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Matthew Hodgson is technical co-founder of Matrix.org…, a not-for-profit open source project unifying Chat, VoIP and IoT technologies.

How to join the network

Recently, Google launched a video calling tool (yes, another one). Google Hangouts has been sidelined to Enterprise, and Google Duo is supposed to be the next big thing in video calling.

So now we have Skype from Microsoft, Facetime from Apple, and Google with Duo. Each big company has its own equivalent service, each stuck in its own bubble. These services may be great, but they aren’t exactly what… Continue reading

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If you listen to the wrong people, the North American manufacturing industry is doomed.

There is no denying that the U.S. and Canada have been losing jobs to offshore competition for almost half a century. From 2000 to 2010 alone, 5.6 million jobs disappeared.

Interestingly, though, only 13 percent of those jobs were lost due to international trade. The vast remainder, 85 percent of job losses, stemmed from “productivity growth” — another way of saying machines replacing human workers.

For many, this scenario is even worse. China and Mexico may be “taking our jobs,” but at least… Continue reading

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With Flow, Built.io has long offered an integration tool that allowed technical users (think IT admins and developers) to create complex, multi-step integrations with the help of an easy to use drag-and-drop interface. Now, however, the company has also launched a more basic version of Flow that is aimed at business users who want to create IFTTT-like integrations between applications like Cisco Spark, Slack, Gmail, Marketo and Salesforce. To clarify the difference between the two services, the old version of Flow is now Flow Enterprise, while this new one is branded as Flow Express.

flow-express“Integration and… Continue reading

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A startup called Heek wants to make building websites as simple as chatting over text and answering a few questions. Using a conversational interface, the bot asks you questions about yourself, your business and your site, then lets you click to see different designs you can customize to meet your needs. The bot will even prompt you to save your work, as you get further into the site creation process.

Many of today’s chatbots have fallen short when it comes being a more efficient way of interacting with a web service, and often lead to frustrating… Continue reading

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Today, food and agriculture entrepreneurs took the stage at the White House lawn for SXSL 2016 to discuss the potential and limits of technology to feed a burgeoning world population.

According to the most recent available estimates from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 793 million people in the world do not have enough to eat today.

And with a global population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, the U.S Agency for International Development (US AID) expects that agricultural production will need to increase… Continue reading