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

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

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

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

Stock trade app Robinhood raising at $5B+, up 4X in a year  

By adding a cryptocurrency exchange, a web version and stock option trading, Robinhood has managed to quadruple its valuation in a year, according to a source familiar with a new round the startup is raising. Robinhood is closing in on around $350 million in Series D funding led by Russian firm DST Global, the source […]

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2018-03-15 17:31:18

Facebook launches Express Wi-Fi app for its local-operated hotspots  

Facebook wants you to pay for internet. This week TechCrunch was tipped off that Facebook had quietly launched an Express Wi-Fi Android app in the Google Play store that lets users buy data packs and find nearby hotspots as part of Facebook’s distributed Wi-Fi network. The company’s Express Wi-Fi program is live in five developing countries […]

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2018-03-15 16:08:22

Ford says its electric SUV will be famous without having to shoot it into space  

Ford is committed to electric vehicles and today revealed more details about its upcoming performance electric SUV. Jim Farley, President of Ford Global Markets, speaking a media event today, called the upcoming vehicle low-slung like a Mustang. The company is targeting 2020 release and Farley promised that it will be famous without having to shoot […]

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2018-03-15 15:30:24 lets you program in your browser  

No matter whether you are a seasoned programmer or you simply want to take your first steps in writing code, wants to help you get from idea to result as fast as possible — without complicated installs and setup procedures getting in your way. The Y Combinator-funded project, which released version 1.0 of its service […]

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2018-03-15 14:27:21

Rihanna calls out Snapchat for tone-deaf ad that made light of domestic violence  

Rihanna is not happy with Snap for the tone-deaf ad the company let run on Snapchat. A couple of days ago, an advertisement on Snap appeared that alluded to Chris Brown’s violent assault on Rihanna back in 2009. The advertisement, which was for a game called “Would You Rather,” asked if people would “rather slap […]

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2018-03-15 14:25:12

Android Wear is becoming 'Wear OS by Google'  

Android Wear hasn’t exactly been the rocket ship of success Google was no doubt banking on when it was launched four years ago this week. After a slow start, the company issued a 2.0 refresh of the wearable operating system in early 2017 — but the update was fairly minimal and didn't appear to move […]

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2018-03-15 13:56:48

Washington waking up to threats of AI with new task force  

Elon Musk has been one of the few Silicon Valley luminaries to place intense attention on the potential dangers of AI, raising a billion dollars with Y Combinator's Sam Altman to found OpenAI . Musk has continued the drumbeat on AI's dangers, telling a crowd at SXSW this week that "A.I. is far more dangerous […]

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2018-03-15 13:12:07

Volley's voice games for smart speakers have amassed over half a million monthly users  

The rapid consumer adoption of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home has opened opportunities for developers creating voice apps, too. At least that’s true in the case of Volley, a young company building voice-controlled entertainment experiences for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. In less than a year, Volley has amassed an audience north […]

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2018-03-15 12:13:22

My Tamagotchi Forever brings the 90s to your smartphone  

We had all but forgotten about Tamagotchis. But those attention-starved little creatures are coming back. Today, My Tamagotchi Forever launches on Google Play and the App Store. For those of you who didn’t ride the wave of handheld digital pets in the late 90s and early aughts, or those of you who are too young […]

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2018-03-15 11:46:25

Ford takes aim at Toyota's hybrid market lead with its new SUV lineup  

Ford detailed a bunch of its roadmap for the next few years at a special media event today, and one of the key takeaways is that it’s going all-in on hybrids with its SUV lineup. Ford estimates that SUVs could make up as much as half the entire U.S. industry retail market by 2020, and […]

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2018-03-15 11:17:53

Amazon's top original shows generated an estimated 5M new Prime members  

Amazon’s original content efforts are paying off, at least in terms of driving new sign-ups for Prime, which is ostensibly their main value to the commerce giant. Documents obtained by Reuters show that the top Prime video original programming, including 19 shows covered within, were accountable for as many as a quarter of the total […]

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2018-03-15 10:57:39

Fortem gets a $15 million Series A for its drone-hunting tech  

Startup pitches invariably involve futures where the skies are thick with drones — delivery, transportation, emergency response. In that seemingly inevitable scenario, tracking and hunting down out of control and malicious unmanned vehicles will likely be a pretty lucrative field. It's something Fortem's been working on for a few years now. In May of 2016, […]

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2018-03-15 10:31:20

Ford is changing the way it builds vehicles  

Ford is a 115-year-old company and has changed much over the years. The car maker seems ready to change again. Today, Ford gathered several hundred journalists in a theater deep in its Dearborn, MI development center. The building is surrounded by engineering labs and test facilities. A Ford proving ground is across the street, the […]

