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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The Strange Saga of the Butt Plug Turned Research Device

How one scientist started with a butt plug from Amazon and ended up inventing an “anal pneumatic base� to measure orgasms.
Source: Wired

Presso is piloting dry cleaning vending machines at midwestern hotels

Hotel dry-cleaning is the absolute worst. Seriously. Have you ever attempted to get clothes cleaned on the road? You’ll routinely end up paying $10-15 per shirt. As someone who travels a lot for business, I’ve found myself seeking out local 24 hour cleaners to cut out the middle men.

But Presso, one of a number of startups who took to the stage at the Rise conference in Hong Kong this week, has developed a novel way to put dry cleaning in the hands of hotel guests. The Indiana-based startup is the brainchild Purdue graduates, Nishant Jain and Thibault Corens. The pair have developed a sort of dry cleaning vending machine designed to live in hotel hallways.

Guests looking for a quicker, cheaper clean swipe a card and manually enter the specifics of the garment they need cleaned (future updates will use a combination of AI and computer vision to identify clothes, but for now that’s left up to the user). From there, the system takes overarm cleaning and pressing clothes in around five minutes, using steam and cleaning fluids.

The system is also able to clean clothes with considerably less water and electricity than traditional washing. Though Jain notes that stains are still a blind spot for the system. Presso isn’t designed to remove those — instead, it’s set up for a quick clean and press, ahead of a business meeting.

The kiosk is currently being piloted in 16 Holiday Inns in the midwest. Jain tells TechCrunch that the locations are already looking to move fully to Presso systems for the sake of added convenience — and to cut out the time and difficulty of working with outside dry cleaners to deal with guest laundry.

So far the startup has raised $261,000, primarily from HAX. Its founders will be seeking additional fundraising later this year.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app over iPhone eavesdropping bug – CNET

An Apple Watch security vulnerability could have let people listen in on an iPhone conversation.
Source: CNET

AirPods, Powerbeats Pro and Galaxy Buds water test: Which ones survived? – CNET

We sprayed them, dunked them and even put them through the wash to find out which of these three wireless earphones can handle the most water exposure.
Source: CNET

‘Robot umpires’ make independent league baseball debut

Four months after being announced, so-called “robotic umpires� have made their debut in baseball’s Atlantic League. The addition is one of several tweaks currently being piloted in the independent league in an attempt to update some fundamentals of America’s pastime.

The system utilizes TrackMan radar to determine whether a pitch is a ball or strike, a Doppler-based system that’s already in use at 30 Major League Baseball Stadiums and many more minor league parks. Information from the system is relayed to a human umpire via an iPhone and earpiece.

The system isn’t replacing home plate umpires entirely, and for now the human ump is required to monitor pitches as a kind of fail-safe. They can also ultimately override TrackMan’s calls. Among other things, the system isn’t set up to detect checked swings — when the batter stops a swing midway to let the ball pass.

“Until we can trust this system 100 percent,â€� the game’s umpire Brian deBrauwere told ESPN, “I still have to go back there with the intention of getting a pitch correct because if the system fails, it doesn’t pick a pitch up, or if it registers a pitch that’s a foot-and-a-half off the plate as a strike, I have to be prepared to correct that.â€�

Robo umps are one of a number of features currently being tested in the Atlantic League, with the intention of potentially bringing them to the majors, should things go well. Other changes include adjusting the mound’s distance from home plate and a three-batter minimum for pitchers.


Source: TechCrunch

Buy a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package at Disrupt Berlin 2019

We’re opening the doors for you to showcase your tech and talent to the international startup community at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December.

How? Buy a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package. Disrupt Berlin attracts thousands of attendees from more than 50 countries around the world — including hundreds of investors and international media outlets. Plant your company directly in their path as they explore Startup Alley looking for emerging trends, potential partners, investment possibilities, collaboration and connection.

Check out what some of your peers have to say about exhibiting in Startup Alley.

“Startup Alley gave us the chance to show our technology to the world and have meaningful conversations with investors, accelerators, incubators, solo founders and developers. It was a massively positive experience.� — Vlad Larin, the co-founder of Zeroqode.

“Exhibiting in Startup Alley is the best training ground for early-stage startup founders, and it was a game-changer for us. We received more insight into our product development process, and we engaged with media and potential investors. It’s a tremendous opportunity to grow.� — David Hall, co-founder, Park and Diamond.

