Tag Archives: Million

Facebook says it removed 1.5 million videos of the New Zealand mosque attack
March 17, 2019 6:00 am|Comments (0)

People take pictures on a pedestrian bridge, illuminated with colors of New Zealand’s national flag as a tribute to victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch, in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said it removed 1.5 million videos globally of the New Zealand mosque attack in the first 24 hours after the attack.

“In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload…,” Facebook said in a tweet bit.ly/2HDJtPM late Saturday.

The company said it is also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content out of respect for the people affected by the mosque shooting and the concerns of local authorities.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday. The gunman who attacked two mosques on Friday live-streamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, with copies still being shared on social media hours later.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook.

Reporting by Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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Top gamer 'Ninja' made $1 million to promote EA's 'Apex Legends' launch: source
March 13, 2019 4:53 pm|Comments (0)

BENGALURU (Reuters) – What are a few hours playing videogames and a handful of tweets worth? $ 1 million if you are Tyler Blevins, known to millions as “Ninja,” the world’s most-followed computer gamer.

FILE PHOTO: An Electronic Arts (EA) video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Blevins was one of a few select professionals with huge followings pulled in by videogame giant Electronic Arts Inc to play and promote its latest title, “Apex Legends,” in the first hours of the launch last month, generating a buzz that notched 10 million signups in the first three days.

The 27-year-old, famous for his hair color changes – currently a bright, turquoise hue – tweeted about the free-to-play game early on Feb. 5 and streamed the action to his more than 13 million followers on game-streaming site Twitch. For this he was paid around $ 1 million, a source told Reuters.

The amount underlines the increasingly cut-throat fight for dominance of the free-to-play battle royale genre that, through Epic Games’ global smash hit “Fortnite”, has pushed major publishers like Electronic Arts to change how they do business.

Representatives for EA and Ninja declined to comment on how much he had been paid, but the amount named by the source is more than twice media reports of Ninja’s monthly earnings from streaming his regular appearances on Fortnite and way above what was speculated on a number of internet discussion boards.

EA also paid popular Polish-Canadian streamer “Shroud,” who has nearly six million Twitch followers, to play Apex Legends but declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

“They did a fairly comprehensive job at pulling together all of the relevant game influencers in this genre,” said Kevin Knocke, a vice president at esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal.

“This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports,” he said, suggesting that EA had also roped in streamers better-known for playing other blockbusters like “Call of Duty” or “PUBG”.

The Ninja deal also points to the growing possibilities for teenagers who grow up hooked in their bedrooms on the industry’s big titles, as well as a shift in promotional strategy, with the use of popular gamers replacing expensive TV ad campaigns.

EA’s stock price and market value rose 16 percent, or $ 4 billion, in the three days after Apex Legends launched and a month later the game has 50 million users, a quarter of Fortnite’s 200 million.

“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex if you cared about games and we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day,” Drew McCoy, lead producer at the EA studio that created Apex Legends, said in an interview.

“We had streamers from all over Europe, LatAm, North America, Korea, Japan so that we could get our message out there and people would see the game,” he said.

Joost van Dreunen, co-founder of Nielsen-owned gaming research firm SuperData, estimated that in 2018 Fortnite raked in $ 2.4 billion in revenue, more than any other single title.

If each user registered so far bought the most basic Apex Coin package, with which kids and teenagers can buy character skins and other upgrades, EA would take in $ 500 million. Analysts’ estimates hover around that figure in revenue annually.

Ninja, who reportedly plays Fortnite for 12 hours a day from his basement studio outside Chicago, has been one of many to benefit from its massive success.

He has streamed himself playing alongside major celebrities like rappers Drake and Travis Scott, has sponsorship deals with Red Bull and Uber Eats, and often appears on Instagram and Twitter alongside soccer players Neymar Jr and Harry Kane.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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Japanese self-drive cars map developer to buy rival U.S. startup for $200 million
February 13, 2019 6:06 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Japanese map platform developer Dynamic Map Platform announced on Wednesday it plans to acquire Detroit-based map startup Ushr for up to $ 200 million in a bid to widen its geographical footprint in the burgeoning self driving cars market.

Dynamic Map Platform counts Japan’s Toyota Motor, Nissan and Honda among its investors, while Ushr provides 3D mapping data to General Motors.

The move comes as the Japanese car makers seek to challenge Alphabet Inc’s Google and Chinese rivals in the mapping business.

For the acquisition, Dynamic Map Platform said it would raise a combined 22 billion yen ($ 198.9 million) from investors including two existing shareholders – the Japanese state-backed INCJ fund and Mitsubishi Electric.

“Through the combination, we will be able to offer automotive OEMs a comprehensive high-definition mapping solution for the North American and Japanese markets, with the ability to expand globally in the future,” Tsutomu Nakajima, the head of Dynamic Map Platform, said in a statement.

