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Archivos mensuales:diciembre 2019

Meet the Activists Risking Prison to Film VR in Factory Farms

This animal liberation group actually wants to be put on trial. Their goal: force jurors to wear VR headsets and immerse them in the suffering of animals bound for slaughter.
Source: Wired

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition quick drive review: Aging gracefully – Roadshow

Thirty years later, the Mazda Miata is as sweet as it’s ever been.
Source: CNET

Check out the prizes for TC Hackathon at Disrupt Berlin

We’ve got a packed house for the TC Hackathon that kicks off at Disrupt Berlin 2019 in just six days. We may have limited the number of participants to 500 people, but there’s no limit on the skills, creativity and dogged determination of these coders. Hold up now, there’s still time to save money and buy a pass to Disrupt Berlin. Prices increase 10 December.

We can’t wait to see what this group of worthy competitors will design and build in just 24 hours. They’ve been waiting patiently, and it’s almost time to pull back the curtain and reveal our sponsors, the specific challenges and prizes.

If you’re not familiar with how the Hackathon works, here’s the Cliff Notes version. On day one, participants form teams and choose a sponsored challenge. They have 24 hours to build a working product, and we keep them fed, hydrated and pumped up on caffeine.

Judges review all completed projects and select just 10 teams to move on to the finals on day two. Finalists have two minutes to power pitch their work to the judges — on the Extra Crunch Stage in front of a live audience. A not-to-be-missed event!

Each sponsor announces its winners and awards a variety of cash and prizes. Then TechCrunch chooses one team as the creators of the best over-all hack and awards them $5,000!

Cue the drum roll please — here are the additional prizes waiting for you at the Disrupt Berlin TC Hackathon. Start reviewing your options and planning your design strategy now — and get ready to impress.

TomTom

Location technology can add so much to the services we use every day. Whether it is to locate people, track assets and vehicles, visualize location information or display routes, maps are an essential component to any web or mobile application. With TomTom’s Maps API, developers can easily integrate highly detailed and customizable maps in their application with only a few lines of code.

Your challenge, should you accept it, is to use the TomTom Maps APIs (and combine it with other services) to build an innovative on-demand service. Build the next Uber for delivering food, parcels or groceries — or for getting someone to come and fix your bike.

Prize one: Up to four Nintendo Switches for the winning team.

Prize two: Diversity Heroes Award. We’re giving a prize to the team that leverages its diversity to complete the hackathon challenge, and they’ll receive up to five Lego sets of heroes that leveraged diversity to succeed at a complex challenge.

And we will have another prize or two up our sleeve so stay tuned! The TechCrunch Hackathon takes place at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. Good luck to all the plucky participants. As for the rest of you, come join us for the thrilling competition and see what determined hackers can build in 24 hours!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


Source: TechCrunch

Flipkart leads $60M investment in logistics startup Shadowfax

Walmart’s Flipkart has backed Indian startup Shadowfax in a new $60 million financing round as the retail giant works to strengthen its logistics network in the nation.

Flipkart led the Series D financing round for the four-year-old Bangalore-based startup, Shadowfax co-founder and chief executive Abhishek Bansal told TechCrunch in an interview.

Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset Naver Fund and World Bank-backed IFC also participated in the round, which brings the startup’s total raise to date to $100 million.

The new round valued Shadowfax at about $250 million, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Flipkart alone contributed about $30 million to the round, they said. The startup declined to comment on the valuation and individual contribution of its investors.

Shadowfax operates an unusually built business-to-business logistics network in over 300 cities in India. The startup works with neighborhood stores to use their real estate to store inventory, and a large network of freelancers for the delivery.

“Anyone with a bicycle or a bike or a truck can join our platform and deliver items for us,” said Shadowfax’s Bansal. The startup, which has also set up its own warehouses and fulfillment hubs, currently processes over 10 million deliveries a month.

“So we have not built any assets on the ground. We are essentially bringing the inefficiency of the market on to the platform and catering large enterprises,” he said.

This logistics network handles goods in a range of categories including hot food, grocery, fashion, and e-commerce.

“It’s a very reliable logistics network. And each grocery store is only serving to users in a kilometer radius, so the delivery could be incredibly quick. These grocery stores, whose staff also participate in delivery, only have to work with us for a few hours in a day. It’s an easier way for them to make extra money,” he said. The platform has amassed more than 100,000 delivery partners.

Flipkart, which is one of Shadowfax’s “hundreds” of clients, said it will explore ways to strategically work more closely with the startup going forward. Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy said Shadowfax will help the company “significantly reduce delivery time and provide superior customer experiences across product categories.”

