Travel Sites at your Disposal in 2019

A couple of weeks ago, we took a look at some travel sites to aid in planning your next holiday. We found a few more interesting ones and wanted to bring them to your attention.

Priceline.com

Priceline.com is a unique travel site as it allows you to state how much you can afford to spend. Unfortunately for them and their users, it now only applies to car rentals. For some reason unbeknownst to us, they dropped the option when you were looking for flights back in 2016. It is quite like a bid that you place, rather than the traditional price sliders seen on many sites. You select all your details; the duration of hire time, type of car and place a bid indicating what you would like to pay per day.

Should your bid not win, you can try again 24 hours later, either placing the same request or a higher bid or compromising on your preferences. Sadly, it is a blind bid, you will know the car specs before you pay, but will only remember what company you are renting from, post-purchase. A bit of potluck, and a significant saving is possible, especially when travelling out of season.

Expedia

When considering a car rental to allow for freedom on your holiday, think about using Expedia. They make the car rental shopping process less of a headache. Their user-friendly interface allows you to select not only the type of car you want, its transmission and the different mileage policies, but also you can choose your favourite rental company.

This site, too, boasts a map showing Car Rental Agencies in specific areas, which can be tricky when toggling between map mode and filter mode. But all in all, it is helpful, and you can avoid the unnecessary kilos by finding a rental agency near where you will be operating for that time frame. When it comes to their air ticket prices, do not expect anything more than average. They buy no means overcharge, but their prices are never a “wow” deal. So, when it comes to the flying part of the journey.

Booking.com

Their hotel searches are basic. The filters include price and ratings (both star and customer) but not much more. Should you want to be sure of the location, or book a smoking room, or need Wi-Fi or a kettle in your room, consider using Booking.com or Kayak.

Last Words

As you can see, travel sites have both pros and cons to them. It might be a smart idea to use a variety of websites according to their strengths to plan the best holiday at the best price. Just make sure to do the relevant research, 91km might seem like a short drive, but when the speed limit is 30km/h may be a more central bed to rest your head would be preferable.

A Further look at Top Free Website Builders in 2019

Last week we took a look at three website building platforms that assist small businesses and people without prior knowledge of coding to set up professional websites with minimal effort or stress, and for a much lower cost than what a professional web designing company would charge. We only scrutinized three such platforms, Wix, Jimdo and Webstarts, but because there are so many out there that could potentially confuse a newbie, we thought we’d take a look at a few more.

Weebly

You have most probably heard this name before on the lips of many a DIY web designer as it is most definitely one of the more popular website builder platforms. It too has a free plan, one of the drawbacks being that the way it displays its many adverts might leave a sour taste in your potential consumer’s mouth. Weebly’s freemium does, however, offer a level of theme selections other sites work hard to match. It allows for app integration as well as an unlimited number of pages with the standard free 500mb. The open SEO settings for each page is also a big plus, but unfortunately, if you are looking to create an online store, Weebly’s free platform is not the one for you as a store can only be added in the premium plans.

Webnode

New life has been breathed into Webnode after they were thought to have dropped off the face of the earth. But after some recent revamp and an improved platform, they are back in the running with the top free website building sites. They sport stylish, elegant themes; after choosing a theme, it becomes permanent. Website is easy to use with an understandable graphic interface and top-notch customer service. Unfortunately, Webnode too has a few setbacks, one being similar to Weebly’s flaw; you cannot set up an online store in the free version of this web builder. Webnode does, however, offer free Search Engine Optimization settings and only uses a little space for adverts. If your goal is a website full of content, you best look elsewhere because the free option only offers 100mb space.

Web Builders in Summary

Testing the waters with free website builders is a brilliant idea, allowing new small businesses to develop an understanding of how a website works and how it should be maintained and operated. But once your name is out there, and your business starts growing you will have to some up your premium offer options and make the step up to protect your business, its reputation and to have a little more freedom, space-wise, retail wise or theme-wise. The only way you will know which platform is best for you is to consider your needs, do some more research and then the platform that ticks most of your boxes will indeed be the website building platform for you.

