Using social media to run a successful coffee shop

Making good coffee is only step one in running a successful coffee shop. Owners should also consider using social media for promotion. For example, competitions that offer prizes can be offered to whoever posts the best picture of their coffee from the barista. This should attract customers and also encourage the barista to make coffee that looks great as well as taste good! www.espressoworks.com.au

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A simple way to get customer feedback

This terminal has four plastic buttons adorned with faces ranging from a smiling dark green to an angry bright red. HappyOrNot is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Push My Button, its sole reseller in the two countries. You may have noticed the terminals at overseas airports, in your doctor’s surgery or when shopping. Very interestingly this idea comes from Finland which is ranked #1 on the World Happiness Report published by the UN this month! towww.happy-or-not.com/en/

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Wine labels that come alive with AR!

When you have downloaded the “Living Wine Labels” app you can view The Walking Dead wine label through your smartphone to watch it come to life with augmented reality. The Blood Red Blend label has an image of Sheriff Rick Grimes staring down the undead. When the app is launched and pointed at the label, you see Sheriff Rick fight off the ‘walkers’. The Cabernet Sauvignon label features a horde of zombies, and they break out of the label onto your phone screen. When you point the app at both labels through the app, when the bottles are side by side, the characters fight each other. Designed for clever dinner party entertainment! www.skybound.com/the-walking-dead/news-events/news-eventsnew-walking-dead-wines-will-feature-ar-labels/

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The first 3D-printed home in America

The production version of the printer will have the ability to print a single story, 600-800 square foot home in under 24 hours for less than US$4,000. It’s designed to function with nearly zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages. It’s also designed to create communities in the developing world that include components like a school, clean water, and income opportunities. www.iconbuild.com/new-story/

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Shoes made from trees or wool

Sneaker startup Allbirds is committed to using sustainable environmental practices to make the world’s most comfortable shoes. They recently launched “Tree,” a line of shoes with material sourced from eucalyptus. This new Tree Collection has a knitted mesh upper, which allows for air to go in and out of the shoe for maximum breathability. It follows their very popular wool collection launched in 2016, designed not to be worn with socks. www.allbirds.com

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Fighting Tech Innovation’s Dark Side

Since we live in a machine age, the growing concern is that new technologies like artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, autonomous cars, and precision medicine are so powerful, pervasive and evolving that they can become uncontrollable. So how do we overcome it? New technologies can be potentially scary and bad. It’s a step into the unknown with uncertainty whether it may fail and it takes to integrate into society. Since we live in a machine age, the growing concern is that new technologies like artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, autonomous cars, and genetically customised ‘precision medicine’ are so powerful, pervasive, and fast-changing that they become uncontrollable. All this can put society and quite possibly the entire human race in grave danger. For instance, July 2017 saw Facebook abandon an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language that only they understood. The two chatbots communicated with one another having created their own changes to English which seemed to make it easier for them to work, but it was mysterious to the supervising human engineers. The chatbots’ bizarre discussions happened as Facebook challenged them to try and negotiate a trade with one another in attempt to swap items like hats and balls that were all given a certain value. But negotiations quickly broke down as the robots appeared to oddly chant to each other in a pattern of incomprehensible English that didn’t seem to be a glitch. Were the robots becoming uncontrollably too intelligent for their own good? Even more recently, Amazon’s voice assistant device, Alexa, let out unprompted creepy cackles. The device is designed to respond or act only when prompted by with a wake word that’s “Alexa” or “Amazon”, but this apparent glitch is happening without any prior interaction, spooking Alexa owners. Alexa is intended to be a domestic device in the home, so the use of voice assistants is often met with caution — voice commands are recorded and sent to the cloud for processing, a system that stokes a fear of eavesdropping, unintended or otherwise. Incidents like this and at Facebook, where an AI assistant seems to rebel against its owner, naturally furthers such concern. Upon that note, tech pioneer Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has  said, “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation.” He has also said, in relation to a self driving car ,“You’d test the living daylights out of it before you let it on the streets.” To counteract that and to control the different levels of future technological uncertainty before going to market, would be to apply regulations to the technology sector. After all, within any industry, regulation is necessary to keep things in check — it should not be too restrictive, but obviously progressive. However, there is a lack of government involvement within technological innovation because government ministers don’t understand it and they don’t know what to do about it. This is starting to change on an international scale with the World Economic Forum which is tackling the dangers of big tech. Within the UK, there are such organisations like Nesta, an innovation charity which works globally and always in partnership, as they do with Manchester University on the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR). They address the strategic intelligence, governance, and responsible research and innovation aspects of new and emerging technologies. Organisations supporting innovative entrepreneurs are London Innovators who help radical London-based entrepreneurs and GSMA supporting initiatives that shape the future of mobile communications and expand opportunities for the whole industry. There’s also N77 Society, whose recruited field experts as members assess advancing technological projects’  benefits or dangers to society. They all add a strong filter to adjust and cancel out technology’s bad with good. All organisations and societies in the the technology field can help develop an ‘innovation culture’ for larger regulatory bodies i.e. government to certainly promote the positive impact of innovations. It can inform and teach public officials who regulate technologies, business people who build them, and citizens who use or are affected by them — to craft inclusive policies that governments or companies can try out. Overall, technological innovation is necessary. We as humans constantly progress together as a society, country and a world. Throughout time, technology has enhanced our daily lives and we all take it for granted in all areas. Whether it be communication with the Internet and smartphones; travel with planes and motor vehicles or entertainment with televisions and music formats, it’s all there right before us. The attraction towards more advanced technological innovation is a belief in progress towards an improved or more advanced condition — a brighter future as we all move forward. Francesco Segramora 16 March 2018