It’s super early-bird season, and that means you can score a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package for €745 + VAT. That price covers one exhibition day and three Founder passes.

You’ll get access to everything that Disrupt Berlin offers: all of the stages including the Startup Battlefield competition, speakers, interactive workshops, Q&A Sessions, the complete attendee list via Disrupt Mobile App, CrunchMatch — TechCrunch’s free networking platform — the complete press list, networking parties, exclusive video content access once the conference ends and a slew of other perks.

Speaking of perks. Every startup that exhibits in Startup Alley has a chance to win a Wild Card entry to the Startup Battlefield pitch competition. TechCrunch editors will choose two outstanding startups as Wild Card teams. Both teams will compete head-to-head in Startup Battlefield for $50,000 equity-free cash, the Disrupt Cup — and a metric ton of investor and media attention.

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December, and when Gelegenheit klopft, savvy early-stage startup founders answer. Open the door for opportunity and buy your Startup Alley Exhibitor Package today.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact TechCrunch’s sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


Source: TechCrunch

2020 Jeep Gladiator quick drive review: Notes from a week with no doors – Roadshow

I spent a week in Jeep’s hot new Wrangler-based pickup. Here’s what I learned driving around out(of)doors.
Source: CNET

Google Maps now shows users discounts from nearby restaurants in India

Google said today that it has started to display discounts from restaurants in its Maps app in India as the Mountain View giant works to expand its ever growing reach and relevance in one of its key overseas markets.

The company today rolled out an update to add three new features to Google Maps app in India. Users can now see a new ‘offers’ option in the ‘explore tab’ that will display promotional offers from local restaurants. Google said it has partnered with EazyDiner, a table reservation platform, to display offers from over 4,000 restaurants. The feature is live in 11 metro cities in India.

Restaurant offers are just the beginning, as the company plans to ink deals with more partners and expand to more categories in future, it said. Users can also book a table to a restaurant directly from the Maps app. Google did not reveal the financial agreement it had with EazyDiner, a five-year-old New Delhi-based startup that has raised more than $13 million to date.

google maps

The new offering comes as Google explores way to make more money off Google Maps. The company maintains a Google Maps Platform for enterprise customers, and has increased its access price over the years, but it has yet to monetize the consumer-facing part of the service in a significant way.

As part of today’s announcement, the company has also revamped the ‘explore tab’ in India to “reflect the rich diversity of local neighborhoods and communities,â€� said Krish Vitaldevara and Chandu Thota, Directors of Google Maps, in a blog post. As part of the fresh paint job, Google said it has added seven shortcuts to give users quick navigation to restaurants, ATMs, shopping, hotels, pharmacy, and of course, offers.

Additionally, there is also an option in the explore tab to get directions to top areas in each city. The company said it uses machine learning to identify these areas. “Besides your own city, you can also look up other Indian cities by just searching the city name — an easy way to get up to speed before you travel,â€� Vitaldevara and Thota wrote.

The third feature, dubbed ‘For You’, displays personalized recommendations for new restaurants and other trending places. Users in India can now also follow a business and get updates and news on events

“This feature also uses the ‘Your Match’ score, which uses machine learning to combine what we know about millions of places with the information you’ve added — restaurants you’ve rated, cuisines you’ve liked, and places you have visited. The first time you use this feature you can select the areas/localities you are interested in, and get more personalized and relevant recommendations over time,â€� the executives wrote.

Google continues to bulk up its Maps offerings in India. In recent months, it has added the ability to check if a cab goes off the usual route, and look for real-time status of trains and buses, among other features.

The company, which has amassed over 300 million users in India, continues to use the nation as a testbed for many of its services. This approach has helped Google, which operates Android mobile operating system that runs on 98% of smartphones in India, gain wide adoption in the country.

But it has also instilled an antitrust probe on its influence in the nation.


Source: TechCrunch

The cult-annual All-Clad 'damaged packaging' cookware sale is on – CNET

The best in cookware at the cheapest you’re likely to find it.
Source: CNET

Lenovo IdeaPad S940 review

The Lenovo IdeaPad S940 is a well-built laptop that leverages its tiny bezels to good effect. It’s small, thin, and has a great display, with a cost in performance and battery life.
Source: Digital trends

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