As initially reported last week on Feb. 11, Reddit confirmed a Series D funding round led by $150 million from Tencent, placing the company at a $3 billion post-money valuation.The influx of cash will likely allow the online discussion platform, long billed as the “front page of the internet,” to further scale up and compete for ad dollars with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.What would be, under other circumstances, a fairly standard deal has quickly become a hot-button issue.Fears of Chinese-style censorship are overblown—but business needs may push Reddit away from its legacy “anything goes” content model nonetheless.Tencent has morphed from one of China’s top gaming and social media companies to one of the most powerful investors in the country’s thriving startup ecosystem.By most accounts, Tencent has built a good name for itself in how it has managed its VC investments.
For a moment, instead of having to consider whether the intelligent robots would liberate us or kill us (it’s only ever one of those two options, I find), I took a moment to worry about the machines themselves.The conference, a meeting of computer scientists and neuroscientists at New York University, was called “Canonical Computation in Brains and Machines.” Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, came on stage to talk about depression and hallucinations… in machines.“I’m drawing on the field of computational psychiatry, which assumes we can learn about a patient who’s depressed or hallucinating from studying AI algorithms like reinforcement learning,” he told Science magazine after the lecture.“Depression and hallucinations appear to depend on a chemical in the brain called serotonin,” Dr. Mainen told Science.“It may be that serotonin is just a biological quirk.We are steeped in stories about AI that will take over large parts of human endeavor, from automation that will threaten jobs to algorithms that could decide on medical care or help judges to sentence people in courts.
Google still faces accusations of being lax with security in its quest to keeping malicious apps off its Play Store, but in the last few years it’s been making increasing efforts to improve the safety of its digital distribution outlet.In a post on the Android Developers Blog this week, Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn said that in 2018 the company worked on enhancing its abuse detection technologies and machine learning systems, while at the same time expanding its team of product managers, engineers, policy experts, and operations leaders to tackle nefarious app developers.Ahn said the extra effort resulted in rejected app submissions increasing by 55 percent compared to 2017, while those that did get through were spotted and removed more quickly than ever before — often before anyone even had a chance to install them.“These increases can be attributed to our continued efforts to tighten policies to reduce the number of harmful apps on the Play Store, as well as our investments in automated protections and human review processes,” the product manager wrote in the post.Google declined to reveal how many dodgy apps it turfed out of the Play Store last year, though we do know that in 2017 the figure reached 700,000, with a sizable 100,000 developers banned from submitting any future apps.Fifty billion apps scanned every day
Instagram has always been very much a mobile-focused offering, though it’s true to say that in recent years the team has shown a little more love for the web version of the photo-sharing service.The latest feature that could be on its way to Instagram’s web interface is direct messaging.High-profile app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered this week that the Facebook-owned company is now conducting internal testing of private messaging for its website.If it goes live, Instagrammers will be able to send and receive direct messages via their desktop or laptop (or a mobile browser), giving the company a better chance of becoming the messaging service of choice for its community, which currently stands at more than a billion people globally.Wong’s grabbed images (below) were taken from the mobile version and show the screens where users would view and manage their private messages.In 2017, the company launched a standalone messaging app called Direct, which it’s still testing with its community in six countries.
Some corners of the Fiat Chrysler offices must operate exclusively on nostalgia.To prove my point, here's the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock.The original Warlock debuted in 1976, marketed under the not-gonna-happen-in-2019 tagline of "Adult Toys" (seriously).Originally conceived as a sort of concept truck for the road, it packed personalization like bucket seats, "fat tires," chrome on the running boards, real oak on the sideboards and gold accent stripes.That all sounds pretty cool, right?First of all, its base is pretty much the opposite of the original idea of a road-going concept, because the Ram 1500 Classic is the last-generation truck.
After only a week, Apex Legends is already making waves in the battle royale market, earning great reviews and managing to pull in more than 25 million players in its first week.But if you see mid-tier (blue), your chances for better gear improve, and high-tier (purple) is even better than that.If you're really lucky, you'll come upon legendary gear (yellow), but we'll get to that later.Though Respawn has yet to confirm exactly how its loot distribution works, diligent players are mapping out their own experiences by voting on the loot they see at each location.The best spot to land at this time appears to be Relay with 96 percent of respondents saying they found high-tier loot there.Second place is Thunderdome at 95 percent and third is Repulsor with 94 percent.
When Nintendo announced it would be hosting a surprise Nintendo Direct stream in February, it promised to focus on Fire Emblem: Three Houses for Switch -- but the tactical fantasy franchise was easily overshadowed by other announcements.By the time the stream ended, Nintendo Switch owners knew to expect a new Super Mario Maker game, a remake of a classic Legend of Zelda title, as well as ports of Dragon Quest XI, Assassin's Creed 3 and so much more.No worries -- we collected trailers for all of the presentation's major announcements and included them below.If you want the whole experience, however, you'll want to watch the playback of the full presentation right here:That video has a few extra announcements, including footage of the aforementioned Assassin's Creed port, Hellblade Sesuna's Sacrafice, a new clip of Yoshi's Crafted World, and release dates for upcoming ports like Final Fantasy 7.Just want to watch the trailers for the heavy hitters?
