TechSummit Rewind 083

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Tim Cook to host Paul Ryan fundraiser


Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a fundraiser with House Speaker Paul Ryan next week as the company tries to strengthen its bonds with key Republicans, after pulling out of the GOP convention because of its distaste of Donald Trump.

The private breakfast will be held Jun. 28 in Menlo Park, Calif., along with company treasurer Gary Wipfler, according to Politico. The money benefits the speaker and a joint fundraising committee aimed at helping to elect other House Republicans.

Cook is hosting the fundraiser on his own, as Apple doesn’t have a corporate political action committee.

Spotify hits 100 million users


Spotify has grown to 100 million users as it expanded internationally to fend off competition from services like Apple Music.

Thirty million users pay for the Spotify Premium ad-free tier, but the majority listen for free with ads.

Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney petition digital copyright reform

In an ad that’ll run through Thursday in Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call, 180 performers and songwriters are calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which regulates copyright online. Acts like Taylor Swift, Sir Paul McCartney, Vince Gill, Vince Staples, Carole King, and the Kings of Leon, along with 19 organizations, including the major labels.

According to the ad, the DMCA “has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.”

Twitter acquires Magic Pony Technology

Twitter HQ

Twitter has acquired Magic Pony Technology, a London-based company that developed techniques of using neural networks and machine learning to provide expanded data for images, or to help develop graphics for virtual reality or augmented reality applications.

“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter. Magic Pony’s machine learning technology will help us build strength into our deep learning teams with world-class talent, so Twitter can continue to be the best place to see what’s happening and why it matters, first. We value deep learning research to help make our world better, and we will keep doing our part to share our work and learnings with the community.”

-Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder & CEO

“Twitter has gone after video in a big way and buying Magic Leap demonstrates how important video is for them. That’s the key thing.

“Magic Pony was already working on a pretty substantial VR and AR strategy before they were acquired and have some very interesting tech in that area.”

-Suranga Chandratillake, Balderton partner

“Our team has researched and developed state-of-the-art machine learning techniques for visual processing that can identify the features of imagery and use that information to process it in new ways. Joining forces with Twitter gives us the opportunity to bring the benefits of that research to hundreds of millions of people around the world, and allows Magic Pony to continue to better quality viewing experiences on Twitter.”

-Rob Bishop, Magic Leap co-founder & CEO

Tumblr launches live video support

Tumblr Live Video

Tumblr has announced live video support, which allows Tumblr users to live stream video directly to followers’ dashboards, and sends out push notifications when users go live or reblog a live stream. The Yahoo-owned social network is integrating with services like YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas, and Upclose, and using Tumblr for publishing and discovery.

Users will need to enable Tumblr sharing in a setting that publishes live streams to Tumblr’s native video player. If you have more than one blog, you’ll be able to specify which blog to post to. From then on, when you go live on that platform, it’ll automatically be published to Tumblr.

All partner apps (except YouTube for iOS, which is gaining support in a few days) are ready for live video streaming to Tumblr on iOS and Android.

Sharing live video on Tumblr will send you a push notification to your Tumblr followers, who’ll also be alerted when you republish a live video. If they click the notification, they’ll be taken to the live video directly on Tumblr.

Your live video will be pinned in the first position at the top of your followers’ dashboards on Tumblr web and mobile when you’re live, with a badge indicating the service you’re streaming through. If you click on that badge, it’ll open that app or take you to the App Store/Google Play to install it.

If you choose to save the replay of the live video on the provider’s service, that live video will live on as a Tumblr video post, according to the company, where it can be replayed at any time after the live broadcast ends.

On, the company teased an event schedule that included things like a live broadcast from the surface of Mars, a Q&A session with Adam Kurtz, a basketball lesson from a Harlem Globetrotter, and some designed-to-go-viral-entertainment events. Programming is ongoing through that link.

Tumblr is also working with media partners to live-stream content and events, including Mashable, Refinery29, MTV, and the Huffington Post.

Facebook shareholders vote to keep Class C shares that keep Zuckerburg in control


Facebook held its annual shareholder meeting Monday, with the group approving the formation of a new class of voting shares that keep CEO Mark Zuckerberg in control as long as he’s with the company. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based Board of Directors was also re-elected, including Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel.

Among the topics discussed was a proposal to issue Class C non-voting capital stock that Facebook announced in its last quarterly earnings report. According to Facebook, Zuckerberg will retain voting control while also enabling the CEO and wife Priscilla Chan to accelerate their philanthropic ambitions.

Dell sells software division to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management


Francisco Partners & Elliott Management have agreed to acquire Dell’s software division, according to a joint press release.

The deal involves Quest Software and SonicWall.

“Quest Software and SonicWALL provide mission-critical software to a large and loyal base of over 180,000 customers, and we see significant opportunity to build upon the company’s impressive technology and product portfolio.”

-Dipanjan “DJ” Deb, Francisco Partners CEO

“Elliott has been a long-term investor in the technology space and today’s announcement continues our progress.”

-Jesse Cohn, Elliott Management senior portfolio manager

China made world’s fastest supercomputer using own chips

Top500 has declared that China’s Sunway TaihuLight, a 40,960-node system powered by Chinese processors, is the world’s fastest supercomputer. With 93 petaflops of processing power, it’s nearly three times more powerful than previous record-setter 33.85-petaflop Tianhe-2.

The new system uses a custom interconnect format to link its nodes, and there’s a custom Linux variant that serves as its software foundation.

Bank of America starts offering ATM withdrawals with Apple Pay


Bank of America customers can now withdrawal cash from select ATMs with Apple Pay.

Roughly 650 card-less ATMs were deployed in the San Francisco area, with another 1,800 ATMs supporting the payment service nationwide.

When a smartphone is placed on the NFC logo to the left of the card reader, the user is prompted to enter their PIN number before heading to a withdrawal screen with the option to deposit money disabled.

Supported ATMs will have the feature highlighted, but Apple Pay only works with Bank of America-issued bank cards, with not all NFC-equipped ATMs supporting Apple Pay.

Huawei MateBook heads to U.S. Jul. 11 for $699


Huawei’s Matebook, the Microsoft Surface competitor first announced at Mobile World Congress, is heading to the U.S. on Jul. 11 starting at $699. The 12-inch laptop/tablet hybrid weighs in at 1.4 pounds and is 6.9 millimeters thin. According to Huawei, it’s the lightest 12-inch tablet on the market.

Huawei’s charging an additional $129 for the MateBook’s keyboard, with a stylus costing you $59 and the MateDock, which includes two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and VGA, will set you back $89.

The base $699 Matebook comes with a Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and you can configure it to have a Core M5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for $1,199.

Nexar raises $10.5M to keep bad drivers in check


Nexar, which turns your smartphone into a dash camera with the ability to record and report bad drivers, has brought in $10.5 million of Series A funding.

The round was led by new investors Mosaic Ventures and True Ventures, with seed backers Aleph and Slow Ventures also participating.


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