Covid 19

Save an extra 30% off these 10 apps that can get your mind and body right

TLDR: You can save an extra 30 percent off each of these 10 personal development apps to help improve your mind, body and soul.

Spring is here and it’s time to shake off some of the winter blahs. We’ve all probably let a few things go while we get our legs under us to start 2021, but now, it’s time to get serious. If you think it’s time to get your mind and body in shape, learn something new, or generally just make yourself a better you, we wholeheartedly agree.

To help, these 10 personal development apps can go a long way toward the self-improvement you want to see. As part of the TNW Deals’ Semi-Annual Sale, they’re also each improving your wallet as well. Just by entering the promo code “DOWNLOADIT” when you make your purchase, you can take an additional 30 percent off the already discounted price on each of these life-changing apps for a limited time.

1. Mondly Language Learning App

C’mon…you’ve wanted to learn a foreign language for years. Mondly is how you can make it stick. Instead of the old, borning language lab approach, Mondly uses state of the art speech recognition to listen to you speak in your new language and offer positive feedback to enable your growth. Memorize core words, form sentences, then take part in conversations in any of 33 different languages.

Get the Mondly Lifetime Subscription for $49 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $1,199). 

2. YogaDownload Unlimited

Dive into more than 1,500 online at-home yoga and fitness classes to make your body healthier and stronger, while also clearing and focusing your mind. YogaDownload’s courses are geared to any level from beginner to advanced, all designed to be done in your home. With unlimited class downloads and unlimited access to all their content, your ability to be your best self is also unlimited.

Get the YogaDownload Unlimited: 1-Yr Subscription for $20.30 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $119). 

3. Unplug Meditation App

It’s the world’s first drop-in meditation studio. Led by more than 60 expert instructors, you can choose from over 700 guided meditation sessions to help you feel connected and work toward your self-improvement goals. Whether it’s mindfulness or better sleep, improved productivity or improving relationships, users can create custom playlists, keep a meditation journal, set goals and reminders, and track their progress toward personal enlightenment.

Get the Unplug Meditation App: 1-Yr Subscription for $39 (Reg. $69). 

4. BetterMe Home Workout and Diet

No matter your fitness goal, BetterMe can help get you there. From losing weight to a proper diet plan to personal training advice, this app brings personalized exercise sets, nutrition options, online workouts, and a vast community of daily articles, tips, tricks, and FAQs to have you feeling and looking your best.

Get the BetterMe Home Workout and Diet: Lifetime Subscription for $28 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $1,200).  

5. Restflix: Restful Sleep Streaming Service 

It’s Netflix for getting you to sleep peacefully. This streaming service lets you choose from more than 20 personalized channels of sleep meditations, bedtime stories, calming visuals, and binaural beats to create the perfect meditative state that helps you to fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully.

Get the Restflix: Restful Sleep Streaming Service Subscriptions for $35 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $99). 

6. CogniFit Premium Brain Training

CogniFit is how to keep a brain purring like a European sportscar. Using scientifically validated exercises and games, CogniFit measures, monitors, and trains your cognitive skills, stimulating your brain function and improving its plasticity to combat the effects of aging and disease. This program is how anyone can keep track of their brain fitness and make sure it’s in tip-top shape.

Get the CogniFit Premium Brain Training: 1-Yr Subscription for $49.99 (Reg. $119). 

7. The New Paper: Fact First News

If you’re looking for a way to weed out all the nonsense, clickbaity, slanted, and unhelpful news from your daily diet, The New Paper can curate a smarter, healthier news feed. This convenient, non-sensationalized service summarizes the day’s top stories into straight-forward, fact-first news that lets you make your own conclusions. 

Get The New Paper: Fact First News for $49 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $119).

8. 12min Micro Book Library

If you’ve got 12 minutes, you’ve got enough time to take down an entire book. This library gives you access to nearly 2,000 books across a host of categories, each boiled down to a 12-minute text or audio distillation so you can know the key takeaways of the work in only 720 seconds. And if there’s a book you want, you can ask the 12min team to synthesize it down to a short, yet comprehensive micro book for you.

Get 12min Micro Book Library: Lifetime Premium Subscription for $27.30 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $399).

9. Knowable Audio Learning Platform

One of Google Play’s “New Apps We Love,” Knowable is podcasting meets the classroom. Each of these audio courses impart life-changing skills as learned by over 200 of the world’s leading experts in their fields. From business and career growth to personal finance, creativity, and health and wellness, these on-the-go trainings give you the insight to bolster your skills, all in a quick, easy form.

