Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco who worked closely with leaders in the city’s tech industry, has died after a heart attack aged 65.A statement issued by his office confirmed his passing after multiple media outlets report the news (via CBS).Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.Board of Supervisors President London Breed is taking over the role, effective immediately, on an acting basis, as set out by the City Charter.Lee had been in office since 2011, first taking over the mayor role in the middle of Gavin Newsom’s tenure, when Newsom left to take on a new position as the Lieutenant Governor of California.Lee was then re-elected to the role in 2015.
Tony Cullingham’s Watford Advertising Course has run almost entirely unchanged in curriculum since 1989, periodically destroying the confidence of young graduates who think they have talent only to build them up again into substantive, employable creatives.Watford’s list of alumni reads like an illustrious who’s who of the industry; past students include Grey’s Caroline Pay, Mr President’s Jon Gledstone, Lucky Generals’ Danny Brooke-Taylor, CHI’ Yan Elliott, 18 Feet & Rising’s Anna Carpen and Saatchi & Saatchi’s Rob Potts.Roughly 15 students are taken on each year after completing a seemingly bizarre test, which, Pay remembers, reduced her to tears with questions such as ‘What does the future hold for jelly?’ and ‘Why should you never underestimate a handsome bear?’ They undertake five months of rigorous training before being let loose on placements in the agencies of London, in order to develop and showcase their skills at the heart of the job market.Inspiration never comes from a blank sheet of paper.”This dedication to analogue borders the religious, and as time goes by and the course’s curriculum remains essentially unaffected by the course of time, it’s difficult to marry the digital workplaces most students will enter into with an education delivered on Post-It Notes and reams of A4.“It takes us about a year to plan a course, test the market for a course and sort out the content, and it takes a second year to market that course and make sure that we have the appropriate people teaching the course,” he said, when giving oral evidence to Parliament’s Select Committee on Communications.
Ever since the Chinese Government banned Facebook in 2009, Mark Zuckerberg has been making annual trips there attempting to persuade its leaders to let his company back in.He learned Mandarin and jogged through the smog-filled streets of Beijing to show how much he loved the country.Facebook even created new tools to allow China to do something that goes against Facebook’s founding principles — censor content.They saw no advantages in letting a foreign company dominate their technology industry.China also blocked Google, Twitter, and Netflix and raised enough obstacles to force Uber out.Chinese technology companies are now amongst the most valuable — and innovative — in the world.
AI is one of the new big things in the tech industry, with an immense amount of hype surrounding the concept of machine learning and utilising it for the greater good of mankind.And then there are the people using AI to make more convincing fake celebrity porn - using AI to stitch celebrity faces into porn videos with greater accuracy than ever before.The tool was developed by Reddit user deepfakes, using publicly accessible tools and a face swap algorithm that he developed himself.While the final result isn't perfect, the tool can pull images from YouTube clips and Google and use AI to create a somewhat convincing video of a particular celebrity.It doesn't have to be a celebrity either.It could be a random person you saw on social media or someone you know.
Nichole Williams needed a career reboot.She knew she needed to expand her programming skills to stay relevant in the field, so she signed up for Thinkful, an online-education startup that pairs students with one-on-one mentors who work with them over video-chat connections to help them learn to code.On Thursday, the FCC will vote on a plan to throw out rules against blocking or discriminating against lawful content.Republicans outnumber Democrats 3 to 2 on the commission, so barring a last-minute change of heart, the plan will likely pass.Net neutrality advocates have long worried that without strong protections, broadband providers would divide content into so-called "fast lanes" and "slow lanes," and charge either consumers or content providers extra fees to break out of the slow lanes.The broadband industry downplays the possibility of fast lanes.
The Netherlands-based blockchain project GUTS, which is currently executing an ICO, released the news is has brought on one of the world’s most prominent live music booking agents as an advisor.Chris Payne, agent at International Talent Booking which represents acts like Pearl Jam, Guns ‘n Roses and Bob Dylan, has joined in an advisory capacity.Payne said that he has long seen the problems of the ticketing business, and is enthused to be involved in solving them.It is GUTS’ mission to make the ticketing industry less susceptible to rip-off resellers and scammers.Add to this the ease of copying tickets to rip off unwitting punters and you have a problem that leaves many fans with a bad taste in their mouth.But with blockchain technology, financial transactions and digital goods can be linked and managed in a way that prevents fraud.
A matchmaking campaign to partner senior creatives with juniors across the UK has begun for a second year, supported by One Minute Briefs.The MerryCritmas campaign, which began in 2016, has begun to seek senior creatives from across the advertising sector and has been revived alongside a new parody movie.Developed by Manchester creative content agency Trunk, the movie will aim to build direct relationships between senior creative figures and those trying to start out in the industry.Set in Manchester, the trailer-style film follows the journey of a creative team as they proudly finish their portfolio and go off in search of book ‘crits’.However, in a cruel twist of fate, their portfolio is scattered across the cobbles of Ancoats.And, it’s here where they come face-to-face with ‘Father Critmas’.
