.

TITLE: Watson Goes to Africa, 939

.

.

[me] It's Thursday, February 6, 2014 and this is Tech News Today.

.

[me] Tech News Today is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free 2 week trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use the offer code TNT TWO.

.

Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Mike Elgan --- I'm Sarah Lane --- I'm Tonya Hall --- I'm Jason Howell

.

[me] Tech News Today explores the top tech news in 30 minutes or less.

.

http://bridgeurl.com/tnt939/all

.

CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

.

[me] The Turkish government passed new laws that make it easier for them to censor the Internet and surveille the public. The laws have triggered both outrage by opposition parties and protests in the streets of Istanbul. They allow the Turkish equivalent of America’s FCC, which is called the TIB, to block any web site without a court order. It also requires Internet providers to store all user activity data for two years, and hand it over when requested by the government. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/02/turkish-mps-endorse-internet-control-law-2014266540113308.html

.

[me] Ozgur Uckan (ooze-GUR oo-kan), a writer and teacher who works at Istanbul’s Bilgi University (bill-gee). He’s Skyping in from Paris, France. Thank you for joining us, ooze-GUR. * ozguruckan.com

Q: You were quoted on the BBC as saying "The new internet law is catastrophic for Turkey." Why is this a catastrophe in your view?

Q: The stated purpose of this law is to “protect the family, children and youth from items on the Internet that encourage drug addiction, sexual abuse and suicide.” The Chinese communist party says the same thing, but it’s clearly also about political control. Is that the case in Turkey, too?

Q: I’ve read that censorship is also on the rise in Turkey. Some 40,000 websites are currently blocked in Turkey 10,000 more than last year.

Q: Prime minister Erdoğan (ERR-doh-an) famously called Twitter "a menace to society." Will the law also allow the government more control over social media accounts?
ozguruckan.com

.

.

[me] AD: Squarespace * * *

.

.

CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

.

[sl] Last night on Tech News Tonight we reported that after its first quarterly earnings as a public company, Twitter stock was down almost 13% in after-hours trading, due to investor concerns over slowing user growth. And...it's fallen further. Twitter shares fell almost 25% this morning, which represents a loss of about $9.8 billion in market value.
The stock, which debuted at $26 in November, hit a low of $50 in early trading. The shares peaked at $74.73 in late December.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/us-twitter-results-idUSBREA141ZZ20140206

.

- analysts/brokerages seem split on Twitter. IPO was priced to sell, but is it overvalued? too hard to use? the next FB?
- Deutsche Bank, one of one at least six brokerages that raised target prices or ratings on Twitter's stock. sees Twitter as reaching 1B users
- UBS issued a "sell" recommendation on the stock and cut its price target to $42 from $45. one of at least eight brokerages to cut their target prices or recommendations
- fourth-quarter revenue of $243 million beat the street, but slowed user growth, as well as a sharp decline in a measure of user engagement scared ppl
- tweet from nickbiltron: Twitter's growth problem isn't just about new users. It's about convincing people who joined in the Oprah days, then abandoned, to come back
https://twitter.com/nickbilton/status/431178294390554624

.

.

CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

.

[th] IBM is putting its Watson artificial intelligence system to work boosting technology in Africa. The company is investing $100 million over the next decade to fund Watson-based projects at its Africa Research laboratory in Narobi, Kenya. The company also plans to open new IBM Innovation Centers in Lagos, Nigeria; Casablanca, Morocco; and Johannesburg, South Africa.http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43106.wss

http://www.theworldisourlabafrica.com/
http://www.zdnet.com/ibm-watson-heads-to-africa-with-100m-investment-7000026042/

.

[me] Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief for ZDnet and TechRepublic. * @steveranger

Q: Steve, can you tell us more about the nature of IBM’s investment in Africa?

Q: As I understand it, this is about applying big data to africa’s food, energy and medical problems. But isn’t the hardest part collecting the data? How do they plan to do that?
@steveranger

.

* recruiting research partners such as universities, development agencies, and startups

* Will be deployed to tackle the region’s biggest problems: understanding food price patterns, to estimating GDP and poverty numbers, to anticipating disease outbreaks.

* IBM said last month that it will spend $1 billion to create a new division around Watson, which analyzes troves of data and can answer questions in conversational language.

* Nairobi, Kenya, lab is IBM’s its 12th in the world.

* In 2013, IBM had operations in more than 20 African countries, up from four in 2006.

* “Africa is facing a double challenge: the lack of accessible data to support its economic development, and the lack of advanced skills in data analysis. IBM's work to share Watson with Africa will help to address both challenges," said Michel Bézy, Associate Director, Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda.

.

.

CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

.

[me] A startup called Refresh launched a Google Glass app today that presents a “dossier” on the people you meet. It harvests this information from sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Github, AngelList, Yahoo, and Zillow. It also connects to your calender, and shows you a dossier on people you’re about to meet. http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/06/refresh-unveils-google-glass-app-that-presents-instant-dossiers-on-people-you-meet/http://www.refresh.io/

.

