5 Companies Innovating the Service Industry

first_img Image credit: Anton_Ivanov | Shutterstock Founder and director of growth at Digitalux 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 5 Companies Innovating the Service Industry Learn why and how these businesses are innovating the service industry. 163shares Service Innovation Dan Scalco Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read Guest Writer The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. The service economy in the United States has taken off like a rocket. These days many of the transactions taking place between companies and consumers revolve around the exchange of services rather than products.“The service industry” sounds like a fixed, monolithic entity. In reality, the diversification underneath this umbrella is astounding. And companies throughout the industry are constantly innovating within their respective markets.Case in point: The five companies on this list are all part of the service industry. But they operate in different markets and impact consumers in different ways. The only thing they share in common? They’re acting in innovative ways and disrupting their respective markets.Not only are these companies part of the service industry — they’re also shaping its future. By extension, these and other companies like them are changing the way Americans live their lives.Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, et al.Yes, I realize this isn’t one single company. But social media sites should be recognized for their role in changing the service industry.For starters, social media has facilitated the sale of a huge variety of services online. It’s also allowed companies to provide customer service in a new way.Customers are increasingly turning to online outlets to share reviews, ask questions, and solicit feedback from brands that play a role in their lives. These interactions provide companies with an opportunity to learn more about their customers so they can better tailor their services to consumers’ needs. Furthermore, companies that respond to these queries in a prompt and helpful way can cultivate brand-loyal customers for life.Motif InvestingThe personal finance industry doesn’t exactly have a reputation for innovation. Motif Investing is the exception that proves the rule. The company is making investments accessible to a broad segment of the population by creating an investment structure that is affordable and easy to understand.Would-be investors can select any of the company’s 150 professionally built portfolios or customize their own. Users can also search by themes (aka “motifs”), trading strategies, or investment styles depending on their interests, risk profiles, timelines, and financial goals. It’s a fresh take on investing that’s opening up new possibilities for the way the personal finance industry operates.nomaIf you’re a foodie (or a lover of food-related television), then you’re probably already familiar with noma. The restaurant has both driven innovations in the food industry and capitalized on them. Led by world-renowned chef René Redzepi, noma embodies the farm-to-table movement by utilizing local and wildly sourced ingredients, avoiding GMOs, and emphasizing quality at all costs. In the process, it’s put Nordic cuisine on the international map.What makes noma really stand out is that its reputation for innovation has never wavered. The restaurant has always let its ingredients and dishes speak for themselves. That’s allowed it to avoid the “farm-to-table” marketing fatigue that has plagued other restaurants. It’s not that consumers don’t want this kind of fare—as demonstrated by noma’s ongoing success. It’s just that they’re sick of the label. But noma has never been about labels. It’s about high-quality food meticulously prepared.City CoPilotThis New-York-City-based concierge startup is a driving force behind an emerging trend. More and more individuals and companies are enlisting personalized service from concierge companies—and not just when they’re staying in a hotel. City CoPilot and other innovative concierge companies have moved these services beyond the hotel lobby.Whether clients need assistance with luggage storage and delivery, package acceptance, airport transportation, finding discounted tickets to tours and attractions, or something else entirely, this new brand of concierge is here to make people’s lives easier at all times.UberEATSUber has already transformed the service industry with its innovative approach to transportation. But the company isn’t stopping there. It’s now attempting to disrupt the food delivery market with UberEATS. It’s diving in even as investors’ interest in this market has shriveled up (thanks largely to saturation).But Uber has a leg up on the competition. With more than 14,000 drivers in New York City alone, the company has more opportunities for distribution than any other business in the market. And thanks to their pre-existing name recognition, they’ve had an easy time identifying partners in the restaurant industry. It’s a winning combination that’s threatening even the companies that have long sat at the top of the food delivery chain.The service industry entails a vast variety of services ranging from food delivery to digital investing tools. Still, these companies all share something in common. They’re innovating existing services and transforming the country’s economy in the process. Add to Queue February 19, 2017 Apply Now »last_img read more