Bill Gates Describes Artificial Intelligence as Both Dangerous & Exciting

The occurrence of AI led to several exciting breakthroughs enabled by technology, improving the quality of human lives. In future, Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a positive changemaker, provided that it is used in a manner that is for the greater good of society. At the same time, there has also been numerous visionaries from the world of technology and academia, different views on AI and even a war of words.

Co-Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates Gives His Opinion About AI

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft has also recently joined the debate regarding AI. Gates takes a borderline approach regarding the subject and reminded that Artificial Intelligence is nuclear energy and that means it is also a nuclear weapon at the same time.

As one of the main speakers at the Human-Centred Artificial intelligence (HAI) at Stanford University. Bill Gates shared how AI can be evolutionary in some areas and threatening. Still, despite all the risks, if all focus is placed on the AI system’s capabilities, technology can play a main part in business transformations.

Almost Like Nuclear Weapons vs Nuclear Energy

Gates also reminded the audience that the world has not had many technologies that are dangerous and as promising at the same time as AI. The only that vaguely is the same is nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact in Medical Field

AI can make a huge impact and solve many healthcare industry issues, according to Bill Gates. He used the example that children in the same country getting antibiotics such as azithromycin, that cost two cents per year, it would save hundreds of thousands of lives. Which is why Gates do not believe that without the learning techniques of the machine we would be able to understand the importance of the problem, in order to find the solution.

Artificial Intelligence’s Impact in Medical Field

Gates also talked about the transformation AI brought to other fields such as education. Learners can now learn from AI assistants that act as personalized teachers to any student including those with special needs. The potential benefit is that AI could massively enhance the level of education across the globe.

Advantages vs Disadvantages of AI

With AI the world would be a place with a far lower error rate than without it, should the AI be properly coded. The one thing AI has above all else is precision, speed and accuracy. Hostile environments will have no effect on AI, which makes it perfect for the most dangerous tasks.

Alexa, Cortana, Siri, Google Now are considered AI due to the ability they have to analyse the information given and the return of a result. In time AI will affect all industries and by mid-2030s AI usage could increase up to 30% from 3% at the moment. The main reasons for the use of AI are cost-effectiveness, accuracy, speed and flawless completing of tasks.

Facebook to Utilize A.I. To Detect Profiles of Users That Died

Facebook has recently announced that artificial intelligence will be used to detect the profiles of users that have passed away. The use of AI is to prevent painful reminders to family and friends when it is the deceased birthday. The major social network added that it would be adding a section of tributes to the account that is memorialised, designated as to belong to a person that has passed away. Friend and family will still be able to add posts or even share photos in the designated area to remember these loved ones.

Facebook is Tightening the Rules

The rules are tightening on Facebook around who exactly could memorialise the account of a deceased person. Until recently, anyone was allowed to memorialise an account by directly sending the social media network proof of that the account holder had died, which would require an obituary. Due to the new rules, it has to be done by a family member or a friend. These changes followed the response of users that experienced the profiles of their loved ones pop up on Facebook after they passed away. The company explained that sometimes, people are not ready to memorialise the profile of a person who has passed away immediately one they die. For many, it is a huge step, and they need to have the time to get ready for it. Facebook, on the other hand, will utilise AI intelligence to prevent these profiles from showing up in any place where it could cause distress; this includes reminders about upcoming birthdays.

Facebook Tributes Help Grievers Cope

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, lost her husband in 2015 and the tributes on Facebook to her late husband, helped her cope with the grief. The Facebook profile help many deal with their pain and is seen as a way to keep their memories alive.

The CEO of Facebook has also recently spoken out in New York regarding stricter regulations regarding harmful content, data and privacy portability. Mark Zuckerberg also told the Washington Post that regulators and governments should be more active in internet policing. More regulation is needed to prevent harmful content and baselines are required that prohibits specific content.

