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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Firefox is now a better iPad browser

Mozilla today announced a new iOS version of Firefox that has been specifically optimized for Apple’s iPad. Given the launch of the new iPad mini this week, that’s impeccable timing. It’s also an admission that building a browser for tablets is different from building a browser for phones, which is what Mozilla mostly focused on in recent years.

“We know that iPads aren’t just bigger versions of iPhones,” Mozilla writes in today’s announcement. “You use them differently, you need them for different things. So rather than just make a bigger version of our browser for iOS, we made Firefox for iPad look and feel like it was custom made for a tablet.”

So with this new version, Firefox for iPad gets support for iOS features like split screen and the ability to set Firefox as the default browser in Outlook for iOS. The team also optimized tab management for these larger screens, including the option to see tabs as large tiles, “making it easy to see what they are, see if they spark joy and close with a tap if not.” And if you have a few tabs you want to share, then you can do so with the Send Tabs feature Mozilla introduced earlier this year.

Starting a private browsing session on iOS always took a few extra tabs. The iPad version makes this a one-tap affair as it prominently highlights this feature in the tab bar.

Because quite a few iPad users also use a keyboard, it’s no surprise that this version of Firefox also supports keyboard shortcuts.

If you are an iPad user in search of an alternative browser, Firefox may now be a viable option for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments (just don’t remind us how you work from home for only a few hours a day and make good money… believe me, we’re aware).


Source: TechCrunch

Talk about the big news from GDC with TechCrunch writers

The Game Developers Conference concludes today in San Francisco but that doesn’t mean our coverage is over.

TechCrunch writer Lucas Matney and Extra Crunch contributor Eric Peckham were at the Moscone Center and got a first-hand glimpse into what is coming up for gamers and developers alike. And at noon PT today they’ll be sharing what they saw with Extra Crunch members on a conference call.

First, there can be no discussion about gaming news this week without mentioning Google’s new game-streaming service Stadia. As Lucas wrote this week, the service will let gamers leave their hefty GPUs and expensive systems behind … and the service can be used on devices with a Chrome browser and an internet connection.

They’ll also be discussing the latest about game engines, VR and voice-based gaming.

To listen to the call and the opportunity to participate in future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 


Source: TechCrunch

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

The post Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

How Salesforce paved the way for the SaaS platform approach

When we think of enterprise SaaS companies today, just about every startup in the space aspires to be a platform. That means they want people using their stack of services to build entirely new applications, either to enhance the base product, or even build entirely independent companies. But when Salesforce launched Force.com, the company’s Platform as a Service in 2007, there wasn’t any model.

It turns out that Force.com was actually the culmination of a series of incremental steps after the launch of the first version of Salesforce in February, 2000, all of which were designed to make the software more flexible for customers. Company co-founder and CTO Parker Harris says that they didn’t have this goal to be a platform early on. “We were a solution first, I would say. We didn’t say let’s build a platform and then build sales-force automation on top of it. We wanted a solution that people could actually use,” Harris told TechCrunch.

The march toward becoming a full-fledged platform started with simple customization. That first version of Salesforce was pretty basic, and the company learned over time that customers didn’t always use the same language it did to describe customers and accounts — and that was something that would need to change.

Customizing the product


Source: TechCrunch

Watch two NASA astronauts work on ISS power system during spacewalk – CNET

You can watch it live now.
Source: CNET

Google VR controller patent adds location, orientation tracking – CNET

Addressing the problem of locating your hands in space.
Source: CNET

McLaren's in-house carbon fiber 'Monocell' heads to crash testing – Roadshow

It will eventually underpin a new generation of lighter, greener supercars.
Source: CNET

When and where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Fold – CNET

The Galaxy Fold is getting closer to launch — here’s what you need to know.
Source: CNET

GM investing $300 million to build a new electric Chevy in the U.S.

GM announced Friday it will invest $300 million into a Michigan factory to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle, reversing a decision to build the EV outside of the United States. The announcement comes on the heels of recent job cuts and plant closures by GM, moves that have complicated bargaining with union workers over a new four-year contract and has sparked intense criticism from President Donald Trump over a decision to end production at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio.

The automaker’s investment into its Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant — the same facility that already produces the all-electric Chevy Bolt — will add 400 new jobs. Orion Assembly, which employs about 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees, also produces the Chevrolet Sonic and the Cruise AV test vehicles.

GM isn’t revealing details about what the new electric vehicle will look like, cost, or any of its performance metrics. It will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the Bolt EV architecture, the company said. Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production.

