Apple has two-year head start on Android in 3D sensing arms race, report says

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Apple’s savvy supply chain acumen has afforded it a two-year lead in a mounting 3D sensing arms race the company sparked with the introduction of Face ID on iPhone X, as reports claim major suppliers will not have crucial parts available for Android makers until 2019.
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Recode Daily: Democrats may have won the Pennsylvania race; Stephen Hawking R.I.P.

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Plus, Amazon is still No. 1 in corporate brand reputation, the black market for Spotify playlists and Instagram followers, and this startup will back up your brain — but it has to kill you first.

Democrat Conor Lamb looks like he’s pulled off a stunning defeat of Republican Rick Saccone in a closely watched Pennsylvania Congressional race. The margin is very close, but Lamb declared victory early this morning; now NBC News is calling the race for him as well. Conventional political wisdom is that the result, in a traditionally Republican district, is a referendum on Donald Trump. [NBC News]

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Trump dumped Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter, then called Tillerson more than three hours later. Here’s a look at Tillerson’s rise and fall, as viewed through Trump tweets. Tillerson is replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Pompeo’s spot will go to Gina Haspel, deputy director of the CIA, who will become the first woman to head the spy agency. [The New York Times]

Google is banning all cryptocurrency ads. The new policy goes into effect in June and follows Facebook, which instituted its own crypto ad ban in January. [Thuy Ong / The Verge]

YouTube will use Wikipedia to fact-check conspiracy videos. The world’s biggest video site, which has struggled to deal with extremist and distasteful content, will add links below videos that refer to conspiracies — like the idea that the moon landing was faked. [BuzzFeed]

Stephen Hawking died at age 76. The Cambridge University physicist, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was the world’s best-known scientist since Albert Einstein. [New York Times]

Elon Musk has hired writers from The Onion to work on a mystery project. No joke. [Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast]

Turns out there’s a booming black market for Spotify playlists: They’re a defining feature of the streaming service, and the biggest playlists can essentially manufacture hits. [Austin Powell / The Daily Dot]

Instagram followers are for sale, too: Marketers are flocking to businesses that specialize in detecting large numbers of bots and fake accounts that follow popular Instagram personalities. [Sapna Maheshwari / The New York Times]

Apple will hold its annual developer conference, WWDC, June 4-8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose; the company is expected to unveil iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12. [Zac Hall / 9to5Mac]

Here’s what you need to know about today’s nationwide school walkout, which takes place one month after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Elementary, middle, and high schools and some colleges are participating in the event, with more than 2,500 walkouts planned. At 10 am local time, students will walk out of class in an effort to push lawmakers to pass gun reform, and to honor victims killed by firearms. [Jen Kirby / Vox]

Recode Presents …

Do you have questions about fantasy sports, March Madness bracket betting and sports tech? Send them in for this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast with SB Nation Editor in Chief Elena Bergeron. Tweet with #TooEmbarrassed or email

Top stories from Recode

Walmart will offer grocery delivery in more than 100 metro areas amid pressure from Amazon, Target and Instacart.

The company already offers grocery pickup at 1,200 of its stores.

Former CNN digital boss KC Estenson is running GoNoodle, an educational video company.

GoNoodle makes free software your kids may have used at school; Estenson wants them to watch it at home, too.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes: Why guaranteed income makes sense.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook and former owner of The New Republic, talks with Kara Swisher about his new book, “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.”

This is cool

This brain-uploading startup will back up your mind — but it has to kill you first.

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Alphabet’s Waymo is entering the self-driving trucks race with its first test in Atlanta

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Alphabet’s self-driving truck

Waymo is shipping cargo for Google.

Alphabet’s self-driving arm is expanding beyond passenger vehicles into autonomous freight trucks. The company, called Waymo, is testing its driverless trucks in Atlanta, Ga., by shipping cargo for its sister company, Google.

But Waymo — a pioneer of the self-driving industry — is entering a space already crowded by competitors, including Uber, with the same challenges facing the passenger vehicle space: How does it plan to commercialize the technology?

