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July 2015 archive

Weekly#125


 

  • Musk, Hawking Warn of Artificial Intelligence Weapons The missive, unveiled by the Future of Life Institute at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Argentina, labels autonomous weapons “the third revolution in warfare,” following gunpowder and nuclear arms. … “Unlike nuclear weapons, they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce.” … The experts warn that the deployment of autonomous systems may be possible in years not decades.  (WSJ)
  • Online-payments startup Stripe Inc. said it had raised new funding that values the five-year-old company at $5 billion from investors including Visa Inc. and venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (WSJ)
  • Amazon has launched its music streaming service in the UK, in an attempt to entice more customers onto its Prime membership scheme (Telegraph)
  • A new prosthetic arm dubbed Iko can be endlessly customized with Lego pieces so that kids can make it whatever they want it to be. (Wired)
  • Facebook’s incredible user growth continues. Sometime this year—possibly this quarter—Facebook will pass 1 billion daily active users. And even sooner, it will pass 1.5 billion monthly active users—if it hasn’t already. (QZ)
  • Google Quietly Distributes New Version of Glass Aimed at Workplaces. Device is being pitched to industries such as health care, manufacturing, energy (WSJ)
  • Why Do We Listen to Music? (link)
  • Twilio Closes $130M Series E Round Led By Fidelity And T. Rowe Price (TechCrunch)


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

Weekly#124

  • 7 Rejections
  • How Strong Is Apple’s Grip Over Mobile Phones? The Short Answer: The iPhone commands 55% of industry revenue (WSJ)
  • Blog / Sam Altman /The days are long but the decades are short (link)
  • Sony said Wednesday it plans to create a drone company called Aerosense in a joint venture with Tokyo startup ZMP Inc., which specializes in autopilot technology. Aerosense will offer services such as inspecting aged infrastructure and surveying land that is difficult for people to access. “The key to driving growth in these areas will be adapting Sony’s innovation in various technologies,” including cameras and sensors (WSJ)
  • How Hackable Is Your Car? (Wired)
  • Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway (Wired)
  • Apple Inc. is recruiting experts from the auto industry, a signal that its efforts to develop an electric car could be gaining ground (WSJ)
  • more than 8,500 Apple Watch apps (the Verge)
  • Apple Quarter Results, Apple said Tuesday its profit surged 38%, aided again by strong demand for the company’s latest iPhones and robust growth in China where sales more than doubled. The gains lifted Apple’s cash reserves to a record $203 billion. (WSJ)
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. unveiled plans Wednesday to protect user data on its cloud computing platforms globally, highlighting the e-commerce giant’s ambitions to expand its services in markets like the U.S. where it has plans to build a second data center. (WSJ)
  • GoPro Inc.’s revenue surged 72% in the second quarter, helped by strong demand for its wearable cameras in Europe and Asia.Revenue in the quarter ended June 30 was $419.9 million, up from $244.6 million a year earlier.  (WSJ)

 

 

 

  • Microsoft Quarter Results
    • Devices and Consumer revenue declined 13% (down 10% in constant currency) to $8.7 billion, with the following business highlights:· Windows OEM revenue decreased 22% as revenue was impacted by PC market declines following the XP end-of-support refresh cycle · Surface revenue grew 117% to $888 million, driven by Surface Pro 3 and launch of the Surface 3 · Total Xbox revenue grew 27% based on strong growth in consoles, Xbox Live transactions and first party games · Search advertising revenue grew 21% with Bing U.S. market share at 20.3%, up 110 basis points over the prior year · Office 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 15.2 million, with nearly 3 million subscribers added in the quarterCommercial revenue increased slightly (up 4% in constant currency) to $13.5 billion, with the following business highlights:· Commercial cloud revenue grew 88% (up 96% in constant currency) driven by Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online and is now on an annualized revenue run rate of over $8 billion · Server products and services revenue grew 4% (up 9% in constant currency), with stable annuity performance offsetting declines in transactional revenue · Dynamics revenue grew 6% (up 15% in constant currency), with the Dynamics CRM Online install base growing almost 2.5x · Office Commercial products and services revenue declined 4% (up 1% in constant currency), with continued transition to Office 365 and lower transactional revenue due to declining business PCs following the XP end-of-support refresh cycle · Windows volume licensing revenue declined 8% (down 4% in constant currency), driven primarily by transactional revenue declining following the XP end-of-support refresh cycle with annuity growth on a constant currency basis(Microsoft Investor Relations)


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Weekly#123

  • OpenMind BBVA :Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age [PDF]
  • Business Model Examples

