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The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech

#artificialintelligence

The world never changes quite the way you expect. But at The Verge, we've had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments -- and gadgets -- arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now. But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped. This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don't outright steal your hard-earned cash. It's the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. Here are 84 things that died hard, often hilariously, to bring us where we are today. Everyone was confused by Google's Nexus Q when it debuted in 2012, including The Verge -- which is probably why the bowling ball of a media streamer crashed and burned before it even came to market.


Facebook-owned Oculus kicks off third developer conference

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey acknowledged giving 10,000 to Nimble America but denied he was the founder of the pro-Donald Trump group which created anti-Hillary Clinton Internet memes. A visitor plays with Oculus VR glasses at Gamescom. SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook-owned Oculus is gathering its virtual reality game developers for the company's third-annual Connect conference, Wednesday through Friday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The focal point is expected to be Oculus Touch, two hand-held controllers -- price and release date to come -- that promise to greatly enhance the interactive elements of the company's Oculus Rift goggles ( 600, but closer to 2,000 with the necessary high-powered computer to which it is tethered). At present, Oculus' main competition is the 800 HTC Vive, but next week marks the release of another challenger, Sony's 399 Playstation VR, which works in conjunction with its eponymous gaming console.


Holocaust Museum, Auschwitz want Pokémon Go hunts out

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Pokemon Go, a Global Positioning System (GPS) based augmented reality mobile game, is proving to be'enormously' popular since software development company Niantic opened access to it on 06 July in the US. SAN FRANCISCO -- Officials at the Holocaust Museum and Poland's Auschwitz Memorial are calling on Pokémon Go maker Niantic to take their sites off the locations where players can hunt cartoon creatures in the popular augmented reality app, saying it dishonors Holocaust victims. Many players reported seeing the digital Pokémon creatures within the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The site is also being used as a "PokeStop" for players to get in-game items. Players in the mobile phone game Pokémon Go must capture digital Pokémon characters, which appear hovering over the player's real-world surroundings.


15 Years Later, What Is Facebook?

WIRED

Fifteen years ago this week, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg created TheFacebook.com, The company moved from his dorm room to Silicon Valley a few months later, and began expanding to other universities. His first business card notoriously read: "I'm CEO … bitch." A decade and a half later, Facebook apps are used by roughly a third of the world's people each month. The company has acquired or crushed most of its main competitors, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Facebook is where nearly half of Americans get their news, the place where millions of nonprofits collect donations, a venue for state-sponsored propaganda, and where people announce their engagements, babies, or even divorces. It is perhaps the largest repository of personal information about humankind to ever exist. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, still makes time to allegedly stage photos so he looks taller than he actually is and smoke his own meats.


17 Retail Trends for 2017 - Fung Global Retail & Technology

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The rise of e-commerce over the last 10 years or so has forced retailers to adapt to the changes demanded by consumers. E-commerce growth continues to accelerate and outpace growth in the brick-and-mortar channel, and online sales accounted for almost 20% of total US sales this holiday season, based on preliminary estimates. In addition, department stores have offered discounts and promotions as a key tool to drive demand and bring consumers into stores. Over time, this strategy can dilute a store's brand and leave stores looking picked through. Also, it trains consumers to wait for discounts instead of buying products at full price. There has been a significant number of store closures in the last few years, and we expect that to accelerate in 2017 and in the following few years. As the department store channel shrinks, and more brands fight for less space, we think brands will need to be more creative, flexible and diversified in their approaches. One way brands can disrupt the more traditional wholesale channel without taking on the significant real estate risk that comes with opening their own stores is to open pop-up stores. With pop-ups, brands have complete creative control of the brand experience and how their messaging is communicated to consumers. They can tell the story they want to tell and explain in their own voice what the brand stands for. In some cases, brands use pop-ups more as an advertising tool than as a place to transact commerce. These kinds of pop-ups usually offer some kind of special experience to draw consumers into the store. Pop-ups can also be set up in locations other than malls, allowing brands to reach their target customers where they are. Retailers and brands can also use pop-ups to test the waters in the most expensive shopping areas, often at discounted rents, while landlords can use the temporary stores to show off the space to prospective long-term tenants. Mall operators are receptive to pop-ups, as they bring something new and unique to consumers. Real estate firm Related Companies has used pop-up shops at the Time Warner Center in New York City to provide a fresh feel and add variety for consumers.