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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

WWDC 2018: Tech Addiction and the Paradox of Apple's 'Screen Time' Tools

Apple, like much of Silicon Valley, wants to cure the disease it caused. But it could go further.
Source: Wired

Is Spotify secretly building gadgets? FCC offers new evidence – CNET

What would you like Spotify to build?
Source: CNET

Why Apple Can’t Tackle Digital Wellness in a Vacuum

The company has unveiled a suite of time-management tools to help balance your digital and real lives—*without* consulting researchers.
Source: Wired

The Project Precog concept from Asus looks like the future of laptops

Asus introduced a concept design called Project Precog during the Computex technology show. It borrows Lenovo’s Yoga Book design to create an artificial intelligence-powered dual-screen 2-in-1 PC on a larger scale.

The post The Project Precog concept from Asus looks like the future of laptops appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Remote-control driverless car startup partners with vehicle manufacturers

Phantom Auto, a platform that can remotely control autonomous vehicles if something goes wrong, has partnered with Einride, Transdev and NEVS, formerly known as Saab Automobile.

Phantom Auto’s tech enables a remote driver to take control of an autonomous vehicle, in the event the car encounters something it can’t handle on its own. The plan for NEVS is to use Phantom Auto’s technology to better ensure the safe deployment of electric, autonomous vehicles.

“Our AVs must be able to drive from any point A to any point B, which means driving through all edge cases they experience on the road, such as inclement weather, road work, and any other road obstructions,” NEVS CEO Stefan Tilk said in a statement. “Phantom Auto’s teleoperation safety technology ensures that passengers in our vehicles can safely and efficiently drive through any edge case, and that’s why I am excited and proud to call them NEVS’ partner.”

Phantom Auto, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., was founded just last year.


Source: TechCrunch

Adobe’s next big software secret? An augmented reality tool called Project Aero

Itching to create an augmented reality object? Adobe will soon have software to help. Adobe recently teased Project Aero, an upcoming software that helps design AR objects, including support for Apple’s ARKit.

The post Adobe’s next big software secret? An augmented reality tool called Project Aero appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Patreon acquires Kit to let creators bundle merch in subscriptions

If content creators want to sell pricier monthly content subscriptions, offering stickers, pins, signed photos, or t-shirts can convince fans to pay a higher fee and keep them loyal with a physical connection. That’s why patronage platform Patreon just acquired Kit, a startup building a merchandise logistics backend so creators don’t have to fiddle with spreadsheets and stuff envelopes themselves.

“Over 60 percent of today of Patreon creators either want to or are already delivering some kind of physical merchandise” says Patreon’s VP of Product, Wyatt Jenkins. Together, they could help Patreon creators develop merch items that fans subscribe to get ahold of, potentially shelling out for $10 or $20 per month tiers rather than basic $1 or $5 online content-only tiers.

The deal could also help Patreon stay ahead of YouTube and Facebook, which are encroaching on its subscription patronage model. Patreon now has 2 million patrons backing 100,000 creators. It paid out $350 million over its first 5 years through 2017, and expects to send creators another $300 million in 2018, while taking a 5 percent cut.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 90 percent of Kit team, mostly product and engineering talent, will join San Francisco-based Patreon though they’ll stay put in NYC as a satellite office the rest of the year. Kit had raised $2.5 million from Social Capital, Expa, #Angels, Precursor, and Stanford’s StartX, as well as angels like Ellen Pao and Slack’s April Underwood.

“When we think about merch, it’s never been fully about the thing — the sticker or the t-shirt — there’s this relationship. This human-to-human connection” says Kit co-founder and CEO Camille Hearst.

Kit was in the process of pivoting towards merchandise logistics and raising a Series A when it began talks with Patreon, leading to the acquisition. The startup was originally built as a way for social media stars and online celebrities to earn affilliate marketing fees by recommending products to fans through Kit, which took a cut of the referral dollars.

“We were at a stage where everything was going in the right direction. We had seen strong growth in monthly active users and how much creators were making” Hearst says, noting Kit had reached $15 million in gross merchandise value. “It just seemed like we would be able to accelerate what we were doing by joining with Patreon. Merch is very transaction focused compared with a subscription.” Hearst explains, touting the high lifetime value of recurring payments over one-off purchases. “You can help creators earn a lot more money if you use merch to sell subscriptions.”

