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TechCrunch

New report finds VC investment into climate tech growing five times faster than overall VC – TechCrunch

VC and corporate investment into climate tech grew at a faster rate than overall VC investment as a whole between 2013-2019, according to a major new report — to the tune of $60 billion of early-stage capital. The new research by PwC (“The State of Climate Tech 2020“) found that although it’s still early days for climate tech in terms of the overall VC market (approximately 6% of total capital invested in 2019), VC investment into the space is growing at a clip: it increased from $418 million per annum in 2013 to $16.3 billion in 2019. According to the report, that is approximately three times the growth rate of VC investment into AI over the same period, and five times the average growth in VC. The reasons are, predictably, to do with market economics. It’s quickly becoming more capitally efficient to prove and scale the technologies involved, and carbon-neutral or even carbon negative solutions have fewer costs than carbon-producing ones. Nearly half of this venture cash ($60 billion) went to U.S. and Canadian climate tech startups ($29 billion), while China comes in second at $20 billion. The European market attracted $7 billion. The majority of investments for the U.S. and China go to mobility and transport solutions. Climate tech startup investment in the San Francisco Bay area, at $11.7 billion, was 56% higher than its nearest rival, Shanghai, which reached $7.5 billion. Europe is more invested in renewable energy generation (predominantly photovoltaics cells) and batteries. Celine Herweijer, global leader,…Continue readingNew report finds VC investment into climate tech growing five times faster than overall VC – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Social Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

According to a new report in Bloomberg, Social Capital Hedosophia has filed plans confidentially with the SEC to raise $500 million for its newest blank-check company. It will be the fourth special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to be raised by the outfit, which is headed up by Chamath Palihapitiya and his longtime investment partner, Ian Osborne. Astonishingly, dozens more may be in the works. On the “All-In Podcast,” co-hosted by Palihapitiya, he revealed recently that has reserved the symbols from “IPOA” to “IPOZ” on the New York Stock Exchange. He also said he has $100 million of his own involved in each deal to demonstrate his alignment with potential investors. What’s the play? In the podcast, Palihapitiya pointed to the Federal Reserve’s economic and interest rate forecasts and its plans to keep interest rates at zero for years to come. “I mean, quite honestly,” Palihapitiya said, “there’s no path to any near-term inflation of any kind whatsoever.” It’s why he thinks investors are going to “get paid to be long [on] equities, because your risk-free rate is zero and will soon be negative. And what are you supposed to do if you’re an asset manager?” Here’s how he framed it: “Let’s say you’re the California pension system, you have hundreds of billions of dollars, and you need to generate five or 6% a year to make sure that your pension isn’t insolvent, and the government is paying you zero. When everybody is in that situation, you’re overwhelmingly long equities…Continue readingSocial Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

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Tech Radar

Nvidia buyout of ARM is imminent, report claims – so watch out AMD and Intel

Nvidia is indeed going to buy ARM, at least according to the latest from the takeover grapevine, following rumors earlier this year that this was the case. Going by a report in the Financial Times, Nvidia is to acquire ARM and will pay $40 billion to SoftBank for the privilege. Current owner SoftBank purchased ARM in 2016 for $32 billion, but now has to take action to raise funds in difficult times (with a combination of financial headwinds negatively affecting SoftBank including coronavirus). It was thought that SoftBank might take the IPO route with ARM, but it now seems that a full sale is imminent, at least if the Financial Times is correct – and the FT sounds pretty confident in its assertion that the sale could be announced as soon as Monday. The FT claims that ‘multiple people with direct knowledge’ of the matter have said the takeover is happening, and it’ll be a cash and stock deal which will leave SoftBank as the largest shareholder in Nvidia. Regulatory roadblocks? Of course, we still need to be careful with any rumor, as ever: particularly around something which will make such big waves in the tech industry. As we’ve discussed before, many believe that regulatory roadblocks could stop any such acquisition – and that could still potentially be the case. This was one of the reasons Apple reportedly decided against attempting to make a deal for ARM, as well as the fact that ARM’s licensing model wouldn’t really fit the…Continue readingNvidia buyout of ARM is imminent, report claims – so watch out AMD and Intel

