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

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 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 Powered by WPeMatico

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Facebook shrinks filter bubbles with alternate news sources in Trending

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 You’re vulnerable to bias and polarization if you only get your news from one source. So instead of highlighting a single news outlet when you click through to a Trending topic, Facebook will now show a carousel of the other most popular articles written about the subject by different publishers. Meanwhile, Facebook is giving more […]

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Tennis star Serena Williams joins SurveyMonkey’s board

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 Serena Williams (yes, THAT Serena Williams) has joined the board of consumer survey startup SurveyMonkey, along with Intuit CEO Brad Smith. This is the tennis superstar’s first venture into Silicon Valley and, according to a SurveyMonkey spokesperson, came about at the suggestion of fellow board member and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg joined […]

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Google, IBM and Lyft launch Istio, an open-source platform for managing and securing microservices

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 To help developers and DevOps professionals manage and secure their microservice-based applications, Google, IBM and Lyft today announced Istio, a new open platform that allows you to create a network of deployed services, and which includes tools for load balancing, service-to-service authentication and monitoring. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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DJI’s GO 4 control app adds automated flight modes to its new Spark drone

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 At today’s media event in NYC, DJI announced its new Spark drone, destined for the entry-level market as an everyday portable solution for capturing aerial footage. To go with your shiny new Spark, DJI is releasing a new iOS control app, dubbed GO 4. The new app features a new set of four automated flight modes, which […]

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Hackers are hiding malware in subtitle files

An impressive new exploit gives hackers the ability to control your desktop through malware spread by fake movie subtitles. The exploit, which essentially dumps a malware onto your desktop and then notifies the attacker, affects users of video players like Popcorn Time and VLC. Checkpoint found that malformed subtitle files can give hackers the ability […]

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G2 Crowd, a Glassdoor for software reviews, gets $30M from LinkedIn and more

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 In the age of social media, you’re only as good as your last like, and today a startup has raised a sizeable round of funding — banking that the same maxim applies to software, too. G2 Crowd — a Chicago-based company that has built a platform for crowdsourcing enterprise software reviews to help others make decisions on what to use and […]

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Microsoft now uses Git and GVFS to develop Windows

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 Microsoft today announced that virtually all of its engineers now use the Git version control system to develop its Windows operating system. The Windows Git repository includes about 3.5 million files that weigh in at about 300GB when you check them into Git. Git, however, wasn’t built for a project of this size, so Microsoft developed the Git […]

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A year after its launch, Tech:NYC has become a force in New York politics

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 It’s been a little over a year since Fred Wilson and Tim Armstrong appeared onstage at Disrupt in New York to launch Tech:NYC. The two titans of New York City’s tech scene were angling to create a new organization that would speak out for the interests of the tech industry in both city and state government while […]

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Circle with Disney raises $10 million for its parental control device for families

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 Circle Media, the company behind Circle with Disney – a device that helps parents enforce their home’s internet rules and restrictions – has raised $10 million in Series A funding, the company announced this morning. The round was led by early stage venture fund Relay Ventures. There was other private equity investment in the round, but the parties […]

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How to stage an ICO (and other lingering questions you might like answered)

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 Over the last month, it’s been hard to miss talk in the media and on social channels about initial coin offerings, or ICOs. What are they? Where did they suddenly come from? Who’s investing in them? When the popular investing platform AngelList announced on Monday that it’s jumping into the business of making ICOs easier to coordinate, […]

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DJI’s tiny new Spark drone starts at $499

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 The big news at DJI’s “huge Seize the Moment” event in New York City is, as expected, something small. The world’s largest consumer drone maker cracked the code with last year’s backpack-size, folding prop Mavic Pro drone (soundly thumping former ally GoPro in the process) and now it’s back on the scene a little over […]

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MIT researchers invent clothes that breathe with the help of biological cells

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 MIT researchers have invented a new type of workout material that can breathe using biological cells. The project, called bioLogic, is essentially a “breathable workout suit” covered in small flaps. The flaps are “lined with live microbial cells that shrink and expand in response to changes in humidity” allowing the entire outfit to act as […]

