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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

'The Witcher' Might Get Better in Season 2

The show’s second season provides Netflix an opportunity to expand some characters’ stories.
Source: Wired

India's Data Protection Bill Threatens Global Cybersecurity

Banning re-identification discourages researchers from finding weaknesses, and encourages criminals to exploit them.
Source: Wired

Pro-Trump Trolls Flooded the Iowa Caucus Phone Lines

Google photo sharing, Wacom tracking, and more of the week’s top security news.
Source: Wired

Coronavirus Is Bad. Comparing It to the Flu Is Worse

The whataboutism of infectious disease is as dangerous as it is hackneyed.
Source: Wired

Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies, the London-based computer vision startup

Scape Technologies, the London-based computer vision startup working on location accuracy beyond the capabilities of GPS, has been acquired by Facebook, according to a regulatory filing.

Full terms of the deal remain as yet unknown, although a Companies House update reveals that Facebook Inc. now has majority control of the company (more than 75%). However by looking at other filings, including a recent share issue, I understand the price could be about $40 million.

Further filings show that Scape’s previous venture capital representatives have resigned from the Scape board and are replaced by two Facebook executives.

Scape’s backers included Entrepreneur First (EF) — the startup is an alumni of the company builder program — along with LocalGlobe, Mosaic Ventures, and Fly Ventures.

Noteworthy is that EF and Fly Ventures have both already had a joint exit to Facebook of sorts, when Bloomsbury AI was acqui-hired by the social networking behemoth (a story that I also broke).

Founded in 2017, Scape Technologies was developing a “Visual Positioning Service” based on computer vision which lets developers build apps that require location accuracy far beyond the capabilities of GPS alone.

The technology initially targeted augmented reality apps, but also had the potential to be used to power applications in mobility, logistics and robotics. More broadly, Scape wanted to enable any machine equipped with a camera to understand its surroundings.

Scape CEO and co-fonder CEO Edward Miller previously described Scape’s “Vision Engine” as a large-scale mapping pipeline that creates 3D maps from ordinary images and video. Camera devices can then query the Vision Engine using the startup’s “Visual Positioning Service” API to determine their exact location with far greater precision than GPS can ever provide. The Visual Positioning Service was made available to select developers via Scape’s SDK.

Meanwhile the acquisition by Facebook, no matter what form it takes, looks like a good fit given the U.S. company’s investment in next generation platforms, including VR and AR. It is also another — perhaps, worrying — example of U.S. tech companies hoovering up U.K. machine learning and AI talent early.

More to follow as and when I learn more.


Source: TechCrunch

Uber claims top spot in Indian ride-hailing market

Uber facilitated 14 million rides a week in India last year, the American ride-hailing firm said as it claimed the tentpole position in the key overseas market.

In a report (PDF) published on the sidelines of its quarterly earnings Thursday afternoon, Uber said that it commanded over 50% of the ride-hailing market in India — among some other regions — and was the category leader.

The publicly listed company cited its internal estimations for the claim, it said. In comparison, Uber handled 11 million rides a week in India in 2018, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The revelation is especially interesting, since both Uber and its chief local rival Ola have tended to avoid talks about the number of rides they serve in India.

In a 2018 blog post, Ola revealed that its platform “moves over two million people every day.” A spokesperson for the Indian startup, which like Uber counts SoftBank as an investor, declined to reveal the new figures, but issued a statement in which it identified itself as India’s “largest mobility platform.”

“As India’s largest mobility platform, Ola serves over 200 million customers through a network of 2.5 million driver-partners across a wide range of offerings including two, three and four-wheelers,” the spokesperson said, adding that the ride-hailing firm operates in 250 cities and towns in India.

Last month, Uber sold its food delivery Uber Eats’ India business to local rival Zomato for about $180 million in a move that some analysts said could help the ride-hailing firm better focus on its core business in the country.

An Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company plans to expand from about 50 Indian cities where it currently operates to 200 in the country by the end of the year. It will focus on onboarding two-wheelers and three-wheelers in many of these cities, the firm said.

Uber’s expansion in India comes as Ola is entering one of the American firm’s key territories. Last week, Ola said it will begin operation in London on February 10.


Source: TechCrunch

The Lincoln Corsair is quiet and confident – Roadshow

Far more than just an MKC with a different name, this utility vehicle feels like it was cut from the same cloth as the larger Aviator and Navigator.
Source: CNET

UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes — how to watch, start time and full fight card – CNET

Can Dominick Reyes upset GOAT Jon Jones at UFC 247?
Source: CNET

Oscars 2020: How to watch or stream the awards online – CNET

Joker, Parasite and 1917 could end up big winners.
Source: CNET

Oscars 2020 predictions: 1917, Parasite, Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – CNET

The race is well and truly on between 1917 and Parasite at this year’s golden statue awards.
Source: CNET

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