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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Space sperm? NASA sending human swimmers to the ISS – CNET

Will Earthlings be able to reproduce in space one day? NASA’s Mission Micro-11 hopes to find out by launching sperm to the International Space Station.
Source: CNET

SpaceX can't broadcast Earth images because of a murky license – CNET

Out of nowhere Elon Musk’s rocket company requires a license to broadcast from space. It’s one murky story.
Source: CNET

2019 Chevy Spark gets a facelift, keeps Activ – Roadshow

Chevrolet’s entry-level subcompact adds bright colors and new driver-assistance tech.
Source: CNET

Updated 2019 Chevy Malibu gains CVT and new RS trim – Roadshow

Chevrolet’s 49-mpg Malibu Hybrid carries on for 2019, as well.
Source: CNET

Chevy Cruze loses manual transmission in 2019 update – Roadshow

Don’t worry, you can still get it with a diesel.
Source: CNET

Facebook retracted Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes

You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspiculously remain. An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or in the files available from Facebook’s Download Your Information tool.

When asked by TechCrunch about the situation, Facebook claimed it was done for corporate security in this statement:

“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

However, Facebook never publicly disclosed the removal of messages from users’ inboxes, nor privately informed the recipients. That raises the question of whether this was a breach of user trust. When asked that question directly over Messenger, Zuckerberg declined to provide a statement.

Tampering With Users’ Inboxes

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that users can only delete messages their own inboxes, and that they would still show up in the recipient’s thread. There appears to be no “retention period” for normal users’ messages, as my inbox shows messages from as early as 2005. That indicates Zuckerberg and other executives  special treatment in being able to pull back previously sent messages.

Facebook chats sent by Zuckerberg from several years ago or older were missing from the inboxes of both former employees and non-employees. What’s left makes it look the recipients were talking to themselves, as only their side of back-and-forth conversations with Zuckerberg still appear. Three sources asked to remain anonymous out of fear of angering Zuckerberg or burning bridges with the company.

None of Facebook’s terms of service appear to give it the right to remove content from users’ accounts unless it violates the company’s community standards. While it’s somewhat standard for corporations to have data retention policies that see them delete emails or other messages from their own accounts that were sent by employees, they typically can’t remove the messages from the accounts of recipients outside the company. It’s rare that these companies own the communication channel itself and therefore host both sides of messages as Facebook does in this case, which potentially warrants a different course of action with more transparency than quietly retracting the messages.

Facebook’s power to tamper with users’ private message threads could alarm some. The issue is amplified by the fact that Facebook Messenger now has 1.3 billion users, making it one of the most popular communication utilities in the world.

Zuckerberg is known to have a team that helps him run his Facebook profile, with some special abilities for managing his 105 million followers and constant requests for his attention. For example, Zuckerberg’s profile doesn’t show a button to add him as a friend on desktop, and the button is grayed out and disabled on mobile. But the ability to change the messaging inboxes of other users is far more concerning.

Facebook may have sought to prevent leaks of sensitive corporate communications. Following the Sony hack, emails of Sony’s president Michael Lynton who sat on Snap Inc’s board were exposed, revealing secret acquisitions and strategy.

Mark Zuckerberg during the early days of Facebook

However, Facebook may have also looked to thwart the publication of potentially embarrassing personal messages sent by Zuckerberg or other executives. In 2010, Silicon Valley Insider published now-infamous instant messages from a 19-year-old Zuckerberg to a friend shortly after starting The Facebook in 2004. “yea so if you ever need info about anyone at harvard . . . just ask . . . i have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, sns” Zuckerberg wrote to a friend. “what!? how’d you manage that one?” they asked. “people just submitted it . .  i don’t know why . . . they “trust me” . . . dumb fucks” Zuckerberg explained.

The New Yorker later confirmed the messages with Zuckerberg, who told the publication he “absolutely” regretted them. “If you’re going to go on to build a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right? I think I’ve grown and learned a lot” said Zuckerberg.

