Neil Chestnut

Neil Chestnut

Followers 115
Following 28
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.
10
China
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.
4
US
Apex Legends, the Battle Royale shooter that is being tagged as a potential Fortnite killer, was released less than two weeks ago, but developer Respawn Entertainment said that it has already banned over 16,000 cheaters from the game.Respawn revealed the mind-boggling statistic through an update post on the Apex Legends sub-Reddit, where it also called for the community to try to capture proof of cheaters, such as a screenshot or video clip, and send them information through this link.Respawn added that if players are unable to acquire proof of cheating, they may just forward the alleged cheaters’ IDs, and the developer will investigate the reported accounts itself.There is currently no in-game feature in Apex Legends to report cheaters, but Respawn said that it is “a very good idea.” There is no timeline yet on when the feature will arrive to the Battle Royale shooter, but given the slew of updates that have already been released for the game, its addition might not take long.“Cheaters suck,” Respawn wrote in the Reddit post, and legitimate Apex Legends players will agree.The cheating problem has apparently escalated to the point that Twitch streamers are blatantly implementing hacks during broadcasts.
5
China
DollarsAndSense, a Singapore-based personal finance portal, has acquired local financial planning startup FundMyLife.The value of the deal was not disclosed.DollarsAndSense claims the acquisition will give it better consumer insights, strengthen its position in insurance products and services, and help it to identify gaps in Singaporeans’ financial planning knowledge.Founded in 2017, FundMyLife connects consumers with a curated pool of financial advisers through a Q platform.Before the acquisition, DollarsAndSense worked with FundMyLife in multiple areas including affiliate partnerships, content marketing, and improving engagement with the financial adviser community.FundMyLife co-founders Jackie Tan and Wesley Goi will remain on board to oversee the transition and ensure continuity.
10
UK
Social media platforms should comply with a compulsory code of ethics overseen by an independent regulator to tackle harmful or illegal content on their sites, a Commons committee has demanded.In a major report, MPs warned that democracy is at risk from the “malicious and relentless” targeting of citizens with disinformation and adverts from unidentifiable sources, as they called for reform to electoral communication laws.The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said ethics guidelines are needed to set out what is and what is not acceptable on social media, including harmful and illegal content that has been referred to the platforms by users or identified by the companies.If tech companies fail to meet their obligations under the code, then an independent regulator should be able to launch legal proceedings against them and have the power to issue large fines, the MPs said.They wrote: “Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites.”The report also rounded on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who was accused of showing “contempt” towards the committee by choosing not to appear before it last year.
10
US
If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks but don’t want to fork out big bucks for a no-compromise off-road desert racer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a truck for you.As with the 1976 version, the 2019 Warlock focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.The 2019 Warlock special edition is available only with the previous generation 2019 Ram 1500 Classic version, not the redesigned Ram 1500 introduced for this model year.Because buyer demand for Ram pickups outpaced supply, Ram continued to run the older version production line along with the newer manufacturing facilities for the redesigned truck.Signature details on the new Ram Warlock include huge R-A-M lettering on the front grille, power-coated bumpers front and rear, a 1-inch ride lift, and Warlock decals.The truck will come with 20-inch semi-gloss black aluminum wheels, LED fog lamps, dark-bezeled projector headlamps, LED rear tail lamps, tow hooks, and heavy-duty rear shocks.
6
US
Up until a few years ago, the Chicago Cubs went more than 100 years without a World Series title.Every year, stories announcing Oscar nominees are accompanied by opinion pieces complaining about who got snubbed, followed roughly a month later by rants over upsets at the actual ceremony.Failing to recognize Fiennes’ chilling portrayal of a monstrous Nazi officer in Schindler’s List, which deservedly took home the Best Picture prize, illustrates, among other follies, a pattern of Oscar voters rewarding veteran actors for lesser performances.While neither actor was nominated that year, Penn got his revenge years later, taking home trophies for Mystic River in 2003 and Milk in 2008.That film stole the Best Picture Oscar from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, but Crowe’s performance as a real-life schizophrenic genius is one for the ages.Hackman already had two Oscars on his mantel when he made The Royal Tenenbaums, but that doesn’t explain why Academy voters whiffed so badly, not even granting him a nomination.
3
UK
If you’re looking for a 241-page, beautifully illustrated, expertly researched book chronicling the history of Han Solo, Star Wars Icons: Han Solo by Gina McIntyre is it.The book follows the character of Han Solo from beginning to end, from every angle imaginable, with insight from not just the author but the people directly involved.People like Harrison Ford himself, Lawrence Kasdan, Alden Ehrenreich, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, J.J. Abrams and many others.Basically everyone you can think of besides George Lucas and the late Carrie Fisher.McIntyre dives deep behind the scenes of the Star Wars films, gets into the comic books, novels, Expanded Universe, new canon, video games, prequels, sequels, you name it, all the way up to and including The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.The fact it goes the extra mile.
2
US
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.
4
UK
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.
10
US
Far Cry New Dawn looks like it should be a big shakeup to the series, but once you peel back the outer layer of neon-pink paint, it’s the same old Far Cry underneath.If you like the series’ trademark open-world busywork, then it’ll scratch your itch.Society now consists of loose settlements, who must be saved from the tyranny of criminal overlords known as the Highwaymen.You play the nameless Captain, a former security officer for a rebuilding operation who, thanks to the machinations of the villains, is apparently the only person in all of Montana who can protect the peaceful community of Prosperity and help it rebuild.But once you’ve raided a few enemy outposts and shanked around 50 Highwaymen, the ennui starts to set in.Finally, says I. We’re back to the Far Cry standard after the last game tried to convince me to be afraid of the whispery Joseph Seed.
3
UK