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2018-03-15 10:13:40

Airbnb makes service more accessible to people with disabilities  

Airbnb has made some changes to its platform in order to make it easier for people with disabilities to find accommodations that suit their needs. The 21 new accessibility filters Airbnb has added enable people to find homes and apartments that have step-free entry to rooms, entryways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, elevators, roll-in […]

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2018-03-15 09:58:38

Intel announces hardware fixes for Spectre and Meltdown on upcoming chips  

When the Spectre and Meltdown bugs hit, it became clear that they wouldn't be fixed with a few quick patches — the problem runs deeper than that. Fortunately, Intel has had plenty of time to work on it, and new chips coming out later this year will include improvements at the hardware/architecture level that protect against the flaws. Well, two out of three, anyway.

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2018-03-15 09:44:30

PUBG soft-launches on mobile in Canada with Android release  

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, the ‘battle royale’ style game where everyone tries to be the last player standing while scrounging for supplies to keep them alive, has launched on Android in Canada MobileSyrup reports, which could presage a future release in the U.S. The arrival of the mobile version of the game more generally known as […]

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2018-03-15 09:35:58

SwiftKey gets stickers  

Back in 2016, Microsoft bought the popular SwiftKey keyboard for Android and iOS for $250 million. It’s still one of the most popular third-party keyboard on both platforms and today, the company is launching one of its biggest updates since the acquisition. With SwiftKey 7.0,  which is out now, the company is adding stickers — because […]

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2018-03-15 09:11:58

Google spent about $270K to close pay gaps across race and gender  

Google says there are currently no “statistically significant” pay gaps at the company across race and gender. This is based on the company’s most recent pay analysis, where it looked at unexplained pay discrepancies based on gender and race and then made adjustments where necessary, Google wrote in a blog post today. In total, Google […]

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2018-03-15 08:52:15

Lightning Labs just raised millions from Jack Dorsey and others to supercharge blockchain transactions  

Lightning Labs, a young, Bay Area-based startup, is trying to make it easier for users to send bitcoin and litecoin to each other without the costly and time-consuming process of settling their transactions on the blockchain. It has investors excited about its work, too. The company is announcing today that it has raised $2.5 million […]

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2018-03-15 08:36:52

Drover picks up £5.5M funding for its car subscription marketplace  

Drover, a London-based startup that lets you take out a “car subscription” as an alternative to car ownership, has picked up £5.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by VC firms Cherry Ventures, Partech and BP Ventures (the venture arm of BP), and adds to an earlier £2 million ‘pre-seed’ investment from Version […]

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2018-03-15 07:47:26

Hootsuite nabs $50M in growth capital for its social media management platform, passes 16M customers  

Over the last several years, social media has become a critical and central way for businesses to communicate, and market to, their customers. Now, one of the startups that helped spearhead this trend has raised a round of growth funding to expand its horizons. Hootsuite, the Vacouver-based social media management company that counts some 16 […]

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2018-03-15 06:02:54

Nest's video doorbell is now shipping  

Back in September of last year, Nest announced its first smart doorbell. When it would actually ship, however, was left sort of up in the air; all the company said at the time was to expect it sometime in Q1 of 2018. Turns out, that means today. The Nest doorbell — or the Nest Hello, […]

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2018-03-15 05:57:17

We want to hear about your robotics company  

As you might have heard, last year's TC Robotics event in Boston was such a hit we've decided to do it again — only on the West Coast, this time. On Friday, May 11, we'll be holding TC Sessions: Robotics on the U.C. Berkeley campus. We've got a lot of big industry luminaries lined up […]

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2018-03-15 05:44:43

FitHouse aims to make fancy fitness classes more affordable  

Fitness-oriented New Yorkers aren’t facing a shortage of classes that they can sign up for, but the prices can add up — Clement Benoit, founder of a new startup called FitHouse, said boutique classes cost an average of $35 per session. FitHouse, on the other hand, is charging $99 per month for unlimited classes. Contrast […]

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2018-03-15 05:40:38

Facebook opens Instant Games to all developers  

Facebook’s Instant Games are now open to all developers, Facebook announced this week in advance of the Game Developers Conference. First launched in 2016, the platform lets developers build mobile-friendly games using HTML5 that work on both Facebook and Messenger, instead of requiring users to download native apps from Apple or Google’s app stores. The […]

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2018-03-15 05:39:11

TypingDNA launches Chrome extension that verifies your identity based on typing  

TypingDNA has a new approach to verifying your identity based on how you type. The startup, which is part of the current class at Techstars NYC, is pitching this as an alternative to two-factor authentication — namely, the security feature that sends unique codes to a separate device (usually your phone) to make sure someone […]

