BlackBerry is buying AI-powered security company Cylance for $1.4bn


BlackBerry is buying security company Cylance for $1.4bn, its largest acquisition to date Cylance uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict and prevent security threats to fixed endpoints by creating a lightweight software agent that sits on the device and can operate both online and offline. The company says its software requires a minimum of memory and power to function. The company boasts 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than one in five of the Fortune 500. While BlackBerry is still best known as smartphone pioneer, it no longer makes devices (these are made under licence by another company) and now focuses on security software for smartphones and the internet of things. "Cylance's leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, [Unified Endpoint Management] UEM and QNX in particular," said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry.

BlackBerry phones still exist – and the newest one claims to be 'iconic'

The Independent

Between 2009 and 2010, every fifth smartphone sold was a Blackberry. By 2017, Blackberry was making headlines for failing to claim even 0.0 per cent of the global smartphone market (it managed just 0.04 per cent that year), but such a dramatic decline was not enough to deter it completely. Without the same level of fanfare that comes with the unveiling of a new iPhone – or even a Samsung smartphone – most people may have missed the launch of the latest BlackBerry device, though according to its makers, it's "an icon reborn". The BlackBerry Key2 LE is actually a cheaper version of the BlackBerry Key2, a high-spec smartphone released earlier this summer. What makes both phones "iconic" is the inclusion of a physical keyboard.

What to expect at IFA 2018


Of all the annual meetings of tech-obsessed minds, IFA is perhaps the most unpredictable. You know everyone and their mother is going to CES to set the tone for the year, and MWC is all things mobile. At IFA, though, you never quite know what surprises lurk behind the floor-to-ceiling displays of kitchen appliances that dominate the halls of the sprawling Messe Berlin conference center. History and rumors give us some idea, however. Naturally, we'll be on the ground to bring you all the important news, but these are some of things we expect to see announced at this year's show.

Jeff Kagan: Why IBM Watson May Be Losing the AI Spotlight


You've got to love the idea of IBM Watson. The super-computer using advanced AI to learn everything, faster and better than any human being could ever hope to do. The hope is it would help us solve some of our most pressing problems. One of IBM's (IBM) high-profile challenges was their desire to cure cancer. Unfortunately, it has not happened.

BlackBerry QNX launches three safety certified auto systems


BlackBerry outlined three safety certified QNX products for automotive systems. QNX is BlackBerry's automotive platform and embedded in 120 million vehicles, according to the company. This ebook, based on a special feature from ZDNet and TechRepublic, looks at emerging autonomous transport technologies and how they will affect society and the future of business. The company said its QNX Hypervisor for Safety, QNX Platform for ADAS 2.0, and QNX OS for Safety 2.0 are certified for ISO 26262, an auto functional safety standard. BlackBerry's safety certifications arrive as concerns about autonomous driving and software integration in vehicles mount.

Report: Facebook Shared User Data with Device Manufacturers


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Facebook gave at least 60 device manufacturers, including Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft, access to huge amounts of data about users and their friends, the New York Times reported on Sunday. These companies in some cases received access to information about a user's religion, political views, relationship statuses, and other personal details. The manufacturers also reportedly got access to information on users' friends, even if they tried to prohibit their data from being shared with third parties. Facebook recently landed in hot water when revelations surfaced in March that a third-party quiz app was able to collect information from users and their friends.

This Robotic Pollinator Is Like a Huge Bee With Wheels and an Arm


For these foods we can thank bees and their extraordinary pollinating powers. Unfortunately, to show our appreciation, humans are killing off bees in staggering numbers--destroying their habitats and poisoning them with pesticides. And at the same time, our population is skyrocketing, which means if we can't get our act together, we have to somehow feed more people with fewer pollinators. Well, living pollinators, that is. In a greenhouse at West Virginia University, a machine called the BrambleBee is learning to roll around pollinating blackberry bushes, knocking their flowers around (blackberry flowers self-pollinate, so bees or robots just have to jostle them to spread around the pollen).

How Canada's AI community can build on its current momentum


Toronto's status as a burgeoning tech and artificial intelligence hub recently received a huge stamp of validation. The community made the final list of 20 cities in the running for Amazon's HQ2, earning that distinction without offering Amazon any tax breaks or financial incentives. Being a tech torch bearer is nothing new for Canada. In the early 2000s, BlackBerry and Nortel held sizable market shares in smartphones and telecom, respectively. Not long after that, though, an inability to gain a competitive advantage closed the door on each brand's chance to dominate the marketplace.

Could Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning be Apple's BlackBerry moment?


It's tempting to equate the analogy to a loss of revenue. I was fortunate to have been part of what I consider the definitive take on how BlackBerry lost its lead in mobile. Yet Apple is already deeply invested in sequential inference and digital assistants, having acquired, integrated, and re-shipped Siri half a decade ago, there no signs of existing businesses being put on hold or major external system transition being underway. And they've got billions in the bank. It's better to equate the analogy to a loss of relevance.

BlackBerry's post-phone future includes IoT security


BlackBerry hasn't been shy about shifting its focus away from hardware and toward technologies you can find inside others' devices, such as self-driving cars and secure comms. If you need any further proof, though, you just got it: BlackBerry has struck a deal with Swiss electronics maker Punkt to secure an upcoming range of Internet of Things devices. In theory, the embedded security tech will ensure they can connect to your home or office network without creating glaring vulnerabilities. Details of the devices themselves weren't mentioned, but it's safe to presume they'll be more advanced than the power accessories and cordless phones that represent Punkt's current lineup.