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



The difference between smartphone gimmick and game changer  

 It’s hard to find a legitimately bad flagship phone these days. Sure, one peeks its head out from time to time, but on a whole most phones are pretty good. The screens, the cameras, the internals. There are always a few bits that could use improving (see: battery and durability), but the gulf between good and bad isn’t any near where it once was. And for the past several… Read More

2017-05-28 21:16:21
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Judah Vs. The Machines: In which a robot services a hotel room  

 Robots remain a rare sight outside of labs in most of the world, but in Silicon Valley, they have already started taking on service jobs. In this episode of Judah Vs. The Machines, Judah visits the Crowne Plaza hotel in San Jose to check out Relay, a hotel service robot that can autonomously bring guests food and other necessities. After poking Relay’s creator, Steve Cousins about equal… Read More

2017-05-28 11:52:59
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Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet  

 Cryptocurrencies are booming beyond belief. Bitcoin is up sevenfold, to $2,500, in the last year. Three weeks ago the redoubtable Vinay Gupta, who led Ethereum’s initial release, published an essay entitled “What Does Ether At $100 Mean?” Since then it has doubled. Too many altcoins to name have skyrocketed in value along with the Big Two. ICOs are raking in money hand over… Read More

2017-05-28 05:40:22
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After beating the world's elite Go players, Google's AlphaGo AI is retiring  

 Google’s AlphaGo — the AI developed to tackle the world’s most demanding strategy game — is stepping down from competitive matches after defeating the world’s best talent. The latest to succumb is Go’s top-ranked player, Ke Jie, who lost 3-0 in a series hosted in China this week. The AI, developed by London-based DeepMind, which was acquired by Google… Read More

2017-05-28 03:46:35
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How not to launch a company in the U.S. — lessons learned from LeEco  

 After a months’ long parade of endless red flags, LeEco’s Stateside woes finally came to a head this week. The company announced that it would be laying off 325 employees in the U.S. alone. And judging from a number of address forwarding emails I received, the company moved swiftly and without much warning. It’s always easier to Monday morning quarterback all of this after… Read More

2017-05-28 03:36:33
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Spotify settles lawsuits, adds board members as it gets ready to go public  

 Spotify made a few moves this week that could put them in a better position to join the stock market. On Thursday, it was revealed that the company added four people to its board of directors. The music streaming startup has brought on former Disney COO Tom Staggs; Padmasree Warrior, a Cisco vet who runs an electric car business; Shishir Mehrotra, YouTube’s former head of product;… Read More

2017-05-27 19:10:07
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British Airways extends London flight cancellations through Saturday amid IT failure  

 British Airways has yet to fix the IT outage that caused them to cancel all flights at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports earlier Saturday. They originally thought they would be back online by about 6pm GMT, but they’ve now acknowledged that operations will remain suspended through the rest of the day. Following a major IT system failure this morning, we've cancelled… Read More

2017-05-27 16:08:25
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Judah Vs. The Machines: The race for prowess against a toy car  

 In the latest installment of Judah vs The Machines, Judah ventures down to Anki, a company combining augmented reality and artificial intelligence to entertain fans of racing games. Anki utilizes smartphone cameras and a dedicated app to recreate the imagery of racing battles happening on a real physical track in front of you. Judah challenges three autonomous Anki cars to a death match… Read More

2017-05-27 15:17:18
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Chasing dreams may be the next sleeper hit for venture capitalists  

 After decades spent funding technologies tailored to deprive us of sleep (see: streaming video, gaming, social networks and 24/7 online shopping), the venture capital industry has decided to direct its considerable capital reserves at helping us get more shut-eye. Read More

2017-05-27 12:38:32
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Drones aren't having their mainstream moment yet  

 Write about technology for any amount of time, you’ll get run through the hype wringer. It’s impossible to avoid. After all, it’s the excitement of new technologies that drew so many of us to this field in the first place. And when DJI debuts a product like the Spark, the word “game changer” gets tossed around a lot, just like it did with last year’s… Read More

2017-05-27 07:49:30
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Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption?  

 Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data. Read More

2017-05-27 03:43:56
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Tragedy strikes as Uber CEO Kalanick loses mother in boating accident, father in serious condition  

 We’ve received word from Uber that the Kalanick family suffered a tragic event this weekend. CEO Travis Kalanick’s parents were in a boating accident in Fresno yesterday and his mother Bonnie Horowitz Kalanick has passed away. His father Donald Kalanick was also injured. The company provided the following statement. “Last night Travis and his family suffered an… Read More

2017-05-27 02:58:41
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Crunch Report | Sprig Is Shutting Down  

Sprig is shutting down, Sergey Brin is building a giant airship, Nielsen’s latest data show a ton of people still watch content on TV and bitcoin experiences an outage from all the bitcoin ups and downs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

