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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Behold the Acer Predator Thronos gaming chair – CNET

It’s way more than just a chair.
Source: CNET

Contraception app Natural Cycles’ Facebook ad banned for being misleading

Natural Cycles, a Swedish startup which touts its body temperature-based algorithmic method for tracking individual fertility as an effective alternative to hormonal birth control, has been wrapped by the UK advertising regulator which today upheld three complaints that an advert the company ran last year via Facebook’s platform was misleading.

The regulator has banned Natural Cycles from running the advert again, and warned it against exaggerating the efficacy of its product.

The ad had stated that “Natural Cycles is a highly accurate, certified, contraceptive app that adapts to every woman’s unique menstrual cycle. Sign up to get to know your body and prevent pregnancies naturally”, and in a video below the text it had also stated: “Natural Cycles officially offers a new, clinically tested alternative to birth control methods”.

The company has leaned heavily on social media marketing to target its ‘digital contraception’ app at young women.

“We told Natural Cycles Nordic AB Sweden not to state or imply that the app was a highly accurate method of contraception and to take care not to exaggerate the efficacy of the app in preventing pregnancies,” said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) handing down its decision.

While Natural Cycles gained EU certification for its app as a contraceptive in February 2017, and most recently FDA clearance for marketing the app as a contraception in the US (with the regulator granting its De Novo classification request this month), those regulatory clearances come with plenty of caveats about the complexity of the product.

The FDA, for example, warns that: “Users must be aware that even with consistent use of the device, there is still a possibility of unintended pregnancy.”

At the same time, Natural Cycles has yet to back up the efficacy claims it makes for the product with the scientific ‘gold standard’ of a randomized control trial. So users wanting to be able to compare the product’s efficacy against other more tried and tested birth control methods (such as the pill or condoms) are not able to do so.

No birth control method (barring abstention) is 100% effective of course but, as we’ve reported previously, Natural Cycles’ aggressive marketing and PR has lacked nuance and attempted to downplay concerns about the complexity of its system and the chance of failure even though the product’s performance is impacted by multiple individual factors — from illness, to irregular periods. Which risks being irresponsible.

In the ruling, the ASA flags up the relative complexity of Natural Cycles’ system vs more established forms of contraception — pointing out that:

The Natural Cycles app required considerably more user input than most forms of contraception, with the need to take and input body temperature measurements several times a week, recording when intercourse had taken place, supplemented with LH measurements, abstention or alternative methods of contraception during the fertile period.

The company also remains under investigation in Sweden by the medical regulator after a local hospital reported a number of unwanted pregnancies among users of the app.

Despite all that, Natural Cycles’ website bills its product as “effective contraception”, claiming the app is “93% effective under typical use” and making the further (and confusingly worded) claim that: “With using the app perfectly, i.e. if you never have unprotected intercourse on red days, Natural Cycles is 99% effective, which means 1 woman out of 100 get pregnant during one year of use.”

Perfect use of the app actually means a woman would accurately perform daily measurement of her body temperature without fail or fault, and before she’s even sat up in bed, at least several times a week, correctly inputting the data. Forgetting to do so once because — say — you got up to go to the toilet or were otherwise interrupted before taking or inputting a reading could constitute imperfect use.

The BBC spoke to a women who says she made the decision to use the app after seeing that 99% effective claim in Natural Cycles’ marketing on Instagram — and subsequently fell pregnant while using it. “I was sort of sucked into this “99% effective” [claim],” she told the broadcaster. “You know “even more effective than the pill”… What could possibly go wrong?”

In its ruling, the regulator said it investigated two issues related to the advert run by Natural Cycles on Facebook on July 20, 2017, and both issues were upheld.

The complaints were that Natural Cycles’ advert included misleading and unsubstantiated claims — specifically that the product was: 1. “Highly accurate contraceptive app”; and 2. “Clinically tested alternative to birth control methods”.

Natural Cycles told the ASA that the latter claim is in fact a quote from a Business Insider article which it “considered to be correct” and had thus reproduced in its marketing.

After taking expert evidence, and reviewing three published papers on accumulated data obtained from the app, the regulator deemed the combination of the two claims to be misleading.

It writes:

We considered that in isolation, the claim “clinically tested alternative to birth control methods” was unlikely to mislead. However, when presented alongside the accompanying claim “Highly accurate contraceptive app”, it further contributed to the impression that the app was a precise and reliable method of preventing pregnancies which could be used in place of other established birth control methods, including those which were highly reliable in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Because the evidence did not demonstrate that in typical-use it was “highly accurate” and because it was significantly less effective than the most reliable birth control methods, we considered that in the context of the ad the claim was likely to mislead.

