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Black phones are boring but sell Yet for brands color still matters

first_img Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Over in China, Huawei said also leaned into color to attract the attention of women and youth. “We need to make sure our color range [is] more approachable to the female consumer and also a more younger demographic,” he said, adding that Huawei wants to appeal to buyers who embrace fashion, something a black phone can’t do.Aren’t you just going to put a case on it anyway?Any time I gush over a phone color or design, someone (usually CNET editor David Carnoy) quickly retorts, “Who cares? You’re just going to put a case on it anyway.” He isn’t wrong, and you really should use a case and glass screen protector to shield your phone, even if just to preserve its resale or trade-in value. But in the decision-making process, that logic might matter less.1783oppo-find-x-edited Angela Lang/CNET “People want to protect their precious phones,” said Huawei’s Kim, a former Samsung product designer before moving to Huawei. “But when they make their purchase decision, we really need to put out … an attractive product,” Kim said, adding that changing out cases is another way to express your style. Maybe phone colors are like fancy lingerie: Who cares if nobody else sees it? You know it’s there.Black is boring, but it sellsWhile colorful phones are exciting to look at, the reality is that they’ll never outsell black, white and gray. Huawei’s Kim knows this, acknowledging that the P20 Pro’s Twilight color, a blue-pink-purple gradient, can’t surpass black. “[The] Twilight color has been very popular,” he said. “But … really, really the final sale, the neutral color really sells more.Google knows this, too, which is why its Not-Pink Pixel 3 veers more toward beige than bubble gum or rose. Now playing: Watch this: Owning a brightly colored phone says something about you, the buyer. “It makes your phone much more unique, and personalizes the phone,” Kahn said. It can also prove to others that you’re riding the latest trend. “That makes a different reason to purchase.”Standing out from the crowdhuawei-mate-20-pro-0041The Mate 20 Pro has a striking look. Josh Miller/CNET Dazzling you for the sake of self expression is one thing, but don’t forget the competitive edge. Huawei’s P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and Honor View 20 are bullish about eye-popping gradients and patterns in part to separate the brand from its rivals.”We had a lot of disadvantage because we’re not a well-known brand to consumers [compared to] our other competition, which is bigger and better recognized in the industry,” said Joonsuh Kim, the chief design officer of Huawei’s consumer business, which includes phones.He’s referring to Samsung here, the world’s largest smartphone maker. But make no mistake, Huawei is no seedling startup. Last year it ousted Apple to become the planet’s second biggest phone brand, and it plans to take Samsung’s crown by 2020. While Samsung admitted to slower sales in 2018 (Apple did, too), Huawei announced that its shares were rising: 200 million units sold by the end of 2019. Its investment in flashy phones seems to have paid off.Samsung, for its part, has sold phones in every color of the rainbow, the most recent being a deep blue Galaxy Note 9 with a sunny yellow stylus to go with it. It popped. See All 28 Photos Yep, the Galaxy S10 leaked again reading • Black phones are boring, but sell. Yet for brands, color still matters • 6 “We wanted to make sure we have something classic and conservative, something light and fresh, and Not Pink [is] a little bit of a statement while also being neutral,” Olsson said, adding that Google’s design team worked on the color for 2 and a half years, holding back because it deemed it world-unready until now.”What’s great about Not-Pink is that it has that specific appeal, but isn’t gender-specific,” Olsson said.A sign of slowing tech?There’s one other reason why smartphone brands might gravitate toward colorful cases rather than neutral tones. Phones aren’t wearing out as fast as manufacturers want them to, and customers are holding on to them longer. Technology has slowed, giving buyers less of a reason to upgrade.At this point, the classic marketing move for any industry is to change up the color palette each year to entice you with a fashion statement you just have to have or else you’ll die.iphone-xs-iphone-xr-iphone-xr-max-7A little color goes a long way. Angela Lang/CNET “If you’re not going to improve on the tech significantly, you frequently see a move to design and aesthetics,” said Kahn, pointing out that the same thing happened with wired telephones in the 1980s, luring in kids with princess-themed, neon and translucent phones. The tech didn’t change much, but the packaging did.Things in 2019 are different. Samsung is set to announce its first foldable phone on Wednesday, poised to be followed by a rush of folding phone designs from competitors like Huawei, LG and Xiaomi. Phones with 5G connectivity will also start to crop up this month at MWC, the world’s largest phone show. And phones with three or more rears cameras are also about to take aim, shaking up a flat landscape with tantalizing possibility, whether it all pans out or not.Will color continue to play a leading role for mainstream devices? Will daring foldable phones like Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy X/Galaxy F/Galaxy Fold come in only black? Whatever happens, it’s a sure bet that phone makers won’t give up the need to find a competitive edge any way they can.”We always want to be the pioneers in the industry. We need to move on to the new thing,” Kim said of