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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

I refuse to stop buying CDs – CNET

In the midst of a chaotic world, I seek order in the form of a tremendously large CD collection.
Source: CNET

I fell in love with AirPods, then they fell down the drain – CNET

This must be how Chewie felt when Han died.
Source: CNET

Arlo Audio Doorbell review: Smart doorbell doesn't have everything I want – CNET

The $80 Audio Doorbell seems like a great deal at first glance, but you’ll need a separate Arlo camera to stream live video.
Source: CNET

How Github Is Helping Overworked Chinese Programmers

Chinese developers publish a license aimed at disrupting “996,” a 12-hour, six-day work schedule common among startups around the world.
Source: Wired

Audi's New Electric Car Factory Goes Green

Electric vehicles consume more energy than gasoline-powered rides during manufacturing. Audi’s new E-tron plant tries to change that.
Source: Wired

This Tiny Guillotine Decapitates Mosquitoes to Fight Malaria

To produce a malaria vaccine, technicians have to decapitate and dissect individual mosquitoes. Now they’ve got help: the mass mosquito guillotine.
Source: Wired

This Montana County Wants to Crimp Bitcoin to Save the Earth

Missoula County, Montana, commissioners are expected to approve a resolution that would require bitcoin mines to offset their energy use with renewables.
Source: Wired

China’s Tencent is raising $6 billion through a bond sale

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, is raising $6 billion after the Hong Kong-listed firm announced a new note sale today.

Tencent last tapped the markets when it raised $5 billion in January 2018. This time around, it is offering a five-tranche bond that is almost in line with reports earlier this week, which speculated that the Chinese giant would look to raise $5 billion. The notes will be issued on April 11, Tencent said.

It isn’t clear how the new capital will be spent — Tencent didn’t include details in its announcement and the company had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

“We have a strong balance sheet with significant cash position and a rich pool of listed securities. Going forward, we will continue to exercise discipline in our financial management and focus on maintaining the right balance between capital expenditure, investments and returns,” CFO John Lo said in a statement.

Tencent is most famous for WeChat, China’s go-to messaging app that has become the mobile internet in the country, in addition to its lucrative gaming business, as well fintech, cloud, social media and other verticals. It is also increasingly striking investment deals with companies outside of China, having backed the likes of Reddit, Snap and Tesla and a clutch of public Chinese businesses.

The company’s star rose to a peak at the end of 2017 when it became Asia’s first $500 billion company, but it has been a mixed journey since then. Tencent largely struggled to maintain its high standards last year as a Chinese government freeze on issuing new licenses for games cut into its money-making ability and left investors skittish.

There are positive signs in 2019, however. China’s game licensing process has resumed and the company returned to profit growth thanks to its investment in Meituan, which went public in a massive $4 billion IPO. A major reorganization was undertaken to lessen Tencent’s financial reliance on gaming and, while the most recent quarter disappointed overall, ’emerging’ business units like social media, cloud computing and fintech saw positive growth. The company’s stock price is up some 20 percent from the end of 2019, giving the firm a market cap of around $456 billion.


Source: TechCrunch

Filing Your Taxes? Watch Out for Phishing Scams

Online scammers love to target taxpayers, and their schemes range from posing as the IRS to pushing malware and fake tech support.
Source: Wired

Swedish fintech Zaver has raised $1.2M seed for its P2P payments platform

Zaver, a Swedish fintech that has built a payments platform to facilitate peer-to-peer trades and more, has picked up just over $1.2 million in seed funding. Backing the burgeoning startup are VC firms Inventure and Inbox Capital, as well as a number of relatively well-established angel investors.

They include Joen Bonnier (partner at Atomico), Tom Dinkelspiel, Pontus Hagnö, Fabian Hielte (owner of Ernström & C:o and a previous investor in Spotify and iZettle), Bo Mattsson (founder of Cint), and Fredrik Österberg (founder of Evolution Gaming).

Aiming to disrupt the market for p2p payment solutions, Zaver is developing a SaaS and accompanying apps to bring together buyers, sellers and merchants with the promise of “secure payments on your terms”. The fintech startup aims to facilitate trades between peers by enabling the use of flexible payment methods such as direct payments, “buy now, pay later” and instalments.

To support this, Zaver’s platform claims to embed “intelligent fraud detection” algorithms in tandem with the automatic creation of “verified digital agreements” between transacting parties.

“The Zaver app is the first platform independent checkout solution for p2p transactions,” says Amir Marandi, who co-founded Zaver alongside Linus Malmén — both former engineering students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

“With Zaver’s intelligent fraud prevention, automated and immediate credit decisions and cryptographically signed digital receipts, peers can do safe payments on their own terms with people they really don’t know that well,” he says. “We try to make p2p trades as safe as possible for all parties involved and offer flexible payment options, without compromising on the user experience”.

In addition, Zaver for Business enables merchants to utilise the platform to increase conversion and reduce transaction costs. “Our mission with this product is to reduce the need of a physical card reader,” adds Marandi.

Zaver’s typical user is described as a young student who wants to sell their iPhone on a classified site in a secure way, or a plumber who wants to buy a used VW Golf today, and pay later. Meanwhile, the typical customer of Zaver for Business is a company with omni-channel sales, selling products/services online and offline.

“Our main competitors are not the kind of business you might expect,” explains Marandi. “It’s not the banks, but rather upcoming startups wanting to innovate the payment industry. The most ‘direct competitor today I would say is the credit card industry”.

To that end, Zaver makes money from the transaction fees it charges merchants (which it says are up to 70 percent cheaper than traditional payment services), and on interest charged when someone chooses to pay via instalments.

Adds Marandi: “Using automated systems for the entire customer journey we are able to offer individualised interest rates at the point of sale. The system automatically chooses an interest rate for you, based on your creditworthiness”.


Source: TechCrunch

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