Car and Driver published more than 400 barcodes in its annual Buyer’s Guide in late December. Each car in the guide had a corresponding barcode linking to a microsite with pictures, reviews and a link to the full road test, says Olivier Griot, managing director, mobile, at Car and Driver parent company Hachette Filipacchi. All three have partnered with mobile marketing solutions company Scanbuy. Users download Scanbuy’s free software—compatible with 130 different camera phone models—and then use the camera feature as a scanning device, directly linking from the barcodes to the magazines’ WAP (wireless access protocol) sites. At this point, the magazines pay nothing to Scanbuy, according to the company’s CEO Jonathan Bulkeley. In the next phase, Bulkeley says the pay structure will likely be a cost-per-click model. Right now, the goal at Hachette is to educate and build an audience of mobile readers—all of which is “indirectly monetized,” says Griot, as users are bounced to the ad-supported WAP sites. The next step is to open the opportunity up for advertisers to link to their sites and for the company to include barcodes in other Hachette titles magazines. Griot says all signals are positive in this test phase—a “healthy number” of readers have downloaded the Scanbuy software, and the WAP site has seen “quite a bit of return usage,” as users scan multiple bar codes in the guide. “The magazine is portable, and the cell phone is too,” says Griot. “[The platform] helps readers navigate seamlessly between the two.” Bulkeley, naturally, thinks barcodes could be ubiquitous with magazines—and everything else—within the next three-to-five years, appearing in “every magazine ad,” revealing a reader’s demographics—even his or her location. “It brings advertisers back to print,” says Bulkeley. “It makes it measurable. If it becomes ubiquitous, it will change the magazine business forever and, in my opinion, it needs to change.” For example, Bulkeley says a reader could scan a pair of shoes in Vogue magazine, find out which retailers in a five mile radius carry the shoes and even pay for them, all via cellphone. “We think of it today as a communication device. It will become a content access and transaction device,” he says. Magazine publishers love to talk about their mobile initiatives, but asking users to type even the most basic URLs into their phones has proven to be a challenge. Now, some are offering an alternative: cellphone-readable barcodes. Billboard, Wired and Car and Driver have been the first American magazines to test publishing the barcodes in their pages. Billboard was the first in October when it ran two ads for Sprint—a cover-wrapped ad with a bar code linking to the Billboard Top 10 list and a two-page ad with codes linking to music downloads and artist information via Sprint’s deck. Wired ran a barcoded Sprint ad in December.
0 Preview • X-mini’s Evolve Bluetooth headphone doubles as a wireless speaker (hands-on) Headphones X-mini Evolve Share your voice 45 Photos Best wireless Bluetooth headphones for iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Post a comment Tags The X-mini Xtlas Plus earphones offer great sound without costing too much. Aloysius Low/CNET X-mini is best known for its capsule speakers, but the Singaporean company took a new approach last year with new wireless and wired earphones. I’ve previously tried out the Evolve speaker headphones and liked them, but I wasn’t too sure how the company would fare outside of its comfort zone. Tuning a pair of tiny earphones is a lot different from engineering small speakers for loud sound, after all. But it appears the company’s bet for its Xtlas Plus line paid off. Weighing just 0.6 ounces (17 grams), the Xtlas Plus uses a triple-driver setup with two balanced armature drivers alongside a dynamic one. Pairing a dynamic driver with the armature driver gives it more oomph in the bass department — in theory, at least. And the Xtlas Plus sort of succeeds on that front. Braided cables help you avoid tangles. Aloysius Low/CNET X-mini’s sound tends to focus on the clarity of the trebles, and its earphones pretty much stick to the same formula. The company’s speakers usually try not to overdo the bass, and the Xtlas Plus is the same. There are times where you just want a strong bass, especially for electronic tracks, and the Xtlas Plus feels a tad too tame there. That said, put on tracks with strong vocals and the earphones really shine. The sound is clear and crisp, and you can hear plenty of detail. If you like listening to classical tracks, you’ll love how much clarity the Xtlas Plus delivers for each individual instrument. It’s also Hi-Res Audio certified.At S$130 in Singapore (about $95, £75 or AU$135 converted), the X-mini Xtlas Plus earphones are pretty good value for what they offer. There’s also a carrying pouch bundled and three pairs of ear tips for the right fit.