He feels that the privacy rules such as that of the General Data Protection Regulation taking effect last year in Europe should be adopted worldwide. These statements follow only days after Facebook was slated for the New Zealand killings that were broadcasted live on the site. Zuckerberg and others realise that it’s the wild west of the internet where social media sites are used for hate speech. For this reason, stricter rules and regulations are needed from government entities.

For more than two years, Facebook was criticised for privacy lapses as well as the spreading of disinformation. The site was also guilty of allowing Russian agents to use it for hate speech and abuse. The Facebook CEO shared that he is shifting the focus of the media site to messaging services designed to ensure privacy.

Smart Home Systems Revealed at CES 2019


Many might be following the huge trend around home automation, which is understandable, thanks to the latest tech from the biggest in the business. Even consumers keep on eye on what’s happening, wanting the best and seeing how the Apples compare to the Samsung and Google systems.

These have become the main way to do anything from activating lights through to getting a recipe for Indian dishes, straight from a small little speaker standing in a convent place in your home. While this might seem like a small smart device to you, the industry booms with projected revenue of over $53 billion within the next 3 year.

With this revenue size, it’s no wonder major companies continuously develop new additions to further improve on features and stay ahead of the competition. New companies also enter the market, some including new assistant devices while others create the items interacting with home automation, all contributing to the incredibly huge revenue mentioned above.

For 2019, home automation takes yet another drastic changes from the biggest companies, offering faster features and being able to communicate with more devices. In fact, Google got the trade show started by announcing their home assistant will be available on over 1 billion devices by the end of January 2019.

We also see the introduction of 5G being a major attraction for the 2019 trade show as most companies introduce the feature. The upgrade from 4G LTE allows the internet to handle more devices and let’s you enjoy even faster connectivity speeds with commands by making the bandwidth bigger.

Samsung Galaxy Home

That’s right, Samsung is now joining the home automation world with a Galaxy Speaker, which we first found out about in August of last year. However, the company hasn’t revealed a release date or the expected price for the unique, which we’re hoping to see at the CES trade show.

The major mobile company has more than 20% of the market, which means over 7 million devices worldwide. This gives them the perfect opportunity to enter the market and instantly boom with business. The Bixby speaker from Samsung might not have all of the same features, but it’s geared towards offering the best launchpad for tech.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant plans to introduce a range of new features that involves partnerships with more companies. This means you’ll be able to do even more in the months to come, which is a huge attraction for everyone.

Google remains the most popular A.I. home system for users from around the world and with these new features, that’s not about to change anytime soon. Especially not since they keep integrating features with the devices we use the most, our smartphones. Just one of the features to look forward to is from the Simple human company who announced a smart mirror, which is set to work with Google Assistant. Of course, as the trade show goes on, we’ll see even more new tech for the Google platform, making it one of the biggest companies to look out for.

Opioid Overdose Detected by New High-Tech Wristband


Students at the Carnegie Mellon University earns all the credit for developing the new high-tech wristband, called the Hope Band. The wearable can detect opioid overdose and will flash repeatedly and sound an alarm once an overdose is detected, while it also instantly issues a text message containing the location of the wearer once low blood oxygen levels are sensed. The Hope Bank also allows health care professionals to administer medication that could reverse the effects of overdose and save lives.

In the US, Opioid Overdose is A Major Health Risk

With the overdose of opioid being a major health risk in the US, the new high-tech Hope Band wearable could provide doctors with all they need to quickly detect the warning signs that could prevent fatal painkiller reactions.

The Hope Band is designed to provide help when an overdose is detected, the inexpensive device tracts your health on the go and is sponsored by the pharmaceutical firm, Pinney Associates. Its main task of the watch-style bank is to detect pulse oximetry; its sensors track the oxygen levels of the wearer’s blood. The process takes place via an LED light that shines through the skin to track absorption changes. Should the wearable senses low oxygen levels that could potentially be caused by overdose, it evaluates it for 10 seconds and then sends out an alarm.

