The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup


Have you heard of Magic Leap, one of the most secretive startup. Currently, they are looking at a valuation of $8bn. This is from Wiki – Magic Leap is a US startup company that is working on a head-mounted virtual retinal display which superimposes 3D computer-generated imagery over real world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user’s eye,[1][2] involving technologies potentially suited to applications in augmented reality and computer vision. It is attempting to construct a light-field chip using silicon photonics.[3]

Magic Leap may fail. It may fail spectacularly, in the kind of blowup that makes for a great business tale. Or it may fail only in its ambition to be the Apple of augmented reality — and instead become yet another technology company powering devices and services that help Alibaba to better compete with Microsoft and Facebook. It’s also possible that it may succeed spectacularly.

The complete article – Backchannel

Detailed story in Wired

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The Crisis of Attention Theft—Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return


Attention is a resource and we have limited quota of it. This is being stolen by Ads, whether we like it or not. Ads are everywhere, ads we don’t want and don’t need.

What makes it “theft?” Advances in neuroscience over the last several decades make it clear that our brain’s resources are involuntarily triggered by sound and motion; hence the screens literally seize scarce mental resources. As neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and psychologist Larry Rosen put it in their book, The Distracted Mind, humans have an “extreme sensitivity to goal interference from distractions by irrelevant information.” Meanwhile, in the law, theft or larceny is typically defined as the taking control of a resource “under such circumstances as to acquire the major portion of its economic value or benefit.” Given the established market value of time and attention, when taken without consent or compensation, it really is not much different from someone taking money out of your pocket. Hence, when the firms selling public-screen advertising to captive audiences brag of double-digit growth and billions in revenue, those are actually earnings derived by stealing from us.

The complete article

Tim Wu — Wired

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A Retiree Discovers an Elusive Math Proof—And Nobody Notices


Many discoveries and inventions come from amateurs and freelancers. This is one such inspiring story.

Upon seeing the proof, “I really kicked myself,” Richards said. Over the decades, he and other experts had been attacking the GCI with increasingly sophisticated mathematical methods, certain that bold new ideas in convex geometry, probability theory or analysis would be needed to prove it. Some mathematicians, after years of toiling in vain, had come to suspect the inequality was actually false. In the end, though, Royen’s proof was short and simple, filling just a few pages and using only classic techniques. Richards was shocked that he and everyone else had missed it. “But on the other hand I have to also tell you that when I saw it, it was with relief,” he said. “I remember thinking to myself that I was glad to have seen it before I died.” He laughed. “Really, I was so glad I saw it.”

The complete article

Natalie Wolchover — Wired

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A very detailed investigative report. A must read! Recommended by Suman.

IN 2015, THE State Department put a $3 million bounty on Bogachev’s head, the highest reward the US has ever posted for a cyber­criminal. But he remains at large. According to US intelligence sources, the government does not, in fact, suspect that Bogachev took part in the Russian campaign to influence the US election. Rather, the Obama administration included him in the sanctions to put pressure on the Russian government. The hope is that the Russians might be willing to hand over Bogachev as a sign of good faith, since the botnet that made him so useful to them is defunct. Or maybe, with the added attention, someone will decide they want the $3 million reward and tip off the FBI.

The complete article

Garrett M. Graff — Wired

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Is It Uncool to Flirt on LinkedIn?


We use Linkedin for ‘professional’ purposes. Is it fine if we flirt on Linkedin?

So, yes. You are right. And you’ve taught me a lot—you and Jeff Weiner both. I can see clearly now how we’ve all tied ourselves into a knot of careerism and affection and equity and sex, and maybe that’s just the way it has to be. I’m remembering now what happened when Jerry Maguire—the real Jerry Maguire—showed up in that living room, shivering, trying to win back his wife, who also happened to be his business partner at their new sports-agenting startup, how he told her, “You … you complete me.” But, more important, there was the line he slipped her right before that famous line. Suddenly, in the middle of his monologue, he was compelled to say, like a man giving a keynote at a conference, “We live in a cynical world, a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors.”

Why? Why include that? What could Jerry Maguire possibly have meant? I think he meant: The internet is full of sinister strangers. It’s a hostile place in which to offer up your soul. But here I am. Look at me. View my profile. I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.

The complete article

Jon Mooallem — Wired

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Guess What Uber’s Promising Now: Flying Cars


An interesting video today. Flying cars might not be that far into the future.

Forget self-driving cars, Uber has a new one for you… flying cars. The company calls it Uber Elevate and within a decade it’ll be a global network of on demand urban electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.

The video


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Elon Musk’s Wild Plan to Set Artificial Intelligence Free


Today’s needull looks at OpenAI, an initiative to push the limits of AI. The project is unique in the sense that it does not restrict access to artificial intelligence. It is given that AI is going to be a substantial part of our lives in foreseeable future and OpenAI like Musk’s other ground breaking efforts might be well be first among equals.

That’s the irony at the heart of this story: even as the world’s biggest tech companies try to hold onto their researchers with the same fierceness that NFL teams try to hold onto their star quarterbacks, the researchers themselves just want to share. In the rarefied world of AI research, the brightest minds aren’t driven by—or at least not only by—the next product cycle or profit margin. They want to make AI better, and making AI better doesn’t happen when you keep your latest findings to yourself.

The complete article


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