Google announces creepy/useful features by Martin Brinkmann on May 17, 2017 in Companies, Google – Last Update: May 22, 2018 – 14 commentsCreepy? Useful? Both? Google announced a slew of new features coming to Google Photos, Gmail and other company products designed to make life just a tad easier.Google Photos got Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries for instance. Suggested Sharing is a new feature that suggests contacts to share photos with based on who is on these photos. If you take a photo of your friends at a party, Google Photos might identify those on the photos, and suggest you share the photos with them.Shared Libraries on the other hand brings photos from different phones together in a single library based on things or people that you want to share with another person. A couple could select to share photos of their children for instance, or their dog. For that, all that it would take is to select photos that show people or objects, so that Google may identify them in future photos taken on the device or uploaded to Google Photos.Gmail’s Smart Reply feature on Android or iOS makes replying to emails easier by suggesting short answers.If you look at these features, you may find them useful, or not, depending on how you use Google services and devices.If you like to share photos for instance, you may find the two new Google Photos features useful. Gmail users who get a lot of emails that require just a simple response, may like the new Smart Reply feature.If you dig a bit deeper however, you will realize that Google needs access to information for that functionality. If Google cannot read emails for instance, its algorithm cannot come up with replies to messages.And if it does not use facial recognition or object identification when you upload new photos to Google Photos, it cannot really help you with the sharing functionality. Also, it needs access to contact information to connect people or objects to the list to find suitable sharing candidates.As Alex Cranz points out correctly on Gizmodo, Google’s business is to know as much as possible about each and everyone in order to make as much money as possible using those information.This does not mean that Google users don’t benefit from these information as well, as Google pushes out a constant stream of new features or apps that makes life easier for Google users who use them.But how easy is easy enough, especially if you weigh this against the privacy implications? Do you really need reminders by an algorithm when it comes to sharing photos on your devices? Or automatic replies for emails?You might say that it does not really matter anymore at this point, as Google is already reading your emails, and probably also using object identification algorithms to find out more about what is shown on photos.Still, you may wonder where all of this will end. Will an AI take over the sharing, emailing and communicating for you in the future?Google revealed today that more than 500 million people are using Google Photos to back up more than 1.2 billion photos and videos per day.Now You: Do you find these features useful? Do you use others that Google or other companies rolled out in the past?SummaryArticle NameGoogle announces creepy/useful featuresDescriptionCreepy? Useful? Both? Google announced a slew of new features coming to Google Photos, Gmail and other company products designed to make life just a tad easier.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
It’s estimated that one-third of the 1.5 million retailers in the United States aren’t ripe for investing in new cash handling technology—they’re simply too small or don’t have the revenue to see any benefit from an investment.However, that leaves legions of retailers that can—should they be convinced of the value—upgrade their current cash handling procedures.The low end of this available market, which represents about another one-third of retailers, is fairly mature, with simple cash control devices penetrating about 75 to 80 percent of the workable market for such solutions, according to a 2017 study by the ATM Industry Association, Retail Cash Management.- Sponsor – But at retailers with some level of automation, which have the size, level of profitability, or mindset to potentially automate aspects of cash management, there is significant room for growth. Penetration of the smart-safe workable market, which could be as much as 30 percent of the total retail space, is only at about 13 percent. And there are only 3,000 to 3,500 cash recyclers active in the US retail market space out of a serviceable market for recyclers of approximately 150,000 retailers, or just 10 to 12 percent penetration of the potential market for cash recyclers in retail.The new research study concludes, “With the introduction and expansion of smart safes in the mid to late 1990s, and with the growth of the market over time, as well as the expansion of cash management to the fully automated recycler products, the retail market is poised for an explosive growth in products, solutions, services, and support in automated cash management.”Potential for growth indicates opportunity—but also a complicated marketplace. Solutions range from entry-level systems to completely closed point-of-sale (POS) cash handling solutions in which cashiers have no access to cash at all to solutions that integrate back- and front-office solutions with those used by banks and cash-transit companies. There are traditional smart safes and newer cash recyclers, which include a bin for coin deposits in addition to a note recycler that provides retailers with access to in-store cash from which they can make withdrawals after it is validated and credited to their account. Associates can use recycler units to fill their registers, cashiers can trade large bills for smaller ones, and smaller bills are recycled back into operating cash inventory, reducing the need for change