Shopify Debuts Product Updates Including Balance Debit Card

At Shopify Reunite, the Canadian company’s first virtual event, the direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform released numerous updates. Among them are Shopify Balance, a business account and debit card; a Local Delivery app; and Shop Pay Installments, a buy-now-pay later option. The company’s AI-powered fulfillment network is also now welcoming merchant applications. Shopify canceled what would have been its fifth annual partner and developer conference, Shopify Unite, due to the coronavirus. Continue reading Shopify Debuts Product Updates Including Balance Debit Card

Google Debuts Deep Planning Network Agent with DeepMind

Google unveiled the Deep Planning Network (PlaNet) agent, created in collaboration with DeepMind, to provide reinforcement learning via images. Reinforcement learning uses rewards to improve AI agents’ decision-making. Whereas model-free techniques work by getting agents to predict actions from observations, agents created with model-based reinforcement learning come up with a general model of the environment leveraged for decision-making. In unfamiliar surroundings, however, agents must create rules from experience. Continue reading Google Debuts Deep Planning Network Agent with DeepMind

TaTaTu: Blockchain-Based Entertainment and Social Platform

TaTaTu is a new blockchain-based platform that integrates entertainment viewing with social media. The brainchild of producer Andrea Iervolino, TaTaTu rewards viewers for watching content including movies, TV shows, sports, and gaming — and adds rewards when their friends also watch. The first platform, without social media, will be released in three weeks; the complete version will debut Q1 2019. AMBI Media Group will be amongst the first content providers (Iervolino is AMBI Media’s co-founder and CEO). Additional partnerships will be announced soon. Continue reading TaTaTu: Blockchain-Based Entertainment and Social Platform

Facebook Plans to Be Next Home to Online Content Creators

Facebook wants to be the next home for online content creators, aiming to displace YouTube, Patreon and others with additions to its Creator app, which launched in November on iOS and will be available on Android soon. The social media giant is currently testing ways Creator users can make more money and connect with their fans. One such way would allow monthly subscribers to gain access to exclusive content from their favorite creators and allow them to earn fan badges similar to those used on Patreon.

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Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba is facing a growing problem with counterfeit goods that has led to some top brands taking legal action. The Chinese e-commerce giant is debuting a solution in the form of unique tags similar to QR codes. The company is working with Israeli startup Visualead to introduce dotless visual codes, which can be used to scan products to prove their authenticity and then automatically destroyed so they cannot be used more than once. Customers will use Alibaba’s Taobao mobile app to scan the codes when they receive their orders. Continue reading Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Chosen: iOS Talent App Aims to Attract Performers and Judges

There is a new mobile app called Chosen that offers users a platform through which they can upload videos of themselves performing talented acts or simply judge and critique other performances, all while earning rewards for actively doing so. Chosen aims to recreate the talent show experience and competitive landscape of TV shows like “American Idol.” Users can quickly scan through various performances, vote for those they like and skip those they don’t with the swipe of a finger. Continue reading Chosen: iOS Talent App Aims to Attract Performers and Judges

New Google Now API Could Impact the Future of Android Apps

Google will release an open API for the Google Now dashboard/personal assistant, which will allow developers to integrate their apps into the service. Android users might one day be able to get all of the relevant information from Google Now without ever having to open the apps. Currently, Google Now only pulls notifications from Google-based apps like Maps and Search, but another 40 third-party apps are in a pilot program to integrate their apps with Google Now. Continue reading New Google Now API Could Impact the Future of Android Apps

Shoppable Selfies: Earn Cash and Rewards with Your Images

A new iOS shopping app and social network offers a compelling way to make money from selfies. Stylinity encourages its users to record “Shoppable Selfies,” tag the fashionable items featured in the image — such as clothing, beauty products, and furniture, and then upload it to a marketplace where others can browse and make purchases. When shoppers purchase a brand’s product from one of your selfies, you earn points redeemable for cash, clothing, “exclusive experiences,” or “fun products.” Continue reading Shoppable Selfies: Earn Cash and Rewards with Your Images

Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Amazon’s first smartphone, the Amazon Fire, hit stores on Friday preloaded with a digital wallet app that can store users’ loyalty cards and gift cards. About 70 retailers, including stores such as Whole Foods, GameStop, and AMC Entertainment are participating in the service. Customers can redeem their gift cards and rewards at stores by using the app-generated scanable barcode. The Amazon Wallet app is also available for download through the Google Play app store. Continue reading Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Disney has launched its new Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), that allows consumers to purchase movies and store them in the cloud. Launching initially for iOS and the Web, the service is integrated with the Apple iTunes Store. Users can browse, buy and view more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies (however, R-rated movies are not included). DMA is powered by Keychest digital storage and streaming tech, developed by Disney, the first to offer movies and TV shows through iTunes. Continue reading Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

TV loyalty program provider Viggle, formed in 2010, announced it has acquired San Francisco-based Dijit Media, a b2b platform developer and maker of TV and movie guide apps for mobile devices. Dijit’s primary consumer app is NextGuide, which combines listings from live TV and streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and Netflix for an automated and curated directory of movies and television shows. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Continue reading Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

While it is unclear if Amazon will release an Android-based gaming device besides the Kindle tablet, the company has been creating tools aimed at making game developers successful across Amazon’s various app platforms. The company launched its updated portal for app and game developers, and has been investing in tools for developers to create more Android games. Amazon now features more than 100,000 apps in its Android Appstore, a significant increase from one year ago. Continue reading Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

A new app from Samsung was developed with the intention of keeping drivers off their phones while behind the wheel. Startling statistics indicate that text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident. More startling yet is that more than 77 percent of young American adults believe they’re able to text while safely driving. To combat that, Samsung’s new Android app, “Eyes on the Road,” turns not texting into a game with tangible rewards for safe driving. Continue reading Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting