Voice tech localization startup Jargon wins GeekWire-Ubiquity prize at Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator – GeekWire

Pulse Labs CEO Abhishek Suthan; Jargon co-founders Jonathan Burstein and Milkana Brace; and Sunil Nagaraj, managing partner of Bay Area-based Ubiquity Ventures. (GeekWire Photos / Taylor Soper)

It’s been a whirlwind past few months for the entrepreneurs behind Jargon, but Tuesday evening marked a high note after the Seattle startup won the first-ever Ubiquity-GeekWire Award at the Alexa Accelerator Demo Night.

Alexa, can you understand me now? Seattle startup Jargon helps translate voice apps into other languages

GeekWire teamed up with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Ubiquity Ventures for the inaugural Ubiquity-GeekWire Award, a $2,500 cash prize to recognize and reward our winning startup — no strings attached and no equity in return.

Nine startups spent the past three months in Seattle as part of the accelerator, co-led by Techstars and Amazon, honing their pitches and tweaking their business models that incorporate Amazon’s Alexa voice platform.

After the presentations, I huddled with Sunil Nagaraj, managing partner of Bay Area-based Ubiquity Ventures, and Pulse Labs CEO Abhishek Suthan, who participated in the first Alexa Accelerator cohort, to pick our favorite idea. We judged the companies based on the quality of the pitch, business model, and demonstration of deep voice technology integration.

After a thorough debate and discussion, Jargon was our pick for the Ubiquity-GeekWire Award. The Seattle-based startup helps engineers localize voice apps or “skills” that have been built in English so that they’ll work for users in other countries. Jargon also helps non-English-native developers translate their apps for the U.S. market.

“If you find product market fit in one geography, you want to roll it out as quickly as possible to other geographies,” Nagaraj said. “With mobile and PC, you could take your time. But with this rapid voice technology adoption curve, you want a turnkey tool to flip on ten geographies tomorrow. Jargon makes that happen.”

Jargon CEO and co-founder Milkana Brace.

Suthan, whose startup raised follow-on funding from Amazon and Google, said he thinks Jargon can be a big business, particularly if it gets into content management.

“The promise of voice is that it can be leveraged to create a truly personal experience globally,” he added. “It drops barriers from the devices, machines, computers. To be able to do that at scale is the problem that Jargon is solving.”

Jargon CEO and co-founder Milkana Brace gave a polished pitch on Tuesday. She explained how anytime Alexa expands into a new country, Jargon’s market expands. Companies are already spending upwards of $40 billion on localization services for mobile and web products, she added.

“Our strategy is to capitalize on the burning need for voice localization in order to accomplish two goals: to drive wide adoption of the Jargon SDK, and to build a subscription-based customer base,” Brace said during her pitch.

Jargon actually pivoted its business after joining the Alexa Accelerator. The original idea was to create an on-demand interpretation service, but feedback from Amazon mentors who lamented about taking Alexa to international markets helped Jargon switch gears.

“We were really intrigued by their sense of urgency,” Brace told GeekWire after her pitch. “We rebuilt our product from the ground up and our whole story has changed.”

Brace co-founded the company with Jonathan Burstein, Jargon’s chief technology officer. Brace’s background includes jobs at Groupon and Expedia. Burstein has worked at Amazon, Zillow and Microsoft. They’ve added three additional employees in the past 12 weeks.

Check out the rest of the Demo Day pitches here.

This content was originally published here.

Samsung says new features could come to mid-range phones before flagships

Flashy new features almost always arrive on the most expensive smartphones first, but Samsung may start taking a different approach. DJ Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile division, tells CNBCthat the company is now focused on differentiating mid-range phones ahead of flagship phones, as sales lag on higher-end models.

“In the past, I brought the new technology and differentiation to the flagship model and then moved to the mid-end. But I have changed my strategy from this year to bring technology and differentiation points starting from the mid-end,” Koh told CNBC.

Koh reportedly said that he had reorganized Samsung’s mobile development team to prepare for the strategy shift. The first phone to follow this new design approach is supposed to be this year’s Galaxy A series phone. Those phones are priced around $400, which puts them far below flagships like the S9 and Note 9, but still well above the type of budget phones that are popular in many markets.

