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Snap lowers valuation expectations in highly awaited IPO
Snap Inc, owner of the popular messaging app Snapchat, on Thursday set a lower-than-expected valuation for itself amid mounting investor concerns over the company's still unproven business model, slowing metrics and tight founder control. The company, which filed for an initial public offering earlier this month, was widely expected to be valued at between $20 billion and $25 billion but fell short by targeting a valuation between $19.5 billion and $22.3 billion ahead of its marketing road show, due to start on Monday in London.

India's Tata Motors, Microsoft ink technology collaboration deal
Tata Motors Ltd and Microsoft India on Thursday announced a strategic collaboration on the technology front to make driving a more personalized experiences for the customers, the companies said in a joint statement. The first vehicle showcasing the vision of the enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, they said. "Using IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world a safe, productive and fun driving experience," Anant Maheshwari, President at Microsoft India, said.

SMBC head says will give Toshiba as much support as possible
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), one of the main lenders to Toshiba Corp , will provide as much support as possible to the troubled Japanese firm, the bank's chief executive said. The TVs-to-nuclear conglomerate is scrambling for cash to stay in business as a multi-billion-dollar hole has emerged in its nuclear business. Toshiba has announced it would consider selling most, even all, of its stake in its prized flash-memory chips business, highlighting the scale of its financial woes.

Auto union president: Organizing at Tesla depends on workers
By Joseph White (Reuters) - The president of the United Auto Workers union said on Thursday UAW organizers are in contact with workers at Silicon Valley electric car maker Tesla Inc , but said any formal effort to organize workers will "be determined by the interest of employees." UAW President Dennis Williams said the UAW is not paying a worker who went public with concerns about working conditions at Tesla's Fremont, California factory, as Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk charged last week. ...

Infineon braces for Wolfspeed deal collapse over U.S. security fears
By Harro Ten Wolde and Irene Preisinger MUNICH (Reuters) - Infineon does not expect to be able to salvage its $850 million purchase of Cree's Wolfspeed Power, which is under U.S. scrutiny over unspecified government security concerns, the German chipmaker said on Thursday. U.S.-based Wolfspeed makes devices using gallium nitride, a sensitive powdery compound with military applications whose use by other companies has led the U.S. to block deals. Infineon Chief Executive Officer Rheinhard Ploss told the chipmaker's annual shareholder meeting there was "a very significant risk that we will not be able to complete the takeover as planned or possibly even at all".

Telenor to roll out Google's new messaging service in Asia, Europe
(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday it partnered with Telenor ASA to roll out Rich Communications Services (RCS), an upgraded messaging service, to the Norwegian telecoms company's subscribers in Asia and Europe. The messaging service includes features such as group chats, photo sharing and read receipts among other things, Google said in its official blog.

iPhone 8 may utilize 3D laser technology for a complex new feature
One of the more intriguing rumors surrounding the iPhone 8 is that it will feature a new type of facial recognition technology bolstered by advanced laser sensors. This particular rumor first began to take shape a few weeks ago via a research note from Cowen & Company which said that the iPhone 8 will include "some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera." Far from a speculative rumor conjured out of thin air, it's worth highlighting that Apple last year picked up Emotient , a company with specialized technology that can not only recognize faces but can even discern facial expressions and subsequently distinguish between a wide array of emotional states. Building upon this rumor, AppleInsider highlights a new research note from J.P. Morgan's Rod Hall who also relays that the iPhone 8 will incorporate laser technology capable of identifying faces. A 3D sensor needs a few key features —it needs a light emitter in the form of a LED or laser diode, a light filter for a noise-free scan, and a speedy image sensor coupled with a powerful signal processor. Each aspect has some implementation difficulties, which Hall believes have been rectified by Apple and partner Primesense in a relatively inexpensive package that should add not much more than 3 percent to the build cost of an iPhone. What remains unclear, though, is how Apple plans to take advantage of this rumored sensor capable of recognizing faces. While some believe Apple may leverage the technology in furtherance of its augmented reality plans, others maintain it may simply coexist alongside Touch ID as a means of verifying a user's identity for certain sensitive transactions. As Apple's plans for the iPhone 8 begin to crystallize, it's becoming more and more apparent why the company's flagship 2017 iPhone may cost well over $1,000.

FCC chief wants smartphones’ hidden FM radios turned on, but won’t do anything about it
FCC chairman Ajit Pai says he’d love to see more smartphone makers activate the hidden FM radio inside their devices, but he doesn’t think the commission should step in to do anything about it. In the United States, the majority of these are disabled — Pai says that as of last fall, only 44 percent of the “top-selling smartphones” in the US had activated FM radios, compared to 80 percent in Mexico. “It seems odd that every day we hear about a new smartphone app that lets you do something innovative, yet these modern-day mobile miracles don’t enable a key function offered by a 1982 Sony Walkman,” Pai said this morning, during a speech at a North American Broadcasters Association event, according to prepared remarks.