Liked on YouTube: Neuralink – Merging Brain and Machine

Neuralink – Merging Brain and Machine
Elon Musk’s Neuralink project brain machine interface (BMI) has been floating around as an idea for a while now, but recently we’ve been taken on a detailed inside glimpse of what the technology will entail. Join me as we explore.

Podcast links:
Google Podcasts – http://bit.ly/2xo8doR
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2WI2IeU
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2KT1taB
Stitcher – http://bit.ly/2WI4f4E

New Thinking Book: http://bit.ly/NewThinkingbook
New Thinking on Google Play: http://bit.ly/NewThinkingGooglePlay

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India’s Oyo valued at $10B after founder purchases $2B in shares

The fast-growing Indian hospitality business Oyo has garnered a valuation of $10 billion after its founder, Ritesh Agarwal, purchased $2 billion in shares from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, the company announced Friday.

Agarwal, 25, founded Oyo in 2013 at the age of 19. Following immense growth of the now global hotel chain business, Agarwal opted to increase his 10% stake to 30% via a Cayman Islands company called RA Hospitality Holdings, according to The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank has also increased its percent ownership as part of this round, now owning nearly half of the company.

Oyo has raised a whopping $1.6 billion in equity funding to date, reaching a valuation of $5 billion at its last funding round. Other investors in the company include Airbnb, Grab Holdings and Didi Chuxing.

Oyo is active in 800 cities in 80 countries, with more than 23,000 hotels in its portfolio. Recently, the company announced plans to invest $300 million in the [...]  read more

Google Stadia Pro subscribers will get ‘roughly one free game per month’

It’s not long until Google Stadia’s launch in November 2019 and to clear up some of the uncertainties around what the streaming service will offer, product director, Andrey Doronichev, has taken to Reddit for an AMA. 

One of the biggest misunderstandings cleared up in the course of the questioning is whether or not the Google Stadia Pro subscription is some kind of ‘Netflix for Games’, as the Google Stadia website makes reference to to “an ever-expanding library of free games.” It absolutely isn’t. 

“A closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus,” Doronichev explains, “The Pro subscribers get 4K/HDR streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to some free games. Roughly one free game per month give or take. Starting with Destiny 2 (yay!).”

Not Netflix

If Pro subscribers want any other games on top of the free monthly game, they’ll  [...]  read more

Gadget Lab Podcast: Twitter’s Major Design Overhaul

On Monday, Twitter began rolling out its first desktop redesign in seven years. It was a mostly aesthetic makeover, with changes like a new layout, dark mode, and a more prominent search bar. As with anything Twitter, the reaction has been polarizing, with many users criticizing the platform for not doing enough to address its major problems. Today on the Gadget Lab podcast, Arielle, Mike, and Lauren discuss the changes Twitter has made, and how the company continues to grapple with its ongoing existential crisis.

Also in the news: The latest eruption of FaceApp paranoia and the nuances of Amazon’s Prime Day. Oh, and Elon Musk wants to drill a computer into your brain.

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p class=”paywall”>Show Notes:

Read Arielle’s story about the Twitter redesign here. Read Brian Barrett’s story about FaceApp here. Read Adam Rogers’s story about Elon’s latest sc-fi machinations here. Read about Amazon’s labor woes here, or follow WIRED’s coverage of Amazon here.

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Could Donald Trump Ban Bitcoin?

Now that bitcoin has Trump's attention, will more incendiary statements follow … The knee-jerk reaction to the possibility of a bitcoin ban is “yeah, just try it. … be futile, he could still decide to clamp down on cryptocurrency businesses.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit

Google’s SMILY is reverse image search for cancer diagnosis

Spotting and diagnosing cancer is a complex and difficult process even for the dedicated medical professionals who do it for a living. A new tool from Google researchers could improve the process by providing what amounts to reverse image search for suspicious or known cancerous cells. But it’s more than a simple matching algorithm.

Part of the diagnosis process is often examining tissue samples under a microscope and looking for certain telltale signals or shapes that may indicate one or another form of cancer. This can be a long and arduous process because every cancer and every body is different, and the person inspecting the data must not only look at the patient’s cells but also compare them to known cancerous tissues from a database or even a printed book of samples.

As has been amply demonstrated for years now, matching similar images to one another is a job well-suited to machine learning agents. It’s what powers things like Google’s reverse image search, where you put [...]  read more