[Virgin Hyperloop One in The Korea Bizwire] Hyperloop Language Passes in House as Part of Moving Forward Act

“We applaud hyperloop’s bipartisan supporters for their forward-leaning stance on advanced technologies, including several innovative provisions that will support America’s transportation sector in the 21st century and beyond,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.

Read more here.

The post [Virgin Hyperloop One in The Korea Bizwire] Hyperloop Language Passes in House as Part of Moving Forward Act appeared first on OurCrowd.


Got an SAAS idea, don’t know what type of coding language I should use.

I’ve had this idea for a while now and as it involves my industry, I can notice that there is significant demand for this service. For context, it will be similar to craigslist or eBay, it will connect buyers to sellers.

I have learnt very basic HMTL, CSS and decided to skip JavaScript and jump right into Python. I’ve been recommended Python numerous times so I decided to start practicing and looking up courses yesterday. I don’t know too much on Python but am I on the right track? Is Python necessary for building a service similar to Craigslist or eBay? Tips or advice?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Dreaming of travel? 10 European language learning apps to keep you occupied

Over the past few months, we’ve all found ourselves spending a lot more time at home than usual. So if you’re hoping to be more productive during social distancing, now is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language. The benefits of bilingualism are undeniable: boosting brain power, improving memory, providing better career choices, gaining a deeper understanding of a culture, and many more. Additionally, travel is opening up this summer across Europe, meaning that you can actually put your learnings to good use.

Having scouting the app horizon, we have put together a list of the most established language learning apps founded in Europe. These startups have scaled successfully, grown a large team, landed funding rounds and remained stable throughout the pandemic.

So, are you ready to take the next step in your foreign language study? Here are 10 language learning apps to check out:

Babbel – An oldie but goodie. Founded back in 2007, Babbel is almost an institution in the world of online language learning. It offers subscribers a choice between 14 languages through grammar courses, vocabulary lessons, and basic phrases for conversations that are specifically focused on beginners and intermediates. According to them, 92% of Babbel users improve their language proficiency in just 2 months and 73% of users are able to have a short, simple conversation in their new language within five hours of using Babbel. Crazy right?

Lingoda – If you are aiming for English, French, German or Italian maybe you should check out Lingoda. The Berlin-based startup has been helping users learn any of these languages since 2013 through various offerings. If you decide for the Language Marathon, you get 180 interactive online classes with qualified native-speaking teachers, in a group or private classes, studying at your own pace. On the other hand, for the Language Sprint, you have to be faster. You can choose 15 or 30 classes per 3 months, with the possibility to get 50% or 100% cashback when you attend all of your classes.

Preply – These Techstar alumni offer a global SaaS based marketplace for private tutoring, such as foreign languages, science, humanities, and various hobbies since 2012. For example, people interested in learning a new language can easily find a language expert at a time and price point that’s convenient for them. With a record number of daily hours booked and a big spike in demand, the Ukranian startup just raised €9 million of funding for Europe-wide expansion and a new branch office in the US.

Speakly – Imagine moving to a new city where you don’t speak the language. What you need is an intensive course that will help you in real-life situations. And this is how Speakly was born in 2013. Using a unique methodology which teaches words and sentences based on their real-life relevance, Speakly gives you guaranteed results in only a matter of months. The Estonian language-learning app will understand which words you have to repeat more and when you have to do so. Pretty cool, right?

Drops – Perfect for people with short attention spans, Drops (2015) is a game-based language learning app, which promises to unlock the mystery of a new language through a 5-minute session per day. Lessons walk you through 120 word buckets covering food, drinks, numbers, and hotel terms, using illustrations and word games. At the beginning of 2020, the Estonian startup announced a new product, ‘Droplets’, an app designed specifically to teach kids aged 8-17 to learn foreign languages.

Mondly – The story of the Mondly chatbot dates back to 2016 when the AI-powered training app was introduced, featuring standard dictionary, verb conjugator and speech recognition technology. Fast forward to 2020: MondlyVR and MondlyAR, allow you to have real conversations with its virtual characters. In 2016, the app was chosen as ‘Best New App’ by Apple, in 2017 won the ‘App of the Year’ by Facebook, and was an ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Google Play. The Romanian startup offers 33 different languages and their motto is “play your way to a new language”. Find out for yourself.

