Johnathan Owen

Johnathan Owen

Followers 124
Following 22
China
The southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu is looking to drive innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) by offering subsidies of up to RMB 3 million (around $430,000) to startups in the city.Chengdu hopes to establish itself as an AI-powered innovation center, covering a variety of applications including 5G, ultra high-definition video streaming, and virtual reality.The city government is offering subsidies of RMB 3 million to companies that innovate in a number of AI fields, including medical and military technologies, according to a statement released on Feb. 15 (in Chinese).The capital city of Sichuan province is facing increased pressure to acquire talent amid an AI race involving a slew of Chinese cities.Tianjin, another second-tier city in northern China, announced in May 2018 plans for a RMB 100 billion fund for AI development, including robotics and autonomous vehicles.Chengdu also aims to boost AI development by encouraging collaboration between companies that are leaders in their fields and universities by providing sponsorships of up to RMB 10 million to each project.
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According to an investor note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning an new MacBook Pro design in 2019.The note, acquired by MacRumours, states Apple will release a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, new iPads, a 31-inch 6K monitor and iPhones with bilateral charging.If the note is to be believed, 2019 could be a very busy year for Apple, in an attempt to rebound after a difficult 2018.Over the recent holiday period, iPhone sales were down as much as 11% against expectations.The note also suggests the 13-inch MacBook Pro will come with 32 GB of RAM, which is a major upgrade from the 16GB of RAM that currently ships with the 13-inch model.The fourth generation of the MacBook Pro, complete with Touch Bar and USB-C was released in 2016 and has received incremental updates since.
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Aimy Wissa, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering (MechSE) at Illinois, leads an interdisciplinary research team to study click beetles to inspire more agile robots.The team, which includes MechSE Assistant Professor Alison Dunn and Dr. Marianne Alleyne, a research scientist in the Department of Entomology, recently presented their ongoing and novel work on the quick release mechanism of click beetles at the 2019 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting.Ophelia Bolmin, a graduate student in Wissa's Bio-inspired Adaptive Morphology (BAM) Lab, presented novel synchrotron X-ray footage that showed the internal latch mechanism of the click beetle, and demonstrated for the first time to the scientific community how the hinge morphology and mechanics enable this unique clicking mechanism.The presentation, "The click beetle latch mechanism: An in-vivo study using synchrotron X-rays," was part of an invited symposium on mechanisms of energy flow in organismal movement.This work builds on research that was initiated by the Illinois team nearly two years ago, detailing the click beetles' legless self-righting jumping mechanism.The team already built prototypes of a hinge-like spring-loaded device that are being incorporated into a robot.
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Ahmed Mhiri is the Founder and CEO of TravelCar, a Founder Institute Paris portfolio company launched in 2012.While terms for the acquisition have not been disclosed, TravelCar has previously closed funding rounds totaling more than $22MM, including the $15MM series B in February 2017 where Groupe PSA joined the round for a prior 22% stake in the company.The concept is simple: allow travelers to park cheap or free at the airport - and even let them earn money while away traveling by renting their car to other travelers.TravelCar manages the entire process, and the owner’s vehicle is completely covered by the company’s comprehensive vehicle insurance protection.According to Brigitte Courtehoux, Senior Vice President for Connected Services and New Mobility Solutions at Groupe PSA,With a million users, TravelCar is a major success.
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Singapore-based ABCC Exchange announced today that a consortium of investors, led by its co-founder Calvin Cheng, and Singaporean investor Eric Cheng, has acquired a controlling majority stake in the company.ABCC Exchange also has offices in Malta and Gibraltar, and was for most of the second half of 2018 one of the top 10 exchanges in the world by volume.Today, the exchange has a daily trading volume of US$35 million with communities in 12 different languages.Singaporean entrepreneur Calvin Cheng founded Shanghai-based, Sydney-listed edtech company Retech, and was previously head of Asia franchising for modeling agency Elite Models.Property investor Eric Cheng is perhaps best known for selling his house and luxury car collection to buy Japanese crypto exchange BitTrade for US$50 million last year, selling a controlling stake to Chinese exchange operator Huobi just a few months later.ABCC said that it will continue building its presence in its key markets of Europe and Southeast Asia following the acquisition.
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If Bohemian Rhapsody can win best drama at the Golden Globes, who knows what will happen at the Oscars.With their 10 nominations each, the frontrunners are looking like Roma and The Favourite but if the Academy decides to make a surprise selection (Moonlight had most dramatic surprise win) Bohemian Rhapsody and the rest might be in with a chance.Based off its recent BAFTA wins in both the best picture and best director categories, Alfonso Cuaron's Roma is the safe bet.It helps that Roma is The Sound of Music-level moving storytelling, following Cleo, a cleaner and carer for a middle class family in 1970s Mexico.The moving painting of a film weaves in autobiographical elements from Cuaron's childhood during a time of political unrest.Also propelling Green Book is its people's choice award win at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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UK
For months, reports have indicated that Apple was poised to give us a glimpse of its long-awaited Netflix competitor sometime this spring.Whether we will soon after have access to what increasingly sounds like an Apple Prime when the tech giant finally reveals it, however, is another story.We’ve known about Apple’s forthcoming streaming service for what feels like an eternity.And now that multiple sources have reported it’s slated to be revealed in March, it would certainly seem like we can soon stop speculating whether the product will be a legitimate Netflix and Amazon Prime competitor or a sexless experiment in mediocrity.But Variety reported on Friday that it could be many months before the service sees an official release:Sources familiar with the plans say Apple’s video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation.
