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Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Fold 3 new 'Split UI' looks like the future of phones [Tom’s Guide]
A recent leak revealed that an adaptive user interface called “Split UI” is reportedly coming to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. It seems like Samsung is going for a one-size fits all approach, rather than developing a different software for every foldable or rollable phone design it produces. Moreover, another leak related to Galaxy Z Fold 3 point to a more durable design that will resist both water and dust. It is also being reported that Fold 3 could be the first Samsung phone with an under-display camera. Regarding the release date, reports claimed that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will ship in July, along with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 or at an August event with the Galaxy S21 FE joining those two foldables.
Twitter teases its upcoming ‘premium’ service, which it plans to release globally [TechCrunch]
Twitter will soon roll out a new subscription service that will present users with an expanded feature set available only to paid subscribers. It will be a different offering than Twitter’s previously announced Super Follow subscription plans, which will allow users to subscribe to individual creators for access to exclusive content. The new subscription service will target Twitter’s power users who tweet frequently enough or otherwise engage with the product to the point that they’d be willing to pay to do even more. Moreover, the company clarified that it would not replace the core, free products it offers and will provide premium features on top of its continuous improvement mindset around the free version of the service that everybody will continue to have access to.
Databricks introduces Delta Sharing, an open-source tool for sharing data [TechCrunch]
Databricks launched its fifth open-source project. The new tool called Delta Sharing is designed to be a vendor-neutral way to share data with any cloud infrastructure or SaaS product, as long as users have the appropriate connector. The tool is designed to work with multiple cloud infrastructure and SaaS services including the Big Three cloud infrastructure vendors Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well as data visualization and management vendors like Qlik, Starburst, Collibra and Alation and data providers like Nasdaq, S&P and Foursquare.
Instagram launches a new section for shopping product drops [TechCrunch]
Instagram announced that it is adding a new feature to help connect online shoppers to product drops through its app. Drops, a newer e-commerce trend, help sellers create buzz for forthcoming products in the days and weeks leading up to their availability. On Instagram, drops will now have their own destination inside the app at the top of the Shop tab, where consumers can discover, browse and shop all the latest product launches as well as view upcoming launches. Shoppers also can sign up to receive reminders about products look through products and collections from other drops that recently took place on Instagram. The new feature is currently only available in the Instagram app in the US, and only on mobile devices (iOS and Android), not the web.
Facebook and Instagram will now allow users to hide ‘Like’ counts on posts [TechCrunch]
From this week, Facebook will begin to publicly roll out the option to hide Likes on posts across both Facebook and Instagram. The project, which puts the decision about Likes in the hands of the company’s global user base, had been in development for years, but was deprioritized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, the idea to hide Like counts on Facebook’s social networks was focused on depressurizing the experience for users. On Instagram, both content consumers and content producers can turn on or off Like and View counts on posts. Whereas, on Facebook, users can access the new setting from the “Settings & Privacy” area under News Feed Settings. The feature will be made available to both public and private profiles and will include posts that users have published previously.
Facebook Gaming adds new monetization for video-on-demand creators [VentureBeat]
Facebook Gaming is adding monetization tools for creators who focus on video-on-demand (VoD). The move suggests that Facebook Gaming is going after YouTube’s creators. The platform is taking steps to support prerecorded and edited gaming videos. It is starting with monetization and testing how people support their favorite creators by sending “Stars” while watching VoD content. With VoD, the creator can set a Stars goal for videos in a dashboard and track it in real time against Stars received from viewers. To help deepen the connection between creators and their fans, Facebook has added tools for creators to respond individually, or in batches, to Star senders. Moreover, fans can purchase Stars. The program is in pilot testing with a small group of creators, and may roll out more broadly soon.
Microsoft tackles ‘hyperautomation’ with Power Automate RPA update [VentureBeat]
Microsoft expanded into process capture and analytics with the release of Microsoft Process Advisor. This extends the reach of Microsoft Power Automate, the company’s RPA and cloud integration platform. The updates will help Microsoft’s Power Automate strategy scale beyond RPA into the broader hyperautomation market. As part of its developer-oriented Build 2021 conference this week, Microsoft disclosed general availability of new process advisory capabilities that help users identify processes best suited for automation from within Power Automate. Microsoft said that it intends to keep the platform open so enterprises can integrate into best-of-breed capabilities from leading RPA vendors and process mining vendors.
