Preview • Will Spinn sling great coffee or just hype? Mentioned Above Spinn Coffee Maker CES 2019 Hamilton Beach Alexa Smart Home CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See it Spinn Coffee Maker $499 All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 85 Photos CES 2019: Every story so far: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Comments Share your voice Tags 2 Enlarge ImageThis new coffee maker from Hamilton Beach will accept voice commands from Alexa. James Martin/CNET At CES 2019, Hamilton Beach had a pair of connected coffee makers on display. The newest one, the $79 Alexa-Enabled Smart Coffee Maker (Model 49700), will enjoy tight integration with Amazon’s voice assistant. You’ll be able to ask things like, “Alexa, is my coffee ready?” and “Alexa, when was my coffee brewed?” Alexa will then ping the brewer and provide an answer. You can also command the drip machine, via Alexa, to kickstart brewing.Also be sure to read: The best home espresso machines for sale right nowEnlarge ImageThe FlexBrew uses Kurig-style K-Cups or standard coffee grounds. James Martin/CNET Another appliance, the $89 Hamilton Beach Wi-Fi Connected FlexBrew, links to your home Wi-Fi. That lets you control the brewer with the HB Connect mobile app. Additionally, the coffeemaker supports Amazon Dash Replenishment. With it enabled, the machine will automatically order coffee before your supply runs dry. The FlexBrew either makes single-serve portions from K-Cup containers, or up to full pots (12-cup max) from ground coffee.Hamilton Beach Alexa-Enabled Smart Coffee MakerModel 49700Price: $79Availability: Q2 2019Hamilton Beach Wi-Fi Connected FlexBrew Coffee MakerModel 49968 Price: $89 Availability: Now
Parth Samthaan and Erica FernandesInstagramParth Samthaan and Erica Fernandes are undoubtedly one of the hottest and most talked about couples in the telly town thanks to their stint in Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. The two are rumoured to be dating but they have never accepted it. But their fondness for each other seems to be getting evident with each passing day. So when Parth and Erira arrived together at Ekta Kapoor’s birthday bash, the two were inseparable from each other.Inside the bash, Parth and Erica seem to have had a gala time partying with the birthday girl and their intimate picture is a proof of that. Parth took to Instagram stories to upload a picture of him along with his rumoured ladylove and Ekta sharing a warm hug while dropping their moves on the dance floor.Erica too reshared Parth’s Instagram story onto her page along with a still from Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 wherein the reel life lovers – Prerna and Anurag Basu – were seen having a romantic moment. “Prerna’s love is like a candle, that warms Anu’s heart,” read the caption shared by the show’s director Muzammil Desai, which was reshared by Erica on Instagram.Earlier, it was reported that the rumoured lovebirds spend more time together when not shooting for their show. Apparently, Parth and Erica often arrive together on sets and also wait for one another to have afternoon and evening meals together. Not just that, they often leave the sets together as well.And it looks like the spark from Prerna and Anurag’s romance has ignited the flame between Erica and Parth in real life as well.Take a look. Erica Fernandes, Parth Samthaan at Ekta Kapoor birthday bashInstagram Erica Fernandes, Parth Samthaan, Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2Instagram
A Kushtia court on Wednesday sentenced two people to death and eight others to life term imprisonment for killing a student of North South University (NSU) after abduction in 2014, reports UNB.Those awarded death penalty are Rakibul Islam Bappy and Md Sumon.The lifers are Zuhaim Khandakar alias Shuvo, Hridoy, Sumon, Alif, Sajedul, Nayan, Sajib, Minhaz and Milon.According to the case statement, the convicts kidnapped Towhidul Islam Lipu, 21, on 31 August 2014 and demanded Tk 30 million from his family as ransom.Lipu’s father filed a case with Kushtia Model police station on 4 September.Failing to realise the ransom money the kidnappers killed Lipu and dumped his body in the Padma River.Kushtia additional district and sessions judge AMB Mahmudul Haque handed down the verdict.
