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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The iPhone XR is the one to get

The iPhone XR arrived like an afterthought. No surprise, really. Apple’s always been one to lead with its best foot forward — the latest, greatest and, quite literally, the largest. Projecting the life on the bleeding edge is a cornerstone of the company’s image, market share and stock price.

The iPhone XR isn’t that. In the context of yesterday’s event, the handset is an also ran. It’s lower-powered, with a single camera and lower-resolution screen that stirred up criticism amongst display enthusiasts online. It’s also precisely the phone the company needed to make — and Apple’s going to sell a crapload of them as a result. In fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this entry-level device outsell both of its premium brethren.

Over the last 24 hours, a number of folks have asked me which phone they should buy. The answer varies from person to person, of course, but for the majority, the XR simply makes the most sense. It is, as I wrote in my hands-on yesterday, the iPhone X for the rest of us.

Last year’s 10th anniversary handset pushed the limits of the iPhone, with regard to underlying technology, design and budget. It represented what was arguably the biggest leap for the line since the introduction of the App Store way back in 2008, while helping to break on the $1,000 smartphone.

We all knew things were heading that way, and companies like Samsung certainly gave Apple a run for its money, but the iPhone X really tested the limits of what consumers are willing to spend on a smartphone. Initial sales reports were less than ideal for the phone, though a much pricier phone meant, naturally, that Apple had to sell fewer to hit the same bottom line.

But Apple isn’t Vertu. Actually getting the product into consumers’ hands is an equally important aspect of selling a new phone. Early reports had the company eye a return to the LCD as a way of offsetting the phone’s cost in order to appeal to a broader audience.

As The Wall Street Journal put it back in June, demand “is likely to be slower than many in the industry believed a year ago, when the iPhone maker was preparing its first OLED smartphone.” For Apple, a return to the LCD likely felt like a step backward after releasing its most forward-looking phone.

But while such things do matter to some, technology refreshes are more often driven by the desire to stay a step ahead of the competition than they are consumer demand. And while having the highest resolution screen possible would certainly be nice, it’s not necessarily $1,000 worth of nice.

The iPhone XR represents a more balanced approach for Apple. But atop the foundation of the iPhone X, the handset manages to be relatively reasonably priced without being the sort of relic the iPhone 8 felt like it was announced alongside the X.

The XR is the populist iPhone. The iPhone for the people. I’ve been calling it the iPod Mini of iPhones and Matt Burns has been saying it’s the iBook, but the point stands. It’s a cheaper, more colorful alternative. At least one of our co-workers has been obsessing slightly over which color to get.

At $749, it’s not cheap, but compared to the XS and XS Max (starting at $999 and $1,099, respectively), it’s a relative bargain, and most of the missing features won’t have an impact on the day to day use of an average user. Heck, even the single lens camera has learned to approximate portrait mode to further cushion the blow.

If I were in the market for a new iPhone, I’d almost certainly go the XR route. Listen, I’m a tech blogger living in New York City. I have a pet rabbit to feed. Do you think rabbit food grows on trees (I mean, technically it does, but you get the point).

If you’re a prospective iPhone buyer, you’re probably in the same boat. The XR’s the way to go, and Apple’s going to sell a ton of the things.

more iPhone Event 2018 coverage


Source: TechCrunch

Former Uber exec alleges ex-PR chief ‘destroyed his reputation’

A nasty legal battle is set to play out between two former Uber executives.

Eric Alexander, the ride-hailing company’s former president of business in Asia-Pacific, has filed suit against former Uber PR chief Rachel Whetstone .

Alexander blames Whetstone for his firing from Uber in June 2017, claiming her “grossly misleading statements” both internally at Uber and to the media, “destroyed his reputation.” He claims she “harbored deep seated personal animosity” against him, was jealous of his close relationship with then-CEO Travis Kalanick and frequently made racist comments about several minority groups during her tenure.

Whetstone, well-known in Silicon Valley for her comms prowess, also left Uber in 2017 and has since gone on to lead PR efforts at Facebook and now Netflix.

We’ve reached out to Whetstone, Alexander and Uber for comment.

Backstory

Last year, Alexander was very publicly ousted from Uber after obtaining the medical records of a female passenger who was raped by an Uber driver in India. Alexander had reportedly been investigating the case himself because he believed the Indian ride-hailing business Ola was behind the incident and that the competitor was trying to damage Uber’s reputation in India.

Alexander spent just over three years at the company and was a close confidant of Kalanick’s.

The allegations

The allegations outlined in the lawsuit, first reported by Business Insider, don’t seem to be connected, but rather are an attempt by Alexander to portray Whetstone as a vicious, jealous and racist former colleague out for his career:

Ms. Whetstone harbored deep seated personal animosity against Mr. Alexander over his perceived higher status within Uber, as well as Mr. Alexander’s repeated efforts to curtail Ms. Whetstone’s ongoing racist comments (culminating in Mr. Alexander’s public rebuke of Ms. Whetstone in front of another Uber officer. Given the contentious relationship between the parties, upon her severance from Uber, Ms. Whetstone took the unusual step of insisting on a reciprocal non-disparagement clause that specifically referenced Mr. Alexander by name. Ms. Whetstone thereafter proceeded to violate that clause by spreading false and misleading and/or disparaging information about Mr. Alexander’s response to the rape in India. Ms. Whetstone’s derogatory statements were made in direct violation of the non-disparagement.

