Business

Amazon leads $12M investment in India-based digital insurance startup Acko

Amazon appears to be restarting its funding efforts in India after Acko, the digital insurance startup in India, confirmed that the U.S. retail giant led a new round of funding for its business.
Amazon — which has been linked with an Acko investment since the start of this year — backed lending startup Capital Float last month, and now it has led a $12 million funding round for Acko alongside Ashish Dhawan, the founder of PE firm ChrysCapital, and existing backer Catamaran Ventures. The deal takes Acko to $42 million raised to date.

Business

The battle over 5G: What is it, who are the players, and why do we care?

The race to 5G: Inside the fight for the future of mobile as we know it
Microsoft is seeking a US ban on sales of several Kyocera Android smartphones that it contends violates its patents.

Welcome to the latest installment of our regular series of virtual roundtable discussions about important questions facing the future of technology. In this episode, Jason Perlow, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Scott M. Fulton, III, and I look at 5G and come away, well, a bit troubled.
Scott recently wrote an epic article, What is 5G? Everything you need to know about the new wireless revolution. In it, he talks about the critically international nature of 5G.
A few weeks ago, the US government banned sales to Chinese telecommunications manufacturer ZTE (and then, possibly, unbanned the ban). Jason Perlow put that ban into perspective from a technological future perspective in an of his always thought-providing analysis pieces, Qualcomm: Meet the new boss of everything mobile.
These events are critical in understanding 5G and what it means to the telecoms, business, and individual consumers. That’s where we started in our roundtable. We wanted to know what 5G is and, frankly, why non-telecom businesses and consumers should care.

What’s the biggest problem with 4G?

According to our panel, the big problem with 4G is actually its cost to cool. According to Scott, 75 percent of capital expenditures and over 50 percent of monthly operational expense are spent by mobile telecom providers cooling 4G transmission towers.

How does this relate to China?

China Mobile triggered this whole wave, after looking at the costs of not only building out and supporting 4G, but helping to move providers still on 3G to 4G. The premise is that if they can move all of the processing away from the antenna into the cloud, they can save a tremendous amount of money, slash operations costs by 75 percent or more, and save considerable real estate for each antenna installation.

What’s important to know about 5G technology?

There will be a lot more antennas, possibly as many as 60 antennas for each 4G antenna. However, those 5G antennas will be much, much smaller and much more inexpensive to operate. They’ll be connected via fiber back to a central cloud environment.
Read also: Ericsson plans continued 5G RD as net loss reduces to 700m SEK
Speeds for 5G will be up to 1GB for mobile users and up to a possible 10GB for fixed wireless users — those users who access network capabilities, but do so at their desks.

What about current wired broadband suppliers?

This is new and quite possibly intense competition. It’s a potential bloodbath. The wireless providers are after the business and revenue streams of current broadband providers, and some even predict that they can only profit if they also own the content play as well. Look for some of the wireless 5G providers to try to muscle into or push aside the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and the other streamers.
On the other hand, some kind of fiber cabling will be required to each of the 5G transmitters. That business might be where the broadband providers come into the game.

So we’re talking about real edge-based services?

 

mobile networksYep. For example, instead of downloading a TV show from the cloud across the internet, portions of a program can exist throughout 5G cells (or even on users’ machines) in a community. Rather than downloading long distance, the content can be assembled and played at very high speed, locally. If this sounds a lot like BitTorrent, perhaps with a lot of rights management layered on top, you would be right.

Doesn’t that kind of service impact cloud-based businesses?

Ya think? Not only are potential 5G providers gunning for big slices of the wired broadband and streaming entertainment businesses, they also see the potential of taking business away from services like Azure and AWS, while offering greater access speeds and local aggregation.

Just how long will it take to deploy 5G?

That’s up to a lot of debate, and our panelists did, indeed, debate. 5G, especially if you’re looking at installing 60-to-1 transmission nodes, will be expensive to set up. Cities will benefit, but rural communities and poorer communities will probably be left behind. Poor communities in countries still on 3G may get 5G, but they’ll get substantially degraded service because more and more people will be forced to rely on a single, much-less-capable node in 5G.
Read also: ATT’s 5G ‘foundation’ technology is now live in 141 markets
Then, you have the political issues. 5G is being driven heavily by China. If the US continues to squabble with China, at best we’ll wind up with multiple 5G standards, and, at worst, no 5G at all. Another possibility is a worldwide 5G standard that the US is left out of.
There’s a lot more to what we discussed. Be sure to watch the video and share your thoughts below. Let me know what you think of this format and feel free to suggest topics for future shows.

Gadgets

Alienware 15 R3 
Introduction, Design Features

Even if you’ve never listened of Alienware’s computers before (and if not, acquire behind from your spin outing to Alpha Centauri), you’d have to assume, from a name alone, that they’d demeanour a bit opposite than your normal PC.
That’s been loyal of scarcely any Alienware we remember reviewing, and generally so with a 2017-refreshed Alienware 15 R3, that customarily beamed onto a doorstep. You can configure this 15.6-inch beastie from an $1,199 bottom model, all a approach adult to $3,399, depending on how we bucket it out. That far-reaching cost operation creates it a viable aspirant to customarily about any 15.6-inch gaming cover we can buy.

