July 30 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By July 30, 2019 Insight

1. This robo-van startup will handle Walmart’s “middle mile”

  • Walmart will use robo-vans from startup Gatik to help move goods from its Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, to a Neighborhood Market in nearby Bentonville, where customers can get their bags with laundry detergent, paper towels, potato chips, and whatever else
  • Gatik will run three of its modified Ford Transit Connect vans in this “middle mile” logistics scheme, making up to 10 runs a day, seven days a week, during daylight… main aim is to do that repeatedly, safely, without a safety driver onboard
  • don’t have to wait for changing consumer behavior…meaning waiting for people to become comfortable with the idea of riding inside a robot, or even walking to the curb to retrieve their order from a robot that can’t walk up to their door

2. These 8 pro gamers became instant millionaires at the ‘Fortnite’ World Cup this past weekend, and the biggest winner is just 16 years old

  • The first ever “Fortnite” World Cup championship took place over the weekend in New York City’s iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • Harrison “Psalm” Chang took second place in solo, which got him $1.8 million. At the age of 24, he was one of the few non-teens in contention for the top prizes.
  • 15yr old millionaire Fortnite player Jaden Ashman…came second with his teammate on the duos and will split $2.25m

3.  Waymo uses evolutionary competition to improve its self-driving cars

  • company has partnered with DeepMind on a “Population Based Training” method for pedestrian detection that has the best neural networks advance much like lifeforms do in natural selection, saving time and effort
  • approach regularly has the networks compete against each other, with weaker examples being replaced by stronger “progeny” that are copies of the better-performing networks with slightly tweaked parameters
  • automatically gets rid of the poorer-performing networks while saving Waymo from having to retrain networks from scratch — they’ve already inherited know-how from their parents

4. Microsoft Buys BlueTalon, Its Fourth Known Startup Purchase Of 2019

  • This morning Microsoft, the most valuable company in the world…announced that it has purchased BlueTalon, a startup focused data access, control, and security, for an undisclosed amount
  • Data-focused startups, and security-focused upstarts, have proved hot commodities in recent years as both companies in the space have gone public, been acquired by larger players, or raised large checks
  • Adding BlueTalon’s intellectual property (Microsoft listed IP ahead of talent, note) to Azure could help the Microsoft AWS competitor better compete against its cross-town rival for big-ticket deals

5. Google announces winners of its 2019 Science Fair

  • competition that invites 13- to 18-year-old students around the world to formulate hypotheses, perform experiments, and present their results in front of a panel of judges
  • Fionn Ferreira from West Cork, Ireland — the Google Grand Prize Winner…investigated the removal of microplastics from the water using ferrofluids, or liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in an organic solvent
  • Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award and Lego Builder Award winners are Celestine Wenardy from Indonesia and Daniel Kazantsev from Russia…Wenardy developed a low-cost noninvasive continuous blood glucose monitor that leverages interferometry…while Kazantsev proposed novel ways to help those with impaired hearing express their thoughts