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru and Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Editing by Stephen Coates and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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How To Save $1.5 Million Starting At 40
February 10, 2019 12:53 am|Comments (0)

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How Much Money Does Fortnite Make? About $1.5 Million Per Day—Just on iOS
October 6, 2018 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

Fortnite is one of the most popular games available at the moment, so it comes as no surprise that the title is making a ton of money on iOS devices alone.

Fortnite brought in $ 300 million in its first 200 days on Apple’s iOS platform, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. The game is free to play, but players can purchase Fortnite skins and dances. It’s made the most of any game on iOS in the first 200 days of availability. Users can buy skins and dances separately or purchase a season pass to get a collection of new releases. In just the month of April, Fortnite made $ 300 million across all its available platforms, The Verge reported.

Fortnite is also available on Android, the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s become a massive cultural phenomenon since its release in 2017. Celebrities like Drake have streamed themselves playing Fortnite, players streaming their games on platforms like Twitch have become a kind of celebrity of their own, and the premiere of Saturday Night Live’s 44th season even featured a Fortnite-themed sketch.

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Mantis Vision raises $55 million in round led by Luenmei, Samsung
July 16, 2018 6:52 am|Comments (0)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli high-tech firm Mantis Vision, which provides 3D content capture and sharing technologies, said on Monday it raised $ 55 million in a round led by China-based Luenmei Quantum Co and Samsung Catalyst Fund.

The Israeli firm and Luenmei also formed a joint venture to strengthen Mantis Vision’s growth in China.

Mantis Vision said its technology can be used in a variety of applications, including 3D smartphone cameras and professional 3D scanners.

The company said it has now raised a total of $ 83 million and expects to double its workforce by the end of 2020 with an additional 140 employees.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen

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South Korea's Bithumb loses $32 million in digital money heist, bitcoin falls
June 20, 2018 6:07 am|Comments (0)

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said 35 billion won ($ 31.5 million) worth of virtual coins were stolen by hackers, the second local exchange targeted in just over a week as cyber thieves exposed the high risks of trading the digital asset.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Bithumb is seen at its cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul, South Korea, January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

Bithumb said in a notice on its website on Wednesday that it had stopped all trading after ascertaining “some cryptocurrencies worth about 35 billion won were seized between late yesterday and early morning today.”

The exchange, the sixth busiest in the world according to Coinmarketcap.com, said it had stored “all clients’ assets in safe cold wallets,” which operate on platforms not directly connected to the internet.

It added that the company would fully compensate customers.

The Bithumb theft highlights the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets. Global policymakers have warned investors to be cautious in trading the digital currency given the lack of broad regulatory oversight.

In Ho, a professor at Korea University’s Blockchain Research Institute, said the stolen coins were most likely to be from the more insecure ‘hot wallets.’

“Since coins in the cold wallets are not at all wired to the internet, it would have been impossible for hackers to steal those in cold wallets unless they physically broke in,” said In, a blockchain expert at the research center.

Bithumb did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comments, and its statement did not say whether the stolen coins were stored in its ‘hot wallets’.

Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at ESTsecurity, said digital coins would continue to be juicy targets for hackers around the world.

“No security measures or regulations can 100 percent guarantee safety of virtual coins. It is held anonymously and in lightly-secured systems, which makes them an irresistible target,” Mun said.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin BTC=BTSP was down 1.8 percent at $ 6,612.92 by 0351 GMT, extending losses as a series of intrusions on cryptocurrency exchanges in recent weeks sparked concerns over security.

It has fallen roughly 70 percent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017.

On June 11, another South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail said it was hacked. The cyber attacks come after a high-profile theft of over half a billion dollars worth of digital currency at Japan’s exchange Coincheck earlier this year.

In January, South Korea banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading to stop cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering and other crimes. But the government said it does not intend to go as far as shutting down domestic exchanges.

Bithumb trades more than 37 different virtual coins, according to Coinmarketcap.com

Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Jacqueline Wong

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How to Lose $700 Million, Theranos-Style
May 4, 2018 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

Business figures, government officials, and international magnates invested more than $ 700 million in an ambitious company promising to revolutionize blood testing—Theranos.

