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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Chinese electric car startup Byton raises $500 million

Byton, a Chinese electric car startup, has secured a $500 million Series B funding round to fuel the development of smart, connected cars. Investors include FAW Group, Tus-Holdings and CATL. Byton also announced the opening of a new HQ in Nanjing, China. This is on top of Byton’s research and development center in Santa Clara, Calif.

“By combining our expertise in R&D and traditional car-making with innovative Internet technologies, we aspire to pioneer a smart mobility revolution,” Byton CEO and Co-founder Dr. Carsen Breitfeld said in a statement.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Byton unveiled its all-electric SUV concept. Earlier this year, Byton also announced a partnership with self-driving car startup Aurora. The terms of the partnership entail Aurora powering Byton’s autonomous driving features via a pilot deployment in the next couple of years. Byton plans to roll out its first batch of prototypes in April 2019 with the goal of Q4 2019 for the launch of a mass produced model.


Source: TechCrunch

Lenovo's new Legion gaming laptops are dressed for business – CNET

The Legion Y530 and Y730 go Razer’s route dialing back the typical garish gaming PC design. The same goes for its new desktops, too.
Source: CNET

SoftBank Vision Fund leads $250M Series D for Cohesity’s hyperconverged data platform

San Jose-based Cohesity has closed an oversubscribed $250M Series D funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, bringing its total raised to date to $410M. The enterprise software company offers a hyperconverged data platform for storing and managing all the secondary data created outside of production apps.

In a press release today it notes this is only the second time SoftBank’s gigantic Vision Fund has invested in an enterprise software company. The fund, which is almost $100BN in size — without factoring in all the planned sequels, also led an investment in enterprise messaging company Slack back in September 2017 (also a $250M round).

Cohesity pioneered hyperconverged secondary storage as a first stepping stone on the path to a much larger transformation of enterprise infrastructure spanning public and private clouds. We believe that Cohesity’s web-scale Google-like approach, cloud-native architecture, and incredible simplicity is changing the business of IT in a fundamental way,” said Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a supporting statement.

Also participating in the financing are Cohesity’s existing strategic investors Cisco Investments, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, along with early investor Sequoia Capital and others.

The company says the investment will be put towards “large-scale global expansion” by selling more enterprises on the claimed cost and operational savings from consolidating multiple separate point solutions onto its hyperconverged platform. On the customer acquisition front it flags up support from its strategic investors, Cisco and HPE, to help it reach more enterprises.

Cohesity says it’s onboarded more than 200 new enterprise customers in the last two quarters — including Air Bud Entertainment, AutoNation, BC Oil and Gas Commission, Bungie, Harris Teeter, Hyatt, Kelly Services, LendingClub, Piedmont Healthcare, Schneider Electric, the San Francisco Giants, TCF Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force, and WestLotto — and says annual revenues grew 600% between 2016 and 2017.

In another supporting statement, CEO and founder Mohit Aron, added: “My vision has always been to provide enterprises with cloud-like simplicity for their many fragmented applications and data — backup, test and development, analytics, and more.

“Cohesity has built significant momentum and market share during the last 12 months and we are just getting started.”


Source: TechCrunch

iOS 12: Getting to know Screen Time and stronger parental controls – CNET

When you receive your first usage report, you should probably sit down before opening it.
Source: CNET

Diamonds in the sky give new stars their twinkle twinkle – CNET

Turns out an unexplained glow in the faraway heavens comes from massive swarms of diamonds in space.
Source: CNET

US announces more sanctions against Russia over hacking concerns – CNET

The US Treasury Department took aim at organizations and people that worked with Russia’s hackers.
Source: CNET

How to use iOS 12's fun new Memoji feature – CNET

If you ever wanted to create a cartoon of yourself, here’s your chance.
Source: CNET

Lenovo revamps Legion brand with affordable gaming laptops and desktops

Just in time for E3, Lenovo launched an assortment of new gaming PCs, ranging from affordable gaming laptops to conventional desktop towers. These Legion PCs leave behind the chrome of traditional gaming designs for something more modern.

