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Startups unite technology and citizen participation to promote social impact

In times of political crisis and social disbelief, two Brazilian startups awarded by Google launched strategies for citizen participation through technological tools: an application for signing bills and a method of rounding up a market account for change to go to NGOs.

Both initiatives won the second edition of the Challenge of Social Impact, conducted in 2016 by Google in Brazil to support non-profit organizations that use technology to generate social impact, in which each project received R $ 1.5 million.

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One of them, Arredondar, is a São Paulo startup of philanthropic donations that allows consumers to round off payments in physical stores and donate change to NGOs.

The project has partnered with over 530 stores and, since winning the Social Impact Challenge, has already raised more than $ 300,000 for organizations.

“Arredondar selects and accredits NGOs from diverse causes, including health, education, citizenship and diversity, with the differential of transparency in online accountability to the consumer that contributed,” Efe told startup operations director Maria Berer .

The project came from a group of people who sought different ways to raise money for philanthropy six years ago and is not yet self-sufficient, with Google’s award as their main source of funding and having the collections published in real time on the site (www.arredondar.com). .org.br).

The São Paulo startup raised about R $ 7 million in donations to 40 NGOs with approximately 70 thousand people impacted.

The outlook towards the end of the year is to expand the portfolio of benefited organizations to 70, be included in new means of payment, and reach out to more market networks that offer visibility to action.

The model is designed for retailers, where customers decide freely whether or not to donate, and so the focus is to train attendants so they are “drivers” of this type of donation.

“Companies contribute to transform how people see the act of donating in Brazil, because NGOs are not in everyone’s daily life, and this highlight of their work is to show an invisible Brazil being brought into a buying and donation relationship,” Berer said.

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With the same perspective of social impact through technology, ITS Rio startup in March launched the “Mudamos”, application of signing of bills of popular initiative that had more than 500 thousand downloads in less than two months without any advertisement .

“We live a deep crisis of confidence and one of the ways to solve it is to use technology to propagate democracy,” Ronaldo Lemos, director of ITS Rio, told Efe.

“We were number one in the online application stores and we were surprised, because this shows interest in civic participation. The result was the sending of seven thousand bills to the Congress,” he argued.

Users can also suggest bills by the platform created with the aim of changing the current situation, in which Brazil has no popular initiative bill effectively dealt with as such, due to the difficulty of verifying paper signatures.

“The app is voluntary and the key point is that there is a sense of detachment from the society of its representatives, so any way to have their voices heard or participation in the decisions make people want to participate,” said Lemos.

“We believe technology is a way to restore confidence with our representatives,” he added.

For the winners, Google announced on August 14 that it will make a new investment of R $ 1 million to be distributed in media for development of the actions.

South Korean company develops application to “clone” celebrities

Interact on the cell phone camera with the avatar of a famous player or actress, the boyfriend who lives far away or, why not, a deceased relative. A South Korean company makes this happen with an application that blends artificial intelligence and 3D technology.

“It all started as an idea to be able to include celebrities in videos and photos captured with the smartphone,” Elrois, the company that developed this product called “With me” in its offices, told Efe Agency. south of Seoul.

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The insanity that the so-called “idols” (K-pop stars or popular telenovelas) awakened in South Korea led Elrois, founded in 2013, to work on creating an application that would in principle be planned in English and for a global audience.

Although the celebrities were the origin of the idea, the development team began to think that it would also be fun to use “With me” to be able to insert in photos, for example, “a friend who could not come to a trip or a party, “they explain.

“So I thought about my grandmother, who passed away recently, and commented that it would be great to scan your photos so that you can put them into current images,” comments the development team’s Lim Eun-jin.

The group adopted the latter idea and published it on their development blog on the internet without thinking that the concept would get even stronger among the public and would generate debate.

“People started commenting on the network that looks like an app intended for an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ (British TV series that raises dystopian stories about the use of new technologies yet to be invented)!” Adds Lim between laughs.

Whether it’s to resurrect the dead or to appear kissing a famous singer, “With me” will be available to smartphone users later this year, says Kwak Ji-hoon, manager of the planning team.

The application uses a 3D scan, to which is added what they call an equipment system – a three-dimensional “skeleton” that is used as the basis for animating the person or object scanned – and an artificial intelligence (AI) program.

Kwak says that in order to create an avatar, it is possible to use a 3D scanning device (including those that already exist on some high-end phones or that can be purchased as an application) and then send it to the company’s website and then download it to the phone.

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The user then enters his name and draws a “selfie” so that the avatar’s AI is able to address him and identify him through facial recognition.

