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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The 'Pacific Rim: Uprising' Cast Answers Kaiju Trivia

They know a fair bit about monsters. They also know if their movie passes the Bechdel Test or has a post-credits scene.
Source: Wired

Bird adds a former Lyft VP of Government Relations as chief legal officer

Bird has made another key hire as it looks to spread its electric scooter rental business across the nation.

The company has brought on former Lyft vice president of government relations, David Estrada, to be its chief legal officer.

He’s going to take over the company’s compliance and government relations efforts just as Bird seems poised for a big, nationwide rollout following its huge $100 million raise.

Estrada will be facing similar challenges to the ones he had to deal with at Lyft as he helped grow the nation’s second largest ride-hailing service.

Bird has some unique hurdles to overcome — including pushback from local businesses that find the scooters to be more nuisance than last-mile transportation savior; local governments worried about both the traffic and safety risks that scooters may pose on streets and sidewalks; and competition from other services like LimeBike, which has rolled out a scooter service of its own.

Estrada most recently served as the chief legal officer and head of public policy for the electric aircraft company, Kitty Hawk. He served as the CLO at Lyft from 2014 to 2015 and had also worked as the legal director for Google X, working with states on legislation around autonomous vehicles, Google Glass and drone delivery.

David Estrada


Source: TechCrunch

Ben is a chatbot that lets you learn about and buy Bitcoin

It’s generally a given that whenever a new technology takes off people rush into the space to build everything under the sun, and eventually natural selection kicks in and only the truly useful remain. For example, chatbots became trendy last year and we quickly began seeing chatbots for weather, movie recommendations, personal finance, etc. Some of these are useful, but until natural language processing improves you’re probably better just doing the task yourself.

But there are a few exceptions, with one in particular being chatbots designed for the purpose of making a very complex topic or task approachable to the average person.

Like cryptocurrencies.

Ben is a chatbot that lets anyone become familiar with cryptocurrencies via a recognizable chat interface. By talking with “Ben”, users can do things like take lessons and learn about cryptocurrency, read the latest industry news, and of course buy and sell Bitcoin.

By focusing on an underserved market (i.e people who have no idea what Bitcoin is or how to buy it) Ben has the unique advantage of not having to go head to head with established crypto titans like Coinbase or Circle.

The startup is part of Y Combinator’s Winter ’18 batch, and previously raised a $580K pre-seed from Third Kind Venture Capital and various angel investors.

After completing a KYC check (which is also done via chat) users in 21 states can buy and sell Bitcoin, with other states and support for Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash rolling out in the coming months. The startup charges 1% for buys and sells, which is in line or lower than most major exchanges.

The app also has a social feature where you can link with friends to see their returns (only on a percentage basis) to see who is a better investor.

User’s cryptocurrency is stored in the cloud but their private keys live only on their own personal device, which isn’t as secure as complete cold storage but does ensure that your bitcoin can’t be spent without someone having access to your phone. Ben also gives new users a backup seed to write down in case they lose their phone.

But Ben isn’t necessarily meant to support an experienced crypto user who has a high-value portfolio and needs advanced features and security.

Instead, the startup’s goal is to make buying and learning about cryptocurrency accessible to anyone, especially those without the technical knowledge or desire to spend the time learning how an exchange world. And as natural language technology evolves Ben will be able to answer more and more questions over time, making it a perfect on-ramp for people who need a little more hand holding before they open their wallet and trade their (actual) benjamins for a string of ones and zeros.


Source: TechCrunch

Key Takeaways From Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Media Blitz

Mark Zuckerberg made the rounds Wednesday, apologizing for Facebook’s failure to protect your data. Here are the highlights.
Source: Wired

Uber Crash Proves Cities Are Asleep at the Wheel

WIRED columnist Susan Crawford on the lessons from Uber’s self-driving tragedy—and why cities can’t just blindly welcome autonomous vehicles to the streets.
Source: Wired

Instagram Announces You'll Soon See "Newer" Posts In Your Feed

What users really want is a chronological feed, but today’s announcement is at least an acknowledgement that not everything about the algorithmic timeline is working.
Source: Wired

Ford and Mahindra partner for SUV, electric vehicle development – Roadshow

A Mahindra-based mid-size SUV will be sold by both brands.
Source: CNET

Apple store's glass facade proves fatal to Chicago birds – CNET

Design flaws at a Chicago store mirror echo issues with Apple’s flashy new Silicon Valley headquarters.
Source: CNET

Marc Raibert, Melonee Wise and more will be speaking at TC Sessions: Robotics May 11 at UC Berkeley

We’re gearing up for our big upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics event May 11 on the UC Berkeley campus, and we’ve got a lot to talk about. We’ve already announced Berkeley professors Pieter Abbeel and Robert Full, Android/Playground Global founder Andy Rubin and VCs Chrissy Meyer, Renata Quintini and Rob Coneybeer.

Here are a few more names we’re excited to tell you about.

Behind the big dog

Boston Dynamics may well be the buzziest robotics company of the last decade, courtesy of some viral videos and truly amazing machines. The MIT spin-off is best known for BigDog, the DARPA-funded robotic pack mule that captured the internet’s imagination with its ability to traverse rocky terrain and avoid being kicked over by even the most tenacious roboticist.

Marc Raibert, the company’s founder and president, will join us to talk about the company’s impressive army of ‘bots, including the bipedal Atlas, the agile Cheetah and the company’s most recent breakthrough, SpotMini, a lightweight electric robot capable of opening doors.

Raibert will be on-hand to demo one of the company’s ‘bots and discuss the creation of the company’s iconic robots.

Operating systems and agriculture

Of course, hardware is nothing without a good piece of software. Fetch Robotics CEO Melonee Wise will be sitting with Brian Gerkey and Morgan Quigley of Open Robotics to discuss their company’s work to build an open-source operating system for robotics.

We’ve also got a great panel featuring some of the biggest names the world of robotic agriculture. Dan Steere of Abundant, John Binney of Iron Ox, Sebastian Boyer of Farmwise and Willy Pell of Blue River will join us to discuss the ways in which robotics will transform the global food system.

We want to hear from your robotics company

And don’t forget, if you’ve got a robotics company, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to showcase it on our stage. If you’d like to be one of four early-stage robotics companies competing in our pitch-off, let us know here. We’re also looking for some cool robots for demos and some upcoming TechCrunch videos. If that sounds like a good fit, fill out this form here.

Early-bird tickets are on sale now. (Special 90 percent discount for students when you book here!)

If you’re interested in a sponsorship, contact us.


Source: TechCrunch

These new Nintendo Switch games are fun, creative and weird – CNET

Between Zelda and Mario, the Nindies have been there to tide over owners of the Nintendo Switch. Here’s what to expect out of the next batch.
Source: CNET

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