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Google makes $550M strategic investment in Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com

June 18, 2018 Alex 0

Google has been increasing its presence in China in recent times, and today it has continued that push by agreeing to a strategic partnership with e-commerce firm JD.com which will see Google purchase $550 million of shares in the Chinese firm.

Google has made investments in China, released products there and opened up offices that include an AI hub, but now it is working with JD.com largely outside of China. In a joint release, the companies said they would “collaborate on a range of strategic initiatives, including joint development of retail solutions” in Europe, the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

The goal here is to merge JD.com’s experience and technology in supply chain and logistics — in China, it has opened warehouses that use robots rather than workers — with Google’s customer reach, data and marketing to produce new kinds of online retail.

Initially, that will see the duo team up to offer JD.com products for sale on the Google Shopping platform across the word, but it seems clea..

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Westworld’s Man in Black is beyond saving

June 18, 2018 Alex 0

The last few episodes of Westworld have been some of the best — and most revelatory — of the entire season. The heartbreaking origin of the Ghost Nation tribe was revealed last week, and in the episode before that, audiences learned new insights about the creation of Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), and how the virtual simulation called “The Cradle” played a major role. It feels as if the show is pulling its disparate story threads together, all in anticipation of the coming season finale.

In the latest episode, “Vanishing Point,” themes of free will and choice bind together four very different storylines. There’s the normally passive Bernard, who finally stands up and embraces his own agency by deleting the Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins)…

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TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is coming soon to Beirut, São Paulo and Lagos

June 18, 2018 Alex 0

Everyone knows there are thriving startup communities outside of obvious hubs, like San Francisco, Berlin, Bangalore and Beijing, but they don’t always get the support they deserve. Last year, TechCrunch took a major page from its playbook, the Startup Battlefield competition, and staged the event in Nairobi, Kenya to find the best early stage startup in Sub-Saharan Africa, and also to Sydney, Australia, to find the same for Australia and New Zealand. Both were successes, thanks to talented founders and the hard traveling TechCrunch team. And now we’re pleased to announce that we’re stepping up our commitment to emerging ecosystems.

TechCrunch is once again teaming up with Facebook, our partner for last year’s Nairobi event, to bring the Startup Battlefield to three major cities representing regions with vital, emerging startup communities. In Beirut, TechCrunch’s editors will strive to find the best early stage startup in the Middle East and North Africa. In São Paulo, the hunt is fo..

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Blockchain technology could be the great equalizer for American cities

June 18, 2018 Alex 0

Brooks Rainwater
Contributor

Brooks Rainwater is the director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities.

More posts by this contributor

Do cities still want a sharing economy?
As tech startups surge in cities, inclusive economic growth must be a priority

The city of Austin is currently piloting a program in which its 2,000 homeless residents will be given a unique identifier that’s safely and securely recorded on the blockchain. This identifier will help individuals consolidate their records and seek out crucial services. Service providers will also be able to access the information. If successful, we’ll have a new, more efficient way to communicate and ensure that the right people are at the table to help the homeless.

in Austin and around the country, it seems that blockchain technology is opening a range of opportunities for city service delivery and operations.

At its core, blockchain is a secure, inalterable..

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Facebook will stop showing minors ads for gun accessories

June 17, 2018 Alex 0

Facebook will soon prevent minors from viewing ads for gun accessories such as holsters, or magazines. The move comes amidst renewed focus on gun violence in the United States following school shootings in Santa Fe, Texas, Parkland, Florida, and others.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, the company already bans ads for guns and modifications, but sellers can post ads for accessories such as gun-mounted flashlights, scopes, holsters, gun cases, gun paint, or slings. The company isn’t going to prohibit those ads, but it will require sellers to “restrict their audiences to at least 18 years of age or over.”

The company’s listed adverting policies don’t currently list the age restriction — that will change when the policy will take…

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