YabaTwo Myanmar soldiers are being questioned after they were caught with nearly two million “yaba” pills in restive Rakhine state, police said Tuesday, as the drugs trade goes on despite communal violence.The men were held after 1.88 million tablets said to be worth around $2.8 million were found in a military vehicle in the town of Maungdaw on 1 October, a senior anti-drugs officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.Maungdaw is the epicentre of violence that has left hundreds dead and sent 500,000 Muslim Rohingya residents fleeing into Bangladesh.Myanmar’s army has flooded the area since 25 August in a major offensive designed to flush out Rohingya militants.But their presence appears to have failed to slow the drug trade.Yaba, a Thai word meaning “crazy medicine”, is a concoction of methamphetamine and caffeine that has become popular among young people in Bangladesh.Myanmar’s western border zone is awash with methamphetamine, most destined for Bangladesh.There have long been rumours of militants, security forces and local businessmen getting rich on drug trafficking — a trade that has cut across communal rivalries.The pills were marked with “WY and R brands”, the police source added, referring to popular brands pumped out by the drug lords of Wa state.The Wa, an ethnic group who have a large standing army and churn out most of Southeast Asia’s methamphetamine, are based in the far east of Myanmar, suggesting drug routes have survived the crisis that has engulfed Rakhine.In recent years Bangladeshi security forces have seized millions of yaba tablets from traffickers attempting to enter its Cox’s Bazar area by land and sea.Last week Bangladesh arrested three Rohingya men attempting to smuggle 800,000 meth pills into the country from Myanmar via the Naf border river at the height of the refugee crisis.
Bratya Basu is the Minister of Tourism of West Bengal and is an efficient multi-tasker. He, in a candid conversation with Mainak Banerjee talks about his life, hobbies, important issues like intolerance, terrorism and his theatre ventures. He also explains how sexuality has come a long way and discussions on the issue are no more a myth or taboo.Q. Recently, after staging Boma, you seem to be concentrating on directing plays in a row, any particular reason for that? Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Boma is the production of Kalindi Bratyajon, my own theatre group. As you know, apart from other theatre related activities, I try to do one production each year in my group. I am also an avid reader of books, journals and if I find some scripts very interesting I grab the opportunity to direct it. This is nothing but a coincidence. Q. Mumbai Nights is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night where relocation happens in Mumbai. Don’t you think Kolkata would have been a better place for it? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixKolkata of course is closer to my heart but Mumbai is a cosmopolitan and an equally vibrant city. The issues I have highlighted are mostly arising out of Mumbai rather Maharashtra – cricket, glamour world, underworld etc. and these are important national issues. Q. The relation between gender and performance is particularly strong in this play. Don’t you think our current society has moved beyond that with movements for legalising same sex relationship? How relevant is this play now, in this respect? Shakespeare wrote the play in the year 1601, more than 400 years back. Just imagine the time frame when he wrote it. Sexuality in the world has come a long way after that, and discussions on the issue are no more a myth or a taboo. India has come of age in this regard too. Now, the fight for legalisation is a step forward towards the acceptance of ‘alternate’ sexualities. Love and romance are the eternal truth of our lives, irrespective of our sexual orientations. This will remain ever pertinent in the world till the existence of mankind. Q. How difficult is it to infuse serious issues like terrorism, ban on bar dancers, underworld’s influence in Bollywood, intolerance, corruption etc. in a romantic comedy and to place it in front of the audience without compromising even a bit on the quotient of romanticism?It is really challenging to keep the essence of the play intact and the scriptwriter, Debasish Ray, has done a wonderful job here. The play represents a kaleidoscopic view of the society and the challenge lies in the subtlety with which the issues emerge within the context of the narrative. I have to keep in mind that the issues appear strongly in the plot keeping the larger milieu of humor and romanticism intact. It is important for me that the audience carries the impact of the issues even after the end of the play. Q. In your play Sateroi July (17th July), you showed dissent against state sponsored terrorism at Godhra. Now you are directing