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Facebook building its own voice assistant
Facebook is set to rival Alexa and other voice assistants with its own native product. Its Portal video chat screen is currently built with integrated Alexa but Facebook wants an alternative. Any new solution will work across its portfolio of AR/VR products. According to reports, the project has been in action since the beginning of last year.
4H
Wells Fargo to make CTO change
One of the world's largest banking institutions, Wells Fargo, is bringing in a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), it has been revealed. Former CTO Scott Dillion left his role last month, according to CIO Dive. In an investor call, intertim CEO and President, C. Allen Parker, said the company's new CTO and CISO are to report to head of technology Saul Van Beurden, who started earlier this month.
5H
Saleforce to acquire MapAnything
Salesforce is to acquire MapAnything, a location-based intelligence software built natively on the Salesforce Platform. MapAnything integrates map-based visualisation, asset tracking and route optimisation to drive efficiency for field sales and service teams and deliver a better customer experience. Salesforce said it would help improve field sales and employee productivity for clients.
5H
HCL Technologies strengthens ties with Google Cloud
HCL Technologies has bolstered its cloud services portfolio through a renewed partnership with Google Cloud. HCL has become a Google Cloud premier partner, enriching its hybrid cloud service offering. The partnership will see HCL build a Google Cloud Centre of Excellence, which will be embedded in its worldwide Cloud Native Labs.
6H
Amazon to shut down e-commerce services in China and focus on cloud
Amazon is to close its e-commerce operations in China to focus on selling AWS services in the country. Its online store holds just a 0.6% market share in China in the face of competition from the likes of Alibaba and JD.com. It will now close in July this year. An Amazon spokesperson said it would continue to grow in China through its global store as well as AWS.
22H
Cisco creates co-innovation partnership with Dimension Data
Cisco has expanded its partnership with Dimension Data to deepen collaboration on advanced technologies. Solutions will be developed for joint clients in the key fields of 5G, IoT and blockchain. The two companies have worked together for 28 years. “Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it requires diverse skill sets and multiple points of view," said Dave Ward, Cisco's CTO.
1D
PathAI has raised $60 million in new finding round
PathAI, an artificial intelligence-powered technology for pathology, has raised $60 million in funding. The round was led by new investor General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, with strong participation from General Catalyst and other existing investors. It will use finds to enhance offerings to existing partners, and drive improvement of its flagship pathology research platform.
1D
Apple looking at suppliers for self-driving car sensors
Apple is in talks with multiple vendors for its self-driving car ambitions. It is looking for a supplier of lidar sensors, an essential component of autonomous vehicles. Apple is also building its own lidar division as part of 'Project Titan'. It is aiming to create smaller, cheaper and mass produced lidar units. The company has made key hires in this area, poaching staff from Tesla and Google.
1D
Google Fiber hit with $4 million exit bill from Louisville
Google has been slapped with an almost $4 million bill as part of an agreement to pull its fibre service out of Louisville. The funds will be used to removing fibre cables and sealant from roads, milling and paving activities, and the removal of above-ground infrastructure. Google announced its exit from the city in February earlier this year, citing technical challenges.
1D
Facebook to end P2P payments in UK and France
Facebook is to end person-to-person (P2P) payments made over its messenger service in the United Kingdom and France. The social media giant revealed that the service would officially come to an end on 15 June 2019. No reason has been given for the shuttering of the service but it appears that the service will still be available to American users wanting to make payments to friends and family.
1D
Qualcomm opens smart city accelerator programme
Qualcomm has launched an accelerator programme for smart cities. The programme will bring a range of companies under one umbrella, with the aim of launching a solutions-focused web platform specialising in smart city applications. Programme members include hardware, software, cloud and manufacturing businesses.
1D
Intel leaves 5G modem business behind
Intel has revealed its plans to exit the 5G modem business. This major development comes straight after Apple and Qualcomm patched up their differences, cutting short the trial to investigate alleged illegal licensing practices around 5G modems by Qualcomm. Qualcomm's position in the market is now strengthened, with Intel instead set to focus on 5G infrastructure.
1D
Siemens integrates Mendix on MindSphere
Siemens partners can now build low-code industrial IoT applications on its MindSphere platform. It has announced the immediate availability of Mendix, its enterprise app development solution, through MindSphere. The move offers customers the support needed to speedily develop, test and market IIoT apps. Mendix was acquired by Siemens for $730 million last year.