Huawei. “We’re not going to stay where we’re at right now.”First published Feb. 16, 4 a.m. PT.Update, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.: Updates article throughout.March 2 at 10:54 a.m. PT: Corrects spelling of Barbara Kahn. Pixel 3 in Not Pink is pretty accurate. Shot with things that are actually pretty pink, and things that are actually pretty white #madebygoogle #Pixel3 @CNET pic.twitter.com/9o7lcI7kTs— Jessica Dolcourt (@jdolcourt) October 9, 2018center_img 3:49 Share your voice Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it The Galaxy S10 in Canary Yellow and Flamingo Pink. The foldable Galaxy Fold in Martian Green. OnePlus 6T in Thunder Purple. The list goes on. Every sales figure and expert tells us that people buy phones for their camera, battery and screen. But any product designer or marketer will tell you that color and finish matter, too.Just think. If color were inconsequential, why bother coming up with fancy names like Jet Black, Phantom Blue and Prism White, rather than simply black, blue and white? Why even have white at all?”Color has always been a very important visual element,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at The Wharton School. “It’s something people notice right away.”The OnePlus 6T in Thunder Purple. Angela Lang/CNET Shelf appeal is important when selling any product. It’s what gets a thing noticed. But a colorful phone can be personal and meaningful as well.”Color gives us joy in our lives,” said Isabelle Olsson, who helped lead the team that designed the Pixel 3 in Not-Pink. I hear echoes of Marie Kondo’s treatise on sparking joy. “We’re craving something new,” she added, not just “black, glossy boxes.”Apple is a good example of this philosophy. For years, the most “special” iPhone colors have been white, gold, rose gold and jet black, all fairly neutral tones. Only with the cheaper iPhone XR and iPhone 5C did it let its hair down with bold blue, yellow and coral choices to offset the polished stoicism of the higher-end iPhones. The one exception: the special-edition red iPhone, born of a partnership with the nonprofit Product RED charity. Honor View 20’s hypnotic colors will make your jaw drop Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Apple Comments Phones Tags Google Huawei LG Samsung Applelast_img read more

Our favorite backtoschool picks for 2019

first_img 3 Apple Sure, Apple’s excellent AirPods may be the more visible campus status symbol — but Sony’s brand-new wireless earbuds are the superior product. At $230, they’re not cheap. But they sound better, deliver 6 to 8 hours of battery life and have active noise-canceling features, one of only two models in this class with the feature.Read more: Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds battle it out against Apple’s AirPods 2 Apple MacBook Air In July, Apple debuted a brand-new MacBook Air featuring its True Tone display technology and a recalibrated list price of $1,100. I think it should cost $1,000. But Best Buy has an even better deal on it right now: $900. That’s a major discount on one of the best laptops around for students.  reading • Our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019 News • Hands-on with the new Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Read CNET’s list of best back-to-school backpacks and bags Tyler Lizenby/CNET I’ve been using Burton’s Spruce 26L backpack for the past year, and I think it’s the best, most versatile bag I’ve ever owned. It’s comfortable to wear, looks cool and is made with durable materials, including weather-resistant zippers. From the quick-release magnetic buckles to the fleece-lined laptop pocket, this bag is extremely well-designed from top to bottom. And it comes with Burton’s lifetime warranty. If you’re looking for something a little higher-end, I also love the weatherproof Rhake backpack from Mission Workshop. At $365, it’s expensive, but the 22-liter roll-top compartment is cavernous, the laptop compartment that opens from the side is so handy — and the bag just looks extremely slick.  You need tunes for both work and play. Most small Bluetooth speakers don’t sound good — but the new UE Wonderboom 2 delivers full audio in a durable, waterproof package at a reasonable price.  See at Amazon Read more on the UE Wonderboom 2 See also Chris Monroe/CNET The Lenovo Smart Clock is a minimalist, customizable smart clock that can recommend alarms based on your calendar. It comes with the full power of Google Assistant voice control, so it’s basically a Google Home Mini with a clock face. Our favorite feature is also the most visceral — you can snooze your alarms just by whacking the thing. Even better, Best Buy is selling the clock for $20 off its list price, bringing the total to $60, through Sept. 7.  See at Amazon Read the Sony WF-1000XM3 review Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See at Amazon Read the Dell XPS 13 review • Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System coffee maker Comments See at Hello Fresh See at Walmart Our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019 11 great gadgets that can smarten up a dumb dorm room Best back-to-school headphones Uber gift card Hydro Flask Modern students are aware of the benefits of staying hydrated, and many are discerning about the container they use. Hydro Flask bottles keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot drinks warm up to 12 hours. And they’re tough enough to survive the rigors of campus life. Read more: CNET’s full list of the best water bottles See at Amazon Burton Spruce 26L Backpack Burton Apple MacBook Air Read the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System review Originally published last month. Updated to reflect new sale prices. See at Uber Instant Pot pressure cooker Read the AmazonBasics Microwave review Rocketbook Fusion notebook You can find similar components in other laptops at around the same price, but few can match the XPS 13 for its near-perfect combination of size, slim bezel, processing power, great design and excellent keyboard, plus a wide range of price options.  