2017-05-27 02:47:45
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Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Sam Altman invest $30 million in Change.org  

 LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman announced today that he’s making a big bet on Change.org, the site for social justice petitions. Hoffman is leading a $30 million round, with other investors including big names like Bill Gates and Y Combinator president Sam Altman. “Change.org, the global hub for collective action, is a crucial democratizing force in this era of growing… Read More

2017-05-27 02:39:07
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Chaos as global IT failure takes out all British Airways flights out of London  

 British Airways has a problem. It’s new IT system has completely crashed five times inside a year, and today it added a sixth global crash to the roster. All flights from Heathrow and Gatwick have been cancelled until at least 6pm in London tonight, affecting all BA flights globally. The airline is asking passengers not to come to the airports. The system failure also took out the BA… Read More

2017-05-27 01:49:53
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Silicon Valley law firm Gunderson Dettmer's legal advice for Pied Piper  

 Gunderson Dettmer is the law firm a good majority of tech startups turn to in the Valley for fundings, mergers, licensing and other deals and it’s been in the business of offering tech companies everyday legal advice to everyone from Oracle to DoorDash since the dot-com boom. It was ranked the “most active law firm globally”… Read More

2017-05-27 01:42:28
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Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program  

 Google has launched a new venture capital program focused on artificial intelligence, Axios is reporting. Google declined to comment on the report, which states that the initiative will be led by longtime Google VP of engineering Anna Patterson and involve a rotating cast of engineers instead of the venture investors who work for Alphabet Inc.’s corporate venture unit, GV. It… Read More

2017-05-26 16:16:05
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Judah vs. the Machines: For when you can't bring yourself to go shopping  

 You’d be forgiven if you can’t be bothered to drag yourself to the store to shop for shoes and clothes and things. The internet is there for you, after all. But if you don’t know what you want? Well, I guess there is an app for that. In this episode, Friedlander, a self-described shoe expert because he “has feet,” tries to be better at shopping than an app… Read More

2017-05-26 13:46:51
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The 18 most memorable quotes of Disrupt New York 2017  

 TechCrunch Disrupt NY was one of the best yet, and we had a lineup of fascinating speakers discussing everything from CRISPR to online media. Here are a few of the highlights. Read More

2017-05-26 13:39:31
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Weekly Roundup: DJI's Spark drone, Mark Zuckerberg addresses Harvard  

 This week, DJI announced a brand new drone, Mark Zuckerberg delivered the Harvard commencement speech and Airbnb’s internal data science program was announced. These are the top stories of the week. This post is also a newsletter, so you can sign up to have it delivered to your inbox on Saturday mornings. Read More

2017-05-26 13:32:49
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Insurance startup Quilt adds life insurance to its portfolio of products  

 The startup insurance application processor Quilt has added a life insurance product to its portfolio and has begun pitching its digital enrollment in 37 states across the country. In partnership with Generation Life (a 50-year-old insurance company that was recently acquired by Swiss Re), Quilt is looking to make the process of applying for life insurance easier so that the under-insured… Read More

2017-05-26 13:24:05
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Stealthy Boxbot wins the Pear prize for UC Berkeley with a tech for autonomous last-mile delivery  

 It was a long road that took the two founders of Boxbot from drinks at Drake’s Dealership to winning the prestigious Pear Berkeley Challenge, but both Austin Oehlerking and Mark Godwin are very at home on the road. The still-in-stealth technology they developed was so impressive that it won the Pear competition, along with some seed investments. Read More

2017-05-26 13:17:30
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Google's AlphaGo AI defeats team of five leading Go players  

 Are five human heads better than one computer brain? Not when it comes to playing Go. AlphaGo, the AI created to play the game of Go better than anyone alive, has defeated a team made up of five Go champions in a demonstration match on Friday. The team included Chen Yaoye, Zho Ruiyang, Mi Yuting, Shi Yue and Tang Weixing, and on the AlphaGo side – just AlphaGo, obviously. The match… Read More

2017-05-26 12:37:25
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KidPass raises $5.1 million for its children's activity subscription service  

 KidPass, a monthly membership program that gives parents access to a variety of kid-friendly activities across their city, has raised $5.1 million in Series A funding, the startup reported this week. Currently live in New York, the new funds will allow the service to expand to new markets including L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Chicago. The round was… Read More

2017-05-26 11:56:18
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This robot arm's AI thinks like we do about how to grab something  

 Robots are great at doing things they’ve been shown how to do, but when presented with a novel problem, such as an unfamiliar shape that needs to be gripped, they tend to choke. AI is helping there in the form of systems like Dex-Net, which uses deep learning to let a robotic arm improvise an effective grip for objects it’s never seen before. Read More

