Tom Skipper

Tom Skipper

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Following 16
US
p Pricing varies depending on the length of time that the geofilters will be available, as well as the size of the geofenceto make it easier for users to create on-demand geofilters from scratch.Users of the messaging application have been able to create on-demand geofilters since last February, via image editors such as Photoshop and Illustrator.Snapchat eased the process last August with its introduction of customizable templates and several other features.The new web tool contains preset categories—birthdays, weddings, prom, business, food and bars, love, celebrations and graduation—and users can access templates and modify their text, colors and graphics, includingPricing varies depending on the length of time that the geofilters will be available, as well as the size of the geofence (minimum of 20,000 square feet).
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p Robotics startup Krund receives USD 8.7 million for Series A /p p Krund /p p Founder: Wang Yunzhi /p p Founded in: 2015 /p p Financing status: RMB 60 million (USD 14.5 million) Series A financing in 2017 /p p Robotics startup Krund on Thursday receives USD 8.7 million for its Series A financing round for the research and development of new robots./p p Krund is a robotics startup that mainly manufactures customized robots for various service industries including bank receptionist robots, shopping guide robots, kindergarten service robots, and so on./p p It builds a cloud computing platform as the “brain” of its robots, which combines with artificial intelligence technology, unlimited cloud computing capabilities, and machine learning algorithms.It can be used in different complicated scenarios for better human-computer interaction.The company is committed to provide smart city solutions with its robots./p p Founded in 2015 in Qingdao, this Series A financing round was led by ChinaEquity Group.
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p POLL The self-described “Veteran Unix Admin collective” that in 2014 promised to give the world a cut of Debian without systemd has delivered: Devuan 1.0.0 LTS hit the web today.The collective's objections to systemd were rooted in the belief that its inclusion in Debian created “a lock in systemd dependencies which is de-facto threatening freedom of development and has serious consequences for Debian, its upstream and its downstream.”So they forked it, initially suggesting they'd get the job done some time in 2015.A beta eventually emerged in April 2016, followed by a second beta in November 2016 and two release candidates in April and May of 2017.Today the Collective mailed its followers to announce that: “There have been no significant bug reports since Devuan Jessie RC2 was announced only three weeks ago and the list of release critical bugs is now empty.So finally Devuan Jessie Stable is ready for release!”
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It’s the kind of story that couldn’t happen in Western countries, where many people believe content should be free.In China, meanwhile, companies and individuals alike have managed to monetise smartphone apps, making money from news, entertainment and social media – by making people pay directly for it, instead of relying on advertisers.There’s Baidu with search, but beyond search-based advertising, most of the large internet companies in China actually grew or monetised by charging the consumer directly.”Recently [De Dao] opened a column by an economics professor from Peking university … He became the richest economics teacher in the worldDe Dao, just a year old, already has seven million users.It can curate content for you as well, and there’s even a portal to an e-commerce section that sells products such as books and high-end jewellery.
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p If you walk into a store, only to hear the latter half of an interesting song playing over the store’s speakers, you can identify what it is using the app Shazam.This same kind of functionality has now been been launched for cars, though not by the company behind Shazam.Called Blippar, this app can tell you the make and model of any car using a smartphone’s camera.That may sound a bit useless, since most cars have this information on the truck, but Blippar adds some extras into the mix.Blippar comes from the company by the same name, and it aims to make it easier for consumers to identify the cars that strike their fancy.The app supports all cars on the US market that were built after the year 2000, and it is said to have a 97.7-percent accuracy.
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The 33-year-old CEO and world's fifth richest man famously dropped out the university 12 years ago to create Facebook, which is now valued at $447 billion./p p During his 30-minute speech, Zuckerberg touched on a range of politically charged topics, including climate change, universal basic income, criminal justice reform, and even
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p Could this be the first hands on with a model of the iPhone 8 before it is launched?Watch the video and let us know./p p It is no secret that Chinese accessory makers tend to get a first look at phones and tablets way ahead of their launch.Back when before the iPad Mini launched we managed to get our hands on a dummy version of the tablet which turned out to be a genuine model of the little tablet, and we had a similar story with the iPhone 6./p p So we know that models of smartphones are available in China, but is that enough to confirm that this video shows the iPhone 8?/p p /p Join GizChina on Telegram p Apparently, the video below shows a dummy model of the iPhone 8 with a new camera layout on the rear, but featuring no Apple or iPhone branding.
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p Lenovo Group overcame a difficult period to post a healthy net profit in the 12 months through March, rebounding from a loss in the same period last year on the back of growth in personal computer sales and the disposal of certain assets.“The group faced difficult macro economic conditions resulting in challenging global markets at a time the group was executing its transformation strategy,” chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing said in the company’s US regulatory filing on Thursday.“A combination of increases in key component costs and supply constraints across the industries where the group operates also caused some impact on its performance, especially in the second half ofLenovo posted a net profit of US$535 million in its fiscal year ended March 31, up from a US$128 million loss the previous year.The loss reported in the previous fiscal year was mainly due to restructuring costs of US$596 million and one-time charges of US$327 million to clear and write off its smartphone inventories.Revenue was down 4 per cent to about US$43 billion, compared with US$44.9 billion a year ago, due to lingering weakness at Lenovo’s mobile and data centre businesses.
