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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Gillmor Gang: Backflip

The Gillmor Gang — Esteban Kolsky, Frank Radice, Michael Markman, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday July 29, 2018. Social markets, what is notification media, the 20 percent solution.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook


Source: TechCrunch

Uber’s self-driving trucks division is dead. Long live Uber self-driving cars

Uber is shuttering its self-driving trucks unit, a beleaguered program borne out of the company’s controversial multi-million acquisition of Otto nearly two years ago.

The company said Monday the Uber Advanced Technologies Group will stop development of self-driving trucks and instead focus its efforts on self-driving cars.

“We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and as we look to continue that momentum, we believe having our entire team’s energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward,” Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said in an emailed statement.

Uber Freight, a business unit that helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies, is unaffected by this decision.

TechCrunch obtained an email sent by Meyhofer to employees.

As we work towards Uber’s mission of expanding access to safe, affordable movement of people and goods, it’s critical that ATG is set up to make self-driving technology a reality. Today, I want to let you know that after careful consideration, we’ve decided to stop development on our truck program and refocus our efforts solely on cars.

Uber’s self-driving trucks unit is based in San Francisco, while the team dedicated to self-driving cars is located in Pittsburgh. Uber says it will pivot employees  focused on self-driving trucks to other work that supports its ongoing development of self-driving technology. If there isn’t a comparable role, Uber will offer relocation to Pittsburgh or a separation package to support the transition.

Uber ATG will continue its in-house development of light detection and ranging radar known as LiDAR.

Uber’s self-driving truck efforts have been plagued by controversy since its beginning. Uber bought Otto, the self-driving trucks startup founded by former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski and three others including Lior Ron, who was head of product at Google Maps.

As part of the acquisition, Levandowski became head of Uber’s self-driving car research. (Documents filed as part of the lawsuit between Waymo and Uber suggest the pay out might have been as low as $220 million.)

Two months later the company enjoyed one moment of glory that received a lot of media attention: a self-driving truck that drove 120 highway miles along a route in Colorado with a trailer full of Budweiser.

But the buzz around the size of the Otto deal and its self-driving truck run in Colorado would soon be replaced with a different, more unwelcoming kind of attention.

Nine months after the acquisition, Uber was embroiled in a trade secrets lawsuit with Waymo, the former Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under Alphabet. Waymo accused Levandowski of hatching a plan to use trade secrets related to Waymo’s in-house development of unique LiDAR tech to kickstart Otto’s and subsequently Uber’s own self-driving technology program.

Uber would later fire Levandowski.


Source: TechCrunch

Note 9 could be cheaper and filled with copper pipes – CNET

A trio of Note 9 rumors purportedly show a cheaper price, a new cooling system made of copper, and another look at a wireless charging dock.
Source: CNET

Optoro raises $75 million more to make it easier for brands to manage and resell returned and excess inventory

As the economy has chugged along, so have retail sales, which last year capped their strongest year since 2014. Online sales has been especially brisk, growing 16 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, which estimates that consumers spent $453.5 billion online last year.

Of course, with every booming market comes supporting cast members that benefit. Such is the case with eight-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based Optoro, which itself just rang up $75 million in new funding. A logistics company, Optoro’s software helps retailers — both online and off — more easily re-sell inventory that has been returned by customers.

That’s a big number. The overall amount of merchandise returned as a percent of total sales last year was 10 percent in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. In dollars, that’s $351 billion.

Right now, that includes sales from big box retailers and many other “legacy” companies that allow shoppers to buy items — and return them — in their stores. But as online sales rise, so do online returns. Indeed, Optoro cofounder and CEO Tobin Moore tells the WSJ that the “return rate from e-commerce sales is two to three times the return rate of brick-and-mortar” and “sometimes higher in fashion and apparel.” And with most retailers also paying for shipping on returns — after all, a happy customer is a repeat customer — it’s a a major logistics cost for these online brands.

Little wonder that Optoro, which uses data analytics and multi-channel online marketing to determine the best path for each item (ostensibly maximizing recovery and reducing environmental waste in the process) is a hit with a growing base of customers.

A growing number of investors is getting behind the company, too. Optoro’s newest round was led by Franklin Templeton Investments, but the company has now raised at least $200 million altogether, including from Revolution Growth, Generation Investment Management, Grotech Ventures, and even the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple’s new MacBook Air with Intel’s 8th-gen processors expected this year

Don’t buy a MacBook Air until Apple announces its refresh this fall. The new notebook is expected to keep the same sub-$1,000 starting price, but will come with even more powerful processors that top out with quad-core performance.

The post Apple’s new MacBook Air with Intel’s 8th-gen processors expected this year appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Apple watch: 7 ways to make your run more effective – CNET

Extend your battery life, improve tracking, set custom goals and other Apple Watch tips to help you get the most out of your run.
Source: CNET

Google gives Chrome the virtual reality treatment

Google is injecting a little Chrome into its VR platform, bringing the web browser to Daydream headsets, the company announced today. It’s been a long time coming considering the depths of Google’s WebVR experimentation on desktop and mobile Chrome.

The Mountain View tech giant announced it was working on this quite a while ago, back at I/O 2017.

Google has been moving pretty slowly with any big Daydream updates lately, all while Facebook’s Oculus has driven heavy news to its mobile platform thanks to new standalone hardware. Daydream rolled out its own positionally-tracked headset with Lenovo earlier this summer but a major lack of content has been the system’s biggest issue. Bringing the web to Daydream could help correct this, and directing more mobile developer attention to WebVR might be a positive move for Google as it looks to make content discovery more simple.

Last year, the company made it so that you could open WebVR content in mobile Chrome on your phone and then drop it into a Cardboard headset and check out the content, with this you’ll be able to launch inside VR, explore inside VR and then move onto something else.

Loading desktop webpages inside a VR headset doesn’t necessarily seem earth-shatteringly disruptive but there are some optimizations Google has ensured that some non-WebVR content gets special treatment including a “cinema mode” that drops videos into a special environment to keep your eyes on the content. You’ll also get incognito mode, voice search and access to your saved bookmarks.

The browser is available for Lenovo’s Mirage Solo as well as Google’s own Daydream View headset and you’ll gain access after updating Chrome on Android.

The web is largely still an untested wilderness for virtual reality that nobody is racing to conquer given headset volume is still pretty low and a lot of wind has been sucked out of VR’s sails lately. There’s a lot of interesting stuff that the web enables for virtual social environments especially and though most major powers are drawing attention to their own platforms, a platform like Chrome arriving on Daydream could start to spark some developer imagination for what’s possible.


Source: TechCrunch

MoviePass Mission: Impossible blackout, surge pricing are a bummer – CNET

If the film being blocked out didn’t deter you last weekend, perhaps having to pay extra will.
Source: CNET

Fortnite on Android: See if your phone is getting it – CNET

Fortnite’s mobile version looks to be arriving to Android soon.
Source: CNET

DJI's Mavic 2 Pro plans just got officially spoiled by an ink-and-paper catalog – CNET

Update: DJI was forced to confirm the Mavic 2 Pro — after a retailer started advertising the drone!
Source: CNET

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