Via TechCrunch: Uber rival Grab expands its engineering team with new offices in India and Vietnam

Grab, the main rival to Uber in Southeast Asia, is expanding its engineering footprint after announcing new development centers in India and Vietnam.

The company last month announced plans to open an engineering center in Jakarta, Indonesia, so the addition of bases in Bangalore, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will take it to six R&D locations worldwide. The others are Singapore, Grab’s HQ, Beijing and an office in Seattle which was opened last year.

Despite the new office plans, Grab said it will not expand into India. The move is a bid to suck up new talent to fuel its rivalry with Uber in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers where the market for on-demand rides is tipped to grow from $2.5 billion in 2015 to $13.1 billion in 2025, according to a report co-authored by Google.

“These two [new] locations are growing in terms of local talent and they understand what it is like to live in these parts of the world,” Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan told TechCrunch in an interview. “There are a tonne of parallels between India and Southeast Asia, especially around payments.”

Tan said Grab is looking to hire around 200 staff in Bangalore, where it will focus on developing its payments service, over the next two years. The other two offices will be focused on more local innovation. In Jakarta, Grab wants to hire 150 people while in Vietnam it will initially start with a team of 25.

Grab has a total of 2,000 staff, Tan said, but it plans to add 800 more developers to its six R&D offices. Currently there are around 20 in Seattle, where Grab just moved into a new office to house plans to expand to 60 people. The Beijing office, she added, has 40-50 employees, with the remainder of the rest mostly based in Singapore.

Grab isn’t the first from Southeast Asia to look to India for talent. Go-Jek, its $1.3 billion-valued rival in Indonesia, set up a development office in Bangalore last year via two acquisitions. It has since acquired another startup to grow its engineering chops in India. Uber, meanwhile, has an engineering team in India but it doesn’t have a dedicated team in Southeast Asia. Its Hyderabad-based facility, however, does develop technology for other emerging markets beyond India.

Today, Grab claims 710,000 drivers across 39 cities in six countries in Southeast Asia. It said it has seen 36 million downloads of its mobile apps. There’s precious little data to compare marketshare in Southeast Asia, but anecdotally Uber and Grab seem to be fairly well matched across the region. Indicators suggest that Go-Jek is ahead of both in Indonesia, however. That’s significant because Indonesia is the region’s largest economy and its top ride-sharing market, too, according to the Google report.

Read original article here: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/14/grab-india-vietnam-offices/?ncid=rss

How to Watch Rio Olympics 2016 Live Online

The biggest and the most exciting multi-sport extravaganza, Rio Olympics 2016, will start on 5th August 2016. Like me, you too must be excited to watch your favorite sports. Keeping that in mind, I took the liberty of preparing an instant guide for you to assist you in how to watch Rio Olympics Live Online.

The opening ceremony of the games will be held in Rio de Janeiro on 5th August, 2016 where athletes from the 205 participating nations will appear. Millions of fans globally are anxiously waiting for the opening ceremony and most of them will turn towards online routes to watch the action packed gala. You can watch Olympics opening ceremony on any device of your choice from anywhere you want using a fast and secure VPN.

Olympic is not just a multi-sport event but a gathering that unites the world providing them a platform to compete and excel, along with spreading a positive message around the world. Athletes from every part of the world take part in these games to prove their worth. That’s not it! Fans also love to see their favorite players compete in thrilling and exciting battles in various disciplines.

42 disciplines, 306 events and 205 nations; what else is needed! Use the following list of official broadcasters of Rio Olympics 2016 to see who is airing which sport in your region:

BBC iPlayer (UK)
NBC (USA)
Seven Network (AUS)
Fox (BRA)
CBC (CAN)
Canal+ (FRA)
ZDF (GER)
RTE (IRE)
Sky Italia (ITA)
Star Sports (IND)
RTVE (ESP)
Sky TV (NZ)

The stats show that not everyone will be using TV to watch Olympic Games as majority will be live streaming Rio Olympics online. I have prepared this Rio Olympics live streaming guide so you can avoid the hassle of searching the right online channels for Rio Olympics.

