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Pandora widens personalized playlist 'soundtracks' to Premium members – CNET

Think Discover Weekly with themes.
Source: CNET

Comcast closing in on plan to challenge Disney’s Fox bid

Seems Disney might not be able to waltz into a 21st Century Fox acquisition, after all. Comcast this morning announced plans to launch its own bid from the movie studio, offering a vague outline for a planned bid.

In a statement, Comcast says it’s in the “advanced stages of preparing” an offer for the bits Fox has agreed to sell to Disney.

“Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney,” Comcast writes. “The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of ‘New Fox’ and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer.”

The announcement of a potential bid follows a $52.4 billion all-stock offer posted by Disney back in December. The acquisition would not include some key Fox assets, including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Fox Broadcasting Company.

CNBC notes that, while Comcast plans to outbid Disney, Fox’s owners may ultimately side with the latter, due to an offer for a tax-free spin off of the company. Disney’s bid arrived as the company is planning its own streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu — the latter of which all three companies currently own a partial stake in.

Further complicating things here is the fact that Comcast is currently in a bidding war for Sky. The company is close to getting UK government approval on its $31 billion bid to buy the British broadcaster. Its chief competitors? Disney and Fox, naturally.


Source: TechCrunch

Hugging Face raises $4 million for its artificial BFF

Chatbot startup Hugging Face has raised a $4 million seed round led by Ronny Conway from a_capital. Existing investors Betaworks, SV Angel and Kevin Durant are also participating.

I already reviewed Hugging Face so I won’t write the same thing again. But the startup has been building a chatbot app with a strong personality for bored teenagers. Instead of focusing on customer support or convenience, Hugging Face is focusing on emotions and entertainment.

It’s been available in the App Store as a standalone app and on Kik. Today, the company is also launching Hugging Face on Messenger. It should help bring new users.

Even without Messenger, Hugging Face now handles 1 million messages per day. In total, Hugging Face has received over 100 million messages.

It’s also worth noting that Hugging Face accepts text messages, photos, emojis, everything. So you can take a selfie, send a sad emoji, and the chatbot will know how you feel.

And it’s clear that Hugging Face is betting on surprise and enjoyment. The app doesn’t have to be perfect to be entertaining.

Beyond the consumer app, the team behind Hugging Face has written a couple of research papers about artificial intelligence. It’s clear that the startup plans on building a great team of engineers when it comes to natural language conversations. The team will double over the coming months.


Source: TechCrunch

Thanks to Binges and Benders, Postmates Knows the True You

A team of data scientists at the anything-goes delivery company revealed our collective whims, whether it’s scarfing brisket, stockpiling sex toys, or splurging on caviar.
Source: Wired

Dell rings the starting bell on its wide-ranging Memorial Day sale

Dell’s Memorial Day sale has cut the prices of some of its most exciting laptops, desktops, displays, and accessories, with some hardware now available at hundreds of dollars less than their standard retail price.

The post Dell rings the starting bell on its wide-ranging Memorial Day sale appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Porsche's Cayenne E-Hybrid Checks Your Route to Pick Your Power

The luxury SUV looks down the road to see where you need battery power, and where you need old-fashioned internal combustion.
Source: Wired

So Long, Glassholes: Wearables Aren't Science Projects Anymore

The end of Google Glass wasn’t even the end of Google Glass. More than that, the idea of augmented reality has been normalized.
Source: Wired

Scientists Are Using AI to Painstakingly Assemble Single Atoms

A machine’s atom-wide tip could help usher in an era of microscopic circuits.
Source: Wired

The Truth-Affirming Powers of a Good, Old-Fashioned Netflix Binge

Online, the barriers between fiction and nonfiction blur. But there’s a throwback way to right this disorientation.
Source: Wired

IBM plans to hire 1,800 people in France for blockchain and AI

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty is currently having lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. And Rometty talked with Le Monde and announced some new investments in France as part of the Tech for Good Summit organized by Macron.

The company plans to hire 1,800 new people in France over the next couple of years. While this isn’t really groundbreaking as IBM has 380,000 employees around the world, it’s interesting to see the focus of these hires.

IBM plans to put together a research team focused on blockchain projects, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. This hiring plan still represents pocket change for such a big company with hundreds of thousands of people.

Le Monde also noticed that IBM has reduced its team in France for years. Since 2012, IBM has cut more or less as many people as the company plans to hire. IBM clients in France include Orange Bank, SNCF and LVMH.


Source: TechCrunch

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