Immersive human experiences are no longer just hype.If you can believe it, it was back in June 2014 that a VR headset took centre stage for the first time; we’re talking about the Oculus Rift in this case.Yet something big is happening in our virtual worlds.Gartner’s Hype Curve of Emerging Technologies in 2017 flagged virtual reality as well on the way up ‘The Slope of Enlightenment’ and while augmented reality was right at the bottom of the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ history shows that even six months on, it’s likely AR will be climbing out the other side.Although VR and AR capable devices are still relatively few and far between, there are moves to integrate location aware, augmented reality capabilities into consumer handsets.The growth of headsets linked either to phones or consoles is helping boost VR take up.
Diversity is a major topic of conversation in tech, but so far, that conversation hasn’t significantly improved representation of women and minorities in the industry.In a recent survey conducted by First Round Capital, nearly 68 percent of founders across the country believe that the tech industry will not become representative of the general population in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity for at least 10 years, if not more than 20 years.Among the reasons the founders gave were a lack of women and minorities going into tech, unconscious bias, poor college recruiting into STEM, and lack of industry mentors or role models.By my count, there are 16 organizations in the state that focus on promoting gender diversity in tech, 12 that focus on promoting ethnic and racial diversity, and 6 that make it their goal to promote both.For Julia Kanouse, CEO of the Illinois Technology Association, promoting gender diversity across Illinois technology companies became one of her first initiatives after she took over leadership of the organization earlier this year.“Through the work we are doing, we are moving more women into the C-Suite and Board, providing them stronger equity positions,” said Kanouse.
A steady cadence of major game releases and a simple concept helped make the Switch such a success.After a major misstep with its Wii U console, Nintendo is making up for past mistakes with a massively popular game console: the Switch.For comparison: It took nearly two and a half years for the Wii U to reach the 10-million mark.It's a major return to form for Nintendo, a company that has traditionally held a leadership position in the game industry."The response from fans has been great, and we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season," Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé said in a press release announcing the sales milestone.Up until fairly recently, it was difficult to walk into a store and find one available for purchase.
DeepFrame is a next-gen MR technology that seamlessly blends physical reality and digital holograms – glasses not requiredRealfiction, a global innovator in mixed-reality solutions, will introduce the latest breakthrough in MR, DeepFrame, to North American audiences during CES 2018.The world’s largest mixed-reality display, DeepFrame enables photorealistic images and videos to be viewed through a glass window in 4K resolution — without requiring spectators to use any special eyewear.The patent-pending technology makes it possible – for the first time ever – to integrate digital holograms directly into everyday settings and vistas; allowing a group of people to share the same MR experience simultaneously.In recognition of its leading-edge product design and engineering, DeepFrame was recently named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree as well as a finalist in the display technology category at the upcoming InAVation Awards.For more information about DeepFrame, visit: www.realfiction.com.
Simility, which develops a fraud detection platform that uses machine learning, has announced a $17.5 million round of funding led by Accel, with participation from new strategic investor PayPal.Existing investors The Valley Fund and Trinity Ventures also contributed.Founded in 2014, Palo Alto-based Simility is one of a number of companies using machine learning to help those working in the fraud detection realm collect and analyze data.Simility’s software is aimed at companies of all sizes, from enterprises to SMBs, and is designed to prevent various kinds of fraud.This includes account takeover (ATO) fraud, whereby someone tries to gain access to another person’s online account.Here, Simility looks at various session, device, and behavioral biometrics and builds a profile for what constitutes “normal” user login behavior.
The funding was led by new backers Fireside Venture, Mumbai Angels, Singapore Angel Network and undisclosed existing investors.It aims to speed up the time it takes tea to go from being picked to being served in a customer’s home.To do that, it sources leaves direct from plantations after which 95 percent is vacuum packed and prepared to be shipped direct to customers.Tea is sold from the company’s website and through a partnership with Amazon, the U.S. e-commerce giant that has vast ambitions in India.The startup look part in Amazon’s India-based Launchpad program and it has a page on Amazon’s U.S. site.Bala Sarda, the 25-year old CEO of Vahdam who comes from a tea industry family, said its tea typically takes 3-4 days from pick to land in major U.S. cities like New York, which constitute the majority of customers.