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2018-03-15 05:33:01

Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnite live on Twitch  

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common? They’re all playing Fortnite together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch . Yes, seriously. You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action. playing fort nite with @ninja — […]

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2018-03-15 05:09:59

Abra adds 20 cryptocurrencies to its wallet app  

Abra, a global currency wallet that was the belle of the early Bitcoin ball, has just added 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies, a feature that allows you to top up and send cash and cryptocurrencies from inside the wallet. “Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, Stellar Lumens, DigiByte, […]

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2018-03-15 05:09:06

Teacher in Ghana who used blackboard to explain computers gets some Microsoft love  

Teaching kids how to use a computer is hard enough already, since they're kids, but just try doing it without any computers. That was the task undertaken by Richard Appiah Akoto in Ghana, and his innovative (and labor-intensive) solution was to draw the computer or application on the blackboard in great detail. His hard work went viral and now Microsoft has stepped in to help out.

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2018-03-15 04:46:20

Alas, Digg Reader is shutting down at the end of March  

After the death — no, let's not mince words — murder of Google Reader, I tried out a dozen or so other RSS readers to see if I could get a similar experience. Of all the ones I tested, I was very surprised to find that Digg Reader was the best of them all, for my purposes anyway.

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2018-03-15 04:29:21

Lyft is testing monthly subscriptions for riders  

Lyft is testing a monthly subscription plan for people who tend to take a lot of rides, The Verge first reported. This is no surprise, given Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green said earlier this week Lyft would like to achieve in transportation what Netflix achieved in streaming media with subscriptions. There seems to be […]

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2018-03-15 04:04:47

Sierra Leone just ran the first blockchain-based election  

The citizens of Sierra Leone went to the polls on March 7 but this time something was different: the country recorded votes at 70% of the polling to the blockchain using a technology that is the first of its kind in actual practice. The tech, created by Leonardo Gammar of Agora, anonymously stored votes in […]

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2018-03-15 03:51:39

Reddit set to begin rolling out promoted post ads in their native apps  

For how massive Reddit is in terms of user base, it’s really gotten by for a long time having a product that advanced about as quickly as Drudge Report. That’s been changing lately, as the company has looked to mature their platform with user-centric features that make surfing content easier and keep everything a bit […]

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2018-03-15 03:50:35

Delphia helps publishers create complex, AI-driven surveys  

You’re probably familiar with quizzes from online publishers like BuzzFeed. But what if a quiz could actually help you sort through tough decisions and complex topics, not just which Sex and the City character or Disney princess you most closely resemble? That’s basically what Y Combinator -backed startup called Delphia is promising. CEO Clifton van […]

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2018-03-15 03:38:27

nuqneH? yIjatlh! You can now learn Klingon with Duolingo  

If you’re a real Star Wars Star Trek fan, chances are you’ve always dreamt of learning Klingon. It’s one of the most lovely and melodic tongues in the pantheon of fake languages, after all. Well, here is your chance: Duolingo today announced the launch of the official Klingon course on its service. “Many Star Trek fans become curious about […]

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2018-03-15 03:31:05

Blue Apron will start selling its meal kits in stores  

Blue Apron announced today it will bring its meal kits to stores. The news arrives at a time when the meal kit subscription company is struggling to grow and retain its users, who are often put off by the expense of the direct-shipped meal kits and the need to commit to an ongoing subscription. In […]

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2018-03-15 03:18:58

DHS and FBI detail how Russia is hacking into U.S. nuclear facilities and other critical infrastructure  

With a joint alert from the FBI and DHS, the Trump administration has formally accused the Russian government of a “multi-stage intrusion campaign” targeting the U.S. energy grid for the first time. The alert provides some specifics about an emerging threat that could translate a cyberattack into practical chaos for a country in the crosshairs […]

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2018-03-15 03:07:16

Spotify tests native voice search, groundwork for smart speakers  

Now Spotify listens to you instead of the other way around. Spotify has a new voice search interface that lets you say “Play my Discover Weekly,” “Show Calvin Harris” or “Play some upbeat pop” to pull up music. A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that this is “Just a test for now,” as only a […]

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2018-03-15 02:57:37

Revolut adds direct debits in Europe  

Fintech startup Revolut is slowly making traditional bank accounts irrelevant. The company is adding direct debits in EUR to make it easier to pay for utilities and subscription services. While Revolut is currently applying for a banking license, the company has already been adding everything you need to replace your bank account with a Revolut […]

