Shogun raises $35M to help brands take on Amazon with faster and better sites of their own

E-commerce has boomed this year, with more businesses and shoppers than ever before turning to websites and apps as a safer, socially distanced alternative during the current global health pandemic. Today, a startup that has built a platform to help individual companies and brands design better websites is announcing a round of growth funding to help them step up to that challenge with faster and better designed interfaces.

Shogun, which lets companies build sites that sit on top of e-commerce back-ends like Shopify, Big Commerce or Magento to let them sell goods and services, is today announcing that it has raised $35 million in funding after seeing its business growth 182% over the last year, with 15,000 companies — including Leesa, MVMT, Timbuk2, Chubbies and K Swiss, as well as household Fortune 500 brands that it declines to name — now using Shogun’s tools, up 5,000 in the last eight

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U.S. Marine Corps: Our Bases Will Be 5G Technology Test Sites

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., is integrating emerging Verizon 5G Networking into its base operations as part of a decided effort to increase connectivity across the facility, assess new, high-speed networking technologies and better enable the use of unmanned systems.

“We are getting Fiber to more locations to find the right access points for 5G,” Nick Nilan, Director, public sector product development, Verizon, told The National Interest in an interview.

Nilan explained that the now-underway process, which involves extensive collaboration between U.S. military and commercial partners, reportedly creates networking as fast and efficiently as 1,000-times faster than existing systems.

“We operate from 30 Megabits per second up to 100 Megabits per second with a bandwidth north of 1 Gigabit per second, bringing computing elements closer to the edge,” Nilan explained.

The process, which is still very much in a nascent assessment phase, introduces a handful of new tactical possibilities

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Cloudflare: This new WordPress accelerator makes sites much faster for visitors

DDoS protection and website accelerator Cloudflare has teamed up with WordPress to launch its new Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) service to speed up a site’s experience for end users. 

The new service, which costs $5 a month for WordPress customers on Cloudflare’s Free plan, extends Cloudflare’s content delivery network (CDN) beyond the delivery of static content to include slower-to-fetch dynamic content. 

A key metric Cloudflare uses is Time to First Byte (TTFB), which is the first of several hurdles to using its CDN or edge network. If the TTFB is slow, it slows down each remaining step to using the CDN, like compressing images and caching static content.

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developer burnout (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Cloudflare says APO testing shows a 72% improvement in TTFB for WordPress sites, a 13% improvement on the Speed Index, and a 23% improvement to First Contentful Paint, or how fast users

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BT Is Using Quantum Technology To Secure Gigabytes Of Sensitive Data Sent Between Two Industrial Sites In The UK

Did the promise of quantum-secure networking just take an important this is not hype leap?

Things are certainly looking promising with the news that telecom giant BT and Toshiba Labs have hooked up two research sites in the UK city of Bristol over a 6km link using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

The sites are National Composites Centre (NCC) at the University of Bristol, a development center researching the manufacture of composite materials, and the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), which carries out engineering testing.

This might like just another demo of the emerging use of quantum and QKD technology, but there’s an important twist – the link is used to transfer large amounts of data on an ongoing basis, making this one of the first mainstream uses of QKD for that purpose yet made public anywhere in the world.

The data

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New maps show Durham, Wake early-voting sites near bus stops

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The Bus to Vote map for Wake County shows early-voting sites located within a quarter mile of a pubic bus stop.

bustovote.org

There are numerous reasons people give for not voting, including lack of interest or time or a way to get to the polls.

Aaron Berdanier wants to help overcome that last impediment, by creating maps that show early-voting sites that are served by public buses. Berdanier, who calls his project Bus to Vote, has made maps that people can download or print for early voting sites in Durham and Wake counties. He plans one for Mecklenburg soon.

“There have been studies that show that not having access to transportation can be a deterrent to going to vote,” he said. “If we can continue to reduce the barriers to voting — in this case knowing when and where to vote — then hopefully we can increase engagement.”

Berdanier

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Israel-based WishTrip makes smartphone game builder for tourist sites

Israel-based tourism experience management platform WishTrip announced a new game builder to help tourist attractions develop interactive games for guests easily and on a low budget.Coming at a time when many parks, zoos and other notable destinations for tourists around the world are reopening their doors as COVID-19 restrictions are eased and the tourism industry struggles to recover, many are looking to find new, cheap ways of keeping guests entertained and engaged. These new games also provide a new means for destinations to market themselves and encourage repeat visits.
But in addition to keeping guests engaged, it also takes advantage of how much people tend to use their smartphones throughout the day.“Statistics show that nearly 60% of people don’t go more than one hour without using their smartphone in some way.” WishTrip CEO Bezalel Lenzizky said in a statement.“While constant phone use can be frustrating, especially for destinations that want
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Study Suggests At-Risk African Heritage Sites Are Often Overlooked | Smart News

Climate change poses a significant threat to cultural and architectural heritage sites around the world—but the majority of relevant research centers solely on the losses faced by wealthier countries. In 2017, for instance, a study found that just one percent of research on climate change’s effects on heritage focused on iconic landmarks in Africa.

A new survey published in the journal Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa strives to addresses this shortage by highlighting at-risk heritage sites and practices across the African continent.

“Without significant intervention some of Africa’s most important heritage will be lost as a result of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change over the coming decades,” write co-authors Joanne Clarke, Elizabeth Edna Wangui, Grace W. Ngaruiya and Nick Brooks for the Conversation. “… The next ten years will be a critical period in which research agendas can be developed that will have a practical application

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Trump eyes ‘concrete legal steps’ against social media sites for alleged bias against conservatives

Such attacks aren’t new for Trump, who for years has charged that Facebook, Google, Twitter and other popular Web platforms limit the reach of prominent conservative users and news sites. He often has provided scant evidence for his claims, which tech companies vehemently deny.

But the president has ratcheted up his attacks in recent months, as social media companies increasingly take more active, aggressive steps to limit Trump’s most controversial tweets and posts — particularly out of concern they may seed doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election and in some cases carry the potential to incite violence.

The president delivered his broadside Wednesday alongside nine Republican state attorneys general, some of whom echoed Trump’s belief that technology companies exhibit political bias against conservatives. U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr later appeared to encourage the GOP leaders in attendance to take action, stressing that the federal government does not

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