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TechCrunch

Apple launches its online store in India – TechCrunch

For the first time in more than 20 years since Apple began its operations in India, the iPhone-maker has started selling its products directly to consumers in the world’s second largest smartphone market. Apple launched its online store in India on Wednesday, which in addition to offering nearly the entire line-up of its products, also brings a range of services for the first time to consumers in the country. Consumers in India can now purchase AppleCare+, which extends warranty on products, and access the trade-in program to get a discount on new hardware purchases. The company said it will also offer customers support through chat or telephone, and let users consult its team of specialists before they make a purchase. The company is also offering customers the ability to pay for their new purchases in monthly instalments. TechCrunch reported in January that the company was planning to open its online store in India in the quarter that ends in September. The company plans to open its first physical retail store in the country next year, it has said. Jayanth Kolla, chief analyst at consultancy firm Convergence Catalyst, argued that the launch of the Apple’s online store in India is a bigger deal for the company than the consumers in the country. Apple typically starts investing in marketing, brand building and other investments in a market only after it launches a store there, he told TechCrunch. Apple does oversee billboards and ads of iPhones and other products that are displayed in…Continue readingApple launches its online store in India – TechCrunch

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VentureBeat

Molekule launches pro-grade air purifier for businesses

Molekule wants to reinvent air purification and today it is launching its Molekule Air Pro, a professional-grade air purifier for commercial spaces. The demand for these filters, which have three times the airflow of earlier models, is growing in places like California as the state continues to battle wildfires. Since the start of the year, the state has fought 7,900 wildfires that have burned more than 3.6 million acres. The most recent fires that started August 15 have claimed 26 lives. But those most recent fires have also spewed unprecedented amounts of pollution into the air that is being breathed by millions. San Francisco-based Molekule raised $58 million in February to expand its business with a transformative technology that sucks a wide range of pollutants out of the air and destroys them. It attacks viruses, mold, and bacteria, according to research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Indoor Environment Group and Aerosol Research and Engineering (ARE) Laboratories. The company already has products on the market aimed at taking pollutants out of the home and helping people with allergies. In places like California and Australia, where wildfires have forced many out of their homes or indoors, these types of products are in high demand. Like the previous models — the Molekule Air Mini, the Air Mini+, and the larger Molekule Air — the new business-focused filter uses the company’s patented photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology, which was developed by Yogi Dharendra Goswami, a recognized expert in solar technology. But Yogi Goswami decided to switch…Continue readingMolekule launches pro-grade air purifier for businesses

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TechCrunch

Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC and SPAC as he SPACs the world with SPACs – TechCrunch

SPACs are going to rule the world, or at least, Chamath’s future portfolio. Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of Social Capital, has already tripled down on SPACs, the so-called “blank check” vehicle that takes private companies and flips them onto the public markets. His first SPAC bought Virgin Galactic last year, and his second SPAC bought Opendoor this week in a blockbuster deal valuing the instant home sale platform at $4.8 billion, less cash. His third SPAC officially fundraised in April, and has yet to announce a deal. Now, it looks like he’s going to double down on his triple down. After the bell rung on Wall Street this Friday, the venture capitalist filed three new SPAC vehicles with the SEC. Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. IV has a headline value of $350 million, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V has a headline value of $650 million and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI has a headline value of $1 billion. Those headline values are targets: each SPAC will need to go through an investor roadshow process and officially raise capital before they can begin trying to find an acquisition target. Each SPAC is independent, and may share investors or have entirely independent investors around the table. The three new SPACs share similar managers: Palihapitiya himself; Ian Osborne, who manages Hedosophia; Steven Trieu, the CFO of Social Capital; and Simon Williams, the chief administration officer of Hedosophia. However, each has a different fifth director, who perhaps sheds some light on how…Continue readingChamath launches SPAC, SPAC and SPAC as he SPACs the world with SPACs – TechCrunch

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VentureBeat

Metacore raises $17.6 million from Supercell and launches Merge Mansion mobile game

