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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Pixel 3 phones aren't selling, and it's probably Verizon's fault – CNET

Commentary: Google’s carrier exclusive with Verizon isn’t doing Pixel sales any favors.
Source: CNET

These Super-Precise Clocks Help Weave Together Space And Time

Insanely precise atomic clocks are letting astrophysicists image black holes, steer spacecraft, and maybe one day hunt for gravitational waves.
Source: Wired

The Woman Who Saved John McAfee from an Epically Bad Deal

He was going to sell his antivirus software company to Symantec for $20 million. But Sonja Hoel had a smarter, better offer.
Source: Wired

OpenAI Wants to Make Ultra-Powerful AI. But Not in a Bad Way

OpenAI, a research institute cofounded by Elon Musk, aims to create artificial intelligence that’s better than people at everything.
Source: Wired

The best 17-inch laptop bags for gamers, professionals, and photographers

Having trouble with your brick of a laptop? We’ve rustled up the best 17-inch bags, packs, and cases around to store your desktop-replacement for every type of travel, whether you’re a gamer or professional.

The post The best 17-inch laptop bags for gamers, professionals, and photographers appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The best laptop cooling pads for 2019

Check out the best laptop cooling pad models (equipped with fans and USB ports) for keeping your on-the-go gaming or work laptop cooled down — especially if it tends to overheat at the worst moments.

The post The best laptop cooling pads for 2019 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Struggling grocery startup Honestbee fires its CEO

The changes continue to roll at Honestbee. Fresh from pausing operations in four countries and announcing plans to lay off 10 percent of staff, the Singapore-based online grocery startup has let CEO Joel Sng go, two sources with knowledge of his exit told TechCrunch.

Sng, who co-founded Honestbee back in 2015 and previously served as an advisor with its investor Formation 8, cleared his desk and vacated his office yesterday, according to sources.

Honestbee declined to comment.

Isaac Tay, another co-founder, left the company last year while the last remaining co-founder is Jonathan Low, who leads Honestbee’s engineering team.

Sng’s apparent exit comes after we reported that Honestbee had told staff that it is in the process of securing funding that it claims will provide an additional year of runway for the business. Sources who spoke to TechCrunch said it has not been announced how much that funding is, or which investor is providing it.

Honestbee had held acquisition talks with Grab, Go-Jek and others in recent weeks.

Honestbee co-founder Joel Sng [Image via LinkedIn]

It isn’t immediately clear who will take over from Sng. Sources previously told TechCrunch that Sng’s right man is Roger Koh, whose LinkedIn lists his current job as a principal with Formation 8. Formation 8 led Honestbee’s $15 million Series A round in 2015. The fund has since shut down and its stake appears to have transferred to Formation Group, according to the firm’s website.

Filings show that Honestbee has raised at least $46 million since that Series A. Its high burn rate suggests it may have raised even more, but nothing has been announced or filed while former staff have told TechCrunch that only Sng and Koh have access to financial details.

The company is going through some turbulent times. We reported last week that a cash crash — not helped by a burn rate of $6.5 million per month — had left suppliers unpaid, payroll for April uncertain and morale low among Honestbee’s estimated 1,000 staff.

The company said yesterday announced a series of cost-cutting measures that will see it temporarily cease business in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines while it conducts a review. It has also stopped offering food delivery, an additional service it launched in recent years, in Thailand and Hong Kong.


Source: TechCrunch

Samsung Ventures’ first investment in Southeast Asia is HR startup Swingvy

Samsung Ventures, the VC arm of the Korean electronics giant, has made its first investment in Southeast Asia after it backed HR startup Swingvy.

Singapore-based Swingy’s service provides HR services, payroll and insurance for SMEs on a freemium basis. The company announced this week that it raised $7 million that was led by the Samsung arm with participation from Aviva Ventures — from insurance firm Aviva — and Bass Investment. Existing investors Walden International and Big Basin Capital, which financed a previous $1.6 million round, also took part.

