Bloglikes - Tech https://www.bloglikes.com/c/tech en-US Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:31:44 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter OpenAI's AI-Powered Robot Learned How To Solve a Rubik's Cube One-Handed http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9PzafGmXhLw/openais-ai-powered-robot-learned-how-to-solve-a-rubiks-cube-one-handed

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:10:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Apple Orders ‘Ted Lasso’ Comedy Series Written By and Starring Jason Sudeikis https://www.slashfilm.com/ted-lasso-series-jason-sudeikis/ Ted Lasso Series - Jason Sudeikis

Since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2013,  Jason Sudeikis has kept pretty busy on the big screen. But now he’s headed back to television with a series regular role in a new comedy set up at Apple TV+.

Ted Lasso will star Jason Sudeikis as the title character, an idealistic all-American football coach hired to manage an English football club even though he has no previous experience with the sport at all. However, this isn’t the first time Sudeikis has played the character. But the only way you’d probably know that is if you watched NBC Sports programs from time to time. So let’s introduce you to the coach before the Ted Lasso series gets underway.

Ted Lasso is a character who feels like he came out of Saturday Night Live. Jason Sudeikis played Lasso for some amusing interludes between actual sports reporting on NBC. The above video is his debut as character back in August 2013, and you’ll see how out of element he is as a soccer coach. He understands none of the rules or basic gameplay fundamentals. It’s a very funny gag in short form comedy, but how will it flesh out into an entire series?

I suppose there have been much flimsy premises turned into TV shows. This could easily take the path of being a family sitcom that just so happens to have a coach at the center of it who doesn’t know how to coach soccer. Presumably he’ll also be a fish out of water in the United Kingdom as well, so that could help beef up the narrative a bit.

Apple says in their press release that this is the first series regular role that Jason Sudeikis has taken on. I guess they’re just ignoring the short-lived but underrated show Son of Zorn, where he voiced an animated He-Man-type character named Zorn just trying to re-connect with his live-action son and ex-wife.

Otherwise, Jason Sudeikis has been pretty busy on the big screen since leaving SNL. He starred in We’re the Millers with Jennifer Aniston, worked with her a couple more times in the Horrible Bosses movies, dabbled in the indie world with Sleeping with Other People, Colossal and Kodachrome, did some voicework in the Angry Birds franchise, and recently made a small appearance in one of the funniest scenes in Booksmart. Sudeikis is one of those guys who grabs my interest immediately, and I’m very much interested in seeing how he structures an entire series around Ted Lasso.

Sudeikis will be executive producing the series along with Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City), and the two also co-wrote the pilot together. Jeff Ingold and Liza Katzer from Bill Lawrence’s Doozer Productions will also serve as executive producers.

Here’s one more taste of Ted Lasso from his return to NBC Sports:

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The post Apple Orders ‘Ted Lasso’ Comedy Series Written By and Starring Jason Sudeikis appeared first on /Film.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 20:00:28 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Comedy Sports Television Jason-sudeikis Ted Lasso
Disgusting DNA app falsely claims it can tell how gay you are http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/ZaVgdFvVR8M/
In what’s an obvious scam, a developer going by the name Joel Bellenson who allegedly works for a company called Insolent AI, created and developed a DNA analysis app that can supposedly tell “how gay” you are. Of course it cannot. According to science – and the app’s own description on the marketplace it’s sold – there is no one gay gene. The only thing the “How Gay Are You” app can tell you about yourself, if you buy it, is that you make very poor purchasing decisions. You cannot tell how gay someone is with an app that interprets…

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:41:24 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apps Insider Science Tech
Ask Slashdot: What Should I Do About My Landlord Forcing Smart Things Into My Home? http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fh7i4EFbLes/ask-slashdot-what-should-i-do-about-my-landlord-forcing-smart-things-into-my-home

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:30:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Twitter explains how it handles world leaders amid pressure to rein in Trump https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/15/twitter-explains-how-it-handles-world-leaders-amid-pressure-to-rein-in-trump Blogpost sheds new light on how tweets will be treated but is unlikely to satisfy those calling for Trump’s censorship

Twitter on Tuesday published additional information about how it plans to act if a world leader tweets something that violates its rules. The update follows the announcement in June of a policy whereby the company would choose not to delete tweets by major political figures that violated the company’s rules if the company decided it was in the public interest.

Since the election of Donald Trump, Twitter has been in the unenviable position of having the ability to censor the president of the United States on the very platform where he is the most unguarded. It has largely resisted the intense pressure to do so, even when it seemed that Trump’s tweets might have fallen afoul of Twitter’s rules if they had been sent by anyone else.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:26:49 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Twitter US news Donald Trump Technology Social media
Intel to pay $5M to settle pay discrimination allegations https://www.seattletimes.com/business/intel-to-pay-5m-to-settle-pay-discrimination-allegations/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=RSS_all
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Labor Department says it has reached a $5 million settlement with chip maker Intel Corp. over allegations of pay discrimination against its female, African American and Hispanic employees. As part of the agreement, Intel will pay $3.5 million in back wages and interest. It is also allocating at least $1.5 […]]]>
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:21:52 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Business Technology
Google Nest Mini hands-on http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/gFtEQMK8XXs/ Two years after the release of the Home Mini, Google’s back with the sequel. Well, “sequel” might be a bit strong. The Nest Mini is more like one of those 1.5 movies they release on home video with a little extra footage than the theatrical release.