The result is a virtual clone that is able to guess the user’s age surprisingly.

With a click on the screen you can converse with the avatar to ask for a kiss, say “I love you” or also communicate that we are angry with him.

The digital clone understands the voice commands in an instant and responds by joining the fists, getting angry (also in English) or posing with an arched arm to form a heart with the user’s own arm (a typical gesture among young Asian couples in photographs).

“There are a lot of applications to create avatars, but we are the first company to market the possibility of interacting with one of these clones,” says Kwak, whose company hopes to use this technology in other fields (such as in video games) to two or three years.

T-Mobile and Sprint close deals for possible merger

Two of America’s largest cellphone operators, T-Mobile and Sprint, are closing deals that have been underway for weeks for a possible merger, The Wall Street Journal said on Saturday.

T-Mobile, a subsidiary of German group Deutsche Telekom, and Sprint, controlled by the Japanese group SoftBank, are the third and fourth companies in the sector behind Verizon and AT & T. The new company that would emerge from the union would have more than 100 million customers.

Directors of Sprint and Deutsche Telekom met in Tokyo this weekend to discuss the merger but failed to reach an agreement and decided to terminate the deal.

John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile in the United States, wrote on Twitter that the companies jointly finalized talks to discuss the purchase of Sprint.

“The prospect of joining Sprint was attractive for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for customers and shareholder value,” the executive said in a statement.

“However, it has always been clear that an agreement should result in a higher long-term value for T-Mobile shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone income and our track record,” added Legere in the note.

Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure acknowledged that the benefits would have helped the deal give Deutsche Telekom control of the new company, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, the chief executive of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, did not agree to relinquish such control.

Instead of pushing ahead with the merger, SoftBank now plans to buy more shares of Sprint in the open market – the company already has 80% – but staying below 85%, which would trigger a takeover bid, according to the Journal “.

Sprint and T-Mobile had already evaluated a merger in 2014, a negotiation that also has not advanced. In 2011, US officials felt it was best for the industry that there were four carriers in the country instead of three.

Apple introduces iPhone X with facial recognition and screen without start button

Apple introduced the iPhone X on Tuesday, the most powerful smartphone ever launched by the company, with several new features such as the inclusion of a facial recognition sensor and an “infinite” screen, with a new resolution, made possible by the withdrawal of the traditional button.

The new smartphone was unveiled today by Apple chief executive Tim Cook at an event that also served to officially inaugurate the company’s new headquarters, Apple Park, in the city of Cupertino, California, United States.

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The iPhone X is the name of the device with which Apple celebrates the ten years of the launch of the iPhone, an essential device in the social and technological revolution of smartphones.

Cook said today that the first iPhone model, released in 2007, represented a revolution in mobile technology and said the iPhone X will set the stage for the next decade.

The iPhone X screen covers virtually the entire front surface of the device, which has no traditional “home” button since the first device launched by Apple, and eliminates the edges that diminish the touchscreen surface.

In addition, the iPhone X will come equipped with a super-retina display with OLED technology, resolution of 2436×1125 pixels and 458 dots per inch of density, the largest of an Apple smartphone.

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Another of the great news of the iPhone X is the introduction of Face ID, a new form of access of the smartphone based on the facial recognition of users and which represents an important evolution over the Touch ID, which used digital.

The Touch ID is still on the device, but with the removal of the start button, it now runs across the screen.

This facial recognition technology will also be harnessed by animoji, a personality version of the emoji that will be created from the expressions of the people registered by the camera.

The device will be loaded wirelessly from a technology called Apple by AirPower, a base that can simultaneously load AirPods, the company’s wireless headsets, and also the new Apple Watch Series 3, presented today by the company.

The iPhone X will be sold in the United States for $ 999. The pre-order will start on October 27th and shipments will begin by Apple on November 3rd.

The great year of video games with new releases after the summer

Nintendo has rallied with the brutal success of “Switch” and Microsoft intends to eat ground with Sony with the Xbox One X

 

The 2017 is a big year as far as gaming is concerned . Nintendo has rallied with the brutal success of Switch and Microsoft intends to eat Sony with the Xbox One X, the most powerful console ever created and presented at E3 in Los Angeles. Two events that anticipate a hot autumn and winter season when it comes to launching new titles for the holiday season. These are the most anticipated:

Mario Odyssey. The titles featuring the most emblematic plumber of Nintendo are always a sales success. This year, the mustachioed hero will leave his usual kingdom to travel cities, deserts or valleys. The title, which will arrive on October 27.

