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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

IBM stirs controversy by sharing photos for AI facial recognition – CNET

But the the million photos were shared under liberal licenses that Flickr photographers choose.
Source: CNET

Captain Marvel could have been a better prequel – CNET

Commentary: Sure, I like No Doubt, but the 1990s setting was a missed opportunity to give us a different view of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Source: CNET

CXA, a health-focused digital insurance startup, raises $25M

CXA Group, a Singapore-based startup that helps make insurance more accessible and affordable, has raised $25 million for expansion in Asia and later into Europe and North America.

The startup takes a unique route to insurance. Rather than going to consumers directly, it taps corporations to offer their employees health flexible options. That’s to say that instead of rigid plans that force employees to use a certain gym or particular healthcare, a collection over 1,000 programs and options can be tailored to let employees pick what’s relevant or appealing to them. The ultimate goal is to bring value to employees to keep them healthier and lower the overall premiums for their employers.

“Our purpose is to empower personalized choices for better living for employees,” CXA founder and CEO Rosaline Koo told TechCrunch in an interview. “We use data and tech to recommend better choices.”

The company is primarily focused on China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia where it claims to works with 600 enterprises including Fortune 500 firms. The company has over 200 staff, and it has acquired two traditional insurance brokerages in China to help grow its footprint, gain requisite licenses and its logistics in areas such as health checkups.

We last wrote about CXA in 2017 when it raised a $25 million Series B, and this new Series C round takes it to $58 million from investors to date. Existing backers include B Capital, the BCG-backed fund from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, EDBI — the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board — and early Go-Jek backer Openspace Ventures, and they are joined by a glut of big-name backers in this round.

Those new investors include a lot of corporates. There’s HSBC, Singtel Innov8 (of Singaporean telco Singtel), Telkom Indonesia MDI Ventures (of Indonesia telco Telkom), Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia (Japanese trading firm) Muang Thai Fuchsia Ventures (Thailand-based insurance firm), Humanica (Thailand-based HR firm) and PE firm Heritas Venture Fund.

“There are additional insurance companies and strategic partners that we aren’t listing,” said Koo.

Rosaline Koo is founder and CEO of CXA Group

That’s a very deliberate selection of large corporates which is part of a new strategy to widen CXA audience.

The company had initially gone after massive firms — it claims to reach a collective 400,000 employees — but now the goal is to reach SMEs and non-Fortune 500 enterprises. To do that, it is using the reach and connections of larger service companies to reach their customers.

“We believe that banks and telcos can cross-sell insurance and banking services,” said Koo, who grew up in LA and counts benefits broker Mercer on her resume. “With demographic and work life event data, plus health data, we’re able to target the right banking and insurance services.

“We can help move them away from spamming,” she added. “Because we will have the right data to really target the right offering to the right person at the right time. No firm wants an agent sitting in their canteen bothering their staff, now it’s all digital and we’re moving insurance and banking into a new paradigm.”

The ultimate goal is to combat a health problem that Koo believes is only getting worse in the Asia Pacific region.

“Chronic disease comes here 10 years before anywhere else,” she said, citing an Emory research paper which concluded that chronic diseases in Asia are “rising at a rate that exceeds global increases.”

“There’s such a crying need for solutions, but companies can’t force the brokers to lower costs as employees are getting sick… double-digit increases are normal, but we think this approach can help drop them. We want to start changing the cost of healthcare in Asia, where it is an epidemic, using data and personalization at scale in a way to help the community,” Koo added.

Talking to Koo makes it very clear that she is focused on growing CXA’s reach in Asia this year, but further down the line, there are ambitions to expand to other parts of the world. Europe and North America, she said, may come in 2020.


Source: TechCrunch

Meet WFIRST, the next-gen space telescope Trump wants dead – CNET

The White House has proposed cancelling an observatory that scientists say should be NASA’s top large space mission.
Source: CNET

Samsung Galaxy Buds: iFixit teardown reveals they're 'somewhat repairable' – CNET

These earbuds actually have replaceable batteries.
Source: CNET

How the FAA Decides When to Ground a Jet Like Boeing’s 737 MAX 8

Here’s what might be happening inside the US aviation regulator as questions swirl around the Boeing 737-8 MAX jet that crashed in Ethiopia.
Source: Wired

Netflix is pursuing more interactive content, including, maybe, a rom-com

On the heels of its groundbreaking foray into interactive storytelling with the choose-your-own-adventure style “Black Mirror” episode, Bandersnatch, Netflix will look to produce much more interactive entertainment, according to vice president of content, Todd Yellin.

Speaking at the FICCI-Frames conference for Indian media and entertainment in Mumbai, Yellin said in a keynote that audiences could expect many more interactive stories to come from the streaming media service, according to a report in Variety.

“We realized, wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on,” Yellin reportedly said. “We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two to see more interactive storytelling.”

One of the things Yellin floated was the idea of a romantic comedy where the audience would choose “will-they or won’t-they”? It sets up the potential for a world where viewers could determine that Ross and Rachel never go on a break.

The initiative would likely require a lot of heavy lifting from writers, editors and actors. Black Mirror took two years to get from concept to screen and involved a lot of heavy lifting from Netflix .

In Bandersnatch, Netflix collaborated with the writers and directors of Black Mirror to develop the technology to support streaming a film that relied on the “branching narrative” storytelling structure that required viewers to pick between choices to advance the story.

Filmed over a seven-week shoot, the filmmaking process took 250 distinct video segments that were stitched together to cover all possible endings, according to a lengthy description of the making of the episode in The Hollywood Reporter.

Bandersnatch doesn’t have an official run time, and viewers can spend anywhere from an hour and a half to two and a half hours to make it until the credits roll.

Netflix’s investment included new technology that the company calls “state tracking” which logs the choices viewers make as they watch the Bandersnatch episode. The company also engineered a new technology that would load the episode without any lags. And Netflix created a new internal writing tool called Branch Manager so that Brooker could write his script and deliver it directly to the company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

After all of that internal investment, it’s little wonder that Netflix is planning to roll the new narrative framework out in other storylines, or across different titles.

Netflix had previously applied the choose-your-own-adventure style narratives to children’s animated programming, but since the success of Bandersnatch, that is definitely going to be expanding.

“We do want to take a number of gos at this and see what works for different audiences,” Netflix’s director of product innovation, Carla Engelbrecht Fisher told The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s what we’re engaged in now: What are the other kinds of stories that we can tell and that folks are excited to tell? And continuing to unearth this iceberg of opportunity and see what’s there.”


Source: TechCrunch

Uber proposes $20M settlement of driver classification lawsuit – CNET

After a judge rejected an earlier offer, the ride-hailing company tries again. It’s goal is to ensure drivers remain independent contractors, not employees.
Source: CNET

Apple says witness tampering charges justified. Qualcomm has said no way – CNET

The iPhone maker was worried about testimony from a former engineer.
Source: CNET

Digital Storm Lynx review

Digital Storm’s Lynx provides an excellent alternative to gamers who don’t want to build their own gaming PCs. Equipped with powerful hardware, support for ray-tracing, and the space to house up to two graphics cards, the Lynx is a PC that’s capable of growing with your needs.

The post Digital Storm Lynx review appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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