps in the attic. As I usually struggle to receive a Wi-Fi signal in the basement, Samsung’s debut certainly offered a boost, but speeds were behind competing systems.

Whole Home Wi-Fi Systems Long Range Mesh Wireless Speeds (Wireless Backhaul)

Model Average Mesh Wireless Speeds (Mbps)
  Bedroom (Main) Attic (Sub 1) Basement (Sub 2)
NETGEAR Orbi 322 217 228
Linksys Velop 309 250 163
Google WiFi 285 123 90
Ubiquiti Labs AmpliFi HD 216 157 59
Eero (1st Gen) 211 67 82
Samsung Connect Home 181 44 61

Test Client: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 plus Intel NUC Core i5 PC 

Like some other whole home Wi-Fi systems, Connect Home’s performance can be bolstered by connecting the satellite hubs to a wired network, reducing wireless congestion. Doing so accelerated speeds up to 80 percent but, given the low base, it wasn’t enough to stand out.

Warranty information

Samsung Connect Home and Connect Home Pro are supplied with a limited, one-year warranty.

Our Take

Samsung Connect Home successfully combines whole home Wi-Fi and smart device control in an attractive, compact hub with smartphone app control. It’s a brave technical challenge that Samsung delivers with reasonable success, but frustrations with device configuration, weaknesses in the Samsung Connect app and mesh network speeds well behind competitors prevent us from giving the system a full endorsement.

Is there a better alternative?

With a slew of whole home Wi-Fi systems hitting the market over the last twelve months, you can find high-performing mesh networking kits available for a range of budgets, although none offer the convenience of true smart home device control like Samsung Connect Home.

At $399 and $499 respectively, NETGEAR Orbi and Linksys Velop remain top picks on performance although you’re paying top dollar for the best network speeds and that’s before you add a $99 SmartThings Hub into the mix.

While not hitting the same heights on performance, the $299 Google WiFi and $289 TP-Link Deco systems offer great value with smooth smartphone app controls and great looking hubs.

How long will it last?

Samsung Connect Home embodies an experimental new product category for the company and, as such, we’d be a little concerned about the sustainability of this product line.

That said, Samsung’s developers are pushing out firmware updates with enhanced features and fixes while the company is heavily marketing the products in big box retailers so, in the short term, things look good.

Should you buy it?

If your current router is creaking under the weight of proprietary smart home hubs and you’re happy to ride the rollercoaster of firmware updates to fix hiccups, Samsung Connect Home offers real convergence if not the best performance.

At this point, however, you might be better off sticking with a whole home Wi-Fi system from an established networking brand and adding the excellent SmartThings hub.

Apple Look at Sequence 3 evaluate: do not connect with us, we would not connect with you.

It really is starting to glance like Dick Tracy had it mistaken, that watches do not make good communications gadgets and telephones do not make good watches just after all.

Very first came Huawei’s Look at 2, a clever enjoy that incorporates a 4G SIM that you can make calls on, which is useless by lunchtime if you truly do check out to use it as your telephone.

Now you can find Apple’s Look at Sequence 3, a clever enjoy that would not comprise a SIM, but that you can yet make calls on, which is useless by afternoon tea if used for way too several calls.

Absent some sort of wonder with battery technologies, or some sort of shift in how massive (or probably radioactive) a matter individuals are ready to strap to their wrist, it looks like telephones and wrist watches aren’t heading to be the cosy bedfellows several of us hoped they may possibly.

I imply, if Apple, the world’s richest firm, won’t be able to construct a enjoy that allows you leave your telephone at home all working day, then who can?

Nonetheless, given the selection amongst getting the WiFi-only Apple Look at that can only make calls when it truly is Bluetooth-tethered to your Apple iphone, and investing $100 more to purchase the product that has a 4G voice and info relationship, which is considerably less than 1mm thicker than the WiFi product, it truly is a rather uncomplicated final decision. Even the rather crimson dot on the crown, that indicates you are wearing the “GPS + Cellular” product, is really worth the added income.