Walmart Walmart Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Dell Google Lenovo Microsoft Roku Sony Nintendo Uber Apple TCL Read the MacBook Air (2018) review Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET See at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET See at Walmart Nintendo Switch Read the TCL S325 review From the best phones for students to the best laptops to everything else in between, we’ve curated a handful of recommendations for campus life. Check out our picks for basic cooking equipment, more advanced gear for foodies, eight inexpensive things to keep students healthy at college and the best gifts under $50.Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019. Have a look.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.     In 2019, the TV remains central to many forms of modern entertainment. This particular model comes with a Roku built in, making streaming apps effortlessly accessible. The 32-incher can be found for under $120 at Walmart and even the biggest, 49-inch model costs just $250. See at Walmart Preview • The MacBook Air is dead. Long live the MacBook Air See at Amazon Dell XPS 13 See it TCL S321/325 series For the lucky student who already has a TV, the Roku Plus will transform it into a full-featured streaming device. This model supports 4K and HDR video, has the best search interface and can control the TV’s volume and power.  Mentioned Above Apple MacBook Air (128GB, Gray, 2018) See at Amazon Sony WF-1000XM3 Bluetooth headphones See at Best Buy See All Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET If the dorm allows it, an Instant Pot is a no brainer for college students. It can do almost anything: make morning yogurt, boil perfect eggs, cook big batches of protein to stretch into meals all week long and even pull off easy desserts. The smaller 3-quart mini Instant Pot might be better for dorm-bound students, but the larger 6-quart model pictured above is often on sale for even less — around $50 — making it a tough deal to turn down. Read more:  15 quick & easy Instant Pot meals | Our favorite Instant Pot cookbooks | Easy Instant Pot breakfast recipes | What’s the best Instant Pot to buy? $1,199 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice Hello Fresh meal kit delivery service Tags See at Amazon Read the Roku Streaming Stick Plus review You’ll be hard-pressed to find a student that won’t enjoy playing games on a Nintendo Switch. But unless your gamer is willing to keep the handheld docked to a TV, you’ll want to wait until mid-September to pull the trigger. That’s when you’ll be able to buy the updated Switch that has longer battery life — or the Switch Lite, which will be $100 cheaper. If you do go for this model, though, make sure you get the new Switch model with longer battery life: Here’s how to tell which Switch is which. Read the Lenovo Smart Clock review Review • Apple MacBook Air review: Rebooted as a thinner, lighter, more expensive laptop Smart Display TVs Bluetooth Headsets Media Streamers Laptops Small Appliances Gaming Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers Video Games Lenovo Smart Clock See It Coffee may be the most essential ingredient for academic success. So, some kind of coffee maker is highly advisable, and this jack-of-all-trades Ninja is a great contender. It can handle regular coffee as well as cold brew and even tea, with separate settings and baskets for beans and leaves (loose or bagged). It has a foldaway frothing arm for latte-style drinks — so not only will it save money on Starbucks runs, it’ll make the dorm the most popular spot to study. It includes size settings too, so you can brew a full carafe or a single cup.Read more: Trusty reusable coffee mugs Not only does a meal kit delivery service save time, it cuts down on food waste with perfectly proportionate amounts of ingredients. Plus, thanks to detailed recipe instructions, even novice cooks can pull off impressive meals. There are plenty of meal kit delivery companies to choose from and many offer plans for special diets including vegan and gluten-free selections. But Hello Fresh is currently offering 15% off every box for students (new customers only) plus free shipping on any box when you use code UniDAYS (prices start at $9 per serving). Read more: Best meal kit subscription services See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET AmazonBasics Microwave $899 Aug 29 • Best college laptops for 2019 Hydro Flask water bottle There aren’t many things you can’t cook in a microwave, and — unlike hot plates, camping stoves and other niche cookery devices — most dorms allow them. For $60, this AmazonBasics Microwave includes Alexa voice support and a (somewhat random) popcorn reordering feature. Bottom line: It’s a competitively priced cooking device with some useful features you won’t find in other microwaves in the same price range.  