Microsoft to drive Italy’s digital transformation with defense partner [VentureBeat]
Microsoft teamed up with Italian defense group Leonardo to boost the digital transformation of Italy’s public administration and critical national infrastructures. The project will focus on data protection and the use of advanced cloud technologies and solutions. The move comes as the Italian government prepares to create a national cloud hub for public administration’s data that will be financed using a portion of the European funds earmarked to help its economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Under the partnership, Leonardo will act as system integrator and cyber-security services provider to help digitalize the data centers of the public administration. Microsoft will offer advanced technologies and services for productivity, security, cloud and process automation.
Google unveils cloud products to help analyze and organize data [VentureBeat]
At its inaugural Data Cloud Summit, Google announced three new solutions across its database and data analytics portfolio - Dataplex, Datastream, and Analytics Hub. The company said that all three services, which are available in preview, are designed to help businesses break free from data silos to predict business outcomes and make informed decisions. Datastream is a serverless change data capture and replication service that enables enterprises to ingest data streams in real time, from Oracle and MySQL databases to Google Cloud services. Analytics Hub, a complementary product, exchanges data and analytics assets throughout organizations to address challenges in data reliability. Dataplex is an intelligent data fabric that lets organizations manage, monitor, and govern their data across data lakes, data warehouses, and databases.
Google to use patient data to develop healthcare algorithms for hospital chain [TheVerge, WSJ]
Google has made a multiyear deal with US hospital chain HCA Healthcare for access to patient records in order to develop healthcare algorithms. The company will store anonymized data from patient health records and internet-connected medical devices. That data will be used to build programs that could inform medical decisions made by doctors. Along with using the data to develop algorithms, Google could also build healthcare tools independently and then pass them off to HCA to test on its own. HCA, operates 181 hospitals and more than 2,000 healthcare sites in 21 states, is a major win for Google, since the former’s facilities handle 5% of the hospital services provided in the US, around 30 million patient interactions each year.
NVIDIA could announce the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU on June 1st [Engadget]
NVIDIA released a vague teaser to announce an event for next week, during which it could show off new graphics cards. Reports suggest that the company will reveal the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti GPUs at the end of this month. Moreover, the rumors makes sense since Computex is getting underway on June 1st. Reports have pegged the RTX 3080 Ti as offering performance at a level in between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. It is said to have 12GB of GDDR6X memory, 2GB more than the 3080, as well as an increased memory bandwidth and wider 384-bit bus.
Apple is looking to strike deals with ‘alternative payments’ providers [CNBC]
Apple is looking for a lead negotiator to strike partnerships with “alternative payment” partners, according to a job listing posted on May 25th. As per the listing, the role would include screening potential partners, negotiating and signing deals, and launching new programs and features for Apple’s Wallets, Payments, and Commerce team. It will also work with Apple Pay teams. However, like most Apple job listings, it doesn’t mention specific products or partnerships that the role would work on. But it does mention some examples of alternative payments experience that Apple is looking for, including digital wallets, BNPL, fast payments and cryptocurrency. Moreover, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly discussed his vision of a future without physical cash, only digital payments.
OpenAI launches $100M startup fund with Microsoft [VentureBeat]
OpenAI launched the OpenAI Startup Fund, a $100 million fund to make “big, early bets” on around 10 relatively small AI companies. The fund is managed by OpenAI, with investment from Microsoft and other partners, and OpenAI says that companies selected for it will get early access to future OpenAI systems, support from OpenAI’s team, and credits on Microsoft Azure. OpenAI will look to partner with early-stage startups in fields where AI can have a “transformative” effect — like health care, climate change, and education — and where AI tools can empower people by helping them be more productive, like personal assistance and semantic search. Last year, Microsoft announced it would invest $1 billion in OpenAI to jointly develop new technologies for Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and to “further extend” large-scale AI capabilities that “deliver on the promise” of artificial general intelligence.
