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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google’s annual Thanksgiving report tells you the best times to avoid traffic jams

Google has released its annual Thanksgiving traffic and search trends report, created by analyzing data from last year’s holiday season. It breaks down the best and worst times to travel by state and also throws in information about when popular places, like grocery and liquor stores, are the most crowded. Even if you can’t avoid Thanksgiving travel hell, Google’s interactive site will at least let you know what level of hell to expect by showing traffic stats by state, day, and time.

Here are some highlights: not surprisingly, Wednesday between 3PM to 4PM is when traffic is at its most abysmal during Thanksgiving week, but it becomes significantly less packed by 6AM on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. For return trips, Google’s report advises leaving Friday or Sunday morning, since most people don’t hit the road until the afternoon.

The crowds in bakeries and grocery stores are at their peak the afternoon before Thanksgiving as shoppers grab last-minute supplies. Trips to liquor stores also jump around the same time as people fortify themselves for the next day. On Black Friday, shopping centers are obviously crowded, but many people also chose to spend the afternoon catching a movie.

If you think you can avoid crowds by doing some early Christmas tree shopping or renting an all-terrain vehicle instead, you might want to think again. Using historic data from searches across the United States, Google found that tree farms, electronic stores, ATV rental services, and video game stores are among the “most uniquely popular stops” on Thanksgiving (apparently people enjoy views from high places the day before Thanksgiving, when rollercoasters and scenic overlooks are popular).

Google also shows the most popular search terms during Thanksgiving week last year on a state-by-state level. In California, it was “city courthouse,” while in Pennsylvania people looked up “electric vehicle charging.” Montanans searched for “breweries,” South Dakotans Googled “American restaurant,” and people in Nevada wanted to know more about “parking garages.” Meanwhile, “home improvement store” hit the top of the list in Nebraska, North Dakota, and Iowa.


Source: TechCrunch

Privacy advocates rank the creepiest tech gifts of 2018 – CNET

Here’s a handful of the devices from Mozilla’s second annual Privacy Not Included list of connected tech with questionable privacy and security features. Researchers examined everything from encryption of personal information and automatic security updates to the readability of devices’ privacy policies.
Source: CNET

Smart and smart: Genesis Connected tech in the 2019 G70 video – Roadshow

Its strength lies in simplicity. But with the right set of features, the Genesis Connected dashboard tech suite is anything but bare-bones.
Source: CNET

Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer

Sad news for anyone into giant robots: Google is closing down Schaft, its secretive unit that develops bipedal robots aimed at helping out in disaster efforts and generally looking badass.

The news was first reported by Nikkei, but Google confirmed to TechCrunch that the business will be shuttered. It said it is helping staff find new roles, most of which will likely be outside of Google and its Alphabet parent.

Firstly up, many people — myself included — might have forgotten that Google owns Schaft .

The company was scheduled to be sold to SoftBank alongside Boston Dynamics — another of Google’s robotics ventures — through a deal that was announced last year. Boston Dynamics made the transition but Schaft didn’t. Softbank never shouted that omission from the rooftops, but a source with knowledge of the deal told us that certain conditions agreed for the deal were not fulfilled, hence Schaft remained with Google.

Our source explained that Google’s robotics focused shifted away from Schaft and instead to non-humanoid robots and industry-led solutions such as robotic arms. The departure of Andy Rubin, the controversial robotics evangelist who reportedly got a $90 million payout to leave amid sexual misconduct allegations, seemed to speed up its demise inside the organization.

Google shopped the Schaft business fairly widely — since 2016 and after the SoftBank deal collapsed — but to no avail, we understand. That left closing it down as the last remaining option.

Schaft was founded in 2012 by a group led by University of Tokyo professor Yuto Nakanishi.

Alphabet acquired Shaft and Boston Dynamics in 2013, the former was part of a group of seven acquisitions, in undisclosed deals.