a play which speaks loudly against religious radicalism. Is it a completion of a circle of such protest in the art form in which you belong?I do not look forward to the completion of such a circle. As far as I am considered this is no achievement. It gave me pain to write and stage a play like Sateroi July. But it was a necessity. Similarly, many issues are unacceptable in present India where we keep emphasising ‘development’ and ‘reform’. We definitely do not want these religious fanatics spreading the message of hatred and intolerance. What sort of values teaches us to insult writers, artists, activists, just because they speak in different voices? Can we support the killers of M M Kalburgi or Narendra Dabholkar? Or the assault on U R Ananthamurthy? Isn’t there a need to raise our voice against the killers of innocent bloggers in Bangladesh? But even before we speak about against the extremism of other religions, we should evaluate the fundamentalism and violence that exists in the religion we belong to; a secular Hindu should soul search Hinduism first and a secular Muslim should do the same for Islam first before accusing others of religious fanaticism. A true Indian should have the freedom to strongly protest against religious extremism in India before he takes on the issue of injustice in the neighbouring country. Theatre is a platform which has always raised its voice against these fundamentalist forces. I am proud to be able to continue to be a part of that brigade. Q. You, being the Minister of Tourism of the state are still continuing with theatre as your passion. It is definitely a sincere and hard work on your part. I think your state administration in West Bengal has never come your way while you continued to pursue your passion for creativity. It will be good if you can share your thoughts on this with us.I am a proud citizen of West Bengal. While I continue with my passion unhindered, I continue to deliver simultaneously to the public of West Bengal. I am proud that my state West Bengal is among the top in the country as far as religious tolerance is concerned. Q. You have ended the play in a very positive overtone. This shows you are very optimistic about the improvement of our bilateral relationship with Pakistan, especially on the religious and cultural front. Please share your views regarding this.I am always very positive regarding this and I will continue to be. You must be aware that ‘Kalindi Bratyajon’ organises an International theatre festival at Kolkata, each year for last four years. This year, we had invited a theatre group from Pakistan who came and performed at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, the cultural hub of the city. The team was led by a renowned theatre director of Pakistan, Zain Ahmed, from NAPA. I strongly believe that in present times of intolerance, as shown in this play, the love between Billu (in disguise as Huma) and Ushnata and that between Alishan and Huma will show us the path to tolerance leading to the ultimate consciousness in peace and all Hindus and Muslims in and across India and Pakistan will all be united at the beach of Arabian Sea. I believe love is the only essence which can give us respite from our barbaric, beastly and cruel ways of living. Only love can instill humanity with grace in our souls. When the love of Mumbai Nights sparkles in the skyline of India, the Indian values of tolerance will come out as a winner overcoming the dividing forces within the country.Q. The seed of tolerance should be sowed from the very childhood of a person. So, a lot depends on the upbringing of a person. Do you have any target audience for this play, if tolerance is one of the primary messages you want to convey?While love and romanticism come spontaneously to the youth, so does aggression, impulse and excitement. These tender minds need to be caressed. They should be led to the right path of maturity so that they will learn to distinguish between the good and the bad. I always consider the youth as my greater share of audience, and I strongly believe their values will lead to a stronger India. However, having said that, I do not mean that the play is not for the elders. Q. What are the other two plays you are going to direct? How long do we need to wait for your next surprises?One is Meghe Dhaka Tara a renowned film by Ritwik Ghatak and the other is Adya Shesh Rajani adapted from the novel of Shyamal Ganguly. Both are adapted by Ujjwal Chatterjee. Meghe Dhaka Tara will be produced by Naihati Bratyajon. The producer of Naihati Bratyajon, Partha Bhoumik has taken a vow to stage all the Bengali classical movies one after another. The first show of Meghe Dhaka Tara will be staged at University Institute Hall, Kolkata on January 2, 2016. Adya Shesh Rajani is being produced by ‘Indraranga’ and the first show will be at Academy of Fine arts, kolkata on 14 January 2016.