1D
Nestlé and Carrefour to use IBM blockchain to track food products
Nestlé and Carrefour are to utilise IBM's blockchain technology to track Mousline instant mashed potato. By scanning a product using a smartphone, consumers will receive reliable and unfalsifiable information on the supply chain and production. It is the first time that blockchain technology will be applied to a national brand, the companies said in a statement.
2D
Microsoft makes energy pledge for its data centres
Microsoft has said its data centres were powered by 50% green energy last year. President Brad Smith said as part of its long-term goal to power its centres with 100% green energy, it is aiming to hit the 70% mark by 2023. It also launched an initiative using AI, blockchain and IoT to monitor performance and streamline its reuse, resale and recycling of data centre assets, including servers.
2D
Blockchain enters the employee benefits industry
Accenture and Generali's employee benefits group have co-created a blockchain-based system. Thought to be an industry-first, the solution allows participants in the reinsurance process for captive or pooling services to access the same data. It also reduces processing errors through smart contracts and automated reconciliation. It was initially prototyped in October last year.
2D
Huawei using AI to detect visual impairments in children
Huawei is using its AI expertise with leading medical research bodies to help safeguard children's eyesight. The company is working with IIS Aragon and DIVE Medical to co-create Track AI, an AI-powered assessment designed to detect and diagnose early signs of visual impairment. Huawei hopes that it will allow individuals without training to help identify children with visual impairments.
2D
DXC Technology grasps the Asia cybersecurity nettle
DXC Technology is aiming to combat the growing cybersecurity problem in Asia from a new facility in Malaysia. Its 'Security Operations Centre' in Kuala Lumpur will support its latest security innovations built around advanced analytics and digital forensics. DXC will service both regional and global clients from the location. It has more than a dozen similar centres around the world.
2D
Hulu buys back AT&T's stake for $1.4 billion
Hulu has reclaimed AT&T's stake in the streaming service for $1.4 billion. The deal means Hulu is now valued at $15 billion. Consequently, Walt Disney Co has more control over Hulu, in which it has a 60% stake through a joint venture. This could lead to a more Disney-centric service. Hulu has 25 million subscribers but is expected to lose $1.5 billion during its current financial year.
2D
Toyota to sell electric vehicle technology to Singulato
Toyota is poised to sell its electric vehicle technology to the Chinese startup Singulato, according to Reuters. The report said that in return, Toyota will have preferential rights to purchase green-car credits that Singulato will generate under China’s quota system for all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Singulato will be licenced to use the design of Toyota’s eQ, a battery electric microcar.
3D
Albertsons Companies joins IBM's food blockchain network
Albertsons Companies has joined the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network and will begin piloting the technology to improve how food is traced from farm to shelf. It is to pilot Food Trust for tracing bulk romaine lettuce from one of its distribution centres, and will explore expanding to other food categories. Five million farm products have been tracked from farm to shelf using Food Trust.
3D
Publicis Groupe to acquire Alliance Data Systems for $4.4 billion
Publicis Groupe is to acquire Alliance Data Systems for $4.4 billion. Publicis said the deal is part of its strategy to become the preferred transformation partner for its clients. Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, commented: "With this critical move, we are going further, faster and deeper in our own transformation, becoming a leader in this data-led, digital-first world."
3D
Apple and Qualcomm face off in £27 billion trial
Apple's $27 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm will be heard in San Diego from Monday. It alleges that Qualcomm has engaged in illegal licensing practices around modem chips. Qualcomm's counter-claim is that Apple's partners owe it $7.5 billion in unpaid royalties. The trial is the latest in a series of legal quarrels to have unfolded between the pair over the past two years.
3D
Netherlands launches 5G task force
The Dutch government is launching a taskforce to establish establish security issues around 5G networks. "The task force is analysing the vulnerability of 5G networks for abuse by technology providers and what measures are needed to contain these risks," said Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus. The United States is lobbying firms to shut out Huawei from any 5G plans.
3D
Google opens first African AI hub
Google has opened an AI research lab in Ghana, the first of its kind in Africa. It hopes to address economic, political and environmental issues through using AI. The centre, in Ghana's capital city Accra, is similar to locations opened in other cities worldwide include Tokyo, Zurich, New York and Paris. "I strongly believe that AI has a bright future in Africa," said Google's Moustapha Cisse.
3D
Tech Mahindra to utilise Samsung SDS's blockchain platform
Tech Mahindra has partnered with Samsung SDS and will take its Nexledger blockchain platform to market. Nexledger allows developers to choose from various blockchain technologies and consensus algorithms such as NCA (Nexledger Consensus Algorithm), Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. Tech Mahindra will also collaborate on the development process for Nexledger.
