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Group-edited weblog about technology start-ups, particularly the Web 2.0 sector.

Marijuana soda startup California Dreamin' wants to replace booze  

“Enjoy a light, social high,” says the funky bottle of California Dreamin’ cannabis -infused sparkling pomegranate juice. Launching today at Y Combinator Demo Day, California Dreamin’ is serving up an alcohol alternative that still gets you lit, but without the same hangover or health issues. Each bottle contains 10 milligrams of THC — an industry-standard […]

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2018-03-19 21:55:41

Selling data on millions 'is the opposite of our business model,' says Facebook's Boz  

Facebook's former VP of ads has weighed in on the ongoing disaster involving his company's apparent negligence in allowing data on as many as 50 million users to be used for nefarious purposes by Cambridge Analytica. In a post on (what else) Facebook, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth gave variations on the line we've come to expect from tech in these situations: They're not supposed to do that, and anyway how could we have known?

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2018-03-19 21:40:26

The Podcast App aims to be the simplest way to listen to podcasts  

While it sometimes feels like everyone has a podcast nowadays, the truth is that most Americans still don’t listen to podcasts regularly. The Y Combinator-backed team behind The Podcast App is planning to change that. And yes, that’s the app’s real name. Co-founder and CEO Martín Siniawski argued that most existing podcast apps were built years ago, “when […]

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2018-03-19 20:54:45

Instagram Stories gets 'quote tweet'-style feed post resharing  

Instagram’s next big Stories feature could let you compliment or trash talk other people’s feed posts, or embed a “see post” button to promote your own. A TechCrunch reader sent us these screenshots of the new feature, which Instagram confirmed to us is appearing to a small subset of users. "We’re always testing ways to […]

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2018-03-19 20:47:08

IBM working on 'world's smallest computer' to attach to just about everything  

IBM is hard at work on the problem of ubiquitous computing, and its approach, understandably enough, is to make a computer small enough that you might mistake it for a grain of sand. Eventually these omnipresent tiny computers could help authenticate products, track medications, and more.

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2018-03-19 16:30:17

Color rolls out a test to try to search for hereditary risk for heart conditions like arrhythmia  

Color is looking to add a new test to its line of genetic testing, this time focusing on hereditary factors that may affect a person’s chance for being prone to cardiovascular complications like arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Called the heart health test, Color’s new test looks to isolate the genes that can be partially responsible for […]

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2018-03-19 16:14:55

Government agencies react to Uber's fatal self-driving car accident  

Earlier today, news broke of a fatal crash involving one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona. In response, Uber halted its self-driving car programs where it currently operates, including in Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco and Phoenix. The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and others have since […]

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2018-03-19 15:18:29

YouTube is testing a picture-in-picture mode on the desktop  

Some YouTube users on the web have been opted in to a test of a new picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to continue watching a YouTube video in a small window even as you navigate elsewhere on YouTube’s website. A similar feature already exists today on YouTube’s app for both iOS and Android. The site […]

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2018-03-19 13:53:34

Walmart to sell Handy's in-home installation and assembly services in over 2,000 stores  

Walmart this morning announced a partnership with home services provider Handy, which will allow customers to purchase in-home installation and assembly assistance in over 2,000 of Walmart’s stores. News of the deal follows IKEA’s recent launch of its own in-home assembly service through TaskRabbit. It will also challenge Amazon’s growing Home Services business, which includes assembly […]

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2018-03-19 13:40:32


Facebook is using us. It is actively giving away our information. It is creating an echo chamber in the name of connection. It surfaces the divisive and destroys the real reason we began using social media in the first place – human connection. It is a cancer. I’ve begun the slow process of weaning myself […]

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2018-03-19 13:23:53

Sierra Leone government denies the role of blockchain in its recent election  

The National Electoral Commission Sierra Leone has come out with a clarification to – and, an outright condemnation – of the news that theirs was one of the first elections recorded to the blockchain. While the blockchain voting company Agora claimed to have run the first blockchain-based election, it appears that the company did little […]

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2018-03-19 13:02:17

Facebook hired a forensics firm to investigate Cambridge Analytica as stock falls 7%  

Hoping to tamp down the furor that erupted over reports that its user data was improperly acquired by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has hired the digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg to perform an audit on the political consulting and marketing firm. In a statement, Facebook said that Cambridge Analytica has agreed to comply and give Stroz Friedberg access to […]

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2018-03-19 11:58:27

Google Play Instant lets you try games without having to install them  

Last year, Google launched Instant Apps, a way for developers to give users a native app experience that didn’t involve having to install anything. Users would simply click on a link on the search results page and the instant app would load. Today, the company is extending this program to games. Thanks to this, you […]

