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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

We’re ready for foldable phones, but are they ready for us?

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. After years of prototypes, the age of foldables has finally arrived. They’re here. I’ve seen them, and even, briefly, touched one.

And that’s about as far as it goes, to be honest. A week after Samsung kicked off its S10 event with an in-depth look at the Galaxy Fold, the device made its IRL debut at MWC, this week. We got to the show an hour early on the first day, only to find four devices trapped behind glass cases.

The weren’t doing much of anything at all. Two were splayed to show the backs of the devices and two showed off the screens. We were able to get within a few inches of the things, before security swooped in and put up the ropes. The Fold has a release date that’s just under two months away, and yet here were are, stuck admiring the thing from afar.

Huawei was a bit better. Another morning session yesterday found us backstage at the company’s booth, getting up close and personal with the Mate X. But things got a little weird. I’m used to being baby sat with pricey new devices, but Huawei went out of its way to several limit interactivity with the product, as noted in the story.

TCL’s product got a similar behind-glass treatment as the Fold. Though there’s one key difference: the company gave a 2020 timeframe for its more affordable (more affordable than $2,600, that is) take on the category. That, hopefully, is enough time to work out all of the kinks ahead of product launch.

That neither Huawei nor Samsung feel confident enough to let us go a bit more in-depth with their soon to be released devices isn’t the kind of thing that really instills one with confidence in an emerging space. Royole, to its credit, has let the press go fully hands on with products back at CES, though, by nearly all accounts, the product feels more like a developer device than anything.

And that, really, is the fear. Samsung’s charging an arm and a leg for the device, at $1,980. Huawei’s tossed in another limb, bringing the total up to $2,600. That’s not beta tester levels. That’s double the cost of already exorbitant flagship smartphone pricing for products that appear to still have a lot of bugs to work out.

It’s true that there’s a lot that needs to be redesigned after generations of coalescing around the same basic form factor, both from a hardware and software perspective. But it’s one thing to announce a concept and another entirely to bring it to market. If these initial devices ultimately prove buggy or are otherwise a let down from a user perspective, it’s going to a fairly inauspicious start for a long promised form factor.


Source: TechCrunch

WikiLeaks talks central to Michael Cohen's testimony on Trump – CNET

The president’s former personal lawyer is set to tell Congress that Trump knew his now-indicted former advisor Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks.
Source: CNET

TikTok gaining on Facebook with 1 billion downloads, according to reports – CNET

The party don’t start till you reach 1 billion.
Source: CNET

Google Duo video chat service moves to the web – CNET

Google’s answer to Apple’s FaceTime expands beyond its largely mobile roots.
Source: CNET

Korean conglomerate SK leads $600M round for Chinese chipmaker Horizon Robotics

Horizon Robotics, a three-year-old Chinese startup backed by Intel Capital, just raised a mega-round of fundings from domestic and overseas backers as it competes for global supremacy in developing AI solutions and chips aimed at autonomous vehicles, smart retail stores, surveillance equipment and other devices for everyday scenarios.

The Beijing-based company announced Wednesday in a statement that it’s hauled in $600 million in a Series B funding round led by SK China, the China subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate SK Group; SK Hynix, SK’s semiconductor unit; and a number of undisclosed Chinese automakers along with their funds.

The fresh capital drove Horizon’s valuation to at least $3 billion, the company claims. The Financial Times previously reported that the chipmaker was raising up to $1 billion in a funding round that could value it at as much as $4 billion. Such a price tag could perhaps be justified by the vast amount of resources China has poured into the red-hot sector as part of a national push to shed dependency on imported chips and work towards what analysts call “semiconductor sovereignty.”

Horizon did not specify how the proceeds will be used. The company could not be immediately reached for comments.

In 2015, Yu Kai left Baidu as the Chinese search engine giant’s deep learning executive and founded Horizon to make the “brains” for a broad spectrum of connected devices. In doing so Yu essentially set himself up for a race against industry veterans like Intel and Nvidia. To date, the startup has managed to make a dent by securing government contracts, which provide a stable source of income for China’s AI upstarts including SenseTime, and several big-name clients like SK’s telecommunication unit, which is already leveraging Horizon’s algorithms to develop smart retail solutions. Like many of its peers who are at the forefront of the AI race, Horizon has set up an office in Silicon Valley and hiring local talents for its lab.

Other investors who joined the round included several of Horizon’s returning investors such as Hillhouse Capital and Morningside Venture Capital . There were also some heavyweight new backers, such as a fund run by conglomerate China Oceanwide Holdings as well as the CSOBOR Fund, a private equity entity set up by China’s state-owned CITIC to back projects pertaining to China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” modern Silk Road initiative.


Source: TechCrunch

Mercedes-AMG GLE53 brings 429 horsepower to the Geneva Motor Show – Roadshow

The new GLE-Class’ first AMG variant will arrive in the US in late 2020.
Source: CNET

Watch Michael Cohen Testify Before Congress Right Here

On Wednesday morning, the former Trump fixer will appear before the House Oversight Committee to share everything he knows about Trump’s business practices.
Source: Wired

Beresheet lander bound for the moon hits Ctrl-Alt-Delete – CNET

The spacecraft built by an Israeli nonprofit and one of the original Google Lunar XPrize teams misses a planned move to get a little closer to the moon.
Source: CNET

Rotten Tomatoes president: We didn't change site to protect Captain Marvel – CNET

Users will no longer be able to leave a review for a movie that hasn’t yet hit theaters, among other changes.
Source: CNET

FTC settles its first case over fake paid reviews on Amazon – CNET

Fabricated reviews claimed the weight-loss supplement “blocked fat from forming.”
Source: CNET

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