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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

13 LED smart bulbs that are worth the cash – CNET

Shopping for smart lights? From big names like Lifx and Philips Hue to budget picks from Sengled, Sylvania and more, here are all of your top options, complete with the info you need to zero in on the right pick.
Source: CNET

BigClapper does away with tedious clapping, happiness

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a robot clapping over a human face, forever,” wrote George Orwell and his dire prediction has finally come to pass. This product – a year old device that I have never seen before but now love – is called BigClapper and it is basically an orb with a funny face and big white hands. When you set it up in a location it will yell and clap endlessly, a sort of robotic tummler that can pick up your spirits while it drains your will to live.

The product, found by RobotStart, is wildly manic. BigClapper can be used at offices! In front of stores! At parties! It can clap as people walk by, encouraging them to come into your shop! It is red! It has hands!

While it’s not yet Alexa compatible, the BigClapper looks to be a model of future human-computer interaction. After all what is more pure than a big red face howling at you on the street while it claps maniacally in an effort to sell you more products. It’s a literal symbol of true capitalism in this modern era.

I, for one, welcome our clapping robot overlords.


Source: TechCrunch

Digging deeper into smart speakers reveals two clear paths

In a truly fascinating exploration into two smart speakers – the Sonos One and the Amazon Echo – BoltVC’s Ben Einstein has found some interesting differences in the way a traditional speaker company and an infrastructure juggernaut look at their flagship devices.

The post is well worth a a full read but the gist is this: Sonos, a very traditional speaker company, has produced a good speaker and modified its current hardware to support smart home features like Alexa and Google Assistant. The Sonos One, notes Einstein, is a speaker first and smart hardware second.

“Digging a bit deeper, we see traditional design and manufacturing processes for pretty much everything. As an example, the speaker grill is a flat sheet of steel that’s stamped, rolled into a rounded square, welded, seams ground smooth, and then powder coated black. While the part does look nice, there’s no innovation going on here,” he writes.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, looks like what would happen if an engineer was given an unlimited budget and told to build something that people could talk to. The design decisions are odd and intriguing and it is ultimately less a speaker than a home conversation machine. Plus it is very expensive to make.

Pulling off the sleek speaker grille, there’s a shocking secret here: this is an extruded plastic tube with a secondary rotational drilling operation. In my many years of tearing apart consumer electronics products, I’ve never seen a high-volume plastic part with this kind of process. After some quick math on the production timelines, my guess is there’s a multi-headed drill and a rotational axis to create all those holes. CNC drilling each hole individually would take an extremely long time. If anyone has more insight into how a part like this is made, I’d love to see it! Bottom line: this is another surprisingly expensive part.

Sonos, which has been making a form of smart speaker for fifteen years, is a CE company with cachet. Amazon, on the other hand, sees its devices as a way into living rooms and a delivery system for sales and is fine with licensing its tech before making its own. Therefore to compare the two is a bit disingenuous. Einstein’s thesis that Sonos’ trajectory is troubled by the fact that it depends on linear and closed manufacturing techniques while Amazon spares no expense to make its products is true. But Sonos makes speakers that work together amazingly well. They’ve done this for a decade and a half. If you compare their products – and I have – with competing smart speakers an non-audiophile “dumb” speakers you will find their UI, UX, and sound quality surpass most comers.

Amazon makes things to communicate with Amazon. This is a big difference.

Where Einstein is correct, however, is in his belief that Sonos is at a definite disadvantage. Sonos chases smart technology while Amazon and Google (and Apple, if their HomePod is any indication) lead. That said, there is some value to having a fully-connected set of speakers with add-on smart features vs. having to build an entire ecosystem of speaker products that can take on every aspect of the home theatre.

On the flip side Amazon, Apple, and Google are chasing audio quality while Sonos leads. While we can say that in the future we’ll all be fine with tinny round speakers bleating out Spotify in various corners of our room, there is something to be said for a good set of woofers. Whether this nostalgic love of good sound survives this generation’s tendency to watch and listen to low resolution media is anyone’s bet, but that’s Amazon’s bet to lose.

Ultimately Sonos is strong and fascinating company. An upstart that survived the great CE destruction wrought by Kickstarter and Amazon, it produces some of the best mid-range speakers I’ve used. Amazon makes a nice – almost alien – product, but given that it can be easily copied and stuffed into a hockey puck that probably costs less than the entire bill of materials for the Amazon Echo it’s clear that Amazon’s goal isn’t to make speakers.

