Alibaba vies for a piece of China’s booming EV market – TechCrunch

There’s no lack of news these days on China’s tech giants teaming up with traditional carmakers. Companies from Alibaba to Huawei are striving to become relevant in the trillion-dollar auto industry, which itself is seeking an electric transition and intelligent upgrade as 5G comes of age.

State-owned automaker SAIC Motor, a major player in China, unveiled this week a new electric vehicle arm called Zhiji, in which Alibaba and a Shanghai government-backed entity are minority shareholders. The tie-up comes as Chinese EV startups like Xpeng and Nio and their predecessor Tesla see their stocks soaring in recent months.

Alibaba’s ties with SAIC can be traced back to 2015 when they jointly announced a $160 million investment in internet-connected cars. The partners moved on to form a joint venture called Banma (or ‘Zebra’) and Alibaba has since developed a slew of auto solutions for the Banma platform to enable everything from

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Google Forms email surveys: Check this box to get more responses

Improve your response rate to short, single-section Google Form surveys by letting people respond without ever leaving email.

Image: GIF created by Andy Wolber

A Google Form can help you gather data in a structured way. Forms supports a variety of question types (i.e., multiple choice, checkboxes, dropdowns, files, short and long answers, linear scales, date, time, and multiple choice grids) that you may ask and structure in sections, with a separate page for each set of questions. And, since Forms supports branching (i.e., conditional logic), you can present different sets of questions to different people.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

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When you’re ready to share—or, as Google Forms labels the button, SEND—your form with people, the system offers five routes: Email, a link, an embed code, or via a link shared

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Raspberry Pi alternative seeed Odyssey: Assembly is challenging, but it’s worth it

The seeed company offers a single board computer and case combination that could make for a nice rollout for a number of solutions. Jack Wallen offers his take after a hands-on review.

Image: iStockphoto/Wiyada Arunwaikit

I was recently sent a combination of the seeed Odyssey single board computer and the seeed re_computer case for review. I’ve always found these types of computers to be an incredibly valuable part of the IT landscape because they are so versatile. Use them as a desktop or a kiosk. IoT? Sure, why not? Cluster them together for a small container deployment? Of course. Anywhere you need a tiny form factor computer, you’ve got a solution.

The Raspberry Pi is the gold standard of single board computers. When seeed reached out to me, my first inclination was, “You’re not Raspberry Pi.” Then again, I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, so why not

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TikTok’s epic rise and stumble – TechCrunch

TikTok’s rise in the West is unprecedented for any Chinese tech company, and so is the amount of attention it has attracted from politicians worldwide. Below is a timeline of how TikTok grew from what some considered another “copycat” short video app to global dominance and eventually became a target of the U.S. government.

These years were a period of fast growth for ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company behind TikTok. Originally launched in China as Douyin, the video-sharing app quickly was wildly successful in its domestic market before setting its sights on the rest of the world. 

Zhang Yiming, a 29-year-old serial engineer, establishes ByteDance in Beijing.

Chinese product designer Alex Zhu launches

ByteDance launches Douyin, which is regarded by many as a clone. It launches Douyin’s overseas version TikTok later that year.

TikTok merges with and and launches in the U.S., where it quickly becomes popular

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PS5 restock for Black Friday 2020: Where to look for the best deals

Black Friday is bringing more PS5 stock to stores online and in person, from GameStop and Walmart to Best Buy and Sam’s Club.

The hunt is on for a PS5 unit, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are bringing new possibilities for shoppers anxious to score a PlayStation 5. Ever since the first PS5 units went on sale Nov. 12, the devices have sold out within seconds of online stores announcing availability. Major retailers such as Walmart have literally had their website crash from the onslaught of customers.

There won’t be any discounts on the PS5 this holiday season. But everyone seems to be okay with that. Just buying one, at nearly any price, is the goal. Retailers such as GameStop were offering bundles of a PS5 with a couple of games and controllers and a one-year PlayStation membership for upward of $800 last week and they were sold out

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Top fitness, health and sleep gifts for the holidays

Looking for a smartwatch or a cool sleep or health item with a tech edge to gift this holiday season? Here’s a roundup of some options to feel more fit or sleep better.

Finding the ideal 

for that fitness lover, health-focused family member, or sleep-deprived friend can be time-consuming. There are plenty of tech options available, however. TechRepublic has dug up some of the best and most useful choices for everyone from your favorite teen to your aging parent. 

Image: Fossil

The Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch is a sleek new device available in two sizes, 42mm or 44mm. It has an optimized activity tracker, sleep tracking, cardio fitness tracking and phone app updates. It runs on Wear OS by Google. 

$249 at Fossil


Image: UA

Under Armour has developed a face mask for athletes to use while training and working out. It has a moldable nose bridge to secure

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