2017-05-26 11:08:06
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Don't call BMW's futuristic new concept motorbike a scooter  

 This looks like a scooter, but it’s actually the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, the latest in BMW’s series of exhaustingly named Motorrad concept vehicles, which imagine a not-so distant future in which we all travel around in angular, sci-fi style. The Link offers an electric drive, which makes possible the lower seat that BMW says facilitates easily getting on and off the vehicle. It… Read More

2017-05-26 10:40:16
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Riley raises $3.1M to help real estate agents rate and respond to their leads  

 Businesses usually spend lots of time and money trying of attract potential customers. Now a startup called Riley aims to help them prioritize those sales leads. Riley was part of the winter class at Y Combinator. (In fact, CEO Daniel Ahmadizadeh said he and his co-founder Helson Taveras applied several times with different products and ideas before getting in.) The startup is announcing… Read More

2017-05-26 09:38:19
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Nielsen: over 92% of viewing among U.S. adults still happens on the TV screen  

 U.S. consumers may be cutting the cord with pay TV, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped watching the big screen, according to new data released by Nielsen this morning. In a report detailing the viewing habits of U.S. adults, the measurement firm found that 92 percent of all viewing among U.S. adults (those 18 and older) still takes place on the TV screen. The data was… Read More

2017-05-26 09:28:18
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On-demand food startup Sprig is shutting down today  

 Sprig, the startup that makes and delivers its own food, is shutting down today, The Information reports. TechCrunch has since obtained the copy of the email Sprig is sending to customers today. “It is with a heavy heart that my co-founders and I share that Sprig, Inc. will be shutting down the app today,” Sprig CEO Gagan Biyani wrote in an email customers will receive… Read More

2017-05-26 09:25:03
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For one new fund, the question isn't which corporate backer, but why not 10?  

 Engage Ventures is a new, Atlanta-based accelerator fund for early-stage deals. It isn’t managing a ton of money — it just closed on $15 million for its debut effort — but it does have some interesting financial backers. Unlike a corporate venture unit that’s trying to satisfy one company, Engage has instead secured its capital commitments from 10 Fortune 1000… Read More

2017-05-26 08:59:12
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The League is bringing its exclusive dating app to 10 more cities this summer  

 The League, a dating app that prides itself on selectiveness and requires members to be approved before joining, has traditionally taken expansion pretty slow. Originally launched in early 2015, the app is still only in 7 cities – New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C and London. But the startup just announced they are about to embark on a summer tour,… Read More

2017-05-26 08:21:57
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Sergey Brin's giant airship will be world's largest, serve humanitarian role  

 Google co-founder Sergey Brin is building a massive airship, we learned in April, and now The Guardian reports some additional details about the purpose and nature of the project. It’ll be used both as a private luxury air yacht for Brin and his retinue, as well as for humanitarian aid purposes. Also, it’ll be the largest aircraft in the world, at nearly 200 meters (656 feet) in… Read More

2017-05-26 07:48:29
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Roborace autonomous car takes a lap in Paris  

 At the Formula E Paris ePrix over the weekend, the driverless Roborace navigated a lap of the 1.9 km course all by itself — all 14 turns. The autonomous car uses 5 lidar sensors, 2 radar sensors, 18 ultrasonic sensors, 2 optical speed sensors, 6 AI cameras, and satellite positioning information to know where it is and navigate its route. All this data is processed by Nvidia’s… Read More

2017-05-26 07:08:03
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Crunch Report | Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard Commencement Speech  

Mark Zuckerberg gives this year’s Harvard commencement speech, Uber and Lyft are returning to Austin, Ford has some leadership shake-ups and TC Battlefield company Beam (acquired by Microsoft) is now called Mixer. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

2017-05-26 05:58:55
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Raspberry Pi Foundation and CoderDojo to code club together  

 The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced it’s merging with another code club charity, Dublin-based CoderDojo. The aim is to advance shared goals around furthering the march of computing education for young people. Read More

2017-05-26 05:46:05
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The Marc Newson Hourglass For Hodinkee shows us time is a nanoball  

 “Can anyone tell me what this is?” the teacher asked. Outside the rust rains had come again and the building reacted by assembling a nano sphere shield. They would be inside until it stopped. None of the children were old enough for the skin adaptation. She might as well keep them busy. She held up half of a glass object, the top edge crude and sharp. “A cup?” asked… Read More

2017-05-26 05:17:17
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Far Cry 5's launch trailer gives us a first look at its rural U.S. setting  

 Far Cry 5 developer Ubisoft is playing with fire – hellfire, that is, as it sometimes arises in America’s more backwater regions. The Montana setting for the forthcoming Far Cry game is a very different type of locale for the series, which typically features tropical destinations as the backdrop for its super violent action-packed gameplay. This trailer reveals that not only will… Read More

