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The Bulletin
7H
UK Cybersecurity firm Sophos goes private in biggest takeover of the year
UK cybersecurity firm Sophos has been taken private by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, in a deal worth $3.8 billion. The sale becomes the year's largest takeover in the UK. Sophos' CEO, Kris Hagerman said that Thoma Bravo's "experience with software and cyber security" makes for a “compelling fit”. Hagerman said the company is likely to continue with a similar strategy under their new ownership.
13H
Huawei's revenue rises 24.4% despite U.S. sanctions
Huawei's revenue rose 24.4% in the first three quarters of 2019 to $86 billion, despite being blacklisted by the US. The company stated that the impact of the sanctions were less than originally feared, but could still sting its smartphone division for around $10 billion. Huawei is currently the world's largest manufacturing of telecom network equipment and the second largest smartphone maker.
1D
Hyundai unveils a $35 billion self-driving investment plan
Hyundai will invest $35 billion in mobility and emerging auto technologies by 2025. The motoring giant has also received government backing to further bolster its bid to become a competitive force in the market. “The self-driving market is a golden market to revitalise the economy and create new jobs,” South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said in a speech at Hyundai Motor’s research centre.
1D
Uber lays off 350 from Eats, marketing and self-driving
Uber just laid off 350 members of staff. The third and final phase of Uber's layoffs has seen employees from performance marketing, self-driving, Eats, Advanced Technologies Group, and recruiting affected. Teams were told of the "difficult but necessary changes" in an email by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In Q2 2019, Uber lost more than $5 billion — its biggest quarterly revenue loss to date.
2D
Apple's 500-acre data centre site is up for sale in Ireland
Apple's 500-acre data centre site near Athernry is up for sale. The "ready-to-go data centre development site" was originally intended for Apple's €850m data centre, but is now being sold by property agents in the US and Ireland following major delays and supreme court rulings last year. The price of the site has not been disclosed, nor that it's owned by Apple.
2D
SEC takes emergency action over Telegram's planned $1.7 billion ICO
The SEC has filed a temporary block on Telegram's planned $1.7 billion Initial coin offering (ICO), to prevent "flooding the U.S. with digital tokens" that the SEC alleges were "unlawfully sold", said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division. Telegram has until the end of October to launch its blockchain network - allowing anyone to buy the "gram" currency.
2D
UK government RPA drive faces renewed PR challenge
The UK government's Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) - managing a £95bn annual welfare budget - has accelerated its intelligent automation drive with 1,000 new hires and a budget increase to £8m annually. UiPath is central to the drive for substantial process efficiency at the enormous bureaucracy, but social media is afire after press claims that robots will soon be making all the decisions.
2D
Softbank in talks to take control of WeWork
Softbank is putting together a bid to take control of WeWork's parent company, We Co., amid a major cash crash. The attempt to save WeWork comes just weeks before its imminent collapse, according to The Wall Street Journal. Softbank isn't the only option for WeWork - WSJ also reported that there’s a plan to raise billions of debt through a process being managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
5D
Equinix and GIC kick-start $1bn data centre JV
Equinix and GIC have officially started a $1 billion JV to develop and operate xScale data centres in Europe. xScale data centres will serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. The initial six facilities in the JV will be located in the Amsterdam, London (two), Frankfurt (two) and Paris.
5D
Google's fight against EU antitrust fine just got a major boost
Google has received backing from phone makers Gigaset and HMD Global Oy as it prepares to fight its record fine from the European Commission. The two phone makers can assist Google in its bid to overturn a 4.34 billion euro fine and an order to drop anti-competitive business practices aimed at blocking rivals in internet browsing, according to Reuters. Court proceedings are to begin next year.
5D
Dyson pulls the plug on EV dreams
Dyson has cancelled its plans to launch an electric car. Founder James Dyson sent an email to employees praising their efforts in creating a "fantastic" car, but said that the £2.5 billion project is not “commercially viable”. Dyson will close its operations in the UK and Singapore, but will likely absorb the 500 plus EV staff into its home division. Dyson's EV was due to launch next year.
5D
SAP CEO Bill McDermott steps down with immediate effect
SAP has today announced that its CEO, Bill McDermott has decided not to renew his contract, and is leaving with immediate effect. McDermott served as Chief Executive Officer for 9 years. SAP Executive Board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein have been appointed co-CEOs. The reason for McDermott's departure is unclear. He will remain with the company as an advisor for the next two months.
