It turns out, Amazon is trying hard to provide its audience a better user interface for prime video.
When asked by a reporter on the fourth day of the Television Critics Association’s press tour in LA about if the company is planning for a new phone with a better UI for Prime users, Jen Salke, head of Amazon Studios said, “I haven’t felt an urgency to put a deadline on it.” Stating the reason, she said, “I went up there and met with them and they had a prototype phone that showed me the interface that they’re working on that’s about to be — that’s in the middle of being developed and coming soon.”
Jennifer says, “they actually created and sent me a prototype phone that’s in my office.” Well, she requested for the prototype so she could have a better understanding of what’s in the works so as to fend herself off of people who often criticize her for Amazon’s bad decisions regarding its flopped Fire Phone.
“I said, ‘I have to have that phone in Los Angeles Because I run into a lot of people like you … and myself at some point, you know? I was on the side of criticizing some of that as well. So it’s like where, you know, how can you answer the question of, ‘how is this going to improve?’ And they actually created and sent me a prototype phone that’s in my office, ”Salke says.
Adding to that, she said that the new interface is much more intuitive.
Jen Salke’s statement hinting at a new phone could be supported by a recent finding: in a record-breaking earnings report that Amazon released recently, the company quoted that it wants its “customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are.” And this incited some analysts, who suggested that a new phone could be in the works.
Currently, Alexa is only available on Amazon’s smart home speakers, and as a third party virtual assistant on some phones. But, it seems that the leading digital assistant company is visualizing the generalization of Alexa in the tech space. Amazon’s trying to create a monopoly with Alexa here.
This could be a step ahead for Amazon in achieving its goals in the streaming market.
“The new interface is much more intuitive.”
It’s good to see the retail giant compete in the streaming market to actually stand out this time.
Update: Jen Salke’s quotes were about a new software-based service. All hardware related instances are removed from this post.
Facebook hires chief of chip development at Google for its own chip-making ventures
While many technology giants have initiated producing their own chips, Facebook is little late in the game. But, better late than never. The social media company has hired Chief of chip development at Google for its chip-making ventures, Shahriar Rabii, according to Bloomberg.
Facebook has been out of the chip-making game for a long time, and hiring an engineer for its chipmaking ventures indicates that the company doesn’t want to wait longer. It has hired Shahriar Rabii to be the VP and head of Silicon, while previously, Rabii worked for Google in a team in-charge of creating chips for Google products, which includes the visual core chip embedded in Pixel devices.
The new hire will work under Facebook’s head of Virtual and Augmented Reality, Andrew Bosworth. This indicates that the social media giant could be working on creating chips for improvement of its virtual and augmented reality systems. Other use could be to improve processing in its vast data centers.
Apple, Google, Amazon, and several other companies have already invested their time, capital, and workforce in producing chips in-house. Apple has been producing mainstream chips for iPads and iPhones since 2010, while also creating chips that control Bluetooth, take pictures and conduct machine learning tasks. Although, now, seemingly, it’s Facebook’s time to hop into the chipmaking business.
Facebook’s venture into chipmaking could also be taken advantage of in instances involving handling serious social issues using virtual reality and machine learning. For those who don’t know, Facebook has been struggling with a lot of issues lately. The string of issues initiated, with Facebook being largely involved in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, haunting people with privacy perversion. A lot of bugs endangering data privacy also followed. But, seems to be stabile now.
With most major companies producing their own chips, chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and Intel could face serious dents in their profits. However, there’ll always be secondary companies that could keep funds flowing for chip manufacturers. But, it wouldn’t be the same. Chip manufacturers would have no reason to bring about breakthrough innovations. Recently, trusted sources purported that Apple would create mainstream chips for MacBooks henceforth, canceling out Intel’s chips to be considered for production.
However, in order to get a leg up and gain orders from companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, chip manufacturers would have to produce chips that would be out of bounds for tech giants like these.
Hopefully, Facebook’s venture into chipmaking will prove healthy for its vast user base.
SpaceX expects to earn more from launching satellites than just launching rockets, and much more.
