finally

Costco will finally deliver all those giant bulk items with its new grocery service


Available for delivery.
Available for delivery.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

No longer will you need a pickup truck to successfully shop at Costco. 

The big-box store just launched CostcoGrocery, which will provide two-day delivery on dry goods. The two-day window makes it kind of like Amazon Prime—except you can probably get a better deal on a year’s supply of toilet paper. Delivery is free for online orders over $75. 

Along with its two-day delivery service, Costco expanded a partnership with Instacart for same-day delivery on all kinds of products carried at the superstore. 

Interestingly, Costco’s stock fell 6 percent after it announced its delivery plans. The store has always thrived because people spend more when they enter a giant warehouse like Costco in person. Investors worried Costco’s margins would suffer after the company acknowledged the growing competition it faces from grocery players like Amazon by launching its delivery options. 

But for customers, it’s good news. Time to order enough Kirkland-brand pretzels to last until 2019. 

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f10%2f7050b8f1 a2d2 4a0e%2fthumb%2f00001



لینک منبع

Postmates finally ditches those insane delivery fees—but it might be too little, too late


New delivery fees.
New delivery fees.

Image: Chandice Choi/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Postmates is known as the app where the cost of delivery could easily total more than the food you ordered. 

That’s because the app will deliver from anywhere. Ordering from somewhere outside the usual delivery range, though, would send delivery fees skyrocketing into the double digits based on distance. (Orders from the core merchants on Postmates Plus, with more limited options comparable to Seamless or Grubhub, had a more standard delivery fee of $2.99.) 

Postmates is scrapping that model, the app announced Thursday. Instead, delivery from any merchant on Postmates will cost $5.99. Delivery from restaurants on Postmates Plus will go up a dollar, to $3.99. 

“What we wanted to achieve with this was to make pricing in the Anywhere product fully transparent and clear to customers,” said Postmates Senior Vice President of Strategy and Finance Kristin Schaefer. 

The significant changes to Postmates’ pricing are part of a slew of updates Postmates is rolling out. The app is expanding its unlimited service, where users pay $9.99 a month for free delivery on their orders over $20. Unlimited now includes all the merchants on the app, not just Postmates Plus restaurants. 

The app will also scrap service fees on Postmates Plus orders and introduce a more variable service fee for its $5.99 orders from anywhere. That fee will be about a few dollars for the average $25-$30 food order, but could be up to $20 when someone’s ordering something expensive like a MacBook through Postmates. 

The changes come as Postmates tries to figure out how to attract most customers and fulfill its early promise as the delivery company of the future. Since its launch in 2011, Postmates has raised about $278 millions in funding, including a major $140 million round in September 2016 that reportedly didn’t go so well.

Since then, Postmates hasn’t had much in the way of good news. A leaked version of the company’s presentation to possible funders showed that it did not expect to make a profit until 2018, and that this would only happen if the company’s sales increased 400%.

It’s an ambitious goal, and one that will be tough for Postmates to hit. The app laid off all its city managers last week as it centralized its operations in San Francisco. 

At least ordering from that one restaurant that’s too far away for Seamless won’t cost $20 anymore! 

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f9%2f5d1e379c f58c f6f2%2fthumb%2f00001



لینک منبع

Asia’s newest mobile wallet may actually get the region to go cashless, finally


Finally, people in Singapore are about to get an easier and quicker way to send money to a friend, via a mobile wallet app.

But surprisingly, it’s not coming from a bank or payment company — it’s coming from ride-hailing app, Grab.

Grab, Uber’s biggest competition in Southeast Asia, on Wednesday announced users will be able to transfer funds in the app’s wallet between users, without fees.

They can do it by sending money over to a mobile number registered with Grab, or by physically scanning a friend’s QR code.

The function is similar to what users have with China’s WeChat and Alipay wallets — arguably the world leaders in simple peer-to-peer fund transfers.

But it’ll lack one key thing that the Chinese apps have. Your money in the Grab wallet can’t be transferred out to a bank account.

