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No. 225: Merger mumbles, cyberbucks for SBU and Rob Spence, eyeborg

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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TG it’s F: Wham-O cofounder Arthur “Spud” Melin was awarded a patent for the Hula-Hoop on this day in 1963, long after the craze had peaked, leaving Wham-O with millions of unsold plastic hoops and a $10,000 loss. The firm did better with the Frisbee, Super Ball and Silly String. Melin and partner Richard Knerr sold out for $12 million in 1982. Attention Al Gore: Vinton Cerf, who actually did invent the Internet, is 74 today. It’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day. (Unless you work at a pound.) But first, this: Shares of CA enjoyed a brief 16 percent jump this week following news that the software giant is considering a deal to go private and merge with Houston’s BMC Sof... Read More
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EyeEm is using computer vision to unearth the best photos on your phone’s camera roll

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Online photography platform and community EyeEm has unveiled a new feature designed to automatically unearth the best photos on your smartphone. With “EyeEm Selects,” mobile photographers who have EyeEm installed can elect to have the app scan their camera roll which then uses computer vision to suggest the best photos to upload to the EyeEm community. Founded out of Germany in 2011, EyeEm, in its purest form, is a 20-million strong community of photography enthusiasts who use the platform to upload photos, share tips, and discuss all-things photography. It has also evolved into ... Read More
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Brazil-based Neoway raises $45 million to bring its sales analytics to the U.S.

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Neoway, which provides data and analytics to companies in Brazil, announced today that it has raised $45 million to expand to the U.S. QMS Capital led the round, with existing investors Accel, Monashees, and Endeavor Catalyst joining. New investors include PointBreak and Pollux. The company, which is based in Florianópolis, Brazil helps companies manage sales by aggregating and curating massive amounts of highly detailed information about prospective customers and a range of markets. Neoway uses more than 3,000 databases from 600 different sources, according to a statement. It’s kind of like LexisNexis meets Tableau. “Companies don’... Read More
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Algorithmia raises $10.5 million from Google’s new AI fund and others

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Algorithmia, a startup that provides a platform for simplifying the use of machine learning in production, has raised a $10.5 million series A round led by Google to further support its work. The raise confirms the existence of Google’s rumored artificial intelligence fund. Anna Patterson, the tech giant’s vice president of engineering for AI, will join Algorithmia’s board as part of the deal. Work-Bench, Madrona Venture Group, Rakuten Ventures and Osage University Partners took part in the round as well. “I think that at the core of it, [this investment] is a validation of what we’ve been doing, and the ... Read More
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E-commerce makes its debuts in Afghanistan

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Shah Faisal, a young entrepreneur in Afghanistan, is overcoming the odds to introduce online shopping to the capital Kabul.Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride reports from Kabul.- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera- Check our w... Read More
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As Uber Flails, Its Self-Driving Car Research Rolls On

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For all its heat, the fire that is Uber in 2017 hasn't scorched everything. While the nigh-apocalyptic past six months have felled founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, and sparked questions about its ability to keep its employees safe, let alone happy, Uber's self-driving car program seems to be doing just fi... Read More
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European VC firm Iris Capital closes $280 million fund for multi-stage startups in Europe and U.S.

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Iris Capital, a European VC firm headquartered in Paris, has announced the first closing of a new €250 million ($280 million) fund aimed at seed-to-growth stage startups. The fund, called IrisNext, was first announced back in 2015 and it was originally scheduled to close in 2016. IrisNext investors include a number of corporates such as Publicis, Valeo, and Orange, alongside institutions such as Bpifrance and BRED Banque Populaire. Investments will range from €1 million ($1.1) to €30 million ($33 million), and will be aimed prim... Read More
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Who will train the next generation of data scientists?

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While artificial intelligence is a hot topic these days, the industry is facing a key problem: not enough scholars are staying in academia to teach the massive influx of students. It’s a problem that Jennifer Chayes, a managing director and distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research, has seen firsthand while recruiting top researchers away from universities and into her organization. In her view, professors, like one who she hired away from a post at Stanford University last year, aren’t leaving entirely for the money, since they could work at startups or do consulting on the side while keeping their academic posts. Large companies like Microsoft offer increased pay, but also access to massive amounts of data that gets upda... Read More
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Why Element.AI’s $102 million round is just the beginning

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The venture capital community was shocked last week with Element AI’s fundraise. How can a Canadian startup founded in late 2016 raise a Series-A in June 2017 for a cool $102 million? Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Intel Capital were among the illustrious group of VCs who put in this sum into a round that makes almost all other Series-A rounds look paltry. When you peruse Element’s webpage you see a simple HTML site that talks vaguely about AI-Strategy consulting, expert matching, and AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS). It leaves you scratching your head, wondering how this firm’s ideas are earth shatteri... Read More
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Microsoft says its AI took a data scientist’s job

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Much of the conversation about machine learning taking jobs focuses on the future, but Microsoft boasted its cloud service has already managed to claim one human’s position. The Custom Decision Service, which the company introduced at its Build conference last month, took over at one of Microsoft’s customers, according to Jennifer Chayes, a distinguished scientist at the company’s research arm. “One of the startups, they were really pressed for funds, got rid of their one data scientist because this worked so much better than their data scientist,” she said during an on stage interview at a Bl... Read More
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Help wanted: Americans don’t need more degrees, they need training

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America has more than 6 million vacant jobs, yet the country is “facing a serious skills gap,” Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta recently said. And last week his boss, President Donald Trump, said he wants to close this gap by directing $100 million of federal money into apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships in the U.S. are generally known for training workers for blue collar jobs like plumbers or electricians, but with a little tweak, they could be the path to lucrative, ... Read More
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Well-known names surface as possible Uber CEO candidates

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DETROIT :Uber seeks a strong manager who can repair a broken image, juggle multiple lawsuits and government investigations, develop and nurture a new corporate culture and lead a successful IPO.That's a lot for potential candidates to consider. Uber needs a new leader after former CEO and company founder Travis Kalanick resigned Tuesday night under pressure from Uber's board and investors. 8 India-first features in Uber ... Read More
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ftcash plans to hire 500 new employees in next 18 months

