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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Foxconn breaks ground on first US factory video – CNET

President Trump was on hand to tout the building of iPhone-maker Foxconn’s new $10 billion Wisconsin plant.
Source: CNET

YouTube experimenting with auto-generated video thumbnail images – CNET

Creators took to social media with their outrage.
Source: CNET

With faster, modern interface, Corel Painter 2019 expands digital art tools

After user requests, a dark theme for Corel Painter is here in an update focused on workflow. Painter 2019 also adds speed enhancements, enhanced color tools, and new brushes along with the redesigned interface.

The post With faster, modern interface, Corel Painter 2019 expands digital art tools appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital trends

Hidden details of Toy Story Land – CNET

Disney made sure everything in this new land looked like it was made by Andy in his backyard. Even the trash cans.
Source: CNET

Tesla opens the Model 3 reservation floodgates

Tesla has opened the Model 3 waitlist floodgates, inviting all reservation holders in the U.S. and Canada to order the electric sedan that’s inextricably tied to its survival.

As of Thursday, existing reservation holders in the United States and Canada can log onto the Tesla website and complete their order in the company’s online design studio. Emails are gradually rolling out to reservation holders.

Tesla won’t disclose how many people in the U.S. and Canada have made the $1,000 refundable deposit for the Model 3. More than 450,000 people had reservations globally at the end of the first quarter, according to a shareholder letter issued in May. The number of Canadian and U.S. customers on the waitlist certainly number in the tens of thousands.

Tesla at a crossroads

Tesla sits at a critical juncture. The company has failed to meet any of its production and delivery targets for the Model 3 since its splashy event in July 2017 when CEO Elon Musk handed out the first vehicles to employees. Meanwhile, it’s pouring through cash as it struggles to solve production bottlenecks for the car that is supposed to thrust Tesla from niche maker of luxury electric cars to mass manufacturer — a vital piece of Musk’s broader master plan to provide and sell a sustainable energy ecosystem of products, including solar panels and energy storage.

The stakes are high and Musk’s actions in recent months have a noticeably frenetic cadence. The company recently erected a massive tent, two football fields in length, on the grounds of its Fremont, Calif. factory that houses a hastily built assembly line for the Model 3.

Musk has taken to sleeping at the factory as the deadline looms.

The company’s Model 3 problems first came to light in early October 2017 when it reported it had produced just 260 of its new electric cars in the third quarter and delivered only 220. Production figures have improved, but the company has yet to hit its targets.

Now, all eyes are on Musk as he tries to meet a goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week by the end of June. The company is expected to report production and delivery numbers for the latest quarter, which ends June 30.

Three Model 3 choices

Tesla is focusing on higher-margin variants of the Model 3 for now. On Wednesday, Tesla sent an email to reservation holders introducing new Model 3 options, as well as making some noteworthy pricing adjustments and delivery estimates.

Reservation holders can now choose from three versions of the Model 3: the long-range 310-mile rear-wheel drive, long-range dual motor all-wheel drive or the performance variant. Delivery estimates will be shown to customers as they make their selection and will depend upon their order date and the vehicle configuration selected.

Tesla also lowered prices for the dual motor and performance variants. The new pricing will be retroactively applied to customers who have already placed their orders, according to the company. The dual-motor long-range battery Model 3 now starts at $53,000, a price reduction of $1,000. The base performance version is now priced at $64,000, down from $78,000, thanks to Tesla making many of the premium features into optional upgrades. The performance upgrade package is an additional $5,000. Premium paint colors and a white interior each cost an additional $1,500.

For those who are desperate for any Model 3, price be damned, their best option is to pick the dual motor performance version. It’s no mistake that it’s also the most expensive one. Tesla estimates deliveries for this version in two to four months for the earliest reservation holders, according to a review of the design studio.


The elusive $35,000 Model 3

But for those early reservation holders, who have been pining for Tesla’s cheapest Model 3 — a $35,000 version equipped with a standard 220-mile range battery — the wait just got about three months longer.