Feel Free to know more about Rio Olympics 2016 click here.

How the media will rise in the face of the digital revolution — via TechCrunch

The media is passing through an awkward digital adolescence. With falling revenues and smaller newsrooms, the industry is being squeezed into an unfamiliar online space against its will. Publications with hundred-year pedigrees are having to rethink and relearn their trade from the ground up.

The media is passing through an awkward digital adolescence. With falling revenues and smaller newsrooms, the industry is being squeezed into an unfamiliar online space against its will. Publications with hundred-year pedigrees are having to rethink and relearn their trade from the ground up.

The industry has been in a downturn since 2007 and, while some publications have been plodding on, hemorrhaging cash and complaining, others — like The New York Times — have been actively experimenting with new business models in order to turn things around. The publication’s latest venture, producing a Spanish language version for Latin America, shows it has eyes on an expanding, global future.

We’re optimistic that the industry will prevail, despite the naysayers. So how will the media continue to adapt to the digital revolution and monetize its content for the age of online sharing? And how might platforms like Facebook, Google and Apple reinvent our concept of the exclusive?

The challenges and opportunities of the digital age

Before the great digital expansion, broadcasters and publishers had a fairly captive audience.

Viewers were limited to the few television channels they had available or the newspapers they bought. Higher ratings and wider circulations meant bigger ad revenues, and distribution advantages gave the broadcaster and publisher greater power to monetize. Today, those advantages have all but vanished; consumers have free and easy access to many channels and are always just one click away from new content.

Nowadays, audiences are less likely to head directly to destination news outlets. Instead, they are discovering this content on social media — 63 percent of Facebook and Twitter users say they access news on the social networks, according to the Pew Research Center. This is exposing social media users to a whole range of varied content. Not only are media outlets forced to write stories that stand out from the crowd, but they also must cater to an entirely new kind of consumer.

The audience is no longer trapped in a demographic or geographical bubble.

In response, publications and marketers are creating bite-sized, easily digestible and shareable content that comes in the form of listicles, FAQs, photo essays, video content and so on. We’re also seeing a rise in clickbait — sensationalist content that attempts to lure readers with over-the-top claims, compelling imagery and shock tactics, ultimately to sell advertising.

While the reader might enjoy the content, he or she doesn’t value that which lacks substance. Nevertheless, this type of content won’t disappear; it is perhaps not unlike poor-quality tabloids versus quality broadsheets in the old days. It falls into the category of the ephemeral and of mindless fun — something that has always been popular.

However, I am optimistic that these changes will bring about an evolution of the industry, rather than its demise. The fact is, there are advantages to the new, digital world.

For one, broadcasters and publishers now have a far cheaper distribution system. When I first began distributing television content and newspapers in 1985, distribution costs could reach a staggering 25 percent. Trying to reach an audience of over one billion — as several YouTube videos have now done – would have been unthinkable.

Of course, consumers can click away from your content, but they also come to your product in the same way. As The New York Times has realized with its new foreign language ventures, the audience is no longer trapped in a demographic or geographical bubble — it can be global. Viewers, readers and consumers can now access online content from anywhere, at any time. These advantages will start accumulating and will become more advantageous as time goes by.

How digital content will be monetized

Publishers are now making content for a new generation of younger consumers. Pew Research reports that newspaper digital readership increased more than twice as fast as the overall internet audience in the age groups of 18-24, 25-34 and 35-44.

Despite the prevalence of short-form content, millennial readers are in fact voracious readers. What’s more, deep, meaningful content of more than 3,000 works is more likely to be shared, and that longer-form article gives marketers more conversions. This is good news for journalists and publishers, as advertisers will once again value long-form content, and will likely pay more for content that drives more leads.

