Peter Merchant

Peter Merchant

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After the success of "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One," it's hard to imagine "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" would become one of the most divisive films in the franchise.The film has been in theaters for barely than a week and there's already a Change.org petition asking Disney remove it from the official Star Wars canon and "re-make Episode VIII properly."In the novel "Children of the Jedi," Luke gets trapped on an Imperial Dreadnaught, where the spirit of a long-dead Jedi living in the ship's computer helps him open doors and hide from his attackers.Luke falls in love with the possessed spaceship computer and eventually starts dating her after she transfers her consciousness into the body of one of Skywalker's dying students.By comparison, Han and Leia's romance was pretty straightforward: Boy rescues girl, girl calls boy a nerfherder, boy gets frozen in carbonite, girl rescues boy.In "Empire Strikes Back," Darth Vader hires bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon, and says he wants the Rebels alive, famously telling Boba Fett: "No disintegration."
You’ll be surrounded by your loved ones, sharing presents and getting tipsy on Baileys.The fact is, 2017 has flown by.There’s still some time to get your presents sorted, at least until Christmas eve comes along.But you can’t go wrong with technology.Whether it’s a shiny new smartphone or a television, there are some great gadgets out there that’d make perfect Christmas presents.It’s a great size for streaming movies and TV on apps like Netflix, and the resolution is amazing too.
In fact, there are almost certainly more people that own the action camera than have lives gnarly or radical enough to actually need them.With this laser focus, has come GoPro’s ability to continue optimizing fully with each new update to its Hero series.This action camera expertise is on full display with their latest, the Hero6 Black.At $499, this is the company’s most expensive addition to the line yet, but the pervasive additions to this model establish the Hero6 Black as a clear flagship model for the action cam industry.Design-wise it’s identical to what came before it, so what’s new to distinguish it over the cheaper, still very capable Hero5 Black?The resolution and frame rate jumps are the most headline-grabbing feature bump.
The perfect way to start a new weeks is to get a new gadget and who could be better for that than the Xiaomi brand, the makers of more or less everything.So let’s go take a look at some of their discounted gadgets from the wares of the Lightinthbox e-shop.First gadget is literally some music for your ears and even wirelessly, because the Xiaomi square box Bluetooth speaker is a small portable one with surprisingly good and powerful sound.Weighing only 285 g and stylish metal build and Bluetooth 4.0 connection.And fairly cheap too, because you can get this beauty just for $13.09 / €11.70 with the help of the discount coupon MISPEAKER1.Next one in line is the popular Xiaomi Mi Band 2 smart band with OLED display and plenty of useful functions.
I wrote about the U.S.-based service nearly two years ago when it was just starting out and it had gobbled up a $1.7 million seed round.It has ‘graduated’ over 7,000 students, who have gone on to companies like Amazon, Boeing, Saatchi & Saatchi, Visa and more, CEO and co-founder Gautam Tambay told TechCrunch in an interview.“This is education designed to fit your life instead of the other way around.”The round was led by Costanoa Ventures, with Learn Capital and Jyoti Bansal, the founder of Appdynamics, participating.Existing backers Blue Fog Capital, Rocketship.vc, and Moneta Ventures returned to invest again.The idea is that anyone seeking a new career or a break can manage the training around their existing life, without needing to uproot and move city to attend a university.
Michael Barrett assumed the role of Rubicon Project chief executive at the most turbulent time in the adtech outfit’s 10-year history this year, and has since gone about affecting some major overhauls to its strategy.Some of the significant changes since his arrival have been the announcements that it will drop its buy-side fees, opening up to the possibility of auctioning inventory using either first-or-second-price auction models, as well furthering its header bidding offering – a strategy that has seen it partner with others in the sector.Rubicon’s leadership (both Barrett, and his predecessor Frank Addante) has gone on record as openly conceding that the business was wrong-footed by the rising popularity of header bidding among publishers.Changes prompted by header biddingIn conversation with The Drum, Barrett reiterates how this trend, in-part, motivated his company’s $38.5m purchase of nToggle – an outfit that aids demand-side platforms (DSP) in processing the resulting up-tick in bid requests ushered-in by header bidding – and one that has seen it reassess its opinion on auction dynamics.“We had traditionally been a second-price auction shop and with the advent of header bidding we started to really examine the efficacy for buyers and sellers of offering a second price auction in a world where a lot of people were going first price,” he says.
It’s an incredibly practical means to protect one’s self from inclement weather, but in most iterations it looks like you’re wearing a giant brown paper bag over your torso.The original poncho wearer is, of course, Luke Skywalker himself.The most recognisable pieces of Star Wars fashions—earth tones, loose, flowing tunics—are clothes that would be practical to wear in the desert.And here’s the weird, shocking secret about Star Wars: almost everyone looks amazing in these ponchos.These are the best ponchos in the world.First and foremost, of course, are the camouflage ponchos worn by the Rebels on Endor, which are both rugged and eminently sensible.