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2018-03-15 02:43:48

Here's why Spotify will go public via direct listing on April 3rd  

Spotify explained why it’s ditching the traditional IPO for a direct listing on the NYSE on April 3rd today during its Investor Day presentation. Spotify described the rationale for using a direct listing to go public with five points: List Without Selling Shares  – Spotify has plent of money with $1.3 billion in cash and securities, […]

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2018-03-15 02:43:15

Google is launching playable in-game ads  

Maybe you’ve seen this kind of ad in a game you have played: your character dies and then the game asks you to watch a short video ad in return for an extra life. That’s actually a feature of Google’s AdMob advertising service, and today it’s extending this with playable ads, a new type of […]

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2018-03-15 02:38:48

Circle launches a Coinbase competitor in the U.S.  

Circle is launching Circle Invest in the U.S. except in NY, MN, HI and WY. The app is now available in the App Store and Play Store and lets you instantly trade the most popular cryptocurrencies without any fee. Circle Invest isn’t exactly an exchange as the app hides most of the complexities that you […]

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2018-03-15 02:37:29

CFO Naeem Ishaq is leaving Boxed  

Naeem Ishaq is leaving his role as chief financial officer of bulk e-commerce company Boxed. Ishaq joined Boxed in 2016, following a stint as head of finance, strategy and risk at Square. A Boxed spokesperson confirmed Ishaq’s departure, and sent the following statement from CEO Chieh Huang: Naeem is a world-class financial talent. Over the […]

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2018-03-15 02:30:21

Voicery makes synthesized voices sound more like humans  

Advancements in AI technology have paved the way for breakthroughs in speech recognition, natural language processing and machine translation. A new startup called Voicery now wants to leverage those same advancements to improve speech synthesis, too. The result is a fast, flexible speech engine that sounds more human — and less like a robot. Its […]

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2018-03-15 02:24:56

Wikipedia wasn't aware of YouTube's conspiracy video plan  

YouTube has a plan to combat the abundant conspiracy theories that feature in credulous videos on its platform; not a very good plan, but a plan just the same. It’s using information drawn from Wikipedia relevant to some of the more popular conspiracy theories, and putting that info front and center on videos that dabble in… […]

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2018-03-15 02:24:07

GM will build its production autonomous Cruise cars at Michigan assembly plant  

GM revealed today that it’s going to be starting proper production of its Cruise autonomous vehicle at its Orion township assembly plant in Michigan, with the roof modules for the vehicles assembled nearby at its Brownstowne battery assembly plant. Alongside the Cruise AV, Orion will also continue to build the Bolt EV, as well as […]

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2018-03-15 02:22:21

MIT gadget puts multiple artificial organs into a paperback-sized connected system  

If you want to see how a proposed drug affects human physiology, your options are limited — and usually you end up using mice, which are in many ways poor analogues. What's a pharmacologist to do? MIT researchers have a solution: a "body on a chip" that simulates up to 10 interconnected human organs at once using millions of living cells.

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2018-03-15 02:22:01

Blue Vision Labs, which builds 'collaborative' AR, emerges from stealth with $14.5M led by GV  

Blue Vision Labs, a London-based augmented reality startup co-founded by computer vision experts from Oxford and Imperial College, is emerging from stealth today with a new platform that it claims will be the first to bring ‘collaboration’ to the AR experience: with an app built on Blue Vision’s technology (via its API and SDK), multiple […]

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2018-03-15 02:20:52

Strix Leviathan raises $1.625M for its enterprise crypto trading platform  

Seattle-based Strix Leviathan, an enterprise trading and management platform for crypto assets founded by startup vet Jesse Proudman, today announced that it has raised a $1.625 million seed round led by Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures (yes, that Joe Montana). Other investors include Founders' Co-op, Future\Perfect Ventures and 9Mile Labs, as well as angel investors like Chris […]

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2018-03-15 02:16:53

Equifax exec charged with insider trading, selling shares ahead of hack news  

Former Equifax exec Jun Ying has been charged with insider trading, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ying is accused of knowing that Equifax had been hacked and selling company shares before the public was notified. Ying, who was “next in line to the be company’s global CIO, allegedly used confidential information entrusted to him by […]

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2018-03-15 02:11:46

Startup Battlefield Europe deadline extended one week  

Procrastinateurs se rejouissent! If you haven't applied yet to compete in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Europe at VivaTech in Paris on May 24-25, then rejoice indeed, because we have great news for you. We're extending the application deadline by one full week to March 22, at 9 a.m. PST. Startup Battlefield is the premier startup pitch […]

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2018-03-15 02:07:31

YouTube's Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen teases a new premium music subscription service  