Gadgets

Sony accidentally leaks new high-end televisions

A new fleet of high-end televisions from Sony have appeared briefly on the firm’s own website.
Users on AVS Forum spied evidence of a new fleet of premium TV models that appear to have been accidentally leaked from Sony’s own e-support page.

Sony released a list of its Android TVs potentially affected by a minor software issue it was investigating – including four model numbers that hadn’t yet been announced.

Sony-Z-Series-4K-HDR-Ultra-HD-TVThe page has since been updated to remove the model numbers in question, which included the XBR-55A9F, XBR-65A9F, XBR-65Z9F, and XBR-75Z9F.
• Sony X1 Ultimate: We take a closer look at Sony’s next-gen TV processor
A lot of TVs
2018 is already starting to look like a bumper year for Sony’s Bravia televisions, with a wide range of both high and lower-end sets, from the entry-point 4K XF80 / XF85 TVs all the way up to Sony’s latest AF8 OLED, released this month.

Two of the leaked models seem to be the next iterations of Sony’s recently released AF8 OLED models (XBR-55A8F and XBR-65A8F), which we reviewed earlier this month.

We imagine these successors will be making use of the heft of the new Sony X1 Ultimate processor – unveiled at CES back in January – boasting double the processing power of its previous flagship chip, the X1 Extreme.
There’s no official word on the leaked televisions so far, but seeing as Sony’s support team seem to be working directly with the new sets, it likely won’t be too long before we hear more.
• Every new Sony television coming in 2018

Business

The well-funded startups driven to own the autonomous vehicle stack

At some point in the future, while riding along in a car, a kid may ask their parent about a distant time in the past when people used steering wheels and pedals to control an automobile. Of course, the full realization of the “auto” part of the word — in the form of fully autonomous automobiles — is a long way off, but there are nonetheless companies trying to build that future today.
However, changing the face of transportation is a costly business, one that typically requires corporate backing or a lot of venture funding to realize such an ambitious goal.

Gadgets

Nintendo’s NES Classic will return to U.S. retail stores on June 29

Rejoice Nintendo fans: the Japanese gaming giant is bringing the NES Classic back to retail stores this summer.
Nintendo said the console will go on sale again across the U.S. on June 29, with the SNES Classic also set to be available until the end of this year. It isn’t clear what the situation will be outside of the U.S., however.

The news is welcome but not entirely a surprise. Nintendo said last September that it would bring both consoles — which were originally supposed to be one-offs — back in 2018 following a positive reception and strong sales.
Review: The NES Classic Edition and all 30 games on it

The company originally killed off the hit NES Classic Edition with an announcement last April and it had originally said that the SNES version would not live beyond 2017. The NES system was a surprise hit last year, but the SNES version was even more popular. Nintendo previously revealed that it sold more on launch day in August than the NES sold in the whole of last year.
“Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves,” Nintendo said last year.

The two classic systems are part of a new focus for Nintendo, which includes the top-selling Switch console and its first moves into mobile gaming via Pokémon GO and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The company recently clocked impressive financial returns — including a 500 percent jump in annual profit — as the strategy begins to pay off.

Gadgets

HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse

Introduction, Design Features

Kingston Technology has a roots in peep memory, all a proceed behind to 1987. More recently, though, it has incited a courtesy to gaming gear, underneath a HyperX brand: HyperX memory, for some time, yet now HyperX keyboards, headsets, rodent pads, and e-sports sponsorships. The $49.99-MSRP Pulsefire FPS represents a initial shot during a mouse.

Business

Uber in fatal crash detected pedestrian but had emergency braking disabled

The initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board on the fatal self-driving Uber crash in March confirms that the car detected the pedestrian as early as 6 seconds before the crash, but did not slow or stop because its emergency braking systems were deliberately disabled.
Uber told the NTSB that “emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior,” in other words, to ensure a smooth ride.

Tech News

Intel Optane Memory (32GB)

Introduction, Design Features

For going on dual decades, we’ve been fighting a good fight, explaining to anyone who will listen that those kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes of RAM in your PC—the things that binds information temporarily while it’s being worked on—should be called system memory. Those same units, when used for long-term stowing-away of your information on a tough drive, is storage capacity.
With Intel’s Optane Memory, that gets all muddied up, and gives us a whole lot some-more explainin’ to do. That’s not to contend that Optane Memory is a bad thing. Just don’t consider of it as RAM—though it sounds like it ought to be RAM.

Tech News

Microsoft urges Windows 10 users NOT to manually implement a Creators Update

Microsoft has warned Windows 10 users not to download and install the Creators Update manually, though to wait until a handling complement itself is prepared to implement on their PCs.

Despite a Insiders Program assisting to prepared a Update, stealing bugs before they strech a presumably quick chronicle of Windows 10, it appears that early adopters are carrying several problems with motorist compatibility.
As Microsoft points out, however, a Creators Update was deliberately