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Lefkofsky Talks About the Need for More Empathy

Lefkofsky Talks About the Need for More Empathy People who have success in the realm of business innovation, like Eric Lefkofsky, may ...

Black Friday 2017 BEGINS With THOUSANDS of Amazon Deals


Black Friday is almost upon us. AGAIN. And Amazon is starting off a lot earlier than usual

Like a rock rolling down a massive hill, Black Friday has steadily picked up momentum during the past couple of years. Last year’s event was HUGE, dwarfing previous years with billions spent and millions saved by savvy consumers.
This year’s Black Friday, which will, of course, be followed by Cyber Monday, is fast approaching and in order to best take advantage of this, Amazon is kicking things of VERY early.
Amazon’s Count Down To Black Friday Sale, as the name suggests, is basically a pre-sale event before the main event kicks off in a few weeks time. Hundreds of products have already had their prices slashed, so if you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping now, you might want to check them out.
Inside, you’ll find deals updated on a regular basis, lightning deals, and daily deals – basically, it’s a shoppers paradise of deals and discounted products.  

Walmart Black Friday Deals

Walmart has also WADED into the fray, kicking off its Black Friday promotions nice and early too. You need to be in the US in order to take advantage of Walmart's sales, obviously, but if you are the retailer’s sales page is definitely worth a look.
Walmart has sales on everything from 4K TVs to Google Home devices – and everything else in between.
The majority of Walmart’s deals will kick off on November 23, but if you cannot wait until then, you can check out what’s on offer by visiting the retailer’s Black Friday Sales section.

Why Does The Name Black Friday Come From? 

Because Black Friday is quite a new thing in the UK, a lot of people are still rather confused about it; but among the many questions regularly asked, one comes up more than most - why is it called "Black Friday?"
Perhaps it's to do with how it sounds a bit sinister? Almost like the anniversary of some massacre
Until very recently I had absolutely no idea. I figured it was something to do with retailers making big profits or something, or the time of year when the biggest profits are collected. Something to do with profits, basically, y'know "in the black" on the sales ledger (as opposed to being in the red and losing money). And this is sort of true – but not entirely.
If you’re in the UK and new to all this Black Friday talk, do not be alarmed, as we Brits haven’t really embraced it fully until very recently. This recent and somewhat sudden adoption in the last couple of years is likely due to the fact that most people do a lot of their online shopping inside portals owned by American companies like Amazon. Amazon, as an example, has now established a firm foothold in the UK market, so it's unerstandable that the company might start introducing things which work over in the US. Plus, the UK has always been one for adopting American culture anyway.
The other reason why it has become so popular here is, of course, money. Retailers like to make money and what better way to do it than with reduced prices driving massive buying frenzies across the board? Discounts are pretty huge - much more generous on the whole than the Boxing Day Sales and January Sales we're used to. As an added bonus, Black Friday is pretty darn close to Christmas as well, so a lot of savvy shoppers do their Christmas shopping during this period, spending their hard earned dollars and pounds on discounted goods.
But most – meaning, 99% of people – have no idea about the true origin of the name Black Friday.
So now, for your reading pleasure, a quick history lesson.
The real, first use of the word Black Friday dates ALL the way back to 1869 and concerns two chaps who attempted to buy up all of America’s gold and then sell it on at an inflated price. As is often the case with such "get rich quick" schemes, however, things didn’t quite go to plan . Here’s a snippet of what ACTUALLY happened from HISTORY:
“The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.”
It added: “The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.”
And make no mistake: Black Friday is immensely popular with consumers on both sides of the pond. That is why the event now takes place over two weeks in some cases – Amazon, we’re looking at you – and is bookended by Cyber Monday.
According to a pre-holiday survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday.
Black Friday 2016 is already rolling, but the REAL event kicks off tomorrow. If you’re looking for deals on anything electronic, you NEED to check out the links below as these are some of the best deals on the planet right now.

UPDATE: Check out THESE Xbox One S Deals! 

Best Black Friday Deals 2016: Amazon

Amazon Echo: £119.99 – reduced from £149.99 (20 per cent saving)

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Melody 3 Coffee Machine: £29.99 – reduced from £109.99 (73 per cent saving - Lightning Deal, starts at 7am)

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker: £69.99, reduced from £169.99 (59 per cent saving)

Finlux 55 Inch Ultra HD Smart Netflix 4K LED TV: £499, reduced from £899 (44 per cent saving - Lightning Deal, starts at 12am)

Best Black Friday Deals 2016: ARGOS

Best Black Friday Deals 2016: GAME

CONSOLES
GAMES
VR HEADSETS
IMAGE CREDIT: iStockphoto.com
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My Favourite Android Phones Of 2017

 


