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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Star Wars actor says backlash almost led him to suicide – CNET

Jar Jar Binks was the most disliked character in the galaxy. That was rough for the actor who played him.
Source: CNET

Bixby creeps toward usefulness with sports news from TheScore

It’s certainly understandable that Samsung wanted to follow Apple, Amazon and Google into the smart assistant game. But Bixby has been anything but a rousing success. The AI has added voice functionality and a smattering features in subsequent releases, including the S9’s Google Lens-style capabilities, but it’s yet to live up to its full potential. 

Today, TheScore announced that it’s bringing live sports scores news from the gamut of top sports leagues, including the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and EPL soccer, starting next month. In August, the feature will arrive in Bixby Home, bringing with it customizable notifications based on sports or specific teams.

It’s a small addition in the larger scope of what these assistants have to offer, but I know that regular sports scores are one of my most frequently used features on Google Assistant and Alexa — especially as someone who lives outside all of my teams’ broadcast range.

Third-party functionality was one of Samsung’s primary Bixby selling points since launch, leaving the heavy lifting up to third parties who specialized in such things. Of course, Bixby’s failed to catch fire, even as the company has gone out of its way to make it front and center through things like a devoted button on the Galaxy S9 and Note 8.

With the Note 9’s arrival just around the corner, perhaps Samsung will have more to show on that front next month.


Source: TechCrunch

Brazil vs. Belgium World Cup: Live stream info, channel; how to watch World Cup 2018 on TV and online – CNET

Looking to tune in to the quarterfinal match between Brazil and Belgium? Here’s how.
Source: CNET

Joseph Lubin, Amanda Gutterman and Sam Cassatt from Consensys to speak at Disrupt SF

There is perhaps no firm that has done as much to promote the adoption of Ethereum as the dominant cryptocurrency platform for actual product development as Consensys.

Founded by Ethereum Foundation co-founder Joe Lubin, Consensys has emerged as an investor, accelerator, educator and product developer in its own right in little more than three years that it has been in existence.

A Princeton-educated roboticist and autonomous vehicle researcher, Lubin has become a billionaire through his bet on Ethereum as the cryptocurrency that would win the hearts and minds of developers.

And with Consensys he’s built an empire that spans the globe. From its headquarters in Brooklyn, Consensys now has operations, offices and partnerships in Ireland, Israel, and Singapore, and the global expansion shows no sign of slowing down.

That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have Joe Lubin, Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Gutterman, and Chief Strategy Officer Sam Cassatt join us on the Disrupt SF stage.

Nothing summarizes Lubin’s ambitions for Ethereum better than this comment on the transformative power that he sees in the cryptocurrency.

Lubin, Gutterman and Cassatt join a world-class agenda, with speakers like Brian Armstrong, Kirsten Green, Reid Hoffman, and Marty Chavez. Tickets to the show, which runs September 5-7, are available here.


Source: TechCrunch

Outlook.com to get Dark Mode for reading email at night

The Outlook.com feedback hub reveals that a dark mode is coming to Microsoft’s online email client. The company revealed a sneak peek in October, but a representative said it was merely a prototype and needed lots of work.

The post Outlook.com to get Dark Mode for reading email at night appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

France vs. Uruguay World Cup: live stream info, channel: How to watch World Cup 2018 on TV and online – CNET

Looking to tune in to the quarterfinal match between France and Uruguay? Here’s how.
Source: CNET

A.I. players master ‘Quake III Arena,’ manage to outperform humans

Artificial intelligence research company DeepMind has managed to train its virtual agents to play capture the flag in Quake III Arena, and they’re even capable of beating human players.

The post A.I. players master ‘Quake III Arena,’ manage to outperform humans appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

MoviePass subscribers will now pay surcharges for popular showtimes

MoviePass subscribers were just greeted with a special Fourth of July surprise from the company, but it’s not good news. Surprise!

The company’s plan to introduce summer surge pricing goes into effect today. In an email to subscribers introducing “peak pricing,” MoviePass tried to spin this like a new feature introduction rather than a notification that its monthly service had again worsened.

In an FAQ on its site, MoviePass explains its new dynamic pricing plan and the accompanying surcharges in more detail, but not a lot of detail. The company fails to really explain what exactly will determine price fluctuations beyond stating that “movies that are high in demand for title, date, or time of day will be impacted.” It doesn’t provide guidelines for what those surcharges will look like, though a screenshot it provides suggests we might pay $3.43 more to see Avengers: Infinity War at 7:00 PM.

Now, movies in the app will display a red lightning icon when they are in peak pricing and a gray icon when they are approaching peak pricing status. Subscribers will be able to waive one peak pricing fee per month, which is some relief for the thing you paid for now providing less value and convenience but also just makes the whole system more complicated.

Peak pricing will gradually roll out across geographic areas starting on July 5. If it hasn’t hit your local screen yet, rest assured that no MoviePass subscribers will escape the company’s latest effort to bend its unsustainable business model toward realism.


Source: TechCrunch

Zebra Technologies is buying rugged tablet maker Xplore for around $90M in cash

Some more consolidation is afoot in the world of enterprise mobility. Today, Zebra Technologies — a company that makes handheld scanners, printers and other portable hardware, and develops the technology to tag things to be read by them — is acquiring Xplore Technologies, one of the older and bigger makers of ruggedised tablets and other hard-wearing hardware. Both companies are publicly listed and Zebra says it will be paying $6 per share in cash for Xplore, which works out to about $90 million — a premium on the company’s current market cap of about $65 million.