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NEW DELHI: Financial technology firm ftcash today announced its plans to hire around 500 people across verticals in the next 18 months."ftcash...plans to hire around 500 new team members over the next 18 months," the company said in a statement.Software engineers for its tech team will comprise 15% of the new recruits, while others will be hired across verticals such as marketing, sales, finance, and operations, it added."Wi... Read More
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Snapchat enables location sharing on its platform with ‘Snap Map’

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Tata Elxsi to help AAI design IT guidelines for airports Imagination Tech up for sale after battle with Apple Infosys CEO: Indian IT industry is not H-1B-dependent Uber saga shows investors’ growing role in startups Oracle Q4 profit beats Wall Street estimates Taiwan's Foxconn says Toshiba deal 'not over' IPL: Oppo, Vivo and others ... Read More
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Stony Brook Receives $4.5 Million Grant to Recruit Leaders in AI and Cybersecurity

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Stony Brook Receives $4.5 Million Grant to Recruit Leaders in AI and Cybersecurity STONY BROOK, N.Y., June 22, 2017 – Stony Brook University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been awarded two grants totaling $4.5 million from SUNY’s ... Read More
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Ford’s on-demand bus service Chariot expands to Seattle

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Ford’s on-demand bus service Chariot expands to Seattle - The Vergeclockmenumore-arrow (function(d) { try { if (localStorage.getItem('chorus-fonts-0b50f0674bed2b66b24a77410eb3f99c') === 'yes') { d.documentElement.className += ' fonts-loaded'; } } catch (e) {} var fontUrls = ["https://fonts.voxmedia.com/unison/stylesheets/verge.1d37918fdeeb1febc4d68217382a1e72.css"]; var ss = d.styleSheets; for (var i=0; i -1) { ss[i].ownerNode.media = 'all'; fontUrls.splice(idx, 1); } } if (fontUrls.length > 0) { setTimeout(onload, 0); } } onload(); })(document); var chorusInitQueue=[],volume_embed_host="https://volume.vox-cdn.com";var Chorus=Chorus||{};Chorus.windowLoaded=!1,Chorus... Read More
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‘Sega Forever’ debuts free console classics on Android, iOS

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"Sonic the Hedgehog" leads the line as Sega rolls out free retro games collection Sega Forever with five classic titles for Android and iOS devices."Sonic the Hedgehog" is accompanied by "Phantasy Star 2," "Comix Zone," "Kid Chameleon" and "Altered Beast."Other titles are expected to follow on a monthly basis, as website forever.sega.com advises."Sonic the Hedgehog" made its debut on the Sega Genesis (... Read More
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Inside France’s Zenly, the social mapping app that was just bought by Snap

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By the time the cofounders of Paris-based Zenly got together, the world was not exactly begging for another check-in or location-sharing app. No matter. The French entrepreneurs decided to give it one anyway. That unlikely bet seems to have paid off with reports that Snap has acquired the company for more than $250 million, according to TechCrunch. The deal came to light after Snap earlier this week launched Snap Map, which seemed like a clone of Zenly, at best. Instead, it appears Snap has simply bought the company. Representatives of Snap and... Read More
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Fresh off $600 million raise, Mobike rides bike-sharing service into Japan

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Chinese bike-sharing behemoth Mobike has announced a major new market launch with the news that it’s launched a subsidiary company in Japan. The news comes hot on the heels of a mammoth $600 million raise, which took the startup’s total funding since it was founded out of Shanghai in 2015 to more than $900 million, with backers including Tencent and the Chinese affiliate arm of Silicon Valley’s Sequoia. Mobike, for the uninitiated, is one of a number of bike-sharing startups to emerge in recent tim... Read More
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YL Ventures Expands Advisory Board with Akamai and Imperva Executives for $75M Fund

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SAN FRANCISCO & TEL AVIV, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 22, 2017– YL Ventures, the Silicon Valley headquartered seed-stage venture capital firm investing in Israeli innovation, announces the expansion of its leadership team with another two market leading venture advisors, Andy Ellis, chief security officer of Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Amichai Shulman, co-founder and chief technology officer of Imperva, Inc. The expansion of YL Ventures leadership team follows ... Read More
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Punkt MP01 Review: You’ll Love This Very Smart Dumbphone

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To cash in on the growing anxiety that we are fast becoming a bunch of Wi-Fi-enabled cyborgs, the marketplace has spawned a new consumer category: products to free you from the crushing grip of always-on digital ubiquity. There are digital detox retreats: off-grid playgrounds where the habitually frazzled do downward dog in grassy fields and type letters on manual typewriters. There are $76 bath salts, too—minerals specially formulated to c... Read More
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Nuvolo Closes $10 Million Series A Financing

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Funding round to expand global sales and innovation teams and extend company’s leadership position in cloud-based enterprise asset management JERSEY CITY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 22, 2017– Nuvolo, the world’s fastest growing cloud-based enterprise asset management (EAM) company, today announced $10 million in Series A funding. ... Read More
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Stripe refocuses European effort with 6 new markets and expanded payments platform

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Stripe has announced a handful of tidbits that underscore the fast-growing fintech startup’s aspirations in Europe. Thus far, Stripe has only been fully available to businesses in the U.K., Ireland, France, Spain, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. But as of this week, another six markets have been added to the mix: Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, Stripe serves as the technical and banking infrastructure that allows businesses and individuals to accept online payments. The company has garnered more than $400 million in equity financing from big-name backers since its inception back in... Read More
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GE Ventures leads $10 million investment in Nuvolo’s asset management service

