Neil Chestnut

Neil Chestnut

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Following 19
China
Shared office space startup WeWork announced on today that it has received $500 million from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital.The funds will be used to set up WeWork China which will help expand the company’s operations in multiple Chinese cities as well as increase its presence in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.“Since coming to China only a year ago, we’ve been able to establish a vibrant community of creators and companies – and we’ve only just begun,” said CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann in a press release.In March 2016, WeWork sealed a $430 million deal aimed at helping the US-based company open centers in several countries including China, South Korea, and Japan.This financing was also led by Hony Capital and as well as parent company Legend holdings.The company entered the Chinese market by opening its first office space in Shanghai in July 2016
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China
Chinese bike sharing platform Mobike announced its entry into the Italian market with Florence and Milan as its first stops.With this move, Italy becomes the first country in Continental Europe to introduce Mobike.Meanwhile, it is Mobike's fourth overseas market following Singapore, UK, and Japan.Hu Weiwei, founder and president of Mobike, said that they are very glad to enter the Italian market and especially honored to start operation in Florence and Milan.They will cooperate with local partners to provide smooth riding experience to citizens and tourists in the two cities to help them feel the beauty of the cities.Mobike will first place hundreds of smart shared bikes in Florence for trial operation.
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China
AI is basically about a computing system being smart or sentient like a human being, being able to learn and consider moral and ethical dilemmas.AI is far more complex and difficult to achieve with today’s state of technology.Teaching computers to think and understand the world the same way a human brain does is a nearly impossible endeavour.Perhaps the best way to illustrate the delicate and furious challenges that AI must meet is to use the Clint Eastwood film Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, which is about the actual heroic efforts of US Airways pilots Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles to safely land in New York’s Hudson River after its engines were struck by birds.Aside from landing and take-off, where pilots are generally in full control of the plane, the rest of the journey is characterised as “automation management” where computers control the flight.While that is not machine learning or AI, it is certainly advanced automation at the highest levels.
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UK
Deezer has announced that it's bolstering its streaming service with hundreds of new podcasts, thanks to a partnership with AudioBoom.AudioBoom is a distribution platform for podcasters that has built up a user base of 60 million listeners a month, thanks to high-profile celebrity endorsements from the likes of Stephen Fry and its frankly impressive podcast range.There are over 200 podcasts to choose from, ranging from true crime classic Undisclosed to Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson's cracking comedy football podcast Athletico Mince.All of which will now be available to Deezer users - given there's 12 million of them, this is a savvy deal for both podcast listeners and those who are making the podcasts.This is the latest in a number of moves by Deezer to make it a streaming service that's about more than just music.In recent months it has expanded its sports coverage on the service, signing deals with both Barcelona FC and Man Utd, which has culminated in player playlists, news and exclusive football content.
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UK
Vid If you have a hankering to watch eight minutes of billowing clouds of rocket exhaust, NASA's posted the video of the latest test of its RS-25 engine.The RS-25 is, as NASA-watchers know, the power-plant the agency is developing to shove its planned Space Launch System skywards.Yesterday's test was the third time NASA's run up a rocket motor to test the flight controller that'll be in charge of the engines.Its role is to relay commands from the vehicle to the engine, and data from engine to vehicle.The controller, NASA explains here, also provides closed-loop engine management to regulate thrust and fuel mixture and monitor engine health.The SLS uses the same engine design as used to help hoist Space Shuttles, but the agency decided the motor's “brains” needed a refresh – most importantly, because the electronic components of the 1980s aren't available any more.
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UK
Black Friday is a boon for shoppers hoping to save on big ticket or popular items.Aside from the stiff competition from other shoppers both online and in stores, Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to get some serious shopping done.These early ads will help you identify some of the deals you want to pounce on quickly.Since stock is generally limited, knowing which deals you want and when they start is the best way to snag them.The discount ranges from 50% to 75% off.The Nerf HyperFire Blaster is $11 off for a price of $43.
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China
Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Lenovo are among the top five mobile brands in India, but Samsung continues to rule India’s smartphone shipments with a 25 percent market share, according to new figures from market research company Canalys.“With China suffering its own decline this quarter, India is a market of huge strategic importance to Chinese smartphone vendors,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.“Samsung is under immense pressure in the mid-tier from the Chinese players.”Over 50 percent of India’s smartphone brands is currently controlled by Chinese brands, including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Shenzhen-based Gionee, and Lenovo.The biggest winner of this year’s Q2 is Xiaomi which has more than quadrupled its shipments to 4.8 million units making it India’s largest smartphone brand after Samsung.This month, Xiaomi celebrated its third Mi anniversary in India.
