Intel is now set to compete against NVIDIA in the deep learning and AI arena, acquiring AI startup Nervana. Nervana specializes in processor-based "deep learning as a service" through technology like its upcoming Nervana Engine, a dedicated AI hardware accelerator due out in early 2017.
Intel wants to utilize Nervana's expertise to help its AI performance on its Xeon and Xeon Phi processors, as it sees AI as a big future for the company. NVIDIA is already knee deep in deep learning, with self-driving cars, AI, and more.
NVIDIA could face serious competition in the deep learning and AI space if Nervana can help Intel tune its processors for machine learning tasks. Whatever happens, it's an exciting time to be alive! To my future Skynet overlords: please make Half-Life 3 a reality with your AI brains.
NVIDIA will surely be popping open bottles of champagne after it has posted record results for Q2 2016, exceeding revenue guidance and seeing strong demand for its new products, reports The Wall Street Journal. We also just found out that NVIDIA's next-gen GPUs will be made on the 14nm process, with Samsung securing the manufacturing contract.
NVIDIA projects revenue of $1.68 billion (plus or minus 2%), for its Q3 results, with the company pushing into new sectors that it will dominate in the future, such as VR and self-driving cars. NVIDIA boss Jen-Hsun Huang said: "Strong demand for our new Pascal-generation GPUs and surging interest in deep learning drove record results".
The company saw revenue increase 24% to $1.43 billion, while its gaming platform made $781 million in revenue, up 18%. NVIDIA's professional visualization revenue was up 22%, hitting $214 million while the automotive revenue from infotainment modules and product development contracts rose 68% to $119 million.
Airbnb is now valued at a mammoth $30 billion, after its latest funding round secured $850 million, according to reports from Bloomberg.
Last year, Airbnb was valued at around $25.6 billion, but with the latest funding round it has bounced up to $30 billion. Since Airbnb opened up shop in 2008, it has raised $2.39 billion, and the new $850 million funding round pushes that up to just over $3.2 billion.
Airbnb is preparing to allow members rent out or book each other's rooms or homes when traveling, which is a new direction for the company.
Apple has reportedly acquired an artificial intelligence startup for a swift $200 million, with Turi based in Seattle, and working on various AI technologies.
Turi has some interesting technology its developing, with apps that use machine learning to model patterns, and they combine advanced machine learning which can be deployed in various scenarios that range from production to server data management.
The work that Turi uses on data analysis could have had Apple interested, and under Apple's wing, a great piece of AI could be used in various ways. If Apple were to combine the AI goodness from Turi into its Siri and iCloud, it might help iOS users through everyday tasks. The issue is now, Google is worlds ahead in terms of its software and services line-up, while Apple is now playing catch-up. Maybe it has acquired Turi so it can ask an AI how to beat their competitors?
Apple has announced that App Store developers have earned $50 billion so far, with company CEO Tim Cook revealing the news on Twitter.
Cook added that July was a record-breaking month for the App Store, with the highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to iOS developers. Apple takes a nice cut of those profits, so the iPhone giant is laughing all the way to the bank. Apple reported a quarterly revenue of $42.4 billion, with a net income for the quarter of $7.8 billion.
Apple CFO Luca Maestri said: "Our Services business grew 19 percent year-over-year and App Store revenue was the highest ever, as our installed base continued to grow and transacting customers hit an all-time record".
After hackers stole approximately $65 million worth of Bitcoins this week, Bitfinex's price plunged 15 percent. Though the losses have since been erased, customers are still suffering.
"We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation," Bitfinex wrote in a blog post. "We ask for the community's patience as we unravel the causes and consequences of this breach."
The US dollar is confirmed to have not been affected.
HTC has just posted its Q2 2016 financials, with the Taiwanese giant bleeding another $133 million for the quarter, even with strong Vive and HTC 10 smartphone sales.
Compared to the same quarter of 2015, HTC's sales are down 42.7%, but not as bad as the quarter that just passed, where HTC sales plummeted by 64%. This is the fifth quarter in a row that HTC has had troubles financially, but when the company saw that it was going to have a hit with the Vive headset, it creates its own subsidiary company known as HTC Vive Tech Corporation in order to manage it.
The company received a $100 million fund to expand the Vive ecosystem, and sales from this division count towards HTC's overall earnings. HTC has been shy on revealing the amount of Vive headsets that it has shipped, which would be nice to know right about now.
Uber has pulled a surprising move in China, merging with its biggest competitor in the country in a mammoth $35 billion deal with Didi Chuxing.
Didi Chuxing is Uber's biggest competitor in China, with Bloomberg and Recode reporting that Didi will scoop up Uber's operations in China with the deal, which will create a combined value of $35 billion. Uber and its investors in the Chinese business will receive a 20% stake in the new entity, which pre-merger was balued at $28 billion. Uber's Chinese operations are valued at around $7 billion, with the US company losing $1 billion per year in China as it couldn't compete against Didi Chuxing.
The new deal will see Didi investing $1 billion into Uber, with Uber valued at $68 billion. Didi also just secured $7.3 billion in a new financing round, which included Apple throwing $1 billion into the hat. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has said: "As an entrepreneur, I've learned that being successful is about listening to your head as well as following your heart. Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China and both companies have yet to turn a profit there. Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term".
Newegg is a huge force in the e-tailer market across the world, but down in Australia the company has announced that it's celebrating its second anniversary Down Under with a discounted Newegg Premier, with a new eBay.com.au store that will "fuel growth in the country".
Newegg started selling to Australian consumers in Q2 2014, and has continued towards dominance in the country with a 300% growth in Australian revenue since November 2015. Danny Lee, Newegg CEO said: "The strategy to expand Newegg's international presence hinges on successfully reaching customers in key markets such as Australia. In two short years our Australian operation has grown significantly, and we are committed to continuing growth in the months and years ahead".
Even though the company opened up operations in Australia two years ago, product availability was limited, and international shipping costs made products more expensive to deliver to consumers. Newegg has improved the product availability, and in November 2015 the company began local order fulfillment from within Australia. Now, over 7000 product SKUs are sold within Australia, while another 41,000 products are available to Australian consumers through Newegg's North American channel.
Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson (pictured below) has filed a $100 million consumer lawsuit against internet and cable giant Comcast.
The suit cites Comcast's "pattern of deceptive practices" that have seen 500,000 customers unnecessarily pay for what's described as as a misrepresented, limited, and worthless protection plan, and alleges over 1.8 million individual violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
It also says the "Comcast Guarantee" program which affects almost 1.2 million WA residents is in violation of the Act, and that it charged for technical issues that were said to have been covered, and took deposits that were supposed to have been waived for those with high credit scores.