Waymo has explored multiple business strategies, according to people familiar with the matter. But it doesn’t have a built-in path to market the way Uber does. The ride-hail company launched a trucking logistics platform, called Uber Freight, that matches commercial truck drivers with companies looking to ship cargo, close to a year after it acquired self-driving trucking startup, Otto.

Uber announced earlier this week it had been shipping cargo for commercial partners in Phoenix, Ariz., since the beginning of this year. The company is working with commercial truck drivers and shippers for this service.

Waymo does have a nine-year technological development lead over its competitors. The company is far and way the most advanced autonomous company on the road with the only fleet of vehicles operating on public roads without a driver.

Of course, using an in-house logistics platform is not the only way to approach the driverless trucking industry. Trucking startup Embark, which has raised a little more than $ 17.2 million in funding, is taking the partnership approach instead. The company is working with commercial fleet management company Ryder to ship Frigidaire refrigerators.

Like both Uber and Embark, Waymo needs to strike a manufacturing partnership to build these trucks. That’s where Tesla, which recently unveiled its self-driving electric freight trucks, could have a leg up. As the original equipment manufacturer, Tesla’s primary path to market is fairly straightforward: Selling the trucks to other companies.

Whether the company will be able to meet the ambitious deadlines of manufacturing trucks starting in 2019 and at some point produce 100,000 trucks per year, as CEO Elon Musk laid out, however, is still yet to be seen.

All that said, the driverless trucking space is in its infancy, and given Waymo’s clear technological lead, the company may seem like an attractive partner for manufacturers and commercial shippers alike.

Alphabet has been public about its move into driverless trucking since Waymo was formed in late 2016, but it may not have always been the plan, at least according to recent testimonies. As part of Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber over the acquisition of Otto, Otto co-founder and former Google Maps employee Lior Ron testified that he originally wanted to try to work on driverless trucks at Alphabet alongside Waymo. But the company wasn’t interested, he said.

In fact, he decided to sell the company to Uber — instead of staying at Alphabet or selling to Lyft — because it was one of the few places that was open to creating a driverless trucking service.

As many industry experts have predicted, autonomous trucks may hit the road en masse much faster than passenger vehicles, largely because teaching software how to drive on the highway is much easier than teaching software how to drive on local streets where there are many more variables.

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Amazon closes in on Apple in race to $1 trillion market cap

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(Reuters) — Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly listed company, is in danger of being beaten by to the $ 1 trillion mark.

Wall Street’s optimism about last year’s 10th anniversary iPhone had propelled Apple’s stock 24 percent higher over the past 12 months, giving it a market capitalization of $ 893 billion.

That is $ 141 billion more than the $ 752 billion market value of Amazon, the world’s second most valuable publicly listed company, but Amazon has been closing the gap.

Amazon’s stock has surged 83 percent over the past year, bolstered by scorchingly fast revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.

In January, Amazon announced that it, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co would form a company to cut health care costs for their employees, which was widely seen as a threat to the existing U.S. health care system and underscored Amazon’s ability to disrupt markets.

Amazon dislodged Microsoft as the No. 2 U.S. company by market capitalization in February.

Meanwhile, optimism about Apple’s iPhone X has given way to concerns that demand for the $ 1,000 device may be weaker than expected.

To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards.

But if Amazon’s stock were to keep growing on the trajectory seen over the past year, the company’s market capitalization would hit $ 1 trillion in late August. Apple would reach $ 1 trillion around a week later if its stock price continued to rise at the same pace seen over the past year.

Most Wall Street analysts are not quite that enthusiastic. Analysts on average expect Apple’s stock price to rise 11 percent and reach $ 195 within the next 12 months, which would put its market capitalization at $ 989 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Analysts covering Amazon on average expect its stock to rise 10 percent within the next year to reach $ 1,700, which would give it a market value of $ 823 billion.

Apple on Thursday was up 0.60 percent at $ 176.05, while Amazon rose 0.31 percent to $ 1,549.90.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

Apple – VentureBeat

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GreenWaves Technologies joins the race for machine learning at the edge

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The GAP8 processor block diagram for those of y’all who like block diagrams!

A few weeks back, I wrote about the need for machine learning at the edge and what big chip firms are doing to address the challenge. Even as Intel, ARM, and others invest in new architectures, startups are also attempting to innovate with new platforms.

