What to consider when parsing through your Parse alternatives

At the conclusion of January, Facebook had officially shuttered Parse, disabling the API on an app by app basis. As a Backend as a Service (BaaS) product, the development platform provided SDKs and APIs that allowed developers to quickly build their apps without having to build a backend from scratch. Facebook did’t present much insight into the motivation to shut down the platform. But Parse’s customers, following the 2013 acquisition, comprised heavily of small to medium sized developers that had a lower propensity to spend. While Facebook was burdened with having to answer to post-IPO investor concerns about desktop growth plateauing…

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Source: The Next Web

Should You Leave Google Chrome For the Opera Browser?

mspohr shares a report written by Jason Koebler via Motherboard who makes the case for why you should break up with Chrome and switch to the Opera browser: Over the last few years, I have grown endlessly frustrated with Chrome’s resource management, especially on MacOS. Admittedly, I open too many tabs, but I’d wager that a lot of you do, too. With Chrome, my computer crawls to complete unusability multiple times a day. After one too many times of having to go into Activity Monitor to find that one single Chrome tab is using several gigs of RAM, I decided enough was enough. I switched to Opera, a browser I had previously thought was only for contrarians. This, after previous dalliances with Safari and Firefox left me frustrated. Because Opera is also based on Blink, I almost never run into a website, plugin, script, or video that doesn’t work flawlessly on it. In fact, Opera works almost exactly like Chrome, except without the resource hogging that makes me want to throw my computer against a brick wall. This is exactly the point, according to Opera spokesperson Jan Standal: “What we’re doing is an optimized version of Chrome,” he said. “Web developers optimize most for the browser with the biggest market share, which happens to be Chrome. We benefit from the work of that optimization.”

Slashdot reader mspohr adds: “I should note that this has also been my experience. I have a 2010 MacBook, which I was ready to trash since it had become essentially useless, coming to a grinding halt daily. I tried Opera and it’s like I have a new computer. I never get the spinning wheel of death. (Also, the built-in ad blocker and VPN are nice.)” What has been your experience with Google Chrome and/or Opera? Do you prefer one over the other?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: SlashDot

BlackBerry KEYone review: Yes, you still want a physical keyboard in 2017

The smartphone world has all but moved on from BlackBerry. Even BlackBerry itself seems to have moved on, reinventing itself as a software and services company. Its latest effort isn’t produced by the Canadian icon, but rather by TCL Corporation, a little-known Chinese manufacturer which also licenses the Alcatel brand. But then it introduced the KEYone. Could this keyboard-toting Android phone start a fire in the long-extinguished kiln? I’d like to think so, because the BlackBerry KEYone is a bloody good phone. Under The Hood Before we talk about what it’s like to live with a BlackBerry-branded phone in 2017, let’s…

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Source: The Next Web

Asus might never make another ZenWatch Android Wear watch

Remember the Asus ZenWatch line? Well, it could be done for good.Asus's first ZenWatch debuted in 2014, and it was followed a year later by the ZenWatch 2, both of which are square. Then, in 2016, ASUS released the ZenWatch 3 with a round-face. But don't…

Source: Pocket Lint

How bots will build tomorrow’s businesses

The year is 2027. Sonya, an entrepreneur, is setting out to establish her own business. After researching and analyzing market opportunities, she decides to create an ecommerce business selling vintage coffee makers to the aging millennial market — now a nostalgic item because of automatic kitchens. Here’s how Sonya puts a variety of bots to work to make it happen.


Sonya has recently finished her Masters in Automated Business Administration (MABA), which equips business professionals to coordinate bots for unique business purposes and manage mixed workforces.  She starts by identifying the type of business bots she will need for this new venture.


With help from a Strategy Bot, Sonya conducts an in-depth market analysis to sketch out product specifications that can be manufactured at scale. The Strategy Bot scopes out her competition to ensure differentiation between her coffee makers and others within automatic kitchens that require some human interaction, to ensure hers have a bespoke feel that will appeal to customers.


Sonya’s R&D Bot selects and invites freelance designers to create compelling coffee maker designs based on models from the early 2000s. These designs must comply to certain specifications that are optimized for manufacturing, have the aesthetic she wants, and function well. The R&D bot sets up a remote beta test to ensure that the coffee makers are intuitive and produce coffee that tastes, feels, and smells fresh-brewed.


Once the design is finalized, Sonya tasks her Operations Bot to source quotes and lead times from manufacturers. The bot selects the most suitable and cost-effective manufacturer, then Sonya instructs her contract bots to engage with the selected manufacturer’s contract bots in order to scope out mutually beneficial contract terms.

Marketing and sales

Meanwhile, Sonya has employed her Marketing Bot to select and optimize search engines, social media, and target marketing campaigns for her business. A Sales Bot researches and selects the appropriate ecommerce sales channels for the vintage coffee makers, including direct web sales, Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Robo-Etsy, and more.


While the product is being manufactured and marketed, a Finance bot continues to ensure that investments, capital allocation, and debt, are well-managed and that cashflow and growth are optimized. Business is going well and the community is relishing making coffee the old-fashioned way. After some time Sonya’s Finance bot alerts her to sharp declines in orders; upon carrying out her own strategic analysis she learns that low-cost competitors are edging in on market share and eroding margins. The projected outlook for the business is looking uncertain, so Sonya makes the strategic decision to re-focus her business on a new product — vintage exercise bikes to keep the millennial market energized — and gears up her bots to conquer this new challenge.

As Sonya contently reflects on the efficiency and performance of her automated business bots, she contemplates when she will see the day where she might be replaced by a bot. But then she worries that perhaps she already has been.

Source: Venture Beat

Tesla Model X saves a man’s life, one day before his wedding

Tesla Crash Model X

If there’s one thing Tesla values more than raw acceleration, it’s safety. As a prime example, the Model S back in 2013 was the first vehicle to ever enjoy a 5-star safety rating across every single safety category when tested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since then, we’ve seen no shortage of stories involving harrowing Tesla crashes where passengers miraculously survive, and in some instances, even walk out with nothing more than a few scratches and bruises.

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Source: Boy Genius Report (BGR)

SketchAR app uses augmented reality to make anyone an artist

Until now, drawing or painting a decent image required one of two things: either actual skill or a lightbox upon which a finished photo could be traced onto a fresh sheet of paper. Thanks to modern technology, though, both those things are a thing of the past (for the casual doodler, that is). SketchAR uses a smartphone’s own camera and … Continue reading
Source: Slash Gear

Disney film held for Bitcoin ransom by hackers

It looks like Disney’s latest film about pirates might itself have been stolen by modern-day pirates. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced to ABC staff today that hackers claim to have an unreleased Disney film, and will release it to the public unless the House of Mouse pays a ransom. The hackers have threatened to release the film in 20-minute chunks over time unless their demands are met. Disney is working with federal investigators to sort it out. The report doesn’t say how much the hackers were asking for, beyond “a huge sum” to be paid in Bitcoin.…

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Source: The Next Web