Verizon a Favorite in Upcoming Yahoo Bid

first_img Add to Queue Verizon a Favorite in Upcoming Yahoo Bid Apply Now » Verizon Communications Inc. is the clear favorite in the upcoming bidding for Yahoo Inc’s core Internet business, according to Wall Street analysts, in large part because the telecommunications company’s efforts to become a force in Internet content have gone relatively well under the leadership of AOL Inc Chief Executive Tim Armstrong.Verizon acquired AOL last June for $4.4 billion — its first big foray into the advertising-supported Internet business — and it is not yet clear how well the unit is performing financially. Subsequent moves, including the takeover of much of Microsoft Corp’s advertising technology business, a deal to buy Millennial Media for about $250 million and the recent launch of the mobile video service go90, are also too recent to assess.Yet analysts have given the big phone company high marks for allowing AOL to operate independently and folding in other recent acquisitions without much drama. And they said Armstrong seems to be driving Verizon’s recent moves in go90 and recent acquisitions.”The management puts a lot of faith in Armstrong,” BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk said.That faith derives in part from the belief that Armstrong did a good job at left-for-dead AOL, especially in assembling a strong set of products to deliver targeted digital ads to customers.Combining AOL and Yahoo, an idea that has come up many times over the years, could instantly make Yahoo a major player in Internet advertising, with Armstrong – one of the world’s top ad executives – at the helm, analysts said.Armstrong “has good M&A experience, and a pretty solid ad tech stack,” B. Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha said.Verizon’s hands-off approach that has worked with AOL, though, might not be suitable if the far-bigger Yahoo were taken over. With Yahoo’s struggling business, “the luxury of autonomy is simply not there,” Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner said.  Verizon, AOL and Yahoo declined to comment.Start the biddingVerizon showed interest in Yahoo’s core business as early as December, when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the company would “see if there is a strategic fit” for Yahoo’s holdings, which include mail, news, sports and advertising technology.Yahoo, under pressure from activist investors, launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.The first round of bidding is slated for next week, and Verizon plans to make a bid, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.Verizon is already working on increasing revenue through its ad-supported mobile video service go90, targeted at millennials and built on video streaming technology acquired from Intel Corp. in 2014.The app, which launched in October, offers videos from Comedy Central and Vice, among others, as well as basketball and football games.However, analysts cautioned that even a combined Yahoo-AOL would lack the unique data, such as user interests and tastes, that powers its rivals in online ads, chiefly Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc.Armstrong, who made his name leading sales at Google, is highly regarded in the advertising community – in contrast to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, another former Google high-flyer, who has been struggling to revive Yahoo. Mayer would likely leave after a Verizon-Yahoo deal, analysts said.Verizon is not especially interested in Yahoo’s massive stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp, which are worth far more than its core internet business, the sources said.That could leave an opening for a bidder such as Softbank Group, Yahoo’s partner in Yahoo Japan, which might be able to devise a way to minimize the tax bill that would come with any sale of the Asia investments.”(Yahoo) is ultimately Verizon’s to lose,” said Robert Peck, Internet analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “They’re the leading candidate in this effort and can afford to pay the most because of cost synergies and scale.”Other players weighing joint or solo bids are media company Time Inc. and several private equity firms including Blackstone Group LP  and KKR & Co. LP, according to sources. The owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper also said this week it is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid.(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Additional reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and Deborah M. Todd in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Eric Effron and Bill Rigby) April 14, 2016 –shares Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.center_img 4 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: Reuters | Shannon Stapleton Verizonlast_img read more

