Frances Buoy

Frances Buoy

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China
Pintek, an Indonesia-based fintech firm focused on providing loans for education, has received an undisclosed sum in a pre-series A round led by Rocket Internet-backed Global Founders Capital.The round, which also involved participation from existing investors Finch Capital and Amand Ventures, was received by SoCap, the parent company of Pintek, according to a DailySocial report.The two companies previously backed Pintek in its seed funding round, joined by Japan’s Strive.Pintek specifically caters to those looking to acquire funds for educational purposes, which includes K-12, higher education, and vocational learning.Since starting operations in 2018, Pintek has now worked with about 100 educational institutions and provided funding assistance in 22 provinces in Indonesia.“Pintek has experienced explosive growth, especially since the funding round earlier this year.
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European startup studio eFounders recently reached a portfolio valuation of $1 billion across 23 companies.While software-as-a-service companies are trendy, eFounders has been exploring this space for a few years now.In exchange for financial and human resources, eFounders keeps a significant stake in its startups.Ideally, startups raise a seed round and take off on their own after a year or two.Cycle is a product management platform.And if you think about product management, it encompasses many things under one title, such as writing specs, planning a roadmap, assigning tasks and defining cycles or sprints.
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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world.It’s been a very busy last week of October for China’s tech bosses, but first, let’s take a look at what some of them are doing in the neck of your woods.Lawmakers have recently called for an investigation into the social network, which is operated by Beijing-based internet upstart ByteDance, over concerns that it could censor politically sensitive content and be compelled to turn American users’ data over to the Chinese government.It’s done so with a community of creators good at churning out snappy, light-hearted videos, highly localized operations and its acquisition of rival Musical.ly, which took American teens by storm.Shortly after, on November 1, Reuters reported citing sources that the U.S. government has begun to probe into ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly and is in talks with the firm about measures it could take to avoid selling Musical.ly .ByteDance had no further comment to add beyond the issued statement when contacted by TechCrunch.
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The US government is looking into the popular social media app TikTok for possible security risks, a new report Friday revealed.TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has become incredibly popular with teenagers in the US and around the world for its short-form videos.According to Reuters, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has opened a review of the app and its parent company's purchase of US company Musical.ly two years ago for around $1 billion.According to the report, which cites two unnamed sources, since "TikTok did not seek clearance from CFIUS when it acquired Musical.ly" the government group has the "scope to investigate it now.""While we cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes, TikTok has made clear that we have no higher priority than earning the trust of users and regulators in the US," a TikTok spokesperson tells CNET."Part of that effort includes working with Congress and we are committed to doing so."
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Sony, like many other companies, recently released a new quarterly financial report, and in it we received an update on how PlayStation 4 sales are doing.If you’ve been following the story of the PlayStation 4, then it probably won’t be a surprise to learn that sales are still really good.In fact, the console has become the second-best selling home console of all time, sitting behind only the PlayStation 2.Sony reported that the PlayStation 4 has sold 102.8 million consoles as of September 30th, 2019.These are sell-in figures, meaning Sony has shipped a total of 102.8 million units, but regardless of that, it’s safe to say that the PlayStation 4 has solidified its spot as one of the best-selling game consoles of all time.If we expand the scope to include handheld game consoles, then these figures put the PlayStation 4 in the fourth-place spot, behind the PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy.
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Alongside drip-feeding us with details of its 108-megapixel phone set to be unveiled at its November 5th event, Xiaomi has also been dropping details of its upcoming smartwatch which awfully looks similar to the Apple Watch.The brand isn’t new to the cloning of Apple products, so we aren’t really surprising seeing it copy the Apple watch for the Mi Watch.Xiaomi has confirmed the Xioami Watch / the Mi Watch will come equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, and independently supports WiFi, GPS, and NFC, plus an eSIM, so you can independently make voice calls via the device.Further revealing some key details, Xiaomi through the general manager of Xiaomi Ecological Chain, shared the real-life demonstration video of him watching viewing online video on the Mi Watch.Furthermore, the demo by Qu Heng also revealed that the Xiaomi Watch can run apps such as Sogou map, WeChat, Alipay, Himalayan, navigator, vibrato and many other programs.Do note, however, that due to the limited screen and storage sizes, the Xiaomi watch might not support the installation of regular Android apps.
