Danny Martinez

Danny Martinez

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China
Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures (GGV) is expanding its regional footprint with the opening of its new office in Malaysia.Kuala Lumpur is the VC firm’s third location in Southeast Asia.The firm said the move will solidify its “on-the-ground presence” in Malaysia, where it already has several tech companies in its portfolio.These include airline ecommerce and customer relations platform GoQuo and home repair and maintenance marketplace ServisHero.GGV also said it’s planning to invest US$18 million from its US$60 million Fund II in Malaysia-based startups.It is looking at consumer-focused and internet-related startups, particularly companies in insurance, education, medical tech, ecommerce, and business-to-business software.
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4K TVs are everywhere – and they're getting bigger.From being a cutting-edge new tech a few years ago, 4K TVs are now the mainstream, accounting for nearly 50% of all TVs shipped worldwide.In fact, unless you have an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, have a Premium subscription on Netflix, and/or have 4K TV channels coming into your TV via a 4K set-top box, having a 4K TV makes zero difference to the quality of what you're watching.Although we're now firmly in the 4K TV era, we're certainly not all watching 4K content, and full HD image on a 4K panel won't look better, just bigger, without some clever upscaling."If you've got a full HD picture coming into the TV and if you didn't upscale it, it would take up just a quarter of the screen," says Gavin McCarron, Technical Marketing & Product Planning Manager at Sony Europe."It would be then surrounded by an empty screen.
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The business of developing self-driving cars is booming, and if you want proof of that, look no further than Cruise Automation's Thursday announcement that it has appointed GM President Dan Ammann as its new CEO.Company founder Kyle Vogt will work alongside Ammann as Cruise's chief technology officer and president beginning on Jan. 1, 2019.Dan Ammann led the charge in General Motors' acquisition of Cruise back in 2016 and was the company's lead point of contact at GM.Since his appointment to president at GM, Ammann has been in charge of GM Financial and was instrumental in the sale of Opel to the PSA Group."These appointments further demonstrate our commitment to transforming mobility through the safe deployment of self-driving technology and move us closer to our vision for a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion," said Mary Barra, GM chairperson and CEO."As we move toward commercial deployment, adding Dan to the strong team led by Kyle is the next step."
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Around this time last year, YouTube introduced its own Instagram-like Stories, a new feature that enables users to share short mobile-only videos.The Stories feature was introduced in beta and only made available to select users at the time, but now YouTube is expanding it to all creators who have at least 10,000 subscribers.YouTube originally introduced its feature under the name Reels, later changing it to YouTube Stories.This past summer, the company promised to expand Stories’ availability to more creators, and now that time has arrived.Starting today, any YouTube creator with at least 10k subs can publish their own Stories.It’s easy to see where YouTube’s inspiration for Stories may have come from — it is similar to Snapchat’s, Instagram’s, and Facebook’s own Stories feature.
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The CEO of AriseBank, a Texas-based upstart that billed itself as the world’s “first decentralized banking platform,” has been arrested by the FBI and charged with securities and wire fraud.Last summer, Jared Rice, Sr claimed his newly found biz would provide everyday bank accounts to customers to store their cryptocurrencies.He set up a flashy website and promoted it heavily on social media, according to a now-unsealed indictment [PDF] filed this month in a Dallas court.He even scored a celebrity endorsement from the partially eared three-time world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, although why you'd trust the perspicacity of someone who used to get punched in the head for a living escapes us.— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) January 8, 2018Rice, 30, first claimed to have raised $300m from AriseBank's coin offering, then upped that figure to $600m, and later promised this could be the first billion-dollar crypto-dosh offering.
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Amazon wrongly IDed 28 members of Congress, and they’re not happy about itSeven members of the House of Representatives and one United States senator have now sent a second letter to Amazon's CEO, asking for more clarification about the company's use of facial-recognition technology.Although two House members in the group sent a similar letter to CEO Jeff Bezos back in July, the larger group now says that Amazon "failed to provide sufficient answers" about its commercial facial-recognition program, known as Rekognition.Prior to the July letter, the American Civil Liberties Union used the service in a demonstration of its inadequacy—the service falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots.The new letter, issued on Thursday, was signed by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), among others.
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NASA has plans to go back to the moon to stay, but it has no intention of going it alone.At a press conference Thursday, the space agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, introduced nine private companies that have been chosen to help send small science payloads to the moon in the coming years.NASA regularly awards contracts to private companies for work on its various missions.But the newly announced contracts for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program came with a ceremony and extra fanfare given the newly energized push to return to the moon with help from private companies under the Trump administration.The exact moon missions and payloads that the private companies will be assisting with isn't yet clear.Rather, NASA says the nine US companies will be eligible to bid delivery services for getting science payloads to the moon.
