Five years after Dieselgate, the automaker brings its first battery-electric vehicle to the US
- CNBC said Chime’s revenue would come in around $300 million in 2019. Forbes had the number at $200 million.
- Business Insider reported that Chime anticipated revenues of $200 million for the year.
While we originally expected the Linux laptop to go on sale earlier, Purism previously said the device was projected to go on sale in the early fourth quarter, the struggles that Intel encountered with the inventory for its new chips have pushed the date back to December.
But according to Purism, the laptop will continue to be listed for pre-order with a $100 discount, so basically, you now have more time to get the Librem 14 cheaper. Once the device starts shipping, the laptop will be available from $1,499.
“The Librem 14 is going to be a powerhouse with a six core, twelve thread, 4.70Ghz i7-10710U tenth generation Intel CPU. When we first announced the Librem 14 pre-order, we estimated shipping would begin in early Q4 2020 but unfortunately Intel has industry-wide supply issues with the i7-10th gen… (read more)
Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made no secret of his ambition to eventually create orbiting space stations that act as places for people to live and work – he outlined a vision based on space settlement designs first conceived by physicist Gerard K. O’Neill at a Blue Origin event, including its lunar lander reveal, last year. Now, however, Blue Origin has issued a job posting seeking a person who will be tasked with leading its efforts around “Orbital Habitat Formulation” (via Space News).
The job posting seeks a person who will be responsible for developing the ultimate vision of “millions of people living and working in space,” with a near-term goal of developing space stations in low Earth orbit that take cues from the existing International Space Station (ISS), but that also go “beyond” that existing shared international research structure, in part by fostering “value-creating economic activity.”
Here’s the core description from the listing:
As Blue Origin’s Formulation Lead for the Orbital Habitat product line, you will lead development of technical concepts, product strategies, business cases, customer relationships, market-shaping outreach, industrial partnerships, implementation approaches, and supply chain. Partnering with business development professionals, you will develop a detailed understanding of NASA, other government, and commercial needs and guide the iterative development of product strategy. You will be accountable for capturing external and internal sponsorship funding to establish viable LEO destination systems in the 2020s. You will directly impact the history of human spaceflight.
Blue Origin also says that what they’re building will be “fundamentally different” from stations like the ISS, which are designed for “small, professional trained crews.” It sounds like they want to make them quite a bit more habitable and practical for non-expert users, who are there primarily for commercial purposes – not to be astronauts first and foremost.
We’re probably still quite a ways away from the idealistic concept vision that Bezos shared at last May’s event, pictured above. But depending on how badly he wants it to happen, we could have Blue Origin commercial space habitats in orbit sooner than some might think.
After announcing several major improvements at the Build developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft is now back with additional details and new features to discuss how the experience with WSL is being improved for everybody on Windows 10.
First and foremost, it’s the WSL 2 release, which originally took place on Windows 10 version 2004, or the May 2020 Update, exclusively. Microsoft has already confirmed that WSL 2 would go live for more users, and the company confirms in this new blog post that those on Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 would be getting it too.
“We’ve heard feedback on how many users have enjoyed using WSL 2 and have made WSL 2 available to more Windows users with t… (read more)
With Surface Duo, Microsoft seeks to combine best of their hardware and Google’s Android ecosystem. Surface Duo’s key feature is seeing information from two apps at once, which allows you to be more productive as you can use multiple apps at the same time without having to switch between them.
Surface Duo is also pushing Android’s use interface towards dual-screen optimization and Microsoft is working with Google on a number of exciting features. For example, Surface Duo’s software has been specifically designed to dynamically shift dock icons to the display not running an app.
Microsoft doesn’t have a dedicated Bluetooth keyboard or mouse accessory available for the Surface Duo, but of course, the dual-screen hardware is already compatible with any third-party cases and keyboards out there.
As you can see in the photo above, you can attach the Surface Duo to a phone stand, use keyboard and mouse to control Office apps, type out emails, or whatever other long-form text you want.
When you use Android with a mouse, experience is not “good” enough, but it’s better than you’d think. There are enough mouse and keyboard functionalities in Android to make Surface Duo a viable option when you want to use it as a pocket PC.
