[CONFIDENTIEL] Boston Dynamics, Tim Berners-Lee, Amazon, Lyft …

by bold-lichterman

We hadn’t heard from Boston Dynamics again, after Google’s parent company, Alphabet, sold it to SoftBank Group in June 2017. If you thought, however, you could rest easy, away from the company’s robot videos that have terrified social media, you better get to know Spot Mini right now.

Boston Dynamics uploaded a 24-second teaser, introducing the beast (as we can’t think of a better term to describe this yellow creature that moves with the flexibility of a kid, before taking a stare at the camera and leave immediately).

TechCrunch contacted the company for more information, without success. The specialist site, however, notes the visible difference with other Boston Dynamics quads, a polished appearance that TechCrunch correlates to SoftBank’s commercial ambitions in robotics, and 3D cameras as eyes.

As the caption recommends: “Stay tuned ” (or not).

To read on TechCrunch : Meet Boston Dynamics’ streamlined SpotMini

Asked by a Bloomberg reporter during a plenary session of the 3WC consortium, who asked him if he had ever felt like a Dr Frankenstein overwhelmed by his creature, at the sight of fake news and their consequences for democracy , Tim Berners-Lee replied in the affirmative. For 25 years, the founding father of the Web has dedicated himself to expanding internet access. Today, he believes that, faced with a Web that has become as complex as a human brain, the technology industry needs a multidisciplinary approach to study the impact of services once they are launched and “Look for their unintended consequences”.

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Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, in 1994. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Too often, web companies act without understanding the impact of their actions: Berners-Lee criticized Google, Facebook or Twitter for creating advertising systems that then encourage the spread of false information by entities that are not even guided by malice or a political agenda, but out of simple greed, giving the example of Veles in Macedonia, which has become the capital of fake news.

When it comes to data, Berners-Lee says it’s important for individuals to be able to own and control their own data, and companies should think twice before assuming it’s a business asset: “It was said that data is the new oil. Personally, I think it’s like nuclear fuel. It becomes toxic. Two years ago, the board question was, “How do we monetize data?” Now the question is, “How do we protect ourselves from damage caused by their exploitation?” “”

When Berners-Lee is asked if he has a voice assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home, the answer is no: for him, conversations and requests recorded in our home and transferred to the cloud inevitably become vulnerable to intruders and accessible to intrusive governments: “We must resist these technologies”said the pioneer who created the World Wide Web almost 30 years ago.

To read in its natural habitat, with other answers on net neutrality, internet censorship, or the power of large tech companies: Father of the Web Confronts His Creation in the Era of Fake News

The GAFAs and China are still looking for each other. While Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or even YouTube are far from welcome in the Middle Kingdom, Amazon is trying to find solutions to avoid incurring the wrath of the Chinese authorities. To do this, the American giant has just sold part of its cloud activity in China to its local partner Beijing Sinnet Technology. The transaction is worth $ 301 million.

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Photo: Amazon

This is not a total divestiture of the assets in question since Amazon still claims to own the intellectual property of its cloud services, grouped under the entity Amazon Web Services (AWS) (AWS). And for good reason, this operation should especially allow the firm of Jeff Bezos to remain in the nails of Chinese law. “It prohibits non-Chinese companies from owning or operating certain technologies to provide cloud services. As a result, in order to comply with Chinese law, AWS sold some physical assets to Beijing Sinnet Technology, its long-time Chinese partner ”, Amazon told TechCrunch.

AWS is Amazon’s true nugget, helping drive growth and rentalability.

Amazon is selling parts of its cloud business in China for up to $ 301 million

Uber would he worry? After expanding to more than 100 American cities, Lyft is expanding its offer in Canada. The service will be available in the City of Toronto by the end of the year. The company plans to come and set up in other English-speaking cities, according to Recode.

Uber doesn’t seem to care about its rival, even though the latter has nibbled away some market share in recent months, thanks in part to aggressive marketing. The VTC platform now represents 73% of the market against 84% previously. For Lyft, that figure stands at 23%.

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Lyft is now valued at $ 11 billion. The company recently raised $ 1 billion from Alphabet.

Lyft’s first international city will be Toronto, Canada