Recode Daily: The Trump administration delays Singapore chipmaker Broadcom’s hostile takeover bid for U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm

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

Plus, Washington state defies the FCC by enacting its own net neutrality protections, Silicon Valley VCs visit the Midwest by (luxury) bus, and the billionaire who gave it all away.

You have probably been ignoring the $ 117 billion takeover fight between Broadcom and Qualcomm, but now the Trump administration is paying attention. That’s because chip-maker Broadcom is based in Singapore and Qualcomm is based in San Diego, and the White House isn’t sure an Asian buyer should own a big, U.S. tech company. Qualcomm management agrees, and has been fighting off Broadcom’s advances for months. This week a secretive government panel called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States moved to stall the takeover for 30 days while it reviews the deal. [The New York Times]

Washington is the first state to enact its own net neutrality protections.In direct defiance of the FCC’s December decision to repeal the Obama-era regulations, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill requiring internet providers to treat all lawful content the same in Washington state. Lawmakers in more than 25 states have introduced their own net neutrality legislation. Meanwhile, tech companies including Etsy, Expa, Kickstarter, Automattic, Foursquare and Shutterstock filed a petition against the FCC’s action; in January, the Internet Association, representing Amazon, Google and Facebook, joined an existing lawsuit against the FCC. [Monica Nickelsburg / GeekWire]

Amazon is expanding free Whole Foods delivery to San Francisco and Atlanta. It’s a signal that Amazon is moving quickly to integrate Whole Foods, which it purchased last year, into the regular shopping habits of Prime customers. Another possible perk for Prime customers: An Amazon-branded checking account. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

Disney went in-house to find a new head of ESPN, hiring consumer products boss Jimmy Pitaro, who steps into the vacancy created in December when former John Skipper resigned. ESPN is both huge and troubled: Its subscriber base is in decline as audiences cut the cord or don’t sign up for cable in the first place, but ESPN is on the hook for costly sports programming deals. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Silicon Valley is over, says Silicon Valley: Led by Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, about a dozen venture capitalists recently took a three-day luxury bus trip through the Midwest, which was pitched as a kind of Rust Belt safari — a chance for Silicon Valley investors to meet local officials and look for promising startups in overlooked areas of the country. A growing number of tech leaders have been flirting with the idea of leaving Silicon Valley, and by the end of the “Comeback Cities Tour,” some of the coastal elites had caught the heartland bug. [Kevin Roose / The New York Times]

Pharma-fraud Martin Shkreli has to forfeit $ 7.36 million — and his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album — as part of his upcoming criminal sentence. Shkreli gained widespread infamy after he raised the price of a drug used to treat some pregnant women, babies and people with HIV by more than 5,000 percent, from $ 13.50 per pill to $ 750 per pill. He will be sentenced on Friday. [Dan Mangan / CNBC]

Recode Presents …

Recode will be podcasting live from SXSW next week — and if you’re in Austin, you’re invited.Vox Media is taking over The Belmont for three days of live podcasts and musical spotlights, including live tapings of our popular podcasts Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher and Recode Media with Peter Kafka. On Saturday, March 10, Kafka interviews Jason Blum, the innovative Hollywood producer behind such hits as “Paranormal Activity” and “Get Out,” which just won director Jordan Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Also on Saturday, Swisher talks with Michelin-star-studded chef José Andrés about his humanitarian venture, World Central Kitchen, and the role that social media and food can play in post-disaster community building. While you’re there, check out Polygon’s vintage arcade, or just hang out on our patio. You can RSVP here.

Top stories from Recode

Reddit says Russian propaganda was shared by “thousands” ahead of the 2016 election.

The social news site didn’t find any Russian ads about the election, but there was plenty of non-ad content being shared.

Venture capitalist Ilya Fushman is jumping from Index Ventures to Kleiner Perkins as a general partner.

It’s a coup for Kleiner, which has been rife with turnover.

Pennsylvania is suing Uber for up to $ 13.5 million in penalties for failing to disclose its 2016 data breach quickly enough.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the company violated Pennsylvania’s Breach of Personal Information Notification Act.

Coinbase now has an M&A boss. What sorts of things would Emilie Choi like to acquire?

