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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Shadow banning: What it is — and what it's not – CNET

Let’s shed some light on the subject, and on what’s happening on Twitter.
Source: CNET

Bring your best questions for these Q&A speakers at Disrupt SF

This week we’re excited to announce another addition to the TechCrunch Disrupt SF program — the Q&A agenda.

This is new for Disrupt. After chats on the Main and Next stages, select speakers will take questions from the audience in special, extended Q&A sessions.

These panels will last 30-45 minutes and be open to Disrupt attendees. Talk to Kai-Fu Lee about the evolution of artificial intelligence. Dive deeper into CRISPR by posing questions to Rachel Haurwitz. Ask Avichal Garg for advice on launching an ICO. Sessions will feature speakers across all key topics and it’s your chance to ask questions to some of the greatest minds in technology.

The only way to get involved is to snag a ticket to Disrupt SF. Click here to get a special early-bird discount until August 1. General admission and exhibitor packages are still available. For the full Disrupt SF agenda, click here. The Q&A agenda is below. We’ll be adding speakers in the weeks leading up to Disrupt, so check back often for updates.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH

Morning


  • Exploring Private and Public Space Exploration and book signing with Alan Stern (NASA)
  • Uniting Under Unity with John Riccitiello (Unity Technologies)

Afternoon


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH

Morning

  • Investing in China with Hans Tung (GGV Capital) and Yi Wang (Lingochamp)
  • Making mobility possible with Reilly Brennan (Trucks VC) and others to be announced
  • Building for Voice with Jason Mars (Clinc) and others to be announced

Afternoon

  • Rebooting the Robots with Claire Delaunay (Nvidia), Rich Mahoney (Seismic) and others to be announced
  • Creating with CRISPR with Rachel Haurwitz (Caribou Biosciences) and others to be announced

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH

Morning


Afternoon


Source: TechCrunch

Huawei Honor Play shoots for gamers – CNET

The very affordable Honor Play will let gamers have fun on the cheap.
Source: CNET

ACLU says Amazon facial recognition associated Congress members with mugshots

As far as attention-grabbing stunts go, this is a pretty good one. The ACLU has been attempting to raise awareness of Amazon’s Rekognition software for some time, stating that it “raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.”

For its part, Amazon has brushed these off, telling TechCrunch back in May, “As a technology, Amazon Rekognition has many useful applications in the real world.” In a bid to get Congress to sit up and take notice, however, the ACLU says it used Rekognition to scan images of every current member of Congress.

The ACLU claims the software falsely matched 28 members of Congress with arrest mugshots. “The members of Congress who were falsely matched with the mugshot database we used in the test include Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and legislators of all ages, from all across the country,” the organization writes in a statement.

Those tagged, however, “were disproportionately of people of color, including six members of the Congressional Black Caucus, among them civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis,” it adds.

Amazon has, naturally, rejected the findings. The company noted that such technologies are used to narrow down results, rather than make arrests. “We remain excited about how image and video analysis can be a driver for good in the world,” it said in a statement.

That the service appears to have an outsized target on people of color, however, does add fuel to the ACLU’s existing privacy complaints. Earlier this month, Microsoft president Bradford L. Smith called for additional regulation for these technologies as they continue to become more of a mainstay for law enforcement.

“Facial recognition technology raises issues that go to the heart of fundamental human rights protections like privacy and freedom of expression,” Smith wrote. “These issues heighten responsibility for tech companies that create these products. In our view, they also call for thoughtful government regulation and for the development of norms around acceptable uses.”


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook acquires Redkix to enhance communications on Workplace by Facebook

Facebook had a rough day yesterday when its stock plunged after a poor earnings report. What better way to pick yourself up and dust yourself off than to buy a little something for yourself. Today the company announced it has acquired Redkix, a startup that provides tools to communicate more effectively by combining email with a more formal collaboration tool. The companies did not reveal the acquisition price.

Redkix burst out of the gate two years ago with a $17 million seed round, a hefty seed amount by any measure. What prompted this kind of investment was a tool that combined a collaboration tool like Slack or Workplace by Facebook with email. People could collaborate in Redkix itself, or if you weren’t a registered user, you could still participate by email, providing a more seamless way to work together.

Alan Lepofsky, who covers enterprise collaboration at Constellation Research, sees this tool as providing a key missing link. “Redkix is a great solution for bridging the worlds between traditional email messaging and more modern conversational messaging. Not all enterprises are ready to simply switch from one to the other, and Redkix allows for users to work in whichever method they want, seamlessly communicating with the other,” Lepofsky told TechCrunch.

As is often the case with these kinds of acquisitions, the company bought the technology  itself along with the team that created it. This means that the Redikix team including the CEO and CTO will join Facebook and they will very likely be shutting down the application after the acquisition is finalized.