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Nuvolo, which provides software to help healthcare providers, life sciences organizations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers better manage their assets, announced today funding of $10 million, led by GE Ventures. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and ServiceNow Ventures also joined. “The largest investment in healthcare is in medical equipment and facilities”, wrote Nuvolo CEO Tom Stanford, in an email to VentureBeat. The Jersey City, New Jersey-based startup built a cloud-based service on top of ServiceNow to help healthcare providers and manufacturers manage assets, like medical devices and laboratory equipment. Nuv... Read More
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Pixeldash Studios diversifies to succeed

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Presented by Intel The state of Louisiana—the Pelican State, apparently—was not really considered a hotbed of game development when Jason Tate and Evan Smith were working for the only studio in Baton Rouge. When that company folded, it became a crossroads moment: move to the Bay Area or any other gaming hotbed, or stay where they were and make the best of the situation in their home state. “We opted to start our own company so we could make games, and stay in Louisiana,” says Tate, the co-founder and lead programmer, of the decision he made with Smith, who would act as Creative Director on the two-man team. This decision in 2011 was assisted by the state government’s efforts to build the games... Read More
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8i lets you superimpose holographic characters into photos with Holo mobile app

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Holographic tech startup 8i is launching its Holo mobile app, which enables you to add 3D holograms of people and animated characters into your real-world photos and videos. You can, for instance, take a hologram of Spider-Man and add him into the background of one of your smartphone photos. You can also stitch moving holographic characters into a video. 8i launched the app on iOS and Google Play at VidCon 2017, a big trade show for vloggers in Anaheim, Calif. The company a... Read More
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AR/VR Weekly: Virtual reality takes a bigger stage at E3

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You can get a good sense of the role virtual reality plays in the video game industry by comparing two of the biggest industry events in North America: the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo. VR plays a crucial role at GDC, and this year’s event made a case that it’s not going anywhe... Read More
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26 VR startups debut at HTC’s Vive demo day

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HTC has bet big on virtual reality with its HTC Vive VR headset. It continues to believe in the market, and it showed off technology from 26 new companies today at its Vive X accelerator demo day in San Francisco. HTC has set up a $100 million fund to invest in VR companies, and it has made 60 investments so far across five different accelerator locations in China, the U.S., Taiwan, and Israel. Here’s the enterprise VR companies: ... Read More
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Why ‘every person on the planet’ will need a digital ID

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Living in the United States, in a land of (generally) functional government services, we take an awful lot for granted. We expect to be able to board a plane, provide a copy of a driver’s license or employee ID to get into a building, and pay with a credit card. All day, every day, we expect people to trust that we are who we say we are. That’s a privilege we shouldn’t take for granted. Because for over 1 billion people, what I just described isn’t a day to day reality. Unlike us, they never had a birth certificate, which means they often couldn’t access basic healthcare or enroll in public education. And unlike us, they were simply unable to get a line of credit or claim their government benefits. These people ... Read More
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Island networker gets out in front of Social Media Day

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Long Island’s own Social Media Association is getting a jump on Social Media Day. While June 30 marks the actual anniversary of Social Media Day, founded in 2010 by the digital media company Mashable to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication, the SMA – a networking group dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs, business owners and other strategic decision-makers through social and digital media – is hosting its observance a day early, with a get-together slated to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 29 at Bald... Read More
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Zeldin: The right CHOICE for the Long Island economy

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The financial meltdown of 2008 left our economy in shambles. Millions of Americans were negatively impacted, many right within our home state, with so many people losing their jobs, having their homes foreclosed upon, and ultimately left in a state of dire financial uncertainty. The “Great Recession” was caused by weak underwriting standards, flawed big government policies and the trading and long-term holding of poorly rated home loans which would never be paid back. In 2008 alone, 861,664 families lost their homes. The crisis only worsened in the following years and left our nation with an economic gap which we are still recovering from. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly referred to as ... Read More
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How Beyond Verbal hopes to make Siri and Alexa emotionally intelligent

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An Israeli startup specializing in analyzing human emotion and traits based on voice is opening up its technology to help artificial intelligence (AI) assistants — such as Siri and Alexa — understand people’s moods by listening to how they sound when they speak. Founded out of Tel Aviv in 2012, Beyond Verbal has been building on decades of emotion analytics research with its own studies, which have been carried out in conjunction with notable organizations including the Mayo Clinic, the University of Chicago, Scripps, and Hadassah Medical Center. Its data gathering has led to the collation of more than 2.5 million “emotion-tagged voices” across 40 languages. The com... Read More
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No. 224: Immune system secrets, Empire steel and save us, Scott Rechler

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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How’s it going so far? The sun was directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 00:24 Wednesday morning, signaling summer’s start. Environment New York would like to take this opportunity to warn you that local temperatures are 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1970s and could be nine degrees higher than now by the century’s end if we don’t stop with the coal already and get back with the Paris thing. So please tan responsibly. Also, welcome new readers Paul, Tom, Andrea, Carla, Chandra and Arthur. Happy to have you aboard. But first, this: Elon Musk’s latest startup is trying to significantly ramp up the speed of tunnel boring machines so that they might affordably dig a netw... Read More
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CEOs Say They’ll Sell Health Insurance Next Year, But Are Flying Blind

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Enlarge this image Mario Schlosser, CEO of the startup Oscar Health, says he's optimistic that Congress will come up with a humane health care bill. Noam Galai/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption... Read More
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Uber CEO Kalanick resigns under investor pressure

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Travis Kalanick, the combative and embattled CEO of ride-hailing giant Uber, has resigned under pressure from investors at a pivotal time for the company. Uber’s board confirmed the move early Wednesday, saying in a statement that Kalanick is taking time to heal from the death of his mother in a boating accident “while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.” He will remain on the Uber Technologies Inc. board. The move comes as Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company, was having trouble morphing from a free-wheeling startup into a mature company that can stanch losses and post consistent profits. After eight years of phenomenal growth by upending the taxi business, Uber ... Read More
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Silvernest raises $1.2 million to connect empty nesters with renters

