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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

SXSW 2019 served up 3,000 pounds of cheese and now I don't feel so good – CNET

Grab a plate. We’re goin’ in.
Source: CNET

Bipartisan bill proposes oversight for commercial facial recognition

On Thursday, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt introduced a bill designed to offer legislative oversight for commercial applications of facial recognition technology. Known as the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act, the bill would obligate companies to inform consumers about any use of facial recognition and proposes limiting companies from freely sharing facial recognition data with third parties without first obtaining explicit user consent.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology,” Senator Blunt said of the bill. “That’s why we need guardrails to ensure that, as this technology continues to develop, it is implemented responsibly.”

Microsoft endorsed the bipartisan bill, which dovetails with some of the company’s own ideas about how facial recognition tech might be regulated. “We believe it’s important for governments in 2019 to start adopting laws to regulate this technology,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in December. “The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle.”

As The Hill points out, the proposed legislation does not include some of the same provisions around the use of facial recognition by law enforcement that Microsoft has mentioned previously, including the requirement of a court order to limit “ongoing government surveillance of specified individuals.” The bill instead focuses on risks specific to the commercial side of facial recognition tech. Other facial recognition legislation has been making the rounds at a state level in Microsoft’s home state this year with buy-in from the company.

“Our faces are our identities. They’re personal. So the responsibility is on companies to ask people for their permission before they track and analyze their faces,” Senator Schatz said of the proposed legislation. “Our bill makes sure that people are given the information and – more importantly – the control over how their data is shared with companies using facial recognition technology.”

Whether the bill goes anywhere or not, proposed legislation does provide insight into the regulatory trends bouncing around Congress at any given moment. As Microsoft’s involvement makes clear, facial recognition is another area of intense interest in which companies may seek to shape legislation before it becomes law.


Source: TechCrunch

YourChoice Therapeutics is developing unisex, non-hormonal birth control

The options available to women who want to avoid getting pregnant today are bad. Most, like the widely used birth control pill, feed man-made estrogen and progestin hormones to women, which are capable of causing a number of awful side effects.

YourChoice Therapeutics — a startup launched by a team of Berkeley researchers, including two experts in sperm physiology and sperm-egg interactions — dreams of producing a unisex, non-hormonal alternative to existing contraceptives. The company has raised $400,000 in funding to date, plus a $150,000 check from Y Combinator. YourChoice will make its big pitch at Y Combinator Demo Days next week.

It’s seeking $2 million in venture capital funding to continue research on its sperm cell-targeting novel method of contraception, as well as to build out its team of chemists. Founders Akash Bakshi and Nadja Mannowetz tell TechCrunch they plan to have a contraceptive ready to market by 2025. Together, with co-founder and advisor Dr. Polina V. Lishko of Berkeley’s department of cell and molecular biology, they hope to reach women and men all over the world, in the process tapping a market expected to be worth $37 billion by 2023.

“There are perhaps ways that we could cut that time in half or just get something to market,” said Bakshi, YourChoice’s chief executive officer, whose background is in technology commercialization, research and development within the life sciences industry. “But we need to do this right so that we can benefit as many women as possible.”

Their first product will be a vaginal contraceptive to be applied before intercourse, then, the startup plans to release oral contraceptives for both genders. The team has discovered that the natural compound lupeol is capable of blocking a protein on sperm that is required for fertilization. YourChoice‘s non-hormonal approach doesn’t impact a cells’ ability to function or gene expression, so women and men are not at an increased risk of blood clots, cancer or other side effects associated with mainstream birth control methods’ use of added hormones.

“The bottom line is men don’t have good options and women apparently have so many choices, yet they are all really bad,” Mannowetz, a Ph.D. in sperm physiology, told TechCrunch. “They’re all based on that over 60-year-old idea of hormone-based drugs.”

YourChoice’s planned debut product will be applied directly in the vagina during the period of the month in which the woman is fertile. Whether that be a tablet, a gel or some other form factor is still up in the air. YourChoice’s second product will be an oral contraceptive because they believe that is the most convenient, universally accepted method.

“For women who have an implant … I understand that this might be a step backward, but women who have been on the pill for decades, for them, it wouldn’t be a big change,” Mannowetz said. “We totally understand we will not serve every woman out there but we need to get started with a product and then take it from there.”

“If the last 60 years have taught us anything, it’s that delivery is something that can continue to be developed,” she continued. “We need to develop a new mode of action.”