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2018-03-19 10:37:58

Facebook shares drop 4.4 percent following Cambridge Analytica debacle  

Facebook has been at the center of a hectic debate about Cambridge Analytica and the company's improper use of Facebook data. As a result, Facebook shares (NASDAQ:FB) opened at $177.01, down 4.4 percent compared to Friday's closing price of $185.09. Share prices are still going down after the opening bell. NASDAQ as a whole is […]

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2018-03-19 09:10:52

Meltwater has acquired DataSift to double down on social media analytics  

In a week when all eyes are on Facebook and the subject of how data about us on social media platforms gets used without us knowing, there’s been some consolidation afoot in the world of media-based big data services. DataSift, the London-based company that pulls data from conversations across social, news and blog platforms, anonymises it, […]

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2018-03-19 08:56:36

This 3D-printing startup helps orthodontists straighten your teeth  

It's time to welcome another startup to the clear teeth aligner market. Meet ArchForm, a Y Combinator-backed teeth aligner software startup that lets orthodontists create, design and 3D print aligners within their own offices. The idea is to provide orthodontists with a way to better compete against some direct-to-consumer teeth aligner startups and cut down […]

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2018-03-19 08:51:39

Desktop Metal gets another $65 million in a round led by Ford  

Desktop Metal has had no issues raising interest (or funding) in the manufacturing world. The metal 3D printing company announced today that it's score another $65 million in backing, bringing its total to $277 million. This latest round was led by Ford, and also includes addition money from previous backer, Future Fund.  Ford's interest in […]

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2018-03-19 08:45:57

Biomedical startup AesculaTech is creating a new, more patient-friendly drug delivery system  

"Reverse chocolate" — that's how AesculaTech co-founder and chief science officer Niki Bayat describes the material created by its proprietary technology. Chocolate is solid until heated, when it melts deliciously into liquid. AesculaTech's material, on the other hand, is a liquid at low temperatures, turns into a gel when heated and then reaches its final, […]

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2018-03-19 08:29:42

Facebook lets all PC games Live stream and reward viewers  

Facebook is challenging Twitch and YouTube for video game live streaming supremacy with the release of its new Games SDK for PC. After testing Live streaming from games like Overwatch from developers like Blizzard since 2016, today Live broadcasting from PC games to the News Feed opens to all developers. And Facebook will let them […]

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2018-03-19 08:29:35

Internet Archive adds trove of cheap LCD handhelds to its emulation collection  

During CES, the single piece of electronics I spent the most time with, apart from my laptop and camera, was a Mattel Dungeons & Dragons Computer Fantasy Game handheld. These cheap handhelds, sold as impulse buys at drug stores and Toys 'R Us (RIP), are the latest thing to be collected and emulated in full by MAME and the Internet Archive.

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2018-03-19 07:59:59

Rylo's shoot first, frame later camera is ideal for casual adventure-seekers  

Action cameras are a gadget that mostly cater to a person’s wish to see themselves in a certain way: Most people aren’t skiing off mountains or cliff diving most of the time, but they aspire to. The issue with most action cameras, though, is that even when you actually do something cool, you still have […]

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2018-03-19 07:37:39

Google alums launch Maslo, a digital companion to mediate technology's uncanny valley  

Earlier this month, two former Google staffers quietly launched a new app that’s designed to help users overcome technology’s uncanny valley and develop a more healthy relationship with the ubiquitous electronic assistant that “lives” in our pockets. Called Maslo, the new app (and the company behind it), in the words of its founders, was built […]

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2018-03-19 07:24:05

Players Lounge lets gamers make money off their eSports skills  

Online gamers love to talk a big game, but how willing are they to put their money with their mouth is? Players Lounge is a home for gamers looking to make friendly wagers with strangers and friends in head-to-head matches. When we first covered the startup back in 2015, the team was getting people together […]

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2018-03-19 07:15:41

Here's how Uber's self-driving cars are supposed to detect pedestrians  

A self-driving vehicle made by Uber has struck and killed a pedestrian. It's the first such incident and will certainly be scrutinized like no other autonomous vehicle interaction in the past. But on the face of it it's hard to understand how, short of a total system failure, this could happen when the entire car has essentially been designed around preventing exactly this situation from occurring.