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Xbox Game Pass launches June 1 with over 100 titles

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 Xbox One owners get a new reason to fire up their consoles on June 1: Xbox Game Pass, the download service Microsoft created to deliver subscription-based gaming with a library of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games in an all-you-can game model. The service is similar to PlayStation Now, Sony’s PlayStation 4-based equivalent, and also […]

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Softbank’s Nvidia stake is reportedly worth $4BN

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 Bloomberg is today reporting the size of Softbank’s stake in Nvidia is $4 billion, for 4.9 per cent of the company, which it says would make it the fourth largest investor in the chipmaker. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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The final Valerian trailer makes me want to live in a thousand-planet city

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 This is the last trailer we’re getting for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets before it hits theaters on July 21, 2017. The bright, bold sci-fi epic looks like trademark Besson, which is to say it looks like The Fifth Element. Valerian’s similarity to Besson’s previous sci-fi oeuvre is a good […]

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Report: Microsoft to buy security firm Hexadite for $100M as Cloudyn still in progress

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 While we wait to get more news on Microsoft closing a reported acquisition of Cloudyn, another report has emerged of one more enterprise startup that the software giant is buying in Israel. Calacalist reported earlier today that Microsoft is paying $100 million to acquire Hexadite, a cybersecurity company that uses AI to sort through and address smaller network attacks — […]

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Robotic toymaker Sphero unveils Ultimate Lightning McQueen — a chatty, smartphone-controlled car

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 While Sphero has released a whole lineup of robotic, Internet-connected toys, it remains best-known for its BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today it’s launching its next Disney tie-in — Ultimate Lightning McQueen. This is a car that you can control from your iPhone or Android, based on the Owen Wilson-voiced character from Pixar’s Cars […]

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

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 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 […]

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With a new CEO, Metabiota looks to new markets for its epidemic monitoring toolkit

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 Bill Rossi, the new chief executive officer at Metabiota, believes that (unlikely as it seems) the insurance industry might be the key to stopping epidemic outbreaks worldwide — and that Metabiota would supply the monitoring tools to make the product work. Rossi, who quietly took the reins at the San Francisco-based company earlier in the […]

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Watch two very different new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailers

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 Spider-Man: Homecoming is not that far away now, set for U.S. release on July 7. The movie got two new trailers early Wednesday, including a U.S. version (above), and the International trailer (below). I was worried this was going to be a game of spotting minor differences, but it very much is not, as you’ll […]

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Have a robotics or machine learning startup? Pitch at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics

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 Have a robotic startup or project? We want you on stage at TechCrunch Session: Robotics this July 17 at MIT. We’re looking for students to demo and early stage startups to pitch. If selected, both will get free tickets and exhibit space at the event. Use this form to apply. This opportunity will put participants in […]

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Stae helps cities take advantage of their data

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 Stae wants to help local governments collect, manage and process data about their infrastructure. The company just raised $1.5 million from Story Ventures, Fontinalis Partners and Samsung Ventures. I first covered Stae back in April 2016. The vision hasn’t changed much, it’s all about preparing cities for the future and upgrading infrastructure by making it […]

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This coffee butter-chugging startup just pulled in $19 million more in funding

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 Dave Asprey, the man famous for encouraging Silicon Valley execs to put butter in his special blend of coffee, has raised another $19 million to keep on doing just that. His company and lifestyle brand Bulletproof 360 claims to make coffee free of something called mycotoxins, which is, basically, mold and can make you very ill […]

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Samsung’s new Gear 360 cam gets $229 retail price, goes on sale tomorrow

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 Samsung announced today that it will begin selling its new 360-degree camera in-stores and online starting tomorrow for $229. Across the pond, the phone had been available for pre-order for £219, or just over $283, so this is actually a smudge cheaper than some were expecting. Even though the company’s last iteration was priced at $349, those […]