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A simple sheet of graphene has noteworthy properties due to a quantum phenomenon in its electron structure named Dirac cones in honor of British theoretical physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984), who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933.The system becomes even more interesting if it comprises two superimposed graphene sheets, and one is very slightly turned in its own plane so that the holes in the two carbon lattices no longer completely coincide.For specific angles of twist, the bilayer graphene system displays exotic properties such as superconductivity (zero resistance to electrical current flow).A new study conducted by Brazilian physicist Aline Ramires with Jose Lado, a Spanish-born researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), shows that the application of an electrical field to such a system produces an effect identical to that of an extremely intense magnetic field applied to two aligned graphene sheets.An article on the study has recently been published in Physical Review Letters and was selected to feature on the issue's cover.It can also be downloaded from the arXiv platform.
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Sennheiser's HeadSetup headphone software for PC and Macs contains a vulnerability that could allow hackers to show users up fake websites that look perfectly legitimate.Sennheiser has issued an update which every HeadSetup user, past or present, should download and install now.Sennheiser also offers alternative steps to remove the vulnerability for PC and Mac, linked below.Sennheiser headphones are high-end, costing in the hundreds of dollars.If you currently use —or have ever used — Sennheiser's HeadSetup software, which is designed to complement some of the company's headphones on a PC or Mac, you may be vulnerable to hackers, according to a report from the Secorvo Security Consulting firm.The report was first spotted by Ars Technica.
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If it feels like there's more YouTube videos about franchises like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite than there is around Mario Party, The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, it probably has something to do with the Creators Program, a policy instituted by Nintendo that squirreled away up to 40% of a YouTube video’s ad revenue after YouTube had taken a cut.It's an antiquated program that streamers hate and one that ultimately limited the amount of Nintendo-focused videos on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and other streaming and video hosting sites.But, thankfully, according to Nintendo, that program is coming to an end.By the end of December, Nintendo will no longer force content creators to register with them and will be free to post Nintendo-based content to YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, NicoNico Live or Twitter without it being taken down.Nintendo says it will still have some guidelines as to what is acceptable content – users can’t just dump hours of gameplay online without commentary, for example – but the new policy will be much closer to that of Sony and Microsoft’s.Now you're playing with power
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MADISON - A new, low-cost wound dressing developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers could dramatically speed up healing in a surprising way.The method leverages energy generated from a patient's own body motions to apply gentle electrical pulses at the site of an injury.In rodent tests, the dressings reduced healing times to a mere three days compared to nearly two weeks for the normal healing process.Researchers have known for several decades that electricity can be beneficial for skin healing, but most electrotherapy units in use today require bulky electrical equipment and complicated wiring to deliver powerful jolts of electricity."Acute and chronic wounds represent a substantial burden in healthcare worldwide," says collaborator Angela Gibson, professor of surgery at UW-Madison and a burn surgeon and director of wound healing services at UW Health.In contrast with existing methods, the new dressing is much more straightforward.
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The events of last year's Blade Runner 2049 hinted at more stories to come in the series' universe, and sure enough, a follow-up project has been announced.But Blade Runner: Black Lotus isn't a vehicle for the continued tales of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.Instead, it will take viewers back in time—and back to anime.Black Lotus, announced on Thursday, will launch as a 13-episode prequel anime series as a first-of-its-kind partnership between two Western anime-distribution titans: Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.No release date has been announced, but work begins with some pretty nimble hands on the deck.Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama will direct all episodes, having done that kind of work with seminal mid-'00s series Appleseed and Ghost In The Shell: Stand-Alone Complex, respectively.
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Debuting this weekend, Nightflyers is SYFY's adaptation of Martin's 1980 Hugo-nominated novella.Set in the year 2093, this sci-fi/horror genre-buster is as far removed from the medieval-like world of Westeros as you can get.Nightflyers tells the story of a scientific expedition at the fringes of the known universe, with the aim of studying a mysterious alien race known as the volcryn.Their spaceship, the Nightflyer, is sufficiently advanced to require only one human operator—Captain Royd Eris, who communicates only through voice or hologram projections.Showrunner Jeff Buhler decided to just give the game away in the pilot episode's cold open, where we see Agatha (Gretchen Mol) fleeing from a murderous fellow scientist.She has just enough time to relay a message to her superiors not to send anyone to rescue the Nightflyer before taking her own life with a saw blade.
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Believe it or not, Gen Z is entering its prime working years.But while millennials and Gen Z can agree that streaming video is the way to go, the latter group is more interested in bite-sized visual media like YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram than their older peers.Surprisingly, however, Gen Z seems to consider visual media the main fare and social interaction the side dish.Once Gen Z decides to make a purchase, many head into brick-and-mortar stores, where they’re more likely than any other generation to share their shopping experiences on Snapchat.But unlike the star-struck millennials, 63 percent of Gen Z wants to hear from peers and everyday folks, not celebrities.Although every influencer relationship must make sense with the brand, some of Gen Z’s “Insta faves” include amateur comedian Liza Koshy, dilettante-turned-actual-musician Alex Aiono and Nickelodeon star Cree Cicchino.