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The tech world often focuses on how to engage with and deliver a better service to millennials. Silvernest chose to address a different age group: the baby boomers and empty nesters. These individuals, aged 50 and above, can face isolation and financial difficulties after a divorce or the death of a spouse, which is why Silvernest created an online service to match them with interested renters. The Denver, Colorado-based startup announced today a seed round of $1.2 million in which Halogen Ventures, 1843 Capital, Rockies Venture Club, Investor’s Circle, and 500 Startups participated. “We’re living longer than before,” said Silvernest cofounder ... Read More
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MIT accelerator Play Labs announces class of 13 AR/VR startups

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Play Labs, a summer accelerator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced its first batch of 13 startups that are developing augmented reality and virtual reality technology. The focus of the startups will be to develop “playful tech” in a variety of industries. The initial companies are focused on AR and VR, as well as online gaming and esports. The summer class will run from June to August, with a demo day on August 15. The Demo Day will be open to investors, members of the MIT community, and the general public. In addition to the physical event, Play Labs Demo Day will be streamed live on the... Read More
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Sense raises $10 million to improve communication with independent contractors

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Sense, which helps staffing agencies create a better work experience for independent contractors, announced today funding of $10 million. Investors include Accel, GV, and Khosla Ventures. “Lots of technology has been introduced both to source workers and to manage traditional salaried or full-time employees once they’re hired,” wrote Sense cofounder and CEO Anil Dharni, in an email to VentureBeat. “But there’s been much less technological innovation when it comes to addressing the needs of independent workers throughout their work cycles. We’re filling that gap and, we hope, making the ‘gig economy’ work better.” The San Francisco-based s... Read More
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Inside Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence Comeback

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Yoshua Bengio has never been one to take sides. As one of the three intellects who shaped the deep learning that now dominates artificial intelligence, he has been catapulted to stardom. It’s a field so new the people who can advance it fit into one room together, and everyone—from tech startups to multinational conglomerates and the department of defense—wants a share of their minds. But while his peer scientists Yann LeCun and Geoffrey Hinton have signed on to Facebook and Google, respectively, Bengio, 53, has chosen to continue working from his small third-floor office on the hilltop campus of the University of Montreal. “I want to remain a neutral agent,” he says as he sips rust-colored licor... Read More
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Enjoy Jay-Z’s New Album—’4:44′ May Be the Last of Its Kind

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Back in March, when Drake released his project More Life, he did something unusual: He didn’t make it an Apple Music exclusive. Despite having a long, successful history with the service—he actually helped announce its launch in 2015—he released the “playlist... Read More
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Uber investors do the right thing. But is there life after Travis Kalanick?

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For all the plaudits that Travis Kalanick received over the years for creating disruptive ride-hailing giant Uber, the harsh reality is that he leaves behind a business that is in catastrophically bad shape for reasons that go well beyond the sexual harassment issues that forced him out. Uber is great for many consumers, offering convenience and rides at much lower costs than taxis. And many drivers benefit as well. But it’s not clear that Uber has come close to being anything that resembles an actual, sustainable business. For 2016, ... Read More
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SoftBank injects $100 million into Cybereason’s security software

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Cybereason, which helps companies counter cyberattacks in real time, announced today that it has received a whopping $100 million from SoftBank. “Too much of the security industry focuses on building walls, but you can’t build a big enough wall to keep the bad guys out,” wrote Cybereason cofounder and CEO Lior Div, in an email to VentureBeat. “Businesses need to concentrate on what happens once the adversaries are inside.” The Boston-based company uses machine learning and behavioral analytics to process information in real time. “Our engine asks over 8,000,000 questions per second in order to correlate data across every endpoint,” wrote ... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 13
Item #Item NameScoreItem Classification
1dressmaker0.72person, dressmaker
2maker0.72
3person0.792
4gun0.677
5weapon0.73
6device0.73
7sage green color0.777
Number of Faces Detected: 1
Face #Max AgeMin AgeAge CertaintyGenderGender Certainty
124180.660862FEMALE0

Shelley Taylor discusses the impact refugees have economical

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For more on refugees fueling entrepreneurship CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Shelley Taylor - the founder and CEO of the Refugee aid app.Washington, DC (and greater area)• MHz - Channel 3• COMCAST (Xfinity) - Channel 273• FIOS - Channel 277New York City• Time Warner - Channel 134• FiOS (Verizon) - Channel 277Los Angeles• Charter Cable - Channel 562• Time Warner - Channel 155Satellite Nationwide• DISH TV - Channel 279... Read More
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SelectUSA for Innovation, Knowledge, and Opportunity – 365 Days a Year

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By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSAThe 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20, concluded this afternoon. SelectUSA Executive Director Fred Volcansek looks back on the historic Summit and forward to SelectUSA’s ongoing mission: bringing job-creating investment to the United States. Summaries of Sunday and Monday be found here (day one) and here (day two). I joined SelectUSA to help global businesses succeed by putting the American people first. As I... Read More
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11 chatbots created at Y Combinator’s online startup school

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Recently Sam Altman from Y Combinator announced a new online Startup School. It’s a 10-week massively open online course (MOOC). The idea is to teach everyone how to start a startup and help them along the way with guidance from people who’ve started companies. Startup School will have guest speakers covering a wide variety of topics, including Alan Kay, Jan Koum (WhatsApp), Patrick Collison (Stripe), Steve Huffman (... Read More
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A Pioneer In ‘Flat-Fee Primary Care’ Had To Close Its Clinics. What Went Wrong?