United Airlines App Crowned Best of the Best with Webby Award Win

first_imgUnited Airlines App Crowned Best of the Best with Webby Award Win PRNewswireMay 15, 2019, 7:06 pmMay 15, 2019 Business and FinanceLinda JojoMarketing TechnologyNewsPeople’s VoiceUnitedWebby Awards Previous ArticleGoodbye BookingBug, Hello JRNINext ArticleNew Consumer Research Reveals Increasing Usage of Multiple TV Sources by Viewers in Major European Countries Last night at the 23rd Annual Webby Awards in New York City, United Airlines accepted the “People’s Voice” Webby Award in the “Business and Finance” category for the airline’s reimagined mobile app, which debuted earlier this year. The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including apps. This year, 13,000 entries came from every U.S. state and more than 70 countries to be considered for this honor.Already the top downloaded airline app for Apple and Android phones, the refreshed app features a more dynamic experience that updates customers at each step of their travel journey, making it the perfect travel companion. The app includes features customers know and love from the previous version, such as bag tracking, while adding enhancements that make managing travel easier from booking to landing. United’s in-house digital team spent over a year designing and creating this updated app, including eight months during which customers and more than 18,000 employees provided feedback to create the final version.“We’re working hard every day to use technology to improve the travel experience,” said Linda Jojo, chief digital officer at United. “What makes this recognition so special is that our win is because of our customers who voted for us – we love knowing they value the app that we created with them in mind.”Marketing Technology News: Jifflenow Unveils Briefing Center Software That Drives More Customer EngagementsHighlights from the improved app include:A navigation bar that gives customers quick access to some of the most popular tools such as flight status, and some new handy features like My Trips.A My Trips tab in the navigation bar that allows customers to easily access information about their upcoming trip and stores boarding passes when customers are checked in for their flights.An inbox that stores important push notifications United sends customers about their flight, such as if a flight status changes, gate changes and alerts about when boarding for a flight has begun.Dynamic boarding times will be updated throughout the app in the event that departure times change to give customers the latest information even when they are not at the gate. This builds on the airline’s recent addition of boarding notifications, which were added when United rolled out its Better Boarding process.One of the biggest updates to the app comes during the travel period, when the home screen updates to give customers the most helpful information for each step of their travel journey. The home screen will begin to update starting 48 hours before a flight and will continue updating throughout various phases all the way through arrival at the final destination with the most useful information. For instance, customers connecting will find a screen that allows them to easily access airport maps, so they can easily navigate to the next gate. Bringing the most useful information to the forefront will make the entire journey less stressful and more intuitive.Marketing Technology News: ATTOM Data Solutions CEO Rob Barber Honored As Gold Stevie Award Winner In 2019 American Business AwardsThe app also includes an updated design with more engaging content. When a customer does not have an upcoming trip, the app will open to a beautiful destination image to provide travel inspiration. Content on the home screen is also more personalized to each user; for example, customers who recently passed loyalty milestones will be recognized on the home screen, and the app will also celebrate customers on their birthday.In addition to winning the “People’s Voice” award for “Business and Finance”, the airline was also a finalist in the “Best Practices” category. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences selects nominees to enter to the “People’s Voice” awards, which are then voted on by the general public. Earlier this month, United received a CIO 100 Award for its innovative volunteer solicitation program, which enables customers to volunteer their seat, confirm a new flight itinerary and receive compensation through the mobile app or on united.com, without additional steps at the gate.Every customer. Every flight. Every day.In 2019, United is focusing more than ever on its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers’ best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today’s announcement, United recently announced that luxury skincare line Sunday Riley will make products exclusively for United customers to experience in amenity kits, released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry and made DIRECTV free for every passenger on 211 aircraft, offering more than 100 channels on seat back monitors on more than 30,000 seats.Marketing Technology News: Magic Software Acquires PowWow Creator of SmartUX, A leading Low-Code Development Platform for Mobilizing and Modernizing Enterprise Appslast_img read more

