Facebook Messenger now has a whopping 1.2 billion users, putting it on par with the social network’s other messaging app, WhatsApp.It’s a huge milestone for an app that many were hesitant to download when it was released in 2014, citing concerns that they could be spied on through the app at any time. (Facebook’s permissions, of course, don’t allow for this.)Thankfully, for Facebook, that all blew over and now a sizable chunk of the world’s 7 billion people are now on board and actively using Messenger.
After a string of corporate crises, Uber is taking the unusual step of releasing financials to highlight its business growth.Uber’s gross bookings for 2016 hit $20 billion, more than doubling from the year prior, according to financial figures the company provided to Bloomberg. Its net revenue, after drivers took their cut, totaled $6.5 billion for the year.But that rapid growth came at a cost. Uber says it lost $2.8 billion in 2016, excluding the China business it sold midway through the year. Uber’s CEO had previously said it was losing $1 billion a year in China, prior to selling its China business to rival Didi Chuxing in August.Momo Zhou, a spokeswoman for Uber, confirmed the latest numbers to CNNTech.
Sheryl Sandbergs last words to her husband, like all last words, assumed a haunting poignancy. Im falling asleep, she told him, oblivious to the imminence of tragedy, and curled up on a cushion for a nap.It was Friday 1 May 2015. She and Dave Goldberg, 47, had left their two children at home with her parents in northern California and flown down to Mexico for a weekend break to celebrate a friends 50th birthday. They were Silicon Valley royaltys power couple; he the CEO of a tech company worth more than $1bn, she the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of global bestseller Lean In, a feminist call to arms for working women to emulate the self-belief and ambition of men. Sandberg had featured on Forbes list of the most powerful women on the planet, served as chief of staff to the Treasury secretary in Bill Clintons government, been widely tipped as a future member of a Hillary Clinton cabinet and earned a personal fortune well in excess of $1bn. At 45 she was mother to a 10-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter; weekends away were rare and precious. No wonder she was tired. She fell asleep that afternoon a happily married wife, and woke up an hour later a widow.
The maker of the RealDoll, a life-size faux-human you can have sex with, is stepping up its game.After months of teasing, Abyss Creations on Saturday released Harmony AI, an app with a “brain” determined to help your silicone RealDoll cater to your every whim and desire. Well, eventually.Once you’re set up, you can interact with the AI using only your voice. Harmony will then continue to learn about you and remember “key facts” meant to “create an engaging simulation of a relationship,” according to Abyss. Presumably, the more she learns, the more she’ll transform into your dream girl.Created by a new Abyss subsidiary called Realbotix, the AI app is the precursor to Abyss’ future female sexbots (also known as gynoids). Abyss says the app will let users create a unique AI personality and even control how happy, shy, sensual, funny and talkative their RealDoll is. That advancement takes the 20-year-old RealDolls a step beyond Samantha, a preprogrammed gynoid recently introduced by a Spanish engineer. Harmony also lets users create a fully customizable 3D avatar.
A Film by: Method Design
Directed by: Ivan Girard
Creative Director: Jon Noorlander
CG Supervisor: Ivan Guerrero
Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
Producers: Emily Schaeberle, Adrienne Mitchell, Heather Saunders
Coordinator: Elias Bermudez
CG Lead: Sari Rodrig
Animators: Matt Hackett, Will Robinson, Sean Curran, Carlos Sandoval, Paul Wei, Sam Crees
Rigging: Ohan Bracha, Frank Naranjo
Modelers: Brian Di Noto, Orges Kokoshari, Piotr Glabinski, Ohad Bracha
Lighters: Claire Yawen Chang, Hubert Wozniak, Kevin Lu, Michael Marsek, Eric Xi
FX Lead: Tomas Slancik
FX Artists: Zach Lewis, Jeongyeon Son, Vraja Parra
Compositing Lead: Robert Nick Dauphinais
Compositing: Dave Chen, Urpsh Otashevich
Executive Producers: Todd Boss, Egg Creative, Lisa Effuses
Monsters by: Dorothea Lasky
Monsters by Dorothea Lasky, from Awe. Copyright © 2007 by Dorothea Lasky. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.
Sound Recoded at: Digital Island Studios
Voice over: Isabel Guerrero
Original Score: Don Fierro & Emily Hope Price
Sound Design: Don Fierro
Cellist: Emily Hope Price