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Snap lowers valuation expectations in highly awaited IPO
16 Feb 2017 at 9:05am

Snap Inc, owner of the popular messaging app Snapchat, on Thursday set a lower-than-expected valuation for itself amid mounting investor concerns over the company's still unproven business model, slowing metrics and tight founder control. The company, which filed for an initial public offering earlier this month, was widely expected to be valued at between $20 billion and $25 billion but fell short by targeting a valuation between $19.5 billion and $22.3 billion ahead of its marketing road show, due to start on Monday in London.



India's Tata Motors, Microsoft ink technology collaboration deal
16 Feb 2017 at 12:03am

Tata Motors Ltd and Microsoft India on Thursday announced a strategic collaboration on the technology front to make driving a more personalized experiences for the customers, the companies said in a joint statement. The first vehicle showcasing the vision of the enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, they said. "Using IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world a safe, productive and fun driving experience," Anant Maheshwari, President at Microsoft India, said.



SMBC head says will give Toshiba as much support as possible
16 Feb 2017 at 1:45am

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), one of the main lenders to Toshiba Corp , will provide as much support as possible to the troubled Japanese firm, the bank's chief executive said. The TVs-to-nuclear conglomerate is scrambling for cash to stay in business as a multi-billion-dollar hole has emerged in its nuclear business. Toshiba has announced it would consider selling most, even all, of its stake in its prized flash-memory chips business, highlighting the scale of its financial woes.



Auto union president: Organizing at Tesla depends on workers
16 Feb 2017 at 8:56am

By Joseph White (Reuters) - The president of the United Auto Workers union said on Thursday UAW organizers are in contact with workers at Silicon Valley electric car maker Tesla Inc , but said any formal effort to organize workers will "be determined by the interest of employees." UAW President Dennis Williams said the UAW is not paying a worker who went public with concerns about working conditions at Tesla's Fremont, California factory, as Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk charged last week. ...


Infineon braces for Wolfspeed deal collapse over U.S. security fears
16 Feb 2017 at 5:11am
By Harro Ten Wolde and Irene Preisinger MUNICH (Reuters) - Infineon does not expect to be able to salvage its $850 million purchase of Cree's Wolfspeed Power, which is under U.S. scrutiny over unspecified government security concerns, the German chipmaker said on Thursday. U.S.-based Wolfspeed makes devices using gallium nitride, a sensitive powdery compound with military applications whose use by other companies has led the U.S. to block deals. Infineon Chief Executive Officer Rheinhard Ploss told the chipmaker's annual shareholder meeting there was "a very significant risk that we will not be able to complete the takeover as planned or possibly even at all".


Telenor to roll out Google's new messaging service in Asia, Europe
16 Feb 2017 at 6:06am

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday it partnered with Telenor ASA to roll out Rich Communications Services (RCS), an upgraded messaging service, to the Norwegian telecoms company's subscribers in Asia and Europe. The messaging service includes features such as group chats, photo sharing and read receipts among other things, Google said in its official blog.



This projector toy for kids lets them trace any smartphone photo
16 Feb 2017 at 9:23am

FollowGrams is a smart projector currently available to back Kickstarter for $75, self-described as ?an app-connected STEM toy that teaches kids how to draw pictures, letters and numbers in a fun hands-on experience.? It?s basically one step above a light box, which lets you trace over artwork, or that Magic Tracer toy that aired on TV infomercials in the 90s. This is all good and fine, but my big question is, why market a kids? art projector as a STEM toy? Yes, STEM is a trendy buzzword you can throw in your promotional copy and it?s important, especially for young girls, to feel encouraged to pursue science and math careers ? but why try to market a product as something it?s not?


BeatsX not your speed? Apple?s other W1-equipped Beats are on sale right now
16 Feb 2017 at 9:21am
Apple finally released its delayed BeatsX headphones last week, and they've gotten pretty good reviews from early adopters. In a nutshell, it sounds like BeatsX offer the same audio experience as AirPods, but they're connected by a cord and the rubber tips fit better in ear canals so they isolate sound better. Still, BeatsX aren't for everyone and AirPods are still practically impossible to find. If you want wireless headphones equipped with Apple's hot new W1 chip, you've got two more options to explore. Check out the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones and the Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones , which are both discounted right now on Amazon. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones Connect viaClass 1 Bluetooth with your device for wireless listening Up to 40 hours of battery life for multi-dayuse Adjustable fit with comfort-cushioned ear cups made for everydayuse Take calls, control your music and activateSiri with the multifunction on-ear controls What's in the Box: Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones, carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B), Quick Start Guide, warranty card Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones Connect via Class 1 Bluetoothwith your device for wireless workout freedom Up to 12 hours of battery life to power through multiple workouts With Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 1 hour of playback when battery is low Sweat and water resistance to handle tough training What's in the box: Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, eartips with four (4) size options, carrying case, universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B, Quick Start Guide, warranty card

Snap values itself at up to $22B ahead of IPO
16 Feb 2017 at 9:18am

The parent company of the social network Snapchat is valuing itself at up to $22 billion as it prepares for the tech industry's biggest initial public offering in years. Snap Inc. said in a regulatory ...



