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Showing posts from October, 2018

Airbnb Profitable For Two Years Straight As It Heads For Public Markets

Airbnb today announced a number of milestones which include being profitable for a second year on an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) basis in 2018. This counts as a plus as the company heads for an IPO reported to be taking place this year.

It also says it's on track to hit 500 million guest arrivals on its platform by the end of Q1 this year. While specific figures are not provided, the company exceeded its 2017 projections with $93 million in profit on $2.6 billion in revenue, Bloomberg says with CEO Brian Chesky promising a public offering before 2020 when some employee stock grants expire.

This month, longtime Amazon executive Dave Stephenson joined the company as chief financial officer, a key role in preparation for an IPO after its previous CFO Laurence Tosi left last year amid a disagreement with Chesky.

“He (Dave Stephenson) will use his experience in growing large businesses quickly at scale to ensure we are investing for both gro…

The new Mac Mini brings five times performance, More Memory Capacity, 6-Core Processors and more

Apple unveiled the new Mac Mini just recently and has outed what brings five times performance than its predecessor, 6-Core Processors, all-flash storage and up to 64GB of faster memory which places it as the most powerful Mac Mini ever made.

It's fitted with Thunderbolt 3 ports, the Apple T2 Security Chip and a 10Gb Ethernet option making it more faster and also secure for users. It's five times performance is made possible through its quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz and Intel UHD graphics.




This enables the new Mac Mini take on traditional desktop tasks like music creation and software development, photo and video editing and professional tasks like video transcoding, code compiling and live musical performances with ease. With up to 64GB of 2666 MHz memory, It can load larger files into memory, run more virtual machines or manipulate even larger data sets.

It now features the speed and reliability of all-flash stora…

Apple introduces an all-new Macbook Air

Apple has outed a new MacBook Air packed with a stunning 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID and the latest processors in a portable design. It's one that delivers all-day battery life and features an Apple-designed keyboard, faster SSDs, a spacious Force Touch trackpad, wide stereo sound and the Apple T2 Security Chip and Thunderbolt 3.

The new Macbook Air is fitted with a stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with over 4 million pixels of resolution to cater for sharp image looks. Images are more lifelike with 48% more color than the previous version. It also includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera suitable for Group FaceTime calls and a a three microphone array that caters for enhanced sound quality and improved voice recognition for Siri.


The T2 Security Chip makes it much more secure with an SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption for everything stored on it that enables the most secure boot process and storage of any Apple notebook.

An 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor,…

Apple outs the most powerful iPad ever

Apple today launched the new iPad Pro with an all-screen design that counts as its most powerful iPad ever. The new device marks the biggest change to the iPad ever with its all-screen design and high performance thanks to a custom chip along with other features such as Face ID, a new USB-C connector, Gigabit-class LTE and up to 1 Terabyte of storage.

It sports the A12X Bionic chip which outperforms most PC laptops and stands as the most powerful chip in a tablet that caters for even the most demanding computing tasks such as creation of 3D models and editing of high quality photos among others.


The  A12X Bionic is built on seven-nanometer technology and features four performance cores and four efficiency cores that cater for up to 35 percent faster performance. It's also fitted with a new performance controller that enables simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks.

Apple’s next-generation Neural Engine featured in this new iPa…

HeadSpin closes $20 million round at $500 million valuation

HeadSpin, a fast growing software firm that provides a mobile performance platform used by the likes of Tinder, Akamai and DocuSign has raised $20 million Series B funding from new investors ICONIQ, EQT Ventures, Battery Ventures, Quora founder Adam D'Angelo, Kearny Jackson, Ross Mason and Ryan Hoover who all joined existing investors GV, Telstra Ventures, DanHua Capital, Nexus Ventures Partners and others.

TechCrunch reports of this round valuing the company which emerged from stealth just last year at $500 million. HeadSpin was founded by Former Zynga CTO Manish Lachwani and ex Palantir engineer and Nextop founder Brien Colwell who hold the positions of CEO and CTO respectively.

Its platform spans more than 22,000 SIM-enabled devices at over 150 locations and enable customers to quickly debug, test and optimize for user experience and performance under real-world conditions around the globe. It's customers in total serve approximately 3 billion of the world's mobile user…

Coinbase raises $300 million at post-money valuation of $8 billion

Crypto exchange Coinbase has closed a $300 million Series E round led by Tiger Global with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management and others and is now valued at $8 billion post-money as per its statement.

Coinbase is gearing this financing towards global expansion, offering of more crypto assets, utility applications for crypto and courting of institutions into the digital currency scene.

"Coinbase is, and will remain, a crypto-first company. More than anything, we’re proud of the millions of people that have turned to Coinbase as their entry-point into crypto." An official blog post read.