Get the Knowable Audio Learning Platform: Lifetime Subscription for $42 after code DOWNLOADIT (Reg. $600).

10. CuriosityStream HD Plan

TV doesn’t have to be just Housewives and Kardashians. CuriosityStream brings together thousands of documentaries and exclusive originals covering nature, history, science, and more, all in a streaming, on-demand format to help make you an expert on practically anything. You can unlimited streaming content, or download shows so you can watch anytime, anywhere.

Get the CuriosityStream HD Plan: Lifetime Subscription for $199.99 (Reg. $250).

Prices are subject to change. Some exclusions apply. 

Read next: Why robots make great surgeons and crappy nurses

Covid 19

Scientists used AI to link cryptomarkets with substance abusers on Reddit and Twitter

An international team of researchers recently developed an AI system that pieces together bits of information from dark web cryptomarkets, Twitter, and Reddit in order to better understand substance abusers.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t track sales or expose users. It helps scientists better understand how substance abusers feel and what terms they’re using to describe their experiences.

The relationship between mental health and substance abuse is well-studied in clinical environments, but how users discuss and interact with one another in the real world remains beyond the realm of most scientific studies.

According to the team’s paper:

Recent results from the Global Drug Survey suggest that the percentage of participants who have been purchasing drugs through cryptomarkets has tripled since 2014 reaching 15 percent of the 2020 respondents (GDS).

In this study, we assess social media data from active opioid users to understand what are the behaviors associated with opioid usage to identify what types of feelings are expressed. We employ deep learning models to perform sentiment and emotion analysis of social media data with the drug entities derived from cryptomarkets.

The team developed an AI to crawl three popular cryptomarkets where drugs are sold in order to determine nuanced information about what people were searching for and purchasing.

Then they crawled popular drug-related subreddits on Reddit such as r/opiates and r/drugnerds for posts related to the cryptomarket terminology in order to gather emotional sentiment. Where the researchers found difficulties in gathering enough Reddit posts with easy-to-label emotional sentiment, they found Twitter posts with relevant hashtags to fill in the gaps.

The end result was a data cornucopia that allowed the team to determine a robust emotional sentiment analysis for various substances.

In the future, the team hopes to find a way to gain better access to dark web cryptomarkets in order to create stronger sentiment models. The ultimate goal of the project is to help healthcare professionals better understand the relationship between mental health and substance abuse.

Per the team’s paper:

To identify the best strategies to reduce opioid misuse, a better understanding of cryptomarket drug sales that impact consumption and how it reflects social media discussions is needed.

Published March 30, 2021 — 21:03 UTC

Covid 19

Why robots make great surgeons and crappy nurses

Robotic surgery systems are used in thousands of hospitals around the world. A decade ago they were clunky machines built to assist with routine procedures. Today, they’re capable of conducting end-to-end surgeries without human aid.

Recent leaps in the field of deep learning have made difficult tasks such as surgery, electronics assembly, and piloting a fighter jet relatively simple. It might take a decade to train a human in all the necessary medical knowledge required for them to perform brain surgery. And that cost is the same for each subsequent human surgeon thereafter. It takes about the same investment for every human surgeon.

But AI is different. The initial investment to create a robotic surgery device might be large, but that all changes once you’ve produced a working model. Instead of 8-12 years to create a human specialist, factories can be built to produce AI surgeons en masse. Over time, the cost of maintaining and operating a surgical machine – one capable of working 24/7/365 without drawing a paycheck – would likely become trivial versus maintaining a human surgical staff.

That’s not to say there’s no place for human surgeons in the future. We’ll always need human experts capable of informing the next generation of machines. And there are some procedures that remain beyond the abilities of modern AI and robotics. But surgery, much like any other precision-based endeavor, lies well within the domain of modern AI.

Surgery is a specific skill and, for the most part, robots excel at automating tasks that require more precision than creativity. And that’s exactly why robot surgeons are commonplace, but we’re likely decades away from a fully-functioning AI-powered nurse.

And this is exactly why AI didn’t have a huge impact during the pandemic. When COVID-19 first hit, there was a lot of optimism that big tech would save the day with AI. The idea was that companies such as Google and Microsoft would come up with incredible contact-tracing mechanisms that would allow us to tailor medical responses at an extremely granular level. This, we collectively figured, would lead to a truncated pandemic.

We were wrong, but only because there wasn’t really anything for AI to do. Where it could help, in aiding the rapid development of a vaccine, it did. But the vast majority of our problems in hospitals had to do with things a modern robot can’t fix.

