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July 2017 archive

Weekly#229

Curation of the news and articles I read this week

  • Finnish breakthrough: Making protein out of thin air and electricity
  • Google now blasts autoplay videos straight into your Search results
  • Adobe is ending Flash support in 2020, tells everyone to jump ship
  • Nearly 40 million Americans use Roku, beating out Google’s Chromecast
  • Alphabet has nearly doubled its headcount since 2013 to more than 75,000
  • Google leads the world in digital and mobile ad revenue
  • Even with 45,000 robots, Amazon is working hard to find human warehouse labor
  • Softbank Said to Take Stake in Roomba Maker iRobot
  • “…Musk’s master plan is to help owners add their vehicles to a shared fleet at the touch of a button. Instead of sitting unused 22 hours a day, the car will be able to drive itself and passengers, to earn money for you while you sleep, work, or go on vacation…”
  • The Biggest Facial Recognition System in the World Is Rolling Out in China
  • Amazon Hub: A package delivery locker specifically for blocks of flats
  • SpaceX now valued at $21 billion as launch market dominance looms
  • “…The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved institutional bitcoin derivatives platform Ledgerx LLC as the first federally-regulated bitcoin options exchange and clearinghouse. Ledgerx plans to start trading bitcoin options in the fall and ether options a few months after that….”
  • “…How Blockchain Can Make Identification Borderless and Immutable…a blockchain platform for digital identification called BanQu…Banqu estimates 2.7 billion people around the world lack an economic identity. But of those 2.7 billion, 60 percent have mobile phones…”
  • Google Has Started Adding Imagination to Its DeepMind AI “…One of the ways they tested the new algorithms was with a 1980s video game called Sokoban, in which players have to push crates around to solve puzzles. Some moves can make the level unsolvable, so advanced planning is needed, and the AI wasn’t given the rules of the game beforehand.The researchers found their new ‘imaginative’ AI solved 85 percent of the levels it was given, compared with 60 percent for AI agents using older approaches…”
  • LinkedIn data can predict how likely you are to quit, and it’s being sued to keep it public
  • Bitcoin explained in emoji (part1) (part2)
  • Amazon reportedly acquired GameSparks for $10M to build out its gaming muscle… “…GameSparks is a “backend as a service” for game developers to build various features like leaderboards into games, and then manage them, all in the cloud…”
  • Facebook active users 2.01 B, Whatsapp 1.3 B, Messenger 1.2 B, Instagram 700 M
  • WhatsApp is building out its business team to start bringing in revenue
  • Oculus, the virtual reality company owned by Facebook, has created its first VR movie
  • AWS, $16 billion annual revenue run rate “…A recent report from the startup CB Insights showed 5,600 open job listings for the AWS unit…”

Weekly#228

  • Amazon Spark is a product discovery social network that looks like Instagram “…Tucked into the “Programs and Features” section of the Amazon iOS app is the Spark social network, in which Prime members can post photos to an Instagram-like feed…”
  • Netflix surges to record high as company adds non-US subscribers. The company also passed the symbolic goal of having 100 million paying subscribers. Outside the US (52.03 million) vs US (51.92 million).
  • “Thrones” had on average 25.7 million viewers last season according to HBO, which says 26 percent of those views come from HBO Go and HBO Now, the company’s online streaming services. Budget : $10 million per episode last season
  • We could build a galactic internet but it may take 300,000 years
  • Citymapper will offer actual paid bus service in London this year “…The inaugural route is a nighttime one, running between 9 PM and 5 AM on weekend nights in East London, which Citymapper identified as underserved by current public transit options using its app and data analysis tool…”
  • Drones are our noisy future: People find their buzzing more annoying than cars or trucks
  • Microsoft 4Q17: Office 365 revenue surpasses traditional licenses, Microsoft is super close to the $20 billion cloud milestone it set for itself in 2015
  • Alexa is coming to the Amazon app on Android, starting this week
  • YouTube TV triples its footprint with launches in 10 more U.S. markets
  • SoftBank’s Son Finally Explains How All Those Deals Fit Together
  • This chart shows where robots are going to replace humans on Wall Street
  • Google Street View is now in outer space too
  • How ARKit will deliver the future of maps
  • Scientists are now using Wi-Fi to read human emotions