4G on a enjoy may perhaps not yet be what we hoped it would be – a thing that would allow us neglect to pack our telephone and not have to worry about heading home to retrieve it – but it truly is nevertheless rather useful. I’ve been wearing the GPS + Cellular Apple Look at for around a 7 days now, and even though the 4G connectivity leaves some items to be preferred, it is quite relaxing getting able to leave your telephone at home for a speedy vacation to the shop, or a speedy dip in the pool, and not be gripped by the biggest of all 21st century malaises, the anxiety of missing out.

Electronic SIM

Nevertheless in truth you may perhaps miss out on a couple items, which I’ll get into presently.

The cause the Look at Sequence 3 can make and receive calls and have a dwell net relationship, devoid of a telephone tethered to it and devoid of a little SIM card inserted into it, is really only mainly because it truly is created by Apple and not by Samsung, Huawei or some other firm that has little sway with Australia’s telcos.

The cellular product of the Look at has an electronic SIM, or eSIM, in it, the quite matter that Samsung has been hoping for years to convince Telstra, Vodafone et al to empower, but which (at the time of producing) Telstra and Optus the two got on board with only for the sake of Apple.

In our checks, we found the Watch’s eSIM to be either simple to empower, or difficult to empower, depending on the nature of our telephone contract.

The approach entails entering the username and password to your telephone account into the Apple iphone, and then agreeing to tack an added eSIM info demand on to that account (now it truly is only $5 a month), and it truly is useless simple except if you are on a company telephone account and do not have a username and password and the authority to increase an added demand to your bill, in which circumstance it seems like it won’t be able to be performed proper now.

As a consequence of that, I had to borrow a telephone account to take a look at out the Look at, which was a shame mainly because I missed out on the best characteristic: the eSIM keeps the same telephone number as your principal SIM, so if you acquire your Look at to the pool with you (it truly is water resistant adequate to do laps even though you have got it on), it will ring anytime your telephone again at home rings, and you can acquire the connect with using its built-in microphone and speaker, which most of the time is loud adequate.

Just a tease

Oddly, though, if the Apple iphone it truly is paired to is switched off or has operate out of batteries, calls to your number will go to voicemail. For some cause (which I hope goes absent) the Apple iphone has to be on and ringing for the Look at to ring, way too.

And the way the Look at receives notifications above its 4G relationship is a little odd, way too, and considerably less reliable than messages obtained above its Bluetooth relationship, when its paired Apple iphone is nearby. Some notifications show up, and some do not.

Text messages do not get as a result of, for instance, except if they were being despatched by another Apple iphone, which is confounding.

Tinder notifications, telling you that you have a new match, do get as a result of above 4G even so.

And which is the rub of the Look at. You get the standard notification when you have still left your telephone at home, but with no telephone you can find no way to know nearly anything more. It really is just a tease, really, a assure that when you do get home to your telephone, a thing interesting awaits.

That is not just the anxiety of missing out. That is truly missing out. That is worse.

SpaceX Names Satellite Broadband Service, Works FCC Connect America

What’s in a name?  “Starlink” is the potential title for SpaceX’s massive satellite network to deliver high-speed Internet access, reports Florida Today.  The company has filed two trademarks for Starlink with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, one applicable to satellite communications and research into the field and the other related to hardware, including satellites, ground terminals, and satellite Earth stations to control the network.

SpaceX’s Starlink network would be composed of an initial 4,425 satellites put into orbit by 2024, plus another 7,518 satellites to add more bandwidth in the future, according to media reports and testimony to Congress. CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes a massive, low-flying satellite communications network can offer speeds competitive with or even better than terrestrial fiber optic cabling, since signals would be moved in a point-to-point fashion and transmitted between satellites via laser without the delays introduced by moving light through glass.  Existing fiber optic network rely on sending signals through cables that follow the curves and rights-of-way where they have been put, with switches and routers adding additional delays.