There are some rough edges when we try to navigate Android with a mouse. For the most part scrolling works pretty well, but there are a few oddities.
It’s important to understand that Android will always be a touch-first interface, but for a device like the Surface Device, you can get around the mobile OS fairly well without having to touch the screen of the device.
If you only use a keyboard with Surface Duo, you will still have to tap the screen constantly. For example, you’ll have to use the touch screen to unlock your phone if a pattern lock is active or when you have to use special menus in advance apps.
Fortunately, most Microsoft apps are compatible with keyboard and mouse.
The post Surface Duo could start a new smartphone era with these accessories appeared first on Windows Latest
Town Sports International, the parent company of New York Sports Clubs and Christi’s Fitness gyms, is mopping up after a security lapse exposed customer data.
Security researcher Bob Diachenko received a tip from a contact, Sami Toivonen, about an unprotected server containing almost a terabyte of spreadsheets representing years of internal company data, including financial records and personal customer records. But because there was no password on the server, anyone could access the files inside.
The server was exposed for almost a year, Diachenko told TechCrunch.
Town Sports pulled the server offline a short time after Diachenko contacted the company. He shared his findings exclusively with TechCrunch, which independently verified the authenticity of the data by confirming details found in the spreadsheets with customers.
Spreadsheets found on the server contained customer names, postal addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. The data also contained when a customer checks-in and at which gym location. Some also had notes on customer accounts, such as complaints and when customers were past due on a missed membership payment.
Chief executive Patrick Walsh did not respond to several requests for comment, which also asked if the company planned to inform customers of the security lapse.
Town Sports was forced to shutter its 185 gyms on the U.S. east coast after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in mid-March. By the end of March, the company told financial regulators it had about 588,000 members.
One of the spreadsheets found on the exposed server showed that Town Sports had just 7,100 paying customers by mid-May, while 566,000 customers had their gym memberships frozen.
Town Sports began freezing accounts and refunding membership fees after the company continued to charge customers even after the lockdown began, a move that drew a threat of legal action from New York attorney general Letitia James, who accused the gym chain of “ripping off” its members.
The same spreadsheet still had customer data on some 665,000 cancelled accounts.
Earlier this month the gym chain filed for bankruptcy, just as states began allowing gyms to reopen, albeit with reduced capacity and safety measures in place.
The Game Awards, an annual award show hosted by Geoff Keighley, is returning December 10th. This year’s festivities are taking a “multi-city approach,” offering streams from studios in Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo, albeit without in-person audiences.
The event will also introduce a new award, Innovation in Accessibility, to honor developers “pushing the medium forward by adding features, technology, and content to help games be played and enjoyed by an even wider audience.” More details on the show will be released closer to its air-date, though organizers promise it will again feature news about games available that night, demos, and more. It will be available as a free live stream over 45 platforms.
Keighley’s spoken about his…
Needless to say, Firefox 81 comes with several worthy improvements, and the first of them is the introduction of a new visual theme called Alpenglow.
As we’ve known for a while, Firefox already supported dark and light modes, and the browsed could also follow the system visual style. In other words, if Windows 10 was configured to use the black mode, Firefox switched to the dark theme too, and the same thing for the light visual style.
But beginning with this new update, Firefox also introduces a stylish Alpenglow theme, and this one is available on all desktop platforms, not just on Windows. It needs to be manually enabled from the settings screen.
“In addition to our default, dark and light themes, with this release, Firefox introduces the Alpenglow theme: a colorful appearance for buttons, menus, and windows. You can update your Firefox themes unde… (read more)
The GSM Association, the organization that represents mobile network operators worldwide, had originally scheduled MWC 2021 Barcelona for the first week of March 2021. On Wednesday, however, the GSMA said it will now take place between June 28 and July 1 in order to better contend with circumstances related to the virus.
At Amazon, you can save $15 on the total cost of an Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE. It’s not a huge discount, but per a deal post at AppleInsider, Amazon is the only place where you can actually save money on Apple’s latest smartwatches. This price drop for the new watches brings the Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) down to $384.99 and the cheaper SE in the bigger size (GPS, 44mm) down to $299.99.
