Is your product suffering from service design issues? Here’s how to find out

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This article was written by Tiffany Hale and originally published on Built In. Failure is more than a rite of passage when working in technology — it’s a guarantee. The failure designers and developers are comfortable with, however, usually falls into the cozy iteration cycle where it’s “OK” to fail. Do users hate your proposed process flow? (No big deal, it was just a wireframe!) But the stakes are a little different when products ship, code is live, and things don’t go as expected. When the straightforward application of design thinking techniques lead to unexpected or undesirable outcomes, it may be time to ask yourself:…

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Microsoft's wins, fails, and WTF moments of 2020

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In a year where we largely turned our backs on the real world and huddled indoors, technology and the companies that developed them gained outsized influence. Microsoft loomed larger than most, powering the PCs that ran Microsoft Teams and the Xbox game consoles on which at least some of us passed their time after hours.

So was it, overall, a great year for Microsoft? Not exactly. The pandemic disrupted its product development, for one, forcing Microsoft to readjust its dual-screen ambitions. The hype train that accompanied its Surface Duo never apparently panned out in actual sales. 

We’ve collected Microsoft’s highlights, low points, and unexpected moments that made us scratch our head. It was a profoundly weird, awful year, and we’re all hoping to return to a sense of normalcy in 2021.

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How high-end cameras and algorithms are making escooters safer

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This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News. Swedish micromobility firm Voi is adding computer vision technology to its e-scooters to automatically reduce speeds when they enter heavily pedestrianized areas. The firm has partnered with Irish tech startup Luna to implement the technology, which comprises high-end camera sensors. Algorithms interpret input from these sensors, and the data is processed using edge computing – an approach…

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Trading bots: Is it game over for human financial analysts?

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It’s often said that a trader’s worst enemy is himself. Behavioral biases tend to throw otherwise rational trading strategies out of whack as anxieties over loss aversion, the fear of missing out, or even overconfidence take control—ultimately putting portfolios in jeopardy. Fortunately, technology has progressed to a point where impulsive decision-making humans can be replaced by unerring and emotionally-neutral trading bots. And some believe they’re the future of finance. Conquering cognitive bias: A quantitative approach When evaluating an investment, traders use several strategies to better identify entry and exit opportunities. Among them is qualitative and quantitative analysis. The latter involves…

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2021 will be the year open source projects overcome their diversity problems

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As the 2020 StackOverflow survey pointed out, technology companies – and many open source communities – have a diversity problem. While the majority of developers currently come from a white, male background, the momentum is shifting to create more inclusive, diverse communities. Research shows that diverse open source projects are more productive and make better decisions. This starts with creating teams that have a greater representation of gender, race, socioeconomic standings, ethnic backgrounds, and the like. Many open source communities are recognizing the need for new initiatives and a cohesive focus to tackle the lack of diversity in their projects.…

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How to Get a Free Subscription to 'LEGO Life Magazine' for Kids

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Even with all of today’s technology, kids still love getting mail. It’s hard to beat the thrill of opening the mailbox and finding something with your very own name printed on it. (As a child, of course. As an adult, it’s a different story—probably one that involves anxiety.)

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Los Angeles will soon have an ‘innovation zone’ for testing mobility products

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This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced the creation of the city’s first Transportation Technology Innovation Zone – an area where private sector firms can test their transportation technology solutions. Designed by Mayor Garcetti and City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, the zone is one of the flagship programs of Urban Movement Labs (UML) – the transportation solutions…

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Watch: This AI is playing an infinite bass solo on YouTube

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If Frank Zappa’s endless guitar solos somehow leave your earbuds craving more, music-hackers Dadabots are here to satisfy your auditory desires. The team of CJ Carr and Zack Zukowski recently used a recurrent neural network (RNN) to generate an infinite bass solo that they’re live-streaming on YouTube. The duo trained their neural network on a two-hour improvised bass solo by musician Adam Neely. “My strategy was to use the same bass, same pickup, same tone, improvise basslines over an 85 beats per minute drum groove, and keep everything in E-minor so the end result wouldn’t be too chromatic,” Neely explained on YouTube. Dadabots then ran the…

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The Apple Watch is in full control of my pathetic life

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The discussion about technology’s influence over our lives have gone on for years and I doubt it’ll ever stop. Yes, even when we’re eating everything through tubes and being used as batteries the conversation will continue. There are endless examples of technology shaping our daily lives, a never-ending stream of stories like Google Maps impacting real world traffic and Instagram standardizing the tourist experience. On some level, we’re all impacted by machines. Apart from me. I’m no longer simply influenced by technology, I’m its nasty little bottom bitch — and it’s all because of the Apple Watch. I bought it about a month ago and,…

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