Allen Institute for Immunology A new division focused on human immune system

first_img Source:https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/brain-science/news-press/press-releases/announcing-allen-institute-immunology-new-research-endeavor-focused-human-immune-health-and-disease Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018The Allen Institute today announced the launch of the Allen Institute for Immunology, a new division of the Institute that is dedicated to studying the human immune system. Seeded by a generous commitment of $125 million by Allen Institute founder, the late Paul G. Allen, the new Institute will work to understand the dynamic balancing act of the human immune system, how it senses friend from foe and what goes wrong when we’re ill.”Paul Allen always challenged us to go after the really hard problems, to do work that would have a significant impact in our scientific fields,” said Allan Jones, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute. “Understanding the human immune system in detail and figuring out what goes wrong in disease is an incredibly complex but solvable problem. I’m thrilled to see us launch into this new area of complexity in biology with a real opportunity to directly impact human health.”The Allen Institute for Immunology’s goal is to improve human immune health and lay the groundwork for better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent immune-related diseases. In its initial phase, the Institute will focus on studies of two cancers, multiple myeloma and melanoma, and three autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, specifically, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The researchers will also take a deep dive into the immune systems of healthy volunteers with the goal of understanding what makes a “normal” immune baseline and how to help patients return to that healthy state.Thomas F. Bumol, Ph.D., is the Executive Director for the Allen Institute for Immunology. Bumol joins the Institute from Lilly Research Laboratories where he worked for more than 35 years, most recently as Senior Vice-President of the Biotechnology and Immunology Research component and the Site Head of Lilly’s Biotechnology Center of San Diego. His work at Lilly focused on drug discovery and early clinical development of treatments for many disease areas including diabetes, pain and immune-related diseases such as psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.”By unraveling the mysteries of the dynamic immune system in healthy individuals and focusing the same cutting-edge tools on patients in various disease states, we believe we will find new ways to diagnose and ultimately treat disease,” Bumol said. “We are looking at problems that have large unmet needs. Patients are not only suffering from these immune-based illnesses, patients are dying from some of these disorders, and we would like to change that.”Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchNon-classical monocytes directly involved in regulation of immune responseThe Allen Institute for Immunology will build off the model of large-scale team science established by the Allen Institute’s two other research divisions, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science, and will work directly with samples and data from patients and healthy volunteers, thanks to a unique partnership with five leading research organizations: Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of California San Diego with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the University of Pennsylvania.”The new focus on immunology draws on the Allen Institute’s 15-year history of groundbreaking basic and translational scientific discovery,” said Marshall Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Dean of UW Medicine and chair of the scientific advisory board for the Allen Institute for Immunology. “By building new tools for its study, the Allen Institute for Immunology will help lead the way forward in deciphering the mysteries of the immune system while unleashing its power to prevent and treat a wide range of afflictions.”There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases and more than 100 human cancers, as well as many more diseases that involve the immune system, affecting tens of millions of people around the world. Yet researchers are not even close to a complete understanding of what makes a healthy immune system, let alone what goes wrong in that system in disease. The Allen Institute for Immunology aims to fill that knowledge gap with detailed studies of the foundational components of the immune system — its cell types and networks — and how those components change over the course of one to three years in both healthy volunteers and patients with different immune-related diseases.Beyond the direct findings the research teams will make by studying the initial five diseases, their in-depth studies of healthy adult and childhood immune systems will enable other researchers around the world to make discoveries that could lead to new treatments for many more diseases. Like the other research teams at the Allen Institute, the Allen Institute for Immunology researchers will make their data and tools openly available online for anyone in the scientific community to use.”This is just the tip of a really big iceberg of opportunity,” Bumol said. “If this model works, we’ll have applications that will go way beyond these first few diseases we’re studying. We’ll see the impact grow across a large swath of human health.”last_img read more

New research brings scientists closer to preventing preterm births

first_img Source:https://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article11990.aspx Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 13 2019A group of scientists led by Ramkumar Menon at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have gained new insight on a poorly-understood key player in the timing of labor and delivery. This new information brings scientists closer to being able to prevent preterm births. This study is in Scientific Reports.According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 15 million infants are born too early each year. Complications from preterm birth are the leading cause of death among children under five years old, responsible for about one million deaths each year globally. In the U.S., approximately 1 of every 10 infants was born prematurely in 2017.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTWhen a woman is at the end of her pregnancy, the normal childbirth process begins when the fetus releases chemicals signaling that his/her organs have matured enough for delivery. This chemical release shifts the mother’s hormone levels, which increases inflammation in the uterus and begins labor and delivery.”There’s another component of the biological clock that contributes to the timing of birth – a type of cell-to-cell communication between the maternal and fetal cells called paracrine signaling,” said senior author Menon, UTMB associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. “Because little is known about what this type of signaling does during pregnancy, we investigated the role of paracrine signals called exosomes in the timing of labor and delivery.”The researchers collected blood plasma samples from pregnant mice and isolated the exosomes. Exosomes collected during either early or late pregnancy were injected into a separate group of pregnant mice during the human equivalent of the beginning of the third trimester.”We showed that injecting a high concentration of late pregnancy exosomes was able to cause labor-associated changes without the other hormonal and chemical triggers usually involved in this process. Injections of the early pregnancy exosomes had no effect,” said Menon. “This shows that exosomes play a more important role in labor and delivery that has never been reported before.”last_img read more

