elproducto #14 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness for humans
Tesla beats Ford, Amazon cash payments, New Macs, WhatsApp payments, New Xbox, London’s driverless shuttle, Facebooks’ assistant & free Workplace +more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.
📚 Good reads
- Decision-making biases. Why terrible designs seem like a good idea at the time. Like it or not, we all have biases. Michael Abehsera has collected and decomposed a series of common design biases to help us recognising, acknowledging, and ultimately challenging them.
- These 17 Smart Home products will make your life better. ProductHunt has compiled a bunch of products and devices that may sound like part of a futuristic home, but are all available now.
- Moonshot lessons from the Apollo Program. In times of MVPs (and RATs), small steps and iterations, big bold solutions are still very needed. HBR looks back at NASA’s golden years to figure out what it takes for companies to nail a moonshot.
- 5 good practices to foster good cooperation between designers and developers. Some of them may come across as obvious for some people (well done if you are one of them!), but it is always good to get them reminded.
- Having trouble focusing at work? The guys at InVision have collected few key takeaways form the book The Distracted Mind. A personal recommended read to deep-dive into how our brains are evolving in a full time connected world is The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.
- The best and worst tech pranks of April Fools’ Day 2017 by The Verge.
📰 Seen on the news
- Facebook launches M, its AI assistant for Messenger, rolling out now in US to Messenger on iOS and Android; analyzes conversations and automatically suggests actions, such as sending a payment and requesting a ride from Uber or Lyft.
- Facebook is testing a free version of Workplace; the enterprise version launched in October will be branded as Workplace Premium and the new, free version will be Workplace Standard; Standard is self-serve and doesn’t include the administrative and analytics features of Premium.
- Snapchat launches search across public stories; users were previously limited to Snap-curated stories and those published by friends; when a keyword is searched, Snapchat generates a new story with content from various cities; currently rolling out city by city.
- Amazon launches Influencer Program in beta; gives online influencers commissions on products sold through their campaigns; unlike Amazon’s Affiliates Program, which is open to all, influencers must apply to participate. And it goes cardless. The new service Amazon Cash let users add cash to their Amazon account paying cash via partner retailers.
- Apple has ordered 70M OLED iPhone displays from Samsung, according to Nikkei sources; Apple will launch three models, including a premium version with a curved screen. Also announced new iMac for later this year. Finally, reported being working on a redesigned Mac Pro and standalone display; launch no earlier than 2018.
- Apple plans to offer a premium streaming package comprised of HBO, Showtime and Starz; the firm has approached the networks, but is yet to sign a deal; no pricing info.
- Spotify to boost Premium with exclusives. The company enters agreement with Universal Music Group giving new albums (in their entirety) two weeks of exclusivity on Spotify’s premium tier; optional based on artist discretion.
- Android is now the biggest Operating System in the world, overtaking Windows on online activity.
- WhatsApp confirms plans to launch p2p payments in India; the firm is advertising for a Digital Transactions Lead for the country, who will be based in Menlo Park, CA.
- Google launches YouTube Go in India, letting users download videos and share them offline; users can also preview content via active thumbnails, and select lower resolution downloads.
- Shopify launches Burst, a website offering free stock images; photos are offered under the Creative Commons Zero license, allowing for broad use without attribution.
- Microsoft launches photo app Sprinkles for iOS; uses machine learning to detect faces for adding effects, gauging emotion, finding a celebrity lookalike, …; also provides stickers, automated captions, emoji. Also launched “Who’s in”, a social event planner for iMessage.
- Microsoft reveals details about next Xbox, codenamed Project Scorpio; features custom eight-core CPU at 2.3GHz, custom GPU at 1172MHz, 12GB GDDR5 memory, 1TB hard drive and a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive; designed to run 900p and 1080p Xbox One games at native 4K.
- Uber’s open-source data visualization framework deck.gl now supports non-geo data sets: e.g. network traffic, machine learning processes; Uber initially developed the framework to visualize the pick-up and drop-off experience; open sourced since last November.
- And Uber is finitto. Italian judge issues nationwide ban following ruling in favour of taxi associations claiming unfair competition; Uber has ten days to appeal or face $10.6K daily fines; has announced it plans to appeal; is the fourth ruling against the company in Italy.
- SpaceX may try to land the upper stage of Falcon Heavy rocket during demo in summer; the rocket contains three cores, and can carry twice weight as much as Falcon 9; comes after the successful landing of a reused launched rocket last week.
- Turning paintings into photos. UC Berkeley researchers use AI to translate paintings by Claude Monet into photo-realistic images; the researchers were also able to use the style transfer technology to convert winter scenes to summer, and photos of horses to zebras.
- Yelp moving towards customer retention and loyalty with the acquisition of wifi marketing platform Turnstyle Analytics. Enables shops to provide free wifi and then engages with users. Customers include Subway and Burger King.
- After a Q1 with sales records, Tesla overtakes Ford and General Motors to become the most valuable car maker ($53B market cap).
- Carmaker Daimler partners with Bosch to develop self-driving taxis; the firms aim to have a ride hailing service in operation by the start of the next decade, making use of Level 4 and Level 5 vehicles.
- UK-based TRL begins testing a driverless shuttle service near London’s O2 arena; traveling at 10 Mph, each pod follows a set route; the trial will run for three weeks, with the pods connecting commuters between transport hubs.
👨🏫 Quote of the week
“Early on, when there’s much to learn, it makes sense to explore a lot. Once you know the territory, it’s best to concentrate on exploiting it. That’s what humans do over their lifetimes: children explore, and adults exploit (except for scientists, who are eternal children)” — Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm