technology

500 Startups Vietnam grabs $14M to invest in local companies

500 Startups has set its sights on Vietnam, a historically dormant market that’s recently emerged as one of the most rapidly-expanding tech ecosystems in Southeast Asia. The Silicon Valley startup accelerator and venture capital fund has raised $14 million for 500 Startups Vietnam, it’s Ho Chi Minh City-based micro-fund focused on Vietnam-headquartered startups or companies catering to the Vietnamese market. The fund launched in March 2016 with a $10 million target to capitalize on a new cohort of internet-era startups. 500 Startups partners Eddie Thai and Binh Tran manage the fund. Thai is the former director of CJ CGV Vietnam, a cinema and film distribution company; and Tran is the co-founder and former chief technology officer of the social influence tool Klout, which sold to Lithium Te...

Swimmer in Australia dies after being stung by stingray

A swimmer in Australia has died of a heart attack after he was stung by a stingray. Police say the 42-year-old man went into cardiac arrest on Saturday at Lauderdale Beach, east of Hobart in Tasmania, after he suffered a puncture wound to his lower abdomen. He was swimming alone and close to shore when the attack happened. Friends pulled him from the water but failed in attempts to resuscitate him. The incident recalled the 2006 death of “The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin while filming an underwater scene for a television series, when a stingray’s stinging barbs pierced his heart.

Cities that didn’t win HQ2 shouldn’t be counted out

Brooks Rainwater Contributor More posts by this contributor As tasks wane, skills rise Blockchain technology could be the great equalizer for American cities Scott Andes Contributor Scott Andes is the program director for the National League of Cities City Innovation Ecosystem program. The more than year-long dance between cities and Amazon for its second headquarters is finally over, with New York City and Washington, DC, capturing the big prize. With one of the largest economic development windfalls in a generation on the line, 238 cities used every tactic in the book to court the company – including offering to rename a city “Amazon” and appointing Jeff Bezos “mayor for life.” Now that the process, and hysteria, are over, and cities have stopped asking “how can we get Amazon,” we’d like...

UK watchdog has eyes on Google-DeepMind’s health app hand-off

The shock news yesterday that Google is taking over a health app rolled out to UK hospitals over the past few years by its AI division, DeepMind, has caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog — which said today that it’s monitoring developments. An ICO spokesperson told us: “An ICO investigation and an independent audit into the use of Google Deepmind’s Streams service by the Royal Free both highlighted the importance of clear and effective governance when NHS bodies use third parties to provide digital services, particularly to ensure the original purpose for processing personal data is respected. “We expect all the measures set out in our undertaking, and in the audit, should remain in place even if the identity of the third party changes. We are continuing to monitor the ...

In venture capital, it’s still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu Contributor Howie Xu is the vice president of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Zscaler. He previously co-founded TrustPath and served as an entrepreneur in residence at Greylock. This month marks the 5-year anniversary of Aileen Lee’s landmark article, “Welcome To The Unicorn Club”. At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the her...

Mexican venture firm ALL VP has a $73 million first close on its latest fund

Buoyed by international attention from U.S. and Chinese investors and technology companies, new financing keeps flowing into the coffers of Latin American venture capital firms. One day after the Brazilian-based pan-Latin American announced the close of its $150 million latest fund comes word from our sources that ALL VP, the Mexico City-based, early stage technology investor, has held a first close of $73 million for its latest investment vehicle. The firm launched its first $6 million investment vehicle in 2012, according to CrunchBase, just as Mexico’s former President Enrique Peña Nieto was coming to power with a pro-business platform. One which emphasized technology development as part of its strategy for encouraging economic growth. ALL VP founding partner Fernando Lelo de Larrea sai...

How ‘net neutrality’ became a hot-button issue

For a fundamentally nerdy subject, net neutrality is pushing a lot of political buttons. The latest salvo is over a California law that restores a ban on cable, wireless and other broadband providers from impeding people’s ability to use their favorite apps and services. The federal government had rescinded that ban, and the Trump administration is seeking to block California’s effort as an imposition on federal prerogatives. Though net neutrality started off more than a decade ago as an insight into how to make networks work most efficiently, it has taken on much larger social and political dimensions lately. The issue has emerged as an anti-monopoly rallying point and even a focus for “resistance” to the Trump administration. “Any time the cable companies an...

More protection: UN says Earth’s ozone layer is healing

Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said. The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientist raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide. As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century. “It’s really good news,” said report co-chairman Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “If ozone-deple...

Palau to ban sunscreen as it tries to save its coral reefs

In an attempt to protect the coral reefs that divers so admire they have dubbed them the underwater Serengeti, the Pacific nation of Palau will soon ban many types of sunscreen. President Tommy Remengesau Jr. last week signed legislation that bans “reef-toxic” sunscreen from 2020. Banned sunscreens will be confiscated from tourists who carry them into the country, and merchants selling the banned products will be fined up to $1,000. Remengesau said in a statement that the penalties find the right balance between “educating tourists and scaring them away.” The law defines reef-toxic sunscreen as containing any one of 10 chemicals, including oxybenzone, and states that other chemicals may also be banned. The legislation also requires tour operators to start providing ...

Google employees walk out to protest treatment of women

Google engineers and other company workers around the world walked off the job Thursday to protest the internet company’s lenient treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct. Employees staged walkouts at offices from Tokyo to Singapore to London. In Dublin, organizers used megaphones to address the crowd of men and women to express their support for victims of sexual harassment. Other workers shied away from the media spotlight, with people gathering instead indoors, in packed conference rooms or lobbies, to show their solidarity with abuse victims. The protests are the latest backlash against men’s exploitation of female subordinates in business, entertainment, technology and politics. In Silicon Valley, women also are becoming fed up with the male-dominated compositi...

Apple unveils its ‘greenest’ MacBook ever

Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its iPad Pro, Pencil and MacBook Air at an invite-only event in Brooklyn, New York. The event, which took place at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, was the company’s second product announcement in two months. First up: the new MacBook Pro. “Mac is the most essential tool for creativity,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said as he took the stage to roaring applause. He then played a video created on a Mac which stitched together black and white still photos of famous personalities, including Vogue’s Anna Wintour and tennis champion Serena Williams. “What we all want in a Macbook Air is a retina display,” Cook said. In addition to a revamped display, the new 13.3-inch Macbook Air offers better display quality and 48 percent more c...

Saudi ties to US colleges come under mounting scrutiny

U.S. colleges and universities have received more than $350 million from the Saudi government this decade, yet some are rethinking their arrangements in the wake of the killing of a journalist that has ignited a global uproar against the oil-rich nation. The Associated Press analyzed federal data and found that at least $354 million from the Saudi government or institutions it controls has flowed to 37 American schools since 2011. Much of the money was provided through a scholarship program that covers tuition for Saudis studying in the U.S., but at least $62 million came through contracts or gifts from the kingdom’s nationally owned companies and research institutes, the AP found. Those benefiting the most from Saudi contracts include Northwestern University, which has received $14 ...