Memrise – The British award-winning language learning system Memrise (2010) focuses heavily on learning words and phrases. It uses a variety of fun and proven memory techniques that will speed up your learning and as you progress in your learning, you earn points for correct answers, collect badges, and watch your skills grow from seedlings to flowers. Best thing about it:  You learn real conversational language from native speakers. 40 million users and counting are improving their language skills with Memrise.

Tandem – Learning a foreign language is hard work and if you don’t practise it afterwards, all that hard work will be for nothing. Luckily Tandem (2015) is here. The Berlin-born Tandem language exchange community connects people from all around the world who want to practice a foreign language. It’s very simple. Just log in the app, find someone online who speaks your target language, and invite them to chat for free.

Speexx – Munich-born Speexx is a language learning app positioned towards workplace learning. If you are looking for an app that can be used for multiple users and track team language skills progress, this is the one. Users don’t just get language tutoring, they also get specific online business communication skills, so team mates can start using their language directly in a work environment. Founded in 2011, its already trusted by 8 million users in 1,500 organizations, including UNHCR, Adecco and Renault.

Lingvist – Tallinn-based Lingvist (2013) aims to get its students learning English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, or Portuguese in record time. Founded by Techstars London alumni, the company has built a fun but informative app that uses artificial intelligence to improve your vocabulary retention. The app also has different variants of languages available, like European or Latin American Spanish, and offers support in 11 different languages in case you need it.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!


Quantum Machines announces QUA, its universal language for quantum computing

It’s a busy week in the world of quantum computing, and today Tel Aviv-based Quantum Machines, a startup that is building a software and hardware stack for controlling and operating quantum computers, announced the launch of QUA, a new language that it calls the first “standard universal language for quantum computers.”

Quantum Machines CEO Itamar Sivan likened QUA to developments like Intel’s x86 and Nvidia’s CUDA, both of which provide the low-level tools for developers to get the most out of their hardware.

Quantum Machine’s own control hardware is essentially agnostic with regards to the underlying quantum technology that its customers want to use. The idea here is that if the company manages to make its own hardware the standard for controlling these systems, then its language will — almost by default — become the standard as well. And while it’s a “universal” language in the technical sense, it is — at least for now — meant to run on Quantum Machine’s own Quantum Orchestration Platform, which it announced earlier this year.

“QUA is basically the language of the Quantum Orchestration Platform,” Sivan told me. “But beyond that, QUA is what we believe the first candidate to become what we define as the ‘quantum computing software abstraction layer.’ ”

He argued that we are now at the right stage for the development of this layer because the underlying hardware has reached a matureness and because these systems are now fully programmable.

In his view, this is akin to what happened in classical computing, too. “The transition from having just specific circuits — physical circuits for specific algorithms — to the stage at which the system is programmable is the dramatic point. Basically, you have a software abstraction layer and then, you get to the era of software and everything accelerated.”

Image Credits: Quantum Machines

Sivan actually believes that for the time being, developers will want languages that give them a lot of direct control over the hardware because, for the foreseeable future, that’s what’s necessary to harness the advantages of quantum computing. “If you want to squeeze out everything quantum computers can give you, you better use low-level languages in the first place,” he argued,

For low-level developers, Sivan argues, QUA will represent a paradigm shift. “They shift from having to develop many, many things in an iterative way to actually having a language that can support even their wildest dreams — their wildest quantum algorithms dreams,” he said. “This is a real paradigm shift and these guys are experiencing in its full capacity — and it’s not only the accelerated process of programming and working, but also the capabilities themselves. Once everything is programmed in QUA and then compiled to the Quantum Orchestration Platform, then you also get the full benefit of the underlying hardware.”

Image Credits: Quantum Machines

The company argues that its QUA language is the first language to combine quantum operations at the pulse level and universal classical operations. Quantum Machines also built a compiler, XQP, which can then optimize the programs for the specific underlying hardware, in this case, Quantum Machine’s Pulse Processor assembly language.

It obviously needs to do all of this in order to create an ecosystem and a community around its language. Of course, if its Quantum Orchestration Platform becomes widely used — and it already has an impressive list of users today — then QUA will also see wide adoption.

“It’s one thing to build a beautiful language,” said Sivan. “But it’s another thing to develop it to be both beautiful and supported by an underlying hardware that is then adopted by itself. And then, the adoption of QUA is also led by the adoption of the Quantum Orchestration Platform, which is itself driven by the capabilities, nothing else.”