About 40 works of art depicting memory and its different facets were unveiled to an august audience in the City of Joy on April 28 at the Harrington Street Arts Centre.The exhibition which will be travelling to the capital shortly was inaugurated by renowned artist Chitravanu Majumdar and actor Raima Sen. The art exhibition was presented by Shrine Empire and curated by Anushka Rajendran. The inauguration witnessed luminaries of the city – also art collectors like – Sanjiv Goenka, Madhu Neotia, and Sumedha Saraogi. Anahita Taneja, Director, Shrine Empire was present on the occasion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis exhibition is an exploration of how art affects and is affected by the collective, personal and historical memory. Memory has for long been an elusive area of study for neuroscience. The inadequacy of science in capturing an intimately human experience is highlighted by the efficacy with which art was able to delve into the subject. The first edition of Lapses, the exhibition, explores the ways in which various memories – collective, personal, political and historical – resounds every day. This exhibition consists of a series of artworks of 12 artists that lend memories of object-hood, saving them from the lapses in the collective and personal memory. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe art exhibition brought together landmark contemporary artworks to Kolkata by established artists, and emerging artists gaining international acknowledgement. Some of the artists who took part in the exhibition are Anoli Perera, Gautam Kansara, Kartik Sood, Neerja Kothari, Ranbir Kaleka, Samanta Batra Mehta, Paula Sengupta, Samit Das, Shilpa Gupta, Subrat Kumar Behera, Tayeba Begum Lipi.Speaking on the occasion Anahita Taneja, Director, Shrine Empire said, “Shrine Empire returns to Kolkata after nine years,from where the gallery began its journey. We were keen to have a curated exhibition with exciting contemporary artworks from India and the diaspora as well as artworks that have been inspired by West Bengal. We have taken specific care to include artists who have connections with Kolkata including Samit Das, Paula Sengupta and Neerja Kothari and maintain conversation between their works and the other artists who are part of the show.” The theme of the exhibition asks questions on the nature of art, and its function in our every day life, with artists as chroniclers of our memories. “In fact Paula’s work deals with her mother’s memory, her struggle with cancer and about a year-long log of day to day events. It focuses on her mother’s memory”, explains Taneja.Another artist, Kothari has to trace her steps back in memory as part of her rehab after a debilitating illness. “That is reflected in her work”, adds Taneja.
When you consider that 45.8 percent of consumers would rather connect with a business through messaging than through email, it’s clear that businesses need to utilize new communication channels if they want to retain their customers.Unlike impersonal email exchanges, messaging apps allow brands to connect with people in an intimate, personalized way. Unfortunately, maintaining intimate communication channels using human employees is challenging, for a number of reasons. With technological automation, chatbots can be used to deliver a personalized experience, without additional human labor costs.For this reason, chatbots are highly effective for businesses that want to scale their marketing and customer services.If you’re looking to get started with chatbots, choosing a platform that fits your requirements is crucial. Here are 10 of the most popular chatbot platforms, so you can make an informed decision on the right chatbot for your business.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessFacebook Messenger PlatformFacebook has over 50 million companies that operate on the platform, with over 1 billion business messages being delivered every month. For this reason, Facebook Messenger Platform is very enticing for developers that want to build chatbots.With Messenger, your customers don’t need to download your app in order for you to communicate with them. Instead, you can get in touch with them whenever they’re logged into Facebook (which is over 20 minutes per day, for the average person).Facebook’s developers section has an abundance of material about chatbot creation. Check out this informative guide for getting your chatbot up and running.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingChatfuelIf you’re looking to integrate a chatbot with JSON, YouTube or Twitter, but lack the coding skills to make it happen, you’re in luck. Chatfuel has been specifically designed to enable non-technical developers to create fully functional chatbots.Chatfuel features a very simple interface, which allows you to pick your chatbot’s name, input conversational content and add images with ease. Check out this video to see how you can get your Chatfuel chatbot running in less than 10 minutes.Just because Chatfuel can be used by non-technical developers doesn’t mean you’ll wind up with a weak functioning chatbot. Chatfuel has produced chatbots for big brands like Adidas, MTV, TechCrunch and more.