GreenWaves Technologies, based in France, is one such company. It has built a machine learning chip that offers multiple cores and low-power machine learning at the edge. The chip is called the GAP8 application processor. GreenWaves CEO Loic Lietar says the GAP8 processor can offer always-on face detection with a few milliwatts of power, indoor people counting with years of battery life, and sub-$ 15 machine vision or voice control for consumer applications.

But what’s really fascinating about GreenWaves is that it has built this chip with so little in funding. The company has raised 3.1 million euros ($ 3.8 million) so far, much less than a traditional semiconductor startup. And yet it’s gotten all the way to producing chips based on its design, with a development board coming in April. The reason GreenWaves could do so much with so little is because it’s building on a new open-source hardware architecture called RISC-V.

RISC-V was created eight years ago as a project at UC Berkeley aimed at building low-power chips that use minimal instruction sets. An instruction set governs how software talks to the actual computing elements on the chip, and anyone can use it to build their own designs. By comparison, Intel keeps its x86 instruction set to itself (and AMD), while the instruction sets of ARM and MIPS are licensed out for millions of dollars. (For more on this dynamic, here’s a good article.)

GreenWaves’ Lietar says the cost of building a new chip using ARM’s instruction set would start with a $ 15 million license and escalate from there. But with RISC-V his engineers could simply download the code and get going. Of course, to design a chip at this level still requires sophisticated engineers experienced in building processors. However, GreenWave’s founders hail from ST Microelectronics and have lots of chip design experience.

I’m excited by GreenWaves’ chips, but I’m even more excited that in an era when we are going to need different types of processors designed for low-power, edge computing jobs, there’s potentially a way to innovate in silicon at a lower cost. Because in my opinion, silicon is where your innovation starts. The capability has to be there in hardware before you can do new things with software.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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VW’s Seat unveils the first fully electric touring-class race car

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You've seen electric Formula cars, Le Mans racers and even a Pikes Peak machine, but there's still room for more firsts in EV racing. VW's Seat brand has unveiled the Cupra e-Racer, which it says is the first completely electric touring-class race ca…
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Quick Takes: iPhone X Clones, 5G Network Race is On, Apple Patents Dual Display Device, and More

In addition to our in-depth coverage of the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, Quick Takes is a new column that provides a bite-sized recap of other Apple-related headlines on weekdays.

Asus ZenFone 5

The focus this week continues to be on Mobile World Congress, where a number of Apple’s competitors unveil new products.

Tuesday, February 27

Asus debuts iPhone X lookalike ZenFone 5: Taiwan’s Asus today unveiled the ZenFone 5, its latest Android smartphone that resembles the iPhone X. Asus isn’t shying away from the similarities, as on stage, it said the ZenFone 5’s notch is 26 percent smaller than the one on Apple’s flagship smartphone. ZenFone 5 also has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, versus 86 percent for the iPhone X.

Skip to around the 47:55 mark to watch the ZenFone 5 vs. iPhone X comparison

Commentary: It was only a matter of time before Android smartphones imitated the iPhone X, although not all vendors are following suit. Samsung’s new Galaxy S9, for example, still has uniform bezels, and the South Korean company has poked fun at the iPhone X’s notch on stage and in an ad last year.

Apple has added more refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 to its online store: There are currently six Wi-Fi + GPS variations to choose from, but still none with LTE. 38mm models cost $279, and 42mm models cost $309. Each watch is cleaned, inspected, repackaged in a new box with a magnetic charging cable, and protected by a one-year warranty. AppleCare+ is available. Supplies are limited.

Commentary: Apple’s certified refurbished products are virtually indistinguishable from brand new products, so if you are in the market for an Apple Watch Series 3, this is a good opportunity to save 13 to 15 percent off regular prices.

Sprint and T-Mobile have revealed their 5G rollout plans: The carriers plan to build out 5G networks by the first half of 2019, when the first 5G-capable smartphones are expected to launch. Sprint’s 5G-ready cities will include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., while T-Mobile will first reach customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas.

Commentary: The race to 5G is on, but it won’t really matter until smartphones are released with support for the ultra-fast technology. A recent report claimed future iPhone models may be equipped with 5G modems from Intel, but it doesn’t appear that will happen until the second half of 2019 at the earliest.

