Amazon to manufacture self-driving cars after acquiring start-up Zoox for $1bn

Amazon to manufacture self-driving cars after acquiring start-up Zoox for $1bn

Amazon is making strides into developing its own self-driving vehicles, agreeing to buy Californian start-up Zoox in a deal said to be worth more than $1bn (£810m). The takeover was first reported by tech website The Information and was later confirmed by Amazon.  Talks were said to have started between the two companies last month. Zoox’s chief executive Aicha Evans and chief technology officer Jesse Levinson will continue to lead the team as a standalone business after the deal has completed, Amazon said. The takeover is believed to be part of Amazon’s plans to begin…

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IBM to cease developing Facial Recognition Technology after #BlackLivesMatter protests

IBM will no longer develop and research facial recognition or analysis software and, on top of that, it will no longer offer the technology for general-purposes. This is part of the company’s mission to advance racial equality in the US after #BlackLivesMatter protests – campaigning against violence and systemic racism towards the black community – were organised all over the world. “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and…

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Telegram quits on its cryptocurrency focused subsidiary TON

Telegram

After years of drama with the SEC, Telegram is calling it quits on its crypto-focused subsidiary, Telegram Open Network (TON). “Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over,” wrote Pavel Durov, founder and CEO, in an announcement on his channel. “You may see – or may have already seen – sites using my name or the Telegram brand or the ‘TON’ abbreviation to promote their projects. Don’t trust them with your money or data.” TON was a blockchain platform designed to offer decentralized cryptocurrency to anyone with a smartphone, in a…

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New gadgets were designed to fight COVID-19 Pandemic

The Virustatic Shield has an antiviral coating.

COVID-19 may be having a devastating impact on our industries, social lives and personal grooming standards, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in other arenas. From Spiderman-esque wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you’re about to touch your face, a wealth of new prototypes are demonstrating what human ingenuity is capable of in the face of adversity. Here are just some of the newest coronavirus inventions. Hands-free door openers Several varieties of hygiene-friendly door-hook are in the pipeline – intended to help us navigate…

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DCA Digital Academy announces the COVID-19 Universities eHealth Innovation Essay Writing Competition

DCA Digital Academy announces the COVID-19 Universities eHealth Innovation Essay Writing Competition

Almost overnight, remote work has become the new norm, the mainstream. Companies, schools and other institutions around the world are encouraging their staff, students to work from home to prioritize the health and safety of their workforce and communities, from the effects that have resulted from the COVID-19 global pandemic. To help navigate the challenges of studying remotely and be beneficial to the whole global conversation on health and wellness, the DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Digital Academy has announced an essay writing competition for university students to participate and use the special…

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Google Launched first Developers Space in Lagos

Google Developers space

Google launched its first Google Developers Space in Lagos, Nigeria last month. Previously referred to as the Google Launchpad Space, the Google Developers Space is a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and startups. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, made a commitment to African entrepreneurs In July 2017,  to start the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and launch a space to house these efforts in Nigeria. Google launched the Google Developers Space in Lagos to provide that home, and a space where entrepreneurs, developers, VCs and investors can connect and collaborate with each other.…

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African Startups in the credit scoring space

Ecommerce startups

African startups with solutions in the credit scoring and financing space will have the chance to secure a testing phase for their technologies with French utility company ENGIE at Africa Tech Summit Kigali in February. Taking place for the third time on February 4-6, Africa Tech Summit Kigali brings together tech leaders, MNOs, banks, investors, entrepreneurs, governments, trade bodies and media to drive investment and collaboration in the African tech space. For the second year, Disrupt Africa has reprised its partnership with Africa Tech Summit Kigali to host the two-day Africa Startup Summit,…

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Mali based insurtech startup OKO Finance helps rural farmers access crop insurance

Mali based insurtech startup OKO Finance helps rural farmers access crop insurance innovation

Malian insurtech startup OKO Finance has helped many rural farmers to access crop insurance for the first time ever. Founded in 2017, OKO develops affordable mobile-based crop insurance products to provide smallholder farmers with the financial security they need, regardless of unstable climate trends. CEO Simon Schwall, spoke to ITBusinessDirect about their plans and activites, here is the conversation What is the story behind OKO Finance? Before starting OKO I worked for a very successful micro-insurance provider called BIMA. I was their local CEO in Papua New Guinea and Fiji…

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UTU Technologies raised $500k bridge funding

UTU Technologies innovation

UTU Technologies, a Kenyan Block chain & AI startup building on the Aeternity block chain, has raised $500, 000 bridge funding. UTU Technologies was among the companies that graduated from the Aeternity Ventures StarFleet Accelerator program that saw the company initial funding. According to Jason Eisen, CEO, UTU, the total funding raised now is $1.3 million. UTU Technologies is the company behind the ride-hailing app, Maramoja. The app uses a Trust Engine to recommend ‘a social favorite driver’ or rides as opposed to existing apps like Uber and Taxify. Speaking to…

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Innovation that will help with the provision of clean water

DPA

Kenya’s quest to fulfill the need for clean water mainly in rural areas could be finally met after five university students invented a solar-powered water desalinator. The group calling itself, The Greatest of All Time (Goat), which comprises students from Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi and Strathmore University was unveiled at this year’s IBM Digital-Nation Africa: Smart Water Challenge. Goat’s innovation also uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to prevent water pipes from bursting by keeping the piping system fully functional. The team which won a paid internships with IBM…

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