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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Mark Hamill reveals how George Lucas wanted Star Wars to end – CNET

Things would be different in the Skywalker family if the Star Wars creator had his way. Plus, that C-3PO wink was all Hamill.
Source: CNET

Arizona bans Uber's self-driving cars after fatal crash – CNET

Suspension of the ride-hailing service’s ability to test autonomous vehicles comes after a fatal accident involving a pedestrian.
Source: CNET

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn buys Belkin for $866M – CNET

Belkin, Wemo and Linksys have been bought by Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics maker best known for assembling iPhones.
Source: CNET

Uber blocked from testing self-driving cars on Arizona roads

Uber has been barred from testing its self-driving cars on public roads in Arizona following the accident last week involving one of its testing vehicles that killed a pedestrian crossing the street in its path. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey released a letter sent to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in which he described the accident as captured by onboard cameras as “disturbing and alarming.”

The governor, who has been a strong proponent of self-driving testing in the state up until this point, advocating for Uber and other companies to bring their programs to Arizona roads, also directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to “suspend” Uber’s self-driving testing access.

Uber had already suspending testing of its autonomous test vehicles not only in Arizona, but in all markets following the crash and pending the results of its investigation.

The ride-hailing company had begun operations in Arizona in 2016, following its launch of its self-driving SUVs on San Francisco streets, in a test which was quickly shut down once the California DMV revealed they did not have the proper permit to test on state roads. Uber made a big show of transporting its test fleet to Arizona, where Ducey voiced strong support and welcome for the relocation of Uber’s self-driving pilot to within his state.


Source: TechCrunch

Jaywalking in China? Surveillance system could SMS you a fine – CNET

An AI company that works with Shenzen police is creating a system that’ll use CCTV cameras to identify jaywalkers and send them a fine via messaging app.
Source: CNET

Foxconn buys peripheral maker Belkin for $866M

Foxconn, best known for manufacturing practically everything in the world, has just announced the purchase of Belkin, the PC peripherals company, for $866 million in cash. That certainly makes it one of the larger consumer electronics acquisitions in recent memory.

You probably know Belkin for its various lines of accessories, peripherals, and assorted consumer electronics; Linksys, surely the most recognizable router brand, is a subsidiary. Wemo and Phyn might also ring a bell.

The purchase is likely aimed at giving Foxconn a foothold of its own in the peripherals and networked devices market. Belkin’s CEO and founder (35 years on), Chet Pipkin, will continue to operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary and may join Foxconn’s management team.

No indication was given that Belkin’s companies would change much, either in makeup or in product lineup. I asked both companies for more details, and got a polite no comment in record time.

Interestingly, the FCC just today announced that it would soon propose that it would ban spending on companies that “pose a national security threat.” Huawei and ZTE were the obvious (but unnamed) targets of the proposed rule, but now Belkin and Linksys may also be included.


Source: TechCrunch

“Time to keep going” says Harrison Metal, closing on a new, $68 million fund

Harrison Metal, a 10-year-old, San Francisco-based seed-stage venture fund, has closed its fifth vehicle with $68 million, founder Michael Dearing tweeted out a bit ago.

“Ten years ago this month, I started this business,” he wrote. ” I was excited-nervous as could be. Worried I didn’t belong in the venture capital world, I figured I’d keep my head down and work hard, ignore all the nonsense as much as possible, focus on what I loved and where I could help.”

Dearing has indeed kept his head down over the years — as announcing his own new fund on Twitter suggests. (Most venture firms seek out media attention, on the belief that stories about their fresh capital will attract founders.)

Reporter Kara Swisher even dubbed him years ago the “hottest angel investor you’ve never heard of.”

Things haven’t changed much. Dearing — a former senior VP at eBay who joined Stanford’s faculty in 2006 as a consulting associate professor and taught off campus for eight years —  has quietly backed a long string of highly successful companies.

