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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Scientists discover a game-changing way to remove salt from water – CNET

The technology could have massive implications for the future of our drinking water.
Source: CNET

Google Pixel 3A review: A cheaper Pixel 3 with the same great rear camera – CNET

No water resistance and no wireless charging, but Google packs the $400 Pixel 3A with the features that matter.
Source: CNET

Your wedding ring came from a neutron star explosion, 4.6 billion years ago – CNET

You like my ring? Gee thanks, just got it from the massive cosmic collision of two neutron stars.
Source: CNET

Match Group records solid first-quarter revenue thanks to an increase in Tinder subscribers

Match Group’s revenue saw solid growth in the first quarter thanks to an increase in Tinder subscribers. The company, whose portfolio of dating apps also includes Match.com, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Hinge, among others, said in its earnings report today that total quarterly revenue grew 14% year over year to $465 million. If the effects of foreign exchange aren’t included, growth would have been 18%.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders grew 23% to $123 million, or 42 cents per share, from $99.7 million, or 33 cents in the same period a year ago. Operating income increased 6% to $119 million from $112 million. During the first quarter of 2019 and 2018, Match Group recorded an income tax benefit of $28 million and $12 million, respectively, related to the exercise of vesting of stock-based awards.

During the first quarter, Tinder average subscribers were 4.7 million, up from 384,000 in the previous quarter and 1.3 million year over year. In total, Match Group’s average subscribers increased 16% to 8.6 million, up from 7.4 million a year ago. Match Group said the growth in subscribers and increase in average revenue per user (ARPU) at Tinder boosted its revenue, but it was partially offset by foreign exchange effects. ARPU was flat year-over-year, but without foreign exchange effects, it would have increased by 4% to 60 cents.

The company said its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) growth was impacted by the higher cost of generating revenue, specifically in-app purchase fees because revenue increasingly comes through mobile app stores, and higher legal costs, but offset by lower selling and marketing expenses. Adjusted EBITDA grew 13% to $155 million from $138 million.

During the first quarter, Match Group restructured its executive team, appointing three new general managers to oversee regions in Asia in order to gain more users there and focus on international growth. Its first-quarter earnings presentation highlighted opportunities in India, where Tinder is the highest-grossing Android app according to App Annie; Japan, where Match Group now owns two of the top five dating apps (Pairs is number one in Japan, while Tinder is ranks at fourth); and Southeast Asia, where Tinder is now within the top 10 grossing apps in six countries.

The company did not break down earnings by country, but during the first quarter, it had a total of 8,613,000 million average subscribers, with 4,361,000 in North America and 4,252,000 internationally. Total ARPU was 58 cents: 60 cents in North America and 56 cents internationally. Total revenue was $ $464.6 million, and of that $454 million was direct revenue, split between $237.8 million from North America and $216.2 million from international (indirect revenue is revenue that does not come directly from Match Group’s end users, and most of that is advertising revenue.


Source: TechCrunch

India’s edtech startup CollegeDekho raises $8 million to connect students with colleges

Indian edtech startup CollegeDekho, which helps students connect with prospective colleges and keep track of exams, has raised $8 million in Series B round.

The new financing round for the four-year-old Gurgaon-based startup was led by its parent company Girnarsoft Education and London-based private equity investor Man Capital, which also participated in the startup’s Series A round last year.

Ruchir Arora, founder and CEO of CollegeDekho told TechCrunch in an interview that the startup will use the capital to expand its presence in more schools and also begin connecting students with international educational institutions. The startup, which has raised $13 million to date, will also ramp up its research and development efforts.

CollegeDekho, hindi for search for college, maintains a website that helps students identify the right career choices for them. The website has a chatbot that answers some of the questions students have while logging their responses and other website activities such as the kind of colleges they are searching for on the platform, their preferred location and budget.

Arora said the startup, which also has about 3,000 call centre representatives and counsellors, builds profiles of students to make college recommendations. He said each month the site observes more than five million sessions from students. Last year, more than 8,000 students used CollegeDekho to take admission in a college.

Parents in India, a country of 1.3 billion people with not the best literacy record, see education as an upward mobility for their children. Each year, more than six to seven million students go to a college. But because of a range of factors that can include cultural stigma, many students end up choosing wrong path and thus don’t excel in college. Indeed, many students ultimately don’t pursue the subject they are best suited for, Arora said, and that’s where CollegeDekho aims to make an impact.

