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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

People with paralysis control robot waiters in Tokyo cafe – CNET

Robots in this anime-inspired, pop-up cafe are allowing people with ALS and spinal-cord injuries to work short-term.
Source: CNET

U.S. mobile app stores had their biggest day ever on Black Friday 2018

Black Friday wasn’t just a boon for e-commerce retailers, it helped the mobile app stores break new records, too. According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the combined consumer spending across the U.S. Apple App Store and Google Play on Black Friday 2018 reached $75.9 million – a record for the most ever spent in a single day on both stores.

The App Store accounted for most of that figure, however, with U.S. consumers spending a record $52 million on Black Friday. That’s a 31.6 percent increase in spending over last year’s shopping event, when consumers then spent $39.5 million.

It’s also notably higher than Christmas 2017, when spending reached $39.8 million – typically a strong day for app purchases and in-app sales, as consumers unwrap new iPhones.

The App Store’s $52 million was more than double the $23.9 million spent on Google Play during the same time.

Sensor Tower attributes the increased spending to a variety of factors, largely driven by mobile gaming. Game makers this year got in on the Black Friday action by offering players discounts on in-app purchases and other special bundles.

On the U.S. App Store, mobile gaming accounted for 68 percent of Black Friday spending, with consumers spending $35.4 million on games. That’s a 63 percent increase from the week prior, the report notes.

Other categories saw a boost, too, including Food & Drink and Sports – both reflective of the leisure time consumers had over the holidays. Food & Drink grew 34 percent while Sports grew 49 percent, Sensor Tower found, with top apps like NYT Cooking and ESPN: Live Sports and Scores benefitting from the surge.

Though the Black Friday shopping holiday is heavily associated with the U.S. because of its ties to Thanksgiving, the sales event is making its way around the world, too.

On the mobile app stores, that meant worldwide consumer spending saw a jump this year, as well.

The firm found that $117.3 million was spent by App Store users outside the United States on Black Friday, bringing the global total to $169.3 million, up 18.4 percent from 2017. The spending outside the U.S. was up 13.9 percent year-over-year, but that’s lower than the U.S.’s year-over-year growth of 31.6 percent between Black Friday 2017 and Black Friday 2018.

Also of note: while Amazon had its biggest day ever on Cyber Monday 2018, Cyber Monday didn’t perform as well on the app stores. In the U.S., app revenue was up about 20 percent versus the previous Cyber Monday to reach an estimated $37 million.


Source: TechCrunch

Fixing Facebook? Zuckerberg falls short of his New Year's goal – CNET

From a data privacy scandal to leadership concerns, Facebook’s troubles kept growing in 2018.
Source: CNET

Marriott data breach hits 500 million Starwood hotel guests – CNET

Hackers stole personal information and some payment card data.
Source: CNET

Lawmakers say Amazon’s facial recognition software may be racially biased and harm free expression

Amazon has “failed to provide sufficient answers” about its controversial facial recognition software, Rekognition — and lawmakers won’t take the company’s usual silent treatment for an answer.

The letter, signed by eight lawmakers — including Sen. Edward Markey and Reps. John Lewis and Judy Chu — called on Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos to explain how the company’s technology works — and where it will be used.

It comes after the cloud and retail giant secured several high-profile contracts with the U.S. government and at least one major metropolitan city — including Orlando, Florida — for surveillance.

The lawmakers said that they expressed a “heightened concern given recent reports that Amazon is actively marketing its biometric technology to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as other reports of pilot programs lacking any hands-on training from Amazon for participating law enforcement officers.”

They also said that the system suffers from accuracy issues — which could lead to racial bias, and could harm citizens’ constitutional rights to free expression.

“However, at this time, we have serious concerns that this type of product has significant accuracy issues, places disproportionate burdens on communities of color, and could stifle Americans’ willingness to exercise their First Amendment rights in public,” the letter said.

The lawmakers want Amazon to explain how Amazon tests for accuracy and if those tests have been independently verified — and how the company tests for bias.

It comes after the ACLU found that the software failed to facially recognize 28 members of Congress, with a higher failure rate towards people of color.

The facial recognition software has been controversial from the start. Even after concerns from its own employees, Amazon said it would push ahead and sell the technology regardless.

Amazon has a little over two weeks to respond to the lawmakers. A spokesperson for Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

DoJ charges Autonomy founder with fraud over $11BN sale to HP

UK entrepreneur turned billionaire investor, Mike Lynch, has been charged with fraud in US over the 2011 sale of his enterprise software company.

Lynch sold Autonomy, the big data company he founded back in 1996, to computer giant HP for around $11BN some seven years ago.

But within a year around three-quarters of the value of the business had been written off, with HP accusing Autonomy’s management of accounting misrepresentations and disclosure failures.

Lynch has always rejected the allegations, and after HP sought to sue him in UK courts he countersued in 2015.

Meanwhile the UK’s own Serious Fraud Office dropped an investigation into the Autonomy sale in 2015 — finding “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”.

But now the DoJ has filed charges in a San Francisco court, accusing Lynch and other senior Autonomy executives of making false statement that inflated the value of the company.

They face 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud, according to Reuters — a charge which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

We’ve reached out to Lynch’s fund, Invoke Capital, for comment on the latest development.

The BBC has obtained a statement from his lawyers, Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance and Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, which describes the indictment as “a travesty of justice”.

The statement also claims Lynch is being made a scapegoat for HP’s failures, framing the allegations as a business dispute over the application of UK accounting standards. 

Two years ago we interviewed Lynch on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London and he mocked the morass of allegations still swirling around the acquisition as “spin and bullshit”.

Following the latest developments, the BBC reports that Lynch has stepped down as a scientific adviser to the UK government.

“Dr. Lynch has decided to resign his membership of the CST [Council for Science and Technology] with immediate effect. We appreciate the valuable contribution he has made to the CST in recent years,” a government spokesperson told it.


Source: TechCrunch

Airstream adds app-control to Classic trailers – Roadshow

New Smart Control Technology keeps campers connected to their retro-cool trailers.
Source: CNET

How to live stream on YouTube with OBS

Need to learn how to live stream on YouTube with OBS? You’ll need to set up the software and have a YouTube channel ready to go, but if you’ve done all that, linking them together is quick and easy.

The post How to live stream on YouTube with OBS appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

These Professional Portraits of Animals Evoke Human Emotion

Photographer Randal Ford spent two years taking studio photographs for ‘The Animal Kingdom’.
Source: Wired

Everything WIRED Editors Loved This Month: Phones, Drones, and RoboVacs

Plus: Samsung’s bendy phone, Apple’s MacBook Air, and Microsoft’s Surface Headphones.
Source: Wired

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