"We take that responsibility very seriously. We strive to be the easy, trusted way for anyone to get started with cryptocurrencies. We see Coinbase’s growth as validation that the ecosystem will only continue to grow in size, influence and impact — ultimately ushering in a more open financial system for the world." It s…

The Mercedes-Benz baby carriage Avantgarde offers great child mobility

An all-new Mercedes-Benz baby carriage Avantgarde that offers ergonomic functionality, tested safety and innovative materials geared at enhanced child mobility has been introduced to the market. The new product sports a modern, sporty look and is developed by German manufacturer Hartan in collaboration with the Mercedes-Benz Design department.

The result of this collaboration is a baby carriage characterized by ergonomic advantages, a low net weight, AMG design-inspired 5-twin-spoke wheels, a parking brake, telescopic handlebar and a stowage compartment as well as adjustable suspension and air-chamber tyres which assist in the everyday efforts of moving children around.


The carriage is produced by Hartan known to be deeply involved in the manufacturing of baby carriages having begun that since the 1950s. Hartan stands as an expert specialist in this field and has succeeded in producing what bears the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV) seal of approval and meets high re…

A limited 10 units of the 2018 Audi R8 V10 plus Coupe Competition are arriving next month

Just 10 units of the most performance-oriented production R8 model ever made and preconfigured with all the available Audi Sport performance parts will be available for grabs in the U.S. starting from next month.

The new model dubbed the R8 V10 plus Coupe Competition package caters for reduced vehicle weight and increased downforce over previous models through the use of titanium backing plates for the carbon ceramic brake pads. It also features 20 inch fully milled wheels similar to that of the R8 GT4 that saves another 26.4 pounds of weight and signifies another examples of motorsport technology brought to the road.


It's full carbon fiber aero kit increases its downforce at 150 km/h (93.2 mph) which counts as double compared to that of an R8 V10 plus Coupe. This downforce is also increased at by 100 kg to 250 kg at top speed of 315 kilometres per hour.

All 10 units stand identical and are fitted with the listed contents:

Dynamic SteeringBang & Olufsen sound systemThree-way a…

The 2019 Honda Civic Si packs new colors, upgraded tech and an Enhanced interior

Starting from the 1st of November, The 2019 version of the Honda Civic Si will arrive at dealerships where customers would be able to take home a vehicle which sports a range of interior improvements from the previous model, new exterior colors, an updated Display Audio system with a new interface and improved Bluetooth integration.

The sport tuned variants comes with a powerful 205-horsepower, 1.5-liter, direct injected and turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine with VTEC valvetrain, a helical limited-slip differential, a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and an adjustable two-mode adaptive damper system.


It comes available in 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan body styles packed with a host of changes to its interior. In addition to its updated Display Audio system, it includes more intuitive steering wheel controls, larger cupholders, an improved electronic parking brake switch, and physical buttons for fan speed.

Platinum White Pearl has also been added to the vehicle's c…

Blue Apron kits are now available on Jet.com

Blue Apron's meal kits beginning today is now available for millions of households across most of New York as well as Jersey and Hoboken on Walmart owned e-tailer Jet.com's online and mobile platforms thanks to a partnership between both companies.

Blue Apron counts as a priority partner in Jet’s newly-launched City Grocery offering and will offer a dedicated branded experience featuring changing selections of two-serving recipes designed to serve Jet's customers.


The first kits that will be offered on Jet.com are:

Seared Steaks & Peperonata with Fregola Sarda Pasta & Grana Padano Cheese (2 servings, 28 oz) $22.99 Dukkah-Spiced Beef & Couscous with Tahini-Dressed Broccoli (2 servings, 41 oz.) $20.99 Togarashi Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Chili Slaw & Jasmine Rice (2 servings, 32 oz.) $18.99 Italian Farro Bowl with Roasted Vegetables & Mozzarella (2 servings, 32 oz.) $16.99 This announcement comes soon after Jet’s new relaunch with a new design geared at o…

IBM set for $34 billion Red Hat acquisition

IBM has now officially announced a move to merge with Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source cloud software in a deal worth $34 billion under which IBM will play $190 per share for all issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat.

This counts as an over 50% premium from the current price of Red Hat stock (about $117) as of writing. Both companies are merging to provide "open approach to cloud, featuring unprecedented security and portability across multiple clouds" as per an official press release.


An acquisition of Red Hat will stand as very significant for this year marking the largest for 2018 and one of the biggest in the entire tech industry so far. IBM will maintain Red Hat’s open source innovation legacy while scaling its vast technology portfolio and empowering its widespread developer community as per its statement.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market,” IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginn…

BMW fits the X5 with M Performance Parts

BMW has fitted the X5 SUV with additional performance parts targeted for customers who wish to selectively fine-tune the vehicle's sporty personality and give this aspect for emphasis. The new SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) scheduled for worldwide launch next year has been kit with a new range of its signature M performance parts which include all-terrain wheels, carbon fibre exterior components, the Drive Analyser data analysis and optimization feature and several other perks.