In Business, Education, Government, Healthcare, Start Up by National Public RadioLeave a Comment

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Enlarge this image In theory, the result should be better health for patients and lower health care costs overall. But some analysts say the "direct primary care" approach just encourages the worried well to get more care than they need. BraunS /Getty Images hide caption toggle... Read More
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Upworthy Was One Of The Hottest Sites Ever. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

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Enlarge this image Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy, speaks onstage at during the 2014 SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. At its peak, the site, which is founded on a mission of promoting viral and uplifting content, was reaching close to 90 million people a month. Jon Shapley/Getty Images for... Read More
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PayPal adds instant bank transfers — and not a minute too soon

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PayPal is rolling out a feature that allows users to transfer money instantly to their banks accounts. For now the feature is limited to users who have supported Visa and Mastercard debit cards linked to their PayPal accounts. The feature is aimed at eliminating a point of friction that PayPal needs to address as rivals encroach on the turf that PayPal claimed leadership of when it bought P2P payments pioneer Venmo. PayPal also faces a formidable competitor in Apple Pay, now that... Read More
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The Race to Solar-Power Africa

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Energy, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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The cacao-farming community of Daban, in Ghana, is seven degrees north of the equator, and it’s always hot. In May, I met with several elders there to talk about the electricity that had come to the town a few months earlier, when an American startup installed a solar microgrid nearby. Daban could now safely store the vaccine for yellow fever; residents could charge their cell phones at home rather than walking to a bigger town to do it. As we talked, one of the old men handed me a small plastic bag of water, the kind street venders sell across West Africa—you just bite off a corner and drink. The water was ice-cold and refreshing, but it took me an embarrassingly long moment to unders... Read More
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China’s Mistress-Dispellers

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Yu Ruojian was pleased to learn that his target ran a sex shop. Someone who worked in retail would be used to talking to strangers, and it would be easy, posing as a customer in such an intimate store, to bring the conversation around to personal matters. In March last year, he visited the store, in Wuxi, a city about seventy miles from Shanghai, where he lives. He told the proprietor, a gregarious woman in her forties whom I’ll call Wang, that he was looking for herbal remedies to help a friend whose marital relations were hampered by shyness. They chatted for half an hour before exchanging contact details. “I’ll be back to pester you soon enough,” Yu said as he left. “You’d b... Read More
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Amazon launches Prime Wardrobe to eat the fashion industry

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Amazon today launched Prime Wardrobe, a service like Trunk Club and other online retailers that lets you order clothes and return them free if they don’t live up to your expectations. Prime Wardrobe offers a little twist, however: The more you keep, the more you save. Keep four items in your box and get 10 percent off. Save five or more and receive 20 percent off. Boxes are resealable and come with a shipping label. Amazon is currently testing Prime Wardrobe, so the service can’t be used to order clothes just yet, though you can ... Read More
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Ora Sound launches crowdfunding for new kind of graphene-based wireless headphones

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Ora Sound is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for its Ora GrapheneQ wireless headphones. The headphones use a new technology based on recent research on the nanotechnology properties of graphene. The headphones are on sale now for an early-bird price of $200 (compared to $500 at retail). Montreal-based Ora sound said it designed the Ora GrapheneQ Headphones with comfort and sound isolation in mind. Thanks to its graphene membranes, listeners will be able to hear one of the smoothest frequency responses recorded, zero disto... Read More
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Aera uses AI to help enterprises make good decisions

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An enterprise tech startup called Aera unveiled its product today, which is aimed at helping businesses use machine intelligence to make decisions about their next moves. Company decision makers can ask Aera questions about their business using a voice interface or text search, and get answers back with proactive suggestions about what they should do to improve the outcome. For example, the system could answer a question about revenue by suggesting an inventory shift from one territory to another. Those suggestions are based on a skill builder that Aera provides, which allows enterprise users to define workflows that run in response to certain questions. For example... Read More
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Mozilla launches Firefox Focus for Android

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Mozilla today launched a new browser for Android. In addition to Firefox, the company now also offers Firefox Focus, a browser dedicated to user privacy that by default blocks many web trackers, including analytics, social, and advertising. You can download the new app now from Google Play. In December 2015, Mozilla launched Focus by Firefox, a content blocker for iOS. Then in November 2016, the company ... Read More
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South Korea Is Building a Hyperloop

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South Korea's bullet trains whisk people from Seoul to the city of Busan, 200 miles to the southeast, in a bit less than three hours. Apparently that isn't fast enough, because the government wants to build a hyperloop that will make the trip in just 30 minutes. The government caught hyperloop fever in January, when it asked Hanyang University for help figuring out how to make Elon Musk's vision of vacuum tube transportation work. In a deal announced today, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will contribute some of the know-how neede... Read More
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Francois Laxalt Brings Product Marketing and Startup-to-Enterprise Experience to Tinyclues

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PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 20, 2017– Tinyclues today announced that marketing veteran Francois Laxalt has joined Tinyclues as Senior Director of Product Marketing. This Smart ... Read More
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Meal-delivery startup Freshly raises $77 million in funding round led by Nestlé

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Meal-delivery startup Freshly has raised $77 million in new funds, financing that was led by Swiss-based food giant Nestlé. On Tuesday, Freshly announced a new Series C funding round that also was supported by existing investors including Highland Capital Partners, Insight Venture Partners, and White Star Capital. Since launching in 2015, Freshly has raised $107 million, a figure that includes the Series C financing. The new financing will be used to support Freshly’s expansion—the service is currently ava... Read More
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Day Two: The 2017 SelectUSA Summit Continues

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By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSA The second day of the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit was one for the record books. On Monday, June 19, we welcomed more than 2,800 attendees – our largest Summit yet – from 51 U.S. states and territories and 64 global markets to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. ... Read More
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Blue Apron and Delivery Hero price IPOs following Amazon’s big buy

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Blue Apron and Delivery Hero already had their work cut out for them, staging IPOs during a time when competition in the food-delivery market has devoured several startups already. That task became much more difficult Friday when Amazon said it would buy Whole Foods Markets for $13.7 billion. Today, both companies priced their offerings, taking the next step toward their IPOs. Both have little other choice beyond withdrawing their offerings. The impact of Amazon buying Whole Foods remains uncertain for now, which leaves a window for them to enter the public market, although that window may soon slam shut. Blue ... Read More
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If you’re just tuning in to blockchain, here’s a quick catch-up

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Interest in blockchain technology — and its associated blockbuster fundraises — has really started to take off over the past month or so after a couple of years picking up speed. The first blockchain, the one that powers Bitcoin (now eight years old), primarily just caught the eye of digital currency enthusiasts. But later blockchains, most notably Ethereum, have targeted applications far beyond the finance space. Blockchain-based apps now exist to ... Read More
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3 ways AI is already impacting ecommerce

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Advances in artificial intelligence and deep learning have changed our lives. We are already using it even without realizing it: AI helps to power Google’s search engine, Tesla’s self-driving cars, Apple’s voice assistant, and Amazon’s shopping recommendations. The impact of artificial intelligence in retail and ecommerce is also growing. While ecommerce giants like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have used these capabilities behind the scenes for years, ecommerce entrepreneurs can now also do the same. Algorithmic technology and AI can be incredibly helpful tools to grow sales and optimize various aspects of ecommerce operation, from pricing to demand planning. Here are the three most crucial applications for this tech.... Read More
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The Best Flying Disc (Surprise! It Isn’t a Frisbee!)

