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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

This Company Wants Your Fertility Data

Celmatix sells a genetic test for reproductive health, and it’s looking to expand.
Source: Wired

Apple announces clean energy fund in China

Apple has announced a new investment fund to foster clean energy usage in China. The company isn’t just trying to switch its own offices and facilities. Apple is also working with its suppliers to expand the use of clean energy across the board.

For this fund in particular, Apple and 10 suppliers will invest $300 million over the next four years. Overall, the company expects to finance multiple clean energy projects to produce 1 gigawatt of renewable energy in China.

Apple isn’t going to manage the fund itself. The company is partnering with DWS Group, a division of Deutsche Bank. DWS will also participate in the fund.

The company started working on renewable energy projects a few years ago. Earlier this year, Apple claimed that 100 percent of its offices, retail stores, data centers and Apple-owned facilities are now powered by renewable energy.

Apple is not there yet when it comes to suppliers. The company has launched the Supplier Clean Energy Program back in 2015 with 23 manufacturing partners, and regularly shares updates — Foxconn seems to be missing so far.

By 2020, Apple and its suppliers hope to generate 4 gigawatts of clean energy. And let’s be honest, this is great news for the planet.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla to slip to 7th in EV leadership by 2021, forecast says – Roadshow

As Elon Musk’s company struggles to iron out Model 3 production issues, a consultancy says Tesla is about to get overtaken.
Source: CNET

Amazon Prime Day’s best tech deals

When you’re as big as Amazon, you get to make up your own holidays. And if you want to make that day 36 hours long, who’s going to stop you? This year, things kick off on Monday July 16, and just kind of keep going from there.

Granted, many of the best deals won’t be announced until the day starts, but companies (including Amazon itself) have been more than happy to offer up a preview of what’s to come. Here’s a partial list of some of the best.

We’ll no doubt be updating things over the next few days as more companies reach out. 

Amazon Cloud Cam ($60, $60 off regular price): One of Amazon’s deepest cuts yet, the company is cutting the price of its 1080p connected security camera in half.

Amazon Kindle Paper White ($80, $40 off regular price) – Amazon’s Kindle Paper White is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the best e-readers on the market. The 300 DPI reader usually runs $120 with Special Offers (you know, screen saver ads), but this will get you in at well under $100.

Blink XT 1 Camera System ($75, $55 off regular price) – After picking up Blink earlier this year, Amazon’s offering some steep discounts off the smart camera line next week. The weatherproof system can run up to two years on AA batteries.

DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo ($999, $300 off regular price) – This is the first year the drone giant is participating in Amazon’s pretend holiday, and it’s going all in, with 10 different discounted packages. We’ve got a sneaking suspicion a new Mavic Pro is just around the corner, but in the meantime, DJI’s taking $300 of the first-gen combo pack for the foldable drone.

NVIDIA Shield TV ($139, $40 off regular price) – Shield TV streams Amazon and Netflix video in 4K HDR. The Android-based set top box is also capable gaming — this is NVIDIA, after all. Users can stream games from a PC or the cloud, via GeForce Now. There are also a number of exclusive Android gaming titles on-board for good measure.

razer phone

Razer Phone (Up to 25-percent off): The “deepest discount on Razer Phone to-date,” according to the company. No specifics on how much the $700 phone will be discounted — only that it will be up to a quarter off the full price. The Android handset has some beefy specs, in order to power a mobile gaming experience.


Source: TechCrunch

Full version of Photoshop for iPad on deck for 2019, reportedly – CNET

It was always an inevitable move by Adobe, the only question was timing.
Source: CNET

Why wait for Prime Day? Amazon Echo Show now as low as $100 – CNET

New or refurb, you can already save $100 or more off the regular price. Plus: A free (with purchase) Google Home Mini and a $36 monocular telescope for $9.
Source: CNET

Emptor looks to help companies more easily find contractors in the area

For any company looking to spin up some kind of operation in a new region, one of the first steps may be finding contractors in the area that can actually get the work started — but, especially as companies drift further from cities, that can increasingly become a nightmare that’s quite familiar to Matt Velker.