Deliveries of the standard battery version of the Model 3 won’t begin for six to nine months for the earliest reservation holders. That means a person who plunked down a refundable $1,000 deposit on March 31, 2016 might not get the standard battery Model 3 until March 2019.

Keep in mind that this base version isn’t an available option yet. The company said in its first quarter letter to shareholders that it will begin offering the base model with a standard-sized battery pack after it achieves a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s a week.

A month ago, the Tesla Design Studio showed deliveries of the standard battery Model 3 (again for the earliest reservation holders) would begin in late 2018. (See the screenshot captured May 25, 2018 below.)

For prospective customers who put down a deposit today, the wait is up to a year. And now that the waitlist has opened up, that timeline could get a lot longer.

Tesla has pushed out the delivery date for the base version of the Model 3 before, largely because it has focused its efforts on higher-margin versions of the Model 3. Production bottlenecks haven’t helped. Tesla estimated back in December that deliveries to early reservation holders for the standard battery version with rear-wheel drive would begin in early 2018.

For the most fervent Tesla fans, another three months might be palatable, even with the repeated delays. But peruse social media and forums dedicated to Tesla owners (and prospective ones) and it’s clear that patience is beginning to dwindle for some. Further delays could prompt folks on the waitlist to finally ask for their deposit back and turn to other automakers that are finally bringing EVs to market, particularly if Tesla loses the federal credit for plug-in electric vehicles.

All plug-in vehicles sold in the U.S. are eligible for a full federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Once Tesla, or any other manufacturer for that matter, sells its 200,000th vehicle in the U.S., it begins to lose the $7,500 tax credit. The credit is not pulled immediately. The tax credit is made available through the end of the current quarter and continues through the following one. From here, credit drops 50 percent per vehicle for another six months. The credit continues to fall until it disappears altogether.

Tesla is expected to hit that 200,000 mark in 2018.

Source: TechCrunch

Bank says Ticketmaster knew of breach months before taking action

Ticketmaster UK announced on its site yesterday that it identified malicious malware on June 23rd that had affected nearly five percent of their customers, allowing an unknown third-party access to customers’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, payment details and login information between February 2017 and June 23rd, 2018.

The company says the breach can be traced back to an AI chat bot it uses to help answer customers’ questions when a live staff member is unavailable. The software’s designer, Inbenta, confirmed that the malware had taken advantage of one piece of JavaScript that was written specially for Ticketmaster’s use of the chat bot.

However, both companies have confirmed that as of June 26th the vulnerability has been resolved. In its statement, Ticketmaster told customers that affected accounts had been contacted and were offered a free 12-month identity monitoring service as a consolation as soon as the company became aware of the breach.

But, according to U.K. digital bank Monzo, Ticketmaster was informed of the breach in April.

In a statement released by its Financial Crime team today, Monzo describes the events from its perspective. On April 6th, the bank began to notice a pattern of fraudulent transactions on cards that had been previously used at Ticketmaster. Out of 50 fraud reports the bank received that day, 70 percent of cards had made transactions on Ticketmaster in the last several months.

“This seemed unusual, as overall only 0.8% of all our customers had used Ticketmaster,” said Natasha Vernier, head of Financial Crime at Monzo, in the statement.

On April 12th, Monzo says it expressed its concerns directly to Ticketmaster and that the company said it would “investigate internally.” In the week to follow, Monzo received several more Ticketmaster-related fraud alerts and made the decision to replace roughly 6,000 compromised cards over the course of April 19th and 20th, without mentioning Ticketmaster.

During that same period, Ticketmaster told Monzo that its completed internal investigation had shown no evidence of a breach.

This puts Ticketmaster in an awkward position, because under the 2018 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), companies are required to report information of a breach within 72 hours. Not 76 days. It’s uncertain, based on the timeline of events, if Ticketmaster will be held to these standards or the now-overturned 1998 standards, but either way the water is starting to heat up around the ticket dealer.

We’ve reached out to Ticketmaster for comment but the company did not reply by the time of publication.

Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft wants artificial intelligence to catch cheaters on Xbox Live

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an application from Microsoft describing a method of cheat detection for games on a platform level using machine learning. The idea is to bring cheat detection outside the game.

The post Microsoft wants artificial intelligence to catch cheaters on Xbox Live appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital trends

Hands on with the Echo Dots Kids Edition

Earlier this year, Amazon introduced an Echo Dot for kids, with its $80 Echo Dot Kids Edition device, which comes in your choice of a red, blue, or green protective case. The idea is to market a version of Amazon’s existing Dot hardware to families by bundling it with an existing subscription service, and by throwing in a few extra features – like having Alexa encourage kids to say “please” when making their demands, for example.

The device makes sense in a couple of scenarios – for helicopter parents who want to fully lock down an Echo device before putting it in a kid’s room, and for those who were in the market for a FreeTime Unlimited subscription anyway.

I’ve been testing out an Echo Dot Kids Edition, and ran into some challenges which I thought I’d share. This is not a hardware review – I’m sure you can find those elsewhere. 

Music Filtering

As a parent of an 8-year old myself, I’ve realized it’s too difficult to keep her from ever hearing bad words – especially in music, TV and movies – so I’ve just explained to her that while she will sometimes hear those words, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to say them. (We have a similar rule about art – sometimes people will be nude in paintings, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to walk around naked all the time.)

Surprisingly, I’ve been able to establish a level of shame around adult and inappropriate content to the point that she will confess to me when she hears it on places like YouTube. She will even turn it off without my instruction! I have a good kid, I guess.

But I understand some parents will only want kids to access the sanitized version of songs – especially if their children are still in the preschool years, or have a tendency to seek out explicit content because they’re little monsters.

Amazon FreeTime would be a good option in that case, but there are some caveats.

For starters, if you plan on using the explicit language filter on songs the Echo Dot plays, then you’re stuck with Amazon Music. While the Echo Dot itself can play music from a variety of services, including on-demand offerings from Pandora and Spotify, you can’t use these services when the explicit filter is enabled as “music services that do not support this filter will be blocked,” Amazon explains.

We’re a Spotify household, so that means my child’s favorite bedtime music playlist became unavailable when we swapped out her existing Echo Dot for the Kids Edition which had the explicit filter enabled.

Above: Parent Dashboard? Where? Maybe a link would help?

You can disable the explicit filter from the Parent Dashboard, but this option is inconveniently available just via the web. When you dig around in the Alexa app – which is where you’d think these controls would be found, there’s only a FreeTime On/Off toggle switch and instructions to “Go to the Parent Dashboard to see activity, manage time limits, and add content.”

It’s not even hyperlinked!

You have to just know the dashboard’s URL is parents.amazon.com. (And not www.parents.amazon.com, by the way. That doesn’t work.)

Then to actually disable the filter, it’s several more steps.

You’ll click the gear icon next to the child’s name, click on “Echo Dot Kids Edition” under “Alexa Settings,” then click “Manage Music.” Here, you can turn the switch on or off.

If you don’t have a subscription music service, the Echo Dot Kids Edition also ships with access to ad-free kid-safe stations on iHeartRadio Family.

Whitelisting Alexa skills…well, some skills!

Another issue with the way FreeTime works with Alexa, is that it’s not clear that nearly everything your child accesses on the device has to be whitelisted.

This leads to a confusing first-time user workflow.

Likely, you’ll start by browsing in the Alexa app’s Skills section or the Skills Store on the web to find some appropriate kid-friendly skills for your child to try. For example, I found and enabled a skill called “Math Facts – Math Practice for Kids.”

But when I instructed “Alexa, open Math Facts,” she responded, “I can’t do that.”

She didn’t say why.

As I hadn’t used FreeTime in quite a while, it didn’t occur to me that each Alexa skill would have to be toggled on – just like the third-party apps, videos, books and audiobooks the child has access to that didn’t ship with FreeTime Unlimited itself.

Instead, I mistakenly assumed that skills from the “Kids” section of the Skills store would just work.

Again, you’ll have to know to go to parents.amazon.com to toggle things on.