Opioid Crises Increased via Three Dramatic Stages

The Opioid crises happened in different phases, the first was in 1991 when a sharp increase was detected in the prescribing of opioid as a painkiller, which is also when deaths involving this prescription drug increases. By 1999, over 86% of people using opioids were non-cancer patients and the prescription drug was used for non-cancer pain.

286% Increase in Drug-Related Deaths 2002 – 2013

By 2010, the second phase or more accurately the opioid epidemic took on a whole new level and there was a rapid increase in heroin abuse deaths. Opioid prescriptions decreased in an effort to make it harder for abusers to obtain, although the focus shifted to cheaper more available option, heroin mixed with the much more potent and totally illegal opioid version. The death rate due to heroin overdose from 2002 up to 2013 increase rapidly, by 286% and more than 80% of heroin users admitted that they also misused opioid as a prescription drug before switching to heroin.

The third stage of the opioid disaster started in 2013 and a massive increase in deaths directly related to fentanyl, a synthetic opioids drug took place. Yet the in 2016 the sharpest rise in deaths occurred when more than 20,000 fentanyl and other related drugs occurred. At the same time, users are at a much higher risk of Hepatitis C and B, Aids, HIV and other infections to the heart. Which is why the Hope Band could be one of the major breakthroughs in preventing drug-related deaths in the future. The wearable is still tested and not available yet.

Google News App – New Look and Features

With the amount of news stories and articles appearing on the web every minute of every hour, it is bound to be confusing when you are looking for a specific hiding or simply want to find out more about the things you care about most.

Google News is one of the biggest news apps for both Android and iOS devices as it provides excellent insight and usable features to help you keep in touch with the things that really matter. However, with so many journalists, bloggers and other writers covering the same stories, it has become difficult to keep up with everything as all the information is the same.

Now, the Google News app takes it to the next level by introducing an AR feature that automatically analyzes the content uploaded and how it relates to the matters you want to read about. Therefore, the days of reading the same information over and over has become a thing of the past.

The New App Features

The AR scanner doesn’t just consider news articles uploaded to the web, but also everything from social media posts through to bloggers updating information about a specific story or matter that you are following. It will automatically choose of the most relevant article that has all the information you need about the subject and make it available in the app.

The great thing is, it does not limit the other articles, but rather gives you the most relevant first while giving the rest as part of the story line. Therefore, based on the things you want to read about, you’ll know easily be able to click on a single subject and instantly have access to all the information relating to it.

The app also offers a briefing that will include the most relevant story lines and headings based on the subjects you’ve chosen. The briefing only includes five of the most important story lines of the day, making it easy to stay up to date. It can even provide everything from local to international stories, making it simple and easy to instantly find out about matters in your neighborhood and the important information you follow with international news, all in one place.

No Limitations

Some of you might be weighed spec you won’t have access to the small details in stories that you have become used to. Luckily, the newer allows you to take full control and go into “view full insight” with any matter. Here you will find additional articles and even relating stories to provide a full breakdown of what’s happening.

You will also still have control over the authors and writers you follow, making it easy to keep up with what they are discovering and finding out more about.
The fact is, Google has now taken a step to personalize the news app and give you the best experience with direct access to the stories that are most important first.

How Apple’s Siri Compares to Alexa and Google Assistant


Apple’s Home Pod finally enters the market with a price of $349, putting in direct competition with the Google Home max. At this premium price, you’d expect Apple’s Siri assistant to have some of the latest features that really outshines the cheaper options, including Alexa and the standard Google Assistant.

The Apple Home Pod comes with a range of interesting hardware features, but seems to lack some of the capabilities, earning Siri the reputation as the dumbest home assistant of the big names. Let’s compare the options and see how it actually matches up, what it can do, can’t do and how it compares to the features from the other major competitions that cost a lot less, including the Amazon Echo Plus ($149) and the Google ($99).

The best way to compare the assistance and what they can do is by asking them a few questions to see how detailed their responses are and how helpful they actually are. We’ll be asking them the exact same questions, making the comparison easy to judge with each device.