For customers who desire to make good use of its off-road capability, the the 20'' M light alloy wheel Star Spoke 748 M with all-terrain tyres is now available for the 4th generation of the X5 which also sports an eye-catching BMW M logo on a rim finished in sporty matt black. Optional 22 inch M Performance wheels about 1kg lighter than comparable wheels of the same size thanks to a special manufacturing technique are also available.





A vast selection of M Performance components with roots in motor r…

Most Read Posts

Lenovo Unveils An $80 Smart Clock With The Google Assistant

Lenovo has unveiled a latest addition to its family of smart home devices, a new Smart Clock kit with the Google Assistant which supports voice and touch controls on a 4-inch IPS display screen. With the Google Assistant, users can set up sleep routines like dimming the lights and displaying their first calendar event with single commands.

It includes a full-range 6W speaker tuned with Dolby's latest background noise reduction technology and also works with Chromecast for streaming of shows and music on TVs and speakers with voice commands. The $80 device connects with over 10,000 products and 1,000 partners and brands, leaving a wide range of choices for users to control other devices from their smart clock.


Its specs include:
A Mediatek 8167S 1.5ghz processorBluetooth 5.01GB RAM8GB Flash (eMMC)WLAN : 2.4G/5G Dual Band, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac328g weight
Inside the box, Buyers of the smart clock will get an adapter, a quick start guide and a  USB 2.0 Type-A cable for use. It'l…

Misty II Personal Robot Scheduled To Ship In April For $2,399

Misty II, a personal robot which non-technical owners can program using the Misty Blockly client, a visual block-based programming interface for creation of new skills for the robot to make it talk, roar, move, dance and more will be available for purchase April this year for $2,399, a four months delay from its initial proposed December 4 released date.

From April, customers can get their hands on the robot which would come installed with pre-set skills to get them started on use. Those with programming experience will be able to utilize JavaScript APIs to create more skills and mods such as integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cognitive Services and Cloud APIs.



Skills the Misty II can perform out of the box include:
Recognize facesCreate a 3D map of her surroundingsAutonomous movementReceive and respond to commandsLocate its charger to charge itselfDisplay emotive eyes and other emotional characteristics Perform seeing, hearing, and speaking capabilities

It has…

Ford Slashes Thousands Of Jobs In Europe To Improve Profitability

Automaker Ford has announced it's slashing thousands of jobs in its European operations as part of structural cost improvements to improve near-term financial performance. The company made this known in a statement issued to investors.

“Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.” The company said in its statement.





These job cuts will affect both salaried and hourly workers across its operations in Europe. Ford is ending production at its plant in Bordeaux, France that manufactures small automatic transmissions by this year August and has began discussions to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX vehicles at its German facility.

It's also considering "significant restructuring options" for its Russian joint venture, Ford Sollers and plans to merge its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe’s…

Amazon Set To Take Stake In Warehouse Robotics Firm Balyo

Amazon has agreed to a deal with publicly traded French warehouse robotics firm Balyo that could see the e-commerce giant build up a nearly one-third stake in the company and also boost sales of its self-driving forklift trucks. Under deal terms, Amazon will receive free stock warrants of up to 29% of Balyo's capital that it can exercise depending on its orders of products enabled by the company's software.

The full 29% would be exercised if Amazon purchases up to 300 million euros ($346 million) worth of these products. Use of warehouse robots is a key factor in efforts by Amazon to decrease costs and speed up deliveries. It began using robots developed by Kiva Systems (a company it acquired in 2012 for $775 million) in 2014, Kiva which initially shipped to other warehouse operators put an end to this after the acquisition, dedicating its technology to Amazon alone.


“This agreement ... represents an unprecedented opportunity for Balyo to grow its business and supports the so…

Nissan Unveils New EV, The Leaf Plus

Nissan has unveiled a new electric vehicle, an addition to its Leaf lineup dubbed the Leaf Plus (or e+) which will become available for purchase at dealerships late this month. The Leaf Plus comes with improved range by 40% than its predecessor and is equipped with technologies including Nissan's ProPilot semi-autonomous driving system and e-Pedal mode for one-pedal driving.

Other notable features of the new vehicle includes:

Door-to-Door Navigation (syncs the vehicle's navigation system with a compatible smartphone for walking and driving directions).A larger full-color 8-inch display.A reprogrammed the e-Pedal software.458 km driving range.70 kW (100 kW peak) Quick Charging system.High-capacity battery (160 kilowatts of power and 340 Nm of torque) (288 cells).25% increase in energy density than that of predecessor (Nissan Leaf).16-inch wheels andBattery limited warranty of 8 years/160,000 km.