Along with offering a selection of discounted computers from name-brand manufacturers like Apple, Lenovo, and Acer, and Dell Inspiron, these hot laptop deals include a variety of models suited for different needs — from general use to hardcore gaming — to help you find the PC that best fits your lifestyle.It’s powerful and stylish with a 100 percent metal chassis and immersive full HD IPS display that delivers an epic mobile experience that’s unrivaled by other Chromebooks at this level.Like other popular Chromebooks, it’s surprisingly fast and has an impressive 12-hour battery life so you can run your favorite Google apps or access your photos, videos, music, and documents all day long.It quickly boots up in just 14 seconds and features automatic updates and backups that ensure every time you open the Chromebook, the latest features are already there to keep it running fast and smooth.The 60Whr four-cell battery up to 13 hours to keep you powered up all day and has a unique with express charge feature so you can get up and working quickly.This slim laptop features a 13-inch HD display, a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, and 8GB RAM, while the 256GB SSD gives you improved disk speeds over traditional hard drives.
Image credit: Hero Images | Getty ImagesMajor moves in the social space are being made this week; Twitter upped its character limit to 280 for all users and Tencent bought 12 percent more of Snap.But, the most interesting move was actually by Facebook, and it spans far beyond social.On November 7, Facebook announced Customer Chat, a new Messenger plugin that lets businesses have conversations with customers on their own website.This is the perfect time for Facebook to transform Messenger into an immensely lucrative platform for businesses the same way it capitalized on the news feed to become the global leader in the digital advertising industry.This is only the beginning of what will be a complete overhaul of the way marketers approach their digital strategies.
On Tuesday, December 12, AMD refreshed its driver suite for Radeon graphics cards and discrete chips with a shorter name but a longer list of features.The new suite is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 7, and is “unofficially supported” on Windows 8.1 via the Windows 7 version.For instance, Prey performance saw around 19 percent improvement between the first release of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition released this time last year, and the new Adrenalin Edition.Overwatch saw a 14 percent improvement in that same period, and Mass Effect: Andromeda experienced a 10 percent improvement.The company is referring to the time between clicking a mouse button and seeing the resulting action on screen.Makedon delightfully said this is the third-most-voted feature by users through the Radeon software.
Researchers have developed new single-cell sequencing methods that could be used to map the cell origins of various brain disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.By analyzing individual nuclei of cells from adult human brains, researchers at the University of California San Diego, Harvard Medical School and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have identified 35 different subtypes of neurons and glial cells and discovered which of these subtypes are most susceptible to common risk factors for different brain diseases."There are multiple theories regarding the roots of various brain diseases.Our findings enable us to narrow down and rank which types of cells in the brain carry the most genetic risk for developing these diseases, which can help drug developers pick better targets in the future," said Kun Zhang, a professor of bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and co-senior author of the study.This work builds off of a previous study published in Science, which Zhang also co-led, in which researchers identified 16 subtypes of neurons in the cerebral cortex.That study was the first large-scale mapping of gene activity in the human brain and provided a basis for understanding the diversity of individual brain cells.
The gaming world got a bit of a surprise back in July, when Atari teased it was creating a new console called the Ataribox.Today the company announced you’ll be able to pre-order in just a few days – December 14 to be precise – when it will presumably launch its crowdfunding campaign.But why in the world would you?So far, we know almost nothing about the Ataribox.The last major update we got was in September, which revealed the console would run on Linux and be priced around $250 to $300.It will supposedly be able to play the same games as a mid-range PC, which is a highly ambiguous metric.
An app pretending to be a popular cryptocurrency-storing wallet site, MyEtherWallet, has soared to the top of the iOS App Store, following a great weekend for Bitcoin as prices soared by 20 percent, exceeding a price of $17,000 per Bitcoin.The app in question, priced at $5, makes no claims to be the popular website, despite sharing a name, and a quick browse of the creator’s past apps only reveals two panda-themed fighting games, and a handful of other apps — none related to Bitcoin or cryptocurrency.The official MyEtherWallet Twitter account posted an update, urging users not to download the app, and revealed that the app has been reported to Apple.We have file reports and emailed and reported.Would appreciate the communities assistance in getting these scamtards out of our lives.— MyEtherWallet.com (@myetherwallet) December 10, 2017
'Technical limitations' hobbled copper-based servicesOptus has become the second Australian carrier to announce refunds for customers unable to get decent National Broadband Network connections.Under pressure from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Telstra in November 'fessed up that performance on the NBN didn't match its advertising and said it would offer refunds to more than 40,000 customers.Optus' refund program, announced today by the ACCC, covers around 8,700 customers.The ACCC said for nearly two years, “Optus offered NBN services to consumers advertising a range of speed plans.This included a 'Boost Max' which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).”
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