Timesdelhi.com

September 26, 2018

Google’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency ads ends next month

Google is rolling back its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements – following a similar move made by Facebook earlier this summer, CNBC reports. Google in March was among the first of the major platforms to announce it would no longer run ban cryptocurrency ads, due to an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat had also banned cryptocurrency ads, for similar reasons.

But Facebook moved away from its blanket ban this June, when it said it would no longer ban all cryptocurrency ads, but would rather allow those from “pre-approved advertisers” instead. It excluded ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), however.

Google is now following suit with its own policy change. The update was announced today, we’ve confirmed.

Google’s policy still bans ICOs, wallets and trading advice, CNBC reports, citing Google’s updated policy page which points to a list of banned products.

But the October 2018 policy update says that “regulated cryptocurrency exchanges” will be allowed to advertise in the U.S. and Japan.

To do so, advertisers will have to be certified with Google for the specific country where their ads will run, a process that begins in October. The policy will apply to all accounts that advertise these types of financial products, Google says.

Banning cryptocurrency ads on the part of the major platforms was a good step in terms of consumer protection, due to the amount of fraud and spam in the industry. According to the FTC, consumers lost $532 million to cryptocurrency-related scams in the first two months of 2018. An agency official also warned that consumers could lose more than $3 billion by the end of the year, because of these problems.

But for ad-dependent platforms like Facebook and Google, there’s so much money to be made here. It’s clear they wanted to find a way to let some of these advertisers back in. Google parent Alphabet makes around 86% of its total revenue from ads, CNBC noted, and booked over $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of the year.

Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.

News Source = techcrunch.com

You’ll now need a subscription to get the best of Microsoft Office

Microsoft released Office 2019 for Windows and macOS this week, the latest version of its regular, non-subscription productivity suite. It’s the kind of Office that, ten years ago, you would’ve bought in a shrink-wrapped package at Office Depot. But it’s really not the version of Office that Microsoft would like you to buy — or that you probably want to have. That’s because at this point, Office 2019 is basically a limited version that doesn’t include the most interesting new features of its Office 365 subscription counterpart.

“We are really working very hard to position Office 365 in all its flavors — ProPlus for the commercial users — as very different from these versions of Office that have a year number in them,” Microsoft’s corporate VP for Office and Windows Jared Spataro told me. “Office 2019, all the features that we released in it, had previously been released in Office 365. So are our way of talking about the cloud versions of Office 365 is that they’re connected, that this breathes life into them.”

Spataro also noted that Microsoft wants users to remember that the connected Office 365 apps will offer higher productivity because of their cloud connectivity and a higher degree of security. He also argues that these versions deliver a lower total cost of ownership.

Back when Microsoft launched Office 2016, those releases were essentially snapshots (‘carbon copies,” Spataro called them) of the regularly updated Office 365 versions, which get monthly updates and feature releases. For the first time now, the on-premises version of Office only provides a subset of the full functionality, with a lot of missing functionality because virtually all of the most interesting new features — including all the machine learning smarts that are now rolling out to Office 365 — will be missing from Office 2019.

“I think there will be some confusion,” Spataro acknowledged. “It’ll take us some time to train people that the year number doesn’t mean it’s the best version.”

In a way, though, this makes sense, given that a lot of the new functionality that Microsoft is now building into Office 365 only works because it’s connected to the cloud. That’s the only way to pull in data for the new Microsoft Search functionality, for example, and to run the machine learning models and pull in data from those — and Microsoft has decided that the best way to charge for those is through a subscription.

Microsoft’s strategy isn’t all that different from Adobe’s, for example, which now focuses on its Creative Cloud subscriptions and the cloud features that come with those to promote its subscription service over shrink-wrapped versions of its applications. That has been a very successful transition for Adobe and Microsoft is looking for the same with Office 365 (and its Microsoft 365 counterpart).

more Microsoft Ignite 2018 coverage

News Source = techcrunch.com

With Mulesoft in fold, Salesforce gains access to data wherever it lives

When Salesforce bought Mulesoft last spring for the tidy sum of $6.5 billion, it looked like money well spent for the CRM giant. After all, it was providing a bridge between the cloud and the on-prem data center and that was a huge missing link for a company with big ambitions like Salesforce.

When you want to rule the enterprise, you can’t be limited by where data lives and you need to be able to share information across disparate systems. Partly that’s a simple story of enterprise integration, but on another level it’s purely about data. Salesforce introduced its intelligence layer, dubbed Einstein, at Dreamforce in 2016.

With Mulesoft in the fold, it’s got access to data cross systems wherever it lives, in the cloud or on-prem. Data is the is the fuel of artificial intelligence, and Salesforce has been trying desperately to get more data for Einstein since its inception.

It lost out on LinkedIn to Microsoft, which flexed its financial muscles and reeled in the business social network for $26.5 billion a couple of years ago. It’s undoubtedly a rich source of data that the company longed for. Next, it set its sights on Twitter (although Twitter was ultimately never sold, of course). After board and stockholder concerns, the company walked away.