6D
VMware acquires Carbon Black for $2.1 billion
Cloud computing heavy hitter VMware has acquired Carbon Black, a leader in cloud-native endpoint protection, in an all-cash transaction. Following the acquisition, VMware is launching a new Security Business unit with Carbon Black CEO, Patrick Morley serving as General Manager. “Carbon Black brings us an industry-leading security platform” said Sanjay Poonen, COO, VMware.
6D
Automotive leaders form autonomous driving consortium
A group of leading automotive and technology industry companies have joined forces to help accelerate the delivery of safer and affordable autonomous vehicles at scale. They include including Arm, Bosch, Continental, DENSO, General Motors, NVIDIA, NXP Semiconductors and Toyota. It will start its work by developing a set of recommendations of a system architecture.
6D
Waymo to go "completely driverless" sooner than you think
In an email sent to members of Waymo's early rider program, the autonomous vehicle giant revealed that its users could expect their next trip to be "completely driverless". The program is being tested in the state of Phoenix, in a geofenced area covering several suburbs. Waymo - formerly the Google self-driving project - has been testing its technology since 2009, and began open testing in 2016.
7D
IBM and McAfee head up Open Cybersecurity Alliance
A collection of cyber security suppliers have come together to form the Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA). IBM and McAfee Security are two of the founding members which will work together to bring interoperability and data sharing across cybersecurity products. In total, 18 organisations have signed up to be part of the OCA, it said in a release.
7D
Libra's Head of Product quietly departs
Facebook's Libra is suffering major setbacks before it's even begun. Simon Morris, the Association's Head of Product quietly left the group in August after just 5 months, as first reported by The Telegraph. The reasons for the departure are unknown and the Libra Association has declined to comment. The news comes in the same week that PayPal took a step back from supporting the Association.
7D
MIT reviews its relationship with Chinese AI startup
Following on from U.S. sanctions imposed on several Chinese technology firms this week, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is reviewing its relationship with SenseTime - the most valuable AI company in the world - over human rights violations in the Xinjiang region. The trade ban could severely affect SenseTime's reputation and globalisation plans.
8D
Orange joins Avanci licensing platform
Avanci announced the addition of Orange to its licensing platform bringing the total number of patent owners participating in the platform to 31. Orange’s cellular standard essential patents will now be available through Avanci’s one-stop applications and their ecosystems, connected cars areas and IoT are among the most promising,” said Lyse Brillouet, Orange.
8D
U.S's trade blacklist to include top Chinese AI startups
Tensions rise this week as some of China's top AI startups find themselves on a U.S. blacklist. The decision affects 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies covering video surveillance, facial recognition, and deep learning. The firms will be banned from buying components from U.S. companies without approval. The decision was made due to rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.
8D
Cellnex to buy Arqiva UK wireless infrastructure for $2.46 billion
Cellnex has agreed a deal worth $2.46 billion to buy Arqiva’s telecoms division. Under the terms, Cellnex will take control of 7,400 owned sites and the rights to market about 900 additional sites in the United Kingdom. Cellnex is to partially fund the deal through a $2.75 billion rights issue. Cellnex will become the largest independent operator of wireless infrastructure in the UK
9D
Leidos wins £300m UK biometrics contract
US IT giant Leidos as won a contract from the UK Home Office to transform the department's management and storage of biometric data. During the 10-year contract, Leidos will merge the currently separate biometric systems of police and immigration services. It will then manage its transferal to a secure public cloud solution. Leidos reportedly beat out IBM and DXC to the lucrative deal.
9D
Apple buys UK visual effects startup iKinema
Apple has acquired UK-based visual effects company, iKinema. The start-ups technology has been used by the likes of Disney, Fox, and Tencent, according to reports.It is believed that Apple has bought the company to bolster its AR capabilities, expanding on its expand on Animoji/Memoji emojis that have been integrated into iMessage and WhatsApp messaging platforms.
9D
Tier Mobility raises $60 million after hitting 10 million ride milestone
Tier Mobility, a Berlin-based, micro-mobility startup, operating 20,000 scooters across 40 cities in 12 countries has secured $60 million in funding. The investment comes not long after the company hit a milestone of 10 million rides. Tier's co-founder and CEO, Lawrence Leuschner stated that the investment would be put towards technology innovation and geographical expansion.
9D
PayPal withdraws from Facebook's Libra Association
Paypal announced that it will no longer participate in the Facebook-led effort to build global digital currency, Libra - making it the first member to quit the group. Paypal is forgoing any future participation to focus on its own core business. “We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future,” PayPal said in a statement.
