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The Bulletin
2D
Huawei boss confident of UK 5G deal
Huawei believes it will have a role to play in building the United Kingdom's 5G network. Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive, said "the UK won't say no to us" and also praised new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The UK is yet to decide whether to use Huawei equipment after US sanctions against the Chinese firm. Officials are still seeking clarity over the issue.
2D
ShareChat backed by Twitter in $100 million funding round
Indian social media company ShareChat has received financial support from Twitter. The Series D funding round yielded $100 million, with Twitter leading the investment. ShareChat services tens of millions of customers in India's various regional languages but it isn't available in English. India is known to be a key target market for Twitter.
2D
Cisco to drive cybersecurity adoption in Latin America
Cisco is to work with the Organisation of American States (OAS) to grow awareness and adoption of cybersecurity in Latin America. They will create Cybersecurity Innovation Councils where leaders from business and academia will collaborate on solutions to the cybersecurity challenge in the region. The OAS is the region's primary political forum.
2D
Alibaba explores blockchain for domain name management
Alibaba has filed a new blockchain patent. The Chinese ecommerce giant is exploring how distributed ledger technology can help in domain name management. It wants to create a system that uses a "unified blockchain domain name" to denote and share information. In May, Alibaba outlined its plans to integrate blockchain into its intellectual property system.
2D
Apple files lawsuit against Corellium
Apple is suing Corellium, the maker of virtualisation software. Corellium lets customers create virtual iOS devices that can be used through a browser. Apple says this represents a "blatant infringement". The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Florida. Apple recently launched the “iOS Security Research Device Program” to help find security vulnerabilities.
3D
WeWork files for IPO
WeWork has filed to go public. The firm is aiming to raise $1 billion through the IPO, which could go ahead as soon as next month. It will be the second biggest IPO of the year after Uber. WeWork was recently valued at $47 billion but lost more than $700 million in the first half of 2019. Investors SoftBank, JP Morgan and Benchmark are set to benefit from the IPO.
3D
Dell Technologies and AT&T partner on edge computing and 5G
Dell Technologies and AT&T have set up a new collaboration. In a press release, the pair said they will be 'exploring the development of key open infrastructure technology areas for the next-generation network edge'. In short, they are to build tech to support use cases and services in 5G and edge computing. Dell is joining AT&T's Airship project for automating telco infrastructure.
3D
Accenture to acquire Analytics8
Accenture is buying Australian big data and analytics consultancy Analytics8. A vendor for many of Australia's biggest organisations, Analytics8 specialises in data management, reporting and visualisation, data science and analytics services. This is Accenture's third acquisition in Australia in the last year. A spokesperson said Analytics8 has "deep technical expertise".
3D
Walmart's drones to communicate using blockchain
Walmart has filed a blockchain patent for drone communication. A blockchain system stored on a drone would encrypt and store operational parameters. This information would then be shared with other drones in a network. Walmart has previously filed other blockchain/drone patents dating back to 2017. It is also exploring its own digital currency based on blockchain technology.
3D
VMware in talks to snap up Pivotal
VMware is reportedly in discussions to acquire Pivotal Software, the company powering the open-source Cloud Foundry software development platform into most of the world's biggest enterprises. It'd be a complicated deal: Pivotal spun out from VMware in 2013, which retains a stake, and both companies remain majority owned by Dell.
3D
SoftBank backs Energy Vault with $110 million
SoftBank's Vision Fund has committed $110 million to Energy Vault, the energy storage company. Energy Vault uses technology to store energy in 35-tonne recycled concrete blocks. It plans to increase the number of projects with SoftBank's injection of cash. This represents the Vision Fund's first foray into the energy storage space.
3D
Microsoft: Humans listen to some Skype and Cortana recordings
Microsoft has altered its privacy policy after admitting it collected voice data from Skype and Cortana. The tech giant also said it used vendors to improve its voice services. "We realised, based on questions raised recently, that we could do a better job specifying that humans sometimes review this content," said a spokesperson. On Tuesday, media reported similar practices at Facebook.
4D
Shinhan Bank using blockchain for security
South Korea's oldest bank is working with two companies to build a security solution based on blockchain. Shinhan Bank has partnered with Ground X and blockchain developer Hexlant. They will create a Private Key Management System for Shinhan's banking services. Shinhan is also developing a stock lending platform based on distributed ledger technology.