Each of these forays was all about the data, and frustrated, Salesforce went back to the drawing board. While Mulesoft did not supply the direct cache of data that a social network would have, it did provide a neat way for them to get at backend data sources, the very type of data that matters most to its enterprise customers.

Today, they have extended that notion beyond pure data access to a graph. You can probably see where this is going. The idea of a graph, the connections between say a buyer and the things they tend to buy or a person on a social network and people they tend to interact with can be extended even to the network/API level and that is precisely the story that Salesforce is trying to tell this week at the Dreamforce customer conference in San Francisco.

Visualizing connections in a data integration network in Mulesoft. Screenshot: Salesforce/Mulesoft

Maureen Fleming, program vice president for integration and process automation research at IDC says that it is imperative that organizations view data as a strategic asset and act accordingly. “Very few companies are getting all the value from their data as they should be, as it is locked up in various applications and systems that aren’t designed to talk to each other. Companies who are truly digitally capable will be able to connect these disparate data sources, pull critical business-level data from these connections, and make informed business decisions in a way that delivers competitive advantage,” Fleming explained in a statement.

Configuring data connections on Mulesoft Anypoint Platform. Gif: Salesforce/Mulesoft

It’s hard to underestimate the value of this type of data is to Salesforce, which has already put Mulesoft to work internally to help build the new Customer 360 product announced today. It can point to how it’s providing this very type of data integration to which Fleming is referring on its own product set.

Bret Taylor, president and chief product officer at Salesforce, says that for his company all of this is ultimately about enhancing the customer experience. You need to be able to stitch together these different computing environments and data silos to make that happen.

“In the short term, [customer] infrastructure is often fragmented. They often have some legacy applications on premise, they’ll have some cloud applications like Salesforce, but some infrastructure in on Amazon or Google and Azure, and to actually transform the customer experience, they need to bring all this data together. And so it’s a really a unique time for integration technologies, like Mulesoft because it enables you to create a seamless customer experience, no matter where that
data lives, and that means you don’t need to wait for infrastructure to be perfect before you can transform your customer experience.”

News Source = techcrunch.com

That weird nut Pokémon that showed up in Pokémon Go? It’s official now.

This past Saturday, something pretty weird happened in Pokémon Go: immediately after the monthly “Community Day” event came to a close, a strange, new, never-before-seen Pokémon showed up. And by “showed up”, I mean it was everywhere. Around the globe, this thing was spawning every few feet. A grey blob with a hex nut for a head, it wasn’t like anything that anyone had seen in-game before.

It looked like this:

Weirder yet: no one could actually catch it. If you managed to get it to stay in a Pokéball, it would always turn into something else (in most cases, it turned into a Ditto). Just a few hours later, it was mostly gone.

Was it just a glitch? Many players assumed that Niantic put this thing in as a placeholder and a glitch brought it into public view. Or did they really just drop an entirely new Pokémon into the game out of nowhere?

Three days later, we’ve got an answer: it’s not a glitch.

This video just popped up on the official Pokémon YouTube channel, shining a bit of light on what’s going on:

In short: its name is Meltan, and it’s an upcoming Mythical Pokémon. It all seems to be a big publicity tie-in with the upcoming Lets Go, Pikachu! and Lets Go, Eevee! titles that’ll launch on the Switch next month. Based on the limited info we have so far, it seems like to get a Meltan in the new games, you’ll have to catch him in Pokémon GO.

This whole stunt was pretty damned clever. Thanks to special, limited time spawns, Pokémon GO’s Community Day events are when just about anyone who still plays the game will be actively looking at their screen. By sneaking Meltan in there for a bit at the end, they pretty much guaranteed a wave of “WTF?” would roll around the world. All for a little grey blob with a nut on his head.

As for how to catch an actual Meltan rather than a Ditto-lookalike: that’s still a mystery. Catching Mythical Pokémon in GO thus far has involved “Special Research” quests — a series of tasks that take a few days or weeks of play to complete. We might be looking at another one of those here.

News Source = techcrunch.com

HP’s Tango looks like a book, so you can hide your printer shame

When I was a child I had a fake soda can with a screw off top for hiding change. It wasn’t a very effective theft deterrent. For one, no sane person keeps soda cans on a bookshelf. For another, I’m not sure they even made Diet Rite at that point.

The HP Tango’s camouflage is admittedly a bit more logical. The printer features a fabric cover that makes the look like an anonymous book — well, more of a tome, really — when faced out. Bundled together, it really screams “I still own a printer, but don’t want the world to know it.”

In spite of doing its best to blend into its surroundings, the Tango’s actually lot a bad looking printer. It’s squat and curvy and fairly minimalist. It’s also wireless and designed to work with your phone and also responds to Alexa. And speaking of Amazon, there’s a Dash-style fulfillment program called Instant Ink, which reorders ink for between $3 and $10, depending on how much you go through.

The printer itself is $149 or $199, with the aforementioned cover, which comes in three colors. Might I suggest printing the titles of great works of literature on the outside, to really complete the effect?

News Source = techcrunch.com

Go to Top