Samsung’s mobile revenues have been sliding over the past couple years, and the smartphone market is changing: while high-end phones play well in the US, other markets are far more price sensitive while still looking for higher-end specs and features.

There are plenty of phones that will offer that balance. Barely a month goes by before exciting new features and designs make their way from flagships to cheaper phones designed for those markets, making it hard for companies stuck in a more traditional product cycle to stand out.

Samsung hasn’t avoided bringing higher-end features to mid-range phones — this year’s Galaxy A series, for instance, included an 18:9 screen and dual front-facing cameras. But it was going up against phones that offered screens with notches, the clear symbol of a 2018 device. That kind of difference makes it harder to compete with companies like OnePlus, which are quicker to bring these features to mid-range phones.

That all said, Koh told CNBC the changes are really just about “focusing on millennials who cannot afford the flagship.”

This content was originally published here.

Will the Galaxy X kill Samsung’s iconic Galaxy Note phones? – BGR

The Galaxy Note 9 is coming soon, but the Galaxy Note 9 is not exciting enough. At least, that’s what smartphone buyers continually looking for a brand new design will tell you. The Galaxy S9, an almost identical copy of the Galaxy S8 but with much better specs and features, failed to become the best-seller that Samsung wanted it to be. The Note 9 isn’t expected to fare any better than its predecessor.

New reports from South Korea reveal that Samsung has been looking at whether the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S line should be unified in the future, considering that Galaxy S+ phones look more and more like the Note.

Don’t Miss:Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day

Technology advanced to a point where it’s possible to make all-screen smartphones with tiny bezels. Whether you curve the phone’s edges to achieve the result or whether you put a notch on it, you can make a relatively compact phone with a big screen nowadays.

Right now, the Galaxy Note’s only advantage over the Galaxy S Plus is the inclusion of the S Pen.

The Galaxy Note 9 will have the same specs as the Galaxy S9+, and a similar size. The new Note’s 6.38-inch screen is slightly bigger than the 6.22-inch screen on the Galaxy S9+, and almost as big as the rumored 6.40-inch display on the Galaxy S10+.

According to The Bell’s sources, Samsung has been looking at whether to merge the two flagship lines into a single product for a while now, but there’s no definitive conclusion on the matter. The talks aren’t just internal, as Samsung has been talking to partners as well.

One strong argument is that Samsung could cut development costs especially in a saturated smartphone market where buyers hold on to their devices for more extended periods than before.

A different argument is that Samsung will introduce foldable handsets next year as a pilot program, but foldable handsets will become mainstream in the years after that. The Galaxy X is supposed to feature a 7-inch display that’s as big as a small tablet when folded out, as well as a much bigger battery. Larger screens and bigger batteries are two features that were once available only on Note-sized phones. The Galaxy X will launch in early 2019, soon after, or before the Galaxy S10 is unveiled.

Galaxy Note 9 sales may help Samsung decide whether the Galaxy S Plus and Note lines should be unified or note. Next year, Samsung is already rumored to launch three distinct Galaxy S10 versions, including the Galaxy S10+ phone that could easily pack an S Pen stylus.

But Galaxy Note 9 isn’t expected to break any records. A different story on The Bell says that Samsung wants the phone to sell at least as good as the Note 8. Samsung shipped 11 million Note 8 units last year, and it plans to sell just a million more Note 9 units this year.

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Global Tech Firm, Reward Gateway, Acquires U.S. Employee Engagement Specialist Brand Integrity

The combined group will operate under the Reward Gateway brand and be one of the largest employee engagement software businesses in the world, with over 400 staff servicing 1,800 clients and 4 million end users globally.

Doug Butler, CEO at Reward Gateway, said, “Weve been investing heavily in the U.S. market since we established our Boston headquarters earlier this year, and this acquisition underlines our commitment. Brand Integrity has an excellent team, product set, and great client relationships, resulting in employee engagement scores three times the global average. We couldnt be more excited to be working with the Brand Integrity team to bring our broader product offering and support resources to their clients and their in-depth knowledge and winning service formula to ours.