2017-05-26 04:56:58
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Even the world's largest bitcoin exchange couldn't handle this week's cryptocurrency boom  

 For those operating a bitcoin exchange — where people can buy cryptocoins — you’d imagine that the current surge in value for bitcoin and others like Ethereum’s ether coin is a dream come true. The answer is yes and no. Coinbase, the world’s most funded bitcoin exchange, was dragged offline by the massive increase in interest in the space. Users have… Read More

2017-05-26 04:38:58
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Pickle is a TaskRabbit-style app for Generation Z  

 Share economy startups which allow someone to ‘share’ their labour or skills have proliferated over the last few years. Even simple ‘share your skills’ communities with no commercial model have appeared such as Impossible. Now these companies are joined by Pickle, a peer-to-peer mobile app that enables users to do ‘jobs’ for one another. Founder Daneh… Read More

2017-05-26 03:51:38
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Funding for real estate challenger Spruce shows New York's startup scene is thriving  

 Spruce, a new startup looking to speed up the mortgage, has raised $4.5 million in its series A financing from Bessemer Venture Partners, Omidyar Network, and Third Prime Capital along with a slew of private angel investors. Founded by two former employees of the robo-advisory wealth management company Betterment, the new startup is notable for a few reasons. First, it’s yet another… Read More

2017-05-26 02:34:41
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MoneyLion's redesigned app gives personalized financial advice and instant access to personal loans  

 Personal finance management app MoneyLion was created to help users save money, reduce debt and improve their credit. Today the app is being updated to provide users with more personalized information about how they can improve their financial health, as well as even faster access to personal loans. Read More

2017-05-26 02:30:17
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Let's meet in Iceland next week  

 I’ll be in Reykjavik next week and you know what that means… I want to meet you! So we’ll be holding a small meetup (not really a pitchoff but feel free to pitch me while I’m there) at Bryggjan Brugghús, Grandagarði 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. The event is being held on Tuesday, May 30, from 5 PM to 7 PM UTC. Event starts at 5pm and you can meet the speakers and… Read More

2017-05-26 02:30:13
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UK wants G7 to take collective action on online extremism  

 The UK Prime Minister is using the annual G7 summit of seven of the world’s major industrialized democracies to push for more to be done about online extremism, including co-ordinating on ways to force social media platforms to be more pro-active about removing and reporting extremist content to authorities. Read More

2017-05-26 01:59:52
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Snap said to leverage discounts to drive growth  

 After a painful first-quarter miss, Snap, the parent company of the popular social app Snapchat, is looking to avoid the same fate in the second. According to Digiday, Snap is working to drive new and increased business ahead of the end of its second quarter. To do so, the company is said to be cutting deals. In the words of the report, Snap is “looking to goose its ad business with… Read More

2017-05-26 01:34:44
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Payment firm Soft Space raises $5M to expand in Southeast Asia and Japan  

 Soft Space, a payment provider in Southeast Asia, has close its $5 million Series A as it looks to expand across the region, and potentially into Japan. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Soft Space works with large enterprise customers, typically banks, to offer customized solutions for mobile payment, both at point-of-sale and other parts of the process. Typically these solutions are white-labeled. Read More

2017-05-26 01:04:07
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Instagram direct messages now support web links and different photo orientations  

 Instagram’s Direct feature just got more generally useful as a messaging option, with support added for external web links, and the ability to send photos and video in their original portrait or landscape aspect ratios without cropping. The first is really far more important than the second, mainly because it means users have less reason to go seeking other messaging options outside… Read More

2017-05-25 21:13:06
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SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin is leaving the company  

 Another one of the co-founders of online lending startup SoFi is leaving the company, TechCrunch has learned. Dan Macklin, who served as VP of Community and Member Success at SoFi, has announced internally that he’ll be stepping down from his position on June 6th. Read More

2017-05-25 20:23:10
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Rulai launches 'low-code' chatbot development tool and raises $6.5 million  

 Customer experience chatbot developer Rulai has launched a new “low-code” chatbot development tool and raised $6.5 million to roll it out. Yi Zhang, the company’s chief technologist, and her team are launching a product that customer service managers can use to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations, and that can be created without a single… Read More

2017-05-25 19:35:22
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Anatomy of a managed marketplace  

 Managed marketplaces have been one of the hottest categories of venture investment over the past several years. They garner a lot of press because the consumer experiences are often radically different than what’s previously been available in the market. But there is confusion over what a true “managed” marketplace is. It’s fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for. Read More

2017-05-25 18:55:06
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With new realities to build, Unity positioned to become tech giant  

 There are few verticals filled with more utopian dreams than the studios and startups building VR and AR experiences. While some are looking to craft 3D experiences that integrate into the real world, others are aiming to create massive worlds we can escape to. The one thing many of them have in common, however, is that they are built on a game engine from a company called Unity. Read More

