Powering the brains of tomorrow’s intelligent machines


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Sense and compute are the electronic eyes and ears that will be the ultimate power behind automating menial work and encouraging humans to cultivate their creativity. 

These new capabilities for machines will depend on the best and brightest talent and investors who are building and financing companies aiming to deliver the AI chips destined to be the neurons and synapses of robotic brains.

Like any other herculean task, this one is expected to come with big rewards.  And it will bring with it big promises, outrageous claims, and suspect results. Right now, it’s still the Wild West when it comes to measuring AI chips up against each other.

Remember laptop

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Mylk Guys wants to be the online vegan grocery store that non-vegans can love


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Gaurav Maken, the chief executive officer of the online vegan grocery store, Mylk Guys, doesn’t think of his company as a place to just buy food. For him, it’s a testing ground and platform for all of the new food products he expects to be developed as startup entrepreneurs and established food companies start tackling the plant-based and alternative meat market in earnest.

The company has raised $2.5 million in support of that vision from investors including Khosla Ventures, Pear Ventures, and Fifty Years.

“Today we’re an online grocery store,” says Maken. “We are also a place for cultured meats and any genetically engineered food that allows us to scale our food production and allows us to keep feeding people.”

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Maken isn’t wedded to plant-based products and envisions a virtual store stocked with products that create more sustainable consumption options for its customers. In fact,

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WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has reportedly cashed out of over $700 million ahead of its IPO


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Adam Neumann, the co-founder and chief executive of the international real estate co-working startup, WeWork, has reportedly cashed out of more than $700 million from his company ahead of its initial public offering.

The size and timing of the payouts, made through a mix of stock sales and loans secured by his equity in the company, is unusual considering that founders typically wait until after a company holds its public offering to liquidate their holdings.

Despite the loans and sales of stock, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Neumann remains the single largest shareholder in the company.

According to the Journal’s reporting, Neumann has already set up a family office to invest the proceeds and begun to hire financial professionals to run it.

He’s also made significant investments in real estate in New York and San Francisco, including four homes in the greater New York metropolitan area, and

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Congressional testimony reveals some faults in Facebook’s digital currency plans


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As Facebook continues to lay the foundation for getting some of the world’s largest payment processing and technology companies a seat at the global monetary policy table, the company faces significant obstacles to enacting its plans from both sides of the Congressional aisle.

In the second of what’s sure to be many (many many many) hearings in front of Congressional committees, David Marcus, the chief executive of Facebook’s new digital payments subsidiary, Calibra, faced hours of questions from Representatives on the House Financial Services Committee about the how and why of Facebook’s digital currency plans.

Facebook’s critics had questions about both sides of the company’s two-pronged approach to transforming the global financial services industry.

Marcus was able to avoid answering some of his toughest questioning by taking advantage of the grey area between Facebook’s role as the chief architect behind Libra (a financial instrument that uses blockchain technology to enable

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Apple gives a sneak peak of its new Peanuts series with ‘Snoopy in Space’ trailer


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As the U.S. commemorates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Apple took to the internet to give audiences a peak into the first of its new Peanuts series, “Snoopy in Space”.

The series will follow Charles M. Schulz’s characters as they take afield trip to a NASA location where Snoopy and . Woodstock are selected for a space mission.

Charlie Brown and the rest of the characters will staff mission control, while Snoopy and Woodstock fly into the great beyond.

The series is set to launch on Apple TV+ in the Fall.

In-space shuttle service, Momentus, raises $25.5 million as investments climb for “new space” tech


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With commercial launch services expected to reach $7 billion by 2024, there’s increasing demand for an array of new technologies that can offer advantages to companies looking to get communications infrastructure in orbit.

That’s one of the reasons behind the new $25.5 million financing for Momentus, which sells in-space shuttle services to move satellites between orbits.

The company joins other satellite and telecommunications technology vendors like Akash Systems, which raised $14.5 million for its advanced telecommunications chipsets used in satellites, that have raised money from investors who are looking beyond basic launch services.

A motley assortment of venture capital firms, hedge funds family offices and other institutional investors came in to finance the new round of funding for Momentus including:  Y Combinator, the Lerner Family, the University of Wyoming Foundation, Quiet Capital, Mountain Nazca, ACE & Co., Liquid 2 Ventures, and Drake

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Facebook reportedly hasn’t contacted the regulator it says will oversee Libra’s privacy and data security


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A Swiss regulatory agency that Facebook executive David Marcus said in Congressional testimony would be responsible for overseeing data and privacy protections for the company’s newly launched cryptocurrency, Libra, has not been contacted by Facebook, according to a report.

CNBC is reporting that the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, who Marcus said would oversee data protections for its cryptocurrency in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, has yet to hear from the company which is depending on it for oversight.