After extending gains for the second straight week, domestic stock markets are headed for major economic data releases next week, while investors will also closely watch the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) meeting.In the week ended 27 November, benchmark indices have posted a gain of 1% on the hopes that the Modi government would be able to pass the key Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.While the BSE S&P Sensex ended the week at 26,128.20, gaining 259.71 points, the 50-share Nifty was up 86.15 points to close at 7,942.70.”Nifty broke out on Friday from the recent trading band of 7,700-7,940. With BankNifty leading from the front, advancing ~1.8% in this week’s trade, we expect Nifty to sustain this momentum and attempt 8,050 in the near term. On the downside, 7,900 could provide a strong support,” said Anil Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.Despite a weakness in other Asian markets, the indices showed strength amid increased efforts from the government to get GST bill approved by Parliament in the current session.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday to discuss issues related to GST bill also spurred hopes on its passage in the Rajya Sabha in the session.Meanwhile, markets will closely monitor the major economic data — October fiscal deficit, Q3 GDP data and the Nikkei PMI manufacturing data-for clues on growth.While a Bloomberg poll estimates the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 7.3%, any sign of slower growth could dampen the sentiment among FIIs, resulting in further outflows.October fiscal deficit data will be also scrutinised closely, as the government may miss the fiscal deficit target set for the year 2015-16, upon the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations from 1 January, 2016.However, the RBI meeting will likely be a non-event for the markets as it is widely expected to keep lending rates on hold.”After a hefty 50bps cut during September, markets do not expect much to happen on the rate front during the December RBI monetary policy review. RBI has undertaken four cuts this calendar year. It is likely that the central bank will pause to gauge the recent spike in food prices and assess whether lower inflationary levels are sustainable,” said Ambani.
Carolyn Kaster/APPresident Trump boards Air Force One, Thursday, en route to Montana.President Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three, according to two sources close to the process.The three are judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge with Kavanaugh and Barrett as the top two at this moment.It’s important to maintain that caveat, because President Trump has not made a final decision, and it could change.Trump could decide (decide not announce) sooner rather than later, as early as tomorrow, though the official announcement is still slated for Monday.Judge Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up to Justice Neil Gorsuch, is still in the mix, though seen as fourth on the list.Whoever is picked is likely to be more conservative than the man they’d be replacing — Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was often a swing vote on the court, sometimes siding with the court’s conservatives and, at others, with the court’s liberals.For the first time in his career, though, this term he sided exclusively with the court’s conservatives.So who are the candidates who could replace Kennedy? Here are some snapshots:Brett Kavanaugh, D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of AppealsKavanaugh, 53, is a former Kennedy clerk and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, which is commonly referred to as the second-most powerful court in the country.He’s a connected Washington insider with roots in politics in the George W. Bush White House. He’s written some 300 opinions for the D.C. Circuit in 12 years — and he’s only 53, which means he will likely serve on the high court, if confirmed, for a very long time.Some conservatives, though, question his bona fides, and he’s controversial with Democrats because of his role investigating former President Bill Clinton as part of the Starr investigation. Some conservatives have been lobbying against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of Washington could mean he’s the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before.These conservatives, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, believe he is not sufficiently conservative and disagree with portions of opinions he’s written relating to abortion and Obamacare.— Domenico MontanaroAmy Coney Barrett, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Barrett, 46, clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She’s only been a federal judge for about a year. Before that, she was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.During her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questioned Barrett about whether her Catholic faith might color her work on the bench. “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern,” Feinstein said of Barrett. The senator’s questions drew a rebuke from Catholic leaders.She was confirmed 55 to 43 by the Senate, and three Democrats voted for her — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.Her age, the youngest of those in final consideration, is seen as both a strength and a weakness. She could serve on the court a long time, but she does not have a lengthy record of opinions. She has lots of scholarly writing, however. Notably, she wrote a paper for the Texas Law Review in 2013 on the role of precedent in constitutional interpretation. She said existing precedent should not be overturned lightly, but she said it’s not “out of bounds”:“Our legal culture does not, and never has, treated the reversal of precedent as out-of-bounds. Instead, it treats departing from precedent as a permissible move, albeit one that should be made only for good reason.”— Scott HorsleyCopyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share