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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Pixel 3 and 3 XL: CNET editors react video – CNET

The specs, and best and worst features of Google’s new phones.
Source: CNET

Self-driving car startup Aurora becomes Pennsylvania’s first “authorized” tester

Aurora, the buzzy self-driving car startup, has become the first company officially authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to test its vehicles on public roads.

Aurora has been testing its autonomous vehicles on public streets in Pittsburgh since late 2017. And other companies such as Argo AI also test autonomous vehicles there. So receiving an “authorized tester” designation might seem a bit backwards.

Welcome to the wacky world of autonomous vehicles where the state and local agencies are often playing policy catch up to technological advancements.

Pennsylvania, and specifically Pittsburgh, is already a hotbed of AV testing and research with Carnegie Mellon University, Aurora, Argo AI and Uber ATG all located in the area.

This authorized tester designation is part of an automated vehicle testing guidance developed by a task force and released in July. The guidance is meant to help regulators better monitor and track autonomous vehicle testing in the state.

The key word in there is “guidance.” Pennsylvania law allows testing of highly automated vehicles as long as there’s a licensed driver behind the wheel who can take control if needed.

In other words, going through an application process to become an authorized tester is voluntary. And Aurora was the first to comply.

Aurora explained in a blog post Wednesday that it voluntarily complied with PennDOT’s request “because we believe this will help the communities in and around Pittsburgh to be aware of Aurora, our testing, our commitment to safety, and our vision for a self-driving future.”

Aurora will provide PennDOT information about where it’s testing, the conditions under which it tests, the internal checks and safety measures used, the vetting and training of vehicle operators and details about how its self-driving system works.

Aurora doesn’t hire independent contractors as test drivers. Instead it uses full-time employees who go through a 12-week training program that includes a defensive driving course and coursework on how to operate the self-driving system safely. The test drivers undergo weekly, quarterly, and annual refresher trainings, according to Aurora. The company also requires a two people in test vehicles when driving in autonomous mode.

It’s a small, notable progression in Aurora’s big year of firsts. The company, founded by Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell and Chris Urmson, announced partnerships with Volkswagen Group, Hyundai and Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton. It’s made some key hires, including SpaceX’s former head of software engineering, Jinnah Hosein, who is leading a software engineering team. And it has three locations, its headquarters in Palo Alto as well as offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

It’s also noteworthy for the state. The guidance lays the foundation for future legislation or policies that would provide greater oversight on autonomous vehicles testing and even open the door for testing vehicles without a human driver behind the wheel.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla close to finding a new board chair in James Murdoch, report says – Roadshow

The 45-year-old media magnate (and son of Rupert Murdoch) is currently a nonexecutive member of Tesla’s board.
Source: CNET

Men won't talk about mental health and it's literally killing them – CNET

Men are less likely than women to discuss mental health issues and far more likely to attempt suicide. Can mobile apps help men save their own lives?
Source: CNET

Hurricane Michael looks like a skull in satellite imagery – CNET

The powerful storm now lashing the Florida Panhandle took on a ghoulish look when seen from space.
Source: CNET

Lenovo tops worldwide PC market in flat quarter – CNET

Lenovo’s market share increases, Apple’s slides a bit.
Source: CNET

IBM Joins Fight Over Pentagon Cloud Contract Favoring Amazon

Rivals complain that specs for a potential $10 billion contract favor Amazon.
Source: Wired

Agricultura 100 % robótica para resolver los dos grandes retos del sector

La plantación hidropónica de Iron Ox está controlada por robots y produce cinco veces más que una tradicional al aire libre. Su objetivo es solucionar dos problemas de golpe: la escasez de mano de obra humana y las largas distancias que recorren los productos agrícolas para llegar a las tiendas
Source: MIT

El SETI solo ha buscado vida inteligente en una región ínfima del universo

Tras años de búsqueda, la falta de señales alienígenas sugiere que los únicos seres inteligentes del cosmos están en la Tierra. Pero esta investigación revela que el área analizada hasta la fecha equivale al volumen de agua de una bañera frente al de todos los océanos
Source: MIT

Teeth-straightening startup SmileDirectClub is now worth $3.2 billion

SmileDirectClub, the at-home teeth-straightening startup, has just raised $380 million at a $3.2 billion valuation, the company announced today. Investors from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice led the round, which featured participation from Kleiner Perkins and Spark Capital.

This funding comes on top of Align Technology’s $46.7 million investment in SmileDirectClub in 2016, and another $12.8 million investment in 2017 to own a total of 19 percent of the company.

“We are very excited with the outcome of our most recent fundraising round,” SmileDirectClub co-founder Alex Fenkell said in a statement. “Our mission has always been to provide an affordable and convenient option to anyone who wants to transform their smile. We are excited to continue our growth into new spaces and be given the incredible opportunity to reach even more people with our life-changing service,” said Fenkell. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds and are grateful for the support from our new investors.”

SmileDirectClub is a direct-to-consumer teeth-aligner startup that started with the idea of using teledentistry to virtually connect licensed dentists and orthodontists with people who want to straighten their teeth. Since its inception in 2014, SmileDirectClub says it has helped more than 300,000 people straighten and brighten their teeth.

The company ships invisible aligners directly to customers, and licensed dental professionals (either orthodontists or general dentists) remotely monitor the progress of the patient. Before shipping the aligners, patients either take their dental impressions at home and send them to SmileDirectClub or visit one of the company’s “SmileShops” to be scanned in person. SmileDirectClub says it costs 60 percent less than other types of teeth-straightening treatments, with the length of treatments ranging from four to 14 months. The average treatment lasts six months.

Though, members of the American Association of Orthodontists have taken issue with SmileDirectClub, previously asserting that SmileDirectClub violates the law because its methods of allowing people to skip in-person visits and X-rays is “illegal and creates medical risks.” The organization has also filed complaints against SmileDirectClub in 36 states, alleging violations of statutes and regulations governing the practice of dentistry. Those complaints were filed with the regulatory boards that oversee dentistry practices and with the attorneys general of each state.

Back in June, the AAO expressed its disappointment in learning about Macy’s decision to offer SmileDirectClub in some of its locations, saying “orthodontic treatment is not a product. Rather, it is a complex medical process.”

In the statement, the AAO said “it is in the best interest of consumers to have orthodontic treatment conducted under the direct and ongoing, in-person supervision of a licensed orthodontist.”

But SmileDirectClub is not the only startup in this space. Check out the story below to learn more about the competitive market that has popped up around your teeth.


Source: TechCrunch

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