 Star Wars : Battlefront 2. The battery of films about Star Wars comes accompanied by a new video game thatallow battlesrevive one of the most popular sagas planet. In the multiplayer mode there will be possibility to face the squadrons of ships in the outer space and we will be able to control, in the different missions, personages like Yoda, Luke Skywalker or Kylo Rein. It will be available from November 17 on Xbox, PC and PS4. They have not yet advanced that is compatible with PlaystationVR.
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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy . At first, it was raised as an extension for the title Uncharted 4 but once put to work the story was gaining body and Naugthy Dog decided to launch a new and complete video game as a result. For the first time the title will have two female protagonists, Chloe and Nadine Ross, who already appeared in the second and the fourth installment of the saga.

FIFA 18. A classic sports games. Cristiano Ronaldo will be the protagonist of FIFA 18, which will have versions for PS4, Xbox, PC, Android and Nintendo Switch. E game will arrive, if everything goes on schedule, on September 29 to the market.

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Call of Duty. It is another of the sagas with more followers of the world. Now return the next day November 3 with a game that takes back the origins of the series. In this case, Call of Duty: World War II puts the player in the shoes of a young soldier who next to his comrades in arms will have to face different missions of World War II. Scenarios and missions extend from the coast of Normandy to the forest of Hürtgen and show some of the most special moments of the war that put in check throughout Europe.

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Top sales consoles Japan (31-07 to 06-08): Nintendo Switch resumes the lead

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Returns to Highest Sales in Japan

After the fantastic and exciting sales week lived in Japan a few days ago, this week is somewhat more restrained in terms of numbers. Of course, we will see a series of changes in the highest positions, with Nintendo Switchheading again sales thanks to the almost 62,000 units that managed to sell during the last record. Nintendo’s hybrid console once again leads the list, although it does so with little difference from the second best-selling platform. In this specific case, we are talking about the great  Nintendo 3DS family , which has stayed very close to the 61,000 consoles sold by combining all available models.

Nintendo 3DS notebook family stays very close to repeat lead

Far from the head positions is the PlayStation Vita system  , which goes back down in sales to the little more than 4,700 consoles sold. Sony’s portable platform can not keep up with the top three and is still far behind. The fifth position is for Wii U , the system of desktop of Nintendo , that has carried out a small rise in the sales until placing with 158 units sold. The sixth position is for PlayStation 3 , that after a decade in active begins to dilute in Japanese territory. Sony’s third desktop has closed the record with 96 consoles sold. The seventh and final position is for Xbox One , the console from Microsoft , which closes with 90 consoles sold; Has stayed close to not occupy said square.

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Nintendo Switch(61.933 Units) 

New Nintendo 2DS XL (33.871) + New Nintendo 3DS / XL (23.278) + Nintendo 2DS (3,740) – 60,889 Units

PlayStation 4 (43,862) + PlayStation 4 Pro (9,077) – 52,939 Units

PlayStation Vita – 4,773 Units

Wii U – 158 Units

PlayStation 3 – 96 Units

Xbox One – 90 Units 

Last week’s sales in Japan ((24-07-30-07)

New Nintendo 2DS XL (110.963) + New Nintendo 3DS / XL (27.957) + Nintendo 2DS (3,680) – 142,600 Units

PlayStation 4 (82,368) + PlayStation 4 Pro (10,980) – 93,348 Units

Nintendo Switch – 89,314 Units

PlayStation Vita – 4,967 Units

Wii U – 142 Units

PlayStation 3 – 121 Units

Xbox One – 94 Units

How to protect your mobile from sand, heat and water

Follow these tips if you want your device to survive the summer

Summer does not feel right to our mobile devices. 7 out of 10 malfunctions that occur on smartphones and tablets during the summer are given by warming, humidity, and oversights.

In summer the mobiles suffer, and not only by the increase of the temperatures; In addition to being in the family are more susceptible that the smaller ones of the house use them to reproduce their videos and therefore to run more risk of falls. For this reason, we propose a series of tips for your device to survive the summer:

Never with wet hands

The ‘smartphone’ or ‘tablet’ should not be used with wet hands. It is common to pick up a phone call fresh from giving us a bath, with hands and arms soaked. This simple fact can cause some water, even if imperceptible, to be poured into the interior of the mobile, which causes short or medium term malfunctions. A care that you must increase if it is sea water since the salt can cause major damages.

Listen to music on your mobile

As a rule, devices are often warmed up by some applications like Google Maps or listening to music or playing videos. This rise in temperature worsens with external heat. For this reason, we must be especially attentive and turn off the mobile and do not reuse it until it is completely cold.

