Uber the cab hailing startup, confirmed the company will receive a huge investment from SoftBank and other investors in the coming months. Dragoneer Investment Group will lead the consortium to invest $ 1 billion to $ 1.25 billion in Uber. The venture capital firm will also buy up to 17% of the existing shares from investors and employees in a secondary transaction. This investment could help resolve the on going legal battle between former CEO and founder Travis Kalanick and early investor, Benchmark.
In a statement released by Uber, the company confirmed the agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment. “We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber’s long term potential. Upon closing, it will help fuel our investments in technology and our continued expansion at home and abroad, while strengthening our corporate governance,” the statement further said.
Although the Uber board approved this investment a month ago, negotiations stalled due to the ongoing legal battle between Travis Kalanick and Benchmark. TechCrunch reported this round of investment will be labeled as an extension of its last Series G round. Bloomberg reported Dragoneer Investment Group, General Atlantic and SoftBank will directly invest $ 1 billion into Uber. This investment round will value the company at $ 70 billion. Along with directly investing into Uber, SoftBank will also purchase up to $ 9 billion worth of stock from existing Uber shareholders. These shares will be brought through a process called the tender offer which can take up to a month to complete.
However, if investors refuse to sell their stock or if SoftBank is unable to secure 14% of Uber’s stock, SoftBank will have the option to walk away from the deal. In an attempt to locate the majority of the investors, SoftBank plans to buy newspaper advertisements to help spread the word that the tender offer will be launched soon.
As a part of the deal, Uber has agreed to undergo a series of sweeping changes in its governance including measures that reduce the influence of Travis Kalanick and other leadership changes. With shareholders selling billions of dollars worth of shares, this investment deal is slated to be the largest secondary transaction in history. The current Chief Executive Officer of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi also said the company plans on going public by next year.
All You Need To Know About Anil Kumble’s AI Enabled Power Bat
Anil Kumble’s Spektacom Technologies, in partnership with Microsoft, has just developed a brand new Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled Power Bat. With the ability to collect data required for every shot hit and the details displayed both to the audience and the players, the new bat is aimed at making cricket an increasingly interesting sport! The basic aim of the new Power Bat is to increase engagement between both the audience and the coaches, giving players the chance to improve their game by leaps and bounds!
— Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) October 11, 2018
A unique concept, the Power Bat has a Microsoft Azure Sphere sticker on its shoulder, whereby as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on a wide range of parameters like speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot are recorded, captured and processed. This processing and capturing is enabled with the help of a new measurement called Power Speks. The date derived from the Power Bat can be recorded during coaching and practice matches, giving the players a chance to improve their performance during the actual game.
“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players,” Anil Kumble said while talking about the new Power Bat. He further added, “With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”
Anil Kumble and Microsoft came together to redefine the way people played this much loved sport with this game changing bat! The Power Bat was revealed a couple of days ago and it is already touted to be the game changer for cricket as a sport by 2019!
Speaking about the collaboration, Anil Kumble tweeted,
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) October 11, 2018
The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella also replied to Anil Kumble in a tweet
Bringing the power of Azure, AI and Azure Sphere to cricket, transforming how the game is played, coached and watched. https://t.co/uZOl0uS3sI
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) October 14, 2018
Google Shuts Down Google Plus
Google Plus, Google’s social networking arm, is going to be shut down moments after the company announced a major data breach happened, wherein the private information of around 500,000 users was made public over a period of three years, ranging approximately from March 2015 to March 2018. What is really surprising about this data reveal is that when the breach happened last spring, Google decided to cover up the issue, rather than address it like the mature company it was expected to be.
The glitch happened when Google allowed close to 500 external apps (438 apps, to be precise,) to obtain users’ full names, email addresses, occupations, relationship statuses, genders and ages, even for accounts which were made private. While these tools require the permission of the users for access, the information is more often than not made publicly available to these apps through third party users. Google said it could not identify the users whose data was leaked and therefore, it did not want to send out a mass memo regarding the issue.
Post the reveal of the data breach, Google said it did release an internal memo about the bug, but did not tell its users because it wanted to avoid dealing with the immediate regulations that would have been certainly imposed. Incidentally, this was when Facebook was in the spotlight for the Cambridge Analytica scam and if Google came under the radar for this, the repercussions would be massive, to say the least.
Repenting its decision to not do anything about the breach earlier, Google has finally decided to do something now. Not only is Google going to shut down Google Plus, its initiative, Project Strobe, is going to conduct a root and branch initiative of the third party developer access to Google accounts and Android data.
After this breach was brought to the public’s notice, Google has now decided to shut down Google Plus for a period of 10 months. However, people will still be able to use this networking platform for enterprise purposes and not for personal purposes. To improve the experience of the users using the G Suite, Google is going to notify customers the moment a data breach happens. Further initiatives on how Google is going to protect users’ data are going to be announced soon.
Facebook Rolls Out New Safety Measures
It goes without saying that when you put your thoughts out into the world, you deserve to feel safe and when this safety is attacked, your mental health may get affected. Facebook, a platform for promoting your thoughts and ideas, has moved from being a purely interactive social media platform to a place where trolls and trollers rule the roost. To protect its more than 2 billion regular user base, Facebook has passed new tools and tweaked its settings to act against the bullies.
Delete, moderate and remove negative comments
“Do not feed the trolls,” is what people have always said. How often does one listen to the wise sayings of the people with experience? Never, right? If a bear pokes you, you cannot help but poke back and this is how negativism breeds on a constant basis on Facebook. To counter this growing trend of hatred, Facebook is going to give its users more control over the comments.
Sharing more details about last week’s security issue for developers using Facebook Login: https://t.co/gtKc3Jm7Z2
— Facebook (@facebook) October 2, 2018
Now, not only can you hide multiple comments, you can also delete them with the click of a button. The new feature is going to be rolled out on desktops, Android and iOS versions. Furthermore, if you think a family member or friend is being bullied, harassed or abused, you can report the said post on behalf of the friend or family member. Once reported, the Community Operations team will take a look at the post and decide the required action on the basis of Facebook’s rules and regulations.
To simplify matters, if you think the decision taken by the Committee is not what you thought it would be (both for the person who raised the complaint and the person against whom the complaint has been made,) you can make an appeal and the Committee will decide accordingly.
Protection of not just individual users, but celebrities as well
So far, Facebook has allowed people to talk, criticize and discuss about celebrities and the things they have said and done, without any regard to the person’s well being. Now, Facebook is working on protecting these celebrities by making sure no celebrity on the platform is personally and negatively attacked.
Previously, Facebook had introduced a tool that protected celebrities up to a certain age. However, to improve the safety standards, the social media platform is now expanding its policies to protect celebrities without age as a barrier. With Facebook’s new tools, anyone experiencing things they do not want to on Facebook can now report, block the user and ignore the messages without letting the harasser know.
Taking safety one step forward, Facebook is going to start a new partnership with the National Parent Teachers Association in the United States and will organise over 200 community events to address the challenges faced by parents in all the states. Further, Facebook is also going to offer peer to peer anti bullying and safety programs to schools in the United Kingdom. By organising and supporting safety programs in India, Facebook is spreading the message of improving the standards of online safety in all the countries where this social media platform is used on a regular basis.
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