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Telkomsel invests an additional $300 million in Gojek - techcrunch

Telkomsel invests an additional $300 million in Gojek

Telkomsel, a unit of Indonesia’s largest telecom operator Telkom, has invested an additional $300 million in ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek, the two firms said Monday, just months after the network provider wrote a $150 million check to the Southeast Asian firm. The announcement comes amid Gojek working to seal a proposed merger with e-commerce […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Clubhouse finally launches its Android app - techcrunch

Clubhouse finally launches its Android app

Clubhouse finally has an Android app that you can download from the Play Store — provided you live in the U.S. The voice social network launched its beta Android app on Play Store users in the U.S. on Sunday, and said it will gradually make the new app available in other English-speaking countries and then […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
SpaceX launches and lands a Falcon 9 rocket booster a record 10th time - techcrunch

SpaceX launches and lands a Falcon 9 rocket booster a record 10th time

SpaceX has launched another 60 Starlink satellites — making 180 delivered to orbit in under two weeks — but the launch early Sunday morning was more notable because it set a new, key record for Falcon 9 rocket reusability. This marked the 10th flight of the first-stage rocket booster used for the launch, which sets […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
How one founder realized the potential of sustainable energy stored deep below our feet - techcrunch

How one founder realized the potential of sustainable energy stored deep below our feet

On this week’s Found podcast, we sat down with Dandelion co-founder and President Kathy Hannun. Kathy came up with the idea for Dandelion while working at Google X, tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems, and making them tractable through the application of technology. Kathy realized that harnessing geothermal energy was a way to […]
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Cowboy launches the Cowboy 4 e-bike, with a step-through version and built-in phone charger - techcrunch

Cowboy launches the Cowboy 4 e-bike, with a step-through version and built-in phone charger

E-bike startup Cowboy has launched the Cowboy 4, its newest generation of urban electric bikes. The bike will come in two different frames, a traditional frame, and a step-through. The C4 is basically an upgrade on the previous version 3, while the ‘C4 ST’ is a step-through model which the company is predicting will appeal […]
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Sennheiser sells off its consumer brand - techcrunch

Sennheiser sells off its consumer brand

Long-running German audio company Sennheiser today announced that it has found a buyer for its consumer brand. Swiss holding company Sonova — a giant in the hearing aid business — will be acquiring the brand in a deal expected to close by end of year. The deal will bring headphones and sound bars to Sonova’s […]
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Autonomous vehicle pioneers Karl Iagnemma and Chris Urmson are coming to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 - techcrunch

Autonomous vehicle pioneers Karl Iagnemma and Chris Urmson are coming to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021

Long before the multi-million-dollar acquisitions and funding rounds pushed autonomous vehicles to the top of the hype cycle, Karl Iagnemma and Chris Urmson were researching and, later, developing the foundations of the technology. These pioneers, Iagnemma coming from MIT, Urmson from Carnegie Mellon University — would eventually go on to launch their own autonomous vehicle […]
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Walmart’s Flipkart to cover insurance for all sellers in India and waive additional fees - techcrunch

Walmart’s Flipkart to cover insurance for all sellers in India and waive additional fees

Walmart-owned Flipkart is exempting storage and cancellation fees for sellers on its marketplace and also providing them with insurance coverage as the top e-commerce platform in India looks to maintain cordial relationships with more than 300,000 sellers who are facing severe disruption amid an unprecedented rise in the spread of coronavirus infections in the South […]
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What Square’s smashing earnings tell us about consumer bitcoin demand

Today we're talking Square earnings and its bitcoin base, especially in how it relates to the results of other entities that offer bitcoin sales.
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Product Review: Meshforce M7 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - readwrite

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As you know from my other reviews, I only like easy-install equipment and have become very spoiled with the huge offers of easy-install items these days. The MeshForce M7 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System is no different. Yes, I like the easy install — but I’m also picky. The Meshforce M7 system is easy […] The post Product Review: Meshforce M7 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System appeared first on ReadWrite.
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TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 early bird price extended for one more day

“I feel the need — the need for speed.” That could be the official mobility startup founder credo, amirite? Speed and agility are important, but don’t move so quickly that you miss the chance to save $100 on a pass to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 on June 9. We’ve extended our early-bird price for just […]
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Credit Karma reinvents cash back rewards with instant payback - techcrunch

Credit Karma reinvents cash back rewards with instant payback

Credit Karma Money, a new checking and savings account from the company best known for its credit monitoring service, recently launched a significant new feature. Called Instant Karma, the program rewards users by randomly refunding purchases or adding money to cash deposits. So far, since launching the feature, Credit Karma says it has rewarded 100,000 […]
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To buy time for a failing startup, recreate the engineering process - techcrunch