Rocketbook’s reusable notebooks make it easy to send notes and other jottings to your email or preferred cloud service (Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack or Evernote). On the one hand, using the Fusion notebook is just marginally more convenient than taking a photo of any piece of paper and sending it to yourself. But the notebook has a few nice usability touches — you can mark an icon at the bottom of the page to route notes to up to seven different destinations — and the sustainability angle is compelling. Included with the notebook is a nice Pilot FriXion pen (which doubles as an eraser) and a microfiber cloth that effectively wipes pages clean to be used again.Note that Rocketbook is offering a back to school discount at getrocketbook.com between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3. Enter the code B2S2019 at checkout to get 25% off an order of $25 or more. See at Amazon Microsoft We are fully in back-to-school mode now, and it’s time to gear up. For the past few weeks, retailers have been ramping up their sales, and we’ve found great deals on the products that students will need as they head back to their dorms and classrooms. It’s not always easy for students to get to the grocery store or the mall, and an Uber gift card can help ease the burden of transportation. The company offers both digital and physical cards in denominations up to $500, and you can give the gift of a ride or food delivery (through the Uber Eats service). Hello Fresh Back-to-School Tech Gift Guide Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Aug 30 • Hate subscription software? Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are on sale for $60 each $1,099 Aug 29 • Save up to $500 on Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets Read the Nintendo Switch review Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET See It Sarah Tew/CNET Ninja Roku Streaming Stick Plus Instant Pot Angela Lang/CNETlast_img read more

New research provokes more questions about the origin of the moon

first_imgMoon. Photo courtesy of NASA Journal information: Nature Geoscience More information: The proto-Earth as a significant source of lunar material, Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1429AbstractA giant impact between the proto-Earth and a Mars-sized impactor named Theia is the favoured scenario for the formation of the Moon. Oxygen isotopic compositions have been found to be identical between terrestrial and lunar samples, which is inconsistent with numerical models estimating that more than 40% of the Moon-forming disk material was derived from Theia. However, it remains uncertain whether more refractory elements, such as titanium, show the same degree of isotope homogeneity as oxygen in the Earth–Moon system. Here we present 50Ti/47Ti ratios in lunar samples measured by mass spectrometry. After correcting for secondary effects associated with cosmic-ray exposure at the lunar surface using samarium and gadolinium isotope systematics, we find that the 50Ti/47Ti ratio of the Moon is identical to that of the Earth within about four parts per million, which is only 1/150 of the isotopic range documented in meteorites. The isotopic homogeneity of this highly refractory element suggests that lunar material was derived from the proto-Earth mantle, an origin that could be explained by efficient impact ejection, by an exchange of material between the Earth’s magma ocean and the protolunar disk, or by fission from a rapidly rotating post-impact Earth.Press release (PhysOrg.com) — It’s beguiled watchers since before records were kept, and today still, it fills poets with pensive musings, and scientists with enchanting questions. Where did the moon come from, and how did it get there? The prevailing view is that a planet named Theia entered out solar system and banged into our planet with sufficient force to push some of the molten material from our planet into orbit. Over time, that material coalesced to form the moon. Now, new research from geophysical scientist Junjun Zhang and colleagues, suggests that such thinking might be wrong. In their paper published in Nature Geoscience, they find that in comparing titanium isotopes from both the moon and the Earth, that the match is too close to support the theory that the moon could have been made partly of material from another planet. Earth’s makeup found to be more diverse than previously thought © 2012 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Scientists had already found that oxygen isotopes from the Earth’s mantle and the moon were nearly identical, but that wasn’t enough to put a dent in the theory that a collision with Theia had created the moon because oxygen isotopes from the Earth could have mixed with isotopes from the mass of molten material circling the planet after impact. Now, though, because titanium isotopes are not nearly so easily exchanged, it’s difficult to theorize that the same sort of mixing could have occurred.Most scientists agree that if a planet had smacked into Earth and the moon came about as a result, than the moon ought to be made of some of that other planet as well. Some say the laws of physics suggest it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of forty percent. If that’s the case, why don’t studies of rocks brought back by the Apollo missions show evidence of this other planet?Some suggest the moon didn’t come about as a result of an impact at all, but from parts of the Earth being flung into orbit due to a faster spin than we now have. Unfortunately, there is no evidence thus far to support the notion that the Earth ever spun that fast. Others suggest that perhaps it wasn’t a planet that struck the Earth but an object made of ice, which would have evaporated leaving no evidence behind that it caused a huge chunk of the Earth to be knocked into orbit.And some, despite the new evidence, still cling to the belief that it could have been Theia, if Theia were made of nearly the exact same stuff as the Earth, meaning the isotopes would be the same. The odds for that are pretty slim, but not impossible. Hopefully new research will one day provide us with a definitive answer. Until that day though, it seems we will all have to just keep on musing. Explore further Citation: New research provokes more questions about the origin of the moon (2012, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-provokes-moon.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Why Tech Is HRs Friend Not Its Enemy