2017-05-25 18:24:29
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Wearables suck at tracking calories burned, study shows  

 New data out of Stanford is lending credence to common wisdom that fitness trackers suck at counting calories. Heart-rate monitoring, on the other hand, fared surprisingly well in the school’s Medical Center studies. Read More

2017-05-25 15:42:24
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The Oculus Rift's best VR game comes to the HTC Vive  

 There are only a few virtual reality titles that I’ve played where I need a bit of a “come down” period to regroup my thoughts and start thinking like a real human again. SUPERHOT VR is one of those titles. Today, the Rift-exclusive is finally coming to the HTC Vive natively via the Steam store, nearly six months after its launch on the Oculus Store. Read More

2017-05-25 15:07:30
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Zuckerberg tells Harvard we need a new social contract of equal opportunity  

 Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard commencement speech centered around how we can improve life through big projects, equal opportunity and building both local and global community. He outlined a plan “to create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose.” Read More

2017-05-25 14:58:01
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HBO's Silicon Valley gets renewed for fifth season, Erlich Bachman won't return  

 HBO confirmed today that Silicon Valley will indeed be returning for a fifth season, but one of its stars, T.J. Miller, who plays the ever moronic Erlich Bachman, will not be rejoining the cast. Read More

2017-05-25 14:46:54
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Atlantic.Net brings Windows Container support to its cloud hosting platform  

 Atlantic.Net, the Florida-based hosting provider, today announced that its users can now use Windows Server Containers on its platform to bring their existing Windows workloads into the cloud. While many of the larger cloud providers like AWS and Google also offer support for Windows containers on their virtual machines and dedicated container platforms, Atlantic.Net’s more direct… Read More

2017-05-25 13:53:27
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Lyft launches two premium ride hailing options, Lux and Lux SUV  

 Lyft is getting into the higher-end ride hailing game with Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV. These are black car offerings similar to the service that rival Uber originally launched with, and they’ll be available beginning in 20 markets with a gradual rollout starting now in five initial markets and continuing through mid-June. Lux will roll out first in five U.S. cities where it makes the… Read More

2017-05-25 12:54:50
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Twilio Functions lets developers build communications apps without having to worry about servers  

 Twilio is getting into the serverless game today with the beta launch of Twilio Functions. Like other so-called “serverless” platforms, Functions abstracts away all of the tiresome server and infrastructure management and scaling and allows developers to focus on building their event-driven applications. Read More

2017-05-25 12:23:21
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Binded raises another $950K for its copyright-protecting tools  

 Binded aims to make it easier for photographers to protect their intellectual property by creating a permanent record of their copyright in a public database, namely the blockchain. The startup was previously known as Blockai, but it’s rebranding today — the new name is meant to focus less on technology and instead emphasize the idea of creating a legally binding record. Read More

2017-05-25 11:46:24
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The Yard coworking space picks up $15 million in credit from IDB Bank  

 The entrepreneurial spirit has never been stronger, so it’s no surprise that co-working spaces are so hot right now. The Yard, for example, has recently secured a $15 million credit line to expand its coworking offering to startups in New York City. Founded by Morris Levy and Richard Beyda, The Yard wants to be the more ‘grown-up’ co-working space, with opaque walls instead… Read More

2017-05-25 11:30:12
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Tips for mastering Magikarp Jump, the next Pokémon masterpiece  

 The Pokemon company has come out with another true masterpiece. It’s called Magikarp Jump, which came out for iOS and Android earlier today. It’s about training Magikarp, the most beloved Pokemon in the universe, to jump as hard as it can and squash the hopes and dreams of its opponents. Here are some tips to get started. Read More

2017-05-25 11:22:18
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Readdle adds a clever drag-and-drop feature for moving files between its iPad productivity apps  

 Productivity app maker Readdle is rolling out a new feature across its line of iOS applications that takes advantage of the iPad’s support for split screen viewing to make it easier to move files between apps. The move could encourage current Readdle customers to buy the software maker’s larger suite of apps in order to take advantage of the new functionality. Split view is… Read More

2017-05-25 11:09:22
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Toyota Research's Gill Pratt is speaking at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics at MIT July 17  

 TechCrunch’s first ever robotics event is fast approaching, and we’re putting the final touches on an amazing programming line-up, which includes MIT’s Daniela Rus, Disney’s Martin Buehler, Amazon’s Tye Brady, ABB’s Sami Atiya, iRobot’s Colin Angle, SRI’s Manish Kothari and many more. Look for the full agenda soon, but today we’re… Read More

2017-05-25 11:09:15
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Creative Destruction Lab is launching a quantum machine learning accelerator in Toronto  