Gregg Lederman, founder and CEO of Brand Integrity, added, “This completes a two-year search for a new home and partner for us. We met many companies and were fortunate to have several offers, but the fit with Reward Gateway was absolutely the best. Im truly excited to experience the next chapter with our clients and employees.

Gregg Lederman will join the Reward Gateway Executive Board as president of employee engagement, supporting strategic platform, client success, and thought leadership initiatives. He joins another U.S. HR tech veteran, Gene Gainey, who was appointed SVP of sales, North America, earlier in the year. Half of the group’s executive team is now based in the U.S. Brand Integrity’s 25-person staff in Rochester, N.Y. will work alongside Reward Gateway’s Boston-based team to serve the U.S. market.

Reward Gateway Key Facts 

Reward Gateway is a London-based HR tech firm that was founded in 2007, with offices in the U.S., Australia, U.K., Macedonia, and Bulgaria. It was acquired by Boston-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners in . The company has 1,800 clients and 400 employees.

Reward Gateway helps more than 1,800 of the world’s leading companies, in 23 countries, to attract, engage, and retain their best people with an employee engagement platform that brings employee benefits, discounts and perks, recognition and reward, employee well-being, employee communications, and employee surveys into one unified hub. Clients include American Express, Unilever, Samsung, IBM, and McDonald’s. For more information, please visit http://www.rewardgateway.com

Brand Integrity is an employee engagement technology and consulting company that helps businesses build the right environment for employee engagement, driving measurable and sustainable culture change. While just 33 percent of the national workforce is engaged at work, the average among Brand Integrity’s clients remains at 91 percent. Since 2002, the company has helped hundreds of clients across 25 industries disrupt the way they approach employee and customer engagement to enable them to overcome barriers, reduce turnover, and become more profitable. For more information, visit http://www.brandintegrity.com

This content was originally published here.

Google rules on Android notches: Two are OK but we’re banning any more than that

Video: What’s new in Google’s latest update to Android P?

In the name of edge-to-edge screens, Google has acquiesced with the iPhone X-set trend for notches, which have already turned up on about 16 Android phones.

But although it’s accepted the notch, it’s now set ground rules for Android P to prevent bad experiences for users.

Specifically, Google is limiting the number of notches — or ‘cutouts’, as they’re technically called — to two.

So you can thank the Android maker for preventing handset makers from trying to cram three onto your smartphone or place them in weird locations. It has also said no to cutouts on the left or right sides of the phone.

This ruling means Android manufacturers can put one notch anywhere on the top and bottom of the screen, only one at the top or only one at the bottom, but there shouldn’t be multiple cutouts on a single edge and no cutouts on the either of the longer edges of the phone.

Google said the move is to ensure consistency and app compatibility with devices that do have cutouts.

“A single edge can contain at most one cutout,” , adding that “a device cannot have more than two cutouts”, and “cannot have cutouts on either of its longer edges”.

The last rule would be an odd choice for manufacturers given the whole point of edge-to-edge screens is exactly that.

Google pointed to its cutout rules via a blogpost about how it’s supporting cutouts on edge-to-edge screens.

Google currently counts 16 Android phones with cutouts from 11 manufacturers, including ones in the Android P beta program, such as the OnePlus 6, and says more are coming.

The point of creating the rules is to ensure app developers can create a consistent experience across variations on devices with one or two cutouts on Android P and devices with 18:9 and larger aspect ratios.

Some Android phone makers may still deviate from Google’s cap on two cutouts, but they’d probably do so at the risk of falling foul of Google’s compatibility definition document that outline rules for Android device makers.

Even though some Android Oreo devices have cutouts already, Android P is the first time Google’s officially supported the feature.

“Android P introduces official platform support for display cutouts, with APIs that you can use to show your content inside or outside of the cutout,” Google said on its Android developer blog.

“To ensure consistency and app compatibility, we’re working with our device manufacturer partners to mandate a few requirements.”

There are two more rules regarding cutouts, which help explain how Android apps can work with cutouts.

“In portrait orientation with no special flags set, the status bar must extend to at least the height of the cutout.” And it says, “By default, in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire cutout area must be letterboxed.” This second rule is to ensure no app content is displayed in the cutout area.

