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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Lenovo Legion Y730 vs. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Pitting the Lenovo Legion Y730 vs. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop sees two budget gaming laptops face off to see which offers the best value for money. Neither is perfect, but which is the best of the two?

The post Lenovo Legion Y730 vs. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

*God Friended Me* and How Social Media Handles Deities

On the new CBS show, a Facebook account seems to be maintained by a deity—but if it is, said deity has almost definitely violated the social media platform’s terms-and-services agreement.
Source: Wired

Binance will disclose listing fees and donate them to its own charity

The biggest cryptocurrency exchange wants to make its coin listing process a bit less sketchy.

In a Medium post on Monday, the company said that moving forward it would disclose fees that arise in the process of getting a coin listed on the exchange and donate all listing fees to charity. Specifically, its own charity: Blockchain Charity Foundation, “a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy towards achieving global sustainable development.”

According to the blog post, Binance will allow any team trying to get listed to name its own fee, which the company now calls a “donation.” Binance says that it will not “dictate” that amount nor is there a minimum fee for a project to get listed.

The decision to open up about its listing fees is likely a response to prior accusations that Binance charged as much as $2.6 million for projects that sought to get listed. At the time, the company denied those claims, made on Twitter.

While Binance suggested that it will disclose the amount of “donations” moving forward, it’s certainly possible for money to find its way back out of an in-house charitable arm.

“Binance will continue to use the same high standard for the listing review process,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao or “CZ” said in the post. “A large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process.”


Source: TechCrunch

Acer brings Intel’s 8-core, 9th-gen processor to its Predator Orion desktops

The new Intel 8-core 9th-gen processor in the Acer Predator Orion puts more power in the hands of gamers and should make for seamless gameplay in the most demanding situations.

The post Acer brings Intel’s 8-core, 9th-gen processor to its Predator Orion desktops appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Nubank is now worth $4 billion after Tencent’s $180 million investment

Nubank, the Brazilian financial services company, has raised $180 million from the Chinese internet giant, Tencent.

Tencent has long been interested in financial services startups, and with its $90 million direct investment and another $90 million investment in the secondary market, the company now has access to what is arguably the largest digital banking company in the world.

With the $4 billion valuation, it also makes Nubank one of the most highly valued privately held startups in Latin America.

News of the investment was first reported by The Information, which included the $4 billion figure.

For Nubank co-founders David Velez and Cristina Junqueira, the investment from Tencent means the addition of a strategic partner whose financial services products and transaction platform is unmatched by anything in Western Europe or the U.S.

Velez stressed that Nubank, which had raised $150 million in a February financing round led by DST, did not need the additional capital. “We found so much value in partnering with Tencent,” Velez said. “Particularly everything there is to learn about the Chinese financial market.”

Velez hopes to take those lessons and apply them back to the market in Brazil. China is in the forefront of financial services globally because of its technology companies’ ability to offer multi-product platforms. “They have built the playbook of how to use mobile.”

Through the investment, Tencent will gain an understanding of how Nubank has managed to service 5 million credit card holders, and the game plan the company is deploying to develop its own savings accounts and other banking services.

“Over 20 million people have applied for the card,” said Velez. “There are active, engaged, customers that want to get everything from us.”

Junqueira estimates the company will soon be able to serve tens of millions of Brazilians with either a savings account, a checking account or credit.

The opportunity could be even bigger as Brazil’s central bank investigates the possibility of instant payments as well, looking to India’s experiment with demonetization as an example.

Both Junqueira and Velez said the opportunity for financial services startups to achieve significant scale was far higher in emerging markets like Brazil than in developed markets, because the barriers to banking are so much higher.

Financial services, Velez said, has been controlled by massive oligopolies that have erected unfair obstacles to wealth creation for the masses. Nubank and other companies like it are working to change that.

Now the company has the benefit of Tencent’s guidance as it continues to push the envelope.


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook, are you kidding?

Facebook is making a video camera. The company wants you to take it home, gaze into its single roving-yet-unblinking eye and speak private thoughts to your loved ones into its many-eared panel.

The thing is called Portal and it wants to live on your kitchen counter or in your living room or wherever else you’d like friends and family to remotely hang out with you. Portal adjusts to keep its subject in frame as they move around to enable casual at-home video chat. The device minimizes background noise to boost voice clarity. These tricks are neat but not revelatory.

Sounds useful, though. Everyone you know is on Facebook. Or they were anyway… things are a bit different now.

Facebook, champion of bad timing

As many users are looking for ways to compartmentalize or scale back their reliance on Facebook, the company has invited itself into the home. Portal is voice activated, listening for a cue-phrase (in this case “Hey Portal), and leverages Amazon’s Alexa voice commands as well. The problem is that plenty of users are already creeped out enough by Alexa’s always-listening functionality and habit of picking up snippets of conversation from the next room over. It may have the best social graph in the world, but in 2018 people are looking to use Facebook for less — not more.

