Microsoft just surprised the world with its LinkedIn acquisition. Valued at $26.2 billion, it’s a huge price to pay for a social network, and it tops the charts as Microsoft’s biggest-ever acquisition. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first major acquisition, the success or failure of LinkedIn will define him as the leader of Microsoft’s increasingly service-driven future. While many are surprised at the cash figure, the question on everyone’s lips is, why does Microsoft want LinkedIn?
LinkedIn provides Microsoft with immediate access to more than 433 million members and a solid social graph that, thanks to its professional nature, is matched closely with the software and services Microsoft provides. In the same way that most kids playMinecraft, it’s reasonable to assume most adults in the US use LinkedIn for finding jobs, connecting with colleagues, or just general work-related networking.
Nadella’s internal memo does a good job of providing a basic outline to partially answer that question, and more. Nadella points out that LinkedIn is “how people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done.” It’s a key tool in the professional work space, with 433 million members and more than 2 million paid subscribers. Microsoft itself has more than 1.2 billion Office users, but it has no social graph and has to rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and others to provide that key connection.
“This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete,” says Nadella. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”
MICROSOFT WANTS LINKEDIN PROFILES TO BECOME A CENTRAL IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE
The Internet of Things presents tremendous opportunities for businesses, and at Microsoft, we believe it doesn’t have to be difficult. The Internet of Things (IoT) starts with your things, where your things are what matter most to your business. Learn more about how IoT can help transform your business.
Walmart has launched a new e-commerce service that aims to bring ‘quality’ overseas products to Chinese consumers. The ‘Walmart Global Shop’ service launches on its mobile app, with stores in Southern China also stocking products and offering a pickup service.
Walmart, which owns brands such as Asda in the UK, is the biggest retailer in the world and it’s no surprise that it has its sights set on the biggest e-commerce market in the world.
Sean Clarke, president and CEO of Walmart China, commented at the launch event this week: “Cross-border e-commerce service is a good supplement and extension to our stores. Wal-Mart aims to be the most reliable retailer in China, no matter online or offline.”
However, it faces stiff competition from local giants Alibaba and JD.com, as well as other established global players such as Amazon, which also imports global brands into China.
Alibaba last year started to ramp up its activity in wooing Western brands onto its platform and into the hands of Chinese consumers. The service boasts high end brand such as Burberry, Estee Lauder, and L’Occitane.
According to Walmart, it will sell around 200 products initially, including US brands such as Starbucks and Aveeno. It will also stock its own label products such as Spring Valley nutritional supplements and Asda brand Little Angels diapers.
According to Walmart, it has over 500,000 customers on its app already and, since its Chinese launch in 1996, has over 400 stores. Walmart also owns a 51 per cent stake in Chinese ecommerce business Yihaodian.
Holoportation: Virtual 3D Teleportation in Real-Time (Microsoft Research)
Holoportation is a new type of 3D capture technology that allows high quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed, and transmitted anywhere in the world in real-time. When combined with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, this technology allows users to see and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in their physical space. Communicating and interacting with remote users becomes as natural as face to face communication.
People wear headphones and virtual reality (VR) glasses to watch films at the VR cinema on March 3, 2016 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. [Photo/IC]
”VR could enable customers to shop virtually on New York’s Fifth Avenue from the comfort of their own home,”
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Thursday announced its own virtual reality (VR) research lab, dubbed GnomeMagic Lab, which aims to step into the “white-hot” industry.
Alibaba, which claims 400 million users across its services, said that GnomeMagic Lab will work with its shopping businesses to integrate VR into the shopping experience, according to technology website techcrunch.com. It also will explore other applications, such as video, with the company’s online video arm, Youku Tudou, and entertainment via Alibaba Pictures.
“VR could enable customers to shop virtually on New York’s Fifth Avenue from the comfort of their own home,” said former Facebook engineer Zhao Haiping, who is on Alibaba’s GnomeMagic Lab team, in a press release.
According to Alibaba, the lab’s first project is to establish the world’s largest three-dimensional (3D) commodity warehouse. The company’s engineers have already created VR visuals for hundreds of products, and a standardization tool is expected to be developed for merchants to swiftly accomplish 3D modeling for their products.
Earlier this year, a Dow Jones report said Alibaba led $794 million in funding for Magic Leap Inc, a US company that develops technologies that show 3D images on real world objects.
According to industry consultancy firm iResearch Consulting Group, this year the Chinese VR market will exceed 5.6 billion yuan ($880 million) in revenue. That compares to revenues of 1.5 billion yuan in 2015. It also estimates annual revenue is on track to break 55 billion yuan by 2020.
Facebook newsroom February 21, 2016 Today we’re announcing new advances in our long-term efforts to build the future of virtual reality.
Mobile VR grows: 1m hours of video watched
Virtual reality is already something people can touch and feel with the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, which is in stores now. Gear VR is the best mobile VR experience in the world because it combines the leading VR software, built by Facebook’s Oculus team, with world-class mobile hardware, built by Samsung. Since Gear VR launched in November 2015, the response has been incredibly strong: More than 200 games and apps are now available for the platform in the Oculus store, and people have already watched more than a million hours of video in Gear VR.
Construction of new Meath Facebook data centre in Clonee, Ireland.
Facebook’s sixth data center is now under construction in Clonee, Ireland. Thousands of jobs to be created during construction of new Meath Facebook data centre. I’m proud to share that. Mark Zuckerberg, 25.1. 2016, www.nco.is , NCO eCommerce, IoT
Thousands of jobs to be created during construction of new Meath Facebook data centre.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says it will be one of the most advanced and energy efficient data centres in the world.
