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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

2019 Mazda CX-9 adds Apple CarPlay and other creature comforts – Roadshow

It starts out affordable, but it can max out near $45,000.
Source: CNET

Razer heads to Kickstarter to create its Naga Trinity gaming mouse for lefties

When it comes to computer mice, scissors, spiral notebooks, and more, lefties are a neglected crowd. Peripherals and tools catering to southpaws are few. Razer wants to help fix that by creating a new left-handed Naga Trinity mouse.

The post Razer heads to Kickstarter to create its Naga Trinity gaming mouse for lefties appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital trends

Google plans to roll out digital wellness features in Pie but Apple’s already got ’em

Google hopes to add a few digital wellness features to its latest desserted update, Pie (out today) but Apple is already on this health track with its latest update for iOS 12.

Digital wellness allows users to keep track of time spent on and unplug from your digital device when needed. Google announced the new wellness features coming to Android at I/O in May, including a dashboard for digital wellness, or the ability to track just how much time you spend on your device, an app timer that lets you set time limits on apps, a new Do Not Disturb feature which silences pop-up notifications and Wind Down, a feature to help you switch on Night Light and Do Not Disturb when it’s time to hit the hay.

Apple is also making digital wellness a focus. New features in this space were announced during its WWDC conference earlier this summer and the company has included an updated ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature in the iOS 12 update, also out today.

Several studies have suggested the importance of unplugging and breaking our addictions to our smartphones for our sanity’s sake and it seems Google would like to help us do just that with these new features. However, the new digital wellness features aren’t quite available in the latest Pie update, out today. We’ve asked Google why not and will update you when and if we hear back on that.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to roll ahead, adding its own controls to help iPhone owners curb their app and screen time usage. Similar to Android’s future offerings, iOS 12 includes a dash with a weekly report on how you spend time on your device. A feature called Downtime helps you schedule time away from your screen (versus just leaving your phone somewhere, seeing a notification and being tempted to pick it up), a feature to set time limits on apps and a way to block inappropriate content from reaching your screen as well.

Apple beats Android in this department for now but those features will supposedly be made available to everyone with a Google phone eventually. For those wanting to check out the new digital wellness features for Android, you can still do that today but only if you happen to have a Google Pixel — and only if you’ve signed up for the beta version.

Source: TechCrunch

Applications extended one week for Startup Battlefield Latin America

For all of you time-strapped startup founders hoping to apply to TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Latin America, we have good news! We’re extending your deadline!

You now have an extra week to submit your application to our premier pitch competition taking place in Latin America for the first time ever on November 8, 2018, in São Paulo, Brazil. The deadline to apply is Monday, August 13 at 5 p.m. PST, so submit that application today.

Recently, the TechCrunch team traveled through Latin America spreading the Startup Battlefield gospel  and met some incredible early stage startups while there. Will one of them — or yours — win the first Startup Battlefield Latin America?

For anyone who may be a little late to the game, Startup Battlefield is TechCrunch’s startup launch competition. Companies pitch on stage, provide a live demo and then get grilled by world class judges – investors and seasoned entrepreneurs –  from all over the world.

On November 8th, 2018, 15 startups will compete live on stage at São Paulo’s Tomie Ohtake Institute in front of tech’s brightest investors and entrepreneurs for a $25,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to San Francisco for two to join TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 — where they’ll get to exhibit free of charge in the Startup Alley. Importantly, TechCrunch does not take equity and participation is 100% free.

All finalists receive free expert pitch-coaching and become part of the Startup Battlefield alumni community, which consists of more than 800 companies that have collectively raised more than $8 billion in funding and produced more than 100 exits. You may recognize a few of them: Mint, Dropbox,  Yammer, Fitbit, Getaround and Cloudflare.

And that’s not all finalists gain the attention of press and investors and TechCrunch records the entire pitch-off and streams it to our global TechCrunch audience. Pitch videos will be available later, on demand.