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An automated booth for sunscreen application

An automated booth for sunscreen protection

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A creative way to offer a lucky door prize

Corban & Blair came up with an innovative prize and an innovative way to offer it at the Launch of IdeaSpies Enterprise at Ashurst in Sydney yesterday. The prize was for the best designed business card. The winner was Maria Martin (on the right) for her card as a Non-Executive Director of amaysim. It was judged as being designed to be noticed – easy to read and communicated the essence of the company. The prize, a Satchel, Luggage Tag and Card Holder, was designed by Corban & Blair- with linings designed by Indigenous Artist Lucy Simpson. It was presented by Gillian Corban. https://corbanblair.com.au/

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High heels becoming unfashionable

Women are trading in their high-heeled stiletto shoes for sneakers and ballet flats. Workplaces are becoming more casual, and it’s increasingly acceptable to wear sneakers to dinner. More people are working from home, and those who do go into the office are often walking to work. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit have also made people more aware of how much they are — or should be — moving. For people counting their steps, it makes sense to wear comfortable footwear and clothing. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/03/07/high-heels-are-the-worst-and-women-are-finally-ditching-them/?

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A drug that can mimic the benefits of exercise

Not everyone can exercise. People with muscle-wasting diseases and movement disorders, the frail, the very obese and post-surgical patients are among those who face a significant challenge when it comes to exercise. This can be frustrating, considering the well-established benefits of exercise. A pill may be on the way to stimulate the body into producing some of the same effects as exercise -a drug that can help us game the system that is naturally activated during exercise.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/an-exercise-pill-may-be-in-the-future-for-those-incapable-of-working-out/2018/03/02/e8af9370-1bdb-11e8-ae5a-16e60e4605f3_story.html?

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Entrepreneurship advice specifically for people age 50+

“Workarounds” addresses the unique challenges faced by self-employed people age 50-plus. It’s written by Idea Spy Doug Freeman, who shares his lessons learned from being a solo and micro entrepreneur for over 30 years. The book also contain interview quotes from many globally recognized career and business experts. More information is at http://www.ideascapeinc.com.

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Emotionally intelligent Digital Humans

When we, as human beings interact face-to-face, it’s on the basis of both intellectual and emotional engagement. Sole Machines in New Zealand are building life-like Digital Humans which can connect with us in a human way by analyzing reactions and learning in real time. They have a virtual central nervous system so they can recognize emotional expressions then respond appropriately and interactively in real time. This allows a personalised experience at scale. Presented at the Financial Review BHP Business Summit 2018. www.soulmachines.com

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