That’s not a compliant, exactly. The truth is there are some improvements here, but honestly, Google didn’t really need to do much. The $49 Home Mini sold like hot cakes and is a big part of the company’s rapid growth in the smart home space.

google nest mini

It was a low barrier of entry for those who were curious, but perhaps not fully on-board. And, like the Echo Dot before, it’s been an inexpensive way to outfit an entire home with smart speaker functionality.

Google has smartly kept the price the same with the Nest Hub. The device may not be a loss leader, exactly, but it’s the easiest and cheapest way of hooking users into the Assistant ecosystem — one that will theoretically lead to more smart home purchases, and, perhaps mobile device decisions.

Google Home Mini is now Nest Mini

The Nest is nearly identical to its predecessor. That, too, is fine. It’s simple and with a choice of four pastel colors (Chalk, Charcoal, Coral and Sky), it should fit most interior designs reasonably well. Bonus points for the new fabric covering, which is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Google says one half-liter bottle will cover two Minis. Interestingly the new cloth doesn’t negatively impact the sound.

google nest mini

Speaking of, that’s the biggest upgrade on-board. Sound has been improved over the original with a louder max volume and twice the bass. I’ve been listening to music at home on the new device, and while it gets pretty loud, I can’t recommend it as a standalone speaker. There are much better options for that. It serves Assistant and voice playback pretty well, but it gets a bit distorted at louder volumes.

I do quite like the music playback controls, however. Tap the center to play or pause music and either side to increase and decrease volume. When your hand approaches the speaker, two dots will illuminate on the edges to show you where to touch. Paired in stereo mode with another, better speaker (like, say, the Home Max) and it serves as a cool little touch control. The recent addition of stream transfer, meanwhile, makes it easier to keep listening to music as you change rooms.

Another interesting tidbit that didn’t get a lot of mention at today’s event is dynamic volume adjustment, which adjusts the sound based on background noise. It’s similar to the feature the company teased with today’s Pixel Buds reveal and could come in handy if you happen to live or work in a loud environment. Take that, neighbors.

google nest mini

The new Mini presents one of the more compelling use cases I’ve seen for Duo thus far (and honestly, I haven’t seen a ton). You can use the device as a kind of speakerphone with the app. I can certainly see this coming in handy for things like work calls at home. If you’ve got a big home, you can also use it as an intercom to communicate with other Home/Nest devices.

One other bit worth mentioning is the smart addition of a wall mount on the bottom of the device. It’s something small, but handy. Using a nail or thumbtack (well, probably just a nail, given the size/weight), you can now hang the Mini on a wall. Apparently this was a pretty heavily requested feature for those with limited shelf space. I could certainly imagine sticking it in my kitchen, where counter space is at an extreme premium — though dealing with the cord is another question entirely.

The Nest Mini arrives on retail shelves and walls October 22.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:13:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Hardware Google Google Hardware Event 2019 Nest Nest Mini
'Send nudes' Boohoo ad banned after complaint https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50054729 Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:01:30 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs SpaceX files paperwork to launch up to 30,000 more Starlink global internet satellites http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/Fg_y3f6nmDY/ SpaceX has filed documents with the International Telecommunication Union, which governs international use of global bandwidth, to launch up to 30,000 more satellites for its Starlink global broadband constellation, SpaceNews reports. That’s on top of the 12,000 it already has permission to launch. Why so many? SpaceX says that it’s about ensuring its network can meet anticipated demand “responsibly.”

“As demand escalates for fast, reliable internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink’s total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users’ anticipated needs,” wrote a SpaceX spokesperson in an emailed statement to TechCrunch.

The ITU filing doesn’t mean SpaceX is launching 30,000 satellites tomorrow: In fact, the company is looking to launch likely only a few hundred in the coming year. But SpaceX is anticipating big increases in the demand for low-latency and high-capacity broadband globally, and its initial deployment plans only cover a fraction of that demand. Plus, given the increased interest in providing communications from orbit, there’s bound to be a growing rush on spectrum over the next few years.

Starlink will originally set out to provide service in the northern U.S., as well as parts of Canada, beginning as early as next year when the network goes live. The plan is to then scale the network to global coverage over the course of around 24 launches of Starlink satellites. It’s betting that it’ll need to scale by adding on nodes opportunistically to address demand, especially because most current coverage demand models don’t take into account regions that are getting broadband access for the first time.

SpaceX is also priming Starlink for high-traffic operation (though the total constellation won’t all be operating in the same orbital region, it’ll still be a considerable addition to the orbital population relative to the roughly 8,000 objects that have been launched to space to date — in total). The measures SpaceX is taking to deal with traffic include building in automated collision avoidance systems, structure de-orbiting plans, information sharing about orbital routes for their satellites and more, and the company says it’s meeting or exceeding the industry standards that have been established thus far around this.