4D
Barclays and Coinbase cut ties
Barclays has stopped providing services to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The partnership had allowed users to buy cryptocurrencies with sterling but the pair have called time on the relationship after 17 months. Their collaboration hit the headlines given its unusual nature; a traditional bank and a crypto exchange working closely together. Coinbase is now working with UK startup ClearBank.
4D
LG and Lumi collaborate on smart home tech
LG has partnered with Lumi, the Chinese IoT firm, to build a more complete IoT solution for homes. Using AI and advanced sensors, the pair are to develop new innovations that will help users control temperature, humidity and more. Lumi's Aqara sensor technology will be integrated with LG products. "LG will evolve the connected home ecosystem," said a spokesperson.
4D
NTT Security and Europol sign MoU
NTT Security has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). They will share threat intelligence to enable better cybersecurity across the enterprise. NTT Security will support EC3’s in the law enforcement response to cybercrime. "We are honoured to collaborate with one of the top global telecommunication players," said a Europol spokesperson.
4D
Breach in leading biometric security platform 'affects millions'
Leading biometric security platform BioStar 2, from Suprema, has been found wanting by Israeli researchers. Access was gained to over 28 million records, including unencrypted passwords, fingerprints and facial recognition information. BioStar 2 centralises access control to thousands of facilities around the world, including banks, governments and even UK police. The breach has now been closed.
4D
FTC chief: "We could break up big tech firms"
Joe Simons, head of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), says breaking up the leading tech firms isn't out of the question. The FTC is investigating the acquisition and anti-competitive practices of the likes of Facebook and Amazon. In a Bloomberg interview, Simons says undoing past mergers could be done "if you have to". The FTC added no further detail to Simons' comments.
4D
Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell to depart Facebook
Nate Mitchell, one of the last remaining Oculus co-founders at Facebook, is to leave the company. Mitchell and his colleagues sold the virtual reality (VR) startup to Facebook for $2 billion back in 2014. He holds the position of Head of Product Management for VR. "Now feels like the right time for a change," said Mitchell. Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe left Facebook last October.
5D
Nvidia breaks records in conversational AI
Nvidia says it has made new breakthroughs in conversational artificial intelligence (AI). The tech giant claims it is the first to have trained BERT - one of the most advanced AI language models - in less than one hour. This opens up language processing for major applications. Microsoft is an early adopter of Nvidia's advances. "Large language models are revolutionising AI," said a spokesperson.
5D
Cray to build $600 million supercomputer for the US DoE
Cray has extended its contract with the US Department of Energy to include the building of a $600 million exascale supercomputer. 'El Capitan' will be housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is built specifically for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Cray, recently acquired by HPE, has also released a new version of its Shasta supercomputing software.
5D
Ireland gets its first 5G network
Ericsson and Vodafone have switched on Ireland's first 5G network. The advanced network is now available in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford. "5G will have a huge impact on businesses and society in Ireland," said a Vodafone spokesperson. The launch was tied in with the opening of Vodafone's Global Center of Internet of Things excellence in healthcare in partnership with Assert.
5D
Verizon sells Tumblr to Automattic in cut-price deal
Tumblr has been sold to Wordpress owner Automattic Inc. Some reports suggest that Verizon fetched less than $3 million - only six years after Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for the social networking site. The actual price has not been disclosed. Tumblr continually failed to generate profits despite commanding a massive user base. Automattic will take on 200 staff as part of the acquisition.
5D
Bitfury launches AI division
Bitfury, the blockchain firm recently valued at more than $1 billion, has inaugurated an artificial intelligence (AI) unit. CEO Valery Vavilov said the need to find value in data drove Bitfury to work on AI. Fabrizio Del Maffeo has been appointed head of the new division. Bitfury is known to be considering an IPO within the next two years which could see it valued at up to $5 billion.
5D
Oregon joins lawsuit against T-Mobile/Sprint merger
Oregon is the latest US state to officially oppose the megamerger between T-Mobile and Sprint. 15 states have come together to fight the deal, which they say will increase costs for customers and destroy competition in the telecoms industry. The US Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission approved T-Mobile's acquisition in July.
6D
IBM and Tata back Hedera Hashgraph blockchain
Hedera Hashgraph, the blockchain platform that claims to run faster and at a bigger scale than other similar technologies, has earned the support of IBM and Tata Communications. Both companies have joined Hedera's 39-strong governing council, allowing them to have a say on the platform's development. Hedera raised $124 million in funding last year.
6D
German telcos launch password-free login procedure
Three German telcos have created a login procedure standard that omits the need for passwords. 'Mobile Connect', built by Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone, is a mobile phone-based login system that will become the standard for ecommerce. It can also be used as the second factor in 2FA password-based procedures.
6D
Serious vulnerabilities discovered in over 40 Windows drivers
Dozens of Windows device drivers from at least 20 major vendors are vulnerable to escalation of privilege attacks, say researchers from security firm Eclypsium. They say the flaw is down to lax code, and can allow software running under a user account to elevate its privileges to system level, seizing control of the machine. All the vulnerable drivers had been certified by Microsoft.
6D
Jio to build 'one of the world's largest blockchain networks'
Jio has followed up the news of its Microsoft alliance by committing to building a blockchain network for its 330 million customers. MD Shri Mukesh D. Ambani said blockchain is one of its three areas of priority. Within a year, Jio will launch a network with tens of thousands of nodes. "Using blockchain, we can deliver unprecedented security, trust, automation and efficiency," commented Ambani.
6D
China's central bank says digital currency 'is close'
The People's Bank of China says a digital currency for the country is all but ready for release. One of the bank's deputy directors confirmed that required systems are nearing completion. China has sped up its ambitions in this area since Facebook announced its Libra coin. The currency is not expected to be built on a pure blockchain architecture given the complexity of China's economy.
6D
Microsoft and Jio to power India's digital future
Microsoft and Jio, a subsidiary of industrial giant Reliance Industries, will collaborate over the next decade to drive India's digital transformation. Indian businesses will have access to new cloud solutions built on Azure and will benefit from Jio's comprehensive connectivity infrastructure. To support their plans, the pair will develop multiple new data centres across India.
9D
Uber loses more than $5 billion in three months
Uber's second quarter results make grim reading for investors. Losses passed $5 billion as the ride-hailing firm suffered from paying stock-based compensation expenses following its IPO. Revenues rose by 14% but this figure fell short of analysts' predictions. "Competition is cut-throat," said one analyst. Rivals Lyft posted lower-than-expected losses on Wednesday.
9D
Huawei unveils HarmonyOS
Chinese tech giant Huawei has unveiled its long-rumoured Android alternative and named it Harmony - or Hongmeng in China. The OS will be open source and service every device imaginable, including smartphones - although the company says it will continue to prioritise Android "for now" for such devices. Huawei has suffered amid US sanctions and the broader Sino-US trade war.
9D
Confirmed: Broadcom acquires Symantec's enterprise business
Broadcom and Symantec have confirmed the $10.7 billion acquisition deal that will see Broadcom take over Symantec's enterprise business. Talks appeared to have stalled but on Thursday stories surfaced about the pair coming to an agreement. Both firms have now confirmed the news. The deal, expected to close before the end of the year, continues Broadcom's push into software.
9D
Etihad Airways turns to blockchain for distribution
Etihad Airways has started a blockchain pilot with open-source travel platform Winding Tree. It aims to trial Winding Tree for the distribution of products and services without the need for a third party. Winding Tree, which works with other airlines including Lufthansa, built its B2B marketplace on Ethereum. Etihad says it hopes the platform will reduce transaction costs for customers.
9D
Tencent to ramp up AI investment
Tencent will boost its effort in AI, according to executive Wang Long. In an interview with The Information, Wang confirmed that spending on AI-related research is due to increase. Tencent wants its clients to be able to explore the business potential offered by AI. "AI is something we have to invest in heavily over the next few years," said the VP of Tencent Cloud.
9D
AWS launches service to build data lakes
AWS has released AWS Lake Foundation, a major service designed to simplify the building of data lakes. It says Lake Foundation will automate many of the previously manual steps required to construct data lakes, reducing build time from months to days. "Customers can spend more time learning from their data and innovating," said an AWS spokesperson.