Musk isn’t planning to build such a network simply out of the goodness of his heart. He needs a continuing revenue stream to fund plans for ultimately putting a colony on Mars, with broadband services being a big piggy bank.  SpaceX’s current launch services business is very lean, with proceeds redirected into improving the companies lines of Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon spacecraft.

Launching satellites is expensive, but SpaceX has demonstrated the ability to land and reuse the expensive first stage of the Falcon9.  The company has over a dozen “flight-proven” Falcon 9 first stages today, with more expected to be added to its inventory in the future. With a fleet of reusable rockets, SpaceX essentially will have “surplus” launch capacity it will use to put up its satellite communications cloud.

SpaceX is also positioning its future satellite service to qualify for government funds.  The company asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider it as a potential Connect America Fund award recipient, according to Space News. The Connect America Fund is designed to support broadband build-out to around 23 million Americans who lack access to high-speed infrastructure in urban and rural areas, with up to $198 million in subsidies expected to be provided to voice and broadband carriers over the next decade.

Low-latency satellite would provide a perfect solution for rural consumers seeking high-speed internet access. SpaceX wants to make sure it can participate in the Connect America Fund once it gets Starlink open for business, indicating the company is thinking long-term and working “the system” as needed.  I’m wondering if we’ll see a SpaceX Starlink presence at CES 2018, but that may be too soon. 


Oculus Rift boss: Connect with of Obligation and Battlefield essential to VR success, not less expensive rates

Oculus Rift boss: Call of Duty and Battlefield key to VR success, not cheaper pricesActivision/Oculus

Oculus Rift boss: Connect with of Obligation and Battlefield essential to VR success, not less expensive rates

Digital reality will ultimately take off on the mass current market when recreation makers nail on line multiplayer like Connect with of Obligation has for console participating in.

Which is the verdict of Oculus VR boss Jason Rubin.

He reckons VR is ultimately likely world wide after a slow couple of decades.

But he is admitted it will only be when the software package makers land a must-invest in killer app that operates brilliantly in the aggressive gaming current market that we’ll see VR take over.

He mentioned: “Aggressive titles are so important mainly because they have that infinite gameplay that can occupy hundreds of several hours of somebody’s leisure time.

“Nevertheless, there are constraints (in VR), locomotion for instance, that a large amount of Tv set-based multiplayer video games depend on, but which we just cannot simply just port over into VR.

“As we’ve gone by way of time, while, we’ve figured out how to have locomotion and do factors in VR that are operating, and I think new area recreation Lone Echo is a ideal instance of that.

“It is a title that let us you shift all-around, but in a quite unique manner,” continued Rubin.

“Zero gravity makes it possible for you to pull yourself by way of using your arms, which tends to mitigate the locomotion problems of VR, and we’ve discovered anecdotally as we ended up testing that persons are really comfortable in there and are really making the most of the title.

“So Lone Echo is a huge win for us from a technological know-how and studying standpoint.”

But the VR pioneer admitted the likes of multiplayer gaming blockbusters Connect with of Obligation and Battlefield would not be portable to digital reality as you cannot do the run-and-gun gameplay justices with the recent technological know-how on provide.

Oculus has aggressively dropped it can be rate tag to get in additional prospective buyers.

The 360 diploma Rift headset and Contact controller bundle is now down to £399, from £799.

Rubin added to MCV: “Our components revenue are potent after the past rate drop.

“You close up at a area wherever persons say ‘Oh, this is anything I can thoroughly afford to pay for,’ as opposed to ‘I’m [still] pondering about this mainly because it’s a significant purchase’.

“VR utilization over the summer time has gone up.

“The online video recreation marketplace commonly tends to be in fairly of a doldrums [in the summer], but we have not discovered that in VR.