12D
Accenture acquires Nytec, will become part of Accenture Industry X.0
Accenture has acquired product innovation and engineering company Nytec. Accenture said it will add deep expertise in IoT engineering and software platform development to Accenture Industry X.0. It will enable Accenture to develop IoT infrastructure and systems for connected experiences, particularly for clients in areas including the consumer tech, industrial high tech, hospitality and travel.
12D
UK, U.S. and Australia call on Facebook to shelve messenger encryption plans
The trio of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are calling on Facebook to to stop its end-to-end encryption plans for messenger services. The countries have released a letter asking that encryption does not impede government officials from investigating possible crimes. The governments says Facebook should not design its systems to "preclude any form of access to content".
12D
HP plans to cut up to 9000 jobs
HP Inc. plans to cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs—13% to 16% of its workforce, according to The Information. The move may be a sign of how incoming HP CEO Enrique Lores plans to tackle the declining PC and printer market, and boost share prices, after suffering a downturn of around 30% since last October. Shares dropped a further 2% after the announcement.
12D
Google-backed delivery startup Dunzo raises $45 million
Bangalore-based, hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo has raised $45 million - bringing the company's value to $200 million. Backed by Google, LightBox, STIC Ventures and 3L Capital, Dunzo plans to disrupt the e-commerce industry in India with its quick and cheap delivery solutions. As well as groceries, medicines and takeaways, Dunzo will also pick up and deliver anything within a city.
13D
Novartis and Microsoft align to transform medicine using AI
Novartis and Microsoft are teaming up to "transform medicine with artificial intelligence". Joint research activities will include co-working environments on Novartis Campus (Switzerland), at Novartis Global Service Centre in Dublin, and at Microsoft Research Lab (UK) – starting with tackling personalised therapies for macular degeneration; cell & gene therapy; and drug design.
13D
Intel and Brown University using AI to help paralysed people
Intel is working with Brown University to deploy AI in an attempt to help paralysed people regain movement. Researchers will record motor and sensory signals from the spinal cord and use artificial neural networks to learn how to stimulate the post-injury site to communicate motor commands. Intel AI open source software such as nGraph and Intel AI accelerator hardware will be used on the project.
13D
Adtech startups Taboola and Outbrain merge to take on Facebook and Google
Two of the biggest (and most controversial) content recommendation companies, Taboola and Outbrain are merging to dampen the threat from advertising behemoths Facebook and Google. The deal has been years in the making, and aims to bolster the total number of online properties Taboola holds - allowing for better competition in the industry. The merger will see Taboola's value rise to $2 billion.
13D
Notion Capital raises £125m European B2B tech fund
London-based venture capital investor Notion Capital has today announced its largest fund to date - targeting a final closing value of £125m - bolstering its claim to being the go-to investor of B2B technology. Notion's fourth round will be aimed at startups at series A level. Managing Partner, Stephen Chandler has said that larger investments are on the horizon.
14D
UPS is winning the drone delivery war after securing FAA approval
UPS has become the first company to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build and operate unmanned delivery drones across the United States. The approval is specific to UPS and covers suburban and rural areas only. The drones will initially be used to carry medical supplies between hospitals in North Carolina.
14D
Tesla has acquired computer vision startup DeepScale
Tesla has acquired Silicon Valley startup DeepScale. DeepScale uses low-wattage processors to power more accurate computer vision - a key component for Tesla as it embarks to deliver Elon Musk's vision of turning its cars into Robotaxis. Tesla needs to achieve level 4 certification before its cars are considered fully-autonomous. Tesla is currently level 2. DeepScale's cost is undisclosed.
15D
Rapyd's 'fintech as a service' API worth almost $1 billion
Rapyd, a company that allows businesses to embrace digital payments through a single API, has raised a substantial amount in funding to meet demand. The API enables checkout, funds collection, fund disbursements, compliance as a service, foreign exchange, card issuing and integration. The 'fintech as a service' provider has raised $100 million, driving the value to around $1 billion.
15D
Verizon buys VR/AR tech from Jaunt
Jaunt has sold its virtual and augmented reality technology to Verizon. The startup, backed by Disney, has raised more than $100 million in recent years but appears to be closing its doors. Jaunt's press release failed to clarify the company's position moving forward but it will work with Verizon on the transition. It is known for its work in VR video productions but more recently focused on AR.
15D
Deutsche Post puts €2 billion aside for digitalisation
Deutsche Post DHL Group is to inject €2 billion into its digital transformation programme. The logistics giant began a corporate restructure last year after missing targets. 'Strategy 2020' is now 'Strategy 2025', with renewed focus on automation and data analytics. It is also set to 'comprehensively modernise' its IT systems and develop global centres for technology excellence.