Waymo Uber end trade secrets theft trial with settlement Update

© 2018 AFP Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was among the wtinesses testifying in the trade secrets trial before Friday’s settlement Levandowski, who was on the list as a possible witness, left Google for his own startup called Otto, which was later acquired by Uber. Kalanick denies plot to steal secrets in tense courtroom exchange Waymo and Uber announced an agreement Friday in the blockbuster federal lawsuit over allegedly stolen trade secrets from the former Google self-driving car project. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Waymo CEO John Krafcik arrives at the start of a trial pitting the former Google car unit against Uber over allegedly stolen trade secrets, a case settled by the two companies on Friday Citation: Waymo, Uber end trade secrets theft trial with settlement (Update) (2018, February 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-waymo-uber-secrets-theft-trial.html The case hinged on Waymo’s ability to show not only that Levandowski had taken Google’s private source code, but that Uber had used it improperly to catch up with rivals.The jury saw evidence which was embarrassing for Uber, however, including notes from Kalanick about “cheat codes” and a text message in which he told Levandowski to “burn the village.” Kalanick said, “I don’t know, I don’t remember.”The jury was also shown a clip—sent from Levandowski to Kalanick— from the 1987 film “Wall Street” in which the Michael Douglas lead character proclaims “greed is good.”‘Growing responsibly’Khosrowshahi said in his statement he regretted the handling of the Levandowski matter, which occurred before he took over as CEO last year.”My job as Uber’s CEO is to set the course for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as acknowledging and correcting mistakes of the past,” he said.”In doing so, I want to express regret for the actions that have caused me to write this letter.”He added, “To our friends at Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people’s lives for the better. Of course, we are also competitors.”The settlement comes with Uber seeking to turn the page following a series of scandals over alleged misconduct and a cut-throat workplace culture, as new chief executive Khosrowshahi strives to prepare for a stock market debut in 2019.”While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward,” Khosrowshahi said.”I’ve told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber’s innovation and experience in self-driving technology.”Uber, which is the world’s biggest ride-hailing service, is seeking to be a major player in autonomous cars and has ordered an estimated 24,000 cars from Volvo for its project set to launch in the coming years.Waymo is deploying its own self-driving rideshare program at the same time and has ordered “thousands” of vehicles from Fiat Chrysler for its service.The sector also includes most major automakers, technology platforms and ride services such as Lyft. The surprise agreement ends a trial between the two Silicon Valley rivals competing in a race to develop autonomous cars, after four days of testimony before a federal judge in San Francisco.A source familiar with the confidential deal said Uber agreed to a financial settlement giving the Alphabet unit 0.34 percent of Uber shares—which would be some $244 million based on Uber’s valuation of $72 billion.Uber also agreed not to use any of Waymo’s technology for autonomous driving as part of the settlement, which was approved by Judge William Alsup as he dismissed the case.Waymo said in a statement: “We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the future. We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology.”Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in a separate statement that “while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber … we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.”While the technical details of Waymo’s case were not revealed, it was widely believed to focus on Lidar, a laser-based system which is critical to enabling autonomous cars to get a three-dimensional picture of its surroundings.The trial so far included testimony from former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, who denied a conspiracy to steal trade secrets in a tense two-day court appearance.High-stakes trialAlphabet’s Waymo division was seeking at least $1 billion over the theft of secrets from its self-driving car program in the trial before federal judge William Alsup.If the case had gone to the jury and Waymo had prevailed, it would have dealt a severe blow to Uber’s efforts to widely deploy self-driving vehicles as part of its ridesharing operations—a field that also includes Waymo and other rivals.Waymo had alleged Uber conspired with former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, who had been accused of downloading thousands of proprietary documents before leaving the company and ending up at Uber. read more

A magnetic method for polishing metals enables mold templates with microscale features