 A new accelerator being run by the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) hopes to find technologists in the quantum machine learning field and give them access to cutting-edge equipment to make their projects into companies. The program is run out of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and will include investment from venture funds Bloomberg Beta, Data Collective and… Read More

2017-05-25 10:10:38
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A U.S. senator has introduced the first bill to give gig workers benefits  

 While some in Silicon Valley indulge in free meals, laundry service and egg freezing, an estimated 50 percent of the workforce won’t even have basic benefits by 2020 — and Virginia Senator Mark Warner wants to do something about that. Read More

2017-05-25 10:07:14
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Rackspace acquires TriCore, adds enterprise applications to cloud management mix  

 Rackspace announced today it was purchasing TriCore, giving it an enterprise applications management play to go along with its cloud management services. The announcement comes just one day after the company announced it was bringing a new CEO onboard, make it a busy week for the firm. The companies did not share the terms of the deal, but Rackspace called it the largest acquisition in… Read More

2017-05-25 09:49:10
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Tesla Model 3 said to do 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds  

 The Tesla Model 3 is so close you could taste it (probably tastes like car) but we don’t yet know final specs on the vehicle. A new retail comparison chart surfaced at the Tesla Model 3 Owners Club forum (via InsideEVs) that offers some insight into what we can expect for specs, though it seems primarily designed to remind prospective buyers how great the Model S is by comparison. In… Read More

2017-05-25 09:44:47
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Uber and Lyft to return to Austin starting Monday  

 Uber and Lyft had paused their operations in Austin, TX back in 2016, because local regulators imposed rules that both argued were overly taxing to running their businesses. The rules included requiring fingerprint-based background checks for drivers, as well as barring pick-ups and drop-offs in lanes on certain roads within the city. Both Uber and Lyft will resume operations because Texas… Read More

2017-05-25 09:07:38
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Judge orders Uber to hand over to Waymo unredacted term sheet with Otto  

 Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ordered Thursday that Uber needs to hand over to Waymo the full, unredacted term sheet between Uber and Otto. By the end of the day. Corley ultimately decided there was no basis for Uber to redact the information because there was no privileged information shared with Otto prior to the acquisition. Read More

2017-05-25 09:06:15
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Facebook's Instant Articles platform to support Google AMP, Apple News  

 One of the problems publishers face today in making their content more readable on mobile devices is that there are multiple, competing formats available for this purpose. Facebook has Instant Articles, Google is spearheading the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, and the Apple News Format optimizes content for iOS devices. Facebook is today taking a crack at a solution to this problem… Read More

2017-05-25 08:54:45
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3 

Stripe Connect provides new tools for multi-sided marketplaces  

 Two years ago payments startup Stripe launched a new product called Stripe Connect to serve a growing number of marketplace customers. Today the company is launching a new set of capabilities that will enable new marketplace categories and to help companies to sign up and onboard sellers and service providers to their platforms. Read More

2017-05-25 06:44:23
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6 

Reali expands its online real-estate service to the entire Bay Area, raises $5M Series A round  

 Reali wants to change how people buy and sell their homes and now it has $5 million more to work on it, thanks to a Series A led by Signia Venture Partners. The company also today announced that it is expanding beyond to the entire San Francisco Bay area, including the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, and that its app is now available on Android, too. The service aims to take… Read More

2017-05-25 06:42:11
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4 

Sherif Marakby rejoins Ford to lead self-driving after leaving Uber  

 After leaving his role at Uber as VP of Global Vehicle Programs in April, Sherif Marakby is back at Ford to lead its autonomous vehicles and electrifications program. Marakby’s new VP role was announced as part of a general executive re-organization revealed on Thursday under new Ford CEO Jim Hackett. Marakby joined Uber in April 2016, coming from Ford where he worked for 25 years,… Read More

2017-05-25 06:40:08
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5 

App maker Appian soars 25% on first day as a public company  

 It was off to the races for Appian, which debuted on the Nasdaq on Thursday, soaring 25 percent on its first day on the stock market. After pricing shares at $12, the company closed the day above $15, valuing the company at about $900 million. Read More

2017-05-25 06:28:34
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4 

Microsoft's game streaming service Beam rebrands as Mixer, adds co-streaming, a guide & mobile broadcasting  

 Microsoft’s live-streaming service Beam, which the company acquired last year shortly after it emerged as the winner of the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield, is today getting a new name: Mixer. The name is meant to express the way the service brings people together, the team explains, but it’s not the only change rolling out today, as it turns out. Mixer is also launching… Read More

2017-05-25 06:05:04
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3 

Feast your eyes on this 600-DPI e-paper screen  

 I have to say, I really like e-paper. And it’s come a long way since the crude early Kindles — nowadays you have e-readers that are as high-resolution as the best phones and iPads. And they’re set to get even better if E-Ink’s latest screens make it into a few products, as I hope they do. Read More