“We’ve discovered a large amount of persons are obtaining a number of items of software package, and which is but yet another explanation to throw the components out there at a quite sensible rate and bring in even additional persons.

“We think that [a £399] rate position is quite mass current market.

“It is been confirmed on other high-close VR units that are succeeding appropriate now, and we think with the ideal library in the business, that now’s the time to do this and really generate persons into high-close VR.”

T3 Agenda: Protect your home with the Motorola Focus 72 Connect cam. Brew up a storm with the Coffee Gator. And more! ..

In today’s T3 Agenda – stream live footage from your home for free – for life! – with the Motorola Focus 72 Connect camera; brew yourself the perfect filter coffee with the Coffee Gator; and more…

Turn your phone into a 24/7 security monitor with Motorola’s new outdoor camera

Motorola has just launched the Focus 72 Connect security camera, which offers a versatile, weather-resistant way to monitor your home from near or afar. The camera turns any compatible Android or Apple device into a fully functional video monitor and can stream live feed in HD for life. The camera has a 110° wide angle field of view, giving users a good view of their property and beyond. 

It also features infrared night vision and night vision range to up to 20 metres, helping monitor around the property day or night. The Motorola Focus 72 Connect can detect motion from up to 10 metres away ensuring that nothing is missed.

The Motorola Focus 72 Connect is available from Argos for £99.99 each or two for £149.99.

Become a home-based barista with the pour-over power of the Coffee Gator

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate that barista-style pour-over process in your home, we have just the gadget for you. Using a slow, steady stream of water at the right temperature, the Coffee Gator Pour-Over System makes the best use of the natural aromas, oils and flavours of your brew.

You’ll get a brighter and cleaner taste than the typical French press method, and it’s far less dangerous than a stove-top percolator. It’s also in a different league of taste to machine drip, so it’s going to change how you enjoy a cup of Joe at home forever.

You can order one today direct from Amazon for only £29.97.

Sooth and monitor your newborn baby all at once with the Suzy Snooze smart nightlight

This Suzy Snooze, an all-in-one Smart Nightlight, Sleep Soother and Baby Monitor that’s been co-created with the UK’s biggest parenting community, Mumsnet.

Using the latest in sleep science and with guidance from leading sleep academics, Suzy Snooze has been engineered to help babies and young children learn healthy sleep routines as early as possible, to help create good sleep habits in early life lead to a lesser chance of insomnia and sleep disorders later on.

Built and co-designed by BleepBleeps, Suzy Snooze can also be controlled from the BleepBleeps app making it simple for parents to schedule and log sleep routines for their children while in another room. You can pre-order one now from Kickstarter for only $99 (£72) as part of an early bird deal. 

Keep warm (and look rather swish) in the winter months with Zakti’s new autumn and winter range

When the clocks go back next month, you’re going to need a brand new jacket to keep your warm as the temperatures plummet. Outdoor apparel maker Zakti has just the thing – a range of reflective active wear that will illuminate to keep you safe in the darker hours of winter.  

There’s the Zakti’s Flash Forward Reflective Running Jacket for women, which uses light reflective technology and a 100% Polyester design that’s both lightweight and showerproof. You can even team it with a neon Airbrush Mid-layer which will glow in the dark for extra visibility. 

For men, there’s Zakti’s Infinity Run Jacket (£50) which has reflective features, a lightweight ISODRY design, mesh ventilation panels and a detachable hood for winter showers. To fill your basket full of high-tech winter gear, head on over to zaktiactive.com now.

How to Make an Apple Music Profile to Connect With Friends in iOS 11

Although Apple has fumbled with social network features within its music apps in the past, the company is trying again with an all-new social sharing ability in iOS 11. There’s no exact name for the feature, but Apple describes it as a way for you to discover music that your friends are listening to through sharing playlists, artists, and albums on your own personal Apple Music profile.