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China
Pony Ma Huateng moved up on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index today and became the second richest man in China–a place previously held by Wanda Group’s founder Wang Jianlin.Ma is the co-founder and CEO of Tencent, one of China’s largest internet companies and is famous for its most-loved instant messaging and social media software QQ and WeChat.A native of Guangdong Province, Ma graduated from Shenzhen University with a computer science degree and started the now-multibillion company with a college friend of his, using his savings from stock investment.He is now estimated to be worth US$33.7 billion.
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After three in the fast lane China’s electric car market has hit a speed bump this year as reduced government subsidies dent drivers’ buying interest.According to UBS, sales growth of new-energy vehicles including pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid automobiles, are expected to slow to 20 per cent for the whole year in 2017, compared to the 63 per cent year-on-year increase recorded in 2016.“In China, policies always have a huge impact on the auto market,” said UBS analyst Hou Yankun.“As government subsidies drop, the market is losing a major driving force to spur the growth [of the electric-car segment].”UBS predicts sales of 403,000 million new-energy vehicles on the mainland this year, up from 336,000 in 2016.Despite the slowing sales, China will retain its title of world front-runner in electric-car adoption, with annual sales more than double the United States where an estimated 191,000 units are forecast to be sold this year.
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Google is finally taking the most logical step towards growing its streaming business: it’s set to merge YouTube Red with Google Play Music, which should make it easier for subscribers to find the tunes they want without all the confusion of the company’s myriad offerings.That’s from Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, who confirmed the move at the New Music Seminar conference in New York.What we don’t yet know is whether it’ll lead to the launch of an entirely new product.For now, it sounds like Google will simply create a new brand under which both services will be offered with a single subscription.But I’m hoping that the merger also sees the company make YouTube’s premium tier available globally.YouTube Red is currently available in just five countries, and, as an example, India isn’t one of them.
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US
Microsoft has been running a bounty program for a few years now, launching it just ahead of the release of Windows 8.1 back in mid-2013.At the time, the company was awarding up to $50,000 for exploits, in an attempt to help address any potential security issues before they could become a larger public concern.It’s a tact taken by a number of tech’s biggest names, like Google, Facebook and, more recently, Apple.The software giant’s expanding things a bit today, with the simply named “Windows Bounty Program.” It’ll cover a bit more ground in Windows 10, and features much loftier rewards for bug finders (thus perhaps making it a bit more compelling over selling the exploits to the highest-bidding third party.)This time out, awards go all the way up to $250,000 for anyone who’s able to discover exploits in Microsoft Hyper-V, the company’s virtualization software.Of course, that’s on the high end.
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Google’s parent sees lower profit after being slapped with record Europe Union fineGoogle’s parent Alphabet has suffered a setback to its recent strong fiscal performance after it revealed a decline in second quarter net profits.Until now Google had been delivering stunning growth in both profits and revenues, helped by its principle cash cow, namely the advertising market, but also other ventures including its growing cloud business and revenue from its hardware (i.e Pixel smartphone) and Google Play Store.But in the last quarter (June to be exact) Google was slapped with a record-breaking fine of 2.4 billion euros (£2.1bn) by the European Commission for abusing its monopoly on Internet searches within the European Union.This fine has notably impacted Google’s second quarter financial performance, after Alphabet for the month ending 30 June, posted a net profit down at $3.5bn (£2.7bn) from $4.9bn (£3.7bn) in the same year-ago quarter.The profit would have been much larger had it not been for the EC penalty.
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China
After multiple rounds of speculation, leaks and rumours, Xiaomi today made the Mi 5X official.In a nutshell, the Mi 5X is something like a OnePlus 5 alternative from the company, compete with dual rear cameras and an iPhone-inspired look.Have a look at the full specifications here.Xiaomi Mi 5X Full SpecificationsRear Cameras: 12 megapixel dual camerasOS: Android 7.1 based MIUI 9
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UK
We've known for a while that the long-awaited third series of Rick and Morty would be hitting US televisions on 30th July, but the announcement of a UK broadcaster was noticeably absent.Now Netflix, which currently hosts the first two series of the excellent animated comedy, has announced it will be getting the new episodes as well.Speaking to The Independent, Netflix confirmed that a new episode of the show will be available every Sunday, starting on 30th of July and ending on 8th October.The first one available will be The Rickshank Redemption which initially aired as an April Fool's Day joke in the US.Now here's the bad news.Because The Rickshank Redemption has already aired in the US, the episode being broadcast on Adult Swim on 30th July is actually the second episode of the 10-episode series (titled Rickmancing the Stone).