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We’ve spoken about this before, but our bugbear has been renewed at The Great Telco Debate; telcos have too narrow a view on artificial intelligence (AI).In years gone we’ve seen the likes of digital transformation and virtualization become so over used they becomes tedious to discuss, but the scale, breadth and depth of AI mean each time it is mentioned it is almost an entirely new conversation.Now there is nothing wrong with trying to create a lean, mean, analytical machine, all the best companies do it, but with such a narrow focus on a single area of the AI bonanza, you have to question what the long-term consequence will be.A couple of weeks back we had the chance to attend the Telco Data Analytics and AI conference in London where Tractia Research Director Aditya Kaul suggested roughly 60% of all AI R investments at the telcos was heading towards network optimisation.That is certainly the case for Google’s Mike Blanche.Network optimisation is clearly an obvious contender for AI research funds, as the network swallows up such a considerable amount of CAPEX and OPEX, but there is low hanging fruit which can have a more immediate (and positive) impact on the business.
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Mass layoffs were announced to Mic staffers this morning at an all-hands-on-deck meeting Thursday morning.Sources told Adweek on Wednesday that Mic was in talks to be sold and that the digital news organization might find new owners in Bustle Digital Group or its founder, Bryan Goldberg.Details of the hypothetical deal are not yet known, but the organization can offer up its custom CMS and archives.It’s also not yet clear what might otherwise happen to the nearly seven-year-old company or to its New York-based headquarters at One World Trade Center.Many requests for comment to multiple Mic executives—including to CEO and co-founder Chris Altchek, co-founder and editor-at-large Jake Horowitz and publisher Cory Haik—have gone unanswered.Mic’s spokesperson, Caitlyn Carpanzano Durcan, confirmed the layoffs and offered no additional comment.
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US mobile chip giant Qualcomm has created a $100 million investment fund to support artificial intelligence (AI) startups in an effort to put mass-market devices, rather than the cloud, at the heart of AI activity.The Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund will “focus on startups that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms,” the company announced.“As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge,” said Steve Mollenkopf, the CEO of Qualcomm, in a company statement about the new investment fund, which was unveiled at Qualcomm Ventures’ 5G & AI Summit in San Francisco.“Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R, fuelling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences.”Qualcomm has already picked one lucky recipient of its largesse: Qualcomm Ventures has participated in a Series A funding round for AnyVision, a “face, body, and object recognition start-up”, though there are no details about how many greenbacks the chip giant deposited in AnyVision’s bank account.That $28 million funding round was announced in July this year: It was led by German multinational Bosch, but no other investors were named at the time.
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New research has found the US will be dominated by China in the gigabit broadband race, even falling slightly behind Europe.A report from Rethink Technology predicts 57 percent of gigabit connections by 2023 will be in China, or 68 percent when accounting for Asia as a whole.Europe will take second place with 18 percent.North America will take an 11 percent share, while Latin America will fall behind with just three percent.Over 42% of Chinese homes will have access to 1Gbps services thanks to “a series of massive build-outs led by China Mobile”.That’s an impressive number considering China’s ~1.4 billion population which pales in comparison to North America’s ~364 million.
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Malware will become far more sophisticated in 2019, with cybercriminals using AI to drive attacks, according to McAfee’s latest threat predictions for the coming year, which also underline the dangers likely to be posed to the smart home.McAfee believes that new strains of malware will be equipped with increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques.The security firm notes that the WaterMiner malware is capable of stopping its mining process whenever the victim runs an antivirus scan, or indeed opens up the Task Manager to try and see if any running processes are consuming a lot of CPU usage – effectively hiding itself.And not only will cybercriminals be better able to deal with AI-powered anti-malware measures, but they will begin to employ AI themselves.McAfee notes: “We expect evasion techniques to begin leveraging artificial intelligence to automate target selection, or to check infected environments before deploying later stages and avoiding detection.”Malware using AI to such ends will soon be found in the wild, according to the security company.
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It's also flexible, transparent and conducts heat and electricity 10 times better than copper.After graphene research won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 it was hailed as a transformative material for flexible electronics, more powerful computer chips and solar panels, water filters and bio-sensors.But performance has been mixed and industry adoption slow.Now a study published in Nature Communications identifies silicon contamination as the root cause of disappointing results and details how to produce higher performing, pure graphene.The RMIT University team led by Dr Dorna Esrafilzadeh and Dr Rouhollah Ali Jalili inspected commercially-available graphene samples, atom by atom, with a state-of-art scanning transition electron microscope."We found high levels of silicon contamination in commercially available graphene, with massive impacts on the material's performance," Esrafilzadeh said.
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