Can Google's Pixel give the iPhone a run for its money?

Posted in News on 07 October 2016

Google officially became a hardware company on Tuesday. Not only did the company announce new Pixel phones (RIP Nexus), but the company also provided pricing and release dates for Google Home, its Amazon Echo killer, unveiled its mobile VR headset called Daydream View, Google Wi-Fi network extenders and Chromecast Ultra. See? A lot of hardware.


Joining me this week's MashTalk is Deputy Tech Editor Damon Beres and — for the first time — our wonderful tech intern Alex Laird.

Obviously we talked the new Google gadgets and whether or not they pose a threat to the iPhone.


Damon scored us an exclusive look at Giphy Cam 2.5 (the company says it with a hard G, which is wrong, but whatever!). The ultimate time-wasting camera app got updated with new augmented reality "stickers" that you can overlay on top of your face and other objects. They're kind of like Snapchat lenses.

TL;DR: The app is awesome and so is augmented reality!

Apple CEO Tim Cook agrees and thinks AR is the future, not VR. But don't tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that.


Zuckerberg believes VR is the "next computing platform" and with Oculus VR, he intends to make it so. 

He keynoted a good chunk of Oculus Connect 3, where Oculus finally announced how much the Rift's Touch controllers will cost and unveiled the $50 Oculus Earphones that apparently sound as good as $900 earphones. Oculus is also working on a standalone VR headset that will occupy the middle space between mobile VR headsets like the Gear VR and PC-based VR headsets like the Rift.

Is the future just better phones? AR? VR? The only way to find out is by listening to this week's MashTalk.

Listen to the episode on iTunes or on Stitcher. You can also subscribe to MashTalk on iTunes by clicking the button below. And if you like MashTalk, please fill out our audience survey.


This Robot May Be Perfect for Lazy People Who Hate Cooking

Posted in News on 07 October 2016

I feel like an anomaly among my fellow New York millennials in that I actually enjoy cooking my own meals. For many people, it's always, "I never have time," which usually means a leftover salad that's now wilted, lunch from the place downstairs or a Seamless delivery.

I take pride in the fact that I can feed myself healthy meals, and it's actually helped in my dating life, too.

And just like that, robots are out to ruin another thing for me.

U.K.-based Moley Robotics today opened a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign seeking about $1.2 million for its robot kitchen, an artificial intelligence-powered device that apparently learns recipes. It has a pair of eery hands and even cleans up! Moley has raised about 41 percent of its goal at the time of this story’s publication.

"Imagine someone like Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver cooking for you in your kitchen. Imagine dishes from Top Michelin Restaurants cooked in front of you to the highest standard, not in your kitchen, but by your kitchen," a Moley press release teases. "Thanks to artificial intelligence, it can mimic the actions of a master chef precisely, bringing a variety of delicious dishes, cooked to the highest of standards in a domestic kitchen."

Get your cold, robot fingers off my spatula!

We all know that robots don't have emotions, and that the most important ingredient in any meal is love. (At least that's what my mother would have me believe. I'm pretty sure her main ingredient is salt.)

But wait, maybe technology isn't so bad after all. Maybe Moley (the company hopes to release a production prototype model in 2018) will be just another tool to give us humans more time to focus on other things, such as building businesses or developing more robots to free us from other tasks we no longer want or need to do.

"Imagine you are buying a flat and the option is to have a regular kitchen or a robotic kitchen -- it is clear which option you would choose," Moley founder Mark Oleynik said in the release. "The success of our prototype makes us very excited. The future is very near."

Wait, this thing does dishes? Sold!


4 Tips for Crafting the Ideal Sales Letter

Posted in Tips on 07 October 2016

If one of the greatest marketers of his time were to tell you what he considered the essential elements of a sales letter, wouldn’t you listen to what he had to say? Well, that’s exactly what Robert Collier provided for us. In the last chapter of The Robert Collier Letter Book, he summarized what he saw as the attributes of the ideal sales letter. Collier was a master psychologist, and since human psychology hasn’t changed over the past century, the advice he offered back in the 1930s is still relevant.

Give them what they really want

Collier told the story of a newspaper editor advising a cub reporter who was being sent out to cover a wedding. The editor enumerated the qualities of the ideal wedding that would appeal to tabloid readers: a beautiful heiress eloping with the chauffeur, an irate father with a shotgun and a high-powered car, a smashup, a heroic rescue and a nip-and-tuck finish. The editor advised the reporter to approach the current wedding with this ideal picture in mind, see how many of those dramatic elements he could find and then build his story around them.

In the same way, Collier said, when writing a letter to sell a product, you should put yourself in the place of your prospective buyer and think of everything that person could desire in the perfect form of that product. Make a list of all the features of the ultimate ideal. Then, with that in mind, write your letter, focusing on as many of those features as possible.

