Blog of the website «TechCrunch» Прогноз погоды

People

John Smith

John Smith, 49

Joined: 28 January 2014

Interests: No data

Jonnathan Coleman

Jonnathan Coleman, 32

Joined: 18 June 2014

About myself: You may say I'm a dreamer

Interests: Snowboarding, Cycling, Beer

Andrey II

Andrey II, 41

Joined: 08 January 2014

Interests: No data

David

David

Joined: 05 August 2014

Interests: No data

David Markham

David Markham, 65

Joined: 13 November 2014

Interests: No data

Michelle Li

Michelle Li, 41

Joined: 13 August 2014

Interests: No data

Max Almenas

Max Almenas, 53

Joined: 10 August 2014

Interests: No data

29Jan

29Jan, 32

Joined: 29 January 2014

Interests: No data

s82 s82

s82 s82, 26

Joined: 16 April 2014

Interests: No data

Wicca

Wicca, 37

Joined: 18 June 2014

Interests: No data

Phebe Paul

Phebe Paul, 27

Joined: 08 September 2014

Interests: No data

Артем Ступаков

Артем Ступаков, 93

Joined: 29 January 2014

About myself: Радуюсь жизни!

Interests: No data

sergei jkovlev

sergei jkovlev, 59

Joined: 03 November 2019

Interests: музыка, кино, автомобили

Алексей Гено

Алексей Гено, 8

Joined: 25 June 2015

About myself: Хай

Interests: Интерес1daasdfasf, http://apple.com

technetonlines

technetonlines

Joined: 24 January 2019

Interests: No data



Main article: Microsoft

<< Back Forward >>
Topics from 1 to 10 | in all: 648

Innovaccer wants to be the service that unifies all healthcare data

05:30 | 14 February

The holy grail for technology companies working in the healthcare industry is becoming the gateway for all healthcare data.

Big legacy providers like Epic and Cerner are trying to reach out to hospital networks to hoover up all of their data. Google is interested in it. Salesforce is interested in it. Everyone wants to be the resource that organizes and manages healthcare data for physicians and hospital providers — everyone including the San Francisco-based startup Innovaccer, which has raised $70 million in new financing to finance its mission.

The new investment from firms including Steadview Capital, Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Westbridge Capital, the Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala Capital, and Microsoft’s corporate investment arm, M12.

These are deep-pocketed investors for whom money is no object, but Innovaccer has shown a fair bit of traction among hospitals and health systems with its data analysis and management platform.

The company’s software pulls from datasets including those generated by Cerner and Epic’s healthcare records, as well as insurance companies and pharmacies to create a more holistic view of a patient, the company says.

Since its launch in 2014, Innovaccer has provided a single source or healthcare information for 3.8 million patients and saved healthcare systems more than $400 million, the company said.

“Healthcare still needs a lot of work to become patient-centered and connected by organizing information and making it more accessible. It is really important to make patient data seamlessly available to all providers along the patient’s care journey,” said Abhinav Shashank, the co-founder and chief executive at Innovaccer, in a statement. “We have been fortunate to work with transformational healthcare initiatives that our amazing customers are engaged in. The vision of helping healthcare work as one needs a connected and open technology framework. We are excited to be at the forefront of providing the tech platform for our customers to drive that change.”

Its technology relies on over 200 APIs to take data from health plans, primary care providers, pharmacies, labs and hospitals and serves that data to 25,000 care providers. The company hopes to take that number ot over 100 million healthcare records and 500,000 caregivers over the next several years.

It’s a lofty goal, but one that appeals to the Ravi Mehta, the founder of the $2.5 billion hedge fund Steadview Capital.

“By using their connected care framework coupled with their leading-edge data aggregation and analytics platform, they are unifying patient records and enabling care teams to coordinate patient care at a new level,” said Mehta. “We believe this will achieve greater efficiencies, enable better care and reduce overall healthcare spend in the years to come.” 

