[INSIDERS] 5 Tech Info to Shine in Society
Boeing to acquire Aurora Flight Services Corporation, a company specializing in aeronautical research, and in particular in autonomous flight systems. This operation should help the manufacturer to advance in the development of autonomous flying vehicles, for commercial or military purposes.
Aurora is known in its sector for its strong capacity for innovation : in 20 years of operation, Aurora has developed and flown more than 30 unmanned vehicles. Aurora has notably tested this year the LightningStrike XV-24A (it’s banging), a VTOL (yes, VTOL like Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft, vertical take-off and landing aircraft) funded by the US Air Force and DARPA, the Pentagon’s Research & Development agency. Aurora has also developed with DARPA a robotic arm that successfully piloted and landed a Boeing 737 in simulation.
Aurora, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, employs 550 people, and has a research and development center near MIT in Cambridge. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.
Amazon is looking for a spot to establish its second headquarters and American cities are redoubling their efforts and creativity to curry favor with the e-commerce giant.
Announced last month, Amazon HQ2 is indeed a project of pharaonic dimensions, like Apple Park or the Facebook campus, a few figures of which are enough to explain the excitement of the city councilors: the construction and operating budget would be $ 5 billion, and the buildings could employ up to 50,000 people.
Interested municipalities and regions have until October 19 to submit their applications. Amazon has expressed a few criteria of its preference: urban or peri-urban area with more than one million inhabitants, likely to attract tech talent. And among the files, some have already stood out for their originality:
In Tucson, Arizona, we delivered to Amazon’s historic headquarters in Seattle a cactus 6.5 meters high, to illustrate the region’s ability to “grow”.
– Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 19, 2017
In Birmingham, Alabama, we installed giant Amazon boxes all over town to celebrate the submission of the candidacy.
30 km from Atlanta, Georgia, the mayor of Stonecrest, a town of 53,000 inhabitants, obviously suffering from a dystopian outbreak, offers outright remove 140 hectares from the cadastre, to make it an independent city. A city that would be called, I give it to you in a thousand, the city of Amazon (sighs): “What we’re offering [Amazon] is the ability to control their brand and their city forever », said the mayor of Stonecrest (violins).
Other cities and regions offer more classically tax cuts, like New Jersey, which puts on the table $ 5 billion over 20 years.
The details can be read on CNN Tech: Cities are doing wacky things to host Amazon’s second headquarters
If you are tired of VTC drivers who do not wear a suit, who do not know the route to bring you back to your home or whose carriage smells of cold tobacco (cross out the unnecessary mention), know that a new actor is trying his luck in Paris. Coming straight from Estonia, the start-up Taxify launched its mobile application this morning with the firm intention of shaking up the undeniable but highly contested Uber in the streets of the capital. One more ? Private Driver, Heetch, Allocab, LeCab, Marcel… Many have already tried to bring down the American ogre!
However, Taxify arrives in Paris with the means to satisfy its ambitions. It must be said that the Estonian platform, created in 2013 and present in 19 countries, has decided to put a big tackle to market prices. As a welcome gift, Taxify is thus offering a 50% discount on its trips throughout the month of October.. Markus Villig, co-founder and CEO of the company, also ensures that the rates charged by Taxify are 10% lower than those in force at Uber. In addition to customers, the newcomer also intends to seduce the drivers. Taxify promises them higher income, with a commission of 15% taken on each trip, against 25% at Uber. The Estonian company already claims 2,000 operational drivers. According to the young shoot, they were even 5,000 to have registered on the application even before its official launch.
For the record, Taxify is supported by a certain … Didi Chuxing, Chinese VTC giant. The latter owns a little less than 20% of the capital of the Estonian company. Although the participation of Didi Chuxing is in the minority, it should not delight Uber, which had abandoned its projects in China in the summer of 2016 in the face of the ultra domination of its Chinese rival. In the Middle Kingdom, Didi Chuxing thus claims to control 90% of the VTC market. If the Chinese giant were to increase its stake in Taxify, this could cause Uber some headaches …
Last August, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Google was working on a multimedia editorial format close to Snapchat’s Discover. Stamp, this is the name of the product, and my faith, as it is well found: it would be a question of portmanteau combining STories and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), such as the open-source format used by Google to optimize the loading of web content on mobile.
And the specialized site Recode Today we learn that, to promote the adoption of its new format, Google would pay publishers who would like to try it. The versions differ as to the exact importance of these aids.
Google had already provided financial incentives to content creators in the past, especially on YouTube (and we were talking in millions of dollars here), in order to help them professionalize their offer. Facebook has also used incentives to promote Facebook Live in particular.
Stamp should come as a multimedia slideshow, optimized for the phone, located at the top of search results or on their own site. They integrate videos, images, texts and the navigation is similar to Instagram Stories or Snapchat’s Discover.
Stamp testing is scheduled to begin this month on a small number of mobile users, including publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Mashable, Mic.com, CNN, The Washington Post, and Vox Media.
Recode indicates, however, that publishers should not give up on this format for the moment: Google does not intend to market Stamp for the moment, and even if publishers would then keep 100% of the income they could derive from it, the inventory where Stamp will be deployed in the short term (1 to 2% of mobile users) will hardly boost business volume.
Orange wants to make the protection of its 265 million customers a priority. The head of the Telecom group, Michel Van Den Berghe, announced on Thursday that cybersecurity at Orange will represent 350 million euros in revenue by 2020. In 2016, this amount came to 250 million euros. “Orange has made cybersecurity a strategic priority as part of its Essentials 2020 plan», Explains Stéphane Richard, CEO of the Orange group, in a press release.
This announcement was made during the inauguration of the group’s subsidiary dedicated to cybersecurity, Orange Cyberdefense. Founded in January 2016, this entity has its headquarters in La Défense. The subsidiary has 1,200 employees. 1000 more people will arrive by 2020 to swell the ranks.