Big Data

Hive raises $10.6 million to bolster project management with AI

For evidence that the future of work is automated (or at least semi-automated), look no further than startups like New York-based Hive. The productivity platform provider offers solutions from meeting scheduling to task management and project monitoring, and in an effort to lay the groundwork for expansion after quintupling revenue this past year, it’s secured fresh funding.

Hive today revealed that it’s raised $10.6 million in a series A round led by Comcast Ventures, with participation from existing seed investors Tribeca Venture Partners, Vocap Investment Partners, and Rembrandt Venture Partners. It brings the company’s total raised to $16.7 million

Read More

Lyft will add Chrysler Pacifica minivans to its self-driving fleet, open new road test center

Lyft is doubling down on its self-driving car efforts with this week’s announcement that it will open a second road test site. The center will be in Palo Alto, California, near its self-driving HQ — the Level 5 Engineering Center. Lyft also took the wraps off a new car that will join its autonomous fleet: a modified Chrysler Pacifica minivan equipped with cameras, radar, and lidar sensors akin to those employed by Alphabet’s Waymo.

Lyft told TechCrunch that work at the new facility will complement the GoMentum Station testing center it uses in Concord, California, enabling a larger number of

Read More

Google launches Skaffold in general availability

In a recent survey of over 5,000 enterprise companies, 58% responded that they were using Kubernetes — the open source container-orchestration system for automating app deployment, scaling, and management — in production, while 42% said they were evaluating it for future use. The momentum was a motivating force behind Google’s Skaffold, a command line tool that facilitates continuous development for Kubernetes-native apps. It launched in preview and subsequently in beta in products on Google Cloud Platform in 2017, and as of today it’s generally available for eligible customers.

“[We] noticed that developers creating Kubernetes-native applications spent a long time building

Read More

Snapdocs raises $25 million to streamline mortgages with AI

Real estate tech company Snapdocs today revealed that it has raised $25 million in series B funding to further develop its products and platform. Coinciding with the news, the San Francisco-based company announced the opening of a new office in Denver, Colorado. Snapdocs said the new office would serve as a center for a “wide variety” of roles, with an emphasis on engineering and operations.

F-Prime Capital led this latest raise, with participation from Sequoia Capital. (Among previous backers are Y Combinator and SV Angel.) The series B brings Snapdocs’ total raised to around $45 million, following a $15 million

Read More

Yandex is testing an autonomous delivery rover in Moscow

Yandex’s autonomous ambitions extend beyond the automotive domain. The Moscow-based company today announced that its self-driving division — responsible for developing, testing, and deploying its driverless vehicle fleet — is piloting a robot dubbed Yandex.Rover that can deliver small packages autonomously.

Yandex’s six-wheel rover, which is roughly the size of a small suitcase, taps some of the tech at the core of Yandex’s self-driving cars to travel safely “at the speed of a pedestrian.” It’s capable of navigating around obstacles in all weather conditions during daylight or darkness, but in the area where it’s currently deployed — the over 7,000-person

Read More

GitHub: Over 80% of repository contributions come from outside the U.S.

GitHub’s annual Octoverse report is out today. It found that Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code or VSCode (19.1K), Azure Docs (14K), and Flutter (13K) were the top open source projects in total contributors on GitHub in the last year, followed by projects like Google’s TensorFlow (9.9K), Kubernetes (6.9K), and the React Native framework created by Facebook.

The annual report that looks at trends and milestones for the code repository acquired by Microsoft last year also found that repositories with topics like “deep learning,” “natural language processing,” and “machine learning” grew in popularity over the course of the past year. GitHub is

Read More

Facebook: Our video selfie test is for spotting bots, doesn’t use facial recognition

Facebook is testing a new way to root out inauthentic behavior on mobile phones and confirm the identities of accounts suspected of being compromised. In a statement provided to VentureBeat, the company said this step — which instructs users to hold their phone at eye level, position their face within a circle on-screen, and slowly turn their head  — is used to determine that a “real person” is operating an account rather than a bot.

“This test is one of the steps we use,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “It does not use facial recognition. Instead, it detects motion and whether

Read More

Ecobee rolls out Eco+, an AI engine in your thermostat

Smart home thermostat company Ecobee today rolled out Eco+, a free suite of machine learning features, to all its thermostats with voice control. The other 1.5 million users with an Ecobee3, Ecobee3 lite, and Ecobee4 will get Eco+ starting in January 2020. Eco+ uses machine learning to tailor temperature settings and cut costs. It also helps you further reduce energy consumption and move to clean energy.

In July 2018, Ecobee kicked off a pilot called Peak Relief that aims to save energy and money by automatically heating or cooling your home when electricity is less expensive. Ecobee then expanded on

Read More

Nest Mini vs Nest Wifi Point: What you need to know about the dedicated ML chip

At its annual hardware event last month, Google unveiled the Nest Mini as well as the Nest Wifi Router and Nest Wifi Point. The former went on sale for $49 on October 22 while the latter goes on sale today starting at $269 for a two-pack and $349 for a three-pack. Unlike their predecessors, Google Wifi and Google Home Mini respectively, these devices come with a dedicated machine learning (ML) chip.

For those who don’t care about the technical details, the equation is simple. If you need a Google Assistant speaker, get the Nest Mini. If you need a

Read More

Microsoft debuts Azure Synapse Analytics, updates database offerings

Workflow automation was a predictable focus as Microsoft Ignite kicked off in Orlando, Florida this morning. To this end, the company took the wraps off new cloud-hosted AI, data analytics, and managed database services in preview and announced updates to existing offerings like Azure SQL Database Edge.

Azure Synapse Analytics

Perhaps the headliner is Azure Synapse Analytics, a service now in preview that leverages on-demand or provisioned resources to ingest, prepare, manage, and serve data for business intelligence and AI apps. It’s the evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse and pulls together insights from data warehouses and big data analytics

Read More