To address the concerns of astronomers, SpaceX is also turning the base or Earth-facing portion of all future Starlink satellites back, which should help address concerns of space watchers who are concerned about the impact that large constellations will have on stellar observation and research. The company will also take steps to adjust satellite orbits where it’s shown that its constellation is impeding serious scientific pursuit.

Starlink launched its first 60 satellites back in May, and the plan is that each roughly 500-lb satellite will work in tandem with the others to communicate with ground stations that end users will then be able to connect to in order to get a broadband network signal.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:50:40 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Aerospace Space TC Broadband Canada International Telecommunication Union Outer Space Spaceflight SpaceX United States
LinkedIn gets physical, debuts Events hub for people to plan in-person networking events http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/1FtwzOO5Mis/ LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social network for the working world with around 650 million users, is known best as a place where people connect with each other online either to build work connections, for recruitment, or for professional development. Now, the company is taking a step to bring its networking features into the physical world: the company is launching a new feature called Events, a (currently free) tool for people to plan, announce and invite people to meetups and other get-togethers, in the physical world.

The feature — which will appear as a menu item in LinkedIn’s website and mobile app — is rolling out first in English-speaking countries starting October 17, with the aim to expand it to further non-English markets soon after that.

Ajay Datta, the head of product for LinkedIn India (where the app was developed; more on that below), believes that there is a clear gap in the market for a feature like this, much like you could argue Facebook’s events feature has served a role in the out-of-work world to plan casual events.

“I think there is a massive whitespace for events today,” he said. “People don’t have a single place to organise [work-related] offline meetups specific to an industry or a neighborhood. People want to find other people.”

You may recall a limited trial of the Events feature about a year ago in New York and San Francisco: the kinds of events that LinkedIn said were created with the pilot included meetups, training sessions, offsites, sales events and happy hours, so expect to see these popping up in the live product, too.

Screenshot 2019 10 15 at 18.26.01

Events is also important because it is the first major, global feature to be built out of the company’s R&D office in Bangalore, India — a significant milestone for the team of engineers and others that are based there. Up to now, much of the work that they have done has been focused on regional tools or those specifically targeting emerging markets.

LinkedIn Lite, the company’s pared-down Android app for users in bandwidth-constrained markets, has probably been the  Bangalore office’s biggest win so far: it has now passed 10 million downloads in the 70+ countries where it is available.

To be clear, right now, Events is free to use and is fairly limited in its first iteration. You can create an announcement and invite first-person contacts, but you have no way to promote the event beyond your own organic reach on the platform (and wherever you might want to share the link outside it).

“Targeting is not the focus right now,” said Ajay Datta, the head of product at LinkedIn India. “Organic adoption is what we are looking for first before we look at anything else.”

You can lay out your plans, but there are no links to services to find and book out available spaces. You can’t create any ticketing or other limitations on attendance numbers, but you can include links to places where you might be able to manage such things, such as Eventbrite or any of its many competitors.

But if this starts to see traction — and I suspect that it will, because of its natural proximity to the social network to amplify an event, and the fact that most of the people who are hanging out on LinkedIn are likely to already be predisposed to engaging on it — you could imagine how LinkedIn might start to add on all of the above, and more. It says that other areas where it’s continuing to experiment to facilitate better in-person connections using include QR codes, business cards, and proximity-based beacons.

This could help LinkedIn create another revenue stream in its business — or at least provide another way to boost existing revenue streams such as premium memberships (access to a wider circle of people to invite), advertising and recruitment solutions. Potentially, this could help pave the way to positioning LinkedIn (and by association, Microsoft) as an Eventbrite competitor.

From the Events menu bar, you will be able to create events yourself and also invite others. It looks like it’s already live on my own account, so here is how it looks from there:

Screenshot 2019 10 15 at 18.43.00

And here’s how the event-creation window looks. As you can see, you post links through to other sites for ticketing, and potentially further details about agendas and more. Each box has a limit on

Screenshot 2019 10 15 at 18.42.15

LinkedIn is also being cognisant of its reputation for how the platform can be used for over-aggressive contacting, and so it’s also including security features for people to report and block suspicious events or conversations related to them. It’s also applying AI algorithms to the events that do get listed to screen them for bad actors and bogus content, which then get assessed by human reviewers for further action.

The move into Events is one of the bigger moves that LinkedIn has made over the last several years — another big one has been its efforts in educational content — to open itself up to a new area of business by leveraging how it uses the professional graph that it has built up over time. It sometimes feels to me that under Microsoft (which bought the company for $26 billion in 2016) the company has been less productive in terms of launching new services and generally making noise, so this move is interesting in that sense too.

Still, the synergy between online networking and physical networking is so close that it’s a surprise that the company hadn’t launched an Events feature before now. All the more because Linked has dabbled in building tools to help people make better connections with each other when they are in the same physical space before.

Years ago it launched a Connected app to help people maximise the kinds of connections they make in the physical world. It has since been sunset and integrated into the main LinkedIn app, which has a “find nearby” feature that you can use to see if people who are your connections are, say, at the same conference as you are, or if you’re meeting a contact for coffee and don’t know what the person looks like.

