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GM’s Self-Driving Unit Gets $2.25 Billion From SoftBank’s Venture Fund



General Motors has announced that its self-driving unit is getting a $2.25 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a major venture investment effort that was started by the Japanese tech giant in 2016. Cruise Automation, which GM bought in 2016 for $1 billion to jump-start its self-driving efforts, will get $900 million when the transaction closes and $1.35 billion when GM is ready to deploy its autonomous cars for commercial use (which is currently slated for 2019).

GM also announced that it will pump a fresh $1.1 billion round of investment into Cruise when the transaction closes, bringing the total to $3.35 billion. When all its investments have been made, SoftBank Vision Fund will own a 19.6 percent stake in Cruise.

While a number of different takes on self-driving technology are currently being tested, it’s not yet clear which ones will be the most commercially viable or whether some mix of all of them will ultimately change the way we get around. Will we hail a self-driving car from a service like Uber or Lyft? Will we buy cars from automakers that can drive themselves? Will we allow those cars to be hailed by others when we’re not using them? Will fully self-driving technology only make sense in a public transportation setting?

Perhaps because of this uncertainty, there is one thing that is clear about self-driving cars: whatever does happen with them, it’s likely that no one company will go it alone. While GM and Cruise are working on their own commercial autonomous ride-hailing service, GM also has a self-driving partnership with Lyft that kicked off in early 2016 before the acquisition of Cruise. Lyft is working with Ford (which spent $1 billion on its own obscure self-driving startup) to tie the ride-hailing service’s app platform into the automaker’s self-driving cars.

Lyft is also working its own self-driving technology stack that serves as the foundation for an open platform for automakers and other companies to build on, an idea that has already attracted Jaguar Land Rover, NuTonomy,, and Waymo, the self-driving company that was spun out of Google.

Like Lyft, Waymo is also trying to build a self-driving stack that other companies can work with to make autonomous cars a reality. (A handful of startups, like Aurora, which is led by the former head of Google’s self-driving program, are trying a similar business model.) It has since struck a partnership with Intel, which has a self-driving unit of its own in Mobileye, the former partner of Tesla’s that helped develop the first Autopilot. Waymo is also working with Jaguar to build 20,000 self-driving I-Pace SUVs, and is working on a deal with Honda. Waymo got its true start by working out a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which was renewed today in a huge way, and the two sides are discussing the possibility of selling their self-driving minivans.

By Sean O’Kane

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No Bezels, No Notch! Vivo Announces Nex Phone With A Pop-Up Selfie Camera



Finally!! A Chinese company decided not to follow the notch craze and this makes me overly excited! Vivo has announced their latest flagship device which they call the Nex. A phone they claim “fulfills the bezel-less dream.” The Nex is based on Apex, the impressive concept phone which was outdoored at the Mobile World Congress in February. Just like the Apex, the Nex has refrained from the craze of including a notch and instead has inculcated a new technology of an elevating selfie camera that pops out from the top edge of the phone when needed. (This reminds me of Jack-in-the-box).

Given this adaptation, the Nex gets to show off a complete screen-to-body ratio of 91.24 percent even though there’s still something to see at the bottom of the screen.

Adding to the entire bezel-less effect is what I call the best to happen to sound, Vivo’s glass-vibrating “screen soundcasting technology,” which replaces the earpiece speaker. The Nex also uses an in-display fingerprint sensor, with the sense of keeping it simple covers just a little part of the screen.

The specs of the phone include a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery, 256GB of storage, and a 6.59-inch 1080p+ OLED display. A total package of high end specs you could possibly imagine for a 2018 model. There’s also a cheaper model with a Snapdragon 710, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

The rear camera pockets a 12 megapixels with an f/1.8 lens backed by a 5-megapixel f/2.4 module, while the pop-up selfie camera has 8 megapixels and f/2.0. Another reason that has me already overly in love with this device is that it actually has a headphone Jack! Praise the lord!

The Nex will be slightly hefty by modern standards, however, at 199g and 7.98mm thick, the design looks sleeker than the boxy Apex prototype.

Bad news is, the Vivo Nex would only be available in China but hey if you are looking for a bleeding-edge device, that is designed to give you a legit absolute bezel-less phone, you’d probably have to have $780 (that’s around 4,998 yuan) and you should probably heard to China.

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UBA Ghana’s Mobile Banking App And USSD- A Real Lifestyle Experience.



United Bank for Africa (Ghana) Limited, in line with its strategy to drive the experience of “banking without boundaries” to its customers through digital innovation, has launched a new Mobile Banking application (formerly known as U-Mobile) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *822# at the Bank’s Head Office in Accra on 12th June, 2018. The two lifestyle products have been updated to bring a whole new banking experience to customers of the Pan African Bank.

The new Mobile Banking App and USSD channels have been created with banking features that enable customers to operate a mini branch on their mobile devices, thus making banking more convenient, easy and accessible for all category of customers.

UBA customers can register for these services to transfer money, buy airtime, check account balances, pay bills, transfer funds and conduct mobile money transfers amongst other functions with the new Mobile Banking App and USSD.

“As a bank, co-creating with our customers remains part of our focus. Over the period, we have been informed by the taste and lifestyle of our customers and as such provided these two new solutions -Mobile Banking App and *822# to enhance their banking relationship with us and give our customers greater value”. We live in an age and time where people want a hustle-free way of banking, so we decided to introduce more features in our Mobile Banking App, which gives our customers greater value.” Said Abiola Bawuah – MD/CEO.