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2018-03-19 07:12:04

eBay's new AR tool helps sellers find the right box for their item  

It looks like someone found a practical use case for AR that’s not about trying on makeup or catching Pokemon. Ebay today introduced a new AR-powered feature that helps sellers figure out the best box to use for shipping their items to buyers. The technology works with a range of products, the company says, including […]

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2018-03-19 07:01:09

LinkedIn now lets job seekers ask for referrals with a click of a button  

LinkedIn this morning is rolling out a new feature for job searchers that allows them to better leverage their network of connections when looking for a new job. The company is introducing “Ask for a Referral,” which places a button next to the jobs where you know people who work at the company advertising open […]

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2018-03-19 06:10:34

Microsoft is adding a bunch of accessibility features to Windows 10  

Microsoft plans to bring a number of new features for users with visual impairment to Windows 10, the company announced in a blog post earlier today. Chief among the updates, which are due out with the next version of the desktop software, are additions to the Ease of Access setting panel. The updated page will […]

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2018-03-19 06:03:21

Pinterest is slowly rolling out its automated shopping ads to more marketers  

Pinterest is looking to continue to increase its portfolio of ads, though sometimes that can take a little while to see the light of day — and that includes a new-ish tool called Shopping Ads that’s slowly getting opened to more marketers and advertisers. Getting new ad formats is important for a smaller company looking […]

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2018-03-19 05:54:32

Bear Flag Robotics wants to sell an autonomous tractor for farms  

Autonomous vehicles are increasingly becoming the shiny object in Silicon Valley. But the opportunity doesn’t just extend to cars driving around the streets of a major metropolitan area, and Igino Cafiero and Aubrey Donnellan hope to take it somewhere a little less obvious: the middle of an orchard. Cafiero and Donnellan are building an autonomously-driven tractor […]

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2018-03-19 05:03:09

Tech industry comes out swinging against potential Trump tariffs  

Over the weekend, the Information Technology Industry Council and 44 other trade associations banded together and published a letter demanding that the Trump administration take "measured" steps to stop China's unfair trade practices and voiced its opposition to unilateral tariffs that could damage industries as diverse as electronics and agriculture. As we have been covering […]

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2018-03-19 04:05:51

Andrew Yang is running for President to save America from the robots  

Tom Goodwin Contributor Share on Twitter Tom Goodwin is EVP, head of innovation at Zenith Media and the co-founder of the Interesting People in Interesting Times event series and podcast. More posts by this contributor The battle for consumers gets physical (instead of virtual) In the new age of ubiquitous connectivity the message is the […]

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2018-03-19 03:58:37

Facebook builds Patreon, Niche clones to lure creators with cash  

Facebook is eager to displace YouTube and Patreon in order to become the home of online content creators, so it’s testing a bunch of new ways for them to earn money and connect with fans. Facebook’s dedicated Creator app that launched in November on iOS will come to Android soon, and it’s also starting a closed […]

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2018-03-19 03:36:21

Billionaire Larry Ellison has a new consumer wellness company called Sensei  

It’s not every day that Oracle’s billionaire founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison launches a new business, but such is the case today. That new company? Sensei, a new L.A.-based wellness brand that will focus first on developing hydroponic farms and later . . . well, details are scant, but they’re coming soon, we’re told. […]

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2018-03-19 03:23:29

Uber self-driving test car involved in accident resulting in pedestrian death  

An autonomous Uber test SUV driving in Tempe, Arizona was involved in a fatal collision last night, and the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time the accident occurred, according to Tempe Police (via Daisuke Wakabayashi). The Uber SUV was driving northbound, and a woman crossed in its path outside of a crosswalk, […]

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2018-03-19 03:10:19

Alibaba doubles down on Lazada with fresh $2B investment and new CEO  

Alibaba is increasing its control of Lazada, its e-commerce marketplace in Southeast Asia it acquired control of in 2016, after it injected another $2 billion into the business and replaced its CEO with a long-standing Alibaba executive. Alibaba’s first investment came in April 2016 when it bought 51 percent of Lazada for $1 billion, and […]

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2018-03-19 02:47:22

Jeff Bezos, friend to robots  

Today marks the kickoff of Amazon's annual semi-secret MARS Conference in Palm Springs, which means two things. No, you weren't invited. The start of several days of pictures featuring Jeff Bezos palling around with his best robot friends. Last year the 'bot loving billionaire wowed the internet with a fairly menacing shot taken inside 1.5 […]

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2018-03-19 02:35:44

Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos may leave Facebook over disinformation drama  

Facebook’s latest public controversy may have claimed its first major casualty. According to reporting from The New York Times, the social media giant is poised to part ways with its high-profile chief security officer, Alex Stamos. That story suggests that Stamos created friction within Facebook by pushing for an aggressive approach to exploring and disclosing […]