Google has released the cutout rules as it moves closer to the Q3 final release of Android P and gives developers preview versions to test their apps for these and other Android designs through the Android developers preview releases.

Android P engineers recently addressed cutout design questions in an AMA on Reddit, noting common problems with notification icons merging with system icons, in turn confusing users about the importance of the icons.

“During our user research we have often seen status bars filled with icons on Android devices. Often the notification icons get merged with the system icons, diluting the distinction and making it harder to understand which of these icons are important or urgent,” said one of the Android P engineers.

“We have reduced the number of notifications icons, to help users focus on the most important ones. This is done both to help simplify the status bar and help with digital wellbeing of our users. In this release we have also reviewed and set limit for the system icons.”

Previous and related coverage

Oppo’s latest high-end smartphone avoids the notch trend with a ‘stealthy 3D camera’.

In an effort to adopt the bezel-less design trend, smartphone makers have begun to push the display notch. Whether you love it or hate it, here are eight examples of phones with carved-out front tabs.

Xiaomi’s new flagship Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone with the iPhone X’s 3D face unlock.

HTC continues to release Android smartphones and the new U12 Plus skips the notch to focus on what HTC does right. It’s a phone that can compete with the best and launches at a price a bit less than the Galaxy S9 Plus.

Why have a notch when you can cut holes in a full-screen smartphone display?

Since Apple released the notch, there has been much derision cast toward the feature. Jack Wallen ponders this and plays devil’s advocate for the new world display order.

This little black cut-out on top of the screen may look like an eyesore, but more and more phones are jumping on this trend.

This content was originally published here.

You won’t be able to handle how hot Kareena Kapoor looks in this black gown : Fashion, News

You won’t be able to handle how hot Kareena Kapoor looks in this black gown

Let Kareena Kapoor teach how to ace sensual-yet-classy better than anyone else.

Picture courtesy: Instagram/rheakapoorPicture courtesy: Instagram/rheakapoor

In an industry that thrives on the idea of perfection, Kareena Kapoor stands as a visual representation of the term. The woman of immense talent that Bebo is, she has blown us over with her acting prowess in the past, and now, it’s her stellar sense of style that is ruffling our hearts.

While it was already hard enough to get over her how glamorous she recently looked in a blingy, thigh-high slit gown, the actress has bestowed another look upon us.

Embodying elegance in a strapless, black gown, Bebo looked bewitching in the pictures posted by designer Rhea Kapoor, on her Instagram account.

The sweetheart-neckline, corset gown had all the elements needed for a sensual evening outfit, while also being high on class-quotient. The gown hugged Bebo’s goddess-like body at all the right places, and made her look smoulderin’ hot.

Picture courtesy: Instagram/rheakapoor

 

The sheer fabric across the length of the A-line gown looked really trendy, thanks to the lovely pintex element it boasted of. While the corset accentuated Bebo’s body really well, the actress flaunted her toned legs through the cleverly placed sheer fabric, and left us gasping for air.

Picture courtesy: Instagram/rheakapoor

 

Kareena accessorised this sexy ensemble with a few silver rings, and sported her iconic smoky-eyes and nude-lips look.

She wore her hair in a neat, low bun, and finished the look with utmost perfection.

For news and videos in Hindi, go to AajTak.in. ताज़ातरीनख़बरोंऔरवीडियोकेलिएआजतक.इनपरआएं.

This content was originally published here.

5 Must-Haves From Beirut’s Booming Vegan Street Food Scene

Every tourist will readily admit that the most memorable — and adventurous — meals are the ones you come by in the street. That’s no exception in Beirut: No matter what city alley or seaside corniche you explore, you’re bound to be greeted with wafting aromas of good food. Beyond meat shawarma wraps and chicken taouk sandwiches, there’s actually a plethora of delicious and satisfying grub to whet every vegan appetite. Heck, even if you’re not vegan, you’ll want in on these savory meatless munchies.

