Private rhino horn owner John Hume, held South Africa’s first online rhino horn auction during 2017, a major event in the ongoing fight by private rhino owners to be able to sell legal horn stocks.However, in a statement released on Hume’s behalf it was admitted that there were very few bidders for the 264 horns.The auctions result is a setback to achieve a legal, commercial trade in horn to replace poached horn in supplying demand in the main markets.Hume’s official statement tried to put a brave face on it, saying he had triumphed and that a legal and sustainable supply has been established.The auction website had been translated into Vietnamese and Chinese in a bid to attract more bidders.Vietnam and China are the main markets for rhino horn – supplied currently by the huge level of poaching of rhinos in South and southern Africa.
OPPO – the Chinese smartphone manufacturer – has a history of trying to straight-up murder the notch.Its Find X device introduced a slide system, but, with the brand new Reno, it has something different in mind: the pizza-slice selfie camera.We attended the phone’s launch in Zurich and were able to get our hands on the Reno for a day or so.The latter phone is the one we got our hands on, so it’s going to be our focus.No matter how decent they are, the shots didn’t blow me away.Still, speaking to OPPO, there’s going to be a raft of software updates before the Reno goes live.
It’s only been three months since I published our first round of Digital 2019 reports here on TNW, but our new Q2 Global Digital Statshot – produced in partnership with We Are Social and Hootsuite – shows that the connected world has already changed considerably during that time.As usual, let’s kick things off with a look at this quarter’s headline numbers:Global internet users grew by 8.6 percent over the past 12 months, with 350 million new users contributing to an overall total of 4.437 billion by the start of April 2019.It’s also important to highlight that some changes in this quarter’s datasets mean that various figures in this report are not directly comparable to those we published in previous reports.However, the good news is that these changes have actually revealed some new insights of their own, so let’s dive into the data to find out what they are…Internet use in April 2019
Instagram added a quiz sticker to Stories this week, allowing users to ask their viewers quiz questions.Our guide will show you how this sticker works.Note: These screenshots were captured in the Instagram application on iOS.Step 1: Once you’ve taken or imported a photo or video into Stories, tap the Sticker icon near the top-right corner of the screen.Note: If you want to see question suggestions, tap the dice icon under the quiz sticker.Each time you tap the dice, Instagram will fill in the question area with a different question or prompt, such as, “What would I name a pet turtle?” and “Guess my favorite ice cream.”
A teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Fold indicates that its main display is fragile, according to iFixit.The website notes that the device's hinge lacks "ingress protection," which could make it possible for dust and debris to get lodged between the hinge and screen.Samsung's much-anticipated foldable phone has been delayed following reports that the screen on some review units broke after just two days of use.Now, a new teardown from iFixit provides a closer look at the Galaxy Fold's durability — or lack thereof."The lack of protection and fragility of the main display mean you'll almost certainly be replacing the screen before long — a pricey repair," writes iFixit, a website that frequently tears apart new electronics to provide a detailed view of their components.Read more: Samsung's wildly ambitious $2,000 folding phone is a disaster for the smartphone giant — here's what happened
There are only 15 days left until TNW Conference, Europe’s leading tech festival!As the countdown inches closer to zero, it’s time to make sure you have everything you need to make the most out of your TNW2019 experience.Sign up for the House of Talent: Looking for your next career challenge?Meet the biggest brands like Nike and PwC at the House of Talent, where you can get one-on-one meetings with recruiters.Join our side events: From boat parties to networking, our side events keep the tech festival vibes going all week long.Check out which side events across Amsterdam you’d like to join.
Amazon-owned Audible now offers a unique form of access to Alexa: voice-controlled customer support.The audiobook subscription service, which Amazon purchased more than a decade ago, says that starting today, users will be able to say, “Alexa, call Audible,” and be put in touch with a human being from Audible’s customer support team.From there, you’ll be able to ask for help with a technical issue and receive book recommendations, among other standard troubleshooting queries.The service goes live today and Audible says it will run nonstop, every day, from here on out.To our knowledge, this is the first ever Alexa-powered customer support system.It’s not Alexa supplanting the entire customer support platform, but it is the first time that Alexa will be linked up to an existing help center, granted one operated by an Amazon-owned company.