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2018-03-19 02:01:52

Magic Leap opens up its 'Creator Portal' with SDK and design guidelines for devs  

After maintaining a quiet presence for quite a while, Magic Leap is finally feeling a bit more chatty, at least when it comes to what they’re sharing with developers. As the Game Developers Conference kicks off in San Francisco this week, Magic Leap is opening up their “Creator Portal” to developers sharing their SDK, tutorials, […]

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2018-03-19 01:59:50 raises another $56 million  

British startup says that "a new tier 1 global institutional investor" has made an important investment commitment in the furniture company. This mysterious investor is willing to lead a new $56 million round (£40 million) with existing investors Partech Ventures, Level Equity and Eight Roads Ventures also participating. It sounds like the funding round […]

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2018-03-19 01:38:03

Original Content podcast: We take a drink with season two of 'Jessica Jones'  

Netflix recently released the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, which finds the titular private detective dealing with unwanted fame and investigating the mysterious organization that gave her superpowers. Despite successfully confronting her nemesis Kilgrave at the end of season one, Jessica (played by Krysten Ritter) remains as prickly as ever — and just as […]

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2018-03-19 01:19:23

Airship wants to let startups launch features the same way Facebook does  

If you've ever wondered why your Facebook app looks a little different from your friend's, you've likely learned that Facebook tests features in a very unique, targeted way. Airship wants to let its customers start testing features the same way that companies like Facebook and Dropbox do without all the added complications and resources. The […]

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2018-03-19 01:16:05

Report: Police are now asking Google for data about all mobile devices close to certain crimes  

According to a new report from Raleigh, N.C. television affiliate WRAL, Google might have quietly helped local detectives in their pursuit of two gunmen who committed separate crimes roughly one-a-half years apart. How? According to the story, Raleigh police presented the company with warrants not for information about specific suspects but rather data from all the […]

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2018-03-19 01:06:51

Google introduces 'Shopping Actions' to help retailers in their battle with Amazon  

Google announced this morning a new plan to help retailers take on Amazon – and give Google a cut of their sales in the process. The search giant will allow retailers to list their products across Google Search, in its Google Express shopping service, and in the Google Assistant app for smartphones and on smart […]

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2018-03-19 01:03:08

What it's like using the Owl car security camera  

When you get a new car, and you’re feeling like a star, the first thing you’re probably going to do is ghost ride it. This is where the Owl camera can come in. I’ve been testing Owl, an always-on, two-way camera that records everything that’s happening inside and outside of your car all day, every day for […]

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2018-03-18 19:02:33

Wing It is a Facebook Messenger bot meant to get you out of the house  

“I should go on a weekend trip,” you think to yourself. “I’ll go to the mountains!” And then the weekend comes and all the hotels are booked and you’re tired and the mountains are far and hey look, Netflix! Wing It is a Facebook Messenger bot that tries to get you out of that rut. […]

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2018-03-18 18:47:23

Facebook and the endless string of worst-case scenarios  

Facebook has naively put its faith in humanity and repeatedly been abused, exploited, and proven either negligent or complicit. The company routinely ignores or downplays the worst-case scenarios, idealistically building products without the necessary safeguards, and then drags its feet to admit the extent of the problems. This approach, willful or not, has led to […]

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2018-03-18 16:54:24

Here are the top states and cities for startups in the South  

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Where did venture capitalists go to college? ICOs delivered at least 3.5x more capital to blockchain startups than VC since 2017 The American South may not be the first region that comes to mind when […]

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2018-03-18 15:47:52

Regulators in the UK are also calling for more hearings into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica  

As more details emerge about Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data in the U.S. presidential election, members of Parliament in the UK are joining congressional leadership in the U.S. to call for a deeper investigation and potential regulatory action. The Chair of parliamentary committee investigating “fake news”, the conservative MP Damian Collins, accused both Cambridge […]

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2018-03-18 12:34:14

Aalo is do-it-yourself, customizable, re-purposable furniture  

Buying furniture sucks. Getting rid of it later is worse. Aalo, part of the Y Combinator Winter 2018 class, is trying to fix both sides of that equation. They want you to design and build your own furniture… and when you’re done with it, turn it into something else. They’ve built a system of interlocking, […]

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2018-03-18 10:33:25

Everything is terrible: an explanation  

Facebook is a breeding ground for fake news and polarized outrage, accused of corrupting democracy and spurring genocide. Twitter knows it has become a seething battleground of widespread, targeted abuse — but has no solution. YouTube videos are messing with the minds of children and adults alike — so YouTube decided to pass the buck […]

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2018-03-18 10:09:37

Phlur, a fragrance startup launched by a former Ralph Lauren exec, is raising fresh funding  

