Robots that Climb Stairs and Deliver Packages
|Robots that Climb Stairs and Deliver Packages|
|Broadcast Date||FEBRUARY 27, 2019|
Spotify comes to India, two new models of robots hitting the market, Quantum Computing from D-Wave gets a boost.
- Spotify launched in India on Android, iOS and the Web with premium plans priced at Rs 119 (US$1.67) per month. Free tier users in India can play any song on demand while most countries limit the free tier to shuffle. Some major artists like Ed Sheeran appear to be missing as Spotify is negotiating distribution contracts with Warner Brothers in India. Spotify faces competition from established music services from Apple, Google, Airtel Wynk and JioSaavn.
- Samsung has begun mass producing a 512GB smartphone storage chip with embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) 3.0 specifications. The new chip can deliver sequential read speed of 2,100MB per second and write speed of 410MB per second. That's about double the speed of the UFS 2.1 chips Samsung launched in January. Samsung plans to start manufacturing a 1TB model in the second half of the year.
- FedEx announced it will use short range delivery robots between its offices in Memphis as a trial towards wider use for FedEx delivery. The autonomous SameDayBot can move at up to 10 miles per hour and can climb steps and curbs. A screen on the back indicates to pedestrians things like turns and stops. FedEx says it is in talks with AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart for possible use of the robot.
- Agility Robotics has unveiled a bipedal robot called Digit with four arms that it can use for balance, pushing doors and lifting boxes up to 40 pounds. LiDAR sensors help it navigate its surroundings and a control system helps it navigate cluttered rooms and stairs. Agility's CTO Jonathan Hurst told IEEE Spectrum its aimed at delivery, telepresence, and entertainment among other sectors. Agility Robotics will release pricing in mid-2019, with deliveries starting in Q1 2020.
- Bytedance's TikTok has been downloaded more than 240 million times in India adding 30 million users in the last month. While most think of TikTok as an app for teens to create videos, poltical-oriented posts in advance of Indian elections are getting tens of millions of views. Neither the BJP or Congress parties have officially joined TikTok. Still the rising tide of political videos can't compare with the 13 billion views for videos tagged #Bollywood. And some state ministers are calling for regulation or bans on the app.
- Nintendo and Game Freak announced Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield for Nintendo Switch. The next installment in the RPG will include a new region called Galar and three new creatures, Grookee (a grass character), Scorbunny (fire) and Sobble (water). The new Pokémon games are expected in late 2019.
- The US Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, will settle a case with Cure Encapsulations over accusations of making false claims about weight loss and paying a third party to post fake reviews on Amazon. The settlement will see Cure Encapsulations pay $50,000, inform Amazon which reviews were paid for, and email any customers who bough the pills with details of the FTC's allegations.
- D-Wave announced its new Pegasus quantum computer technology can now connect each qbit to 15 other qubits, up from 6. The platform also has 5,000 qubits though this is a noisier version with shorter coherence than quantum computers from IBM, Rigetti and Google which are building universal computers. However, D-Wave says its systems have the lowest noise yet leading to longer coherence times. The new platform will arrive on D-Wave's Leap cloud computing platform in 2020.
- Alphabet's DeepMind has created a machine learning model to predict energy output up to 36 hours ahead of time in order to optimize the use of wind power. Power generated by wind turbines is often wasted because of its unpredictability. So far DeepMind has tested the system on Google's wind farms.
- A Russian Court convicted Ruslan Stoyanov, an executive at Kaspersky Labs, of treason and sentenced him to 14 years in prison. He was convicted alongside a Russian intelligence official. The men were arrested in 2016 in connection with a case about aiding the US FBI in 2016. Details of the court case have been classified.
- USB 3.2 will appear on devices later this year. The new standard doubles the maximum speed supported to 20 Gbps with two lanes of 10 Gbps each. However, older USB 3.1 devices can call themselves USB 3.2 without supporting 20 Gbps transfer speeds. Only USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 will support 20 Gbps.
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"Pandora Launches Stories"
| Robots that Climb Stairs and Deliver Packages
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"Amazon Day Launches for US Prime Members"