Today’s cache | Facebook Libra’s new partners, Tesla’s “million mile” battery, and more

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Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

Temasek Holdings joins Facebook’s Libra project to facilitate development of cryptocurrency. Paradigm and Slow, tech-focused investors, have also joined the alliance.

Tesla is planning to launch a “million mile” battery for its Model 3 sedans. The EV maker is collaborating with China to design the new batteries.

Google Chrome will block some ads to reduce inefficiencies in user devices caused by these advertisements. In another area, Google has built a new tool to connect ad campaigns with potential buyers faster.

Lastly, YouTubers faced an outage globally on Thursday.

Google’s new tool to make ad campaigns faster

In 2018, Google launched AdLingo Ads for brands to leverage the company’s marketing platform. With it, they had the potential to turn their ads into an AI-powered chat with potential customers. Ad viewers could ask questions to get more information about the products promoted.

Google announced on Thursday a new tool for agencies and advertisers to build content on AdLingo Ads ten times faster than before. Brands can upload parts of their ad campaign along with a conversational assistant with just a few clicks.

The search giant has partnered with over 30 different brands globally since the launch of its AdLingo service. The company claims that the platform has helped advance potential customers from discovering a product to considering to buy it in a single advertisement.

“In creating AdLingo, we’re on a mission to use conversational AI to foster stronger relationships between customers and businesses,” Google said in a statement.

Temasek joins Facebook’s cryptocurrency project

Singapore-based investment management firm Temasek Holdings announced on Thursday it is joining Facebook’s Libra project.

Temasek's addition is a huge boost for the non-profit independent organisation formed to facilitate development of cryptocurrency and further its use.

“Looking forward to the potential of this blockchain-based digital currency, and how it can help create a regulated global network for cost effective retail payments,” Temasek said in a statement.

Blockchain is among the latest areas of focus for Temasek, apart from AI.

Along with Temasek, Paradigm, a crypto asset investment firm, and Slow, an early state investor in technology companies, have also joined the alliance, Libra said in a statement.

The Libra project was announced last year with a vision “to enable a simple global payment system and financial infrastructure that empowers.”

In April, Facebook had clarified in an update note that it is toning down its cryptocurrency effort after push back from financial and government regulators. Its latest version of Libra looks similar to a digital payments facilitation company, like a PayPal.

Temasek on Libra’s board will deepen Facebook’s presence in Asia’s emerging markets as the social network offers potential solutions to the region’s unique challenges focused on unbanked population and volatile currencies.

YouTube’s brief outage across the globe

YouTubers globally reported outage on Thursday that briefly stopped them from accessing content on the video streaming platform.

Many users posted their frustration on Twitter with a hope of seeking answers to the problem.

“YouTube is down. Brb gonna go scream into a pillow,” one of the users tweeted.

The brief outage appeared to have started at about 7 PM US Eastern Time. The issue seemed to have been resolved in about half hour.

About an hour later, YouTube tweeted, “if you were experiencing error messages on YouTube, the issue is now fixed. It lasted for approx ~20 minutes across home, subscriptions, search and more. Thanks for your patience, and for all of your reports!”

Google Chrome may block some ads for you

In an effort to protect users from ads that take up too much CPU space, Google Chrome will limit the computing resources for advertisements.

The team claims to have recently found that a fraction of ads consume a disproportionate share of the device’s resources, including battery and network data. The user has no knowledge about this.

Some advertisements, like mine cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or are not optimised for network usage, Google said. These ads can drain battery life, saturate strained networks and cost money.

Google Chrome’s move is aimed at reducing these inefficiencies in user devices. It reflects a growing effort by the company to override website instructions and to fix problems that degrade the web.

Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla have taken various measures to block ads from tracking users online and those that infringe privacy.

Tesla planning to launch a new low-cost battery

Tesla is planning to launch a long-life, low-cost battery for its Model 3 sedan in China, Reuters reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the plans.

Later this year or early next year, the electric car market is also planning to bring down the cost of its electric vehicles.

The new, low-cost batteries are designed for a million miles of use, and are being built to be sold for the same price or lesser than a comparable gasoline vehicle, according to the unnamed sources.

Tesla has a global fleet of more than a million EVs that can connect and share power with the grid. The company’s goal is to become a power company that can compete with traditional energy providers.

The new “million mile” battery was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, and deploys technology developed by Tesla and a team of academic battery experts hired by CEO Elon Musk.

The new batteries will depend on low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery technology, and use chemical additives, coatings and materials to reduce internal stress.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:49:27 AM |

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