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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Legal Scholar Tim Wu Says the US Must Enforce Antitrust Laws

Tim Wu, who coined the phrase “net neutrality,” supports Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to review big tech mergers.
Source: Wired

Did *Captain Marvel* Save Stan Lee's Best Cameo for Last?

The comic creator’s cameo in Marvel’s latest film winks at his joyful history of movie appearances.
Source: Wired

Talent Garden raises €44M to expand in cities ignored by the WeWork-style spaces

Finding myself talking at a startup conference in Kosovo three years ago (as one does), I realized how close I was to Albania, a place which held some fascination for me. I managed to grab a lift with a friendly techie to Tirana, where they arranged for me to speak to the local tech community. That meetup was held in a small co-working space called Talent Garden. It gradually transpired that, while WeWork and other such coworking/offices spaces were concentrating on New York and London, Talent Garden had been busily populating southern and eastern Europe with a network of spaces crisscrossing the continent.

That strategy has now paid off with their desire to raise money from investors. Today, it announces that it’s raised €44M ($49.5M) in a funding round led by Italian private equity firm Tamburi Investment Partners alongside Social Capital, Inadco Ventures and a range of European family offices. Tamburi previously led a €12 million funding round for Talent Garden in 2016.

The company, founded in Brescia, Italy in 2011, now plans to expand its coworking and education to places like Spain, Italy, Denmark, Austria and many more countries around Europe, focusing on second or third-tier cities where tech communities tend to grow fastest because costs are lower than in the major capitals.

Talent Garden’s chief executive and co-founder Davide Dattoli now plans to open 20 new international coworking campuses over the next 5 years and expand the scope of its “Innovation School” in digital training (as an analogy, think a combination of offices and General Assembly) and generating a “second tech ecosystem” around Europe outside London, Paris and Berlin. It’s also a licensee of the SingularityU Summit brand across Italy, Spain and Switzerland, for instance.

So far, it is now present in 8 countries and has 23 active campuses with the Talent Garden Innovation School present in 5 of those countries.

There will, however, be a particular focus on Spain with a brand new location in Madrid and Barcelona; France, with one opening planned in 2019; Italy, where it already has more than 10 campuses; and Austria, where it just recently opened.

In 2018, Talent Garden opened a new campus in Dublin as part of a strategic partnership with Dublin City University and also created a joint venture with Rainmaking Loft in Denmark, and has more than three locations across Copenaghen and is now looking for more locations in the Nordic region. Germany, Israel, Benelux and the CEE region are also within its sights. It won’t be ignoring San Francisco, however, with a kind of the “campus” project planned for next year.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla u-turns on store strategy, will keep half of showrooms open… and hike prices by 3%

It wouldn’t be Tesla if it didn’t keep us guessing a little… Electric car company Tesla announced that it is making a u-turn of sorts with its sales strategy. After saying at the end of February that it would close down nearly all of its 200-odd retail stores to sell its cars online-only in an effort to bring down the costs of vehicles, today Tesla announced that it would, in fact, keep an expanded number of showrooms open, reducing the closures to around half of the total number it has today.

In return, it will be hiking the prices of its pricier vehicles up by three percent to help support that. “Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th,” it noted, adding that the $35,000 Model 3 will not see a price increase. It will only apply to “the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X.”

(As background, when it announced the closures, Tesla reduced prices on these vehicles by six percent, so this is effectively a rise on that discount.)

The locations that will stay open, it should be noted, will be only showrooms: Tesla said it will still only sell cars online.

“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” the company said in a statement late Sunday.

The company closed 10 percent of locations in recent weeks, selecting stores “that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for.” Tesla said that those stores will remain closed, but a further selection of “high visibility” locations — it has a lot of stores in shopping malls and other places where it might pick up incidental traffic alongside those coming specifically with a purpose to see about a Tesla — which hadn’t been meeting sales targets, will now stay open.

A store by any other name

Tesla didn’t give details about how many stores will see a reversal of fortunes, or how many overall will be spared, except to note that about half will stay open.

The stores that have been designated to stay open at this point will have “smaller Tesla crews”, as they will operate more as showrooms, giving information but not selling anything, with people redirected to their phones to make transactions.

It’s sort of a semantic argument, whether these will really still be stores or not. Yes, it’s not clear if would-be buyers will be able to make those purchases at kiosks in stores (it seems like a wasted opportunity if they can’t, given cart abandonment that persists in online shopping). But they will be able to buy using their smartphones: “Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes.”