There’s been plenty of attention on Boston Dynamics and its crazy, even scary, robots which can trek across all terrains and get up instantly when knocked over, but Schaft maintained a fairly quiet presence. Indeed, its first major prototypes weren’t revealed until some two years after its acquisition.


Source: TechCrunch

Legrand acquires smart home startup Netatmo

French hardware startup Netatmo got acquired by the biggest manufacturer of switches and sockets in the world, Legrand. Terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Legrand and Netatmo already collaborated together on some products. Back in 2017, the company announced that it would work with industrial groups to connect everything in your home, starting with Legrand and Velux.

With Legrand’s “Céliane with Netatmo” switches and power outlets, you could build a house with a smart electrical installation from day one. This way, you could have a wireless master switch near your entrance, activate some outlets using Amazon Alexa and control your home from Messenger.

“Our strategy is the connected home. But there are some connected features that we can’t sell to consumers because those products are sold to professionals directly,” Netatmo founder and CEO Fred Potter told me at the time of the original announcement.

Netatmo’s team is going to be integrated into Legrand. Legrand plans to release more connected objects in the future. Netatmo founder and CEO Fred Potter is becoming CTO of Legrand’s research & development division. According to the announcement, Netatmo was generating $51 million (€45 million) in annual revenue.

Netatmo’s first product was a weather station. It works over Wi-Fi and was one of the first weather stations that you could check from your phone.

More recently, the company released security products, such as a connected camera that identifies faces on the device itself, a similar camera that works outdoor and a connected smoke alarm. Some people called Netatmo the “Nest of Europe” as the company also released smart thermostats and radiator valves.


Source: TechCrunch

Black Friday,Cyber Monday Pixel deals 2018: Pixel 3 for $600, Pixel 3 XL for $700 – CNET

Or, buy at full price and pick up a $200 gift card.
Source: CNET

Black Friday Galaxy deals 2018: $600 Note 9, $320 Galaxy S9, $300 gift card – CNET

There are some deep discounts on unlocked phones and top models from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Source: CNET

Black Friday 2018 smartwatch and fitness tracker deals: $80 off Apple Watch, $70 off Galaxy Watch, $50 off Fitbit Versa – CNET

Fitbit, Apple Watch and Samsung — we take a look at some of the best deals on these wearable devices ahead of Black Friday.
Source: CNET

Black Friday 2018 phone sales: Free OnePlus 6T, LG V30+ for $430, Moto G6 for $200 and more – CNET

We scoured T-Mobile, Best Buy, Amazon, Target and Walmart for the best offers.
Source: CNET

Welcome to the awkward future of the open office

I have seen the future — in fact, I have worn it. It’s big and awkward kind of digs into the top of your head with little metal bars designed to hold it in place.

I was like 95 percent sure Wear Space was some viral bit of social commentary the first time it popped up online. And yet, here I am at a TechCrunch event in Tokyo and the horse blinder-style wearable was right there for all the world to see and try on. So try it on, I did.

The device is still very much in prototype mode, so the uncomfortable bit is something that will likely be resolved before the device starts shipping. The awkwardness of actually wearing the thing, on the other hand, is the sort of thing that takes time to dissipate.

The product is light weight — a good quality for something designed to be work on the head for hours at a time. It’s really just a wireframe with a cloth covering that blots out your peripheral vision, while still giving you plenty to look at in front of you. It somehow felt dystopian and weirdly comforting all at once. At very least, I feel like I have a new-found respect for horses.

Inside are a pair of on-ear headphones. They’re not noise canceling, so they won’t block out everything, but maybe having read on ambient noise is a net positive on something like this.

I will say this: having seen the bizarre things people will put on their heads for the 14 hour plane ride it took to get to Japan, nothing about the Wear Space feels out of the realm of possibility. I mean, if this can be a thing, why not, right?

Keep in mind, too, that we’ve done this to ourselves. Open offices were going to the be the great workplace revolution of the early 21st century, and all we got were these strange horse blinders for people.


Source: TechCrunch

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