If the goal of Facebook’s security team was to keep a hacker from accessing the accounts of executives and therefore all of their messages, they could have merely been deleted on their side the way any Facebook user is free to do, without them disappearing from the various recipients’ inboxes. If Facebook believed it needed to remove the messages entirely from its servers in case the company’s backend systems we breached, a disclosure of some kind seems reasonable.

Now as Facebook encounters increased scrutiny regarding how it treats users’ data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the retractions could become a bigger issue. Zuckerberg is slated to speak in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on April 10 as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11. They could request more information about Facebook removing messages or other data from users’ accounts without their consent. While Facebook is trying to convey that it understands its responsibilities, the black mark left on public opinion by past behavior may prove permanent.

For more on Facebook’s recent troubles, read our feature pieces:

 


Source: TechCrunch

WrestleMania streams this weekend – CNET

A super-stacked card sees the wrestling debut of former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey.
Source: CNET

Coinbase unveils fund for early-stage cryptocurrency startups

Coinbase has launched a new fund called Coinbase Ventures to invest in early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. In a blog post, Coinbase head of corporate and business development Emilie Choi said that the fund’s goal is to strengthen the sector.

“At least in the beginning, our goal is simply helping the most compelling companies in the space flourish,” she wrote. “This means we don’t have the strategic requirement of formalizing partner relationships with such companies, as some corporate venture programs do. Our focus is on building strong relationships and helping spur the development of the ecosystem.”

This includes investing in companies that may potentially compete with Coinbase because “it’s in everyone’s interest to see the ecosystem innovate,” Choi added. She also said the fund will keep an eye on founders who have worked for Coinbase and “enthusiastically invest in ideas from our own alumni network.”

One potential benefit of helping other cryptocurrency and blockchain companies grow is lending more stability to the sector, which is currently under scrutiny by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and considered risky by many investors. In an interview on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” Coinbase chief operating officer Asiff Hirji said that as more mature investors take an interest in cryptocurrency, that will “dampen volatility to some extent.”

There’s been “tremendous take up on the fund, well beyond anything we were expecting,” he added and that it “confirmed what we thought, that there is actually more demand on the investor side than on the trader side.” While Coinbase doesn’t have current plans to add more cryptocurrencies to its exchange, investing in promising startups will help it find promising tokens, Hirji said.


Source: TechCrunch

MIT's AlterEgo headset can read words you say in your head – CNET

When you think a sentence in your head, your brain sends signals to your mouth and jaw. MIT’s headset reads those signals with 92 percent accuracy.
Source: CNET

Redpoint Ventures hires Uber’s Annie Kadavy as general partner

Redpoint Ventures has hired Annie Kadavy as its first female general partner. She’ll be on the early stage investment team.

Kadavy has a background in venture capital, having spent several years at CRV. Most recently, she ran strategic operations at Uber’s freight division. She also has an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Kadavy said she “wanted to focus on consumer but have the ability to do a broader set of investing.” Kadavy also “wanted to join an early stage fund that had a growth fund attached to it, so you can learn from both.”

But she’ll be most focused on seed, Series A and Series B rounds. Kadavy plans to look for opportunities in the Bay Area, LA, Seattle and NYC.

In her blog post, she elaborated on her decision to join Redpoint.

For me, joining a flat and equal partnership was important. While this may be opaque to many, let me tell you, it matters. It is the economic manifestation of how investment decisions are made, how a venture team will work collectively for you (or not), and how that team will evolve over time. This is rare and it exists at Redpoint.”

When Kadavy was at CRV, she sourced or led deals in ClassPass, Patreon, Doordash and she was on the board at Laurel and Wolf. She’s still looking to invest in companies in similar categories.

Kadavy is part of a wave of venture firms finally hiring female partners, in an industry where only 8% are women. Rebecca Kaden recently joined Union Square Ventures, Jess Lee joined Sequoia Capital, and Naomi Pilosof joined Menlo Ventures, to name a few.

There’s also AllRaise, a newly formed organization comprised of the top female venture capitalists. The group is committed to helping the best women find jobs in the industry.

Redpoint has been around since 1999 and has raised $4.1 billion across its funds, according to Crunchbase.

 


Source: TechCrunch

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