Founded in 2016, Swingvy claims to work with over 5,100 companies across Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. Those customers, some of which do not pay, have a cumulative user base of over 100,000 employees.

“Our target customer is SMEs not enterprise,” Jin Choeh, who is CEO and one of three Swingvy co-founders, told TechCrunch in an interview. “There are some local players, some legacy players and some startup competitors, but generally we saw that there’s no market leader for HR tech in Southeast Asia.”

The service itself covers areas such as an employee directory, processes for leave, performance management, company calendar, HR reporting, payroll and benefits. On the latter, Swingvy offers health insurance through partnerships with third-parties — Choeh said it is a licensed insurance agent. He said that new features coming soon include claims (for expenses and payments) while further down the line will be monthly insurance and corporate cards.

It is quite common for HR and other ‘base-level’ SME services to develop marketplaces that match their customers with third-party providers — we’ve seen that in Japan among very mature players, for example — but Swingvy isn’t going down that route. Choeh explained that it will consider offering its own services in areas where it believes it can give value to customers and control the quality and experience directly.

More broadly, the startup is aiming to triple its customer base to 15,000 this year thanks to this new injection of capital.

The initial focus is on hiring — Swingy plans to grow its headcount of 23 to over 60 this year — and more “aggressive” sales growth. That’ll mean bringing in a dedicated sales team, increasingly online advertising spend to reach new customers and being more visible around event marketing.

“Sales and marketing has been less than 10 percent of our spend,” said Choeh. “We’ve proved our model is quite cost efficient and we believe it is time to raise sales and marketing efforts.”

There’s no immediate plan to expand to new markets, but the Swingvy CEO said his company is eyeing potential expansions in 2020. Potential countries include Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, he said. Indonesia — Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country — is also under review, but Choeh said his team is aware that it is hyper-competitive while the market for paid SME products is particularly challenging.

What of the relationship with Samsung? For now, the relationship is financial rather than strategic, but Choeh admitted that there could be opportunities to work closely together in the future.


Source: TechCrunch

A mini-series on the Thai cave rescue is heading to Netflix

The rescue of a boys soccer team from caves in Thailand captivated the world last year, and now a mini-series chronically the incredible scenes is headed to Netflix .

The streaming giant announced this week that it has secured the rights from 13 Thumluang Company, which represents the boys and their coach, “to tell the true story of how they were rescued after being trapped for two weeks inside of the flooded Tham Luang caves.”

Netflix has partnered with Crazy Rich Asians team SK Global Entertainment and Jon M. Chu, the production house and director behind the smash film, to bring the as-yet-unnamed series to its platform. Thai director Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya, whose credits include Bad Genius, will also help lead the project.

There’s no word on how much Netflix has paid for the project, but Thai newspaper The Nation reported that the team plans to donate 20 percent of their earnings to charity “because the families and the boys recognize they have been helped and supported by so many people.”

“This is an opportunity for me as a filmmaker — and also a Thai citizen — to write a Thank you letter to the rest of the world,” said Poonpiriya in a statement.

“The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally-resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences,” added said Erika North, who is director of international originals at Netflix.

Indeed, the story is one that fits snuggly inside Netflix’s strategy of telling local stories to the world. With nearly 150 million subscribers worldwide, it is a formidable outlet for storytelling.

The company often plays up how popular local content in markets like Korea, Latin America and other places is with its viewers across the world. The Thai cave story already has a global backdrop, so we can expect that’ll get big numbers when it is released.

On that, there’s no date right now but it’ll be some time since the production team has only just been confirmed.

That gives us plenty of time to ponder how perennial tech genius/panto villain Elon Musk, who waded into the saga and proceeded to insult one of the rescuing divers, will be portrayed. Answers on a postcard, please.


Source: TechCrunch

Galaxy Fold screen mess: Sucking up to buyers might be Samsung's best way out – CNET

Commentary: Samsung has one chance to get its major foldable phone do-over right. Handing out perks is the least it can do.
Source: CNET

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