The post Lenovo revamps Legion brand with affordable gaming laptops and desktops appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

You Can't Take This Photo: Shooting Western Landscapes Like They've Never Been Seen—at Night

Photographer Adam Kasteff puts his own spin on landscape photography.
Source: Wired

By automating code compliance, UpCodes AI is “the spellcheck for buildings”

For many architects, the hardest part of their job starts after they finish designing a building, when the onerous process of code compliance begins. Written to ensure the safety and accessibility of buildings, codes dictate everything from the height and depth of stairs and where railings end, to the amount of floor space in front of toilets and the height of windows. Regulations are constantly updated, which means that even the most diligent team of architects often miss violations, resulting in costly delays. Y Combinator alum UpCodes wants to help them by using artificial intelligence, including natural language processing, to create what the San Francisco-based startup describes as “the spellcheck for buildings.”

Called UpCodes AI, the program is a plug-in that scans 3D models created with building information modeling (BIM) data and alerts architects about potential issues. It draws on the same backend as UpCodes’ first product, an app that compiles regulations into a constantly updated, searchable database with collaboration tools. UpCodes AI, which launched to the public last week, currently supports recent versions of Autodesk Revit and will add ARCHICAD, Sketchup and IFC in the future.

“This is like Grammarly for the construction industry. By highlighting code errors in real-time, the software acts as a code consultant working beside you at all times,” UpCodes co-founder and CEO Scott Reynolds tells TechCrunch.

UpCodes’ co-founders Garrett and Scott Reynolds and UpCodes AI technical lead Mark Vulfson

UpCodes was founded in 2016 after Reynolds became so frustrated by traditional code compliance while working as an architect that he switched career paths and launched the startup with his brother Garrett, a former software engineer at PlanGrid, to fix the process.

Building codes change so often that they are sometimes referred to as “living documents.” UpCodes’ database draws directly on regulations put online by municipalities and is updated almost in real-time. This eases a major pain point because many architects who thought they had followed regulations find out too late that they missed an amendment. In worst case scenarios, completed work needs to be torn out and rebuilt, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. This is a frequent occurrence and Scott Reynolds points to studies by McKinsey and the National Association of Home Builders that cite the complexity of code compliance as a major reason for reduced productivity in the construction industry and rising home prices.

Automating code compliance may also make it easier for architects to expand their practices, since regulations can vary dramatically between jurisdictions. UpCodes currently covers building codes in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Though UpCodes AI is still in its early stages, Reynolds tells TechCrunch that during its private beta it identified an average of about 27 violations per project.

One of its private beta users was Nicholas LoCicero, a designer with CallisonRTKL, an architecture firm known for retail design. LoCicero told TechCrunch in an email that the company used UpCodes AI on two retail locations that needed brand updates. Accessibility, which includes making sure that there are unobstructed ways of exiting a building from any point within it, is one of the most important parts of code compliance, and LoCicero said UpCodes AI was able to flag issues with door clearance, depth on stairs and tread width more quickly than the typical compliance process.

The program “definitely has the potential to save us hours of time with smart egress and accessibility tools and components that will help us develop projects faster during different phases of design” while ensuring that compliance is maintained, he added.

So far, UpCodes has raised $785,000 in funding from angel investors, as well as Y Combinator and Foundation Capital. It now has over 100,000 monthly active users and recently hired Mark Vulfson, former senior manager of engineering at PlanGrid, to serve as UpCodes AI’s technical lead.

Though the adoption of BIM data has made planning buildings more efficient, that’s “only a modest use of BIM’s full potential,” Reynolds says. He notes that it’s just within the past few years that more than 50% of American architecture firms have started using 3D information-rich modeling instead of 2D modeling. Programs like Revit and ARCHICAD, and new developments in APIs, finally made automated code compliance possible.

The use of AI in architecture is still new, but there are already several companies, including Autodesk and CoPlannery, exploring how to apply AI technologies to solve common problems in design, construction and engineering. Since AI is used in other major industries, including finance and healthcare, to automate compliance, it makes sense to assume that somewhere down the line, another company might try to build a competitor to UpCodes AI.

Reynolds believes that the UpCodes team’s combined industry and technical expertise will give it an edge over future rivals. He says his brother Garrett has a background in diffusion MRI analyzing large 4D data sets, while Vulfson brings “extensive experience deploying client side and web-based products” to the startup. UpCodes also works with a building code consultant who is based in New York City.

“The whole industry of code compliance has been neglected by software engineers for so long that it’s hard to imagine someone else doing what we’re doing,” Reynolds says.

“Building codes are a creativity killer.  These regulations are one of the most restrictive components of design,” he adds. “Imagine restricting every brush stroke an artist makes with ten thousand rules–that’s what building codes feel like to an architect. That’s why I quit my career to do this. I want to take away that frustration and make architecture more fun, like it is in school.”


Source: TechCrunch

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