There’s no shortage of ideas being backed when it comes to direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies that are cultivating their own brands. We’ve seen everything from slippers to toothbrushes to, perhaps most famously, razor blades. Among the newer frontiers being funded right now: ingredient-conscious perfumes. For example, the  New York-based, venture-backed cosmetics company Glossier began marketing a proprietary […]

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2018-03-18 09:52:06

EdTech is having a renaissance, powered by the emerging world  

So-called ‘EdTech’ has seen many false dawns over the years. After being lauded as the teaching platforms of the future, most MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course platforms) have not quite lived up to the superlatives made for them, and the sector has had trouble coming up with more innovative ideas for a while. But that […]

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2018-03-18 08:05:47

Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower who exposed Cambridge Analytica  

Tech hath no fury like a multi-billion dollar social media giant scorned. In the latest turn of the developing scandal around how Facebook’s user data wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica — for use in the in development in psychographic profiles that may or may not have played a part in the election […]

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2018-03-18 05:58:09

Facebook's latest privacy debacle stirs up more regulatory interest from lawmakers  

Facebook’s late Friday disclosure that a data analytics company with ties to the Trump campaign improperly obtained — and then failed to destroy — the private data of 50 million users is generating more unwanted attention from politicians, some of whom were already beating the drums of regulation in the company’s direction. On Saturday morning, […]

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2018-03-18 04:33:27

VR, presence and the case of the missing killer app  

Compelling virtual reality shipped to developers and consumers nearly two years ago. The first flagship headsets arrived from Oculus and HTC back in the spring of 2016, offering enough resolution, frame rate, field of view, latency mitigation and position-tracking to produce believable visual immersion. But no one seems to know what to do with it.

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2018-03-17 13:18:39

The rise of experiential commerce  

Sunny Dhillon Contributor Sunny Dhillon is a partner at Signia Venture Partners. More posts by this contributor Approaching e-commerce investments in the age of Amazon Mixed reality arcades are the next big market opportunity — but not for VCs "$43 million and the only thing you can buy in it is a coffee." So said […]

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2018-03-17 12:19:54

Qualcomm's war may be over, but the casualties are just starting to be calculated  

The epic battle between Qualcomm and Broadcom seems to have reached its armistice, with President Trump using the power of CFIUS to block the transaction this past week, ending what would have been the largest tech M&A transaction of all time. It may be all quiet on the semiconductor front, but Qualcomm and Broadcom will […]

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2018-03-17 09:56:29

Amid the greatest NCAA basketball upset ever, a Twitter hero emerges  

Happy Saturday, everyone! While many things in the world are very bad today, if you were on the Internet last night, you probably caught wind of a pretty cool historic moment in college basketball: UMBC — University of Maryland, Baltimore County — knocked off the overall number one seed in the annual NCAA men’s basketball […]

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2018-03-17 09:03:03

YouTube is reportedly introducing your kids to conspiracy theories, too  

In a recent appearance by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at the South by Southwest Festival, she suggested that YouTube is countering the conspiracy-related videos that have been spreading like wildfire on the platform — including videos telling viewers that high school senior and Parkland, Fl. survivor David Hogg is an actor. Specifically, Wojcicki outlined YouTube’s plans […]

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2018-03-17 06:46:06

Tinder owner Match is suing Bumble over patents  

Drama is heating up between the dating apps. Tinder, which is owned by Match Group, is suing rival Bumble, alleging patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property. The suit alleges that Bumble “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise.” The lawsuit also accuses Tinder-turned-Bumble employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick of copying elements of the design. […]

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2018-03-17 05:48:32

Trump campaign-linked data firm Cambirdge Analytica reportedly collected info on 50M Facebook profiles  

Facebook said on Thursday it had suspended a data analytics firm associated with the Trump campaign, but may have indeed greatly downplayed the scale of the data that firm actually had access to, according to a new report in The New York Times. Cambridge Analytica had worked with University of Cambridge psychology professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, […]

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2018-03-17 05:27:18

Aerones makes really big drones for cleaning turbines and saving lives  

Enthusiasts will talk your ear off about the potential for drones to take over many of our dirtiest, dullest and most dangerous tasks. But most of the jobs we've actually seen drones perform are focused on the camera — from wildlife surveying to monitoring cracks on power plant smokestack. Aerones is working on something much […]

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2018-03-17 03:54:02

Trump campaign-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica reportedly collected info on 50M Facebook profiles  

Facebook said on Thursday it had suspended a data analytics firm associated with the Trump campaign, but may have indeed greatly downplayed the scale of the data that firm actually had access to, according to a new report in The New York Times. Cambridge Analytica had worked with University of Cambridge psychology professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, […]

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2018-03-17 03:45:28

The Cambridge Analytica Debacle is not a Facebook “Data Breach.” Maybe It Should Be.  

