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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

A Runway Train Traveled 57 Miles Through Australia's Outback

Here’s how engineers might have deliberately derailed it.
Source: Wired

Election Day: How to follow the results on YouTube, social and beyond – CNET

You won’t need a TV or cable to stay up to date.
Source: CNET

Grab pulls in $250M from Hyundai as ongoing round reaches $2.7B

Grab, the Singapore startup that bought Uber’s Southeast Asia business earlier this year, continues to announce strategic investors for its ongoing Series H funding round. The latest edition revealed today is Korean automotive firm Hyundai, which is investing $250 million.

Hyundai first invested in Grab in January, and it joins recently announced investors Microsoft (undisclosed) and Booking Holdings ($200 million) in the round, which is aimed at reaching at least $3 billion before the end of this year. Grab first announced a $1 billion investment from Toyota in June and that was doubled to $2 billion when a range of institutional backers joined. Those include OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Macquarie Capital, and today Grab disclosed two others: Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Citi Ventures.

In total, these additions take that Series H round to $2.7 billion so far, Grab said. That means that Grab, which is valued at over $11 billion, has now raised more than $6 billion from investors including SoftBank and China’s Didi. That’s a figure that extends its record for a startup in Southeast Asia. Grab claims 125 million downloads across its eight markets in Southeast Asia and over 2.5 billion rides completed to date, up from two billion in July.

Like Toyota, Microsoft and travel giant Booking — which was formerly known as Priceline — Hyundai’s involvement includes a fairly hefty strategic portion: electric vehicles.

Grab said that it will work with the Korea firm introduce a series of EV pilots in Southeast Asia that’ll feature Hyundai and Hyundai-owned Kia vehicles. The companies began working on the rollout of Hyundai’s IONIQ vehicle in Singapore earlier this year and now they will add Kia EVs and explore opportunities beyond Singapore.

(Right to left) Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, and Anthony Tan, Grab CEO, mark the new $250 million investment deal [Image via Bloomberg New Economy Forum]

Grab has an EV fleet in Singapore — size undisclosed — and it is working with Singapore Power to roll out a network of charging hubs and packages for Grab EV drivers as it expands that EV presence in the country. But this Hyundai partnership would represent its first EV foray into other markets in Southeast Asia, which has a cumulative population of more than 600 million consumers, although it didn’t name which markets or give a timeframe.

As in Singapore, Grab said its EV strategy will include engaging governments and “infrastructure players” to set up the right conditions for EVs, such as charging networks, maintenance packages for drivers and general research into how EVs perform in more humid environments.

Beyond the EV plans, Grab’s Series H is being put aside for a number of ventures which include its push to become an all-in-one ‘super app’ that goes beyond transportation to cover food deliveries, services on-demand, payments and fintech services, and more. There’s also likely an allocation for competition because, although Grab consumed Uber’s local business in the region, Indonesia-based rival Go-Jek is expanding in the region.

Go-Jek, which is aiming to raise $2 billion in its latest funding round according to sources, has entered Vietnam, is in the process of launching in Thailand and has just begun recruiting drivers for a Singapore rollout. That means Grab needs to keep a substantial amount of powder dry in case of the (likely) event that its battle with Go-Jek descends into a discount war, as was often the case during its rivalry with Uber.

That explains why it is raising an enormous $3 billion round despite having already removed Uber from the region via the buyout deal, which saw the U.S. ride-hailing giant take a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.

That deal, by the way, didn’t really go as planned. Not only was Grab over ambitious on the logistics, including plans to consume most of Uber’s 500 staff, but it misread the public reaction and incurred the wrath of regulators. Singapore’s consumer watchdog hit Uber and Grab with a total of $9.5 million in fines for the “anti-competitive” merger, while the pair got a lighter reprimand in the Philippines.


Source: TechCrunch

Getting to know Face ID on the iPad Pro – CNET

Unlocking the iPad Pro with your face is kind of like living in the future.
Source: CNET

Samsung's foldable Galaxy F phone may appear Nov. 7, raising more questions than answers – CNET

Like who is it really for, how much will it cost and is it more than just a gimmick?
Source: CNET

Midterm Elections 2018: How to Find and Watch Results

Watch election night coverage live on your desktop, smartphone, or smart TV.
Source: Wired

George R.R. Martin: I'm working hard on Winds of Winter – CNET

Plus: The author is sorry he (maybe) leaked the title for the Game of Thrones prequel.
Source: CNET

Tinder now has 4.1M paying users, expects $800M in revenue this year

Facebook Dating is no challenger to Tinder-owner Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), which posted third-quarter earnings per share of 44 cents on Tuesday.