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Just a few years ago, the television industry hoped that live TV streaming packages would help bring cord cutters and cord nevers back into the fold.But now one of the biggest offerings, PlayStation Vue, is throwing in the towel.Sony will shutter the service on Jan. 30, 2020.“Unfortunately, the highly competitive pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected.Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business,” wrote John Kodera, deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment in a blog post.PlayStation Vue, which launched in 2015, was one of many live TV streaming offerings that targeted cord cutters and cord nevers with packages as low as $35 a month, including Hulu Live TV, Google’s YouTube TV, Dish’s Sling TV and AT TV Now (which was originally called DirecTV Now).
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Apple has released watchOS 6.1, adding support for the new AirPods Pro, and delivering some excellent news for the earliest-adopters of the smartwatch.Pushed out today, this new version brings watchOS 6 to Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 owners, an impressive feat given that now means almost all generations of the wearable are compatible with the latest software.Making sure older devices are kept as up to date as possible is something we’ve seen Apple prioritize over the years with iPhone, managing to keep far more existing phones on the latest version of iOS than its Android counterparts have.When watchOS 6 arrived, however, it looked like that might not be the case for the Apple Watch.Now, that’s being addressed today.Anybody with an Apple Watch Series 1, released in 2016, or an Apple Watch Series 2, released in 2017, can use the same software as someone buying an Apple Watch Series 5 today.
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It is 50 years today since the first message was sent on the ARPANET, a precursor of the internet as we know it today.The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) can trace its roots back to 1962 and MIT computer scientist Joseph Licklider's "Galactic Network" concept.Around the same time, Leonard Kleinrock, also at MIT, published an early paper on packet-switching theory (PDF).Licklider went on to head up the Information Processing Techniques Office at ARPA in 1962 and, during his two-year stint there, impressed his vision upon his successors, Ivan Sutherland and Bob Taylor, and a researcher called Lawrence Roberts.He spent 1967 working with other engineers and scientists to come up with a design for the network to authenticate users, deal with errors and retransmission before presenting it as the ARPANET plan at the Association for Computing Machinery conference in Tennessee.At the same conference was a paper from Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury on the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) network, a packet-switching network which had been piloted in 1967.
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Huawei announced in the last week that customers in The Philippines would be able to purchase the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro starting October 28.We’re in October 29 and the flagship smartphones are finally available for pre-orders in the country.The Mate 30 can be pre-ordered for PHP 34,990 ($685) while the Mate 30 Pro will require customers to shell out PHP 50,990 ($999).While the standard variant ships with 8GB RAM and 128GB, the Pro model is available in the 8GB and 256GB storage.There are some cool offers for users getting the smartphone through the pre-order period.If you order any of the smartphones until November 8, you’ll get free accessories.
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Microsoft‘s been awarded the controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, a $10 billion planned project to create and maintain an AI-powered, cloud-based weapons platform for the Pentagon.Few imagined Microsoft winning the contract.Amazon Web Services (AWS) is generally considered the industry leader in cloud infrastructure, and was thus considered the frontrunner to win the bid.Google was an early favorite to compete with Amazon, but it dropped out citing employee outrage.Oracle and other companies sued the government, claiming the bidding was unfairly designed to advantage Amazon.When the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a federal court rejected the lawsuit, it looked like AWS would be the Pentagon’s single-cloud service provider in short order.
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Singer Morrissey, who you may or may not be emotionally attached to depending on your age, has managed to offend and baffle a significant proportion of the few people still defiantly on his side.The good news is he's not been racist this time; the bad news is it will again have you wondering if this is finally the time to go methodically through your recording collections and playlists and delete and/or thumbs-down every once meaningful Smiths song and even bin off Suedehead.The fuss this time is that the pop star decided to wear a t-shirt bearing the slogan "F**k the Guardian" while performing at a gig in the US, and fans are equally baffled by the sentiment as the choice of cut-off t-shirt at 60 years old.The Guardian is a fairly benign paper, but Morrissey believes there's a vendetta against him playing out within its pages, as every borderline racist thing he says and does is always reported on by the outlet, and it gives his albums extremely poor scores these days, as if he's gone a bit rubbish.Earlier in the year he said on his own site that: "If I were a postman I would have won a Harassment Case against The Guardian and been awarded 10 million pounds in damages by now," adding that the paper's been trying to get artists to refuse to work with him by asking them why they.... work with him.