Nintendo held its latest Nintendo Direct video presentation on February 13, and it had plenty of news about upcoming Switch titles, as well as new game announcements that have us very excited.Fire Emblem: Three Houses is shaping up to be one of the biggest Switch games of the year, and Nintendo provided several details on its structure and story during the show.Set on a continent called Fódlan, the land has been split into three separate governments — the Adrestian Empire, the Faerghus Kingdom, and the Leicester Alliance.As a mercenary traveling with your father, you’re given the opportunity to teach at the Officer’s Academy located in the center of the continent.Your students will become your units, and they can train at the academy to learn weapon types, magic, or abilities like horse riding.Three student houses are available, but you can only choose one of them during your adventure.
Volkswagen's small SUV game is strong in its native Europe and to make it even stronger, it announced on Wednesday that a new T Roc R model is coming to the Geneva Motor Show.What exactly is a T Roc?Well, fellow American, your puzzlement isn't anything to be ashamed of.The T Roc is a small crossover, sized below the Tiguan, which Volkswagen sells mostly in Europe and China.In those markets, its rivals would include the Nissan Kicks, the Hyundai Kona and the Ford Ecosport.The T Roc R will likely differ from its more pedestrian siblings in a number of ways.
Until a few years ago, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, established in 1877, was a one-day event cherished by an older audience of purebred enthusiasts who admired the parade of perfectly bred canines from the comfort of their own homes.Today, it’s expanded into Westminster Week, held annually at New York’s Madison Square Garden, with contests including the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship that lead up to the main and final Best in Show event that aired this year on Tuesday night.Further social media-based efforts, like the Road to Westminster series, allow the handlers to post content throughout the year as their dogs train and enter other championships, giving audiences the opportunity to follow their favorites year round.A post shared by Westminster Kennel Club (@westminsterkennelclub) on Feb 9, 2019 at 4:02am PSTThanks to this expanded coverage, the dogs themselves have garnered celebrity status.When a wire fox terrier named King won Best in Show, social media nearly exploded with outrage on behalf of runner-up and fan favorite Bean, a Sussex spaniel.
Google plans to invest $13 billion in data centers and office space this year.Google CEO Sundar Pichai today said the company is expanding its U.S. footprint, with plans to create “tens of thousands” of jobs while giving it a physical presence in nearly half the states in the country.The planned investments are a sharp increase from 2018, when Google spent $9 billion on data centers while also adding 10,000 new jobs.“This growth will allow us to invest in the communities where we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally,” Pichai said in a blog post.“Our new data center investments, in particular, will enhance our ability to provide the fastest and most reliable services for all our users and customers.”By adding data centers and office space in more than a dozen states, from South Carolina and Ohio to Nevada and Oklahoma, Google will be able to improve its cloud computing capabilities and potentially gain more lobbying clout in a year when the advertising powerhouse is coming under intense scrutiny.
Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store both continue to host a Saudi government app, Absher, that allows men in the country to track their female relatives’ movements and restrict their travel.According to the Washington Post, the Saudi Interior Ministry-designed app serves as an e-government and e-services portal, including functions like requesting a passport, birth certificate, vehicle registration, or other documentation.But as a Business Insider piece last week noted, it also allows for male Saudis “to specify when and how women can cross Saudi borders, and to get close to real-time SMS updates when they travel.” Absher can be used to restrict which destinations Saudi women can travel to, as well as prevent them from travelling anywhere outside the country at all, and the SMS notification system is used to alert the men if the women try to leave on their own.Women are also required to have male chaperones in many situations and have fewer legal rights than men, and they can be arrested for “disobedience.” Absher certainly appears to automate elements of this system, and as the Post noted, the ministry claims it has 11 million users.Critics say the app violates policies on both stores, such as those against bullying and harassment.“We call on Apple and Google to assess the risk of human rights abuses on women, which is facilitated by the App, and mitigate the harm that the App has on women,” Amnesty International told the Post in a statement.
“The speed and ferocity of the devastating wildfires in California demonstrated the need to develop new ways of using science and technology to assist the emergency services wherever possible.”Can drones be used to help fight runaway fires?This is the question asked jointly by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the American Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).The two are putting on simultaneous hackathons next month to try to answer it; one in the US, the other in the ‘spark’ Facility at Southampton Solent University.Individuals and teams will be tasked to come up with innovative ways to assist emergency services as they battle wildfires.Fighting wildfires is of course a dangerous task, but those dangers can be compounded by the changing dynamic of a live fire, winds can change and combustible vegetation can ignite closing off entry or escape paths.