A cyptocurrency company could do some fairly outside-the-box acquisitions.

Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, ICOs or blockchain?

Now’s the time to get them answered: Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode will be talking to a crypto expert on this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast, so send all your questions to

This is cool

The billionaire who gave it all away.

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Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

To Grow Up, Singapore Is Drilling Down

Underground Urbanism

With 5.6 million residents packed into an area about two-thirds the size of New York City, space is already at a premium on the island of Singapore. What’s more, the city-state’s government expects its population to grow by an additional 1.3 million people by 2030.

To meet the needs of all those people, Singapore is solidifying its place as a world leader in underground urbanism — innovative design projects that utilize underground spaces.

Singapore is already home to a large underground network of trains, shopping centers, and passenger tunnels, as well as a five-lane underground highway — the Marina Coastal Expressway — which accounts for 10 percent of its expressways.

The construction of Singapore’s Underground Ammunition Facility, to store live ammunition and explosive, reportedly freed up an equivalent of 400 football fields’ worth of space above ground. Meanwhile, the city-state’s underground district cooling network — reportedly the world’s largest — not only frees up space, but also saves on costs and reduces carbon emissions, according to a Singapore Power press release.

The Future Below Our Feet

Singapore’s downward growth is far from finished. The city-state is investing $ 188 million in underground technology research and development, and in 2019, the government expects to unveil pilot areas of its master plan for underground spaces. Potential projects include the relocation of utility lines, the creation of water reservoirs, and the expansion of rail networks.

Singapore is wise to invest the necessary time and money into research and development before breaking ground on any projects. Not only are upfront costs higher when building underground, but mistakes can be more costly as well.

“If you are going to build underground, you should do it properly,” Mark Wallace, an engineer for ARUP, told “Tall buildings are dead easy to take down. The underground? Not so easy.”

If Singapore’s future underground projects are successful, they could go a long way toward helping the city-state cope with its influx of new residents. They could also serve as a template for other cities to follow. The Earth’s population is expected to soar to 9.8 billion by 2050, and living and working underground could be our best option for dealing with the inevitable overcrowding of urban areas.

The post To Grow Up, Singapore Is Drilling Down appeared first on Futurism.


Cellular Apple Watch Series 3 Launching in Singapore and Hong Kong in February

Starting on February 2, the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity will be available for purchase in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to updated information shared on Apple’s Singapore and Hong Kong websites.

Customers in Singapore and Hong Kong will be able to place orders for the cellular Apple Watch starting on February 2, with those orders set to arrive on February 9, the official launch date for the device.

Pricing on the LTE Apple Watch Series 3 will start at S$598 in Singapore and HK$3,188 in Hong Kong.

In Singapore, the cellular Apple Watch will be available with Singtel service, and in Hong Kong, both 1O1O and csl3 will support it.

The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity is already available in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK. In other countries, only Apple Watch Series 3 models with GPS are available for purchase.

It was available in China at launch, but one week after launch, carriers in China stopped offering the cellular version of the device, likely due its usage of an eSIM, a new technology in the country, and government security concerns.

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Apple to start sales of cellular Apple Watch Series 3 models in Hong Kong, Singapore next month

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Apple is moving forward with its global Apple Watch rollout and will in February launch cellular versions of the latest Apple Watch Series 3 in Hong Kong and Singapore.
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Robot swans to measure water quality in Singapore

singapore swan robots measure water quality on resevoirs

Robotic swans are being deployed in Singapore’s reservoirs to provide real-time assessments of water quality. The project is the culmination of work by the city state’s national water agency and the National University of Singapore.

Despite the best efforts of conscientious scientists, not all IoT solutions blend into their environments. Technology and utility tend to be prioritized over aesthetics. Unless you live or work near Singapore’s Marina, Punggol, Serangoon, Pandan and Kranji reservoirs, that is.

A joint project involving national water agency PUB, the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Environmental Research Institute and the Tropical Marine Science Institute aims to gather data in a less conspicuous manner.

Read more: 100,000 IoT sensors line canal in China’s ambitious water diversion project

An elegant IoT solution

Designing a robotic swan that’s convincing to the human eye – albeit from a distance – is one thing. But the team behind the project has also fit each swan with all the tools it needs to move around reservoirs and sample water quality.