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkBeep BopBeep Bop is a popular paid platform which allows developers to create chatbots for Facebook and Slack. You can manage your Slack integration using GitHub and work with your desired coding language.Beep Bop features comprehensive event analytics and makes it easy for developers to collaborate with other team members. You can also receive customer support from the Beep Bop team directly within Slack.Remember that Slack’s core users are people at work – so it may not be appropriate to create a chatbot for Slack if you’re a leisure or entertainment brand.ChattyPeopleChattyPeople is one of the most popular chatbot solutions for ecommerce brands, due to the fact that it integrates seamlessly with Facebook commerce. With ChattyPeople, you don’t need any coding skills in order to create a helpful customer service bot for Facebook.Your bot will be able to process orders from Facebook and can recognize variations in trigger words.Due to its excellent functionality and flexibility, many ecommerce marketers choose to integrate ChattyPeople with their Shopify stores. The platform also supports PayPal and Stripe.You can get started with ChattyPeople for $10 USD per month or try the advanced payment plan ($20 USD per month) which offers more comprehensive services for established businesses.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessTelegram BotsTelegram, a messaging application founded by Russian tech entrepreneur, Pavel Durov, was the first app to feature a bot store. In this regard, Telegram is partially responsible for the rise in popularity of chatbots.Since Telegram’s chatbot code is open-source, numerous bot tutorials have been published which teach the basics of bot building with the Telegram platform. Regardless of if you want to create a bot for predicting the weather or a polling bot for market research, you’ll find many comprehensive guides online.BotKitBotKit is another open-source platform which enables you to build chatbots for Slack, Facebook Messenger and Twilio. BotKit has a sizeable developer community forum, where you can get your technical questions answered and receive valuable feedback from expert developers.It’s worth noting that BotKit was developed with plenty of input from Slack. If you’re looking to integrate BotKit with Slack, I recommend checking out this starter kit.If you want to create a chatbot with an identity that can mimic human conversations, BotKit could be a good choice for you.BotsifyBotsify is a paid subscription service that enables you to integrate fully functional chatbots with Facebook, as well as other platforms. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, it’s easy to build complex question-answer sequences in no time.Botsify is lauded for its fast-learning, sophisticated artificial intelligence.For instance, Botsify can ask people questions which enable the AI to build a user profile for each individual. Once Botsify understands each user’s likes, dislikes and location, it can deliver personalized content for each individual user.Related: 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing StrategyFlowXOIf you’re looking for a business platform that creates chatbots for Slack or Facebook Messenger, FlowXO might be the right choice for you. The platform features over 100 integrated modules, services and applications.FlowXO’s USP (unique selling proposition) is that you get a high level of flexibility without any coding expertise required. You can customize your bot to behave exactly as you want, using FlowXO’s simple interface.This informative guide shows you how to create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, setup flows, add triggers, ask questions and respond to answers.Related: Top 7 Chatbot Monetization Strategies You Need to KnowSmoochNot to be confused with the dating website of the same name, Smooch is a cloud-based platform that excels in multi-channel messaging.Integrate your most popular customer channels, such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Viper, with one API. With all incoming messages streamlined, you can craft your responses without leaving Smooch.Smooch integrates with many popular bot platforms, allowing you to deliver automated, conversational messages across all relevant channels.Related: 10 Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing Expert TipsMeokayWith Meokay, developers can create highly sophisticated chatbots without any coding skills.Meokay recognizes variances in trigger words and leverages signals in order to deliver relevant offers to the right people. You can integrate Meokay with Stripe and Paypal, and process orders within Facebook Messenger. 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 21, 2017 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free