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LG Will Reveal Next Phase In Development Of 'Smart Kitchen' at CES

At CES 2019, LG in addition to presenting new gram laptops and a capsule-based beer making machine would be unveiling the next development phase of the "smart kitchen" based on a collection of smart kitchen products paired with the Drop KitchenOS platform. This collection include ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators and now a smart display all working in harmony to help simplify the task of food preparation and meal cleanup.

The display being added is the XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display which includes a powerful stereo speaker with AI built-in, access to the Google Assistant and thousands of smart personalized recipes from culinary startup Innit.


The capsule-based beer making machine, the HomeBrew also makes for an addition to the smart kitchen ecosystem along with an InstaView ThinQ refrigerator and QuadWash dishwasher. For example, smart kitchen customers could enjoy a cold brew while looking up recipes on the smart display which is then sent to the oven ensuring a pre-heat…
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Kroger and Nuro Launch Autonomous Delivery Service in Arizona

Kroger and self-driving startup Nuro have kicked off a self-driving delivery service in Scottsdale, Arizona after extensive testing which Kroger says has seen nearly one thousand autonomous deliveries completed so far. A pilot program began this August and has now graduated to a service available to the general public.

Deliveries were made in an autonomous Prius fleet accompanied by vehicle operators during testing. Now, Nuro's custom unmanned vehicle known as the R1 will be used for this purpose. The R1 has no driver, no passengers and is only used to transport goods via public roads. Development of the R1 began two years ago with a Kroger partnership announced this year June.


"Nuro envisions a world without errands, where everything is on-demand and can be delivered affordably. Operating a delivery service using our custom unmanned vehicles is an important first step toward that goal," Nuro President and co-founder Dave Ferguson explained.

"Kroger customers are l…

U.K. AI Chipmaker Graphcore Gets $200 Million Round at $1.7 Billion Valuation

U.K. based artificial intelligence chip manufacturer Graphcore has raised $200 million round led by existing investor Atomico and Sofina with participation from Amadeus Capital Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango, Samsung and Sequoia Capital, Merian Global and also strategic new investors BMW and Microsoft.

This round values the 2 year old company at $1.7 billion and brings its total equity raised to over $300 million. Graphcore says it'll make use of this capital to rapidly scale up by hiring lots of engineers at its Bristol headquarters and offices in London, Norway and Palo Alto. It's also planning to open new offices in Beijing, China and in Hsinchu, Taiwan.


Graphcore says it's ramping up production and will also be adding to its sales, marketing, finance, legal and people teams. "Machine intelligence marks the start of a new age of computing which needs a radically different t…

Swiss Competition Authority Says Apple Agrees To Pro-Competitive Mobile Payment Solution

According to WEKO, Switzerland's competition commission, Apple has agreed to a technical fix to prevent the launch of its Apple Pay payment solution from disrupting rival payment solution TWINT.

"Payments with the TWINT application are effectuated by scanning a QR-code that appears on the screen of the POS terminal. Until now, Apple Pay was likely to launch automatically and thus disrupt a current payment transaction made with the TWINT App." It said in a press release.


WEKO is ending a preliminary investigation against Apple as part of this deal. In summary, Apple Pay is set to launch automatically when Apple devices are held close to a POS terminal to allow contactless payment. Under normal circumstances, this might have affected users deciding to pay using the TWINT app and sprung up a clash with the Swiss competition authority which says Apple has agreed to a technical fix which lets TWINT suppress automatic use of Apple Pay when the user chooses this option.

The Sw…

Daimler Is Bringing These 3 Vehicles To CES 2019

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) holding from 8 to 11 January 2019, Daimler says it'll focus fully on the "outlook of the future of mobility". For this, It'll be unveiling the new Mercedes-Benz CLA for the first time at the event, the electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV for the first time in the U.S. and the Vision URBANETIC concept also for the first time in the U.S.

According to Daimler, The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will feature an evolved MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, a product that premiered at this year's CES event with new features added just 12 months later. Daimler dubs it as the "most emotional vehicle of its class" and a "a highly intelligent automotive specimen".



