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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Amazon agrees to buy PillPack, an online pharmacy – CNET

Meanwhile, stocks for drugstores tank.
Source: CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 close-up in satiny gold – CNET

With a new finish that attempts for less smudging.
Source: CNET

Waymo will need 'a large number' of cars to expand to Europe – Roadshow

CEO John Krafcik still figuring out who will supply these vehicles.
Source: CNET

4 ways to estimate how much propane you have left – CNET

Never again run out of propane in the middle of your BBQ with these easy methods.
Source: CNET

BlackBerry Key2 review: Strictly for keyboard die-hards – CNET

But battery life is fantastic and the Key2 has some stellar tricks.
Source: CNET

PayPal Checkout can now be personalized to each shopper

PayPal today is introducing new checkout technology for e-commerce sites that will dynamically present the most relevant payment method for each customer. That is, instead of retailers having to litter their checkout page with a variety of payment options, PayPal Checkout’s new “smart payment buttons” will update to display the right set of options for each customer in each geography.

That means retailers can more easily include alternative payment methods, like local wallets and country-specific options, alongside a PayPal button.

The company says it will begin with iDEAL in the Netherlands; Bancontact in Belgium; MyBank in Italy; Giropay in Germany; and EPS in Austria. These will arrive in a few weeks’ time. And it already has SEPA Direct Debit enabled for its customers in Germany.

The Smart Payment experience will also include access to PayPal’s own suite of checkout options, of course, including PayPal, Venmo, and PayPal Credit, as well as credit card payment options.

The new product will be One Touch-enabled, too – meaning online shoppers don’t have to keep logging in again with a username and password on each website they visit, following their initial PayPal sign-in.

To use PayPal Checkout with Smart Buttons, existing retailers will not have to reintegrate their sites with PayPal Checkout, the company tells us – they’ll only need to perform a small update. After doing so, they’ll have access to aggregated and anonymous insights about their online customers, including conversion rates, devices used, and a set of recommendations to help increase conversions and loyalty.

PayPal’s update comes at a time when it’s facing increased competition in online checkout from tech giants, Apple, Google and Amazon. With Safari on iOS devices and on the Mac, shoppers can pay with Apple Pay. Meanwhile, Google recently united all its payment tools under the Google Pay brand, which supports online retail checkout, too. And Amazon is simply sucking up ever more sales through its own One Click platform, often attached to its own payment cards or a customer’s Amazon Cash balance.

PayPal, however, touts its ability to convert at higher rates to ensure retailers continue to use its products. Specifically, it cites a comScore study that found its checkout product converted at 88.7 percent during checkout, or 82 percent higher than a checkout without PayPal.

Developer documentation for the new product is available today here.


Source: TechCrunch

Get Yer Bread and Milk From Kroger's Cute New Delivery Robot

Built by Nuro, the little autonomous R1 can carry 12 bags of groceries to your door—but the other logistics are still up in the air.
Source: Wired

LinkedIn adds Microsoft-powered translations and QR codes to connect more of its users faster

LinkedIn — the social network with more than 560 million members who connect around work-related topics and job-seeking — continues to add in more features integrating technology from its new owner Microsoft, both to improve engagement on LinkedIn as well as to create deeper data ties between the two businesses.

Today, the company announced two more: users can now instantly view translations of content on the site when it appears in a language that is not the one set as a default; and they can now use QR codes to quickly swap contact details with other LinkedIn members.

In both cases, the features are likely overdue. The lingua franca of LinkedIn seems to be English, but the platform has a large global reach, and as it continues to try to expand to a wider range of later adopters and different categories of users, having a translation feature seems to be a no-brainer. It would also put it in closer line with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, which have had translation options for years.

The QR code generator, meanwhile, has become a key way for people to swap their details when they are not already connected on a network. And with LinkedIn this makes a lot of sense: there are so many people with the same name and it can be a challenge figuring out which “Mark Smith” you might want to connect with after coming across him at an event. And given that LinkedIn has been looking for more ways of making its app useful in in-person situations, this is an obvious way to enable that.

Translations are coming by way of the Microsoft Text Analytics API, the same Azure Cognitive Service  that powers translations on Bing, Skype, and Office (as well as third party services like Twitter). It will be available in more then 60 languages, with LinkedIn says more coming soon, to a “majority” of members using either the desktop or mobile web versions of LinkedIn.

The company says that it will be coming to LinkedIn’s iOS and Android apps in due course as well. Users will get the “see translation” link based on a number of signals you’re providing to LinkedIn that include your language setting on the platform, the country where you are accessing content, and the language you have used in your profile.

Content covered by the option to translate will include the main Feed, the activity section on a person’s profile, and posts if you click on them in the feed or share it.

