11 Feb 2020

TechBits, Feb 11, 2020

1. Tesla ramps up solar tile roof installations in US, eyes China and Europe expansion

  • Tesla appears to be ramping up installations of its solar tile roofs in the San Francisco Bay area and will eventually roll out to Europe and China, according to CEO Elon Musk, who, in a series of tweets, provided the first substantial update since the company launched the third iteration of its product in October.
  • Tesla’s solar roof tiles are designed to look like normal roof tiles when installed on a house, while doubling as solar panels to generate power. The company first unveiled the solar tiles in 2016 and has been tinkering with them ever since. Tesla has conducted trial installations with the first two generations of the solar tiles and opened up pre-orders in 2017.
  • A pricing estimator on the Tesla website says a solar tile roof with 10 kW of solar on an average 2,000 square-foot home costs $42,500 before federal tax incentives. It also lists $33,950 as the price after an $8,550 federal tax incentive.

2. Facebook Workplace co-founder launches downtime fire alarm Kintaba

  • “It’s an open secret that every company is on fire,” says Kintaba co-founder John Egan. “At any given moment something is going horribly wrong in a way that it has never gone wrong before.” Code failure downtimes, server outages and hack attacks plague engineering teams. Yet the tools for waking up the right employees, assembling a team to fix the problem and doing a post-mortem to assess how to prevent it from happening again can be as chaotic as the crisis itself.
  • Kintaba’s well-pedigreed team and their approach to an unsexy but critical software-as-a-service attracted $2.25 million in funding led by New York’s FirstMark Capital.

3. IIT-B students to help BoB build tech dominance

  • Stress alleviation using a virtual reality headset for bankers, intensive analytics to forecast cash replenishment rates at rural ATMs, PoS machines with value-added services are some of the solutions that IIT Bombay students and faculty are working to create for state-owned lender Bank of Baroda.
  • The 11,000-odd students and hundreds of faculty members have begun work at their newly setup technology centre inside the sprawling IIT Powai campus in suburban Mumbai which could well become the launchpad for Bank of Baroda into the tech league of rival private sector banks.
  • “We are offering usecases, funding and mentorship to about 11,000 students, PhD fellows and faculty members at IIT Bombay,” Akhil Handa, head fintech & alliance, BOB told ET. “The idea is that in the true spirit of fintech innovation to get a leading BFSI organisation to collaborate with a technology institution of eminence.”

4. Bill Gates’ New Yacht Is Hydrogen-Powered And Costs $644 million!

  • Bill Gates may have been focusing on charity in the past decade or so, but he still buys a pricy gadget every now and then.
  • Case in point: his latest purchase, according to The Telegraph is Sinot Aqua, a hydrogen-powered superyacht with an estimated price tag of $644 million.
  • The 112-meter long yacht has five decks that host 14 guests and a 31-person crew. It comes with a number of ultra-fancy amenities, including an infinity pool, a deck lounge that turns into a home (boat?) cinema, a spa, gym, beauty salon, helipad, and a private observatory deck at the yacht’s bow with a near-unlimited view of the ocean.
  • The yacht’s two 1MW motors, fueled by two massive hydrogen tanks, give it a 17-knot top speed and a 3,750-mile range.

5. Instagram Is Experimenting With IGTV Monetization, Which Isn’t Already A Thing For Some Reason

  • Get ready, IGTV creators, because your turn to make some cash is coming.
  • Almost two years ago, Instagram launched IGTV to compete with YouTube. If you’d assumed at any point that creators could monetize their IGTV videos with ads (a central feature of YouTube), you were wrong.
  • The good news is that might change in the near-ish future. TechCrunch reported that Instagram is messing around with the idea of enabling ad monetization for IGTV videos, originally based on a tip from Jane Manchun Wong.
  • If that wasn’t enough, Instagram head honcho Adam Mosseri confirmed that Instagram was “exploring” the idea on Twitter early Friday morning.

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Philomathes (pronounced as fillo-MAY-thus) is a fictional character at VAYUZ (https://www.vayuz.com), who is on a never ending journey called “LEARNING”. In a way, Philomathes embodies VAYUZ - Way of life, which is if you are not learning then you are not breathing. The word Philomathes, comes from the Greek roots philo and philein meaning "to love" and the Greek roots mathos (MAH-thos) and mathesis (muh-THAYSIS) meaning “learning”. Philomathes through his Blogs and Vlogs (Video Blogs) will share his experience, learnings and thoughts. In his tryst to learn and understand, he would also seek answers to questions. So if you would like to join him in this incredible journey called “ life” then feel free to write to him on philomathes.jigyasu@vayuz.com. Always remember, knowledge is all around us, we just need to keep our guards down and senses on.

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