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Showing posts from September, 2018

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…

Mercedes drops 'project' from Hypercar name and tags it 'AMG One'

In the run-up to the Paris Motor Show 2018 event, Mercedes unveiled the official name of its Hypercar now dubbed 'AMG One' with a drop of 'project' from the vehicle previously known as the 'project one'.

The One now stands for its highest automotive ambition to usher Formula 1 hybrid tech to the roads with the One being the pinnacle of Mercedes' model portfolio and an absolute top-of-the-line model.





Intensive testing of the hypercar have been on-going for months in England at high-performance test stands and race tracks with the AMG One reflecting the latest development status of an outstanding technical feature, It's active aerodynamics.

The vehicle's active aerodynamics currently in the process of wind tunnel testing is equipped with a multi-part, two-stage extendable rear wing for maximum downforce in race mode which stands as a very high-end and individualistic feature for top-tier vehicles.


Experts across high-performance subsidiaries in the A…

Toyota is supplying its Fuel Cell tech to bus manufacturer CaetanoBus

Auto giant Toyota has reached another deal for its aim on stepping towards a broader hydrogen society through an agreement to implement its Fuel Cell technology for bus manufacturer Caetanobus SA.

Toyota will provide systems which include fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks and other key components to the Portuguese bus engineering and production company which will be used for crafting hydrogen fuel cell city buses.


In little over a year, The first zero emission fuel cell city buses will roll off Caetanobus's lines and will be operated as demonstration buses by the company. This marks as another notable step for Toyota as it promotes the application of its hydrogen fuel cell technology beyond passenger cars to other vehicles which include forklifts, buses, heavy duty and small delivery trucks.

"Supplying our fuel cell systems to Caetanobus demonstrates the many practical uses and environmental benefits of hydrogen towards a carbon-free society. We're really excited by the p…

The 2019 BMW i3 and i3s packs more electric range thanks to new high-voltage batteries

BMW has unveiled more features coming for the 2019 models of its i3 and i3s vehicles with a focus on extended range for customers thanks to new high-voltage and more powerful batteries being equipped for the vehicle.

Operating range is now set to increase to as much as 260 kilometres in everyday conditions without any loss of driving pleasure which count as an up for its buyers.


Other additional features for the new version include a sports package for the BMW i3 and new colors for the exterior and interior. The BMW i series is fusing its position as an innovation leader and trendsetter in the EV market with these new models as it sets its sights for more growth in the EV market.

Storage capacity of the high-voltage battery used for the i series vehicles has doubled since initial launch thanks to on-going development and research concerning methods to make the EV experience much more better.





Increased capacity of the battery has led to a longer range for the vehicle with customers no…

Microsoft is experimenting with a Robot Operating System for Windows

Microsoft is tinkering into the field of advanced robots with the announcement an experimental release of Robot Operating System [ROS1] for Windows at the ROSCon 2018 event holding in the spanish capital of Madrid.

This will bring the manageability and security of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to the innovative ROS ecosystem which offers sets of libraries and tools that help in construction of complex robots used in implementing cutting-edge processes.

At the ROSCon event, Microsoft is demoing a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot running the ROS software which recognizes and steers towards the person closest to the robot. The demoed robot runs Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on an Intel Coffee Lake NUC while utlizing a new ROS node which leverages hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning.


Microsoft is also demonstrating a ROS simulation environment running on its Azure cloud service which exhibits a collection of robots running in a virtual environment linked to an orchestration system controlled …

The BMW Cockpit has been heavily revised and modernised for new auto models

BMW has now unveiled a newly reappraised, rebuilt, revised, modified and modernized version of its Cockpit for new launch models like the BMW X5, BMW 8 Series, BMW Z4 and BMW 3 Series which are all being debuted at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 event in Paris.

The new Cockpit packs content which can be customized and personalized and a new fully digital BMW Operating System 7.0 focused increasingly on the driver experience. Improvements have been made on interaction options with the vehicle among other notable features.


These improved interactions are centered around the areas of voice recognition and gesture control with customers for the first time getting access to BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which makes the vehicle experience way more smarter.

Responding to the prompt “Hey BMW” command, The Intelligent Assistant offers a smooth integration of new functions and services which comes with optimal support at all times for the driver.


The new Remote Software Upgrade function…

Volvo outs Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle

Volvo has outed a new Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle in what marks a latest addition to its line-up of brand new Volvos which reflects its transformation in recent years. The initial V60 was launched earlier this year on the driveway of a Stockholm Villa reflecting its ability to function uniquely and seamlessly.

The Cross Country version of the vehicle takes the V60 from from the suburb to the skogen (Swedish for forest). It adds the capability on and off the beaten track which has defined Volvo's Cross Country vehicles since its initial outing 21 years ago.