It’s also been over the last three months seeding the idea of associating actual events with LinkedIn the platform by encouraging the organising of “LinkedIn Local” events, which apparently have created more feedback from users to build an Events too, too.

It’s not clear why it’s taken so long — LinkedIn sometimes does take its time, as it did with video — but in this period when some of us are beginning to pause and ponder what being online too much does for our ability to relate to each other, collaborate and progress not just in the working world, but in the wider world, it’s an interesting moment to choose to launch Events. We’ll see if LinkedInners agree.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:50:34 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC Events LinkedIn
Google Pixel Buds 2 hands-on review: All about the assistant http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/digitaltrends/~3/pa6RxsuDBLo/ ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 18:09:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Android Home Theater Mobile Music News Bluetooth earbuds Google Google Pixel Buds 2 Pixel Buds Pixel Buds 2 TikTok appears to have walked back its ‘shadow ban’ on Trump posts http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/xkeO5nqkeCI/
TikTok users are reporting an unusually high number of posts showing up in their feeds related to Donald Trump. While the network has long been considered a haven for Trump supporters, until now they appeared to languish in an echo chamber. Now, as Trump‘s been eagerly announcing the mysterious progress he’s making in negotiations with China, posts about the president are apparently showing up everywhere on the Chinese-owned social network. #TikTok is being flooded with pro Trump videos. — Emily Turrettini (@textually) October 15, 2019 One Reddit user posting about the phenomenon said: I mean I probably should have deleted…

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:42:25 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Politics Social Media Tech
Google kills Daydream with a lack of support on the Google Pixel 4 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/digitaltrends/~3/4Qufq_4IodA/ ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:33:51 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Android Mobile News Virtual Reality Daydream Google Aw Yeah, Apple TV Is Now on Roku https://gizmodo.com/aw-yeah-apple-tv-is-now-on-roku-1839073564

Roku users are about to get two times the Apple—beginning today.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:33:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple TV Plus Apple TV Apple Roku Streaming Wars Streaming
Data For 26 Million Stolen Payment Cards Leaked In Hack of Fraud Bazaar http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/LYm8g20Mfug/data-for-26-million-stolen-payment-cards-leaked-in-hack-of-fraud-bazaar

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:30:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Sega’s Throwback Genesis Mini is Packed With Good Vibes http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/time/topstories/~3/FgQ9Az2GL0o/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:27:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Uncategorized Gadgets Onetime Video Games The Station: A new self-driving car startup, Inside Tesla’s V10 software, Lilium’s big round http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/LNXqcz4oQnQ/ If you haven’t heard, TechCrunch has officially launched a weekly newsletter dedicated to all the ways people and goods move from Point A to Point B — today and in the future — whether it’s by bike, bus, scooter, car, train, truck, flying car, robotaxi or rocket. Heck, maybe even via hyperloop.

Earlier this year, we piloted a weekly transportation newsletter. Now, we’re back with a new name and a format that will be delivered into your inbox every Saturday morning. We’re calling it The Station, your hub of all things transportation. I’m your host, senior transportation reporter Kirsten Korosec.

Portions of the newsletter will be published as an article on the main site after it has been emailed to subscribers (that’s what you’re reading now). To get everything, you have to sign up. And it’s free. To subscribe, go to our newsletters page and click on The Station.

This isn’t a solo effort. Expect analysis and insight from senior reporter Megan Rose Dickey, who has been covering micromobility. TechCrunch reporter Jake Bright will occasionally provide insight into electric motorcycles, racing and the startup scene in Africa. And then of course, there are other TechCrunch staffers who will weigh in from their stations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

We love the reader feedback. Keep it coming. Email me at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com to share thoughts, opinions or tips or send a direct message to @kirstenkorosec.

A new autonomous vehicle company on the scene

Deeproute.ai is the newest company to receive a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Here is what we know so far. The Chinese startup just raised $50 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Fozun RZ Capital, the Beijing-based venture capital arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. The company has research centers in Shenzhen, Beijing and Silicon Valley and is aiming to build a full self-driving stack that can handle Level 4 automation, a designation by the SAE that means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human intervention.

Deeproute.ai is also a supplier for China’s second-largest automaker Dongfeng Motor, according to TechNode. The startup plans to offer robotaxi services in partnership with Dongfeng Motor for the Military World Games in the city of Wuhan next month.

Snapshot: Tesla Smart Summon

Remember way back in September when Tesla started rolling out its V10 software update? The software release was highly anticipated in large part because it included Smart Summon, an autonomous parking feature that allows owners to use their app to summon their vehicles from a parking space.

We have some insight into the rollout, courtesy of TezLab, a Brooklyn-based startup that developed a free app that’s like a Fitbit for a Tesla vehicle. Tesla owners who download the app can track their efficiency, total trip miles and use it to control certain functions of the vehicle, such as locking and unlocking the doors, and heating and air conditioning. TezLab, which has 20,000 active users and logs more than 1 million events a day, has become a massive repository of Tesla data.

TezLab shared the data set below that shows the ebb and flow of Tesla’s software updates. The X axis shows the date (of every other bar) and a timestamp of midnight. (Because this is a screenshot, you can’t toggle over it to see the time.)

