business

Microsoft acquires Wand Labs for its natural language tech

Microsoft acquires Wand Labs for its natural language tech

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of messaging app developer Wand Labs, something it says will help the company bring about the vision of “Conversation as a Platform.” Namely, Microsoft is eyeing Wand's talent and technology, pointing specifically toward what it calls “conversational intelligence” — that is, natural language processing that allows machines to understand human language as it is naturally spoken.

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Vrse renames itself ‘Within’ to shed VR tether

Vrse renames itself ‘Within’ to shed VR tether

Vrse, the company that focuses on VR content, has decided to rename itself for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that its new name “Within” is easier to spell and search for online. According to company CEO Chris Milk, people who had only heard the company’s then-name Vrse didn’t know how it was spelled and couldn’t find it online. Those who only knew it by its text name weren’t sure how to pronounce it. "Turns out," he said, "these are not great features for a company name."

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Volkswagen aims for 30 all-electric models on the road by 2025

Volkswagen aims for 30 all-electric models on the road by 2025

During a press announcement in Germany today, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller revealed the company's revised automotive strategy of having 30 electric models available to consumers by the year 2025. There's no doubt that this new "vision" is in part an attempt to recover from VW's damaged reputation caused by the widespread scandal on diesel emissions cheating.

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Uber partners with Capital One to offer free ride rewards

Uber partners with Capital One to offer free ride rewards

Uber has teamed up with Capital One to give some of their mutual customers the opportunity to earn free rides. The new partnership concerns the Capital One Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne card; when used to pay for Uber rides, those payments will earn rewards that eventually lead to a free ride (up to a certain value). Reward tracking is made available directly within the Uber mobile app.

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Rhapsody is dead, long live Napster

Rhapsody is dead, long live Napster

Hey, everyone, do you remember Napster? The once immensely popular illegal file-sharing software that just kind of evaporated is back! Well, sort of. Do you remember Rhapsody? Neither do I, to be honest, but it was one of the very first internet radio services, and was eventually just known for its annoying plugins and software. Turns out, the company bought the Napster brand back in 2011 with the hopes of turning into a streaming service to compete with Spotify. But today Rhapsody is no more, and instead will exclusively be using the Napster name.

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Amazon may be fined $350k for improperly shipping ‘liquid fire’

Amazon may be fined $350k for improperly shipping ‘liquid fire’

Amazon could be hit with a $350,000 fine from the FAA for allegedly shipping a package that contained the corrosive drain cleaner “Amazing! LIQUID FIRE.” The package is said to have been shipped in violation of regulations against hazardous materials, and it reportedly resulted in multiple UPS workers sustaining minor injuries; they had to be treated with a chemical wash after touching the leaking package, which caused a burning sensation.

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Daimler promises long-range electric Mercedes to debut in October

Daimler promises long-range electric Mercedes to debut in October

It took years of trying, but Tesla has finally pushed the concept of an all-electric car into the mainstream, and with the recent excitement over the new Model 3, there's no doubt that traditional auto giants are now rushing to get their own EVs to market. One such manufacturer is Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker's parent company, Daimler, has now promised that a prototype all-electric model will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October.

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Amazon tipped in plan to launch its own music streaming service

Amazon tipped in plan to launch its own music streaming service

Amazon will be launching its own non-Prime music streaming service soon, according to sources, and it’ll be designed to compete with Spotify and similar music services. The service will cost $9.99/month when it launches, according to a couple of people, with that launch being set for later this summer or possibly early autumn. This music streaming service will be a standalone product, and won’t require subscribers to have a Prime subscription.

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Thieves walk out of an Apple Store with 19 iPhones during store hours

Thieves walk out of an Apple Store with 19 iPhones during store hours

If you're confident and act as though you belong somewhere, chances are that few people will question your presence. And as a pair of thieves recently learned, it helps if you're dressed appropriately. At the SoHo Apple store, two people were able to simply walk in, and take 19 iPhones from a drawer, and walk out as if nothing happened, just because they were confident and dressed the part.

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Apple will begin selling its excess green energy

Apple will begin selling its excess green energy

Apple has formed a new subsidiary company, but not one for developing the latest computer and mobile devices. Instead, "Apple Energy LLC" will be used to sell the surplus energy the company generates at its solar power farms. Incorporated in the state of Delaware in late May, Apple Energy has filed its request to sell power to markets in the US with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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UberRUSH API opens up to all developers

UberRUSH API opens up to all developers

Uber has announced that its UberRUSH API is now available to everyone, not just the select partners it was originally open to. The API has already been used in partnership with Google Express, Nordstrom, 1800flowers, and others, but now anyone can take advantage of the service. Existing businesses can use the UberRUSH API to add on-demand delivery to business and more.

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Time Warner Cable lambasted over slow speeds by New York AG

Time Warner Cable lambasted over slow speeds by New York AG

New Yorkers have been writing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over alleged slow download speeds on Time Warner Cable, and those complaints have prompted the AG to fire off a letter to Charter, the company that recently finalized its TWC acquisition. In the letter, Schneiderman presses Charter to fix Time Warner Cable’s ‘abysmal’ performance, citing numerous complaints about lower-than-advertised download speeds.

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