Data centers deliver all of Facebook’s services to you. They’re some of the most complex machines ever created.
2,000 construction jobs will be created and it is expected around 150 longer-term jobs will be announced once the centre is operational. That is expected to happen by the start of 2018, at the latest.
Astronomers have seen what could be the most powerful supernova ever detected. At its peak, the event was 200 times more powerful than a typical supernova, making it shine with 570 billion times the brightness of our Sun.
The exploding star was first observed back in June last year but is still radiating vast amounts of energy.
Researchers think the explosion and ongoing activity have been boosted by a very dense, highly magnetised, remnant object called a magnetar.
This object, created as the supernova got going, is probably no bigger than a major city, such as London, and is likely spinning at a fantastic rate – perhaps a thousand times a second.
The super-luminous supernova, as it is termed, was spotted some 3.8 billion light-years from Earth by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN).
“It would have been very hot, however: about 100,000 degrees at the surface. Basically, it would have got rid of all of its hydrogen and helium, leaving just the material that had been burnt into carbon and oxygen.”
There are signs that the supernova may be about to fade, and the team have time on the Hubble space telescope in the coming weeks to try to further understand the mechanisms driving the supernova.
Mark Zuckerberg: ….Here’s a photo of Mark Zuckerberg playing CCP’s Gunjack on Gear VR with Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. It’s hard to explain how fun and immersive the experience feels of instantly being in another place — in space, under water, on a mountain, anywhere. I look forward to many more people having this experience in the years to come… MZ
EVE Online makers reveal “Gunjack” for Samsung Gear VR
Gunjack on Gear VR with Oculus
EVE Online makers reveal CCP´s “Gunjack” for Samsung Gear VR
With their newly revealed game Gunjack, CCP Games plan to deliver an immersive, virtual reality take on their established EVE universe.
Gear VR – Samsung’s virtual reality contender
Gear VR is not a full-fledged virtual reality device per se. The VR headset, which was built in a collaboration effort between Samsung and Oculus, comes equipped with an optical lens, granting a 96° field of view. Aside from the technology inside of the headset, you’ll need a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, S6, or S6 Edge to use it. It’s currently available as an “Innovator Edition”, with a full commercial launch planned later this year.
What do you think about the game reveal? Will you buy the Gear VR consumer version once it launches? Let us know!
Apple has purchased the company behind motion-capture technology used in the latest Star Wars film. Faceshift, a Zurich based start-up, specialises in software that allows 3D animated characters to mimic the facial expressions of an actor.Apple has now bought the company, though it is not known how much the deal cost the tech giant.It is also unclear what Apple’s plans are for the company following its acquisition.
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day the world’s biggest day of shopping.11.11. 2015
Shoppers have spent $9.3 billion in the first 12 hours of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, the one-day extravaganza in China that has become the world’s biggest day of shopping. It’s already the world’s biggest shopping day.
The Chinese e-commerce giant has already surpassed last year’s record of $9 billion for the Nov. 11 shopping day in half the time,
Nest Labs, the connected device company in Google’s Alphabet, is releasing a third version of its flagship connected device, the Learning Thermostat. Its key specs sound a lot like phone specs: It is slimmer than earlier models, with a larger, higher resolution screen.
Nest said its thermostats have saved four billion kilowatt hours of energy “in millions of homes” since launching in 2011.
Apple Acquires Perceptio, An Artificial Intelligence Startup
Apple confirmed today to Bloomberg that it has acquired deep learning company Perceptio, which uses artificial intelligence to classify photos on smartphones.
According to an October 2014 article on Re/code, Perceptio’s technology enables phones to do advanced calculations without storing user data in the cloud. Its founders, Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone also created a photo sharing app calledSmoothie.
Pinto’s Twitter bio says he is a research scientist and computer science lecturer at MIT and Harvard, while Stone holds a PhD in computer vision from Harvard.
Apple spokesman Colin Johnson told Bloomberg that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” NCO eCommerce 5.10. 2015
The global Internet of Things market will grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020 from $656 billion last year.
Research firm IDC says, as more devices come online and a bevy of platforms and services grow up around them.
The Internet of Things is predicted to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Here are 3 stocks to buy to get in on the coming IoT boom. IDC released a report in June 2015 predicting that the Internet of Things market will reach $1.7 trillion by the year 2020, growing from $656 billion last year. IoT endpoints — the various personal and household devices and hardware connected to the Internet — are expected to reach nearly 30 million in the next five years, up from 10 million in 2014. NCO eCommerce 16.9. 2015.
Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future. TED Talks
MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. And he leaves you with one last (absurd? brilliant?) prediction for the coming 30 years. Don´t Miss It ...?! It´s about; ..... "Take a Pill !"...?
And Apple´s CEO Tim Cook, Sept. 9 2015:
“We are about to make some MONSTER announcements !”
You are encouraged to use your imagination creatively and to…. ..THINK!
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
“MacArthur Park” was written and composed by Jimmy Webb in the summer and fall of 1967.
Everything in the song was visible. There’s nothing in it that’s fabricated. The old men playing checkers by the trees, the cake that was left out in the rain, all of the things that are talked about in the song are things I actually saw.
Richard Harris was the first to record the song, in 1968; it was subsequently covered by numerous artists. Among the best-known covers are Donna Summer’s disco arrangement from 1978 and Waylon Jennings’s version recorded in 1969 and his recording of the song from 1976. Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman all performed big-band jazz arrangements.