He added, “by leveraging kirana stores and the deep delivery capabilities of Shadowfax and other Flipkart-led innovations, we are building a strong foundation to make inroads into a dynamic hyperlocal consumer market.â€�

Flipkart owns stake in a range of logistics firms including freight service operator Blackbuck, and parcel-delivery locker service QikPod. E-commerce firms across the globe are increasingly attempting to assume better control over their logistics. Chinese giant Alibaba said last month it was pumping an additional $3.3 billion into Cainiao, a logistics firm it co-founded. In recent years, it has increased its stake in other logistics firms including STO Express, ZTO, YTO and Best Logistics.

Logistics space is increasingly seeing more attraction in India as a new wave of startups attempt to address the inefficiencies in the sector that has long laggard the economy. In late October, Prosus Ventures led a $40 million round in logistics startup Elastic Run.

Like Shadowfax, Elastic Run is also tapping on the millions of mom and pop stores that dot large and small cities, towns and villages in India and have otherwise proven tough to beat for e-commerce giants and super-chain retailers.

Shadowfax’s Bansal said the startup will use the fresh capital to expand its network across India, especially in smaller cities and towns. The startup also aims to grow its team, tech infrastructure, and increase the number of clients it serves to handle more than 100 million shipments a month.

As Shadowfax’s network grows, the startup is already beginning to think of ways to expand its business. One of those things is just disrupting how fast an item could be delivered to a customer, which Bansal said could inform the startup to service more categories such as meat and perishables. “Currently, when customers purchase a smartphone from an online shopping website, the delivery takes a day or two. We can deliver it in an hour,” he said.

That’s music to Flipkart’s ears. Smartphones are some of the hottest selling items for the India’s largest e-commerce giant and it is also looking to enter the food retail business.


Source: TechCrunch

Huawei sues FCC over “unconstitutional� ban on the use of federal subsidies to buy its equipment

Huawei said today it is suing the Federal Communications Commission, asking to overturn a ban on carriers from using money from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to buy equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

The $8.5 billion USF supports the purchase of equipment to build communications infrastructure, especially in rural communities. Huawei is asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to overrule the FCC’s order, passed on Nov. 22.

Small carriers buy equipment from Huawei and ZTE because it is dependable and cheap. According to a Reuters report, some carriers are considering Nokia and Ericsson for replacements, but their equipment is priced less competitively.

During a press conference in Shenzhen today, Glen Nager, Huawei’s lead counsel for the lawsuit, claimed the ban goes beyond the FCC’s authority and violates the constitution. “The order fails to give Huawei constitutionally required due process before stigmatizing it as a national security threat, such as an opportunity to confront supposed evidence and witnesses, and a fair and neutral hearing process,” he said.

Huawei chief legal officer Song Liuping claims that FCC chairman and Ajit Pai and other commissioners did not present evidence to back its claim that Huawei is a security threat.

“This is a common trend in Washington these days. ‘Huawei is a Chinese company.’ That’s his only excuse,� Song said. He also claimed that the FCC ignored 21 rounds of “detailed comments� submitted by Huawei to explain how the order would harm businesses in rural areas, adding “This decision, just like the Entity List decision in May, is based on politics, not security.�

In March, Huawei also cited the Constitution in another lawsuit filed against the U.S. government arguing that a ban on the use of its products by federal agencies and contractors violate due process.

Huawei and ZTE were first identified as potential national security threats in 2012 by a U.S Congressional panel, but federal actions against Huawei and ZTE have intensified over the past year as the trade war between the U.S. and China escalates.

Earlier this year, it was placed on the U.S. Entity List and the Department of Justice announced it was pursuing several criminal charges against Huawei, including conspiracy to steal trade secrets. Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou also faces fraud charges in New York. In response, Huawei has dramatically increased the amount it spends on lobbying in the U.S.

In China, Huawei’s announcement today about its FCC lawsuit was overshadowed by controversy about a former employee, Li Hongyuan who was arrested and detained for eight months after demanding severance pay. Li was arrested on extortion charges and released because of insufficient evidence and his treatment has triggered controversy and anger over the treatment of workers by Huawei and other tech companies.


Source: TechCrunch

Realme XT: A 64-megapixel camera for budget buyers – CNET

Realme is a sister brand to OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo.
Source: CNET

First Nissan GT-R50 cars set for delivery next year, and one is this rad mint color – Roadshow

Here’s your first look at some of the colors customers have chosen for their super-limited GT-R50s.
Source: CNET

Apple Music dives deeper into concert streaming with Billie Eilish

As music streaming apps struggle to differentiate, Apple is making concert video a more central part of its strategy with tonight’s big Billie Eilish show at its HQ’s Steve Jobs Theater. The Apple Music Awards concert will be streaming live and then on-demand to Apple Music’s 60 million subscribers. Apple would like to do more of these streamed concerts in the near future.