How can you use this idea? Let’s look at an example. Suppose you’re writing a recipe blog for busy career people who don’t have much time but want to eat healthy meals. What would the ideal recipe be for such an audience? It would have to be delicious, have a minimal number of ingredients, be quick and easy to prepare, improve a person’s attractiveness and be healthy.

So, in describing your recipes, you’d include as many of these features as possible. You might even highlight specific health benefits, such as it helps you maintain weight, promotes muscle growth or leads to glowing skin. The idea is to make a list of what your audience wants, then tell them how you’ll give it to them.

Build a memorable picture

Collier said to write your letter in the heat of enthusiasm as you keep your ideal product in mind. Then he advised to leave it alone for a day so it (and you) can cool down. The following day, go back and look at the letter with a more objective eye. Now you can cross out all the details and descriptions you can’t honestly apply to the product. Don’t worry. You’ll still have plenty left to say once you’ve crossed out the excess.

The job of the marketer is to create descriptions that will build the anticipation of pleasure in the mind’s eye of the reader, based on the physical facts of the product. Collier advised never to exaggerate or the prospect will disbelieve the whole thing. Create an attractive picture that builds such a powerful desire for the product that obtaining it is worth more to prospects than any price they have to pay.

It’s also not necessary to cram every last fact and argument about the product into the letter. You can always put additional points into stand-alone pieces such as a lift note -- a smaller sales letter with special information included in the envelope with the bigger letter. The best strategy is to pick one critical point on which you think the sale is going to hang and build the letter around it. Add powerful images and arguments that illustrate and support that main argument. This will make your letter strong and cohesive, leaving a memorable idea in the mind of prospects, where it can guide their behavior.

Add a sense of urgency

This may seem like a no-brainer for most of us in marketing today, but it wasn’t so obvious back in the early part of the 20th century. It was Collier who pointed it out as a critical element in all promotions.

Every promotion you send out into the world (online, through the mail, in newspapers or magazines, on TV or radio) has to include a call to action where you tell prospects what you want them to do -- for example, buy the product. Just asking for the order isn’t enough, though. The ideal promotion provides a reason why the person must respond at once -- it develops a sense of urgency. So put a time limit on the offer, or explain that supplies are limited so it’s first come, first served. Or maybe announce that a price increase will take effect on a specified date. Make it very clear that the opportunity in the offer will be absolutely lost if the prospect does not take action within the specified time period.

Get the prospect into the promotion immediately

We’ve looked at several sales tactics that contribute to the ideal sales letter, but Collier said other factors could add to or detract from how well a letter worked. For example, there are things you can do to make sure the reader looks inside the envelope. One obvious technique from Collier’s day was to put some great “teaser” copy on the outside of the envelope (or, if you’re selling through email, in an irresistible subject line) to make the reader curious about what’s inside.

Another approach is to make the envelope so personal looking and attractive that the reader feels compelled to learn who it’s from and what it’s about. This is important if the person has received several mailings from you and would recognize this as a sales letter right away.

In direct mail, one way to make the envelope more appealing is to hide the name of the sender by using an address without a name or using an attractive insignia that’s intriguing without being recognizable. You can also change up the style of envelope, its color, the way the address appears, etc.

With email, the more you can personalize, the better, and the same principle of changing things up is critical. How does your new email message differ from the ones sent previously?

There you have it: words from the master on the components of the ideal sales letter. You can put them to good use regardless of what you’re selling or what medium you’re using.


Wahaca presents Day of the Dead Festival

Posted in Events on 07 October 2016

Location: The Vaults , Waterloo

Date: Thursday November 3 2016 - Saturday November 5 2016

In Mexico the Dia de los Muertos is a chance to honour loved ones who have moved on from this earth with the sort of fiesta you want to stay at forever. Thomasina Miers's Mexican food brand Wahaca are putting on one hell of a party this Day of the Dead, with a line-up of music including Orkestra Mendoza and Centavrvs.

For more details


Posted in Events on 07 October 2016
Location: The Coronet , Elephant and Castle
Date: Tuesday October 18, 2016

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Goat create ace voodoo psychedelia: chanting over bongos and widdly, Middle Eastern-influenced riffs smothered in reverb, dressing in colourful masks and providing one hell of an energetic, intense live experience. See them if you possibly can.

For more details

The Chocolate Show

Posted in Events on 07 October 2016

Location: Olympia London , West Kensington

Date: Friday October 14 2016 - Sunday October 16 2016

We'll take any excuse to eat more chocolate, but this is truly a good one. The Chocolate Show returns for another year of demonstrations, activities and plenty of tastings. Highlights have to include The Chocolate Fashion Show where the outfits are literally good enough to eat, The Tasting Room for samples from bean to bar and The Chocolate Theatre where live demonstations from top patissiers guarantee to get all chocolate fans salivating.

More details

Events Assistant

Posted in Jobs on 07 October 2016
Job Advert

Are you detailed and organised?

