What happened: Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan is reportedly dissolving its business operations in Chengdu of China’s Sichuan Province.In response to the rumor, the company announced an official statement saying that its Chengdu office is running normally as the headquarter.Local reporters, however, found that Smartisan’s 2000-square-meter office had only a few workers that day and that the company has indeed laid off around 100 workers without the knowledge of Chengdu state-owned enterprise which is their stakeholder.Why it’s important: Although the Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan has built up a lot of hype surround the company and its celebrity founder Luo Yonghao, the company has never achieved in expanding beyond its hardcore user base.Smartisan moved its headquarter to Chengdu after the local government led an RMB 1 billion funding in the cash-strained company in 2017.Bullet Message, a WeChat rival backed by Smartisan, built up new anticipations for the company, but it seems to be a flash-in-the-pan while its download suffered steep drop weeks after its initial boom.
Honestbee created a buzz when it launched its first brick-and-mortar store in Singapore, which is touted to have a couple of world firsts – the first checkout system that requires almost no intervention from the shopper, and the first grocery collection system that relies entirely on robots.See: Behind Honestbee’s big offline move and rapid expansion to 1,000 employeesThese features, along with many others, make it the “smartest” supermarket in Southeast Asia – though the verdict is still pending on its actual benefits to shoppers.See: Behind Honestbee’s big offline move and rapid expansion to 1,000 employees(All photos and videos by Tech in Asia.)This helps keep out shoplifters, too.
The characters in HBO's Game of Thrones are all fighting for power in a fictional land, but series creator George R.R.Martin sees some parallels to real-world politics as well."I think even during the campaign I said that Trump reminded me most of Joffrey," Martin told the Times in an interview for T, the newspaper's style magazine.The interview will be published in print Oct. 21, and is online now.And yet, Trump doesn't seem to know what that means.King Joffrey Baratheon, played by Jack Gleeson, was the oldest son of Cersei Lannister and her twin brother Jaime, though he thought his father was the late king Robert Baratheon.
Late physicist Stephen Hawking's final book was published Tuesday, and he doesn't fail to take on the big issues, including the existence of God.he writes in Brief Answers to the Big Questions."We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God.No one created the universe, and no one directs our fate."Hawking goes on to say that this realization made him decide belief in an afterlife was just "wishful thinking" and that "when we die, we return to dust."But Hawking, who died in March at age 76, also saw a silver lining in what to some could be a bleak view.
This month on Amazon you can check out a few campy cult classics.Robin Williams and Nathan Lane give some of their funniest performances in The Birdcage.Or check out Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp as drag queens driving across Australia in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.Or if you prefer a little bit of action in your cult favorites, Amazon's got Kick-Ass coming Nov. 3.If you're looking for a good cry, you can check out the '90s family film classic My Girl or the Shirley MacLaine sobfest that is Terms of Endearment.Both films will emotionally wreck you, but 'tis the season to weep uncontrollably, right?
Although it is unclear when humans first started farming rice, the oldest paddy fields--in the lower Yangzi River Valley--date back to 4000 BC.Although the resulting rice plants are super-producers that feed much of the world's population, they rely on human assistance and cannot withstand harsh environmental conditions.A team of researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India led by Dr. P.V.In special cases, the resulting RNA fragments trigger a silencing cascade, shutting down the activity of genes that are similar to the initial target gene.The scientists showed that miR397 silenced several members of the laccase gene family via a silencing cascade.Laccase genes, of which there are 30 in the rice genome, encode proteins that promote woody tissue formation, thereby providing mechanical strength.
Was it inevitable that Twitter would become a tool of international diplomacy?Which is one of the issues that would truly divide this room.You used to be known as the “free-speech wing of the free-speech party,” which I know is a controversial quote, but the idea is that Twitter used to really stand for what may be the most important thing in the US Constitution.What is our effect on making it easier to weaponize freedom of expression against someone so that they don’t even feel free to express themselves in the first place or ultimately they’re silenced, which would go against that goal of serving the public conversation?But certainly, this quote around “free-speech wing of the free-speech party” was never a mission of the company.But one thing that they’ve done at Instagram, which you haven’t done, is that they’ve built artificial intelligence systems that can identify bullying, hate speech, cruelty, in the comments.
