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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

MWC 2019: All the phones and gadgets we cared about – CNET

Here are the phones and gadgets you can look forward to this spring and summer.
Source: CNET

Watch SpaceX's Crew Dragon return from the space station tonight – CNET

See the Demo-1 capsule overcome one last challenge as it navigates undocking and an ocean splashdown.
Source: CNET

Marvel Cinematic Universe songs ranked: Everything from Led Zeppelin to Marvin Gaye – CNET

And no, the best one isn’t from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Source: CNET

Captain Marvel post-credits scenes, explained – CNET

The first one is a doozy. The second one, cute.
Source: CNET

Stranger Things theme is hauntingly beautiful in new classical cover – CNET

Jurassic Park and The Legend of Zelda are treated to classical remix goodness too.
Source: CNET

Leica’s Q2 is a beautiful camera that I want and will never have

Leica is a brand I respect and appreciate but don’t support. Or rather, can’t, because I’m not fabulously rich. But if I did have $5,000 to spend on a fixed-lens camera, I’d probably get the new Q2, a significant improvement over 2015’s Q — which tempted me back then.

The Q2 keeps much of what made the Q great: a full-frame sensor, a fabulous 28mm F/1.7 Summilux lens, and straightforward operation focused on getting the shot. But it also makes some major changes that make the Q2 a far more competitive camera.

The sensor has jumped from 24 to 47 megapixels, and while we’re well out of the megapixel race, that creates the opportunity for a very useful cropped shooting mode that lets you shoot at 35, 50, and 75mm equivalents while still capturing huge pixel counts. It keeps the full frame exposure as well so you can tweak the crop later. The new sensor also has a super low native ISO of 50, which should help with dynamic range and in certain exposure conditions.

Autofocus has been redone as well (as you might expect with a new sensor) and it should be quicker and more accurate now. Ther’s also an optical stabilization mode that kicks in when you are shooting at under 1/60s. Both features that need a little testing to verify they’re as good as they sound, but I don’t expect they’re fraudulent or anything.

The body, already a handsome minimal design in keeping with Leica’s impeccable (if expensive) taste, is now weather sealed, making this a viable walk-around camera in all conditions. Imagine paying five grand for a camera and being afraid to take it out in the rain! Well, many people did that and perhaps will feel foolish now that the Q2 has arrived.

Inside is an electronic viewfinder, but the 2015 Q had a sequential-field display — meaning it flashes rapidly through the red, green, and blue components of the image — which made it prone to color artifacts in high-motion scenes or when panning. The Q2, however, has a shiny new OLED display with the same resolution but better performance. OLEDs are great for EVFs for a lot of reasons, but I like that you get really nice blacks, like in an optical viewfinder.

The button layout has been simplified as well (or rather synchronized with the CL, another Leica model), with a new customizable button on the top plate, reflecting the trend of personalization we’ve seen in high-end cameras. A considerably larger battery and redesigned battery and card door rounds out the new features.

As DPReview points out in its hands-on preview of the camera, the Q2 is significantly heavier than the high-end fixed-lens competition (namely the Sony RX1R II and Fuji X100F, both excellent cameras), and also significantly more expensive. But unlike many Leica offerings, it actually outperforms them in important ways: the lens, the weather sealing, the burst speed — it may be expensive, but you actually get something for your money. That can’t always be said of this brand.

The Leica Q2 typifies the type of camera I’d like to own: no real accessories, nothing to swap in or out, great image quality and straightforward operation. I’m far more likely to get an X100F (and even then it’d be a huge splurge) but all that time I’ll be looking at the Q2 with envious eyes. Maybe I’ll get to touch one some day.


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix star and tidying expert Marie Kondo is looking to raise $40M

Marie Kondo, the woman who stole millions of Netflix viewers hearts this year with her show, “Tidying Up,” is in talks to raise up to $40 million in venture capital funding to scale KonMari, the business behind her personal brand, books and TV series.

The round, first reported by The Information, wouldn’t be KonMari’s first infusion of venture investment, surprisingly. Last year, the company closed a small funding round led by top-tier VC fund Sequoia Capital, TechCrunch confirmed. A spokesperson for the business told TechCrunch KonMari isn’t commenting on fundraising at this time.

Sources have also confirmed with TechCrunch that Kondo is indeed on the fundraising circuit again, with plans to build an ecommerce platform.