This data shows when Tesla started pushing out the V10 software as well as when it held it back. The upshot? Notice the pop on September 27. That’s when the public rollout began in earnest, then dipped, then spiked again on October 3 and then dropped for almost a week. That lull followed a slew of social media postings demonstrating and complaining about the Smart Summon feature, suggesting that Tesla slowed the software release.

A geofencing bright spot

Speaking of Smart Summon, you might have seen the Consumer Reports review of the feature. In short, the consumer advocacy group called it “glitchy” and wondered if it offered any benefits to customers. I spoke to CR and learned a bit more. CR notes that Tesla is clear in its manual about the limitations of this beta product. The organization’s criticism is that people don’t have insight into these limitations when they buy the “Full Self-Driving” feature, which costs thousands of dollars. (CEO Elon Musk just announced the price will go up another $1,000 on November 1.)

One encouraging sign is that CR determined that the Smart Summon feature was able (most of the time) to recognize when it was on a public road. Smart Summon is only supposed to be used in private areas. “This is the first we’ve seen Tesla geofence this technology and that is a bright spot,” CR told me.

Deal of the week

There were plenty of deals in the past week, but the one that stood out — for a variety of reasons — involved German urban air mobility startup Lilium . Editor Ingrid Lunden had the scoop that Lilium has been talking to investors to raise between $400 million and $500 million. The size of this yet-to-be-closed round and who might be investing is what got our attention.

Lilium has already raised more than $100 million in financing from investors, including WeChat owner and Chinese internet giant Tencent, Atomico, which was founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, and Obvious Ventures, the early-stage VC fund co-founded by Twitter’s Ev Williams. International private banking and asset management group LGT and Freigeist (formerly called e42) are also investors.

TechCrunch is still hunting down details about who might be investing, as well as Lilium’s valuation. (You can always reach out with a tip.)

Lunden was able to ferret out a few important nuggets from sources, including that Tencent is apparently in this latest round and the startup has been pitching new investors since at least this spring. The round has yet to close. Lilium isn’t the only urban air mobility — aka flying cars — startup that been shaking the investor trees for money the past six months. Lilium’s challenge is attempting to raise a bigger round than others in an unproven market.

Sources: Lilium is looking to raise up to $500M for its electric flying taxis

A little bird

We hear a lot. But we’re not selfish. Let’s share. For the unfamiliar, a little bird is where we pass along insider tips and what we’re hearing or finding from reliable, informed sources in the industry. This isn’t a place for unfounded gossip. Sometimes, like this week, we’re just helping to connect the dots to determine where a company is headed.

Aurora, an autonomous vehicle startup backed by Sequoia Capital and Amazon, published a blog post that lay outs its plans to integrate its self-driving stack into multiple vehicle platforms. Those plans now include long-haul trucks.

Self-driving trucks are so very hot right now. Aurora is banking on its recent acquisition of lidar company Blackmore to give it an edge. Aurora has integrated into a Class 8 truck its self-driving stack known as “Aurora Driver.” We hear that Aurora isn’t announcing any partnerships — at least not now — but it’s signaling a plan to push into this market.

Got a tip or overheard something in the world of transportation? Email me at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com to share thoughts, opinions or tips or send a direct message to @kirstenkorosec.

Keep (self) truckin’

Ike, the autonomous trucking startup founded by veterans of Apple, Google and Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s self-driving truck program, has always cast itself as the cautious-we’ve-been-around-the-block-already company.

That hasn’t changed. Last week, Ike released a lengthy safety report and accompanying blog post. It’s beefy. But here are a few of the important takeaways. Ike is choosing not to test on public roads after a year of development, unlike most others in the space. Ike has a fleet of four Class 8 trucks outfitted with its self-driving stack as well as a Toyota Prius used for mapping and data collection. The trucks are driven manually, (a second engineer always in the passenger seat) on public roads. The automation system is then tested on a track.

There are strong incentives to demonstrate rapid progress with autonomous vehicle technology, and testing on public roads has been part of that playbook. And Ike’s founders are taking a different path; and we hear that the approach was embraced, not rejected, by investors. 

In the next issue of the newsletter, check out snippets from an interview with Randol Aikin, the head of systems engineering at Ike. We dig into the company’s approach, which is based on a methodology developed at MIT called Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) as the foundation for Ike’s product development.

In other AV truck-related news, Kodiak Robotics just hired Jamie Hoffacker as its head of hardware. Hoffacker came from Lyft’s Level 5 self-driving vehicle initiative and also worked on Google’s Street View vehicles. The company tells me that Hoffacker is key to its aim of building a product that can be manufactured, not just a prototype. Check out Hoffacker’s blog post to get his perspective.

Nos vemos la próxima vez.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:18:29 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Automotive TC Africa Amazon Apple Asia Aurora Automation Autonomous Car AV Beijing Blackmore Cars China Dongfeng Motor Elon Musk Emerging-Technologies Europe Fitbit Google Ike Lilium Lyft MIT Obvious Ventures Robotics Self-driving Cars Sequoia Capital Shenzhen Skype Tencent Tesla Model S TezLab Toyota Prius Transport United States
Flowhub raises $23 million for its retail management software for cannabis dispensaries http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/Iyq93lCuQvo/ As cannabis dispensaries flourish across the country alongside the push to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana use, demand for tools to manage the specificities of the weed retail business continues to increase.