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8Bitdo’s retro Bluetooth controllers now work with Nintendo Switch

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 Need more controllers for your Nintendo Switch? If you already have some of 8Bitdo’s excellent Bluetooth, classic system-inspired game pads lying around, you’re all set thanks to a new firmware update. Even if you don’t yet have any of these, it’s worth picking some up since they’re very affordable, ergonomic and stylish. The update to […]

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Collaboration platform Smartsheet nabs $52M at $800M valuation

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 Cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms are the name of the game today in enterprise software, and now one of the still-independent leaders in that space is announcing a significant round at a hefty price to ride the wave of growth. Smartsheet, the Bellevue, Washington-based startup that has built spreadsheet software that lets people set and manage tasks and […]

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Watch DJI reveal its new drone right here

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 DJI is promising “something huge” at this morning’s “Seize the Moment” event in New York City. More than likely, that big thing will come in a small package. The often secretive drone company has apparently been leaking like crazy ahead of today’s big reveal, and we’ve gotten more than few looks at the rumored Spark […]

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GREE Ventures closes $67M fund for deals in Japan, India and Southeast Asia

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 GREE Ventures, the Singapore-based VC firm connected to Japanese games firm GREE, has closed its newest $67 million fund for early stage investments in Asia. AT-II — the firm’s second fund — sees GREE Ventures spread its focus of deals in Japan and Southeast Asia to cover India for the first time. The fund has so far made 10 […]

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PolicyGenius raises $30 million from Norwest Venture Partners

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 Consumers increasingly are going online to search for insurance, and when they do, PolicyGenius wants to be right there to help them find the right policy. To expand its offerings and support more customers, the company raised a $30 million Series C funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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Pinterest opens up autoplay videos in home feed and search with new measurement tools

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 Pinterest is adding another ad to its array of products, now allowing advertisers to publish video advertising that will automatically play in the home feed and search, as it continues to bulk up and woo advertisers with a different pitch from Facebook and Google. Pinterest has had to make the argument to advertisers that its […]

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Apply for the TechCrunch Tel Aviv Meetup + Pitch-off now

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 As you may have noticed TechCrunch is coming back to Israel with a Meetup + Pitch-off in Tel Aviv because we had a great time last year. The event will be on June 28, at Trask, between 6-10 p.m. Israel is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most impressive startup ecosystems, and we simply can’t resist […]

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Apple targets community college students with new a Swift coding course

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 Apple’s found a fair bit of success with Swift Playgrounds since launching it last year at WWDC. According to the company, the educational program has enlisted some one million users into its ranks. And while the dead simple offering is primarily aimed at youngsters, there’s apparently been a fair bit of interest across demographics. Today’s announcement […]

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Naspers pours $5M into Coins, a fintech startup for Southeast Asia’s unbanked population

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 Prolific investment firm Naspers is making a push into bitcoin and financial services after it backed Philippines-based startup Coins.ph to the tune of $5 million. Coins is focused on offering financial services for the unbanked in the Philippines and Thailand. It uses the blockchain as its underlying technology to facilitate transfers and remittances. It announced the […]

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Just some of the investors you’ll run into at #TheEuropas, June 13, London

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 In partnership with TechCrunch, The Europas Conference & Awards, is a different kind of tech startup event which features smaller breakout sessions on key subjects for startups, as well as main-stage speakers and panels. It’s also very different, in that there’s no “off-limits speaker room” at The Europas, so attendees can mingle easily with VIPs […]

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Taboola intros Facebook-style ‘news feed’ to target mobile users with more links

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 Taboola, the startup that works with hundreds of publishers to provide a set of links at the bottom of pages directing readers to more content on the site and elsewhere, has long positioned Facebook as the big competitor. Consumers scanning articles on Facebook, especially on mobile, are less likely to ever visit a publisher’s own site, even […]

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Healthcare booking platform DocPlanner raises €15M Series D