More distantly, he funded AdMob, a mobile advertising start-up acquired by Google for $750 million in late 2009. He also backed Aardvark, a social search engine that was also acquired by Google, for $50 million 2010. (Aardvark cofounder Max Ventilla has since created AltSchool, a richly funded, somewhat controversial network of schools and maker of educational software that Dearing has also backed.)

Dearing had another big win when Acompli, which made a mobile email application, sold to Microsoft for $200 million in cash in 2014. It had raised just $7.3 million from investors.

But Dearing doesn’t have to look too far back into the archives to be proud of his portfolio. Among his “active” bets are such buzzy companies as Harry‘s the shaving company, PagerDuty, and MasterClass.

Harry’s just announced $112 million in funding last month, money it wants to use to take on not just Gillette but Proctor & Gamble, too.

PagerDuty, which sells digital operations management services, is doing well enough that its privately held shares have become a hot commodity to secondary buyers.

MasterClass, which last raised $35 million a year ago, has meanwhile become hugely popular if our spectrum of friends is to believed. Many of them seem to be taking some online course or another by MasterClass, which has enlisted tens of “masters” in their respective fields — tennis great Serena Williams, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and chef Thomas Keller, among them — to teach people eager to learn how to succeed in the same industry.

It’s perhaps no wonder that Dearing likes to fly low. Several years ago in StrictlyVC, a newsletter published by this editor, he told interviewer and fellow investor Semil Shah that in his view, the “very best early-stage investor in the business is Steve Anderson” of Baseline Ventures, who also happens to prefer operating in the shadows. (We were able to pull Anderson out of them just once for a story.)

Said Dearing of Anderson in a description that some might say also suits Dearing: “His track record is exceptional, obviously — and he’s well known for it. But I mean ‘best’ in the broadest sense. Tells the truth. Focuses on making the pie big first. Crazy supportive of his founders in good and bad times. He’s honest and hard-working. He’s the very first person I would go see if I were raising money. There are some truly exceptional people in the early-stage business, but he’s at the top of my list.”


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook data reportedly used to track undocumented immigrants – CNET

The social network says the case mentioned in a report by The Intercept involved the investigation of an “active child predator.”
Source: CNET

Nvidia’s next gaming cards could be the GTX 11 Series, not the GTX 20 Series

The latest rumor surrounding Nvidia’s upcoming graphics cards for gamers is that they will be the GTX 11 Series, not the GTX 20 Series. Either way, the names fit snug within the company’s overall brand numbering.

The post Nvidia’s next gaming cards could be the GTX 11 Series, not the GTX 20 Series appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Mobileye chastises Uber by detecting struck pedestrian in footage well before impact

A self-driving vehicle fatally striking a pedestrian is a tasteless venue for self-promotion, but it’s also an important time to discuss the problems that created the situation. Mobileye CEO and CTO Amnon Shashua seems to do a little of both in this post at parent company Intel’s blog, running the company’s computer vision software on Uber’s in-car footage and detecting the person a full second before impact.

It first must be said that this shouldn’t be taken to demonstrate the superiority of Mobileye’s systems or anything like that. This type of grainy footage isn’t what self-driving — or even “advanced driver assistance” — systems are meant to operate on. It’s largely an academic demonstration.

But the application of a competent computer vision system to the footage and its immediate success at detecting both Elaine Herzberg and her bike show how completely the Uber system must have failed.

Even if this Mobileye object detection algorithm had been the only thing running in that situation, it detected Herzberg a second before impact (on highly degraded data at that). If the brakes had been immediately applied, the car may have slowed enough that the impact might not have been fatal; even a 5 MPH difference might matter. Remember, the Uber car reportedly didn’t even touch the brakes until afterwards. It’s exactly these types of situations in which we are supposed to be able to rely on the superior sensing and reaction time of an AI.

We’re still waiting to hear what exactly happened that the Uber car, equipped with radar, lidar, multiple optical cameras and a safety driver, any one of which should have detected Herzberg, completely failed to do so. Or if it did, failed to take action.

This little exhibition by Mobileye, while it should be taken with a grain of salt, at least gives a hint at what should have been happening inside that car’s brain.


Source: TechCrunch

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