What we needed, during the last patient peak, were more human nurses and PPE for them. Robots can’t look around and learn like a human, they have to be trained for exactly what they’ll be doing. And that’s just not possible during giant emergency situations where, for example, a hospital’s floor plan changes to accommodate an increase in patients and massive quantities of new equipment is introduced.

Researchers at John Hopkins university recently conducted a study to determine what we’ll need to do in order for robots to aid healthcare professionals during future pandemics. According to them, modern robots aren’t up to the task:

A big issue has been deployability and how quickly a non-expert user can customize a robot. For example, our ICU ventilator robot was designed for one kind of ventilator that pushes buttons. But some ventilators have knobs, so we need to be able to add a modality so that the robot can also manipulate knobs. Say you want one robot that can service multiple ventilators; then you’d need a mobile robot with an arm attachment, and that robot could also do plenty of other useful jobs on the hospital floor.

That’s all well and fine when things are going perfectly. But what happens when the knob pops off or someone brings in a new kind of machine with toggles or a touch-screen? Humans have no problem adapting to these situations, but a robot would need an entirely new accessory and a training update to compensate.

In order for developers to create a “nurse robot,” they’d need to anticipate everything a nurse encounters on a daily basis. Good luck with that.

AI and machines can be adapted to perform certain tasks related to nursing, such as assisting with intake or recording and monitoring patients’ vital signs. But there isn’t a machine in the world that can perform the day-to-day routine functions of a typical hospital staff nurse.

Nurses spend the majority of their time responding to real-time situations. In a given shift, a nurse interacts with patients, sets up and breaks down equipment, handles precision instruments, carries heavy objects through people-filled spaces, solves mysteries, keeps meticulous notes, and acts as a liaison between the medical staff and the general public.

We have the answer to most of those problems individually, but putting them together in a mobile unit is the problem.

That Boston Dynamics robot that does backflips, for example, could certainly navigate a hospital, carry things, and avoid causing injury or damage. But it has no way of knowing where a doctor might have accidentally left the chart it needs to update its logs, how to calm down a scared patient, or what to do if an immobile patient misses the bedpan.

Published March 30, 2021 — 17:58 UTC

Covid 19

These 10 MacBook, iPhone, and iPad accessories will each become your daily essentials

TLDR: These 10 devices will keep your Apple MacBook, iPhone, or iPad running in tip-top shape, all at up to 40 percent off.

No device is an island. At its most independent, most devices are more like a peninsula, appearing to be surrounded by water and out on their own, but actually, it stretches back to a solid motherland foundation of support and accessories.

While Apple devices can happily plug away on their own for a while, eventually your device is going to need some helpful extras to live its very best Apple life. These 10 accessories to a MacBook, iPad, or iPhone may not feel essential, but before you know it, you’ll be using these items every day. On top of that, they’re all on sale now at up to 40 percent off while this deal lasts.

1. CASA i4 USB-C 4-in-1 iPad Pro Hub

Here’s an almost universal adapter to connect virtually anything to your iPad. Designed for the 3rd generation iPad Pro, this hub features four ports: USB-C for charging, USB Type-A for reading flash drives, HDMI for video output, and a 3.5mm audio connector for headphones. 

Get the CASA i4 USB-C 4-in-1 iPad Pro Hub for $49.99 (Reg. $69). 

2. EVRI Magnetic Tip USB Cable for MacBook and USB-C Devices

The magnetic tip on this cable makes sure a sharp jerk or cable snag doesn’t send your MacBook tumbling to the ground. Instead, the tip just breaks away from the cable…but not before supplying up to 100 watts of charging power for USB-C powered MacBooks, notebooks, Nintendo Switch, smartphones, and tablets. 

Get the EVRI Magnetic Tip USB Cable for MacBook and USB-C Devices for $22.95 (Reg. $34).

3. Hampshire iPad Pro 12.9″ Sleeve

This high-quality wool felt and leather sleeve offers stylish protection for your iPad. Everything is securely held in place with ultra-flat magnetic fasteners, while the additional flat front pocket can store notes, receipts, pens, and other important accessories. It’s even got enough room to hold a Magic Keyboard too.

Get the Hampshire iPad Pro 12.9″ Sleeve for $79.95 (Reg. $90). 

4. Foldable Laptop/Tablet Raised Cooling Rack

Working with a laptop or tablet on your actual lap is not only awkward, but it isn’t safe for your device either. Lightweight and foldable, this rack raises up your laptop or tablet, allowing room for both adjusting your viewing angle as well as space for your device to vent and prevent overheating.

Get the Foldable Laptop/Tablet Raised Cooling Rack for $28.95 (Reg. $39).

