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Faraday Future exec: 'We are certainly not vaporware'

Faraday Future, the once-mysterious Chinese-backed electric-car company, unveiled its first vehicle concept at an event in Las Vegas Monday evening.

And it came in the form of an all-electric supercar called the FFZERO1.

The futuristic model marks the beginning of Faraday Future's quest to "Change mobility the way Apple changed the cell phone," FF research and development senior vice president, Nick Sampson said at the event.

However, with just 18 months of history under its belt, critics don't just question whether Faraday Future can actually change mobility — they question whether the company can even build a real car.

Still in the testing phase

10 British AI companies to look out for in 2016

Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are investing more of their time and resources into artificial intelligence (AI) research in the hope that it will improve their existing products and lead to new ones. 

But they're far from the only ones aiming to create machines that can learn and think for themselves.

A new generation of technology startups in Britain are focusing their efforts on developing products and services that are underpinned by AI, which has the potential to change the way we live our lives. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to end the human race if you listen to what billionaires like Elon Musk and intellects like Stephen Hawking have to say.

10 things in tech you need to know today
Posted January 5, 2016 0:5 AM
10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here's the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

1. Facebook has a backup plan if it falls out with Google. The company has developed a way to deliver updates without going through the Google Play Store, in the event that Google tried to kick it off Android.

2. Tesla rival Faraday Future has revealed its vision for the future of cars. It showed off its first concept car at CES in Las Vegas on Monday.

3. The guy who invented the hashtag is joining Uber to build the "future." Chris Messina, an ex-Googler, is the ride-hailing company's new Developer Experience Lead.


Snapchat made an expensive mark on this Las Vegas landmark

During the tech extravaganza that is CES 2016, tech companies can go to ridiculous extremes to make a splash.

For instance, there's Snapchat, which plastered its famous ghost logo on the iconic black pyramid of Las Vegas' Luxor Hotel & Casino:

It's well visible from a distance, just to give you a sense of scale:

It's a lot like the extremely minimalist billboards the picture messaging startup placed in tourist locations like New York City's Times Square: 

Advertising like this ain't cheap, and probably eats into a healthy chunk of Snapchat's $16 billion valuation — a valuation that may be in danger as its ad business struggles

The 10 most important things in the world right now

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

1. 2016 got off to a horrible start in the European markets, with every single major bourse closing in the red on the year's first day of trading. Terrible data from China sent all of Europe's major stock indices plunging early on Monday morning

2. Barack Obama is moving ahead on plans to require background checks for guns purchased from dealers even if they're bought online or at gun shows. The White House is rolling out a series of long-awaited executive steps aimed at curbing gun violence.


Bad news for the tech industry: Consumers are bored with today and nervous about tomorrow (ACN)

This evening as the Consumer Electronics Show kicked off in Las Vegas, I took a stroll through a pavilion called CES Unveiled, where companies gather to show off some of their products early to reporters.

Alongside booths advertising home security cameras and self-playing pianos and smartphone-controllable essential oil aerosolizers, I saw a lonely booth with nothing in it but a single laptop and a company logo: Accenture.

Accenture, if you don't know, is a massive consulting firm that specializes in helping big companies stitch together hardware and software from a bunch of different providers into solutions that help a particular business need. It's huge, with more than 350,000 employees, and it earned more than $3 billion on $31 billion in revenue last year.

But it's an enterprise company. So what was it doing at the Consumer Electronics Show?

Spreading the news. And the news is not good.

Mark Zuckerberg wants to run 365 miles this year

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is adding a physical challenge to his 2016 to-do list: running a mile a day for the whole year.

Zuckerberg announced his goal of running 365 miles this year on his Facebook page Monday night. 

Zuckerberg also set up a public Facebook group called "A Year of Running," in which users can track his progress and discuss their own fitness goals for 2016. More than 21,000 users had joined the group by press time.

The challenge is Zuckerberg's second publicly announced goal of the year. Yesterday, he posted his plan to custom-build an AI for his home —"kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man," he wrote.

Processor company Nvidia's new car-mounted supercomputer is as powerful as 150 MacBook Pros

Graphics processor company Nvidia used this week's CES 2016 mega-event to introduce its Nvidia Drive PX 2, billed by CEO Jen-Hsun Huang the “world’s first in-car AI supercomputer for self-driving cars." 

Moreover, Volvo will be a partner with Nvidia, becoming the first to use the Nvidia Drive PX 2, Huang announced.

As you may guess from that introduction, the Drive PX 2, upgraded from last year's first model, is designed to be the on-board supercomputer that helps self-driving cars navigate the roads — and get better over time, using buzzy deep-learning technology.

In other words, this would be the "brain" that lets self-driving cars, self-drive.

This guy spent 6 years working for Steve Jobs — now he's trying to do for laundry what Tesla did for cars

Glenn Reid spent six years working for Steve Jobs — first, a year at Jobs' startup NeXt, and then from 1998 to 2003 at Apple, where he developed the first versions of iPhoto and iMovie. 

Now with his new startup, Marathon Laundry, Reid says he's "sprinkling Silicon Valley magic dust" onto a problem close to home with a very Apple-like approach: Dirty clothes. 

No, seriously. With its forthcoming Marathon Internet-connected combination washer/dryer, Reid boasts that Marathon Laundry could do for the act of washing clothes what Tesla did for the electric car.

Better yet, it's not going to command a Tesla price when it ships later this year, carrying a cost of $1,199 – competitive with most decent traditional laundry appliances.  

Billionaire CEO Marc Benioff is writing a sequel to his best-selling memoir about Salesforce — and wants your help (CRM)

When former Salesforce COO George Hu took an unpaid leave to come up with the idea for his new startup Peer, one of the first things he did was to re-read Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's autobiography, "Behind the Cloud."

The book, published in 2009, is a compilation of Benioff's personal account on how he started Salesforce, the $50 billion cloud software company launched in 1999. It also comes with 111 of Benioff's own management tips, and it served as an early inspiration to Hu's startup.

"When I started [Peer], I actually read 'Behind the Cloud' again, and looked at what he did, and tried to pattern a lot after that," Hu told us.