Walmart is quietly making ready to enter the metaverse

A shopper carries a bag in front of a Walmart store in San Leandro, California on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart appears to be venturing into the Metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

The major retailer filed several new brands late last month declaring its intention to manufacture and sell virtual goods including electronics, home decor, toys, sporting goods and personal care products. In a separate filing, the company said it will offer users virtual currency as well as NFTs.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed the applications on Dec. 30.

A total of seven individual applications were submitted.

A spokesman for Walmart did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Source: Tanning Intellectual Property

“They’re super intense,” he said Josh Gerben, Trademark Attorney. “There’s a lot of language in there, which shows there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to approach cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that seems to be coming or that’s already there.”

Gerben has been saying that ever since Facebook announced that it would change its company name to Meta, signaling its ambitions beyond social media, companies have rushed to figure out how to fit into a virtual world.

Source: Tanning Intellectual Property

Nike filed a number of trademark applications In early November, the company previewed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month it was said it would be merging with Roblox to Create an online world called Nikeland. It’s in December bought virtual sneaker company RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) for an undisclosed amount.

“Suddenly everyone is saying, ‘This is getting real and we need to make sure our intellectual property is protected in space,'” Gerben said.

gap also started selling NFTs its iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel maker said its NFTs range in increments from about $8.30 to $415 and come with a physical hoodie.

Both now under armorAdidas and Adidas NFT debuts sold out last month. They are now fetching sky-high prices on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.

Gerben said that clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch have also filed trademarks in recent weeks stating their intention to open some sort of virtual store.

A report by CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands want to enter into such ventures, which can potentially provide new revenue streams.

The launch of NFTs allows companies to tokenize physical products and services to reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods, CB Insights noted.

Gerben said that as more consumers become familiar with the Metaverse and the items stored on the blockchain, more retailers want to create their own ecosystem around it.

According to Frank Chaparro, director of crypto information services company The Block, many retailers are still reeling from being late to e-commerce, so they don’t want to miss opportunities in the metaverse.

“I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail,” Chaparro said. “And even if it turns out to be just a fad, just trying something weird like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstakes doesn’t do much reputation damage.”

— CNBC’s Melissa Repko contributed to this reporting.

Listed here are the brand new guidelines to enter the U.S. from overseas

The rules of international travel are changing – again.

The advent of the Omicron variant of Covid in southern Africa and its discovery around the world has sparked a host of new travel requests and, in some cases, outright bans – continue aggravating international trips that are just getting underway.

Three weeks after the lifting of a blanket pandemic travel ban in more than 30 countries, the Biden government banned visitors from South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe on November 29.

Starting Monday, the U.S. is rolling out stricter testing requirements for incoming travelers, including U.S. residents, forcing travelers to take their time and plan on budget for doing so Covid Tests closer to their departure date.

Rules changed quickly. Air travelers to the USA need to know the following:

What changes?

As of Monday, air travelers flying to the US from abroad will be required to provide the airlines with proof of a negative Covid test result, which was carried out within one day of departure, before they are allowed on board. This includes US citizens and vaccinated travelers.

Previously, vaccinated visitors, permanent residents, and citizens were required to submit a test within three days of leaving the United States

When do travelers have to take their test?

The Centers for Disease Control say the samples must be collected one calendar day before departure.

What types of Covid tests are accepted?

Both the results of antigen and nucleic acid amplification tests or NAAT, including PCR, are accepted.

Do I need to take a test when I land in the US?

No. In the United States, travelers are not required to take a test when landing and entering the United States

However, the CDC has expanded a program to offer free, voluntary tests to travelers upon arrival to detect variants, most recently the Omicron variant.

They are offered by XpresSpa group, which has expanded from airport massages and other spa services to airport Covid tests since the beginning of the pandemic, and Ginkgo Bioworks. The program is available at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. Both tests can be picked up at home or PCR tests can be performed on arrival.

XpresSpa’s XpresCheck subsidiary also offers rapid tests at various US airports at prices ranging from $ 75 for a PCR test to $ 250 for a rapid PCR test.

Do the new rules apply to land crossings in the USA?

No. The new rules only apply to air travel.

Can I cancel my flight?

Airlines’ policies vary and travelers should check with their airline early and frequently about changing rules and ticket policies.

Major US airlines have eliminated rebooking fees for both international and domestic main cabin tickets and beyond, purchased in at least the United States and certain other countries, but travelers could still be responsible for price differences if they opted for a different one Travel decide day. However, basic economy tickets are usually less flexible and more difficult to change.

Delta Airlines waives fare differences for Japan and Israel, which have temporarily banned foreign visitors, and for South Africa if passengers fly on or before December 12th. American Airlines says that with tickets purchased between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 for travel to and from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand or South Africa, and travel beyond the end of that year the value of the ticket can be used for journeys until December 31, 2022.

Cerence and SiriusXM Enter Into Settlement to Improve Voice-Powered Leisure Expertise for Automakers and their Drivers

Drivers can use Cerence technology to access SiriusXM programming with simple and intuitive voice commands in vehicles equipped with SiriusXM satellite radios and next-generation SiriusXM with 360L radios

NEW YORK and BURLINGTON, Massachusetts, June 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Cerence Inc. (NASDAQ: CRNC), AI for a world in motion and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI), the leading audio entertainment company in North America, announced today that it is teaming up to bring Cerence’s conversational AI technology together with SiriusXM as part of a bundled offering for automakers.