Ido Kilovaty Contributor Ido Kilovaty is a Cyber Fellow at the Center for Global Legal Challenges and Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project, Yale Law School. More posts by this contributor If it talks like a government and acts like a government, it must be a tech giant On March 16, we learned that […]

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2018-03-17 03:17:03

Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm that worked on the Trump campaign  

Facebook announced late Friday that it had suspended the account of Strategic Communication Laboratories, and its political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica — which used Facebook data to target voters for President Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 election. In a statement released by Paul Grewal, the company’s vice president and deputy general counsel, Facebook […]

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2018-03-17 02:43:49

Late-blooming startups can still thrive  

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Corporate bio VCs are backing more rounds and making bigger bets Front-door tech is hot, and it's not just Amazon who wants in It seems like startup news is full of overnight success stories and sudden failures, like the scooter rental company that went from zero to […]

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2018-03-17 01:05:16

Suspicious likes lead to researcher lighting up a 22,000-strong botnet on Twitter  

Botnets are fascinating to me. Who creates them? What are they for? And why doesn't someone delete them? The answers are probably less interesting than I hope, but in the meantime I like to cheer when large populations of bots are exposed. That's what security outfit F-Secure's Andy Patel did this week after having his curiosity piqued by a handful of strange likes on Twitter.

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2018-03-16 21:31:38

The Third Age of credit  

Society is beginning to wake up to a tremendous shift in one of the most fundamental underpinnings to how we live our lives: the credit system. Even though it's not commonly known, credit infrastructure has existed about as long as civilization itself. In one way or another, credit systems have always formalized the one essential basis for relationships between people: trust.

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2018-03-16 18:15:46

SpaceX is making big money moves  

Planning a Mars mission, a global telecommunications network for inexpensive internet service and creating an interplanetary hedge against World War Three isn’t cheap, so it’s no wonder that SpaceX is closing on $500 million in new cash through a financing round led by Fidelity, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the round. Responding to clamoring […]

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2018-03-16 17:03:49

The next frontier for robotics? Jazz marimba  

Watch out all you well-paid, fat-and-sassy jazz marimba players: Shimon, the marimba playing robot, is after your jobs. Shimon is the brainchild of the Robotic Musicianship Group at Georgia Tech and I’ve been following his career for a few years now. In this video, taken at the Ferst Center Presents as part of Atlanta Science […]

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2018-03-16 16:08:23

Google Lens arrives on iOS  

On the heels of last week’s rollout on Android, Google’s new AI-powered technology, Google Lens, is now arriving on iOS. The feature is available within the Google Photos iOS application, where it can do things like identify objects, buildings, and landmarks, and tell you more information about them, including helpful details like their phone number, […]

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2018-03-16 13:58:58

Li Ka-Shing to step down as chairman of CK Hutchison, owner of 3 and other tech holdings  

A significant changing of the guard is underway in the world of telecoms and tech out of Asia. CK Hutchison, a Hong Kong conglomerate that owns the European mobile carrier 3 among other mobile and tech holdings, has announced that Li Ka-Shing is stepping down as the company’s chairman and executive director, after 46 years […]

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2018-03-16 13:54:38

Ava DuVernay will direct a 'New Gods' movie for DC  

A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay is closing a deal with Warner Brothers to direct a movie based on DC’s New Gods comics. The news was first reported in Deadline, and DuVernay seemed to confirm it by subsequently tweeting a tribute to New Gods creator Jack Kirby. While beloved by many comics fans, The […]

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2018-03-16 13:51:23

Alexa's new 'Brief Mode' replaces verbal confirmations with chimes  

Alexa is rolling out an optional “Brief Mode” that lets users configure their Echo devices to use chimes and sounds for confirmations, instead of having Alexa respond with her voice. For example, if you ask Alexa to turn on your lights today, she will respond “okay” as she does so. But with Brief Mode enabled, […]

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2018-03-16 13:42:34

Enterprise subscription services provider Zuora has filed for an IPO  

Zuora, which helps businesses handle subscription billing and forecasting, filed for an initial public offering this afternoon following on the heels of Dropbox’s filing earlier this month. Zuora’s IPO may signal that Dropbox going public, and seeing a price range that while under its previous valuation seems relatively reasonable, may open the door for coming […]