We are looking for a talented Events Assistant to join our exceptional Events team.
Working closely with the Events Executive you will be assisting the team with all aspects of administration, providing support across multiple projects at a time. You will be able to deliver within tight deadlines and perform under pressure, communicating clearly and liaising seamlessly between various stakeholders. 
With a strong attention to detail, you will ensure accurate record-keeping on all events, calendars and Purchase Orders. You will assist the team in preparation of key events materials, as well as attend events to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Thanks to your excellent communication skills, you will liaise with clients, brands and stakeholders to understand their needs, coordinating appropriate set management with suppliers, contractors and equipment hire. An effective networker, you will establish strong working relationships with all internal departments to ensure full cooperation and seamless implementation of events.

If you want to develop a career in events and you would thrive in our dynamic retail environment, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Apply today!

Follow us on Twitter: @HarrodsCareers 
Follow us on Linkedin: 

Please apply here.

Einstein's greatest mistake

Posted in Events on 02 September 2016


Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet in the final decades of his life he was also ignored by most working scientists, his ideas opposed by even his closest friends. Join bestselling author of E=mc², David Bodanis, as he discusses Einstein's Greatest Mistake, a brisk, accessible biography of Albert Einstein that reveals the genius and hubris of the titan of modern science.

Discounted tickets are available to Members of the Ri. Find out more about how to join our community.


By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri's event terms and conditions.

Date and Time

Mon 3 October 2016

19:00 – 20:30

Add to Calendar


The Royal Institution of Great Britain

21 Albemarle Street

London, United Kingdom

View Map


Rubber Duckies at the End of the Ocean

Posted in Events on 02 September 2016

Oceans cover almost 70% of the surface of our planet, and we know so little about them. The deep ocean is the last unchartered territory in the world. We’ve discovered only a fraction of all the organisms that live in the deep.

And yet, we keep on putting plastic waste in our oceans. We find plastic in the guts of almost all marine animals we inspect.

So what do we do about all this plastic? Come and find out in this lecture!

Dr Erik van Sebille is a lecturer in oceanography and climate change at Imperial College’s Grantham Institute and Department of Physics. He studies how currents move heat, plankton and plastic around. He has won the 2016 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the European Geosciences Union, and often appears in international media to discuss ocean pollution and climate change.

Imperial College London - The Great Hall, Sherfield Building, London, SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom - View Map

Ballot for: An evening with Stephen Hawking

Posted in Events on 02 September 2016


Imperial’s Theoretical Physics group are pleased to announce that Professor Stephen Hawking’s March talk has been rescheduled. An evening with Stephen Hawking will take place on Monday 17 October at 18.00 in the Great Hall.

Professor Hawking’s recently published paper ‘Soft hair on black holes’ takes us one step closer to solving the black hole information paradox, and we are pleased to be able to reschedule this special event after unfortunately having to cancel twice due to Professor Hawking’s ill-health


There are limited public tickets available. Due to anticipated demand, we are operating a ballot system.

Please note: You will need to re-register here despite having registered for previous ballots.

The ballot will be closed on 23 September. Successful ticket winners will be contacted on 27 September.

Interact with us online using #hawkingtalk.


If you would like to volunteer at this event please email Simone Dagnino.


Great Hall, Sherfield Building (no. 20 on the map)

18.00 TALKS
Professor Jerome Gauntlett, Imperial College London

Quantum Black Holes 
Professor Stephen Hawking, University of Cambridge

Vote of Thanks
Professor Fay Dowker, Imperial College London

Meet Imperial's theoretical physicists over drinks for informal discussions about general relativity and beyond.
Queen’s Lawn marquee, Sherfield Building (no. 20 on the map)


Stephen Hawking is one of the most accomplished theoretical physicists of our time. He has made profound contributions to our understanding of spacetime, cosmology and black hole physics. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1966 and held the Lucasian Chair there (1979-2009). He holds 12 honorary degrees, was awarded the CBE in 1982 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1989. Stephen is also a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of numerous popular science books including the best-selling A Brief History of Time.

Jerome Gauntlett is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial, where his research focuses on string theory, black holes and quantum field theory. He moved from Australia to Cambridge to carry out his PhD in Stephen Hawking’s Relativity Group, graduating in 1991. He then held research positions at the University of Chicago and CALTECH before returning to the UK, first to Queen Mary University of London and then to Imperial in 2003. Jerome was the Theoretical Physics Consultant on the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything.

Fay Dowker is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial. She did her PhD in Cambridge under the supervision of Stephen Hawking, graduating in 1990. She has since held research positions at FermiLab (Chicago), University of California Santa Barbara and CALTECH, before joining Queen Mary University of London and then Imperial in 2003. Her research focuses on the causal set approach to quantum gravity.

Imperial’s Theoretical Physics Group was founded by Abdus Salam in 1956, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979.  Members of the Group carry out world-leading research in some of the most exciting areas of theoretical physics today including string theory, quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum foundations and gravity.



Showing 1 - 10 of 2780   

 « previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ... 277  278 next »