Looking for a new top-tier Android phone? These are Paul's picks of 2017

Rich just published his article outlining his favourite smartphones of 2017 - well, his favourite Android smartphones of the year, to be precise. The reason it's all Android?
Well, as he explains, the iPhone X might be an impressive bit of kit, but in spite of the extra bells and whistles it doesn't feel like it's worth the £1000+ starting price Apple is asking for it. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 is very much a damp squib, costing more than last year's iPhone 7 while not offering a lot extra in the way of specs and features.
An iPhone wouldn't make my pick of favourite phones for 2017 anyway, as I'm not a fan of Apple's products; don't get me wrong, I think they're good products and not hard to recommend (usually), they're just not my bag personally. But my personal preferences aside for a second I still have to agree with what Rich said (and also echoed by our iPhone X review writer, Damien). Thus, if you are in the running for an iPhone in 2017, oddly enough  your best bet is last year's iPhone 7, which a lot of people seem to have clocked on to considering it's out-selling the iPhone 8 right now.
After you've eliminated the iPhone X and iPhone 8 from the runnings, for actual current devices launched this year it's really all Android from that point onwards.
My list is a little different from Rich's; he chose the LG V30, the OnePlus 5T, and Google's Pixel 2 XL. The LG V30 I can concede as being well worth a look, but I was not exactly bowled over by OnePlus' latest offering, and although the Pixel and Pixel 2 phones seem decent, I find them distinctly "meh" in many ways.
My first choice is definitely the Samsung Galaxy S8 series, including the larger Samsung Galaxy S8+. In fact I kind of recommend the Galaxy S8+ over the regular model, partly because it's the only one I've used (but they both have largely the same specs apart from their physical size and display size), but more specifically it actually doesn't feel like a very large phone to operate and use as a daily driver.
Having used it, I can't help but think the regular Galaxy S8 might feel a bit weedy by comparison, plus there is a difference in battery size, with the Galaxy S8+ cell being larger.
However, with all that said I think I would still be very happy using the Galaxy S8 and it's still very easy to recommend for those who do enjoy a more compact phone.
For both devices, the design is gorgeous, the display is absolutely stunning, and performance is incredibly quick and silky smooth.
It also has, in my opinion, one of the best phone cameras I have ever used - I know Rich says the Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T cameras are better, but I simply don't agree. The Galaxy S8 series imaging is where it's at in my view (the HTC U11 was as good, actually, but that phone was lacking in other areas).
And then there's the battery life. I have since tested a few phones which have offered as impressive battery life as the Galaxy S8+, but it's not many, and none of them exceeded it. For me it still offers the best battery life on the market, and it does so with all the other feature boxes ticked as well; some of the phones I've seen which are as good battery life was have compromised in other areas.
The Galaxy S8+ does not.
I would also add into the mix the Galaxy Note 8, as it's essentially the same device with a slightly different shape, an enhanced dual-sensor camera, and a Stylus for productivity with built-in additional multitasking features. At this point in the game I barely see them as two seperate device ranges.
Next up is the Nokia 8. I mean, who doesn't love Nokia? The company always made the bestphones back in the day. Then the whole Windows Phone/Microsoft thing happened.
Even then, I maintain Nokia was making some of the best devices in terms of materials, design, build, and overall hardware spec - I loved the Nokia Lumia 900, Lumia 930, and Lumia 1020, for example - it was just that Windows Phone was crap and impossible to recommend even the most stunning device running it.
So with Nokia now being free of Windows and delving into the Android space, we've got all that loveliness harnessing Google's content-rich OS instead. Marvelous.
The Nokia 8 is the flagship device and it's as highly specced out as you might expect, with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, options for 6GB or 4GB of RAM, tons of storage space, and a gorgeous QHD display.
It gets better though. The design is superb, it just looks amazing, plus it has revived the old Nokia-Carl Zeiss partnership with a Carl Zeiss-branded dual-13MP-sensor primary camera for some excellent imaging capabilities. AND it runs Android 7.1 Nougat stock out the box, with an update to Android Oreo being pushed right now.
My last choice is a bit of a curveball. I'm yet to publish my full review for the BlackBerry Motion - look out for it later this week - but here's a spoiler for what the vertict's going to be like; I love this phone.
Similar to the situation with Nokia above, BlackBerry always made superb phones in terms of specs, design, and features but was left behind in the smartphone race, tried to make things work with the BB10 OS, but has ultimately settled on Android and is in a much better place as a result - BlackBerry's design, hardware, security and productivity expertise now shines through once again.
The BlackBerry Motion might not be the biggest powerhouse, but that's actually because BlackBerry is taking a much more iPhone-like approach to software and hardware optimisation with this handset, oddly enough. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was using the flagship SD835 chip given how smoothly this thing runs.
And the implementation of Android is just fantastic. I mean it's virtually stock, so all the good stuff is there, but then you have the BlackBerry Hub which is a wonderful little way of seeing all your important notifications at a glance. It runs super slick as well.
Then there's the battery life, which is just phenomenal. This is easily as good as the Samsung Galaxy S8+, and by my usual standard for smartphone reviews I have been running this phone HARD. It has not left me stranded once. Not once. I think the lowest it has been when putting it on charge was about 30-odd%.
I didn't like the back panel at first, but all the other aspects of the design and build are complete showstoppers. And it's waterproof, just like Samsung's top dogs. The one downside, other than the back panel, is the camera, which is quite lacklustre. But I don't care!
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Android 8.1 Update Will FINALLY Unlock Pixel 2's "Pixel Visual Core" Chip