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2018-03-16 13:09:53

VR startup Upload shuts down its offices as funding from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey runs out  

Upload, the VR startup which was rocked by a sexual harassment suit exactly one year ago, is shutting down both its San Francisco office and its 20,000 sq. foot Los Angeles co-working space as it struggles to secure new funding, multiple sources tell TechCrunch. All of the company's LA employees were laid off yesterday. The […]

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2018-03-16 12:48:19

GrokStyle's visual search tech makes it into IKEA's Place AR app  

GrokStyle's simple concept of "point your camera at a chair (or lamp, or table...) and find others like it for sale" attracted $2 million in funding last year, and the company has been putting that cash to work. And remarkably for a company trying to break into the home furnishing market, it landed furniture goliath IKEA as its first real customer; GrokStyle's point-and-search functionality is being added to the IKEA Place AR app.

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2018-03-16 12:35:19

Tokyoflash has created a radar watch that scans the skies (or your wrist)  

Tokyoflash is one of my favorite watchmakers. Unabashedly analog, the watches pay homage to giant robots and old tech, looking like a cross between something that you could find in the hatch in Lost and a Shinjuku fever dream. Now the company has launched the Radar LED watch, a clever piece that shows the time with […]

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2018-03-16 12:18:53

Apple is holding an education event March 27  

Apple has a long legacy of providing services to schools and teachers, but the industry has shifted in recent years as the Chromebook has completely changed the way classrooms work. The company is no doubt looking to take back some of that mindshare. This morning, it sent out invites for an event, asking attendees to, […]

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2018-03-16 10:58:40

Cloud security startup Zscaler opens at $27.50, a pop of 72% on Nasdaq, raising $192M in its IPO  

The first post-billion, big tech IPO of the year has opened with a bang. Zscaler, a security startup that confidentially filed for an IPO last year, started trading this morning as ZS on Nasdaq at a price of $27.50/share. This was a pop of 71.9  percent on its opening price of $16, and speaks to […]

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2018-03-16 09:50:18

Zoosk relaunches dating app Lively as a way to meet new people while playing trivia games  

Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of trivia applications like HQ Trivia, dating app maker Zoosk has just released an experimental app that combines trivia with the potential for meeting someone new. The app is a relaunch and complete makeover of Zoosk’s Lively, which first debuted in July 2016 as a dating app that used […]

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2018-03-16 09:25:02

With great tech success, comes even greater responsibility  

As we watch major tech platforms evolve over time, it's clear that companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon (among others) have created businesses that are having a huge impact on humanity — sometimes positive and other times not so much. That suggests that these platforms have to understand how people are using them and […]

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2018-03-16 09:07:39

Google expands its Cloud Platform region in the Netherlands  

Google today announced that it has expanded its recently launched Cloud Platform region in the Netherlands with an additional zone. The investment, which is worth a reported 500 million euros, expands the existing Netherlands region from two to three regions. With this, all four of the Central European Google Cloud Platform zones now feature three […]

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2018-03-16 08:06:47

Equity podcast: Theranos's reckoning, BroadQualm's stunning conclusion and Lyft's platform ambitions  

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Katie Roof and I were joined by Mayfield Fund’s Navin Chaddha, an investor with early connections with Lyft to talk about, well, Lyft — as well as two bombshell news events in the form of an SEC fine for […]

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2018-03-16 08:01:20

Education quiz app Kahoot raises another $17M at a $100M valuation  

When we wrote about gaming startup Kahoot passing significant milestones of 70 million users on 51 million educational quizzes in January, we mentioned that the Oslo, Norway-based startup was closing another round of funding. Now, that has come to pass: Kahoot has announced that it has raised $17 million, at a valuation that sources close to […]

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2018-03-16 06:35:09

Detectify raises €5M for its crowdsourced website vulnerability scanner  

Sweden-based Detectify, which offers a website vulnerability scanner that is in part powered by the crowd, has raised €5 million in new funding. The round was led by New York-based venture capital and private equity firm, Insight Venture Partners. Existing investors, Paua Ventures and Inventure, also participated. Founded in late 2013 by a self-described group […]

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2018-03-16 06:20:17

Reverie Labs uses new machine learning algorithms to fix drug development bottlenecks  

Developing new medicines can take years of research and cost millions of dollars before they are even ready for clinical trials. Several biotech startups are using machine learning to revolutionize the process and get drugs into pharmacies more quickly. One of the newest is called Reverie Labs, which is part of Y Combinator's latest batch. […]