In a keynote speech at SXSW, YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen spoke briefly of YouTube’s plans for a music subscription service, amid a longer discussion of the changes he’s witnessed throughout his career in the industry, as well as those still in the horizon. YouTube’s new music subscription service had been expected to launch […]

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2018-03-15 02:06:12

Google explores how light fields shape VR environments in new free app  

Lighting can make or break the right photo — when it comes to static environments inside virtual reality that users can move around in, this becomes exponentially more true. Today, Google released a new app for VR devices focused on helping users make sense of “light fields.” They’ve also got a blog post running down […]

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2018-03-15 02:04:29

TheSkimm raises $12 million for its snarky newsletters  

Seven million women (and men) love theSkimm.  With its daily newsletters designed to keep you in the loop on the latest news and pop culture, theSkimm has developed a loyal following, and even recruits fans called to help spread the word. That word-of-mouth hype is helping, and the startup has seen enough growth to […]

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2018-03-15 01:50:08

Don't foul this free-throwing Toyota basketball robot  

Because if it gets to the free-throw line, it sinks the shot - every. single. time. This robot (via The Verge) is the project of a group of Toyota engineers using their spare time, to build a robot inspired by the manga Slam Dunk, which is about a Japanese high school basketball team. The engineers […]

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2018-03-15 01:50:07

The red-hot AI hardware space gets even hotter with $56M for a startup called SambaNova Systems  

Another massive financing round for an AI chip company is coming in today, this time for SambaNova Systems — a startup founded by a pair of Stanford professors and a longtime chip company executive — to build out the next generation of hardware to supercharge AI-centric operations. SambaNova joins an already quite large class of […]

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2018-03-15 01:41:25

CrunchMatch Connects Investors and Founders at Disrupt SF 2018  

Disrupt San Francisco 2018 promises to be our biggest Disrupt event ever — with three times the convention floor space and more than 10,000 attendees. That's incredibly exciting, and it also presents a challenge for startup founders and tech investors eager to network and connect. Who wants to waste valuable time talking to the wrong […]

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2018-03-15 01:23:52

Lyft is building a self-driving platform with auto supplier Magna  

Lyft is partnering with Magna, one of the largest tier-one automotive industry suppliers in the world, on autonomous vehicle technology. Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green explained that this will help them get their self-driving tech into various automaker vehicles around the world. Lyft will be working directly with Magna on “co-developing” an autonomous driving system, […]

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2018-03-15 01:04:45

France takes legal action against Apple and Google for their app stores  

France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized Apple and Google for the way they run the App Store and Play Store. According to him, Google and Apple have too much power against app developers. Le Maire will ask a court to look at it and fine tech giants if necessary. “When developers want to develop […]

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2018-03-14 13:52:24

ClassPass Live launches offering on-demand workouts from home  

ClassPass has today announced the launch of ClassPass Live, an at-home workout platform that connects users with fitness teachers via live video. ClassPass Live was first announced in December of last year. The company purchased a studio in Industry City, along with hiring instructors to develop a proprietary ClassPass workout for users and run classes. […]

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2018-03-14 13:46:56

Disney announces a strategic reorganization of its business, ahead of the launch of its Netflix rival  

Disney this morning announced a strategic reorganization of its business in order to better reflect its current priorities in the areas of technological innovation, global expansion, the creation of high-quality content, and direct-to-consumer distribution – meaning its upcoming Netflix competitor. Under the new structure, Disney’s business will be reorganized into four segments: a new Direct-to-Consumer […]

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2018-03-14 13:44:43

Google announces ban on cryptocurrency ads  

A little over a month after Facebook updated its advertising policy to include a blanket ban on  cryptocurrency, Google is following suit. Shortly after reporting that it had removed 3.2 billion "bad ads" in 2017, the search giant issued an update to its advertising policy page, highlighting a ban on: Binary options and synonymous products […]

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2018-03-14 10:29:20

Codementor launches Dev Protocol, which uses blockchain to help developers build their reputations  

Dev Protocol is a new project that uses blockchain to give software developers a secure place to build their professional reputations. Created by Codementor, an online mentoring platform and on-demand marketplace for software developers, one of Dev Protocol's goals is to make the industry a more level playing field. "You can take it from job […]

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2018-03-14 09:02:16

PlayTable uses blockchain to connect video games and physical objects  

I’ll be honest: When I first got the pitch for “the first blockchain-based video game console,” I assumed it must be some kind of gimmick. But Jimmy Chen, co-founder and CEO of Blok.Party, said the Ethereum blockchain is “a critical part of this experience,” allowing his team to create “this seamless bridge between the digital […]

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2018-03-14 08:25:19

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