27 Nov 2019

TechBits, Nov 27, 2019

1. Facebook buys VR studio behind Beat Saber

  • Virtual reality doesn’t have many hit games yet, but Facebook is buying the studio behind one of the platform’s biggest titles.
  • Facebook announced today that it will be buying Beat Games, the game studio behind Beat Saber, a rhythm game that’s equal parts Fruit Ninja and Guitar Hero — with lightsabers of course.
  • Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but we’re sniffing around for a price tag. The studio will join Oculus Studios but will continue to operate independently at their HQ in Prague.

2. Beer-loving commerce startup TapRm raises $1.5M

  • Jason Sherman, founder, and CEO of TapRm (pronounced “taproom”) says it’s time for beer-lovers to do more of their shopping online.
  • It’s an industry that Sherman knows well, having worked as an attorney at Anheuser Busch and at the alcohol giant’s ZX Ventures incubator. He said it was through the job that he began wondering why only 0.2% of beer purchases take place online.
  • The answer, he suggested, is fundamentally regulatory, with different rules in different states, but each of them adhering to some form of the three-tier system —where alcohol is produced by one group of businesses, distributed by another group and finally sold to consumers by a third. That means a brewery could get into legal trouble for selling its beer online.

3. Leavy.co, the app for millennials who want to rent out their room while traveling, discloses $14M funding

  • Leavy.co, the Paris-born startup that offers a travel app for millennials to help them travel more without getting into further debt, has quietly raised $14 million in funding.
  • The investment — which is pegged as a seed round and actually closed in January! — is led by Dutch investor Prime Ventures, with participation from angel investor Dominique Vidal (who is also a partner at Index Ventures). Pieter Welten, a partner at Prime Ventures, has taken a seat on Leavy’s board.

4. Amazon launches medication management features for Alexa

  • Today, Amazon announced a new approach that it says will put machine learning technology in reach of more developers and line of business users. Amazon has been making a flurry of announcements ahead of its re: Invent customer conference next week in Las Vegas.
  • While the company offers plenty of tools for data scientists to build machine learning models and to process, store and visualize data, it wants to put that capability directly in the hands of developers with the help of the popular database query language, SQL.

5. Android’s Ambient Mode will soon come to ‘select devices’

  • You’ve probably heard murmurs about Google’s forthcoming Ambient Mode for Android. The company first announced this feature, which essentially turns an Android device into a smart display while it’s charging, in September. Now, in a Twitter post, Google confirmed that it will launch soon, starting with a number of select devices that run Android 8.0 or later.
  • At the time, Google said Ambient Mode was coming to the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD and Smart Tab tablets, as well as the Nokia 7.2 and 6.2 phones. According to the Verge, it’ll also come to Sony, Nokia, Transsion and Xiaomi phones, though Google’s own Pixels aren’t on the company’s list yet.

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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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