Global insights consultancy Kantar locates its first advanced analytics hub in region in Singapore

EDB & Kantar - LR, Hernan Sanchez, Tim Kelsall, Kelvin Wong.png

WPP-OWNED global insights consultancy, Kantar, is partnering the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to launch its first research and development hub in Asia.

The Brand Growth Lab will focus on advanced analytics and use Big Data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help companies grow their brands. It will have a strong innovation mandate and aims to transform unstructured data into insights that drive customer-centric decision-making and sustainable growth for companies.

In addition to the lab’s innovation mandate, the three-year collaboration between Kantar and the EDB also includes the hiring of data scientists and business designers, thus developing a strong pipeline of Singapore-based talent and expertise in this area.

The creation of the lab follows the establishment of similar analytics labs in London and Frankfurt, and this year’s launch of the Professional Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM), a roadmap that seeks to to develop Singapore into a global leader in the professional services industry.

Said Hernan Sanchez, Kantar Brand Growth Lab’s managing director: “Brands no longer have to rely on hunches, but can instead substantiate their decisions based on intelligent analytics.”

Kelvin Wong, EDB’s assistant managing director, said: “We are delighted that Kantar has chosen Singapore to locate its first advanced analytics hub in Asia. Singapore’s professional services sector is growing, and Kantar’s decision is testament to this.”

[“Source-businesstimes”]

New Gears Of War Game Announced, And It’s Funko

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Now Playing: New Gears Of War Game Announcements At Xbox E3 2018

Microsoft unveiled a trio of new Gears of War titles during its E3 2018 press conference, including the next proper installment in the series–Gears 5–and a strategy spin-off titled Gears Tactics. In addition to those, the company announced a Gears game for mobile devices, but it’s radically different from anything else in the series.

Dubbed Gears Pop, the game is described as a “mobile Gears experience with an official Funko Pop twist.” Few details about the title were revealed, but it’s slated to launch on iOS and Android in 2019 and features Gears of War characters who resemble Funko Pop figures. You can take a look at an image of them below.

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While Gears Pop may not be the direction fans were hoping to see the franchise take, the next mainline entry, Gears 5, is also slated to launch in 2019 and features the series’ trademark brutal action. Gears Tactics, meanwhile, is described as a “true PC strategy game where brutal action meets turn-based tactics.”

[“Source-gamespot”]

With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

illustration of TESS telescpope

NASA is stepping up its search for planets outside our solar system. Its next exoplanet hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is due to launch from Cape Canaveral on the evening of April 16.

Following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of more than 5,000 possible exoplanets since 2009, TESS will continue the galactic census — flagging more planetary candidates for further study.

Astronomers expect TESS to find about 20,000 planets in its first two years in operation, focusing on nearby, bright stars that will be easy for other telescopes to investigate later. About 500 of those expected exoplanets would be less than twice the size of Earth — and therefore may be good places to look for life.

NASA’s next exoplanet hunting telescope, TESS

SMALL BUT MIGHTY NASA’s next exoplanet hunting telescope, TESS, is only 1.5 meters tall (shown here with engineers). Its size is partly due to the fact that it was designed to launch on NASA’s small Taurus rocket, but will instead launch on a larger SpaceX Falcon 9 on April 16.

ORBITAL ATK

The TESS mission is “a whole new opening for exoplanet studies,” MIT astronomer Sara Seager, TESS’ deputy science director, said during a news conference describing the upcoming launch.

TESS will be the first NASA science mission launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will trace an unusual, elliptical path between Earth and the moon that will enable it to observe at least 85 percent of the sky — 350 times as much sky as Kepler saw.

Most of the planets found by Kepler orbit stars 1,000 light-years away or farther. TESS will focus on 200,000 stars that are a few hundred light-years away at most, and shine between 30 to 100 times brighter on average than Kepler’s.

The brighter the star, the easier it is to determine its planet’s characteristics, such as its mass and whether it has an atmosphere, Seager says. “Photons are our currency — the more, the better,” she says.