In 2015, a high school teacher in Ontario, Canada, Ryan Jarvis, was caught secretly recording the chests of female students with a spy pen.But Jarvis was acquitted after the Ontario Court of Appeal reasoned that the students didn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy at the public school.Today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against this decision, declaring that the students did have a right to not be filmed with a spycam.“In this case, when the entire context is considered, there can be no doubt that the students’ circumstances give rise to a reasonable expectation that they would not be recorded in the manner they were,” the Supreme Court wrote in its decision on Thursday, charging Jarvis with voyeurism.Jarvis nonconsensually filmed 27 students between the ages of 14 and 18, according to the decision.The videos were shot in hallways, classrooms, and the cafeteria, among other locations, and mostly included female students “wearing low-cut or close-fitting tops.” The court noted that you can hear Jarvis talking to the students in some of the videos, which recorded audio.
3
US
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.
4
UK
Apple seems to want to expand the speed at which Siri is implemented in 3rd-party products.At least that’s what it’d seem, given their acquisition of the group called Pullstring.Oh, they’ve got their own conversational AI, too.Pullstring was created by a group of former Pixar executives, and made its way in the world first with toys.They helped make the app for the nightmare that was Hello Barbie, it would seem.Pullstring, it would seem, wasn’t exactly at the center of the legal situation that surrounded the launch of said Barbie – somehow or another.
3
UK
A new even earlier timing for updating Google apps became apparent this week as Google aims for better security and an overall more consistent mobile experience.Developers received messages notifying them of the testing of this new feature and that it’ll be rolling out to users across the planet in the near future.This service will be opt-out, if for whatever reason a user would want to choose to keep their older versions of apps at sign-in.The notification suggests that Android Lollipop will be the earliest version to get this sort of update, pre-load feature.What’s more, this doesn’t only apply to Google-made apps.The developers we’ve seen getting notification of this update weren’t Google app developers, they were developers of their own, independent apps (that were listed with Google Play, of course).
5
US
American corn farmers were not pleased with the approach.Miller Lite subsequently shot back with a full-page ad in the The New York Times.Today, Coors Light is hosting a “Toast to Farmers” to celebrate the farmers who grow their ingredients.“Our employees, including members of the Senior Leadership Team, and distributors will visit on-premise accounts, buy a round of Coors Light in states where possible and raise a glass to the hardworking men and women who grow our ingredients,” Ryan Reis, vice president of the Coors family of brands, said in a note to distributors that went out Monday and was included in a MillerCoors blog post about the event.Let’s all raise a cold one to the hard working American farmers, like those who help grow our high quality ingredients.Join people across the country in celebrating farmers in a national ToastToFarmers Friday 2/15.
6
US
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like.Presidents' Day Weekend is the first time to catch a bunch of great deals after the holidays, especially for tech.We've broken them down into six categories: computers, smart home accessories, headphones and speakers, TV and home theater, smartwatches and fitness bands, vacuums, and Apple products.There are tons of deals happening at many stores, so if you're shopping for new tech, but don't know where to start, we've combed through sales at Best Buy, Walmart, Dell, and Lenovo to find 70+ deals that are worth your time.There are a handful of exceptions, and we've called them out for your convenience.Tech deals come around often, but Presidents' Day weekend gives you the opportunity to save on the all-new MacBook Air and LG's premium OLED TVs, which don't go on sale often.
5
US
It looks like the $500 or so inside needs, no wants, to be spent, and there are two smartphones vying for your attention around this price — the OnePlus 6T and Honor View 20.You have probably heard these two described as premium midrange smartphones or “flagship killers,” with the reasonable price being a highlight.We wanted to see how the two phones stacked up against each other in the real world, so took the pair along on a trip to Paris, Nice, and Cannes in France, with a stop in Monaco as well.The Honor View 20 is considerably more complex, with additional stills modes including both portrait and aperture, along with night mode on the main viewfinder screen, and even more modes when you open the More menu.It’s stable and well laid out though, and didn’t frustrate despite the laundry list of features.It’s not often we get such drastically different results from cameras on devices that cost around the same amount of money.
4
US
Despite news of the layoffs leaking five days before the official announcement, Blizzard employees have said they weren't given any information on the pending layoffs before they were announced.From the initial leak to the days after the layoffs, people within the video game industry have worked to build a support network for the hundreds of former Activision-Blizzard employees, some of whom had been with the company for more than a decade.Major video game publisher Activision-Blizzard laid off about 800 workers earlier this week, sending shock waves through the gaming industry.In the days following the layoffs, people within the industry responded by building a support network filled with job listings, personal recommendations, and messages of support for former Blizzard employees in need of new opportunities.News of the impending layoffs were first reported by Bloomberg on February 7th, and a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider that employees were left without information for days.Kotaku and Yahoo Finance also published reports based on conversations with Blizzard employees who confirmed the lack of communication as word spread within the company to expect upcoming cuts.
2
China
Indonesian technology and financial services Finmas has launched its standalone mobile app.It’s designed to provide easy access to affordable and secure credit for underserved consumers as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across Indonesia that need access to reliable and trusted financing options.The peer-to-peer lending platform is a collaborative venture between Hong Kong-based financial services startup Oriente and Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas.Finmas launched the beta of its mobile app a few months ago.The app “enables consumers to apply for a cash loan whenever they need access to credit for tuition fees, household expenses, specific consumer goods, emergencies, or to start and grow their small businesses,” the company said in a statement.Finmas targets people who have little to no access to traditional financial services like bank accounts as well as credit rating and history.
10
More

Top