  • Commodore lives on as a C64 game-playing smartphone (Mashable)
  • Google and other companies will offer free or low-cost Internet service to more than 275,000 low-income households through a program called ConnectHome (Bloomberg)
  • Uber’s Manhattan Invasion Is Killing the Loan Market for Taxis Taxi companies typically borrow against the value of medallions — licenses to carry passengers — and then refinance the loans before they come due. Citigroup Inc. is trying to foreclose on 89 medallions, New York Community Bancorp Inc. put its taxi-loan portfolio up for sale, and credit unions with a combined $2.5 billion in medallion loans are suing the city for failing to stop Uber from stealing customers. Amid the turmoil, the value of a medallion has sunk to $770,000 from $1.1 million in 2013, according to data from the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. (Bloomberg)
  • Immerz’s $150 Kor-FX 4DFX gaming vest promises to provide tactile feedback, like the ability to feel onscreen gunfire and explosions, on your chest by transforming audio into vibrations. (Mashable)

  • Google, Mozilla Disable Flash Over Security Concerns Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome browsers blocked old versions Adobe ‘s animation software — often used to play online videos — following news reports that hackers were using a security bug to take over peoples’ computers. (WSJ)
  • New Horizons : Pluto Flyby After nine-and-a-half years, New Horizons probe made Pluto flyby with more than 45.000 km/h speed in Jun 14,within 12,500km of the body’s surface. (WSJ Graphic )


 

 

  • Fantasy Sports Create Billion-Dollar Startups As appetites for daily fantasy sports grow among fans, FanDuel Inc., has raised $275 million in a round of venture funding with a post-money valuation of $1.275 billion, according to people familiar with the deal. (WSJ)
  • Mario Creator Tops List of Contenders to Lead Nintendo (WSJ)
  • According to a study (pdf) conducted at the school, computers loaded with Adblock Plus downloaded on average 25% less data than those without. Looking at video traffic alone, computers with Adblock Plus loaded as much as 40% less traffic. (QZ),
  • Google wants to make your cell phone’s screen disappear, In a patent awarded to the company July 14, Google outlined a new process for creating smartphone displays that match the color of the phone itself. Every cellphone on the market today has a screen that looks black when the display is off, but Google’s new idea could match the display color to the body of the phone using an electronically-controlled “color changing layer” that sits between the glass on the phone and the phone’s display. (QZ)


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

Weekly#122

  • Better Than Waterproof: Gadgets That Float
    Amp up your poolside fun with floating speakers, cameras and walkie talkies: the Monster SuperStar BackFloat, JVC Everio GZ-R320 and Cobra CXT 1035R FLT (WSJ)
  • Apple’s Mac is now the only major PC brand that’s growing
    • Mac shipments reached 5.1 million during the second quarter, according to research firm IDC, representing 16% year-over-year growth.
    • Apple was the only of IDC’s top six global PC makers to grow shipments last quarter.
    • Overall industry shipments declined 12% to 66 million, according to IDC.
      Lenovo, the global leader, increased its share to 20%.(QZ)
  • PC Sales Continue to Fall
    Worldwide PC shipments saw their sharpest decline in nearly two years in the second quarter of 2015, dealing continued damage to retailers and makers of computers, chips and PC software.Shipments fell 9.5 percent, year on year, to 68.4 million units, according to the research firm Gartner. Rival researcher IDC, which doesn’t include tablets in its tally, tracked an 11.8 percent drop, year on year, to 66.1 million shipments during the quarter. Both firms released PC sales reports on Wednesday.(WSJ)
  • From Twitter (Abraham Thomas)
    • 0/ Ever wonder who built/owns the self-driving pods in Minority Report? Uber finally shows us how we’ll get there from here.
    • 1/ Unlimited, on-demand basic resources (food, shelter, transport) have long been a characteristic of science fiction.
    • 2/ The power of the “sharing economy” is that it offers a capitalistic (and hence realistic) model of how to deliver these.
    • 3/ With sufficient network density, sharing algorithms unlock dramatic economies of time, space and scale.
    • 4/ The efficiency gains at scale are large enough to subsidize network participants *and* pay the owners of the algo platform.
    • 5/ That’s where Uber, Airbnb, Sprig and their ilk come in. They get paid to coordinate the usage of otherwise idle resources.
    • 6/ Software is eating the world: this is the breakthrough that eluded every previous top-down resource allocation method (eg socialism).
    • 7/ Localization + computing power + increasing returns from network effects solves Hayek’s information problem. Moore’s Law wins.
    • 8/ People focus too much on the micro aspects of resource-sharing (labor policy, taxation, unit economics). They’re missing the macro.

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 

 


 

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