That means whatever you have in there needs to be spent on rides or to be sent back to other friends.

۱,۰۰۰ street vendors are coming

By the end of the year though, Grab plans to announce a raft of 1,000 small merchants in Singapore that’ll be on board, allowing you to pay with a scan of their QR codes.

Now we’re talking. The biggest barriers to cashless adoption in cash-reliant Southeast Asia are infrastructure and bank fees.

To take a credit card, a street vendor would have to get a point-of-sale system that works with MasterCard or Visa, and pay fees of between 1 percent and 3 percent on each transaction.

Alipay and Wechat, on the other hand, revolutionised the Chinese market with the simple QR code scanner, and far lower fees of less than 1 percent.

Grab hasn’t announced its merchant fee structure yet. But if it’s acceptably low to the small retailer, it could really help unshackle users here from carrying cash around.

In Singapore, at least, the cashless options haven’t been quite as slick as what China has. Recently, the country’s banks jointly announced a way to pay friends from your mobile banking app.

That process requires a 2FA token or SMS code, and way too many taps, in comparison to what Grab is showing off right now.

Local bank DBS has a QR code P2P payment option, but again it requires fiddling with 2FA codes. DBS has been trying to get small merchants onboard, to its credit.

For Grab, its headstart into the market with 1,000 merchants in Singapore (and presumably way more in the region) may well further entrench users in relying on the app, beyond calling for rides.

Grab already claims about 72 percent market share for private vehicle sharing, and 95 percent for taxis in Southeast Asia, where it’s in seven countries fighting Uber.

It also processes 1 billion payment transactions annually for rides, but it’s got to prepare to add merchants to that load soon.

So while the country continues to look for a way to go cashless, Grab’s already out of the gates. It’ll be interesting to see who’s next on its tail.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f81441%2f9fe16540 5b31 440b b5bf fbb14cdea497



لینک منبع

Joel Osteen’s megachurch finally announces it’s open for Harvey victims


Lakewood Church, televangelist Joel Osteen’s massive Houston arena complex, finally made clear on Tuesday that it will provide shelter for Harvey victims after hours of uproar on social media.

The church previously claimed the building was unsafe for relief efforts due to flooding inside. But social media sleuths who visited the grounds on Monday questioned that assessment and posted photos showing a relatively dry exterior and surrounding area.

“Lakewood is receiving people who need shelter,” the church tweeted from its official account multiple times on Monday morning.

While various reports claimed that the church had already opened its doors Monday night, officials had yet to say so explicitly on its public channels until Tuesday morning. 

Writer Charles Clymer, who solicited some of the original photographic evidence of the church’s status, claimed late on Monday that the church has stocked up on air mattresses to serve occupants.  

Formerly known as the Compaq Center, the Lakewood Church building once served as the home of the Houston Rockets and can seat up to 16,000 people.

Dozens of other churches in the Houston area have also opened their doors to the tens of thousands of people driven from their homes as hurricane-related floods continue to devastate the area.

This story is developing.



لینک منبع

Facebook is finally purging annoying fake videos from your News Feed


No more fake videos on Facebook
No more fake videos on Facebook

Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Say goodbye to annoying fake Facebook videos.

The social network is tweaking its algorithm so you’ll see static memes disguised as videos and images with fake play buttons way less often. 

Spammers have been flooding the site with these trick formats to take advantage of Facebook’s fanatical focus on promoting video above other types of content. Uploading single images as videos can earn the poster advertising money, and photos made to look like videos can lead users to sketchy sites with malicious ads.

An example of a photo with a fake play button that leads to a sketchy website.

An example of a photo with a fake play button that leads to a sketchy website.

“People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we,” the company said in a statement. 

Expect to see less misleading videos as Facebook implements the changes in the coming weeks.

“People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we”

Facebook has been pushing hard for the past couple years to grow the platform’s volume of videos, which command much higher prices from advertisers than other content. 