Features offered in the CLA include the MBUX Interior Assistant which identifies operation requests on the basis of interior movements, augmented reality for navigation and the ability to grasp indirect voice commands.

At the same time frame, The …

Oracle Sees 5% Quarterly Profit Rise To $2.33 Billion

Oracle today announced its fiscal 2019 Q2 results reporting net income of $2.33 Billion, up 5% from last year and $9.6 billion revenue, unchanged from Q2 last year. A quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share of outstanding common stock will be paid for this period.

"Oracle's two cloud ERP businesses, Fusion ERP and NetSuite ERP, delivered a combined revenue growth rate of 32% in Q2," Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd said. "With nearly 6,000 Fusion ERP customers and over 16,000 NetSuite ERP customers, Oracle is the clear leader in cloud ERP. ERP has always been the largest segment of the enterprise applications business, so we have lots of room to grow as customers migrate from their traditional on-premise ERP to the Oracle Fusion ERP Cloud."


"In Q2, non-GAAP earnings per share grew 19% in constant currency," co-CEO Safra Catz also added. "In addition to our strong EPS growth, free cash flow grew 10% to $13.8 billion over the previous twelve months. I a…

Blippar Goes Into Administration

Once high flying AR startup Blippar has announced it's going into administration (i.e. being taken under the management of a court appointed administrator – who must be a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP)) signalling troubles for the company now seeking a buyer for all or parts of the business.

As part of the administration process, all employees are being layed off with Blippar's services likely to cease once administrators take control of the business and its servers. According to a Blippar blog post, It raised a small amount of funding to further operations but required shareholders' approval to access it, one of which voted against this, effectively blocking the investment required to keep it afloat.


Blippar says it'll be learning more about the administration process over the coming days and will keep its stakeholders informed. Administrators have been appointed by a U.K. court for this process. "We are proud to be one of AR’s early pioneers, and we will…

The Google Assistant Can Now Show Predicted Flight Delays And More Info On Ticket Prices

The Google Assistant has gotten more features, this time aimed at travelers who can now get information on predicted flight delays, ticket prices and exploration information for unfamiliar destinations. Questions like “Hey Google, is my flight on time?” or “Hey Google, what’s the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?” will spur up-to-date answers for people moving to various destinations.

Over the next few weeks, the Assistant will begin proactively notifying users on the phone if a flight delay is predicted and the reason for the delay if known. Google Flights also now helps users understand what's included in their ticket prices, Users will see if prices include a carry-on bag and can filter to see the prices that include carry-on luggage and checked bag fees for domestic flights in the U.S.



Also, users heading to destinations they're not familiar with can now get more tips and options on what to do when they get there. Information useful for t…

Google Is Investing $1 Billion Into Construction Of New NY Campus

Google has announced it's investing $1 billion in capital improvements for establishment of a new New York campus dubbed Google Hudson Square. This new campus is a result of lease agreements at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and a signed letter of intent at 550 Washington Street.

It'll span over 1.7 million square foot and is adding to what counts as the company's first initial move outside California which now houses over 7,000 employees speaking 50 languages and working across a broad range of teams including Search, Maps, Ads, Cloud, YouTube, technical infrastructure, sales, research and partnerships.


Google hopes to move into the new campus by 2020 starting with the two Hudson Street buildings followed by that in 550 Washington Street in 2022. It says it'll have the capacity to more than double its workforce in New York with real estate investments like this.

 "Our investment in New York is a huge part of our commitment to grow and invest in U.S. facilities, offic…

Careem Launches Delivery Service Starting In Dubai and Jeddah

Careem has launched Careem NOW, an online delivery service for goods and services which marks its entry into the food delivery market, one most major on-demand transportation companies have gotten into to boost business. Careem NOW will operate via separate app available for Android and iOS and on the app stores.

Beginning in the cities of Dubai and Jeddah with Egypt and Pakistan set to follow suit, Careem says it aims to make its delivery platform the largest in the region with an investment of over $150 million into the service. Careem's over 33 million existing customers will be able to log into the new app with their existing credentials and get their credit card linked automatically if they have one registered.