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2018-03-16 06:12:38

Anker's Nebula Capsule portable projector is a pocket powerhouse  

Anker is a device maker that’s rapidly become a go-to brand for affordable, quality accessories include cables, chargers and backup batteries. More recently, it’s started to branch out into additional areas, including projectors through its Nebula brand. The Nebula Capsule is the latest product from that line, a super portable projector with an Android-based OS, […]

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2018-03-16 05:38:14

Samsung's Galaxy S9 gets Disney AR Emojis at launch  

I wasn't alone in suggesting that Samsung's Animoji competitors were, well, creepy. AR Emojis sit firmly in the uncanny valley between face scans and cartoon characters — generally lacking the adorableness of Apple's offering. They have, however, had one saving grace: Disney, the entertainment company that essentially owns all of your best childhood memories.  Samsung […]

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2018-03-16 05:36:13

Watch Thanos explain his simple plan in new 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer  

The new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War is here, and it gives us a look at Thanos with a helmet on, and provides some signet into what he hopes to accomplish by invading Earth (kill half the people on it). Also, there are still a ton of characters in this movie, and it looks like […]

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2018-03-16 05:33:43

Qualcomm's former exec chair will exit after exploring an acquisition bid  

There’s a new twist in the BroadQualm saga this afternoon as Qualcomm has said it won’t renominate Paul Jacobs, the former executive chairman of the company, after he notified the board that he decided to explore the possibility of making a proposal to acquire Qualcomm. The last time we saw such a huge exploration to […]

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2018-03-16 04:57:14

Village Global raises $100M seed scout fund from Zuck, Bezos…  

It takes a village to grow a startup, so Village Global is offering access to a deep network of top tech execs to lure founders to its seed fund. Today, Village Global announced it’s raised $100 million for that fund that was first unveiled in September. In exchange for equity, portfolio companies get investment plus […]

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2018-03-16 04:29:43

Tingles is an app devoted to ASMR videos  

The Tingles team has not done much in the way of promotion, but the app has already built a fairly sizable following in its community. That's one of the nice things about a targeted product — it spreads fast. In the year since Slovenian co-founders Gasper Kolenc and Miha Mlakar launched, the service has focused […]

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2018-03-16 03:40:57

AirAsia, Southeast Asia's low-cost airline, is considering an ICO  

AirAsia, the low-cost airline in Southeast Asia, is considering an initial coin offering (ICO) as part of a push into financial services. Tony Fernandes, CEO of the $3 billion company which is publicly listed in Malaysia, told TechCrunch that he is analyzing the potential to hold an ICO that would raise money by introducing its […]

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2018-03-16 02:41:38

NexGenT wants to rethink bootcamps with programs for network engineering certifications  

Developer bootcamps — several-month training programs that are designed to help people get up to speed with the technical skills they need to become a developer — exploded in popularity in the early part of the decade, but there’s been a bit of a shakedown on the space recently. And that could be a product […]

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2018-03-16 02:27:52

FTC shuts down crypto Ponzi schemers  

The FTC has announced that they’ve issued temporary restraining orders and frozen the assets of a team of three defendants who pitched investment advice as the Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network. The FTC claims that the defendants “promised big rewards for a small payment of bitcoin or Litecoin.” From the report: According to the FTC, […]

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2018-03-16 02:06:12

Small businesses love free stuff, so Gusto is giving them free HR Basics  

Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, is the rare startup unicorn that has stayed relatively mum on its product and growth — its last press release, for instance, was more than a year ago. The company's core offering remains payroll for small businesses, and it has been working to expand its customer base across the nation, including having […]

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2018-03-16 01:33:40

Zscaler soars 106% on first day of trading  

It was a big debut for enterprise cloud security company Zscaler, which saw its shares skyrocket 106% on its first day of trading. After pricing at $16, shares opened at $27.50, and closed at $34. This was also well above the original expected price range for its IPO of $10 to $12. The company ultimately raised […]

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2018-03-16 01:29:19

Silicon Valley companies are undermining the impact of artificial intelligence  

Ryan Kottenstette Contributor Ryan Kottenstette is CEO and co-founder at Cape Analytics. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to glean information from large data sets is the greatest technology opportunity of a generation. After a decade of acquiring talent from startups and research universities, tech companies like Facebook, Google and Uber have amassed some of […]

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2018-03-15 21:09:45

Google adds a wheelchair-accessible option for transit maps  

Google Maps has a pretty solid set of data for taking transit from here to there, but anyone with a physical disability knows it isn't quite that simple. Some stations may be wheelchair-unfriendly, have out-of-service elevators, that kind of thing. A new update to the service adds an option for you to specify a wheelchair-accessible route — though that's just a start on what's really needed.

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2018-03-15 19:28:46

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