5. Mobile Pixels TRIO: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor

Double — or even triple — the size of your desktop with the Mobile Pixels Trio. This handy portable screen slides out from behind your laptop screen to provide a full dual-screen experience with even your humble laptop. It even allows for a third screen for a vast working surface that can absolutely boost your productivity.

And if you use the code SCREEN44 during checkout, you can take $37 off their regular price.

Get the Mobile Pixels TRIO: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor for $219.99 after code SCREEN44 (Reg. $259). 

6. Selfie Studio with LED Ring Light and Universal Phone Holder

Here’s a simple step for making your video meetings, livestreaming, YouTube videos, or just chats with friends look a whole lot better. One arm of this sturdy mount grips your phone tightly, while the other is sporting an LED ring light with three light types and 10 brightness levels to always be looking your best when the camera is on.

Get the Selfie Studio with LED Ring Light and Universal Phone Holder for $39.99 (Reg. $59). 

7. CharbyEdge Pro 6-in-1 Universal Cable

This is the one cable you need to connect anything to pretty much anything else. With its multiple adapters, this cable can connect in up to six different configurations, including connectors for any Apple, USB-C or Android devices with any USB-A and USB-C ports.

Get the CharbyEdge Pro 6-in-1 Universal Cable for $24.99 (Reg. $30).

8. Magnetic Smartphone Laptop Side Mount

With this side mount, you can handle tasks on both your laptop and smartphone easily. The magnetic side mount holds your phone securely right to the side of your laptop or desktop monitor to either extend your display or just work twice as fast. 

Get the Magnetic Smartphone Laptop Side Mount for $14.99 (Reg. $24).

9. OMNIA Q3 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station with Power Adapter

With dual charging standards of 7.5W for Apple and 10W for Android, you can wirelessly power up your Qi-compatible phone, hook an Apple watch to the foldable charging pad and feel completely safe from overcharging or overheating fears.

Get the OMNIA Q3 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station with Power Adapter for $109.95 (Reg. $139). 


10. HyperGear PowerBrick 24,000mAh Power Station/AC Outlet

The PowerBrick is for when you need to pull out the charging big guns. With a built-in AC outlet and 2 USB ports, it can power up to 3 devices at once with 24,000mAh of power. Weighing just over a pound, this ultra-portable power bank can get your phone, tablet and even your laptop powered back up fast. 

Get the HyperGear PowerBrick 24,000mAh Power Station/AC Outlet for $76.99 (Reg. $79).

Prices are subject to change.

Read next: Scientists used AI to link cryptomarkets with substance abusers on Reddit and Twitter

Covid 19

GoCycle’s 4th gen folding ebikes bring improved motor, and faster charging

UK-based GoCycle has just announced its 4th generation of fast-folding ebikes, which look set to further refine the company’s current format of two-wheelers.

Despite their hefty price tags, we’re fans of GoCycle’s range of folding bikes. They’re unique, well-designed, and practical. But yeah, that price tag, they’re some of the most expensive bikes in their class on the market, there’s no denying that.

We haven’t had the chance to get our hands on one of the new GoCycle’s yet, but based on the information we have at the moment, it seems there won’t be any major changes over the previous Gx models. Instead, the G4s get a series of subtle updates that see them drop some weight, and gain some power.

ebike, gocycle, folder
Credit: GoCycle
The GoCycle uses the same geometry as the outgoing model. It’s great if you’re of average size, but if you’re very tall or very short, you might struggle to find a comfortable position with good weight distribution.

Let’s take a look at what’s new.

Model lineup

There are three models in the G4 family, the standard G4, the G4i, and the range topping G4i+. Those familiar with smartphone naming conventions will feel quite at home here.

gocycle, ebike, foldable
Credit: GoCycle
The GoCycle G4 features the same single-sided design as the previous models. It’s become an iconic feature of the brand and allows it to fold smaller than designs that have dual sided forks. Tires now come with a MotoGP inspired tread, but I’m not sure if that will make a huge difference.

Before we get to the new features, let’s address the elephant in the room: the price. Check them out below.

  • G4 MSRP: $3,999
  • G4i MSRP: $4,999
  • G4i+ MSRP: $5,999

Like I said, they’re not cheap, but you are getting one of the highest tech ebikes on the market. For reference, the GXi, similar to the G4i, retailed for $4,799, so prices have gone up a little over the previous models.

New motor

As with the previous generations, the GoCycle G4s are powered by a front-hub motor, that’ll get you going as fast as your local ebike regulations allow.

