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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

WrestleMania streams this weekend – CNET

A super-stacked card sees the wrestling debut of former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey.
Source: CNET

Coinbase unveils fund for early-stage cryptocurrency startups

Coinbase has launched a new fund called Coinbase Ventures to invest in early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. In a blog post, Coinbase head of corporate and business development Emilie Choi said that the fund’s goal is to strengthen the sector.

“At least in the beginning, our goal is simply helping the most compelling companies in the space flourish,” she wrote. “This means we don’t have the strategic requirement of formalizing partner relationships with such companies, as some corporate venture programs do. Our focus is on building strong relationships and helping spur the development of the ecosystem.”

This includes investing in companies that may potentially compete with Coinbase because “it’s in everyone’s interest to see the ecosystem innovate,” Choi added. She also said the fund will keep an eye on founders who have worked for Coinbase and “enthusiastically invest in ideas from our own alumni network.”

One potential benefit of helping other cryptocurrency and blockchain companies grow is lending more stability to the sector, which is currently under scrutiny by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and considered risky by many investors. In an interview on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” Coinbase chief operating officer Asiff Hirji said that as more mature investors take an interest in cryptocurrency, that will “dampen volatility to some extent.”

There’s been “tremendous take up on the fund, well beyond anything we were expecting,” he added and that it “confirmed what we thought, that there is actually more demand on the investor side than on the trader side.” While Coinbase doesn’t have current plans to add more cryptocurrencies to its exchange, investing in promising startups will help it find promising tokens, Hirji said.


Source: TechCrunch

MIT's AlterEgo headset can read words you say in your head – CNET

When you think a sentence in your head, your brain sends signals to your mouth and jaw. MIT’s headset reads those signals with 92 percent accuracy.
Source: CNET

Redpoint Ventures hires Uber’s Annie Kadavy as general partner

Redpoint Ventures has hired Annie Kadavy as its first female general partner. She’ll be on the early stage investment team.

Kadavy has a background in venture capital, having spent several years at CRV. Most recently, she ran strategic operations at Uber’s freight division. She also has an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Kadavy said she “wanted to focus on consumer but have the ability to do a broader set of investing.” Kadavy also “wanted to join an early stage fund that had a growth fund attached to it, so you can learn from both.”

But she’ll be most focused on seed, Series A and Series B rounds. Kadavy plans to look for opportunities in the Bay Area, LA, Seattle and NYC.

In her blog post, she elaborated on her decision to join Redpoint.

For me, joining a flat and equal partnership was important. While this may be opaque to many, let me tell you, it matters. It is the economic manifestation of how investment decisions are made, how a venture team will work collectively for you (or not), and how that team will evolve over time. This is rare and it exists at Redpoint.”

When Kadavy was at CRV, she sourced or led deals in ClassPass, Patreon, Doordash and she was on the board at Laurel and Wolf. She’s still looking to invest in companies in similar categories.

Kadavy is part of a wave of venture firms finally hiring female partners, in an industry where only 8% are women. Rebecca Kaden recently joined Union Square Ventures, Jess Lee joined Sequoia Capital, and Naomi Pilosof joined Menlo Ventures, to name a few.

There’s also AllRaise, a newly formed organization comprised of the top female venture capitalists. The group is committed to helping the best women find jobs in the industry.

Redpoint has been around since 1999 and has raised $4.1 billion across its funds, according to Crunchbase.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Razer’s gaming ecosystem gets bigger with the launch of its online game store

Razer, known mainly for gaming laptops and peripherals, expanded its ecosystem today with the launch of Razer Game Store, an online game distribution platform. Razer Game Store will compete with Steam and Amazon, but wants to grab the attention of gamers with perks like the chance to earn more credits in Razer’s zSilver loyalty program, plus exclusive discounts on games and Razer hardware.

Razer Game Store is available worldwide, with localized content, payment methods and customer support for the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Other countries get access through a global storefront. Games come from Razer’s partners (which include developers Ubisoft, Bethesda, Bandai Namco, Deep Silver and Rockstar) and, like titles purchased through other online stores such as Amazon, Green Man Gaming or Humble Bundle, are delivered via Steam or Uplay product keys.

In the company’s announcement, Razer co-founder and chief executive officer Min-Liang Tan said “As gamers, we know the importance of a good deal and the Razer Game Store delivers that to everyone. We have been delighting gamers with our high-performing peripherals, laptops and software, and we’re now also able to provide the content itself that fuels their passion.”

Launched in 2005 to build gaming peripherals like mouses and keyboards, Razer was backed by investors including Horizons Ventures, Accel Partners and Intel Capital before raising $529 million in its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last November. The company’s other recent products include the gaming-focused Razer Phone, launched after it acquired smartphone maker Nextbit.


Source: TechCrunch

Finney phone is built for blockchain video – CNET

The Sirin Labs smartphone is designed to securely store and send cryptocurrency without paying transaction fees.
Source: CNET

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is officially coming to consoles – CNET

In a pair of posts on both the PS4 and Xbox One official blogs, developer Larian Studios announced that the critically acclaimed RPG is coming this fall.
Source: CNET

23andMe wants you to find a new World Cup team in your blood – CNET

Commentary: With the US soccer team eliminated, the genetic testing company and Fox Sports get together to drum up interest in the tournament.
Source: CNET

Facebook says it hasn't found other Cambridge Analyticas – CNET

In a series of interviews, Sheryl Sandberg says the company is looking for more bad actors, but hasn’t found any so far.
Source: CNET

3D movie box office totals take another dive

Could it be that the scourge of 3D film is coming to an end? The box office contribution of 3D showings dropped in 2017 to 12 percent of the U.S. and Canada’s $11.1 billion total take, its lowest point essentially since 3D movies became a thing.

The numbers come straight from the horse’s mouth: an MPAA report (PDF) on ticket sales. It’s a mixed bag altogether, for the most part positive: people are still watching lots of movies, and they’re paying to go to theaters all over the world. Global box office hit a new record ($40.6 billion) even if the U.S. and Canada dropped 2 percent.

The decline of 3D, however, is really only noted in the following chart:

You can see that at 12 percent of total box office, it’s the lowest percentage and absolute amount of ticket sales for 3D movies since 2009. The peak, in 2010, was largely due to Avatar, surely the most impressive 3D film and certainly the highest grossing, even if it did use Papyrus for its title font. It’s been largely downhill since then.

And why not? 3D is expensive, uncomfortable, degrades the quality of the picture, rarely adds anything to a film and, in fact, is often bolted on after the fact in post-production. (CG films, more easily converted and aimed at a younger crowd, are an exception.)

3D TVs failed, 3D gaming failed, VR’s special take on 3D is at the very least failing to succeed — so why not 3D film?

As an embellishment on moviemaking, it’s largely bankrupt of possibility, but the idea of creating a “premium” tier of moviegoing (the sort-of-stealth motive of 3D) is far from a bad idea. People will pay extra for things like big seats, 21+ showings where you can drink, good food and so on. And as MoviePass has shown, they’ll also pay for theaters as a service — although whether the company can pull that off at the current price point is a matter of some debate.

Even if Avatar 2 were to give the 3D box office a shot in the arm, it’s unlikely that the enterprise is considered worth saving when other, fresher opportunities to put butts in seats are in the offing. Here’s hoping 2018 or 2019 will be the last time you have to specify 2D when buying tickets.


Source: TechCrunch

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