 


0

How Microsoft runs its $40M ‘AI for Health’ initiative

22:32 | 5 February

Last week, Microsoft announced the latest news in its ongoing “AI for Good” program: a $40M effort to apply data science and AI to difficult and comparatively under-studied conditions like tuberculosis, SIDS and leprosy. How does one responsibly parachute into such complex ecosystems as a tech provider, and what is the process for vetting recipients of the company’s funds and services?

Tasked with administrating this philanthropic endeavor is John Kahan, chief data analytics officer and AI lead in the AI for Good program. I spoke with him shortly after the announcement to better understand his and Microsoft’s approach to entering areas where they have never tread as a company and where the opportunity lies for both them and their new partners.

Kahan, a Microsoft veteran of many years, is helping to define the program as it develops, he explained at the start of our interview.

John Kahan: About a year ago, they announced my role in conjunction with expanding AI for Good from being really a grants-oriented program, where we gave money away, to a program where we use data science to help literally infuse AI and data to drive change around the world. It is 100% philanthropic — we don’t do anything that’s commercial-related.

TechCrunch: This kind of research is still a very broad field, though. How do you decide what constitutes a worthwhile investment of resources?

 


0

Couchbase launches a fully managed database service

20:45 | 4 February

Couchbase, the popular NoSQL database, today announced the launch of Couchbase Cloud, a fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering for enterprises. Once the service is generally available later this summer, users will be able to spin it up on AWS and Microsoft Azure, with support for Google Cloud coming a bit later this year. This, the company claims, makes it the first “SQL-on-NoSQL DBaaS that supports multiple cloud providers.”

What’s probably more important for its customers, though, is that Couchbase Cloud will allow them to retain full control of their data inside their own Virtual Private Cloud. Couchbase promises that deploying the service only takes a few clicks and, as you would expect from a fully managed service, the company will handle managing and upgrading the database service.

The underlying infrastructure stack uses open-source technologies like Kubernetes, Prometheus and Grafana, but as a fully managed service, that’s not something the users will actually have to worry about all that much. Indeed, Couchbase stresses how its service decouples the underlying infrastructure from its database solution. That includes pricing. Couchbase doesn’t charge its users for the infrastructure they consume. Instead, they’ll continue to pay their cloud provider as usual, which also means they can take advantage of cost savings from reserved instances and other discounts that the various cloud providers make available to their customers. The Couchbase Cloud service itself offers multiple pricing options, including hourly and volume-based pricing.

Traditionally, Couchbase’s focus was on its server and mobile offerings. Adding a fully managed service to this line-up makes a lot of sense, though, as not every company has the expertise to manage its database servers itself.

 

 


0

Alphabet earnings show Google Cloud on $10B run rate

01:10 | 4 February

Today after the bell, Alphabet reported its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. The company’s revenue grew from $39.3 billion in 2018 to $46.1 billion in 2019. The firm’s net income also expanded from $8.9 billion to $10.7 billion over the same time frame.

The figures, when compared to expectations, were mixed. Alphabet beat analyst estimates on profit, but missed on revenue. Shares of the company are off around 4% in after-hours trading, following its disclosure.

Why do we care?

The company’s reported Q4 and full-year 2019 results are notable for several reasons. First, Alphabet broke out the value of YouTube’s advertising empire. And, the company disclosed discrete “Google Cloud” revenues. Both are new.

YouTube’s advertising heft was made clear today, with the video platform bringing in $15.1 billion in 2019 revenue, up from $11.2 billion in 2018.

The firm’s new “Google Cloud” line item appears to include all of the company’s cloud computing efforts. YouTube’s advertising haul will grab the most headlines, but the cloud revenue figure is what we’d like to drill into.