E-bikes and speed aren’t always used together.Due to their rather compact and bare natures, these battery-powered two-wheelers have different priorities but that doesn’t mean they can’t aspire to be the fastest among their peers.Inspired by old school racing bikes, Electra’s latest Café Metro Go!e-bike displays family resemblance to café racers but also has the specs and the speed to go with the looks.28 miles per hour may not sound like much but it’s actually competitive with most of the fastest e-bikes in the market, sometimes at twice the price even.That’s thanks to the Bosch Performance Speed motor and a 500 Wh in-tube removable battery.
Database biz shifted its assets to another biz mid-trialIn January last year, after four years of litigation, a former Oracle sales rep in Qatar won a lawsuit against the database giant to collect unpaid sales commission.Alaa AlNaji worked for Oracle Systems Limited from May 2013 through June 2014 as a sales representative in Qatar.Some of these claims involve performance improvement plans that sales people contend are unjustified; others involve contract renewals allegedly structured to claw back commissions.'This is not simply a one-off'In a phone interview with The Register, Michael Palmer, a partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, said his firm is involved in two such cases, one involving a former sales rep named Marcella Johnson and another involving a former sales rep named Maryam Abrishamcar.
Softbank has agreed to invest €900m (£781m) in German fintech firm Wirecard as part of a digital payments partnership in Asia.The Japanese investment giant has signed a deal to buy five-year convertible bonds in Wirecard, equating to roughly 5.6 per cent of the firm’s stock, at €130 per share.Shares in Wirecard rose more than eight per cent this morning following the announcement.The investment comes as part of a strategic partnership in digital payments, as Wirecard looks to expand in Japan and South Korea.The German firm said the partnership is also expected to extend to new product and service offerings in digital lending.“As global innovators, we focus heavily on expanding our networks and creating opportunities for companies with groundbreaking ideas,” said Markus Braun, Wirecard chief executive.
A new study out Monday suggests that losing your sight early in life can lead to subtle alterations in the brain circuitry primarily responsible for hearingIt’s commonly believed that being born blind or losing your sight early in life can make hearing more sensitive.But while studies have consistently shown that blind people do seem to have more precise hearing in some ways, we don’t know too much about how or where this heightened ability actually shows up in the brain.The authors behind this latest study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, say theirs is one of the first to look at what’s happening in the auditory cortex of people living with blindness.“Previous studies have really looked at the behavioural aspects of it, and we’re one of the first to try to tackle it in a more modeled approach,” lead author Kelly Chang, a vision and cognition researcher at the University of Washington, told Gizmodo.They scanned the auditory cortexes of people who were born blind or developed blindness early in life (including some people with anophthalmia, a condition where the eyes are completely absent) via MRI.
The UK will block Huawei from core parts of its 5G network and restrict its access to non-core areas, Reuters reported today, citing a security source.The ban comes despite media reports late last night that suggested Prime Minister Theresa May has given the green light to the Chinese tech giant.Huawei has come under intense scrutiny in recent months amid fears its equipment could be used for spying by Chinese authorities, an allegation it has always denied.The US has led calls to roll out a ban on the firm and has warned its allies intelligence-sharing agreements could be affected if they cooperate with Huawei.The UK is yet to issue a formal verdict on the issue, but is due to publish a telecoms supply chain review in the coming weeks.The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, yesterday gave approval for Huawei to participate in 5G networks, the Telegraph reported.
U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities.New technologies are arming governments with unprecedented capabilities to monitor, track and surveil individual people.Its leadership has enthusiastically embraced AI technologies, and has set up the world's most sophisticated surveillance state in Xinjiang province, tracking citizens' daily movements and smartphone use.Its exploitation of these technologies presents a chilling model for fellow autocrats and poses a direct threat to open democratic societies.Although there's no evidence that other governments have replicated this level of AI surveillance, Chinese companies are actively exporting the same underlying technologies across the world.These issues haven't gone away: Digital technology today has deepened the ability of even more agencies to conduct even more intrusive surveillance.
Just a few years ago, there was a debate about which fueling technology would win long term: all-electric vehicles or hydrogen-powered vehicles.That debate appears to be over.The final holdouts were Japanese automakers Toyota (NYSE:TM), Hyundai(NASDAQOTH:HYMLF), and Honda (NYSE:HMC), who make three fuel-cell vehicles that they thought would eventually upend all-electric vehicles.Giving up on a dreamNo one investing in fuel cells has officially given up on the technology because there are applications for it even if it's not for passenger vehicles.But there are plenty of signs that automakers are moving on to more fully electric options.