This new Chevy EV is a separate effort within the company’s newly announced plans to turn Cadillac into an electric brand. Cadillac will be the first brand to get vehicles off a future EV platform, GM said.

GM says its decision to produce the EV in the U.S. was driven by rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement and because the new EV will be based of an advanced version of the Bolt’s architecture, which is made at Orion.

The announcement comes as GM makes adjustments to where it allocates resources in an effort to cut costs in certain areas and shifts funds towards other programs.

GM has been undergoing a transformation over the past four to five years, getting rid of expensive, money-losing programs like the Opel brand in Europe, and investing more into electrification and autonomous vehicle technology. It has also warned repeatedly of a coming downturn in the traditional automotive business.

In November, GM ramped up its belt-tightening measures with cuts to thousands of factory and white-collar workers, plant closures in North America and the elimination of several car models as it tries to transform into a nimble company focused on high-margin SUVs, crossovers and trucks, and investments in future products like electric and autonomous vehicles.

In addition to layoffs, GM’s unallocated plants have impacted some 2,800 U.S. hourly employees. GM emphasized Friday that the company has job openings at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants. Other GM manufacturing plants adding jobs include Flint, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Arlington, Texas; and Toledo, Ohio.

GM confirmed it has 2,700 openings across its U.S. manufacturing plants. To date, 1,100 employees have been placed at other GM plants, with several hundred more in the process of being placed in new jobs. In addition, 1,200 of these employees are retirement eligible.

The automaker also plans to add 1,000 jobs at the Flint Truck Assembly Plant.


Source: TechCrunch

Respondology helps brands and influencers hide toxic comments

“Don’t read the comments” is one of those cliches that sticks around because it’s still good advice — maybe the best advice. But the team at Respondology is trying to change that.

The company started out by helping brands find and respond to messages on social media. Senior Vice President of Sales Aaron Benor explained that in the course of that work, it also built a tool to mitigate “the vitriol, the awful toxicity of online social media.”

“We realized that the tool had a lot more legs than we thought, and we decided to pursue it full force and sunset the advertising business,” Benor said. “What really I love about this new product is that the big picture, long-term, is: We can put an end to cyberbullying.”

That’s a big goal, and to be clear, Respondology isn’t trying to reach it immediately. Instead, it’s launching a product called The Mod that allows individual brands and influencers to weed out toxic, trollish or spammy comments on Instagram and YouTube, rendering them invisible to most followers.

Benor explained that the product has two lines of defense. First, there’s automated keyword detection, where certain words will cause a comment to be flagged. The customer can decide which categories they want to filter out (“mild” or “severe” swearing, sexual references, racist remarks and so on), and they can also view and reinstate flagged comments from their Respondology dashboard.

Respondology settings

Respondology settings

Second, the company has built up a network of around 1,500 moderators who look at all the comments that aren’t flagged, and they can decide whether they’re appropriate to post. So even if a comment doesn’t use one of the red-flag keywords, a human can still catch it. (Customers that want to be extra careful can also turn on an option where multiple moderators vote on whether a comment should be hidden or posted.)

Benor demonstrated the system for me using a test Instagram account. I got to play the troll, posting several comments at his prompting. Each time, the comment was visible for just a few seconds before the Respondology system sprang into action and the comment disappeared.

When I posted profanity, it was automatically flagged and stayed hidden, while my other comments popped up in the moderation app — and if they were approved, they’d reappear on Instagram. All of this activity remained hidden from my account, where it just looked like my comments had been published normally.

Of course, the big social platforms have built their own moderation tools, but it seems clear that the problem remains unsolved. And even if platform moderation improves, Benor said, “This is an agnostic tool. [Our customers] have complete choice and control. This is not the platform saying, ‘This is what we’re going to offer you’; this is what’s going to work for you as a creator.”

We also discussed a recent story in The Verge highlighting the impact that moderating toxic content can have on people’s mental and emotional health. But Benor argued that while Facebook moderators have to spend most of their time dealing with “the worst of the worst,” Respondology’s team is mostly just approving innocuous commentary. Plus, they’re freelancers who only work when they want, and can stop at any time.

“We haven’t heard any negative feedback,” Benor added. “We all act as moderators ourselves — because what better way is there to know the product and understand it — and I’ve never been shocked by what I’ve seen.”

Respondology charges customers of The Mod based on the volume of comments. Benor said the pricing can range from “a few dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a month.”

Ultimately, he’s hoping to release a version for non-professional users too — so parents, for example, can automatically hide the worst comments from their kids’ online accounts.


Source: TechCrunch

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