Most high school students in India often gravitate toward engineering or medical college, as a result of which, each year India produces many engineers and doctors who struggle for years to find a job. Arora said his startup looks at more than 2,000 career paths a student could pursue.

What works in favor of Arora is that the country will continue to turn out millions of students each year who will be looking to go to a college soon. It also helps that CollegeDekho is operationally profitable, Arora said, adding that it generates about $3.2 million in revenue in a year. Any additional cash that the startup raises will go into its expansion, he said.

CollegeDekho charges a nominal fee from students, and also takes a cut when they join a college. More than 36,000 educational institutes are listed on CollegeDekho. The startup also works with more than 400 colleges to conduct an exam for direct admission, and there too it earns a cut.

India’s education market, estimated to be grow to $5.7 billion by next year, has emerged as a lucrative opportunity for startups and VCs alike. Bangalore-based Byju’s, which helps millions of students in India prepare for competitive exams, raised $540 million from Naspers and others late last year. Unacademy, which like Byju’s offers online tutoring to students, has raised more than $38.5 million to date.

A legion of other education startups today are vying for the attention of students in the nation. Noida-based AskIITians, not much far from the offices of CollegeDekho, aims to help school-going students prepare for medical and engineering exams. Extramarks, also based in Noida, operates in the same space as AskIITians. Reliance Industries, owned and controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, bought 38.5 percent stake in the startup three years ago.


Source: TechCrunch

Google's Sundar Pichai says privacy can't be a 'luxury good' – CNET

Search giant’s CEO highlights some of the company’s efforts to improve user data privacy in a New York Times op-ed.
Source: CNET

Tenants find a win after settlement orders landlords give physical keys over smart locks – CNET

It’s a key victory for tenants who didn’t want smart locks and apps tracking their activities.
Source: CNET

Pixel 3A specs vs. Pixel 3, Moto G7, OnePlus 6T – CNET

See how Google’s new 2019 phones compare with the Moto G7 and last year’s Pixel and OnePlus models.
Source: CNET

Google working to fix AI bias problems – CNET

Just because artificial intelligence training data might show that doctors are often male, doesn’t mean machine learning should assume that’s the case.
Source: CNET

Binance says more than $40 million in bitcoin stolen in ‘large scale’ hack [Updated]

[Update: Changpeng Zhao’s comments on Periscope added to bottom of post]

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has confirmed a “large scale” data breach, in which hackers stole more than $40 million in cryptocurrency

In a statement, the company said hackers stole API keys, two-factor codes and other information in the attack.

Binance traced the cryptocurrency theft — more than 7,000 bitcoins at the time of writing — to a single wallet after the hackers stole the contents of the company’s bitcoin hot wallet. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, said the theft impacted about 2 percent of its total bitcoin holdings.

“All of our other wallets are secure and unharmed,” said the statement.

“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time,” the statement read. “The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed.”

“Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that,” the statement said.

Binance said its secure asset fund for users (SAFU) will cover user losses.

Until the company’s investigation is complete, deposits and withdrawals will remain suspended but trading will remain open.

Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao is set to hold a Twitter ask-me-anything session in the coming hours. TechCrunch will bring you more once we have it.

Update:

On Periscope, Zhao gave more details about the hack, saying that it was a very advanced effort executed by “very patient” hackers who waited until they had a number of high net worth accounts. He added that Binance will be able to cover the bitcoin lost without help. The company does not know yet exactly how many users were affected.

The company is currently working with other exchanges to block deposits from hacked addresses. It will be about a week before Binance can release withdrawals or accept deposits again because it needs to “make sure we completely eradicate any trace of hackers in all our accounts and data and that is a pretty tedious process,” Chao said. He encouraged everyone to change their API keys and two-factor authentication.

In response to questions about potentially issuing a rollback, Chao said “to be honest we can do that probably within the next few days but there are concerns that if we were to do a rollback on the bitcoin network on that scale, it may have some negative consequences in terms of destroying credibility for bitcoin, so our team is still deciding on that and running through the numbers and checking everything. We will try to maintain very high transparency. He added that the idea came from the bitcoin community. “I actually did not know we could do that, but there are serious consequences for doing that, so we will take that very cautiously.”

Read more:


Source: TechCrunch

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