The company, which owns several brands of internet dating services, including Tinder, Hinge, Ok Cupid and PlentyOfFish, surpassed analyst’s forecasted revenue of $437 million, reporting Q3 revenue of $444 million, a 29 percent increase year-over-year.

Match says it expects to bring in a total of $1.72 billion in annual revenue.

Despite positive earnings, the company’s 4Q outlook failed to satisfy Wall Street. Match said it expects between $440 and $450 million in revenue in Q4, falling short of the $454.5 million analyst estimate. Shares of Match sank 10 percent in after-hours trading as a result.

Year-to-date, Match’s stock is up roughly 60 percent.

Tinder, the location-based mobile dating application, continues to be Match’s growth engine, responsible for roughly half its paid users and half its projected annual revenue. Match’s total number of paid subscribers came in at 8.1 million, up from 7.7 million in Q2 and a 23 percent increase YoY. Much of that growth comes from Tinder Gold, Tinder’s premium subscription tier that lets users see who’s already liked them without doing any swiping. Overall Tinder’s paying user base is up to 4.1 million from 3.8 million the previous quarter.

Tinder is expected to bring in $800 million in revenue in 2018.

Hinge, another app-based dating service acquired by Match in June, is on its way up. Match says it’s seen a 5x increase in downloads since it first invested.

Match also announced that it would, for the first time, issue a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share on Match Group common stock and Class B common stock, to be paid out on Dec. 19.

Match continues to be on the prowl for strategic M&A opportunities, said its chief executive officer Mandy Ginsberg in a statement

“[We] have the financial flexibility to acquire companies when we find innovative products with long-term potential,” she said.

The company has reportedly attempted to acquire Tinder-competitor Bumble on more than one occasion, though the nasty legal battle playing out between the dating powerhouses makes that combination unlikely. Most recently, Bumble said it was dropping its $400 million lawsuit against Match, which had claimed Match fraudulently obtained trade secrets during acquisition talks. Bumble may refile that suit at the state level.

Dallas-based Match is owned by IAC, which will itself report earnings tomorrow after the closing bell.


Source: TechCrunch

TWIICE One Exoskeleton furthers the promise of robotic mobility aids

Few things in the world of technology can really ever be said to be “done,” and certainly exoskeletons are not among their number. They exist, but they are all works in progress, expensive, heavy, and limited. So it’s great to see this team working continuously on their TWIICE robotic wearable, improving it immensely with the guidance of motivated users.

TWIICE made its debut in 2016, and like all exoskeletons it was more promise made than promise kept. It’s a lower-half exoskeleton that supports and moves the legs of someone with limited mobility, while they support themselves on crutches. It’s far from ideal, and the rigidity and weight of systems like this make them too risky to deploy at scale for now.

But two years of refinement have made a world of difference. The exoskeleton weighs the same (which doesn’t matter since it carries its own weight), but supports heavier users while imparting more force with its motors, which have been integrated into the body itself to make it far less bulky.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the whole apparatus can now be donned and activated by the user all by herself, as Swiss former acrobat and now handcycling champion Silke Pan demonstrated in a video. She levers herself from her wheelchair into the sitting exoskeleton, attaches the fasteners on her legs and trunk, then activates the device and stands right up.

She then proceeds to climb more stairs than I’d rather attempt. She is an athlete, after all.

That kind of independence is often crucially important for the physically disabled for a multitude of reasons, and clearly achieving the capability has been a focus for the TWIICE team.

Although the exoskeleton has been worked on as a research project within the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the plan is to spin off a startup to commercialize the tech as it approaches viability. The more they make and the more people use these devices — despite their limitations — the better future versions will be.


Source: TechCrunch

INFOGRAFÍA: Los 10 genes que sería genial encontrar

Basta ya de descubrir genes inútiles. Esta lista recoge algunos que realmente podrían resultanos útiles en nuestro día a día, como un gen capaz de evitar que le pongan una multa por exceso de velocidad
Source: MIT

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