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Well what are the chances?After two months of awe-inspiring Twenty20 cricket Down Under, two Melbourne-based teams have made the grand final of the 2019 Big Bash.Which way the 2019 Big Bash final is going to go is anybody's guess - the bookies can't seem to split them either.They pulled off a tightly fought win in the semi-finals thanks to a real captain's innings from Glenn Maxwell.While opening all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will be a threat, smashing 312 runs at an average of 62.4 so far in the tournament.You can find out by following our guide to getting a Big Bash live stream from anywhere on Earth.
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A wide choice of assistants has risen over the past few years, including Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.The last of the bunch, Cortana, has seen better days.Microsoft argues this will allow it to innovate on the feature independently, but we can’t help but wonder if it’s signally the truth about how successful the voice assistant has been.In subsequent years, Cortana moved to Android, iOS, and even Xbox to help increase its popularity, but even that still wasn’t enough.That changes the interpretation of those lofty millions.In 2019, a PC-based voice assistant just isn’t a strong enough proposition.
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(Reuters) — Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to take on U.S. rival Uber in some of Latin America’s fastest-growing markets, recruiting managers in Chile, Peru and Colombia, according to job postings and a company official.Didi has moved senior executives from China to lead its expansion in markets like Chile and Peru, and began in recent weeks advertising for driver operations, crisis management, marketing and business development personnel in those countries, an analysis of LinkedIn postings show.Didi’s widening expansion, if successful, could make for a bumpier ride for San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc in Latin America, one of its fastest growth regions, as it gets ready to go public as soon as later this year.The two firms are already battling in Brazil, where Didi bought local start-up 99 in January last year, and Mexico, where the Chinese firm lured drivers with higher pay and bonuses for signing up other drivers and passengers.Didi is China’s dominant ride-hailing firm and is backed by investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group.In 2016, Didi bought Uber’s local Chinese operations following a bruising two-year battle for domination in China.
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Star Trek: Discovery’s stars finally got a chance to talk more in depth about a big plot kept secret for a while.It was a Valentine’s Day to remember, and slightly puzzled at, on the latest episode of Discovery, 'Saints of Imperfection'.After our heroes braved their way through the mycelial network to bring back Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Stamets (Anthony Rapp) was also able to reunite with his previously dead husband, Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz).But now that it’s finally come to fruition, Rapp and Cruz spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about what it’s like to finally have the pair back together.Rapp said he didn’t know how or when Culber would be coming back until he read the script for 'Saints of Imperfection', saying he “didn’t want to know” anything about Culber’s resurrection beforehand because Stamets wouldn’t have known either.But now that it’s happened, he and Cruz said they’re happy with the results.
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The latest Detective Pikachu TV spot showcases some more CGI versions of classic Pokemon, with Lickitung looking (and sounding) suitably weird.We see the classic pink Pokemon unfurling his massive tongue in front of hero Tim Goodman (Justice Smith).The brief set of clips mostly goes over shots we saw in the initial trailer, which set tongues wagging back in November as it revealed Deadpool's Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, but we also catch a glimpse of Growlithe the fire pup (over Tim's right shoulder during Pikachu's coffee spit-take) and get a close look at Bulbasaur.Detective Pikachu, based on the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, licks theaters on May 10.We also already know a sequel is on the way.
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Facebook Watch is driving hard to the hoop, as its partnership with NBA Digital will now bring game recaps from the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League and NBA 2K League to the social network’s video destination.The league will also host a weekly Watch Party on Facebook Watch, enabling fans to interact with game recaps and other videos in real-time.The NBA said it has some 400 million followers on Facebook across all league, team and player accounts.Facebook North America sports programming lead Devi Mahadevia said in a release, “We’re thrilled for Facebook Watch to now be a place where basketball fans can come together to get caught up on and debate the latest action from each of the NBA’s four leagues.The NBA boasts one of the most vibrant sports communities on our platform, and by delivering these game recaps and hosting a weekly Watch Party, the league will be able to engage with fans around the world in new and exciting ways.”NBA vice president of digital media Sam Farber added, “We are excited to provide our millions of followers on Facebook with recaps to every game across all four of our leagues.