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The Verge

Go read this Motherboard report on what some people did with the ‘Chinese Mystery Seeds’

To say 2020 is a wild year is an understatement — aside from the obvious thing that’s defined 2020, in July, some people across the US received an unsolicited parcel from China containing seeds. Motherboard’s editor-in-chief went to great lengths to find out what people did with those seeds, and you should read his report. As you’d expect, the strange packages caught the USDA’s attention, urging people to mail the seeds to the agency or to their state’s plant regulator. Some people listened to the government and others, not so much. Here are some interesting details from Motherboard’s report on how overwhelmed agricultural authorities were and what likely happened to people who kept the seeds: A woman from New Mexico thought a seed company sent them to her, so she decided to plant the seeds and realized it was a bad idea because the seeds began to kill everything in her garden. According to several government documents obtained by Motherboard, some people actually ate the seeds. Over 600 people in Michigan reported receiving seeds, and 30 planted them, including one resident who mistakenly thought they were the strawberry seeds they ordered on Amazon until they realized the seed produced black and green mold. North Carolina had about 1,300 reports, and 60 people decided to plant them with varying results. One person managed to grow oregano, and they reportedly consumed that oregano. Following the seed fiasco, Amazon announced this month that it would ban the sale of foreign plants entirely. The…Continue readingGo read this Motherboard report on what some people did with the ‘Chinese Mystery Seeds’

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Mashable

Huawei is running out of display suppliers as Samsung and LG bail out, report says

Huawei’s status as the world’s largest smartphone maker might get challenged soon, as the company scrambles to get key parts for its phones. It all started with the U.S. trade ban, which meant Huawei could not get access to Google services or do business with U.S. companies, including chipmakers Qualcomm and Broadcom.  Now, according to a report by South Korean outlet Chosun Biz (via Android Authority), Korea’s LG and Samsung will stop supplying premium smartphone displays to Huawei, starting Sept. 15. It’s unclear what “premium” means in this context; the report probably refers to OLED displays, which are used on Huawei’s flagships. For example, Huawei’s P40 Pro uses a Samsung-made OLED display.  This is a big deal, as LG and Samsung are among the world’s largest supplier of displays, and an important part of Huawei’s supply chain. Now, Huawei will have to order displays from China’s BOE, as well as other local companies such as Visionox, Tianma and CSOT, but it’s uncertain whether those suppliers will be able to produce enough to satisfy Huawei’s needs.  Chosun Biz also says Huawei might have trouble getting display, power management and touch controller chips, and a recent report said Samsung and Hynix will also stop supplying memory chips to Huawei.  Put all of that together, and it’s clear that Huawei will have major issues in putting together smartphones at its desired volumes. It’s no wonder that the company reportedly plans to produce just 50 million smartphones in 2021, a 74% year-over-year decline from…Continue readingHuawei is running out of display suppliers as Samsung and LG bail out, report says

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Wired

Mathematicians Report New Discovery About the Dodecahedron

Mathematicians have spent more than 2,000 years dissecting the structure of the five Platonic solids—the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, icosahedron, and dodecahedron—but there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. Now a trio of mathematicians has resolved one of the most basic questions about the dodecahedron. Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences. Suppose you stand at one of the corners of a Platonic solid. Is there some straight path you could take that would eventually return you to your starting point without passing through any of the other corners? For the four Platonic solids built out of squares or equilateral triangles—the cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, and icosahedron—mathematicians recently figured out that the answer is no. Any straight path starting from a corner will either hit another corner or wind around forever without returning home. But with the dodecahedron, which is formed from 12 pentagons, mathematicians didn’t know what to expect. Now Jayadev Athreya, David Aulicino, and Patrick Hooper have shown that an infinite number of such paths do in fact exist on the dodecahedron. Their paper, published in May in Experimental Mathematics, shows that these paths can be divided into 31 natural families. The solution required modern techniques and computer algorithms. “Twenty years ago, [this question] was absolutely out of reach; 10 years ago it would require an enormous…Continue readingMathematicians Report New Discovery About the Dodecahedron