With *822#, UBA Ghana advances in an industry trend which hopes to extend banking services to the less tech savvy customers, and customers who may not have the taste for internet banking, as well as the financially excluded persons” he continued.

United Bank for Africa (Ghana) new Mobile Banking App demonstrates the Bank’s aim to provide unparalleled experience across all its channels It is in line with the bank’s vision to dominate Africa’s digital banking space. It comes with biometric log-in and facial recognition features for secure and personalized access. The application is now available for download on App Store and Google Play.

The launch of these products demonstrates our culture of service excellence, strengthening the affinity with our existing customers while reinforcing the UBA brand as one to be associated with by the entire banking public.

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The Infinix S3; Unboxing, Review And Price In Ghana



Launched in February 2018, Infinix Hot S3 comes with a few features that make it differ from its predecessor, the S2. The device focuses on more important things to the user and has the new standard aspect ratio for 2018 devices:18:9 screen ratio.

We’ve sampled the features and specs of this amazing mid-range device.

Infinix Hot S3 features & specifications

The 5.65-inch touchscreen display phone has a resolution of 720 pixels by 1440 pixels and as stated earlier, features an 18:9 screen ratio.

Also, the new device comes with a Face Unlock feature. The OTA update rolled out by Infinix for the S3 has enabled the “Face Unlock” feature. You can manually enable this new software feature by going to Settings and click on Security & location, then selecting Face ID. With this improved security setting, all you have to do is to hold the phone up and show it on your face. It’s that simple!

The device runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, in addition to the company’s UI skin, XOS Hummingbird 3.0. Infinix S3 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with 3GB RAM.

It boasts of a 13MP rear camera with dual LED flash that enables Beauty mode, as well as panorama and time-lapse and a 20MP selfie lens. All the pictures you love and other media can be stored on its 32GB internal memory which can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. All these features are powered by its 4000mAh battery which can last a whole day with moderate use.

    Infinix Hot S3 Full Specification


Performance – Octa core
Display – 5.65″ (14.35 cm)
Storage – 64 GB
Camera – 13 MP
Battery – 4000 mAh
Ram – 4 GB

Fingerprint Sensor Position – Rear
Other Sensors – Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass
Fingerprint Sensor – Yes
Quick Charging – No
Operating System – Android v8.0 (Oreo)
Sim Slots – Dual SIM, GSM+GSM
Model – Hot S3 64GB
Brand – Infinix
Sim Size – SIM1: Nano SIM2: Nano
Network – 4G: Available (supports Indian bands) 3G: Available, 2G: Available
Fingerprint Sensor – Yes
Loudspeaker – Yes
Audio Jack – 3.5 mm
Chipset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 MSM8937
Graphics – Adreno 505
Processor – Octa core, 1.4 GHz, Cortex A53
Architecture – 64 bit
Ram – 4 GB
Thickness – 8.5 mm
Width – 72.8 mm
Weight – 150 grams
Height – 153 mm
Colours – Sandstone Black, Brush Gold
Display Type – IPS LCD
Screen To Body Ratio – 73.96 %
Pixel Density – 285 ppi
Screen Size – 5.65 inches (14.35 cm)
Screen Resolution – 720 x 1440 pixels
Touch Screen – Yes Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch
Internal Memory – 64 GB
Expandable Memory – Yes Up to 128 GB
Usb Otg Support – Yes
Settings – Exposure compensation
Aperture – F2.0
Camera Features – Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Image Resolution – 4128 x 3096 Pixels
Autofocus – Yes
Shooting Modes – Continuous Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Resolution – 20 MP Front Camera
Flash – Yes Dual LED
Video Recording – 1920×1080 @ 30 fps
User Replaceable – No
Type – Li-ion
Capacity – 4000 mAh
Wifi – Yes Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n
Wifi Features – Mobile Hotspot
Bluetooth – Yes v4.2
Volte – Yes
Usb Connectivity – microUSB 2.0
Nfc – No
Network Support – 4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
Gps – Yes with A-GPS
Sim 1 – 4G Bands:TD-LTE 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 900(band 8) / 850(band 5)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available
Sim Size – SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano
Sim 2 – 4G Bands: TD-LTE 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 900(band 8) / 850(band 5)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available

Infinix Hot S3 Price

Ghana: GHS 780

The device is a good example of a mid-range phone that packs a number of premium feature.

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Now Russia Wants Zuckerberg To Testify For Them, Too



‘Why shouldn’t the Federation Council enter into dialogue and ask him about his Russophobic statements?’

Lawmakers in Russia want Mark Zuckerberg to testify before them, as well. The Moscow Times reports that during Wednesday’s session of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, a senator proposed summoning Zuckerberg. In response, Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said that she would “issue an order,” and that they would “organize his arrival.”

Zuckerberg testified before the European Parliament two weeks ago, and before two separate Congressional committees in the US last month. The American legislators repeatedly brought up the specter of Russian influence in the 2016 election through Facebook and other social media.

Russian senators want Zuckerberg to testify on topics such as information security, privacy, and the “dissemination of harmful content.”

When one senator objected to the visit on the grounds that Zuckerberg was a “Russophobe,” Speaker Mativyenko responded, “Why shouldn’t the Federation Council enter into dialogue and ask him about his Russophobic statements?”

In the last year, Facebook has acknowledged a degree of Russian influence over political discourse, providing to Congress examples of US-targeted political ads bought by Russian groups, and suspending pages and accounts linked to a Russian misinformation agency.

We asked Facebook if Zuckerberg would respond to the summons, and have not yet heard back.

By Sarah Jeong

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Copyright © 2018 George Britton