Finnish mobile game company Metacore, formerly known as Everywear Games, has raised $17.7 million in funding from mobile gaming giant Supercell. It has also launched Merge Mansion on iOS and Android. The Helsinki company has additionally secured an $11.8 million line of credit. That’s a lot of money for a mobile gaming startup, and it’s a sign of how much Supercell (the maker of hit games like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale) trusts the developer’s leaders, who have more than 20 years of experience in mobile games. “Our ambition is really high. And that’s why we’re raising enough money so that we can really go to the races,” CEO Mika Tammenkoski said in an interview with GamesBeat. “We chose to go with Supercell because we are in this for the long-term. We share a lot of the same values as Supercell does.” Supercell has generated billions of dollars of revenue from a handful of games, and it is now owned by China’s Tencent. But Supercell is still a kind of godparent for Finnish gaming, as it is investing heavily in smaller game startups to help grow the region’s representation in the worldwide game industry. Metagame is a beneficiary of this strategy. Funded by Supercell, the company started in 2015 with a focus on watch-based wearable games, but it pivoted to mobile games about two years ago. And it has a promising game in Merge Mansion, a casual puzzler, which formally launches today. Tammenkoski said that the company focuses on…Continue readingMetacore raises $17.6 million from Supercell and launches Merge Mansion mobile game

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Wired

The NIH Launches a Global Hunt for Animal-to-Human Diseases

To do their new work within CREID, they recruited a slate of partners: three institutes in Panama and Brazil, and in the United States, MIT and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York State. The co-principal investigator, Katherine Hanley, is a professor of virus evolutionary ecology at New Mexico State University. That geographic reach is typical of the new project, in which 10 US grant recipients and one in Paris are forming their own mini-networks internationally. For instance, Washington State University’s Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases-East and Central Africa (CREID-ECA) is collaborating with Emory University in Atlanta and with institutes in Germany, Belgium, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. University of Washington’s United World Antiviral Research Network (the acronym is, yes, UWARN) is working with universities in Brazil, Senegal, South Africa, Pakistan and Taipei. It’s interesting to see the US administration make this investment, given that the Trump White House has to this point been uninterested in pandemic planning or international cooperation. Consider that last year, the White House made personnel changes that led to dissolution of the National Security Council’s “pandemic unit,” formally the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. And last fall the administration ended future funding for a pioneering project called Predict that detected viruses at the human-wild interface, which the US Agency for International Development had supported for 10 years. (In March, USAID gave Predict an emergency six-month extension, which is now set to expire this month.)…Continue readingThe NIH Launches a Global Hunt for Animal-to-Human Diseases

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TechCrunch

HowGood launches Latis, a sustainability assessment tool for consumer product ingredients – TechCrunch

The New York-based startup HowGood, which provides a sustainability database for consumer product ingredients, is publicly launching its product Latis and has already signed an initial customer with Danone North America, the company said. The company said that its Latis tool can be used to determine the impact of any ingredient or product against environmental and social metrics like biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk, and animal welfare. “Consumers no longer just want the best product at the best price,” said Alexander Gillett, CEO and founder of HowGood, in a statement. “Today’s shoppers place value on protecting the environment and ensuring that the brands they support align with their personal values.” Aggregating information from academic papers, industry findings, research from non-governmental organizations, and other sources, Latis can be used by product development groups inside corporations to assess the implications of using certain ingredients. Since the information is only used by the company to inform product development, there are no guarantees that product developers won’t use toxic or environmentally damaging products — they’ll just have the opportunity to be aware of how those products effect biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, labor risk, and animal welfare. The company currently has data on over 33,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials, according to a statement. HowGood is backed by investors including FirstMark, Great Oaks Venture Capital, High Line Venture Partners, Joanne Wilson and Contour Venture Partners. “Having an impact assessment tool for our product portfolio is raising the sustainability awareness of our product developers and brand…Continue readingHowGood launches Latis, a sustainability assessment tool for consumer product ingredients – TechCrunch

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Tech Radar

Mid-ranged Huawei Y9a with stunning design and cameras launches in the UAE

Huawei has announced the launch of the HUAWEI Y9a in the UAE, its new mid-ranged phoine with quad cameras, fast charging and a beautiful design. It comes with the latest EMUI 10.1 software sans Google apps. Huawei Y9a specifications The Huawei Y9s comes with a 3D arc design and sports a 6.63-inch Full HD+(2400x1080p) LCD panel with 92% screen-to-body ratio and 391 ppi. Under the hood, it is powered by an octa-core Mediatek Helio G80 processor clocked at 2GHz along with Mali-G52 MC2 GPU.  It comes only in one configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage with Nano Memory card support. The device packs with a big 4,200mAh battery that can be charged very quickly thanks to the 40W fast charging. Huawei claims that the phone can be charged to nearly 70% in 30 minutes.  In the camera department, the Huawei Y9a features a quad camera array with a primary 64MP f/1.8 camera, an 8MP 120° ultrawide camera with f/2.4 aperture followed by a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. Over at the front, there is a 16MP pop-up selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture.  The device comes with GPU Turbo 3.0 to offer better gaming performance. Other features of the device include Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1, 3.5mm headphone jack, and GPS/ AGPS/Glonass/BeiDou for navigation. Huawei Y9a Price and Availability The Huawei Y9a is priced at AED 1,049 with pre-orders starting on Sep 17, 2020. Consumers that pre-order will get the Huawei AM61…Continue readingMid-ranged Huawei Y9a with stunning design and cameras launches in the UAE

