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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Lessons from California Mudslides: Science's Credibility Is At Stake

Opinion: Residents’ failure to follow evacuation orders in Montecito signal a loss of faith in science.
Source: Wired

The Race to Save Arctic Cities As Permafrost Melts

As the ground shifts beneath their feet, officials in Canada’s Nunavut turn to creative engineering to save scarce homes—and plan for a future built on bedrock.
Source: Wired

Nintendo’s NES Classic will return to U.S. retail stores on June 29

Rejoice Nintendo fans: the Japanese gaming giant is bringing the NES Classic back to retail stores this summer.

Nintendo said the console go on sale again across the U.S. on June 29, with the SNES Classic also set to be available until the end of this year. It isn’t clear what the situation will be outside of the U.S., however.

The news is welcome but not entirely a surprise. Nintendo said last September that it would bring both consoles — which were originally supposed to be one-offs — back in 2018 following a positive reception and strong sales.

The company originally killed off the hit NES Classic Edition with an announcement last April and it had originally said that the SNES version would not live beyond 2017. The NES system was a surprise hit last year, but the SNES version was even more popular. Nintendo previously revealed that it sold more on launch day in August than the NES sold in the whole of last year.

“Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves,” Nintendo said last year.

The two classic systems are part of a new focus for Nintendo, which includes the top-selling Switch console and its first moves into mobile gaming via Pokémon GO and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The company recently clocked impressive financial returns — including a 500 percent jump in annual profit — as the strategy begins to pay off.


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook suspends ~200 suspicious apps out of “thousands” reviewed so far

Did you just notice a Facebook app has gone AWOL? After reviewing “thousands” of apps on its platform following a major data misuse scandal that blew up in March, Facebook has announced it’s suspended around 200 apps — pending what it describes as a “thorough investigation” into whether or not their developers misused Facebook user data.

The action is part of a still ongoing audit of third party applications running on the platform announced by Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal where a third party developer used quiz apps to extract and pass Facebook user data to the consultancy for political ad targeting purposes.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the app audit on March 21, writing that the company would “investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity”.

Apps that would not agree to a “thorough audit” would also be banned, he said then.

Just under two months on and the tally is ~200 ‘suspicious’ app suspensions, though the review process is ongoing — and Facebook is not being more specific about the total number of apps it’s looked at so far (beyond saying “thousands”) — so expect that figure to rise.

In the Cambridge Analytica instance, Facebook admitted that personal information on as many as 87 million users may have been passed to the political consultancy — without most people’s knowledge or consent.

Giving an update on the app audit process in a blog post, Ime ArchibongFacebook’s VP of product partnerships, writes that the investigation is “in full swing”.

“We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible,” he says. “To date thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data. Where we find evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, we will ban them and notify people via this website. It will show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 — just as we did for Cambridge Analytica.”

Archibong does not confirm how much longer the audit will take — but does admit there’s a long way to go, writing that: “There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data – and it will take time.”

“We are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible,” he adds.

Where Facebook does have concerns about an app — such as the ~200 apps it has suspended pending a fuller probe — Archibong says it will conduct interviews; make requests for information (“which ask a series of detailed questions about the app and the data it has access to”); and perform audits “that may include on-site inspections”.

So Facebook will not be doing on site inspections in every suspicious app instance.

We’ve asked Facebook a series of follow up questions about the ~200 suspicious apps it’s identified, and more broadly about the ongoing audit process and will update this post with any response.

For instance it’s not clear whether the company will publish a public list of every app that it suspends or deems to have misused user data — or whether it will just notify affected individuals.

Given the likely scale of data misuse by developers on its platform there is an argument for Facebook to publish a public list of suspensions.