Looking to address that need, Flowhub , a cannabis retail management software vendor, has raised $23 million from a consortium of investors including e.ventures, Evolv Ventures (the Kraft Heinz-backed venture capital fund) and Poseidon. 

The legal cannabis market is expected to top $66 billion over the next five years, according to estimates from Grand View Research, and entrepreneurs looking to get into the highly regulated industry are flocking to Flowhub’s suite of dispensary management services.

Not only does the company’s software address compliance concerns, according to chief executive officer Kyle Sherman, but it also integrates with companies like Dutchie for online ordering to facilitate in-store purchases and adds integrations with LeafBuyer and Leafly to provide more information to potential retailers.

The company also updated its software to include the “Stash” app, a mobile inventory management system, and a cashier app that integrates with iPads or other tablets to improve point-of-sale capabilities.

“What we are experiencing right now is an end to cannabis prohibition and Flowhub is on the front lines of this movement,” said Sherman, in a statement. “Every legal transaction completed with the Flowhub retail platform is a positive step forward, and we are committed to helping our customers build thriving cannabis businesses. With this investment, we will continue to automate the cannabis supply chain, retail and reporting processes and bring to market technology solutions that are not only shaping the cannabis retail business, but also driving forward the future of legalization and de-stigmatization.”

For investors like Emily Paxhia, a managing director at Poseidon, the opportunity to back a company helping to automate compliance in the regulated marijuana industry was too tempting to pass up.

“The compliance and regulation aspects make this a unique industry and Flowhub is one of the leading cannabis tech companies that is taking a meticulous and strategic approach,” Paxhia said in a statement. “We saw the potential for Flowhub’s technology and mission early on and we’re thrilled to continue to support them in delivering the cannabis retail experience of the future.”

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:59:42 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Recent Funding Startups TC Cannabis Flowhub
Twitter says it will restrict users from retweeting world leaders who break its rules http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/Rhe_icg2MxY/ Twitter said it will restrict how users can interact with tweets from world leaders who break its rules.

The social media giant said it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet the offending tweets, but instead will let users quote-tweet to allow ordinary users to express their opinions.

The company said the move will help its users stay informed about global affairs, but while balancing the need to keep the site’s rules in check.

We haven’t used this notice yet, but when we do, you will not be able to like, reply, share, or Retweet the Tweet in question. You will still be able to express your opinion with Retweet with Comment.

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 15, 2019

Twitter has been in a bind, amid allegations that the company has not taken action against world leaders who break its rules.

“When it comes to the actions of world leaders on Twitter, we recognize that this is largely new ground and unprecedented,” Twitter said in an unbylined blog post on Tuesday.

Last year, Twitter said it would not ban President Trump despite incendiary tweets, including allegations that he threatened to declare war on North Korea. However, in the case of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, he had one of his tweets deleted from the site.

“We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely,” the company said. Any user who tweets content promoting terrorism, making “clear and direct” threats of violence, and posting private information are all subject to ban.

But Twitter said in cases involving a world leader, “we will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so.”

In such a case, “we may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content,” said Twitter, making good on a promise it made in June.

“Our goal is to enforce our rules judiciously and impartially,” Twitter added in a tweet. “In doing so, we aim to provide direct insight into our enforcement decision-making, to serve public conversation, and protect the public’s right to hear from their leaders and to hold them to account.”

Twitter asserts that it won’t ban Trump because he’s a world leader

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:50:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
3 Reasons BYOD Policies Give IT Folks A Headache http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abovethelaw/~3/mT4XRtCL7EI/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:44:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Legal Operations Technology Bring Your Own Device (BYOD Mike Quartararo David Sacks’s Craft Ventures just closed its second fund with $500 million http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/aQCSYvno2TU/ Craft Ventures, the venture firm launched in 2017 by serial entrepreneur David Sacks, has closed its second fund with $500 million in capital commitments, an amount the firm was said to begin targeting roughly a year ago.

Craft’s debut fund had closed with $350 million.

The outfit — which Sacks runs with other serial entrepreneurs Bill Lee (Remarq, Social Concepts), Jeff Fluhr (StubHub, Spreecast), and Sky Dayton (who has founded and cofounded a lot of companies) — invests in series seed through B rounds, in a wide range of companies that neatly fit into each investor’s wheelhouse.

For his part, Sacks, who was the COO of PayPal before founding the genealogy website Geni.com, then Yammer, is focused on both consumer and enterprise startups as long as they can go viral. His signature bet at Craft is Bird, the e-scooter company whose Series A round Craft had led. (Bird founder Travis VanderZanden announced the company’s Series D round of $275 million at a $2.5 billion valuation at our recent TechCrunch Disrupt event.)