Facebook reportedly planned to unveil Portal at F8 this year but held the product back due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, among other scandals. The fact that the company released the devices on the tail end of a major data breach disclosure suggests that the company couldn’t really hold back the product longer without killing it altogether and didn’t see a break in the clouds coming any time soon. Facebook’s Portal is another way for Facebook to blaze a path that its users walk daily to connect to one another. Months after its original intended ship date, the timing still couldn’t be worse.

Over the last eight years Facebook insisted time and time again that it is not and never would be a hardware company. I remember sitting in the second row at a mysterious Menlo Park press event five years ago as reporters muttered that we might at last meet the mythological Facebook phone. Instead, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Graph Search.

It’s hard to overstate just how much better the market timing would have been back in 2013. For privacy advocates, the platform was already on notice, but most users still bobbed in and out of Facebook regularly without much thought. Friends who’d quit Facebook cold turkey were still anomalous. Soul-searching over social media’s inexorable impact on social behavior wasn’t quite casual conversation except among disillusioned tech reporters.

Trusting Facebook (or not)

Onion headline-worthy news timing aside, Facebook showed a glimmer of self awareness, promising that Portal was “built with privacy and security in mind.” It makes a few more promises:

“Facebook doesn’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure.”

“For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify who you are.”

“Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, “Hey Portal.” You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log at any time.”

This stuff sounds okay, but it’s standard. And, like any Facebook product testing the waters before turning the ad hose on full-blast, it’s all subject to change. For example, Portal’s camera doesn’t identify who you are, but Facebook commands a powerful facial recognition engine and is known for blurring the boundaries between its major products, a habit that’s likely to worsen with some of the gatekeepers out of the way.

Facebook does not command a standard level of trust. To recover from recent lows, Facebook needs to establish an extraordinary level of trust with users. A fantastic level of trust. Instead, it’s charting new inroads into their lives.

Hardware is hard. Facebook isn’t a hardware maker and its handling of Oculus is the company’s only real trial with the challenges of making, marketing — and securing — something that isn’t a social app. In 2012, Zuckerberg declared that hardware has “always been the wrong strategy” for Facebook. Two years later, Facebook bought Oculus, but that was a bid to own the platform of the future after missing the boat on the early mobile boom — not a signal that Facebook wanted to be a hardware company.

Reminder: Facebook’s entire raison d’être is to extract personal data from its users. For intimate products — video chat, messaging, kitchen-friendly panopticons — it’s best to rely on companies with a business model that is not diametrically opposed to user privacy. Facebook isn’t the only one of those companies (um, hey Google) but Facebook’s products aren’t singular enough to be worth fooling yourself into a surfeit of trust.

Gut check

Right now, as consumers, we only have so much leverage. A small handful of giant tech companies — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft — make products that are ostensibly useful and we decide how useful they are and how much privacy we’re willing to trade to get them. That’s the deal and the deal sucks.

As a consumer it’s worth really sitting with that. Which companies do you trust the least? Why?

It stands to reason that if Facebook cannot reliably secure its flagship product — Facebook itself — then the company should not be trusted with experimental forays into wildly different products, i.e. physical ones. Securing a software platform that serves 2.23 billion users is an extremely challenging task, and adding hardware to that equation just complicates existing concerns.

You don’t have to know the technical ins and outs of security to make secure choices. Trust is leverage — demand that it be earned. If a product doesn’t pass the smell test, trust that feeling. Throw it out. Better yet, don’t invite it onto your kitchen counter to begin with.

If we can’t trust Facebook to safely help us login to websites or share news stories, why should we trust Facebook to move an always-on counter-mounted speaker capable of collecting incredibly sensitive data into our homes? Tl; dr: We shouldn’t! Of course we shouldn’t. But you knew that.


Source: TechCrunch

A Woman Took Over 'Doctor Who' and the World Didn't Collapse

After decades, a woman is taking over the TARDIS—and it’s long overdue.
Source: Wired

Seeing Audi's E-Tron motors get made is like catnip for engineering nerds – Roadshow

The video shows a host of slow-moving orange robots carefully assembling the heart of Audi’s new electric SUV.
Source: CNET

Explore asteroid Ryugu with Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft – CNET

A JAXA spacecraft and a gaggle of daring rovers and landers are investigating a rocky, alien asteroid world.
Source: CNET

Google shutting down Google+ after exposing data of up to 500,000 users – CNET

But the search giant didn’t disclose the vulnerability because it reportedly feared regulatory scrutiny.
Source: CNET

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