Together, the two companies will enhance and enrich the driving experience by providing natural, conversational access to SiriusXM, the popular in-car audio entertainment service that features hundreds of channels of curated, ad-free music, sports, news, entertainment, comedy, and more . This collaboration between Cerence and SiriusXM will provide more drivers at more OEMs with better voice technology and a more user-friendly and consistent way for these drivers to adjust to their preferred SiriusXM programming using simple, straightforward commands such as “Play”. 80s to 8. “This functionality will be available on select SiriusXM satellite radios and in the growing number of vehicles equipped with SiriusXM’s next-generation 360L radios and Cerence technology. Drivers using SiriusXM with 360L can use their voice to access all of SiriusXM’s live channels, as well as a library of pre-recorded content, including a wide range of podcasts, exclusive interviews and unique shows.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to make the SiriusXM experience more enjoyable and easier for our coast-to-coast subscribers,” said Sean Gibbons, SVP and GM, Automotive Product and Engineering, SiriusXM. “By working with Cerence, a leading provider of intuitive, natural driving experiences, we’re making it easier than ever for drivers to access and enjoy the best in-car audio entertainment.”

The story goes on

In addition, Cerence-powered vehicle assistants use AI to continuously learn about users, meaning drivers who, for example, are constantly adjusting to the 80s of SiriusXM, can be directed to new content based on their preferences. For drivers using SiriusXM for the first time, Cerence offers a voice-enabled, conversational onboarding experience that informs them of the most important features, functions and information about SiriusXM and their trial version or subscription and promotes their enjoyment, acceptance and future use.

“SiriusXM, as the leading provider of in-car content, has a wide reach and new and exciting programming for its subscribers,” said Sanjay Dhawan, CEO of Cerence. “By expanding the capabilities of the mobility assistant to include optimized access to SiriusXM content, we are giving drivers a comprehensive, dynamic experience that makes their journey safer, more productive and more enjoyable.”

This integrated offering will be available in North America to automakers for models starting production next year, and it will be available to OEMs with existing Cerence-powered vehicle assistants with over-the-air update capabilities. Cerence currently works with the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, with Cerence technology solutions installed in hundreds of millions of cars worldwide.

For more information on SiriusXM, see www.siriusxm.com. To learn more about Cerence, visit www.cerence.com, and follow the company up LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Cerence Inc.
Cerence (NASDAQ: CRNC) is the global industry leader in creating unique, moving experiences for the mobility world. As an innovation partner of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and mobility OEMs, it helps to drive the future of connected mobility through intuitive, powerful interaction between people and their cars, two-wheelers and even elevators, and to connect the digital life of consumers with their daily travels, no matter where you are. The success story of Cerence is based on more than 20 years of experience and more than 350 million cars delivered with Cerence technology. Whether connected cars, autonomous driving, e-vehicles or buildings – Cerence maps the road in front of you. For more information, visit www.cerence.com.

About SiriusXM
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the leading audio entertainment company in North America and the leading programmer and platform for subscription and digital ad-supported audio products. Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, is the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. The SiriusXM properties, which include Pandora and leading podcast company Stitcher, reach more than 150 million listeners across all categories, the largest addressable audience in the US US digital audio – music, sports, talk, and podcasts. SiriusXM’s acquisitions of Stitcher and Simplecast, along with industry-leading advertising technology company AdsWizz, make SiriusXM a leader in podcast hosting, production, distribution, analytics and monetization. SiriusXM also provides satellite radio and audio entertainment in Canada through Sirius XM Canada Holdings, Inc. In addition to its audio entertainment business, SiriusXM provides connected vehicle services to automakers. For more information on SiriusXM, visit: www.siriusxm.com.

Contact information
Kate Hickman
Cerence Inc.
Tel: 339-215-4583
E-mail: kate.hickman@cerence.com

Andrew FitzPatrick
SiriusXM
E-mail: Andrew.Fitzpatrick@siriusxm.com

Sure, that is Enter Sandman within the type of Rammstein

Just when you think that there is no more juice left in the cover version of Metal Band A in the style of Metal Band B, YouTuber comes along Denis Pauna to squeeze a few more drops of cheerfulness out of this special musical lemon.

This time he served up a real sucker. Where previous efforts are usually a combination of Type O negative, Alice in chains and Pantera, here it is who chose to deliver Metallica’s Enter Sandman in the style of everyone’s favorite industrial metal superman Rammstein.

You don’t have to think too much to imagine what it sounds like. The original’s post-thrash groove has been replaced by keyboard stitches and the kind of ruthlessly efficient militaristic riffing that suggests mass troop movements are underway.

That alone would earn him a rich tea biscuit and a gold star. But here is the Zinger: It is sung entirely in German. That’s right, Mr. Pauna went full Lindemannand exchanged James Hetfield’s Leonine roar for a dead Germanic train that makes the song sound less like the tortured nightmares of a small child than the soundtrack to the action in a dark Berlin sex dungeon. “Take my hand to the Never-Never-Land” indeed.

Check out the video above and click on Denis’ Youtube Page and tell him how much you love him.