Fluhr meanwhile focuses on marketplaces and e-commerce startups and the firm cites as one of his more prominent deals the Series A round of the nursing marketplace Trusted Health. Lee is focused on breakthrough technologies and counts among his investments the esports company Cloud9, a company that went on to raise $50 million in Series B funding last year (and is probably due to announce yet another round soon). And Dayton — who is very notably a cofounder with Travis Kalanick in CloudKitchens, the dark kitchen company that’s literally trying to take over the world) —  focuses on so-called hard tech, drawing on his experience with launching the dial-up pioneer EarthLink, along with the WiFi service provider Boingo Wireless.

Some of the Craft’s more recent bets include Terminal, a San Francisco-based startup that helps companies to source and manage remote engineers in international locations; it raised $17 million in funding just last month. Another of its deals is Internal, a months-old, San Francisco-based startup that wants to help companies better manage their internal consoles so they can ensure that not everyone on staff has access to sensitive data. It closed on $5 million in seed funding led by Craft last month, a deal we’d written about here.

At firm’s outset, blockchain was a major theme, according to Sacks, though the firm appears to fast-evolving into an outfit that invests far more broadly. Indeed, Harbor, a decentralized compliance protocol designed to standardize the way crypto securities are issued and traded — and a deal that was among Craft’s first — saw its founders leave to start Integral (above) earlier this year.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:40:54 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC
Best Buy cuts price of 2019 MacBook Air, saving you $100 plus 1 year of Apple TV http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/digitaltrends/~3/LYdI-YJVlFw/ ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:15:57 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Computing Deals Apple MacBook Air Google Announces New Google Assistant With Huge Boost To Speed http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/-BZGlsfwzAQ/google-announces-new-google-assistant-with-huge-boost-to-speed

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:13:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Apple Takes Down Viral ‘Countdown’ Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/countdown-app-removed-apple-store-android-1203371623/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:04:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs News Apple Countdown STX Films With Alibaba, Pivotal and Lightbend on board, Reactive flexes its ROI muscle in the microservices world http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/DHPxSlnRMms/ Secure Octane, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity seed fund. More posts by this contributor

The Linux Foundation recently announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation. Its founding members are Alibaba, Lightbend, Pivotal and Netifi. So what exactly is this Reactive Kool-Aid, and why are all these companies guzzling it down so fast?

If you buy the premise that developers live in a cloud-native microservices world, then you also understand that most applications are distributed and elastic. The compute is spread across clusters, as is all the data. It could be a few users, or a spike of thousands. Systems need to be architected to handle these spikes. Yet the dark secret of microservices is complexity — the management of resources, costs, performance and latency remain a challenge.

If we break down any application into hundreds of moving parts (such as containers and microservices), then we better have an elegant way to manage those moving parts. These services need to talk to each other, exchange data and ensure that overall performance is reliable, at all times. Easier said than done.

The “big unsolved problem of the cloud”

According to Daniel Berg, Distinguished Engineer at IBM Cloud, “The network is the unsolved problem of the cloud…. We need the network to be a first-class citizen of a cloud system.” Why does the network remain a problem? Is it because we fall back on our old ways, when we need to rethink the new? We have designed the car with the big clunky wheels of a horse buggy. Conceptually, it sounds fine — but it can be a pretty rough ride.

In the layered cake of network protocols, we have the middle layer of transportation (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol or TCP/IP), and right at the top, we have the application layer. We use a protocol called hypertext transfer protocol (or HTTP) to make sure the web applications can talk to each other. TCP was born in 1974 and is called a “chatty protocol” — it has to go back and forth many times just to do some basic stuff. A TCP joke circulating around proves this point.

HTTP Joke

HTTP came in 15 years later, in 1989, and was used to serve documents in a client-server era. This was when we all had desktops being cooled with whirring fans. We would use a Netscape browser to launch a web page (hypertext) and the web-server would say, “Wait a sec – let me fetch that for you.”

Three decades later, we are trying to make do with HTTP, when the compute layer has exploded. Does HTTP work in the world of millions of interactions with machine-to-machine communications? Our mobile, IoT and edge devices are not quite requesting pages and walls of text. And there is no client-server as much as peer-to-peer exchange. But the network layer is stuck with us and we are trying to make sure these microservices can stay put using some archaic methodologies. “As much as 89% of all microservices architecture is based on HTTP, says Stéphane Maldini, principal software engineer at Pivotal. Pivotal is one of the founding members of the Reactive Foundation. In the process, we are creating a big trade-off in efficiency. We are still using two cans and a piece of string to communicate, when we should use the next iPhone.

HTTP is unsuitable for microservices

If we use HTTP in the micro-services world, we have fundamental challenges. For one, there is no flow control — “which means that data flows from a fire hose,” says Robert Roeser, co-founder of Netifi. Because the data can be dumped at a rapid pace, and multiple threads are opened up, we end up building control features to ensure the application does not crash.

Reactive programming is a paradigm shift at the architectural level. It’s about speed and performance.

Stuff like circuit breakers, retry logic, thundering herd (where a large number of processes wake up, but only one wins, often leading to freezing up) needs to be managed effectively. In HTTP, everything is a request / response, but if we look at a simple notification for an app, we don’t need to keep polling all the time. The request is like a grumpy kid sitting in the backseat whimpering, “Are we there yet?,” when the journey has just begun.