If we’re going to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need an energy revolution.Specifically, we need to replace our dirty, fossil fuel-based grids and dirty, fossil fuel-powered vehicles with clean, carbon-free grids, and electric vehicles that charge off them.“We already know about the environmental, social, and human rights impacts extraction is posing to front line communities right now,” said Payal Sampat, mining program director at Earthworks, which commissioned the new report.The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs and energy storage require not just lithium, but often cobalt, manganese, and nickel.Solar panels gobbles up a significant share of the world’s supply of tellurium, and gallium, along with a sizeable fraction of mined silver and indium.Our appetite for these metals will only grow as these technologies proliferate.
Intel continues rolling out ninth-gen Core processors: In October last year, Intel launched its ninth-generation still-14nm Core processors for desktops and laptops.These are dubbed the Coffee Lake Refresh because it's a refresh of the eighth-gen Coffee Lake family (which is mostly built on the Skylake microarchitecture).On Tuesday, it added to its ninth-gen family things like the 2.4-to-5GHz 45W eight-core, 16-thread Core i9-9980H processor aimed at top-end laptops (and the overclockable 9980HK), all the way down to the 2.4-to-4.1GHz 45W four-core, eight-thread i5-9300H.For desktops, there's the 3.1-to-5GHz 65W eight-core, 16-thread Core i9-9900 down to the 3.1-to-3.7GHz 65W four-core, four-thread Core i3-9100T and various low-end mobile parts.These chipsets support Wi-Fi 6 (definitely not 802.11ax), Thunderbolt 3 and SSDs using Intel's Optane memory.You can check out the list of new desktop-grade processors here [PDF] and the laptop ones here [PDF].
Chinese companies are at it again, mixing things up and daring to go where bigger brands with all their resources dare not tread.Chuwi was recently revealed to soon have an 8-inch Yoga-like convertible laptop and the company that rebooted the small laptop/netbook trend is setting its sights on bigger things, literally.GPD reportedly has a certain Pocket 2 Max in the works and, this time, it’s really designed for comfortable typing.After it launched the GPD WIN gaming handheld, it received requests for a more conventional laptop in the same small size.Thus the GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2 were born.But because of their petite sizes, they could hardly be considered conducive for long typing, no matter how much GPD says so.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been in contact with leaders of major tech companies as part of her push to slow the spread of violent content online.Ardern announced on Wednesday local time that she and the French President Emmanuel Macron will host a summit in May to encourage industry and world leaders to escalate their efforts to address the matter.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been in contact with leaders of major tech companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, as part of her push to slow the spread of violent content online.Ardern announced on Wednesday local time that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a summit in Paris on May 15 to encourage industry and world leaders to commit to a pledge called the "Christchurch Call," which seeks to curb extremist content on social media.The gunman, a 28-year-old Australian man, livestreamed the attacks at two separate mosques on Facebook, and copies of the gruesome video quickly spread on that platform and others."The March 15 terrorist attacks saw social media used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate," Ardern said of the shootings.
Tencent Joins Soros and Cohen With Stake in Argentina’s Uala – BloombergWhat happened: Tencent Holdings has invested an undisclosed amount in Argentinian mobile payments app Uala, joining prominent investors including Goldman Sachs and billionaires George Soros and Steve Cohen.Uala will collaborate with the Chinese social media giant to further develop its app, company founder Pierpaolo Barbieri said.The Uala app allows users to transfer funds and make payments and purchases with Mastercard prepaid cards.Barbieri declined to reveal the investment amount but said it has significantly bumped up Uala’s valuation.Why it’s important: Tencent’s move to take a stake in the fintech startup comes as direct foreign investments to Argentina slow amid market jitters.
As you accumulate more devices with different charging methods, what you really need is one charger for the lot.If you can save almost $100 in the process, then all the better.This three-port charger has two high-speed USB ports and one USB-C port.If you’re out of juice and nowhere near a socket then the charger offers another feature.It doubles as a 6,700mAh power bank, so it should be able to fully restore your phone to full charge.The compact design is the key to its portability.