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Facebook's Steady March To 1 Billion Users

Facebook's Steady March To 1 Billion Users | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Facebook announced that it now has 1 billion monthly active users. It's an incredible feat. Very few companies can say they have 1 billion customers.

Most impressive is how linear this progression is.
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Open Compute Keynote de Philippe Dewost a USI 2015 Unexpected Sources of Inspiration - Philippe Dewost's light sources

Open Compute Keynote de Philippe Dewost a USI 2015 Unexpected Sources of Inspiration - Philippe Dewost's light sources | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

L'édition 2015 de la Conference USI (Unexpected Sources of Inspiration) s'est tenue début Juillet au Carrousel du Louvre et a confirmé son statut de meilleure Conference Tech sur Paris, combinant un site exceptionnel, une audience de plus de 1200 participants très diverse et de très bon niveau, et une palette de speakers dans plusieurs disciplines délivrant une quarantaine d'interventions sur les deux jours. La Caisse des Dépôts était de nouveau partenaire de cette édition avec plus d'une cinquantaine de participants dans le cadre de son programme de transformation digitale.

François Hisquin, CEO d'Octo et Curateur de la conférence, m'avait demandé d'intervenir sur la thématique d'Open Compute, dont la contribution aux enjeux de la transition énergétique n'est toujours pas correctement appréciée en Europe alors même que nous hébergeons des entreprises extrêmement talentueuses dans ce domaine.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Keynote en video et slideshare pour ceux qui n'ont pas le son

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CHECy's curator insight, November 25, 2015 12:15 PM

Intervention de Philippe Dewost, Président d'honneur du CHECy, lors de la conférence USI 2015.

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[FrenchWeb INSIDERS] Les 6 infos Tech qu'il ne fallait pas manquer

[FrenchWeb INSIDERS] Les 6 infos Tech qu'il ne fallait pas manquer | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Avec, entre Jeff Bezos et Jean-Marie Messier

 

Nous avons appris le départ de Philippe Dewost de la Caisse des Dépôts début septembre. Il occupait jusqu'à présent les fonctions de Directeur adjoint de la Mission «Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir» où il pilotait le secteur de l'économie numérique (enveloppe initiale de 4,25 milliards d’euros).

Philippe Dewost a commencé sa carrière professionnelle chez France Telecom comme co-fondateur de Wanadoo en 1995. Il a occupé des rôles de dirigeant dans plusieurs startups (Ukibi, Realeyes3D) avant de rejoindre en 2009 ImSense, une start-up de Cambridge spécialisée dans le traitement d’images, acquise par Apple en 2010 et dont la technologie eye-Fidelity est désormais utilisée 1/2 milliard de fois chaque jour.

L’ex pilote du rapport French Tech en 2013 rejoindra début Septembre un Groupe du CAC40 dont le nom n’a pas encore été révélé.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Escape Velocity = vitesse de libération

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Plébiscite boursier pour Balyo, champion de la robotique industrielle !

Plébiscite boursier pour Balyo, champion de la robotique industrielle ! | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Le spécialiste de la robotisation des chariots de manutention a réussi son introduction en Bourse. Il a levé 39,8 millions d’euros et le titre cote déjà 28% au-dessus du prix d’introduction.

Les robots ont le vent en poupe. Le succès de l’introduction en Bourse de Balyo vient encore le confirmer. La petite société française a en effet développé une solution de robotisation visant à rendre autonome les chariots de manutention.

Alors que le groupe a enregistré un chiffre d’affaires de «seulement» 5,2 millions d’euros l’an dernier et que le seuil de rentabilité n’est pas attendu avant 2019, il vient de lever près de 40 millions d’euros en Bourse. Un montant qui pourrait même être porté à 45,8 millions d’euros en cas d’exercice intégral de l’option de surallocation.

L’offre a été sursouscrite près de sept fois, autorisant la société à fixer un prix d’introduction à 4,11 euros par action, tout en haut de la fourchette 3,05 - 4,11 euros proposée en amont. La «clause d’extension» a, évidemment, été exercée en totalité.

Près de dix fois le chiffre d'affaires

Et le plébiscite des investisseurs ne s’arrête pas là. Le titre a débuté sa cotation le 9 juin, uniquement sous la forme de «promesses d’actions», et, à 13h30, il cotait déjà 28% au-dessus du prix d’introduction. Le tout dans un volume de marché très important, dépassant le million de titres échangés.

Balyo est actuellement valorisé à 148 millions d’euros, soit 9,9 fois le chiffre d’affaires attendu cette année par les analystes d’ID Midcap. Ils attendent pourtant une véritable envolée des ventes en 2017, à 15 millions d’euros (5,15 millions en 2016).

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Une très belle sortie pour le Fonds Ambition Numérique, souscrit par la Caisse Des Dépôts et géré par sa principale filiale Bpifrance dans le cadre du Programme des Investissements d'Avenir.

Avec ce démarrage en trombe de la cotation, tout commence (bien) désormais ... Bravo à Fabien Bardinet et à toute son équipe !

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Algolia raises $53 million for its search engine API

Algolia raises $53 million for its search engine API | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

French startup Algolia just raised a $53 million Series B round led by Accel, a couple of years after raising $18.3 million with… Accel also leading the round. So it looks like it’s a love story between the VC firm and the software-as-a-service startup.

The reason is quite simple. Algolia is still growing like crazy, with its annual recurring revenue doubling every year. Algolia’s goal hasn’t changed — the startup wants to provide the best search experience to everyone building websites and apps out there.

Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr fund, Jyoti Bansal, Clark Valberg and Des Traynor are also participating in today’s round, as well as existing investors Alven Capital, Point Nine Capital and Storm Ventures.

Just like Twilio is handling calls and text messages for you so you don’t have to, Algolia can also take care of the search box on your website. In just a few lines of code, you can replace your search feature with Algolia’s search.

You’ll need to feed Algolia with your search data and customize it to your needs, as well. After that, every time a user starts typing a letter, it’ll query one of Algolia’s servers and return results in no time. It’s quite remarkable to see how quickly and accurately it works.

And chances are that you’ve been using Algolia without realizing it. The company is managing the search feature on Medium, DigitalOcean, Twitch, Stripe, Periscope, Crunchbase and many others.

The company now has 3,000 customers and handles 25 billion searches every month. Recently, the startup launched a fallback version of Algolia called Algolia Offline that you can use if you’re in airplane mode or don’t have a strong signal. Algolia also optimized its search feature for places.

With today’s funding round, Algolia is going to open another office in London after Paris, San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta. And of course, the company wants to get new customers, build new features and maybe one day become the Stripe of search.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

La French Tech at its best !

