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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

VRgineers looks to set a new gold standard with their $5,800 VR headset

Thought VR was too expensive and too bulky? Well, VRgineers is here with a giant $5,800 headset to prove that you lack perspective.

The Prague-based startup just showed off its latest piece of high-end VR hardware which it will be launching at this year’s CES expo. The headset sports an 180-degree field-of-view, dual 2560 x 1440 OLED displays and a form factor that’s massive. The big focus of the revamped XTAL headset seems to be in the lenses which have a brand new design meant to expand what users can see at full resolution inside the headset while also minimizing distortion elsewhere.

The headset has integrated Leap Motion hand-tracking, is compatible with a variety of tracking systems and leans heavily on voice controls.

What VRgineers has built is quite obviously professional-focused. It’s pushing industry boundaries in field-of-view and resolution.

Their focus is clearly enterprise given its $5,800 price tag. Specifically, the startup seems to be trying to capture the automotive market where VR is actually being leaned on heavily in design and manufacturing.

The high-end VR headset market is in a bit of an interesting spot right now. Oculus has kind of seemed to hurt the rest of the market by having driven hardware margins so low in the quest to make VR more approachable. It’s difficult to fault them for wanting to recoup some of their investment in OculusVR, but the more niche hardware players have really been usurped by a competitor that’s just operating on longer timelines.

Things are looking up for more high-end focused VR startups though, Oculus seems to be moving in a different direction for its next PC VR hardware release. We reported last month, that Oculus was looking to keep a lot of stuff the same with its next headset, possibly called the “Rift S”. This leaves some positive room for high-end VR startups to charge exorbitant amounts for their products but also deliver more niche feature sets for customers at the same time.


Source: TechCrunch

Congressman wants to know if he's being tracked by Google via his phone – CNET

During a Capitol Hill hearing, US Rep. Ted Poe presses Google CEO Sundar Pichai on the question. Pichai doesn’t really answer.
Source: CNET

OnePlus and McLaren team up for special-edition 6T phone: 10GB of RAM, faster charging and orange looks – CNET

The special variant of the 6T will be available Dec. 13 and cost $699.
Source: CNET

Your next car may be a skateboard – Roadshow

Planning on buying an electric car? A skateboard chassis might be in your future.
Source: CNET

Aquaman review: DC aquatic epic is wet and wild — and even has some depth – CNET

Splash meets Game of Thrones in this thoroughly entertaining slice of submersible superheroics.
Source: CNET

Online liquor store Drizly just landed $34.5 million in fresh funding

Apparently, a lot of people realize at the last minute that they don’t have either beer, wine, or liquor in their home when they need it.

It’s certainly the most obvious explanation for a sizable new round of funding into Drizly, a six-year-old, Boston-based on-demand delivery app for alcohol that works with roughly 1,000 brick-and-mortar liquor stores across the U.S. and Canada to deliver spirits to customers in what it says is less than an hour. Indeed, according to a new SEC filing, the company has just locked down $34.5 million in funding, which roughly doubles the company’s previous $33 million in funding. Investors include Polaris Partners, which led the company’s Series B round a couple of years ago, along with Baird Capital. Altogether, shows the filing, 17 investors took part in the offering.

The Drizly app shows shoppers different prices on the beer, wine and liquor that they’re looking for at local shops, along with different delivery or pick-up options. There have been some recent changes behind the scenes as the company has grown, too. In late summer, cofounder and original CEO Nick Rellas moved into an advisory role, while his cofounder and cousin, Cory Rellas, who had been the company’s chief operating officer, took over as chief executive. (Nick Rellas remains on the company’s board.) Drizly published a statement at the time, stating: “Having taken on a more critical role in the operations of the company over the past few years, coupled with his experience at Bain Capital, Cory is poised to lead Drizly through the next stage of its growth.”

Drizly also added a CMO, CFO, and head of HR to its leadership team over the past year, as the Boston Globe reported in August.

Another sign that the company is maturing: it made its first acquisition in July, absorbing Buttery, an on-demand alcohol e-commerce company that was only active in four cities but whose backend technology and employees were integrated into Drizly. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla is suing alleged ‘saboteur’ for $167 million

Tesla is now seeking $167 million in a lawsuit against Martin Tripp, the former Tesla employee who CEO Elon Musk has referred to as a saboteur, CNBC first reported. The lawsuit, originally filed in June and seeking just $1 million at the time, alleges Tripp stole confidential and trade secret information, and gave it to third parties.

