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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Apple aims to get kids into coding with free classes at its stores worldwide

Apple is back with its free coding classes for students. They start in December at all Apple Stores, with lessons introducing Swift, the programming language used by app developers around the world, and others linked to robotics.

The post Apple aims to get kids into coding with free classes at its stores worldwide appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

WeChat e-wallet teams up with Line to target Japan’s 7M Chinese tourists

China’s biggest chat app WeChat is set to make its payments service more ubiquitous in Japan, a popular outbound desitnation for Chinese tourists.

On Tuesday, the Tencent-run messenger unveils a partnership with Japan’s Line chat app on mobile payments. The tie-up allows Japanese brick-and-mortar merchants with a Line Pay terminal to process WeChat Pay transactions directly. Instead of going through the hassle of currency swaps, a Chinese customer can simply summon the WeChat app and pay by scanning a QR code the retailer presents.

The fresh alliance is hot on the heels of a similar gesture from Tencent’s most serious rival, Alibaba. In September, the Chinese ecommerce giant’s payments affiliate Alipay teamed up with Yahoo Japan in an effort to grab Chinese outbound travelers.

Tencent did not provide information on the number of potential Japanese retailers reached through the scheme when inquired by TechCrunch . But the firm says its setup with Line Pay allows small and medium-sized businesses to adopt mobile payments at relatively low costs because it doesn’t require merchants to purchase QR code scanners.

Both WeChat Pay and Alipay have already been going it alone in Japan over the past few years. WeChat Pay, for instance, claims that it scored a six-fold increase in the number of transactions in Japan between June 2017 and 2018.

On the other hand, having an ally with an extensive local reach can help Alibaba and Tencent capitalize on a wave of increasingly sophisticated Chinese tourists.

The partnership with Line “significantly boosts WeChat Pay’s penetration among small and medium-sized retailers and its application in more daily scenarios, rather than serving Chinese people only at traditional tourism hotspots,” says a Tencent spokesperson. “This strategy is in line with an upgraded demand from Chinese people to travel like locals.”

Japan’s appeal to Chinese people is on the rise. During China’s weeklong “Golden Week” national holiday in October, Japan leapfrogged Thailand for the first time to become the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, according to a report from Chinese online travel agency Ctrip. In 2017, the Japan National Tourism Organization recorded a total of 7.36 million Chinese tourists, who made up more than a quarter of all visitors to Japan that year.


Source: TechCrunch

NASA CubeSats capture farewell image of InSight's new home – CNET

InSight successfully touched down on Mars, but the work of two other robots pave the way for future missions — as this farewell image shows.
Source: CNET

NASA InSight lander delivers first clear image of Mars landing site – CNET

A quiet, clear horizon beckons in InSight’s first dust-free image of its new home.
Source: CNET

AWS Global Accelerators helps customers manage traffic across zones

Many AWS customers have to run in multiple zones for many reasons including performance requirements, regulatory issues or fail-over management. Whatever the reason, AWS announced a new tool tonight called Global Accelerators designed to help customers route traffic more easily across multiple regions.

Peter DeSantis, VP of global infrastructure and customer support at AWS speaking at an event Monday night at AWS Re:Invent explained that much of AWS customer traffic already flows over their massive network, and customers are using AWS Direct Connect to help applications get consistent performance and low network variability as customers move between AWS regions. He said what has been missing is a way to use the AWS global network to optimize their applications.

“Tonight I’m excited to announce AWS Global Accelerator. AWS Global Accelerator makes it easy for you to improve the performance and availability of your applications by taking advantage of the AWS global network,” he told the AWS re:Invent audience.

Graphic: AWS

“Your customer traffic is routed from your end users to the closest AWS edge location and from there traverses congestion-free redundant, highly available AWS global network. In addition to improving performance AWS Global Accelerator has built-in fault isolation, which instantly reacts to changes in the network health or your applications configuration,” DeSantis explained.

In fact, network administrators can route traffic based on defined policies such as health or geographic requirements and the traffic will move to the designated zone automatically based on those policies.