That led to he and his co-founder starting Emptor, a network to connect companies with local contractors in order to get those local projects off the ground effectively. That can range from actual construction to janitorial work or landscaping. A platform like Emptor seeks to take a lot of the ambiguity or guesswork out of finding a set of local companies to work with in order to get construction projects off the ground. It also adds a robust audit trail — ratings or otherwise — to ensure that the best contractors surface up and that everyone knows which ones they should skip.

“Every time you’re building [projects in new regions] you have to find an entirely new set of suppliers,” Velker said. “Often in rural areas when there isn’t a saturation of contractors like there is in a large metro, that discovery process within a reasonable time frame was the biggest challenge. Especially within the construction industry, there’s a huge deviation in terms of the quality fo the companies you work with. We definitely had a lot of pains with unreliable contractors who weren’t getting the job done to spec or on time, or things that came close to fraud. It comes with the territory when you work with that volume of companies in a short period of time.”

Companies first go to Emptor and describe the projects they want and what kinds of pricing structure they are offering. Then, kind of like Thumbtack or other marketplaces, Emptor matches those projects up with qualified contractors and then compares those bids in order to select the best offer. It aims to be a replacement for the time spent searching around Yelp or Google, where there may be listings and pages but not a high volume of ratings — or ones that are even accurate to begin. Even after the search, getting the whole process started can take weeks, another period Emptor hopes to shrink by streamlining that process.

Right now Emptor mainly focuses on facilities and maintenance, though should something like this take off it could add other elements of contract work that companies need. The approach also aims to be more granular, giving companies more ways to identify the needs of the project that might not necessarily just be quantitative. After all, better data about a company’s actual needs that flows into some algorithm can produce better matching, and that can also go down to the actual way compensation would work on that project.

“Having just one number for what a project will cost is convenient from the supplier and buyer perspective, but it’s missing out on the ability to build structured data that you can analyze,” Velker said. “The companies are deciding, ‘what do I need to know, how many years have you done in business.’ You want to be explicit about how are we going to make this decision. If price is a factor, how much of a factor is it, so they can spec things out and there’s transparency to the buyers.”

But while it’s an attempt to try to bridge that gap between the company and a service provider, it’s one that many companies have tried to fill before. There are tools like Angie’s List and others for finding contractors, though Velker says those are primarily geared toward consumers — and some end up bending the apps in order to fill the needs they have for contractors without some kind of formal platform to use. Velker acknowledges the theory behind all these tools is pretty similar, though he hopes Emptor will be able to tackle the specific needs companies might have that he’s experienced himself.


Source: TechCrunch

The secret healthy to a garden? Garbage – CNET

Put those coffee grounds and old potatoes to good use.
Source: CNET

Microsoft Calls For Federal Regulation of Facial Recognition

“Facial recognition will require the public and private sectors alike to step up – and to act,” says Brad Smith, the company’s president.
Source: Wired

Sales of PCs just grew for the first time in six years

Don’t look now, but the PC might not be dead. According to Gartner, collector of marketshare and industry metrics, worldwide shipments of personal computers just experienced the first year-over-year growth since 2012. Shipments totaled 62.1 million units, which is a 1.4 percent increase from the same time period in 2017. The report states “experienced some growth compared with a year ago” but goes on to caution declaring the PC industry as in recovery just yet.

The top five PC vendors all experienced growth with Lenovo seeing the largest gains of 10.5% — though that could be from Lenovo completing a joint venture with Fujitsu. HP grew 6.1%, Dell 9.5%, Apple 3% and Acer 3.1%. All good signs for an industry long thought stagnate. This report excludes Chromebooks from its data. PC vendors experienced growth without the help of Chromebooks, which are the latest challenger to the notebook computer.

Gartner points to the business market as the source of the increased demand. The consumer market, it states, is still decreasing as consumers increasing use mobile devices. Yet growth in the business sector will not last, it says.

“In the business segment, PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes.” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner said in the report. “PC vendors should look for ways to maintain growth in the business market as the Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off.”

Consumers will likely continue, for the most part, to keep a computer around but since the web is the new desktop, the upgrade cycle for a causal user will keep getting longer. As long as a home has a computer that can run Chrome, that’s likely good enough for most people.


Source: TechCrunch

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