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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Jido Maps is building a ‘save button’ for persistent AR worlds

Augmented reality tech is in this incredibly weird position where it has the world’s biggest tech companies cheerleading consumer-facing products highlighting it but there are some very base issues that haven’t been solved yet.

Jido Maps, which just graduated from Y Combinator’s most recent class, is another startup aiming to deliver the backend technologies needed to give a great fundamental AR experience. They have just raised a $2.1 million seed round led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from GREE, Seraph Group, Outpost Capital and others.

Persistence is a big part of what current consumer technologies are lacking. Jido sees itself as a “save button” for the digital AR world, where after gaining an understanding of the space, it can recall where your augmented reality session ended and how the objects within that experience were left in the space.

So, more practically, if you are holding a digital banana and you put that on the table, Jido may enable that to remain in that space when you return at a later date or time. That process of relocalizing a device and helping it remember its former position is at the core of this technology.

What’s interesting about the rhetoric that Jido’s leadership is putting out there is that the company is less focused on the point clouds and seems to be more focused on underlying structure of a space and deciphering the relationship between objects and what fixtures are permanent. The company says that this approach will ultimately give the platform more strength in ignoring changes, so if you’re scanning a space with people moving around, Jido can ignore them and focus on the static fixtures without everything breaking.

“To actually have a robust, integrated augmented reality experience you have to take a different approach,” Jido Maps CEO Mark Stauber told TechCrunch. “The reason why we’re excited about our higher level approach to semantic data is because when we go into a space, we’re not there to catch a couple of nice interesting points about the scene, we actually try to understand the structure of a space and the relationship between objects…”

The startup is aiming to get studios working with their lightweight API and is highlighting its simple multiplayer process, which focuses on building the mesh as you play rather than pre-scanning an environment at the beginning to entice devs. Game studio Happy Giant is working on a title with Jido tech called QuasAR, which will give users a simple setup multi-player laser tag experience.


Source: TechCrunch

The Stars of the Comic-Con 'Predator' Panel? Thomas Jane's Feet

The actor hardly ever wears shoes—a fact his co-stars were all too happy to discuss.
Source: Wired

La lucha climática de EE. UU.: una guerra de mil bandos

El plan de California para integrar la red eléctrica de toda la costa oeste del país es una gran idea, capaz de fomentar las energías limpias y reducir costes. Pero debido al reparto de competencias y actores involucrados, la idea podría ser contraproducente
Source: MIT

El hombre que graba cada minuto de su vida para entender la memoria

Mostafa “Neo” Mohsenvand vive con una cámara atada al pecho, una muñequera de registro fisiológico y un casco con electrodos. Su objetivo es analizar cómo cambian sus parámetros físicos en función de lo que pasa en cada momento para entender qué hace que algo sea memorable
Source: MIT

Uganda's Regressive Social Media Tax Stays, at Least For Now

The internet is an essential tool for democracy in the modern era. And that’s why the government wanted to tax it in Uganda.
Source: Wired

How to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn’t really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here’s how to do so, just in case you’re looking to nab some Windows-only software.

The post How to install Windows on a Chromebook appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

How a #MeToo Facebook Group Became a Tool for Harassment

The closed group was taken over by abusive trolls, raising questions about Facebook’s ability to monitor spaces designed for sharing intimate information.
Source: Wired

Instagram adds a status indicator dot so people know when you’re ignoring them

In a blog post today, Instagram announced a new feature: a green status dot that indicates when a user is active on the app. If you’re cruising around Instagram, you can expect to see a green dot next to the profile pics of friends who are also Instagramming right then and there.

The dot will show up in the direct messaging part of the app but also on your friends list when you go to share a post with someone. Instagram clarifies that “You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct” so it’s meant to get you talking more to the people you’re already talking to. You can disable the status info in the “Activity Status” bit of the app’s settings menu, where it’s set to on by default.

Prior to the advent of the green dot, Instagram already displayed how long ago someone was active by including information like “Active 23m ago” or “Active Now” in grey text next to their account info where your direct messages live. For those of us who prefer a calm, less realtime experience, the fact that features like these come on by default is a bummer.

Given the grey activity status text, the status dot may not seem like that much of a change. Still, it’s one opt-out design choice closer to making Instagram a compulsive realtime social media nightmare like Facebook or Facebook Messenger. The quiet, incremental rollout of features like the grey status text is often so subtle that users don’t notice it — as a daily Instagram user, I barely did.