And again, the process for doing so is too many clicks deep in the user interface to be immediately obvious to newcomers. (You click the gear by the kid’s name, then “Add Content” – not “Echo Dot Kids Edition” as you might think! Then, on the “Add Content” screen, click over to the “Alexa Skills” tab and toggle on the skills you want the child to use.)

The issue with this system is that it prevents Echo Dot Kids Edition users – kids and adults alike – from discovering and enabling skills by voice. And it adds an unnecessary step by forcing parents to toggle skills on.

After all, if the parents are the ones signing in when visiting the Skills store in-app or on the web, that means they’re the ones choosing to enable the Skills, too.

And if they’re enabling a skill from Kids section, one would assume it’s for their kids to use on their device!

The problem, largely, is that FreeTime isn’t really integrated with the Alexa app. All of this – from explicit content filters to whitelisting skills to turning on or off calling, messaging and drop-ins – should be managed from within the Alexa app, not from a separate website.

Amazon obviously did minimal integration work in order to sell parents a pricier Echo Dot.

To make matters more confusing is the fact that Amazon has partnered with some kids skill publishers, similar to how it partnered with other content providers for apps and movies. That means there’s a list of skills that don’t appear in your Parent Dashboard that also don’t require whitelisting.

This includes: Disney Stories, Loud House Challenge, No Way That’s True, Funny Fill In, Spongebob Challenge, Weird but True, Name that Animal, This or That, Word world, Ben ten, Classroom thirteen, Batman Adventures, and Climb the Beanstalk.

But it’s confusing that you can immediately use these skills, and not others clearly meant for kids. You end up feeling like you did something wrong when some skills don’t work, before you figure out this whole whitelisting system.

In addition, it’s not clear that these “Premium” skills come with the FreeTime subscription – most are not available in the Skills store. If your FreeTime subscription expires, it seems you’ll lose access to these, as well.

Overall, the FreeTime experience for Echo feels disjointed, and there’s a steep learning curve for new users.

Your FreeTime Unlimited 1-year Subscription

It’s also frustrating that there’s no information on the FreeTime Parents dashboard about the nature of your subscription.

You can’t confirm that you’re currently subscribed to the paid product known as FreeTime Unlimited. You can’t see when that subscription expires, or when your first free year is up. It’s unclear if you’ll just be charged, or when that will take place. And there’s no toggle to turn the subscription off if you decide you no longer need it.

Instead, you can only “modify” which credit card you use with Amazon’s 1-click. Seriously. That’s it.

Above: want to manage your subscription?

Below: hahaha, good luck with that!

I still don’t know where to turn this subscription off – I guess the option to disable it doesn’t even appear until your free year is up? (Even clicking on “FreeTime Unlimited” from Amazon.com’s subscription management page routes you back to this useless Parent dashboard page for managing your 1-Click settings.)

So, ask me in a year, maybe?

That said, if you are in the market for both a FreeTime Unlimited subscription and an Echo Dot, you may as well buy the Kids Edition.

FreeTime Unlimited works on Fire tablets, Android devices, Kindle, and as of this month, iOS devices, providing access to over 15,000 kid-safe apps, games, videos, books and educational content. On Amazon devices, parents can also set screen time limits and educational goals.

The service by itself is $2.99 per month for Prime members (for one profile) or $4.99 per month for non-members. It’s more if you buy the Family subscription. Meanwhile, the regular 2nd gen Echo Dot is currently $49.99. So you’re basically looking at $50 + $36/year for FreeTime Unlimited if you bought these things separately as a Prime member.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited and is $79.99. So you’re saving a tiny bit there. Plus, you can always turn FreeTime off on the device, if you’d rather just use the kids Echo Dot as a regular Echo Dot – while still getting a free year of FreeTime for another device, like the kid’s iPad.

Still, watch out because Echo Dot often goes on sale – and probably will be on sale again for Prime Day this summer. Depending on the price cut it gets, it may not be worth it to buy the bundle.

Other Perks

There are other perks that Amazon tries to use to sell the Echo Dot Kids Edition to families, but the most notable is “Magic Word.”

