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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

One Boy’s Dream Vacation to Bauma, a Festival of Giant Construction Equipment

The author brought his 5-year-old son to the world’s largest building industry expo. “Hi, Dad,� he says from the seat of a hulking dump truck. “I’m ginormous!�
Source: Wired

How to Watch the 2020 Democratic Primary Debate Wednesday and Thursday

Twenty candidates. Two nights. A bunch of 60-second answers. Probably at least one meme. Here’s how to watch.
Source: Wired

The Democratic Debates Will Be About Climate—Disguised as Other Issues

Every issue the presidential hopefuls will debate this week is deeply tied to climate change. The question is what the candidates will do about it.
Source: Wired

Senators Want Facebook to Put a Price on Your Data. Is That Possible?

A bill introduced by senators Mark Warner and Josh Hawley would require big tech companies to disclose the data they collect and value it for each user.
Source: Wired

Apple might owe Samsung big after failing to sell enough iPhones – CNET

It didn’t buy enough OLED screens from Samsung Display, according to ETNews.
Source: CNET

EU opens formal antitrust probe of Broadcom and seeks interim order

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into US chipmaker Broadcom which it suspects of restricting competition via a number of exclusivity practices in markets where it holds a leading position such as for systems-on-a-chip, front-end chips and wifi chipsets.

Earlier this year press reports suggested US authorities are broadening their own antitrust probe of the company.

The FTC opened its investigation into Broadcom back in January 2018.

Commenting in a press release announcing the antitrust action against the chipmaker, the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said: “TV set-top boxes and modems are part of our daily lives, for both work and for leisure. We suspect that Broadcom, a major supplier of components for these devices, has put in place contractual restrictions to exclude its competitors from the market. This would prevent Broadcom’s customers and, ultimately, final consumers from reaping the benefits of choice and innovation. We also intend to order Broadcom to halt its behaviour while our investigation proceeds, to avoid any risk of serious and irreparable harm to competition.

The Commission has issued a formal statement of objections in which it sets out its preliminary conclusions and explains its reasons for seeking interim measures, saying (emphasis its) it believes that:

  • Broadcom is likely to hold a dominant position in various markets for the supply of systems-on-a-chip for TV set-top boxes and modems
  • certain agreements between Broadcom and seven of its main customers manufacturing TV set-top boxes and modems contain exclusivity provisions that may result in those customers purchasing systems-on-a-chip, front-end chips and WiFi chipsets exclusively or almost exclusively from Broadcom
  • the provisions contained in these agreements may affect competition and stifle innovation in these markets, to the detriment of consumers

The formal investigation could take several years to conclude and the Commission notes that the outcome is not prejudiced by preliminary findings nor any interim measures.

“The Commission has gathered information indicating that Broadcom may be implementing a range of exclusionary practices in relation to these products,” it writes. “These practices may include (i) setting exclusive purchasing obligations, (ii) granting rebates or other advantages conditioned on exclusivity or minimum purchase requirements, (iii) product bundling, (iv) abusive IP-related strategies and (v) deliberately degrading interoperability between Broadcom products and other products.

“As a result of concerns relating to these alleged practices by Broadcom, the Commission has decided to open a formal investigation.”

The Commission says it wants to impose interim measures to prevent the suspected anti-competitive behaviour from damaging the market “irreparably” — i.e. before a regulatory intervention could issue a corrective sanction, assuming it ends up deciding such action is necessary after the investigation has run its course.

Its assessment of the case found that the alleged competition concerns to be “of a serious nature and that Broadcom’s conduct may result in the elimination or marginalisation of competitors before the end of proceedings” — allowing it to meet the threshold for ordering interim measures under EU law.

The Commission says it has informed the chipmaker and the competition authorities of EU Member States that it has opened proceedings and of its intention to impose interim measures.

It’s not clear at this stage when such interim measures could be applied — with anything from several weeks to many months being possible.

Broadcom could also seek to appeal against them.

We’ve reached out to the company for comment. 

In recent years the semiconductor supplier has walked away from a proposed hostile takeover of mobile chipmaker Qualcomm after it was blocked by the Trump administration. It went on to shell out $18.9BN in cash to pick up IT management software and solutions provider, CA Technologies — in what looked like a bid to diversify its offerings.


Source: TechCrunch

Polar's new fitness watch analyzes your recovery when sleeping – CNET

The $230 Polar Ignite coaches you based on how well you rest.
Source: CNET

iOS 13: You can soon install, manage and download custom fonts for your iPhone – CNET

At long last, iOS 13 public beta brings something exciting to the table: custom fonts.
Source: CNET

How to use the new iPhone keyboard tool that revolutionizes typing in iOS 13 – CNET

QuickPath is Apple’s version of gesture typing, and it’s pretty great.
Source: CNET

India’s Unacademy raises $50 million to grow its online learning platform

Big money continues to flow in India’s growing education market. Bangalore-based Unacademy, which operates an online learning platform to help millions prepare for competitive exams in India, has raised $50 million to further scale its reach.

The Series D financing round was led by Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures, with Unacademy’s own co-founders Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini also participating in it. The new round means the startup has raised close to $90 million to date.

The four-year-old startup is aimed at students who are preparing for competitive exams to get into a college and those who are pursuing graduation level courses. Unacademy allows students to watch live classes from educators and later engage in sessions engage to go over topics in more detail. It has 10,000 registered educators and 13 million learners — up from 3 million a year ago.

The startup said it will use the new fund to expand the number of educators it has on the platform, and also add more exam courses, Unacademy CEO Munjal told TechCrunch. It will also improve its product and expand the team.

Unacademy began its journey as a YouTube channel, but has since expanded to its own app where it offers some courses for free and others through a recently launched subscription business. The subscription service — called Unacademy Plus Subscription — has 50,000 users.

Unacademy also maintains an archive of all the classes, giving students the option to reference to older lectures at any time through the app. The startup says YouTube is still its largest distribution channel. Overall, the platform sees more than 100 million monthly views across the platforms.

“We are seeing unprecedented growth and engagement from learners in smaller towns and cities, and are also very humbled to see that top-quality educators are choosing Unacademy as their primary platform to reach out to students. In the last few months, we have taken bigger strides toward achieving this mission. We have more than 400 top educators from across the country taking live classes every day on Unacademy Plus. This is available to every student, irrespective of their location,” said Munjal.

Unacademy competes with unicorn Byju’s, which is widely believed to be the largest edtech startup in the world with its valuation nearing $4 billion. Byju’s, which has more than 2.4 million paid subscribers (and over 30 million users), offers courses for students in kindergarten to year 12, in addition to those preparing for competitive under graduation level courses.

India has the largest population in the world in the age bracket of 5 to 24 years. The education space in the nation is estimated to grow to $35 billion in next six years.

In recent months, Unacademy has grown more aggressive with marketing. Last year it tied up with web producing house The Viral Fever to fund a show called “Kota Factory”, which revolves around the lives of students who are preparing to go to an engineering college. In the midst of it, Unacademy also offered low-cost, discounted subscription plans to attract users to its subscription platform.

Unacademy has presence in Indonesia as well, where as of last year, it had about 30 educators. The startup did not offer an update on how its international ambitions are holding up. A representative of Unacademy told TechCrunch recently that the platform does not rely on ads for monetization.


Source: TechCrunch

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