Engine Biosciences raises $10 million in Southeast Asia’s largest institutional seed round

Life sciences startups in Asia are getting another boost with the $10 million investment in Engine Biosciences — a biotech company that’s applying machine learning to genomics for drug discovery. With its headquarters in both Singapore and San Francisco, the company has managed to attract some impressive investors from both the U.S. and Asia. The round was co-led by Danhua Venture Capital and 6 Dimensions Capital, with additional participation from WuXi AppTec, EDBI, Pavilion Capital, Baidu Ventures, WI Harper and Nest.Bio Ventures. Founded by a who’s who of researchers, including…

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WhatsApp hits 1.5 billion monthly users. $19B? Not so bad.

Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp sounds smarter and smarter. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on the Q4 2017 earnings call today that WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion users and sees 60 billion messages sent per day. That’s compared to 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily active users in July. The massive growth makes Facebook’s choice to pay more than $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp look prescient. At the time in 2014, WhatsApp had just 450 million monthly active users and 315 million daily active users. In a slight…

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Twitter now says 1.4 million people interacted with Russian trolls during 2016 presidential campaign

Twitter has now updated the number of people engaging with Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential campaign to 1.4 million. That’s more than double the initial 677,775 Twitter originally said had seen, followed or retweeted one of these accounts earlier this month. The new number reflects those who may have also replied to or @ mentioned these accounts. “We have expanded the number of people notified about interactions with Twitter accounts potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency,” Twitter said…

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Facebook’s U.S. user count declines as it prioritizes well-being

Facebook is putting its short-term money where its mouth is, reducing the presence of viral videos in an effort to boost well-being of users of its site. In Facebook’s Q4 2017 earnings report today CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that “Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” That’s a reduction of roughly 2.14 minutes per day per user, given that Facebook has 1.4 billion…

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Microsoft’s Azure revenue nearly doubled year-over-year in its second quarter

Microsoft posted a relatively good second quarter this year that continued the ongoing process of its growth into a major cloud entity, in addition to saying it would be taking a significant charge as part of changes to U.S. tax law. In particular, Microsoft said that its Azure revenue grew 98% year-over-year — a long-running theme alongside many other lines that equate to Microsoft’s efforts in the cloud offsetting many of the major shifts in computing that first led Microsoft to be a behemoth. The company said it would be…

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Facebook survives Q4 with slowing 1.4B daily users but record $12.97B revenue

Despite worries about Russia and that passive News Feed scrolling hurts us, Facebook beat expectations again in its Q4 2017 earnings report. Facebook now has 1.4 billion daily users, up 2.18% compared to growing 3.8% to 1.37 billion users in Q3. That’s a sizeable slow down, and the lowest quarter-over-quarter percentage daily user growth perhaps ever for the company. That could be because CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook made changes including showing fewer viral videos “that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” That equates to 2.14…

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Lexip’s joystick-mouse combo is a strange but promising hybrid

While at CES I try to avoid getting bogged down by dozens of random gadgets, and this time I mostly succeeded — but the mouse reviewer in me was intrigued by Lexip’s new gaming mouse that’s also a sort of floating joystick. It’s a strange but cool idea, and although the learning curve is high, I can see some hardcore gamers and productivity fiends getting a lot of use out of it. Lexip is running a Kickstarter right now to fund the mouse, and has already tripled its modest goal,…

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