SpaceX is envisaged to have its income flowing in by launching more and more satellites instead of just launching rockets. And if it works out, a pathway leading to a plethora of further advancements in the travel field can come into existence.
When asked by CNBC’s Morgan Brennan in an interview if the company was profitable, COO Gwynne Shotwell replied, “We are profitable, we’ve had many years, actually, of profitability. The years that are financially rough for us are the years when we have issues.” And by issues, she means the various times SpaceX’s rockets have either failed to launch or land.
The crash on September 1st, 2016, according to Gwynne, kind of propelled SpaceX into a new era of development and gave its engineers more time to work on new, safe and more enthralling projects. Albeit, the FCC’s approval to send a constellation of satellites into space financially set a path for SpaceX to go on with further endeavors. In favor of that, Shotwell stated, “The market size for launches is dramatically less than telecommunications, so that’s a nice way to go and make additional revenue.”
“In addition, it’s very complimentary…. to the work we’re doing right now,” Shotwell said. Considering Tesla’s “on the verge of dying” condition right now, she noted that SpaceX’s broadband capability could also be used to revive Tesla, just as SpaceX uses Tesla’s technology for its launches. The rocket giant’s Falcon 9 and Dragon, for instance, leverage Tesla’s battery technology.
Shotwell articulates, “The companies are not joint, but we do share technologies and capabilities wherever we can.” Even the Boring Company (which is actually a ‘boring’ company that takes on projects for digging into the earth, more like boring the earth) could utilize technologies for both SpaceX as well as Tesla to help house people on Mars.
“We’ve learned from Tesla,” says Shotwell, as Tesla produces way more units than SpaceX produces rocket stages. Tesla produces thousands of units a week, while SpaceX only manages to roughly achieve the production goal of 30 units per week. But, isn’t it obvious that producing space technology should take more time naturally, as compared to cars that don’t even fly?
SpaceX has learned a lot from Tesla
Shotwell also gave out scheduled rocket launch numbers in the interview. This year’s gonna see around 24-28 launches, and there are gonna be a few flights per month. Although, coming back on earth; speaking about the market down here, Gwynne says, “Next year will be a slight slowdown. The market has decreased a little bit, so you won’t see as many launches as you’ll see in 2018 and it will be roughly on the same order as 2017.”
She also had a pretty good explanation of why the market for SpaceX would slow down next year. Basically, there’s a whole process that goes into buying and scheduling satellites for launch. It’s usually supposed to be a two-year gap between the purchase of a satellite and its launch. However, 2017 was a year with fewer satellite orders; skip two years later, and you’ll notice as much satellite launches.
“60% of launches currently are executed by SpaceX”, says Shotwell. “But once we’re flying people, that could actually be realized.” In reference to an older post on The 8-Bit, the company is planning to hamper into the travel space and has promised to transport people from New York to Shanghai in just 50 minutes, and to Mars as well. And that plan of SpaceX could be given birth by 2024. But still, the market plays a major role in all of this.
SpaceX is a powerful company, indeed. And its power is reflected by the ability of its production team to construct one rocket engine per day and two of its workforce Falcon 9 rockets per month, specifically the newest; most powerful version of the Falcon 9 known as Block 5.
In conclusion, the broadband satellites could be a very big part of what SpaceX’s doing as a lot of other companies keep generating interest in broadband technologies and are constantly trying to get into this business. However, according to Shotwell, this broadband admittance could open up a completely new revenue stream for SpaceX that might make going to Mars an easily achievable goal.
Not only that, SpaceX, in Shotwell’s opinion, is the best at adapting and maintaining manufacturing processes that pave the way for cheaper launches. The manufacturing processes improve along with improvements in products, making it possible to reduce production costs. And that alone is the reason SpaceX can afford to launch so frequently, unlike NASA.
You can watch the complete interview here:
Smart Valley – A Place Where Dreams and Innovations Converge
This article is a product of TechieScoops. Go check it out. The link at the end.
The apprehensions that every aspiring entrepreneur faces while trying to get
her/his startup on global tech radars seems to grow exponentially with time.
The last few years have seen increasing competition and waves of
uncertainty have washed many a startup ideas off the shore.
