Robert Slater

Robert Slater

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Following 27
China
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has restructured its mobile phone business group amid increased competition in the Chinese market, Tencent Tech reports (in Chinese).The move comes one month after the company spun off its budget smartphone sub-brand Redmi.A new advisory team will be set up under the smartphone business group and led by Zhu Lei, formerly head of sales, combined with an operational team controlling product expenses within the company.Chinese media cited Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun as saying that the restructuring aims to enhance the company’s operation and strategy in its smartphone business.At the same time, Xiaomi established a department to conduct research and development into new technologies for touch control of mobile phone displays.Lei Jun made the announcements in an internal letter to employees.
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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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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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Indonesia-based gaming platform PlayGame has secured an undisclosed investment from decentralized blockchain-powered protocol Tron Foundation.The newly acquired funding will allow PlayGame to fast-track its “proof of play” and launch its crypto payment gateway.It also plans to expand its platform to Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia.Established in June 2018, PlayGame wants to “overcome the hurdles standing in the way of game developers,” such as “lack of transparency, piracy issues, inefficient payment calculation, and distribution.”The platform enables game publishers, developers, crypto-enthusiasts, and gaming communities to monetize the use of cryptocurrencies without affecting revenue.
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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.
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Singapore- and Thailand-based blockchain startup Band Protocol has raised US$3 million in a seed funding round led by Sequoia India.Dunamu & Partners and SeaX also participated in the round.With the fresh funding, the startup wants to accelerate the development of its mainnet, which is the main blockchain network for transactions.It also wants to establish its go-to-market strategy for 2019 and expand its engineering team to support its solution launch later this year.“Because we are a protocol, we need to support other developers and enterprises who want to develop on top of our protocol, which will require a bigger team,” Soravis Srinawakoon, Band Protocol’s co-founder and CEO, tells Tech in Asia.Founded in 2017, Band Protocol enables users to create “token-curated” communities to solve problems like fake news and the misuse of user data.
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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.
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The British government has reportedly concluded that any risks from the use of Huawei equipment in its 5G networks can be mitigated.That determination was made by the UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), according to a Financial Times report Sunday citing two unnamed sources familiar the conclusion, which hasn't been made public.The NCSC didn't immediately respond to a request for confirmation and comment.The conclusion runs contrary US State Department efforts discouraging European countries preparing for the rollout of 5G -- the high-speed, next-generation networking technology -- from using equipment from made by the Chinese tech company.US officials have reportedly met with representatives of the European Commission to warn them that the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment for spying.That warning followed escalating tensions between the US and Huawei that have seen the arrest of the company's CFO in and 23 indictments thrust on the company by the United States.
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There’s a puzzle that has been taxing astronomers for many years: Where is all of the matter in the universe?You might think that it would be hard to miss, but observations of the universe have turned up only around two thirds of the regular matter that is known to exist due to mathematical models.The matter in question is normal matter, referring to elements like hydrogen and helium which were created in the first few minutes following the Big Bang.Over the first one billion years of the history of the universe, this matter was spread out and gradually became cosmic dust, gas, stars, and planets.Scientists have calculated how much of this matter must have existed immediately after the Big Bang and found that about a third of it cannot be accounted for in current models of the universe.This is a separate issue from the question of dark matter, which is a different type of matter that effects the movements of galaxies.
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Of all the questions my consulting clients ask, there is one that comes up more often than all the others combined.How do I vet manufacturers in China or India to minimize the risks of working with a company in a different country?”Here are six tips that I generally offer to help ecommerce businesses navigate the potentially treacherous waters of overseas manufacturing.Whether you visit in person or perform your inquiries remotely, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask every potential manufacturer on your list.Each one acts as a test that a manufacturer needs to pass before you trust it with your business.If they are unwilling to provide proof of relevant licenses, registrations, and samples of work, that’s a major red flag.