The lawsuit provides several examples of racist comments allegedly made by Whetstone, including that “the Chinese cannot be trusted.”

Alexander says Whetstone also went to reporters — Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer and Recode’s Kara Swisher were named specifically — and told them “false and misleading information.”

Uber’s past catches up to it

The lawsuit, for the most part, looks to be an attempt on Alexander’s end to clear his name. According to his LinkedIn, he hasn’t pursued any new opportunities since his well-publicized exit from Uber, and that’s likely not for lack of trying.

As for Uber, despite replacing its CEO and several other top-level employees following its no good, very bad year in 2017, the company hasn’t been able to shake its scandal-ridden reputation. The mistakes made under Kalanick’s reign have and will continue to catch up to it. And nothing, not even a rebrand, can stop that.

Here’s a full look at the lawsuit.


Source: TechCrunch

Los peligros de que Bitcoin se expanda en Wall Street

Salir al mercado principal y ser adoptada de manera mucho más general podría ser desastroso para la criptomoneda, que se arriesga a que la industria financiera la trate como un activo convencional más. Sin embargo, las monedas de ‘blockchain’ distan mucho de las propias de las bolsas de valores
Source: MIT

La computación cuántica en la nube, cada vez más rápida y accesible

La ‘start-up’ Rigetti Computing conecta ordenadores cuánticos con computadoras convencionales en la nube, lo que reduce la latencia y optimiza los procesos informáticos. Este tipo de propuestas están acercando mucho más las soluciones cuánticas a los investigadores y cada vez más empresas apuestan por ello
Source: MIT

Hurricane Florence 2018: How to Use Social Media Responsibly During the Storm

During a natural disaster, social media is a vital tool for rescuers and victims. Don’t get in their way.
Source: Wired

A.I.-powered Grammarly comes to Google Docs to improve your writing

Google Docs is getting another artificial-powered grammar checking tool to help improve your writing. Grammarly announced that it is bringing its service as a Chrome browser extension, competing against Google’s native tool.

The post A.I.-powered Grammarly comes to Google Docs to improve your writing appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Watch a robot create amazing string art portraits with thousands of feet of yarn

Ever heard of string art? Researchers from Austria have created a computer system that lets an industrial robot create amazing string art portraits using thousands of feet of yarn.

The post Watch a robot create amazing string art portraits with thousands of feet of yarn appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Best Cheap iPhones You Can Buy (Fall 2018)

Resist the temptation of Apple’s enticing new iPhone Xs and Xr. Your wallet will thank you.
Source: Wired

Microsoft acquires Lobe, a drag-and-drop AI tool

Microsoft today announced that is has acquired Lobe, a startup that lets you build machine learning models with the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface. Microsoft plans to use Lobe, which only launched into beta earlier this year, to build upon its own efforts to make building AI models easier, though, for the time being, Lobe will operate as before.

“As part of Microsoft, Lobe will be able to leverage world-class AI research, global infrastructure, and decades of experience building developer tools,” the team writes. “We plan to continue developing Lobe as a standalone service, supporting open source standards and multiple platforms.”

Lobe was co-founded by Mike Matas, who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, as well as Facebook’s Paper and Instant Articles products. The other co-founders are Adam Menges and Markus Beissinger.

In addition to Lobe, Microsoft also recently bought Bonsai.ai, a deep reinforcement learning platform, and Semantic Machines, a conversational AI platform. Last year, it acquired Disrupt Battlefield participant Maluuba. It’s no secret that machine learning talent is hard to come by, so it’s no surprise that all of the major tech firms are acquiring as much talent and technology as they can.

“In many ways though, we’re only just beginning to tap into the full potential AI can provide,” Microsoft’s EVP and CTO Kevin Scott writes in today’s announcement. “This in large part is because AI development and building deep learning models are slow and complex processes even for experienced data scientists and developers. To date, many people have been at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing AI, and we’re committed to changing that.”

It’s worth noting that Lobe’s approach complements Microsoft’s existing Azure ML Studio platform, which also offers a drag-and-drop interface for building machine learning models, though with a more utilitarian design than the slick interface that the Lobe team built. Both Lobe and Azure ML Studio aim to make machine learning easy to use for anybody, without having to know the ins and outs of TensorFlow, Keras or PyTorch. Those approaches always come with some limitations, but just like low-code tools, they do serve a purpose and work well enough for many use cases.


Source: TechCrunch

Bowers and Wilkins 606 review: More bass and better dynamics, but bright sound isn't for everyone – CNET

The Bowers and Wilkins 606 bookshelves offer bucketfuls of resolution and bass power, but they’re not as system-friendly as previous 600-series speakers.
Source: CNET

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