When Adobe decided to retire its Flash software, it was a big moment for FlowPlay.Fortunately, the Seattle maker of social games had anticipated the demise of Flash, which is scheduled to end in 2020.The effort took two years and the transition of 1.4 million lines of code to convert the Flash-based code base to Haxe.After years of speculation, Adobe officially announced in July that it will no longer support Flash technology by the end of 2020.Once considered the foremost development solution for the casual games industry, Flash has fallen out of favor in recent years, particularly as mobile use has grown.As new platforms launch, development technologies evolve, and the rapid shift to mobile continues, FlowPlay’s approach to relaunching Vegas World provides a case study for other Flash developers looking for a long-term, cross-platform solution to ensure the future viability of their games.
While human-made devices inspired by gecko feet have emerged in recent years, enabling their wearers to slowly scale a glass wall, the possible applications of gecko-adhesion technology go far beyond Spiderman-esque antics.A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher is looking into how the technology could be applied in a high-precision industrial setting, such as in robot arms used in manufacturing computer chips."There are numerous ways that gecko adhesion could be used in an industrial setting, especially in handling delicate materials like the silicon wafers used in manufacturing computer processors," said Michael Varenberg, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.But before robot arms and other devices can implement gecko adhesion technology, researchers need more information about the mechanical and physical characteristics of the human-made adhesive surfaces.In a study published Dec. 13 in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Varenberg looked at a particular type of gecko-inspired adhesive surface and narrowed down a range of angles at which the material will attach stronger and release its grip easier.For that process to be replicated in a factory using man-made adhesive technology, researchers must determine the precise angles at which to apply a load to get or release the grip between the robotic arm and the silicon wafer.
Real estate heavyweights clearly don’t want to be left in the dust by tech startups that see opportunities to do things more efficiently, more transparently, and more affordably than has previously been possible in the long clubby, expensive, and opaque world of real estate.Just one indicator is their sudden interest in venture capital.Indeed, a six-year-old, Beverly Hills, Ca.-based early-stage firm called Navitas Capital that focuses largely on real estate tech, including intelligent building design, just sealed up a $60 million fund from investors that include the real-estate investment firm Divco West Real Estate Services; the commercial real estate services company JLL; and Saint-Gobain, a French multinational corporation that designs, manufactures and distributes construction materials.A fourth limited partner — Equity Residential, a publicly traded company that owns apartment properties — is also an investor in Fifth Wall Ventures, another young, real-estate-focused, L.A.-based venture outfit.Fifth Wall had closed on $212 million in commitments from real estate industry giants back in May.For Navitas, the fund is triple the size of its debut effort, which closed with $20 million in 2011.
President Trump has called on NASA to focus its attention on returning humans to the Moon and landing on Mars.Trump on Monday signed off on Space Policy Directive 1, an order that the American space agency prioritize the establishment of a base on the Moon and eventual plans to land people on Mars.The directive also looks to engage private space companies and "partners around the world" in the effort."NASA looks forward to supporting the president’s directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond,” NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said of the directive.“This work represents a national effort on many fronts, with America leading the way.We will engage the best and brightest across government and private industry and our partners across the world to reach new milestones in human achievement."
A lot of the tech industry is not happy.A group of activists and websites including Imgur, Mozilla, Pinterest, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, BitTorrent and Pornhub are planning a campaign Tuesday to draw attention to an upcoming FCC vote that could radically reshape the way the internet works.As part of the effort, organizers at Fight for the Future say activists will change their relationship status on social media to "'Married" (to net neutrality).'"They might also add "Defending Net Neutrality" as a new job.Meanwhile, sites are expected to run high-profile ads and post notes to users encouraging them to lobby the FCC over the vote, which occurs on Dec. 14.Reddit has already added a list of US legislators who received money from the telecommunications industry to its front page.
Meiigoo, a relative newbie in the Chinese smartphone manufacturing industry released their first full display device S8 back in October.And the success of the phone encouraged them to launch yet another one, this time 5.99-inch 18:9 model Meiigoo Note8.Presales for this phone start today and we have for you an official unboxing and hands-on video.As we just mentioned above, the Meiigoo Note8 is a 5.99-inch phone with an 18:9 display aspect ratio, slim bezels, 3D curved glass on both sides and shiny mirror-like finish.It’s also certainly worth mentioning, that the phone also fetaures Face ID recognition system, so you can unlock it with a single look.But for the traditionalists the fingeprint scannner is still there too, so don’t worry.
Microsoft today launched a preview version of a new programming language for quantum computing called Q .The industry giant also launched a quantum simulator that developers can use to test and debug their quantum algorithms.The language and simulator were announced in September.The then-unnamed language was intended to bring traditional programming concepts—functions, variables, and branches, along with a syntax-highlighted development environment complete with quantum debugger—to quantum computing, a field that has hitherto built algorithms from wiring up logic gates.Microsoft's hope is that this selection of tools, along with the training material and documentation, will open up quantum computing to more than just physicists.Given that quantum computers are still rare, Microsoft has built an as-yet-unnamed quantum simulator to run those quantum programs.