Cloud, Google-style

Google announced an impressive $2.6 billion round for all cloud revenue, which includes G Suite, the enterprise version of GMail/Docs/Drive/Hangouts, and Google’s cloud infrastructure revenue. At $2.61 billion, that puts it on run rate over $10 billion. In the year-ago Q4, the company’s Cloud revenue came to just $1.71 billion, a run rate of $6.84 billion.

Google’s Cloud run-rate, then, grew by 53.6% in the last year.

In February of 2018, then-Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene was happy to report $1 billion quarterly revenue for the group. Last July the company’s Cloud revenue crossed $2 billion for that quarter, putting on an $8 billion run rate, double the previous report.

Former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian took over after Greene stepped down last year, and he brought on a number of industry veterans from Oracle and SAP to help sell Google Cloud to the enterprise. So far the results are certainly encouraging in a short amount of time.

In comparison

While Google is making some gains in the cloud, its chief competitors have been doing well at the same time.

To pick one example, Amazon’s cloud revenue totaled just under $10 billion in the same calendar quarter. In a direct comparison Google is far smaller, but the search giant is working to make up ground and the results appear encouraging. It’s worth noting that Amazon’s comparable cloud figures are more focused on infrastructure than Google’s, which includes SaaS revenue as well.

Turning to Microsoft, it reported a combined cloud revenue, which includes SaaS (Office 365, Dynamics, etc.) and cloud computing (Azure), of $12.5 billion for the quarter. All of this shows that while Google still has a long way to grow to match its rivals for scale, it’s at least picking up the pace.

 


0

Smart TV hub Solaborate secures $10M Series A and a go-to-market partnership

19:20 | 3 February

When siblings Labinot and Mimoza Bytyqi fled the war in Kosovo in 1999, arriving as refugees on the West Coast of the US, they would have had no idea they’d go on to launch a technology company together.

But as adults, the pair set up attacking the $6.7 billion telepresence and video communication category which hasn’t evolved much since the older business systems form Cisco and Polycom . By integrating their Solaborate device with Smart TVs, the entrepreneurs have come up with a drastically cheaper device and platform.

Solaborate has now closed a $10 million Series A funding round from EPOS and Demant Group. EPOS is a newly established company under the healthcare tech company Demant Group in Denmark which makes high-end audio solutions designed for enterprise and gaming. The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Solaborate’s new product line of all-in-one HELLO devices and its cloud communication platform.

After two successful Kickstarter campaigns, Solaborate will now work with EPOS to combine compute, microphones, speakers and Smart TVs with their technology to create products fully-owned by and branded under EPOS. These will include Solaborate’s patented auto echo-cancellation delay.

Labinot Bytyqi, founder and CE) said: “We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right and that’s why we engineered HELLO devices with video and audio built-in hack-proof privacy controls and end-to-end encryption for everyone’s protection and peace of mind.”

A HELLO device require only two cables – HDMI and power – and then turns any TV into a voice-controlled open cross-platform communication and collaboration device supporting video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, Skype, Cisco WebEx, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, BlueJeans, Fuze, Unify, and several more.

The partnership will focus on video collaboration to deliver integrated audio/video solutions to the platforms of EPOS’ current strategic partners such as Microsoft.

They are pushing at an open door. The video conferencing market is predicted to grow from an estimated $1.8bn to more than $2.8bn by 2022, according to some studies.

 


0

After earnings, Amazon joins the $1T club as Alphabet dips out

19:35 | 31 January

American tech companies almost did something neat today before messing it up.

After reporting earnings yesterday, Amazon’s shares shot higher this morning, pushing the company’s value north of $1 trillion. Its growth and profits proved toothsome to the investing classes, bolstering the Seattle area’s tech pedigree by adding a second trillion-dollar business to its rolls.

Microsoft and Apple, also flush after reporting their own well-received earnings, are also worth north of $1 trillion apiece. Amazon’s ascension would have brought the group of trillion-dollar American tech shops to four, if Alphabet hadn’t gone and spoiled the fun.

