Tencent-backed ‘Arena of Valor’ World Cup boasts $500,000 purse

Mobile eSports are becoming a big deal. Last year, mobile MOBA Vainglory's big eSports tournament was backed by Amazon. Supercell put on a Clash Royale $ 1 million tournament last summer, too. Now China's Tencent Games is getting in on the action with…
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Apple expands Everyone Can Code program to almost 500,000 Chicago students

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Apple on Tuesday announced plans to get its Swift programming language taught to students across Chicago through an expansion of its Everyone Can Code program, done in partnership with local institutions.
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AOL’s instant messenger service still has (had) an audience of 500,000 a month

It never really made it on mobile.

AIM, AOL’s iconic instant messenger service, is shutting down after 20 years.

While it might feel like it’s from another era, as of August AIM had about 500,000 unique visitors in the U.S., according to data from measurement company comScore. That doesn’t tell us exactly how many users AIM has, but it gives us a good idea of its audience. AIM’s user base has been in decline since its peak in the ’90s and early aughts.

Those users will be able to access the service through December 15.

Today, top messaging apps and websites in the U.S. by unique visitors are Messenger and WhatsApp, both Facebook products that receive the majority of their traffic through mobile.

Indeed, most messaging these days occurs over mobile — a platform on which AIM never took off. In August AIM had 500,000 unique visitors, the vast majority of which, 449,000, came through desktop.

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Industrial IoT startup ProAxion offering rugged sensors and gateway raises $500,000 seed captial

ProAxion, an industrial IoT startup offering predictive maintenance hardware and monitoring service for rotating machines raised half a million dollars in seed capital. The funding was led by Triangle Angel Partners II (TAP II).

ProAxion Sensor and Gateway

Named as Tactix, the ProAxion predictive maintenance solution consists of a mountable rugged sensor that can track vibration and temperature of a rotating machine, the ProAxion gateway having Wi-Fi, cellular, or Ethernet connectivity, and a browser-based cloud monitoring service. The service alerts are accessible via smartphone, tablet, and desktop computers.

The startup’s website claims that its sensor has a rugged IP68 housing meaning that it can withstand dust, dirt, sand, and water under tough operating conditions. This makes it attractive for industrial customers whose machines often operate in excessive temperatures and under severe operating conditions. The sensor can withstand up to 250°F surface temperature.

The ProAxion sensor collects temperature and vibration data from rotating machines, such as motors, gearboxes, and pumps. Its gateway hardware then connects the sensors to ProAxion cloud via cellular, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi connection. The data is sent to the web-based cloud service where operations and IT managers can access a machine’s historical and current vibration and temperature data. Managers can configure the system to send text and email alerts.

Commenting on the funding round, ProAxion’s CEO & Co-Founder Justin Rothwell said “I am excited to have TAP, VentureSouth and existing investors participating in this round. It’s a great vote of confidence not only in what we have already achieved but in the opportunity in front of us”.

ProAxion Monitoring Service

24/7 remote health monitoring of machines and plants is an attractive niche for new startups because the IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) systems in industrial companies have until now operated n silos. It leaves managers in a fix as it hampers their ability to access plant/machine data remotely. This is where the new startups see an opportunity to offer valuable products and services and hence build a business.

Solutions such as the one offered by ProAxion and ThingTrax offer data capturing devices, gateways, and cloud-based monitoring services to reduce machine downtime, improve operational efficiency, and remote monitoring of heavy assets.

The ‘remote asset monitoring’ niche is getting competitive as bigger and better- funded startups are poised to dominate the niche in coming years. A competitor in the space is Samsara, a Calif-based industrial IoT startup that raised a $ 40M Series C round in June this year.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

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We're just two days away from the official deadline to apply for Engadget's unreal arts program for unreal times. But what is time, really? In the spirit of breaking with convention, we've extended the deadline to apply for Engadget's Alternate Real…
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