Beware of where we store the mobile

Keeping the devices in the glove compartment of the car or in the beach bag in the sun is also highly harmful to the terminals. Although they are prepared to send warning messages to extreme temperatures, spending too much time in the sun can cause smartphones and tablets to suffer damage in the medium term.

To prevent it, we advise you to switch them off if we are going to have a prolonged exposure to the sun, as well as use covers prepared for these places that protect from the sun and heat. 1 out of 10 breakdowns that are taken care of after the summer holidays come from these situations.

Mobile phone

 

Attention, sand!

Beach sand is the second biggest enemy of mobile devices, not only because they can scratch the surface of touch screens, but because they can adversely affect their interior components and cause faults. In fact, in this sense, 3 out of 10 breakdowns are given by the sand.

Carelessness

Although it seems very obvious, carelessness is the third great enemy of electronic devices during the summer. Bathing the smartphone in your pocket without realizing it is more common than it may seem a priori. About one-third of the repairs that occur are due to moisture as a result of bathing with the mobile.

On the other hand, the hunger for wanting to capture pictures in the water, share them on the beach or play music while sunbathing does multiply the risk of damaging the devices. It is best to always use covers and protectors to avoid annoyances that may be an additional cost to our vacation.

You are blocking advertising on the Internet? You will pay for browsing!

The programs that block advertising on most websites, is a thorn in the eye of their owners, who receive for each view money. Soon to change.

Adblock him and other similar programs that block pop-up ads multibillion-dollar losses caused advertisers and site owners. User input for blocking the ad owner of the site does not receive any money.

Where it disappears your free time? Psychologists are responsible!

“Ideas for a solution to this problem is quite a lot – the Poles, for example, announced Unblock, or solution to bypass operation adblockerów users and display ads that will not irritate them” – wrote portal Antyradio. What are interesting discussions also included Google, which earns a fortune on advertising? Since 2018 under the Chrome browser, the company will install an ad blocker. All this to save Internet users contact with banners Chrome.

But it is not all the ideas the Internet giant. The user using the ad blocking will see a message calling for the shutdown blocker or pay a fee for access to the site.

The new service is called the Contributor and if it is used by only 12 pages because it is a pilot program. But after a while it becomes popular enough, it will go to the computers of all users.

“The program requires adequate preparation on the part of the user – the money for access to the site to be downloaded from a special account, which must be recharged before. The minimum amount is $ 5 fee for access is displayed in the message by loading content” – wrote Antyradio.

Here is a list of the most popular slogans in the world. If your there, you can be in trouble!

So is this the end of free Internet advertising? Do you ever tire of annoying pop-up ads and users simply leave the website and come back to read paper newspapers and books?

How to send emails through Gmail without an Internet connection

The ‘offline’ mode allows you to read the mails, but also respond to them and access the attachments

Gmail is the email service par excellence . The Google tool has more than one billion active users per month since 2016, a number that beat all the records of this type of applications. The customer is used by all types of people in any circumstance, but what not everyone knows is that there is an offline mode that saves more than one headache in depending on what situations.

The ‘offline’ mode of Gmail lets you read messages in your inbox, reply to , search, access attachments, etc. Put another way, if you drop your Internet connection or you’re not going to have it for a while and you’re going to need it, this tool is your salvation in many ways.

It is a service offered for computer and not for mobile devices, as it works through an application for the Google Chrome browser . This extension, once installed, is responsible for synchronizing your stored emails so that when there is no connection you can access them in the same way.

As we have already said, this’app ‘allows you to read emails, but also to respond : when you regain access to the network, emails will be sent automatically. Synchronization also works when archiving and organizing emails, adding tags and any other options that Gmail has incorporated.

For install the extension just go to this link and follow the steps for the installation to complete. Click on the new installed tool and select the option “Allow offline mail” before giving it to continue. Once this is done, the messages will start to synchronize and you will be able to take advantage of the new features as long as you stay without Internet. Access to the application will have to do it with the web address chrome: // apps (or in the button of applications of your bar of markers) and there clicking on the corresponding icon. If you wish, you can create a shortcut on your desktop with the right mouse button.

One of the things you should do to make the most of this new option is to choose how many messages you want to keep in sync . Offline Gmail, by default, syncs the last 7 days, but by going to the’app ‘and’ Settings’ (the sprocket), you can change it to select whether you want it to be 2 weeks or a month.

Within the’app ‘you can do the same things as in normal Gmail, even programming automatic responses with a text in case we will not be available for a long time. All your organization of labels, highlights and folders you will have as it is, as well as the conversations that you have had. Be sure to open the application on a regular basis to keep your emails in sync and remember that the responses you give to users will be sent as soon as you have the necessary connection.