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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

How the Feds Failed to Track Thousands of Separated Children

Ad-hoc systems and haphazard databases made the Trump administration’s cruel border separation policies somehow even worse.
Source: Wired

Redpoint Ventures is raising another $400M to invest in Chinese companies

Redpoint Ventures is doubling down on China. The firm, headquartered in Menlo Park, has filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $400 million across two new China-focused funds.

The firm has set a $300 million target for its second flagship China fund, a significant increase from the $180 million it garnered for its debut China fund in 2016. Redpoint is also raising a $100 million opportunity fund that will also focus on the Chinese tech startup market.

Redpoint launched its dedicated China fund, led by managing director David Yuan and partners Tony Wu and Reggie Zhang, in 2016. Wu isn’t listed on the latest filings and may have taken a step back from the China team. We’ve reached out to Redpoint for additional details.

Investing at the seed, early- and growth-stages, Redpoint’s portfolio includes Stripe, Snowflake and Brandless. Its China fund has deployed capital to Yixia, a video blogging platform valued at more than $3 billion; Renrenche.com, an online marketplace for used cars; and iDreamSky, a Chinese game distributor that recently debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Following a banner year for venture capital fundraising wherein firms brought in $55.5 billion across 256 vehicles, per PitchBook, VCs are already off to a strong start in 2019. This week, Resolute Ventures, an early-stage firm based in San Francisco and Boston, closed its fourth fund on $75 million, and Silicon Valley-based BlueRun Ventures nabbed $130 million for its sixth flagship fund. Earlier this month, Lightspeed Venture Partners announced $560 million in capital commitments for its fourth China fund.


Source: TechCrunch

Well, Nissan put snow tracks on a 2019 Altima – Roadshow

Nissan has a long and illustrious history of shredding gnar with passenger cars.
Source: CNET

Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges and how to visit all Expedition Outposts – CNET

The official Fortnite challenges are here for week 7 and we can help you get through them quickly.
Source: CNET

Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay reveal: Check out some fatalties – CNET

Get over here and finish him (or her)!
Source: CNET

Unboxing Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS/Max – CNET

A close-up look at Apple’s newest battery case, bulge and all.
Source: CNET

Amazon shareholders want the company to stop selling facial recognition to law enforcement

Amazon shareholders are demanding the company stop selling Rekognition, the company’s facial recognition software, to law enforcement. Unless the board of directors determines the technology “does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights,” shareholders want Amazon to stop selling the software to government agencies.

Rekognition, which is part of Amazon Web Services, has the ability to conduct image and video analyses of faces. The technology can identify and track people, as well as their emotions. Amazon has reportedly sold Rekognition to law enforcement agencies in at least two states. Amazon has also reportedly pitched this software to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Last May, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California shed some light on Rekognition, saying it had obtained documents that raise “profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.” In one test, the ACLU found Rekognition wrongly identified 28 members of Congress, disproportionately confusing Congress members of color as people criminals.

This resolution, organized by non-profit organization Open MIC, represents a group of shareholders that represent a total of $1.32 billion in assets under management.

“It’s a familiar pattern: a leading tech company marketing what is hailed as breakthrough technology without understanding or assessing the many real and potential harms of that product,” Open MIC Executive Director Michael Connor wrote in a blog post. “Sales of Rekognition to government represent considerable risk for the company and investors. That’s why it’s imperative those sales be halted immediately.”

Shareholders intend for this resolution to be voted on in Amazon’s annual meeting this spring.

Amazon declined to comment for this story.


Source: TechCrunch

‘Star Wars’ returns: Trump calls for space-based missile defense

The President has announced that the Defense Department will pursue a space-based missile defense system reminiscent of the one proposed by Reagan in 1983. As with Reagan’s ultimately abortive effort, the technology doesn’t actually exist yet and may not for years to come — but it certainly holds more promise now than 30 years ago.

In a speech at the Pentagon reported by the Associated Press, Trump explained that a new missile defense system would “detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, any time, any place.”

“My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer. It’s new technology. It’s ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense, and obviously our offense,” he said. The nature of this “new technology” is not entirely clear, as none was named or ordered to be tested or deployed.

Lest anyone think that this is merely one of the President’s flights of fancy, he is in fact simply voicing the conclusions of the Defense Department’s 2019 Missile Defense Review, a major report that examines the state of the missile threat against the U.S. and what countermeasures might be taken.

It reads in part:

As rogue state missile arsenals develop, space will play a particularly important role in support of missile defense.

Russia and China are developing advanced cruise missiles and hypersonic missile capabilities that can travel at exceptional speeds with unpredictable flight paths that challenge existing defensive systems.

The exploitation of space provides a missile defense posture that is more effective, resilient and adaptable to known and unanticipated threats… DoD will undertake a new and near-term examination of the concepts and technology for space-based defenses to assess the technological and operational potential of space-basing in the evolving security environment.

The President’s contribution seems to largely have been to eliminate the mention of the nation-states directly referenced (and independently assessed at length) in the report, and to suggest the technology is ready to deploy. In fact all the Pentagon is ready to do is begin research into the feasibility of the such a system or systems.

No doubt space-based sensors are well on their way; we already have near-constant imaging of the globe (companies like Planet have made it their mission), and the number and capabilities of such satellites are only increasing.

Space-based tech has evolved considerably over the many years since the much-derided “Star Wars” proposals, but some of them are still as unrealistic as they were then. However as the Pentagon report points out, the only way to know for sure is to conduct a serious study of the possibilities, and that’s what this plan calls for. All the same it may be best for Trump not to repeat Reagan’s mistake of making promises he can’t keep.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS and XS Max: Review in progress – CNET

It’s got a bulge, it can wirelessly charge, and it’s not cheap. Early hands-on thoughts.
Source: CNET

Dell teases new XPS laptop with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake for summer 2019

After teasing a mysterious Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop during Intel’s keynote, Dell confirmed that it will announce a new 10th-generation Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop this year. The new XPS notebook could debut as early as summer.

The post Dell teases new XPS laptop with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake for summer 2019 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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