Branded and native ad content can be seamlessly interwoven with quality journalistic content — through words, sound and moving pictures — and delivered on a nonlinear mobile platform. There is no doubt that this form of advertising content will increase in both relevance and in volume, and will replace more traditional forms of advertising. In this regard, we can draw a parallel to the old days, when advertising column inches in newspapers became 30-second commercials — now a staple of the television experience.Furthermore, the marriage of print and mobile is happening. Thanks to the prevalence of social channels, media is becoming ever more personal, and will from now on be consumed on a handheld device. This new animal will be fed with a new advertising format; multi-media and targeted ads are already driving revenues for some publishers. This will only increase.

It’s time for publications to embrace the digital revolution, because it is only going to make them stronger.

Despite broad changes to advertising revenue sources, this does not mean an end for recognizable subscription models. What we will see instead is a qualitative split in the media.

On one hand we will have short-form content pulling in low-margin advertising revenue; on the other, we will have in-depth, insightful reporting that adds value to the readership and commands both subscription fees and far higher advertising revenue.

Subscription models are sustainable for powerful media brands like The New York Times or The Economist. An established, loyal readership is always willing to pay, as the rising number of digital subscribers attests. And where less-well-known outlets — like Pando, for example — provide in-depth, original reporting, consumers will part with their cash. Subscription models will also flourish when media outlets provide utility and advice — for entrepreneurs and investors, for example.

What does the future look like?

There is an even bigger change on the horizon. We must look to digital platforms like Facebook, Google and Amazon for the future of exclusive news content.

Facebook, the biggest of the bunch, has recently allowed users to monetize its news feed with video content — giving advertisers a large percentage of the profits. This paradigm change will shift even further as this monopoly is challenged by other large platforms joining the race.

When Google news, Apple and even Amazon follow suit, the power of the exclusive content provider will go up. Platforms will begin vying for exclusive, monetized content, increasing the value of the product and making publishers more powerful, in turn.

Despite fears that it’s all over for the media, I argue the opposite — we are simply in a difficult transition from which we will emerge stronger and better. Along with the intensely crowded clickbait and popular quickie-content market, we will continue to see serious, quality journalism. The amazing cost advantages brought by free (or nearly free) distribution channels, and a growing global audience, means publishers can continue to operate and good content will still rise to the top.

And when monetized social media content really takes off, we are likely to see a return to exclusive media and a huge boost in ad revenues, shepherded in by the biggest social and commercial online platforms out there. It’s time for publications to embrace the digital revolution, because it is only going to make them stronger.

The assimilation of robots into the workforce as peers, not replacements — via TechCrunch

One might ask why we would ever want to create robots that can do human work when we have so many people who need jobs. The goal of robotics should not be to replace humans with robots, but rather to improve productivity and safety, removing humans from harm’s way and enabling them to focus on things that humans should be doing.

We can agree that humans shouldn’t be carrying heavy loads, exposing themselves to radiation or finding land mines. What is less clear is the gray area, where the line that divides human and robot competency is becoming blurred. People wonder whether robotswill displace their jobs. It’s an important question, especially because it’s already obvious that robotics has impacted the workforce.

Which industries will see the greatest integration of robotics, and which ones are likely notto be impacted? There are a number of misconceptions, and even fears, about theassimilation of robots in the workplace. Overcoming these involves a greater understanding of the value of humans versus robots and the current technological limitations to robots. Including robots in the workplace is not an “all or nothing” scenario. The most important question is how humans and robots should work together to improve quality and safety rather than how robots can replace humans.

Robots and the workforce

What people rarely understand is that robotics doesn’t necessarily produce a net loss in human jobs. One of my colleagues helped develop the Kiva robots, which eventually became the basis of Amazon’s logistic centers. He explained that the original appeal ofrobots was that they would reduce the human labor workforce. That never happened. What did happen was that the robots massively improved the productivity of each human, allowing Amazon to scale operations. No human was ever fired — in fact, more humans were hired.