In Business, Education, Events, Gaming, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Wire CutterLeave a Comment

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Our pick Discraft UltraStar This disc is accessible for any skill level, easy to throw, durable, and comfortable. The Discraft UltraStar isn’t sparkly or decked out with wild colors or lights. In fact, of the 11 discs we tested, the UltraStar was one of the simplest—but that’s part of its appeal. It’s a USA Ultimate–certified disc that comes in a variety of basic colors. At 175 grams, ... Read More
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This electric multicopter will take to the skies in Dubai later this year

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This electric multicopter will take to the skies in Dubai later this year - The Vergeclockmenumore-arrow (function(d) { try { if (localStorage.getItem('chorus-fonts-0b50f0674bed2b66b24a77410eb3f99c') === 'yes') { d.documentElement.className += ' fonts-loaded'; } } catch (e) {} var fontUrls = ["https://fonts.voxmedia.com/unison/stylesheets/verge.1d37918fdeeb1febc4d68217382a1e72.css"]; var ss = d.styleSheets; for (var i=0; i -1) { ss[i].ownerNode.media = 'all'; fontUrls.splice(idx, 1); } } if (fontUrls.length > 0) { setTimeout(onload, 0); } } onload(); })(document); var chorusInitQueue=[],volume_embed_host="https://volume.vox-cdn.com";var Chorus=Chorus||{};Chorus.window... Read More
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OnePlus focuses on the next frontier

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In the smartphone world, there are basically two brands that matter and then there are a bunch of also-rans. Apple and Samsung are ahead of the pack for a variety of reasons, but it's their ability to create amazing cameras that's difficult to match. Thanks to the efficiencies of the smartphone supply chain, anyone can put together a high-end processor, design a metal unibody phone, put Android on it, and have the appearance of a premium phone. But it’s a lot harder to develop a class-leading mobile camera. Only Google itself has managed to come close, and only in the past year. OnePlus is one of those challenger companies that’s been chasing the leaders. It... Read More
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Ring’s new $199 video doorbell lets you swap out batteries to recharge

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Connected doorbell startup Ring has launched a brand new version of its security-focused video device, one that promises higher quality video and makes it easier for users to recharge their battery. Up until now, Ring has offered two versions of its video-enabled doorbell — the $179 Video Doorbell and the $249 Video Doorbell Pro. The latter offers a number of benefits over the cheaper incarnation, including 1080p HD video (compared to 720p) and interchangeable faceplates. However, the Video Doorbell Pro has to be hardwired into an existing doorbell, whereas the cheaper version sports a built... Read More
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Varjo’s VR headset promises to rival the human eye

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While VR is all the rage right now, the current generation of headsets can’t match the visual fidelity of the human eye. A Finnish startup called Varjo that launched today is out to fix that with some new technology that takes advantage of how we see to provide better headset graphics than what’s on the market today. Varjo is building a headset for creative professionals that the company says will provide a premium VR experience, according to Urho Konttori, the firm’s founder and CEO. It’s called the 20|20, after perfect vision for the human eye. (It’s also possible to see the 20/20 line in a digital eye chart inside the headset.) While current virtual reality head... Read More
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Wonderschool raises $2 million to launch in-home preschools

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Wonderschool, which offers an online marketplace where parents can search for in-home child care education programs, announced today a seed round of $2 million, led by First Round Capital, Cross Culture Ventures, SoftTech VC, Lerer Ventures, FundersClub, and Edelweiss also joined. “There is a true crisis around ‘child care deserts’ where for every one slot at a child care center, there are three or more kids vying for the spot,” said Wonderschool head of early care and education Mia Pritts, in a statement. San Francisco-based Wonderschool assists educators and child care providers with licensing, program setup, marketing, and m... Read More
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And So It Begins: Day One of the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit

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By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSA Today, we kicked off the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit with the SelectUSA Investment Academy, a half-day, 25-session program designed to offer a deeper dive into the U.S. investment process. Economic developers and international business investors converged on the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center with one goal: to make the most of their time at the Summit. The “Make It in Rural America” Academy session. From left to right: Heather Ranck, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce; Brett Doney, CEO, Great Falls Development Authority, State of Montana;... Read More
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Silicon Valley is blowing its chance to connect with Middle America

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I’ve lived in Silicon Valley for the last 20 years, and recent political and economic events have had me thinking about how Silicon Valley relates to the rest of the country — or rather how it doesn’t. With CEOs boldly proclaiming their primary goal is to beat a rival CEO to $10 billion in revenue, leading innovators talking about sending tourists to the moon, and Uber’s “win at all costs” mentality miring them in ... Read More
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Why blockchains fail and decentralization succeeds

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With all of the excitement around blockchain technology, it’s easy to think what we have now is the foundation for the next wave. Yet, it’s worth remembering we are still in the early stages. The blockchains we have today probably won’t be the blockchains of tomorrow. I am still bullish on Bitcoin (for reasons that go beyond this post), and Ethereum looks promising. It also has a lot of technical questions that surround it. As Muneeb Ali of Blockstack said, “At scale, Ethereum is designed to fail.” I am certain he didn’t mean, “it will intentionally fail.” However, if you think... Read More
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The good, the bad, and the ugly of chatbots