雷军：小米9不仅最好看 而且非常能打 – Netease TechWhat happened: Xiaomi has announced they will reveal their flagship model Mi 9 on Feb.20 in Beijing.Rumors put the starting price at RMB 2999 (roughly $440).Mi 9 will be the “best-looking Xiaomi smartphone model so far”, the Chinese smartphone maker claimed in a WeChat post (in Chinese) on Wednesday.The upcoming flagship will also reportedly be the first model from Xiaomi powered by Qualcomm’s latest processor Snapdragon 855 and comes with three cameras in the back.Why it’s important: China’s smartphone market has been increasingly competitive for foreign players, as the top four brands are all Chinese in terms of market share.
Starling Bank, one of fintech's Big Three digital banking stalwarts, has closed a £75m funding round led by Merian Global Investors.The challenger bank said £60m was provided by Merian, formerly known as Old Mutual, which included a £19m injection from Merian's equity investment firm Chrysalis.The round was closed out with £15m from Starling's sole existing investor Harald McPike.There was no valuation disclosed as part of the funding, though the pressure is on after both of Starling's biggest competitors, Monzo and Revolut, were named so-called unicorn startups last year with valuations of more than £1bn.Starling said the raise will fund further growth of the bank's retail and business banking products, as well as its expansion into Europe.City A.M. revealed last week that Starling Bank's chief executive Anne Boden had begun courting an Irish banking licence, starting up conversations with authorities in Dublin.
Bytedance increased the total value of red packets offered on three of its apps to RMB 1.6 billion ($23 million) this recent Chinese New Year, up from RMB 1 billion last year, to become the biggest player in the Chinese hongbao battle in terms of prize money offered, according to a report from Jiemian.The RMB 1.6 billion was distributed between content aggregator Jinri Toutiao, short video app Douyin, and social networking app Duoshan.The three apps received RMB 1 billion, RMB 600 million, and RMB 100 million respectively, according to the Jiemian report.They used the money for different Spring Festival promotional activities: users either collect tokens to qualify for a prize money raffle in the form of hongbao issued by the platform or are directly rewarded for participation.Douyin’s event probably drew inspiration from its Ant Financial-owned Alipay equivalent, which has been held every Spring Festival since 2016.While Alipay’s event asks users for tokens that can be obtained by paying with the app, event tokens in Douyin can be acquired by inviting friends to the app or installing Duoshan.
It was a successful event, it drew in an international crowd of 280 delegates, had a catchy name (The Next Web) and everybody was excited (or at least that’s how I remember it).Thirteen years later, we’re one of the most experienced parties in the industry as we managed to grow the event bigger and better with each edition.The competition is fierce, but on the other hand, the appetite for digital technologies is bigger than ever.Repositioning the business floor: Doing business and finding new technologies and tools to improve your business is the most important reason our delegates come from over 100 countries to TNW.Increase meeting space: What’s the best way to do business?The new and improved tracks: We know a two-day schedule packed with content can be overwhelming when you’re trying to decide what to focus on and how to best manage your time.
Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi is rumored to have lost of billions of yuan of loss in 2018, as the company shifted focus from revenue growth to legal compliance, reports 36Kr (in Chinese).According to an internal file obtained by 36Kr, the Chinese mobility giant recorded an annual loss of RMB 10.9 billion (roughly $1.48 billion) in 2018.It had also reportedly given to drivers subsidies totaling RMB 11.3 billion for the whole year.Didi was immediately not available for comment when contacted by TechNode.Previously, Chinese media reported in September that Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei acknowledged its poor finance in an internal letter, saying Didi “never achieved profitability” since its founding 6 years ago.Following the murders of two female passengers and a number of other safety incidents last year, China’s largest ride-hailing operator has been the subject of public outcry and government scrutiny.
Especially for a demographic whose fate depended on it?What about the single mom of three in Indiana, working two jobs to make ends meet, who just needs a to-do list app that she can access on the go?Or the young Black boy in Sanford, hesitant to don the hoodie your site is selling after he saw what happened to Trayvon Martin?Or maybe the dyslexic girl in El Paso, TX, who spends her evenings after school trying to learn English on the website you designed?We see it in the kids who learn how to swipe, pinch, and scroll before they learn how to turn the pages in an actual book, in the hands that forget the sensation of picking up a pen to write and can never seem to find paper nearby to jot an idea down on (who needs paper anymore?Even our meditation to get a break from it all happens on Headspace.
Nebia — which was initially backed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt — announced its new Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 on Tuesday.The latest version can create 29% warmer temperatures and comes at a more affordable price than the original.Cook and Schmidt re-invested in the shower head disrupters, along with North America's largest shower head company Moen, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, Starwood Hotel founder Barry Sternlicht.Nebia CEO Phillip Winter tells us that the Apple chief exec has been "incredibly supportive" with their efforts, answering email questions when they "have something that's very strategic."Nebia, the water-saving shower head company that made a splash in its 2015 Kickstarted debut, is back with a new and improved nozzle.On Tuesday the company announced its new Nebia Spa Shower 2.0, which it says can create 29% warmer temperatures and comes at a more affordable price.