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'You terrify me': TED speakers duke it out over a plan to release massive amounts of chalk into the atmosphere

At TED, a conference about big ideas that's largely attended by tech luminaries, it was inevitable that geoengineering — the idea of changing the earth's atmosphere to halt or reverse climate change — would come up. During the 2017 TED talks in Vancouver, Canada, multiple speakers brought up geoengineering ideas — but one climate scientist pushed back.

On Wednesday morning, computer theorist Danny Hillis got onstage and proposed a series of ideas for what he called a "thermostat to turn down the temperature of the earth."

Hillis, the founding partner of tech innovation company

Marc Benioff took a 60% cut to his $33 million pay package to appease Salesforce investors (CRM)

Marc Benioff's stature in San Francisco is on the rise, as Salesforce Tower, the city's tallest building, nears completion.

But Benioff's paycheck is getting smaller.

The CEO of Salesforce took a 60% paycut in the recently ended 2017 fiscal year, according to the company's annual proxy report, filed on Wednesday.

Of course, Benioff still took hom $13 million in total compensation for the year. 

The 52-year-old founder of Salesforce's pay package has been in investor sights for several years. At the company's 2015 shareholder meeting, Salesforce's executive compensation only passed with a relatively 52% of investor votes, and then only 60% in 2016.

Twitter is regaining some of its popularity, but it’s not in the clear (TWTR)

Twitter reported its latest quarterly earnings on Wednesday, and the results were better than expected. After months of lower-than-desired performance, the company reported a big beat on daily user growth. The social media site now has 328 million people (and bots) every month tweetstorming and doling out pithy comments, a 14% year-over-year increase.

That’s undoubtedly a good thing for Twitter, but it’s far from a saving grace. Apart from the eternal complaints over harassment on its platform, the company is still struggling to turn its users into ad dollars. As this chart from

Amazon's new Echo camera is weird and a little creepy — but it hints at Amazon's master plan to rule tech (AMZN)

Today, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look — a $199 voice-controlled camera designed for the fashion-forward. The sleek device listens for your command and quickly takes photos and videos of the outfit you're wearing. It'll even use AI to judge your outfit. 

In a lot of ways, it's at least a little creepy. You're basically paying Amazon for a microphone and camera to put in your bedroom. And Amazon confirms that the photos are stored on its computers indefinitely, until you manually delete them.

And of course, with Amazon's fashion algorithms still largely unknown, I'm not sure how much you'll trust Alexa, the name of the Echo's built-in virtual assistant, to dress you in the morning.

TransferWise is opening an Asian hub in Singapore

LONDON — Online money transfer service TransferWise is launching a new regional hub in Singapore. 

The fintech business announced on Thursday that it is opening a new office in Singapore that will act as a hub for the Asia-Pacific region. TransferWise hopes to have 30 employees based there by the end of the year.

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and cofounder of TransferWise, said in an emailed statement: "It made perfect sense for TransferWise to choose Singapore as our APAC hub. The region is important for us as we expand globally, bringing our service to everyone in the world that transfers money internationally."

Singapore has been actively trying to promote itself as a regional hub for fintech in Asia, with regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

10 things in tech you need to know today (AMZN, GOOG, TWTR, CRM)

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

1. Amazon has launched a new Echo device that helps you decide what to wear. It's called the Echo Look.

2. Taxi app Gett has acquired rival Juno for $200 million (£155 million) to help it compete with companies like Uber and Lyft. Juno is based in New York City.

3. Twitter's revenue declined for the first time last quarter. However, it still managed to beat expectations across the board.


Samsung shrugged off the Galaxy Note 7 debacle and a corruption scandal to post its best quarterly profit in 3 years (SSNLF)

Strong memory chip earnings propelled tech giant Samsung Electronics to its best quarterly profit in more than three years, the South Korean firm said on Thursday as it announced its first-quarter results.

Samsung said in a regulatory filing that its January-March operating profit was 9.9 trillion won ($8.75 billion), compared with 9.9 trillion won it estimated earlier in April. That means the results were in line with expectations.

The company's revenues rose 2% to 50.5 trillion won ($44.2 billion), also in line with its earlier estimate.

The solid set of results come after a turbulent period for Samsung.

Last October, the company made headlines after a number of its Galaxy Note 7 devices overheated and caught fire. The flagship smartphone was scrapped as a result of the fiasco.

Investors backed an AI startup that puts a doctor on your smartphone with $60 million

UK artificial intelligence (AI) startup Babylon has raised $60 million (£47 million) for its smartphone app which aims to put a doctor in your pocket.

The latest funding round, which comes just over a year after the startup's last fundraise, means that the three-year-old London startup now has a valuation in excess of $200 million (£156 million), according to The Financial Times.

10 things in tech you need to know today (AAPL, SNAP, GOOG)

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

1. Larry Page's flying car will be available to buy before the end of the year. The car is made by a company called Kitty Hawk, which has received funding from Page.

2. London delivery startup Doddle is closing most of its stores after burning through tens of millions of pounds. The company is laying off more than 100 people as it pivots its business model.


Oracle is building a 'transformational' startup inside the company (ORCL)

Oracle doesn't want to be accused of missing the boat when it comes to the next wave of tech.

It is launching two new Solution Engineering Centers where it plans to build out all kinds of cutting new technology, such as "artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality and many other exciting technology trends that interest us all," according to an employment ad first spotted by Bloomberg's Brian Womack.

The company calls this plan a "startup inside Oracle."

The centers will be in located in Reston, Virginia and Denver, Colorado, the ad says and will involve, "a unique and rare opportunity to join the ground floor of building a truly transformational organization inside Oracle North America."