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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The hottest upcoming movies for the second half of 2018 – CNET

From Aquaman and First Man to Mary Poppins and The Predator, there are loads of great movies to look forward.
Source: CNET

Radical As Ever, Boots Riley Takes On the Tech Boom

With his feature directorial debut, ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ Riley has stormed Hollywood in a second act no one expected.
Source: Wired

We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is

And new tick-borne pathogens are emerging at a troubling clip.
Source: Wired

Uber relaunches a licensed service in Finland after taxi law deregulation

Ride-hailing giant Uber is officially relaunching in Finland today, a year after suspending its primary service in the market — when it said it would wait for taxi laws to be deregulated.

Among the changes it was waiting for are the removal of taxi permit caps and fare restrictions. Most parts of the Act came into effect on July 1.

The Finnish government said its intention is to modernize the rules to “significantly enhance the implementation of new technology, digitalisation and new business concepts”, promoting competition and working towards the creation of what it dubbed “seamless, multimodal travel chains” — thanks also to a push in the act for data and systems interoperability and open interfaces.

“This Act will give us a genuine opportunity to make mobility a comprehensive service for customers,” said transport minister Anne Berner last year.

From 3pm CET today Uber says two services that use professional drivers — uberX and UberBLACK — will operate in the Helsinki capital region in Finland, which it notes will includes Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

Uber is not restarting its unlicensed peer-to-peer service (UberPOP) in the market.

That unlicensed driver option has essentially been outlawed in Europe after the region’s top court ruled in December that Uber is a transport service, not a platform, thereby locking its business into being regulated by existing taxi licensing regimes.

And locking Uber into lobbying city authorities to ‘modernize’ and deregulate taxi rules in its favor — such as by removing permit caps and making it easier for more people to become taxi drivers.

“In the vast majority of the European countries we have been operating under existing transportation laws for years now and were able to scale our business with licensed drivers,” an Uber spokesman told us.

Blogging about the Finland relaunch, Uber talks up the different course it says it’s seeking to chart under new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, writing: “We’ve set a course for more responsible growth with a new approach to building long-term partnerships with cities and regulators.”

In truth Uber has had its course reset after a series of scandals rocked the company and, in Europe, after myriad legal challenges led to regulatory blowback and ramped up public and political pressure on the company to change.

Those external forces are continuing to reconfigure Uber’s business — and in Europe at least to make it better mesh with local civic values.

For example in London, the company has made a series of changes to how it operates — such as introducing safety caps on the hours drivers can work — changes it made following a shock decision by the transport regulator to withdraw its license to operate in September 2017.

Last month the company won an appeal against TfL’s withdrawal of its license based on changes it had made since September 2017, though the judge only granted it a provisional 15-month license — with UK regulators set to continue to scrutinize its conduct closely.

Another example of Uber’s regional reconfiguration: An announcement in May that it would expand accident insurance cover for its drivers and delivery workers across Europe.

Last month the company also said it will bring its Jump e-bike service to Europe — with Khosrowshahi claiming the company wants to help cities tackle traffic-related problems such as air pollution and congestion by increasing access to “cleaner transportation solutions”.

In Helsinki, Uber had intended to keep its UberBlack service going for the past year but a spokeswoman told us it did not have enough drivers to provide a reliable service — so UberBlack has not been operational since the suspension. But will restart later today.

Since last August, Uber says more than 250,000 people in the Helsinki area have opened its app despite there being no service in operation — which it touts as showing “clear demand” for its service.

It also notes that Finnish Uber users have taken more than 200,000 Uber trips abroad during the local market pause.

“We’re excited to use our technology to complement existing public and private transport options and to offer an affordable, safe and reliable alternative to personal car ownership. We hope that other countries, where local people are not currently able to use apps like Uber either to get around or to make money on their terms, will soon follow suit,” Uber adds.


Source: TechCrunch

A Fourth of July Drone Show Helps Military Families With Special Needs

On Wednesday, Travis Air Force Base will host a light show by Intel’s Shooting Star drones instead of traditional fireworks.
Source: Wired

The Nonsense-y Polaris Slingshot Is the Future of Driving

The three-wheeler is all about having fun on the road—and once the robots free us from the drudgery of daily driving, that’s all we’ll have left.
Source: Wired

The Physics of Launching Fireworks From a Drone

PSA: Let’s keep drones and fireworks *far* away from each other.
Source: Wired

Wikipedia goes dark in Spanish, Italian ahead of key EU vote on copyright

Wikipedia’s Italian and Spanish language versions have temporarily shut off access to their respective versions of the free online encyclopedia in Europe to protest against controversial components of a copyright reform package ahead of a key vote in the EU parliament tomorrow.

The protest follows a vote by the EU parliament’s legal affairs committee last month which backed the reforms — including the two most controversial elements: Article 13, which makes platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users — pushing them towards pre-filtering all content uploads, with all the associated potential chilling effects for free expression; and Article 11, which targets news aggregator business models by creating a neighboring right for snippets of journalistic content — aka ‘the link tax’, as critics dub it.

Visitors to Wikipedia in many parts of the EU (and further afield) are met with a banner which urges them to defend the open Internet against the controversial proposal by calling their MEP to voice their opposition to a measure critics describe as ‘censorship machines’, warning it will “weaken the values, culture and ecosystem on which Wikipedia is based”.