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It’s amazing how rapidly the world of technology can turn commerce and customer service on its ear. Transformational tech is completely revolutionizing the online sales experience. There’s only one hitch: what you don’t know about this topic can mean the difference between success and failure. If you operate an online store, you can’t risk being left behind. Understanding the potential benefits is great, but knowing how to prevent things from turning ugly is paramount. It’s time for a chatbot education because it’s not all as promising as the headlines imply. Technically, there are only two kinds of chatbots: those that function as “virtual assistants” and those designed to live within messaging apps.... Read More
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This AI can’t save my golf game, but it might help yours

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Arccos thinks it has figured out how to turn golf statistics into a machine learning-powered Caddie feature that can improve your game. So I decided to take the Connecticut-based startup’s system of sensors and services for a whirl to see if it could save my golf game. See, I’m not a good golfer. I like hitting the driving range for a little stress relief every now and then, but a journalist’s schedule combined with a journalist’s salary means that I very rarely end up on the course. Yet I’m also a huge sports stats nerd, and Arccos offered to give me a ton of data about how I played the game, with the hope that it could help me get better. Caddie ... Read More
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10 principles of intelligent agent design

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We’re at the beginning of the development of a new generation of better and more sophisticated intelligent agents. Intelligent agents will become ubiquitous in personal life and business, so they are an important area of opportunity and interest for innovators. As entrepreneurs, designers, product managers, developers, and investors, we should step back and think about the principles behind what we’re building. It’s a great time to start laying out practices and principles for how we want to design and build intelligent agents. As part of that thought... Read More
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Here’s how we start to stabilize Bitcoin, Ethereum

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News of Bitcoin and Ethereum is everywhere these days. The two cryptocurrencies have had returns over the past year that make a big-time hedge fund manager look like he’s running a lemonade stand in front of his parents house. Since last year, Bitcoin is up (at the time of this writing) 390.55 percent and Ethereum’s currency, Ether, is up a mind-blowing 1,896.13 percent. New money is pouring into the cryptocurrency space, with one investment fund announcing a raise of $400 million dollars. Though talk of the inevitable Tulip m... Read More
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Building a startup in Wisconsin, the lowest-ranked startup state

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Last month, The Kauffman Institute released its annual Index of Startup Activity, which analyzes entrepreneurship across the country. The report assigns every state a Startup Activity Index number based on the rate of new entrepreneurs, their opportunity share, and startup density. California, home to Silicon Valley ranks, of course, at #1, while booming Texas came in at #2. The bottom of the list was is familiar. For the third straight year, Wisconsin sits at #50. I love Wisconsin. I’m from here, I went to college here, and ... Read More
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5 ways computer vision could impact how we do AI

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This is an exciting time for those of us in computer vision — we’re seeing it merge with AI to enable all kinds of new possibilities. At the LDV Vision Summit in New York a few weeks ago, I came away with five key insights about where computer vision will impact AI: 1. Smart assistants will battle it out over vision AI needs data with which to learn and process, and as we move closer to more “human”-like AI, it will increasingly need visual data. “This is one of the reasons all the major companies are at war to own the visual data of our activities,” said LDV Capital’s Evan Nisselson. “... Read More
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Bancor’s blockbuster ICO and the risk of blockchain investing

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Blockchain startup Bancor closed a $150 million ICO raise this week — a landmark event, both in the speed and the magnitude of the raise. What is Bancor doing that got investors so excited? It’s trying to hit the blockchain domain at its very heart with the promise that it can enable smart tokens to serve as legitimate currency. Cryptocurrencies, or smart tokens, are new forms of digital currency (akin to bitcoin), that aim to serve as cash equivalents for various online services. Bancor wants to enable these tokens, based on their protocol, to be wi... Read More
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Intel and Microsoft’s latest investment binge shows AI land grab is intensifying

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Intel and Microsoft have been on something of an artificial intelligence (AI) investment binge of late, with the chip and software giants announcing a slew of deals this week via their respective VC arms — Intel Capital and Microsoft Ventures. Perhaps the most notable of these was Element AI, which raised a gargantuan $102 million in what is one of the largest series A rounds in recent times. The Montreal-based startup, which helps connect companies with machine learning experts, drew in some other interesting investors besides Intel and Microsoft, including rival chipmaker Nvidia. The Ele... Read More
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Tech jobs needed: How to bridge ‘skills’ and ‘opportunity’ gaps in the heartland

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Worrying about a dystopian future of massive unemployment ushered in by automation seems like the latest parlor game for Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, small cities across America are already struggling to provide residents access to good-paying jobs, with municipalities often confronting — simultaneously — both a ‘skills gap’ and an ‘opportunity gap’. And this is especially true for tech jobs. Tech companies that are considering expansion to ... Read More
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What the Whole Foods acquisition will do for Amazon

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A recent whirlwind of rumors have said Amazon could be launching all kinds of new business lines, including cars and pharmaceuticals and that it’s interested in acquiring corporate messaging platform Slack. But the news today that Amazon is buying Whole Foods is the biggest surp... Read More
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Trump’s call for apprenticeships overlooks ‘opportunity gap’

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Some tech companies considering expansion to the heartland worry about finding local talent. That’s the skills gap. Meanwhile, many workers there, even if they were to acquire the skills sought by tech companies, don’t see ready demand for them. That’s the opportunity gap. And as the conversation around bridging the tech and economic divide progresses, it’s apparent that these vexing gaps are not only intertwined, but present a chicken and egg chal... Read More
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Plant 6 reopened, Luminati says it’s ready for takeoff

In Business, Government, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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Long Island is taxiing back toward the forefront of aerospace manufacturing. One year after a ballyhooed test flight of its solar-powered VO Substrata solar-powered aircraft, Luminati Aerospace LLC held a grand reopening of sorts Friday, cutting the ribbon on Plant 6 at its Enterprise Park at Calverton facility – once a thriving manufacturing hub for Grumman Aerospace Corp. The ceremony included former NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, ... Read More
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Entrepreneurs say ‘faux AI’ hype hurts marketing efforts