Will you be the Startup Battlefield Latin America champion? There’s only one way to find out: make the most of the extended deadline and apply now.

We encourage all early-startup founders to apply if they meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • Have an early-stage company in “launch” stage
  • Be headquartered in one of these countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, (Central America) Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, (Caribbean — including dependencies and constituent entities), Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  • Have a fully working product/beta reasonably close to, or in, production
  • Have received limited press or publicity to date
  • Have no known intellectual property conflicts
  • Apply by August 13, 2018, at 5 p.m. PST

Startup Battlefield Latin America goes down on November 8, 2018, in São Paulo, Brazil. Make the most of the extended deadline. Click on the application link and apply today!

Source: TechCrunch

Chilling effects

The removal of conspiracy enthusiast content by InfoWars brings us to an interesting and important point in the history of online discourse. The current form of Internet content distribution has made it a broadcast medium akin to television or radio. Apps distribute our cat pics, our workouts, and our YouTube rants to specific audiences of followers, audiences that were nearly impossible to monetize in the early days of the Internet but, thanks to gullible marketing managers, can be sold as influencer media.

The source of all of this came from Gen X’s deep love of authenticity. They formed a new vein of content that, after breeding DIY music and zines, begat blogging, and, ultimately, created an endless expanse of user generated content (UGC). In the “old days” of the Internet this Cluetrain-manifesto-waving post gatekeeper attitude served the slacker well. But this move from a few institutional voices into a scattered legion of micro-fandoms led us to where we are today: in a shithole of absolute confusion and disruption.

As I wrote a year ago, user generated content supplanted and all but destroyed “real news.” While much of what is published now is true in a journalistic sense, the ability for falsehood and conspiracy to masquerade as truth is the real problem and it is what caused a vacuum as old media slowed down and new media sped up. In this emptiness a number of parasitic organisms sprung up including sites like Gizmodo and TechCrunch, micro-celebrity systems like Instagram and Vine, and sites catering to a different consumer, sites like InfoWars and Stormfront. It should be noted that InfoWars has been spouting its deepstate meanderings since 1999 and Alex Jones himself was a gravelly-voice radio star as early as 1996. The Internet allowed any number of niche content services to juke around the gatekeepers of propriety and give folks like Jones and, arguably, TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington, Gawker founder Nick Denton, and countless members of the “Internet-famous club,” deep influence over the last decades media landscape.

The last twenty years have been good for UGC. You could get rich making it, get informed reading it, and its traditions and habits began redefining how news-gathering operated. There is no longer just a wall between advertising and editorial. There is also a wall between editorial and the myriad bloggers who write about poop on Mt. Everest. In this sort of world we readers find ourselves at a distinct loss. What is true? What is entertainment? When the Internet is made flesh in the form of Pizzagate shootings and Unite the Right Marches, who is to blame?

The simple answer? We are to blame. We are to blame because we scrolled endlessly past bad news to get to the news that was applicable to us. We trained robots to spoon feed us our opinions and then force feed us associated content. We allowed ourselves to enter into a pact with a devil so invisible and pernicious that it easily convinced the most confused among us to mobilize against Quixotic causes and immobilized the smartest among us who were lulled into a Soma-like sleep of liking, sharing, and smileys. And now a new reckoning is coming. We have come full circle.

Once upon a time old gatekeepers were careful to let only carefully controlled views and opinions out over the airwaves. The medium was so immediate that in the 1940s broadcasters forbade the transmission of recordings and instead forced broadcasters to offer only live events. This was wonderful if you had the time to mic a children’s choir at Christmas but this rigidity was bed for a reporter’s health. Take William Shirer and Edward R. Murrow’s complaints about being unable to record and play back bombing raids in Nazi-held territories – their chafing at old ideas are almost palpable to modern bloggers.