Startups – TechCrunch

What does it mean by Javascript is single threaded language

If you have been using Javascript for a while then you may come across the phrase that it’s a single threaded language.

What does that means?

Javascript engine runs on a V8 engine that has a memory heap and a call stack.

JS is a single threaded which means only one statement is executed at a time.

Before we dive into what it means by it runs on single thread. I would want to first go over the terminology that will help you in understanding.

My attempt will be to explain in the simplest manner possible. To understand this better you need to know a Data Structure known as Stack (Last In, First Out).

Synchronous (or sync) execution usually refers to code executing in sequence. In sync programming, the program is executed line by line, one line at a time. Each time a function is called, the program execution waits until that function returns before continuing to the next line of code.

To put it in example, you are calling someone and you’re waiting for them to pick up so that you can talk to them. You’re not doing any other thing until they pick up the phone.

You fulfill the request sequentially.

const one() => {
const two() => {

So, what happens under the call stack?

The call stack job is to fill in the instructions and pop an instruction as it gets executed.

Javascript is a single threaded language that can be non-blocking. Single threaded means it has only one call stack. Whatever is on the top of the call stack is run first.

In the above program, functions are run sequentially.

What if we have a function that is require to do heavy lifting. Should we let the user wait till that process is over?

const one() {
const two () {
for(i=0; i<= 100000000000000000000000; i++){
const three(){

Consider the above example, what if our second function has to loop through huge numbers. Does this means three() has to wait till two() is executed. Technically, Yes!

In our small example it may not mean much but if we have to implement in a real project then the users may not be able to do anything until the first process is finished.

Asynchronous (or async) execution refers to execution that doesn’t run in the sequence it appears in the code. In async programming the program doesn’t wait for the task to complete and can move on to the next task.

To put it in example: You call someone and while you’re waiting for them pick up the phone, you’re also running errands.

Different languages have different ways to implement asynchronous. The most popular is through Multi-threading.

In brief, Java implements multi-threading by creating a child thread which does it’s own separate execution and then merges back with the parent thread. This however can run into a problem known as Deadlock, which can be dealt with various deadlock prevention mechanism.

Since, we are concerned about implementing asynchronous in Javascript. Let’s see how we can do it.

Try running this in console and see what happens.

setTimeout(()=> {
}, 3000);

You may see 1 3 and with a brief delay 2 shows up. Why is this happening?

In Javascript, All instructions are put on a call stack. When the stack arrives at setTimeout, the engine sees it as a Web API instruction and pops it out and sends it to Web API. Once the Web API is done with the execution, it will arrive at the call back queue.

The engine checks if the call stack is empty. If it is empty, then we check callback queue which has the instruction setTimeout in it. The callback queue sends it to call back stack and the instruction is executed.

The other way to think about this is when you make an API request. Say for example your website needs to fetch an image from a server. Should your website refuse to load other parts till the image arrives? That would be a bad user experience.

When call stack sees it needs to fetch an image, it pops and send it to Web API and continues executing the remaining functions.

The response of image request is stored in call stack queue.

When the call stack is empty, the event loop which is continuously running looks over the Call stack queue if it has anything. If it does, in our case the response of image request. It puts over the call stack and execute the instruction.

The benefit of this procedure is JavaScript need not worry about how many cores or nodes a CPU is running on. There is only single call stack for this implementation.

Stories by Sharjeel Siddique on Medium

Chatroulette For Language Learning

Hi, I'm thinking of a Chatroulette for language learning.

So you go to the website, select your native language, select the language you want to learn and you get matched with a native speaker of the language you are learning, who is learning your native language.

I can do the front end but I'm looking for Backend developer (possibly RTC and Node) and VC funding.

Message me if interested. Reply any ideas.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Helsinki-based Playvation secures €700k to expand its story-based language school

Helsinki-based children’s language learning provider, Playvation, has landed €700K seed funding led by Sparkmind.vc to expand its online Moomin Language School internationally. Playvation has now raised a total of €1.5 million since the business launched in 2015. 

Moomin Language School provides story-based digital language learning content for children aged between 3 and 10 years. Its unique educational approach also includes weekly group sessions that emphasize playful social interaction and learner engagement. The service offers extensive learning material (over 900 content units) and data/reporting tools to help educators and parents monitor progress and plan learning. 

The startup’s new funds will be focused on rapidly scaling the international growth of Moomin Language School, Playvation’s core product. The business intends to significantly expand its position in key Asian and European markets, leveraging the global brand equity of the Moomin characters. The investment will also fund key hires to strengthen the global sales and marketing team.