Kudos to the Algolia team and Accel for this nice Series B

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Inside Facebook's plan to eat another $350 billion IT market

Inside Facebook's plan to eat another $350 billion IT market | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
On an ordinary work day in mid-2016, a handful of Facebook engineers were sitting on the couches in a corner of the company's Menlo Park, California, headquarters when one of them tossed out a wacky idea.He suggested doing something that had never been done before and could potentially upend the $350 billion telecom market."It can't be so difficult to build our own system," the engineer said, referring to the telecom equipment that sends data across cables and wireless networks, and which the engineer suspected could be made to operate faster and cheaper than the pricey equipment sold by big vendors like Nortel, Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco or Juniper Networks.The engineer was suggesting building the telecom industry's first "white box" transponder, made with off-the-shelf parts such as chips from Broadcom and Acacia Communications, optical equipment from Lumentum, and software from one of the many new networking startups cropping up these days.Facebook's director of engineering Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, who was among those on the couch that day, was at first a naysayer."I was a little bit skeptical about it at the time," he recounted to Business Insider. As a former engineer at Juniper Networks, Schmidtke knew from experience that building telecom equipment systems was an expensive undertaking that involved hiring teams of specially trained engineers and sizeable R&D budgets. "Building a system ten years ago was like building a new company," Schmidtke said. Still, Schmidtke agreed to help this tiny group hack together a white box system at one of Facebook's famous hackathons. Three months later they had a working prototype. Six months later, on November 1, they announced it to the world as a real product called Voyager. The product’s unveiling sent shockwaves through the telecom industry, putting gear makers on notice that the lucrative market they controlled for decades was about to get turned upside down — and not necessarily to their advantage.While the effort is essentially a side-project for Facebook, a social networking company whose bread-and-butter business is online advertising, the stakes could not be higher for the telecom equipment companies which risk seeing their specialized products reduced to interchangeable commodities and their influence diminished. For the industry’s established companies, there’s unease about Facebook’s growing clout and its ultimate intentions. But in a sign of how serious Facebook’s foray is being taken, there’s already a recognition by some that the repercussions could be even more painful it they don’t adapt.Voyager has already been tested by Facebook and European telecom company Telia over Telia’s thousand-kilometer-telecom network. Plus, German telecom equipment maker ADVA Optical Networking is manufacturing the device and, as of a few weeks ago had nine customers trying it out for their telecom needs, a mix of big telecom companies and enterprises, it said. And Paris based telecom provider, Orange is also testing the device, working with Equinix and African telecom company MTN."We pulled it off essentially showing that when a few engineers can build a system within six months, the world has changed," Schmidtke said.One person told us that Schmidtke, who is insanely proud of Voyager, has become a star in his own corner of the tech world. When he and his team "go to conferences, they treat him like a tech celebrity, like a rock band," that person said.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Fantastic read for any telecom engineer who wants to understand how a handful of determined engineers, when properly managed, can turn tables in a few months and displace a complete industry.Open Hardware is no longer a weak signal and has morphed into a powerful trend about to become a shockwave.To achieve such irony, very few people have realized that this game changer may be a fantastic opportunity for Europe, and that some core TIP players are totally unknown and unrespected French companies...
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Intelligence artificielle : un logiciel abat en 1s le travail que des avocats font en 360.000 heures

Intelligence artificielle : un logiciel abat en 1s le travail que des avocats font en 360.000 heuresLa toute nouvelle intelligence artificielle de JPMorgan est l’employé du mois : elle peut résoudre en une seconde des arbitrages financiers qui prennent normalement quelques 360.000 heures de travail (soit une année) aux avocats de la firme. Le travail de cette machine artificielle, baptisée COIN, est d’interpréter les accords de prêts commerciaux. Et fait en prime nettement moins d’erreurs que les humains.
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Renault reprend les activités de R&D françaises d'Intel dans le logiciel embarqué

Renault reprend les activités de R&D françaises d'Intel dans le logiciel embarqué | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
En s'emparant des activités de R&D dans le logiciel embarqué basées en France d'Intel, leader mondial des semi-conducteurs, la marque au Losange réalise le doublé. Le constructeur accélère clairement dans la voiture connectée, et redore son blason dans son pays d'origine où il vient sauver des emplois.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Le retour de la Deep Tech dans le viseur des Corporates !
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Ector lève 2 millions d’euros pour déployer son service de voituriers à l’international

Ector lève 2 millions d’euros pour déployer son service de voituriers à l’international | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
La start-up Ector, qui propose un service de voiturier à la demande dans les gares et les aéroports, a bouclé un tour de table de 2 millions d’euros. Le fonds Ville de Demain, géré par Bpifrance dans le cadre du Programme d’investissements d’avenir (PIA), 123 Investment Managers, ainsi que Via-ID, un fonds de développement de Mobivia Groupe (Norauto, Midas…), et Day One Entrepreneurs & Partners ont participé à l’opération. En décembre 2015, la jeune pousse avait bouclé un premier tour de table de 500 000 euros.Le marchéFondée en 2013 par Manoël Roy, Jonathan Grandperrin, Charles Raymond et Thomas de Longvilliers sous la marque Smart Park, Ector a développé un service de prise en charge des véhicules dans les aéroports et les gares. Les utilisateurs réservent la prestation en ligne sur la plateforme Web ou l’application mobile. A leur arrivée au dépose-minute de la gare ou l’aéroport, un voiturier récupère la voiture pour la stationner dans un parking de proximité, où elle peut bénéficier de services d’entretien (nettoyage, plein d’essence, contrôle technique…). Au retour du voyageur, la voiture est restituée au dépose-minute pour gagner du temps. Lancé fin 2015 à Orly et Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle, le service dessert désormais 13 hubs (8 aéroports et 5 gares) en France et en Europe. Sur son segment d’activité, Ector doit faire face à des acteurs comme Drivy, TravelerCar et OuiCar, qui proposent la location de voitures entre particuliers, ou encore Stanley Robotics, qui a conçu un robot-voiturier capable de garer des voitures dans les parkings.Les objectifsCe nouvel investissement doit permettre à la start-up parisienne de consolider sa position sur le marché français et de mettre les voiles à l’international. Dans ce sens, elle prévoit de renforcer ses effectifs avec des profils commerciaux, techniques et opérationnels. Prochainement, la société lancera son service dans de nouvelles villes, à commencer par Marseille et Bordeaux.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Un nouvel investissement du Fonds "Ville de Demain" souscrit par la Caisse Des Dépôts et géré par sa filiale Bpifrance dans le cadre du Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir.Ravi pour eux à la fois comme client et comme souscripteur du Fonds !
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Salesforce created an algorithm that automatically summarizes text using machine learning

Salesforce created an algorithm that automatically summarizes text using machine learning | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

This year, people are expected to spend more than half their day reading e-mail, articles, or posts on social media, and it’s only going to get worse. To help solve this problem, researchers at Salesforce have developed an algorithm that uses machine learning to produce “surprisingly coherent and accurate” summaries according to MIT Technology Review.

Automatic summarization would be a particularly useful technology for Salesforce, which produces a variety of customer-service focused products. The company notes that the resulting summaries could be used by sales or customer service representatives to quickly digest e-mails and information, which would allow them to spend more time focused on their customers.

To that end, Salesforce is turning to machine learning to find ways to summarize longer blocks of texts, which it could eventually incorporate into its products. The company announced that it made two breakthroughs in natural language processing, introducing a new, “contextual word generation model,” and a “new way of training summarization models.” Together, the two advances allow researchers to automatically create summaries of longer texts that are accurate and readable. The company acquired a deep learning outfit MetaMind last year, which was behind the research.

Automatic text summarization works in two ways: extraction or abstraction

The researchers explain that automatic text summarization works in two ways: extraction or abstraction. With extraction, computer can draw from pre-existing wording in a text, but it’s not very flexible. Abstraction allows the computer to introduce new words, but the system has to understand the original article enough to be able to introduce the right words.

This is where deep learning neural networks come into play. They processing numerous examples of sentences and words to spit out new representations of each phrase, which allow the system to interpret texts and introduce its own words. The researchers let their model to look back at the text it’s working off of for additional context. It also looks back at earlier generated examples, to ensure that it’s not repeating itself.

Salesforce’s approach uses two teaching methods: teacher forced and reinforcement learning

The other breakthrough concerns how the researchers train the system to learn and improve itself. They used two approaches: teacher forcing and reinforcement learning. Reinforcement learning is a method that draws inspiration from how animals learn, and been used to teach Google’s DeepMind how to play video games. In this instance, the model is allowed to generate a sequence of words, and the result is then scored with an automated evaluation metric known as ROUGE (Recall-Oriented Understudy for Gisting Evaluation). The algorithm updates itself with higher scores, leading to better outcomes with future summaries. Teacher forcing is when the results are scored word by word off of an established reference, which provide “very decent results,” but which doesn’t allow for much flexibility.

Researchers found that “ROUGE-optimized RL helps improve recall...and word level learning supervision ensures good language flow, making the summary more coherent and readable.” Scored against this system, they found that their joint model scored higher than other approaches, and Richard Socher, Salesforce’s chief scientist, noted that he didn’t think that he’d ever seen “such a large improvement in any [natural-language-processing] task.”

The results are pretty astonishing: the researchers provided several examples, showing the original article, a human-generated summary, and a summary generated by their own model, and in each case, the summaries are considerably shorter than the original text, but contain the essentials in a readable form. Despite their advances, there’s still considerable work to be done in this field: MIT Technology Review spoke with Kristian Hammond, a professor at Northwestern University, who noted that the advance “shows the limits of relying purely on statistical machine learning,” but that it’s a step in the right direction.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

In 2 words : really impressive

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Les chariots robots de Balyo en route pour la Bourse

Les chariots robots de Balyo en route pour la Bourse | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Spécialiste de la robotisation des chariots de manutention, le français veut lever entre 30 et 50 millions d’euros sur Euronext.

Ils sont aux entrepôts de manutention ce que la voiture autonome est à la route : les chariots robotisés, capables de déplacer palettes et cartons sans intervention humaine, promettent de révolutionner le monde de la logistique. Le français Balyo, l'un des pionniers de ce nouveau secteur, a déposé mercredi son document de base auprès de l'AMF. L'entreprise espère lever « entre 30 et 50 millions d'euros » sur Euronext Paris, selon son PDG, Fabien Bardinet, qui espère réaliser l'introduction en Bourse « avant le début de l'été ».

Fondé en 2005, Balyo fournit des systèmes robotisés à deux fabricants de chariots élévateurs, l'américain Hyster et l'allemand Linde, plus connu en France sous la marque Fenwick. Le français conçoit des logiciels et un boîtier de contrôle qui, associés à des capteurs laser, transforment des chariots classiques en véhicules de manutention autonomes, pour déplacer et stocker les palettes en hauteur. Le tout sans nécessiter de système de guidage intégré au bâtiment (réflecteurs, peinture au sol...), car ils cartographient automatiquement leur environnement. Un système de sécurité leur permet de détecter les humains et les obstacles dans un rayon de 360 degrés.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Un très bel investissement du Fonds Ambition Numérique, souscrit par la Caisse Des Dépôts dans le cadre du Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir, et géré par notre filiale Bpifrance.

Bravo à Fabien Bardinet et à toute son équipe !

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Orange s’associe à Facebook pour le lancement d’un accélérateur de start-up centré sur l’innovation des infrastructures réseau

Orange s’associe à Facebook pour le lancement d’un accélérateur de start-up centré sur l’innovation des infrastructures réseau | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Facebook et Orange, en tant que membres du Telecom Infra Project (TIP) lancent au sein de l’Orange Fab France un nouvel accélérateur « Telecom Track », conçu spécifiquement pour soutenir les start-up centrées sur le développement des infrastructures réseau.
Les start-up sélectionnées seront accompagnées par Orange et bénéficieront d'un accès à son réseau mondial de ressources ainsi que du soutien des Ecosystem Accelerator Centres du TIP (TEAC) et de Facebook.
Orange collabore avec le TIP* et Facebook afin de soutenir des start-up centrées sur l’innovation des infrastructures réseau en lançant le nouveau « Telecom Track » dans le cadre de son programme d'accélération Orange Fab en France. Ce partenariat recherchera les meilleures innovations et talents du secteur, soutiendra et conseillera les start-up avec l’aide des experts Orange, TIP et Facebook, et facilitera en parallèle la création de réseaux et les opportunités d’investissement internes et externes.

Le « Telecom Track » d’Orange Fab France

Le projet sera géré par Orange Fab France, le programme d’accélération d’Orange pour les start-up, depuis le site d’Orange Gardens, un éco-campus situé à Châtillon, près de Paris entièrement dédié à la recherche et à l’innovation. En contact direct avec les  meilleurs experts d’Orange et de ses partenaires, les start-up pourront aborder  les questions majeures relatives aux réseaux, allant de leur gestion jusqu’aux nouvelles technologies d’accès, et ce dans plusieurs régions.
Les start-up bénéficieront de tous les avantages du programme Orange Fab existant, au sein duquel elles participeront à des ateliers dédiés et des sessions de tutorat avec des spécialistes. Elles recevront un financement optionnel de 15 000 € et auront accès à un espace de travail sur le site d’Orange Gardens, où sont basées les équipes de recherche et d'innovation du Groupe. En complément du support du réseau mondial Orange Fab, les start-up pourront consulter également des experts de la communauté du TIP, des TEAC et de Facebook. Ce cadre leur permettra d’établir des connections privilégiées avec les équipes d’innovation, les partenaires d'investissement et les investisseurs en capital-risque qui pourront leur apporter une expertise plus poussée et des financements potentiels afin de lancer de nouveaux produits et services.

L’appel à projets démarre aujourd’hui et les candidats ont jusqu’au 14 mai 2017 pour soumettre leur candidature. Trois semaines plus tard, les start-up sélectionnées rejoindront le programme d’accélération et auront l’opportunité de participer en juin à un événement de lancement organisé par Orange qui réunira des cadres d’Orange, du TIP et de Facebook, ainsi que des partenaires et investisseurs en capital-risque. Une fois avancées dans le processus d’accélération, les start-up sélectionnées seront invitées à intervenir lors d'un événement des TEAC qui se tiendra à San Francisco à la fin de l’année.
Les candidats doivent être basés en France et les projets doivent être soumis sur le site www.orangefabfrance.fr

« Dans le cadre de l’évolution de notre réseau vers la 5G et les technologies futures, l’opportunité d’innovation au niveau des réseaux est énorme, et il est essentiel de soutenir les grands esprits et les talents qui développeront l’innovation dans le domaine des télécommunications », a déclaré Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Vice-présidente exécutive Innovation, Marketing et Technologies d’Orange. « Nous pensons que notre partenariat avec Facebook et le lancement du nouveau Telecom Track nous permettra d’encourager et de soutenir cette communauté de start-up qui a la possibilité de faire bouger les choses au sein de cet espace et de développer de nouvelles innovations dans les télécommunications. »
« Facebook est impatient de collaborer avec Orange et le TIP afin de soutenir cet accélérateur de start-up », a déclaré Jay Parikh, Directeur Ingénierie et Infrastructure chez Facebook. « En travaillant conjointement, nous espérons aider à identifier et soutenir l’innovation des infrastructures réseau des télécommunications tout en préparant la voie vers de futures découvertes. »  

L’engagement d’Orange Digital Ventures

Afin d’accélérer encore davantage le développement des start-up participantes, Orange Digital Ventures soutiendra ce nouveau « Telecom Track » et apportera des conseils pour le financement ainsi que des opportunités de création de réseau via Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) à travers ses partenariats d’investisseurs. Orange Digital Ventures contribue d’ores et déjà activement à la transformation du paysage des télécommunications à travers son portefeuille d’investissements, et pourra éventuellement contribuer au financement de certaines des start-up participantes.

*Orange fait partie du Telecom Infra Project (TIP), une initiative mondiale centrée sur l’ingénierie qui vise à transformer l’approche traditionnelle afin de construire et de déployer des infrastructures réseau de télécommunications.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Enfin un opérateur télécom qui s'intéresse de plus près et de manière visible et assumée à l'Open Hardware, au projet OCP, et au Telecom Infra Project, et ce en s'appuyant sur des startups ! Il aura fallu 4 ans pour évangéliser et labourer le terrain.

En dehors d'Horizon Computing Solutions et AirLynx, quelles sont les autres startups à router vers Orange Fab et Orange Digital Ventures ?

Nous assistons à la fin du cycle des architectures hardware propriétaires ; qui sera le RedHat de cette nouvelle révolution ?

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Actility raises $75M to fuel LPWA expansion - Mobile World Live

Actility raises $75M to fuel LPWA expansion - Mobile World Live | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network specialist Actility raised $75 million in new capital, as it looks to enhance its portfolio of industrial IoT solutions across different verticals, accelerate in the US and boost its position in China.

The company, which is a co-founder of the LoRA alliance and developed its global IoT solutions on the LoRaWAN standard, raised the capital as part of its Series D funding round, which attracted a group of new investors; Creadev, Bosch and Inmarsat.

Actility said a second closing later this month would see additional strategic investors join the company “in support of this over-subscribed capital raise”.

It already counts major players as backers including KPN, Orange Digital Ventures, Swisscom and Foxconn, after raising $25 million in its Series C funding round, completed in 2015.

Actility bases its offering around its ThingPark platform, which it said is powering “most national and large scale LPWA rollouts worldwide”.

The company revealed the platform had also grown more industrial, to not only support the LoRaWAN standard, but also other standardised LPWA technologies including LTE-M and NB-IoT.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Un très bel investissement du Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir via le Fonds #EcoTechnologies souscrit par la Caisse Des Depots pour le compte de l'Etat et de l'ADEME, et géré par notre plus grosse filiale Bpifrance. Et une superbe équipe emmenée par Olivier Hersent, Mike Mulica, Christophe François et Boris Lacroix.

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Emmanuel HAVET's curator insight, April 14, 3:19 AM
Très bel ascension de la techno #LoRa
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Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI

Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and has no public presence whatsoever, is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence. These enhancements could improve memory or allow for more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Musk has hinted at the existence of Neuralink a few times over the last six months or so. More recently, Musk told a crowd in Dubai, “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” He added that “it's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output." On Twitter, Musk has responded to inquiring fans about his progress on a so-called “neural lace,” which is sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface humans could use to improve themselves.

These types of brain-computer interfaces exist today only in science fiction. In the medical realm, electrode arrays and other implants have been used to help ameliorate the effects of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative diseases. However, very few people on the planet have complex implants placed inside their skulls, while the number of patients with very basic stimulating devices number only in the tens of thousands. This is partly because it is incredibly dangerous and invasive to operate on the human brain, and only those who have exhausted every other medical option choose to undergo such surgery as a last resort.

This has not stopped a surge in Silicon Valley interest from tech industry futurists who are interested in accelerating the advancement of these types of far-off ideas. Kernel, a startup created by Braintree co-founder Bryan Johnson, is also trying to enhance human cognition. With more than $100 million of Johnson’s own money — the entrepreneur sold Braintree to PayPal for around $800 million in 2013 — Kernel and its growing team of neuroscientists and software engineers are working toward reversing the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and, eventually, making our brains faster and smarter and more wired.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

We are getting closer, totally unprepared : individuals, philosophers, society and even worse, politicians and policy makers are dramatically lagging behind, showing very limited interest, attention and focus...

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Following Italy and Spain, N26 will bring Apple Pay to France later this year

Following Italy and Spain, N26 will bring Apple Pay to France later this year | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

We’ve been busy the past few weeks. First, we announced we would be bringing Apple Pay to Italy, and shortly after we announced we would bring it to Spain. Our customers in France started to raise some eyebrows. Our comments section was flooded with questions and requests, as it always is, which is why we’re excited to break the next piece of news.

Later this year, N26 will bring Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay that’s fast and convenient, to customers in France. N26 is proud to bring Apple Pay to France. Supporting Apple Pay is another example of the innovation for which N26 is so well known.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Another reason to consider N26 as one of the best #neobanks out there...

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Le plan radical de Nexedi pour couvrir les zones blanches en Très Haut Débit pour 200 M€ et en 12 mois seulement

Le plan radical de Nexedi pour couvrir les zones blanches en Très Haut Débit pour 200 M€ et en 12 mois seulement | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Communiqué de presse

Paris, le 16 juin 2017.

 

Nexedi offre à l'Etat de couvrir la France en très haut débit en moins de 12 mois pour 200 millions d'euros et sur la base de technologies exclusivement françaises dont l'ensemble du code source est libre ou souverain.

 

Comme le rapporte Numerama, un rapport de la Cour des comptes consacré au plan « France Très Haut Débit » a jugé très sévèrement la stratégie actuelle. Il considère notamment que les évaluations faites par le gouvernement Hollande pour raccorder la totalité des Français ne sont absolument pas réalistes. Ce n’est pas 20 milliards d’euros que le plan coûtera à la nation mais 34,9 milliards, soit 75 % de plus.

 

Le Président de la République considère que le plan Très Haut Débit actuel n'est pas réaliste en l'état. Si on veut raccorder tout le pays d'ici 2022, il faut réduire le rôle de la fibre optique et mettre davantage l'accent sur d'autres solutions, comme la 4G. Pour raccorder tout le territoire en fibre, à supposer que cela en vaille la peine, « il faudra des années, parfois des décennies », a-t-il prophétisé. Et comme le rapporte Nextinpact, le président de la République a déclaré qu'« il ne faut pas mentir aux gens ». La fibre ne sera pas rapidement déployée « jusqu'au dernier kilomètre, dans le dernier hameau », du moins pas avant des décennies.

 

Nexedi souscrit à cette analyse et propose de la mettre en pratique sous 12 mois avec du matériel et du logiciel "Made in France". Ce matériel déjà déployé par l'armée française et la SNCF permet d'obtenir un résultat meilleur pour un coût dix fois inférieur aux solutions d'infrastructure "Made in China" généralement utilisées par les opérateurs.

 

Il repose sur les produits d'un consortium de sociétés françaises (Air-Lynx, Amarisoft, AW2S, BJT Partners, Horizon Computing et Nexedi) qui constitue l'unique constructeur français d'infrastructures LTE (4G/future 5G) suite au rachat d'Alcatel et qui fait déjà l'objet d'un soutien de BPI France dans le cadre de son programme "Grands Défis du Numérique".

 

L'offre de Nexedi permet de réaliser un réseau 4G autonome à 300 Mbps ou 1 Gbps pour un investissement de 5000€ par site ou village et un coût récurrent annuel de moins de 500€ par site ou village. L'enveloppe de 200 M€ permet de couvrir de l'ordre de 20.000 sites et de les relier par une combinaison de liaisons radio ou satellitaires aux grandes infrastructures fibrées déjà en place ou à venir, tout en fournissant à l'armée une solution de communication résiliente (PMR).

 

Nexedi a démontré depuis 10 ans sa capacité à réaliser des infrastructures fiables à bas coût dans des domaines où les grands opérateurs nationaux échouent. Ainsi, Cloudwatt et Numergy ont bénéficié d'aides publiques considérables sans parvenir pour autant à livrer un cloud souverain compétitif. Au contraire, Nexedi a développé pour un coût 100 fois inférieur le logiciel de Edge Cloud "SlapOS" qui est désormais au coeur du succès du projet Teralab (hébergement Big Data souverain utilisé par de nombreux acteurs du CAC40). 

 

L'absence de couverture des zones blanches conduit à positionner la France entre l'Iran et le Kazakhstan en termes de pénétration de la 4G. L'absence de progrès dans le domaine du haut débit depuis 15 ans relève de blocages comportementaux des grands opérateurs qui préfèrent les infrastructures "Made in China" aux solutions sur base Amarisoft pour la couverture LTE, comme ils préfèrent pour leur business cloud les solutions "Made in China" à SlapOS, quitte à dépenser 10 à 100 fois plus qu'avec des technologies souveraines issues de PME françaises et déjà exportées.

 

L'offre de Nexedi est valable jusqu'au 14 juillet 2017.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Une approche radicale, non-conventionnelle, très "deep tech" de la couverture Très Haut Débit et utilisant des solutions 100% françaises, à mon avis cela se regarde et se teste !

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Softbank is buying robotics firms Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Alphabet

Softbank is buying robotics firms Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Alphabet | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Here’s a surprise turn of events: Softbank — maker of the friendly Pepper robot and a major M&A player in the tech world — has just announced that it is acquiring two more robotics companies from Google owner Alphabet as part of its own deeper move into the field: it is buying Big Dog developer Boston Dynamics and the secretive bipedal robotics firm Schaft.A spokesperson for Softbank has confirmed to us that the terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but we will try to find out. In case you are wondering (we were), we have double checked and these are the only two of Alphabet’s robotics companies getting acquired by Softbank.There had been lots of murmurs about Google (and then Alphabet) wanting to offload Boston Dynamics for over a year now. Most recently, Toyota was apparently eyeing up an acquisition of the two businesses.But robots are huge across all of Japan, with some of the biggest innovations, investments, and motivations for developing them coming out of the country; and so, in the end, it looks like another titan of Japanese industry beat Toyota to the punch.“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., in a statement. “Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots. I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling.”While Softbank has been hard at work doubling down on big bets in areas that it believes will be at the center of the future of computing — other acquisitions have included its $24 billion acquisition of chip maker ARM Holdings — for Alphabet, this is part of the company’s bigger efforts to rationalise some of its many acquisitions and strategic bets over the years that have not panned out as great fits with the wider business.It looks like the whole team is coming over with the deal. “We at Boston Dynamics are excited to be part of SoftBank’s bold vision and its position creating the next technology revolution, and we share SoftBank’s belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity,” said Marc Raibert, CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics, in a statement.“We look forward to working with SoftBank in our mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world.”When Alphabet (still called Google at the time) acquired Shaft and Boston Dynamics in 2013 (Shaft was purchased as one of a group of seven acquisitions), the company did not disclose the terms of the deals.While Boston Dynamics has been pretty public in posting (sometimes terrifying) videos and generally talking about of its advances in making animal-like robots that can trek across all terrains and get up instantly when knocked over, Schaft has been a fairly quiet presence.Schaft revealed its first big prototypes only about two years after the acquisition. The company has been around since 2012, after being incubated in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo by co-founders Yuto Nakanishi, Junichi Urata, Narito Suzuki and Koichi Nishiwaki. It remains a secretive company: an attempted visit to its website today was blocked.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Impressed with Softbank acquisition spree ; now completing their consumer robotics stake (France's Aldebaran Robotics) with a military arm , after snapping (mobile) chip design behemoth ARM ($24Bn). Vertical integration in sight ?
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Orange, VCs Commit $113M to Network Startups as 'Black Box' Frustration Mounts

Orange, VCs Commit $113M to Network Startups as 'Black Box' Frustration Mounts | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Orange and four venture capitalist partners have promised to invest up to €100 million ($113 million) in telecom infrastructure startups over the next three to four years.

 

The funding will support startups challenging equipment incumbents like Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) as telcos embrace disruptive network technologies based on software, virtualization and open source code.

 

The news is the latest sign of Orange's desire to play a more influential role in the development of network technologies and reflects growing frustration with the traditional vendors.

It came as the French service provider said it would begin nurturing network startups for the first time in partnership with social media giant Facebook, which has also become more active in the networks sector over the past year.

 

The two companies already collaborate through the Telecom Infra Project, a Facebook-led initiative that was launched in early 2016 with a goal of more rapidly commercializing low-cost and innovative network technologies. (See Facebook: TIP Will Open Telecom Hardware.)

 

Four startups, chosen from a pool of 22 applicants, will receive support from Orange(NYSE: FTE) and Facebook and be invited to a TIP summit in California in November, where they will be able to meet operator members.

 

TIP now counts about 450 members including "all of the most important mobile operators" in the world, claimed Steve Jarrett, Facebook's head of infrastructure partnerships for Europe and the Middle East.

 

The winning startups are

  • Amarisoft, a developer of virtual radio access network technology,
  • Athonet, which specializes in mobile core "softwarization,"
  • Adipsys, whose systems are already helping Orange to manage WiFi hotspots, and
  • Horizon Computing, which claims to have made breakthroughs on reducing the costs of running data centers.

Orange Fab, the division that looks after all startup activities for the French telco, has launched a new program called Telecom Track to look after the startups from the network and infrastructure sector.

 

Startups will also be eligible to receive financial support from Orange Digital Ventures, the French operator's investment fund, as well as venture capital partners Iris Capital, Innovacom, Cathay Innovation and Breega Capital, although funding for the Telecom Track players is not guaranteed.

 

"Those who grow fast and strike partnerships and scale internationally will get the money," said Julien-David Nitlech, a partner at Iris Capital.

 

While €100 million ($113 million) may seem like a relatively small amount in the context of the broader network equipment market, the sudden willingness of venture capitalists to support new infrastructure players may alarm the established vendors.

 

"The market has historically not had a lot of venture financing," said Jarrett. "We hope to change that."

Facebook colleague Min Jun added: "We thought the investor community would need more convincing and we have seen major traction. Investors are saying we believe in this and will commit funds."

Facebook will not make any direct equity investments but says it is "conceivable" that it could acquire startups in the accelerator program.

By helping to reduce network costs, and making it easier to deploy networks in areas that currently lack connectivity, the social networking giant hopes to get more people online and using its services, it is widely assumed.

 

For Orange, the ultimate goal is a complete overhaul of the way it has traditionally built networks.

 

"We cannot be dependent on long standardization processes anymore," said Etienne Moreau, an investment manager at Orange Digital Ventures. "If we want to have control of our technology and be a software company we need to get into new technologies like white boxes and get rid of the black boxes we have sourced from equipment vendors."

With white boxes, telcos would run network software on commercial, off-the-shelf servers, instead of relying on the "black boxes" that combine proprietary hardware and software.

Orange has previously flagged its interest in white boxes and noted the challenge they pose to equipment suppliers such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has come under pressure to adapt its own technology and business model accordingly. (See Orange Plots Mass Network-as-a-Service Rollout and Cisco Takes Bold Software Step to Counter White Box Threat – Report.)

 

Bertrand Rojat, the deputy vice president of Orange's Technocentre research-and-development unit, told Light Reading that, as well as forming a "commercial relationship" with startups, Orange was eager to make their technology available to some of its telco partners.

 

Besides other service providers involved with TIP, that could include the members of Go Ignite.

"That is an initiative between Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and SingTel," he said. "If we have a startup that is good for one of us then it might be good for all of us."

Such moves could help the startup technologies to gain the scale they would need to be commercially viable in wide area networks.

Much like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in the US, Orange appears to be stepping into roles that vendors have traditionally performed as it tries to seize control of network development and sever the ties that have previously bound it to a small number of big players.

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Extremely interesting post following Orange Fab's latest press release, as it delivers several key hints :

1/ It took Facebook and OCP (and then more recently TIP) for Telcos to finally realize that becoming a giant purchasing department and outsourcing infrastructure (and knowledge) to a handful of equipment vendors was not the only way. We are still very early but still, a few giants wake up.

2/ Open Source will redefine Hardware the same way it flipped Software ; only pending question is "Who will be the Red Hat of Open Hardware ?"

3/ #HardwareIsNotDead and Deep Tech is back with more and more VC's looking (back) into it !

Congratulations to Orange and Iris Capital for paving the way !

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An IBM Breakthrough Ensures Silicon Will Keep Shrinking

An IBM Breakthrough Ensures Silicon Will Keep Shrinking | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The limits of silicon have not been reached quite yet.

Today, an IBM-led group of researchers have detailed a breakthrough transistor design, one that will enable processors to continue their Moore’s Law march toward smaller, more affordable iterations. Better still? They achieved it not with carbon nanotubes or some other theoretical solution, but with an inventive new process that actually works, and should scale up to the demands of mass manufacturing within several years.

That should also, conveniently enough, be just in time to power the self-driving cars, on-board artificial intelligence, and 5G sensors that comprise the ambitions of nearly every major tech player today—which was no sure thing.

5nm Or Bust

For decades, the semiconductor industry has obsessed over smallness, and for good reason. The more transistors you can squeeze into a chip, the more speed and power efficiency gains you reap, at lower cost. The famed Moore’s Law is simply the observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, in 1965, that the number of transistors had doubled every year. In 1975, Moore revised that estimate to every two years. While the industry has fallen off of that pace, it still regularly finds ways to shrink.

Doing so has required no shortage of inventiveness. The last major breakthrough came in 2009, when researchers detailed a new type of transistor design called FinFET. The first manufacturing of a FinFET transistor design in 2012 gave the industry a much-needed boost, enabling processors made on a 22-nanometer process. FinFET was a revolutionary step in its own right, and the first major shift in transistor structure in decades. Its key insight was to use a 3-D structure to control electric current, rather than the 2-D “planar” system of years past.

”Fundamentally, FinFET structure is a single rectangle, with the three sides of the structure covered in gates,” says Mukesh Khare, vice president of semiconductor research for IBM Research. Think of the transistor as a switch; applying different voltages to the gate turns the transistor “on” or “off.” Having three sides surrounded by gates maximizes the amount of current flowing in the “on” state, for performance gains, and minimizes the amount of leakage in the “off” state, which improves efficiency.

But just five years later, those gains already threaten to run dry. “The problem with FinFET is it’s running out of steam,” says Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSI Research, which focuses on semiconductor manufacturing. While FinFET underpins today’s bleeding-edge 10nm process chips, and should be sufficient for 7nm as well, the fun stops there. “Around 5nm, in order to keep the scaling and transistor working, we need to move to a different structure,” Hutcheson says.

Enter IBM. Rather than FinFET’s vertical fin structure, the company—along with research partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung—has gone horizontal, layering silicon nanosheets in a way that effectively results in a fourth gate.

 

“You can imagine that FinFET is now turned sideways, and stacked on top of each other,” says Khare. For a sense of scale, in this architecture electrical signals pass through a switch that’s the width of two or three strands of DNA.

“It’s a big development,” says Hutcheson. “If I can make the transistor smaller, I get more transistors in the same area, which means I get more compute power in the same area.” In this case, that number leaps from 20 billion transistors in a 7nm process to 30 billion on a 5nm process, fingernail-sized chip. IBM pegs the gains at either 40 percent better performance at the same power, or 75 percent reduction in power at the same efficiency.

Just in Time

The timing couldn’t be better.

Actual processors built off of this new structure aren’t expected to hit the market until 2019 at the earliest. But that roughly lines up with industry estimates for broader adoption of everything from self-driving cars to 5G, innovations that can’t scale without a functional 5nm process in place.

“The world’s sitting on this stuff, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars. They’re all highly dependent on more efficient computing power. That only comes from this type of technology,” says Hutcheson. “Without this, we stop.”

Take self-driving cars as a specific example. They may work well enough today, but they also require tens of thousands of dollars worth of chips to function, an impractical added cost for a mainstream product. A 5nm process drives those expenses way down. Think, too, of always-on IoT sensors that will collect constant streams of data in a 5G world. Or more practically, think of smartphones that can last two or three days on a charge rather than one, with roughly the same-sized battery. And that’s before you hit the categories that no one’s even thought of yet.

“The economic value that Moore’s Law generates is unquestionable. That’s where innovations such as this one come into play, to extend scaling not by traditional ways but coming up with innovative structures,” says Khare.

Widespread adoption of many of those technologies is still years away. And success in all of them will require a confluence of both technological and regulatory progress. At least when they get there, though, the tiny chips that make it all work will be right there waiting for them.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

"I'm not dead. I'm getting better" - Moore's Law & the Holy Grail according to IBM

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L'attractivité de la France reprend du poil de la bête grâce à la French Tech

L'attractivité de la France reprend du poil de la bête grâce à la French Tech | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Start-up nation ?Deuxième atout, les décideurs internationaux classent la capacité de recherche et d’innovation au premier rang des atouts de la France, loin devant ses capacités touristiques et ses infrastructures. Un vrai changement d’appréciation."Ce n’est pas encore une image de start-up nation, mais c’est une perspective très positive", se félicite Marc Lhermitte.Un coup de chapeau à Fleur Pellerin, secrétaire d'Etat chargée de l'Economie numérique, qui a lancé la French Tech, ce label qui regroupe toutes les jeunes entreprises françaises technologiques. Flambeau repris par Axelle Lemaire et Emmanuel Macron, avec les encouragements de François Hollande. Ils se sont efforcés de promouvoir les start-up, mais aussi de rendre la fiscalité et les réglementations plus hospitalières.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
La French Tech en 2016: +30% d'investissements étrangers , +24% de créations d'emplois !Ces superbes résultats ne doivent pas nous faire oublier la prochaine étape qui d'ici environ 2 ans deviendra décisive : un marché d'exits (corporate et mises en bourse) suffisant pour générer de la liquidité, valoriser correctement les meilleures de nos startups, générer des retours satisfaisants pour tous les investisseurs (y compris les Fonds du PIA) et éviter incidemment que la French Tech ne deviennent l'open bar de nos amis américains et chinois.
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Stanley Robotics lève 3,6M€ pour déployer son robot voiturier à l'international

Stanley Robotics lève 3,6M€ pour déployer son robot voiturier à l'international | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
La start-up parisienne Stanley Robotics vient d'officialiser une levée de fonds de 3,6 millions d'euros auprès d'Elaia Partners, de Bpifrance (via le fonds Ville de demain) et d'Idinvest Partners. Fondée en 2015, Stanley Robotics a développé un robot voiturier baptisé Stan. L'automate est le fruit d'une dizaine d'années de R&D, les fondateurs ayant travaillé précédemment dans un laboratoire de recherche dédié aux technologies des véhicules autonomes. L'objectif de cette augmentation de capital est de déployer sa solution à l'international.Testé à l'aéroport de Roissy-Charles-de-GaulleDepuis le mois de février dernier, Stan est expérimenté dans deux parkings de l'aéroport de Roissy. "Il suffit au conducteur de garer sa voiture dans un box dédié à l'entrée du parking, puis de s'enregistrer sur un automate à proximité. Une fois le véhicule isolé du public, le robot se met en position, repère les pneus, s'ajuste à la longueur de la voiture, la soulève, puis la transfère", expliquent nos confrères de L'Usine Nouvelle. Le système est par ailleurs connecté au billet d'avion du conducteur et connaît donc sa date de retour. De cette façon, le robot ramène le véhicule dans le box situé à l'entrée du parking en temps voulu.Stocker 50% de véhicules supplémentairesSi ce service de voiturier autonome facilite l'arrivée et le départ des voyageurs stationnant leur véhicule sur de longues périodes dans les aéroports, il propose surtout des avantages significatifs aux gestionnaires des parkings. Selon les créateurs de Stan, ce service autonome permettrait d'optimiser le stationnement des véhicules et ainsi de stocker 50% de voitures en plus.D'après la start-up, les avantages de sa solution ne se limitent pas au seul gain d'espace. Elle permettrait de repenser entièrement la conception de nouveaux parkings où la présence du public serait interdite. Les contraintes réglementaires seraient alors significativement allégées, ce qui permettrait de diviser par deux le coût d'une place de parking, détaille L'Usine Nouvelle.Cap sur l'internationalLa start-up, qui emploie actuellement 25 collaborateurs, entend déployer sa solution dans d'autres régions du monde. "D'autres projets sont en cours de développement en France et à l'étranger. Le premier d'entre eux sera lancé d'ici la fin de l'année", indique-t-elle. "Europe, Amérique du Nord, Asie, Golfe… Nous regardons attentivement toutes les zones où le trafic aérien va exploser dans les prochaines années", précise Stéphane Evanno, COO et cofondateur de Stanley Robotics. La pépite parisienne n'est toutefois pas la seule à développer ce genre de service. En Allemagne, par exemple, le robot Ray, mis au point par l'entreprise Serva Transport Systems, a été testé à l'aéroport de Düsseldorf dès juillet 2014.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Un très bel investissement du Fonds "Ville de Demain" souscrit par la Caisse des Dépôts et géré par sa filiale Bpifrance dans le cadre du PIA.
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How my research in AI put my dad out of a job – Snips Blog

How my research in AI put my dad out of a job – Snips Blog | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Back in 2007, when London was booming as the financial capital of the world, a new field called “algorithmic trading” was emerging. In essence, it is about leveraging Artificial Intelligence to place…
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Absolute must read. Y compris par le nouveau Ministre.
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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Key Network Statistics

Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh)= 12.79
Annualized global mining revenues = $1,425,461,447
Annualized estimated global mining costs = $639,742,471
Country closest to Bitcoin in terms of electricity consumption = Mozambique
Estimated electricity used over the previous day (KWh) = 35,054,382
Implied Watts per GH/s = 0.332
Electricity consumed per transaction (KWh)= 110
Number of U.S. households that could be powered by Bitcoin = 1,184,708.00
Number of U.S. households powered for 1 day by the electricity consumed for a single transaction = 3.71
Bitcoin's electricity consumption as a percentage of the world's electricity consumption = 0.06%

*The assumptions underlying this estimate can be found here.

Did you know?

Ever since its inception Bitcoin’s trust-minimizing consensus has been enabled by its proof-of-work algorithm. New sets of transactions (blocks) are added to Bitcoin’s blockchain roughly every 10 minutes by so-called miners. While working on the blockchain these miners aren’t required to trust each other. The only thing miners have to trust is the code that runs Bitcoin. The code includes several rules to validate new transactions. For example, a transaction can only be valid if the sender actually owns the sent amount. Every miner individually confirms whether transactions adhere to these rules, eliminating the need to trust other miners.

The trick is to get all miners to agree on the same history of transactions. Every miner in the network is constantly tasked with preparing the next batch of transactions for the blockchain. Only one of these blocks will be randomly selected to become the latest block on the chain. Random selection in a distributed network isn’t easy, so this is where proof-of-work comes in. In proof-of-work, the next block comes from the first miner that produces a valid one. This is easier said than done, as the Bitcoin protocol makes it very difficult for miners to do so. In fact, the difficulty is regularly adjusted by the protocol to ensure that all miners in the network will only produce one valid bock every 10 minutes on average. Once one of the miners finally manages to produce a valid block, it will inform the rest of the network. Other miners will accept this block once they confirm it adheres to all rules, and then discard whatever block they had been working on themselves. The lucky miner gets rewarded with a fixed amount of coins, along with the transaction fees belonging to the processed transactions in the new block. The cycle then starts again.

What kind of work are miners performing?

The process of producing a valid block is largely based on trial and error, where miners are making numerous attempts every second trying to find the right value for a block component called the “nonce“, and hoping the resulting completed block will match the requirements (as there is no way to predict the outcome). For this reason, mining is sometimes compared to a lottery where you can pick your own numbers. The number of attempts (hashes) per second is given by your mining equipment’s hashrate. This will typically be expressed in Gigahash per second (1 billion hashes per second).

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Bitcoin as a country would rank #82 between Mozambique and Slovenia in terms of energy consumption !

 

Fascinating and uptodate index with a trove of data for any of those who want a better insight on "the energy issue" posed by Bitcoin Mining, with several comparisons helping you to seize and frame notions such as TeraWatthour (TWh) per year.

 

And as a bonus, a very clear explanation of what mining is about and why proof of work has been designed as such.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, May 12, 12:25 PM

Bitcoin as a country would rank #82 between Mozambique and Slovenia in terms of energy consumption !

 

Fascinating and uptodate index with a trove of data for any of those who want a better insight on "the energy issue" posed by Bitcoin Mining, with several comparisons helping you to seize and frame notions such as TeraWatthour (TWh) per year.

 

And as a bonus, a very clear explanation of what mining is about and why proof of work has been designed as such.

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Un nouveau moteur de recherche français à la poursuite de Google

Un nouveau moteur de recherche français à la poursuite de Google | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Presque vingt ans après la naissance de Google, en 1998, il reste toujours des courageux pour vouloir concurrencer le géant de la Silicon Valley. Après Qwant, un autre moteur de recherche français, baptisé Xaphir, a discrètement été mis en ligne fin mars. « Google et ses alternatives, Baidu, Bing ou Yandex utilisent le PageRank, qui consiste à faire remonter les pages les plus populaires. L’utilisateur est enfermé dans une bulle de la connaissance qui l’empêche, par exemple, de voir qu’Arsenal n’est pas seulement un club de foot », explique Eric Mathieu, son PDG fondateur.

Xaphir est la contraction de la lettre « x » qui désigne l’inconnue en mathématiques et du saphir, la pierre précieuse, mais aussi le nom d’un livre de la connaissance qui, selon « une légende très ancienne », aurait été remis aux hommes par l’Eternel, précise l’entrepreneur. Ce moteur d’un nouveau genre entend ouvrir à l’internaute les portes du monde en lui offrant, pour chacune de ses demandes, des résultats de recherche très diversifiés.

« Un moteur humaniste »

L’internaute tape un mot-clef puis, en fonction des réponses, ajoute ou retire très simplement dans la boîte de recherche certains des résultats qui apparaissent, qu’il s’agisse de pages Web, d’images ou de vidéos. « Nous voulions sortir de la recherche par mots-clefs. Notre moteur permet de combiner “n” documents en “n” dimensions. Nous rajouterons ensuite la voix, les coordonnées géographiques, etc. », explique Eric Mathieu, qui présente Xaphir comme « un moteur humaniste », dont l’objectif est « d’offrir impartialité, diversité et universalité".

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Les principes fondamentaux des moteurs de recherche n'ont pas évolué depuis 20 ans, ni en termes d'interface utilisateur, ni en terme de modèle.

Xaphir est intéressant sur ces deux plans qu'il combine d'ailleurs : c'est le processus de recherche itérée qui définit le contexte et non l'inverse.

Le moteur n'a pas nn plus besoin de connaître le profil de l'utilisateur, ni pour enrichir son graphe de connaissance à partir de la recherche en cours, ni pour servir à terme une offre publicitaire contextualisée.

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About.com Shuts Down and Changes Its Name to Dotdash

About.com Shuts Down and Changes Its Name to Dotdash | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
About.com, which predates Google’s search engine, is rebranding its company as Dotdash after splitting into a group of subject-specific sites over the past year. The About.com site is being retired.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
After Yahoo!, another dotcom glory bites the dust and rebrands itself ; launched in 1997, About.com served as a general purpose site covering a range of topics; the IAC-owned property will now oversee several vertical sites such as Verywell and The Spruce
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A Handy Guide to the 15 Years of Hard Work Behind #FrenchTech’s Overnight Success…

A Handy Guide to the 15 Years of Hard Work Behind #FrenchTech’s Overnight Success… | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

If you ask a passerby about France, you are likely to get bombarded with clichés — you’ll get the wine, the cheese and the baguette thrown back at you within 30 seconds. If you’re lucky, you may get something on Camus or Baudelaire (but then you have really lucked out, so do pinch yourself). French tech is probably the last thing that would come up in the conversation. This, though, has been quietly, and rapidly, changing — the tech scene in France is gaining massive traction.

 

Now, it would be untrue to say that this is a completely new trend and that tech investors have entirely neglected France. Many, like ourselves, have been a fixture at the (sadly defunct) LeWeb, we invested in early French startups like Seesmic and Jolicloud, were avid readers of Rude Baguette (and its author’s subsequent thoughts and insights), and its predecessor Tech Baguette. After all, the first institutional round of Criteo was over 10 years ago. What has really changed, though, is the rate of change. France is rapidly entering an acceleration. So watch your backs, Silicon Valley, Sentier is after you!

 

Conscious of the accelerating pace of change in France, which we first flagged publicly in our 2016 State of European Tech Report, a large portion of the Atomico team headed to Paris last week to meet the with start-ups, investors and the wider founder and tech community.

 

Did I mention we are really excited about French tech? L-R Bryce Keane, Sophia Bendz, @nzennstrom, Yann de Vries, Evgenia Plotnikova (that’s me :-)), dmhynes, Niall Wass and alexis bonte

 

Have we seen a tipping point, a déclic? The indications are clear. France is now challenging the UK as an investment destination, having surpassed Germany for the first time in years. $2.7 billion was invested in France in 2016, up 63% on the previous year, vs $2.1bn raised by German start-ups in the same period and $3.7bn invested in the UK. With €472m already put to work across 169 rounds to date (according to Dealroom.co), 2017 is looking good. I, for one, tend to think that although the pace of change is accelerating, conditions for it have been fertilizing the French soil for a number of years.

 

Below are some of the reasons I think the time is now ripe for French entrepreneurs to take centre stage.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Great «paper» with a trove of valuable insights.

 

Given this, it is paradoxical to see 2 significant omissions :

 

1/ La French Tech was born from a Government initiative in 2013, heralded by former Minister Fleur Pellerin (now founder of Korelya Capital) following a report ordered by the Prime Minister to Caisse Des Dépôts (disclosure : I wrote it with a Shadow Advisory Board including Tariq, Richard, and a few others).

Fleur Pellerin came up with the brand, secured 215 M€ public money from the Investments for the Future Program, and gave responsibility to Caisse Des Dépôts to deploy.

 

2/ Speaking of public money, the “paper” also misses one of the key reasons for La French Tech and its funding rises : since 2010, a huge amount of public money has been injected in sustaining French Startups, both directly and indirectly (funds of funds). The Investments for the Future Program (again) is deploying 2+Bn € of investment money into funds, covering from early stage to growth capital. (Disclosure: I represent Caisse des Depots as the sole LP in these various funds).

They have invested either as an LP (in 25 seed funds nation wide, as well as in growth funds like Partech, KeenSight, Sofinnova to name a few), or as a minority co-investor in dozen of startups like Scality, Netatmo, SigFox, Actility, Ynsect to name a handful…

 

All these investments are since 2012 operated by Bpifrance, the French Public Investment Bank (and Caisse des Depots’s larger subsidiary)

Such massive public money injection had therefore created an equally massive leverage effect.

 

Both points should hence have deserved IMHO a mention in this remarkable post as well as Bpifrance...

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The giant ships that ship other ships through the shipping lanes

The giant ships that ship other ships through the shipping lanes | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-c…
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
How to translate "scaling" in the shipping world #ShipTech #Hardware
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