According to Careem, only 15% of the food delivery market in the Middle East currently operates via app as majority rely on traditional call-and-order method. It says the food delivery market in its target countries are predicted to grow to around $25 billion by 2022.…

Samsung Upgrades The Notebook 9 Pen

Samsung just recently announced the Notebook 9 Pen, a premium 2-in-1 PC with a built-in S Pen made for creators. “With improved design and performance, along with our Notebook’s most advanced S Pen yet, the new Notebook 9 Pen is perfect for contemporary professionals who put especially high demands on their technology.” Samsung PC Business Team head YoungGyoo Choi said.

The new Notebook 9 Pen is centered on durable design, immersive entertainment, top performance and better control with the S Pen. For durable design, it features an all-metal and aluminium frame as well as edge-to-edge diamond cut metal finish to cater for a premium look and portability. It comes in two colors, vibrant Ocean Blue and pristine Platinum White.





For top performance and immersive entertainment, it features an Intel Core i7 processor, fast-charging capability with up to 15 hours of battery life on full charge, expandable storage, two versatile Thunderbolt 3 ports, next-generation Gigabit WiFi support and st…

NIO Sets Sight On Luxury Car Market in China Despite Lesser Sales

Chinese EV manufacturer NIO continues to eye the luxury vehicle market in China, stating it will continue to be a big one in the country despite lesser sales. “Unlike developed markets such as America where the number of new cars and end-of-life vehicles is almost balanced, China’s auto market growth is still incremental though it is reaching a watershed,” NIO CEO William Lie said to reporters in Shanghai this Sunday.

“Plus, electric vehicles sales grow fast in China and sales of luxury cars are unlikely to drop.” He said. NIO is facing high competition in the world's biggest auto market from the likes of Tesla, Nissan, BYD, ZhiDou, Shanghai Auto and Zotye.


Li said the company is carrying out preparatory research about entering international markets, which include legal compliance and the adoption of a business model to tailored for local customers. It's scaling production of the ES8 vehicle, its first commercial product of which Li has pledged to send 10,000 units into custo…

The Rise of Sebastian Thrun, From Google To Udacity to Kitty Hawk

At the (2005) DARPA Grand Challenge, the renowned racing event for American autonomous vehicles, Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun led the development of its self-driving vehicle Stanley which took home the prize and has been placed on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Thrun also led the development of Junior which emerged second at the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, Think that's enough? He also led the development of the Google self-driving car. It's obvious, Thrun is an expert in this field. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. Fast Company selected him as the fifth most creative person in the business world. Thrun has many achievements to his name.







He kicked off his career at the Carnegie Mellon University computer science department where he joined as a research computer scientist in 1995. Three years later, he became assistant professor and co-direct…

Intel and TPG Are Reportedly In Early Talks to Sell McAfee To Thomas Bravo

According to a recent CNBC report, Private equity firm Thomas Bravo is in early discussions to purchase security software vendor McAfee from its owners Intel and TPG Capital for a "significant premium" over its 2016 $4.2 billion valuation.

It cites sources familiar with the matter and notes that talks may still fall apart with no guarantee of a deal announcement expected soon. Intel purchased a then publicly traded McAfee for $7.6 billion in 2010 with aspirations of bundling its chips with the company's security technology, This didn't turn out well leading the chipmaker to a loss of over $3 billion in value after it offloaded 51% of the company to TPG at a $4.2 billion valuation in 2016.


Thomas Bravo also made a minority investment in McAfee after the TPG sale. Just this year, The private equity firm has acquired companies including Centrify, Apptus, Imperva, Veracode, PEC Safety, Quorum Software and Barracuda Networks for billions of dollars in value. It also repo…

Apple Plans Software Update for Chinese iPhone Users to Resolve Sales Ban

Apple says it will push a software update to Chinese iPhone users in a bid to resolve issues concerning a recent court order stopping sales of older models of its smartphones in China over disputes with chipmaker Qualcomm.

The company said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters that it'll “deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.” “Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.