Note on video above: Slide show with Glass screens at the bottom.

.

* Currently an iPhone app called “Refresh app”

* People+ is a Glassware app that presents information on people and companies

* Refresh is backed by $10 million from Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Foundation Capital. It is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

.

.

CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

.

[sl] 2013 wasn't a great year for HTC. The company's sales dropped 30% last year, its third annual decline, due to product delays, a shrinking marketing budget, and competitors like LG and Lenovo, and HTC also posted its first annual net loss. However, Chang Chialin, chief financial officer and head of global sales for Taiwan-based HTC tells Bloomberg that an updated version of the One smartphone, a new wearable device, and a better focus on marketing will turn things around this year.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/htc-sees-new-devices-and-fresh-marketing-push-driving-turnaround.html

.

- A wearable device will be available by this year’s Christmas shopping season after years of development and technical challenges. Chairman Cher Wang: “Many years ago we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems.”
- The executives declined to say whether HTC’s marketing budget would rise this year after the company last year signed actor Robert Downey Jr. for $12M
- Bloomberg reported anon source that next HTC One model coming in March, featuring a twin-sensor rear camera and a larger screen

.

.

CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

.

[th] Amazon has acquired Double Helix Games, the maker of “Silent Hill,” “Killer Instinct” and many other titles. Amazon said that Double Helix Games now available and currently in development will be supported in the future. We reported previously that Amazon was rumored to be working on a low-cost game console that would compete with Xbox and Playstation.

.

* What kind of game company will Amazon be?

* Amazon is clearly very serious about becoming a major content creator. Their Amazon Original TV series, for example, show their intent to compete against Netflix. Can an online bookseller and retailer really take on Hollywood and the game industry?
URL

.

* News of the deal leaked due to an invitation to joint recruiting event from Amazon and Double Helix Games taking place in L.A. on February 13th.

* Double Helix Games was formed in 2007 via a merger between two Foundation 9 studios, The Collective and Shiny Entertainment.

* Other games: Star Wars, The Matrix, Indiana Jones and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

.

.

E-MAIL & SOCIALSHOWLINKS

.

[sl] Email or social

.

.

[me] FOLLOW-UP: We told you yesterday about Japanese reports that Sony would get out of the PC business by selling its Vaio unit to an investment fund called Japan Industrial Partners. Today Sony confirmed it. The deal is expected to close by March. Sony also announced plans to lay off 5,000 workers globally by March of next year. The company will also spin off its TV business into a separate subsidiary by July. Sony’s fiscal year ends in March, and the company is forecasting a huge loss for the year -- about $1.1 billion.

.

.

IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

.

[sl] Taking a cruise is great -- especially if you have a view from your room. But if you don’t have a view, the next-best thing is a big TV showing you video of the view. That’s the idea behind Royal Caribbean’s "virtual balconies." Instead of a window in 81 rooms on its new cruise ship, they offer 80-inch, high-definition TV screens showing near real-time video of what your view would be... if you actually had a window. The video is taken by two RED Epic digital cinema cameras. The "virtual balconies” will feel like either a breathtaking view out a window or, more likely, a TV playing the most boring show ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8z1BLzb9Fohttp://www.royalcaribbean.com/findacruise/cabinclass/cabinTypes/cabinType/cabin/home.do?br=R&cabincls=I&cabinType=SB&shipCode=NV

.

.

[me] Send YOUR news tips to our email address at tnt@twit.tv or call 260-TNT-show and leave a message. Also: Upvote the stories you'd like to see us cover on our subreddit at Technewstoday.reddit.com. Find the rest of our social pages by searching for Tech News Today on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. And if you haven't already, subscribe to Tech News Today at twit.tv/tnt

.

.

* * * FIN * * *

.

.

On Tech News Today: Turkey cuts Internet freedoms * IBM's Watson goes to Africa! * And Amazon buys a game company. All that and more coming up next.

.

.

.

* * * END PROMPTER COPY * * *

.

.

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Twitter-issues-mixed-earnings-report-stock-falls-5208599.php

.

http://wallstreetpit.com/102336-social-media-on-the-move-after-twitters-twtr-disappointing-earnings/

.

.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/06/apple-bans-another-bitcoin-app-from-iphones

.

.

http://gigaom.com/2014/02/06/apple-patents-a-better-autocorrect/

.

.

.

http://gigaom.com/2014/02/06/theres-something-rotten-in-the-state-of-online-video-streaming-and-the-data-is-starting-to-emerge/

.

.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/6/5378544/reporter-for-iphone-app-tracks-your-life-nicholas-felton-quantified-self

.

.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/6/5385674/senator-al-franken-raises-concerns-over-google-glass-facial-recognition-app