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read April 18, 2016 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Why is it that human resources is the one department people love to hate? From the outside, the job looks simple. So, why can’t HR professionals just process requests faster, be better organized and manage talent more efficiently? people ask.Related: How This Company Is Helping Businesses Find Zen in Human Resource PaperworkWell, those same people need to exercise a little more brain power here, because the notion that every HR department is old-fashioned, full of red tape and works in a bubble is a misguided stereotype.Nonetheless, because of the surplus of innovative HR tech available, some thought-leaders in the industry are questioning if we even need HR at all. Can’t apps and platforms do what whole departments used to do? they ask. Can’t they do it better?The reality is crystal clear: People are the most important asset to any business, and employers will always need experts to manage them. While tech can automate administrative work and take the productivity of many important HR tasks to the next level, HR professionals are — and will continue to be — a vital part of every business.In the age of automation, HR isn’t going anywhere. Here’s why:HR knows which new tech will benefit employees most.Tech will never fully replace the power of people. HR analytics are great, but people are the ones who make the important human decisions regarding employees.New HR tech can help give employees all the tools they need: self-service employee profiles, affordable employee benefits, a social news feed to keep everyone connected and more. But it’s HR professionals who guide and grow a company culture, encourage career development and analyze the important “people” data coming out of the tech a company uses.Businesses don’t need just anyone to drive the use of tech forward — they need HR. In 2016, HR departments are more focused on innovation and adopting new technologies to improve employee experience, suggests Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Report. And that’s what’s key — they’re focused on the employee experience.In a 2015 report sponsored by Visier and released by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 44 percent of the 323 CEOs surveyed said their workforce planning was driven by finance and didn’t take talent availability into consideration.So, while those in the C-suite remain focused on speeding up processes, improving productivity, boosting profits and reducing costs, HR sets its sights on people. HR tech and processes bring a unique view to the table by analyzing which tools and resources will make work easier for employees. And employers need that point of view.Related: 17 Great HR Resources for EntrepreneursIn fact, a July 2015 CareerBuilder survey of 88 leaders at companies with revenue of at least $50 million found that 65 percent of CEOs thought that HR opinions at their organizations carried increasingly more weight with senior management.Employers need HR’s unique input, then, to make sense of new tech and analytics and to make the best decisions for employees, the culture and the business as a whole.Employees need guidance, even with new tech.Tech can handle a lot of the time-consuming duties that used to occupy HR. It can automate payroll and benefits enrollment, provide paperless onboarding and maintain all employee data in one place for easy reporting. But these processes represent only half the picture.Specifically, there will always be a “human” side to human resources. Automation doesn’t put HR professionals out of a job — it helps them to do their jobs better, enabling them to spend even more time on the human and strategic aspects of their work.People are the resource best suited to provide opportunities for career development and standardize processes around promoting from within. People are the best resource for handling delicate workplace issues — and then making a company culture the best it can be.Apps can help deliver benefits communications and information, but they can’t answer individual questions or explain confusing plans step by step.Apps and tools can’t really listen to employees. HR tech is a game-changer for communication. Social news feeds allow the whole company to communicate in real time. Mobile apps mean people can find and contact coworkers instantly. Surveys and reviews collect feedback whenever it’s needed.But employees want a living, breathing human they can share their concerns with. And employers need someone to take that feedback and turn it into action. That person is an HR professional.No matter what technology is implemented to improve communications, HR is the sounding board and voice of employees — a role in which even managers may even fall short. A 2015 SHRM survey of employees found that only 37 percent of respondents described themselves as “very satisfied” with the consideration their ideas received. And just 23 percent were “very satisfied” with communications with senior management.Related: A New Wave of HR Technology Is Disrupting the MarketEmails and social platforms may make communication easier, but HR makes that communication count. HR professionals mediate problems between peers and managers, make improvements based on suggestions and take employee concerns seriously. Tech can’t do that.HR’s power to make communication effective is uniquely its own. Register Now »last_img read more