GoCycle says its new “G4drive” motor is smoother and quieter than previous models. Whilst the noise of the GX was never an issue, it was slightly noisier than other contemporary ebikes.

ebike, gocycle, bike, fold, fork, motor
Credit: GoCycle
As with the GX series, the motor is tucked away in the front hub. It connects to the single-sided front fork without fuss.

The motor has also been revised to offer more torque at lower revs. This should mean that the motor picks up a bit quicker as soon as you start pedaling.

What’s more, the new GoCycle charges its battery faster than ever before. The G4 now charges in just three and a half hours, compared to the four to seven hours required for the GX range.

Lighter frame

For the G4, GoCycle is also revising part of its frame design.

Aesthetically, the G4 looks very similar to the GX. However, its mid-frame, the part that connects the drivetrain and the large front section has been updated and is now made from carbon fiber.

car, ev, future, electric ebike, gocycle
Credit: GoCycle
Look at that gorgeous carbon fiber weave. There’s just something about it, that makes carbon fiber undeniably sexy.

The carbon fiber front fork has also been reengineered to save weight.

Altogether, these weight savings add up to 2.2 lbs (about 1 kilogram). Overall, the G4i weighs 36 lbs (just over 16 kg). This puts it in the same ballpark, weight wise, as the Specialized Turbo Vado, an ebike that my colleague Napier lauded for being so light, that he forgot it was an ebike.

Thanks to how compact the GXi folds down, I never found it a challenge to lift it up the stairs into my house, but one less kilo is always a welcome addition — or should that be a reduction?

Phone features

The G4 range also feature a couple of neat improvements for smartphone integration. There’s an integrated one amp USB port, so you can charge your phone on the go.

GoCycle, usb, bars
Credit: GoCycle
The GoCycle G4 has an integrated USB port on the handlebars, so you can charge your phone on the go.

GoCycle has also introduced low energy Bluetooth standards to provide better phone and app connectivity, it should also help battery life too.

Final thoughts?

Putting the new motor to one side, most of GoCycle additions to the G4 are neat incremental improvements that add another layer of usefulness and practicality to the already pragmatically designed bikes.

It’s not surprising given that the company has been working on this design for over a decade now, and the G4 represents the most refined version of the platform.

ebike, gocycle,
Credit: GoCycle
The GoCycle is one of the neatest and most compact folding ebikes on the market. It’s one of our favorites.

The new motor is by far the most notable change to the G4 over the outgoing GX models. For that, the proof is in the riding. We’ll be waiting to get our hands on a review unit to see how much it has improved, and whether that $200 increase is worth it.

If GoCycle’s claims of improved torque, and swifter engagement of the assistance are true, there won’t be much left to refine.

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

Then you need the weekly SHIFT newsletter in your life. Click here to sign up.

Published March 30, 2021 — 23:01 UTC

Covid 19

Xiaomi’s Mi Band 6 gives you GPS and blood-oxygen sensors for only $35

Xiaomi has built up a strong presence in the wearable market through its affordable Mi Band series. The company today launched the latest device in the line, the Mi Band 6, with built-in GPS and blood oxygen sensors.

The company has introduced a new 1.56-inch AMOLED display compared to last year’s Mi Band 5 design that featured a 1.1-inch AMOLED screen. Plus, Xiaomi is refreshing the interface and new default watch faces will show you more information in a more dignified manner on that 326 ppi (pixels per inch) screen.

There are two versions of the band: the NFC version for China and the non-NFC version for the rest of the world. The company claimed that it’ll have a similar battery life as the predecessor — 14 days for the NFC version and 20 days for the non-NFC version.

Even if you get fewer than advertised days out of the band, you might need to charge it once or twice a month. That’s pretty rad.

While the GPS sensor will help you measure your walking and running distance accurately, the band also features 30 workout modes, including boxing, badminton, cricket, HIIT, street dance, and Zumba — apart from six common ones already present

The blood oxygen (SPO2) sensor is now common in budget bands. We’ve seen it in the recently launched Honor Band 6 and the OnePlus Band. While it’s a fun novelty, you shouldn’t rely on these readings for actual medical purposes.

The Mi Band 6 also has advanced sleep tracking that measures REM and sleep breathing quality.

In China, the standard edition of the band costs RMB229 ($35) and the NFC version costs RMB279 ($42). In the European market, the band is priced at €44.99

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published March 29, 2021 — 14:53 UTC

Covid 19

Seoul’s smart poles will soon be able to charge drones and EVs

This article was originally published by Sarah Wray on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is installing new ‘smart poles’ which act as streetlights, traffic lights, environmental sensors,  footfall counters, smartphone chargers, Wi-Fi access points, CCTV, and more.