Lucid Motors reveals all the tech inside its all-electric Air sedan [TechCrunch]
Lucid Motors showcased the final version of its all-electric Air sedan. The company revealed the in-cabin technology including curved 34-inch display and second touchscreen to the underlying software, integrated apps and Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The curved 34-inch 5K display called the glass cockpit floats slightly above the dashboard. It is actually three separate displays housed under a single plate of glass. On the touchscreen placed on the far left, Lucid has placed core vehicle controls, such as window defrosters, lighting and wiper settings. The middle screen is the instrument cluster, displaying the speed and remaining battery range. The right side of the instrument cluster is a widget that display information, including navigation or what music is playing and whether the advanced driver assistance system is activated. The company has used open-source Android Automotive OS to build apps and other features of the car.
Investment and M&A
Samsung Catalyst Fund and Bayer invest in AI doctor app Ada Health [CNBC]
German digital health firm Ada Health, which has developed a doctor-in-your-pocket style app that uses AI to try and diagnose symptoms, has been backed by investment arms of Samsung and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Ada Health has raised a $90 million funding round at an undisclosed valuation that brings total investment in the company up to around $150 million. Bayer led the round through its Leaps by Bayer investment arm, while Samsung invested through the Samsung Catalyst Fund. Former chief strategy officer and corporate president, Young Sohn, has joined the board of Ada Health. Ada Health says that its app has been downloaded over 11 million times.
South Korean regulators approves SK hynix's acquisition of Intel's NAND biz [Yonhap]
South Korea's antitrust watchdog approved SK Hynix's $9 billion deal to acquire Intel NAND business. The company has already received approval from regulators in the US and Europe. Antitrust reviews from five other countries, including China and Britain, are currently in process, from which SK Hynix plans to obtain approval by the end of this year. The acquisition is projected to make SK Hynix the world's second-largest NAND flash vendor behind its bigger home rival Samsung Electronics. Meanwhile, the FTC also approved AMD's takeover of its peer Xilinx.
Foxconn in talks to buy stake in Malaysian chipmaker DNeX [Yahoo]
Foxconn Technology Group is reportedly in talks to buy a stake in Malaysian technology firm Dagang NeXchange, after losing to it in bidding for a semiconductor company. Reports suggest that the company could take a minority stake in DNeX and help to expand the business of its chipmaker SilTerra Malaysia. DNeX landed the winning offer in the sale of SilTerra in February, outbidding Foxconn. Shares in DNeX rose as much as 13.6% in Kuala Lumpur after the news, giving it a market valuation of $474 million. A stake would come as Foxconn has been growing its footprint in EVs.
Investing app Acorns to go public through a blank-check merger valued at $2.2 billion [CNBC]
Savings and investing app Acorns plans to go public by merging with Pioneer Merger Corp., a publicly traded SPAC. The merger values Acorns at roughly $2.2 billion and is expected to close in the back half of this year. Institutional investors Wellington Management, Greycroft, TPG’s global impact investing platform, and funds managed by BlackRock also committed to a private placement as part of the announcement. Kerner and Pioneer’s sponsor each plan to contribute 10% of their personal ownership in Acorns as a gift to eligible Acorns customers. The company, last valued at less than $1 billion, has attracted venture investments from the likes of PayPal Ventures, BlackRock and Comcast.
Yalo raises $50 million to build ‘c-commerce’ services for chat apps like WhatsApp [TechCrunch]
Yalo raised $50 million in a funding round led by B Capital with participation from other, undisclosed, investors. Yalo, which recently rebranded from Yalochat, describes itself as a c-commerce (“chat commerce”) startup building tools for businesses to use messaging apps as part of their customer outreach and sales strategies. The company counts brands like Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola and Walmart among the customers using its platform for sales and marketing efforts. Yalo said that the funding will be used to expand its services with a specific focus on emerging markets like Latin America and Southeast Asia.