The Cross Country modification brings about a ground clearance up to 75mm higher than the regular V60 thanks to its specially developed chassis and suspension for enhancement of its off-road capability.

It packs other standard features such as All-wheel-drive, Electronic Stability Control, Hill  Descent Control, Corner Traction Control and a special Off-Road driving mode. The V60 Cross Country benefits from Volvo&#…

Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to accelerate its connected car efforts

Volkswagen and Microsoft has now inked a strategic partnership which would see both companies work on progressing Volkswagen's Automotive Cloud and connected car services as is aims for transformation into a mobility provider with fully connected vehicle fleets.

Volkswagen will now be leveraging Microsoft's expertise and learnings to assist in defining what will make its ‘Volkswagen Automotive Cloud’ service peculiar and globally accepted. The auto giant will set up a a new automotive cloud development office in North America which will support initial development of efforts pertaining to this partnership.

From 2020 as targeted, Over 5 million new VW vehicles yearly will be fully connected and will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cloud, This partnership by both companies is aimed at laying the foundation for combination of Microsoft's expertise as a major cloud services provider and Volkswagen's experience as a global high-selling auto manufacturer.






Both…

Daimler's smart forease concept embodies urban driving fun in an individualistic way

Daimler has unveiled a new electric and urban concept to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Paris Motor Show through an outing of an ingenious concept which offers a simple solution for urban mobility.

The concept is seated under the open sky with the driver being at the centre of the hustle and bustle of the city which they can freely partake in thanks to its electric drive. Its openness and minimalistic style reflect a tribute to the pioneering smart concept vehicles "crossblade" (2001) and "forspeed" (2011).


The concept is uncompromisingly open, pays no heed to convention and is powered by an electric powertrain while standing for the authentic urban mobility which continues to be the underlying concept behind the brand.
It stands for emotionality, lifestyle and attitude as described by Daimler who owes the individualistic awe of the vehicle to the extension of its interior to the open environment. It packs radiant, dramatic metallic-white and colour accents…

Grab said to be in discussions to offload Thai unit stake to retail giant Central Group

Singapore based ridesharing firm Grab has now been reported to be in talks of selling a “a decent-sized stake” in its Thai business to Central Group, The country's largest retailer with over $10 billion in annual revenues.

A deal like this would expand Grab's partnerships with the retail giant beyond food delivery into other sectors such as e-commerce and digital payments. This would also come at a time when Grab's main competitor Go-Jek is planning a foray into the Thai market with a $500 million investment set for its expansion into the country and several other South East Asian regions.

Grab is also reported to be interested in doing business with JD Central, a $560 million joint venture set up with China's JD.com by the Central Group earlier this year.

No official statement have been made yet as of now with still open room for countless speculations, Nevertheless, what's sure is that Grab has been on a rapid growth rate since its start in 2012 with a current p…

Color Genomics takes on collaboration with the Broad Institute and Partners LMM for historic 'All of Us' Research Program

Color Genomics, A Burlingame based genetic testing startup focused on early detection of cancer for users of its kit has now partnered with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Partners HealthCare for establishment of one of three genome centres around the U.S. for the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program.

This research program marks one of the most ambitious biomedical research efforts ever taken in the U.S. and is aimed at sequencing one million or more people across the U.S with a goal of accelerating health research and enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for individuals.

Color will be responsible for analysis and reporting of genomic data for this program with further support from Partners LMM for a set of 59 genes which can lead to serious and preventable clinical conditions such as breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia, Lynch syndrome, and others.

The health-te…

Microsoft’s mobile phone keyboard SwiftKey adds two-way translation for Android

Microsoft Translator, The software giant's technology which makes use of artificial intelligence for provision of translations for more than 60 languages has now been integrated with the Android version of Microsoft's SwiftKey mobile keyboard.

The company made this known in a recent announcement this Thursday. The real-time translation feature will now translate as its Android users text in real-time to offer a unique and much desired experience for cross-border messaging.



Once users tap the Microsoft Translator icon on the SwiftKey keyboard, The app begins its function with translation of messages between users. The app would also remember users' preferences leading to an elimination of the need to scroll through the full list of the more than 60 available languages which users choose from.

“We wanted to make it really easy for users to be able to translate as they type and to be able to translate incoming messages,” Colleen Hall, a senior product manager for SwiftKey sa…

Compass raises $400 million from Softbank and others at $4.4 billion valuation

Real estate startup Compass has now closed a $400 million round led by the Softbank Vision Fund and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) with further participation from Fidelity, Insight Venture Partners and the Wellington Management Company.