Twenty-six smart poles have already been installed in six areas of the city, with each pole’s functions customized to the needs of its location in the city.

SMG plans to continue rolling the poles out as well as piloting a version of the infrastructure which can also charge drones and electric vehicles, and detect parking violations.

The city plans to use drones to “monitor potential disasters and emergency rescue efforts,” and later this year, drones will be able to recharge from the upper part of the poles while sending data back to SMG. A spokesperson for the city said the project is in the planning stage.

Smart city project

When street infrastructure needs to be replaced or installed, SMG will integrate it into the smart poles where possible to save costs and reduce clutter.

Lee Won-Mok, Director General of Smart City Policy at Seoul Metropolitan Government, said: “Smart poles help effectively consolidate the somewhat elaborate road facilities, not only retaining their innate functions but also highlighting various smart technological features.

“These S-Poles are expected to improve urban landscapes and enhance the safety, welfare, and convenience for our Seoul citizens. They will also serve as charging stations for drones and electric vehicles, bringing the city one step closer to becoming a smart city.”

Environmental sensors monitor temperature, humidity, particulate matter, and more

Putting infrastructure in the bin

The project reflects a growing trend for street infrastructure to be multipurpose to minimize visual clutter and use of public space. Streetlights have typically been the most common platform but services are now also being integrated into bins.

Telebelly installation in Australia

Bigbelly, which provides solar-powered smart bins, recently announced that it is launching its Telebelly product in the UK. The solution, which is already available in Australia, expands the functionality of traditional Bigbelly bins by incorporating small cell poles and antennas to enhance connectivity.

“Wherever a public waste bin is appropriate, a Telebelly may be the solution to hide small cells in plain sight,” the company said.

Bigbelly says the Telebelly, which is 4G- and 5G-capable, could accelerate growth of the UK’s small cell network and pave the way for 5G by making it easier for telecommunication companies to deploy a faster and more reliable service without relying on large-scale mast installations.

Alex Gamota, Senior Vice President at Bigbelly, said: “Given how Bigbelly is typically utilised in densely populated areas where footfall is high, which is typically where increased telecoms coverage and capacity is required, there is a high degree of synergy between the public waste collection aspect of the system and Telebelly.”

In a separate project with Bigbelly, smart bins in Dublin are also being used to measure busyness in the city and to house small cell infrastructure.

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

Then you need the weekly SHIFT newsletter in your life. Click here to sign up.

Published March 29, 2021 — 14:00 UTC

Covid 19

Add these 10 in-demand digital marketing skills to your resume, now 50% off

TLDR: The collection of digital marketing training can optimize your online sales efforts, all at 50% off with the TNW Deals’ Semi-Annual Sale happening.

Knowing how to sell is one thing. Knowing how to sell online is another story entirely. Businesses have to engage with potential customers everywhere they may be congregating on the web. That means catching them on social media or Amazon, in Google ads, or a well-crafted email. And each of those venues requires different sets of knowledge to best convert more sales.

This collection features 10 different sets of digital marketing skills that any seller will want to add to their assortment of abilities. Not only are they vital for launching digital marketing campaigns, they’re also economical. Right now as part of TNW Deal’s Semi-Annual Sale, you can take 50 percent off the price of each item by entering the code “LEARNIT” during checkout for a limited time. 

1. Instagram Marketing

Want to know how Instagram influencers are turning the image-heavy social platform into a goldmine? These six courses with 16 hours of tips and tricks can lay out how some of the most influential brands are using the power of Instagram to become Insta-famous.

Get The 2021 Ultimate Instagram Influencer and Marketing Bundle for $17.50 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,194). 

2. YouTube Marketing

YouTube is the most visited website in the world — and this course explains how to build a YouTube channel that attracts viewers, engages an audience, and builds authority. Even if you’ve never posted to YouTube before, this beginner-friendly instruction can help get your channel off the ground.

Get the Complete Guide to YouTube Channel: 2021 YouTube Masterclass for $14.50 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $199). 

3. Video Editing and Production

Over six courses and over 30 hours of training, you can learn one of the most powerful video editing suites around to craft brilliant Hollywood-caliber videos. Users not only learn why video editing is so important, but how Adobe Premiere CC can bring it all to life with special effects, graphics, text, audio files, and more.

Get The Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video and Audio Production Course Bundle for $15 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,194). 

4. Email Marketing

Even in the social age, email marketing still has one of the highest returns in all of advertising. Over seven courses and more than 13 hours of training, users learn how to leverage the power emails, from writing stellar copy to creating effective email lists to tactics for converting email recipients into customers.

