Credit Culture, a Singapore-based fintech startup, has secured a S$40 million (US$29.4 million) investment from Malaysian-listed investment holding company RCE Capital Berhad.This is reportedly the “first time that a startup in Singapore has secured significant funding before the launch of services,” the company said in a statement.Founded by a group of former bankers, Credit Culture will use the newly acquired funding to build its operational capabilities.Last December, the Singapore Ministry of Law had selected Credit Culture as one of six entities to be part of a pilot project that “professionalizes” the country’s personal loans industry.The company will deploy a proprietary credit-scoring engine that allows applicants to receive personalized loan terms instantly.“The system reduces the need for manual and cumbersome processes.
The following data was taken from Startup Johor’s 2018 Startup Johor Ecosystem Report.You can download the full report here.
What happened: An article went viral on Chinese social media suggesting that more than half of the results from Baidu’s search engine direct users to low-quality content from its content aggregator Baijiahao and other Baidu-owned properties.Baidu responded on Wednesday saying that Baijiahao articles account for roughly 10 percent of its search results.It said it would continue improving its media aggregating service to spread high-quality content.Baidu added that Baijiahao was designed to optimize retrieval speeds for mobile users.Why it’s important: The complaint comes after Baidu underwent a cleanup of illegal medical advertising that emerged in 2016 and resulted in strict regulation that slashed its number of eligible advertisers.Baidu has been the subject of a lot of negative media exposure over the years, while competition in the market has increased.
If you think these look like a strange, metallic version of Peppa Pig, well… yeah.If you don’t know what those are, the hand-operated types are often found in rural households and used to fire up the stove.It’s all down to “What’s Peppa”, a viral phenomenon that’s taking China by storm.It was triggered by a roughly five-minute promotional video for “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year”, a full-length movie featuring the British cartoon darling Peppa Pig that’s coming to Chinese cinemas on the first day of the Lunar New Year – which, appropriately enough, begins the Year of the Pig.The promotional video became a sensation in its own right, because it features one adorable grandfather’s quest to decipher his grandson’s gift request: “Peppa.” He eventually finds out from his neighbor that when an air blower is painted pink, it looks just like Peppa Pig.Of course, there are pink air blowers for sale.
Instead, Instagram just curates your feed based on the posts and accounts you engage with most, what Instagram calls “feed ranking.” If you scroll long enough, the company assured users, you’ll find the posts that went unshared and unloved.We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you're following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all.Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.Transparency is nice and all, but Instagram should really give a gander to the replies, where the people have made their wishes known: Bring back the reverse-chronological timeline.Better yet, just steal Twitter’s “sparkle” button.Back in December, Twitter added a sparkle button to its mobile app that lets you toggle between an algorithmically curated Timeline (what it calls “home”) and a reverse-chronological timeline (“latest tweets”).
Nancy Pelosi has told President Donald Trump the US House of Representatives will not authorise him to give the State of the Union address in the chamber “until government has opened”.Responding forcefully to a letter from the president earlier in the day in which he essentially dared her to disinvite him, the US House Speaker said in a letter to Trump that the House would not consider a measure authorising the speech for now.“Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened,” Pelosi said to Trump in her letter.She issued the warning as the partial government shutdown reached 33 days.In response to the letter, Trump told reporters at a healthcare-related event at the White House that he would respond to Pelosi in a timely manner.The State of the Union speech, an annual rite in American politics that is typically used by presidents to announce their policy goals for the coming year, has become a hostage to the standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats over his demands for funding for a US-Mexico border wall.
As night falls on the lowland rainforests in Madagascar, dead, decaying leaves find new life, slowly unfurling in the vanishing light.But as four scaly feet and wide, unblinking eyes emerge from behind the crinkly veil, the leaves reveal their true identities: these are leaf-tailed geckos, unparalleled masters of disguise.Now, researchers have described a species of these secretive lizards totally new to science, discovered in a protected corner of the island.Leaf-tailed geckos, genus Uroplatus, are similarly a Madagascan original.Well over a dozen species have evolved on the island, and all are equipped with impressive camouflage.In the ultimate RPG of Life, these reptiles have maxed out their stealth skill trees, appearing indistinguishable from an old leaf when at rest.
