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Showing posts from September, 2018

EU Hands Qualcomm $271 Million Fine

The European Commission has imposed a fine of €242 million (around $271 million) on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm for behavior it termed "predatory pricing". The EU is alleging Qualcomm at some time abused its market dominance in 3G baseband chipsets by selling them at below production cost with an aim to force competitor Icera out of the market. Such activity is illegal under EU antitrust law.

The EU alleges Qualcomm abused its market dominance between mid-2009 and mid-2011 by selling certain 3G baseband chipsets below production cost to Huawei and ZTE, claiming this was done with an aim of eliminating Icera, Qualcomm's main rival in the 3G baseband market as at that time. An investigation into Qualcomm was first launched by the European Commission in 2015.


The European Commission opened a formal investigation on the 16th of July 2015 and sent out a Statement of Objections [a document stating preliminary concerns of its investigation] on 8 December 2015. Another Statement of…

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…

Most Read Posts

Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, on-demand convenience store delivery app that was valued at $1 billion last November after a financing round, according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to cu…

Lehmann Shows Us Postmates' Cute Little Robot

Amid tittle-tattles of Postmates shopping itself to several buyers, CEO Bastian Lehmann appeared at a recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference [video] to talk about the delivery company and the gig economy on the whole. Lehmann addressed acquisition rumors with a casual statement of "..I can’t comment" although he later said the "..plan is to take it public". Postmates confidentially filed for an IPO earlier this year but hasn't [soon-after] followed up with an official S-1 filing as conventionally done.

Shortly after the Fortune conference, Lehmann also penned an op-ed on CNN that pushed for improvement of workforce conditions for gig economy workers and corporation with labor unions. "...Gig companies don't have a long history of working with organized labor, but the way forward depends on us viewing unions as working partners, not sparring partners." Lehmann wrote in his op-ed. "Our business models may be new, but labor organizers have g…

Bird Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Scoot

According to a TechCrunch report, Bird -- the $2 billion valued Santa Monica-based startup known for its on-demand scooters -- is in talks to acquire Scoot, a competitor that has raised roughly $47 million in total funding, and was last valued at $71 million. TechCrunch says Bird has agreed to acquire Scoot although a deal is likely not yet closed. If it pulls through, this will be Bird's first full acquisition.

Scoot operates in the cities of San Francisco, Barcelona, and Santiago, with a fleet of manual kick scooters, electric scooters and electric bikes that users of its mobile app can access. The company has done more than 2.5 million total rides. Its backers include Vision Ridge Capital, India's Mahindra Partners, SunPower founder Tom Dinwoodie and Scout Ventures.


Bird -- led by former Uber and Lyft executive Travis VanderZanden -- on the other hand is much bigger, having raised $415 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data. Its backers include Accel, Ashton…

Toyota Taps CATL For Supply Of EV Batteries

Toyota has entered into a deal with China's CATL that'll see the latter supply electric vehicle batteries to the Japanese automaker. Discussions on new battery tech development, product quality improvements and the reuse and recycling of EV batteries have also commenced between both companies. This deal comes not long after Volvo, another top automaker, inked a similar deal with CATL and South Korea's LG Chem.

CATL is a top manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries, with a 41% market share and $4.4 billion in 2018 revenues. The Chinese company's battery output grew 261.1% from 630 MWh in 2017 to 2.274 GWh in 2018.


As a stable supply of batteries is essential to any automaker producing electric vehicles, having CATL [a top manufacturer that can fulfill huge orders] as a supplier is good for Toyota. Toyota and CATL are not just stopping at battery supplies but also intend to work on other joint battery-related systems and initiatives.

This agreement benefits the two, w…

Cisco Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Signal Sciences

Cisco has been a keen buyer of several startups and well-established companies alike. Just some days ago, the networking company scooped up optical tech supplier Acadia Communications for $2.6 billion. A month before that, Cisco acquired french IoT company Sentryo. Now it seems the company is eyeing another acquisition, with news from The Information [paywall] stating that Cisco is looking to acquire Signal Sciences, a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity startup.

Signal Sciences is one of many startups lurking in the cybersecurity industry. It develops software that protects apps running on cloud providers and on data centers from malicious attacks. Signal Sciences has courted many top tech companies as customers, to name some; DoorDash, Betterment, Remitly, Adobe, WeWork, Glossier, Cisco's Duo Security, One Medical, Yelp, PlanGrid, Procore, Postmates, Tenable and SendGrid. Overall, Signal Sciences protects more than 10,000 applications.

