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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Five things you need to know about the 2019 Lexus ES video – Roadshow

A sportier new look and feel finds the ES seeking a new audience.
Source: CNET

Yuba Electric Boda Boda Review: An E-Bike for Parents

It’s as easy and convenient to ride the electric Yuba Boda Boda as it is to drive a car.
Source: Wired

We Need to Talk About Robots Trying to Pass as Humans

Robots that mimic humans are getting so entrancing, it’s easy to forget how ethically problematic they could be one day if we’re not careful.
Source: Wired

These are the competitive pressures driving automakers to accelerate new tech adoption

The transformations that companies like Tesla, Uber and Lyft bring to the auto industry are changing more than just the ways car companies think about drivetrains and ownership, and its opening doors for new ways of thinking about the entire mobility industry.

That’s the word from some of Israel’s top investors from the stage at our TechCrunch Tel Aviv event.

Every aspect of the auto industry is being reshaped by technological innovation and it’s opening the traditionally closed supply chains that car makers have relied on for at least a century creating more opportunities for startup vendors in areas like sensors, software, services, and yes, even electrification.

For Michael Granoff, the founder of Maniv Mobility, Chemi Peres, the founder of PItango, and Yahal Zilka, the co-founder of Magma Venture Partners, there are at least four areas of opportunity for startups (especially startups hailing from Israel’s innovation nation) to penetrate the trillion dollar mobility market.

Artificial intelligence, new business models, electrification, and enabling sensor technologies are all areas where Israeli entrepreneurs have launched businesses, and they’re all technologies in high demand from established automakers and the upstarts that would challenge them.

“It’s not just automotive, but what Israel can bring to that,” says Zilka. “The big thing in automotive was the introduction of semiconductors. Over the next 15 to 20 years it’s going to be artificial intelligence.”

How those technologies come to market for mobility used to depend on an established supply chain, where tier 2 technology vendors would sell to tier 1 suppliers and then be integrated into the cars by the big brand original equipment manufacturers like Ford, GM, BMW, Daimler, Toyota, and the like.

Tesla’s entrance into the market and the competitive threats that Uber, Lyft, Gett and others pose to the entire automotive business model have pushed these companies to shake things up, making investments in technology for the automotive industry far more attractive.

“Only when your business is effected by the digital wave of internet and connectivity, only then do you start moving,” says Peres.

For Israel, that means a window has opened for enabling technologies like sensors, artificial intelligence, data processing, and new business models.

These new companies with names like Autofleet, otonomo, Innoviz Technologies, Oryx Vision, and Via are already establishing themselves as competitors or suppliers helping to transform the existing order. 

For Peres and the other investors, automakers should expect to see even more radical changes ahead as technologies push further transformations to industrial infrastructure, the urban environment and consumer demand.

“The old generation was that you create a production facility… [and] you create masses of products, but it’s going to be completely disrupted,” says Peres. “You’re going to have much less cars and cars are going to be much more sophisticated in their services.”

Cars, Peres says, are moving to the elevator pitch — where vehicles on streets are used like elevators in buildings. “It will eliminate ownership, reduce operational costs, reduce energy costs, and will be able to get a great service and save the over 1 million people that are killed every year and the 50 million people that are injured,” Peres says.

Those changes will impact more than just the auto industry. Manufacturing will be disrupted by additive manufacturing technologies, and, eventually, advancements in nanotechnology that will allow for self-assembling machines.

Eventually, these changes are going to force more action from regulators as they grapple with how to address the increasing demand that will come with cost depreciation, according to Granoff. 

“There’s going to be a pricing mechanism that is going to be required to modulate the use of roadways,” he says. 

For Peres, the future may not be the use of roadways at all. “It doesn’t need to be cars on roads. It can be flying robots,” says the Pitango co-founder.

No matter what the ultimate solution is, given the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s a good bet that at some level there’ll be Israeli technology behind the wheel of each innovation.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Evernote is spinning out its Chinese business and it plans to take it public

Here’s a unique approach to Western companies doing business in China. Today, Evernote — the U.S. note-making service — span out its China-based unit into an independent entity with “full autonomy” over its business and services.

Evernote introduced its Yinxiang Biji China-based service in 2012, but now it is transitioning to a minority shareholder with the Chinese management team taking day-to-day control. As part of its move to independence, Yinxiang Biji has raised an undisclosed Series A round from the Sequoia CBC Cross-border Digital Industry Fund.

The terms are not disclosed, but Raymond Tang, CEO of Yinxiang Biji, said ownership of the business is split roughly equally between Evernote, the Chinese investors and the startup’s management team — while Yinxiang Biji itself has raised “several hundred million RMB.” (For comparison, 100 million RMB is roughly $15 million.)

Evernote and Yinxiang Biji have inked a two-year deal that will see them cross-license IP, and Tang and Evernote CMO Andrew Malcolm told TechCrunch in an interview that the duo will continue to work closely. The IP deal could also be extended, according to Malcolm, who added that the spin-out has been a move that he and Tang have discussed since they both joined Evernote in 2015.