You can stream Apple’s Billie Eilish concert here

Beyond the concert streaming, Apple is looking to strengthen its perception as an ally to art and artists. Given Apple Music is just a tiny fraction of the iPhone maker’s massive revenues, it can look overly corporate and capitalistic compared to music-only competitors like Spotify that some see as more aligned with the success of musicians.

To grow its subscriber count amongst serious listeners and earn points with creators, Apple Music can’t look like it’s just designed to sell more Apple hardware. So tonight Apple is hoping to show its respect for artists, handing out its first Apple Music Awards. Billie Eilish has won artist of the year and Songwriter Of The Year (with her brother Finneas), while Lizzo is taking home Breakthrough Artist Of The Year. Additionally, based on Apple Music streaming counts, Eilish’s ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” has won Album Of The Year, and Lil Was X’s ‘Old Town Road’ is the Song Of The Year.

The award statues themselves are specially-crafted Apple artifacts, featuring overwrought design like you see in those WWDC videos of robots making gadgets. They start with a single 12-inch disc of nanometer-level flat silicon wafer — the same kind used to power Apple’s iPhones. Copper layers are patterned with ultraviolet lithography to etch connections between the billions of transistors on the wafer. It’s then sliced into hundreds of individual chips and lined up during the months-long process to create a reflective trophy suspended between glass and anodized aluminum. In what’s sure to become a kooky collector’s item, each award is packaged with its own special Apple spirit level and mounting screws for classy installation.

The hope seems to be that both the winners and their fellow artists will come away with the perception that Apple truly cares about music. That, plus Apple Music’s scale, could help convince them to share more links to their songs on the streaming service and feature their profile there ahead of their presences on competing listening apps.

On the concert front, Apple started holding its yearly Apple Music Festival, formerly the iTunes Festival, back in 2007. But after a blow-out 10th year where Apple streamed shows from Britney Spears, Elton John, and Chance the Rapper, it discontinued the event in 2017. Apple Music launched a dedicated Music Videos tab last year, but has done less recently with concert streaming other than a few events with Tyler, The Creator and Shawn Mendes. These concert videos can be tough to find inside Apple Music.

Yet this represents a massive opportunity for Apple. Across music streaming services, catalogs are becoming more uniform, everyone is copying each other’s personalized playlists and discovery mechanisms, and many are embracing radio and podcasts. Meanwhile, paying for exclusive music or whole artists has fallen out of fashion compared to a few years ago. Fragmenting the music catalog is hostile towards listeners, can be harmful for artists who lose out on mass distribution, and it can engender backlash from artists fans’ who don’t want to pay for multiple redundant streaming services.

Streaming concert videos, which typically aren’t available beyond shaky camera phone footage, feel additive to the music ecosystem. If platforms are willing to pay to shoot and produce the videos, they can be powerful differentiators. And if the recorded shows look unique from the typical tours, as with the tree-covered stage for tonight’s Billie Eilish show at Apple headquarters, they keep fans glued to their screens. Video viewing can lead users to develop more affinity for whichever company is broadcasting the shows compared to multi-tasking while they merely listen to a generic app.

Apple is already ahead of competitors like Spotify that do very little on the concert video front. Streaming more shows like tonight’s could help it better rival YouTube Music, which integrates traditional music streaming with a broad array of rarities, music videos, and streamed concerts like Coachella. Apple is also fortunate to have a global retail and office footprint that could help it throw and record more shows with fewer logistical headaches.

To date, Apple Music has leaned on its pre-installations on the company’s phones, tablets, and computers plus its free trial system to drive growth. But if it can spot holes in the industry’s content offering, leverage its deep pockets to invest in premium video, and prove to artists that it cares, Apple Music could build a brand separate from and with more street cred than Apple itself.


Source: TechCrunch

Amazon has the lowest price on Apple’s latest 10.2-inch iPad for Cyber Week

Looking for a discount on the latest Apple iPad? Amazon is the only retailer left with sale prices on its stock for Cyber Week.
Source: Digital trends

Baby Yoda Merchandise Is Out There—But Wary, You Must Be

Unofficial Baby Yoda gear has flooded the internet, and some sellers are taking sketchy shortcuts to meet the demand.
Source: Wired