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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Gadget Lab Podcast: Can Facebook and Twitter Be ‘Fixed?’

Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg were grilled by the Senate this week. Google was a no-show. And Alex Jones got the boot.
Source: Wired

Elon Musk’s Weed-Toking Goodwill Tour Isn't Enough to Save Tesla

As more high-level executives leave, investors aren’t calmed by Musk’s attempt to return to his far-out thinking self on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Source: Wired

Five-camera phones are coming soon, because sure, why not?

Peer into the future — or a future, at least. Having otherwise run out of things to improve on, Nokia brand licenser HMD is apparently bringing a five-camera phone to market (well, six, probably, if you count the other side). Because three or four would be taking the easy way out.

The leaked image of the upcoming phone lines up with sketches and a recentish patent from lens makers, Zeiss. The cameras are lined up in a circular array, along with the flash, leap frogging that new Huawei handset that settled at a mere three. 

So, why five cameras? The obvious answer is why not, because whatever, I guess. I mean, we only go around once of this crazy planet of ours once. The more specific answer is a bit more difficult to suss out the image alone, but going with that number is one way not to have to choose between things like zoom and a secondary monochrome.

As has been noted, Nokia (the actual Nokia, that is) had a history of innovating on the imaging front from that 41-megapixel to the stupidly expensive Ozo VR rig. So at very least, this could be nice little homage to the Nokia of yore. How you’ll actually hold the whole thing without touching the lenses every time, on the other hand, is another question entirely.


Source: TechCrunch

High there: Reaction to Elon Musk smoking pot is snarky, blunt – CNET

Tesla founder’s single legal puff set Twitter jokesters on fire.
Source: CNET

Jaguar Land Rover wants to sell you infotainment for your classic car – Roadshow

JLR is offering five versions of its classic-looking system, including one touchscreen model.
Source: CNET

2019 Hyundai Elantra's wild style starts at $17,100 – Roadshow

Its looks will raise your eyebrows higher than its modest price bump will.
Source: CNET

Chris Pine would 'love' to star as Kirk in Star Trek 4 – CNET

Captain, my captain: The actor’s just waiting for a phone call so he can boldly go where he’s already gone before.
Source: CNET

Fake Beto O'Rourke Texts Expose New Playground for Trolls

Someone hijacked a volunteer tool to make it look like Beto O’Rourke encouraged voter fraud—and that could just be the beginning.
Source: Wired

Deep-linking startup Branch is raising more than $100M at a unicorn valuation

Branch, the deep-linking startup backed by Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures, will enter the unicorn club with an upcoming funding round.

The four-year-old company, which helps brands create links between websites and mobile apps, has authorized the sale of $129 million in Series D shares, according to sources and confirmed by PitchBook, which tracks venture capital deals. The infusion of capital values the company at roughly $1 billion.

In an e-mail this morning, Branch CEO Alex Austin declined to comment.

The Redwood City-based startup closed a $60 million Series C led by Playground in April 2017, bringing its total equity raised to $113 million. It’s also backed by NEA, Pear Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and Madrona Ventures. Rubin, for his part, is a co-founder of Android, as well as the founder of Essential, a smartphone company that, though highly valued, has had less success.

Branch’s deep-linking platform helps brands drive app growth, conversions, user engagement and retention.

Deep links are links that take you to a specific piece of web content, rather than a website’s homepage. This, for example, is a deep link. This is not.

Deep links are used to connect web or e-mail content with apps. That way, when you’re doing some online shopping using your phone and you click on a link to an item on Jet.com, you’re taken to the Jet app installed on your phone, instead of Jet’s desktop site, which would provide a much poorer mobile experience.

Branch supports 40,000 apps with roughly 3 billion monthly users. The company counts Airbnb, Amazon, Bing, Pinterest, Reddit, Slack, Tinder and several others as customers.

Following its previous round of venture capital funding, Austin told TechCrunch that the company had seen “tremendous growth” ahead of the raise.

“[We] have been fortunate enough to become the clear market leader,” he said. “There’s so much more we can accomplish in deep linking and this money will be used to fund Branch’s continued platform growth.”


Source: TechCrunch

Trump wants to just tariff the hell out of China

Another day, another whopper of a tariff. The Trump administration has been busy finalizing the rulemaking process to put 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, which will almost certainly affect the prices of many critical technology components and have on-going repercussions for Silicon Valley supply chains. That followed the implementation of tariffs on $50 billion of goods earlier this year.

Now, President Trump, as reported by reporters on Air Force One this morning, has said that he is prepared to triple down on his tariffs strategy, saying that he is ready to add tariffs to another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. Although the president has a flair for the dramatic in many of his policies, the China tariffs are one arena in which his rhetoric has matched the actions of his administration.

Each set of these tariffs has been vociferously opposed by tech industry trade groups, but their concerns seem to have had little effect on the administration’s final thinking. Jose Castaneda, a spokesperson for the Information Technology Industry Council, called this next wave of potential tariffs “grossly irresponsible and possibly illegal.”

Yet, despite the constant threat of more tariffs, CFIUS reforms, and the ZTE debacle, China continues to dominate trade with America. Numbers released by the Department of Commerce this week showed that America’s trade deficit with other nations reached five-year highs in July, surpassing $50 billion for the month, with the China trade goods deficit hitting $36.8 billion. These numbers may well have triggered the president’s latest comments.

They may also have been triggered by the recent anonymous op-ed in The New York Times, in which a Trump “senior administration official” said that “Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people…. In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the ‘enemy of the people,’ President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.”

Anti-trade or not, it is clear that the package of tariffs and other policy reforms have done little to dampen the trade deficit or trigger a broad restructuring of the supply chains underpinning American brands.

In my discussions at the Disrupt SF 2018 conference the past few days, one persistent theme has been the durability of certain Chinese cities — particularly Shenzhen but not exclusively — to weather these trade storms. Because of the depth of expertise, fast turnaround times, extreme flexibility and cheap costs of hardware supply chains, there are sustainable advantages that the U.S. can’t hope to fight with a couple of measly tariffs — even on $500 billion worth of goods.

Indeed, as one prominent venture capitalist put it to me, hardware investing is now significantly easier for those with the right knowledge of the Chinese ecosystem. Just a few years ago, a couple of millions in capital could get a startup a working prototype. Now, startups can raise $1-2 million in some cases and get a working product into sales channels. The Chinese ecosystem around hardware has just continued to improve with alacrity.

For Trump, a much more robust policy will be needed to move the trade numbers in the other direction. Better funding for universities to produce the right talent. Pushing for a region in the U.S. to become the “Shenzhen of America” through a combination of private and public funding. Greater preferential treatment around taxes for keeping manufacturing in the U.S.

And maybe tariff the hell out of them.


Source: TechCrunch

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