Even with this, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg opposes, stating “Apple continues to disregard and violate the Fuzhou court’s orders”. “They are legally obligated to immediately cease sales, offers for sale and importation of the devices identified in the orders and to prove compliance in court,” He said.

“The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China has granted the Company (Qualcomm)’s request for two preliminary injunctions against four Chinese subsidiaries of A…

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Revolut Obtains European Banking License via Bank of Lithuania

London based Revolut has obtained a banking license via the Bank of Lithuania, the European country's central bank which has granted regulatory approval for it to operate throughout the European union. This marks Revolut as the first London-based fintech to receive a banking license and puts it on par with the likes of Adyen, Klarna and N26 who have obtained banking licenses in other European nations.
Revolut plans to launch checking and savings accounts and also go into business and retail lending, expanding from just a no-fee pre-paid debit card provider to an all-round financial technology provider offering broader services including budgeting, currency exchanges and crypto wallets for its users.

A banking license is required for expansion into broader services for Revolut, a $1.7 billion valued leading fintech startup with more than 3 million customers and 250 million transactions totaling more than 25 billion pounds made on its platform. 
"Our vision is that retail and bu…

Hertz Partners with Clear to Make Use of Biometrics to Speed Up The Car Rental Process

Car rental giant Hertz has partnered with biometrics firm Clear for a new service that makes use of biometrics to speed up the car rental process and make sure travelers get through the exit gate and on the road in 30 seconds or less, a time savings of at least 75% for customers.

To use the service dubbed Hertz Fast Lane powered by tech from Clear, members would enroll just once for easy identification leading to a simple and smooth experience at over 40 car rental locations across the U.S. adopting this technology.


It's already available at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and will be rolled out to other planned locations throughout next year. These locations include some of the busiest U.S. airports like the John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Now, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty members who sign up and link their accounts to Clear will be able to verify their identity and renta…

The Rise of Sebastian Thrun, From Google To Udacity to Kitty Hawk

At the (2005) DARPA Grand Challenge, the renowned racing event for American autonomous vehicles, Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun led the development of its self-driving vehicle Stanley which took home the prize and has been placed on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Thrun also led the development of Junior which emerged second at the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, Think that's enough? He also led the development of the Google self-driving car. It's obvious, Thrun is an expert in this field. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. Fast Company selected him as the fifth most creative person in the business world. Thrun has many achievements to his name.







He kicked off his career at the Carnegie Mellon University computer science department where he joined as a research computer scientist in 1995. Three years later, he became assistant professor and co-direct…

Daimler Is Bringing These 3 Vehicles To CES 2019

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) holding from 8 to 11 January 2019, Daimler says it'll focus fully on the "outlook of the future of mobility". For this, It'll be unveiling the new Mercedes-Benz CLA for the first time at the event, the electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV for the first time in the U.S. and the Vision URBANETIC concept also for the first time in the U.S.

According to Daimler, The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will feature an evolved MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, a product that premiered at this year's CES event with new features added just 12 months later. Daimler dubs it as the "most emotional vehicle of its class" and a "a highly intelligent automotive specimen".



Features offered in the CLA include the MBUX Interior Assistant which identifies operation requests on the basis of interior movements, augmented reality for navigation and the ability to grasp indirect voice commands.

At the same time frame, The …

General Electric Sells Majority Stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake

General Electric has announced it's offloading a majority stake in ServiceMax, the cloud-based software provider it scooped up for $915 million to private equity firm Silver Lake. GE will retain a 10% stake in ServiceMax after the deal closes.
General Electric's software arm, GE Digital has also entered into a reseller agreement with ServiceMax that'll ensure ongoing collaboration between both after this sale to serve joint customers including General Electric’s industrial business unit.