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Revised proposals attempt to address worries over Manifest v3 API changesGoogle has proposed changes to its Chrome Extension renovation plan that answer some but not all of the concerns its Manifest v3 technical specification.The initial changes, announced in October last year, set off alarm bells last month when a critical mass of Chrome plugin developers finally realized what Google intended.The Manifest v3 changes represent an attempt to address real issues for users of the Chrome browser, specifically the security and performance implications of third-party code that has access to sensitive data.The Manifest v3 specification would break content and ad blockers, privacy extensions, and a host of other browser add-on code that relies on the ability to intercept requested web content before it gets rendered in the browser.The trouble is that as initially outlined, declarativeNetRequest is far too limited to accommodate current use cases.
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Presidents’ Day falls on the third Monday of February (February 18 this year), and while it’s a lesser-celebrated holiday than most – and typically doesn’t bring the same big sales as holidays like the Fourth of July or Labor Day – it still offers some nice opportunities to grab big-ticket items at a discount.A handful of the best sale items are the new Kindle Paperwhite ($100/$30 off), the second-gen Echo Plus ($120/$44 off) and the Samsung 49-inch QLED 4K smart TV ($798/$302 off).Some of our favorite picks include the $390 Xbox One X and NBA 2K19 bundle ($110 off), $829 MSI GV62 Nvidia GTX 1060 gaming laptop ($170 off), the $79 Bose SoundLink Micro speaker ($20 off), and $370 Vizio 55-inch 4K smart TV ($100 off) — with the added benefit of free shipping.Lenovo: Take as much as 70 percent – up to $710 – off of select Lenovo PCs including laptops, desktops, and tablets, as well as PC accessories.Dell: Dell has a boatload of PC deals for Presidents’ Day, letting you save as much as $860 on PCs (including laptops, desktops, 2-in-1s, and gaming machines) and up to 40 percent on TVs, monitors, and other electronics.HelixSleep: You can take $200 off your purchase of $1,750 or more with code PREZ200, $150 off your purchase of $1,250 or more with code PREZ150, or $100 off a Helix Mattress with code PREZ100.
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The past weeks have seen an explosion of talks about consumer privacy, particularly in the field of smart home technology.After a string of Nest camera hacks, consumer groups began to put plans in action to prevent further incidents from happening — and in the process, found just how dire the state of smart home security is.Although multiple requests have been made to manufacturers to strengthen their digital security, few have followed through or implemented helpful plans.In turn, privacy advocates have turned to a different tactic: shaming retailers that sell insecure devices.Eleven different groups including the Mozilla Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and The Internet Society posted a “Dear Retailer” letter on February 12 titled, “This Valentine’s Day all we want is products that meet minimum security standards.” When polite requests don’t work, perhaps public shaming is the way to go.Four companies were called out in the letter: Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy.
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In honor of today's premiere of Doom Patrol, we are teaming up with DC Entertainment to bring you this kick-ass sweepstakes.One winner will take home a bundle including a Roku Express, featured on our media streamer's best list, to watch on DC Universe's streaming service along with merch exclusive to DC Universe members.Now you can feel like a superhero, too, with a Wonder Woman T-Shirt (Women's size medium), Young Justice Team Hoodie (size large), Batman: Gotham City Denim Jacket (size large), a Wonder Woman S'well Bottle, Aquaman Collectible and more.The prize has an ARV of US$365.00.You can enter to win* by heading over to our Instagram account and liking the post about the giveaway.You must be following to win.
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A University of Texas at Arlington researcher is developing new technology to program 2D materials so they can form complex 3D shapes and motions.The research could transform the way soft engineering systems or devices are designed and fabricated, with potential applications in bioinspired soft robotics, biomedical devices, tissue engineering and artificial muscles, which are soft materials that change their shapes or move in response to external signals as our muscles do."Our discoveries so far have shown great promise, and I hope that we will be able to create materials that are capable of being programmed to perform much more complex movements," he said."Previously, we focused on hydrogels, but now we will try to include biological cell components."Yum also has developed design rules based on the concept of modularity to create even more complex structures, including bioinspired structures with programmed sequential motions.This makes the shapes dynamic so they can move through space.
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Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, based on the Eisner-winning comics by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way and Brazilian artist Gabriel Bá, takes dysfunctional family drama into the big leagues of superhero action.The high concept: Seven children, born at the same time, on the same day, are adopted by an eccentric entrepreneur and trained to become superheroes.While it's not really revealed what caused them to drift apart, it's clear the siblings' antagonistic and crusty relationships with one another hide a familial love.You'll see characters time-travel, teleport short distances, conjure up dead ghosts, and even throw very accurate knives.And while knife throwing seems pretty mundane, and talking to dead people isn't altogether new, it's the way Umbrella Academy puts it all together that makes you squeal with glee.Tom Hopper plays Luther, Number One, who has a small head on a huge hulking body and unlike his siblings has a more mundane power in the form of super strength.
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Everyday it seems like there are rumors and leaks about another company working on a foldable phone.Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Motorola all are rumored to have a bendable or foldable phone in the works.On Thursday, Apple updated a patent that showed drawings of a foldable clamshell phone.This is a continuation of a patent filed in 2011 for an iPhone with a flexible display.What makes this new patent particularly interesting is the timing.On Wednesday, Samsung is expected to show off more of its folding Galaxy X phone.
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