But despite Facebook’s phenomenal video growth, the company is only now starting to iron out kinks like pirated videos and deceptive practices.

The push is also part of Facebook’s bigger effort to crack down on all types of misleading content, which started after it was blamed for spreading fake news during the presidential election. Other updates have included suppressing links to sites with intrusive ads and shutting down bait-and-switch ads.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f81212%2f0f819cd3 c383 4d6c a1b3 56509e4959ad

 



لینک منبع

Trump finally tweets about white nationalist rally, violence in Charlottesville


White nationalists in Charlottesville.
White nationalists in Charlottesville.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

After hours of silence, President Donald Trump finally commented on the white nationalist rally and related violence happening in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. 

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” the president tweeted. “There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” 

Trump tweeted after 1 p.m. on Saturday, almost two hours after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville and the city determined the scheduled Unite the Right rally protesting the removal of Confederate monuments to be a form of unlawful assembly. 

His tweet took a long time, and it came after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and even First Lady Melania Trump had already commented. 

Their commentary made the president’s earlier silence particularly noticeable. 

The White House has no official connection to the rally planned in Charlottesville, but many of the marchers were Trump supporters who praised the president while they waved Nazi and Confederate flags. One Twitter user captured video of marchers yelling, “Heil Trump.” 

Some of the violence in Virginia was between the white nationalist protesters and counter-protesters — perhaps why Trump’s comment focusing on us all “[coming] together as one.” 

As J.K. Rowling said, hell of a day to forget how to tweet. 

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80936%2f8104877f 6e4a 4132 900b 6b65aef46092



لینک منبع

Facebook is finally ready for its next big move: Taking on TV


Mark Zuckerberg has been preaching video as our future for the last couple years. On Thursday, he’s launching the next big step in the company’s quest to dominate every last second of your waking life.

Facebook is set to debut original shows made by media partners exclusively for the social network, marking the company’s official entry into the high-end online video world that already includes rivals Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Apple.

It is also a product update, meaning the video tab in Facebook’s mobile app will feature a new design to highlight the initiative. 

Mashable has confirmed ATTN, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Tastemade, and Group Nine (which overseas Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker) are involved. (Mashable was also previously reported by Digiday to be a Facebook partner in this program. Mashable executives declined to comment.)

Facebook has been tip-toeing into original video content. The company paid publishers, including Mashable, to create live videos shortly after Facebook’s live product was released. Now, Facebook is making a much bigger push into TV-like shows including reality content as well as scripted programs.

Why? One big reason is money. Facebook makes the majority of its revenue from digital advertising, which has been mostly of the direct response type. With this initiative, the company is now better able to cut into the $70 billion TV advertising market that tech companies are salivating for.

The company is going after the $70 billion TV advertising market that tech companies are salivating for.

The initiative has been a long time coming for Facebook and its partners. Facebook hired CollegeHumor cofounder Ricky Van Veen as its head of global creative strategy in June 2016. Mina Lefevre, formerly head of scripted for MTV, joined as head of development in February this year. 

Ricky Van Veen’s team has been meeting with media outlets and Hollywood studios and has inked deals for exclusive shows, not unlike what you see on television.

It’s been up in the air over the last several months on when these shows will debut. A source close to the entertainment industry said Facebook’s initiative was expected to launch at Cannes, an industry advertising festival held in June. A different participating publisher told Mashable that they had not learned of the confirmed launch time until this week.

All the publishers that spoke with Mashable requested anonymity due to their business relationships with Facebook.

Some of Facebook’s original series have been revealed prior to their debut, such as a show featuring Lonzo Ball, a former UCLA basketball player who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Deadline reported. But publishers involved in the launch had been instructed by Facebook to stay silent until Thursday.

As to what it will look like, one publisher likened the experience to Snapchat Discover, the app’s network of media partners that create exclusive editions, some daily (Mashable is a Snapchat Discover partner). That comparison is due to the 24-hour, ephemeral nature of the content and the shorter length of each episode. Each episode will last between 3 to 10 minutes, on average. 

