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

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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, Drive.ai, 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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Huawei Moves Up On Forbes Most Valuable Brands Of 2018 As China’s Only Company To Feature In The Global Ranking.

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Huawei is the only Chinese company to feature in the annual ranking of the world’s Most Valuable Brands 2018 compiled by Forbes. Huawei has been included in the list for the second consecutive year ranking 79th with a brand value of US$8.4 billion.

The TOP100 brands have come from 16 countries and regions in the world, with the largest number from the U.S. taking 54 places, followed by 12 brands from Germany and 7 brands from Japan and France respectively. Huawei is still the only Chinese brand on the list.

Huawei officially launched Huawei P20 series in Paris in March, 2018. With its unique and innovative Leica Triple Camera, twilight body design and AI features, Huawei P20 series has been a global sales sensation. 10 August, 2018, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG), the global smartphone giant, overtook Apple in second quarter of 2018 to become number two smartphone vendor globally for the first time.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide, Huawei earned 15.8 per cent market ahead of Apple at 12.1 per cent.

In the future, Huawei will continue to innovate its products and technology whilst surprising consumers, with a commitment to make its brand truly loved by global consumers.

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T-Mobile Promises 5G For Its Metro Prepaid Service In 2019

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T-Mobile announced it was building out its 5G network in 30 cities this February, and today, the company committed to bringing 5G service to its Metro prepaid service in 2019, as first reported by CNET. Metro is the recently rebranded MetroPCS, which was acquired by T-Mobile in 2013. Metro’s unlimited plans are also launching today, which bring perks like Google One cloud storage and an Amazon Prime membership. The announcement is part of rebranding efforts to bring the budget prepaid service closer to its parent company T-Mobile’s premium features.

Carriers have been racing to be the first to deploy a 5G wireless network, in order to prepare infrastructure for self-driving cars and phones that’ll be able to support 5G in the future. But most of it appears to be marketing-speak, like how AT&T once used the term “5G Evolution” to just describe faster 4G LTE speeds. And just last week, as Verizon became the first major ISP to launch its 5G home internet service in four US cities, T-mobile CEO John Legere criticized the service in a tweet, saying, “It doesn’t use global industry standards or cover whole blocks and will never scale… but hey, it is first, right?!”

T-Mobile is currently in the midst of a merger with Sprint, a strategic partnership designed specifically to use Sprint’s mid-band 2.5GHz spectrum for a stronger 5G network. T-Mobile also signed a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia this past July, which is helping build a longer-range, lower-frequency 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum for its 5G network.

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Facebook introduces Portal and Portal+ into homes

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Image: Facebook

Facebook has been a household name for a couple of years but now it is literally an Household Item. With the introduction of these smart speakers Portal and Portal+, Facebook is closer to us than ever.

I  don’t know how a lot of people would react to this, given the series of data scandals suffered by the company this year.

Fingers crossed, this could be another breakthrough for the company. Would you be getting one to use here in Ghana?

Read more on it here

Source: mashable

 

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TECNO Phantom 8 wins Mobile device of the year

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Tecno Mobile, the premium brand from Transsion Technology LTD has over the years grown to be a household name. The company has so far being the mastermind behind the Camon, Spark and Phantom series. Each series made for a particular target market.

The Phantom 8, TECNO’s Flagship device which was launched in October of last year won the Mobile Device of the Year at this Year’s Mobex Awards.

It beat Huawei’s Y7, Nasco’s Power 4g and the Tecno Camon X to be the ultimate winner from that category.

The Tecno Phantom 8 noted and bragged as one of the best designed phones for 2017. It is a stunning 20mp front camera with a 12 + 13mp dual back camera, 10x super zoom, 3500 mAh battery, 6Gb and 64 GB memory space.

Made with the user in mind, the Phantom 8 gives patrons a worth of their money with key camera features like the Auto Focus Mode, Refocus and the Soft Flash Light feature for taking all those awesome selfies in the dark without hurting the eyes.

Tecno Phantom 8 is the third installment of the Tecno Phantom series and is a great choice for anyone seeking for a quality phone at a reasonable price. Coming after the Tecno Phantom 5 and 6, the Diamond Fire Design of the Phantom 8 emits class and swag making the user feel like an echelon.

Phantom 8 offers a 4G global connectivity for people who move around a lot.

In three distinct colors, Phantom 8 comes in champagne Gold, Galaxy blue and Phantom black.

The Mobex Innovation Awards is an award Scheme made to recognize the excellence in Tech Innovation. This was the First edition of the Mobex Innovation awards  which is billed to be an annual event.

 

 

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