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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

What makes Apple’s design culture so special

A few days ago, I interviewed Ken Kocienda at TechCrunch Disrupt SF — he just released a book called Creative Selection. After working at Apple during some of the company’s best years, Kocienda looks back at what makes Apple such a special place.

The book in particular starts with a demo. Kocienda is invited to demo to Steve Jobs his prototype of what is about to become the iPad software keyboard.

And it’s the first of a long string of demos punctuating the book. As a reader, you follow along all the ups and downs of this design roller coaster. Sometimes, a demo clearly shows the way forward. Sometimes, it’s the equivalent of hitting a wall of bricks over and over again.

Kocienda’s career highlights include working on WebKit and Safari for the Mac right after he joined the company as well as working on iOS before the release of the first iPhone. He’s the one responsible of autocorrect and the iPhone keyboard in general.

If you care about user interfaces and design processes, it’s a good read. And it feels refreshing to read a book with HTML code, keyboard drawings and other nerdy things. It’s much better than the average business book.


Source: TechCrunch

Never say never! Does new ‘Halo 5’ box art hint at PC release?

New box art for Halo 5: Guardians has been added to the Amazon website, and it appears to suggest that the game will soon be coming to the PC after nearly three years of Xbox One exclusivity.

The post Never say never! Does new ‘Halo 5’ box art hint at PC release? appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Star Wars News: 'Episode IX' Just Recruited a Doctor

Not, like, a medical doctor, though. The time-traveling kind.
Source: Wired

Snap shares drop in pre-market trading on news of departing strategy chief, Imran Khan

Another day, and another departure at Snapchat’s parent, Snap. The company has announced in an SEC filing that Imran Khan will be stepping down as chief strategy officer, a role he has held since 2014. This is the latest in a series of executive moves at the company since it went public last year. The latest news has sent Snap’s stock down in pre-market trading to as low as $9.75 — around one-third of the value of the stock when it first listed in March 2017.

The company said that Khan informed Snap on September 6, and he did not give a specific reason except to pursue other opportunities and that “Mr. Khan has confirmed that this transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, or practices (financial or otherwise).” Khan will stay on as CSO for a transition period, and his last day has not been determined.

Although there is no reason given for his leaving, and it sounds like he’s moving to a new opportunity, the change will raise questions about the health of the company.

In its last earnings in August, Snap showed signs of growing its fledgling ad business and had beat analyst’s financial expectations, but it also lost 3 million users and continues to face stiff competition from Facebook (which keeps copying its best features), and general attrition of interest from its millennial user base as it moves to the next big thing.

Coupled with this, the company’s CEO has had a strong hand in running the company, an approach that has its pros and cons.

“Imran has been a great partner building our business. We appreciate all of his hard work and wish him the best” said Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap, in a statement.

“There is never a perfect time to say goodbye, but we have a stellar leadership team in place to guide Snap through the next chapter, and I plan to stay on to ensure a very smooth transition” said Khan in his own statement noted in the SEC filing.

Snap — then still a very fast-moving startup called Snapchat, hot off the heels of rebuffing a $3 billion offer from Facebook, and just ahead of a reportedly $30 billion offer from Google — made big waves in 2014 when it hired Khan from his role as a star banker at Credit Suisse.

The move turned out to be part a wave of hires by outsized tech companies to bring in financial big guns, ushering in a different wave of thinking as these businesses increasingly interfaced with the finance world as large, multinational businesses. (Other related hires included Anthony Noto at Twitter, and Ruth Porat at Google.)

All being relative, Khan has had a longer run at Snap than many of the other top brass who have come and gone, some staying for little more than a year — a detail that is ironic in the context of the Snapchat app’s ephemerality, but otherwise potentially very destabilising for the company.

Other departures since going public have included losing its CFO in May, head of product Tom Conrad, the head of its Spectacles division, its head of sales (who ended up joining Oath, which owns TC), its engineering lead, and just ahead of going public, its ad tech head.

Snap said that it is now in a transition agreement with Khan regarding his stock units. While with the company he will continue to get RSUs, and that he will continue to get a “pro rata number of unvested RSUs for each day worked after your most recent vesting date as of your last day, provided that you continue to comply with your Employee Confidential Information and Inventions Assignment Agreement signed on December 5, 2014.”

We have reached out to Khan to see if he will give more details about what he is doing next, and will update this story as we learn more.


Source: TechCrunch

HP's New 3-D Printers Build Items Not of Plastic but of Steel

For now, the company’s new Metal Jet printers make key fobs and other doodads. But one day they could create car parts.
Source: Wired

Emmy Endorsement: In Praise of "Barbershop," the Other Genius 'Atlanta' Episode

The shaggy-dog tale is so stylistically at odds with fellow nominee “Teddy Perkins” that it proves just how elastic this show can be.
Source: Wired

New Space Robots Will Fix Satellites, or Maybe Destroy Them

Upcoming “service” satellites will be like doctors for older, ailing satellites. Should they take the Hippocratic oath?
Source: Wired

What to Expect from Apple's iPhone Event on Wednesday, September 12

New iPhones are on their way, and probably a new Watch too.
Source: Wired

Apple could announce a new MacBook this week. Here’s what we want to see

Rumors about a new MacBook or MacBook Air have been swirling for almost a year now. If it makes an appearance at Apple’s Gather Round event this Wednesday, here’s what I want it to have.

The post Apple could announce a new MacBook this week. Here’s what we want to see appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Hong Kong-based OneDegree gets $25.5M Series A to make coverage more accessible, starting with pet insurance

OneDegree, a Hong Kong-based insurance technology startup, announced today that it has closed a Series A totaling HKD $200 million (about $25.5 million). Half of that amount was pledged by investors to OneDegree pending regulatory approval through the Hong Kong Insurance Authority’s new fast-track licensing program for online-only insurers. The company, which participated in Cyberport, the Hong Kong government’s startup incubator, claims this is the largest ever fundraising round for a pre-revenue insurance tech startup in Hong Kong.

OneDegree is currently not disclosing its list of investors because its new shareholders are being vetted by the Insurance Authority, founder and CEO Alvin Kwock tells TechCrunch, but it includes institutional investors and family offices. The South China Morning Post reports that speculation among brokers peg Tencent and Alibaba as probable backers.

OneDegree has developed an online insurance platform that lets consumers purchase personal lines and health insurance products without needing to consult with an agent. Instead, they find and buy policies through an app that is connected to a backend that automates claims processing, policy management and customer service.

The startup will initially sell medical insurance plans for pets. While there are more than 500,000 pet dogs and cats in Hong Kong, only about 2% to 3% are covered by insurance, compared to 42% in the United Kingdom, says OneDegree. The startup blames this on ineffective distribution, since pet insurance has relatively low premiums and is therefore overlooked by insurance agents, even though the number of pet dogs and cats in Hong Kong is increasing at an average annual growth rate of 3.5% and their owners are a relatively affluent demographic.

OneDegree plans to use its Series A to on tech development, launching new products and marketing. The funding will also serve as risk capital once it launches its insurance business.

In a press statement, Cyberport chairman George Lam said “As a key driver of digital technology development in Hong Kong, we are definitely excited to see local fintech start-ups like OneDegree successfully securing recognition from renowned institutional investors and attracting sizable funding that will enable faster growth.”


Source: TechCrunch

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