Gimme, gimme, gimme your data after midnight... Swedish watchdogs cry, Mamma Mia!Google's slurping of people's location data and web browsing histories is being probed by Swedish privacy watchdog.The Swedish Data Protection Authority (Datainspektionen) announced the investigation earlier this week, just as the search engine giant was handed a €50m penalty from the French data watchdog.The probe is the result of a complaint submitted in November by the Swedish Consumer Association (Sveriges Konsumenter) that is based on a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) about Google's use of dark patterns – which are user interface design choices that attempt to trick users into doing things they may not want to do.That report criticised the "overwhelming amount of granular choices" on Google's privacy dashboard, and the pop-ups trying to dissuade users from turning off (or, as Google says, "pausing") location data.Google is already facing lawsuits in the US over admissions that when users "paused" location history, it still gathered up that information – unless they had also turned off "web and app activity".
Companies including REI, Columbia and The North Face are among some of the most vocally critical brands on the government shutdown, and their messaging feels right on point.So, what makes them successfulAdmittedly, these brands all have strong backbones of activism, which certainly lends credibility to the realness of their missions.After all, for every mention of Dove Real Beauty (and there have been many, many mentions), very few brands have successfully activated a social impact platform that contributes at the brand level.Brands that don’t follow this formula are at risk of being called out for their lack of authenticity, or worse if they offend the very people they are trying to reach.Case in point, during the longest government shutdown in this nation’s history.
The mother of a three-year-old victim of an acid attack which was allegedly organised by his own father has told a court how he threatened to have her and the couple’s three young children killed.The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said her 40-year-old estranged husband had made the threats in 2012 after she left him for three days and took shelter with their children at a refuge.Speaking via a video link at Worcester Crown Court, the mother said he had begged her to return home from the refuge saying he loved her and couldn’t live without her and the children.He was being nice to me saying he won’t hurt me again.”But when she moved back to the family home in the West Midlands, he told her he had lied and said he had cried only because he felt “humiliated” at his wife’s departure.Instead, the taxi-driver confronted her with two chilling options, the court heard.
Later this year, we’ll get to see the fourth season of The Expanse, after Amazon swooped in and saved the show from cancellation at Syfy’s hands.But good news: you can while away the time you’ll spend waiting for it by being able to watch all three seasons so far on Amazon Prime Video, starting next month.Amazon has officially confirmed (via Deadline) that the third season of The Expanse will officially begin streaming on Prime Video in just a few weeks, on 8 February—with seasons one and two already available on the service if you want to catch up on one of the best sci-fi shows currently on TV...and missed all the hubbub when it was on Syfy.And you get an Expanse!While we still don’t know when to expect season 4 just yet beyond the vague window of “some time in 2019”—we’ve barely seen a glimpse of it, let alone any real footage.But still, it’s nice that all of the show will be in one place on its new home (hopefully for a good long while yet) ahead of its arrival.
Just after Netflix announced that it will be raising its subscription price in 2019, Hulu fired back today with the news that it’s going to cut the price of its service from $8 per month down to $6.Hulu's new price cut goes into effect on February 26 for new subscribers, while existing subscribers should see the change the next time they’re billed after that date, according to a news release on Hulu’s website,It’s worth noting, though, that the price cut only affects the basic tier of Hulu - i.e.the one that comes with advertisements throughout the shows.If you want the ad-free experience, that’ll still cost you $12 per month - and, worse, if you want the Live TV version of Hulu, that’s going to cost you even more next month with a new subscription price of $45 per month.While that makes Hulu with Live TV a bit more expensive than the other options out there (both YouTube TV and DirecTV Now start at $40 per month), its base package price is substantially less expensive than Netflix which will soon set you back $9 a month once the price hike goes into effect.
Earlier today, Nintendo of Europe debuted a new Indie Highlights presentation for Nintendo Switch.The nearly 17-minute long video details a number of new indie games heading to the Nintendo Switch throughout 2019.If you didn’t have a chance to watch it, though, we’ve embedded it here, along with a list of all of the games that were announced today and their respective release dates (or release windows, in the case of many of them).Unquestionably, the biggest announcement of the day was that of Wargroove‘s release date.Switch owners have been waiting years for Wargroove to get a release, and today, Nintendo and Chucklefish announced that it’ll be dropping next week.Wargroove is set to go live on February 1, so we’ll soon have the chance to see if this is the spiritual successor to the Advance Wars we’re all hoping it is.
