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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Fortnite: Battle Royale copycats are falling out of the sky – CNET

The world is going crazy over battle royale games. But when we see Yoshi and Cuphead entering the thunder dome, that’s when it will have gone too far.
Source: CNET

China opened a footpath for people glued to their phones – CNET

One can finally check Instagram without being distracted by oncoming cars.
Source: CNET

China’s Didi Chuxing continues its international expansion with Australia launch

Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, is continuing its international expansion after it announced plans to launch in Australia this month.

The company — which bought Uber’s China business in 2016 — said it will begin serving customers in Melbourne from June 25 following a month-long trial period in Geelong, a neighboring city that’s 75km away. The business will be run by a Didi subsidiary in Australia and it plans to offer “a series of welcome packages to both drivers and riders” — aka discounts and promotions, no doubt. It began signing up drivers on June 1, the company added.

The Australia launch will again put Didi in direct competition with Uber, but that is becoming increasingly common, and also Ola and Didi which both count Didi as an investor — more on that below. This move follows forays into Taiwan, Mexico and Brazil this year as Didi has finally expanded beyond its China-based empire.

Didi raised $4 billion in December to develop AI, general technology and to fund international expansion and it has taken a variety of routes to doing the latter. This Australia launch is organic, with Didi developing its own team, while in Taiwan it has used a franchise model and it went into Brazil via acquisition, snapping up local Uber-rival 99 at a valuation of $1 billion.

It is also set to enter Japan where it has teamed up with investor SoftBank on a joint-venture.

“In 2018, Didi will continue to cultivate markets in Latin America, Australia and Japan. We are confident a combination of world-class transportation AI technology and deep local expertise will bring a better experience to overseas markets,” the company added in a statement.

This international expansion has also brought a new level of confusion since Didi has cultivated relationships with other ride-hailing companies across the world while also expanding its own presence internationally.

The Uber deal brought with it a stock swap — turning Didi and Uber from competitors into stakeholders — and the Chinese company has also backed Grab in Southeast Asia, Lyft in the U.S., Ola in India, Careem in the Middle East and — more recentlyTaxify, which is primarily focused on Europe and Africa.

In the case of Australia, Didi will come up against Uber, Ola — present in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney via an expansion made earlier this year — and Taxify, too. Uber vs Didi is to be expected — that’s a complicated relationship — but in taking on Ola (so soon after it came to Australia), Didi is competing directly with a company that it funded via an investment deal for the first time.

That might be a small insight into Didi’s relationship with Ola. Unlike Grab, which has seen Didi follow-on its investments, the Chinese firm sat out Ola’s most recent fundraising last year despite making an investment in the company back in 2015.

“The ride-hailing industry is still a young business, and the potential for growth is substantial. Competition exists in ride-hailing, like in any flourishing industry. But it leads to better products and services, which ultimately benefits users,” Didi told TechCrunch in a statement when asked about its new rivalry with Ola and Taxify.

Ola declined to comment. Taxify did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The move into Australia comes at a time when Didi is under intense pressure following the death of a passenger uses its ‘Hitch’ service last month.

The company suspended the Hitch service — which allows groups people who are headed in the same direction together — and removed a number of features while limiting its operations to day-time only. This week, it said it would resume night-time rides but only for drivers picking up passengers of the same sex.


Source: TechCrunch

China's ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing is expanding to Australia – Roadshow

The company absorbed Uber China in 2016, and is slowly going global.
Source: CNET

We asked three burning questions about E3 2018 video – CNET

Because we can’t only trust Jeff Bakalar’s opinion, he asked CBSi colleagues about what they thought of E3 2018.
Source: CNET

AT&T completes $85 billion mega-merger with Time Warner – CNET

Deal closes a day early after government said it wouldn’t seek a stay to freeze the deal.
Source: CNET

DOJ won't ask judge to delay AT&T-Time Warner merger – CNET

The government might still appeal the court’s decision though.
Source: CNET

Broadcom lays off 1,100 employees after Brocade merger – CNET

More positions may be cut though.
Source: CNET

NXP-Qualcomm $44B deal to clear China as Trump authorizes $50B tariffs

The U.S.-China trade battle enters an important new phase. The South China Morning Post is reporting that China’s Ministry of Commerce will clear Qualcomm’s pending $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. One independent source also conveyed the same news to TechCrunch, although there has been no official word from Qualcomm, NXP or China at time of publication.