More information: Jiang Guo et al. Magnetic field-assisted finishing of a mold insert with curved microstructures for injection molding of microfluidic chips, Tribology International (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.triboint.2017.04.019 Explore further A fluid behaves very differently when it is confined to micrometer-scale channels. This phenomenon already has several applications such as enabling the analysis of small samples of blood.These microfluidic systems are small and portable, easy to use without expert knowledge, and disposable because they are cheap to produce. But this disposability means that microfluidic chips need to be quickly mass produced.Now, Jiang Guo and his colleagues from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have developed a method for fabricating molds that can quickly create microfluidic channels in polymer substrates. “The technology addresses a critical problem in mold insert fabrication for microfluidic chip production, and will enhance local industry,” says Guo.Injection molding involves shaping a material while in a molten state using a metal template. It is cheap, fast, and useful for creating microfluidic chips. However, engineering a mold with precise micrometer-scale features and smooth surfaces is challenging as burrs and tool marks create defects. A post-polishing process can fix some of these imperfections, but it is difficult for polishing tools to access the recessed corners of microstructured surfaces and remove unwanted material uniformly.Guo and his colleagues started by milling their template for a microfluidic channel 100 micrometers in depth and 100 micrometers in width on a special aluminum alloy. The channel was 100 millimeters in length and included two fluid inlets, one fluid outlet and a serpentine channel as reaction chamber. They then polished this template using a method known as magnetic field-assisted finishing. Two magnetic rollers rotating in opposite directions on either side of the mold create a magnetic field. This field controlled a magnetic abrasive made of carbonyl iron powder and alumina particles bound together by oil, which removed any unwanted material and smoothed the surface.The researchers compared their template before and after this magnetic polish. They observed that the process preserved the height of the microstructure, although the edges were more rounded after polishing. The polish reduced the roughness of the surface by a factor of four, leaving a mirror-like finish. “The next step will be to use the polished mold template for actual injection molding,” says Guo. Engineers make microfluidics modular using the popular interlocking blocks Provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Citation: A magnetic method for polishing metals enables mold templates with microscale features (2018, February 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-magnetic-method-metals-enables-mold.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A microfluidic chip injection mold. Credit: A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology Injection molding enables large-scale production of polymer and plastic materials with micrometer-sized features. Now, A*STAR scientists have developed a method for creating mold templates with high precision and few defects. read more

Podcasters find niche in the Arab world

first_imgRana Nawas left the corporate world nearly two years ago to produce and host a podcast—one that is now considered the most popular in the Arab world. Podcasts take growing role in shifting media landscape Rana Nawas hosts the English-language podcast ‘When Women Win’, seeking to tell the stories of successful women from around the world The English-language series, “When Women Win”, tells the stories of successful women from all over the world and, according to Apple, has become the most listened to podcast in the Middle East.It first gained traction in 2017 in Dubai, where it is produced, before it started to spread across the region.Nawas said she created the series “to give women all over the world access to role models” by highlighting the “extraordinary things” ordinary women are doing.”I’ve been surprised at how the region has embraced ‘When Women Win’,” the 40-year-old told AFP, adding aviation giant Emirates Airline would start airing her show this month.”There’s clearly a thirst for this content, there’s clearly a thirst for female role models,” said the Briton of Lebanese and Palestinian origins.”When Women Win”, which is available to download in 144 countries, is the most popular podcast even in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to Nawas.”I’ve been… surprised that actually my biggest market is Saudi Arabia,” said the former sales executive at an aviation company.”Everybody tells you (Saudis) only consume Arabic video content, so I was really delighted… to know that they also consume English-language audio content.”Nawas, whose show is entirely self-funded, said she hopes to be able to draw financing from other sources.”It’s not sustainable,” she told AFP.”I am hoping in a couple of years, once I have the impact that I want… to start bringing investors on or bringing advertisers or sponsors on board.”Nawas gets messages about the podcast from around the world via social media, including Instagram and LinkedIn, and believes the podcast will gain even more popularity.”I think the global future of podcasts is very positive, and the reason is people are not going to get less busy. We are only getting busier,” she said.”We need ways to consume content where it is a secondary activity.”She said most people listen to podcasts on mobile devices during their commute, or while cleaning or cooking. Explore further © 2019 AFP ‘Third-culture kids’Like Nawas, Sudanese-born Omar Tom and friends created a podcast in 2016 that touches on topics they feel are neglected in traditional media.One such issue his English-language podcast—the Dukkan Show—focuses on is life in the Gulf for members of its huge expatriate population.In the show, the hosts chat to guests as if sitting in a dukkan—or “corner store”—where it is common culture in the Arab world to socialise with friends and neighbours.”I wanted to fight a couple of stereotypes,” said Tom, 30, who is sporting a Made in Sudan T-shirt.”One was the Sudanese stereotype when I first started, which is the lack of representation in media, and if there is a representation it doesn’t always speak for the diaspora or for the third-culture kids.”As Arabs we don’t look so good in international and western media. So how do we tackle that? The only way to do that is to speak in a language that everybody would understand, which at the moment just happens to be English.”‘Here to stay’Many young Arab people now prefer podcasts over traditional radio programmes.For Rami Baassiri, 26, podcasts allow him to be more productive and do two things at once.”There’s a lot of downtime in my day, whether I’m commuting to work, driving, in the gym, in queues in the mall, at the airport, so I like to make use of that time,” he told AFP.”I think of podcasts as radio on demand.”Radio … is very random. Podcasts allow me to control the radio by choosing whoever I want to listen to, whatever I want to listen to.”Reem Hameed, a Canadian who takes part in the Dukkan Show, said podcasts are “here to stay and in the Arab world”.”We have, in the Arab world, an amazing tradition of radio. If you think about how deep radio and its history falls into the Arab world, podcasting is a natural, digital extension of that,” said Hameed, 36, who is of Iraqi and Filipino origins.Podcasts have been spreading across the Arab region, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon.In Jordan, the platform Sowt—or “voice”—has aired an array of podcasts that touch on subjects ranging from politics to music since its launch in 2017.Hebah Fisher, chief executive and co-founder of Dubai-based network Kerning Cultures, the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East, said podcasts are the future.”Our seed round is a strong signal for the podcast industry in the Middle East: the medium is taken seriously, and its value for listeners and users is clear,” she told AFP in an emailed statement.”Podcasting is the future of media.” Citation: Podcasters find niche in the Arab world (2019, May 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-podcasters-niche-arab-world.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Mobile chip titan Qualcomm faces setback with US antitrust ruling

