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Senate Schedules Second Cannabis Hearing For Next Week

Senate Schedules Second Cannabis Hearing For Next Week

A key Senate committee will hold a hearing next week to discuss hemp production, featuring witnesses from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the months since hemp and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, there’s been strong interest in developing USDA and FDA regulations for the crop and its compounds such as CBD, and lawmakers have repeatedly pressed the agencies to speed up the rulemaking process to unlock the industry’s potential.
Fifth Wall Raises Largest Real Estate Venture Fund to Date

Fifth Wall Raises Largest Real Estate Venture Fund to Date

Real estate-focused venture capital firm Fifth Wall has closed what it’s calling the largest real estate venture fund raised to date—having secured $503 million in commitments that it plans to invest in real estate technology, or “proptech,” companies. The new fund is more than double the size of the three-year-old venture capital firm’s first fund, which closed at $212 million in 2017. But interest in the burgeoning proptech market has only grown since then, and Fifth Wall raised capital for “Fund II” from more than 50 limited partners (LPs) in 11 countries—most of whom are institutional commercial real estate owners, operators and investors seeking to increase their exposure to potentially game-changing technologies.
Microsoft has a wild hologram that translates HoloLens keynotes into Japanese

Microsoft has a wild hologram that translates HoloLens keynotes into Japanese

Microsoft has created a hologram that will transform someone into a digital speaker of another language. The software giant unveiled the technology during a keynote at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference this morning in Las Vegas. Microsoft recently scanned Julia White, a company executive for Azure, at a Mixed Reality capture studio to transform her into an exact hologram replica. The digital version appeared onstage to translate the keynote into Japanese. Microsoft has used its Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible. It works by taking recordings of White’s voice, in order to create a personalized voice signature, to make it sound like she’s speaking Japanese.
Virtual reality helps Japan's elderly travel the world

Virtual reality helps Japan's elderly travel the world

CNN) — Traveling from the canals of Venice to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, a group of elderly people in Japan is seeing the world -- without even leaving their seats. It's all thanks to virtual reality, as well as a team at the University of Tokyo led by Kenta Toshima. As a therapist, Toshima traveled the globe capturing 360-degree videos to show his senior patients. His aim was to help them find joy and motivation in life, using VR technology to allow those who are unable to travel satisfy their wanderlust and see the world again.
Apple, Amazon and Google Executives Visit Samsung to assess the Potential Crisis in Smartphone Supply Shortage

Apple, Amazon and Google Executives Visit Samsung to assess the Potential Crisis in Smartphone Supply Shortage

On June 30th Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's Display Partners Samsung & LG Caught up in Political Ruling with Japan that could Disrupt the Smartphone Sector." The thrust of the report was about Japan restricting fluorinated polyimide which is used in smartphone displays, and resist and high-purity hydrogen fluoride (HF), which is used as an etching gas in the making of semiconductors. Japan produces about 90% of fluorinated polyimide and resist worldwide as well as about 70% of etching gas, making it difficult for chipmakers to find alternative supplies. The situation is now serious enough that Silicon Valley's elites including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, have dispatched their respective executives and employees to South Korea to gauge the fallout of the ongoing trade war between Seoul and Tokyo, according to industry sources.   
Foreign buyers are turning their back on American real estate

Foreign buyers are turning their back on American real estate

New York (CNN Business)Foreigners are buying less real estate in the United States, and sluggish global economic growth is to blame. Residential home purchases by people from outside the country plunged 36% to below $78 billion in the year that ended March 2019, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Since 2017, the number of foreign buyers of US residential property has basically halved from $153 billion. "Rising economic growth improves the spending capability of foreign buyers," Lawrence Yun, chief economist, and Gay Cororaton, research economist at NAR, wrote in the report, which was released on Wednesday.
WeWork Co-Founder Has Cashed Out at Least $700 Million Via Sales, Loans

WeWork Co-Founder Has Cashed Out at Least $700 Million Via Sales, Loans

WeWork Cos. co-founder Adam Neumann has cashed out more than $700 million from the company ahead of its initial public offering through a mix of stock sales and debt, people familiar with the matter said—an unusually large sum given that startup founders typically wait for the IPO to monetize their holdings. Mr. Neumann, who is chief executive of the shared office-space giant and remains its single largest shareholder, over several years has sold some of his stake in the company and borrowed against some of his holdings, the people said.
Facebook is backpedaling from its ambitious vision for Libra

Facebook is backpedaling from its ambitious vision for Libra

David Marcus, the head of Facebook's new Calibra payments division, appeared before two hostile congressional committees this week with a simple message: Facebook knows policymakers are concerned about Libra, and Facebook won't move forward with the project until their concerns are addressed. While he didn't say so explicitly, Marcus' comments at hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday represented a dramatic shift in Facebook's conception of Libra. In Facebook's original vision, Libra would be an open and largely decentralized network, akin to Bitcoin. The core network would be beyond the reach of regulators. Regulatory compliance would be the responsibility of exchanges, wallets, and other services that are the "on ramps and off ramps" to the Libra ecosystem.
More Than 100 Marijuana Businesses Urge Congress To Include Social Equity In Legalization

More Than 100 Marijuana Businesses Urge Congress To Include Social Equity In Legalization

A coalition of more than 100 marijuana businesses and industry associations sent a letter to congressional leadership on Thursday, pressing them to ensure that any cannabis reform legislation include provisions promoting social equity in the industry. The letter describes the evolution in public opinion around marijuana policy, the mass incarceration implications of prohibition and the economic potential of legalizing and regulating cannabis. It makes the case that as Congress considers various proposals to change federal marijuana laws, the work won’t be complete with the mere end of prohibition.
Rocket-shooting drone, controlled by weaponized wet blanket, shuts down street party

Rocket-shooting drone, controlled by weaponized wet blanket, shuts down street party

While drones can be used to do extremely cool things, like allowing you to have a sausage delivered straight to your hot tub, they’re also capable of serving the whims of total dweebs who would rather end a party than enhance it with robot-provided snacks. A stunning, frightening example of this is shown via a recent video. In it, a drone hovers above a street filled with revelers enjoying a summer evening and, controlled by someone off screen, begins firing Roman candles at the frantic crowd.  The clip was uploaded to YouTube by someone—hopefully not the party-ruining jerk in question—named Roberto Estella and is titled with a single Portuguese sentence, which Google Translate renders as: “When you have funk dancing on the street get on your drone with a rocket and finish the party.”
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