10D
Wipro partners with Camunda for workflow automation
Wipro has joined Camunda's partner programme to offer customers workflow automation. Camunda's open-source software covers all workflows, from process design and execution, to continuous process improvement. It is a market expected to reach nearly $17 billion by 2023. "Offering Camunda as part of our stack will benefit our customers," said a spokesperson.
10D
DeepMind lost $570 million in 2018
DeepMind, Google-owner Alphabet's AI firm, continues to haemorrhage cash. New figures show that it lost $570 million in 2018 alone. Alphabet continues to invest heavily in AI and data researchers for DeepMind's projects, despite a lack of revenues. It is also planning to exit Google's London offices to move into its own location in the city.
10D
NHS to build £250 million AI lab
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is investing £250 million in an artificial intelligence lab. The lab will be part of NHSX, the service's new unit for digitalisation. It believes AI can help with a range of healthcare issues, from improving cancer screening to identifying high-risk patients. "We are on the cusp of a huge health tech revolution," said Matt Hancock, Health Secretary.
10D
Broadcom revives Symantec takeover
Broadcom and Symantec look to have finally completed a merger deal. Symantec had pulled out of a proposed takeover from Broadcom after late disagreements over price. Now Broadcom has targeted Symantec's enterprise unit, with a buyout confirmation expected soon. Reports suggest the deal could be worth $10 billion.
10D
Google and Twitter buy in to new AMD chips
AMD has secured custom from Google and Twitter after launching the second generation of its data centre processing chips. It says the EPYC chip offers improved performance and lower power consumption. Google will use EPYC at their internal data centres, while a Twitter exec presented alongside AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su. Intel continues to dominate this sector with 90% market share.
10D
Salesforce to acquire ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion
Salesforce has made a move for ClickSoftware, the field service management software leader. The $1.35 billion transaction will strengthen Salesforce's Service Cloud platform, enabling it to offer more digital tools to employees in the field. The acquisition should close by the end of October. Just last week, Salesforce completed its $15 billion takeover of Tableau.
11D
Nike nets Celect, the predictive analytics startup
Nike wants to embrace predictive retail - so has acquired Celect. Celect's cloud analytics platform will be able to deliver insights from both structured and unstructured retail data. "We must be insight-driven, data-optimised and hyper-focused on consumer behaviour," said Nike's COO. Celect was co-founded by former MIT professors. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
11D
SoftBank's second Vision Fund close to launch
The second version of SoftBank's Vision Fund could begin investing as soon as next month, according to Chief Executive Masayoshi Son. The likes of Apple and Microsoft have backed the $108 billion tech investment drive. The first Vision Fund has proved hugely successful, creating profits of 66%. Vision Fund 2 aims to accelerate what SoftBank calls the 'AI revolution'.
11D
Amazon planning to put ad data on blockchain
Amazon is planning to develop an advertisement blockchain. A new role went live appealing for a software engineer to build a blockchain ledger that would 'provide transparency on transnational financial data' for its advertising fintech team. Amazon remained tight-lipped on any further details when asked for comment but it is keen to grow its online advertisement business.
11D
IT failure leads to chaos for British Airways customers
A major IT outage has wreaked havoc for British Airways customers. Delays and cancellations have affected hundreds of flights out of the United Kingdom. Two of BA's critical systems, dealing with online check-in and flight departures, failed on Wednesday. It has since moved on to back-up manual systems. BA is also set to be fined £183 million for last year's high-profile data breach.
11D
Reports: North Korea stole $2 billion through cyberattacks
North Korea has funded its weapons programme through cyberattacks, according to reports. A leaked UN document was seen by Reuters and appeared to confirm that the country used cyber methods to steal from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. In total, it illegally obtained $2 billion. The North Korean mission to the UN did not respond to a request for comment.
11D
Toyota enlists AI startup to help build service robots
Toyota and robotics firm Preferred Networks are engaging in a joint R&D programme to develop service robots. They want the robots to be “capable of learning in typical living environments”. The research will focus on Toyota's Human Support Robot (HSR) robotics platform. Preferred Networks uses deep learning to develop hardware for robots.
12D
Snap eyes $1 billion short-term debt to fund AR development
Snapchat's parent company Snap wants to accelerate its work on augmented reality (AR). It aims to raise $1 billion in short-term debt to fund AR development, along with creating more media content and potentially acquiring other businesses. Market competition from the likes of Facebook is challenging Snapchat in the AR space.
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