Odds and Ends 

With $70M from Alphabet, UnitedMasters replaces record labels

Record labels are obsolete. They haven’t kept up as music evolved from selling CDs to streaming songs to promoting concert tickets and merchandise. Labels were meant to help artists generate albums, fame, and money. But now anyone can record themselves and no one “buys” music. So today that requires being a technology company, combining analytics with hyper-targeted advertising. And the old labels don’t have the engineering talent for it. That’s why last year, the former president of Interscope Records Steve Stoute secretly raised a $70 million Series A led by…

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Odds and Ends 

Google reportedly offered $30 billion to acquire Snapchat

Nerdy Google has failed at social time and time again, so it considered buying teen sensation Snapchat. The search giant held informal talks with Snap and floated an offer of $30 billion in 2016 before Snaps last funding round, and just before its IPO this year, according to Business Insiders Alex Heath. That offer was apparently an open secret inside Snap, and was on the table after the IPO, too. But Snaps notoriously independent CEO Evan Spiegel has apparently showed no interest in selling out to Google or anyone else….

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Headlines 

Google reportedly fires author of anti-diversity memo

CEO Sundar Pichai says internal document that criticised efforts to promote women and under-represented minorities is contrary to our basic values Google reportedly fired a software engineer on Monday after a in a memo to employees. It is contrary to our basic values and our code of conduct. The firing of the memos author, who identified himself as James Damore in an email to the Guardian, was first reported by tweeted a link to further comments by Pichai: Our co-workers shouldnt have to worry that each time they open their…

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Odds and Ends 

With autonomy, commercial real-estate could go mobile

Cyrus Radfar is a founding engineer of AddThis, which was acquired by Oracle. More posts by this contributor: Autonomous cars will bring a moveable feast of products and services Transport’s coming upheaval The coming years could see the next great land rush across the US and many other countries worldwide, but it might not even involve land. Instead, the next trend for savvy investors could be fleets of autonomous vehicles. A previous article posited the idea that the retail industry may be about to experience its greatest disruption since the rise…

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Odds and Ends 

DeepMinds first international AI research office lands in Alberta

Alphabets DeepMind is expanding beyond its U.K. home, with a new international office based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The research-focused office is being set up in close partnership with the University of Alberta, and will be led by UAlberta academics Rich Sutton, Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski, in the latest example of Canadian AI-focused scholars getting the chance to contribute to private-sector endeavors while continuing to work on their academic research and teaching, too. Alongside Sutton, Bowling and Pilarski will be Adam White, returning to Alberta as an adjunct professor,…

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Uber threatened to fire engineer at center of Waymo trade secret lawsuit

Uber has issued a sternly worded letter toAnthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of a lawsuit alleging theft of trade secrets from Google parent Alphabets self-driving technology unit Waymo. The gist? Comply with the courts ordersor risk being terminated. Levandowski isthe former technologylead forGoogles autonomous vehicle unit and co-founder of self-driving truck startup Otto, which filed in February and accuses Uber of misappropriating itstrade secrets and infringing on patents related to its self-driving vehicle program. The suitis criminal case being opened up as well. But in the meantime, Waymo…

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Headlines 

Soaring tech stocks send Nasdaq to record high

Bumper profits from Google parent Alphabet and Amazon boost tech-heavy index as Jeff Bezos closes in on title of worlds richest person A slew of large tech companies including Google parent Alphabet and Amazon have reported better than expected bumper profits, promising to boost the Nasdaq index to fresh highs. The tech-heavy index already pushed to a new record on Thursday of 6,048.94, a rise of 0.39%, thanks to strong results from PayPal and Comcast. But after-the-bell figures from the industrys giants looked set to take it even higher when…

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Waymo accuses Uber of hiding a secret LiDAR device

In preparation for a preliminary injunction hearing next month, Waymo today filed new claims in its lawsuit against Uber, alleging that its competitor withheld information about technology Uber is using in its development of self-driving cars. Waymo is in the midst of a code-named Fuji, isnt ready and therefore isnt being used in its self-driving cars, which rely instead on commercial systems furnished by Velodyne. Waymo now says that Uber worked on a second system that more closely copies Waymos designs (Waymos LiDAR relies on a single-lens system, while the…

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Odds and Ends 

TechCrunchs first-quarter tech earnings season prop bets

Here at TechCrunch, we tend to pay close attention to the earnings reports of the big companies. And for good reason! It gives us some insight into major technology trends and some signals that can help us not only predict what products are going to be around in a few years (not mentioning any names), but also directionally what kinds of startups might be successful. But! Sometimes these reportscan be dull. And sometimes these reports can be quite boring and fall directly in-line with what Wall Street and everyone else…

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