The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou got his hands on previously sealed documents that show just how much capital has sunken with the Theranos ship. The documents are part of a lawsuit alleging that the company made false and misleading claims about its operations and technology while soliciting money from investors. (Theranos has denied the suit’s allegations.) The following groups and individuals have lost a considerable sum of money following their investments:

— $ 150 million: The Walton Family, heirs to Walmart Founder Sam Walton
— $ 125 million: Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp
— $ 100 million: Betsy DeVos & her family, Secretary of Education
— $ 100 million: The Cox family, owners of media properties
— $ 96 million: Partner Fund Management, investment management firm
— $ 70 million: Shareholders who invested through venture funds
— $ 30 million: Carlos Slim, media investor
— $ 25 million: Andreas Dracopoulos, Greek shipping heir
— $ 20: The Oppenheimer family, former owners of De Beers
— $ 6.2 million: Riley Bechtel, former chairman of Bechtel Corp
— $ 1 million: Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots
(*Not included: Earlier investors who invested nearly $ 100 million in Theranos before 2013.)

I feel uneasy every time I see a star-studded investor list for a startup that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. The uneasy factor goes up when you realize none of the investors have deep medical or biotech expertise. Remember when GV’s Bill Maris said the firm passed on investing back in 2013 because it had a lot of questions about the company’s technology?

Maris said, “We looked at it a couple times, but there was so much hand-waving — like, Look over here!— that we couldn’t figure it out. So, we just had someone from our life-science investment team go into Walgreens and take the test. And it wasn’t that difficult for anyone to determine that things may not be what they seem here.”

At Fortune’s 2016 Brainstorm Tech conference, TPG’s David Trujillo made the point that people were simply not doing their diligence. “It’s just taking what a management team says at face value and not being able to follow up with it,” he said. “Part of it is the competitive dynamic of sources chasing opportunity that has created companies not having to share quite as much as they would outside this bubble we’ve been in.”

The hand-waving. The trade secrets. The competitive advantage. The revolutionary technology. For years, Holmes successfully dazzled investors, reporters, and the public.

As Fortune has previously noted, the notoriously private company would use the sanctity of trade secrets as an excuse to run an operation shrouded in secrecy. When hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, however, investors should expect transparency — not slippery and confusing language masquerading as industry jargon.

One Term Sheet newsletter reader asked, “How are these not lessons that [Silicon Valley] should not already know? Do your diligence, understand the tech, don’t accept ‘trade secret’ BS, and check out board oversight.”

As we now know, it was a very, very expensive lesson to learn.

This article originally ran in Term Sheet, Fortune’s newsletter about deals and dealmakers. Sign up here.

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How Some New College Graduates Are Pulling Over $1 Million a Year (Courtesy of Elon Musk)
April 21, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

Artificial intelligence experts can command huge salaries and bonuses–even at a nonprofit.

OpenAI, a nonprofit research lab started by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk released the salary details of it’s employees–and they are striking. The organization’s top researcher was paid more than $ 1.9 million in 2016, and another leading researcher who was only recruited in March was paid $ 800,000 that year, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

Salaries for top A.I. researchers have skyrocketed because there is high demand for the skills–thousands of companies want to work with the technology–and few people have them. So even researchers at a nonprofit can make big money.

It likely has more to do with competition than interest in the field itself, however. The Times points out that both of the researchers employed by OpenAI used to work at Google. At DeepMind, a Google-owned A.I. lab in London, $ 138 million was spent on the salaries of 400 employees, translating to $ 345,000 per employee including researchers and other staff, the Times reports. 

OpenAI was started by Musk who recruited several engineers from Google and Facebook, two companies pushing the industry into artificial intelligence. People who work at major companies told the Times that while top names can expect compensation packages in the millions, even A.I. specialists with no industry experience can expect to make between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000 in salary and stock as demand for the skills continues to outstrip supply. 

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Apple Music appoints new head, hits 48 million subscribers
April 11, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday appointed a new executive to oversee its Apple Music streaming business and hit 48 million subscribers, the company said.

Apple said it had appointed Oliver Schusser as vice president of Apple Music and international content. Schusser, who joined Apple 14 years ago, will report directly to Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue and will also oversee Apple’s services outside the United States, including the App Store and iTunes.

Apple’s top streaming music rival Spotify Technology SA has 71 million so-called premium subscribers, a figure that includes users who have given the company a credit card number for a free trial. Spotify became a public company earlier this month after holding a so-called direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

On a comparable basis, the Apple Music service has 48 million subscribers, 40 million of whom are paying subscribers and 8 million of whom are on a free trial, Apple said. Both firms charge $ 9.99 a month for streaming music but provide discounts for student and family plans.

Variety magazine earlier reported the new subscriber figures and Schusser’s promotion. He previously built up Apple’s services businesses outside the U.S. in 155 markets, including China, Japan and Latin America, Apple said.

Apple’s services business, which includes Apple Music, the App Store and iCloud, is becoming increasingly important to the Apple’s financial outlook because the smart phone market has matured and iPhone sales growth has slowed. In its most recent quarter, Apple’s services business grew 18 percent to $ 8.4 billion, missing analyst expectations of $ 8.6 billion.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph 1 to Wednesday instead of Thursday)

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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