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Triller’s brand ambassador raises $50,000 for college tuition in 3 days

In the future, you’ll probably be better off being a creator than a user. The latest example is Lea Elui, a 17-year-old influencer who serves as a brand ambassador for Triller, an AI-powered music video app with 28 million users.<p>Elui creates lifestyle videos where she dances and frolics like the …

Music Videos

Survey shows limited opportunities for tomorrow’s ‘disruptors’

When Facebook and Twitter launched, pundits and prognosticators envisioned a future in which still more social networks would bloom. Now we can count the number of major social networks pretty easily.<p>We may see a similar thinning among companies the media has dubbed “disruptors” — companies that …

Financial Services

Are we living in ‘Westworld’? The rise of virtual influencers

Lil Miquela has 1.3 million Instagram followers. It figures. She is a beautiful model with a unique sense of style. But, she is fake. Literally unreal — a CGI “being.” This sounds a lot like the HBO series <i>Westworld</i>, in which guests interact with artificial people, scripted to act convincingly …

Marketing

Why I took my bonus in Bitcoin

Flashback to 2013, before Bitcoin and blockchain took the public by storm. I was sitting at home when my teenage son asked me when Overstock was going to start accepting Bitcoin as payment. To be honest, at the time I didn’t even know what Bitcoin was, let alone other cryptocurrencies or …

Blockchain

5 cybersecurity leaders give startups 1 key piece of advice

During Tel Aviv Cyber Week 2018, five global cybersecurity leaders gathered for an exclusive fireside chat, and I had the opportunity to moderate the discussion. The panel included Dave DeWalt, former CEO of McAfee and FireEye and Founder of NightDragon; Justin Somaini, CSO of SAP; Andy Ellis, CSO …

Startups

Growing your company: Why the North Star metric works

Seafarers once traversed the oceans with the North Star as a guide, determining their proper direction depending on their relationship to it in the night sky. Now in 2018, tech entrepreneurs are doing the same — in a manner of speaking.<p>One of the most recent trends in the startup world is the North …

nsm

Expanding your startup? Here’s how to choose the right markets

You’ve decided it’s time to expand your startup internationally. The next question is: where to? Too often I see European companies taking the default routes of either going straight to the US or adding an “easy” nearby market — from Germany to Austria, for example, or from the UK to Ireland. At …

South-east Asia

HR tech is evolving quickly — more acquisitions are on the way

Globally, HR technology is massive space, spanning everything from recruitment to performance reviews. One source pegs the value of this market at $400 billion. In the past two years, venture capital and private equity investors have poured close to $2 billion into this market, with more than $900 …

Innovation

Why South Korea is ‘crypto crazy’ and what that means for the rest of the world

South Korea is truly crypto crazy. While the country has less than 1 percent of the world’s population, estimates indicate it is responsible for 30 percent of all cryptocurrency trading in the world. Steve Lim, CSO of South Korean crypto exchange Coinone said in an interview last year: “People are …

South Korea

3 challenges the Midwest still faces in attracting more venture capital

When it comes to venture capital activity, you can look at the Midwest in two ways. On one hand, the region lags significantly behind the East and West Coasts in total VC investment. On the other hand, this presents a real opportunity for significant growth, particularly given the region’s strong …

Venture Capital

How publishers and advertisers can balance privacy and monetization

If you’ve visited any website lately, you’ve noticed a pop-up that asks you to grant permission to collect data and notify you by email about updated privacy policies. That’s because of a new privacy and data protection regulation in Europe.<p>The European Union has always taken a stricter view of …

Digital Advertising

Alexa alternatives have a secret weapon: Privacy

Earlier this week we learned that worldwide smart speaker sales are expected to increase sixfold within the next couple of years. This mirrors multiple studies that say the majority of U.S. households will have a smart speaker by 2022, powered by current leading intelligent assistants Google …

San Francisco Bay Area

“Anything but Ultima Online”: Keeping the role-playing classic running

<i>The new book Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online collects 35 interviews with players, volunteers, and developers of the grandfather of massively multiplayer online PC games Ultima Online, exploring how their lives were shaped, changed, or altered by their</i> …

Take-Two Interactive

Want to make the most of AR? Here’s how consumers actually use it

Many brands are beginning to understand the definition and impact of augmented reality. But there are few insights into the AR consumer, and even fewer insights into the messaging and communication of how and why AR should be used to that consumer. Therefore brands who may have already developed an …

Augmented Reality

Unreal Engine windfall: Asset devs plan to pay off student loans and more

Epic shook up the payment model for its Unreal Engine (UE) Marketplace yesterday when it revealed it will now pay out 88 percent of every sale to creators. This reduced Epic’s cut from 30 percent to 12 percent, and the company noted that it would still earn a profit from that — oh, and Fortnite is …