5D
ICC to support blockchain adoption for its 45 million members
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched an initiative to bridge the gap between its 45 million members and blockchain technology. By working with leading blockchain company Perlin, the ICC will help its members drive blockchain adoption. They will initially have free access to Perlin's platform. The likes of Amazon, Coca Cola and McDonald's are members of the ICC.
6D
San DIego signs deal with Verizon to accelerate smart city plans
San Diego has signed a deal with Verizon to accelerate its smart city plans. More than $100 million in infrastructure investment and equipment deployment from Verizon is to be outlaid, including on light poles equipped for small cells. 500 smartphones will be given to the San Diego Police Department and 50 tablets to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to improve communication and connectivity.
6D
Schneider Electric and The Carlyle Group to work on smart infrastructure projects
Schneider Electric has expanded its partnership with The Carlyle Group. They will now combine expertise to drive forward new smart infrastructure projects. Global investor The Carlyle Group will leverage Schneider Electric's expertise in smart energy management and automation in the joint venture, named AlphaStruxure. It recently won a host of new infrastructure contracts.
6D
UK councils turn to Splunk to protect from cyber attacks
Three local councils in Southeast England have signed a deal with Splunk to protect themselves from cyber attacks. The three councils, known collectively as Orbis, will leverage Splunk ES to identify security incidents early, reducing costs and limiting potential damage. Further, Splunk ES will provide Orbis with a flexible, centralised view of its security, compliance and IT operational needs.
6D
Mike Macrie appointed CIO at Subway
The former Land O'Lakes CIO, Mike Macrie, has joined fast food giant Subway as the company's new CIO. Subway said Macrie will oversee the company's technology initiatives and global teams to ensure delivery of modern, timely and effective platforms for Subway business owners and guests. "I am very happy to be joining such an iconic and evolving brand," said Macrie.
6D
Slack introduces new integrations with Microsoft Office 365
Slack has introduced a range of new integrations with Microsoft Office 365. The new range of capabilities includes file previews, sending emails within Slack and calendar syncing through Outlook, Slack said in an announcement. Users will also be able to drop documents from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Microsoft documents into Slack and browse them without having to download.
6D
Huawei launches initiative to improve IT education in Europe
Huawei is to start a new social contribution programme in central and eastern Europe. The Chinese tech giant aims to equip 1,000 young people with essential IT skills to help build an 'intelligent society'. Its programme will operate across 16 European countries, with a wider remit of strengthening interest in the IT sector as a whole. It was announced at a China/Europe trade forum in Croatia.
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6D
Digital Asset to integrate smart contract language on VMware Blockchain
Digital Asset has convinced cloud giant VMware to integrate its smart contract language DAML on its blockchain platform. DAML (Digital Asset Modelling Language) was recently open-sourced and this breakthrough with VMware represents a major early win for Digital Asset. VMware will distribute DAML to its existing customer base and through its partners.
6D
Geely reveals 'Geometry', its new electric car brand
Geely has launched a premium electric vehicle brand. Named 'Geometry', the company will initially focus on China. It has already taken 26,000 orders of its first model and plans to launch 10 different models across multiple segments by 2025. China has introduced production quotas to reduce smog in the country. Geely, its biggest car maker, has stakes in both Daimler and Volvo.
6D
Hanson Robotics appoints Amit Kumar Pandey as new CTO
Hanson Robotics has appointed Amit Kumar Pandey as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Science Officer. Pandey joins from SoftBank Robotics Europe, where he led various large-scale collaborative projects. He will be charged with accelerating the development of the Hanson AI platform that powers the intelligence and interactive personalities of the company’s robots and virtual AI characters.
7D
Fintech insurer Lemonade raises $300 million in funding
Lemonade, the insurance company powered by AI and behavioural economics, has raised $300 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank. Allianz, General Catalyst, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), OurCrowd, and Thrive Capital all participated in the funding round. Lemonade plans to use the funds to accelerate its US and European expansion in 2019, and explore new product lines.
7D
LG and Swisscom work to bring 5G to Europe
LG and Swisscom have announced the imminent launch of 5G services in Europe. LG's V50ThinQ 5G smartphone and accompanying LG Dual Screen will be sold in Swisscom retail stores. “LG is a key player to make 5G become a reality," said Swisscom's head of products. LG is also in talks with other European carriers to launch 5G services this year.