In a statement provided to CNBC, Hugo Wyler, who’s the head of communication at the FDPIC said:

“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra… We expect Facebook or

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What to expect from tomorrow’s antitrust hearing featuring big tech


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Tomorrow, representatives from Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple will testify before Congress in the second hearing organized as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust investigation into the world’s largest technology companies.

While the first hearing focused on the ways technology companies busted the traditional news business, this one promises to look at the “impact of market power of online platforms on innovation and entrepreneurship,” according to the committee.

Unlike the previous hearing, which featured representatives from media outlets and industry trade organizations attacking or defending the ways in which online advertising had gutted the news business, this latest outing led by Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline will have actual tech company execs on hand to answer congressional queries.

One section of the testimony will feature Google’s economic policy head, Adam Cohen; Amazon’s associate general counsel, Nate Sutton; Facebook’s global head of policy, Matt Perault; and Kyle Andeer, Apple’s

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UK-based women’s networking and private club, Allbright, raises $18.8 million as it expands into the


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AllBright, the London-based women’s membership club backed by private real estate investment firm Cain International, has raised $18.8 million to expand into the U.S.

The company’s new round was led by Cain International and was designed to take AllBright into three U.S. locations — Los Angeles, New York, and Washington.

The company said that the new facilities would be opening in the coming months.

Coupled with the launch of a new networking application called AllBright Connect and the company’s AllBright Magazine, the women’s networking organization is on a full-on media blitz.

Other investors in the round include Allan Leighton, who serves as the company’s non-executive chairman; Gail Mandel, who acquired Love Home Swap (a company founded by AllBright’s co-founder Debbie Wosskow); Stephanie Daily Smith, a former finance director to Hillary Clinton; and Darren Throop the founder, president and chief executive of Entertainment One.

A spokesperson

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Personality of things


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Humans are starting to get better acquainted with personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Bixby. But how would people feel about personalities translating to automobiles, laptops and other household items? Would we want a single seamless personality across all devices, or would we prefer to build new relationships with each of these things? Would we want these things to understand and empathize with us? Do we really need these things to “feel” what we feel or do we just need the experience that they “get” us.

Humans have an innate habit of anthropomorphizing objects around them, especially those that move, grow, or talk to them. As technological advances enable

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Facebook reportedly gets a $5 billion slap on the wrist from the FTC


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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reportedly agreed to end its latest probe into Facebook‘s privacy problems with a $5 billion payout.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the 3-2, party-line vote by FTC commissioners was carried by the Republican majority and will be moved to the Justice Department’s civil division to be finalized.

A $5 billion payout seems like a significant sum, but Facebook had already set aside $3 billion to cover the cost of the settlement and the company could likely make up the figure in less than a quarter of revenue (the company’s revenue for the last fiscal quarter was roughly $15 billion). Indeed, Facebook said in April that it expected to pay up to $5 billion to end the government’s probe.

The settlement will also include government restrictions

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Facebook reportedly gets a $5 billion slap on the wrist from the FTC


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reportedly agreed to end its latest probe into Facebook‘s privacy problems with a $5 billion payout.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the 3-2, party-line vote by FTC commissioners was carried by the Republican majority and will be moved to the Justice Department’s civil division to be finalized.

A $5 billion payout seems like a significant sum, but Facebook had already set aside $3 billion to cover the cost of the settlement and the company could likely make up the figure in less than a quarter of revenue (the company’s revenue for the last fiscal quarter was roughly $15 billion). Indeed, Facebook said in April that it expected to pay up to $5 billion to end the government’s probe.

The settlement will also include government restrictions

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Three great opportunities for startups in the entertainment space


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With over-the-top (OTT) changing the way we consume entertainment across devices, most of the media attention is going to the big players trying to elbow their way into the streaming space with big new subscription services and original programming. Less discussed is the suite of technologies that pave the way for those services to connect to their audience and monetize the content.

Okay, it’s true video compression, identity management, analytics, front-end personalization and device-specific experience optimization are not the sexiest topics in the media world. But without those core features and functions, the OTT revolution would be dead in its tracks. And with the big providers focused on content development, user acquisition and business model optimization, development of those technologies is wide open for innovative startups.

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Cannabis processing startups hope to unlock new chemicals and treatments


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Jeff Ubersax knows yeast.

The chief executive officer of Demetrix studied yeast genetics and biochemistry in school and was an early employee at Amyris Biotechnologies, a technology company that was using fermentation to make biofuels back in the early days of the first clean technology boom back in 2008. 

Now, the same technology that Ubersax and Jay Keasling, the celebrated professor from the University of California at Berkeley who co-founded Amyris and Demetrix, used to make biofuels is being applied to the production of cannabis.

The company launched with an $11 million seed round led by Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong-based investment fund backed by the multi-billionaire real estate mogul Li Ka-shing, to begin commercializing the technology that Keasling had been researching in his lab.