Such inefficient mechanisms cause a huge waste of compute resources when we use the wrong protocol. IBM documented the inefficiency of microservices and concluded that the performance of the microservices is ~ 79% (s)lower than the monolithic model. “We identified that Node.js and Java EE runtime libraries for handling HTTP communication consumed significantly more CPU cycles in the microservice model than in the monolithic one,” conclude the researchers.

Goodbye HTTP, hullo Reactive

The Reactive Foundation sits under the Linux Foundation and aims to accelerate the next generation of networked technologies. It espouses the merits of Reactive Programming Frameworks and builds the community. Ryland Degnan, chair of the Reactive Foundation and co-founder of Netifi, lived the HTTPain while he was a member of the Netflix edge platform.

Ryland understands scale, latency and user experience better than most people. At Netflix, the platform would have billions of requests from over several hundred million members. He says, “We live in a multi-dimensional universe where user experience matters. Developers have to deal with three axes of (a) deployments (b) frameworks and (c) protocols. Spotty connections are unacceptable. Why can’t we pick the stream up from where you left off? If we do that alone, we reduce 90% of our infrastructure.”

Indeed, Facebook has adopted RSocket to reduce the dropped connections over mobile network hops and reduced its edge infrastructure significantly. Steve Gury, a software engineer at Facebook speaking at SpringOne Platform said, “The future is R-Socket.”

Reactive programming is a paradigm shift at the architectural level. It’s about speed and performance. One of the major strengths of Reactive is asynchronous I/O, which allows reduction of edge infrastructure by orders of magnitude.

Andy Shi, developer advocate at AliCloud (a unit of Alibaba), is one of the founding members of the Reactive Foundation. He says, “Alibaba has thousands of developers as we are one of the world’s biggest e-commerce platforms. As we adopt microservices and see that compute is utilized only around 10%, throwing more infrastructure at the service mesh is not the answer. Pods are talking to each other using REST API which is not the way to go.”

REST APIs require multiple endpoints and round trips to get the data. Another founding member of the Reactive Foundation, Viktor Klang, deputy CTO at Lightbend, has been evangelizing Reactive for well over a decade, and feels like the time has finally come. “Our systems need to produce results in the required time frame. Imagine if you could compute an answer to a grand question — like the meaning of life — but if the answer is delivered after you die, the system has failed,” he says.

Comparing service meshes and use cases

While Istio is the 18-wheeler truck best suited for lift and shift, RSocket is the Ferrari — speed and elegance. Experts foresee a world where the two may coexist. Yet there are applications, such as IoT use cases, where RSocket has a clear edge (pun intended). Istio offers load balancing, service discovery, logging and traffic management but with heavy overhead.

In studies, Netifi was able to process 16X more requests and delivered four times higher throughput in comparison while maintaining three times better latency — 372% faster throughput with 300% less latency. “Netifi has the potential to be like a Cisco — the router of the microservices,” says Creighton Hicks, investor at Dell Technology Capital.

Istio was launched by Google, IBM and Lyft, so it is a strong incumbent and with serious brand cachet. But when the likes of Alibaba and Facebook start to showcase the RSocket ROI, the fun has just begun. During a recent presentation in London, the Reactive mafia was in full swing. Ondrej Lehecka, a software engineer at Facebook, and Andy Shi talked about how RSocket is addressing real-world architectural challenges. Shi said, “RSocket is designed to shine in the era of microservice and IoT devices. Projects built on top of RSocket protocol and Reactive streams in general will disrupt the landscape of microservices architecture. The Reactive Foundation is the hub of these exciting projects.”

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:00:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Column Developer Microservices
Our Favorite Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Cases That You Can Already Order https://theinventory.com/our-favorite-pixel-4-and-pixel-4-xl-cases-you-can-alrea-1839070788

After months of leaks, Google finally, officially unveiled its new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to the world earlier today. Preorders are live already, and are set to ship at the end of next week. But while you’ve got your credit card out, we rounded up some of our favorite cases that you can order right now, if you want to…

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Pixel 4 Google Cases
Here’s where to buy the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/digitaltrends/~3/selrjqdCpUc/ ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 15:55:21 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Android Mobile Google Google Pixel 2019 event Pixel 4 Pixel 4 XL How to Preorder Google's Pixel 4 and 4 XL, Pixelbook Go, Nest Mini, and Nest Wifi https://lifehacker.com/how-to-preorder-googles-pixel-4-and-4-xl-pixelbook-go-1839068320

We all knew Google would announce its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL during today’s Made by Google 2019 event, but the company showed off a handful of other devices, too: a new Pixelbook Go laptop, an update to the Pixel Buds wireless earphones, and a new Nest smarthome speaker (and mesh wifi system).

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 15:45:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Google Pixel Android Nest Smarthome Pixelbook Chrome Os Wifi
Google's Auto-Delete Tools Are Practically Worthless For Privacy http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/5CbsZ6Q5wGo/googles-auto-delete-tools-are-practically-worthless-for-privacy

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Tue, 15 Oct 2019 15:33:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs