SMBC Nikko to offer customers AI-based advice on Japanese stocks

The Japan Times

SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. said it will launch a service Friday to advise individual customers on investment in Japanese stocks utilizing artificial intelligence. The unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. hopes to gain a wide range of customers, including novice investors, through the online service designed to propose an optimum asset management method. SMBC Nikko will operate the service jointly with Japanese AI technology developer Heroz Inc. The AI-based service will show stock prices expected a month ahead of all firms listed on Japanese stock exchanges for more than one year, based on their earnings data and daily stock price movements. It will propose the best portfolios for customers according to how much loss they can accept.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season game review – a fittingly grisly end

The Guardian

It has taken seven years to finish the story of Clementine, the girl forced to survive a zombie apocalypse with no hope of rescue – and we almost didn't get to see it end at all. In 2012, the excellent first season of The Walking Dead video game made its developer Telltale synonymous with player-driven storytelling, forcing gamers to make choices that influenced how things progressed. But just one episode into this final season, in 2018, Telltale closed its doors without warning, leaving all but 25 employees without work, benefits or access to healthcare. Skybound Entertainment, owned by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, stepped in to see the game through to completion, but due to the abrupt change in circumstances, most of the creatives who spent years working on it couldn't be there for the end. The video games industry is dependent on teamwork, but the profit imperative often leads to an unsustainable environment that rarely meets its workers with empathy.

Apple unveils TV subscription service with help from Oprah Winfrey

The Guardian

Apple unveiled a host of new subscription services at a star-studded event in Cupertino, California, on Monday morning. The event marked the debut of a new era for a company that built its brand on hardware and software; just last week, Apple announced new products with little fanfare, saving its firepower for Monday's celebration of services, from its attempt to take on Netflix to a new Apple credit card. Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Kumail Nanjiani, and Big Bird were on hand to promote new creative projects that will be released through Apple's new subscription television service, Apple TV . Spielberg's Amazing Stories will resurrect the 93-year-old brand of a science fiction magazine that inspired the director as a child. Witherspoon and Aniston announced The Morning Show, described by Aniston as "an honest look at the complex relationship between women and men in the workplace".

Smart talking: are our devices threatening our privacy?

The Guardian

On 21 November 2015, James Bates had three friends over to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks play the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Bates, who lived in Bentonville, Arkansas, and his friends drank beer and did vodka shots as a tight football game unfolded. After the Razorbacks lost 51–50, one of the men went home; the others went out to Bates's hot tub and continued to drink. Bates would later say that he went to bed around 1am and that the other two men – one of whom was named Victor Collins – planned to crash at his house for the night. When Bates got up the next morning, he didn't see either of his friends. But when he opened his back door, he saw a body floating face-down in the hot tub. A grim local affair, the death of Victor Collins would never have attracted international attention if it were not for a facet of the investigation that pitted the Bentonville authorities against one of the world's most powerful companies – Amazon. Collins' death triggered a broad debate about privacy in the voice-computing era, a discussion that makes the big tech companies squirm.

Python programming language: Pyboard D-series arrives for MicroPython robots


The new Pyboard D-series micro-controller is now available for purchase at a rather hefty price of £43 ($56), offering developers a low-powered device for running programs created with MicroPython, a stripped-back version of the hugely popular Python 3 programming language. The standout feature of the Pyboard is that it runs MicroPython on bare metal, making Python an operating system for running electronic projects on devices with as little as 16kB of RAM. The software and hardware is the brainchild of UK-based programmer and physicist Damian George, who launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to bring to life micro-controllers for making tiny, low-powered robots that can bleep, flash and detect objects. Pyboard micro-controllers are aimed at developers who know Python, the world's third most popular language behind Java and JavaScript, which is sweeping the developer world right now. As opposed to the better-known $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, which runs on Linux, Pyboards rely on MicroPython for operating system functionality and access to low-level hardware.

The $70,000 smoothie-making ROBOT that can blend drinks in 2 minutes or less

Daily Mail

It's official: you can now add smoothie-making to the increasingly long list of tasks commandeered by robots. A one-armed autonomous robot designed by California-based startup Blendid was recently rolled out at the University of San Francisco and is capable of making a dozen different blended drinks in about two minutes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Customers of Blendid's smoothie robot are able to order on their mobile device via the company's app, or at one of several tablet kiosks nearby. An autonomous robot arm is automating the smoothie world, blending customers drinks in 2 minutes or less. Blendid is an automated smoothie-making robot that can whip up an array of drinks in 2 minutes or less.

McDonald's Acquires Machine-Learning Startup Dynamic Yield for $300 Million


Mention McDonald's to someone today, and they're more likely to think about Big Mac than Big Data. But that could soon change: The fast-food giant has embraced machine learning, in a fittingly super-sized way. McDonald's is set to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a startup based in Tel Aviv that provides retailers with algorithmically driven "decision logic" technology. When you add an item to an online shopping cart, it's the tech that nudges you about what other customers bought as well. Dynamic Yield reportedly had been recently valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; people familiar with the details of the McDonald's offer put it at over $300 million.

Robot 'Natural Selection' Recombines Into Something Totally New


Worms, mammals, even bees do it. Every living thing on Earth replicates, whether that be asexually (boring) or sexually (fun). Robots do not do it: The machines are steely and very uninterested in reproduction. But perhaps they can learn. Scientists in a fascinating field known as evolutionary robotics are trying to get machines to adapt to the world, and eventually to reproduce on their own, just like biological organisms.

The War to Remotely Control Self-Driving Cars Heats Up


Even in the middle of the day, the 50-mile trip from San Francisco to San Jose is a pain. Like a toddler, Bay Area driving toggles between slumber (rush-hour slogs) and frenzy (passing-happy speeding). It's enough to make one eager for the day when robots rule the roads. And it's more than enough to make me envy Evan Livingston, who doesn't have to show up in person this meeting, held in a Lincoln MKZ sedan roaming downtown San Jose. No, Livingston is sitting comfortably in his office in Portland, Oregon, when he appears on the screens inside the car and announces he'll be our teleoperator this afternoon.

Apple streaming event: New News service asks people to pay for magazines, premium articles and websites

The Independent

Apple has unveiled a complete update to its news offering, known as News, which allows people to pay to subscribe to magazines as well as newspapers. The company suggested that the new service is the best way of reading magazines online, as well as offering a way for news organisations to sell premium subscriptions. People will pay just $9.99 per month and get access to all of the magazines and news organisations available through the app. Subscribing to the various outlets included in the service would cost over $8,000 per month, it said. We'll tell you what's true.