Friday, October 31, 2014

Chinese users can now shop from Alibaba while watching videos on Youku

Chinese users can now shop from Alibaba while watching videos on Youku
Image Credit: Charles Chan

Alibaba Group and Youku Tudou, the leading Chinese video site in which the former has a stake, jointly announced two programs for online retailers on Alibaba marketplaces to do marketing on the video platform in different ways.

View and Buy on Youku, as the name indicates, allows viewers to buy the items shown in a video without pausing the playing video. It is enabled by Alimama, the Google AdSense-like contextual advertising program of Alibaba. Alimama display ads based on user behavior on Alibaba’s marketplaces.

So far almost all Chinese videos sites make revenues from pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads. Youku Tudou hasn’t turned a profit with it yet. If users liked making purchases when watching a video, the transaction-based ad revenue stream could be a big help to the video site.

A similar program has been available on Sina Weibo, in which Alibaba also has a stake. The one with Sina Weibo allows retailers to post items as micro-posts that users can make purchases from without leaving their Weibo homepage.

Another marketing program announced today is Merchants’ Video Channel on Tudou which is a content marketing project that encourage businesses to produce

This story originally appeared on TechNode.


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Xcovery Presents Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive NSCLC at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology

Xcovery Presents Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive NSCLC at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology

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–Induces responses in both crizotinib-naïve and crizotinib-resistant ALK+ NSCLC patients– -X-396 demonstrates activity in central nervous system metastases-

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 31, 2014–

Xcovery, a developer of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer, presented results at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology from a Phase 1/2 study of X-396, a potent small molecule anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor. Data showed that X-396 is generally well-tolerated and has anti-tumor activity in patients with ALK-positive, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These data are consistent with the interim data presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June 2014.

“While still early, X-396 continues to demonstrate activity in treatment-naive ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients as well as those that have progressed on crizotinib, and responses have also been seen in patients with central nervous system (CNS) disease,” said Leora Horn, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn., and lead investigator of this Phase 1 study. “We are continuing to enroll patients in the expansion cohort phase of this trial to learn more about this patient population and inform future studies of X-396.”

“These results further validate the clinical benefit of X-396 that we presented earlier this year and our belief that X-396 has the potential to be an effective and well-tolerated oral treatment for ALK-positive, non-small cell lung cancer,” said Chris Liang, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Xcovery group of companies.

At the time of data cutoff, 41 patients were enrolled with tumor types including NSCLC, head and neck, small cell lung, colorectal and breast cancers. The NSCLC (n=33) patient group included ALK-positive patients (n=23) who were either crizotinib-naïve (n=5) or received prior crizotinib (n=18), as well as ceritinib in two patients. Among the 17 ALK positive patients evaluable for response (patient completed one cycle and had post baseline response assessment), 10 patients had a partial response (59 percent) and two had stable disease (12 percent). For the five patients with progressive disease, two were at lower doses (50 mg, 100 mg) with acquired resistance to crizotinib, one (at 200 mg) had failed prior crizotinib and chemotherapy, and one (250 mg) had failed prior crizotinib and ceritinib. The patient with prior crizotinib and ceritinib had a complete response to X-396 in a retroperitoneal lymph node but progression of bone/CNS metastases.

About X-396
Xcovery is developing X-396 for the treatment of solid tumors where ALK is deregulated. X-396 has been validated in potency and selectivity assays indicating that it is more selective and up to 10 times more potent than competitive ALK inhibitors. X-396 has been active in animal models of NSCLC and neuroblastoma. Importantly, X-396 has shown activity in some ALK mutations that confer resistance to other small molecule ALK inhibitors.

About Xcovery
Xcovery is a clinical-stage company focused on the development of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer. Founded by Sheridan G. Snyder and Chris Liang, Ph.D., Xcovery’s vision is to successfully develop innovative oncology therapies to optimize patient outcomes. Through innovative drug design, Xcovery has developed a comprehensive pipeline of oncology therapies that target a wide range of advanced tumors. For more information, please visit www.xcovery.com.

For Xcovery
Media Contact:
LaVoie Health Science
David Connolly, 617-374-8800 ext. 108
dconnolly@lavoiehealthscience.com
or
Business Development Contact:
Cheryl Calhoun, 561-659-1945
Vice President
ccalhoun@biocatalystintl.com


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3 years after opening up to Chinese developers, Tencent eyes global partnerships

3 years after opening up to Chinese developers, Tencent eyes global partnerships

Above: Tencent booth at ChinaJoy Expo 2014

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Tencent’s annual business partner conference has been rebranded as its “Global Partner Conference”. The two-day meeting started yesterday, with some interesting foreign faces in attendance. What’s even more interesting, chipmakers Intel and Broadcom showed up as partners of Tencent, a business long known as a software company.

Along with international partners, Tencent also plans to introduce hardware manufacturers and traditional offline businesses as new partners for its open platform. Programming interfaces for connected hardware products to integrate with WeChat and Mobile QQ, its flagship mobile messaging apps, have been launched earlier this year.

Three years ago Tencent had few partners in China. It was notorious for being unwilling to partner with third parties; instead, it would develop me-too apps or services in-house. But as of now there have been 2.4 million apps on MyApp, Tencent’s Android app store, and five million developers using the Tencent platform, Mark Ren, Tencent COO, disclosed today.

Tencent has released more than 10,000 programming interfaces in the past three years for developers to take advantage of its resources and huge user base. Third-party apps monetize on Tencent’s platform through in-app offerings, the advertising network Guang Dian Tong (on which apps can place ads on Tencent’s social products such as QQ IM, Q-zone and Pengyou.com). Online/mobile payments are supported by Tenpay (Tencent’s equivalent of Alibaba Alipay), WeChat Payment, and QQ Coin (the virtual currency used across Tencent’s products). Tencent and developers share income based on a tiered revenue share plan.