Pricing of the Nissan Leaf Plus in Japan starts at ¥4,162,320 ($38,240), Pricing in…

FedEx Agrees To $35 Million Settlement With N.Y. Over Cigarette Deliveries

FedEx has agreed to pay a $35 million settlement to the state of New York over illegal cigarette deliveries to its residents over a ten-year period, resolving three lawsuits alleging it partnered with cigarette trafficking businesses to illegally ship hundreds of thousands of untaxed cigarettes to New York residents.

The company will also implement internal reforms and hire an independent consultant that will oversee its compliance with the law and provide reports to the city and state. October last year, NY federal district judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that FedEx's conduct over many years for customers with such names as “Cigarettes Direct To You” violated a federal anti-cigarette trafficking statute, prompting FedEx to cease residential cigarette deliveries.


The reforms FedEx has agreed to as part of this agreement include ceasing domestic shipments of tobacco products, implementing company-wide communication and annual training concerning tobacco shipments and taking disciplinary…

Apple Reportedly Cuts Production Plans For New iPhones By 10%

According to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is cutting current production plans for new iPhones by 10% signalling expectation of a further hit in iPhone sales for the year after it recently lowered revenue guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ending 29th of December 2018 due to lower iPhone sales.

Nikkei says Apple asked suppliers late last month to produce fewer of new iPhones for the January-March quarter of this year. This will be the second time in two months that the company has slashed production rate of the iPhone if this stands true.


Overall planned production volume will be reduced to 40 million to 43 million units for the January-March quarter from an earlier number of 43 million - 47 million units scheduled for production, Nikkei says.

Apple this previous week lowered revenue guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter to $84 billion for the period citing emerging market challenges and lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China. Th…

N26 Raises $300 Million Series D At $2.7 Billion Valuation

Berlin based fintech N26 has raised $300 million Series D funding led by New York based VC Insight Venture Partners with participation from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC and several existing investors. This rounds brings the total raised by the 5 year old company to more than $500 million and values it at $2.7 billion.

The $300 million round represents the largest private equity round for an European fintech company in recent years, shooting N26 operating in 24 markets across Europe with over 2.3 million customers into the unicorn club.



The company which says it has tripled its customer base in the last 12 months will make use of this investment to drive global expansion, starting with a launch of its mobile banking product in the U.S. in the first half of this year. It says it aims to reach over 100 million customers in the coming years.

“Around the world, millions of people still suffer from bad banking experiences and high fees. With Insight Venture Partners and GIC j…

Amazon Starts Shipping Echo Auto After More Than 1 Million Pre-orders

Amazon has began shipping the Echo Auto, part of the host of Alexa enabled devices announced last year September by the company which included a microwave, clock, security camera, smart plug, the Echo Sub, Echo Input and re-designed versions of already existing devices.

The company tells TechCrunch over 1 million pre-orders were placed by consumers signalling high interest in the device which connects Alexa to users' smartphone and then plays through car speakers, enabling tasks like playing music, opening the garage door, finding the nearest gas station and checking the news while on the go possible.


For now, the Echo Auto is only available on an invite-only basis with a few users having taken delivery in time for Christmas according to VP, Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills Steve Rabuchin. Why the device has stayed in pre-order status for so long is not clear but Bloomberg last month reported issues encountered by several Amazon retail stores in North America and Europe in ke…

Lenovo Unveils Three New PCs, Yoga A940,Yoga S940 and Yoga C730

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Leno has brought three new PCs it dubs as its smartest consumer computers yet, the Yoga A940,Yoga S940 and Yoga C730 which spots features like voice recognition for multiple virtual assistants, AI-powered attention-sensing software, facial recognition for security and powerful processors between them.

A new Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter (separate purchase) which goes for $70 and will be released this year June is also compatible with all three PCs. Key features of the three are listed below:


Yoga A940:
8th Generation Intel Core i7 ProcessorWindows 10 Home OSAMD Radeon RX 560 graphicsDDR4 : 32 GB / 16 GB / 8 GB memoryStorage : PCIe SSD : 512 GB / 256 GB / 128 GB, SATA HDD : 2 TB / 1 TBDolby Atmos Speaker SystemCortana with Far-Field MicrophonesInfrared cameraLenovo Smart Assist14.6 kg weight2 x 2 WiFi 802.11 ac WLAN connectivity


Yoga S940:
Up to 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processorWindows 10 Home OSIntel Integrated graphicsLPDDR3 : 16 GB / 8 …