There are a number of startups innovating in the contraception space, as TechCrunch has written, though most of those businesses are focused on the access problem. Birth control can be very difficult for many to access and startups like The Pill Club or Nurx solve that problem by delivering the pill directly to women’s doorsteps. Other early-stage companies in the space lack experts in the field of reproductive biology necessary to improve contraceptive options. YourChoice’s team says seeking change to the actual medication with an advanced team sets them apart from other upstarts.

For YourChoice, it helps that venture capital investment in the reproductive tech space is increasing, making this a great time for YC to support these businesses (YourChoice isn’t the only reproductive tech startup in the latest YC cohort) and for YourChoice to successfully nab private investment.

“I personally think the industry is satisfied; they are making really good money, right? So why should they change anything,” Mannowetz said. “Millennials are the starting point of change happening. I think now, women stand up and say, ‘we are sick of it.’ ”


Source: TechCrunch

Cinco años de moratoria para experimentos hereditarios con CRISPR

Algunos de los mayores expertos en edición genética han firmado una carta en la que piden un aplazamiento voluntario para evitar más casos como el del investigador chino que trajo al mundo a dos bebés modificadas genéticamente
Source: MIT

Cómo paliar el cambio climático con 'acordeones' que aspiran CO2

Klaus Lackner lleva dos décadas trabajando en estas extrañas máquinas para capturar carbono. Aunque al principio nadie apoyaba su enfoque, sus recientes avances y la falta de voluntad para reducir las emisiones la sitúan como una de las pocas opciones para luchar contra el calentamiento global
Source: MIT

Red Hydrogen One phone to get 'radically' redesigned with pro cameras – CNET

One of the wildest phones last year is getting a do over.
Source: CNET

Slack takes down 28 accounts tied to hate groups – CNET

The company will update its terms of service to reflect its policy on illegal and harmful activity.
Source: CNET

How to Watch Tesla’s Model Y Reveal Tonight

Elon Musk takes the stage tonight to show off his automaker’s new baby SUV—here’s what we know and how to stay up to speed.
Source: Wired

Tesla’s new accounting chief has SolarCity roots

Tesla has turned to two insiders to manage and oversee the company’s finances.

The automaker officially tapped as its next chief financial officer Zachary Kirkhorn, a longtime employee who has been part of the automaker’s finance team for nine years, according to securities filings posted Thursday. The automaker also appointed Vaibhav Taneja, who led the integration of Tesla and SolarCity’s accounting teams, as its chief accounting officer. Taneja, who will report to Kirkhorn, will oversee corporate financial reporting, global accounting functions and personnel.

Taneja replaces Dave Morton, who resigned from Tesla in August a month after taking the job.

Kirkhorn’s new role was mentioned during the company’s earnings call in January when CEO Elon Musk announced that CFO Deepak Ahuja would be retiring. Ahuja was Tesla’s CFO from 2008 to 2015, and was replaced by Jason Wheeler. Ahuja returned in 2017 after Wheeler stepped down.

“There is no good time to make this change,” Ahuja said at the time. He noted that after two back-to-back profitable quarters, now might be the best time. Musk said Ahuja would likely stay on as a senior advisor “for probably years to come.”

Kirkhorn first joined Tesla in March 2010, moving up through various roles in the company’s finance department. He left between 2011 and 2012 to earn an MBA degree from Harvard Business School . His most recent role was as VP of Finance.

Kirkhorn will receive a stock option grant of $12 million and a restricted stock unit grant of $4 million, which will be granted and will vest over four years in accordance with Tesla’s standard equity policies, according to the securities filing posted Thursday.

Taneja was most recently Tesla’s corporate controller. His employment with the automaker began through SolarCity, the solar company that Tesla acquired in 2016. Taneja was vice president of SolarCity’s accounting department until February 2017. He then served as Tesla’s assistant corporate controller between February 2017 and May 2018 before taking the lead position.

Taneja will receive a stock option grant of $6 million and a restricted stock unit grant of $2 million, which will be granted and will vest over four years.


Source: TechCrunch

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Pro Gaming router keeps you connected at a nice price

Netgear’s latest router expands its Nighthawk range with a $200 entry. It’s still fast and helps reduce lag in gaming, but it does it at the lowest price of a Nighthawk Pro Gaming router yet.

The post Netgear’s new Nighthawk Pro Gaming router keeps you connected at a nice price appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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