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The public is riveted by artificial intelligence, but most people don’t have a clue what “AI” actually is. Media hype and populist stories confuse rather than clarify. How does popular perception affect the vast array of Silicon Valley companies building actual AI products and services? We spoke to leading entrepreneurs and executives to learn their unique challenges with selling and marketing AI. Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge AI entrepreneurs collectively identified was lack of buyer understanding regarding what AI entails and requires. “We’re early in a convoluted market. AI means a lot of things,” says Christian Monberg, cofounder of marketing platform Boomt... Read More
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Today’s Amazon discount: Grocery-chain stocks

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Amazon’s proposed $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market caught stock market investors off guard. Their initial reaction — bidding up share prices of the two companies and selling off those of grocery chains — suggests a bleak future for an industry being reshaped by on-demand delivery. Shares of Walmart were down 4.4 percent in mid-day trading after falling as much as 7 percent. Walmart, which has been trying to compete against Amazon by leveraging its retail stores as mini-distribution centers for deliveries of grocery and other goods, was holding up pretty well compared to its peers, however. ... Read More
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Walmart to acquire online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos

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Walmart is buying online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million in cash, showing that its appetite for hip clothing brands shows no sign of abating as it looks for ways to gain on Amazon. It’s a sign of the aggressive direction Walmart is taking since buying Jet.com last year and keeping that company’s founder as head of its online division. Walmart has since bought clothing seller ModCloth, footwear retailer ShoeBuy.com and outdoor gear seller Moosejaw as it focuses on brands appealing to younger shoppers. Bonobos, which started out selling pants online, caters to male shoppers looking for help putting together a wardrobe. Targeting Bonobos is a good move for Walmart as it tries to compete with Amazo... Read More
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Pivotal Cloud Foundry aims to thwart hackers with ever-changing passwords

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What if an application could automatically repel attackers by rotating its access credentials every day, thereby making every stolen password useless in a short amount of time? That’s the idea behind CredHub, a new feature introduced for Pivotal Cloud Foundry today. The feature is designed to automatically rotate an application’s credentials on a regular basis without disrupting its operation. Developers and operations engineers shouldn’t have to worry about the rotation, and the applications running on top of Pivotal Cloud Foundry shouldn’t see any downtime as a result. Pivotal Cloud Foundry i... Read More
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If Amazon buys Whole Foods, what happens to Instacart?

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Holy crap, Amazon’s buying Whole Foods!? As this news sinks in, the knee-jerk question many investors and reporters are asking on Twitter is: What the hell happens to Instacart, the startup that Whole Foods invested in last year? Instacart powers online deliveries for Whole Foods, and lots of other grocery stores, too. While the startup’s had its share of controversy — a cease-and-desist order from Trader Joe’s, questionable pricing and tipping policies, and so on — Instacart has become one of the most popular ways to order groceries from a smartphone in the U.S. Cautiously dubbed the next W... Read More
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The DeanBeat: The memorable and the missing moments of E3 2017

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The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) can be such a corporate event, with Soviet Union-style press conferences where the press doesn’t get to ask any questions. But there were some memorable moments at E3, particularly where some of the game developers and publishers let some emotion leak into their presentations. Those were the moments we live for. At Electronic Arts’ EA Play event on Saturday, Josef Fares of Hazelight was ebullient as he announced A Way Out, a clever co-op game where one player controls a character on a split screen and the other player controls another character on the other side of ... Read More
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No. 223: Luminati grounded, Port CEO search a bust and Farmingdale has the meats

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Events, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Security, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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Happy Friday: It’s National Flip-flops Day, on which we honor the rubber version of the traditional Japanese zori sandals lugged home by American GIs after World War II. The Hiroshima Rubber Co. began exporting the popsicle-colored footwear to the United States in 1950. The sandal’s name comes from the sound flip-flops make when walked in. That makes it an onomatopoeia. 101 more of them here, including several that helped make the late, great Adam West a star. (You can rumble through the list in a zip.) Changes: Starting June 19, we’ll be delivering three newsletter... Read More
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President Macron: France must ‘think and move like a startup’

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(Reuters) — French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for a digital future on Thursday, saying he wants France to undergo a revolution so that it becomes a country that “thinks and moves like a startup”. Speaking at the Viva Technology conference in Paris, Macron repeated he wanted to reform labor laws to give more decision-making powers to companies and lower corporate tax. The state should act as an enabler – not a constraint – for innovators and entrepreneurs, he said. The French president said he would limit the wealth tax to cover just property in order to help businesses, and would create a single levy of 30 percent on capital income so as not to scare businesses away. “Wh... Read More
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Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike raises $600 million to push into 200 cities globally by the end of 2017

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China-based bike-sharing behemoth Mobike has raised a chunky $600 million in a series E round of funding led by Tencent, with participation from Sequoia, TPG, Hillhouse Capital, among others. This takes Mobike’s total financing to date to around $925 million, with Tencent once again leading a $215 million round just six months ago, with the Chinese affiliate arm of Silicon Valley’s Sequoia also participating in that round. Founded out of Shanghai in 2015, Mobike is available in Dozens of cities across China, while it landed in Singapore back in March and earlier this week ... Read More
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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos asks Twitter followers how he should donate his money

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(Reuters) — Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos on Thursday turned to an unusual source of inspiration for how to donate part of his wealth: Twitter. “I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now – short term – at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” Bezos, one of the world’s richest people with a net worth of more than $76 billion, said in a Twitter post. “If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea (and if you think this approach is wrong, would love to hear that too.)” Request for ideas… ... Read More
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Challenger Center and New Matter Announce Partnership to Bring the Wonders of 3D Printing to Students and Educators across the Country

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Challenger Learning Centers to Implement New Matter MOD-t 3D Printers WASHINGTON & PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 16, 2017– Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization, and ... Read More