If you already have an Apple Music account with a paid subscription, or if you’re taking advantage of the service’s free three-month trial period, follow these steps to enable the social sharing features within Apple’s streaming music service. Note that this guide is specifically tailored for iOS devices, but the process is similar on macOS.

Creating a Profile on Apple Music

  1. Open Apple Music. (Note: opening Apple Music for the first time after installing iOS 11 should also give you a direct link to “Get Started” with friend sharing, so jump to Step 5 if you tap this button.)
  2. Tap the “For You” tab.
  3. Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  4. Choose “Start Sharing with Friends” and then “Get Started.”
  5. Upload a profile photo, type in your name, and pick a username so other Apple Music users can find you. Tap “Next” when done.
  6. Choose “Everyone” or “People You Choose” to determine who can see your listening history.
  7. Choose the playlists to share on your profile, or “Hide all” to show none.
  8. Pick contacts to share music with.
  9. Toggle on/off “Friends” and “Artists and Shows” to choose what kind of push notifications you want. Tap “Done.”

If you can’t find the friend you’re looking for in the recommended contacts section, navigate to Apple Music’s “Search” tab. With iOS 11, this area now functions as a profile and user playlist search tool as well. Start typing in their name and you might see an “in people” recommendation, or simply tap the “Search” button and you’ll see results for Songs, Albums, Playlists, Music Videos, Connect, Artists, and now People and Shared Playlists at the bottom.

With your own Apple Music profile set up, you can begin listening to music as normal, and the more you do the more your favorite albums, artists, and songs will show up in the “Friends Are Listening To” section of your followers’ “For You” tabs. On your own “For You” tab, you can tap “See All” and browse a list of recent albums and playlists listened to by your friends, and then tap to add them to your own library.

If your friends allow it, this will even include their own personally created playlists. To discover and save the playlists of a specific person, follow these steps. Note that this guide assumes the friend in question has their activity shared to “Everyone,” or that they have chosen you to share with.

Finding Friends’ Shared Playlists on Apple Music

  1. Navigate to your Apple Music profile.
  2. Scroll down to “Following,” then tap the friend you’re looking for, or tap “See All” for a vertical list.
  3. Scroll through their “Playlists” and “Listening To” to find a collection you want to save.
  4. Tap the collection you want, then “+Add” to place it in your library.

From then on, you’ll find friends’ playlists taking precedence atop the playlists section of your library, alongside any Apple curated collections. The name of the playlist will be there, along with the name of your friend. Once added, it’ll function in much the same way as Apple’s own playlists, updating in your library when changes are made by your friend.

You can revisit your profile any time by tapping your profile picture in the top right of “For You,” and here you’ll see your shared playlists, content you’ve listened to recently, followers, and following. Tap the “Edit” button to customize items like your profile picture, name, username, follower permissions, and reorganize shared playlists.

If you ever change your mind about sharing a playlist (which also makes it searchable to anyone using Apple Music), tap on the playlist in your library, tap “Edit” in the top right corner, then toggle off “Show on My Profile and in Search.” You can follow these same steps for adding a new playlist onto your profile whenever you create a new collection of songs.

ChainLink raises $32 million to connect blockchains with external data

San Francisco blockchain startup ChainLink has pulled in $32 million through its presale and initial coin offering, which closed yesterday. The company provides middleware to enable “smart contracts” running on a blockchain to access external data.

Smart contracts, or self-executing contracts, are one of the exciting promises of blockchain tech. They allow businesses and individuals to set service-level agreements with each other.

For example, imagine if airlines started offering smart contracts that would automatically refund 20 percent of your ticket fare if your flight misses its departure time by more than an hour. Or imagine if medical shipments to pharmacies were automatically halted and returned to the manufacturer if the shipping temperature exceeded a contracted limit.

As Coin Sciences’ Gideon Greenspan explains, these kinds of pie-in-the-sky use cases for blockchain have been unrealistic to date, since blockchains haven’t been able to reliably access a wide range of external data. But ChainLink plans to change that. It offers contract makers a whole network of “oracles,” or trusted external data sources, to choose from. With ChainLink, you can have a contract query one or several different oracles to check, say, flight departure times.

