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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Volvo's First Electric Car Kicks Off a Plan to Cut Emissions

The Swedish automaker introduced the XC40 Recharge, which can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and reach about 200 miles on a charge.
Source: Wired

Labor leaders and startup founders talk how to build a sustainable gig economy

Over the past few years, gig economy companies and the treatment of their labor force has become a hot button issue for public and private sector debate.

At our recent annual Disrupt event in San Francisco, we dug into how founders, companies and the broader community can play a positive role in the gig economy, with help from Derecka Mehrens, an executive director at Working Partnerships USA and co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising — an advocacy campaign focused on fighting for tech worker rights and creating an inclusive tech economy — and Amanda de Cadenet, founder of Girlgaze, a platform that connects advertisers with a network of 200,000 female-identifying and non-binary creatives.

Derecka and Amanda dove deep into where incumbent gig companies have fallen short, what they’re doing to right the ship, whether VC and hyper-growth mentalities fit into a sustainable gig economy, as well as thoughts on Uber’s new ‘Uber Works’ platform and CA AB-5. The following has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Where current gig companies are failing

Arman Tabatabai: What was the original promise and value proposition of the gig economy? What went wrong?

Derecka Mehrens: The gig economy exists in a larger context, which is one in which neoliberalism is failing, trickle-down economics is proven wrong, and every day working people aren’t surviving and are looking for something more.

And so you have a situation in which the system we put together to create employment, to create our communities, to build our housing, to give us jobs is dysfunctional. And within that, folks are going to come up with disruptive solutions to pieces of it with a promise in mind to solve a problem. But without a larger solution, that will end up, in our view, exacerbating existing inequalities.


Source: TechCrunch

Stranger Things is Netflix's most-watched show (as far as we know) – CNET

The company reveals how much we binge its originals like Money Heist, Tall Girl, Secret Obsession and Unbelievable.
Source: CNET

Amazon’s Echo gets a decent-sounding refresh

Amazon seemingly didn’t realize what it had on its hands with the original Echo. Released five and a half years back for a select number of Amazon Prime users, the first Alexa device ushered in a consumer electronics revolution.

According to numbers from Canalys, 26.1 million smart speakers were shipped in Q2 2019. That’s a hefty 55.4% growth from the year prior, with Amazon capturing just over a quarter of the total global market. Much of Amazon’s growth (up 61% y-o-y) is courtesy of its rapidly growing line, which now ranges from the $50 Echo Dot to the $200 Echo Studio.

At $100, the Echo sits right in the middle. And unlike Google, which has left the Home largely unchanged during its two-year existence, Amazon’s now on the third generation for its own base-level device.

The latest version of the device, announced at an Alexa event at Amazon HQ in Seattle earlier this month, ditches the swappable face gimmick of the previous generation. Instead, the company has focused on the speaker part of the smart speaker. It was something that was too often neglected by earlier devices, which were primarily viewed as a conduit for voice assistants.

amazon echo 2019

Of course, if someone is simply looking for a cheap and easy way to introduce a smart assistant into their home, they can pick up an Echo Dot or Nest Mini for a fraction of the price — or, for that matter, the $25 Echo Flex wall plug.

The new Echo slots pretty nicely between the Dot and Studio, Amazon’s new HomePod competitor. It’s probably not where you want to do all of your music listening, but it’s a nice addition to a desk at home or work, or a room like the kitchen where music listening is secondary. More importantly, software updates like stereo pairing with two Echo devices and multi-room music, paired with hardware add-ons like Echo Sub, Link and Input, have made the $99 product a potential addition to a larger, better sound system.

The third-generation Echo certainly marks an improvement sound-wise over earlier models. It offers decent 360 sound and surprisingly heavy bass, courtesy of a 3.0-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter. There’s also a 3.5-inch audio jack for inputting or outputting sound. The setup is essentially the same as last year’s Echo Plus, only without the increasingly less important smart home hub functionality.

In fact, the device looks almost identical to the second-gen Echo Plus, leaving many wondering if the product is long for this world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company phase out the product entirely after selling through this batch during the holiday season.

amazon echo 2019

With four different colors, the Echo should fit in well with most surroundings. The rounded, fabric-covered model is a far cry from the early days of hard plastic. There is a prominent light ring up top to let you know when the Echo is listening, along with a quartet of buttons: volume up/down, microphone and the action button, which performs a variety of tasks, including firing up Alexa and turning off timers.

Maybe it’s the fact that I just reviewed the Nest Mini, but touch functionality would be a nice addition here. When you move your hand toward the speaker while it’s playing music, a pair of lights illuminate for volume. Tapping the middle of the device would play or pause music. It’s a simple but handy addition.

All in all, solid additions on the hardware front, coupled with the continued addition of things like selectable music services make for a solid upgrade to the company’s base smart speaker.


Source: TechCrunch

Silicon Valley season 6 on HBO: Release date, trailer, cast and more – CNET

The scrappy but lovable Pied Piper gang will be back for a final season later this month Here’s what to expect.
Source: CNET

New Catalina update improves Game Center saves for Apple Arcade, more

Apple released a supplemental update for MacOS 10.15 Catalina on Tuesday. Saving Game Center data is now more reliable when playing Apple Arcade games offline.
Source: Digital trends

Why Solving a Rubik's Cube Does Not Signal Robot Supremacy

OpenAI demonstrated a robotic arm successfully completing the puzzle. It didn’t show the machine dropping the cube—or the 10,000 years of simulated training.
Source: Wired

Virgin Galactic spacesuits will let you 'savor' the ride – CNET

The space tourism company partnered with Under Armour to create the suits private astronauts will wear on Virgin Galactic flights.
Source: CNET

See the Virgin Galactic spacesuits private astronauts will wear on the ride – CNET

Virgin Galactic and Under Armour showed off suits designed for their wealthy customers to wear in space. This is some coveted fashion indeed.
Source: CNET

How to find the best Cyber Monday 2019 deals – CNET

First tip: Start with Black Friday, because most of the deals will be exactly the same.
Source: CNET

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