As of June 2014, 22 startups on Tencent’s platform saw over RMB100 million (US$16mn) monthly turnover, according to Dowson Tang, a senior vice president.

The number of developers has increased fourfold in the past year, according to the company. Fifty percent of entrepreneurs on its platform are aged under 25, and there are increasing numbers of small teams.

Still, many Chinese developers are not satisfied with or trust Tencent, claiming it only helps apps that make big profits and that it takes too large a revenue share. But still more would like to, or have to, work with Tencent, given its more than 800 million monthly active QQ IM accounts (with 200 million concurrent accounts) and 439 million monthly active WeChat users in the domestic market and overseas. It remains a strong draw for partners.

This story originally appeared on TechNode.


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Android co-creator Andy Rubin departs from Google

Android co-creator Andy Rubin departs from Google

Andy Rubin, the co-creator of the Google-owned mobile operating system Android, is leaving Google, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rubin most recently headed the robotics division within the company.

According to the Journal, he will go on to start an incubator for hardware startups. James Kuffner, a research scientist at Google and a member of the robotics group, will replace Rubin as head of the robotics division, which Rubin lead since 2013.

“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next. With Android he created something truly remarkable—with a billion plus happy users. Thank you,” said Google chief executive Larry Page in a statement to the Journal.

Last week, news emerged that Google was reorganizing its leadership, with Larry Page stepping back a bit and handing over the reins of core Google Products to senior vice president Sundar Pichai. Pichai was already heading Android, Chrome, and Apps at Google.

Rubin co-founded Android in 2003 with Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White, and Google acquired the company two years later.

Developing… 


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Artificial intelligence is now affordable. Use it to work smarter

GUEST POST


I’m barely old enough to have been taught how to find content the old way – using library directories and the Dewey Decimal System. Things changed quickly during my middle and high school years. By the end of it, I could do almost all my research from one starting point:

Google homepage

In college we were encouraged to be more rigorous, leveraging directories of research papers, like JSTOR and ProQuest — but more and more of my bibliographies were dominated by URLs rather than page numbers. The internet has grown to give us all the information we need, accessible in seconds.

With the continuing explosion of information online, there’s speculation that internet-based-research has reached peak efficacy. It’s becoming harder and harder to sift through the noise and consistently pick up the signal you’re looking for. As a result, the knowledge worker’s benefit from online data is beginning to plateau, even decline.

Accessing data

Analysts across functions such as investing, banking, strategy, and sales and marketing now spend two to five hours a day pulling data from the “firehose” of information, in the form of databases, newsletters, reports, emails, search queries, and social media.

Analysts, does this sound familiar?

Prior to starting DataFox, two of our founders worked in the investment banking industry; one of us in mergers and acquisitions, the other in growth equity. A typical day looked like this:

  • 7 a.m.: Commute to the office. Triage urgent emails from my Blackberry. Skim daily newsletters & the Wall Street Journal.
  • 8-10 a.m.: Once at my desktop, continue processing the night’s influx of emails, newsletters, updates, and alerts, so I can prepare an outline of key updates for my manager and my team.
  • 11 a.m.: Finally get around to working on the day’s urgent projects. However, I’m distracted every 15 minutes by email and other content that might yield important signals on companies that my team cares about (I can’t afford to miss an important milestone).

Throughout the day, I read a total of 10-30 newsletters, updates, and alerts. I spent a total of two to three hours consuming and syndicating just a few key insights. If visiting the library for research is laughably inefficient nowadays, consuming corporate information the way I did was almost as ridiculous.

Enter artificial intelligence

Fortunately, technologists are working to solve this problem. Innovative companies are leveraging artificial intelligence (including natural language processing and supervised machine learning) to collect information from disparate sources, organize that information, and disseminate it to the right people at the right time. Here are a few examples:

  • RelateIQ: analyzes information from your team’s emails and calendars to tell you who you should be following up with.
  • Relationship Science: graphs relationships between key business figures to help plot the path of least resistance to people you’re trying to reach out to.
  • LinkedIn: suggests who to reach out to based on recent career changes or similarities to other people you’re connected to.
  • Refresh: automatically builds a dossier about people you’re scheduled to meet with, so you can access key insights on-the-go.
  • Google Now: an intelligent personal assistant that helps you navigate your schedule, location, and surroundings.
  • DataFox: surfaces corporate data and milestones to intelligently identify and engage with prospects.

After experiencing the pain of private company analysis and tracking first-hand, we founded DataFox to deliver predictive intelligence by collecting, in real-time, the information that our customers need and delivering (pushing) that info to them immediately.

Services like RelateIQ, Refresh, and DataFox free up those two to three hours of information-ingestion a day and do a better job than analysts would have done manually. Now analysts can sleep an hour longer (or work out), spend a fraction of the time “getting up to speed”, and then get on with the real work they were hired for.

Join the artificial-intelligence age. You can afford it this time…

Many of the most ambitious predictive intelligence platforms, rather than being reserved for Goldman Sachs and the CIA, are in fact quite affordable. Smart analysts are using modern solutions like RelateIQ and DataFox not only to save time, but to do a better job.

Analysts, unlike libraries, aren’t facing an existential threat. But they sure as hell are about to get a lot better equipped.

Bastiaan Janmaat is the chief executive and a cofounder of DataFox, a deal intelligence platform that helps analysts make smarter decisions by delivering predictive insights on private technology companies and sectors. He previously worked as an analyst in Goldman Sachs principal investing group.


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