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£1,200 upfront cost denied the public access to justiceThe Supreme Court has ruled that current employment tribunal fees are unlawful, opening the floodgates to hacked off employees (and ex-employees) across the country.In an application for judicial review brought by trade union Unison, the court unanimously found that the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 broke the law because it denied the public access to justice.In addition, the order was found to have discriminated against women because women, statistically, are more likely to bring employment tribunal proceedings.The ruling will cost the government around £32m thanks to a pledge it made to reimburse all fees if it was found to have acted unlawfully.The Fees Order was made by the Lord Chancellor, who in modern times is also the Secretary of State for Justice.
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Adobe Systems has announced plans to kill off its Flash Player plug-in by the end of 2020 due to waning interest and public opinion after years of criticism regarding security flaws and its many, many updates.The platform was once widely used for online videos, animations and games, but has been usurped in recent years by the new standard offered by HTML5, which serves a similar use without the need for a dedicated plug-in.Adobe vice president of product development, Govind Balakrishnan, said the decision was reached because technologies like HTML5 have "matured enough and are capable enough to provide viable alternatives to the Flash player."Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era," he added, referring to Flash, not HTML5.Flash was installed on 98% of PCs when Adobe acquired Macromedia and Flash along with it in 2005.Twelve years later and usage has plummeted.
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From the sludgy corridors of Doom to the vast art deco chambers of Bioshock, great games take places in intricately realised worlds where every aspect – from armour to architecture – reflects a consistent visual theme.As in the movie industry, the creation of detailed virtual worlds often involves the production of concept art – reams of sketches and paintings, based on early script drafts and discussions, fashioned to provide a target look for designers, artists and coders.“The idea is to establish the big picture of the game, like a visual pitch, not only for artists and designers, but pretty much everyone on the team,” says lead visual designer of Arkane Studios, Emmanuel Petit.“I believe this helps in keeping us energised, and gives us something concrete and exciting to work towards.”Arkane Studios, creator of acclaimed first-person adventures Dishonored and Prey, produces some of the most fascinating, atmospheric and idiosyncratic worlds in the modern games industry.The game, set aboard a space station beset by shape-shifting alien invaders, is filled with fascinating artefacts and architectural flourishes.
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China
Wanda Internet Technology said it will officially launch its public cloud service in China in the first quarter of next year after it inked a partnership deal with IBM in March.Despite being a latecomer to the sector, Chinese property-to-entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has plans to become one of the country’s biggest public cloud providers in five years by leveraging IBM’s knowhow in cloud computing and an investment estimated at “billions of renminbi”, a company official said.“We aim to become one of the major players in pubic cloud business in China because there will be no room left for small participants in five years,” said Sean Yang, vice president and chief technology officer for Wanda Internet Technology Group, a unit of Wanda Group.Yang is positioning Wanda as a high-end public cloud provider, serving only big enterprises that prefer value over price.In an interview with the South China Morning Post on Wednesday, Yang laid out the roadmap for the future development of the company’s cloud business, which only kicked off in March after a partnership deal was inked between Wanda Internet Technology and IBM, one of the leading public cloud providers in the world.Through a newly formed venture called Wanda Cloud Company, the two parties will offer selected IBM cloud infrastructure and platforms in China, according to IBM’s statement in March.
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Finding a messaging app all of your friends can agree on can be quite difficult.If you live in China or another country with heavy government restrictions, you might even suddenly lose access to your favourite messaging services and no longer be able to use them.However if you connect to the Internet using a VPN , you will be able to access your favourite sites and services from anywhere in the world.Most VPN service providers offer services globally and thus charge in US Dollars rather than in local currencies, so we've listed pricing in Dollars for the sake of simplicity.Bear in mind that when you click through to the actual deals, you may find the prices automatically displayed in pounds, or whatever your native currency may be.Here are some of the best deals we found for bypassing region blocking to access our favorite messaging apps:
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UK
The days of the good old trusty internal combustion engine, which revolutionised transportation but also maybe helped usher in a looming environmental apocalypse, may be numbered.Reports in the Guardian and Financial Times both indicated the UK is set to ban the sale of all diesel and petrol-burning cars and vans by the year 2040 as part of an air quality plan, including hybrid vehicles.If followed through, the plan would require all new cars and vans sold throughout the country to have purely electric engines.A government spokesman told the Guardian, which said it was given access to parts of the proposal, the move was primarily related to concerns over air quality.A recent government report concluded smog kills at least 40,000 people throughout the UK a year.“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” the spokesman said.
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