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In addition to the Pixel 4, Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud-based game streaming has dominated that section of the news where tech and gaming intersect.It isn’t the only company with big game streaming plans in the works and Microsoft is also getting the ball rolling with its own Project xCloud program.So it’s not really a surprise that Microsoft is now making an announcement to somewhat remind interested players that all that they might need is a $14.99 accessory for the ideal xCloud experience.While Google’s vision for Stadia is a bit more expansive, not to mention ambitious, Microsoft’s Project xCloud is laser-focused on a specific use case, at least at first.Billed by CEO Satya Nadella himself as “Netflix for Gaming”, Project xCloud’s objective is to bring Xbox console gaming to mobile devices, specifically Android phones.This might seem limiting at first but it does mean that Xbox gamers probably have all that they need for Project xCloud, both console and phone.
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Whatever you might say about HTC (and believe me, there’s plenty to say), at least the company takes some fascinating chance.As newly minted CEO Yves Maitre admitted to me at Disrupt a couple of weeks back, the once mighty smartphone giant has lost the thread in recent years.But if nothing else, the Exodus project marks a glimpse at some potential smartphone future.With this weekend’s launch of the Exodus 1s at Berlin’s Lightning conference, HTC aims to make it clear that the project is more than just a one-off.The new device lowers the barrier of entry to €219 (~$244).All said, not a bad price for those looking to dabble in the technology.
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While the full-extent of the network outage has not been unveiled just yet, some are suggesting maintenance on the firms 3G network is the root cause.Three has confirmed it was a change to the network which was being made overnight on Wednesday [October 16] which caused the outage, but it is being elusive with the specifics.There does appear to be customers who are struggling to connect to voice, SMS and data services, though the majority of the issues seem to have been settled.“To help with the process we advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which will in most cases resolve the issue by resetting your phone’s connection to the network.”Although the ‘turn it off and turn it on again’ request will infuriate a few, it is usually the best way to get things fixed.Unfortunately for the team, there was a bit of a misguided attempt at humour during the saga.
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“The main advantage is more seamless collaboration in the course of their sales and their service work,” said Brad Armstrong, vice president of corporate and business development at Slack.Partnerships are a major focus for Slack, which has more than 1,800 third-party integrations in its App Directory.It has, for example, integrations with other SaaS vendors such as Workday’s HR platform, SAP’s Concur and SuccessFactors, and various Oracle tools.The company also announced a closer integration with Zoom at its Frontiers conference this year, all part of its strategy to better compete with the likes of Microsoft, Google and Cisco, which sell subscriptions to a suite of apps.“We’re working really closely with most of the relevant best-of-breed enterprise SaaS providers,” said Armstrong.“The pattern you see there is that two or three years people built their first app on Slack and it was a new thing and maybe kind of a novelty.
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Tropical Storm Ema had a very short life, but NASA's Terra satellite caught a glimpse of the storm before it dissipated in the Central Pacific Ocean.The newest tropical storm of the Central Pacific Ocean hurricane season formed to the northwest of the Hawaiian Islands late on Oct. 12.Although there was no threat to Hawaii, there was a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect on Oct. 12 for portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from Nihoa to French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef.At 2 a.m. HST/8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Oct. 13 the center of Tropical Storm Ema was located near latitude 22.1 North, longitude 165.9 West.Ema was moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph), and maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (65 kph).NASA's Terra satellite passed over Ema on Oct. 13 when it was still a tropical storm.