Weekly#227

  • Shell Plans to Spend $1 Billion a Year on Clean Energy by 2020…as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates
  • First Object Teleported from Earth to Orbit…Researchers in China have teleported a photon from the ground to a satellite orbiting more than 500 kilometers above
  • A new study out of the University of California in San Francisco found the Apple Watch may be able to detect a heart condition that causes over 100,000 strokes every year.
  • “…Tech giants including Baidu and Google spent between $20B to $30B on AI in 2016, with 90% of this spent on R&D and deployment, and 10% on AI acquisitions…” McKinsey’s State Of Machine Learning And AI, 2017
  • Hyperledger releases its first production ready blockchain
  • eBay ‘millionaire’ sellers in Germany and UK grow 50 percent in four years.”…Fresh data published on Tuesday by eBay shows the number of million euro businesses selling on eBay grew to 1,095 from 731 in Germany last year since 2013 while million pound-plus businesses rose to 663 from 443 in Britain over the same time period
  • Amazon is quietly rolling out its own Geek Squad to set up gadgets in your home
  • Facebook says all advertisers can soon buy ads inside Messenger
  • WeChat Search is yet another brick in Tencent’s walled garden strategy…”…From the minute you wake up,” says Kiki Fan, GM of Planning & Implementation Department at Tencent, “we have Tencent News for you, the number one news site in China; social apps like QQ and WeChat, also dominating China;  music streaming services like QQ Music and KuGou, which make up 60% of market share; Tencent Video, the number one streaming platform equivalent to Netflix; not to mention the many brothers we have like Dianping, Didi and China’s number two e-commerce, JD
  • Wirecard brings WeChat Pay to Europe…”…European retailers can target over 938 million monthly active WeChat and Weixin users…
  • How Harley-Davidson Used Artificial Intelligence to Increase New York Sales Leads by 2,930%
  • Hyperloop One successfully tested its hyperloop technology on Thursday.
  • Facebook-owned Oculus VR plans to release a much cheaper virtual-reality headset priced at roughly $200 in 2018, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
  • Uber is merging its ride-sharing business with search giant Yandex in Russia
  • Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and how accurate he was
  • Shopify Merchants Will Soon Be Able to Sell Through EBay
  • a $100 million venture capital unit, Toyota AI Ventures, that will invest in startups specializing in artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, robotics, data analytics, and cloud computing technology.
  • “…ING warned that with battery-powered vehicles accounting for 100% of registrations in 2035 across the continent, European carmakers would lose out to their rivals in the US and Asia who already lead on battery production…”
  • Stash, now valued at $240 million, lets anyone start investing in the stock market with just $5
  • High-speed Hyperloop project ready for key test in Nevada
  • AT&T planning organizational changes, including new role for CEO: Bloomberg
  • The free robot lawyer that appealed $3 million in parking tickets is now available in the US. video

Weekly#226

  • Google is funding a robot journalism project in which computers will write 30,000 stories a month for local media.
  • Use of WhatsApp in NHS ‘widespread’, say doctors
  • Volvo will only make electric and hybrid cars starting in 2019 “…Between 2019 and 2021, Volvo will roll out five battery electric models, along with a cavalcade of plug-in hybrids and “mild hybrids,” which supplement internal combustion engines with batteries and motors…”
  • Electric cars will be as cheap as gasoline models by 2025 & battery manufacturing capacity will triple in the next four years
  • Google shows off Blocks, a 3D modeling tool made for VR (…Google wants to simplify content creation in VR so that people have more pretty things to look at and build…)
  • Amazon isn’t developing its own wines…yet
  • Alphabet’s latest spinoff uses the earth’s warmth to heat people’s home instead of burning oil “…The company inserts plastic pipes 300 to 500 feet underground where temperatures stay a near-constant 50°F (10°C) during the winter and summer. A pump at the surface circulates water through the U-shaped pipes, and a heat pump, similar to a refrigerator that can operate in reverse, exchanges warm or cold air in the home. Heat from the ground is transferred indoors during the winter (electricity adds extra warmth), while the process is reversed in the summer to tap relatively cooler ground temperatures…”
  • Japanese designers created an extra set of hands you can control with your feet
  • South Australia announces Tesla as backer of world’s largest battery
  • Ohio is now the fifth U.S. state to permit delivery robots on sidewalks
  • Recode Interactive Map : complex web of relationships as Detroit and Silicon Valley try to reinvent the car
  • AI is making it extremely easy for students to cheat “…But today’s students have smarter tools at their disposal—namely, Wolfram|Alpha, a program that uses artificial intelligence to perfectly and untraceably solve equations…”
  • As of late June, 85 million people in the US were signed up for Amazon Prime
  • World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers 2017
  • Tencent Dominates in China. Next Challenge Is Rest of the World
  • Charlie Rose : Jack Ma