Whether the coming Sonos IPO will be successful depends partially on Amazon and Google playing ball with the speaker maker. The rest depends on the quality of product and the dedication of Sonos users. This good will isn’t as valuable as a signed contract with major infrastructure players but Sonos’ good will is far more than Amazon and Google have with their popular but potentially intrusive product lines. Sonos lives in the home while Google and Amazon want to invade it. That is where Sonos wins.


Source: TechCrunch

Deadpool 2: The Super Duper Cut promises more ridiculous action – CNET

The even longer cut goes on sale in August.
Source: CNET

Better T-Mobile LTE coverage coming to New York areas sooner than expected – CNET

T-Mobile just got access to radio airwaves that should also set it up for 5G coverage.
Source: CNET

2019 BMW 8 Series an expensive proposition at $111,900 – Roadshow

If the M850i is the base model, it’s only going to get more expensive from here.
Source: CNET

Autodesk acquires Assemble Systems to build up its construction tech vertical

Autodesk has made a name for itself among designers, engineers and architects with its 3D and other modelling software. Now, as it continues to build out its business in adjacent business areas like construction, it has acquired Assemble Systems, a startup that has built a platform to help plan and run building projects — and more generally building information management (BIM) — across the network of people and jobs involved.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed as Autodesk says the value is not material to its previous guidance. The deal will be a mixture of cash and stock: Autodesk had led Assemble’s Series A last year, so it was already a strategic investor in the startup.

This will not be Autodesk’s first move into construction. It had recently launched a project management platform called BIM 360, and the plan will be to integrate Assemble — which provides software that lets construction firms plan projects, but also manage bids, estimate costs and carry out assembly works — with that. And it will also bring a lot of potential customers into the Autodesk fray: Assemble has 174 unique customers using its software across 1,000 sites, working on 12,700 projects.

“I welcome the Assemble Systems team to the Autodesk family, as part of our efforts to digitize and improve the construction industry,” said Andrew Anagnost, president and CEO of Autodesk, in a statement. “We are connecting project data from design through construction, creating the cloud-enabled tools necessary to make the critical preconstruction phase of a project more predictable and profitable.”

The rise of “construction tech” has been part of a bigger trend in the last decade, where startups have increasingly applied the advances of technology — in this case, mobile apps, cloud computing, collaborative working, graphics that quickly render, and data-heavy computations that complete faster than the blink of an eye — to fields of work that have yet to be digitised and have not traditionally been associated with tech. Now, every company is a “tech company.”

Startups like PlanGrid helped put the concept of construction tech on the map when it became a part of Y Combinator in 2012 with its early concept of using iPad tablets as a better way of creating and sharing blueprints. But given that construction goods and services is estimated to be a $10 trillion industry — and employing seven percent of all of the world’s workforce, making it one of the world’s biggest — it’s no surprise to see rising demand and valuations for startups in the field. Katerra earlier this year raised $865 million from Softbank, and Oracle acquired construction collaboration software maker Aconex for $1.2 billion last December.

This is the opportunity that Autodesk is hoping to capitalise on, which makes sense, as it flows directly from the software-based services it already provides to sectors that are directly linked to the world of construction.

“Autodesk is an [architecture, engineering and construction] technology leader and was the majority investor in our Series A funding last year,” said Don Henrich, CEO of Assemble Systems, in a statement. “We partnered closely with Autodesk to make the greatest impact on the construction industry. We’re excited about joining Autodesk and continuing to make BIM data more useful across construction project workflows.”


Source: TechCrunch

Starbucks will ditch plastic straws for fancy designer lids – CNET

It’s like a sippy cup for adults.
Source: CNET

Photo of the Week: Taking to the Sky to End Open-Water Salmon Farms

A Canadian nonprofit alliance is trying to save a staple fish supply—via drone photography.
Source: Wired

Get the best of both worlds: Enter to win a Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 laptop

Can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet? The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 gives you the best of both worlds, and we’ve teamed up with Dell to give one lucky reader a chance to win one. Read on to find out how to enter for your chance to win this unique hybrid PC.

The post Get the best of both worlds: Enter to win a Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 laptop appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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