The plan at Patreon is to build out a new open merchandise provider platform. Creators will be able to choose between a variety of merch partners ranging from those that turn their existing logo into physical goods to those that will design items based on merely vague ideas from the star. But in the meantime, Kit won’t be shutting down or ditching its affilliate program because “we don’t want to turn off any revenue streams” that creators depend on, Hearst promises.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Highfive’s video conferencing platform is now available through Ingram Micro and at Best Buy

Highfive, a Redwood City-based startup, offers businesses an integrated video conferencing service through its own custom meeting room hardware. While Highfive has been quite successful in selling its service and hardware online, the company today announced that it is adding Best Buy and Ingram Micro as distribution partners in an effort to expand its reach to a wider audience.

Today’s announcement follows the company’s $32 million Series C round in February. That round was led by Dimension Data, a global technology integrator owned by Japan’s NTT Group. As part of this deal, Highfive signed a distribution deal with Dimension Data and it’s clear that company’s focus right now is on getting more of these deals on the books.

In the enterprise world that Highfive is targeting, getting distribution from Ingram Micro is obviously a big deal. The company has 155 distribution centers and works with over 200,000 resellers. And it’s through Ingram Micro that Best Buy for Business will also now offer Highfive’s products.

Since Highfive typically makes access to its services and hardware available through a subscription, this will be a slightly different sales process than usual, but to support its resellers, Highfive is launching an official channel program to help dealers sell its products effectively.

Pricing remains the same, though, no matter whether you go through Highfive’s online store or a reseller. Software-only plans start at $9.99 per month and user (which is paid annually) and then you can add the hardware on top of that for $99 per month (also paid annually) without any upfront cost.

“As the business demand for a conferencing platform that can manage every use case grows, our channel partner initiatives are paramount to equipping enterprises with the solution they need to improve team communication and workflow,” said Bobby Marhamat, CRO of Highfive. “Our certified partners are more than just a resource to deliver Highfive, we want to empower them with everything they need to provide customers full service—from purchase to deployment to maintenance.”


Source: TechCrunch

GitLab’s high-end plans are now free for open source projects and schools

The fact that Microsoft is buying GitHub has left a lot of developers with a deep feeling of unease and a lot of them are now looking for alternatives. One of those is GitLab and that company has decided to strike the iron while it’s hot. To attract even more developers to its platform, GitLab today announced that its premium self-hosted GitLab Ultimate plan and its hosted Gold plan are now available for free to open source projects and educational institutions.

“Most education and open source projects don’t have access to enhanced security or performance management tools for their software projects,” GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij told me. “At GitLab, we are happy to have achieved a level of success that allows us to extend the full set of features to these important communities by offering GitLab Ultimate & GitLab Gold plans for free.”

The interest in moving to GitLab is very real as the company tells me that it saw more than 14,300 unique visitors to its site after the GitHub news was announced yesterday and that those developers opened more than 100,000 new repositories on GitLab.com. Most of these surely tried GitLab’s free but limited Core plan, which includes all of the basics but which isn’t really suited for larger projects.

The Gold and Ultimate offerings, however, would typically cost $99 per user per month and include virtually every feature you can think of, including all the basics you want from a code repository up to tools for publishing roadmaps, dependency and container scanning, Kubernetes cluster monitoring and, in the near future, tools for license and portfolio management.

One caveat here is that the free Gold and Ultimate plans do not include support. Developers and open source projects that do want support, though, can still buy it at $4.95 per user and month.

The other limitation is that this applies to schools but not individual students. “To reduce the administrative burden for GitLab only educational institutions can apply on behalf of their students,” the company says. “If you’re a student and your educational institution does not apply you can use public projects on GitLab.com with all functionality, use private projects with the free functionality, or pay yourself.”


Source: TechCrunch

Bird looks to bring scooters to Europe

Scooter startup Bird, which is headquartered in Venice, Calif., is looking to expand into Europe, according to a new job posting. The job is for a general manager based in Europe to lead market management and “raise the opportunities and concerns of the market and set the priorities that will grow Bird in your home country,” the listing states.

Responsibilities include “the successful launch of Bird in your home country in Europe” and expanding Bird by “launching new cities within the region.” Another new job listing seeks an executive assistant based in Amsterdam. TechCrunch has also heard Bird has brought on an executive to lead operations in Israel, but Bird says it doesn’t comment on launch plans.

Earlier today, Bird authorized a new $200 million funding round that could value the company at around $1 billion post-money. Back in March, Bird expanded beyond Southern California into San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, D.C.

The scooter market is on fire right now. Competitor Lime is also reportedly raising $250 million, while ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are also looking to get into electric scooters.


Source: TechCrunch

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