Source: TechCrunch

Three days left to save on tickets to TechCrunch Tel Aviv

In case you haven’t heard yet, TechCrunch is ready to descend on Tel Aviv for a one-day conference focused exclusively on mobility — and all that it entails. Tel Aviv’s startup community is red hot and fast-growing, which makes sense considering Israeli tech stands at the forefront of mobility. TechCrunch Tel Aviv takes place on June 7, 2018, and you have only three days left before the early-bird ticket price — 265 ILS — disappears. Buy your tickets right here, right now.

Mobility’s on the cusp of a revolution. Think about it: autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and security. Flying cars, anyone? It’s all up for discussion with an amazing roster of speakers. Here are but a few of the mobility experts and topics you’ll hear at TechCrunch Tel Aviv.

Sit down for a fireside chat with Austin Russell, inventor, applied physicist and founder and CEO of Luminar Technologies. His vision to develop a new type of LiDAR (a detection system that uses light from a laser) may finally make autonomous vehicles both safe and universal.

If you’re wondering how giant car manufacturers can stay relevant in the age of autonomous cars, well you’re not the only one. That’s why we can’t wait to hear General Motor’s Ariella Grinberg share her perspective from the main stage. The innovation manager for GM’s Advanced Technical Center in Israel, Grinberg will discuss her team’s work and GM’s overall strategy for competing with small but nimble startups.

You don’t want to miss Liad Itzhak, the head of mobility at Here Technologies, talk about using mapping data to develop self-driving technologies and services. The man knows just a thing or two about the subject from the time he spent at Waze and Google.

Cyber security plays a vital role in all things mobile. Come join Ofer Ben Noon — co-founder and CEO of Argus Cyber Security — for a fireside chat detailing the security risks associated with the cars of the future.

Don’t miss out on the chance to explore Startup Alley. Our exhibition floor will be packed with more than 200 early-stage startups that cross the tech spectrum. Discover products, platforms and services in cybersecurity, AR/VR, mobility, robotics, fintech, biotech, artificial intelligence, blockchain and more.

TechCrunch Tel Aviv takes place on June 7, 2018 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, Pavilion 10. Now’s the time to get the best price on tickets. We can’t wait to see you there!


Source: TechCrunch

Lenovo teases a slick, all-screen smartphone that doesn’t have a notch

Lenovo has teased a new arrival that might top Apple’s iPhone X in a bid to deliver a true all-screen smartphone.

Apple’s iPhone X goes very close but for a tiny bezel and its distinctive notch, but Lenovo’s Z5 seems like it might go a step further, according to a teaser sketch (above) shared by Lenovo VP Chang Cheng on Weibo that was first noted by CNET.

The device is due in June and Cheng claimed it is the result of “four technological breakthroughs” and “18 patented technologies,” but he didn’t provide further details.

The executive previously shared a slice of the design — see right — on Weibo, with a claim that it boasts a 95 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Indeed, the image appears to show a device without a top screen notch à la the iPhone X. Where Lenovo will put the front-facing camera, mic, sensors and other components isn’t clear right now.

A number of Android phone-makers have copied Apple’s design fairly shamelessly. That’s ironic given that Apple was widely-derided when it first unveiled the phone.

Nonetheless, the device has sold well and that’s captured the attention of Huawei, Andy Rubin’s Essential, Asus and others who have embraced the notch. The design is so common now that Google even moved the clock in Android P to make space for the notch.

Time will tell what Lenovo adds to the conversation. The company is in dire need of a hit phone — it trails the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Huawei on home soil in China — and the hype on the Z5 is certainly enough to raise hope.


Source: TechCrunch

Gotham renewed for fifth and final season – CNET

Batman returns.
Source: CNET

Hey Google, stop trying to make Assistant my friend – CNET

Machines are not people, too.
Source: CNET

The Japanese Space Bots That Could Build ‘Moon Valley’

The Lunar X Prize may be dead, but this startup still wants to go to the moon.
Source: Wired

Tech Addiction and the Business of Mindfulness

Meditation isn’t for you? These phone-free social media workshops promise to build the mindfulness right into your technology.
Source: Wired

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