Third-wave AI is supposed to be truly intelligent and most similar to human thinking, meaning it will make sense of the independent world and its varying contexts.For instance, digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri handle everyday tasks including scheduling reminders or playing your favorite morning jam.Aside from being able to learn autonomously, Mind’s AI can generalize and even reason abstractly through natural language.Instead of using vast amounts of computational power, Mind aims to build its AI through patented proprietary data structures called “canonicals.” This enables the AI to construct models of how the world works, meaning it's possible for the AI to perform context-specific tasks with a high degree of success.While scientists and researchers are pretty excited by these developments, many entrepreneurs wonder how they can leverage the tech to their advantage.Growthbot, for example, compiles and analyzes marketing data and research such as search engine optimization (SEO) keywords, competitor intelligence and prospect leads.
With a median salary over $160,000, generous benefits packages, and perks like free gourmet food, massages, and music lessons, it's no surprise why so many employees consider working at Google their dream job.Their reasons include everything from frustration with company politics to simply wanting to feel more freedom at a smaller company.Liz Wessel — Cofounder and CEO of WayUpFormer position at Google: Product Marketing ManagerWhy she left: Wessel told Business Insider that she knew it was time to leave Google when she couldn't stop thinking about her next career move.Tyler Breisacher — Software engineer at Hustle
The results of that research suggest that playing guitar could contribute to well-being.A surprising number of new guitar players have no rock-star ambitions whatsoever.Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster.But as musical tastes evolve, questions have arisen about the future of rock-n-roll and the destiny of the guitar as a symbol of creativity.Wandering through music might increase productivityFender sought the help of Levitin, whose 2007 book, "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession," delves in the role music has played in human evolution.
The true cost of a mechanical machine breakdown — that is to say, the penalties incurred by missing deadlines and shutting down part of a production line — is estimated at between four to 15 times the maintenance costs.To put that into perspective, just one eight-hour day of downtime runs the average farm roughly $5,000 at planting and $2,000 at harvesting.Stockholm, Sweden-based Syncron, an after-sales parts solutions company founded in 1990, aims to instill preventative maintenance practices in clients with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).It today announced a $67 million minority investment by global growth equity firm Summit Partners — its first in a Swedish company — which will additionally see managing director Han Sikkens and principal Antony Clavel join Syncron’s board of directors.CEO and former Accenture executive Anders Grudén said that Syncron will use the new capital to “support [the] continued development” of its enterprise products and to promote “further expansion” of global operations.“We are delighted to partner with Summit Partners to support Syncron’s next chapter of expansion and our path to IPO readiness,” Grudén said.
Coinbase, one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced plans to open an office in Ireland's capital, Dublin.The announcement is part of the company's contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit."As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it," UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz said.Coinbase, one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced plans to open an office in Ireland's capital, Dublin, as it makes contingency plans for Brexit.The exchange says it is opening the Dublin office partly to serve rising demand from the European Union, but also as a means of ensuring it can keep all of its operations going in the event of no deal being reached between Britain and the EU during Brexit talks."To begin with we’re housing a significant support team there, and we’re looking to capitalise on the talent pool that’s available to us in Ireland and hire other folks," Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase's UK CEO told The Guardian.
It’s the tablet that can also be a laptop, and the byproduct of refinement since the original Surface RT that launched six years ago.It’s the most popular Surface device and Apple, Google, HP, Dell, and Lenovo have all copied elements of the Surface Pro.The numbers you really need to care about this year are: it’s a Surface Pro 6, there’s 8GB RAM by default inside, it has 8th Gen quad-core Intel processors, and it’s now available in 000000 (black).The big new change this year is a matte black finish, but that doesn’t mask the fact Microsoft has kept the same design for three generations and the same dated selection of ports as the Pro 3 from four years ago.That’s a $100 price increase from the base model of last year’s Surface Pro, but you’re getting a better processor and more RAM for that extra cash as there’s no Core m3 option this time around (at least not at launch).For most people, the base model should be enough thanks to the RAM improvement and cloud storage, but if you want the new matte black option then it’s only available on the $1,199 model with 256GB of storage.
Few recent TV shows have exploded on the scene—and then imploded—with the force and speed of ABC’s Roseanne revival last spring.The sitcom debuted in March to 18.2 million viewers and a 5.2 rating in the 18-49 demo, making it the most-watched comedy telecast in more than three years, and led all entertainment shows last season with a 5.3 C7 rating.But just two weeks after the show and star Roseanne Barr were the toast of its May upfront, ABC shockingly canceled Roseanne, following a racist tweet from Barr, leaving the network without its most prized asset going into this year’s upfront.Now the network is giving itself a Roseanne do-over, bringing back a Barr-free spinoff this Tuesday, with the rest of the cast intact, called The Conners.Buyers are expecting a large audience for the show’s premiere, but are taking a wait and see approach about the program’s long-term prospects without Barr.Though Barr’s Twitter feed had long been controversial, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey had given her the benefit of the doubt when ordering, and then renewing, the revival.
