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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google says it won't work with Defense Department on developing AI weapons video – CNET

Sundar Pichai says the project may conflict with Google’s principles for ethical use of AI.
Source: CNET

Google’s CEO Says Tests of Censored Chinese Search Engine Turned Out Great

At WIRED’s 25th anniversary festival, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would be able to serve more than 99 percent of queries.
Source: Wired

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wants to fix 'filter bubbles' on the social network – CNET

It’s not the algorithmic timeline that Dorsey thinks is to blame.
Source: CNET

Google says China is important to explore — even if it means censorship video – CNET

Sundar Pichai acknowledges Project Dragonfly, but it may never launch.
Source: CNET

Jack Dorsey Has Problems With Twitter, Too

If you have issues with Twitter, you are in good company. Jack Dorsey does too.
Source: Wired

Life-Saving Deliveries Will Get Drones Flying the Skies

It’s a lot easier for regulators to understand the need for new frameworks that allow innovations like drones, when every flight could potentially save a life.
Source: Wired

Marc Benioff Wants to Tax Billionaires, Including Himself

The Salesforce CEO supports a tax on businesses such as his own to attack San Francisco’s homelessness epidemic.
Source: Wired

IoT company Smartfrog takes controlling interest in Canary

Things have been pretty quiet on the Canary front. In January at CES, the New York-based smart security startup released a stripped-down version of it its flagship camera. Beyond the odd software updates here and there, however, we haven’t heard much. This morning, however, the company announced some pretty big changes coming from the top, down.

Smartfrog, a European IoT company, has invested $25 million in the startup, bringing its total funding up to $66 million.  With its investment, Smartfrog will also take a controlling interest.

That means some shakeups, up top. Smartfrog CEO Charles Fraenkl will retain the top spot at the combined companies, while Bob Stohrer, Canary’s CMO, will be put in charge of its New York-based operations. Former Canary CEO Adam Sager, meanwhile, will stay around in an advisory role, according to the company. 

“We are very excited about the opportunities that derive from joining forces. Our businesses are extremely complementary and will enable us to scale the business faster globally,“ Stohrer told TechCrunch.

From a strategic standpoint, the move gives Smartfrog a foothold in the States, while potentially affording Canary the ability to spread into the EU. The camera maker offered a pretty impressive product out of the gate, putting it at the forefront of smart home security.

A spokesperson for the companies told TechCrunch,

Globally, the smart home security market is at an inflection point, and as the industry becomes increasingly competitive with some of the world’s largest technology companies, Smartfrog and Canary joining forces enables both companies to better compete globally. Together the group will immediately become a formidable global provider of IoT services and SaaS solutions leveraging combined strengths. With artificial intelligence, machine learning initiatives, easy-to-use products and affordable prices, the group ensures continued consumer benefits and accelerated global growth.

Increased competition from the likes of Nest, Amazon-owned Ring and, most notably, Netgear’s Arlo, have, however, made for a far more competitive space.

“Canary´s achievements — in creating an award-winning smart home security solution and becoming one of the fastest-growing category leaders in US — is nothing short of impressive,” Fraenkl said in a statement. “By joining forces, the group will be well positioned in an increasingly competitive market.”

Canary will continue to function as an independent brand, moving forward.


Source: TechCrunch

Jeff Bezos is just fine taking the Pentagon’s $10B JEDI cloud contract

Some tech companies might have a problem taking money from the Department of Defense, but Amazon isn’t one of them, as CEO Jeff Bezos made clear today at the Wired25 conference. Just last week, Google pulled out of the running for the Pentagon’s $10 billion, 10-year JEDI cloud contract, but Bezos suggested that he was happy to take the government’s money.

Bezos has been surprisingly quiet about the contract up until now, but his company has certainly attracted plenty of attention from the companies competing for the JEDI deal. Just last week IBM filed a formal protest with the Government Accountability Office claiming that the contract was stacked in favor one vendor. And while it didn’t name it directly, the clear implication was that company was the one owned by Bezos.

Last summer Oracle also filed a protest and also complained that they believed the government had set up the contract to favor Amazon, a charge spokesperson Heather Babb denied. “The JEDI Cloud final RFP reflects the unique and critical needs of DOD, employing the best practices of competitive pricing and security. No vendors have been pre-selected,” she said last month.

While competitors are clearly worried about Amazon, which has a substantial lead in the cloud infrastructure market, the company itself has kept quiet on the deal until now. Bezos set his company’s support in patriotic terms and one of leadership.

“Sometimes one of the jobs of the senior leadership team is to make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular. And if if big tech companies are going to turn their back on the US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble,” he said.

“I know everyone is conflicted about the current politics in this country, but this country is a gem,” he added.

While Google tried to frame its decision as taking a principled stand against misuse of technology by the government, Bezos chose another tack, stating that all technology can be used for good or ill. “Technologies are always two-sided. You know there are ways they can be misused as well as used, and this isn’t new,” Bezos told Wired25.

He’s not wrong of course, but it’s hard not to look at the size of the contract and see it as purely a business decision on his part. Amazon is as hot for that $10 billion contract as any of its competitors. What’s different in this talk is that Bezos made it sound like a purely patriotic decision, rather than economic one.

The Pentagon’s JEDI contract could have a value of up to $10 billion with a maximum length of 10 years. The contract is framed as a two year deal with two three-year options and a final one for two years. The DOD can opt out before exercising any of the options.

Bidding for the contract closed last Friday. The DOD is expected to choose the winning vendor next April.


Source: TechCrunch

Anand Giridharadas Delivers a Harsh Message to Rich Techie Philanthropists

Journalist Anand Giridharadas had a message for the rich techies in the audience at WIRED25: they’re “causing, by daylight, problems that they simply will never be able to undo by philanthropic moonlight.”
Source: Wired

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