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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Amazon Prime Day hackers could target you with phishing emails – CNET

Security company McAfee says a new phishing scam has its eyes on Amazon users. Don’t be fooled into fumbling away your sensitive data.
Source: CNET

SDCC 2019: The gear you'll need to survive the madness like a superhero – CNET

San Diego Comic-Con is amazing, and overwhelming. Here’s a list of stuff that can ease your stress.
Source: CNET

SDCC: Cosplaying for the first time is insane when you have a destructive cat – CNET

I’ve decided San Diego Comic-Con 2019 will witness my plunge into cosplay. Here’s how I tackled my Chilling Adventures of Sabrina costume.
Source: CNET

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Best deals on gaming laptops and accessories you can get now – CNET

Everything you need to know to make smart buys on discounted PC gear.
Source: CNET

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 gets a $140 price cut before Prime Day

We’ve already gathered some pre-Prime Day MacBook deals, but if you’re not a fan of Apple, this MacBook Surface Laptop 2 discount is worth a look. Though there will likely be more Prime Day laptop deals coming down the pipeline.
Source: Digital trends

Lexus' Level 2 Automated Highway Teammate on track for 2020 rollout – Roadshow

This week, we learned more about Lexus’ upcoming autonomous driving technologies.
Source: CNET

Roblox EC-1, immigration requirements doubling, grief in the workplace, and cannabis startups

The Roblox EC-1

Following in the wake of our deep profiles of Patreon and Niantic, we have our next EC-1 package, this time on children’s gaming platform Roblox . Extra Crunch writer Sherwood Morrison has covered gaming and startups for years, and he got an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the incredibly popular startup with interviews with many of the company’s principals. This is your weekend read.

How Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company

In part one of this EC-1, Morrison looks at the origin story of Roblox, which has to be one of the most interesting I have read in some time. Founders Dave Baszucki and Erik Cassel first worked together on a physics simulation engine called Knowledge Revolution before founding Roblox in 2004 (then known as Dynablox).

Since those humble origins 15 years ago, Baszucki and his team have grown the company dramatically through a sequence of smart strategic moves that Morrison illuminates, eventually culminating in the company’s massive $150 million Series F venture capital round last year from Greylock and Tiger Global, valuing the company at a reported $2.5 billion. Roblox now has 90 million active users, tripling in just a few short years.

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy

Meanwhile, in part two of this EC-1, Morrison illuminates the challenges and opportunities facing Roblox in the years ahead as it looks to conquer a greater swath of the gaming market, or what Baszucki calls “human co-experience.�

First and foremost, Roblox has to expand internationally and capture a greater share of children’s entertainment. Then, the company wants to start to expand beyond its children’s gaming roots to reach other, older demographics. It has to do all this while also maintaining safety for its users and increasing the quality of its game engine against competitors like Unity and Unreal.

As Morrison writes:

If Roblox can continue to grow, it will serve as a guiding example for a whole new generation of companies. And if it continues to evolve, it may yet prove that human co-experience is more than a fever dream. A whole generation of companies failed to create immersive social environments — but in the space between games and chat, Roblox may yet prove that there’s a whole new social category waiting to be discovered.

Be sure to check out both parts, and if you haven’t already, be sure to read the Patreon EC-1 and the Niantic EC-1 as well for similar deep profiles of leading Silicon Valley startups.

Minimum investment for EB-5 investor green card expected to more than double

Immigrants make up a huge portion of Silicon Valley’s workers and investors. That’s why news that the Trump Administration is changing the eligibility for investor green cards is a huge story, particularly for immigrants from India.


Source: TechCrunch

Personality of things

Humans are starting to get better acquainted with personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Bixby. But how would people feel about personalities translating to automobiles, laptops and other household items? Would we want a single seamless personality across all devices, or would we prefer to build new relationships with each of these things? Would we want these things to understand and empathize with us? Do we really need these things to “feel� what we feel or do we just need the experience that they “get� us.

