The investors and founders of Yellow, 99 Taxis and Didi will talk about the new mobility race at Startup Battlefield Latin America

In the nine months since Didi acquired the Brazilian ride-hailing startup 99 in a deal that valued the company at a reported $1 billion, the market for mobility and logistics startups in the Latin American region has changed dramatically.

The Didi deal was perhaps the first big acquisition for a Latin American startup in recent years, and a starting gun for what’s been an extremely competitive race among startup companies to win the hearts and minds of consumers across the region.

The past year has seen the on-demand delivery service Rappi raise $200 million at valuation north of $1 billion from investors including the Russian firm DST Global. And just weeks ago, the Sino-U.S. investment firm GGV led a $63 million investment into Yellow, a company launched by 99 co-founders Ariel Lambrecht and Renato Freitas.

That deal was the largest Series A investment in Latin America to date, and a potential harbinger of things to come, given that the early-stage Mexico City-based scooter on-demand service, Grin, raised $21 million from the Asian and U.S.-focused investment firm DCM. 

These deals also underscore the intensifying global competition between U.S. and Chinese technology companies and investors for larger shares of the worldwide market for technology-enabled goods and services.

Given all of the jockeying for position, we’re lucky to welcome to our inaugural Latin American event a group of investors and entrepreneurs to help us make sense of all these market moves.

Hans Tung, managing director, GGV Capital

Hans Tung, a managing partner at GGV Capital, has been on the Forbes Midas List six times (from 2013 to 2018) and is one of the top investors in Chinese startups (including Xiaomi and Musical.ly, acquired by Bytedance). Tung is also now investing in Latin America, having shepherded his firm’s investment in Yellow.

Yellow co-founders Ariel Lambrecht (who was one of the masterminds behind 99) and Eduardo Musa, who previously served as chief executive of the Brazilian bike brand Caloi, will also be on hand to give us their sense of the mobility market and the role foreign and domestic companies are playing.

Finally, Tony Qiu, the general manager of Didi in Latin America, will be on hand to give us his perspective on this increasingly strategic market for the company.

With the capital flowing and competition growing, this is certainly one panel that’s not to be missed at our Startup Battlefield Latin America event. Get your tickets here.

A Volcano Just Erupted On Indonesia’s Tsunami-Hit Island. Here’s What You Need To Know

Soputan, a volcano on the Indonesian island that was just hit by a quake and tsunami, is showing increasing signs of restlessness. Here’s what you need to know.

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones up close and hands-on

In an event defined largely by spec bumps to existing product lines, the Surface Headphones were certainly a surprise. For one thing, the company did an admirable job keeping them under wraps, in spite of numerous leaks for just about everything else shown off at the event.

For another thing, they’re freaking Surface Headphones. It’s just weird, man.

I will say, however, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the things. If you’d told me a couple of years back that Microsoft was releasing a pair of headphones that borrow heavily from the Surface line’s aesthetic, I probably would have kept walking.

But the company actually pulls them off pretty well, with a light gray aesthetic. They’re not the sexiest over the ear headphones, but they don’t look half bad. They’re also pretty comfortable, with generous over-ear cushioning and a lightweight design, so they won’t be a strain on the ears.

Unlike other portable Bluetooth headphones, they swivel freely, giving you a fair bit of movement in the process. Granted, the room was fairly cool, but they seem to breathe fairly well, so they shouldn’t be too stifling on a hot day.

I’m pretty happy with the headphones sound-wise. They’re rich and full with a decent low-end push. I’d like (and expect) to spend some more time with them in the near future, but so far so good — and the on-board noise canceling did a good job drowning out the scrum of nearby journalists.

I’m still getting used to the touch interaction. One tap plays and pauses, while holding down fires up Cortana — which is really one of the primary motivations for launching this product. Apple has AirPods, Google has Pixel Buds and now Microsoft has, well, headphones.