Tech giants kicked up their spending on Capitol Hill in 2018, as companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon led record-setting lobbying efforts.Google led the charge, spending more than $21.2 million on lobbying last year.Facebook, challenged with issues like slowing user growth and a massive data privacy scandal, spent $12.6 million on lobbying efforts in 2018.The increased spending comes as lawmakers turn their attention to regulating the tech industry, with issues like privacy legislation, net neutrality, election integrity, 5G connectivity and cybersecurity among their concerns.Almost every major tech company across the board spent more on lobbying in 2018 than they did in 2017, except for Apple, which spent $6.6 million compared with $7 million in the year before.With the increased spending came increased scrutiny from lawmakers.
Retailers have to be strategic about approaching prospective tech hires, according to Home Depot's head of global talent acquisition, Eric Schelling.Schelling outlined his company's tech recruitment strategy at the National Retail Federation's 2019 Big Show.The exec said he and his team had to "show up differently" in order to better attract tech talent.NEW YORK CITY — Impressing — and recruiting — tech professionals can prove to be a tricky prospect in the retail business, according to Home Depot's head of global talent acquisition, Eric Schelling.The key to success, he said, is showing prospects the kind of project they'll get to work on, rather than just selling them on a business.Speaking on a panel at the National Retail Federation's 2019 Big Show in Manhattan on January 14, Schelling said his team would attend certain tech events as part of their push to hire 1,000 IT and technology professionals in 2018.
David Davis has landed a £3,000-an-hour job with JCB, the multi-national construction giant led by a billionaire who has championed a no-deal Brexit.Theresa May’s former Brexit Secretary disclosed his lucrative role as ‘external advisor’ for Lord Anthony Bamford’s firm in the official MP register of interests on Thursday.It was revealed the Tory MP will make £60,000-a-year in 2019 and 2020 working just 20-hours-a-year for the firm.JCB’s chief executive, Lord Bamford, is a staunch supporter of Brexit and a major donor to the Conservative Party.He told the Telegraph in January that crashing out of the EU without a deal “would end uncertainty” for businesses.Ferrari-collecting Lord Bamford and his brother, Mark Bamford, gave £2.5m to the Tories in 2017 either personally or through their firm.
If you or a loved one is at school or college, then our guide of the best printer for students in 2019 is here to help.Buying the best printer for the student in your life can help them with their studies, printing out notes, homework and research.Having the best student printer means you don't have to go to an internet cafe or library to print out your stuff.With our list of the best printers for students, we've put together our top picks that will suit a student's needs, no matter what educational institute they are at.It's compact enough for you to easily take with you to university with, and it offers print quality that can rival more expensive devices.However, if you have a bit more of a budget, you may want to check out some of the other printers in this list...
What could he say to alleviate the concerns of fans who felt that the new RTX 20-series GPUs were overpriced and trying to force ray tracing technology on customers who don’t have much use for it?“2060,” he said as if those four numbers were the secret to life and all of Nvidia’s success.Huang was referencing the just announced Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, a card that’s pricier than its equivalent in previous generations, but still your most accessible entry point to the future of graphics.Nvidia cards follow a number scheme: 80 is best, 70 is damn fine, 60 is for gamers on a budget, and 50 are budget cards that are a moderate step up from an integrated GPU.This new 60, the RTX 2060, starts at £330.Nvidia's cheapest ray tracing GPU.
This morning Adobe acquired Allegorithmic, the makers of the application family called Substance.With this buy, Adobe just became a big name in 3D textures and material creation in both video game and major motion picture video post-production.This is in essence the most major power move of the year (so far) with respect to gaming from the tools end of the industry.Substance was used on massive projects, and continues to be used by companies like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts – and their associated developer groups.It’s also been used by BMW, Louis Vuitton, IKEA, and other non-gaming companies for a wide variety of projects.Tools made by Allegorithmic were used in the making of major motion pictures like Pacific Rim Uprising and Blade Runner 2049.