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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Apple is producing new content about Snoopy and other Peanuts characters

Apple has signed a deal with DHX Media that will see the Canadian broadcaster producing new shows, specials and short films about Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. That includes exclusive short-form content for Apple starring astronaut Snoopy, aimed at getting kids excited about STEM.

Peanuts was created by Charles Schulz, who wrote and illustrated the popular comic strip for five decades, starting in 1950. The characters moved to television in the 1960s with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which was followed by a long list of specials. And they recently returned to the big screen in the computer animated “Peanuts Movie,” which grossed $246 million worldwide.

DHX acquired a controlling stake in Peanuts last year (the remaining 20 percent stake is still held by the Schulz family).

Apple, meanwhile, has been lining up lots of new, family-friendly content for its upcoming streaming service. That includes also enlisting Sesame Workshop to create original programming (not Sesame Street, which recently moved to HBO).

By the way, if you only know Peanuts secondhand, through Snoopy dolls or other merchandise, it’s worth revisiting the early strips (restored to print by Fantagraphics), which are among the finest you’ll ever read. There, you can fully appreciate Schulz’s art, as well as his ability to craft unforgettable jokes from Charlie Brown’s bleak outlook and constant heartbreak.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple lied about iPhone X screen size and pixel count, lawsuit alleges – CNET

The plaintiffs are seeking class action status.
Source: CNET

Cloudflare customers reportedly include foreign terrorist groups under US sanctions – CNET

The company helps manage the flow of visitors to websites.
Source: CNET

Facebook restructures Building 8, separating projects into Reality Labs and Portal groups

Facebook is restructuring its experimental hardware efforts and giving its moonshot projects a home within its AR/VR research division. The restructuring, reported by Business Insider (paywalled), didn’t result in any layoffs but did see some shifts of teams as the old Building 8 group rebranded to Portal and some projects moved to the former Oculus Research group (now, Facebook Reality Lab).

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the reorganization to Business Insider. TechCrunch has reached out to Facebook for further comment.

The Building 8 brand is dead but the big change seems to be Facebook moving its more headline-grabbing experiments further away from its nearly ready-for-production ideas.

With some of the more experimental hardware projects at Facebook, like a computer brain interface, “soft” robotics, and a project to “hear” through a skin-worn device, moving to Facebook Reality Labs, it’s clear that the organization once centered around AR/VR technologies is seeing its scope expand to more distant reaching technologies that aren’t vaguely ready for consumer products yet.

Meanwhile, the Portal group seems to be where some of Facebook’s more in-reach consumer hardware products are living with the newly-released video chat device serving as the foundation. The leader of Building 8, Rafa Carmago, who took over after the departure of Regina Dugan, is the VP of the Portal team now.

Meanwhile, Facebook Reality Labs is still led by Michael Abrash who has long held a senior presence in the company’s AR/VR ambitions.

Having products like Portal that are already for sale fall under the same leadership as invasive brain chips research probably didn’t make a ton of organizational sense, especially when Facebook has already gone to lengths to separate projects focused on immediate product needs compared to ones that are more far-out in other areas of the company. Facebook’s hardware ambitions are nascent but now that they have a product on shelves, it’s probably more clear that there are some completely different leadership needs and an organizational restructure makes sense.


Source: TechCrunch

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS’ PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.

The post You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Propel raises $12.8M for its free app to manage government benefits

Propel, maker of the Fresh EBT app for managing food stamps and other benefits, announced today that it has raised $12.8 million in Series A funding.

Fresh EBT (the EBT stands for the Electronics Transfer Benefit card, which is how food stamp participants receive their benefits) allows users to check their food stamp/SNAP balance and find stores that accept food stamps. Users can also track their spending. The app is free for consumers and government agencies — the company makes money through digital coupons and a job board.

Propel says Fresh EBT is now used by more than 1.5 million Americans each month, and that more than 30,000 people have applied for jobs this year that they discovered through the app. For example, the announcement quotes one user, Tracy B. from Fairland, Virginia — she described Fresh EBT as her “personal financial adviser,” and also said she used it to find discount zoo tickets, and even her current job.

When Propel raised its $4 million seed round last year, founder and CEO Jimmy Chen described his mission as building “a more user-friendly safety net.” He argued that there’s no conflict between Propel’s social mission and its structure as a for-profit business, a position he reiterated in today’s announcement.

“Our investors are world-class experts in their respective fields,” he said. “They share an understanding of the challenges of low-income Americans and a belief that Propel can build a massive business by fighting poverty.”

Those investors include Nyca Partners, which led the round. Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Omidyar Network, Alexa von Tobel and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures also participated.

“It’s not hard to see the huge opportunity in building better financial services for low-income people,” said Nyca Managing Partner Hans Morris in a statement. “We just haven’t seen many companies in this space that have an opportunity to have such a large impact at massive scale. That’s why we’re so excited to invest in Propel.”


Source: TechCrunch

Amazon Echo speakers now play friendly with Apple Music

Amazon recently said Apple Music would find its way onto Amazon Echo devices sometime soon — and sure enough, it appears to be rolling out now.

To make Alexa work with Apple’s streaming service, you should just have to jump into the newly updated iOS/Android Alexa app and link up your account. You can find the option under Settings > Music.

Once done, commands like “Alexa, play music by Halsey on Apple Music” should work. Or, if you don’t want to have to say the “… on Apple Music” bit every time, you can just set Apple Music as the default service. If you don’t have a specific artist in mind, you an also request playlists or genres.

One catch: as 9to5mac points out, it appears this currently only works with Amazon Echo speakers, and not yet with third-party speakers (like the Sonos ONE or Polk’s Audio Command sounder) that happen to have Alexa-support built in.

Not a fan of Apple’s offering? Alexa also works with Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer and Amazon’s own Music service.

Using Google devices, rather than Amazon’s? Alas, still no word on if/when proper Apple Music support might come to Google Home.


Source: TechCrunch

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hogwarts House? Slytherin, Naturally

Makes sense. Slytherin are known for their resourcefulness and ambition.
Source: Wired

‘donald’ debuts at No. 23 on worst passwords of 2018 list

Almost 10 percent of people on the interwebs used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on SplashData’s annual list, which was released this week. And nearly three percent of you are still using “123456,” the worst password of the entire ranking.

The eighth annual list of worst passwords of the year is based on SplashData’s evaluation of more than 5 million passwords leaked on the internet. Most of the leaked passwords evaluated for the 2018 list were held by users in North America and Western Europe. Passwords leaked from hacks of adult websites were not included in the report, according to SplashData, which provides password management applications TeamsID, Gpass and SplashID.

This year revealed the same takeaway as previous ones: computer users continue to use the same predictable, easily guessable passwords. For instance, 2018 was the fifth consecutive year that “123456” and “password” retained their top two spots on the list. The following five top passwords on the list are simply numerical strings, the company said.

There were a few newcomers on the list. President Donald Trump debuted on this year’s list with “donald” showing up as the 23rd most frequently used password.

“Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to- remember combinations,” according to Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData.

SplashData does offer some tips to protect your data, including the use of passphrases of 12 characters or more with mixed types of characters, using different passwords for each login, and protecting assets and personal identity by using a password manager to organize passwords, generate secure random passwords and automatically log into websites.


Source: TechCrunch

Avengers, X-Men, Glass: Movie sequels, reboots to keep spinning in 2019 – CNET

Why does every movie have to be a spin-off of a reboot of a sequel that only came out five minutes ago?
Source: CNET

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