Tech Moves: Lighter Capital names new CEO; Amazon exec joins Uber as CTO; and more

Melissa Widner. (Lighter Capital Photo) — Seattle-based ‘alternative VC’ firm Lighter Capital named Melissa Widner as its new CEO. She takes over from former CEO Thor Culverhouse, who replaced longtime Lighter exec BJ Lackland this past September. Widner, a board member at Lighter, most recently served as managing partner at the venture capital arm of the National Australia Bank. She was previously a general partner at Seattle-based SeaPoint Ventures and CEO of 7Software, which was acquired by Concur. Widner, based in Sydney, Australia, joined the Lighter board in 2018. Lighter Capital was co-founded by Andy Sack, Randall Lucas and Erik Benson in 2009. The company helps entrepreneurs raise funding without… Read More

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Microsoft and Cascadia group unveil proposal to build economic hubs between big Pacific NW cities

Downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier as viewed from the top observation deck of the Space Needle. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) The Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference has made headlines over the past few years for its ambitious goal to connect Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., with a proposed high-speed rail line. The group, which is sponsored by Microsoft, is changing course this year, unveiling a bold new proposal for the “mega-region.” High-speed rail is still part of the organization’s aspirations for Cascadia — as the larger region is dubbed — but this year’s focus is on a different goal: building mid-sized cities between the big urban centers that define… Read More

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Microsoft acquires Bethesda — here’s what that means for gamers

It’s the coup of the century. Microsoft just purchased ZeniMax and Bethesda for $7.5 billion, meaning it just added some of the biggest games and game makers ever to its stable. What does this mean for the millions of gamers bracing for the next generation of console releases? Today is a special day… We are THRILLED to welcome the talented teams and beloved game franchises of @Bethesda to Team Xbox! Read the full announce from @XboxP3: https://t.co/Jn0HcTJ9Mi pic.twitter.com/iQVutgT6zq — Xbox (@Xbox) September 21, 2020 The two companies announced the acquisition this morning. In case you don’t know, this now puts… This story continues at The Next Web Or just read… Read More

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Journalists, climate crisis isn’t a topic up for debate

For years, scientists have been stressing the need to act quickly and effectively on climate change. And as part of my work as a media psychology academic, I’ve seen the way media outlets along with readers have discussed climate change over the past decade. I’ve observed very slow progress on the issue. But many news outlets do now present the climate crisis as fact rather than a matter of belief. Though given the scale of the problem, this feels like too little too late. This is why I, along with many other academics and psychologists, have joined the environmental campaign… This story continues at The Next Web …read more Source::… Read More

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AI devs created a lean, mean, GPT-3-beating machine that uses 99.9% fewer parameters

AI researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich have developed a bite-sized text generator capable of besting OpenAI‘s state of the art GPT-3 using only a tiny fraction of its parameters. GPT-3 is a monster of an AI system capable of responding to almost any text prompt with unique, original responses that are often surprisingly cogent. It’s an example of what incredibly talented developers can do with cutting-edge algorithms and software when given unfettered access to supercomputers. But it’s not very efficient. At least not when compared to a new system developed by LMU researchers Timo Schick and… This story continues at The Next Web …read more Source::… Read More

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Microsoft vows to replenish more water than it consumes by 2030, in latest sustainability initiative

Microsoft’s redevelopment of its Redmond, Wash. headquarters will include water conservation strategies. (Microsoft Rendering) Microsoft says it will replenish more clean water than it uses in its cloud computing and software business within a decade. The water pledge, announced Monday morning, represents the fourth and final focus area in a package of sustainability initiatives that Microsoft has been rolling out this year. The company started in January with its plan to become climate negative within a decade, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it has emitted through its history. Microsoft also launched a global biodiversity program; an ecology-based “Planetary Computer;” and a suite of waste reduction strategies; along with… Read More

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