There were other handicaps to the ban on recording that hampered us in taking full advantage of this new medium in journalism. On any given day there might be several developments, each of which could have been recorded as it happened and then put together and edited for the evening broadcast. In Berlin, for example, there might be a bellicose proclamation, troop movements through the capital, sensational headlines in the newspapers, a protest by an angry ambassador, a fiery speech by Hitler, Goring or Goebbels threatening Nazi Germany’s next victim—all in the course of the day. We could have recorded them at the moment they happened and put them together for a report in depth at the end of the day. Newspapers could not do this. Only radio could. But [CBS President] Paley forbade it.

Murrow and I tried to point out to him that the ban on recording was not only hampering our efforts to cover the crisis in Europe but would make it impossible to really cover the war, if war came. In order to broadcast live, we had to have a telephone line leading from our mike to a shortwave transmitter. You could not follow an advancing or retreating army dragging a telephone line along with you. You could not get your mike close enough to a battle to cover the sounds of combat. With a compact little recorder you could get into the thick of it and capture the awesome sounds of war.

And so now instead of CBS and the Censorship Bureau we have Facebook and Twitter. Instead of calling for the ability to record and playback an event we want permission to offer our own slants on events, no matter how far removed we are from the action. Instead of working diligently to spread only the truth, we consume the truth as others know it. And that’s what we are now chafing against: the commercialization and professionalization of user generated content.

Every medium goes through this confusion. From Penny Dreadfuls to Pall Mall sponsoring nearly every single new television show in the 1940s, media has grown, entered a disruptive phase that changes all media around it, and is then curtailed into boredom and commoditization. It is important to remember that we are in the era of Peak TV not because we all have more time to watch 20 hours of Breaking Bad. We are in Peak TV because we have gotten so good at making good shows – and the average consumer is ravenous for new content – that there is no financial reason not to take a flyer on a miniseries. In short, it’s gotten boring to make good TV.

And so we are now entering the latest stage of Internet content, the blowback. This blowback is not coming from governments. Trump, for his part, sees something wrong but cannot or will not verbalize it past the idea of “Fake News”. There is absolutely a Fake News problem but it is not what he thinks it is. Instead, the Fake News problem is rooted in the idea that all content deserves equal respect. My Medium post is as good as a CNN which is as good as an InfoWars screed about pedophiles on Mars. In a world defined by free speech then all speech is protected. Until, of course, it affects the bottom line of the company hosting it.

So Facebook and Twitter are walking a thin line. They want to remain true to the ancillary GenX credo that can be best described as “garbage in, garbage out” but many of its readers have taken that deeply open invitation to share their lives far too openly. These platforms have come to define personalities. They have come to define news cycles. They have driven men and women into hiding and they have given the trolls weapons they never had before, including the ability to destroy media organizations at will. They don’t want to censor but now that they have shareholders then they simply must.

So get ready for the next wave of media. And the next. And the next. As it gets more and more boring to visit Facebook I foresee a few other rising and falling media outlets based on new media – perhaps through VR or video – that will knock social media out of the way. And wait for more wholesale destruction of UGC creators new and old as monetization becomes more important than “truth.”

I am not here to weep for InfoWars. I think it’s garbage. I’m here to tell you that InfoWars is the latest in a long line of disrupted modes of distribution that began with the printing press and will end god knows where. There are no chilling effects here, just changes. And we’d best get used to them.

Source: TechCrunch

Vans Warped Tour bands back FEND, an app educating young adults about opioid dangers

Can a mobile app help to address the opioid crisis in the U.S.? That’s the goal behind FEND, an app that’s taking advantage of technology solutions like machine learning and gamification to increase young people’s understanding of opioids and to change their behaviors. It’s the first large-scale attempt at running a public health campaign in the U.S. on a mobile device in this manner. And it’s already seeing some early success thanks to its sponsorship of Vans’ Warped Tour and the endorsement of several participating bands and  artists.

Unlike traditional public health campaigns which use mass media, like billboards or TV ads to reach users, FEND [Full Energy No Drugs] personalizes its material for each user.