Get The Complete Email Marketing Bootcamp for $15 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,393). 

5. Music Marketing

Just because you know how to make music doesn’t mean you know how to sell it. This collection of seven courses can help talented musicians do both, featuring courses on music theory, songwriting, and music production to craft fantastic songs, as well as courses in music marketing to get your tracks in front of an audience.

Get The Music Marketing Master Class Bundle for $17.50 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,393). 

6. eCommerce

You can become a high-earning Amazon retailer selling your own private label products without any of stocking or shipping hassles. This 11-course, nearly 100-hour deep dive into the inner workings of Amazon explains dropshipping, how to launch your own digital storefront, and start creating your own unique products that can turn you into a serious online mogul.

Get The 2021 Complete Amazon Dropshipping and Private Label Master Class Bundle for $17.50 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $2,189). 

7. Pinterest Marketing

If you only thought Pinterest was good for vision boarding or pastry recipes, think again. These five courses explore the true power of harnessing followers on Pinterest, building a profile, crafting visual content around your brand and activating an audience to be loyal to your product or service.

Get The 2021 Pinterest Marketing and Growth Bundle for $10 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $995). 

8. Copywriting

Effective advertising always starts with strong messaging — and here’s where it starts. The five courses and 20 hours of instruction here can teach learners how to develop the mind of a copywriter, learn essential skills like effective headline writing, and build a portfolio of work that attracts potential clients and sells you as a force that can prompt customers to action.

Get The Premium Digital Copywriting Training Bundle for $12.50 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,000). 

9. Google SEO

Search engine optimization is what lands your business at the top of Google searches — and reaping the benefits of that placement. Over 11 courses, learners understand how to identify keywords, create SEO-friendly content, and leverage those keywords across YouTube, Amazon and more to attract better traffic and more leads, strictly from organic web searches.

Get The 2021 Complete Google SEO and SERP Certification Bundle for $15 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,994). 

10. Facebook Marketing

Facebook posting is great, but if you aren’t leveraging the power of Facebook as an advertising platform, you need to expand your vision. These nine courses explain everything you need to know about creating effective Facebook ads, buying them at the best possible prices, and tips for actually getting Facebook users to click on your all-important links.

Get The 2021 Ultimate Facebook Ads and Marketing Bundle for $15 after code LEARNIT (Reg. $1,800).

Prices are subject to change.

Read next: Xiaomi’s new Mi 11 Ultra features the biggest camera sensor in a smartphone

Covid 19

Here’s how to calculate the cost of driving an EV per km (or mile)

Welcome to SHIFT Basics, a collection of tips, explainers, guides, and advice to keep you up to speed with mobility tech.

A couple of weeks ago, we asked ourselves the question, “How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?”

Calculating that — when you’re charging at home of course — is a straightforward case of multiplying the per kWh cost of your electricity by the size of your car’s battery in kWh.

However, one interested reader asked us another brain teaser: how much does it cost to drive an EV per mile. And we’re going to get to the bottom of it.

It’s all about efficiency

When it comes to knowing how much we’re spending for every mile driven, we’re really just trying to get a handle on a benchmark of efficiency. One that puts our energy use into some kind of financial context. But before we financially benchmark our efficiency, we must get a handle on our EV’s overall energy efficiency.

EVs measure energy efficiency in a few different ways, and those measurements affect how we calculate how much it costs to drive one kilometer or one mile.

kWh per 100 kilometers

What if your EV measures its efficiency in kilometers (or miles) per kWh? Then you calculate how much each kilometer costs by dividing your electricity costs per kWh by the number of traveled kilometers.

Knowing how much energy you’ve used to drive 100 km is useful to know, but the numbers are still kind of large. What’s more, it doesn’t tell us directly how much it costs to drive those 100 km, it just tells us how much energy we used. Let’s figure that out.

The first step is to figure out how much 100 km or miles costs. To do this we need to take the kWh figure and multiply it by how much our electricity costs per kWh.

Let’s say that our EV covers 100 kilometers and uses 30 kWh to do so.

If our electricity costs $0.14 per kWh, then 30 kWh of electricity costs $4.20.

Then getting our cost per kilometer is simple, all we need to do is divide $4.20 by 100.

In this case, it gives us $0.042, or around four cents. When you consider that driving a gasoline car can cost between 10 and 30 cents per km, it’s quite a cost saving to drive electric.

Kilometers per kWh

If your EV measures its efficiency in kilometers (or miles) per kWh, calculating how much each km costs is done by dividing how much your electricity costs per kWh by how many km have been traveled.

