July Tech News Overview

 

Despite all the hardships, disasters, crises and whatnot, the world of technology keeps developing and lets us enjoy new gadgets, applications, trends and devices. July has proved to be abundant in interesting and, what is more important, applicable tech moments. We pulled out the ‘the best of the best’ for you in order to go on with our engaging interaction.

Let us start with our ‘new everyday reality’; the apps widely used by the majority these days.

Have you practiced TikToK? It is known as a popular but rather a controversial application, especially in the light of the recent political survey based on its ties with China. The TikTok management decided to support its creators by launching the TikTok Creator Fund. The Fund is to be a pool of nearly $200 million and is to be offered to the US users only. The financial aid is aimed to give a hand to those who actively use the app in search of additional opportunities and income and is keen on carving various TikTok clips to make a living.

Who can utilize the chance to grow up with the TikTok Creator Fund?

  • the US citizen of 18 years old and on;
  • original TikTok account users only; it should be in line with the platform’s Community Guidelines and have a certain baseline of subscribers and followers (not specified so far though)

The Fund is going to start its activities in August while having global plans for considerable expansion shortly afterward.

And now, some fresh news on Slack, a widely used business messenger. Many of you must have heard about a kind of scandal around the prohibition of Microsoft to use Slack for its employees back in 2019 due to a possible threat for the corporate emailing system.

Recently the rivalry has gained a new push when Slack has decided to file the antitrust campaign against MSFT in the European Union. The actions of the latter were called ‘anti-competitive ‘and ‘illegal’ in the framework of the so-called ‘browser wars’. Stewart Butterfield, the Slack CEO, accuses MS of installing Teams and blocking its removal and thus depriving the users of the right to make a free choice. He adds that Microsoft is afraid of breaking up but Slack will win whatsoever. The Microsoft-Slack dispute is gaining momentum and in the near future, the final result will be obvious to the public.

Hands-free apps updates

Have you already tried virtual assistant services, Google Assistant mainly? What is your feedback? Allow us to assume that natural language recognition and an ability to hold a conversation and ask for some clarifications are far from ideal.

Based on the latest reviews of the users, Google has launched five main features to utilize them for developers:

  1. Updated APIs (long-form content support) 
  1. Web-based console ( to simplify the overall developing process) 
  1. Continuous match (more human to the service) 
  1. Home storage (to harness info within household devices) 
  1. Smart display AMP (things vision in a form of recipes and articles) 

All the service enhancements mentioned serve like IoT device control. What is more, Google provides most efficient ways to start with ‘a smarter’ Google Assistant in code labs (a detailed guide about how to utilize new tooling and interaction model).

So, ready to give Google assistant a new try? Looking forward to your feedback this time.

July 23, morning time… Pandora announces a launch of a beta version testing of the interactive voice ads. In order to get a gist of the event, let us return into a cold December day one year ago.

In 2019, Pandora started its music streaming service. The ads began with a detailed explanation of the service essence and key goals. Afterward, the users were presented with a short and simple message including a streamline question to be easily replied to (e.g. Any plans for today?; Are you hungry?, etc.). Next, there was provided useful information, tips, recommendation on the topic chosen.

What for? To give the advertisers a chance to engage with the users who were looking into their mobile phones due to a wide range of reasons (while driving, cooking, learning and so on). Regarding the feedback, the advertisers jumped at the possibility and reported a relatively high demand for the service while noting that more testing would be desirable. So, the early alpha testing stage has a logical continuation in the face of a beta version with even wider advertisers’ circles and together with the Voice Mode feature upgrading.

Recent assumptions, summarizing, statistic 

Coronavirus pandemic has scared all the world and, what is more, its ‘embraces’ are becoming nothing weaker. How to fight it with minimal loss? Hands washing, mask-wearing and social distancing serve very well. Is it enough? Definitely not. Any digital solutions? Yes, probably. Unfortunately, specially developed apps and programs have appeared to be full of drawbacks such as technical issues, data breaches, population unacceptance, etc.

Effy Vayena and a team of researchers from ETH Zurich have recently published a kind of overview of how to make a ‘really working’ digital app. They suggest a number of legal and ethical foundations to develop a sound solution based on four main category tools:

  • apps tracing contacts expansion; 
  • infection presence assessment apps; 
  • quarantine regulations obedience checking programs; 
  • reporting flow models. 

The researchers cannot but continue stressing that the success perspectives are long-term and there is no digital wonder to be flawless. Nevertheless, in case all the main core principles are observed (privacy, solidarity, healthcare promotion, malicious behavior preventing and so on), a highly positive result is to be awaited shortly.

Finally, to sum up, a piece of analytics to take into close attention. Coursera has just published the Global Skills Index, which includes most comprehensive data based on 60 countries, 10 industries and more than a dozen fields of study in business, technology and data science.

According to the statistics provided, Ukraine occupies 4th place in technological skills this year and gets a general qualification level as 95% (with 100% maximal possible index).

The consolidated statistics 2020 presents us with the most trending skills in different fields as well:

Business: MS Excel, project management, Digital Marketing

Technology: AI, JavaScript, Web development

Data Science: Python, SQL, R.

Take the data presented into consideration as well-informed means properly business-oriented and acknowledged.

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