“When you type ‘interest rates’ into the ChainLink search bar, you’ll get a list of some 50 data feeds to choose from,” explained CEO Sergey Nazarov. “You copy and paste [from that data feed page on ChainLink] what your contract needs to do and copy that into your contract.” The developers who connect APIs to ChainLink are compensated with ChainLink’s LINK token each time someone uses their feed by the contracts that are requesting data from those feeds.

The company has had about 3,700 emails from developers interested in running a ChainLink, Nazarov said.

ChainLink was spawned from 3.5 year-old company SmartContract, which does one-off enterprise smart contract rollouts. So far SmartContract’s biggest client has been inter-bank transaction network SWIFT, which has 11,000 banks in its network.

But one-off rollouts take time, require a hand-tailored API, and are, in effect, hard-wired to the chosen oracle; they don’t give you the flexibility of deciding how many data sources to query.

ChainLink will bring smart contract capabillites to anyone with high security and a lot more choice.

Without ChainLink’s network, Nazarov said, a company wanting to deploy a smart contract able to interact with an external data feed needs to develop an API for that data feed and then go to one of the few middleware providers working in this space who then wrap the necessary rules and calls into the smart contract. The application developer doesn’t get much flexibility in deciding how many of the blockchain’s nodes should query the data feed or how many data sources to query. Security is also a big concern. “If we’re transacting billions of dollars on these systems, we need them to be secure end-to-end,” said Nazarov. Having a decentralized system make a call to a single data source in order to execute a multimillion dollar contract could leave the system open to manipulation.

The coming generation of open-source oracles will come with more options and more security. Developers will be able to have their smart contracts query multiple disparate data feeds from many different nodes, cross-check them for consistency, possibly averaging the various inputs to reduce the chance of error.

ChainLink’s capabilties aren’t ready for rollout yet — the company is still working on its network — but the fresh fundraise should help move that work along.

Even after the company’s oracle network is rolled out, it could take five or so years to reach maturity, Nazarov explained. The biggest data providers realize this new model could be good business for them, but they’re not willing to take the jump until they see a decent volume of smart contracts in play. So we’ll likely see smaller and mid-sized data providers move in first, with the rest following later. And the pace at which key data feeds become available will, to a certain extent, dictate how quickly the whole ecosystem is able to develop.

When brands connect with consumers from the heart, they reciprocate: Samsung India CMO

Samsung’s marketing strategy is witnessing a change. Gone are the days when the brand spoke to its consumers through foreign models who exalted the features of the product. Now 

the electronic consumer goods company is telling the stories of its consumers and stakeholders to develop a strong bond with the consumer base in India. 

 

The latest ad for the Samsung QLED TV which is part of the festive campaign focuses on the story of a father and daughter and how the television plays a crucial role in their lives. The television brings them closer together, even though the father takes control of the TV and switches it off to get his daughter to rest and sleep. “Our latest offering, the Samsung QLED TV changes the way people experience colours. It has richer colours, blacker black, but instead of talking about the features, we thought, ‘what does the TV really do to the people who are watching it?’,” said Ranjivjit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung India. 

 

Speaking about the insight behind the ad, he said, “Our focus at Samsung is always the customer. What that means is that we are always listening to how they are spending their lives and how we can make their lives better. This research led to some interesting insights about how the Samsung TV has been an integral part of families, and how it is witness to very different emotions.” Singh said that when brands connect with consumers from the heart, they reciprocate. 

 

And indeed, the ad picks up on scenes that play out in every household. Parents who may turn off the TV also watch TV along with their children, rooting for the same team during a crucial match or even hoping that a villain gets his due in the course of the movie/show. “The common thread that emerged was the emotion. So we therefore thought, why not focus on the emotion because it is such a central theme to how people experience the television,” Singh said. It is with this idea in mind that team Samsung reached out to its creative agency – Cheil India. That’s how the tagline ‘Feel the colour, feel the love’ was conceptualised. 