Let’s say our EV is averages a conservative 4 km/kWh.

Knowing that one kWh of electricity costs $0.14, and that energy has helped us travel 4 km, we simply need to divide $0.14 by 4.

In this example, it shows our cost per km was $0.035, or around four cents. See how it’s working out?

A rule of thumb

If you’re concerned about how much money you’re spending when you drive your EV, there are two very simple rules of thumb to follow.

If your car measures energy consumption in kWh per 100 km you want the kWh figure displayed on your car’s dashboard to be as low as you can get it!

However, if your EV measures efficiency in kilometers per kWh, you want the kilometer figure to be as big as possible. In this case, kWh is a constant, so you want to maximize how far you go on ever single kWh of power.

Pro tips

All these calculations are borne from the same fundamental measures: kWh of your EV’s battery, the kWh used to drive somewhere, distance, and the price of electricity.

By figuring out how these relate to one and other, you’ll be able to figure out how much it costs to drive your EV a given distance. You’ll also be able to see at a glance how efficient your driving is, and what the financial impact is.

As you start examining these figures more regularly, you’ll start to get a handle on what’s low-cost and efficient, and what’s not.

It’s worth noting that these calculations only consider the costs of the electricity fueling the EV. EVs are still subject to other running costs that add up over its life.

You’ll still need to replace tires, brake discs, add wind screen washer fluid, and maybe even change lightbulbs from time to time. Even though these costs might only come every few years, they’re still worth factoring in to your car’s overall running costs.

On your daily electric drives though, your biggest cost will be the electricity powering your vehicle. So it pays to get a grip on your per km costs!

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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Published March 29, 2021 — 12:53 UTC

Covid 19

Xiaomi’s new Mi 11 Ultra features the biggest camera sensor in a smartphone

Xiaomi is gunning for the crown again, this time in the smartphone camera segment with its new Mi 11 Ultra. The flagship is said to feature the biggest camera sensor in a phone yet.

The phone features a whopping 1/1.12-inch sensor, which beats Nokia PureView 808’s record of the biggest sensor with a 1/1.2-inch size. Panasonic jammed in a 1-inch sensor in its Lumix DMC-CM1 device, but it was an Android-powered camera, and not a phone. 

But let’s back up for a second. What does a bigger sensor in a phone mean for you? Your phone’s camera captures light through that sensor, so the larger the size, the more light captured in a small amount of time. That eventually results in more detailed photos in almost all light conditions without triggering features such as the night mode.

Before we talk more about the phone, let’s take a look at its unique specifications:


  • Screen: 6.81-inch WQHD+ AMOLED screen; 1.1-inch AMOLED screen on the back
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Rear camera: 50-megapixel wide sensor with f/1.95 aperture (1/1.12-inch sensor) + 48-megapixel ultrawide sensor with f/2.4 aperture (128-degree field of view) + 48-megapixel telephoto sensor f/2.4 (5x optical zoom;120x digital zoom)
  • Front camera: 20-megapixel with f/2.2 aperture
  • Internal storage: 256GB
  • Security: In-screen fingerprint sensor; face unlock
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Charging: 67W wired fast charging; 67W wireless fast charging
  • IP rating: IP68 (waterproof and dustproof)

Apart from featuring a huge camera sensor, the phone also sports a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera to enable 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 120x digital zoom. While that sounds enticing, we’ll have to test this phone out in the world to see if any photo with more than 10x zoom is usable.

[Read: Xiaomi Mi 11: Come for the specs, stay for the design]

In a slightly gimmicky move, Xiaomi has included a 1.1-inch AMOLED screen on the back of the phone. It’ll help you check notifications and take selfies using the rear camera setup. Hopefully, you can turn this off if you don’t need it. If you’re running out of battery, you can also switch on ultra power saver mode to use the rear display for calls and other emergency apps.

The Mi 11 Ultra packs some other little gems such as 67W wired and wireless charging, dual speakers powered by Harman Kardon, and Wi-Fi 6E support.

I had a lot of fun taking pictures from the 1/1.31-inch sensor of the Vivo X60 Pro+, so I can’t wait to try out Xiaomi’s latest flagship to compare these two imaging heavyweights.

In China, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is priced at RMB5999 ($914) for the 8GB+256GB version. The 12GB + 256GB version is slotted for RMB6499 ($990), and the 12GB + 512GB version will retail for RMB6999 ($1065). Xiaomi hasn’t announced anything about the global availability of this device yet. 

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published March 29, 2021 — 14:28 UTC