Top Tech Stock News: 6 Things You Missed This Week
September 26, 2019
Lead Tech Analyst
1. Tesla to Develop A Battery That Can Last for A Million of Miles
Earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla was developing a power source that would allow electric cars to travel for up to a million miles. The claim seemed boastful at the time but now it seems that the Tesla founder was quite serious about his statements.
Battery researchers from the Dalhousie University published a paper that described ‘A Wide Range of Testing Results on an Excellent Lithium-Ion Cell Chemistry to be used as Benchmarks for New Battery Technologies’
Among the key features of the paper was a lithium ion battery that could potentially allow electric vehicles to travel for up to a million miles, while losing less than 10% of its capacity throughout its whole lifetime. The Dalhousie University team also proved that their new battery could perform better compared to all other lithium ion batteries previously reported.
Tesla’s interest in the Dalhousie lithium ion battery is motivated by two Tesla vehicles currently in development, the robotaxi and the long haul electric truck, both of which are intended to travel long distances. Such vehicles are a perfect match for the Dalhousie team’s prototype battery.
2. Facebook Developing Technology That Would Allow Humans to Control Computers With Their Brains
Facebook users may soon be able to control their accounts using only their thoughts. Social media giant Facebook announced on Monday their acquisition of CTRL-labs, a New York based start-up that is researching methods that would allow users to control computers using only their brains.
According to reports received by CNBC, the deal cost Facebook between $500 million to $1 billion, though a Facebook spokesperson said that the deal’s cost was below a billion dollars. CTRL-labs will also be integrated with Facebook Reality Labs, a Facebook division that’s working on ‘augmented-reality smart glasses.’
Facebook Vice President of AR/VR Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said that CTRL-labs’ technology will take the form of a wristband that allows people to control their gadgets. The wristband will take the electrical signals that travel through the wrists to give directions to electronic devices; effectively transforming bio-electrical signals into digital commands.
3. Cisco Partners With SingularityNet to Develop Decentralized Artificial Intelligence
Cisco has partnered with decentralized artificial intelligence firm, SingularityNET to work on applied artificial general intelligence or AGI. Unlike other areas of AI research, AGI focuses on developing AI that can mimic human mental faculties, including problem solving, planning, communication, natural language and reasoning in uncertain situations.
SingularityNet founder Dr. Ben Goertzel also reported that the initial applications of AGI will most likely be used for ‘verticalized markets’ such as advertising, medical research, computer research as well as financial analytics.
And these aren’t just speculations either. Back in May, Singaporean and Malaysian divisions of Domino’s Pizza worked alongside SingularityNET to use blockchain AI technology to supplement their supply chain processes. Furthermore, Chinese insurance company Ping AN had also collaborated with the company to research optical character recognition, computer vision as well as model training.
4. IBM Willing to Work with Facebook on Digital Currency
IBM executives recently said that they are willing to collaborate with other companies to carry out blockchain research, particularly the ‘tokenization’ of assets. Through such collaborative work, IBM hopes to create blockchain solutions which are appropriate for its own needs.
In particular, IBM claims that it is willing to work with Facebook in developing a digital currency. In a recent CNBC interview, IBM general manager of blockchain services Jason Kelley claimed that ‘blockchain is a team sport’ and that they ‘were ready to work with all of them (Facebook) to bring it together.”
Kelley also added that Facebook’s work on cryptocurrencies and asset tokenization gives the field a certain level of legitimacy. For IBM, however, the goal is to take the technology behind cryptocurrencies and use it to organize data, manage supply chains and create more transparency.
5. Uber CEO Claims that their Business Model is ‘Absolutely Sustainable’ Despite Losing $5 Billion in Three Months
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi claimed that his company’s business model is ‘absolutely sustainable, despite losing billions in revenue for the past three months. In an interview with CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Khosrowshahi said that ‘The model is absolutely sustainable,’ while also pointing out that the business is still growing by over 30% globally.
Additionally, Khosrowshahi also expressed Uber’s intention to offer higher compensation and certain health benefits to Uber drivers. “We do believe that they should get health care. We do believe that they should have minimum earnings,” Khosrowshahi said.
Despite such assurances, however, Uber continues to struggle with mounting losses. The company had lost $5.2 billion in the first three months at the end of June, its largest quarterly loss ever. Consequently, Uber’s stock fell roughly 30% since it first went public back in May, despite raising $8.1 billion in one of the largest public offerings ever made.
6. Apple Releases iOS 13.1
Although the iOS 13’s was released only a little while ago, Apple has already rolled out the next major update for its latest mobile operating system. Apple recently fast tracked the iOS 13.1’s rollout due to complaints from users about crashes and frozen screens.
The new update was specifically released to fix these problems, including issues with Mail, Siri, malfunctioning app icons as well as sign-in failures. The update was also created to address location permissions, which happens whenever users don’t want to share their location details for an app.
Finally, the iOS 13.1 was also developed to address all sorts of privacy issues found in the iOS 13, but it also adds several new features as well, such as the ‘Share ETA’ feature, which allows users to share their approximate time of arrival, and the Apple Music lyrics view feature, which allows users to see the lyrics to the music they’re listening to. So all in all, the iOS 13.1 fixed a lot of earlier problems while adding a few interesting features at the same time.
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