Anu Guttorm, Playvation’s CEO commented: “This investment from Sparkmind.vc enables us to ramp up and deliver our global commercial strategy. We’re excited to work with them to prove the scalability of our proposition and show what we can do on the global stage. Sparkmind quickly saw the opportunity to build this business – their ambition matches our own and they’re a great partner to help us scale the company.”

Vesa Laakso of Sparkmind.vc continued: “Early childhood education is a key area of interest for Sparkmind.vc and the global demand for engaging English language learning solutions is rapidly expanding. Playvation stands out because of its strong, evidence-based pedagogy and extensive content library. Sparkmind is delighted to lead Playvation’s seed round and to support this highly experienced and passionate team of language learning experts.”

So far the school supports language learning in 27 international markets and has over 20K active users. Its well-known characters, research-led pedagogy and focus on native English pronunciation make it attractive to educators and parents. As a result, Moomin Language School is a key learning resource for organisations such as Kipinä International Nurseries and Preschools, Norlandia Kindergartens and Touhula, the largest kindergarten chain in Finland. Playvation have already signed nine regional distribution deals with partners, with more currently in the pipeline.


Native Language Domain Name Brokers: Why It Matters

 Uniregistry.com: Uniregistry Brokerage has domain name brokers who speak 14 different languages and that matters when it comes to handling domain name sales. Why? Domain names are a global asset and people speak (voice and text) many different languages all over the world. Uniregistry Brokers speak 14 languages and based on …

Hims & Hers launch Spanish language telemedicine services

Hims & Hers, the startup focused on providing access to elective treatments for things like hair loss, skin care and erectile disfunction and online telemedicine services, is expanding its services to include a Spanish language option, the company said.

After Mexico, the U.S. has the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world, with an estimated 41 million U.S. residents speaking Spanish at home. The population also prefers to receive healthcare information and frequent facilities that offer resources in Spanish.

Now, with a shortage looming in primary care physicians for rural areas and inner cities and a sky-high rate of Hispanics living without any form of healthcare coverage (roughly 15.1%, according to data provided by the company), Hims & Hers is pitching its telemedicine offering as an option.

“Language, cost, and location should not be barriers to receiving quality care, which is why we are launching a Spanish offering on our telemedicine platform,” the company said in a statement.

The company’s $ 39 primary care consultations at its Hims and its Hers websites will be in Spanish. That will include everything from communications like the patient intake form and instructions to prepare for an online consultation along with a connection to Spanish-speaking healthcare provider.

“The reason we created Hims & Hers was to break down barriers and provide more people with access to quality and convenient care,” the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Andrew Dudum, said in a statement. “As a telemedicine company, we recognize the need and understand the importance of serving the Spanish-speaking population. We hope those seeking access to care in Spanish find our platform to be a welcoming, inclusive, quality experience.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Speakly language app nabs €900K to turn you into a polyglot

Tallinn-based language learning app Speakly has today announced closing a €900K seed funding round, led by Finnish Superhero Capital, and with the participation of Estonian Trind Ventures, London/ Stockholm based TrueSight Ventures, Estonian Contriber Ventures, and private angels.

Speakly, founded in 2018, is a language learning platform created by Ott Ojamets and Ingel Keskpaik who are both polyglots, speaking seven languages each. Speakly uses a unique scientific approach, created by Ott, based on the real-life statistical relevance of words and sentences. The company has researched and developed this type of language learning approach for several years and it offers evidence-based 5x faster and 10x more affordable studies compared to traditional methods. Currently, Speakly offers 8 learning languages with plans on widening the selection.

Speakly’s co-founder Ott Ojamets states: “We are very happy to have such great international partners backing us up during these globally difficult times. This investment lets us continue on our mission to make fast and affordable language learning available for everyone – whether it’s people working from home offices or students in distance learning. With this investment, we can offer a larger selection of languages and introduce new features.”

“What better proof of Speakly’s method than having business angels who have been studying with the platform, join the round,” says Ingel Keskpaik, co-founder of Speakly.

“Speakly’s proprietary insight and superpower are knowing and understanding language,” says Kasper Suomalainen, Superhero Capital Investment Manager. “Their methodology is an efficient, fast and fun way for people to learn a language – so that they can actually use and speak it in real-life situations within only a few months.”