Lepofsky thinks that enterprises that are adopting Facebook’s enterprise tool will be able to more seamlessly transition between the two modes of communication, the Workplace by Facebook tool and email, as they prefer.

Although a deal like this has probably been in the works for some time, after yesterday’s earning’s debacle, Facebook could be looking for ways to enhance its revenue in areas beyond the core Facebook platform. The enterprise collaboration tool does offer a possible way to do that in the future, and if they can find a way to incorporate email into it, it could make it a more attractive and broader offering.

Facebook is competing with Slack, the darling of this space and others like Microsoft, Cisco and Google around communications and collaboration. When it launched in 2015, it was trying to take that core Facebook product and put it in a business context, something Slack had been doing since the beginning.

To succeed in business, Facebook had to think differently than as a consumer tool, driven by advertising revenue and had to convince large organizations that they understood their requirements. Today, Facebook claims 30,000 organizations are using the tool and over time they have built in integrations to other key enterprise products, and keep enhancing it.

Perhaps with today’s acquisition, they can offer a more flexible way to interact with platform and could increase those numbers over time.


Source: TechCrunch

SuperAwesome now offers kids brands an alternative to YouTube

SuperAwesome, the “kidtech” startup valued now at over $100 million, is today launching its own alternative to YouTube’s embedded video player. The technology is aimed at kids publishers – not consumers directly – and is part of the company’s larger platform of kid-safe technology. This includes tools for social engagement, parental controls, advertising, authentication, and more, all specifically designed for companies catering to kids.

The launch comes at a key time in the industry, as YouTube is now the subject of a class-action lawsuit over children’s privacy, and recently had an FTC complaint filed against it by 23 advocacy groups. The complaint says YouTube has been collecting data on children’s viewing patterns for years, in violation of federal law – meaning COPPA, aka the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The new player provided by SuperAwesome gives kids brands another choice amid all these questions over YouTube and its respect for children’s privacy.

Explains the company, the player does not capture data on children, nor does it breach regulations like COPPA (U.S.) or GDPR-K (E.U.).

The opportunity for SuperAwesome is fairly sizable here. Already, the company counts among its customer base over 190 kids’ brands like Crayola, Topps, Spin Master, Warner Bros., Hasbro, Disney, Roald Dahl, Mattel, Dreamworks, Penguin, and others. These companies use SuperAwesome’s platform and its tools for socially engaging, advertising and connecting with their under-13 audience.

“The demand for [the video player] has come directly from our customers and the player has been in beta testing for a while,” SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins tells TechCrunch.

As with its other tools, the kids’ publishers will be able to embed the new player within their own websites and apps, and then manage all their social content – including video – from SuperAwesome’s “PopJam” dashboard.

“To give you a sense of scale, the PopJam Connect platform is enabling tens of millions of kid-safe social engagements every month,” Collins adds.

The platform itself offers a set of basic tools for free, but larger companies pay for premium upgrades on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) basis. Because it’s working with so many big brands, SuperAwesome is now turning a profit. It’s expecting to grow 100 percent this year to reach a revenue run rate of $50 million, it recently said.

And it also just added Tim Weller, chairman of Trustpilot and Taptica, as its Chairman a few months ago, and announced former Upworthy CRO, Ben Zagorski as its North American Chief Revenue Officer.

SuperAwesome’s platform today is addressing an underserved audience: kids brands that need to abide by federal and international regulations around children’s privacy, but have had limited options in terms of technology that helps them do so.

That was the case with video in particular – there hasn’t really been a viable alternative to YouTube’s player that suits kids publishers’ needs.

“There are over 170,000 children going online for the first time every day and the kidtech ecosystem is growing equally quickly to make the broader internet compatible with this new audience,” noted SuperAwesome CTO Joshua Wohle in a statement about the player’s launch. “Many people misinterpreted children’s appearance on the internet as a temporary blip, whereas in reality it is a structural shift that is changing the landscape,” he said.

 

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

Different US Election Maps Tell ‘Different Versions of the Truth’

Self-proclaimed “cartonerd” Ken Field published a gallery of alternative election maps designed to reveal markedly different stories about the US.
Source: Wired

Airbnb’s Slow-Moving Mission to Win Over African Americans

One year in, Airbnb’s mission to expand service in black neighborhoods through a partnership NAACP, still holds tremendous potential—but it’s just getting started
Source: Wired

'Mission: Impossible–Fallout": How Plausible Are All Those Gadgets, Anyway?

Facing a franchise known for futuristic gadgets, our mission was to consult experts to find out what’s achievable and what’s still, you know, impossible.
Source: Wired

The Abandoned Soviet Spas Inhabited by Georgian Refugees

In its heyday, the spa town of Tskaltubo drew more than 100,000 visitors each year. Today, Georgians displaced by the Abkhazian conflict call it home.
Source: Wired

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