2017-05-25 05:39:37
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4 

Octopus Ventures hits 10, with an international push and a healthy rack of exits  

 Back in the mists of 2014 we revealed how one of the UK’s most active venture investment funds operated. To this day Octopus Ventures continues to rub shoulders with the most active institutional VC funds at the early stage, even though it’s technically an evergreen fund attached to the stock market. It’s backed hits like LoveFilm, Zoopla through to IPO, Graze as well as… Read More

2017-05-25 05:17:20
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3 

Appian prices application software IPO at $12  

 Virginia-based Appian is finally braving the public markets, after a long journey as a private company formed in the dot-com boom of 1999. Appian announced Wednesday that they priced their IPO at $12 per share, raising $75 million for the company. This is in-line with the previously proposed price range of $11 to $13. Appian provides app development software for its business and… Read More

2017-05-25 05:12:21
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6 

Acko is an ambitious digital play to disrupt India's $10B insurance industry  

 Acko is an under-the-radar startup that wants to disrupt India’s insurance industry through a digital-only model. This week it stuck its head above the parapet and announced that it has raised $30 million to get started on its bold plan. Founded by Varun Dua, the man behind insurance comparison site Coverfox, Acko is designed as a wholly digital take on insurance in India. The… Read More

2017-05-25 05:02:23
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5 

SoftBank adds Brazil's 99 to its ridesharing portfolio with a $100 million investment  

 SoftBank, known for investing in ridesharing apps that aren’t Uber, has added another startup to its list. This time it’s a $100 million bet on 99, the largest ridesharing company in Brazil. Read More

2017-05-25 04:52:30
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2 

Spin raises $8 million as bike-sharing battle heats up in the US  

 Bike sharing has taken a turn in the U.S. The new mode is “dockless,” where companies distribute bikes around a city or campus to be rented per trip instead of dispensing them from one station. The bikes are tracked via GPS, and can be located by users, paid for and unlocked using their smartphones. When riders are done, they can park the bike anywhere that’s convenient… Read More

2017-05-25 04:22:01
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3 

Judah vs. the Machines: Robots are still laughably awful at playing soccer  

 Robots may have the upper hand on math and science, but when it comes to athletics, no one can kick around a ball quite like a human can. In this installment of Judah vs. the Machines, Judah Friedlander heads to the University of Miami to see how the school’s RoboCanes robotic soccer team fares in a challenge against his own soccer abilities. Read More

2017-05-25 04:17:57
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6 

Peloton is now a unicorn because of the spinning class craze  

 Have you ever taken a class at SoulCycle? Or better yet, Flywheel? Spinning has turned out to be a big business and there’s one brand that’s been gaining traction in the at-home fitness space. Peloton’s $2000 bikes have developed a cult following, mainly because of its live-streamed classes, which are offered as an added subscription and can be displayed on the bike screen.… Read More

2017-05-25 03:47:15
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4 

These flat-pack turtlebots will crawl across minefields for safety's sake  

 The threat of minefields is an ongoing and horrifying one, and the duty of clearing them is as difficult as it is dangerous. All the more reason, then, that it should be done by robots! A new type of inexpensive, versatile bot modeled after turtles could be a great tool for this and other jobs. Read More

2017-05-25 02:38:55
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5 

Target just gave Casper $75 million  

 Target has reportedly rolled $75 million into Casper, the direct-to-consumer mattress startup you may have heard about in all those podcasts. The funding is a good chunk of what should end up being a more than $100 million round. Read More

2017-05-25 02:22:37
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1 

Watch Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard commencement speech here  

 College dropout-turned-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally got his degree today, and now he’s about to give Harvard’s 366th commencement speech. You can watch him speak here now, where we’ll embed the Facebook Live broadcast on TechCrunch, and provide frequent updates on any news or insights he mentions. For a deeper look at the substance of his talk, read our follow-up… Read More

2017-05-25 02:15:04
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2 

Mogees picks up seed funding to put audio-based gesture recognition tech into new devices  

 Mogees, the London startup behind the Mogees Pro and Mogees Play contact microphone and machine learning-based music and gaming devices, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding — capital it plans to use to embed its “gestural recognition tech” into new devices and applications. Read More

2017-05-25 02:07:19
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4 

Xiaomi's second bezel-less Mi Max smartphone claims a two-day battery  

 Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi made a big splash when it announced the the Mi Max, its much-heralded device with a near bezel-less display, last year — now we have a follow-up phone. The Mi Max 2, unveiled today at an event in Beijing, will be available in China from June 1 priced upwards from RMB 1699, that’s around $247. Xiaomi claims it sold over three million of the… Read More