Game Development

E3 2018: 4.4 million watched press events on Twitch and 15 million tweeted

The social media results are in for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the big game trade show in Los Angeles in June, and the results show that it continues to be one of the biggest events of the year for gaming.<p>The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group that puts on E3, …

Social Media

AI Weekly: How to regulate facial recognition to preserve freedom

Today Microsoft president Brad Smith called for federal regulation of facial recognition software.<p>“In a democratic republic, there is no substitute for decision making by our elected representatives regarding the issues that require the balancing of public safety with the essence of our democratic …

Artificial Intelligence

Researchers use AI and accelerometer data to predict heart rate while saving battery life

What do the Apple Watch and Nokia Pulse Ox have in common? They’ve both got pulse oximeter sensors that measure heart rate using photoplethysmography (PPG), the expansion and contraction of capillaries based on changes in blood volume. They’re accurate to a degree, but require a fair amount of …

Machine Learning

U.S. lets ZTE resume business by lifting supplier ban

<i>(Reuters) —</i> The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday lifted a ban on U.S. companies selling goods to ZTE, allowing China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker to resume business.<p>The Commerce Department removed the ban shortly after ZTE deposited $400 million in a U.S. bank escrow, as …

400million

Sony London Studio interview: Blood & Truth is VR’s ‘big blockbuster’

A handful of PlayStation VR experiences have been so memorable that gamers can cite the moments by name: looking directly into the Joker’s eyes in Batman: Arkham VR, starting your first lap in Wipeout Omega Collection, and heading into a pitch black basement in Resident Evil 7. For many people, any …

Virtual Reality

Will location-based VR games like Mario Kart VR be lost to history?

I enjoy both virtual reality and Mario Kart games, so I’ve wanted to play Mario Kart VR ever since it was announced. Unfortunately, like 99.994 percent of the population, I would have to physically travel to a different city just to play it: One year after its release, Bandai Namco and Nintendo …

Virtual Reality

KnewKey’s Rymek mechanical keyboard combines retro style with modern features

I’ve always loved typing. Smashing out words by pounding keys on a mechanical device has appealed to me for as long as I can remember, and the look and sounds of typewriters were a big part of that for me. That’s one of the reasons I was so interested in the Rymek from Knewkey. The Rymek is a …

volumeknob

Grandmaster Lee Sedol to launch blockchain version of Go board game

South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Sedol became famous for losing to Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence in a match playing the ancient Chinese board game. And now, Sedol is launching a blockchain-based Go game project, dubbed GoBlock, in collaboration with Korean blockchain company The …

Blockchain

Microsoft urges government to regulate facial recognition systems

Facial recognition technology is a controversial topic. Scores of investors and consumer advocacy groups rallied against Amazon for providing its face-detecting artificial intelligence (AI) to local law enforcement. In committee hearings, representatives in the House of Representatives took the FBI …

Artificial Intelligence

Roblox expects to pay content creators $70 million this year

Roblox is one of the biggest games in the world due to its popularity with younger audiences. It is a free-to-play online experience for PC, mobile phones, and Xbox One where players hang out and compete in games that other players have built using a powerful toolkit. If someone spends the premium …

Game Development

Riot Games sells cancer patient’s LoL character skin for charity

A cancer patient had a dream to make his own League of Legends skin, or customized character appearance. Contacted through Make-A-Wish Foundation, Riot Games agreed to let him do it. And it turned out so good, Riot Games is now selling the skin worldwide and donating the proceeds to charity.<p>That’s …

Save the Children

ProBeat: I hope Twitter has many more purges planned

Twitter is finally doing some solid cleanup work and, surprise, surprise, everyone from Russian bots to Wall Street is pissed. The social network has made many asinine mistakes over the years, but removing locked accounts from your follower count is not one of them. I’m thrilled Twitter is doing …

Social Media

Google Daydream SDK now supports multiple controllers for some devices

Until now, Google’s Daydream VR has been limited by support for only a single, basic controller, but that may be changing. Simultaneous multiple controller support has just been added to the Google VR software used by Daydream and Cardboard devices, though it’s unclear which headsets will actually …

Virtual Reality

Rapyd launches cardless payments and cash withdrawals in over 100 countries

As more people move to what could be termed a “decentralized life,” working remotely and moving from country to country with no fixed abode (me included), it is important to find new ways to transact, withdraw local currencies, and receive payments. And it is important to be able to do that in the …

FinTech

The DeanBeat: ArenaNet’s disaster sends shock waves into gaming

I was on vacation last week, hanging out with my extended family and playing a few games on my aging iPhone 6, my Nintendo Switch, and the Oculus Go. I was ready to write about that vacation gaming for this column, but then I saw an unraveling — or maybe a social media apocalypse — on the Internet. …

Guild Wars