The goal was to refine a process that would enable yeasts to make a range of cannabinoids that are found in the marijuana plant

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Demetrix raises $50 million to brew cannabis


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With skyrocketing demand for consumer products and renewed research into its medicinal value, cannabis is having a moment.

The quasi-legalization of marijuana created a gold rush for into the industry and startups like Demetrix are reaping the benefits.

The company, founded by the famed U.C. Berkeley researcher Jay Keasling and helmed by former Amyris executive Jeff Ubersax, just raised $50 million in a new round of financing to continue its pursuit of isolating and brewing cannabinoids, the active chemical ingredients in the marijuana plant.

The money came from previous investor Horizons Ventures, the Hong Kong-based firm backed by real estate billionaire Li Kashing, and Tuatara Capital, a fund which invests in the legal cannabis industry.

The idea of using yeast to brew cannabinoids isn’t a new one and there are several companies active in the space. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug based on

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Fintech in Latin America continues to draw big dollars as Softbank invests $231 million in Creditas


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As investors continue to move more aggressively into Latin America’s startup scene, there’s one industry that seems to be drawing more attention than any others — financial services.

As wealth across the region continues to rise, access to adequate financial services — specifically debt — has become a pain-point for an upwardly mobile middle class that wants to be more entrepreneurial and have more financial tools than straight cash at their disposal.

That’s what’s driven companies like Nubank, the Brazilian consumer credit card behemoth, to valuations of roughly $4 billion; and it’s also what contributed to Creditas, a provider of secured loans, raking in $231 million in new financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund and SoftBank Group. Previous investors Vostok Emerging Finance, Santander InnoVentures and Amadeus Capital also participated in the round. 

Founded by Sergio Furio

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After restructuring, Amazon’s Game Studios partners with Athlon Games on “Lord of the Rings” title


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On the heels of its recent restructuring, Amazon Game Studios is partnering with the Los Angeles-based Athlon Games to bring the company’s free-to-play “Lord of the Rings” based multiplayer online game to market.

First announced last year by Athlon Game Studios’ Chinese parent company, Leyou Technologies, the game is set around the time of the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy using intellectual property licensed from Middle-earth Entertainment.

Amazon Game Studios has had its ups and downs since the company first made its foray into social gaming back in 2012. More of a fast-follower of trends than a market leader, the company made a move to develop more console-friendly and PC-based game title with the acquisition of Double Helix Games in 2014 as those platforms surged in popularity.

Most recently, Amazon Studios restructured just as the industry’s largest gaming

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Doctours offers packaged medical tourism for U.S. customers


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Doctours, a Los Angeles-based online platform for booking trips and treatments for medical and dental care around the world, is expanding its services to 35 countries.

Founded by serial travel entrepreneur Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, whose last company TripScope was acquired by Travefy, Doctours aims to connect patients with doctors to receive access to quality, affordable healthcare around the world.

The cost of care in the U.S. continues to climb, leading patients with few options but to travel to the best facilities offering the lowest cost care. Some companies that provide insurance benefits to their employees, like Walmart, are opting to pay for better care upfront by transporting their workers to facilities to receive appropriate care, rather than pay later for shoddy treatment.

Doctours sort of expands that thesis in an international context.

“When it comes to medical and dental treatment, there is no longer any reason to limit ourselves

Katelyn Headshot 2

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Twitter updates hate speech rules to include dehumanizing speech around religion


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Against a backdrop of rising violence against religious minorities around the world, Twitter today said that it would update its hateful conduct rules to include dehumanizing speech against religious groups.

“After months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion,” the company wrote on its Twitter Safety blog.

The company said it will require tweets that target specific religious groups to be removed as violations of the company’s code of conduct.

The company said that any previous tweets containing the offending language would need to be removed, but would not cause the suspension of a user’s account, because they were made before Twitter implemented and communicated the policy.

Around the world, religious minorities have been attacked in hate crimes that some organizations believe to be inspired (at

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Bosch launches cloud-connected battery management to extend the life of EV batteries


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Bosch is bringing to market a new cloud-connected software service to manage and monitor the battery life of electric vehicles.

“Bosch is connecting electric-vehicle batteries with the cloud. Its data-based services mean we can substantially improve batteries’ performance and extend their service life,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, in a statement.

The new connectivity will enable companies to remotely monitor and manage battery status to reduce wear and tear on the batteries by up to 20%, according to Bosch .

By gathering real-time data from batteries on the speed at which they’re charging; the number of charge cycles they’ve undergone; stress from rapid acceleration and deceleration, and ambient temperature, Bosch can optimize recharging and prompt drivers with updates on how to extend their battery life, according to the company.

The first customer for this new cloud-connected service is the Chinese ride-hailing giant,

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