This comes less than a year after Compass nabbed $450 million in a round still led by Softbank with the total amount raised by NY based Compass now coming at $1.2 billion.

This investment round came with a $4.4 billion valuation for the company marking a doubling of its most previous $2.2 billion valuation.

An announcement of this funding comes just on the same day fellow real estate startup Opendoor raised $400 million in new funding of which Softbank provided the lion share. The company which count operations in major markets including San Diego,  Nashville, Atlanta, Houston and Austin among several others is planning to expand into international markets with this investment providing capital for this growth.







It's grown its agent population to …

The Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports event is coming to San Diego

The popular Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports tournament is heading to the city of San Diego debuting a first appearance on the West Coast for esports enthusiasts who will battle it out for a piece of the $250,000 prize pool.

This event will hold from the 28th-30th of September at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center as Optic Gaming steps into the event to take the title after a dominating performance in New Orleans and wins of the last seven online 2Ks.



Team Echo Fox is coming in as the second seed to battle it out after a loss in  New Orleans. Team Ghost Gaming and Spacestation Gaming will also come with new members as they look to run the table to the Championship match this Sunday.

The San Diego event is also marking Gears Pro Circuit debut of 2v2 Gnashers Only on Boxes with a $10,000 prize pool being bundled for this side tournament which will have some of the top Gears players looking to prove their CQB dominance.

Anyone with an event pass (spectator or team) is e…

U.K. based AI cyber defense startup Darktrace nabs $50 million Series E funding at $1.65 billion valuation

U.K. based cyber defense firm Darktrace has now raised $50 million in a Series E funding round led by Vitruvian Partners with participation from KKR and 1011 Ventures to fund its expansion as the firm which counts as one of the largest in the enterprise security startup base scale its operations.

This funding round came with a $1.65 billion valuation for the 5 year old company renowned for its machine learning approach to detection of security vulnerabilities in enterprise networks.

With over 650 employees spanning across over 30 global offices and a deployment of its solutions to over 7,000 networks, Darktrace stands as a rapidly growing company having scaled to an impressive height in a quite short amount of time.

Darktrace's products include cyber defense solutions targeted for the cloud, IT environments, physical environments and several other fields of application. It also provides autonomous response solution to cyber attacks marking a real-time much needed solution by glob…

Stripe raises $245 million Tiger Global led round at $20 billion valuation

San Francisco based Stripe, a leading payments company whose service is used by over 100 thousand businesses worldwide spreading across millions of customers has now raised $245 million in a new round at a $20 billion valuation, More than double the previous $9.2 billion valuation it garnered from its most previous funding round which took place in 2016.

This round was led by Tiger Global with further participation from DST Global, Sequioa Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Thrive Capital. Stripe which counts major name customers such as Uber, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Wish, Postmates, Expedia, Zillow, Deliveroo and Google has now raised $685 million in total across several rounds.


8 year old Stripe has now vaulted into the ranks of the world's most valuable private tech companies with a $20 billion valuation placing it amongst the top ten ranks of most valuable unicorns.

Stripe is planning to make use of this funding to hire more people for what is says is a “distributed global engineeri…

Oculus outs the Fall event lineup for its Venues app

Oculus has now unveiled the first taste of its Fall 2018 lineup for the Oculus Venues app where users get to experience live action like never before on the Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets.

The latest events will be available on the Oculus companion mobile app for users to see upcoming events and select from to attend while taking on what counts as one the best VR experiences.

Oculus in partnership with several other major entertainment names including Lionsgate, NextVR, Showtime, AEG and the NBA and MLB sport bodies to bring immersive and live VR content to its users.



As announced by Oculus, Below is its content schedule for its Oculus Venues events from the months of September to November. More additions are also set to come soon;

September

September 26 // VR League Onward Qualifiers // 12:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // VR League Onward Finals // 6:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // Live Music Now — New Orleans, LA // 8:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // OC5 Day 1 Keynote Encore with Japanese Subtitles // 10:00 p…

Oculus unveils new 'Quest' VR headset set for release next year

Oculus has unveiled a new VR headset set to launch Spring 2019 dubbed 'Quest' which counts as its first all-in-one VR system with six degrees of freedom with lets users look around in any direction and walk through virtual space as would happen in the physical world.

The Oculus Quest comes with Touch controllers to enable interaction with people and objects in a natural way and will pack over 50 games and experiences at launch with more to come in future time.


It makes jumping into action way more easier with no PC, wires or external sensors needed for use. Packed with Oculus Insight unveiled by the company at its OC5 conference, It offers breakthrough inside-out tracking, Guardian, and Touch controller tracking which makes use of four ultra wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track exact position of players in real-time without the use of external sensors.

