You want to know how Huawei is able to undercut everyone in the telecommunications space. Well with 75 Billion in tax incentives and a cash infusion from the Chinese government it is no wonder. As you have already determined I am not a big fan of Huawei and I can guarantee no coverage of them at CES 2020. Ok crazy few days and then I will be off to CES so get ready for two shows next week.
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Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Army will spend $111 million next year in a new contract with Palantir Technologies Inc. The company was selected by the Defense Department over Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Accenture and Deloitte. Peter Thiel is the co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies Inc.
The Defense deal solidifies a relationship between the U.S. government and the Palo Alto, California-based company, which was co-founded and partly bankrolled by Thiel. The billionaire venture capitalist and adviser to President Donald Trump has chastised other technology companies, in particular Alphabet Inc.’s Google, for their reluctance to work with the Defense Department. After Google abandoned a Pentagon effort known as Project Maven, Palantir stepped in to help develop video recognition software as part of the project, a move reported earlier by Business Insider.
The Department of Defense website noted that Palantir was awarded an $100,814,893 “other transaction agreement contract” for numerous databases across the Army enterprise integrated on one platform. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and has an estimated completion date of December 15, 2023.
It is interesting that Microsoft was not selected for this project. In October of 2019, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a Department of Defense contract that could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. That project is called the JEDI Cloud. According to the Department of Defense website, one bid was solicited via the internet with one bid received. It appears that Palantir may have been that bid.
Bloomberg reported that Palantir will provide software to connect human resources, supply chains, and other Army operation systems into a single dashboard.
In June of 2019, Microsoft introduced Project Scarlett. It was designed for players who want a console designed, built, and optimized for gaming. Project Scarlett is now called Xbox Series X. It will be available “holiday 2020”.
Xbox Series X will be our fastest, most powerful console ever and set a new bar for performance, speed, and compatibility, allowing you to bring your gaming legacy, thousands of games from three generations and move forward with you. Its industrial design enables us to deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way, something that is critically important in delivering truly immersive gameplay.
The Xbox Series X looks very different from previous versions. It was designed to support both vertical and horizontal orientation. To me, it looks like a PC when it is placed vertically.
In addition, Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox Wireless Controller. According to Microsoft, the controller’s size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but from the look of it, I assume the controller might be comfortable for people no matter how large or small their hands are.
The controller has a Share button to make capturing screenshots and game clips simple. The new Xbox Series X Wireless controller will be compatible with Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, and will be included in every Xbox Series X.
The acquisition supports PayPal and Honey’s shared mission to simplify and personalize shopping experiences for consumers while driving conversion and increasing consumer engagement and sales for merchants. The combination will help accelerate growth across both companies.
Honey posted on its website about the acquisition. “When we started Honey, our mission was to make money fair. What started as coupons has since grown into multiple products that work together to turn inefficiencies into time and money savings for everyone.”
PayPal was the first company to pull out of Facebook’s Libra project. At the time, PayPal said it wanted “to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priories as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.” It sounds like PayPal and Honey have matching goals.
I find this acquisition to be interesting because it appears to be consumer-focused. TechCrunch reported that Honey has a suite of money-saving tools to help people track prices, get alerts, and browse offers. It also has a rewards program. PayPal hopes to add Honey’s technology to its own product line, which would open up Honey’s tools to PayPal’s 300 million users.
CIMCON Lighting, a leading global provider of smart cities technologies, announced the closing of a $33 million financing led by Digital Alpha, which includes $23 million in Series C funding and a $10 million revenue-sharing facility. Energy Impact Partners (EIP), who led the Series B also participated in the round. These funds will enable CIMCON to extend its technology lead in the smart city space and expand its sales and marketing efforts to meet the incredible demand in the market.
The $10 million revenue-sharing facility is an innovative structure provided by Digital Alpha, which will empower CIMCON and its city customers to deploy smart city initiatives with minimal upfront investment.
“We are very pleased to share the news of this recent round of funding from two valued partners,” said Anil Agrawal, CEO of CIMCON. “We have proven through our technology, our customers, and our results that the world is ready to embrace smart city technology as a critical component to urban planning and design. These funds will allow us to develop new applications and services and deepen our partnership with Cisco – and make it easier for cities to move their visions from the drawing board to the city streets.”
CIMCON Lighting’s Smart City Platform is called NearSky. It simplifies the deployment of sensors, cameras, and other devices, such as Wi-Fi access points, so cities can more easily build a digital, data-driven city. It turns any city’s existing streetlight infrastructure into a flexible, reliable, and secure digital canopy that spans the city and serves as an Internet of Municipal Things.
One of the things NearSky can is enable cities to provide mobile apps, public Wi-Fi, wayfinding, information, and EV charging stations to citizens. To me, these sound like useful things that many people would want to have in their city.
NearSky also provides cities with data storage capabilities, analysis tools, and APIs that allow the cities to process the data that is collected across the city’s network of sensors. This could be good, or bad, depending on how the people in charge of the city use that data. Some people may interpret a city’s Internet of Municipal Things as enabling surveillance of innocent people.
There are many options out there for media playback, we’ve come a long way since Windows Media Player and Quicktime. Alternatives abound, and some of them quite compelling.
Take the Video Lan Client, better known to everyone as VLC, which is capable playing almost any format a user can throw at it. Like any software, however, there are always bugs, and sometimes security holes that could allow bad things to happen to good people.
VLC is issuing a number of security fixes, 33 of them to be exact, designed to keep your system healthy. Two of these are considered critical, designed to patch an out-of-bound write vulnerability and a stack-buffer-overflow bug.
According ThreatPost “Details are scant on the two high-severity bugs and how they could be exploited. Impacted is VLC 3.0.7 and the EU-FOSSA release of the player, along with code tied to the upcoming 4.0 release of the player.”
The high number of patches comes on the heels of a new bug bounty program started by the European Commission on January 7, 2019.
The updates are being pushed out so users shouldn’t need to do anything except wait, and actually, you may already have it.