Using wireless technology, each swan is able to transmit live results to PUB, removing the need for teams to be sent out to take samples manually.

According to Channel News Asia, the SWAN project (Smart Water Assessment Network) will be used to monitor the City State’s fresh water pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and chlorophyll. All of these elements are used to determine the overall water quality.

Professor Mandar Chitre a member of the team behind SWAN from the National University of Singapore, said, “we started with a number of smaller bird models before we decided on the swan. It’s just the right size. If you look at it in the environment, it looks just like a swan swimming around.”

Read more: Underwater Antarctic robot Icefin prepares for Jupiter mission

Water-based robots combine with IoT once again

This is not the first time that scientists have looked to the natural world for inspiration when designing robots for use in water.

Last year, a similar project from EPFL in Switzerland developed a robotic eel to report on the water quality in Lake Geneva. Unlike the SWAN project, EPFL’s Envirobot was designed to mimic the movement of its real-life equivalent. But both have provided researchers with a way to measure water quality remotely.

With the addition of more data points and increased autonomy, it may not be long before more of these robots are spotted roaming our rivers, reservoirs and oceans.

Read more: Singapore companies settle on Sigfox for smart rodent control

The post Robot swans to measure water quality in Singapore appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Uber’s deal with a cab firm in Singapore helps the company offload the costs of owning cars

Uber has agreed to create a joint venture that merges its car-leasing subsidiary with major taxi firm ComfortDelGro.

Uber has sold a majority stake in its Singaporean car-leasing subsidiary to cab firm ComfortDelGro. As part of the deal, the two companies have created a joint venture — valued at $ 474 million — which ComfortDelGro will control with its 51 percent stake.

Uber will own the rest of the car-leasing company, called Lion City Rentals, while ComfortDelGro will take over operations and maintenance of the 14,000 cars that were once on the ride-hail player’s balance sheet.

That’s a big deal for Uber, which is eyeing a 2019 IPO.

The $ 69 billion ride-hail company saw its losses jump nearly 40 percent to $ 1.46 billion in the third quarter of 2017, and it doesn’t expect to be profitable in some of its major markets, including Southeast Asia, for at least another six months. Cutting down on losses has been a major focus for newly minted CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, as it was for predecessor Travis Kalanick.

That’s partly what led to the company’s decision in November to merge its Russia business with local competitor Yandex.

Southeast Asia, by Khosrowshahi’s own admission, is not an easy market to crack.

“The economics of that market are not what we want them to be,” Khosrowshahi recently said. “I think it’s over-capitalized at this point. We’re going in, and we’re leaning forward. But I‘m not optimistic that market is going to be profitable any time soon.”

The difficulty of facing off against a strong competitor, Grab, has been compounded by the high cost of car ownership in the region. That has made it harder for Uber to translate its model of turning casual drivers into commercial ones, especially now that Singapore has put a freeze on private car ownership.

Uber’s initial value proposition for investors was its low overhead, but in places like Singapore and India, the company had to take on the costs of owning and leasing cars in order to maintain or increase supply.

Now, under the chief business officer of Uber’s Asia operations, Brooks Entwistle, the company is shifting its strategy.

Not only is Uber offloading the costs of operating these cars in Singapore, but the company will have exclusive access to Comfort’s approximately 15,000 cabs and expects to strike more partnerships with cab companies in the future.

That’s counter to how Uber has operated since its inception. The company has historically leveraged public dissatisfaction with the safety and efficiency of cabs to attract new riders.

But places like Singapore have a robust and often reliable taxi industry, and it makes more sense for the ride-hail company to partner with the cab companies. That’s partly why Uber competitor Grab, formerly known as GrabTaxi, started off as a taxi-hailing app and continues to work with a number of cab companies in Singapore, except for Comfort.

Still, running a leasing company hasn’t been without its problems.

Lion City Rentals and Uber recently faced a firestorm of criticism when a car under lease caught fire. As the Wall Street Journal revealed, the company knowingly rented out cars that were under manufacturer recall due to an electrical component that could overheat and catch fire.

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