first_imgQualcomm, the dominant maker of smartphone processors, abused its market position at the expense of consumers and device makers, according to a US antitrust ruling Citation: Mobile chip titan Qualcomm faces setback with US antitrust ruling (2019, May 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-qualcomm-antitrust.html © 2019 AFP Qualcomm settled its patent dispute with Apple earlier this year, likely giving the chipmaker billions of dollars from the iPhone maker Smartphone chip giant Qualcomm suffered a fresh blow in its antitrust battle as a US federal judge ruled that it “strangled competition” for years at the expense of consumers and device makers. Qualcomm shares sank some 10.8 percent Wednesday to close at a one-month low after the ruling that the company violated antitrust law, in a case with major implications for the smartphone market.US District Judge Lucy Koh ordered Qualcomm to change its pricing and sales practices, after finding it “engaged in anticompetitive conduct” toward customers like device makers Huawei of China, South Korea’s Samsung and Japan’s Sony.”Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition” in the chip market “and harmed rivals,” she said in Tuesday’s 233-page ruling in the lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.The judge issued an injunction requiring California-based Qualcomm to comply with her order, and to submit to monitoring by the FTC for seven years.FTC competition director Bruce Hoffman called the ruling “an important win for competition in a key segment of the economy” and said the agency “will remain vigilant in pursuing unilateral conduct by technology firms that harms the competitive process.”Qualcomm to appealThe company said it will seek an expedited appeal of the ruling.”We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.Koh said Qualcomm’s actions suggested it could use the same tactics to suppress competition for fifth-generation or 5G chips. “There is a sufficient likelihood that Qualcomm will hold monopoly power in the 5G modem chip market such that exclusive dealing agreements for the supply of modem chips could foreclose competition in that emerging market,” she wrote.The judge ruled that Qualcomm must negotiate for its patents on fair and reasonable terms without using threats or discriminatory tactics.John Bergmayer of the consumer group Public Knowledge hailed the decision.”Judge Koh’s ruling shows that the FTC has the ability to bring, and win, important cases that protect American consumers,” he said.Ed Black of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that includes Google, Facebook and Microsoft and which sided with FTC, also welcomed the decision. Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law in chip market The ruling marked the latest setback for Qualcomm, which has faced antitrust litigation in China, Europe and South Korea.Qualcomm’s woes appeared to ease earlier this year when it agreed with Apple to settle all worldwide litigation in what had been a sprawling battle over royalty payments.Impact unclearKoh said Qualcomm’s actions harmed rivals in the smartphone modem business, including Taiwan-based MediaTek and US-based Intel, which last month pulled out of the market for 5G modems at the same time Apple settled its case with Qualcomm.But the immediate impact is unclear in a smartphone market in turmoil over a US decision to blacklist China’s Huawei, the number two handset maker, from any American technology.The ruling could open the door for Qualcomm rivals and partners to seek damages, but “Qualcomm has already settled with Apple, which was one of the key instigators of the case in the first place,” noted Avi Greengart of the consultancy Techsponential.Still, the findings “could open up opportunities for MediaTek at the low end of the smartphone market, and in some markets for MediaTek’s 5G solutions,” Greengart noted.However, Qualcomm is likely to remain the dominant producer for the smartphone market in the short-term, the analyst noted.”For the most part, Qualcomm has won based on its merits, not on its licensing terms,” he said. Qualcomm’s mobile processors are used in most premium smartphones “Qualcomm improperly benefits from its use of standard essential patents that other companies use to build compatible products,” Black said. “This ruling is a win for wireless technology and American competitiveness in 5G.”But Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy called the decision “a travesty.””To be found guilty, harm must be proved, and there was no evidence shown of harm to consumers, chipmakers or handset makers. Qualcomm will appeal and will likely win.”Daniel Newman of Futurum Research said the ruling could hurt US efforts to get a lead in the 5G market.”Knowing that there is an innovation war around 5G, and that Qualcomm is the United States’ most capable 5G intellectual provider, the idea of weakening the company at this time is at best ironic, and at worst, a downright risk for the entire innovation ecosystem of the US,” Newman said. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. 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LG Chem mulls building second US plant