That follow-up will help TESS avoid some of Kepler’s pitfalls. Because Kepler’s stars were so far and so dim, some of its planet candidates were confirmed as actual planets only by statistics rather than by other telescopes. And not all those confirmations may stick. A recent paper posted at arXiv.org showed that Kepler 452b, an Earth-sized planet that orbits a sunlike star at the same distance Earth orbits the sun, may be a mirage (SN: 8/22/15, p. 16). Many of TESS’ planets won’t face the same uncertainty.

the TESS sattelite

COASTING IN SPACE The TESS satellite’s unusual 13.7-day orbit uses the moon’s gravity to stabilize it, so it needs little fuel. During the part of the orbit colored blue, TESS will observe the sky. During the part marked in orange, it will transmit data back to Earth. The gray ring marks the moon’s orbit.

NASA

But the way TESS will search for exoplanets is the same as Kepler: The satellite will watch stars for signs of dimming, which can indicate that a planet is transiting, or crossing in front of, the star. Measuring how much starlight is blocked can tell astronomers the size of the planet.

Once TESS finds a planet, astronomers will need more information to understand its qualities, such as whether it’s rocky or gassy (SN Online: 6/19/17). For that, other telescopes will follow up. Ground-based telescopes will measure the gravitational tug of a planet on its host star to learn the planet’s density, which is a clue to its composition. Astronomers plan to measure masses for at least 50 TESS planets that are smaller than Neptune in the hopes that many of them will have rocky, and therefore potentially habitable, surfaces.

Undiscovered country

Before TESS, most known planets were more than 1,000 light-years away, with a few closer than 30 light-years (a parsec is 3.26 light-years). TESS (orange circles) will fill in the gap. The size of the circles represents how easy the planets are to find.

graph showing where TESS will be able to detect planets
ZACH BERTA-THOMPSON

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, now scheduled to launch in 2020, will then check some of those planets for signs of life (SN: 4/30/16, p. 32).

“This is one of the major questions that TESS is intended to answer: Where will we be pointing Webb?” said the mission’s principal investigator, MIT astronomer George Ricker, at the press conference. Webb will peer at the starlight filtering through planetary atmospheres to try to detect molecules that could be produced by something living on the surface.

It will take a few months for TESS to swing into its regular orbit before it begins collecting data. At that point, it will be able to use the moon’s gravity to stabilize itself for decades in orbit without using extra fuel. The mission is set to last two years, but could continue taking data almost indefinitely.

“TESS is not going to be limited by any expendable or other aspects,” Ricker said. “It will be basically limited by how long NASA has the patience to fund the mission.”

[“Source-sciencenews”]

T20 Mumbai League ropes in Young Creative Services as its creative partner

(Thinkstock Images)

Young Creative Services, a Mumbai based full services agency has been appointed as the official creative partner for the T20 Mumbai League by league manager Probability Sports.

The agency has been mandated as the creative architects for their campaign the ‘League of Cricketkars’ ad campaign and the ‘Aamhi Mumbaikar, Aamhi Cricketkar’ positioning strategy for the T20 Mumbai League.

Anup Kotekar, co-founder and Director, YOUNG Creative Services, said “The campaign has been created very interestingly by integrating the ethos of Mumbai, it’s passion for cricket and Sachin Tendulkar who is the league ambassador. The concept of Mumbaikars being Cricketkars forms the central pillar of the entire campaign. Apart from being a very believable statement given Mumbai’s dominance of the game the unique thought and the campaign will ensure that the T20 Mumbai League is able to differentiate itself and carry forward the positioning through the coming years”

While the T20 Mumbai League is all geared up for its first edition and is being touted as the much-awaited platform for budding cricketers from the city, the advertising blitzkrieg being launched by the league seems to be the perfect platform for homegrown creative talent from the city to showcase its creativity.

Elaborating further on their approach toward the campaign, Wilfred Fernandes, founder and director, YOUNG Creative Services said, “As an ad agency have always tried to create communication that is disruptive but yet connects with the audience at the core level. We do his by focusing our thinking process on the central campaign thought and then weaving creatives once that is cracked. The current campaign for the T20 Mumbai League is an outcome of this approach of ours and we are happy that it has resonated well.”

[“Source-brandequity”]