orders and providing an audit trail for each transaction.It’s a maze of options, and at the risk of being distracted by cat videos, YouTube provides useful tutorials on the range of choices and a chance to watch units in action. Retail case studies offered up by major vendors in the field offer additional insight into specific projects undertaken by retailers, quick-serve restaurants, and others.Critically, it’s important for LP to educate themselves about solutions while not looking for the “one right” answer. “A retail strategy is actually the first determinant of how you should manage your cash,” advised Mike Keenan, CPP, CFI, LPC, an industry veteran who has led LP at Macy’s, Ross, and Gap during his distinguished career. Risks, resources, cash intake, and a host of other factors are also determinants. “Different retailers will need different solutions,” Keenan noted.In Search of Value through Cash Handling ProceduresCash demand forecasting is an important part of a decision on investing in cash handling systems; so, too, is a complete accounting of current cash handling activities and their associated costs. While both areas may exceed the boundary of LP, executives should be aware of them—and the full scope of the financial and business impacts of cash management—to be a full partner in a retailer’s drive for profitability—today’s higher mandate for LP.“It’s the direction of the industry, where we need to be expanding that value and changing what a project sponsor brings to the table,” explained John Van Slingerland, vice president of business development at G4S Retail Solutions, a provider of end-to-end retail cash management solutions.It’s also why providers such as G4S have invested heavily in educating LP on cash management beyond the impact on risk. “In general, folks in LP and AP are being asked to do more. Moreover, they want to be asked to participate in the strategic part of the business,” he said. “It’s about supporting them as they go to their business partners with more benefits than just securing cash and a provisional credit at the end of the day. It’s also about other benefits that put them in a position to help drive consistency in the business.”What are some of those other benefits? Broadly, a retailer that adopts more efficient cash handling procedures can reduce the costs of cash management, which may increase levels of customer service and allow a more transparent monitoring of cash payment flow.To maximize the effectiveness of a cash handling solution, experts say a retailer should examine the whole cash cycle and effectively involve all stakeholders, including LP, operations, finance, store owners and managers, banks, and cash-in-transit companies.On the business side, when a retailer can get a near real-time picture of its cash assets, it can make use of that working capital, make better business decisions, reduce bank fees and risk, and improve compliance. And as interest rates climb, the value to retailers of having nearly real-time access to cash deposits increases. And it’s not just LP and finance that can make use of the data that today’s solutions can generate. Marketing can use the intelligence to make a correlation between an advertising campaign or sale and cash intake, for example.Different technologies and features yield different value. Cash counting machines, for example, reduce errors and cash drawer counting to under a minute. Using a cash recycling machine also saves a retailer from depositing costs, automates the counting process, and makes it easier to track the reconciliation process. The benefits of smart-safe technology are broadly known—they sort cash and automatically credit accounts—but enhanced business intelligence from them is expanding their value.Cutting costs associated with maintenance and service is one example. Connected cash systems can continually perform health checks, issue status reports, and permit remote troubleshooting. And updating permissions, such as adding or deleting authorized users, can be made at the central repository. Configuration changes can be pushed out to 1,000 stores at once. “For larger retailers there is significant administrative burden associated with profile management and having technicians go out and do local updates. Now that it’s cloud-based, all of that can be done remotely,” explained Jim Poteet, former executive vice president [now CEO] at FireKing.If a retailer is experiencing high cash shortages in its stores, advanced cash management technology can be particularly beneficial, according to Keenan. By improving accountability and control, the technology can reduce actual cash losses, enhancing the ROI equation.Time saving has been a major driver of business value for 7-Eleven from its investments in automated cash handling technology. “It has allowed for agreements that we don’t have to separate bills. The stores can take entire bundles as they are fed, rather than sorting, and that saves the stores time,” said Smith. “And with integration at POS, we can identify employees and to whom the machine dispenses change if they need more in the till. That level of intelligence has improved the time spent managing cash at shift changes and at start and end of day.”That can bring a retailer substantial value. Administration accounts for 72 percent of cash handling costs, according to data from Gunnebo, a provider of cash handling solutions. The average time spent on till reconciliation during shift changes is nearly fifteen minutes, and even more is spent on manual consolidation in cash offices for each checkout. Replenishing tills, reporting, safe reconciliations, cash transport preparation, ordering change, and other administrative tasks that technology can automate consume additional time.Indeed, retailers in case studies most frequently cite time saving as a primary source of payback for automated cash handling technology. For example, Tony Lawson, director