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p Umbrella rental startup Esan receives USD 1.4 million for its angel round /p p Esan /p p Founder: Zhao Shuping /p p Founded in: 2017 /p p Financing status: RMB 10 million (USD 1.4 million) angel financing round in 2017 /p p Umbrella rental startup Esan on Wednesday receives USD 1.4 million for its angel round to place more umbrellas in new cities./p p Esan is an umbrella rental startup that places umbrellas in cities for rent.Just like bike rentals, users can use its app to search for umbrellas nearby, and then scan the QR code located on the umbrella handle to rent it./p p Founded in 2017 in Shenzhen, it has so far placed more than 20,000 umbrellas for rent across Shenzhen, and has over 80,000 users.Esan requires a guarantee deposit of RMB 19 before users can rent its umbrellas, and charges RMB 0.50 per half-hour rental./p p In terms of profit, the company places advertisements on the inner sides of its umbrellas, and encourages users to take its umbrella home to share it with their family members.
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p Chinese tech giant Huawei is set to launch two new devices on May 26th, the Huawei Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus in the city of Changsha.Today, a Geekbench score of what’s most likely going to be the Huawei Nova 2 appeared online; let’s give it look!/p p /p p As we can see in the image above, the Huawei Nova 2 scored 921 points in single core and 3608 in multi-core benchmarks./p Join GizChina on Telegram p From past rumors we know that the Chinese Ministry of Industry registered four different devices named PIC-AL00, PIC-TL00, BAC-AL00 and BAC-TL00.And — according to rumors — the BAC-AL00 is the Huawei Nova 2 in the “All-Networks” Edition and thus supposed to work on 4G networks everywhere in the world./p p From the Geekbench screenshot we also see that the Nova 2 is equipped with an 8-core processor clocked at 1.71Ghz, 4GB of RAM and runs Android 7.0 Nougat.
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p VR learning platform Growlib receives undisclosed pre-Series A in millions of USD /p p Growlib /p p Founder: Zhang Kun /p p Founded in: 2016 /p p Financing status: Pre-Series A amounting to tens of millions in RMB (a few million USD) in 2017 /p p VR learning platform Growlib on Tuesday received an undisclosed pre-Series A financing round in millions of USD to create more VR learning content./p p Growlib is a VR learning platform that produces customized learning solutions for students and teachers under various courses.Students can use its VR equipment to experience real-life situations based on the curriculum.One such situation is taking a look at the underwater world through VR equipment while students learn about it.This learning method can help students master the knowledge better as well as increase students’ learning interest./p p Founded in 2016 in Beijing, Growlib has so far reached partnerships with some well-known hardware manufacturers, schools, museums and other institutions to sell its VR learning material.
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p Chaos Computer Club's "Starbug" has taken a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8's iris-scanning authentication feature and found you can beat it with a photograph.The tools the group used aren't even remotely sophisticated: a camera in night mode, a contact lens, and a printer.To fool the sensor, supplied to Samsung by Princeton Identity, the “attacker” took a photo of the subject from a few metres' distance, printed it out, and dropped the contact lens over the iris to imitate the curvature of an eye (note: the CCC video doesn't mention this, but you'd have to get the printout aspect right, so as to make the iris the same size as the contact lens).When that image was presented to the camera, it unlocked, right on cue.As CCC spokesperson Dirk Engling says in the group's announcement, the integration between authentication and Samsung Pay means someone who can trick your phone can also spend your money.Night mode (that is, infrared filter switched off) is important, because with infrared in the image, “the fine, normally hard to distinguish details of the iris of dark eyes are well recognisable.”
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p More Charts   /p p Smartphones sales are cooling, tablets are sinking, and PCs are stagnant — but demand for drones just keeps on growing.As this chart from Statista shows, consumer drone sales in the US have increased sharply over the past few years, and are expected to keep growing.The Consumer Technology Association projects drone sales will cross the $1 billion mark in 2017, while Gartner expects global personal drone sales to grow from $1.7 billion to $2.36 billion in 2017./p p The gains last year are impressive in light of FAA regulations that required users to register their drones with the government.Last week, though, an appeals court struck down that rule, easing up the buying process again./p p One story to watch here is whether anyone can challenge DJI, the Chinese firm that is towering over the rest of the consumer drone market, across price ranges, off the back of increasingly impressive devices.
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Pinterest is not a social network; it’s “an app people use to design their lives.”Co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp have been making that point for some time, but the company once mentioned alongside Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat has yet to truly begin the second phase of its life as a business that helps people bridge the gap between online searches and real-life experiences.As a spokesperson put it, “We like to say, ‘Be yourself, not your selfie.On that note, Pinterest is making its first move into U.S. paid marketing, hiring the independent Giant Spoon as its media agency of record.While the company regularly announces new offerings for advertisers, it has yet to directly promote itself, with the exception of .Pinterest chose Giant Spoon to help facilitate its move from compilation tool to one that involves less liking and more doing.
