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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Bill Gates apuesta por los chips ópticos para revolucionar la IA

El magnate es uno de los inversores de Luminous Computing, una ‘start-up’ que ha desarrollado un microchip que ejecuta algoritmos de inteligencia artificial mucho más rápido que los semiconductores eléctricos. El dispositivo utiliza distintos colores de luz para enviar múltiples datos simultáneamente
Source: MIT

La lucha contra el cambio climático, la nueva gran arma electoral

Varios candidatos demócratas a la presidencia de EE. UU. están presentando agresivos planes para reducir las emisiones y estimular las renovables del país. La situación choca con las campañas de las elecciones de 2016, en las que el calentamiento global fue el gran olvidado en los programas
Source: MIT

Shopkeepers Around the World, Photographed With Their Wares

Canadian photographer Vladimir Antaki captures proprietors in the midst of their life’s work, documenting what he calls “urban temples.”
Source: Wired

Amazon’s back-to-college store drops deals on refurbished items before Prime Day

Buying refurbished is a great way to save money, and Amazon has a ton of deals right now. While there’s hundreds of Amazon refurbished items on the site, we’ve found 20 items that we think both college students and parents might be interested in.
Source: Digital trends

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular gets $80 price cut on Amazon ahead of Prime Day

Apple iPads are getting a piece of the Amazon Prime Day action in the weeks leading up to July 15. Now on Amazon ahead of Prime Day, score your 32GB Apple iPad (Wi-Fi + cellular) for just $379, down from $459.
Source: Digital trends

Apple says Spotify exaggerated how much ‘App Store tax’ it pays

In March, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission over the so-called “Apple tax” and claims of restrictive rules regarding the App Store. In the time since, Apple has responded with the launch of a website that takes aim at the anti-trust, anti-competitive claims against it, and most recently, a deep dive into how the process of app approvals works, by way of a CNBC profile. Now, Apple has responded to the EC complaint with its own filing that says Spotify is only paying this “Apple tax” on less than 1 percent of its paid subscribers.

This news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide (MBW) and German site Der Spiegel.

Specifically, Apple’s filing says that Spotify only pays a 15% “app tax” (revenue share) on just 0.5% of its 100 million premium subscribers, or around 680,000 customers. This revenue share only impacts those customers Spotify acquired during the 2014-2016 time frame who signed up for the subscription through an in-app purchase. Afterward, Spotify switched off the option to sign up in the app.

This is in contrast to the claim made by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on the company’s blog in March, where he wrote that “Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system.”

In addition, MBW reports, citing an unnamed source, that Spotify pays even less than the standard 15% for those customers who signed up through in-app purchase due to label discounts. The source told the outlet that Spotify just wants to “pay nothing.”

However, Spotify’s claim goes beyond the Apple tax.

It also said that Apple used its App Store power to penalize the competitor in other ways — like limiting Spotify’s ability to communicate with customers, or even send emails to its iOS users. Spotify said Apple also blocked its iOS upgrades — something it brought to light years ago. Apple, meanwhile, has always maintained it has treated Spotify like any other app developer.

Apple’s responses to these latter points were also sneaked into the recent CNBC piece where a “longtime Apple veteran” who was only identified as “Bill,” made certain to tell the news site that he had “called Spotify when an update was rejected” — e.g. because Spotify had been emailing customers and asking them to pay the music streamer directly outside the App Store.

In addition to Spotify’s EU complaint, Apple is facing other attacks against its App Store in the U.S. courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court in May ruled against Apple to allow an App Store antitrust case to proceed.

And in June, two app developers proceeded to sue Apple over its App Store practices, making similar claims about Apple’s 30% commission on app sales and its requirement to price apps in tiers ending in 99 cents.

Apple had earlier responded to Spotify’s complaint in length on its own website. The company, in part, said that:

After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Apple’s approach has always been to grow the pie. By creating new marketplaces, we can create more opportunities not just for our business, but for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and every “crazy one� with a big idea. That’s in our DNA, it’s the right model to grow the next big app ideas and, ultimately, it’s better for customers.


Source: TechCrunch

This robot crawls along wind turbine blades looking for invisible flaws

Wind turbines are a great source of clean power, but their apparent simplicity — just a big thing that spins — belie complex systems that wear down like any other, and can fail with disastrous consequences. Sandia National Labs researchers have created a robot that can inspect the enormous blades of turbines autonomously, helping keep our green power infrastructure in good kit.

The enormous towers that collect energy from wind currents are often only in our view for a few minutes as we drive past. But they must stand for years through inclement weather, temperature extremes, and naturally — being the tallest things around — lightning strikes. Combine that with normal wear and tear and it’s clear these things need to be inspected regularly.

But such inspections can be both difficult and superficial. The blades themselves are among the largest single objects manufactured on the planet, and they’re often installed in distant or inaccessible areas, like the many you see offshore.

“A blade is subject to lightning, hail, rain, humidity and other forces while running through a billion load cycles during its lifetime, but you can’t just land it in a hanger for maintenance,” explained Sandia’s Joshua Paquette in a news release. In other words, not only do crews have to go to the turbines to inspect them, but they often have to do those inspections in place — on structures hundreds of feet tall and potentially in dangerous locations.

Using a crane is one option, but the blade can also be orientated downwards so an inspector can rappel along its length. Even then the inspection may be no more than eyeballing the surface.

“In these visual inspections, you only see surface damage. Often though, by the time you can see a crack on the outside of a blade, the damage is already quite severe,” said Paquette.

Obviously better and deeper inspections are needed, and that’s what the team decided to work on, with partners International Climbing Machines and Dophitech. The result is this crawling robot, which can move along a blade slowly but surely, documenting it both visually and using ultrasonic imaging.

A visual inspection will see cracks or scuffs on the surface, but the ultrasonics penetrate deep into the blades, making them capable of detecting damage to interior layers well before it’s visible outside. And it can do it largely autonomously, moving a bit like a lawnmower: side to side, bottom to top.

Of course at this point it does it quite slowly and requires human oversight, but that’s because it’s fresh out of the lab. In the near future teams could carry around a few of these things, attach one to each blade, and come back a few hours or days later to find problem areas marked for closer inspection or scanning. Perhaps a crawler robot could even live onboard the turbine and scurry out to check each blade on a regular basis.

Another approach the researchers took was drones — a natural enough solution, since the versatile fliers have been pressed into service for inspection of many other structures that are dangerous for humans to get around: bridges, monuments, and so on.

These drones would be equipped with high-resolution cameras and infrared sensors that detect the heat signatures in the blade. The idea is that as warmth from sunlight diffuses through the material of the blade, it will do so irregularly in spots where damage below the surface has changed its thermal properties.

As automation of these systems improves, the opportunities open up: A quick pass by a drone could let crews know whether any particular tower needs closer inspection, then trigger the live-aboard crawler to take a closer look. Meanwhile the humans are on their way, arriving to a better picture of what needs to be done, and no need to risk life and limb just to take a look.


Source: TechCrunch

MacOS Catalina has arrived. Here are the 5 best features you can use right now

As of Monday, June 24, Apple has released the public beta of its newest MacOS, Catalina. Here are the five best features to expect from MacOS Catalina, including the trio of apps expected to replace iTunes.
Source: Digital trends

The MacOS Catalina public beta is live. Here’s how to download it

Apple’s latest MacOS update, known as Catalina, is finally available for developer preview, which means if you’re willing to pay a little for the privilege, you can be one of the first to try it out.
Source: Digital trends

'Toy Story 4' Just Crushed the Box Office

Disney now has the four biggest opening weekends of 2019.
Source: Wired

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