Yinxiang Biji claims to have more than 20 million registered users who have created over one billion notes. Tang said that note creation in China per user is 50 percent higher than Evernote’s other customer base, while the business has grown at a 60-percent rate annually.

More broadly, Malcolm said the China entity accounts for some 10 percent of Evernote’s global revenue but he acknowledged that, despite adopting a local strategy since it launched, Yinxiang Biji will have the freedom to push its business harder as an independent entity. That chiefly includes building out features that apply more directly in China, such as social integrations and more.

“Even without having done some of the basics that [Chinese] users would expect, we’ve found product-market fit. How much more impactful could we be if we allowed the Chinese market team to think about their brand, technology and innovation?” he said.

The company has arguably been one of the most successful U.S. tech companies to venture into China — Linkedin, which is mired in some controversy, might be another. Yet still a change is needed since the existing approach “doesn’t satisfy what we have learned about how Chinese users want to use Evernote versus those in the rest of the world,” Malcolm summarized.

That sentiment was echoed by Eric Xu, partner of the Sequoia fund.

“I am convinced that Yinxiang Biji will further unleash its potential and pick up development after the spin-off, as technical and decision-making autonomy is gained and fully localized operations are on the way. Moreover, its business model is a frame of reference for future cross-border Internet partnerships,” Xu said in a supplied statement.

Beyond impact on the service, there is a major business reason, too. The move frees Yinxiang Biji up for a potential listing, which Malcolm and Tang both acknowledged is part of the plan since Chinese financial regulations are strict, including clauses such as two years of profitability. Part of that planned approach includes the new management structure, which makes Yinxiang Biji majority-Chinese owned thus satisfying another regulatory requirement.

“We are very much aware of how far ahead you need to be thinking” in order to go public in China, Malcolm said. “It’s top of our minds when we speak.”

Tang, meanwhile, suggested that the company might look to tap exchanges in Shanghai or Shenzhen, but there’s no immediate timeframe for that at this point. Both executives pointed out that the Chinese market requires a unique approach and, in this case for certain, Evernote is adopting one.

Evernote, once valued at over $1 billion, has been in a period of transition over the last few years after the exit of co-founder and CEO Phil Libin in the summer of 2015. A slew of over executives followed Libin, a ‘changing of the guard’ as perhaps might be expected when a founding member departs. Since then, the company has quietly solidified its business in the years since then under the helm of CEO Chris O’Neill, who previously spent a decade with Google.

Under that context, the Chinese move makes plenty of sense since it happened under the previous Evernote management regime, but it also raises questions about Evernote’s own immediate future, and a potential IPO. The company isn’t saying anything on that now, but it would be quite something if the business unit it set up in China went public before the mothership.


Source: TechCrunch

A friendly reminder: Don’t put passwords in Trello

A new bit of research from David Shear at security firm Flashpoint found that there are hundreds if not thousands of open Trello boards containing passwords, login credentials, and other potentially sensitive stuff including employee on-boarding documents. He and Brian Krebs reported the boards to Trello although some folks have already been notified by well-meaning hackers who wrote “Change your password” on some of these public boards.

“One particularly jarring misstep came from someone working for Seceon, a Westford, Mass. cybersecurity firm that touts the ability to detect and stop data breaches in real time,” wrote Krebs. “But until a few weeks ago the Trello page for Seceon featured multiple usernames and passwords, including credentials to log in to the company’s WordPress blog and iPage domain hosting.”

Another Trello board made at Red Hat in 2017 offered passwords to a pair of online test servers.

Trello worked with the pair to take down the public boards they found and is working with Google to remove the cached sites.

“We have put many safeguards in place to make sure that public boards are being created intentionally and have clear language around each privacy setting, as well as persistent visibility settings at the top of each board,” said a Trello spokesperson.

Missteps like these are sadly common. Another rich trove of user data, Github, has been used to find private passwords for years. Anecdotally, a project I was working on suffered a breach when the CTO put a Bitcoin private key into some public Github code. Yeah. Exactly.

So, again, keep your Trello boards private, don’t paste passwords willy-nilly, and maintain at least a basic level of operational security by not pasting passwords into any site that could make it public. It’s hard but definitely worth the effort.


Source: TechCrunch

MSI's GF63 laptop is a rig for gamers on a budget – CNET

It’s not the most powerful gaming laptop out there, but it’s also only $999.
Source: CNET

Ducky's Computex 2018 limited-edition keyboard is all about tattoos – CNET

The keyboard maker partners with Hong Kong ink artist Michael Chan for a work of art.
Source: CNET

NBA Finals Game 3 memes: Kevin Durant photo goes viral – CNET

On a golden night for Golden State, even a jaw-dropping LeBron James dunk couldn’t save the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Source: CNET

Computex 2018: Best tech you'll want to buy – CNET

There’s plenty of wacky and wild gadgets at Computex, but here’s the tech that you’ll want to burn a hole through your wallet.
Source: CNET

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