The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature a hidden, latent chip called the Pixel Visual Core – and Android 8.1 will FINALLY unlock it

Google’s Android 8.1 update is now finally available as a preview. If you have a Pixel 2 phone with an unlocked bootloader, you can now install it. Just be warned: it is still a preview build and, therefore, not meant for mass consumption.
The biggest new feature inside Android 8.1, however, is that it will finally unlock the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s Pixel Visual Core chip, a dedicated AI chipset that is designed to help with imaging. Up to now, however, the Pixel Visual Core has remained dormant. But like the Kraken, it is about to wake…

So what the hell is the Pixel Visual Core?

“With eight Google-designed custom cores, each with 512 arithmetic logic units (ALUs), the IPU delivers raw performance of more than 3 trillion operations per second on a mobile power budget,” said Google.
It added: “Using Pixel Visual Core, HDR+ can run 5x faster and at less than one-tenth the energy than running on the application processor (AP). A key ingredient to the IPU’s efficiency is the tight coupling of hardware and software—our software controls many more details of the hardware than in a typical processor.”
The key, takeaway here, though, is machine learning – the Pixel Visual Core, as more applications become available, will continually get smarter and that means more applications and better images and a constantly evolving set of skills.
If you’re rocking a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, and you don’t sign up for early access, you can expect Android 8.1 to land at some point in December.
It is also pretty likely we’ll see the Pixel Visual Core appearing on other Android phones in the coming months and years. Imaging is a huge component of phones these days, and Google has invested a lot in the Pixel Visual Core, so it stands to reason that it will want to leverage the technology to its hardware partners. Unless, of course, it intends to use it to bolster the position of its own Pixel phones against the likes of Samsung and LG.
Either way, it should be very impressive once it lands.
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Why? Simple: specs, performance, looks and, most of all, price – it’s 50% cheaper than the iPhone X


OnePlus 5T

Why? Simple: specs, performance, looks and, most of all, price – it’s 50% cheaper than the iPhone X

The OnePlus 5T is, for my money, the best phone option around right now. It costs less than half the price of the iPhone X and it looks stunning. It also has excellent specs, a great camera, and brilliant, all-round performance.
Essentially, the idea of paying $1000 for the iPhone X, when you can have a phone like the OnePlus 5T for less than half the cost, to me, seems insane – unless, of course, you have more money than you know what to do with.
OnePlus has always offered up a lot of value with its phones, but the OnePlus 5T, when you factor in its design, specs, and overall performance, is something incredibly special. If you want an iPhone you will pay A LOT. Ditto anything from Samsung. Or LG. Basically, phones are now getting very expensive – only OnePlus offers another way.
And this, for me, is where the company’s major strength resides; by making its phones cost-effective from the beginning and building its business model around this one, simple concept, the company has built itself a massively robust brand.
OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 5T
And as phones continue to get more expensive, OnePlus’ popularity will only grow. The upshot of this type of model too, is that it can incrementally increase its prices, locking in 10% increases in profit margins a year, and still undercut the likes of Apple by around 50%.
On paper, there really isn’t much to separate the OnePlus 5T and iPhone X, certainly nothing that warrants the iPhone X costing double the price, anyway. They both look great, they both feature excellent cameras, and they both pack in all the latest technology.
So why is the iPhone X so much more expensive? Simple, it’s made by Apple. Beyond this, Apple also spent more money developing it, creating a new design, incorporating new technologies, and leveraging new display technology from Samsung. But that’s literally it – in the hand, I don’t think you will notice much difference.
And when you consider you can buy TWO OnePlus 5T phones for the price of the iPhone X, you kind of have to ask yourself what the hell is going on in the mobile space right now? Granted, Apple can get away with this type of pricing, and that’s fine, but why should you, the customer, have to put up with it?
The answer is simple, you don’t have to. You can just get a OnePlus 5T, save around £500 in the process, and take a week-long vacation in Portugal with the money you saved.
This is why, whenever anyone asks me what phone to get, I always tell them to look at the OnePlus 5T, as it offers up some of the best value for money around right now.
Nothing else comes even remotely close.
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