15D
Amazon is offering its cashierless technology to airports and cinemas
Amazon is planning to offer is cashierless technology to other retailers after failing to meet its projections for opening "Go" grocery stores. Airports, cinemas, and even baseball stadiums could be the first to benefit from the technology. According to CNBC, Amazon's strategy involves setting up the technology for other retailers, potentially in exchange for a cut of the sales or a monthly fee.
16D
Revolut will hire 3,500 staff in global expansion with Visa
Challenger bank Revolut will hire 3,500 staff as it expands into 24 new markets. The expansion comes after the British-based digital banking app struck a global deal with Visa. Revolut plans to use its new partnership to expand from its current markets in Europe and Australia to open eight new countries Including the US, Japan and Brazil, with Latin American and Asian markets coming next year.
19D
HSBC is using crime-spotting AI to scope new business
HSBC has converted its financial crime-spotting algorithm to scope out new business opportunities. The system uses clients' banking activities along with public data on company ownership and directorships, to flag potential clients. "The business we’re getting in this way is inherently lower risk and quicker to win,” said Stuart Nivison, HSBC’s global head of client network banking.
19D
The internet sector contributed $2.1 trillion to the US economy in 2018
The internet sector contributed $2.1 trillion or around 10% of The United States' GDP in 2018, according to The Internet Association - a group representing the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter. The sector now represents the fourth largest sector of the US economy behind real estate, government and manufacturing. The internet sector now represents 4% of total jobs in the US.
19D
Tesla launches V10.0 software update with Smart Summon
Tesla is rolling out its most advanced software update ever, with a heavy focus on entertainment. V10.0's updates include native Spotify support, a new Theater Mode - which allows users to connect to Netflix, Hulu and YouTube - and the all new "Smart Summon", allowing cars equipped with the optional $5,000 full-self driving package to drive themselves from a parking spot to collect you.
20D
IT budgets set to increase next year
IT departments could become a whole lot richer next year, according to SpiceWorks' annual State of IT report. The report looks into the priorities of IT practitioners for the coming year, and revealed that 44% of companies are planning to increase IT spending by around 18%, with the biggest driver being outdated infrastructure. The increase was consistent across multiple regions and company sizes.
20D
Amazon unveils its own network for IoT devices
Amazon has unveiled Amazon Sidewalk alongside a host of new Alexa devices. Sidewalk is a longer-range variation of WiFi or Bluetooth that uses a 900MHz bandwidth to extend the distance at which IoT devices can be controlled. Amazon's new Ring Fetch pet tracker will greatly benefit from the technology, as it has the potential to reach as far as a mile using a network of access points.
20D
Facebook wins exclusive digital rights for ICC cricket
Facebook has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to secure exclusive digital rights for events in the Indian subcontinent until 2023. A price hasn't been disclosed, but Facebook said it hopes to serve “hundreds of millions of cricket fans” through this “ground-breaking” deal. Facebook hopes to bring its host of apps and innovations together to give fans the ultimate experience.
21D
eBay CEO Devin Wenig steps down
eBay has confirmed that Devin Wenig has stepped down from the position of CEO. Devin was appointed CEO in July 2015 after becoming president of the company's global market place division. Wenig will be replaced by Scott Schenkel, the company's Senior VP and CFO on a temporary basis whilst the company searches for someone to fill the position. The move comes amid turmoil at the company.
21D
Alibaba introduces its first ultra-fast AI chip
Alibaba has introduced its first ultra-fast AI inference chip, a neural processing unit called Hanguang 800. The chip was unveiled today during Alibaba Cloud's annual Apsara Computing Conference in Hangzhou. The Hanguang 800 is able to process 1 billion product images in just five minutes verses the hour it took Alibaba's Taobao software. The chip will so be available to Alibaba Cloud customers.
21D
WeWork's founder and CEO Adam Neumann steps down
Following weeks of turbulence and increasing pressure, WeWork's CEO, Adam Neumann has stepped down and will serve as non-executive chairman of the board. Neumann's wife and WeWork co-founder, Rebekah Neumann has also stepped down from her role. Softbank - WeWork's largest investor - is said to have 'encouraged' Neumann's transition out of the role of CEO ahead of the company's IPO.
22D
Google takes the gaming war to Apple
Google is launching Google Play Pass, a subscription gaming service to rival Apple's recently unveiled, Apple Arcade. The new platform will give Android users access to over 350 apps and games without any ads or in-app purchases, according to The Verge. Both services cost $4.99, with Apple demanding exclusivity, and Google offering variety.
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