That acquisition was expected to close months ago, but the Chinese government repeatedly delayed its assent to the deal as part of its ongoing fight with the Trump administration over the future of bilateral trade. China’s ministry remained the last competition authority worldwide pending to approve the deal, and presumably it will close rapidly now that antitrust review has been completed.

The news of the approval broke just as The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House has authorized $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. The final list of goods that will be subject to the tariffs has not been released, although TechCrunch has done a data analysis on the last set of tariffs, which focused on aluminum and steel imports. Direct news from the White House is expected Friday.

There has been a studied response and counter-response between the two countries over trade the past year, as both Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping sought high ground over the spat. The most recent set of issues has concerned ZTE, which was offered a reprieve by President Trump only to have its fate brought to Congress for a decision this week.

In my analysis on ZTE’s potential death sentence, I wrote this afternoon that:

Ironically — and to be clear on this view, I am not getting this from sources, but rather pointing out a unique strategy vector here — it might well be Qualcomm that uses its DC policy shop to try to save ZTE. Those lobbyists protected Qualcomm from a takeover by Broadcom earlier this year, and it could try to make the case to Congress that it will be irreparably damaged if legislators don’t back off their threats.

The timing of the approval for Qualcomm could come with an understanding that it help ZTE with its congressional woes. Qualcomm has already agreed to form a strategic partnership with Baidu in the interim around AI and deep learning, which one source said to me was part of a package of concessions offered to placate Beijing.

Without a doubt, the news will prove a rare bit of relief for Qualcomm, which has been buffeted by challenges over the past year, including its hostile takeover battle with Broadcom and ongoing patent lawsuits with some of its biggest customers like Apple. Shareholders are likely to be enthusiastic with the outcome, and the stock was up 3 percent in after-hours trading following the news.

The acquisition of NXP is expected to provide a new set of technologies and patents for Qualcomm, particularly in strategic growth spaces like automotive, where Qualcomm has been weak on its product side.


Source: TechCrunch

Purdue’s PHADE technology lets cameras ‘talk’ to you

It’s become almost second nature to accept that cameras everywhere — from streets, to museums and shops — are watching you, but now they may be able to communicate with you, as well. New technology from Purdue University computer science researchers has made this dystopian prospect a reality in a new paper published today. But, they argue, it’s safer than you might think.

The system is called PHADE, which allows for something called “private human addressing,” where camera systems and individual cell phones can communicate without transmitting any personal data, like an IP or Mac address. Instead of using an IP or Mac address, the technology relies on motion patterns for the address code. That way, even if a hacker intercepts it, they won’t be able to access the person’s physical location.

Imagine you’re strolling through a museum and an unfamiliar painting catches your eye. The docents are busy with a tour group far across the gallery and you didn’t pay extra for the clunky recorder and headphones for an audio tour. While pondering the brushwork you feel your phone buzz, and suddenly a detailed description of the artwork and its painter is in the palm of your hand.

To achieve this effect, researchers use an approach similar to the kind of directional audio experience you might find at theme parks. Through processing the live video data, the technology is able to identify the individual motion patterns of pedestrians and when they are within a pertinent range — say, in front of a painting. From there they can broadcast a packet of information linked to the motion address of the pedestrian. When the user’s phone identifies that the motion address matches their own, the message is received.

While this tech can be used to better inform the casual museum-goer, the researchers also believe it has a role in protecting pedestrians from crime in their area.

“Our system serves as a bridge to connect surveillance cameras and people,” He Wang, a co-creator of the technology and assistant professor of computer science, said in a statement. “[It can] be used by government agencies to enhance public safety [by deploying] cameras in high-crime or high-accident areas and warn[ing] specific users about potential threats, such as suspicious followers.”

While the benefits of an increasingly interconnected world are still being debated and critiqued daily, there might just be an upside to knowing a camera’s got its eye on you.


Source: TechCrunch

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