The same thing was true for my work with military robots. The original premise signed intolaw by Congress was that half of our armed forces would become unmanned. The original aim was to cut labor costs, but, as with Amazon, the labor savings never came. What did happen is that robots saved lives and improved the safety and productivity of each soldier by conducting tasks like landmine detection and mapping out radiation and chemical spills. It also created a lot of jobs associated with building, maintaining and using robots.     

It is entirely possible that we are becoming robot-like faster than robots are becoming like humans.

A Pew Research Center study indicated that although technology is often sold as a means to reduce labor, it may actually create more high-paying jobs than the low-paying jobs it eliminates. However, the study also indicated a broad concern regarding how the use of robots will play out. When asked how robotics and self-driving cars would impact the workforce, 48 percent of experts surveyed believed thatrobots would directly displace human workers for both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. On the other hand, 52 percent believed that robotics will create more jobs than it displaces.

Gartner estimates there are 6.4 billion “connected things” in the world around us. The volume of sensor data coming from these connected entities is expected to increase dramatically, accounting for more and more of the total data in our worldRobots are poised to be crucial arbiters of the new, machine-intensive ecosystem of sensors, interfaces and actuators that we are building up all around us at home and in the workplace. Robotscan handle the complexity of this increasingly intricate world, allowing our attention to focus on the humans around us rather than on screens, buttons and keys.

Defining roles: robots versus humans

The more time we spend training ourselves to surf the net and text, the less our livesresemble human lives of the last century. Today it is entirely possible that we are becoming robot-like faster than robots are becoming like humans. This is not an inevitable course, but rather something we are consciously deciding to do. We need to carefully consider how much we value direct human interaction.

Part of this is preference, but profit and performance considerations may override our preferences. From a performance perspective, humans and robots are not necessarily good at the same things; we need to both comprehend and plan for the differences between humans and robots. In biology, co-evolutionary development occurs when two species evolve in relation to each other. In an ideal future, robotics applications will allow us to embrace the unique, vital essence of what it means to be human — creativity, imagination, love — and prevent the need for us to become more like machines.

We need to objectively differentiate ourselves and our skills from what robots can do. The general wisdom, based on understanding of robots from the past decade, is that humans are good at high-level decision making and understanding the purpose and context for a task. Robots are generally good at repetitive physical labor and reactive, high-precision tasks that require careful attention to detail. With a new generation of robots on the way, this understanding may need to change.

Job limitations and robotics

I seem to have very interesting discussions whenever I get a haircut. One day I was explaining to my hairdresser that I work with robots and she stopped cutting, visibly upset and remarked that she would probably be out of a job before too long because of the development of robotic intelligence. I thought about it, and realized that robots would most likely replace my job before they replaced hers.

Her job was really, really hard. She had to take hopelessly vague tasking like: “Give me a George Clooney haircut but kind of a bit more fun and crazy.” What does that mean? I can pretty well guarantee that a robot won’t ever know what that means. Regardless of trying to understand the semantics, a much harder task is figuring out how many small scissor cuts will result in an emerging look. Cutting hair is not an easy job; I know I could never do it. I believe it would scare any robot as well.

We need to ensure a framework where human input and robot input can be properly interwoven.

I told my hairdresser she had nothing to worry about, but she still looked at me skeptically. What she didn’t realize is that even if robots could cut hair effectively, she still had a major advantage. She had softly massaged my head and neck before she started cutting and she breezily discussed just about any topic while making her customer feel at ease.

Machines will impact the jobs of surgeons and professors long before they impact her job. We already have robots that perform surgical tasks more precisely and reliably than human hands. Likewise, distance education and automated testing are already changing the landscape for education. Hair cutting remains a domain where human artisans reign supreme.