Humans have an innate habit of anthropomorphizing objects around them, especially those that move, grow, or talk to them. As technological advances enable robotics and IoT devices with greater intelligence, humans are likely to assign personality to more devices that they interact with in their daily life.

The vacuum cleaner, which was once a simple tool, is now a Roomba with a cheerfully clueless personality as it makes happy chimes and bumps its way through the living room. And while replacing a standard vacuum cleaner is no big deal, many Roomba users demand that they get their exact same robot back from repairs and that it not be “killed� and scrapped for parts. They view it almost as a part of the family.

Tools on the other hand, are replaceable. And the more an intelligent system or piece of hardware feels like a tool, the more replaceable it becomes. In Star Trek, the crew doesn’t spare a second thought about replacing and upgrading the ship computer, which speaks to them in a monotonous disembodied voice because they view it as a tool. However upgrades or maintenance of Commander Data, an android crewmember, bring substantial concern because his human shape and personality make him feel alive and relatable. Further, studies have shown that humans are more likely to forgive mistakes if they are coming from a device that they view as “alive� whereas they have no such leniency for things they view as tools.

How does this apply to our future? Logically, a company concerned about improving retention and engagement, assigning a device a strong personality seems like an obvious way to capitalize on human anthropomorphization, and grant you leeway on bugs, while boosting retention and engagement. However, the real challenge is choosing how much personality to inject.

Personality Risk?

Going back to the cultural differences, having too much personality in a device can be a potential risk factor: some people may enjoy a new digital friend, but others may find the idea of a tool trying to be personable with them annoying.

An extreme example of this can be found in the book (and movie) The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where doors with “real people personalities� that sigh happily as people walk through them, which can get extremely annoying over time. However, designers today are already thinking about when to “tone down� the personality of their devices.

Digital assistant designers today are cautious about how they use the assistant’s voice. For example, they are careful not to use the assistant’s voice for anything that could interrupt or otherwise irritate the end user, including alarms, timers, and even intercom broadcasts. Google Home lets users make outgoing phone calls, but not receive calls in (thus avoiding the assistant bothering you by ringing), and Amazon has been hesitant in its adoption of prompts or push notifications on Alexa. Major voice assistants have even started reducing how talkative they are. Google and Amazon have recently reduced the number of confirmation remarks for simple commands like “turn off the lights� to avoid users getting annoyed by hearing “okay, turning off the lights� when they just want to sleep.

Personality of Robotics

Robotics are an obvious place to inject artificial personalities, as humans already personify most robots. Researchers at Stanford are experimenting with methods of navigating human occupied spaces such as doorways and hallways with their Jackrabbot project. They use tones and gestures to display appeasement and frustration as it navigates in crowds of people. Other projects are even more direct in evoking emotion. Tombot robotics, for example, builds a golden retriever robot that acts as a support animal. Other companies are taking a horizontal approach: Embodied builds software designed to run on various robots to enable more lifelike and meaningful interactions.

Implications

Attaching personality to consumer products can create a greater sense of connection to the devices that we use. This attachment can make the use of these devices more “sticky,� increasing engagement over the long term, and potentially boosting the attach rate of services. However, this may be a delicate line to navigate: products that have too much personality can irk users and cause them to abandon the product entirely. Tamagotchi is a notable example of this phenomenon. Best practice may be to simply have a slider that allows users to adjust how much personality they want in their devices: from utilitarian tool to best friend. That way, humans have control over their things.


Source: TechCrunch

Walmart cuts price on RCA 11 Galileo Pro by $82, a budget tablet option for kids

Tablet PCs are a lightweight and affordable alternative to laptops. Check out this Walmart deal for the RCA 11 Galileo Pro if you are planning to get one. Walmart is offering the 11 Galileo Pro at a discounted price of $98.
Source: Digital trends

Best Prime Day laptop deals: Early MacBook, Dell XPS, and HP Spectre sales

Amazon Prime Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to start preparing for some amazing laptop deals. Every year, we see huge discounts on gaming laptops, MacBooks, Chromebooks, and more.
Source: Digital trends

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