Further to this, buyers might be just as likely to drive away with a car as they have been in the past: “Stores will also carry a small number of cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately,” Tesla notes.

On top of the stores that have had an immediate stay of execution, it appears that the company is introducing a kind of stack ranking to figure out what to do next, where it will monitor how they perform to figure out which should stay and which should go. “There are another 20 percent of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open,” the company noted.

The company has been under scrutiny and accusations of stack ranking in the past when reducing its workforce. It has made several rounds of layoffs in the last year in an effort to bring the company to profitability and conserve costs as it focused on getting newer models out into the market — underscoring just how complicated the economies of scale can be for anything but the very biggest automakers, and how that compounds when the new entrant is working a disruptive variety of vehicle to boot.

No changes with today’s news to Tesla’s return policy, which covers 1,000 miles or seven days, whichever comes first, as a bypass on offering test drives.


Source: TechCrunch

Starling Bank to open second UK office, creating up to 150 tech and support jobs in Southampton

Starling Bank, the U.K. challenger bank founded by banking veteran Anne Boden, is to open a second U.K. office this summer, where it plans recruit up to 50 software engineers and up to 100 customer service team members. The planned location is Southampton, on the south coast of England, and will be Starling’s first office outside of London.

In a call with Boden late on Friday, she told me that the majority of its Southampton office will be new hires who will be helping to build out the challenger back’s business banking product. In just under a year, Starling has garnered more than 30,000 SME business account sign ups, adding to around 500,000 consumer current accounts.

The company plans to invest heavily in its business banking division over the next few years, partly off the back of being awarded a £100 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), which was set up by Royal Bank of Scotland to fulfil European state aid conditions arising from the bank’s £45 billion U.K. government bailout during the financial crisis.

Boden says that Southampton was chosen as Starling’s new office for its entrepreneurial spirit and high level of tech talent. She says the city is gaining a reputation as a “burgeoning tech hub” and has a growing skilled jobs market and good transport links, including to and from London.

More broadly, she wants Starling to “spread the fintech love” beyond its traditional base of London. There’s an increasing sense that U.K. tech is too London centric and that the country’s fast-growing tech sector and the employment opportunities it represents should be more even distributed.

To that end, Southampton was recently identified in research conducted by global service company CBRE as a technology “Super Cluster” based on the level, concentration and growth of tech sector employment in the city.

The city’s tech scene is also supported by the University of Southampton (where Tim Berners-Lee was previously Chair of Computer Science) and home to the Web Science Institute where Dame Wendy Hall is based. Nearby is also “innovation hub” Southampton Science Park, spanning 72 acres and housing a mixture of commercial offices, laboratories, and meeting and conferencing facilities.

Meanwhile, the news of a second Starling office comes a month after the challenger bank announced it had raised £75 million (~$97 million) in further funding. The new capital consisted of a £60 million Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including Merian Chrysalis, with £15 million in follow-on funding from Starling’s existing backer and major shareholder Harald McPike. It brings total funding to date for the London-based challenger bank to £133 million, not including the more recent £100 million CIF grant.

Further forward, I’m told Starling is also committed to opening a second regional contact centre to support its growing customer base of SME businesses and individual current account holders. There was previously talk that Wales, the country where Boden hails from, could be chosen, although the bank is also eyeing up the North of England and the Midlands.


Source: TechCrunch

NYPD has created pattern-recognition software to help it solve crimes

The NYPD is reportedly the first department in the U.S. to make use of special pattern-recognition software to help it solve crimes. “Patternizr” can link crimes across precincts, and saves investigators huge amounts of time.

The post NYPD has created pattern-recognition software to help it solve crimes appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Scientists discovered a new 'wallaby-sized' dinosaur in Australia – CNET

Apparently these small dinosaurs were “agile runners”.
Source: CNET

If The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air came out in 2019 – CNET

A fan-made film re-imagines the Fresh Prince for a new generation. I would watch this show.
Source: CNET

A strange deep-sea shark discovered almost 30 years ago, now has a name – CNET

Shark researcher Bradley Wetherbee named it Laila, after his 17-year-old daughter
Source: CNET

Star Wars Resistance episode 19: The First Order's reign allows No Escape (Part 1) – CNET

The first half of the season finale brings us to The Force Awakens’ darkest hour.
Source: CNET

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