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Amazon surpasses Alphabet in market value

Amazon is currently the second biggest company in the world when it comes to market capitalization. The company is currently worth $763.27 billion (NASDAQ:AMZN) while Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) is “only” worth $762.98 billion.

Amazon has had an incredible quarter. Stock is up nearly 29 percent since early January. As for Alphabet, its shares have gone up and down.

And if you look at today alone, Amazon is up 2 percent, while Alphabet is flat. Alphabet can still pass Amazon again before the stock market closes. But it sounds like the writing is on the wall.

The only company that is currently more valuable than Amazon is Apple. There’s still quite a long way to reach Apple as Apple’s market capitalization is… $892 billion.


Source: TechCrunch

This tortoise shows kids that robot abuse is bad

When humanity’s back is against the wall and the robots have us cornered I’d say I’m all for whanging a few with a baseball bat. However, until then, we must be kind to our mechanical brethren and this robotic tortoise will help our kids learn that robot abuse is a bad idea.

Researchers at Naver Labs, KAIST, and Seoul National University created this robot to show kids the consequences of their actions when it comes to robots. Called Shelly, the robot reacts to touches and smacks. When it gets scared it changes color and retracts into its shell. Children learn that if they hit Shelly she will be upset and the only thing missing is a set of bitey jaws.

“When Shelly stops its interaction due to a child’s abusive behavior, the others in the group who wanted to keep playing with Shelly often complained about it, eventually restraining each other’s abusive behavior,” Naver Labs’ Jason J. Choi told IEEE. The study found that Shelly’s reactions reduced the amount of abuse the robot took from angry toddlers.

The researchers showed off Shelly at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction last week.


Source: TechCrunch

At Y Combinator's Demo Day, Companies Are No Longer The Next Airbnb, Uber or WhatsApp

Founders are no longer declaring their companies the “Uber of X.” Instead, they’re charming investors by having fun.
Source: Wired

Microsoft and Nvidia are using ray tracing to make PC graphics more realistic

PC graphics are getting a real shot in the arm as Microsoft and Nvidia are introducing ray tracing technology, which has made CGI more realistic and that will augment rasterization on PCs.

The post Microsoft and Nvidia are using ray tracing to make PC graphics more realistic appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Bitcoin’s blockchain contains links to child pornography, possible illegal image

Researchers recently downloaded the Bitcoin blockchain to analyze its non-financial data and uncovered links to child pornography and an image. Due to the nature of the blockchain, all participants now store this illegal data.

The post Bitcoin’s blockchain contains links to child pornography, possible illegal image appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Andy Rubin and Robert Full will be speaking at TC Sessions: Robotics May 11 at UC Berkeley

We’re gearing up to bring you the second TC Sessions: Robotics on May 11 at the UC Berkeley campus. We’ve got a great show on-tap, with some of the premier names in the robotics/AI/automation world, from research to startups to big companies. As we noted last week, we’ll be joined by Berkley professor Pieter Abbeel and big names from the VC world, including Meyer, Renata Quintini and Rob Coneybeer.

Today, we’ve got a pair of new names we’re excited to share with you.

Funding Robotics Startups

Andy Rubin’s love of robotics earned him the nickname “Android” while working for Apple in the late-80s. Rubin leant the name to the software startup he founded in 2003, which was later acquired by Google and formed the basis for the world’s largest mobile operating system. While at Google, Rubin also headed the company’s robotics division. These days, he supports robotics startups as the head of Playground Global.

The Bay Area-based venture fund and incubator maintains Rubin’s passion for the category by funding a number of key robotics companies that run the gamut, from artificial intelligence to agriculture, delivery and warehouse fulfillment. Playground’s key robotics investments including Canvas Technology, Commonsense Robotics, Farmwise, Righthand Robotics, Skydio and Zippy.

We’ll speak to Rubin about Playground’s numerous investments in the space and the ways in which automation will transform the future.

Biologically-Inspired Robots

A biologist by training, UC Berkeley professor Robert Full’s scientific background gives him a unique approach to the world of robotics. His research has inspired a wide range of different robots taking their cues from nature, specifically animal locomotion. Cockroaches have served as an unlikely source of inspiration for robots with jointed exoskeletons that can fit into tight spaces. The sticky substances found on gecko feet, meanwhile, have given rise to synthetic dry adhesives.

Professor Full’s work has led to the creation of two UC Berkeley Labs,  CiBER, the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research, and the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory, which studies the motion of many-footed animals. Full’s work has also made its way into surprising spaces, including Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, which used his expansive knowledge of animal movement as a foundation for its computer animation.

Professor Full will be joining us to discuss how nature can help build a better robot.

We Want to Hear From Your Robotics Company

It wouldn’t be a real TechCrunch event without a good, old fashioned startup pitch. As we mentioned last time, we’re searching for four early-stage robotics startups to show off their goods for our panel of VCs and a crowd of students and roboticists. If your company has what it takes, you can apply here.

We’re also looking for companies to participate in demos and serve as the subject for some upcoming TechCrunch videos. If that sounds like a good fit, fill out this form here.

Early-bird tickets are on sale now. (Special 90 percent discount for students when you book here!)

If you’re interested in a sponsorship, contact us.


Source: TechCrunch

Telegram reportedly ordered to share encryption keys with FSB – CNET

According to a Bloomberg report, Telegram Messenger lost its case in the Russian Supreme Court.
Source: CNET

For Facebook, political pressure mounts on Mark Zuckerberg – CNET

The Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the misused data of 50 million people has led to increased calls for Facebook’s CEO to testify before Congress.
Source: CNET

Nintendo Switch 2018 Nindies GDC showcase: Watch it live here – CNET

The gaming giant is showing off new indie games — called, of course, “Nindies” — on a livestream at 9 a.m. PT, noon ET.
Source: CNET

Google buys Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion – CNET

The search giant already occupies a large chunk of the 1.2 million-square foot complex.
Source: CNET

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