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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

La 'verdad fundamental': la pieza que falta para luchar contra las 'fake news'

Una nueva investigación ha elaborado un potente enfoque para que la IA identifique automáticamente las noticias falsas. Para que funcione correctamente necesita más ejemplos de contenidos veraces y de bulos pero, ¿cómo se define y detecta la verdad en su sentido más básico?
Source: MIT

Astronauts land safely after Soyuz launch fails at 20 miles up

A fault in a Soyuz rocket booster has resulted in an aborted crew mission to the International Space Station, but fortunately no loss of life. The astronauts in the capsule, Nick Hague (U.S.) and Alexey Ovchinin (Russia) successfully detached upon recognizing the fault and made a safe, if bumpy, landing nearly 250 miles east of the launch site in Kazakhstan. This high-profile failure could bolster demand for U.S.-built crewed spacecraft.

The launch proceeded normally for the first minute and a half, but at that point, when the first and second stages were meant to detach, there was an unspecified fault, possibly a failure of the first stage and its fuel tanks to detach. The astronauts recognized this issue and immediately initiated the emergency escape system.

Hague and Ovchinin in the capsule before the fault occurred.

The Soyuz capsule detached from the rocket and began a “ballistic descent” (read: falling), arrested by a parachute before landing approximately 34 minutes after the fault. Right now that’s about as much detail on the actual event as has been released by Roscosmos and NASA. Press conferences have been mainly about being thankful that the crew is okay, assuring people that they’ll get to the bottom of this and kicking the can down the road on everything else.

Although it will likely take weeks before we know exactly what happened, the repercussions for this failure are immediate. The crew on the ISS will not be reinforced, and as there are only 3 up there right now with a single Soyuz capsule with which to return to Earth, there’s a chance they’ll have to leave the ISS empty for a short time.

The current crew was scheduled to return in December, but NASA has said that the Soyuz is safe to take until January 4, so there’s a bit of leeway. That’s not to say they can necessarily put together another launch before then, but if the residents there need to stay a bit longer to safely park the station, as it were, they have a bit of extra time to do so.

The Soyuz booster and capsule have been an extremely reliable system for shuttling crew to and from the ISS, and no Soyuz fault has ever led to loss of life, although there have been a few issues recently with DOA satellites and of course the recent hole found in one just in August.

This was perhaps the closest a Soyuz has come to a life-threatening failure, and as such any Soyuz-based launches will be grounded until further notice. To be clear, this was a failure with the Soyuz-FG rocket, which is slated for replacement, not with the capsule or newer rocket of the same name.

SpaceX and Boeing have been competing to create and certify their own crew capsules, which were scheduled for testing some time next year — but while the Soyuz issues may nominally increase the demand for these U.S.-built alternatives, the testing process can’t be rushed.

That said, grounding the Soyuz (if only for crewed flights) and conducting a full-scale fault investigation is no small matter, and if we’re not flying astronauts up to the ISS in one of them, we’re not doing it at all. So there is at least an incentive to perform testing of the new crew capsules in a timely manner and keep to as short a timeframe as is reasonable.

You can watch the launch as it played out here:


Source: TechCrunch

Watch Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot leap up massive steps like it’s nothing

Two years ago, Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas needed a big ol’ safety tether to shuffle its way down a flat hiking trail. Five years ago it needed a big, bolted-down support structure to keep itself upright.

Now it’s casually leaping up and over obstacles that would leave many humans huffing and puffing.

The company demonstrated Atlas’ newly found hops in a video published this morning:

It starts with a lil’ leap over a log before Atlas bounds its way right up a set of 40 cm (1.3 ft) steps.

While just getting a massive, heavy robot to walk on two feet is a feat few companies have cracked, there’s a whole set of new challenges at play here. Getting Atlas’ limbs up and over the step, while appropriately shifting the weight and momentum onto one foot without the whole thing face-planting… it’s a complicated set of mechanics. Notice the sideways leaps, and — particularly in the slow motion cut at the 9-second mark — the way the hips/feet seem to angle a bit to compensate.

(For the curious: Atlas weighs around 180 lbs, as of the last time Boston Dynamics disclosed the numbers.)

At this point, we’ve gone from “Haha, neat, look at the funny robot running like a human,” to “I’m pretty sure that robot could beat me up.”

Wondering what the company is up to here? We talked with Boston Dynamics’ founder Marc Raibert about the hows and whys a few months back at our robotics event in Berkeley. The video is below:


Source: TechCrunch

Bird hires Uber’s former head of finance and director of corporate development

Bird, the scooter-sharing startup founded by former Uber VP of International Growth Travis VanderZanden, has brought a couple of former Uber employees to the flock.

Joining Bird as VP and Head of Finance is Dennis Cinelli, who worked as Uber’s head of finance for global rides up until this month, according to his LinkedIn. Uber, of course, is not without a financial leader. In August, Uber’s lengthy search for a chief financial officer ended when the company hired Nelson Chai, the former CEO of insurance and warranty provider Warranty Group. Bird has also brought on Uber’s now-former director of corporate development Yibo Ling, who also worked at Uber up until this month, according to Ling’s LinkedIn.

