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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

How 'Fortnite,' a 'Gamer's Game,' Took Over the World

Epic’s free-to-play battle royale title defies all conventional wisdom about crossover gaming success.
Source: Wired

Jigsaw's Project Shield Will Protect Campaigns From Online Attacks

Project Shield already defends journalists and human rights groups from DDoS attacks. Now, Jigsaw will help political campaigns out as well.
Source: Wired

Senate votes on net neutrality's fate: Here's what you need to know – CNET

Maneuvering on Capitol Hill. Protests on the web. This thing isn’t over just yet.
Source: CNET

How to convert slow cooker recipes into Instant Pot recipes – CNET

Move over slow cooker. Instant Pot is stealing your gig.
Source: CNET

It Takes a Single Autonomous Car to Prevent Phantom Traffic Jams

New research shows that the presence of just one connected, automated car can smooth traffic for everyone.
Source: Wired

Marfa, Texas Is Getting Its Own Solar-Powered Stonehenge

English artist Haroon Mizra is recreating an ancient archeological “stone circle” in Marfa—and adding a modern twist.
Source: Wired

Lemonade wants to rewrite the insurance policy itself

Lemonade has made some big moves in the world of insurance. The company uses AI and bots to sell insurance, and has flipped the business model to ensure that Lemonade is never in conflict with customers filing insurance claims.

But the product itself, the actual insurance policy, hasn’t changed much at all. For decades, insurance companies have been held to long, tedious legalese in their insurance contracts. In Lemonade’s case, the document is more than 40 pages long and incredibly difficult to understand.

For a company that wants to make buying insurance as easy and as consumer-centric as possible, the very product they sell is in complete opposition to that. Which is why Lemonade is re-writing the policy from scratch.

“I’m a recovering attorney, and I’ve been clean for 20 years,” said Lemonade CEO and cofounder Daniel Schreiber. “I think my English is pretty good, and I have a passing familiarity with insurance and generally I can’t understand this insurance policy. To do the next big thing in insurance means changing insurance. It’s not been done in generations. This is a historic document that’s been optimized around lawyers.”

So Lemonade has re-written the whole thing to read like a blog post. Policy 2.0, according to Schreiber, is meant to give consumers a clear and easy way to understand what is and what is not covered in their insurance policy.

But, in a little bit of a twist, Lemonade is open-sourcing the policy on GitHub. Anyone, from state regulators to consumer advocacy groups to Lemonade competitors or even interested customers can make edits and contributions to the policy. Plus, Lemonade is opening up use of the policy to other insurance providers under the GNU’s Free Documentation License.

Part of this has to do with transparency to consumers, but another part is simply about Lemonade’s greater mission of making insurance simple.

“We sold you a policy on your phone,” said Schreiber. “We want a policy that makes sense on a five-inch screen.”

I asked Schreiber whether or not there is any concern over rewriting a policy in more plain language when historically, lawyers use specific language to stay within the realms of legal precedent and remove any grey areas that may be litigated.

“Anytime you abandon language that’s been litigated for years you invite legal uncertainty,” answered Schreiber. “But we think if you’re optimizing for the consumer, giving them clarity into exactly what’s covered and exactly what isn’t, you won’t feel cheated if we can’t cover things because you’ll see that you had that info all along, in plain English.”

One hurdle, however, will be regulators. A good deal of the language in that 10,000 word-long insurance policy is legally required to be in the document. This change from Lemonade requires the company to work with regulators to allow the new policy to be sold, and that conversation differs from state to state.

That’s why Schreiber believes Policy 2.0 won’t be available for purchase until sometime in 2019, rolling out on a statewide basis as is approved by regulators.

That said, Schreiber said he’s already in conversation with regulators and is seeing willingness to be flexible on this.

When Policy 2.0 does come to the main stage, current Lemonade subscribers will be able to immediately change over to the new policy or keep their original policy.

Lemonade has raised a total of $180 million, including a whopping $120 million round led by Sequoia from December.


Source: TechCrunch

Tencent profit jumps 61% to $3.7B as its mobile gaming business surges

Warnings that Tencent, Asia’s highest-valued tech company, might suffer a rare poor quarter of business proved unwarranted after the company smashed analyst expectations for its latest earnings thanks to its fast-growing mobile games business.

The company reported a net profit of 23.29 billion CNY ($3.7 billion) on revenue of 73.53 billion yuan ($11.5 billion) — beating a Thomson Reuters estimate of 71.04 billion CNY revenue. Net profit was up 61 percent year-on-year, while revenue increased 48 percent over the same period.

Tencent has historically done well in the games space with the PC its cash cow, but last year its smartphone games business overtook that of PC based on revenue.

The gap is now becoming noticeable and there’s plenty of scope for it to increase further.

Tencent has a hand in the two biggest games in the smartphone world today: Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite . The company secured the rights to distribute both ‘battle royale’ games in China and beyond and said it is just beginning to monetize them. (Fortnite is due to launch in China imminently). Another title — Honour of Kings — was the world’s highest-grossing mobile game last year thanks to its China-based users and Tencent has been pushing it to worldwide audiences. Finally, a fourth game — QQ Speed Mobile — showed promising revenue after being taken from PC to mobile.

Tencent said mobile game revenue hit 21.7 billion RMB ($3.4 billion) during the quarter, up 68 year-on-year. PC-based games, meanwhile, took in sales of 14.1 billion RMB ($2.2 billion) to remain flat over the past 12 months.

Elsewhere, the company said that its WeChat messaging service surpassed one billion active user accounts for the first time. Also in WeChat, the company has built upon its Mini Program feature — which lets developers create apps that tie into WeChat — by introducing Mini Games, there are currently over 500. It also merged WeChat Pay, its mobile payment service which supports offline, with Mini Programs.


Source: TechCrunch

Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire: A pirate's life for me – CNET

This crowdfunded retro role-playing game is the best kind of nerding out.
Source: CNET

Is This Stem Cell Clinic Really Making Cancer Vaccines?

In a Facebook live video, the CSO of one of the largest networks of stem cell clinics in the country touted a new, unregulated treatment.
Source: Wired

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