According to GE, ServiceMax in its two years after acquisition has delivered growth that has outpaced the market and will as a separate company possess the strategic focus required to dig deep into the $34 billion global Field Service Management software market opportunity.
It's estimated that majority of the 39 million field technicians globally responsible for installation, maintenance  and repair of machines do not have access to Field Service Management software like ServiceMax wh…

LG Will Unveil a Capsule-Based Beer Making Machine at CES 2019

The 52nd Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event will be holding from 8 to 11 of January next year, featuring over 1,000 speakers, more than 4,400 exhibiting companies and 182,000 persons booked for attendance. One of this exhibitors is LG who will be unveiling the HomeBrew, a machine that makes the brewing process easy thanks to single-use capsules just like in Coffee makers, optimized fermentation algorithm and self-cleaning ability.
The single-use capsules which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavoring will let users relax as the HomeBrew automates the entire brewing procedure from fermentation, carbonation and aging to serving and cleaning at the press of a button. A free companion app is also provided to let users check the status of their beer maker at any time.


According to LG, the HomeBrew's optimized fermentation algorithm smartly controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control for guaranteed brewing success and enhances the quality of beer in …

Facebook and Zenimax Settle Oculus VR Legal Battle

Video game company Zenimax has settled its legal battle with Oculus parent Facebook putting an end to a 4 year clash between both companies over allegations of Oculus using "trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology" provided by Oculus CTO John Carmack who previously was at Zenimax after its acquisition of id Software, the video game developer he co-founded.
After the $3 billion Oculus acquisition, Zenimax took Facebook to the courts over alleged use of its intellectual property in development of key parts of Oculus technology, It claimed that Carmack helped hire several former ZeniMax/id Software employees who possessed technical knowledge of its VR technology that allowed them to rapidly fine-tune the VR testbed system used in creating the Oculus Rift.


Zenimax said in its filing that it "invested tens of millions of dollars in research and development" into virtual reality technology and claimed "…

Medium Said to Express Interest in Acquiring New York Magazine

Online publishing platform Medium has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring New York Magazine and other media properties to beef up its content. Bloomberg reports its chief executive Evan Williams who previously led Twitter has made discussions with Pam Wasserstein, the CEO of the magazine's parent company, New York Media.
According to Bloomberg, the talks were preliminary and unlikely to go further. Even if it crumbles, it signals Medium is serious about boosting content on its platform in the coming year. The blogging platform switched to a subscription model last year and laid off about a third of its staff. Williams termed the ad system “broken” at the time saying it served the interest of corporations and not users.

The Wall Street Journal reported New York Media was considering a sale this August which implies possibility of an acquisition in coming time. Even if Medium doesn't do this, Media properties have been scooped up by notable buyers in previous times, Sale…

Postmates Unveils New Delivery Robot, 'Serve'

Postmates has unveiled a robotic delivery device built from the ground up to deliver small items over short distances effectively. The new autonomous robot, Serve pairs a patented "Socially-Aware-Navigation system" with proprietary Postmates software to join the Postmates fleet of over 350,000 couriers in delivering items to its users.

It runs on electricity and moves at walking speed, enabling it to route deliveries away from crowded streets and onto sidewalks. "7 years and hundreds of millions of deliveries later — we realized that we are in unique position to create our very own autonomous delivery vehicle" A post from Postmates read..."By developing an in-house, design-first approach, Serve was built to respect cities, meets customer demands, and helps local businesses sell even more."

The new robot contain advanced set of sensors including Velodyne Lidar and makes use of an NVIDIA XAVIER processor for interaction with the environment. Customers can i…

The SIPC Sees Red Flags In Robinhood's Plan to Offer Checking & Savings Accounts

Just after the unveiling of a checking & savings accounts service stock-trading app Robinhood plans for its users, The Securities Investor Protection Corporation has voiced concerns that deposited funds may not be eligible for insurance even as Robinhood says they will be insured by the SIPC.

“I disagree with the statement that these funds are protected by SIPC,” SIPC president and chief executive Stephen Harbeck said in an interview. “Had they called us, I would have told them what I just told you in that I have serious concerns about this. This has gigantic ramifications for the banking industry.”


“I spoke to my colleagues at the trading and markets division at the SEC, and I’m sure they’ll be consulting with the firm today,” Harbeck said. “I believe that, as stated by the firm, there’s some significant legal problems that they have.”

Robinhood's website says that deposits up to $250,000 in cash for each account are protected by the SIPC should anything go wrong. But Harbec…