Manakish thyme

Every neighborhood boasts a furn baking quintessential Lebanese pizzas, served in either folded or rolled-up format. According to owner Toni Beaino at Furn Beaino, a bakery that’s thrived for over four decades in Greater Beirut, the two criteria for excellent manakish are high-quality flour and zaatar, a Levantine blend of dried thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. Zaatar is mixed with oil and spread across the dough before being fired into the oven. It’s then topped with mint leaves, olives, tomato and cucumber for a burst of freshness. Manakish zaatar sell for around LBP 1,500 ($1).

Foul mudammas

Soaked overnight in water before being boiled to a tender core, broad beans are dressed up with a drizzle of olive oil, ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley and spring onions. Lap it all up with pita and it’ll stick to your ribs, keeping you sated all day. Head to Abou Abdallah in Baouchriye for a piping-hot bowl for LBP 7,000 ($4.70).

Bzourat

There’s nothing comparable to delicious Lebanese seasoned roasted nuts — Aleppan pistachios, roasted chickpeas, smoked almonds and crunchy coated peanuts (kri kri), sometimes powdered with zaatar, chili or curry spices. Numerous shops like Al Andalous in Tripoli and Halabi in Jal el Dib sell them by the gram (about $1.30 for 200g). You can also find commercial varieties sold in individually portioned packages in mini-marts and megastores.

Corn and lupine

Pace the seaside promenade or stop at any major roundabout like Mkalles and Dora and you’re bound to bump into vendors selling boiled ears of corn dusted with cumin. Another option: snacking on pickled lupine beans, taking care to spit out the skins just as the locals do. These snacks will set you back a thousand or two liras (67 cents—$1.33).

Fatayer spenigh or fatayer sele’

Particularly popular during the Lenten season but available year-round at bakeries, these triangular turnovers are stuffed with a mélange of either boiled spinach or Swiss chard, onions, sumac, a squeeze of lemon and olive oil. They often figure into the classic Lebanese meze in bite-size format, but to fill up, you’ll want the jumbo edition sold in bakeries. Chef Hassan Akkary of Pizza Please pizzeria in Jal el Dib claims the perfect fatayer areall about balance: not too acidic of a filling, and not too greasy of a dough.

Kibbet laktine: You might recognize kibbeh as the Lebanese national dish. Pumpkin kibbeh is a vegan variation on the original, typically featuring spinach with chickpeas inside a bulgur-based dough.

Falafel: Sometimes stigmatized as the food of paupers, fried falafel balls comprise fava beans, chickpeas and cumin. Line them inside Arabic pita before slathering with tahini and garnishing with pickled horseradish, parsley and tomatoes.

Sandwich batata: Looking to overload on carbs? Here’s a genuinely Lebanese thought: roll a handful of fries inside pita bread. Add creamy coleslaw, generous heaps of aioli, ketchup and pickles.

Sandwich arnabit: Akin to the sandwich batata, this wrap substitutes fried potato spears with cauliflower buds. Dress with tarator, a dip of tahini, lemon juice and garlic.

Cocktail sheqaf: These fresh fruit cocktails contain cubed fruit, fruit puree, fruit coulis and slivered almonds.

This content was originally published here.

Best colleges in US for job search include Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech

Notre DameNotre Dame is the best school for landing a job in the state of Indiana.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Almost all graduates of these 50 colleges across the country find jobs.

The best college nationwide for job placement is Lebanon Valley College in Annvile, Pennsylvania. It has a 96.2% placement rate. Here are the 49 other best schools for the post-graduate job hunt. 

Alaska

College: Alaska Pacific University

Alabama

College: Auburn University

Arkansas

College: University of Arkansas for Medical Services

Arizona

College:Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University — Prescott

California

College:University of the Pacific

Colorado

College:Colorado School of Mines

Connecticut

College:Quinnipiac University

Delaware

College:University of Delaware

Florida

College:Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University — Daytona Beach