2017-05-25 01:42:03
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4 

DJI's Cute $499 Spark Drone | Crunch Report  

DJI releases its $499 consumer drone, Unity raises $400 million, SurveyMonkey adds Serena Williams to its board of directors and SoftBank has a $4 billion stake in Nvidia. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

2017-05-25 01:37:41
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4 

Google's AlphaGo AI wins three-match series against the world's best Go player  

 Google’s AlphaGo AI has once again made the case that machines are now smarter than man — when it comes to games of strategy, at least. AlphaGo made its name last year when it defeated high-profile Go player Lee Sedol 4-1, but now it has beaten the world’s best player of Go, the hugely complex ancient strategy game. Today, it won against Go world champion Ke Jie to… Read More

2017-05-25 01:16:05
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5 

Mark Zuckerberg gets trolled on Harvard's student newspaper ahead of commencement speech  

 Ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s commencement speech at Harvard today, the school’s much-lauded student newspaper had some… interesting headlines to share. Read More

2017-05-25 01:13:01
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3 

Blippar's machine learning tech can identify cars better than you can  

 Do you think you know cars? Well, Blippar’s new machine learning technology is ready to take you on, as the augmented reality/visual search company is today announcing automotive recognition tech. In other words, Blippar’s AI can identify the make, model and year of any U.S. car made in 2000 or after, as long as the car is traveling slower than 15mph. Blippar originally launched as… Read More

2017-05-25 01:12:43
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3 

Pokémon launches Magikarp Jump, a new iOS and Android game  

 There’s a new official mobile Pokemon game for iOS and Android devices, and it’s all about everyone’s favorite floppy fish: Magikarp. If you’re a longtime Pokemon fan, then you probably recall grinding with a Magikarp in your party to get it to level 20, whereupon (spoiler alert) it would blossom into a the powerful and awesome Gyarados. While it was great to get… Read More

2017-05-25 01:03:07
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2 

Sony revamps its Digital Paper tablet with new screen and interface  

 Sony’s mammoth 13-inch Digital Paper tablet, essentially a huge Kindle you can write on, is still a pretty rare sight, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. So I’m glad the company is doubling down on this unique device type and making some significant improvements with a new model. Read More

2017-05-24 18:51:46
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7 

Airbnb is running its own internal university to teach data science  

 Tech companies, and increasingly even non-tech companies, are struggling with the fact that there are not enough trained data scientists to fill market demand. Every company has their own strategy for hiring and training, but Airbnb has taken things a step further — running its own university-style program, complete with a custom course-numbering system. Read More

2017-05-24 17:51:51
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5 

Judah vs. the Machines: SeuratBot is an artistic robot that knows art, but lacks purpose  

 If art is a window into the soul, what does art discover when it peers deep into the inner workings of a robot? In this installment of Judah vs. the Machines, actor Judah Friedlander tests his art skills against a robot designed to make visually appealing art in different artistic styles. Read More

2017-05-24 16:49:55
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3 

Boeing will build DARPA's XS-1 experimental spaceplane  

 You can hear the champagne corks popping here in Seattle as Boeing is awarded the contract to make DARPA’s cool experimental spaceplane. The XS-1, as it’s called, would allow for relatively cheap and simple trips to space for launching and testing satellites and all that sort of thing. Read More

2017-05-24 16:39:09
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3 

Registration for Startup Alley at Disrupt SF is open — get your tickets now  

 Attention, startups. The day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! We’re stoked to announce that registration is now open for startups looking to display in Startup Alley or Hardware Alley at Disrupt SF 2017. And to kick off the festivities, we’re launching a special extra early-bird offer. Read More

2017-05-24 16:04:09
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4 

Foursquare data shows international tourism to the U.S. is down  

 International tourism to the U.S. is down, according to Foursquare location data. Using data from 13 million users (who have opted in to always-on location trails), Foursquare can examine who walks in and out of 93 million public places across the globe. According to the firm, the U.S. market share of international tourism started to drop in October 2016, falling by 6 percent year-over-year.… Read More

2017-05-24 15:06:21
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2 

Facebook's personal fundraisers exit beta, now support raising money for sports teams & communities  

 Facebook announced today it’s expanding its online fundraising tools – basically, Facebook’s own take on a GoFundMe-type service – to include support for community fundraisers as well as those for sports teams. The company had first launched its personal fundraising tools in March of this year, allowing users to raise money for educational, medical or pet medical… Read More

2017-05-24 13:15:22
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9 

Wealthfront now helps users save up for their kids' college tuition  

 Robo-advisor Wealthfront originally came to market with a product to automate retirement savings, but over time has expanded to provide other financial tools. Today, the company is announcing a new product aimed at helping parents save for their children’s college education. Read More

2017-05-24 13:04:21
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15 




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