Here’s the chart, on which you can spot Alphabet’s dip back under the $1,000 billion mark:

MSFT Market Cap Chart

So close, right?

Perhaps Google and its cadre of money-losing subsidiaries will manage to skate back over $1 trillion today, leaving only little Facebook out of the Cool Kid Clubhouse.

Get it together, Zuck! A billion dollars isn’t cool. You know what is? Being yet another trillion-dollar tech company. Gosh.

 


0

Microsoft takes wraps off $40M ‘AI for Health’ initiative

20:31 | 29 January

When the topics of Microsoft and global health overlap, one tends to think about the Gates Foundation, but the company itself is doing good work along these lines as well. The latest such effort is AI for Health, an $40M, five year outgrowth of Microsoft’s AI for Good program that aims to help apply the benefits of AI with an eye to bettering the health of the less fortunate worldwide.

The new initiative will focus on direct research in the medical AI field (think algorithms for automatically detecting a disease), global health studies (that is, better understanding of how such things could be of use), and improving access (actually putting the algorithms to work).

“AI for Health is a philanthropic initiative that complements our broader work in Microsoft Healthcare,” wrote Microsoft’s John Kahan in a blog post announcing the new program. “We will support specific nonprofits and academic collaboration with Microsoft’s leading data scientists, access to best-in-class AI tools and cloud computing, and select cash grants.”

Kahan points out that modern healthcare is incredibly unevenly distributed, coming near eliminating some diseases and forms of death in some countries, while others are ravaged by the same. That’s not exactly a problem that AI can solve, but there are things that it can do.

For instance, he points out, there are highly effective AI-based screening systems for diabetic retinopathy, a condition millions are at risk of that can lead to blindness. Getting a village access to a mobile phone and eye-inspection attachment is a lot easier and cheaper than dispatching an ophthalmologist.

It’s the goal of AI for Health to help engineer, identify, and deploy technologies like that. Part of that is simply a question of cost — many AI experts are in the more general tech sector because that’s where the jobs are. Getting them to cross over to the social good side means those projects will need to be competitive and successful, which a bit of Microsoft cash might help with.

The company noted a few partnerships that will benefit from the new program, with medical research outfits looking into SIDS, leprosy, diabetic retinopathy as mentioned above, tuberculosis, maternal mortality, and of course that eternal adversary, cancer.

Unfortunately, unlike some of Microsoft’s other grant programs, this $40M isn’t up for grabs via public applications: It will be working directly with nonprofits and research organizations. But if you’re at one of those organizations, it might be a good time to get in touch with your collaborators in Redmond.

 


0

Tracking corporate venture capital’s rise over the past decade

20:05 | 29 January

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

It’s been a busy decade in the venture capital world. Ten years ago there were fewer than 20 known unicorns in the United States. That figure has risen to more than 200 in the intervening period. Back in 2010, global venture capital was estimated by some at around $50 billion. Venture reporter and genial chap

put that figure at $295 billion, give or take, at the end of 2019.

Hidden in those metrics is not just investment from the venture capital firms most famous in our common mind — Sequoia from the old guard, Andreessen Horowitz from the new. Also included are the efforts of corporate venture capital players. Not as stodgy as they were once considered, corporate venture capital shops (CVCs) have grown in popularity as investment vehicles for cash-rich corporations hoping to avoid being killed off by more vibrant upstarts. The results of that popularity have helped boost rising venture totals.

I’ve spent the last day or so picking through a report1 from industry group Global Corporate Venturing that charts how quickly the CVC world grew in the past decade through the end of 2019. Ahead: how fast CVC has grown, how much capital they are putting to work and what their targets are for investing returns. Understanding how the corporate VC landscape has changed will help us understand how venture itself has changed and how startups should plan their next raise.