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Mashable

Facebook launches climate change information center

Facebook has launched a new resource to help in the fight against climate change.  On Tuesday, ahead of the annual Climate Week summit in New York City, the company announced the launch of its Climate Science Information Center, a special Facebook Page that offers information and resources on climate change.  The company says the new climate info center will provide information on climate change from the world’s leading climate organizations, with Facebook News curators publishing posts from “quality publishers and other relevant sources.” The page will also provide viewers with steps they can take to prevent climate change.  The info center is modeled after the platform’s COVID-19 Info Center, which Facebook launched earlier this year to provide accurate information about the pandemic. The company claims more than 2 billion people have been directed to that info center, with 600 million clicking through to find more information.  The climate info center will first be available in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France, and will be rolling out to other countries “soon.” Facebook also said it plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions for its global operations in 2020, and aims to reach net zero emissions for its entire value chain in 2030. Facebook’s examples of these efforts include the company’s data center in Odense, Denmark, which is fully supported by wind energy, and the data center in Clonee, Ireland, where the company has added a variety of native plants to support bee populations in the area and introduced a program to…Continue readingFacebook launches climate change information center

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VentureBeat

As Xbox Game Pass Ultimate launches cloud gaming, it must solve the last-mile problem

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is launching the option to stream games from the cloud beginning tomorrow, September 15. This will give subscribers in 22 countries the capability to play full console games on an Android device. Like Netflix, you won’t host anything locally. Instead, you control what is effectively a video feed that is piping into your device from a remote computer. And I’m hoping that this is the last time I’ll have to explain cloud gaming, because the tech is right on the cusp of going mainstream. Or, at least, that’s the aim for Microsoft (and competitors like Google and Nvidia). But the problem is no longer the tech. That part works. The issue is what’s in your hands and home. When you move objects like letters and parcels, the most expensive part of the shipping journey is the last mile. It requires the most time and effort. Something similar happens with remote gaming. Microsoft can build a pristine network on the backbones of the internet to deliver games to its customers in an instant, but once that video feed hits a person’s home, it’s up to the end user to get a decent experience. In part, this is a home-networking problem — or mobile-data problem when travelling. But I think the more pronounced complication is with the hardware you’ll use to interface with cloud games. Microsoft wants to get more subscribers onto its $15-per-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes cloud streaming at no additional charge. That service…Continue readingAs Xbox Game Pass Ultimate launches cloud gaming, it must solve the last-mile problem

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Tech Radar

Dyson Australia says ‘forget Black Friday’, launches its own week of exclusive deals

For Aussie deal hunters, we’re entering the sticky end of the year. While we might still be waiting to see if Prime Day 2020 will actually take place this year, Black Friday is a safe bet, inching closer by the day. However, Dyson isn’t waiting for a big sale event to come by; instead, the company known for some of the best vacuum cleaners is hosting its own sale in Australia. Starting today (Monday, September 14), Dyson Week brings online-exclusive deals and bonus offers from Dyson Australia. You can save a decent chunk of change on the V8 Absolute or grab a Dyson Pure Cool desk purifier for less – something that could be particularly useful as we head towards summer and bushfire season here in Australia. Dyson Week will not only help you save on individual products, but you can also bundle and save. For example, you can get a V7 Motorhead vacuum cleaner along with a Pure Cool Me fan and save just under AU$300 on the combined price. And it’s not only about the company’s vacuum cleaners and fans – this is also your chance to grab the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and score a bonus gift worth AU$99, or you can get the versatile Airwrap styler instead. Scroll down to see a complete rundown of all the offers available during Dyson Week, which ends Sunday, September 20. So hurry as some offers can be taken off the table as they’re subjected to stock availability. Discounts Dyson V8 Absolute | AU$699…Continue readingDyson Australia says ‘forget Black Friday’, launches its own week of exclusive deals