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UK cybersecurity darling Darktrace is at risk of being pulled into the US fraud case against tech billionaire Mike Lynch and his former Autonomy colleague Sushovan Hussain.US court documents show that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents held a voluntary interview with Darktrace’s co-chief executive Nicole Eagan, as first reported by the Sunday Telegraph.Read more: Mike Lynch-backed legal AI startup valued at $100m after funding roundThe US government is trying to establish links between Darktrace and Invoke Capital, an investment vehicle founded by Lynch.Hussain was found guilty on fraud charges last year in connection to the sale of Autonomy to Hewlett Packard for $11.8bn (£9.2bn), while Lynch is fighting US extradition to face fraud charges over the same deal.Prosecutors were frustrated in attempts to get non-US firm Invoke to hand over evidence, and have shifted their attention to Darktrace which has a US presence.
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Actor Bruno Ganz died Friday at age 77, the BBC reports.The Swiss actor's film career spanned 50 years, but many know him best because of a YouTube video meme that sprang from Ganz's 2004 role as Adolf Hitler in the movie Downfall.In the scene, set in the German dictator's World War II bunker, Hitler's generals must bring him bad news about the progress of the war.Ganz as Hitler shakily removes his eyeglasses and sends all but four men out of the room, proceeding to scream at them while staffers wait in the hall and one woman begins to cry.The parodies generally keep the German dialogue, but replace the subtitles to make Hitler's meltdown about something else entirely, whether it's his pizza arriving late, runner Usain Bolt setting a world record, the Red Wedding scene on Game of Thrones, or finding out he wasn't accepted into Harry Potter's Hogwarts."It seems that late-life Hitler can be made to speak for almost anyone in the midst of a crisis," The New York Times wrote of the meme back in 2008.
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“India is unstoppable on the path of economic progress [and] … wants the world to see the tremendous opportunities it offers,” he said, ahead of paying a visit to the U.K.But over the past year, in the run-up to the general elections in May, the Indian government has unveiled — and in many cases, enforced — a wave of sweeping changes.In April, the Indian government issued a regulatory directive that required U.S. payment firms to locally store financial data of Indians.The government said it needed the U.S. giants to comply to ensure “better monitoring” and added that “it is important to have unfettered supervisory access to data stored with these system providers as also with their service providers / intermediaries/ third party vendors and other entities in the payment ecosystem.”MasterCard and Visa, the two biggest card networks in the U.S., as well as lobby groups that represent Google and Facebook — both of which offer payment solutions in India — fiercely opposed the directive for months.Despite intense lobbying and public outcry from the corners of the U.S. government, India did not flinch, and refused to extend the six-month deadline.
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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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Don’t count Loki out just yet.Marvel’s god of mischief might have met his demise at Thanos’ hands in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, but his solo television series is going full-steam ahead at Disney with a Rick & Morty writer at the helm.Michael Waldron, a writer and producer on the upcoming season of Cartoon Network’s irreverent sci-fi comedy, has been tapped to oversee the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Waldron will write the series pilot, act as showrunner, and serve as executive producer.The show will debut on Disney Plus, Disney’s proprietary streaming service.Waldron previously developed a pilot for Showtime and is currently working a series called Florida Man with director Steven Soderbergh.
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On episode 67 of Digital Trends Live, DT’s live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Parker Hall journeyed deep into the mines of tech news, hunting for the biggest stories.The big story of the day?Images of Samsung’s upcoming products leaked as part of an app update, giving the world an authentic look at, among other things, the long-rumored Galaxy Buds, which appear to lack silicone earhooks.We expect to hear much more about the Galaxy Buds at Samsung’s Unpacked event on February 20.Every day brings exciting news for cryptocurrency fans, whether that news be good or terrible.This week brought some very good news for crypto enthusiasts, as JP Morgan has launched its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin.
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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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Researchers at the non-profit AI research group OpenAI just wanted to train their new text generation software to predict the next word in a sentence.Elon Musk has been clear that he believes artificial intelligence is the “biggest existential threat” to humanity.Musk is one of the primary funders of OpenAI and though he has taken a backseat role at the organisation, its researchers appear to share his concerns about opening a Pandora’s box of trouble.Rather than releasing the fully trained model, it’s releasing a smaller model for researchers to experiment with.The researchers used 40GB of data pulled from 8 million web pages to train the GPT-2 software.Here are the next few machine-paragraphs that were produced by the machine:
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