Making gradual changes is the same game Facebook always plays with its products, layering slight design changes that alter user behavior until one day you wake up and aren’t using the same app you used to love, but somehow you can’t seem to stop using it. Instagram is working on a feature for in-app time management, but stuff like this negates Facebook’s broader supposed efforts to make our relationship with its attention-hungry platforms less of a compulsive tic.

It’s a shame to see that happening with Instagram, which used to feel like one of the only peaceful places online, a serene space where you weren’t thrown into fits of realtime FOMO because usually your friends were #latergramming static images from good times previously had, not broadcasting the fun stuff you’re missing out on right now. It’s hard to see how features like this square with Facebook’s ostensible mission to move away from its relentless pursuit of engagement in favor of deepening the quality of user experiences with a mantra of “time well spent.” As users start to resent the steep attentional toll that makes Facebook “free”, it’s a shame to see Instagram follow Facebook down the same dark path.


Source: TechCrunch

FCC issues ‘de facto merger death sentence’ to Sinclair-Tribune deal

A broadcast merger that has been the poster boy for the FCC’s pro-industry agenda has been ordered to undertake a lengthy and potentially embarrassing process that amounts to, in the words of one commissioner, a “de facto merger death sentence.”

The proposed takeover of Tribune by Sinclair has been criticized by many as an unnecessary and potentially dangerous consolidation of media properties. The resulting company would have incredible reach and influence, especially combined with other recent rule changes that have further unshackled big media companies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has himself been the target of many a sharp inquiry from the public, lawmakers, and even the Office of the Inspector General. The general feeling seems to be: We understand that you have a deregulatory to-do list here, and that’s valid, but practically everything you do benefits Sinclair directly or indirectly. Justify yourself.

Whether it was because of this unremitting scrutiny or simply because Sinclair’s merger proposal was blatantly disingenuous, Pai decided to do an about-face and put the brakes on the deal. He announced his intentions earlier this week and today brings the actual “hearing designation order,” which would require Sinclair to appear before a judge in an adversarial courtroom setting and explain its misdeeds.

What misdeeds, you ask? Well, the main one cited in the HDO is this: Sinclair was required to divest itself from certain media holdings, but instead of doing so, it set up one (WGN-TV) to be sold massively below market price to a corporate confederate, who would then effectively cede control back to Sinclair.

Here’s how the order puts it:

The record raises significant questions as to whether those proposed divestitures were in fact ‘sham’ transactions.

…One application proposed to transfer WGN-TV in Chicago to an individual (Steven Fader) with no prior experience in broadcasting who currently serves as CEO of a company in which Sinclair’s executive chairman has a controlling interest. Moreover, Sinclair would have owned most of WGN-TV’s assets, and pursuant to a number of agreements, would have been responsible for many aspects of the station’s operation.

…There is a substantial and material question of fact as to whether Sinclair affirmatively misrepresented or omitted material facts with the intent to consummate this transaction without fully complying with our broadcast ownership rules.

There are pages and pages of allegations and hints regarding the cozy relationship between Fader and Sinclair, as well as a few other entities that would be part of this obvious sweetheart deal. The order says, essentially, that Sinclair will be given the chance to explain all this — but it would be on the record, in court. Only after they offer sufficient justification could the merger go forward.

But does a company like Sinclair really want to appear publicly before a judge and attempt to convince them that this was all just an innocent mistake? That it was planning to sell a major media property to a good friend for 90 percent off while retaining editorial and operational control? Not only that, but it would take a non-trivial amount of time and money to prepare for this debacle.

Sinclair’s board and stakeholders may understandably choose rather to abandon the merger than subject the company to that kind of scrutiny — not to mention the financial disincentives of delays, extra costs, and any other concessions that might need to be made to put the deal forward. It’s already been revised again and again, with less favorable terms for Sinclair — at some point it stops being a deal worth pursuing.

That’s why Commissioner O’Rielly, in a rather sour-sounding accompanying statement, calls the order a death sentence. Not only would the Administrative Law Judge process be potentially damaging to Sinclair’s reputation, but it would be a mess of red tape. He managed to slip in some revisions, however, which “some may refer to as an initiation of a hint of due process.” Corporations do have rights, too.

Although for now the Sinclair-Tribune merger is only temporarily halted, the end result is as likely as not that it will be withdrawn. That’s entirely up to the company, of course, but it may be that the FCC has in this case succeeded in effectively regulating its industry. That would be cause for celebration.


Source: TechCrunch

Dodge's Challenger Scat Pack 1320 proves one is the loneliest number – Roadshow

With a $46,000 price tag, almost 500 horsepower and a single seat, the 1320 is nothing if not focused.
Source: CNET

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