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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google cans the Chromecast Audio

The Chromecast Audio is no more. Google has decided to stop manufacturing the audio dongle that allowed you to add any ‘dumb’ speaker to your Google Cast setup. If you still want one, you’ll have to hurry — and to entice you to buy a discontinued product, Google is now selling its remaining inventory for $15 instead of $35.

“Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio,” Google told us  in a statement. “We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We will continue to offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more.”

While the Chromecast turned out to be a major hit for Google, the Chromecast Audio was always more of a niche product.

Google is clearly more interested in getting people to buy its Google Home products and Assistant- or Cast-enabled speakers from its partners. It’s also worth noting that all Google Home devices can connect to Bluetooth enabled speakers, though plenty of people surely have a nice speaker setup at home that doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth support. “Bluetooth adapters suck,” Google told us at the time, though at this point, it seems a Bluetooth adapter may just be the way to go.

The Chromecast Audio first launched back in 2015, in conjunction with the second-generation Chromecast. Over the years, the Chromecast Audio received numerous updates that enabled features like multi-room support. Google says it’ll continue to support Chromcast Audio users for the time being, so if you have already invested in this ecosystem, you should be set for a few more years.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix faces trademark suit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch – CNET

Publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure series doesn’t want anything to do with Bandersnatch.
Source: CNET

Google discontinues its Chromecast Audio device – CNET

The company will reportedly focus on its smart speaker lineup instead.
Source: CNET

Netflix faces $25 million lawsuit over ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’

If you watched Netflix’s latest ‘Black Mirror’ production, there’s no doubt it reminded you of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Now, the publisher that owns the trademark to “Choose Your Own Adventure,” Chooseco, LLC, is suing Netflix. The publisher is alleging trademark infringement, The Hollywood Reporter first reported.

In the complaint, Chooseco says Netflix “used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers’ nostalgia for the original book series from the 1980s and 1990s. The film’s dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco’s mark and tarnishes its products.”

In one scene, the main character explains to his dad that his video game, ‘Bandersnatch,’ is based on the fictional “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

20th Century Fox, according to Chooseco, has an options contract to develop a series based on the publisher’s books. Netflix, on the other hand, pursued a license beginning in 2016 but did not receive one, the suit says. Chooseco alleges it also sent Netflix a cease-and-desist letter before the release of ‘Bandersnatch.’

Chooseco is seeking at least $25 million or Netflix’s profits from the film, whichever amount is the greatest, for Netflix’s alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition and trademark dilution.

Netflix declined to comment for this story.


Source: TechCrunch

Square loses another key executive as Mary Kay Bowman joins Visa

Square’s management continues to shuffle. One week after the merchant services and mobile payments company tapped Amrita Ahuja to lead finance, replacing long-time executive Sarah Friar who landed the chief executive role at Nextdoor, the company’s head of payments, Mary Kay Bowman, has joined Visa as its head of seller solutions.

The company will promote someone internally to fill the position, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Bowman joined Square in 2015 after more than a decade at Amazon, most recently as the e-commerce giant’s director of global payments. In her new role, Visa says Bowman will lead the credit card company’s “strategy for acceptance products and solutions, driving the design, development and delivery of new services and solutions that will transform the payment experience for both sellers and consumers.”

“This is a critical role, as the point of sale is undergoing dramatic change as it shifts from traditional payment acceptance to digital, cross-channel payment experiences,” Visa wrote in a company announcement released Friday morning.


Source: TechCrunch

Intel vs. AMD at CES 2019: Who came out on top?

Intel and AMD have been competing for years, but rarely do they both debut something exciting at the same time. Intel vs. AMD at CES 2019 saw both companies step up to the plate. Who served it better?

The post Intel vs. AMD at CES 2019: Who came out on top? appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Insane Numbers Behind Cycling's Most Masochistic Race

The hour is one of cycling’s oldest and most prestigious records: How far can one person ride a bicycle in 60 minutes?
Source: Wired

A Worldwide Hacking Spree Uses DNS Trickery to Nab Data

Security researchers suspect that Iran has spent the last two years pilfering data from telecoms, governments, and more.
Source: Wired

Xiaomi’s five-year plan is a $1.5 billion bet on smart homes

Xiaomi, the Chinese company best known for budget phones, is betting big on a future of connected homes. It plans to plough at least 100 billion yuan, or $1.48 billion, into the so-called “AIoT” sector over the next five years, founder and chief operating office Lei Jun announced on Friday.

AIoT, short for “AI + IoT,” is an upgrade from devices connected to the internet, known as the Internet of Things. AIoTs are intelligent, run on automated systems and can learn from users’ habits, like lights that automatically turn on when you get home.

“We see a future where all home devices will be connected to the internet and controlled by voice. A wave of home appliances will be replaced by smart devices. There will be an AIoT network that infiltrates every second and scenario of people’s lives, collecting mountains of users, traffic and data,” said Lei in his annual address to employees.

The plan is to get all sorts of gadgets, not just handsets, onto Xiaomi’s operating system so the company can hawk services through these devices. The move comes as Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor, copes a weakening market. Smartphone shipments in China were down more than 15 percent year-over-year in 2018, according to a government-backed research institute.

Phones remain strategically important to Xiaomi as it looks to lower-end phones for growth. On Thursday, the company announced it has split up (not spin out) its budget phone brand, Redmi, in hope of launching “red rice” — what Redmi means in Chinese — to Xiaomi’s “little rice” stardom. The strategy is similar to how Huawei operates sub-brand Honor for its line of cheaper phones.

Xiaomi’s new billion-dollar pledge is a continuation of a plan in 2013 to back 100 startups over the course of five years. These portfolio companies, in turn, helped make Xiaomi products, which now count 132 million total devices among which 20 million are active daily. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s voice assistant Xiao Ai has hit 100 million installs.

These gadgets, along with an assortment of lifestyle products like suitcases and umbrellas, became the largest revenue driver for Xiaomi in the second quarter of last year, the company’s earnings report shows.

Xiaomi is in a land grab with other Chinese tech giants like Baidu to enter people’s homes. It’s becoming something akin to a department store, but it can’t make everything itself. Recently, the giant made a big push in TVs through a partnership with a veteran Chinese home appliance manufacturer. It’s also teamed up with IKEA on a 100 million yuan ($14.8 million) fund for third-party developers, which will enrich Xiaomi’s inventory as consumers in China may soon be able to buy many Xiaomi-powered furniture from the Swedish retailer.


Source: TechCrunch

Get an iPhone XR for $650 – CNET

That’s $100 off the regular price and the best XR deal to date — and you might be able to get it for even less! Plus: A six-pack of MFi-certified Lightning cables for $10.50 (update: sold out).
Source: CNET

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