“As Bird enters its second year, we’re continuing to expand our talented executive team to build on and scale our momentum,” Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a press release. “Dennis and Yibo both bring valuable experience expanding markets and I look forward to working with them closely as we continue on our mission.”

Last month, Bird hit 10 million rides after about one year of operating. Earlier this month, Bird unveiled custom electric scooters and a delivery service for people to be able to rent scooters for a full day.


Source: TechCrunch

YC-grad Papa raises $2.4M for its ‘grandkids-on-demand’ service

One of the latest additions to the on-demand economy is Papa, a mobile app that connects college students with adults over 60 in need of support and companionship.

The recent graduate of Y Combinator’s accelerator program has raised a $2.4 million round of funding to expand its service throughout Florida and to five additional states next year, beginning with Pennsylvania. Initialized Capital led the round, with participation from Sound Ventures.

Headquartered in Miami, the startup was founded last year by chief executive officer Andrew Parker. The idea came to him while he was juggling a full-time job at a startup and caring for his grandfather, who had early onset dementia.

“I’ve always been a connector of humans,” Parker, the former vice president of health systems at telehealth company MDLIVE, told TechCrunch. “I’ve always naturally felt comfortable with all walks of life and all age groups and have just felt human connection is really critical.”

Seniors can request a “Papa Pal” using the company’s mobile app, desktop site or by phone. The pals can pick them up and take them out for an activity or have them over to play a game, complete household chores, teach them how to use social media and other technology or simply to chat. A senior is matched with a student, who must complete a “rigorous” background check, in as little as 30 seconds.

Parker says there are 600 students working with Papa an average of 25 hours per month.

“We’ve been fortunate that this is something the students really want to be part of,” he said. “They aren’t doing this for a couple extra dollars. They are doing this to help the community.”

The service costs seniors $20 per hour, $12 of which is paid to the students and $8 is returned to Papa. It’s not a subscription-based service, but seniors can pay for a premium option that lets them choose between three Papa Pals instead of being randomly paired with one of the several hundred options. The students do not provide any personal care, like bathing or grooming. And they are not a pick-up and drop-off service, like Uber or Lyft.

“We believe the Papa team has found a unique way to combat loneliness and depression in older adults,” said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, in a statement. “The experience that Papa Pals bring their members make it seem like they are part of a family.”

In addition to expanding to new markets, Papa is in the process of partnering with insurance companies with a goal of allowing seniors to pay for some of its services through their Medicare plans.

“Loneliness is a crisis. It’s a disease. It’s killing people prematurely,” Parker said. “We are providing a really massive impact to these people’s lives.”


Source: TechCrunch

Grado takes the wraps off their first pair of wireless headphones

Legacy open-backed headphone maker Grado is taking their classic design into the future with the small Brooklyn company’s first pair of wireless headphones.

The GW100s have a familiar look but integrate bluetooth tech and volume controls. They go for $249.

Grado headphones are a favorite of mine, they have a very unique open sound that really resonates and are perfect for home listening. Previous iterations haven’t really thrived as much on the road or in noisy offices because they tend to let a lot of outside noise in and leak a lot of your tunes out. The company says that they’ve redesigned the housings and internals of the GW100s to reduce noise leakage by 60 percent, no famed wooden enclosures on this design either.

Part of what’s great about Grado headphones are their history, we toured the company’s tiny Brooklyn HQ a few years back and took a look at their operations, really cool stuff.

It’s tough for a company to make due on just brand legacy alone and even though audio tech generally has a much longer shelf life than other products, there’s always a time to adapt, especially now as more hardware makers purge headphone jacks from their devices.

In the past few years, the company branched out into some more mobile-friendly products, but the magic wasn’t all there. The wireless GW100s keep the company’s same drivers, though it’ll be interesting to hear what they sound like as the company tunes them to be more amenable to “on-the-go” listening. Speaking of which, they also look like they have a bit more sturdy of a design than some of the company’s more spartan headbands which were strangely kind of part of the appeal, but are definitely welcome for something more likely to be chucked in a backpack.

The headphones charge via micro-USB and offer a 15-hour battery life, the company says. They also pack an included 3.5mm cable if you want to use them with your old gear. More details on precise audio tuning on its product page.


Source: TechCrunch

Why Intel and Nvidia controversies prove you should always wait for benchmarks

Pre-ordering any new hardware without independent testing is dangerous because you don’t really know how good it is. That goes doubly so when pre-release tests from manufacturers are skewed in their favor.

The post Why Intel and Nvidia controversies prove you should always wait for benchmarks appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Watch Boston Dynamics' Humanoid Robot Do Parkour

A new video of Atlas, the company’s two-legged robot, shows off its agility as it bounds up a platform.
Source: Wired

Apple and Google donate to Hurricane Michael relief – CNET

Both tech companies have donated to hurricane relief in the past.
Source: CNET

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot now does parkour – CNET

I’m out, y’all. I’m so out.
Source: CNET

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