The ASA also found the advert to have breached rules for substantiation and exaggeration of marketing messages in the Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products category, as well as being misleading.

At the time of writing Natural Cycles had not responded to requests for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

Acer unveils superlight 15-inch laptop plus tons of gaming hardware at IFA – CNET

The company claims the $1,100 Swift 5 is the world’s lightest laptop of its size.
Source: CNET

Miele's newest dishwasher uses a disk to dispense detergent – CNET

The PowerDisk, which automatically dispenses detergent during wash cycles, is more efficient and effective at cleaning, the company says.
Source: CNET

Trump claims Google rigs search engine, SpaceX explains where Mars astronauts will live video – CNET

Today’s top tech stories include Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of Google search engine bias, Bose’s new trio of smart speakers and SpaceX’s housing plans for its future Martian astronauts.
Source: CNET

Android Devices Can Be Exploited With Decades Old-Telephone Tech

So-called Attention commands date back to the 80s, but they can enable some very modern-day smartphone hacks.
Source: Wired

Storage provider Cloudian raises $94M

Cloudian, a company that specializes in helping businesses store petabytes of data, today announced that it has raised a $94 million Series E funding round. Investors in this round, which is one of the largest we have seen for a storage vendor, include Digital Alpha, Fidelity Eight Roads, Goldman Sachs, INCJ, JPIC (Japan Post Investment Corporation), NTT DOCOMO Ventures and WS Investments. This round includes a $25 million investment from Digital Alpha, which was first announced earlier this year.

With this, the seven-year-old company has now raised a total of $174 million.

As the company told me, it now has about 160 employees and 240 enterprise customers. Cloudian has found its sweet spot in managing the large video archives of entertainment companies, but its customers also include healthcare companies, automobile manufacturers and Formula One teams.

What’s important to stress here is that Cloudian’s focus is on on-premise storage, not cloud storage, though it does offer support for multi-cloud data management, as well. “Data tends to be most effectively used close to where it is created and close to where it’s being used,” Cloudian VP of worldwide sales Jon Ash told me. “That’s because of latency, because of network traffic. You can almost always get better performance, better control over your data if it is being stored close to where it’s being used.” He also noted that it’s often costly and complex to move that data elsewhere, especially when you’re talking about the large amounts of information that Cloudian’s customers need to manage.

Unsurprisingly, companies that have this much data now want to use it for machine learning, too, so Cloudian is starting to get into this space, as well. As Cloudian CEO and co-founder Michael Tso also told me, companies are now aware that the data they pull in, no matter whether that’s from IoT sensors, cameras or medical imaging devices, will only become more valuable over time as they try to train their models. If they decide to throw the data away, they run the risk of having nothing with which to train their models.

Cloudian plans to use the new funding to expand its global sales and marketing efforts and increase its engineering team. “We have to invest in engineering and our core technology, as well,” Tso noted. “We have to innovate in new areas like AI.”

As Ash also stressed, Cloudian’s business is really data management — not just storage. “Data is coming from everywhere and it’s going everywhere,” he said. “The old-school storage platforms that were siloed just don’t work anywhere.”


Source: TechCrunch

The $1,100 Acer Swift is the lightest 15-inch laptop ever made

Acer came to IFA 2018 with a number of new laptops, the most interesting of which is the lightest 15-inch laptop ever made. The $1,100 laptop is not only incredibly light, it’s also packing the newest Intel processors and built-in 4G LTE.

The post The $1,100 Acer Swift is the lightest 15-inch laptop ever made appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Designed to engulf players, Acer’s Predator Thronos is a titan of a gaming chair

Part of Acer’s gaming lineup during IFA 2018 is the Predator Thronos Gaming Chair. Although the name resembles that of an evil world-killing villain, this chair is just as titanic in nature as it cradles the player.

The post Designed to engulf players, Acer’s Predator Thronos is a titan of a gaming chair appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset lets you straddle real, virtual worlds

Acer launched the OJO 500 as its newest Windows Mixed Reality headset at IFA. The OJO 500’s unique sound pipe helps you stay aware of sounds in your physical surroundings even as you journey into the virtual world.

The post Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset lets you straddle real, virtual worlds appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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