“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” debuted on Netflix on January 1, 2019 to near-instant success, spurring a wave of internet-fandom for Kondo with her catchphrase “does it spark joy?” and efficient method of cleaning and organizing. The KonMari Method encourages cleaners to tidy by category, starting with clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items. “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go,” Kondo explains on her website.

KonMari was founded in 2015 by Kondo and her husband, Takumi Kawahara.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Voatz, the blockchain-based voting app, gets another vote of confidence as Denver agrees to try it

A controversial blockchain-based mobile voting app called Voatz is getting put to the test again.

The city of Denver revealed today that it has agreed to implement a mobile voting pilot in its May municipal election using the four-year-old, Boston-based startup’s technology. It will be offered exclusively to active-duty military, their eligible dependants and overseas voters using their smartphones.

All were notified that they can use Voatz via a newsletter this morning, along with a link to sign up to participate if they so choose.

Voatz — which had raised $2.2 million in funding led by the venture arm of Overstock.com last year — says it has conducted more than 30 successful pilots already. Two of these in West Virginia attracted the financial backing of Tusk Philanthropies, the philanthropic operation of investor, operator and strategist Bradley Tusk, who was featured last year in The New Yorker for his involvement in both efforts.

One was a small pilot project in West Virginia that gave overseas citizens and members of the military stationed abroad access to Voatz to cast ballots on their phones, though it was open only to residents of two counties. The technology was put to the test again in last November’s mid-term elections, in which nearly 150 people voted from 24 out of the state’s 55 counties.

We talked with Tusk in early December about both efforts and about Voatz more generally, which Tusk hasn’t used but whose mission of enabling more people to vote, more easily, he aggressively advocates. Though mobile voting, blockchain-based apps and Voatz in particular have been criticized as potentially vulnerable to hacking, Tusk spent the first 20 years of his career in politics, and in his view, unless more people are empowered to “advocate politically” from their phones, politicians will continue to respond to the far smaller number of voters who actually show up at the polls.

Tusk also believes Voatz works, having hired outside examiners to assess the first West Virginia pilot, including Andre McGregor, a former FBI cyber special agent who is now the global head of security for TLDR, a company that specializes in blockchain technology. It may explain why, in partnering with the city of Denver and the National Cybersecurity Center, a federal agency that was created as an office within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security back in 2008, Tusk Philanthropies again invited Voatz as a partner in Denver’s mobile voting endeavor. (A spokesperson for Tusk Philanthropies tells us that Colorado has also explored developing an open-source mobile voting platform but that it simply doesn’t exist yet.)

Certainly, it’s conceivable that Voatz is no less secure than existing options for overseas military personnel, who often submit their votes via email. With Voatz, ballots are transmitted between up to 32 “permissioned” computers that have to agree algorithmically that a ballot is legitimate before it gets recorded and counted, and this only after a voter has been identified through numerous other steps. Among these: a voter must provide a phone number and an eight-digit pin and submit a photo of his or her driver’s license. The voter must then they shoot and submit a video of their face, which is then processed by facial recognition technology that can confirm (or not confirm) that the face in the video belongs to the same person registered as a state voter.

To assuage any lingering concerns, the city of Denver will additionally conduct its own audit. Meanwhile, Tusk Philanthropies will work with a cybersecurity partner ShiftState to conduct an independent audit, in addition to the internal audit done by of Voatz.

The city of Denver says that 4,000 international voters are eligible to use the app.

Interestingly, despite the efficiencies Voatz promises, the voting process still won’t be an easy one. Fully 65 candidates have tossed their hats in the ring for public offices, according go the region’s city magazine, 5280. And while far-flung military personnel may be using a blockchain-based app, the placement of each mayoral candidate on the ballot will be determined in decidedly old-school fashion — by drawing their names out of a bingo-ball turner.


Source: TechCrunch

Huawei Sues the US, Prodding It to Prove Suspicions

The lawsuit by Huawei faces long odds but could force the US to show any evidence around backdoors and spying.
Source: Wired

SoftBank’s solar-powered drone could dispense 5G internet from the skies

An experimental, solar-powered drone capable of beaming internet down to Earth is set to take off. The drone is the product of a partnership aimed at delivering 5G and Internet of Things connectivity to communities around the world.

The post SoftBank’s solar-powered drone could dispense 5G internet from the skies appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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