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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Cyber Monday 2018 smartwatch and fitness tracker deals: Free Apple Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch, $50 off Fitbit – CNET

Last minute Cyber Monday deals on watches and trackers like the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Fitbit Versa.
Source: CNET

NASA's InSight lander delivers first clear image of Mars landing site – CNET

A quiet, clear horizon beckons in InSight’s first dust-free image of its new home.
Source: CNET

Lime launches electric-assist bikes in its first UK city

Lime launched in the United Kingdom today, starting with a group of dockless electric-assist bikes in a Milton Keynes shopping center. The San Francisco-based startup says it plans to expand into more UK cities over the next few weeks.

As in other markets, users in Milton Keynes find and unlock Lime’s bikes, which use battery-powered motors to reduce pedaling and travel further distances, through a mobile app. Bike rides cost £1 (about $1.28) to unlock and an additional 15 pence per minute of riding time and will be available first at intu Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.

Backed by investors like Uber, GV, and Andreessen Horowitz with $467 million in funding so far, Lime recently said it had hit a milestone of 11.5 million rides, only 14 months after its bikes first became available to riders. The company already operates in 100 markets through the United States and Europe and plans to launch in 50 new cities by the end of this year.

But LIme’s rapid growth hasn’t come without bumps. Along with competitors Bird and Spin, Lime was one of the companies involved in San Francisco’s war on electric scooters when they ran afoul of the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). The SFMTA said e-scooters created obstacles and potentially safety hazards. This ultimately resulted in Lime being denied an e-scooter permit in August, a decision it appealed.

By choosing Milton Keynes as its first UK city, however, Lime intent on preventing conflicts by working with a city that is more receptive to transportation startups. Milton Keynes was the site of an initiative called MK: Smart to integrate more Internet of Things hardware. The project was followed by CityLABS, a program that supports data and IoT startups. In its announcement, Lime said it “will be working closely with city leaders and stakeholders to ensure the fair and respectful distribution of the service across the area.”


Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp’s chief business officer is leaving

Roughly one year after WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton made his highly-publicized exit from Facebook, another executive and early employee of the messaging platform is doing the same. Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s chief business officer, announced today that he would be “taking some time off to recharge and spend time with family.”

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and pledged to allow the messaging giant to continue to operate independently under Acton and co-founder Jan Koum, who served as its chief executive officer until abruptly quitting over privacy and data concerns in April. Arora, who joined WhatsApp in 2011 from Google, was rumored to be the frontrunner to replace Koum as CEO. With him out the door, it’s unclear who will be tapped to lead WhatsApp .

In today’s announcement, Arora said he was “deeply indebted” to both Acton and Koum, “who entrusted me to be their business companion for so many years.”

Facebook subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram are both in periods of flux following the exits of their original founders, which are believed to be caused by quarrels with the social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg .

In what was one of the largest tech stories of 2018, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced they were leaving Facebook years after the company acquired their photo-sharing app for $1 billion. They shared the news in September, just a few months after Koum stepped down from WhatsApp.

According to The New York Times, Zuckerberg, over the course of the last year, had begun to assert more and more control over Instagram, upsetting its leaders.

Koum, for his part, reportedly wrote in a since-removed WhatsApp blog post that Zuckerberg and Facebook no longer had respect for privacy: “These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends they day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect your personal data… remember, when advertising is involved, you the user are the product.”

According to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, Koum was unhappy “about how Facebook would monetize his app and the impact of that on privacy.” Both Acton and Koum departed Facebook before they fully vested from the multi-billion acquisition, meaning the pair chose to lose hundreds of millions of dollars over continued employment at Facebook.

Arora’s exit is further evidence that Facebook has entered a new era, one in which the company’s acquisition strategy may be in serious danger of long-term damage.

You can read Arora’s full post below.


Source: TechCrunch

The View From the Control Room: How InSight Landed on Mars

Inside Mission Support at Lockheed Martin, which led spacecraft operations for NASA’s InSight lander, tensions ran high as the robot prepared to touch down on martian soil.
Source: Wired

Enterprise messaging startup Eko Communications raises $20M for its European expansion

After focusing on Asian markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, Bangkok-based Eko Communications is getting ready to take on Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other enterprise messaging apps in Europe. The startup announced today that it has raised a Series B of $20 million and opened offices in London (which will serve as its new commercial headquarters), Amsterdam, and Berlin.

The funding, led by SMD Ventures, with participation from AirAsia’s digital investment arm Redbeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures, and returning investors, brings Eko Communication’s total raised to $28.7 million. The company’s Series A was announced in 2015, followed by $2 million in strategic funding from Japanese conglomerate Itochu last year. Eko Communications (not to be confused with Eko, an interactive video startup) has already served clients like Thai mobile operator True, Radisson, and 7-Eleven.

Eko Communications’ Series B is earmarked for its ambitious global expansion plans in the first quarter of 2019. Korawad Chearavanont, the company’s CEO and co-founder, told TechCrunch in an email that it has already localized products for target markets including the UK, Ireland, Benelux, and the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).

Eko Communications wants to expand in the European Union and the United States because their economies are both significantly larger than Southeast Asia’s, said Chearavanont. This, plus the fact that both have larger enterprise IT markets thanks to higher spending on software by companies, means that “for Eko to achieve the necessary scale to become a global player in the mobile enterprise market, continued growth in these markets is critical,” he added.

The company claims that its revenues have more than tripled in the past year and that it now has more than 500,000 recurring paid users. Of course, any enterprise messaging startup has to contend with the specter of Slack and Microsoft Teams. Positioning Eko Communications as a rival to those services, however, isn’t totally accurate because they are aimed at different customers.

Slack and Microsoft Teams are “primarily utilized by ‘knowledge workers’ and these systems are priced for these types of users,” Chearavanont said. “Being a mobile-first company, we target companies that have a large presence of mobile-first staff traditionally in industries like retail and hospitality (the services sector in general).” Many employees in those sectors still rely on messaging apps like WhatsApp or email to communicate, so Eko Communications seeks to make it easy for companies to transition from their ad hoc communication methods to a more secure and efficient system with tools like APIs to help them integrate legacy systems.


Source: TechCrunch

Cyber Monday 2018 Amazon deals: $20 Echo Dot, Bose discounts, Galaxy S9 bundle and more – CNET

Amazon’s Cyber Monday sale is in full swing, with price cuts on Bose products, a sweet Galaxy S9 bundle, huge Amazon device sales and more.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018 deals: PS4 Pro with Red Dead Redemption 2, Xbox One for $200 and Nintendo Switch bundles still in stock – CNET

Cyber Monday is the best time to buy a new gaming console, and this year’s deals have begun.
Source: CNET

Scientist who claimed to create gene-edited CRISPR babies under investigation – CNET

Jiankui He’s work has been condemned by members of the scientific community. Now he’s facing formal probes.
Source: CNET

Twitter reactions to NASA Mars landing are out of this world – CNET

The first gritty photo, a NASA employee’s hat and that elaborate handshake all come in for comment.
Source: CNET

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