This feature turns on when FreeTime is enabled, and thanks kids for saying “please” when they speak to Alexa. Yes, that seems like a small thing but it was something that a lot of parents were upset about. They thought kids were learning bad manners by barking commands at Alexa.

I don’t know about that. My kid seems to understand that we say “please” and “thank you” to people, but Alexa doesn’t get her feelings hurt by being told to “play Taylor Swift.” But to each their own!

This feature will thrill some parents, I’m sure.

Parents can also use FreeTime to pause the device or configure a bedtime so kids don’t stay up talking to Alexa, but honestly, LET ‘EM.

It’s far better than when they stall bedtime by badgering you for that extra glass of water, one more blanket, turn on that light, now crack the door…a little more…a little less…Honestly, escaping the kid’s room at bedtime is an art form.

If Alexa can keep them busy and less afraid of the dark, I’m calling it a win.

FreeTime with the Echo Dot Kids Edition also lets you set up “Character Alarms” – meaning, kids can configure Alexa to wake them up with an alarm click featuring characters from brands like Disney and Nickelodeon.

This is hilarious to me.

Because if you have a kid in the preschool to tween age range who actually requires an alarm clock to wake up in the morning instead of getting up at the crack of dawn (or maybe one who has gone through years of training so they DON’T ALSO WAKE YOU UP AT THE CRACK OF DAWN OH MY GOD) – then, I guess, um, enjoy character alarms?

I’m sorry, let me stop laughing….Hold on.

I’m sure somebody needs this.

Sorry for laughing. But please explain how you’ve taught your children to sleep in? Do they go to bed at a decent hour too? No seriously, email me. I have no idea.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition can also work as a household intercom, but so do regular Echo devices.

You can turn off voice purchasing on the Kids Edition, but you can do that on regular devices, too (despite what Amazon’s comparison chart says.)

Plus, kids can now control smart home devices with the Echo Dot Kids Edition – a feature that shamefully wasn’t available at launch, but is now.

And that cute protective case? Well, a regular Echo Dot is actually pretty sturdy. We’ve dropped ours probably a dozen times from dresser to floor (uncarpeted!) with no issues.

I like how Amazon tries to sell the case, though:

I guess if your kid plans to do CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENTS by the Echo Dot, you may need this.

In reality, the case is just cute – and can help the Echo better match the kid’s room.

The Echo Kids Edition, overall, is not a must-have device. You’ll have more flexibility with a regular Echo and a little old-school parenting.

Source: TechCrunch

Researchers train bipedal robots to step lightly over rough terrain

Researchers at the Hybrid Robotics Group at UC Berkeley and CMU are hard at work making sure their robots don’t fall over when tiptoeing through rough terrain. Using machine learning and ATRIAS robots, the teams are able to “teach” robots to traverse stepping stones they’ve never seen before.

Their robots, described here, are unique in that they are bipedal and use a mixture of balance and jumping to ensure they don’t tip off the blocks.

“What’s different about our methods is that they allow for dynamic walking as opposed to the slower quasi-static motions that robots tend to use,” write the researchers. “By reasoning about the nonlinearities in the dynamics of the system and by taking advantage of recent advances in optimal and nonlinear control technology, we can specify control objectives and desired robot behaviors in a simple and compact form while providing formal stability and safety guarantees. This means our robots can walk over discrete terrain without slipping or falling over, backed by some neat math and some cool experimental videos.”

The robots are currently “blind” and can’t use visual input to plan their next move. However, with a robot called CASSIE, they will be able to see and feel the stones as they hop along, ensuring that they don’t tip over in the heat of fun… or battle.

Source: TechCrunch

Estos han sido los peores ciberataques en lo que llevamos de 2018

En enero, publicamos una predicción de los peores episodios cibernéticos que producirían este año. Seis meses después, lamentablemente hemos acertado bastantes y nos alegramos de haber fallado en otros. Eso sí, se ha producido una gran amenaza que fumos incapaces de prever
Source: MIT