7D
Amazon acquires robotics startup Canvas Technology
Amazon has acquired warehouse robotics startup Canvas Technology. The deal will add to Amazon's portfolio of fulfilment centre technology. In a statement made to Tech Crunch, an Amazon spokesperson said: We are inspired by Canvas Technology’s innovations, and share a common vision for a future where people work alongside robotics to further improve safety and the workplace experience."
7D
Microsoft partners with academia to close tech skills gap
Academic institutions are collaborating with Microsoft to help close the technology skills gap. Skills programmes are being implemented at colleges and universities in the United States and United Kingdom. They will focus on key fields like artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity and data science. 45% of employers say a skills shortage is negatively impacting business.
7D
Amazon and Microsoft to vie for $10 billion Pentagon contract
The US Department of Defense will choose either Amazon's AWS or Microsoft's Azure for its $10 billion cloud contract. The Pentagon has narrowed in on the industry's two leaders after they met minimum requirements. This means IBM and Oracle are now out of the running. Project 'JEDI' has made the headlines with Oracle claiming possible conflicts of interest in the process.
7D
AT&T rolls out 5G across seven more US cities
AT&T's mobile 5G service has been rolled out across seven more cities, including Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. There are now 19 cities across the United States where AT&T's service is live. "We spent the early part of this year accelerating and advancing our 5G network with early adopters by our side," said Andre Fuetsch, president AT&T Labs.
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7D
HPE and Nutanix partner around hybrid cloud
HPE and Nutanix have signed a global partnership. They will create an integrated hybrid cloud-as-a-service solution utilising Nutanix software through HPE GreenLake. The aim is to provide customers with a fully HPE-managed hybrid cloud that lowers the total cost of ownership and accelerates time to value. Nutanix will also enable its channel partners to directly sell HPE servers.
8D
Avaya further integrating with Google Cloud to leverage AI
Avaya is furthering its integration with Google Cloud to leverage the AI and cloud capabilities of both companies. It is embedding Google Cloud’s machine learning technology within its conversation services powering the contact centre, enabling integration of digital AI capabilities for a consistent and intelligent customer experience. The announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19.
8D
Orange to provide global wide area network for Polynt
Orange Business Services has won a five year contract to provide a global wide area network for chemical firm Polynt. The new infrastructure will help Polynt, based in Bergamo, Italy, drive innovation inside the organisation and take full advantage of further digitalisation. It will connect 44 sites in 15 countries across four continents, including North and Latin America, Europe and Asia.
8D
Apple hires virtual reality innovator Arthur van Hoff
Apple has recruited an expert and industry leader in virtual and augmented reality. Arthur van Hoff founded Jaunt VR, which pioneered cinematic VR. He joins a number of his former colleagues who have jumped ship to Apple. Its secretive project around VR and AR is led by Mike Rockwell, with Apple reported to be releasing a dedicated AR headset this year or next.
8D
AirTrunk raises $332 million to build hyperscale data centre in Singapore
AirTrunk has completed a SG$450 million ($332.7 million) funding round to begin expansion across the Asia Pacific with the development of a 60+ megawatt (MW) hyperscale data centre in Singapore. The facility will be the largest neutral data centre in Singapore, with more than 60 MW of IT load, and is specifically designed for hyperscale cloud, content and enterprise customers.
8D
HPE and Google Cloud partner to accelerate hybrid cloud innovation
HPE and Google Cloud have partnered to accelerate innovation with hybrid cloud solutions optimised for containerised applications. HPE will offer two HPE Validated Designs for Google Clouds Anthos based on HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure and HPE Nimble Storage and HPE ProLiant servers. The announcement is part of an ongoing collaboration between the companies.
8D
New AI chips unveiled by Qualcomm
Qualcomm has taken on Nvidia and Intel with a new set of AI chips. Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 sees the company diversify from mobile chips, meeting demand for AI inference processing in the cloud. Microsoft will be among the first testers later this year. Nvidia has built an equivalent while Intel is partnering with Facebook on its own solution. Qualcomm says it is targeting smaller data centres.
8D
Google releases 'Anthos', its hybrid cloud management platform
Google has made its hybrid cloud platform live and named it 'Anthos'. Unveiled by CEO Sundar Pichai at Google Cloud Next '19, the platform spans GCP and on-premise cloud - but will also be available for use on third party clouds like AWS and Azure. This will allow users to deploy workloads in pretty much any environment. Anthos is based on the Google-made Kubernetes.
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