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Lineage is a powerhouse in Asia-Pacific mobile markets, with Lineage M and Lineage 2: Revolution bringing in more than an estimated $4 billion since 2016 on iOS and Android.Let’s start by looking at what Sensor Tower has tracked for Lineage M. It’s a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and the firm estimates that it’s brought in more than $2.3 billion (that’s 57%).The bulk of this ($1.9 billion, or 85%) comes from Android players.And for Lineage M, most of this revenue comes from developer NCSoft’s home turf of South Korea: more than $2 billion.Taiwan is second at $203 million, with Hong Kong coming in third at $23 million.Taiwan was second at 1 million, with Japan in third at with 245,000 downloads (3%).
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Few investment opportunities are as lucrative as real estate.By buying low, renovating, and selling when the time is right, investors have the potential to make millions of dollars in profit.Unfortunately, this practice is typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy since buying a single property let alone building a real estate portfolio requires more than most of us have lying around.The good news for the 99% is that financial tech company, DiversyFund, is on a mission to change that.With DiversyFund, anyone can participate in building a diversified real estate portfolio, and all you need is $500 to get started.So how does it work?
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But if the company feared that the popularity of its phones would wane as a result, it needn't have bothered – at least in the UK, where the volume of sales appears to continue to compete with smartphones from Apple and Samsung.Huawei phone deals aren't going away.In fact, they just keep getting better.And now Three has come up trumps once again on the Chinese manufacturer's pair of 2019 flagships – the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro.Honestly, we were already very fond of the numerical network's prices on these mobiles, but Three's gone better still to cement its place as having the best P30 and P30 Pro deals in the UK.You can discover more about the deals below but, in short, they feature unlimited calls and texts, 100GB of monthly data and start from a mere £27 per month.
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Google has announced it will be banning some payday loan apps from the Play Store as part of a crackdown on what it says are harmful practices.According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is banning Play Store apps that offer what the company calls "deceptive or harmful" loans with annual percentage rates (APR) of 36 percent and higher.The new expanded financial policy came into force in August, and Google says that it is already helping protect users against "exploitative" rates.The new rules only apply to the US for the time being, in order to conform with the recently-passed Truth in Lending Act.This ensures that apps for personal loans have to display their maximum APR - including both platforms that offer loans directly and those that connect consumerd with third-party lenders.“Our Google Play developer policies are designed to protect users and keep them safe,” a Google spokesman told the WSJ.
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Swiss operator Sunrise is happy to work with Huawei on 5G and their collaboration is yielding some impressive download speeds.Not only do they claim to have hit a 3.67 Gbps top speed on a 5G downlink, they say they managed it to ‘multiple’ smartphones from one 5G cell.Sunrise was one of the first European operators to go live with 5G and that fact, together with announcements like these, ad weight to the fear that countries which ban Huawei from their 5G networks may lag behind those who don’t.Having said that this was just a test, rather than a live network.It was conducted over 100 MHz of C-Band spectrum on Sunrise’s commercial network, using Huawei 5G gear.Huawei took the opportunity to plug its MU-MIMO technology, which is says ‘substantially increases 5G capacity without additional requirement of spectrum and power resource.’
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Self-identified ad avoiders were 22% more engaged, emotionally involved and likely to remember brands mentioned in a podcast compared to TV ads, according to a new study from the BBC.The study, which was commissioned by the BBC’s branded content division, StoryWorks, found that listeners were 16% more engaged when hearing about a brand on a podcast than when they were listening to the surrounding podcast content.For the study, researchers identified 263 regular podcast listeners and finance enthusiasts who said they avoided ads in the New York, Melbourne, Munich and Singapore markets.Those test subjects, who also had a combined annual household income of $100,000 or more, listened to 30 minutes of a branded finance podcast Money Movement, which BBC’s branded content division produces, and their brain activity was measured to determine their emotional responses, cognitive engagement and memory of the brand compared to a television benchmark.“It’s well-known fact that ad avoidance is something that the industry grapples with, and we wanted to see if these people could be positively reached with branded podcasts,” said Caitlin Harley, BBC News director of multiplatform ad sales research, North America.“What we ultimately found out is that they are.”