Signal Sciences already has some relations wit…

GM Cruise Raises $1.15 Billion At $19 Billion Valuation

GM Cruise has secured $1.15 billion in funding from a group of investors including Honda, Softbank Vision Fund and parent company General Motors who are existing investors, and funds advised by T. Rowe Price. Cruise made this known via a press release that was tweeted on Tuesday. The investment valued GM Cruise at $19 billion, up from $14.6 billion after a $2.75 billion investment commitment by Honda October last year.

"Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles at massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation," Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in the tweeted press release. "Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage." This investment comes not so long after Uber's Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) raised $1 billion from Toyota, Denso, and Softbank Vision Fund (notably a participant in this round for GM Cruise.)


The Softbank Vision Fund earlier this year also invested $940 million into Nuro, anoth…

Tencent And BMW Collaborate On Self-Driving Tech

Tencent and BMW have reached an agreement to work together on a platform that'll be used to develop self-driving technologies and products. Both companies signed an agreement at a ceremony that held in Beijing on Friday, 19 July. The platform they'll work on is called the "BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform", an IT platform that'll be used for safety validation of Level 3 autonomous driving and early studies of Level 4 in BMW vehicles. BMW plans to begin production of cars equipped with Level 3 self-driving tech by 2021.

Post 2021, the "D³" platform will aid post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 self-driving tech. Thanks to this partnership, Tencent will provide IT architecture, platforms and tools required for self-driving research and development. The Chinese tech giant will also provide security expertise to ensure both parties comply with Chinese laws and regulations on data security, prevent security ris…

EU Hands Qualcomm $271 Million Fine

The European Commission has imposed a fine of €242 million (around $271 million) on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm for behavior it termed "predatory pricing". The EU is alleging Qualcomm at some time abused its market dominance in 3G baseband chipsets by selling them at below production cost with an aim to force competitor Icera out of the market. Such activity is illegal under EU antitrust law.

The EU alleges Qualcomm abused its market dominance between mid-2009 and mid-2011 by selling certain 3G baseband chipsets below production cost to Huawei and ZTE, claiming this was done with an aim of eliminating Icera, Qualcomm's main rival in the 3G baseband market as at that time. An investigation into Qualcomm was first launched by the European Commission in 2015.


The European Commission opened a formal investigation on the 16th of July 2015 and sent out a Statement of Objections [a document stating preliminary concerns of its investigation] on 8 December 2015. Another Statement of…

Big Data startup Domo slashes its unicorn status ahead of upcoming IPO

image credit : Domo

Business Intelligence and Big Data startup Domo which was last valued at $2 Billion in its private round of funding just set the terms for its IPO as of recent and things don't really good for the company's filing.

The company filed for going public with an outstanding 24,953,806 shares priced between $19-22 each which implies an an IPO value of $546 million which is way lower than its $2 Billion unicorn status for the company which raised over $600 million from several investors including TPG, Bezos Expeditions, BlackRock, IVP and a slew of others.

This represents a loss for the company which currently operates under negative cash flow with operation costs of $148.7 million for the most recent fiscal year ended Jan 31 but with only $71.9 million cash at hand.

Domo booked $116 million in sales for the 12 months leading to April 30 2018 and is aiming to raise $189 million through the sale of 9.2 million shares in the upcoming public offering.

Domo will join …

Forbes Predicts The Next Billion Dollar Startups

Every year, popular media publication Forbes dishes out a list of startups they predict will be the next to hit billion dollar valuations and join some roughly 360 startups that are currently in that position. Forbes has been quite good with its predictions, having predicted billion dollar valuations for many unicorns now widely recognized [to name some; Docker, Tanium, Looker, Outreach, Sonder, Opendoor, Deliveroo, Vlocity, Plaid, Segment, Flexport, DoorDash, AwayLemonade, KeepTruckin and more.

Forbes recently debuted its predictions for this year, selecting some 25 venture-backed startups that it foresees as the next billion dollar startups. The startups selected by Forbes are listed below;

Next Trucking: Next Trucking is an El Segundo, California-based startup that connects shippers and truck carriers in the $800 billion U.S. trucking industry. Next Trucking focuses on drayage [moving goods from ports to warehouses], which is its distinction from similar services like Uber Freigh…