first_img Auto , LG Chem , electric car Related News World 10 Jul 2019 PM May says she regrets resignation of ambassador to United States Automakers are pushing ahead with billions of US dollars in investments in electric vehicles to meet global regulatory requirements. A new plant by LG Chem would come as South Korean companies have stepped up US investments, moves that have been praised by US President Donald Trump.LG Chem’s new factory would primarily supply to Volvo, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and potentially to Hyundai Motor, GM and Volkswagen, one of the people said.LG Chem, the most valuable company of the LG conglomerate, said in a statement issued to Reuters it is reviewing various ways to meet its global clients’ orders, but there are no concrete plans at the moment. The sources declined to be named as the plan is confidential.A second US plant would come amid a growing rivalry between LG Chem and crosstown rival SK Innovation, which recently broke ground on its US$1bil US EV battery plant to primarily supply to Volkswagen.Earlier this year, LG Chem sued SK Innovation in the United States for alleged theft of trade secrets by hiring its former employees.“We are currently pursuing another production base,” LG Chem’s new CEO Shin Hak Cheol told reporters this week, without elaborating on the country.Electric vehicle sales are projected to reach 1.28 million vehicles by 2026 in the United States alone, compared with less than 200,000 in 2018, according to market researcher IHS Markit.Trump praised US investments by SK, Lotte Group and other South Korean conglomerates and raised hopes that Korean companies will continue to expand in the United States.“Thank you very much. Congratulations. It’s a great job,” he said during his meeting with South Korean business leaders in Seoul on June 30. The participants included group holding company LG Corp’s Vice Chairman Kwon Young Soo.LG Chem, the battery supplier for GM’s Bolt, currently operates an EV battery plant in Michigan. LG Chem also has production bases in South Korea, China and Poland.It drew attention during the groundbreaking of its first U.S. production facility in 2010, when former President Barack Obama traveled to Michigan for the event.LG Chem is also being wooed by the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to build a new domestic factory to create jobs – one of Moon’s top priorities.CEO Shin said LG Chem is in talks to build a production facility for cathode materials used in EV batteries in the southeastern city of Gumi in South Korea, but details have not been finalised. — Reuters SEOUL: South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery maker LG Chem is considering building a second US factory, three people familiar with the matter said, accelerating a race to add capacity to meet growing global demand for green vehicles.LG Chem, one of the leading EV battery makers in the world that counts General Motors and Volkswagen among its customers, is weighing investing about 2 trillion won (US$1.7bil) in the plant that could begin production in 2022, one of the people said.Kentucky and Tennessee are among the candidates for the plant’s site, the person said.A decision on the plant’s site is expected to be made by the end of this month, another person said. Business News 09 Jul 2019 Investors dump South Korean chip makerscenter_img Tags / Keywords: Auto 09 Jul 2019 VW to deepen alliances with battery suppliers Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more