To buy time for a failing startup, recreate the engineering process

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$99 passes to TC Disrupt 2021 disappear next week - techcrunch

$99 passes to TC Disrupt 2021 disappear next week

TechCrunch Disrupt — it’s the must-attend conference for anyone and everyone connected to the global startup community. Don’t miss your chance to attend TC Disrupt 2021, on September 21-23, for less than $100. That’s a tidy little bottom-line booster, yes? Three opportunity-packed days can be yours at the super early-bird price — just $99 — […]
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If 12% is the new 30%, 4% is the new 12% - techcrunch

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. The whole team was aboard for this recording, with Grace and Chris behind the scenes, and Danny, Alex, and Natasha on the mics. We had to cut more than we included this week, which should give you a […]
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Tiger Global is betting that more schools are going to share future student earnings - techcrunch

Tiger Global is betting that more schools are going to share future student earnings

Income-share agreements, or ISAs, are a way to bring flexibility to the often steep financial costs of higher education. The financial model allows a student to learn at zero upfront cost, and then pay any costs through a percentage of future income over time. While the model has caught fire from a variety of trade […]
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Twitch UX teardown: The Anchor Effect and de-risking decisions - techcrunch

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The Biden Administration has reportedly proposed significant changes to the capital gains tax, aiming to target the wealthiest Americans to help fund his historic aid programs.
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SpaceX might try to fly the first Starship prototype to successfully land a second time - techcrunch

SpaceX might try to fly the first Starship prototype to successfully land a second time

SpaceX is fresh off a high for its Starship spacecraft development program, but according to CEO Elon Musk, it’s already looking ahead to potentially repeating its latest success with an unplanned early reusability experiment. Earlier this week, SpaceX flew the SN15 (i.e., 15th prototype) of its Starship from its development site near Brownsville, Texas, and […]
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techcrunch
Deepfake tech takes on satellite maps

Deepfake tech takes on satellite maps

techcrunch - 2 weeks ago

While the concept of “deepfakes,” or AI-generated synthetic imagery, has been decried primarily in connection with involuntary depictions of people, the technology is dangerous (and interesting) in other ways as well. For instance, researchers have shown that it can be used to manipulate satellite imagery to produce real-looking but totally fake overhead maps of cities.

The study, led by Bo Zhao from the University of Washington, is not intended to alarm anyone but rather to show the risks and opportunities involved in applying this rather infamous technology to cartography. In fact their approach has as much in common with “style transfer” techniques redrawing images in an impressionistic, crayon, and arbitrary other fashions than with deepfakes as they are commonly understood.

The team trained a machine learning system on satellite images of three different cities: Seattle, nearby Tacoma, and Beijing. Each has its own distinctive look, just as a painter or medium does. For instance, Seattle tends to have larger overhanging greenery and narrower streets, while Beijing is more monochrome and in the images used for the study the taller buildings cast long, dark shadows. The system learned to associate details of a street map (like Google or Apple’s) with those of the satellite view.

The resulting machine learning agent, when given a street map, returns a realistic-looking faux satellite image of what that area would look like if it were in any of those cities. In the following image, the map corresponds to the top right satellite image of Tacoma, while the lower versions show how it might look in Seattle and Beijing.

Four images show a street map and a real satellite image of Tacoma, and two simulated satellite images of the same streets in Seattle and Beijing.

Image Credits: Zhao et al.

A close inspection will show that the fake maps aren’t as sharp as the real one, and there are probably some logical inconsistencies like streets that go nowhere and the like. But at a glance the Seattle and Beijing images are perfectly plausible.

One only has to think for a few minutes to conceive of uses for fake maps like this, both legitimate and otherwise. The researchers suggest that the technique could be used to simulate imagery of places for which no satellite imagery is available like one of these cities in the days before such things were possible, or for a planned expansion or zoning change. The system doesn’t have to imitate another place altogether it could be trained on a more densely populated part of the same city, or one with wider streets.

It could conceivably even be used, as this rather more whimsical project was, to make realistic-looking modern maps from ancient hand-drawn ones.

And should technology like this be bent to less constructive purposes, the paper also looks at ways to detect such simulated imagery using careful examination of colors and features.

The work challenges the general assumption of the “absolute reliability of satellite images or other geospatial data,” said Zhao in a UW news article, and certainly as with other media that kind thinking has to go by the wayside as new threats appear. You can read the full paper at the journal Cartography and Geographic Information Science.

sauce: techcrunch
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