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Tech Radar

Sony’s A7C heralds arrival of new compact full-frame mirrorless line: report

Sony’s imaging department is seemingly keeping very busy, if the latest reports are to be believed. According to Sony Alpha Rumors – a reliable source for Sony camera news – the company has a brand-new range of full-frame mirrorless cameras in the pipeline, with the first in the new series potentially being announced in September. The rumors site claims it has reliable information from two sources who have “confirmed” the imminent arrival of a “C” series of “super compact” E mount full-framers, starting with a model dubbed “A7C”. As per the report, the A7C will have a body similar to Sony’s compact APS-C mirrorless line – specifically the A6600 – but with the 24.2MP full-frame sensor of the A7 III under the hood, similar performance to the third-generation A7 camera, and will inherit the fully articulating rear LCD of the A7S III. It’s also rumored to come with a pop-up electronic viewfinder found on some of Sony’s compact Cyber-shot RX100 cameras. Expensive mish-mash Other leaked specifications for the rumored Sony A7C include a single SD card slot, USB-C in-camera battery charging, onboard Wi-Fi, and in-built mic and headphone jacks. Sony is reportedly cashing in on the vlogging market with the new line-up, potentially providing its fans with alternatives to its recently launched ZV-1. Unlike the ZV-1, which is an affordable camera at $749 (£699 / AU$1,299), Sony Alpha Rumors claims the A7C – supposedly an entry level model – will debut with a price tag of over $2,000 (possibly more…Continue readingSony’s A7C heralds arrival of new compact full-frame mirrorless line: report

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The Verge

Apple accidentally approved malware disguised as Flash, new report finds

Apple accidentally approved common malware disguised as an update for Adobe Flash Player to run on macOS, according to a new report. According to security researcher Patrick Wardle, Apple approved an app that contained code used by a well-known malware called Shlayer. Shlayer is a trojan downloader that spreads through fake applications, bombarding users with an influx of adware. Shlayer is the “most common threat” to Macs, cybersecurity and anti-virus firm Kaspersky said in 2019. Apple announced the macOS notarizing process in 2019 Wardle says this is the first time he knows of that Apple mistakenly notarized malware following the debut of its new notarization process. Apple announced the macOS notarizing process in 2019, requiring every app to be reviewed by Apple and signed by a developer before it can run on macOS, even if they’re being distributed outside the Mac App Store. After discovering the malware, Wardle contacted Apple and the company disabled the developer account associated with the app and revoked its certification. The attackers reportedly managed to notarize the malware again, but Apple told TechCrunch that both the old and new malware had their notarization revoked. Source linkContinue readingApple accidentally approved malware disguised as Flash, new report finds

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Mashable

Triller makes play to buy U.S. TikTok, report claims

If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em. That appears to the thinking of Triller, a U.S.-based “social streaming” app, which according to Bloomberg teamed up with an asset management firm in an attempt to buy TikTok for $20 billion. Or, more specifically, to buy parts of TikTok for $20 billion.  Those parts include TikTok’s U.S., Australian, New Zealand, and Indian components — locations where the ByteDance-owned company ran into various legal troubles, faced security concerns, and risks possible shuttering. India went so far as to ban TikTok outright in June for “[engaging] in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”  Triller, perhaps smelling blood in the water, joins the ever-growing list of U.S. companies trying to get a piece of TikTok’s huge social media market share. As of the time of this writing, Microsoft, Twitter, Oracle, and Walmart have all reportedly expressed interest in buying TikTok’s U.S. assets.  In August, TikTok revealed that it has approximately 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. We reached out to TikTok, Triller, and the asset management fund in question, Centricus, both in an effort to confirm Bloomberg’s reporting and to learn if TikTok had responded to an offer. Neither Triller nor Centricus responded, and a TikTok spokesperson merely pointed us to previous news coverage.  A Centricus spokesperson reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg that the company had made an offer. A Reuters report from Friday claims TikTok denies knowledge of any offer.  Bloomberg…Continue readingTriller makes play to buy U.S. TikTok, report claims

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Wired

Is Your Chart a Detective Story? Or a Police Report?

Every data visualization is a story, a plot to be unraveled—but some are more approachable than others. Source linkContinue readingIs Your Chart a Detective Story? Or a Police Report?