The intuitive touch controllers brings real hands into the VR experience for easy and natural interacti…

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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…

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…

Uber Reportedly Selects Morgan Stanley to Lead Next Year IPO

Uber has reportedly selected investment bank Morgan Stanley for its long-awaited IPO scheduled for next year putting the bank which has lead IPOs for technology companies including Sonos, NIO, Tenable, Bloom Energy, Domo and Moderna Therapeutics in a position to reap a large gain from a public offering which could value Uber at $120 billion.
Bloomberg reports Goldman Sachs is also likely to play a role in the IPO which would mark one of the largest debuts ever and will likely be the largest listing to take place next year. Morgan Stanley was previously reported to have helped Uber draft its IPO prospectus.

Rival Lyft's IPO is being led by JPMorgan Chase with the help of Credit Suisse and Jefferies Financial Group. It's said to be targeting a valuation between $18 billion - $30 billion for its debut. 
Big winners from the Uber IPO will include Softbank which purchased $8 billion of shares from investors and $1.25 billion worth of new shares in what marked as the largest equity…

Apple Pay Kicks Off in Germany

Four years after a first launch in the U.S., Apple has launched its mobile payments service in Germany making a total of 33 countries Apple Pay can now be used in. Customers at banks like Commerzbank unit Comdirect, Hanseatic Bank, Deutsche Bank and Wirecard and also of credit card providers Visa, American Express and Mastercard are now able to use Apple's Boon app in the country.
Retailers like supermarket chain Kaufland, Aldi and Lidl, Zara, H&M, MediaMarkt and Esprit will accept payments with Apple Pay which enable customers transact easily by holding their smartphone in front of payment terminal.

"We are delighted to now offer boon via Apple Pay to all owners of an Apple device. Together with Apple Pay, we are further enhancing the user experience for consumers and thus advance the digitization of payment processes globally." Wirecard Executive Vice President (for) Consumer Solutions Georg von Waldenfels said in a press release.
A dispute over fees is said to ha…

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…

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…

Shuttered Rideshare Startup Sidecar Sues Uber Alleging Practices 'Hell-bent on Stifling Competition'

Shuttered rideshare startup Sidecar, An early mover in the ridesharing industry alongside Uber and Lyft that went bust after 4 years in operation is suing Uber over what it claims are predatory pricing and anti-competitive practices that put it out of business.
Sidecar's lawsuit filed in a San Francisco district court claims “Uber became hell-bent on stifling competition from ride-hailing apps,” and made use of subsidies and fake ride requests to competing services in order to exert its number one position in the ride-hailing market.

"Instead of competing on the merits, Uber used a number of tactics that are against the law to drive Sidecar out of business." Sidecar co-founder Sunil Paul said in a blog post detailing why the firm is suing Uber. "Uber took illegal steps to undermine Sidecar and other competitors, while it planned all along to raise prices for consumers once it had secured a dominant market position." Paul said. 
"We shut down in December 2…

InVision Picks Up $115 Million Series F Round at $1.9 Billion Valuation

Digital product design platform InVision has picked up a $115 million Series F round led by Spark Capital with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors ICONIQ Capital, Battery Ventures, FirstMark, Tiger Global and Geodesic Capital. 
This round which values the company at $1.9 billion also includes a previously reported investment which came along with a partnership from Australian software company Atlassian. Spark Capital Partner and former Google and Square product leader Megan Quinn will be joining InVision's board as part of this deal.




InVision is celebrating hitting five 5 million users on its platform which include team members at companies like Amazon, Netflix, General Electric, Uber, Toyota, Vodafone, Starbucks and IKEA as announced by the company also. It has now raised $350 million in total from an impressive investor list that includes the biggest names in the venture capital scene.
In recent years, The company has evolved from a prototyping tool for desi…

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 …

Apple iPhone Suppliers Reportedly Mulling Production Move if Tariff Hits 25%

A recent report from Bloomberg says Apple suppliers will consider shifting iPhone production away from China if tariffs on U.S. imports relating to the trade spat between both nations climb to 25%. The report states that Apple suppliers intend to continue with the current production model even if tariffs climb to 10% but will consider moving if it hits a more severe 25%.
So far, iPhones, the majority of which are assembled by contract manufacturing company Foxconn in China have been exempted from tariffs in the U.S.-China trade war, But U.S. president Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal last month that he expects to move ahead with boosting tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, calling it “highly unlikely” that a request from Beijing to hold-off a tariff increase will be accepted.

Apple has long assembled its products in China with a large supply chain spanning hundreds of firms involved in the manufacturing of the iPad, iPhone, iPad and other Apple products made in h…