If you want the Series 6 or SE with cellular added to the Watch, you can also save up to $15 on those models. The Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) is $485 instead of $500, and the SE (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) is $320 instead of $330.
Both of these new Watches make the Apple Watch Series 3, in both…
Last night Robinhood, the American fintech unicorn that provides free securities trading services to consumers via an app, announced that it raised an additional $460 million in its previously-known Series G. That round is now worth $660 million at an $11.7 billion post-money valuation.
A little over a month ago Robinhood announced that it had raised a $200 million Series G, bringing its valuation to $11.2 billion at the time.
But Robinhood is not alone in posting such epic fundraising numbers.
American neobank Chime rode the pandemic-induced general savings-and-investing boom, raising a $485 million Series F a few days ago. That round came less than a year after Chime had raised a mammoth Series E last December.
Two different American fintech giants each raised more than $1 billion in under a year. That’s quite the feat. This morning as a refresher for us both, we’re going over what we know about recent growth from each company, as those metrics should help us understand why the two former startups are worth so damn much money.
We begin with Chime, which raised back in December of 2019. Around that time there were a grip of stories written about the company that included estimates of its revenue scale in the year:
The CNBC number was the last to be reported, meaning that was probably the most accurate. But each included lots of growth. The $200 million revenue figure was still a quadrupling compared to Chime’s 2018 result, according to the same Forbes story.
WhyLabs, a new machine learning startup that was spun out of the Allen Institute, is coming out of stealth today. Founded by a group of former Amazon machine learning engineers, Alessya Visnjic, Sam Gracie and Andy Dang, together with Madrona Venture Group principal Maria Karaivanova, WhyLabs’ focus is on ML operations after models have been trained — not on building those models from the ground up.
“The team was all research scientists, and I was the only engineer who had kind of tier-one operating experience,” she told me. “So it was like, ”Okay, how bad could it be?’ I carried the pager for the retail website before it can be bad. But it was one of the first AI deployments that we’d done at Amazon at scale. The pager duty was extra fun because there were no real tools. So when things would go wrong — like we’d order way too many black socks out of the blue — it was a lot of manual effort to figure out why was this happening.”
But while large companies like Amazon have built their own internal tools to help their data scientists and AI practitioners operate their AI systems, most enterprises continue to struggle with this — and a lot of AI projects simply fail and never make it into production. “We believe that one of the big reasons that happens is because of the operating process that remains super manual,” Visnjic said. “So at WhyLabs, we’re building the tools to address that — specifically to monitor and track data quality and alert — you can think of it as Datadog for AI applications.”
The team has brought ambitions, but to get started, it is focusing on observability. The team is building — and open-sourcing — a new tool for continuously logging what’s happening in the AI system, using a low-overhead agent. That platform-agnostic system, dubbed WhyLogs, is meant to help practitioners understand the data that moves through the AI/ML pipeline.
For a lot of businesses, Visnjic noted, the amount of data that flows through these systems is so large that it doesn’t make sense for them to keep “lots of big haystacks with possibly some needles in there for some investigation to come in the future.” So what they do instead is just discard all of this. With its data logging solution, WhyLabs aims to give these companies the tools to investigate their data and find issues right at the start of the pipeline.
According to Karaivanova, the company doesn’t have paying customers yet, but it is working on a number of proofs of concepts. Among those users is Zulily, which is also a design partner for the company. The company is going after mid-size enterprises for the time being, but as Karaivanova noted, to hit the sweet spot for the company, a customer needs to have an established data science team with 10 to 15 ML practitioners. While the team is still figuring out its pricing model, it’ll likely be a volume-based approach, Karaivanova said.
“We love to invest in great founding teams who have built solutions at scale inside cutting-edge companies, who can then bring products to the broader market at the right time. The WhyLabs team are practitioners building for practitioners. They have intimate, first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing AI builders from their years at Amazon and are putting that experience and insight to work for their customers,” said Tim Porter, managing director at Madrona. “We couldn’t be more excited to invest in WhyLabs and partner with them to bring cross-platform model reliability and observability to this exploding category of MLOps.”