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Here's how the robot in 'Ex Machina' was created for a film with a budget of just £10 million

Anyone with an appreciation for artificial intelligence in movies will likely have been impressed with humanoid robot "Ava" in the Hollywood film "Ex Machina."

"Ex Machina" was made on a budget of just £10 million, which meant that software had to be used to create things that might have been physically made if the film had a higher budget.

Visual effects firm Double Negative created Ava using advanced motion tracking technology. Double Negative's Andrew Whitehurst, the visual effects supervisor on "Ex Machina" and an Oscar nominee, told the BBC: "We made decisions with the way that Ava was designed that if it had been a massive budget film we wouldn’t have done because you can do whatever you like."


TfL has reversed its plan to stop using Twitter for real-time updates on the London Underground (TWTR)

In an abrupt about-face, Transport for London (TfL) has ditched its plan to stop using Twitter to provide travellers with real-time updates about London's transport network.

TfL has for the last few years operated a series of Twitter accounts for different London Underground lines, and other transport services. They keep you posted on line closures, delays, and other potential issues with London's transport infrastructure. 

But in a blog post last week, the transport regulator said it had decided to pivot away from this model. Where it previously provided "real-time service updates and news" for each individual line, it will now only provide "news and alerts for major disruption."

The reason? Twitter's recent move to introduce


Kanye West is begging Mark Zuckerberg to give him a billion dollars (FB)

Kanye West went on a surreal rant on Twitter on Sunday night, begging Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page — the founders of Facebook and Google — to give him a billion dollars for his art.

The outspoken rapper posted a stream-of-conscious monologue on the social network, in which he referred to himself as the "greatest artist of all time," as well as "this generation's Disney."

West — or Yeezy — released his latest album "The Life of Pablo" over the weekend. Initially available to buy, he has since removed the download link — making users install Tidal, a streaming service Kanye owns a stake in, in order to listen.

Yeezy began with a direct appeal to Zuck to fund his ideas.

Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016

after realizing he is...


10 things in tech you need to know today
Posted February 15, 2016 0:54 AM
10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here's the tech news you need to know to start your week.

1. Facebook's managing director in India is stepping down. As The Wall Street Journal notes, the move comes after a Facebook project was banned in the country, though the company says she wasn't involved.

2. Apple is being sued over its use of 3D Touch. A Californian firm called Immersion claims that the touch-sensitive tech violates its patents, The Next Web reports.

3.


GOLDMAN SACHS: The 'mantra' in Silicon Valley has changed

Private tech companies are having a tough go of it — and they're starting to make some changes.

Many tech startups that have reached the coveted billion-dollar "unicorn" status are now struggling to raise capital as investors worry about valuations.

Industry folks are expecting to see "blood in the water" and "dead unicorns" in 2016.

But Goldman Sachs COO and President Gary Cohn thinks this scare could be a good thing. He described the shift in mindset he's seen in Silicon Valley over the past three or four months on a podcast with Goldman's Jake Siewert.

<...

How a former teen chess genius wound up leading a hot Valley startup

The classic Valley success story goes something like this: a geeky kid falls in love with computers at a very early age, learns to code, invents something cool in college, and drops out to do a startup. 

That's about the exact opposite of how Poojan Kumar came to be CEO of a hot storage startup called PernixData, which has raised $62 million in VC funding, including backing from famous angels like Marc Benioff, the billionaire CEO of Salesforce.

In the three years since it's been out of stealth, it's landed more than 650 enterprise customers and grown to 200 employees with offices worldwide. 

"The most interesting three years of my life"

Kumar never dreamed of being a tech CEO when he was kid.


One of Hallmark’s 24 card writers reveals what it’s really like to work for the $3.8 billion company

When we want to wish someone a happy birthday or Valentine's day, say "congratulations" or "thank you," or tell them "I'm sorry" or "get well soon," we roam the greeting card aisle looking for the perfect way to say it.

We rely on those cards to express the thoughts and feelings so many of us have trouble articulating. 

But have you ever wondered who's actually behind those poetic, funny, or cheerful expressions? Have you thought about who is coming up with the words we so often can't? 

At Hallmark alone — the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the US, which had $3.8 billion in consolidated revenues in 2014 — there are 24 employees who are responsible for writing cards.


App-only bank Mondo is valued at £30 million in an oversubscribed £6 million fundraise

Aspiring app-only bank Mondo has been valued at £30 million in a £6 million funding round, despite the fact that it has yet to fully launch to the public or secure a banking licence.

Mondo has raised £5 million from London-based early stage venture capital fund Passion Capital, which invested £2 million in the company last year. Mondo is today also launching a £1 million crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.

Mondo founder and CEO Tom Blomfield told Business Insider: "We've had literally thousands of people help shape the product and build the bank so far, and many have asked, is it possible to invest? It's a really nice opportunity to give our customers the chance to own part of the bank they're helping to build."


The 10 most important things in the world right now
Posted February 14, 2016 10:46 PM
The 10 most important things in the world right now

Good morning! Here's what you need to know on Monday!

1. Chinese shares started lower on Monday as trading resumed after the long Lunar Holiday break and investors caught up with wild swings in global markets, while Beijing took another swipe at devaluation talk with a strong fix for the local currency.

2. HSBC's board on Sunday decided to remain headquartered in Britain, following a review launched last year in response to increased regulation and taxation. "Unanimous Board decision for #HSBC HQ to remain in the UK," the bank tweeted.

3.


Groupon shares go nuts after earnings crush expectations (GRPN)

Shares of online discount marketplace Groupon are jumping nearly 20% after the company reported stronger than expected earnings.

Groupon crushed estimates, reporting revenue of $917.2 million against expectations for $845.9 million.

Adjusted earnings per share was $0.04 against expectations for a breakeven quarter. 

In response the stock jumped as much as 20% in after hours trading. 

Shares were up about 16% near 4:45 p.m. ET. 

Groupon has had a precipitous fall from grace over the past few years. Since its anticipated IPO in 2012 the stock had fallen 92% as of close Thursday.

After consistent disappointing growth and sliding profits, the company