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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Mixtape podcast: Tech’s concern for the homeless

Welcome to the latest episode of TechCrunch Mixtape with Megan Rose Dickey and myself. This week we talk about mental illness within the homeless population, specifically how people can help situations that are typically addressed by police.

Neil Shah, CEO of Concrn, joined us in the studio to talk about the ups, downs and ups again of leading an app that lacks the appeal of many Silicon Valley upstarts.

Billed as the “compassionate alternative to 911,” Concrn allows users to report a homeless person who is experiencing distress due to mental illness. Rather than involving 911, a call to Concrn will alert trained employees who are then dispatched to help de-escalate the situation, helping to ensure their safety — and hopefully keep them out of the system.

“I started working in homeless services; I started helping people get jobs,” Shah tells us. “And one of the things I noticed was that certain people from the homeless community were fully capable — they just needed to get connected to services, connected to job opportunities. Get some training.”

The company has experienced some growing pains in its relatively short life. It tried to partner with the San Francisco Police Department last fall, but the partnership never came to fruition.

“We are on pause [in San Francisco] and we have been since December,” Shah says. “I was disheartened at first because I felt like we failed in some ways there. But what I realized more is that for so many different factors, SF actually is not a good place for us to operate right now.”

So the company turned its attention to the smaller city across the bay.

“We feel like the Oakland community was way more open to something like this in general.”

Shah was also on a panel at Disrupt SF about creating a lifeline in communities. Check it out below. And click play above to listen to this week’s episode.

And if you haven’t subscribed to Mixtape yet, what are you waiting for? Find us on Apple PodcastsStitcherOvercastCastBox or whichever other podcast platform you can find.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple MacBook vs. Dell XPS 13

Apple’s MacBook enjoyed a solid run as one of the best and tiniest laptops you can buy. But it’s facing much stiffer competition, including the excellent Dell XPS 13. Which is the better tiny laptop?

The post Apple MacBook vs. Dell XPS 13 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Porsche’s best-selling Macan SUV is going all-electric

Porsche plans to turn its best-selling U.S. vehicle, the Macan SUV, into an electric vehicle following the introduction of its first EVs, the Taycan and its crossover cousin, the Cross Tourismo.

Production of the next-generation all-electric Porsche Macan will begin early in the next decade, the company announced Tuesday. It will be produced in Leipzig, Germany, the same factory where the current gas-powered Macan is manufactured.

The Taycan, the company’s first all-electric vehicle, will launch at the end of 2019. The Taycan Cross Turismo will follow shortly afterwards.

Porsche says it decided to turn the next-generation Macan into an electric vehicle because it creates the “opportunity to produce fully electric vehicles on the existing production line.”

It’s also a bet on U.S. drivers. The Macan compact crossover was Porsche’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. The company delivered more than 23,500 Macan SUVs in 2018, up 9.7 percent from the previous year.

The Macan compact SUV will also feature 800-volt architecture, just like the Taycan. This will allow the vehicle to take a 350 kW charge, which translates to about 60 miles of range, in just four minutes on certain fast chargers.

The model will be based on the PPE architecture (Premium Platform Electric) developed in collaboration with Audi AG, according to Porsche.

“Electromobility and Porsche go together perfectly; not just because they share a high-efficiency approach, but especially because of their sporty character,” Porsche AG board chairman Oliver Blume said in a statement.

Blume added that the company plans to investment more than €6 billion, or more than $6.8 billion, into “electric mobility” by 2022. By 2025, 50 percent of all new Porsche vehicles could have an electric drive system, Blume said.

Porsche isn’t backing away from gas-powered vehicles altogether. At least in the short term.

Over the next decade, the company “will focus on a drive mix consisting of even further optimized petrol engines, plug-in hybrid models, and purely electrically operated sports cars,” Blume said. “Our aim is to take a pioneering role in technology, and for this reason we will continue to consistently align the company with the mobility of the future.”


Source: TechCrunch

Rotten Tomatoes' Revamp Could Save 'Captain Marvel'

But the movie may not need it.
Source: Wired

Critics Are Wary of the FTC’s New Tech Antitrust Task Force

The regulator launches a new task force to monitor competition in the tech industry, but some antitrust advocates say it’s just window dressing.
Source: Wired

Spotify reportedly launches in India

Spotify has reportedly launched for some users in India today, with plans to officially launch on Wednesday to everyone, Variety, citing sources with knowledge of Spotify’s plans, reports.