Apple granted patent for a dual display device: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent for a dual display device. As noted by Patently Apple, the description says the bottom area could be an OLED display, which could allow for a MacBook with a large digital keyboard and trackpad.

Commentary: Apple patents lots of different inventions, many of which never see the light of day as consumer-facing products. However, it’s fun to envision a MacBook with an extended Touch Bar, or a foldable 2-in-1 device that could be used as both as a MacBook or iPad depending on its orientation.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

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Recode Daily: Twitter, YouTube and Facebook race to contain conspiracy content after the Parkland shooting

Plus, Coinbase is hiring a CFO, Uber rolls out a new ride-sharing service today, and don’t give up hope — The Enlightenment is working.

Social media has been a dark place since 17 people were killed at a Florida high school last week. Twitter is going out of its way to verify accounts of some of the most publicly outspoken student survivors of the Parkland shooting. YouTube and Facebook removed some of the conspiracy videos claiming that survivor David Hogg was a “crisis actor,” but in many cases the videos had already been promoted in the “trending news” sections of both services. Meanwhile, the father of an 18-year-old girl killed in the shooting made an impassioned plea to President Trump at the White House to act quickly to protect children in the country’s schools. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Coinbase is hiring a CFO in what would be a big move for the cryptocurrency platform’s growth plans — and often a sign that a business is eyeing an IPO. Other expected hires include vice presidents to handle communications and corporate development. Coinbase continues to fend off late-stage investors who want to buy existing shares, despite the company’s recent warning to knock it off. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Uber is rolling out a cheaper version of its UberPool ride-sharing service. Called Express Pool, the service is now available in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver and will launch today in Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Riders are required to walk a little to meet their driver — and then again to their destination after being dropped off; Uber thinks this will make shared rides more efficient. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is putting $ 50 million of his own money into the Signal encrypted messaging app, the security industry’s gold standard for surveillance-resistant communications. Acton also announced the launch of the tech nonprofit Signal Foundation, which will build and maintain Signal and potentially other privacy-focused apps. [Andy Greenberg / Wired]

Reporting mixed Q4 financial results yesterday, Pandora boasted a 63 percent bump in subscription revenue, bringing its yearly total to $ 97.7 million. The streaming-music pioneer also tallied 5.48 million subscribers, a 25 percent year-over-year increase. The company said it will invest $ 45 million into new growth initiatives like ad tech, non-music content, device integration and marketing technology, as it continues to build out its “Premium Access” on-demand services to better compete with rivals like Spotify. And Roku posted a blowout 2017 holiday quarter yesterday, thanks largely to a big increase of its licensing and advertising revenue; a dip in hardware revenue spooked investors, sending Roku stock down 20 percent in after-hours trading. [Chloe Aiello / CNBC]

Recode Presents …

For the third year in a row, Recode’s Kara Swisher and Jason Del Rey are gathering some of the brightest e-commerce and retail minds for a night of live journalism at An Evening with Code Commerce, Tuesday, March 20 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. We’ve just announced three of the five speakers you’ll hear from at the three-hour event: Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman, DoorDash founder and CEO Tony Xu and The Cheesecake Factory’s president David Gordon; look for one more Code Commerce speaker announcement next week. These events always sell out, so register today.

Top stories from Recode

Amazon is now worth more than 2.5 Walmarts.

It was worth just two Walmarts last month.

Priceline’s 2005 acquisition of has been so transformational that the online travel company is changing its name to Booking Holdings.

Take a look at its stock price since.

Lauren Duca became an internet star overnight. Now, she says she’s “fireproof.”

On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Duca said she owes her fame (or infamy) to one mega-viral Teen Vogue column and a 10-minute interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

This is cool

Don’t give up hope: The Enlightenment is working.

Recode – All

Companies Race to Dominate the World of Maps for Driverless Cars

Self-driving cars are on the horizon, but the technology requires sophisticated maps to ensure that vehicles can navigate the roads safely. Right now, industry leaders are at work to ensure that Google — currently ahead of the pack with its  Google Maps service — doesn’t snatch the biggest slice of the pie.