Tripp, in July, filed a formal whistleblower tip to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging Tesla misled investors and put its customers at risk. It’s been a bitter back-and-forth between Tesla and Tripp, who then in August tweeted photos of allegedly damaged batteries at Tesla’s factory.

According to the filing, Tesla has not made Musk available for a deposition. Additionally, the filing argues Tripp’s lawyers need to depose more than ten people involved with Tesla.

“In this case, where Mr. Tripp is being sued for more than $167,000,000.00 and has asserted counterclaims against Tesla, more than ten (10) depositions is certainly reasonable and appropriate,” Tripp’s lawyers wrote in the filing.

I’ve reached out to Tesla and will update this story if I hear back. The case is Tesla, Inc. v Tripp, located in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.


Source: TechCrunch

Photo Gallery: A Look at 20 Years of Drought Ravaging Southeast Iran

Hashem Shakeri documents the loss of the Hamoun Wetlands in Sistan and Baluchestan Province*.
Source: Wired

Google CEO won’t rule out relaunching in China

Members of the House Judiciary committee have today closely questioned Google’s CEO about the company’s intentions in China, following reports this summer it’s planning a controversial return to the market despite local censorship of Internet services.

Mountain View pulled its search engine out of China back in 2010, under pressure over censored search results. It also cited cyber attacks originating from the country as factoring into its decision to leave.

So Congress wanted to know what exactly had changed that Google is considering reversing that exit, and how doing so wouldn’t contradict its own “core values”.

A none-too-comfortable Pichai stuck closely to a qualified line on the topic, telling Congress Google has no plans “right now” to launch in China, thereby leaving the door open for a launch at a future date.

At the same time he pointed to Google’s “mission”, of making information digitally accessible, to justify what he couched as an exploratory, internal effort at this stage — saying the company mission underpins its ongoing interest in the market. 

He made no mention of the 800M+ Chinese Internet users that Google could potentially add to its business if it returned to the market as factoring into his calculations.

“Right now there are no plans for us to launch a search product in China,” Pichai told the committee. “We are, in general, always looking to see how best — it’s part of our core mission and our principles — to try hard to provide users with information.

“We always have evidence, based on every country we’ve operated in, us reaching out and giving users more information has a very positive impact. And we feel that calling but right now there are no plans to launch in China. To the extent that we ever approach a position like that I will be fully transparent, including with policymakers here. And engage and consult widely.”

A little earlier in the session the committee was briefly interrupted by a person trying to enter the room holding a poster depicting the Google logo superimposed on the Chinese flag.

The chair asked for the individual to be removed and the door to be shut.

Asked directly whether he would “avoid launching a tool of censorship and surveillance in China while you are CEO of Google”, Pichai trod carefully in his response, avoiding making any such categorical commitment — but saying he would be “very thoughtful” about any relaunch. 

“Congressman I commit to engaging,” he said, beginning his answer. “One of the things which is important to us as a company, we have a stated mission of providing users with information, and so we always — we think it’s in our duty to explore possibilities. To give users access to information… I have that commitment but as I said earlier on this we’ll be very thoughtful and we will engage widely as we make progress.”

He was also asked directly whether there are any current discussions with any member of the Chinese government on launching the app. “This effort currently is an internal effort,” he replied to that, reiterating again that he would be “happy to consult/be transparent should we take steps towards launching a product in China”.

Asked who is leading the China project, Pichai also kept things vague — saying it’s being undertaken by Google’s “search teams”, before adding: “But these are distributed efforts. It’s a limited effort internally currently.”

One of the policymakers who questioned Pichai about Google’s intentions in China, congressman David Cicilline, suggested returning to the market would be “completely inconsistent” with Google’s recently announced AI principles.

But ending his five minutes of allotted question time with the Google CEO, Cicilline said concern about technologists working with anti-democratic regimes “goes beyond Google — and frankly beyond China”.

“At a moment of rising authoritarianism around the world when more leaders are using surveillance, censorship and repression against their own people we’re in a moment that we must reassert American moral leadership,” he said, asking also for an open letter from a coalition of human and civil rights organizations, opposing the launch of a censored Google search engine for the Chinese market, to be submitted to the committee for the record.

A little later in the session Pichai was also asked by a different congressman how many engineers worked on the China project. He said the number varied but at one point more than 100 Googlers had been engaged on it.

He declined to specify exactly how long Google has been working on the project — saying only that it’s been “underway for a while”.


Source: TechCrunch

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you’re looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon’s Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.

The post Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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