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China’s web censors go into overdrive as President Xi Jinping consolidates power

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 10:23 PM PST

 A week that begins with the repeal of regulation that prevents dictatorship in China is likely to be a busy one for the country’s censorship people, and so it has proven to be. China’s web scrubbers have been busy banning a collection of terms and dropping the hammer on user accounts after the Xi Jinping, the country’s premier, got the all-clear to become ‘President… Read More’s new accelerator focuses on blockchain startups

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 09:00 PM PST, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies, is launching a new Beijing-based accelerator program for artificial intelligence and blockchain startups. Called AI Catapult, its first batch includes six companies: Bankorus, CanYa, Bluezelle, Nuggets, Republic Protocol and Devery. Read More

Here’s the latest update on the very spicy beef between two massive chipmakers

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 03:20 PM PST

 Broadcom and Qualcomm, the former of which is trying to acquire the latter, are continuing to duke it out on their respective investor relations pages by issuing public statements to investors over how much drama there is over the pricing of this deal. Read More

Court rules against AT&T, closing FTC regulation loophole

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 02:25 PM PST

 A federal court has ruled against AT&T in a long-running case that found itself tied up in the net neutrality debate. AT&T had argued that the 2015 FCC order classifying it as a common carrier let it off the hook in a case brought against it by the FTC — which has no authority over common carriers. The case has been heard and reheard, but hopefully this judgment is the last. Read More

‘Wolverine: The Long Night’ director talks podcasts and superheroes

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 02:03 PM PST

Long Night outdoor recording session Marvel is making its first move into scripted podcasting next month with the premiere of Wolverine: The Long Night, a 10-episode series that’s launching on Stitcher Premium. Ahead of the premiere, I had a chance to speak to director Brendan Baker about the challenges involved in bringing the famous mutant superhero from comics and film into audio. Read More

Fitbit posted a weaker-than-expected quarter and its shares are crashing

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

 Fitbit, which has increasingly had to fend off competition from devices like the Apple Watch and is increasingly making moves in the healthcare space, still hasn’t seemed to nail things down quite yet as it posted weaker-than-expected financial results for its fourth quarter. Read More

Uber’s hosting its flying taxi-focused Elevate Summit for a second year

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 12:35 PM PST

 Uber will talk about flying taxis, autonomous aerial transport and everything in between, in an industry event designed to bring together stakeholders on the subject in one place. This is the second year in a row that Uber has hosted its ‘Elevate Summit,’ and this year it’s in LA. The event will feature a ton of speakers working on making aerial personal urban transit a… Read More

The leaked BlackBerry ‘Ghost’ is reportedly a high-end Android phone built for India

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 12:11 PM PST

 The clicky-clacky, full keyboard devices that spring to mind when you hear “BlackBerry” might be a thing of the past… but the brand lives on. Famed gadget-unearther Evan Blass dug up a picture of an upcoming BlackBerry device said to be known as “Ghost.” For those finding themselves saying “Wait, they still make BlackBerries?,” the answer is: yeah, sort of. Read More

50 Cent admits he ‘has never owned, and does not now own’ any bitcoin

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 11:09 AM PST

 Reports last month that rapper 50 Cent had forgotten about $7 million or so in bitcoin he owned have been given the lie by the man himself, who declares in court documents that he “has never owned, and does not now own, a bitcoin account or any bitcoin,” nor did any of his companies. Read More

Using technology to craft accurate, persuasive political messages

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 10:18 AM PST

 In a country that’s increasingly polarized, where partisan politics shape perception, the question of how to create a compelling argument — rooted in facts — that can change minds isn’t simply academic. It’s a question that’s chipping away at the foundations of American democracy. Read More

YouTube Live gains automatic captions, chat replay and more

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 09:07 AM PST

 YouTube today announced several new features designed to improve the live streaming experience for both creators and viewers. The most notable additions include the ability to play back a live chat after the live stream ends, and the launch of live automatic captions on videos. YouTube began offering automatic captioning back in 2009, and has since added captions to a billion videos, the… Read More

We went for a ride in a Huawei smartphone-controlled, self-driving Porsche

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 08:56 AM PST

 Huawei didn’t have a new phone to show at MWC this year, so it did what any good smartphone maker would: it put the Mate 10 Pro in an autonomous car and drove it directly at a dog. Of course, the promotional video was a lot more dramatic than what the company was actually demoing at the show itself. And while the company insisted to us that the dog in the video was, indeed real and not… Read More launches a self-driving ride-hailing fleet for public use in China

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 08:30 AM PST

 Autonomous driving technology startup has become the first company to operate an autonomous ride-hailing service on public roads for public users in China. The company, just over a year-old, recently raised $112 million in a Series A round to help it accelerate its efforts, and its fleet is running a nearly two-mile route in Nansha, Guangzhou, where its China HQ is located. As you… Read More

One-time Flickr rival 500px acquired by the Getty of China, VCG

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 08:10 AM PST

 500px, the photo-sharing site that once proposed to take on Flickr and Getty, has been acquired by Visual China Group (VCG), a strategic investor in 500px via previous financings. A publicly-traded image licensing company – and China’s Getty, so to speak – bought Corbis in 2016, and is now the world’s third-largest visual content provider. It sees 500px, which now has… Read More

Google makes Actions for its Assistant available to more developers

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 08:00 AM PST

 Actions on Google, the Google Assistant’s version of what Amazon calls ‘skills,’ have been around for a while, but Google today announced it is expanding the platform to support a wider group of international developers, in addition to a number of other features for the platform. Maybe the most important update here is that Actions are now available in seven new languages:… Read More

Amazon renews Lore for a second season

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 07:55 AM PST

 Amazon has renewed Lore for a second season, bringing on Sean Crouch (from The Exorcist and Numb3rs) as showrunner. Lore is an anthology series focused on the supernatural, adopted from the Lore podcast by Aaron Mahnke. The first season of Lore came out last year, using dramatic scenes, animation, narration and docu-style scenes to root the supernatural in truth. Executive producers include… Read More

Circle acquires cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 07:39 AM PST

 Circle just announced that it is acquiring U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. According to Fortune, Circle is paying $400 million for the acquisition. Poloniex has been around for years and used to be one of the biggest exchanges out there — there are now many exchanges competing with Poloniex. Circle is an interesting startup because it’s hard to keep track of what it does. Read More

PhishMe sold to private equity consortium at $400 million valuation

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 07:00 AM PST

 PhishMe, a seven-year-old startup that helps companies train employees to avoid phishing scams, announced today that it has been purchased by a consortium of private equity firms at a valuation of $400 million. That wording doesn’t give the exact price and a company spokesperson was careful in her response when we requested clarification. “This is an acquisition by a consortium… Read More

CBS launches a 24/7 streaming sports news network, CBS Sports HQ

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 06:53 AM PST

 As promised last year, CBS today launched its own sports news network, CBS Sports HQ, which will offer 24-hour streaming coverage of news, highlights and analysis for free online, via connected devices, and within the company’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access. The network had originally said its plan for the sports streaming service was to replicate the success it found… Read More

Facebook says it has no interest in monetizing the Telecom Infra Project

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 06:41 AM PST

 Facebook, the social network giant with over 2 billion monthly users, has made a big effort to expand its business by doubling down on one of the big bottlenecks in the world of data: expensive and bad connectivity. And today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company unveiled a slate of updates about the many initiatives that it has helped spearhead to do that by way of projects… Read More