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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google Doodle honors 'Prince of Mathematicians' Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss – CNET

The German child prodigy became one of the greatest mathematicians in history.
Source: CNET

Baidu brings group of PE firms into its financial services business via $1.9B investment

Baidu has turned to the financial industry to bolster its consumer finance business. The Chinese search giant confirmed that it has sold a majority share in its Financial Services Group (FSG) business to a consortium of private equity firms in a deal worth $1.9 billion.

The business is in the consumer finance space and its services include credit and wealth management. Its competition, beyond traditional financial businesses, includes digital efforts from the likes of Tencent and Alibaba.

The deal — which had been speculated at the end of last year — sees FSG renamed to Du Xiaoman. The group of investors is led by TPG and The Carlyle Group, and it will pay around $1.06 billion for a majority stake. A further $840 million will be given to Du Xiaoman.

Following the transaction, Baidu will own 42 percent of the business, which will operate independently. Guang Zhu, who had been Baidu senior VP and GM of FSG, will become Du Xiaoman CEO.

It’s fairly common for China’s tech giants to incubate business which, when ready, are they spun out to raise capital from segment-specific investors. Indeed, JD.com — Tencent’s e-commerce partner — brought in a range of investors when it granted its financial services division independence via a spin-out two years ago.

Alibaba itself has long-courted investors for Ant Financial, its affiliate division that runs its Alipay mobile money business, its digital banking arm and other financial services. Ant was valued at $60 billion when it raised over $3 billion in 2016 and now the business — which is reportedly closing in on an IPO — is said to be raising as much as $10 billion more at a valuation that could hit $100 billion.

Outside of finance, Baidu’s iQiyi video streaming unit operates independently of the business in a similar model to Du Xiaoman. iQiyi raised over $1.5 billion from a clutch of private equity firms in 2017, before going on to list on the Nasdaq this past March. That’s very much the blueprint in this strategy.

“This transaction marks another milestone for Baidu to incubate new businesses with large opportunities and strong synergies with Baidu’s core business, on the heels of iQiyi’s public listing,” Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, added in a statement.

But Baidu has also offloaded businesses that it deemed to be fringe. In food delivery for example, a space where it was out-manoeuvered by the competition, it sold its Waimai business to Ele.me, and then later sold its Ele.me shares to Alibaba when the e-commerce firm moved for a full buyout.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla driver caught sitting in the passenger seat with autopilot on – Roadshow

Now he’s banned from driving for 18 months. The irony.
Source: CNET

Artificial womb could grow mammoth-elephant hybrid, researchers say – CNET

Researchers say “resurrected” woolly mammoth genes could help save modern day elephants from extinction, and they want to grow a hybrid in a lab to prove it.
Source: CNET

'Westworld' Recap, Season 2 Episode 2: The Façade Is Crumbling

The second episode of Season 2 of ‘Westworld’ finally shows the places beyond the parks.
Source: Wired

Facebook expands downvote button to some users in Australia, New Zealand – CNET

It’s not quite a dislike button, but Facebook’s downvote button, which it first began trialling in February, is rolling out to more people.
Source: CNET

Westworld gives us the reunion we craved, but still no answers – CNET

Do you know where you are in the new episode of Westworld? I sure don’t. Spoilers ahead for episode two, of course.
Source: CNET

Someone wrote a kids book to explain bitcoin and blockchain – CNET

Welcome to 2018 and a children’s book that teaches us how to find our place in the world… using the blockchain.
Source: CNET

Blue Origin’s New Shepard skims space in successful 8th test launch

Blue Origin conducted the 8th launch of its New Shepard sub-orbital rocket and crew capsule today out in Texas, and things couldn’t have gone better for the growing space tourism company. The rocket ascended into a cloudless sky, reaching a max velocity of about 2,200 MPH, and delivered its capsule to the edge of space, where its occupant, “Mannquin Skywalker,” will have had a lovely view of the Earth.

New Shepard isn’t meant to deliver things into orbit, of course; Blue Origin has a different purpose and technology from the likes of SpaceX, focusing on giving people a quick, safe lift into space followed by a period of weightlessness and a pleasant descent.

That’s what was demonstrated today, and you can watch the whole thing live in the video below — the pre-launch coverage starts about half an hour in, and liftoff is at the 1h10m mark.

Everything went smoothly from liftoff to touchdown. I love watching the altitude graph filling in slowly at first, then blasting upward as the rocket gradually accelerates. After main-engine cutoff, which occurs just after crossing the Karmann Line, which indicates you’ve entered space, and anyone inside would experience weightlessness for about a minute and a half as the capsule slows down. Apogee for this flight was 347,000 feet, or about 106,000 meters.

While Mannequin Skywalker was enjoying microgravity, the booster was returning to Earth at high speed — over 2,600 MPH. The drag brake deploys around 100,000 feet up, reducing speed to a more manageable 370 MPH before the booster re-ignites at 2,500 feet and brings itself down to a hover landing.

This is one of the most obvious differences to a viewer between New Shepard’s booster and the Falcon 9s; New Shepard has more control over its thrust, allowing for a highly controlled landing where it could even float for a bit if necessary. The larger Falcon 9 has to land using much more powerful thrust, meaning if they aren’t careful, they might just take off again. It’s kind of like the difference between having to let up on the gas to ease into a parking spot, and having to pull the e-brake at precisely the right moment.

Meanwhile the capsule, with its higher apogee and greater drag, has been falling down this whole time, waiting for the right time to deploy its parachutes. It didn’t happen until below the 7,000-foot mark, making me sweat a bit. It wouldn’t be a good look to have your crew capsule impact at 240 MPH.

The commentator describes the capsule touchdown a minute or two later as a “beautiful soft landing,” though honestly it looks like it would give anyone inside something of a jolt. Let’s hope the seats are comfortable in that thing.


Source: TechCrunch

Ventajas y desventajas de las 12 criptomonedas más importantes

Se habla mucho de Bitcoin y Ehtereum, pero el abanico de divisas digitales es más amplio. Monero, Iota, Ripple… Cada una de ellas es única y ofrece una serie de beneficios y retos. Pero todas tiene una cosa en común: los inversores las valoran en miles de millones de euros
Source: MIT

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