CVC growth

 


0

Modified HoloLens helps teach kids with vision impairment to navigate the social world

22:59 | 28 January

Growing up with blindness or low vision can be difficult for kids, not just because they can’t read the same books or play the same games as their sighted peers; Vision is also a big part of social interaction and conversation. This Microsoft research project uses augmented reality to help kids with vision impairment “see” the people they’re talking with.

The challenge people with vision impairment encounter is, of course, that they can’t see the other people around them. This can prevent them from detecting and using many of the nonverbal cues sighted people use in conversation, especially if those behaviors aren’t learned at an early age.

Project Tokyo is a new effort from Microsoft in which its researchers are looking into how technologies like AI and AR can be useful to all people, including those with disabilities. That’s not always the case, though it must be said that voice-powered virtual assistants are a boon to many who can’t as easily use a touchscreen or mouse and keyboard.

The team, which started as an informal challenge to improve accessibility a few years ago, began by observing people traveling to the Special Olympics, then followed that up with workshops involving the blind and low vision community. Their primary realization was of the subtle context sight gives in nearly all situations.

“We, as humans, have this very, very nuanced and elaborate sense of social understanding of how to interact with people — getting a sense of who is in the room, what are they doing, what is their relationship to me, how do I understand if they are relevant for me or not,” said Microsoft researcher Ed Cutrell. “And for blind people a lot of the cues that we take for granted just go away.”

In children this can be especially pronounced, as having perhaps never learned the relevant cues and behaviors, they can themselves exhibit antisocial tendencies like resting their head on a table while conversing, or not facing a person when speaking to them.

To be clear, these behaviors aren’t “problematic” in themselves, as they are just the person doing what works best for them, but they can inhibit everyday relations with sighted people, and it’s a worthwhile goal to consider how those relations can be made easier and more natural for everyone.

The experimental solution Project Tokyo has been pursuing involves a modified HoloLens — minus the lens, of course. The device is also a highly sophisticated imaging device that can identify objects and people if provided with the right code.

The user wears the device like a high-tech headband, and a custom software stack provides them with a set of contextual cues:

  • When a person is detected, say four feet away on the right, the headset will emit a click that sounds like it is coming from that location.
  • If the face of the person is known, a second “bump” sound is made and the person’s name announced (again, audible only to the user).
  • If the face is not known or can’t be seen well, a “stretching” sound is played that modulates as the user directs their head towards the other person, ending in a click when the face is centered on the camera (which also means the user is facing them directly).
  • For those nearby, an LED strip shows a white light in the direction of a person who has been detected, and a green light if they have been identified.

Other tools are being evaluated, but this set is a start, and based on a case study with a game 12-year-old named Theo, they could be extremely helpful.

Microsoft’s post describing the system and the team’s work with Theo and others is worth reading for the details, but essentially Theo began to learn the ins and outs of the system and in turn began to manage social situations using cues mainly used by sighted people. For instance, he learned that he can deliberately direct his attention at someone by turning his head towards them, and developed his own method of scanning the room to keep tabs on those nearby — neither one possible when one’s head is on the table.

That kind of empowerment is a good start, but this is definitely a work in progress. The bulky, expensive hardware isn’t exactly something you’d want to wear all day, and naturally different users will have different needs. What about expressions and gestures? What about signs and menus? Ultimately the future of Project Tokyo will be determined, as before, by the needs of the communities who are seldom consulted when it comes to building AI systems and other modern conveniences.

 


0

Tencent to grow gaming empire with $148M acquisition of Conan publisher Funcom in Norway

15:23 | 22 January

Tencent, one of the world’s biggest videogaming companies by revenue, today made another move to help cement that position. The Chinese firm has made an offer to fully acquire Funcom, the games developer behind Conan Exiles (and others in the Conan franchise), Dune and some 28 other titles. The deal, when approved, would value the Oslo-based company at $148 million (NOK 1.33 billion) and give the company a much-needed cash injection to follow through on longer-term strategy around its next generation of games.