“My understanding is [Facebook will] highlight a certain number of shows each day. Those shows will be there for 24 hours and then not be there anymore and new shows will replace them,” said one publisher, who asked not to be identified since Facebook has not allowed any participants to talk on the record until the launch. 

Some publishers will have weekly shows, meaning they will appear for 24 hours every Monday, for example. 

Facebook has licensed deals with these participating publishers, meaning it pays them a minimum guarantee. Some publishers have been paid $5,000 per episode, others $35,000 per episode, depending on the length of the show, according to a participant. Reuters previously reported these numbers. 

The shows also will feature mid-roll ads, where Facebook and publishers will split the revenue. 

A participating publisher told Mashable they were thankful to be involved with the launch due to the exclusivity of the partnership. 

“It was extremely competitive getting a meeting with the team,” the publisher said. “Facebook, like it or not, is the biggest opportunity in video.” 

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f81110%2fce057270 9624 47a5 82c7 b5a2e91147c5



لینک منبع

Apple finally catches up with the rest of the world and joins Instagram


Apple is getting a bit more social.

The notoriously social media-shy tech giant just launched a new Instagram account to showcase some of the best photos taken with the iPhone.

Like Apple’s long-running “Shot on iPhone” campaign, @Apple will exclusively feature curated and credited photos from iPhone users all over the world. The company says product photo galleries, commercials or other company marketing will never appear on the account.

The idiosyncratic Cupertino company has long eschewed advertising on competitor platforms, but it’s loosened up a bit on that stance in the past couple years. It’s opened Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts for Apple Music, Twitter accounts for iTunes and iBooks, and it had its long-dormant @Apple account officially verified last fall.

The fledgling account was stocked with four videos at launch — one introductory post and three artist-narrated galleries.

Instagram users can have their photos considered for a feature spot on the account by tagging them with the hashtag #ShotOnIphone. Apple says it will never use anyone’s photos without their permission.

Apple’s marketing material has been ramping up its emphasis on the creative capabilities of the iPhone in recent years with efforts like the “Shot on iPhone” campaign and in-store photography and video classes. The thinking seems to be that iPhone users who are more invested in device-related hobbies are more likely to care about increasingly incremental upgrades to its capabilities, and thus more likely to buy each new version of the phone.

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f7%2fea8cdb04 3ea2 94b3%2fthumb%2f00001

 

 



لینک منبع

Lyft will finally develop its own self-driving cars


Uber had the lead on ride-hailing and self-driving cars for a while, but it’s encountered some roadblocks. 

Now Lyft is jumping in, with the announcement that the U.S. ride-hailing company will develop its own self-driving technology at a facility in Silicon Valley. 

“We believe Lyft is in the best position to demonstrate what a great overall user experience can be. Lyft is also uniquely positioned to build technology in collaboration with partners in a way that makes it possible to roll out self-driving cars at scale in the fastest, safest, most efficient way,” Lyft Vice President of Engineering Luc Vincent wrote in a Medium post announcing Lyft’s plans. 

Lyft earlier this year introduced an open self-driving platform that allowed car manufacturers and self-driving systems to sync with Lyft’s network. Now, Lyft’s own self-driving cars will operate on that network too. And Lyft will continue to work in tandem with other stakeholders developing self-driving technology through that platform. 

Lyft’s self-driving headquarters will be called the Level 5 Engineering Center, named for the level of self-driving that is entirely autonomous, compared to cars that require some human attention. Ten percent of Lyft’s engineers are working on this technology. 

In the future, Lyft’s full network of self-driving cars and drivers will be integrated so that a ride you order could end up being completed by either a car or a human driver. 

If Lyft can avoid lawsuits from Google and the ire of city regulators, it’ll be a step ahead in the self-driving race. 

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f7%2f665da9c6 be71 f0ea%2fthumb%2f00001



لینک منبع