Meanwhile, with QR codes, you trigger the ability to capture one by clicking in the search box on the iOS or Android app. Through that window, you can also pick up your own code to share with others.

LinkedIn suggests that the QR code can effectively become the replacement for the business card for people when they are at in-person events. But other options is that you can use this now in any place where you might want to provide a shortcut to your profile.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple could bundle TV, music and news in a single subscription

According to a report from The Information, Apple could choose to bundle all its media offerings into a single subscription. While Apple’s main media subscription product is currently Apple Music, it’s no secret that the company is investing in other areas.

In particular, Apple has bought the distribution rights of many TV shows. But nobody knows how Apple plans to sell those TV shows. For instance, you could imagine paying a monthly fee to access Apple’s content in the TV app on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

In addition to that, Apple acquired Texture back in March. Texture lets you download and read dozens of magazines with a single subscription. The company has partnered with Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. to access their catalog of magazines

Texture is still available, but it’s clear that Apple has bigger plans. In addition to reformatting and redistributing web content in the Apple News app, the company could add paid content from magazines.

Instead of creating three different subscriptions (with potential discounts if you subscribe to multiple services), The Information believes that Apple is going to create a unified subscription. It’s going to work a bit like Amazon Prime, but without the package deliveries.

For a single monthly or annual fee, you’ll be able to access Apple Music, Apple TV’s premium content and Apple News’ premium content.

Even if you don’t consume everything in the subscription, users could see it as a good value, which could reduce attrition.

With good retention rates and such a wide appeal, it could help Apple’s bottom line now that iPhone unit sales are only growing by 0.5 percent year over year. It’s still unclear when Apple plans to launch its TV and news offerings.


Source: TechCrunch

Lies, damn lies, and crypto analytics

For the past twelve years I’ve followed the rise of the startup – defined as a small business with global ambitions – from my perch at TechCrunch. During that period I watched business reporting change from a sleepy backwater on the back of the Sports section into a juggernaut, a force that controls the global conversation. Why? Because business reporting became war reporting and the battles fought were between VCs, businesses, and ideas that changed the world.

In that period, VCs rose from glorified bank tellers to rock stars. Incubators popped up to socialize nervous founders and turn them into capital F Founders and the path for startups became a codified journey from failure to success.

Now we’re seeing the same thing happen in ICOs. But something is wrong. The startups coming out of the ICO craze aren’t being judged on the character of their founders, on their technologies, or their probability for success. They are being judged, quite simply, on quantitative metrics that interrogate a token with one question: “When Lambo?”

This is the wrong approach. Token-based startups must receive the same level of socialization and scrutiny as the old VC-based startup vetting process. But something is different, and it’s an important difference.

In the old VC model a group of men – and it was mostly men for a long time – would stand in judgement over an idea. If any number of arbitrary points of risk appeared they would smile and say “No” to the founder, sending them down the road for another “No.” Unless you were plugged in professionally, went to https://techcrunch.com/2015/05/15/clunk/, or had your own cash, seed to even late stage investment wasn’t available and the resulting https://twitter.com/kteare/status/391689067370278912 of undercapitalization sunk countless startups.

Now, however, something new is afoot. While it’s always nice to look at tokens in comparison with other tokens, this sort of quantitative masturbation can easily hide a multitude of sins. Due diligence on token-based companies must be done, but it must be done through the wisdom of crowds. Instead of trying to impress one dude in a fleece vest and chinos on Sand Hill Road a founder must impress the world. They must tell a true, human story of actual value and explain their product without mumbling and hand waving. And they have to do it again and again.

Cryptocurrencies were supposed to bring us an egalitarian age of decentralized decision-making and a mathematical certainty. But the founders forgot one thing: humans offer no mathematical certainty. Instead of looking at numbers, these startups must be assessed on the basis of their value to humanity, on their technical ability to solve a real problem, and on their understanding of human-to-human interaction. The future isn’t a number. Instead, the future is a many-to-one investigation of a startup and the decision – by the decentralized crowd – whether or not to continue funding.

Again, if your primary driver is greed then by all means check out a chart that compares TRON to TRON. It’s your right. But if your goal is to make startups that will drive us deep into the future, then the old ways are best. A lot of things are about to change.

A few years ago I spoke to Deepak Chopra about his vision for a global voting system. In short, he was working on a way to take the global temperature. If a politician wanted to spend money on a road or, god forbid, go to wore, they could put the question to the crowd via their cellphones. One vote per person, defined by biometric controls. This pie-in-the-sky idea is slowly coming to fruition and I think it’s going to be very exciting. And it will find its perfect home in the future of startup funding.

The age of centralized decision-making in which analytics were used to help make seat-of-the-pants decisions is over. Now we enter a new world and the folks used to the old ways should probably watch out. After all, when the crowd speaks even VCs listen.


Source: TechCrunch

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