Zipline, a Bay Area startup, inked a deal with the government of Rwanda in 2016 and now uses small, autonomous planes to deliver medical supplies, and in particular blood, to rural communities across the African country.“It’s a pretty cool paradigm shift for people who think all technological revolution is going on in US, and it’ll trickle down to poor countries,” says Zipline CEO, Keller Rinaudo, presenting his vision for drone deliveries on stage at the WIRED25 summit in San Francisco on Monday.It’s one of many companies now trying to make click-to-drone deliveries a reality, and between them all, they’ve demonstrated drops of everything from Slurpees to automatic defibrillators for patients who seem to be having a heart attack, as parts of limited tests sanctioned by the FAA in the US.Rinaudo is convinced that it’s the latter type of life saving delivery that will help make drones mainstream and acceptable.“It would have been harder if we said we were delivering burritos, I think.”In Rwanda, Zipline launches from a base in the capital Kigali to bypass muddy, impassable roads and zip over mountains that would make the trek by truck too long, even in the best weather.
Susan Wojcicki has a difficult job.As CEO of YouTube, she leads one of Alphabet’s biggest money makers and most popular platforms.But the company she helms is very different than the YouTube that launched in 2005, when the mission was “Broadcast Yourself.” In recent years, and particularly since the 2016 election in the US, the service has found itself teeming with trolls and bad information.“It’s really valuable, but we have to marry that with responsibility.”Part of taking responsibility meant hiring content moderators, some 10,000 of them, to help remove the videos that violate YouTube’s community guidelines.In the second quarter of this year, the company, using a mix of those moderators and AI, removed 10 million videos that violated the guidelines; nearly 75 percent were removed without a single view.
Silicon Valley is coming to terms with the impacts of some of its inventions, which are not always in line with the techno-optimistic vision that the industry offered the world 25 years ago, when WIRED started reporting on it.Sure, social media has connected people around the world, but it has also led to isolating filter bubbles.And the rise of autonomous cars and trucks, while awesome, also means that the fear that robots could take certain jobs is looking increasingly justified.At the WIRED25 Summit Monday afternoon, Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun and Y Combinator president Sam Altman gave the audience a dose of old-school optimism about the future and technology’s role in it.“Nuclear fusion is where smart people go to die,” said moderator and former WIRED editor in chief Chris Anderson to Altman.The former leader of Google’s self-driving car program (now Waymo) is determined to prove that the dream of flying cars for everyone isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
Competitive "Fortnite" continues to grow with in-game tournaments and esports events."Fortnite: Battle Royale" is adding tournaments to its roster of in-game events.Tournaments will have different formats spanning several days; players earn points based on performance and will be matched up with others at their skill level as the tournament progresses."Fortnite" developer Epic Games eventually plans to use the tournament mode to award prizes and help players qualify for more exclusive competitions.Epic Games has committed $100 million in funding for "Fortnite" competitions during the 2018-19 season.According to developer Epic Games, tournaments will be open to all players and will eventually be used to award prizes to top players and help them qualify for future "Fortnite" esports events.
Even though the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do not officially launch for another three days, that’s not stopping Target from offering a $150 Target gift card if you buy either phone at any of its physical locations.There is some fine print to look at.These are the Verizon versions of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which come with locked bootloaders.Normal people will likely not care about that, but those who like to load custom ROMs and firmware might want to look elsewhere.We also do not know if it matters if you buy the phone outright or now.The deal implies that all you need to do is to activate either Pixel smartphone on Verizon, though these type of deals are only valid if people buy the phones with monthly payments.
U.S. advertisers are forecasted to increase their spend on addressable TV by 35 percent between ahead of 2019 with the total amount of spend tipped to surpass $3 billion, according to eMarketer estimates.Ad-tech companies and media owners are now attempting to capitalize on latent demand with U.S. media giant and publicly-listed measurement outfit this week unveiling their latest wares in the sector.Meanwhile, regulators in Europe are beginning to doubling-down on privacy post GDPR—this time, with Twitter in the crosshairs.LiveRamp unveils Data Plus Math offeringToday, LiveRamp and Data Plus Math inked a deal in which the pair will aim to provide advertisers and media owners with better measurement of their campaign executions carried out on addressable TV.The partnership will provide media traders with campaign performance insights through Data Plus Math’s MediaFX Platform—currently used by more than 12 of the largest U.S. media companies—and will be based on IdentityLink, LiveRamp’s audience identification offering.