Scams have rendered the industry risky for investors, too. While markets become
increasingly hostile to up and coming startups, Smart Valley – a Switzerland
based venture – seems to have finally cracked the code to startup success.
Smart Valley, a virtual Silicon Valley of sorts, essentially serves as an
effective tool for ICO project assessment and development – offering a
decentralized scoring system, expert advise, and ‘crowd wisdom’. Core to the
philosophy of this decentralized platform is the necessity of harmony between
three key aspects – experts, projects, and backers.
To help launch ICO’s that are secure and legal, Smart Valley will have an in-house
team of experts (Tech experts, Legal experts, HR experts, and the like)
whose services will be on offer to founders waiting to launch their projects.
To ensure that the platform becomes wholesome, Smart Valley will also have
investors onboard. The community of investors will look forward to financing
the most promising projects, perhaps the upcoming unicorns (startups with
billion dollar valuations that have immense potential to cause some serious
impact in the industry).
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of Smart Valley is its decentralized scoring
system which allows projects to be evaluated and scored on relevant criteria
by experts from across a spectrum of fields. Founders would be working
towards getting a good score on their projects as this is what would
eventually get them the investors. The higher your score; the higher your
probability of getting funded.
The community of experts also presents an opportunity to find jobs for
emerging ventures from across the world. Registering yourself as an expert in
a particular field would open up chances of being hired to be a part of a team
working on a project. By providing a single platform where projects can be
published with expert advice and attract investor funding on the basis of a
unique scoring system, Smart Valley manages to create a one-of-its-kind
ecosystem that could truly be game-changing.
However, the benefits don’t end here. Investors can cut some serious slack
by avoiding broker fees as the platform allows direct investment. The
assessment solutions that the platform offers help reduce any possibility of
In the long term, Smart Valley is planning to finance specialists from across
the board and even launch some college programs. These moves will help
enhance the quality of incoming experts and tackle the dearth of specialists in
the DLT market. Training for these upcoming experts will be funded through
special trust funds that will be financed with money raised from transactions
by members of the ecosystem. A breakdown of these goals is as given below:
College Programs: College programs are mainly to address the shortage in
supply of specialists in the DLT market. The programs will also train
prospective experts to tailor them to the needs of the platform in particular.
These experts will be better equipped to function efficiently on the platform.
Online courses: Smart Valley is an adherent of the economic decentralization
philosophy and online courses would be core to any decentralized training
program. The unique addition in the case of Smart Valley, however, is the
focus on the distributed ledger.
Hackathons: Organising hackathons essentially serves as a test of theoretical
competence encourages cutting edge and hi-tech projects, enhance
professional performance & increase the proliferation of new technologies
across the IT industry.
The SVT Token Factor
The platform’s Free Token Place offers opportunities to obtain tokens from
member projects at the allotment event. Key points to keep in mind with
regards to Tokens are:
- It is mandatory for every member project to make a pre-determined
number of its tokens on offer at the Free Token Place; the number of tokens
available must be higher than five times the number of funds allocated by the
Financial Centre to fund the scoring of the incumbent project.
- The value of the financial resources that a member project wishes to obtain
must be at least USD 500,000.
Survival Rates of Projects
Survival rates of projects are a project’s chances to complete its ICO
successfully. The platform possesses a unique set of tools that enhance a
project’s probability of long-term survival and success. Some of these tools
include – informative videos of the ICO’s team leaders, compulsory
availability of an MVP or prototype, and the decentralized scoring system as
an indicator of the quality of the project.
The tools help the ecosystem members critically analyze the project,
accurately evaluate its potential, and predict its possibility of success. Smart
Valley is still a pretty new platform and the reviews online have hinted at the
possibility of it being the big innovative change that entrepreneurs have been
It offers a mixed bag of all the elements that a successful ICO
could hope to have and makes it decentralized and accessible. Discounts on
certain Tokens (up to 80%), incentives for scoring projects, and the job
opportunities it offers to prospective experts only make the platform more
dynamic and all-encompassing. Check out Smart Valley and see your project
For detailed info on the ICO, visit the official website of Smart Valley now: https://bit.ly/2KpUQJb