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Facebook markets its video chat device Portal as a way to keep in touch with family and friends.Now the social media giant is making a play to get you to use the video chat device when you're at work.Facebook said Tuesday it's launching a new app that lets people who use an enterprise version of the social network called Workplace make calls and video chat through Portal.Taking on video chat services like BlueJeans and Microsoft's Skype, the move illustrates how Facebook is ramping up its efforts to attract businesses and get more people to buy the hardware it's released.Facebook first launched Workplace in 2016, with companies such as Walmart, Spotify and Starbucks adopting the enterprise product.Workplace looks like Facebook, but it's used to connect employees within the same company.
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You can reduce a PDF's file size on a Mac computer in just a few steps.It's a good idea to reduce the file size of a PDF if you need to save storage space on your Mac or in the process of sending the file, but it may also reduce the quality of your PDF.Here's what you need to know to reduce the file size of a PDF on your Mac, using the Preview app.When it comes to saving space on your Mac computer, there are many things you can do — empty the trash, delete app installers, get rid of duplicate files, and more.You can also reduce the file size of PDF documents in order to make them more compact, and take up less space on your Mac.If you need a high-quality PDF, for a presentation or work assignment, you may be better off using another space-saving method, like saving it to cloud-based backup system or an external hard drive.
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Well, better late than never.Today Hulu announced it was finally adding the ability to download shows to view offline, following the feature’s addition to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix years ago.The feature is coming to iOS first, and Android users ‘soon.’While in an ideal world we’d all be able to watch streaming video at perfect quality at any time, the reality is often far from that.Whether you’re on an airplane, your gym has spotty wi-fi, or you don’t want to use your mobile data on the go, there is a myriad of reasons you might want to download videos to watch later.For me, it’s often simply to be able to watch videos at maximum quality with no buffering.
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Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its Radeon RX 5500 series graphics chips and cards, targeting midrange gaming laptops and desktops with high-efficiency graphics performance.AMD said the chips use the AMD RDNA gaming architecture and 7-nanometer manufacturing, and they target high-performance 1080p gaming.The Radeon RX 5500 targets graphics in desktops and the Radeon RX 5500M graphics processing unit (GPU) is for gaming laptops.Global manufacturers using the products are as follows:MSI is expected to launch the world’s first Radeon RX 5500M-powered gaming notebook later this month.HP and Lenovo are planning to offer Radeon RX 5500 cards in high-performance desktop gaming PCs beginning this November.
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While New York Comic Con tends to be focused more on actual comics than San Diego’s Comic-Con International and Disney’s D23, the convention still has plenty of panels devoted to TV shows and movies.Here’s everything that you’ll want to catch as New York Comic Con unfolds from Thursday, October 3 through Sunday, October 6.A Night with M. Night: Introducing Servant on Apple TV+ (8 p.m.)M. Night Shyamalan, the man who brought you The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, and Glass, has a new Apple TV+ series on the way, and he’s stopping by New York Comic Con to talk all about it.In Servant, Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) play a married couple whose new nanny, Leanne (Game of Thrones‘ Nell Tiger Free), is much more than she seems.Hello, What Have We Here?- Spotlight on Billy Dee Willaims (11 a.m.)
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What does it take to win in the streaming music space these days?Instead, the focus has shifted to exclusive content, unique features, personalization, and the ability to easily access it all.That’s the same name as one of the tabs in Apple Music, and as you might expect, personalization powers the experience.Pandora calls it a personalized discovery feed.Within the tab, you’ll find a dynamically updating scroll of custom-curated music and podcast recommendations.It updates throughout the day based on your listening history, the day of the week, or the time of day.
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Even founder Daniel Gross has a hard time explaining Pioneer.Over the course of one phone call, he compared it to Fortnite Battle Royale, Airbnb, Google, a sci-fi novel, a human accelerator, and an Ivy League campus.Gross launched the project he claims will change the world in August 2018.Then, he described Pioneer as a bias-free search engine for human ingenuity.In newspapers, blog posts, and on television, Gross said the fund/tournament was designed to identify “lost Einsteins”—hidden geniuses with the potential to effect change—at an early stage using software and put them on the path to greatness.Since then, tens of thousands of people from around the globe have entered Pioneer’s eponymous tournament—a convoluted, semi-anonymous online competition that uses software and game mechanics like points, quests, and leaderboards to quantify participants’ real-world productivity and incentivize behaviors Gross and his team believe are key to success.
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