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Facebook’s Echo Show rival could be announced next week

September 21, 2018 Alex 0

Facebook plans to announce its long-rumored Portal video chat device next week, according to a report in Cheddar. The device will reportedly function a lot like a Amazon’s Echo Show, but will place a specific emphasis on its facial recognition technology that will allow it to identify users and follow them throughout a room.

Rumors of the device have been around since a DigiTimes report emerged last year. At the beginning of 2018 Cheddar reported that the Facebook Portal was set for a reveal at the company’s F8 conference in May, however it now claims that this was delayed after the Cambridge Analytica scandal raised serious privacy concerns about the company. Even before that, Facebook was ranked far less trustworthy than either Amazon…

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Skype calling is coming to Amazon’s Alexa devices

September 21, 2018 Alex 0

Microsoft and Amazon are continuing their close partnership by bringing Skype calling to Alexa. Devices like Amazon’s Echo range will be able to access Skype’s basic calling, and Alexa-powered hardware like the Echo Show will also include video calling support. You’ll also be able to use Skype to call mobile and landlines using SkypeOut, and simply say “Alexa, call Bob on Skype” to activate a call.

Skype calling on Alexa will be available “later this year,” says Microsoft, and it follows a preview of Alexa and Cortana integration that’s available across Echo devices, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft and Amazon first partnered together for Alexa and Cortana last year, and it’s clear from this Skype calling effort that both…

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Eight Roads Ventures targets Southeast Asia deals

September 21, 2018 Alex 0

Eight Roads Ventures, the investment arm of financial giant Fidelity International, is moving into Southeast Asia where it sees the potential to plug the later stage investment gap.

The firm has funds across the world including the U.S, China and Europe, and it has invested nearly $6 billion in deals over the past decade. The firm has been active lately — it launched a new $375 million fund for Europe and Israeli earlier this year — and now it has opened an office in Singapore, where its managing partner for Asia, Raj Dugar, has relocated to from India.

The firm said it plans to make early-growth and growth stage investments of up to $30 million, predominantly around Series B, Series C and Series D deals. The focus of those checks will be startups in the technology, healthcare, consumer and financial services spaces. Already, it has three investments across Southeast Asia — including virtual credit card startup Akulaku, Eywa Pharma and fintech company Silot.

There’s a huge amount of..

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Amazon makes offline retail push in India

September 21, 2018 Alex 0

Amazon unleashed a flurry of new products this week at a U.S. press event, but halfway across the world, it is getting deeper into physical retail in the Indian market.

The U.S. e-commerce giant is buying up 49 percent of More in a deal that sees Amazon partner and PE firm Samara Capital pick up the remaining 51 percent. Amazon and Samara have created an entity called Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited which will hold the ownership stake through the deal, which is reportedly worth around $585 million according to Indian media. Regulation prevents Amazon from owning the business entirely, hence it requires a local partner to take a majority stake.

The deal is significant because it represents a major move for Amazon in brick and mortar retail in India, which is one of the up-and-coming global markets. It did, of course, jumped into offline sales in the U.S. when it gobbled up Whole Foods for some $16 billion last year and this India-based acquisition is similarly strategic.

Ama..

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AdGuard resets all user passwords after account hacks

September 21, 2018 Alex 0

Popular ad-blocker AdGuard has forcibly reset all of its users’ passwords after it detected hackers trying to break into accounts.

The company said it “detected continuous attempts to login to AdGuard accounts from suspicious IP addresses which belong to various servers across the globe,” in what appeared to be a credential stuffing attack. That’s when hackers take lists of stolen usernames and passwords and try them on other sites.

AdGuard said that the hacking attempts were slowed thanks to rate limiting — preventing the attackers from trying too many passwords in one go. But, the effort was “not enough” when the attackers know the passwords, a blog post said.

“As a precautionary measure, we have reset passwords to all AdGuard accounts,” said Andrey Meshkov, AdGuard’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

AdGuard has more than five million users worldwide, and is one of the most prominent ad-blockers available.

Although the company said that some accounts were improperly acce..