The FEND app encourages downloads by promising users – young people who otherwise wouldn’t bother with an educational anti-drug app – free swag they actually care about. For example: Vans Warped tour tickets, a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Vans shoes, access to acoustic sessions at the Warped Tour with bands like Waterparks and We the Kings; and in the future, if all goes well, a way to bring a concert produced by Warped Tour’s Kevin Lyman to their own hometown.

The idea for FEND comes from serial entrepreneur Steve Huff, a North Carolina native who has been living in Australia for the past eighteen years. During this time he has founded and headed a number of businesses, including automated publishing solution Typefi Systems; parenting information resource Sixty Second Parent; and sustainable energy non-profit, The Light Foundation, where he authored a report for the UN on the use of solar lighting in refugee camps, and ran a solar entrepreneurship program for teenage girls in Malawi.

“For me, it’s always important to combine innovation, entrepreneurship and some kind of social good,” Huff explained, as to his motivations around FEND.

The problem FEND aims to address is to make public health campaigns more effective by individualizing the conversation for each user, while also using the same sort of technology social apps leverage to addict their users.

The technology platform itself, iPug, uses gamification, rewards artificial intelligence, and personalization techniques to make the information shared in the app relevant to the end users, and retain them over time. It combines the evidence-based research it aims to share with technology, its own streetwear brand and – as the means of reaching the target audience – music.

While there are obviously a number of ways this platform could be used in public health education, the company is focused initially on an opioid educational campaign launched in partnership with the Preventum Initiative.

Above: Metalcore band Kublai Khan sporting FEND apparel at Vans Warped Tour, Tampa

A large part of FEND’s following comes from its sponsorship of the final run of the Vans Warped Tour, where it has a booth and the support of many artists who mention FEND on stage, send out messages to fans, wear FEND merchandise, or even perform special sets for FEND.

For example, Waterparks, The Maine, We The Kings, The Interrupters, and others have spoken for FEND.

So far, FEND has been downloaded 20,000 times, Huff said.

After the first 9,500 downloads, the company took a snapshot of user behavior and found its engagement rate was 80 percent. And 79 percent of the kids said they would be “very likely” to talk to a loved one or friend who might be using.

In the app, users are first presented with a baseline survey to get an understanding of how much they already know about opioids. Then across four modules, they learn more about the topic through videos, infographics, quizzes, motion graphics, and more, which combined address key topics like how to spot the signs of an opioid overdose, or how to talked to a loved one about their addiction, and other information about the drugs.

As users progress, the plan is to customize the app’s material to each person’s learning style – using the right material and approach, by taking advantage of machine learning to personalize the experience.

Even if FEND falls short of being a success as measured by traditional app store metrics, it’s a whopper for public health campaign. And its results can be life-saving.

“We’re getting a lot of feedback from the kids, who said ‘I just downloaded this app to get free stuff. But I went to a party last week, and there was a kid in the corner. I went over and their lips were blue and their fingers were blue, and I checked their breathing. I knew they were overdosing, and I called 911. I put them in the recovery position, and the paramedics came, gave them Narcan and said I saved their life,’” Huff told us over the weekend, in a backstage interview at Warped Tour.

“John Hopkins is freaking out because they’re going to have the largest sample size for an opioid study in history,” Huff enthused.

(A prior study of opioid deaths included over 13,000 overdose cases. But many studies range in the hundreds, in terms of participants.)

The company now wants to bring FEND to schools, through deals with state governments.

“We’ve been talking to state governments,” Huff said, noting the feedback has been positive, but talks are in early phases – no deals have been signed. “Alabama was like, look, we have morgues where we’re putting bodies out under the trees because we don’t have enough space,” he continued. “This is way bigger than anybody knows.”

“2016 was the last time the CDC reported statistics on the opioid epidemic. And at that point, we were losing 60,000 people a year to overdoses due to the use of opioids and heroin. And 80 percent of heroin users in the U.S. got their start on prescription pills,” Huff added. [He’s citing these numbers from the CDC.]

“The United States has 4.3 percent of the world’s population, but we consume 80 percent of the world’s opioid supply,” he said.