Cortana on a headset isn’t much of a standout for most users, but at least the company’s developed a fairly nice pair of $350 headphones to compete with the likes of Bose, Sony and Samsung. No word on exact release date, but the new Surface peripheral should be “coming soon.”

AMD needs perfection to justify share price rally: analysts

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Apple Store App Updated With Siri Shortcuts Support to Make Pre-Ordering iPhone XR Faster

Apple today updated its Apple Store app with support for Siri Shortcuts, which the company says can be used to make pre-ordering the upcoming iPhone XR with the iPhone Upgrade Program faster than ever.

When getting pre-approved for an iPhone XR, iPhone Upgrade Program members will see a new “Add to Siri” button that can be used to record a custom phrase like “pre-order my iPhone.”



Once pre-orders are available on October 19, customers can say the custom-made phrase and Siri will pull up their pre-approvals in the Apple Store app, allowing for quick order completion.

Other than the Siri Shortcut outlined by Apple, there do not appear to be other Apple Store Shortcut options available at this time. Full release notes for the update are below:

What’s New

iPhone Upgrade Program members can now use Siri Shortcuts for an even faster way to complete their iPhone XR pre-order on 10.19. Look for the ‘Add to Siri’ button while getting pre-approved, and record your own voice command, like “pre-order my iPhone.” Say your phrase when pre-order begins, and let Siri pull up your pre-approval in the Apple Store app so you can quickly complete your order.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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Facebook says hackers did not access other sites with its login

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that investigators have determined that hackers did not access other sites that use the social networking site’s single sign-on in a massive cyber attack that the company disclosed last week.

Manchester United held at home by Valencia in Champions League

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Five Useful Siri Shortcuts for iOS 12

The iOS 12 update brought a major new feature, Siri Shortcuts, which is designed to let you create voice and tap-activated automations that can complete multiple complex tasks in just a few seconds.

In our latest YouTube video, we’ve rounded up five Siri Shortcut options that we think most people will find interesting. These are a great place to start if you’re new to Shortcuts.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.


Siri Shortcuts are available in the Shortcuts section of the Settings app (Settings > Siri & Search) and through the dedicated Shortcuts app, but you can also find great options on Reddit and other websites. The Shortcuts below have been sourced from multiple places.

Calculate Tip – Perhaps one of the simplest Shortcuts available, Calculate Tip is available in the Shortcuts Gallery. When you activate this Shortcut, it will ask you the total bill and the amount that you want to tip (12%, 15%, 18%, or 20%) before providing you with the tip amount and the total bill with tip included.

Convert Burst to GIF – With Convert Burst to GIF, sourced from Reddit, you can take a series of burst photos with the iPhone camera by holding down on the capture button and then convert them into a GIF. There are also shortcuts for doing the same thing with a Live Photo in the Shortcuts Gallery.

Watch Music Video – The Watch Music Video Shortcut, also from Reddit, lets you detect the currently playing Apple Music song and then search for the accompanying music video on Apple Music. If a music video is found, it will open it up in the Apple Music app so you can watch it.

What’s Happening on Twitter – If you have the Twitter app installed, you can create a “See What’s Happening” Shortcut that will allow you to view Twitter’s Moments section with a Siri voice command. You can access this option by going to Settings > Siri & Search > Twitter > See All.

Dark Sky Weather – With Dark Sky installed, you can see a weather forecast with information pulled from Dark Sky through a Siri voice command. As with Twitter, you can get to this option through the Siri & Search section of the Settings app. Assigning a command like “What’s the weather today” to this third-party Shortcut will let you get weather data from Dark Sky rather than the built-in weather app when you ask Siri about the weather.

Many of the Shortcuts listed above can be tweaked and customized after you have downloaded them if desired, and you can assign Siri voice commands to activate them. For app-based Shortcuts, you can do this in the Settings app, and for longer Shortcuts that have multiple steps, you can add a Siri command in the Shortcuts app.

Do you have favorite Shortcuts that you’ve been using in iOS 12? Let us know in the comments and we may feature them in a future video.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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