The maps that autonomous vehicles will use to navigate the roads need to be much more sophisticated than Google’s current offering. A self-driving car needs more information than a human driver or a pedestrian, so various sensors and high-definition cameras are being used to chart the country’s highways and byways.

According to Bloomberg, Google is working on a 3D mapping project that would capture the landscape of hazards that a vehicle may face in much greater detail. The project goes way beyond what’s currently available via Google Maps, but it’s also distinct from the high-definition maps being created by Alphabet subsidiary Waymo.

Maps for self-driving cars will also need to be updated far more frequently. It’s crucial that vehicles know about new roads and temporary obstacles like construction projects, so that they’re not taken by surprise by an unexpected change. Companies like MapBox – which signed a deal with Tesla last year, as per Electrek – consult user data in order to update their maps.

As self-driving technology continues to evolve, we’ll get a better idea of the specific information these vehicles need in order to operate, and the best method of producing the required maps.

However, it’s clear that whoever emerges as the go-to supplier of maps for autonomous vehicles stands to make a lot of money. If self-driving cars take off as they’re expected to, the automotive industry will be reliant on these maps for the foreseeable future, so competition is set to be fierce.

The post Companies Race to Dominate the World of Maps for Driverless Cars appeared first on Futurism.


Recode Daily: Walmart hit a speed bump in its race to catch Amazon

Plus, the FCC is about to publish its order overturning net neutrality rules, what if the finance industry set the rules for gun sales, and everybody gets a unicorn!

Walmart had its biggest one-day drop in stock price in more than two years after reporting a sharp slowdown in e-commerce sales in its holiday quarter. Shares dropped more than 10 percent and chipped off more than $ 31 billion in market capitalization for Walmart, which has been rushing to build e-commerce sales to head off Amazon’s online dominance. The company said it would shift its online strategy to acquiring new customers for its main Walmart website while slowing marketing spend for Jet, which caters to higher-income urban shoppers. [Sarah Nassauer / The Wall Street Journal]

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish its order overturning the Obama-era net neutrality rules tomorrow. Formal publication in the Federal Register means state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect; publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. [David Shepardson / Reuters]

A modest proposal: What if the finance industry set new rules for the sale of guns in America? Collectively, credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker — PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms. [Andrew Ross Sorkin / The New York Times]

A federal judge denied AT&T’s request to see White House communications about its proposed $ 85 billion bid to buy Time Warner, which was blocked in November by the antitrust division of the Justice Department. In his ruling, the judge said AT&T-Time Warner hadn’t met the legal threshold to show that they have been “especially singled out” because of President Donald Trump’s hatred of CNN, one of the Time Warner divisions. The antitrust trial, one of the biggest in a generation, is scheduled to begin on March 19. [Ted Johnson / Variety]

Russia’s election interference is Digital Marketing 101. Most of the media coverage of last week’s Justice Department indictments of 13 Russians has missed the root of the problem: The unchecked market power of social media companies. A recent study on the digital-advertising industry analyzes how the basic tools of digital marketing can be readily repurposed by agents of disinformation. Meanwhile, a New York Times investigation found that Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies often fail to enforce their own policies against identity theft and impersonation, enabling the spread of fake news and propaganda — and allowing a global black market in social identities to thrive on their platforms. [Dipayan Ghosh and Ben Scott / The Atlantic]

The historic success of “Black Panther” could change Hollywood forever. With an estimated $ 370.8 million worldwide debut — the biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a film released in February (or March, or April) — Marvel Studios’ first black superhero movie has demolished box office records and hopefully demonstrated once and for all that black stories can become global blockbusters. [Adam B. Vary / BuzzFeed News]

Top stories from Recode

Bitcoin prices are back up 30 percent over last week.

South Korea’s finance regulator said the country would support “normal” cryptocurrency trading.

Venture capitalists are investing an “unprecedented” amount of money in tech — but there’s a catch.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Aspect Ventures co-founder Jennifer Fonstad says the money is frequently not going to the entrepreneurs who need it most.

The aftermath of the Parkland mass shooting exemplifies the ugly side of social media.

Bots. Conspiracy theories. Bullying. We’re seeing it all.

This is cool

Everybody gets a unicorn!

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