The goal is to bring FEND to states for a pilot in five states for a period of 14 months, to further prove out the concept outside the progress made with the Warped Tour sponsorship.

The tech platform behind FEND, founded in late 2015, has raised $2 million in angel funding from Huff’s network of connections. The long-term goal is to offer the platform on a SaaS [software as a service] basis or through enterprise sales. It has also researched and aims to implement its own token economy on the Ethereum blockchain. This would allow other non-profits, celebs and movements the opportunity to run their own public health campaigns using the platform. These could be offered in their own white-labeled version of FEND app, focused on their own supported initiative.

For the bands involved, it could also allow those with smaller followings a way to be reimbursed in tokens for bringing their followers to FEND.

The bigger picture here is about taking advantage techniques common to tech companies drug companies, and others, and leverage them for public health campaigns instead, Huff also noted.

“We use the same techniques Big Pharma and Big Tobacco used to engage their users, and we turn the tables on them. And now we’re using those techniques to engage kids not to use opioids,” Huff said. “I’m a tech guy, I’m not a public health guy. So this is how a tech guy would design a public health campaign,” he added.

FEND is available on iOS and Android.

Source: TechCrunch

This hack turns your old Kindle into a clock

If you have an old Kindle e-reader lying about then you’d best dig it up. This cool hack can turn your dead e-reader into a living clock that scours hundreds of books for exact times and displays the current time in a quote. It updates once a minute.

The project, available on Instrucables, requires a jailbroken Kindle and little else. The app uses quotes collected by the Guardian for an art project and includes writing from Charles Bukowski to Shakespeare.

Creator Jaap Meijers writes:

My girlfriend is a *very* avid reader. As a teacher and scholar of English literature, she reads eighty books per year on average.

On her wishlist was a clock for our living room. I could have bought a wall clock from the store, but where is the fun in that? Instead, I made her a clock that tells the time by quoting time indications from literary works, using an e-reader as display, because it’s so incredibly appropriate 🙂

Given that our family is apparently on our fifteenth Kindle in the household it only makes sense to repurpose one of these beasts into something useful. Don’t have a Kindle? You can visit a web-based version here.

Source: TechCrunch

New laptops may see more storage as SSD prices expected to fall through 2019

The cost of SSDs could continue to fall through to next year as oversupply of NAND Flash memory reaches new heights. That could lead to greater density storage in a variety of consumer devices, too.

The post New laptops may see more storage as SSD prices expected to fall through 2019 appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital trends

Google Android 9 Pie: The 5 Best New Features

Here are five key features from Android Pie, which was released today.
Source: Wired

Google Cloud gets support for Nvidia’s Tesla P4 inferencing accelerators

These days, no cloud platform is complete without support for GPUs. There’s no other way to support modern high-performance and machine learning workloads without them, after all. Often, the focus of these offerings is on building machine learning models, but today, Google is launching support for the Nvidia P4 accelerator, which focuses specifically on inferencing to help developers run their existing models faster.

In addition to these machine learning workloads, Google Cloud users can also use the GPUs for running remote display applications that need a fast graphics card. To do this, the GPUs support Nvidia Grid, the company’s system for making server-side graphics more responsive for users who log in to remote desktops.

Since the P4s come with 8GB of DDR5 memory and can handle up to 22 tera-operations per second for integer operations, these cards can handle pretty much anything you throw at them. And since buying one will set you back at least $2,200, if not more, renting them by the hour may not be the worst idea.

On the Google Cloud, the P4 will cost $0.60 per hour with standard pricing and $0.21 per hour if you’re comfortable with running a preemptible GPU. That’s significantly lower than Google’s prices for the P100 and V100 GPUs, though we’re talking about different use cases here, too.

The new GPUs are now available in us-central1 (Iowa), us-east4 (N. Virginia), Montreal (northamerica-northeast1) and europe-west4 (Netherlands), with more regions coming soon.

Source: TechCrunch