Hawaii

College:Hawaii Pacific University

Iowa

College:Drake University

Idaho

College:The College of Idaho

Illinois

College:Millikin University

Indiana

Facebook/Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame

College: University of Notre Dame

Kansas

College:Kansas Wesleyan University

Kentucky

College:Georgetown College

Louisiana

College: Xavier University of Louisiana

Massachusetts

College:Endicott College

Maryland

College:Mount St. Mary’s University

Maine

College: University of New England

Michigan

College: Kettering University

Minnesota

College: University of St. Thomas

Missouri

College: Saint Louis University

Mississippi

College: University of Mississippi

Montana

College: Montana State University

North Carolina

North Dakota

College: University of Mary

Nebraska

College: Nebraska Wesleyan University

New Hampshire

College: Keene State College

New Jersey

College: Stevens Institute of Technology

New Mexico

College: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Nevada

College: University of Nevada — Las Vegas

New York

College: Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Ohio

College: Ohio Northern University

Oklahoma

College: Southern Nazarene University

Oregon

College: Oregon Health and Science University

Pennsylvania

College: Lebanon Valley College

Rhode Island

College: Salve Regina University

South Carolina

South Dakota

College: University of Sioux Falls

Tennessee

College: Vanderbilt University

Texas

College: McMurry University

Utah

College: Westminster College

Virginia

Vermont

College: Saint Michael’s College

Washington

College: Pacific Lutheran University

Wisconsin

College: University of Wisconsin — Platteville

West Virginia

Wyoming

College: University of Wyoming

This content was originally published here.

One month with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Glorious S Pen functionality, long battery life, and reliable performance

One month with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Glorious S Pen functionality, long battery life, and reliable performance

I enjoyed the Galaxy Note 8, but there were a few things that kept me from complete joy. Samsung addressed those with the Note 9 and I think it’s a phone made to exactly satisfy all of my needs and desires.

top picks

CES and MWC are over and it’s time to clear the dust and see what smartphones are leading the pack this year.

I started using an evaluation Galaxy Note 9, see my full review, on 9 August and just past a month of use with it and my own phone. There has not been a single day that the phone has not impressed me and there is still more to discover as I continue exploring all of its capabilities.

As I look back over the last month of use and towards the future, here are nine things I love about the Galaxy Note 9:

  1. Long battery life: Samsung failed with the Note 7 and then was a bit apprehensive with the Note 8 battery capacity. With the Note 9, Samsung went all in and offers a 4,000 mAh battery that has gotten me through every single day since I started using it. I push my phones pretty hard during the day and while I can’t go multiple days, the Note 9 gets me through a full and complete day. The only other phone that has been able to do that for me has been the Huawei P20 Pro that also has a 4,000 mAh battery.
  2. Always On Display: It’s a subtle feature on the Note 9 that is found in a few other devices, but once you have it on a device it is tough to go back to something like the iPhone where you cannot just glance over and see basic status and notification information with no effort required by you. I also like that you can double tap on a notification to jump directly into the app that originated the notification.
  3. Dual rear cameras: The Samsung cameras have been excellent the last couple of years and the Note 9 extends what was started with the Galaxy S9 Plus. In addition to the dual camera setup, intelligence has been added to the cameras to help you take even better photos.
  4. Multiple ways to lock your phone: With the Galaxy Note 9, you can set it up to unlock via facial recognition, iris scanning, fingerprint, pattern, PIN, password, and Google Smart Lock. Samsung improved the speed of unlocking with an iris scan/facial recognition combination option as well as moving the fingerprint scanner to the center of the back. I’ve never been frustrated with the Note 9, while the Note 8 regularly irritated me with its offcenter fingerpring scanner.
  5. Wireless performance: I’ve tested several smartphones over the past couple of months during my typical daily routine and while the Huawei P20 Pro just eeked out the Galaxy Note 9 when it comes to RF signal strength, running speed tests on both revealed that the Note 9 blew the doors off of the P20 Pro. Samsung devices are known for outstanding reception and performance, both extremely important for the best smartphone experience. Too often, signal strength and performance are overlooked.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is about as perfect of a smartphone as you can find. I honestly cannot think of a single thing it is missing, which is not something I can say about other recent flagships. The Note 9 has a 3.5mm headset jack, microSD expansion card, amazing dual camera, and much more. I carry it around as my only device and thanks to the big battery, I don’t even have to worry about trying to find a charger throughout the day.

I continue to explore Bixby as I think it has the potential to be a valuable service for the Note 9, but I’m not there yet as I haven’t found the time to focus just on the Bixby experience. Even without Bixby, nothing beats the Note 9.

This content was originally published here.