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LATEST TECH NEWS: Tesla in race to be world’s most valuable car maker. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, June 12, 2020

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These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. Tesla races to become world’s most valuable car maker

As Tesla experiences a surge in its shares this month, it moved even closer to displacing Toyota as the world’s most valuable car maker. With a market capitalisation of more than US$190-billion, the Elon Musk company, however, still has some distance to close to reach Toyota’s $212-billion valuation. According to reports, this valuation under review includes treasury shares.

Industry insights have revealed that a further rise of about another 14% in Tesla shares could see it claim the crown if Toyota shares remain steady. Going by the trend, Tesla has already been up 23% since the beginning of June. The jump in Tesla’s valuation comes despite a gulf in the scale of both automakers. The Palo Alto, California-based maker of electric cars, in the first quarter, produced 103 000 vehicles. It overtook Volkswagen, in January, to become the world’s second most valuable automaker.

2. California sets up drone to track social distancing

In an effort to ensure compliance to social distancing regulations from the government, a California-based startup has created new drone software capable of monitoring the degree of social distancing and face-mask wearing occurring in real time in any given location. The 5 year old startup, Airspace Systems, operates as a business firm, focusing on creating software for drone detection, helping places like airports and stadiums to monitor their skies for rogue drones entering restricted airspace.

However, with the new twist for the airspace startup, this is a major shift to monitor people, instead of drones for social good. Press has noted that this move would assist a number of states across the U.S. to contain coronavirus spread relatively. According to aerospace experts, the software works by using artificial intelligence to make sense of real-time video footage captured by drones. Hence, should it spot a large number of people gathered together, it would automatically send an alert to authorities.


Tech Trivia:

How long did it take Amazon to begin selling more ebooks than physical copies after its Kindle launch?

A. A single fiscal quarter
B. Less than three years
C. About seven years
D. It still sells more printed copies

Answer: See end of post.


3. Kahoot raises $28M to enhance its gaming product

Norwegian educational gaming company, Kahoot, has announced raising a new round of funding of $28 million to keep up with demand. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, with schools staying closed, students have been staying at home. For the foreseeable future, things have considerably changed as students have shifted learning to their living rooms in the hands of players such as Kahoot.

Read also: LATEST TECH NEWS: Nigerian startup Trep Labs develops app to track Covid-19 cases. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, June 11, 2020

According to company’s log, the Oslo-based startup raised the $28 million in a private placement, adding that it further raised a further $62 million in secondary shares. Press has, however, noted that the new equity investment included participation from Northzone, an existing backer of the startup, and CEO Eilert Hanoa.

4. Zoom shuts down activists’ accounts at Chinese government request

Zoom Video Communications

Widely successful video chat service Zoom has expressed its readiness to shut down accounts at the request of the Chinese government, with three accounts at the request of the Chinese government for holding memorials for the victims of China’s violent suppression of peaceful protests at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, already completed. While this might be considered a political move, Zoom maintained its stand to back the government, going on to close the accounts of Lee Cheuk-Yan, Wang Dan and Zhou Fengsuo for planning and holding vigils and events to commemorate the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

According to Zoom, the company was notified by the Chinese government about four large, June 4th commemoration meetings that were being publicized on social media, where the Chinese government demanded that Zoom terminate the meetings and host accounts. Responding to the Chinese government’s request, Zoom, in what is considered a breach, labelled three of the four events and hosting participants as people distributing information or discussing events that were illegal under Chinese law.

5. Spike raises $8 million to improve email services

Despite how grave asynchronous chat apps like Slack are fasting email service, Spike, another I.T. firm has raised $8 million to improve email services into what will look like chat technology. According to Spike, it is nursing a novel idea to build an email app that organizes emails into chat bubbles with an interface that encourages users to keep it short and simple.

This is Spike rethinking software design to focus solely on re-skinning the email experience. According to its blueprint, the prospect of the new functionality widens the ambitions of the software, refocusing the app on a more complete business use case. On the new raiser, the company noted that the $8 million was raised in a Series A round led by Insight Partners with participation from Wix, NFX and Koa Labs.

Tech Trivia Answer: Less than three years

In June 2010, Amazon announced that it had sold 143 ebooks for every 100 printed books in the prior three months — a figure that included hard copy books that didn’t have a Kindle version, not to mention that the store offered only 630,000 Kindle books at the time compared to its physical library of nearly two million titles.

At the time, Amazon said it was astonished considering that it had been selling hard cover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for only 33 months. The company launched its first Kindle e-reader in November 19, 2007. The shift occurred even faster on Amazon UK, which introduced the Kindle in August 2010 and by May of the following year ebooks outsold printed books at a ratio of more than 2 to 1.

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