Humans excel when resourcefulness and contextual understanding are important. It is difficult to imagine a robot with the broad range of problem solving, general purpose knowledge and dexterity necessary to be a facility superintendent: fixing broken garbage disposals and broken toilets, maintaining the boiler, replacing a leaky pipe, etc. Robotsstruggle in these unstructured environments where MacGyver-like problem solving is necessary. Like the hairdresser, apartment superintendents have little to fear from robotsany time soon. As we consider the complexity of various human jobs, we must rethink notonly what we value in general, but how we pay people in particular. Maybe we’ll end up paying hairdressers and building superintendents more than surgeons and professors?

It’s not an “either-or” decision

Robots will change the contours of our workforce, but hopefully for the better. Even the professor and surgeon, who can already see impact from various forms of robotics and AI, need not feel that technology is replacing them. The advent of the calculator did not steal something vital from mathematicians. It did change what we value from them. Few of us feel enmity with calculators because we’re generally happy to let calculators outperform us in that arena. Robots will be much more than calculators, but still the key will be to ensure that we value the right things.

We need to ensure a framework where human input and robot input can be properly interwoven. All too often, we focus on either full human control or full autonomy, and neither of these is likely to be optimal.

While working with the Department of Energy we found that operators who had spent many years honing their ability to drive robots with joysticks were quite resistant to the notion that the robots could do the driving for them. In one experiment, operators drove the course twice, once in a mode where the robot took no initiative and once in a shared control mode where the human felt like they were in control but the robot wove its way through hallways and openings.

Humans often don’t know what they’re good at, but the introduction of a well-structured human-robot interaction approach can help us maintain high-level control while taking away the low-level details.

If we can get the task allocation right, the humans of the future won’t be fighting with robots to shovel dirt, find landmines or drive mining equipment. Rather, humans will be caring for people and having interesting conversations about how to make the world a better place. They should be doing whatever they love and spending time with whomever they love — which will hopefully not be a robot.

Despite persistent fears regarding robot overlords, we will be as free as we choose to make ourselves. We can do this not by fighting with robots but by fighting fiercely to maintain our distinctness and our essential nature.

via The assimilation of robots into the workforce as peers, not replacements — TechCrunch

Atmospheres of Earth-like planets studied for the first time — TechCrunch

Astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to conduct the first atmospheric study of Earth-sized exoplanets and found evidence to suggest that two could be habitable. The planets have astronomers excited because atmospheric analysis revealed that they’re likely to be rocky worlds, the type of planet necessary to host life as we know it. Planets are…

via Atmospheres of Earth-like planets studied for the first time — TechCrunch

Pokémon GO launches in Japan with sponsored gyms at 3000 McDonald’s outlets — 9to5Mac

Rounding out the major launch countries, Pokémon GO has hit Japan — the home nation of Nintendo and Pokémon. Due to the major cultural significance of the company and intellectual property behind Pokémon, developers are expecting Pokémon GO to be a big hit in the region. The launch in Japan also has knock-on effects for the player base…

via Pokémon GO launches in Japan with sponsored gyms at 3000 McDonald’s outlets — 9to5Mac

Dine In founder appointed GM of UberEATs Singapore to battle Deliveroo once again — TechCrunch

Evan Graj, founder of Dine In, the London-based restaurant delivery startup that competed with Deliveroo before entering the deadpool late last year due to a lack of appetite from investors, has joined Uber as the company’s new GM of UberEATs Singapore. Read More

via Dine In founder appointed GM of UberEATs Singapore to battle Deliveroo once again — TechCrunch

Fast and Furious 4/5 Dodge Charger at the 2016 Amelia Island Festivals of Speed — Mind over Motor

For anyone who is a fan of Vin Diesel, fast cars, or the Fast and the Furious franchise, I have a special treat for you. This year, at the Festivals of Speed in Amelia Island, someone brought along the hero car from FF4 and FF5. This Dodge Charger, although set up for movie stunts and […]

via Fast and Furious 4/5 Dodge Charger at the 2016 Amelia Island Festivals of Speed — Mind over Motor