of asset protection for Goodwill of Southeast Wisconsin and its 64 locations, estimates his organization is saving two to four hours per day by switching from counting all cash by hand to use of a Tellermate intelligent cash counter with an integrated keypad and printer. Schnuck Markets, Panda Express, and Rack Room Shoes tell similar stories of saving money by eliminating manual money handling.By conducting a pilot study in which time spent managing cash is measured pre- and post-implementation of cash handling technology, it’s possible for a retailer to make an assessment of the potential ROI from this aspect of automation. It’s an important step for all retailers to take because the value from faster cash handling will vary, according to Mike Keenan. While use of cash recyclers helped one major retailer eliminate thousands of back-office jobs in 2017, those types of major savings aren’t a sure thing. “Cash counting machines help people be more efficient and increase accuracy, but the value you’ll get from that depends on the business environment.”Keenan explained that if a store has personnel who just handle cash, there is an opportunity to reduce headcount, which would translate into significant savings. “But so many retailers have moved to lean payroll models that they may just have a manager responsible for handling the cash.” And although automation could allow a manager to increase his or her productivity, that is a substantially more squishy value-add than trimming payroll.Keenan believes that LP executives need to take a judicious approach in general. “Today’s cash management solutions are very creative, and they have lot of bells and whistles. They may sound good, but you have to thoroughly examine them—what will the ROI truly be?” He noted that for a retailer looking at purchasing units for thousands of locations, it’s far from a guarantee that the payback period will be quick enough to make for a winning business case. “So an important part of looking at cash solutions is to be extremely clear on exactly what the unit or solution is going to bring you.”To that end, retailers should be wary of taking a siloed approach to examining cash handling solutions. As for LP, experts we talked to suggested that they should educate themselves on the broad business benefits of advanced cash management solutions—such as achieving working capital benefits by getting cash more quickly into accounts—as well as measure and communicate the security risks and benefits associated with different cash handling options.Learn more about reducing risk through cash management processes by reading the full article, “Cashing In on Security,” which was originally published in 2017. This excerpt was updated August 21, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
We could be having a ‘whale’ of a time around the Co Donegal coast if we simply looked below the surface.That’s the message from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group who have organised a Whale Watch Day this Sunday.The idea beyond the watch is to encourage people to keep aan eye out for the many species of whales, dolphins and other creatures around our coast. The day will also help the group compile data on the various species and their possible numbers around Donegal.Organisers are hoping they can spot many of the unique creatures around our waters including the massive Basking Shark and incredible Killer Whale.Wildlife Ranger Emmett Johnston says he is hoping for a calm day so watchers can get the perfect view of all the is out in the water.People are being encouraged to bring binoculars and to dress properly for outdoor conditions. There will be no boat trips and there are no guarantees that whales or dolphins will be seen during the event. The Malin Head whale watch will take place from 2pm-5pm. For more information, contact Emmett on 087 2867055. FANCY HAVING A ‘WHALE’ OF A TIME THIS SUNDAY? was last modified: August 15th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Basking SharksEmmett JohnstonMalin Headwhales
“They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives,” Knievel said. “People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner.” For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there always were mountains to climb, feats to conquer. “No king or prince has lived a better life,” he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. “You’re looking at a guy who’s really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved.” He had a knack for outrageous yarns: “Made $60million, spent 61. …Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. … Had $3million in the bank, though.” He began his daredevil career in 1965, when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel’s Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions, and being towed at 200mph behind race cars. In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps. He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year’s Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month. His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CLEARWATER, Fla. – Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho’s Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69. Knievel’s death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs. Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills. Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“It’s been coming for years, but you just don’t expect it. Superman just doesn’t die, right?” Rundel said. Immortalized in Washington’s Smithsonian Institution as “America’s Legendary Daredevil,” Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980. Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the ’80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel’s trademarked image in a popular West music video. Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the “Evel Knievel Days” festival, which Rundel organizes.