Days after the launch of the Samsung QLED TV campaign, the ad has already registered 21 million views on YouTube alone. Telling such heart-warming, beautiful stories encourage the team at Samsung to tell more real stories rather than straight-forward advertising that’s based on product features alone.  

 

While the current ad is only inspired by real life, in the past Samsung has adapted real-life stories into commercials. The ‘Sapne Hue Bade’ campaign followed the real-life story of Seema Nagar, who was a student of the Samsung ITI/MSME programme in Jaipur. Seema who hails from a small town grows up in a typical household that believes that women belong in the home. She prevails over her conservative family with her will and grit and successfully pursues an ITI course in the face of opposition from her family. 

 

The ‘Sapne Hue Bade’ campaign that kicked off in 2016 retold the story of a Samsung Smart Class student, Sadanand Ugale, from Chinchada, a remote village in Maharashtra. With the assistance of Samsung Smart Class programme, Ugale receives quality education and finds the opportunity to soar high despite hailing from a small town with little access to latest technology and resources. 

 

Samsung began winning hearts with its Samsung Service Vans ads that went viral and broke the internet. The ad shows a Samsung engineer travelling to a remote location to resolve a customer service complaint. Despite the many hurdles, he arrives on time to find that his customer is a young girl at a school for those with visual impairment waiting to watch a programme along with other children. On last count, the ad had more than 100 million views on YouTube.

 

SpaceX asks FCC to make exception for LEO constellations in Connect America Fund decisions

LONDON — SpaceX does not want the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to exclude its future low-Earth orbit constellation as a potential Connect America Fund award recipient because of the way the agency classifies communications satellites.

While giving no new details on the launch company’s proposed satellite broadband constellation, SpaceX argues that the proposed rules for the fund released in August would make its satellite constellation ineligible to participate because they classify all satellites as incapable of being low latency.

“Conflating [Non-geosynchronous] systems and [geosynchronous] systems would be the same as the Commission prohibiting fiber systems from bidding because dial-up is not fast enough: just because both systems are hard wired does not mean that they are equivalent,” SpaceX wrote in a Sept. 18 letter.

The Connect America Fund is an FCC initiative to connect an estimated 23 million Americans with either no internet access, or access slower than 10 Mbps downlink and 1 Mbps uplink. In the Phase 2 auction, the agency intends to provide up to $198 million to voice and broadband service providers over the next 10 years, starting in 2018.

SpaceX has two constellation applications pending FCC approval — one for a 4,425 satellite constellation operating in Ka- and Ku-band from around 1,200 kilometers, and another for 7,518 V-band satellites flying between 335 and 345 kilometers. The company says the latency of its constellation will range from 25 to 35 milliseconds, appreciably faster than that of geosynchronous satellites which usually have at least a half a second of round-trip signal delay from being 36,000 kilometers up.

“When deployed, these constellations will be capable of delivering broadband speeds directly to individual users anywhere in the United States or around the world at fiber-like speeds,” SpaceX said.

SpaceX is not the only pending non-geosynchronous (NGSO) operator to vie for FCC interest in using low-Earth orbit satellites to connect rural parts of the United States. Nine others have submitted applications to access the U.S. market, and OneWeb, which has the first of 900 small Ku-band satellites under construction today, gained FCC-approval for U.S. market access in June.

Along with delineating between GEO and NGSO, SpaceX also asked the FCC not to make supporting a standalone voice service a requirement for receiving Connect America Fund Auction 2 resources. SpaceX said its constellation, as an IP-network, will already be able to support voice communications. The company joins AT&T, Southern Tier Wireless, and the United States Telecom Association in asking for removal of the standalone voice requirement.