AWS plans to charge customers based on the number of accelerators they create. “An accelerator is the resource you create to direct traffic to optimal endpoints over the AWS global network. Customers will typically set up one accelerator for each application, but more complex applications may require more than one accelerator,” AWS’s Shaun Ray wrote in a blog post announcing the new feature.

AWS Global Accelerator is available today in several regions in the US, Europe and Asia.


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix will stream Neon Genesis Evangelion in 2019 – CNET

The biggest streaming service nabs one of the biggest anime series of all time.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018 smartwatch and fitness tracker deals: Free Apple Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch, $50 off Fitbit – CNET

Last minute Cyber Monday deals on watches and trackers like the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Fitbit Versa.
Source: CNET

NASA's InSight lander delivers first clear image of Mars landing site – CNET

A quiet, clear horizon beckons in InSight’s first dust-free image of its new home.
Source: CNET

Lime launches electric-assist bikes in its first UK city

Lime launched in the United Kingdom today, starting with a group of dockless electric-assist bikes in a Milton Keynes shopping center. The San Francisco-based startup says it plans to expand into more UK cities over the next few weeks.

As in other markets, users in Milton Keynes find and unlock Lime’s bikes, which use battery-powered motors to reduce pedaling and travel further distances, through a mobile app. Bike rides cost £1 (about $1.28) to unlock and an additional 15 pence per minute of riding time and will be available first at intu Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.

Backed by investors like Uber, GV, and Andreessen Horowitz with $467 million in funding so far, Lime recently said it had hit a milestone of 11.5 million rides, only 14 months after its bikes first became available to riders. The company already operates in 100 markets through the United States and Europe and plans to launch in 50 new cities by the end of this year.

But LIme’s rapid growth hasn’t come without bumps. Along with competitors Bird and Spin, Lime was one of the companies involved in San Francisco’s war on electric scooters when they ran afoul of the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). The SFMTA said e-scooters created obstacles and potentially safety hazards. This ultimately resulted in Lime being denied an e-scooter permit in August, a decision it appealed.

By choosing Milton Keynes as its first UK city, however, Lime intent on preventing conflicts by working with a city that is more receptive to transportation startups. Milton Keynes was the site of an initiative called MK: Smart to integrate more Internet of Things hardware. The project was followed by CityLABS, a program that supports data and IoT startups. In its announcement, Lime said it “will be working closely with city leaders and stakeholders to ensure the fair and respectful distribution of the service across the area.”


Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp’s chief business officer is leaving

Roughly one year after WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton made his highly-publicized exit from Facebook, another executive and early employee of the messaging platform is doing the same. Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s chief business officer, announced today that he would be “taking some time off to recharge and spend time with family.”

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and pledged to allow the messaging giant to continue to operate independently under Acton and co-founder Jan Koum, who served as its chief executive officer until abruptly quitting over privacy and data concerns in April. Arora, who joined WhatsApp in 2011 from Google, was rumored to be the frontrunner to replace Koum as CEO. With him out the door, it’s unclear who will be tapped to lead WhatsApp .

In today’s announcement, Arora said he was “deeply indebted” to both Acton and Koum, “who entrusted me to be their business companion for so many years.”

Facebook subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram are both in periods of flux following the exits of their original founders, which are believed to be caused by quarrels with the social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg .

In what was one of the largest tech stories of 2018, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced they were leaving Facebook years after the company acquired their photo-sharing app for $1 billion. They shared the news in September, just a few months after Koum stepped down from WhatsApp.

According to The New York Times, Zuckerberg, over the course of the last year, had begun to assert more and more control over Instagram, upsetting its leaders.

Koum, for his part, reportedly wrote in a since-removed WhatsApp blog post that Zuckerberg and Facebook no longer had respect for privacy: “These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends they day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect your personal data… remember, when advertising is involved, you the user are the product.”

According to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, Koum was unhappy “about how Facebook would monetize his app and the impact of that on privacy.” Both Acton and Koum departed Facebook before they fully vested from the multi-billion acquisition, meaning the pair chose to lose hundreds of millions of dollars over continued employment at Facebook.

Arora’s exit is further evidence that Facebook has entered a new era, one in which the company’s acquisition strategy may be in serious danger of long-term damage.

You can read Arora’s full post below.


Source: TechCrunch

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