For the first 30 days, Spotify’s premium service will be free and then cost 119 rupees (about $1.67) per month. There are also single-day, weekly, monthly, three-month, six-month and annual plans. Similar to other streaming services available in India, Spotify will also offer a free, ad-supported product.

Spotify first announced its intent to launch in India last March. In November, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek cited licensing situations as a roadblock to its launch.

Last month, Spotify inked a global content deal with T-Series, a leading Indian film and music company with a catalog of more than 160,000 songs. As TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez has noted, the Indian market won’t be an easy one for Spotify to win. That’s because Spotify is up against local player Gaana, which already has more than 80 million users, Saavn, Wynk as well as the North American likes of Google, Apple and Amazon.

This is launch is happening in light of Spotify’s legal battle with Warner Music Group. Earlier this week, WMG asked an Indian court to block Spotify from being able to play music from its catalog.

TechCrunch has reached out to Spotify and will update this story if we hear back.


Source: TechCrunch

Healthy kitchen gadgets for every home – CNET

When you’re shopping for kitchen gizmos, think of personal taste, practicality and food philosophy.
Source: CNET

VW to invest $1.7B in Ford's Argo AI, report says – Roadshow

Nothing about the future will come cheap.
Source: CNET

VW Touareg V8 TDI contorts crust in Geneva with 664 pound-feet of torque – Roadshow

It’s no V12 TDI of yore, but it’s still righteous in its own way.
Source: CNET

An insider’s peek at TC Sessions: Robotics & AI

We are not quite ready to announce the agenda for TechCunch’s April 18 robotics and AI show at UC Berkeley, but anyone who has been watching the speaker announcements is bound to be just a bit excited. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the soon-to-be-announced agenda.

Robotics & AI investor panel

For founders eager to know what’s on investors’ minds, there is an all-star robotics and AI investor panel that includes Peter Barrett from Playground Global, Helen Liang from FoundersX Ventures, Andy Wheeler from GV and Hidetaka Aoki from Global Brain. Not only will a TechCrunch editor grill these investors onstage, but there will be a separate and longer Q&A session where attendees can ask questions to figure out where VCs are focusing their funds.

AI – Understanding the unfathomable world

For anyone trying to fathom the nearly unfathomable world of AI, there is a remarkable session featuring, respectively, Dartmouth and UC Berkeley professors Hany Farid and Alexei Efros, who are two of the world’s leading authorities on the use of AI and computer vision to create live video of things that, well, never happened. Their work was featured in a remarkable New Yorker piece (“In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?”)

The future of human & robot interaction

In the robotics field, one of the toughest frontiers is human-robot interaction, which brings together just about every aspect of AI and robotics. UC Berkeley’s Interact Lab leader Anca Dragan, Affectiva co-founder Rana el Kaliouby and SoftBank Robotics HRI lead Matt Willis will convene for a panel discussion focused on the state of HRI today and where breakthroughs will come tomorrow.

Building a robotics startup

Building a startup is always a big theme at every TechCrunch event, and no less so when the subject is robotics, a notoriously unforgiving category for founders. Melonee Wise is CEO of five-year-old Fetch Robotics, which has raised $48 million. Manish Kothari is president of SRI Ventures and former director of SRI’s robotics program. Nima Keivan is the CTO and co-founder of four-year-old Canvas Technology, which has raised $15 million. Wise and Keivan will discuss how they got this far, and Kothari will share lessons he learned guiding many robotics founders forward. They will be available for audience questions in a separate Q&A after their session on the main stage.

These sessions should get us about halfway through… the morning! There is so much more we have yet to announce, including speakers, demos, workshops and more. And for the first time, we’ll also unfold CrunchMatch at this show, our highly successful app-based system to help attendees network and set up meetings. No one will have trouble finding interesting, like-minded folks to meet.

Early-bird tickets will stay on sale for only two more weeks. Book your $249 ticket today and save $100 before prices go up. Students, get a major discount with student tickets going for only $45 — book here.


Source: TechCrunch

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