Zebra’s market cap is just under $8 billion.

The deal will give Zebra deeper inroads into the retail, manufacturing, transportation, logistics and healthcare verticals and also give the company avenues to sell into further markets where Xplore already has customers such as the energy sector, government and public safety, Zebra said. Xplore booked $87 million in revenue in the 12 months that ended March 31.

Xplore generated revenue of $87 million in the 12-month period ended March 31, 2018, but it’s never been massively profitable. In the fourth quarter, which the company reported earlier today, Xplore scraped out a net profit of $300,000 (compared to a loss of $2.6 million a year ago).

As with a lot of enterprise consolidation, which sees smaller companies coming together or bigger fish gobbling up smaller but promising fish, the idea will be to bring together its hardware business into a wider operation to create more manufacturing efficiencies and to sell more services to Xplore customers to improve margins on those deals, which Zebra says is in line with how businesses are looking to operate today anyway.

“In today’s on-demand economy, investments to digitize operations are central to our customers’ strategies. The acquisition of Xplore enhances our product lineup and gives Zebra a complete rugged tablet portfolio that enables our customers to gain a performance edge,” said Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer of Zebra Technologies, in a statement. “We’d previously outlined potential areas of expansion that are a natural fit for Zebra and its Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision, and this acquisition is aligned with that strategy. The addition of Xplore provides access to a great team and great products in an attractive market and should enable us to grow the category double digits going forward.”

Zebra has carved out a place for itself as a buyer of operations that need more scale to see their potential realised, making around 14 since 1998. Perhaps most notably, it acquired the enterprise business of Motorola Solutions for $3.5 billion in a big Internet of Things play. Xplore’s emphasis on devices complements that with a set of hardware for when machine-to-machine communications may not be enough.

“We are excited to join Zebra, the worldwide leader in enterprise mobility and visibility. This acquisition validates the incredible work our team does every day to develop innovative solutions and serve our customers,” said Tom Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Xplore Technologies, in his statement. “Our products are a natural fit for Zebra, creating a comprehensive rugged mobility portfolio that stands against any competitor.”

The companies say the deal is expected to close in Q3 2018.


Source: TechCrunch

Singapore watchdog threatens to unwind Uber’s Southeast Asia exit deal

Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia may be done and dusted, but the deal — which saw Grab take over its local operations in exchange for a 27.5 percent stake — is coming pressure in Singapore where the country’s antitrust regulator has threatened to unwind the deal because it has reduced competition.

The Competition and Consumer Commission Singapore (CCCS) today announced the result of a three-month investigation into the deal and its provisional findings offer some fairly scathing conclusions.

Primarily, CCCS said that Uber and Grab “have not been able to show that the transaction gives rise to efficiencies that would outweigh the harm to competition.”

In more specific detail, it said that “taxi booking services pose an insufficient competitive constraint.” The organization voiced concern that new ride-hailing entrants are significantly disadvantaged because require a “significant amount of upfront capital” to compete and, even then, they must battle existing networks that favor larger organizations.

The commission claimed Grab has already taken advantage of its dominant position by raising prices, although that’s something that Grab denies doing. Furthermore, CCCS also expressed concern that Grab’s service will stagnate if it is not challenged by competitors in the ride-hailing space.

“Without sufficient competition post-transaction, Grab would be able to raise fares for riders and commission rates for drivers, lower the quality of its services and reduce innovating its product offerings,” CCCS wrote in its findings.

Grab criticized the report for taking “a very narrow approach in defining competition.”

“While we are one of the most visible players in transport, we are not the only player in the market. CCCS has not taken into account the dynamic developments and intense competition going on over the past few months, from both new and incumbent taxi and ride-hailing players,” the company addd in a statement.

As a next step, CCCS has asked Grab to restore its pre-deal pricing and commission rates, cut exclusivity agreements with taxi operators, and remove lock-in for drivers that use its rental partners or Uber’s Lion City Rentals business.

The deal is, of course, long-since closed but the organization has threatened that it could unwind the transaction in Singapore or hit both Uber and Grab with fines.

The initial Singapore investigation pushed the closure of Uber’s Southeast Asia service back by one month, while it was extended by a week in the Philippines. Uber’s service covered a total of seven markets, but this action from CCCS would only impact Singapore.

Here’s Grab statement in full:

We have considered the CCCS’ Proposed Infringement Decision and disagree with their analysis. The CCCS appears to have taken a very narrow approach in defining competition. While we are one of the most visible players in transport, we are not the only player in the market. CCCS has not taken into account the dynamic developments and intense competition going on over the past few months, from both new and incumbent taxi and ride-hailing players.

Even though not required by the law, we had informed the CCCS that we were making a voluntary notification, as well as proactively engaged with the CCCS before the transaction was signed. We conducted the acquisition legally and in full compliance with Singapore’s applicable competition laws.

We fully cooperated with the CCCS throughout the course of their review, and had proactively proposed voluntary commitments over and above the Interim Measures Directions (IMDs), to ensure consumers’ and drivers’ interests are taken care of, which the CCCS had rejected. Grab has complied with all areas of CCCS’ IMDs including maintaining base fare levels, surge factor and driver commission rates.

This provisional decision and proposed remedies are overreaching and go against Singapore’s pro-innovation and pro-business regulations in a free market economy. We note that the provisional decision is not final nor effective yet, and we will submit our written representations to the CCCS before the deadline. We will take all appropriate steps to appeal against this decision.


Source: TechCrunch

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