You can now ask your Google Home to buy things
16 Feb 2017 at 9:05am

Google?s Home digital assistant has been compared to Amazon?s Alexa a lot over the last few months, and now it?s getting the ability to order things through voice commands, just like Alexa can. Of course, Home is still a Google product, so instead of buying things through Amazon Prime, orders go through Google Express instead. The update should be rolling out today ? Home users simply need to add a payment method in the Google Home app, and then they can place orders simply by asking Google Assistant.


iPhone 8 may utilize 3D laser technology for a complex new feature
16 Feb 2017 at 8:56am
One of the more intriguing rumors surrounding the iPhone 8 is that it will feature a new type of facial recognition technology bolstered by advanced laser sensors. This particular rumor first began to take shape a few weeks ago via a research note fromCowen & Company which said that the iPhone 8 will include "some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera." Far from a speculative rumor conjured out of thin air, it's worth highlighting that Apple last year picked up Emotient , a company with specialized technology that can not only recognize faces but can even discern facial expressions and subsequently distinguish between a wide array of emotional states. Building upon this rumor, AppleInsider highlights a new research note from J.P. Morgan's Rod Hall who also relays that the iPhone 8 will incorporate laser technology capable of identifying faces. A 3D sensor needs a few key features ?it needs a light emitter in the form of a LED or laser diode, a light filter for a noise-free scan, and a speedy image sensor coupled with a powerful signal processor. Each aspect has some implementation difficulties, which Hall believes have been rectified by Apple and partner Primesense in a relatively inexpensive package that should add not much more than 3 percent to the build cost of an iPhone. What remains unclear, though, is how Apple plans to take advantage of this rumored sensor capable of recognizing faces. While some believe Apple may leverage the technology in furtherance of its augmented reality plans, others maintain it may simply coexist alongside Touch ID as a means of verifying a user's identity for certain sensitive transactions. As Apple's plans for the iPhone 8 begin to crystallize, it's becoming more and more apparent why the company's flagship 2017 iPhone may cost well over $1,000.


FCC chief wants smartphones? hidden FM radios turned on, but won?t do anythin...
16 Feb 2017 at 8:54am

FCC chairman Ajit Pai says he?d love to see more smartphone makers activate the hidden FM radio inside their devices, but he doesn?t think the commission should step in to do anything about it. In the United States, the majority of these are disabled ? Pai says that as of last fall, only 44 percent of the ?top-selling smartphones? in the US had activated FM radios, compared to 80 percent in Mexico. ?It seems odd that every day we hear about a new smartphone app that lets you do something innovative, yet these modern-day mobile miracles don?t enable a key function offered by a 1982 Sony Walkman,? Pai said this morning, during a speech at a North American Broadcasters Association event, according to prepared remarks.



HTC will stop making cheap phones this year
16 Feb 2017 at 8:34am

Vlad SavovHTC will exit the entry-level smartphone market later this year, the company announced during its earnings call earlier this week, according to Phonescoop. The company said it would continue to support cheaper phones that have been released, but acknowledged that its focus would shift to high-end, high-margin devices. This isn?t the first time HTC has reduced its smartphone output; back in 2012, the company notably reduced its handset output to focus on its top-tier smartphones. ...


Big leak may give us our first look at the Nintendo Switch?s interface
16 Feb 2017 at 8:33am
The Wii U has essentially been a no-show in the current console generation, but Nintendo will look to erase the ill-fated console from our memory in just two weeks when it launches the brand new Nintendo Switch. The company's new Switch is a fresh take on video game consoles, combining a portable hand-held unit like the 3DS with a home console like the PS4. The Switch is far more powerful than any other handheld gaming console Nintendo has ever released though, and it features a nifty wireless controller mechanism that facilitates multi-player gaming whether the unit is being used as a portable console or connected to a TV at home. Nintendo has already shared plenty about the Switch , but there are also a number of key details we don't yet know. Now, however, a big leak may have given the worldan in-depth look at the Switch's user interface. Earlier this week, an anonymous user on Reddit with a throw-away account posted a large gallery of Nintendo Switch user interface mockups along with a tremendous amount of unannounced details surrounding the new console. All of the content shared in this leak is believed to be authentic, though Nintendo hasn't confirmed anything at this point. Here are just a few of the Switch interface mockups the user posted: There are plenty more images in the Imgur gallery that accompanied the leak, which also included a lengthy bullet list of previously unknown details. Here's a small sampling: HD Rumble's technical name is a Linear resonant actuator When in handheld mode, the Switch will have an unlock screen like a smartphone to prevent accidental waking. The Switch features a Quick Menu. Press and hold the HOME Button for at least one second to display the Quick Settings screen on top of all other screens, including the HOME Menu and any applications. Unlike the 3DS, the active software will not be suspended when this menu is invoked The Switch's keyboard will feature predictive text such as those on iOS and Android System Settings will allow the user to edit the following settings: Flight Mode Toggle Enable/Disable Bluetooth Manage Wi-fi Manage NFC Manage screen brightness Screen lock User Settings Create/Edit Mii Theme management Controller management System Update Check out the rest of the supposed Switch info in the original post on Reddit . You can find out more about the Nintendo Switch right here , and you can watch trailers for all of the most hotly anticipated Switch games in this post . The device's specs are as follows: 6.2-inch capacitive multitouch display with 720p resolution (1280 x 720) 1080p resolution output via HDMI when docked Custom Nvidia Tegra processor 32GB of internal storage microSDXC support for up to 2TB of additional storage (up to 256GB right now, since larger cards don?t yet exist) Game card slot (games will come on physical cards) Battery life of between 2.5 and 6 hours USB Type-C charging port 802.11ac Wi-Fi


Italian taxi drivers stage wildcat strike over pro-Uber bill
16 Feb 2017 at 8:32am

ROME (AP) ? Taxi drivers in Rome, Milan and Turin are staging wildcat strikes to protest proposed Italian legislation they say will favor Uber and other car-sharing services.



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