Funcom is traded publicly on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and the board has already recommended the offer, which is being made at NOK 17 per share, or around 27% higher than its closing share price the day before (Tuesday).

The news is being made with some interesting timing. Today, Tencent competes against the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in terms of mass-market, gaming revenues. But just earlier this week, it was reported that ByteDance — the publisher behind breakout social media app TikTok — was readying its own foray into the world of gaming.

That would set up another level of rivalry between the two companies, since Tencent also has a massive interest in the social media space, specifically by way of its messaging app WeChat . While many consumers will have multiple apps, when it comes down to it, spending money in one represents a constraint on spending money in another.

Today, Tencent is one of the world’s biggest video game companies: in its last reported quarter (Q3 in November), Tencent said that it make RMB28.6 billion ($4.1 billion) in online gaming revenue, with smartphone games accounting for RMB24.3 billion of that.

Acquisitions and controlling stakes form a key part of the company’s growth strategy in gaming. Among its very biggest deals, Tencent paid $8.6 billion for a majority stake in Finland’s Supercell back in 2016. It also has a range of controlling stakes in Riot Games, Epic, Ubisoft, Paradox, Frontier and Miniclip. These companies, in turn, also are making deals: just earlier this month it was reported (and sources have also told us) that Miniclip acquired Israel’s Ilyon Games (of Bubble Shooter fame) for $100 million.

Turning back to Funcom, Tencent was already an investor in the company: it took a 29% stake in it in September 2019 in a secondary deal, buying out KGJ Capital (which had previously been the biggest shareholder).

“Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games,” said Funcom CEO Rui Casais at the time. “The insight, experience, and knowledge that Tencent will bring is of great value to us and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop great games and build a successful future for Funcom.”

In retrospect, this was laying the groundwork and relationships for a bigger deal just months down the line. 

“We have a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder and we are very excited to be part of the Tencent team,” Casais said in a statement today. “We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

The rationale for Funcom is that the company had already determined that it needed further investment in order to follow through on its longer-term strategy.

According to a statement issued before it recommended the offer, the company is continuing to build out the “Open World Survival segment” using the Games-as-a-Service business model (where you pay to fuel up with more credits); and is building an ambitious Dune project set to launch in two years.

“Such increased focus would require a redirection of resources from other initiatives, the most significant being the co-op shooter game, initially scheduled for release during 2020 that has been impacted by scope changes due to external/market pressures with increasingly strong competition and internal delays,” the board writes, and if it goes ahead with its strategy, “It is likely that the Company will need additional financing to supplement the revenue generated from current operations.”

 


0
<< Back Forward >>
Topics from 1 to 10 | in all: 648

Site search


Last comments

Walmart retreats from its UK Asda business to hone its focus on competing with Amazon
Peter Short
Good luck
Peter Short

Evolve Foundation launches a $100 million fund to find startups working to relieve human suffering
Peter Short
Money will give hope
Peter Short

Boeing will build DARPA’s XS-1 experimental spaceplane
Peter Short
Great
Peter Short

Is a “robot tax” really an “innovation penalty”?
Peter Short
It need to be taxed also any organic substance ie food than is used as a calorie transfer needs tax…
Peter Short

Twitter Is Testing A Dedicated GIF Button On Mobile
Peter Short
Sounds great Facebook got a button a few years ago
Then it disappeared Twitter needs a bottom maybe…
Peter Short

Apple’s Next iPhone Rumored To Debut On September 9th
Peter Short
Looks like a nice cycle of a round year;)
Peter Short

AncestryDNA And Google’s Calico Team Up To Study Genetic Longevity
Peter Short
I'm still fascinated by DNA though I favour pure chemistry what could be
Offered is for future gen…
Peter Short

U.K. Push For Better Broadband For Startups
Verg Matthews
There has to an email option icon to send to the clowns in MTNL ... the govt of India's service pro…
Verg Matthews

CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
Peter Short
Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short

CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
Peter Short
Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short