Playing Music

Why all three devices can easily find and play the music you ask it for, they certainly react in their own unique ways when you ask them to do specific things with the song. Asking to add a song to your favourites is actually the easier with the Apple device and it also automatically syncs the “favourites” list to your phone, laptop and other apple devices. Alexa requires a favourites folder to be created while Google asks you to purchase a subscription of $9.99.

Sipping ahead is seamless on all the devices, and it seems the Apple device gets you what you asked for the fastest. Once you ask it to play something from a certain genre or band, it does so instantly. The other 2 include more info, for example, Alexa tells you it’s shuffling songs from the specific band.

Reminders

As most would know, Apple is already quite good with setting specific reminders and timers. While it can set reminders and timers seamlessly, it says it cannot access your calendar when you want to add new events. The other two devices add these items directly without hassle and really make it easy to set up the time.

It’s hard to believe that Apple wouldn’t include such a simple feature, meaning it could relate to the lets and sharing features to the Apple Siri device.

Searching

Each of the assistance allow you to easy search the internet and gain access to details about just about everything. For example, you can ask them to “Wikipedia the sun”, which instantly results in the assistant reading about what the page says, well for Alexa and Siri at least. Google assistant told us it doesn’t understand.

Asking it to call or text a specific person also results in a range of different responses from each device. The Apple seems to make it the easiest while Google goes on about emergency calls and doesn’t know who to call. Alexa requires permission from your Android device, but we’re sure if it’s set up correctly, it would work perfectly.

Google Maps Now with AR

Have you ever setup Google maps to direct you to the next location only to find yourself confused by what direction you need to start in? If you have, you’re not along and Google is well aware of this, which is why they now provide more features that uses the camera on your smartphone.

On May 8th, 2018, the company announced a new feature that introduces AR into the navigation system on smartphones. No longer would you need to wonder about where to start or even where your destination is down the road as you can simply point your camera down the road and see the mark among the buildings.

We know what you’re thinking, they’ve taken the Google street view and turned it into AR? Well, not completely as your camera would actually show what’s in front of you right now, including people, cars or whatever else it might be pointed at. On top of that image, the AR would show you what direction you need to travel in.

Driving with the Google Maps AR

The new feature certainly makes navigating a lot safer and easier to use. You don’t have to look down at your phone anymore as you approach an intersection, but can rather pick up the device, point it down the road and see exact how far your next turn off or destination is.

With this feature, you won’t be taking your eyes off the road either as the camera shows you exactly what’s going on since it uses the camera as you would when trying to take a photo or make a video. The only addition would be the arrows or details about the destination you’re trying to reach.

Discover New Places

Ever wanted to stop for a quick coffee, lunch or just see what fashion stores are around you? We all know Google has made it very easy to find places with the “near me” feature that allows you to see what places are in your area. From there you can simply click on it and get the exact directions.

Well, with AR, they’ve taken it yet another step further and allow you to use the camera on your device and point it down any street to instantly see businesses, restaurants are more.
You Can Still Use the 2D Map

Even while you use a camera feature, you will still see the map at the bottom of your screen with all the usual and information. Therefore, you will see the entire route up to your destination along with the point of interest next to the round.

Google simply added the feature instead of trying to change the entire app, making it easy to use while also not taking away any of the functionality you have become used to over the last few years.

Juhi Chaturvedi Is Leo Burnett Mumbai’s New Executive Creative Director

This report by The Drum confirms that Juhi Chaturvedi has been named the new executive creative director of Leo Burnett Mumbai.

Chaturvedi joins Leo Burnett after previous stints at rival agencies, McCann and Bates. She is an author, columnist and speaker, and is also credited for scripting the Indian films ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Madras Café’.

“People who grow up in small towns have a lot of time on their hands. I used that time for making up stories,” she said. “Advertising gave me an opportunity to craft my skills and here I am enjoying every bit of all the ups and downs of a wonderful 17 years old career,” she added.