Clicking on a button to ‘call your MEP’ links through to anti-Article 13 campaign website, saveyourinternet.eu, where users can search for the phone number of their MEP and/or send an email to protest against the measure. The initiative is backed by a large coalition of digital and civil rights groups  — including the EFF, the Open Rights Group, and the Center for Democracy & Technology.

In a longer letter to visitors explaining its action, the Spanish Wikipedia community writes that: “If the proposal were approved in its current version, actions such as sharing a news item on social networks or accessing it through a search engine would become more complicated on the Internet; Wikipedia itself would be at risk.”

The Spanish language version of Wikipedia will remain dark throughout the EU parliament vote — which is due to take place at 10 o’clock (UTC) on July 5.

“We want to continue offering an open, free, collaborative and free work with verifiable content. We call on all members of the European Parliament to vote against the current text, to open it up for discussion and to consider the numerous proposals of the Wikimedia movement to protect access to knowledge; among them, the elimination of articles 11 and 13, the extension of the freedom of panorama to the whole EU and the preservation of the public domain,” it adds.

The Italian language version of Wikipedia went dark yesterday.

While the protest banners about the reform are appearing widely across Wikipedia, the decisions to block out encyclopedia content are less widespread — and are being taken by each local community of editors.

As you’d expect, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has been a very vocal critic of Article 13 — including lashing out at whoever was in control of the European Commission’s Twitter feed yesterday when they tried to suggest that online encyclopedias will not be affected by the proposal — by suggesting they would not be “considered” to be giving access to “large amounts of unauthorised protected content” by claiming most of their content would fall outside the scope of the law because it’s covered by Creative Commons licenses. (An interpretation of the proposed rules that anti-Article 13 campaigners dispute.)

And the commissioners drafting this portion of the directive do appear to have been mostly intending to regulate YouTube — which has been a target for record industry ire in recent years, over the relatively small royalties paid to artists vs streaming music services.

But critics argue this is a wrongheaded, sledgehammer-to-crack a nut approach to lawmaking — which will have the unintended consequence of damaging free expression and access to information online.

Wales shot back at the EC’s tweet — saying it’s “deeply inappropriate for the European Commission to be lobbying publicly and misleading the public in this way”.

A little later in the same Twitter thread, as more users had joined the argument, he added: “The Wikipedia community is not so narrow minded as to let the rest of the Internet suffer just because we are big enough that they try to throw us a bone. Justice matters.”

The EU parliament will vote as a whole tomorrow — when we’ll find out whether or not MEPs have been swayed by this latest #SaveYourInternet campaign.


Source: TechCrunch

Applications are open for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin ’18

This is the moment that early-stage startup founders across Europe have been waiting. We’ve flung open the application window for Startup Battlefield, which takes place at Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30. No more reason to wait — take the plunge and apply today.

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is where Yammer, Mint, Dropbox, Cloudflare, and hundreds of others companies launched their products to the world. If you need a refresher, here’s how Startup Battlefield works.

Our experienced team of TechCrunch editors reviews every application in a highly competitive vetting process. Our acceptance rate is typically around 3%. Ultimately, we’ll choose around 15 early-stage startups to compete. Prior to their time on stage, each team receives expert pitch coaching from seasoned TechCrunch Startup Battlefield editorial team.

All competing teams have six minutes on the Disrupt Main Stage to pitch their company and demo their product to a panel of judges — consisting well-known investors, and entrepreneurs. Then they have 6 minutes to answer any follow-up questions the judges may have. Notable judges from last year’s Battlefield included Eileen Burbidge (Passion Capital), Sonali De Rycker (Accel), Roelof Botha (Sequoia Capital) and Carlos Eduardo Espinal (SeedCamp), and you can be sure that this year’s crop will possess equally impressive bonafides.

The judges winnow the field down to around five teams that go on to a second and final round of pitching. And from that elite group comes one champion who will hoist the Disrupt Cup, bag a $50,000 equity-free cash prize and become the investor-and-media darling of Disrupt Berlin.

All of this non-stop action takes place in front of a live and riveted audience — filled with thousands of startup fans, media outlets and potential investors and customers. What’s more, we live-stream the entire event around the world (and make it available later on-demand) on TechCrunch.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Winning certainly has its privileges, but you don’t even have to win to reap significant rewards. Take Aircall for example. This French startup — a cloud-based call center solution — competed in the first round of Startup Battlefield San Francisco in 2015. Even though the company never made it to the finals, it just received a second round of funding. We’re talking $29 million. In the three years since it competed in Startup Battlefield, Aircall has raised a total of $40.5 million. That’s a mighty fine consolation prize.

Plus, all Startup Battlefield teams join the ranks of the Startup Battlefield alumni community. This community consists of nearly 800 companies that have collectively raised more than $8 billion in funding and produced more than 100 exits and IPOs. Companies like Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, TripIt, Getaround and Cloudflare. Imagine the networking possibilities that await you in this elite group.

This is as good a time as any to remind you that applying to and competing in Startup Battlefield is 100 percent free. TechCrunch does not charge any fees or take any equity from startups.

Startup Battlefield goes down at Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30 at Arena Berlin. This is your chance to launch your early-stage startup to the world. It could be a life-changing event. What are you waiting for? Apply today.


Source: TechCrunch

Someone recreated Mario Kart in Fortnite Playground – CNET

“We heard you like games. So we put a game in your game so you can game while you game.”
Source: CNET

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