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p While the presidency of Donald Trump has been a boon for publications like the Wall Street Journal – the era of “fake news” has left some advertisers and publishers cooling towards Facebook and Google as a platform for brands, notes News Corp's new global technology chief Marc Frons.While Frons wants NewsCorp to learn from big tech platforms, and keep its brands publishing through social sites – the deal has to stack up.Frons was confirmed in the role of chief technology officer earlier this month after Paul Cheesbrough moved along to the same role at sister company 21st Century Fox.In a recent interview with BeetTV, he notes that NewsCorp is continuing to innovate and seek new challenges, particularly in areas of voice computing.Frons sees the shift continuing to move towards mobile but “voice computing has also come to the fore”."With Alexa, Echo, etc, people are asking for the news, the weather, directions, to shop and we see voice as one of the biggest growth areas.
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p Facebook continues to develop its Facebook Live streaming service with the announcement of two new features designed to make streaming alongside friends easier — be you audience or host.The first of the additions Facebook Live is working on is the ability to chat with friends alongside a stream, which it calls, "Live Chat With Friends."Instead of having your comments lost in a sea of randos shouting over each other on the same stream, Live Chat With Friends lets you invite folks to a private conversation thread so you can gab about the same live video in peace.The second feature is called "Live With," which allows you to drop a line to a friend the next time you go online with your own Facebook Live airing.During a stream, you can invite a guest from among your viewers to join in via a picture-in-picture or side-by-side video feed, depending on your device's camera orientation.Not only does this make a conversation between two individuals easier on Facebook Live, but we can see "calling in" viewers being a useful addition for hosting seminars, special guest appearances, or events that require audience participation.
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p Huawei launched earlier today the successor to last year’s A1 Band, that goes under the name Honor A2 Smartband and it’s surely an upgraded model with a lot of potential./p p /p Join GizChina on Telegram p Unlike the first model that lacks a display, this new one comes with a 0,96 inch OLED display with impressive luminosity, and offers a vast selection of features such as a continuous heart monitor, a calorie counter, a pedometer that counts your steps and that can even tell when you are cycling or just running etc./p p As most fitness trackers, it packs a sedentary reminder, a sleep monitor and can also provide the standard notification alerts.There is also a find-my-phone feature for those moments when you can’t remember where you dropped your device./p p The Honor A2 smartband is compatible with Android 4.4/iOS 8.0 and up devices, it connects with our phones via Bluetooth 4.2 technology, offers IP67 certification and  packs a 95mAh battery that should offer up to 9-days of battery life./p p It will be available in various colors (black, red, white, yellow) and it will go for sale on Vmall June 9 with a price tag of 30$.
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p Competition between Amazon, Netflix and Sky is hotting up with the former signing deals with TV networks Discovery, ITV and Hayu to offer live TV and sports on its video platform for the first time in Europe.For the launch of Amazon Channels, the streaming service will add more than 40 TV channels in the UK, offering Prime subscribers a mix of live and on-demand content.As part of its deal with Discovery Networks, Amazon will live stream premium sports content via Discovery-owned Eurosport, beginning with the French Open, the Grand Slam tennis tournament, and Olympic coverage next year.Other channels include NBC Universal’s reality TV service Hayu, which has shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and The Real Housewives franchise, and Amazon’s own Bollywood channel Heera.The channels will be on offer to Amazon Prime customers for an additional cost per channel.It’s a different model than those adopted by pay-TV providers such as Sky, which offer bundle deals for multiple channels.
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p As the internet becomes more widespread in Cuba, online start-ups are emerging.But the problems many of the companies hope to address are also a reminder of how far the island has to go.Bernardo Romero Gonzalez, a 33-year-old software engineer from Cuba, launched his new business this month: a website where people can order island-made products such as soap, bouquets of flowers and cakes for home delivery."It's like Amazon for Cuba, but with a difference," he told an audience of New York techies at a conference this month.The rise is also fuelling activity among local entrepreneurs, who are launching domestic versions of sites such as the crowd-review business directory Yelp.At this month's TechCrunch conference in New York, Mr Gonzalez shared a stage with Kewelta, a firm focusing on advertising within decentralised online and offline networks, and Knales, which provides updates on weather, news and other events via text messages and phone calls.
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p The US Supreme Court handed down a ruling Monday that's going to make life much harder for so-called "patent trolls" and will have significant implications for patent-rich Silicon Valley companies.In a unanimous decision in the case TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group Brands, the high court overturned a longstanding precedent that gave plaintiffs in patent cases latitude over where they filed their cases.Now patent suits can only be filed in courts located in the jurisdiction where the defendant company is incorporated.Patent assertion entities, more commonly known as patent trolls, get nearly all their revenue from buying patent licenses and then suing other companies for infringement and damages.More times than not, they file their suits in the Eastern District of Texas.In fact, more than 40 percent of all patent lawsuits in the US are filed in the Texas district, known for large awards to patent plaintiffs.
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