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 DocPlanner, the European online booking platform for healthcare appointments, has raised €15 million in Series D funding, just ten months after announcing a larger Series C round of $20 million (~€18m). Leading the round is existing investors Enern Investments, and Target Global, in addition to London-based One Peak Partners. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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Rocket Internet sells 51% of fashion site Namshi to Dubai’s Emaar Malls for $151M

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 Emaar Malls missed out on a bid to buy Souq when Amazon picked up the Dubai-based online retailer for about $650 million in March. Now, the retailing giant of the Middle East is making another acquisition to step up its game in e-commerce. Today Rocket Internet — the Berlin-based e-commerce incubator — announced that it […]

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Ikea’s smart light bulbs will work with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant

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 Ikea’s smart light bulbs will answer to voice commands starting this summer. The company announced in a Swedish-language press release that its smart lighting product line, called Trådfri, will work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri and HomeKit. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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Unity, whose software powers half of all new mobile games, lands $400 million from Silver Lake

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 Unity Technologies, a 13-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes development tools for video game creators, has raised $400 million in fresh funding from the private equity firm Silver Lake. A “big chunk” of the round went toward purchasing the shares of longtime employees and earlier investors, John Riccitiello told Bloomberg earlier today, explaining that he thinks… Read […]

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Our favorite startups from Alchemist Accelerator batch 15

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 Founded as an enterprise alternative to accelerator stalwarts like Y Combinator, Alchemist Accelerator has managed to assemble a solid track record in its five years of operation.  Going into batch 15, 159 companies have graduated from Alchemist, of which 89 have closed institutional rounds and 15 have been acquired. The latest batch of 19 companies […]

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Crunch Report | Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro

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 Microsoft announces new Surface Pro, Apple and Nokia settle patent dispute, Uber underpaid NYC drivers, Snapchat allows custom stories for friend groups and Pinterest adds dish recognition. All this on Crunch Report. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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Quiqup, a London-based on-demand delivery startup, raises £20M Series B

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 Quiqup, a London-based delivery startup that operates a ‘shop on your behalf’ app similar to Jinn in Europe or Postmates in the U.S., in addition to a growing B2B business, has raised £20 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Jobi Capital, a New York-based fund, with participation from Transmed, a leading distributor […]

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Uber loses its general counsel for EMEA

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 Another high-up person at Uber has left the company. Jim Callaghan, Uber’s general counsel of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently stepped down, Recode reports. His departure, which is reportedly due to family reasons, is the latest in a series of departures at Uber this year. In the last few months, Uber has also lost its […]

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Watch Alchemist Accelerator’s Demo Day Right Here

TechCrunch is pleased to bring you Alchemist Accelerator‘s demo day. Alchemist is one of those rare programs that focuses on enterprise startups. These aren’t your parents enterprise companies. Pitches today will span products that help businesses crowdfunding, wearables, sustainable farming and managing meetings with the power of AI. Investors and press will hear pitches from… Read More […]

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Minibrew raises $2.8 million to help you make your own beer

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 The Minibrew is a little keg with a big brain. When we first met the company in 2015 they offered a whiff of high tech to the brewing process, adding a monitored brew vessel and mobile app to the age-old technique of slopping a bunch of wheat, yeast and hops together until something tasty came […]

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WTF is an ICO?

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 A newly famous transaction type we need to understand is called the “Initial Coin Offering.” An ICO is akin to an IPO, but in temporal reverse (sort of). Although confusing, it has recently acquired prominence as a favored way to launch a new cryptocurrency. Read More Powered by WPeMatico

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1Password adds a travel mode to frustrate snooping customs agents

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 If you travel a lot, especially internationally, a new worry being added to the pile is the threat of being forced to unlock your phone for a customs agent. 1Password has a handy solution for this in the form of Travel Mode, which temporarily deauthorizes a device to access your passwords and accounts. Read More […]

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Merlon Intelligence raises $7.65 million in seed financing to combat money laundering

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 OpenDoor, Oscar Health, Palantir and now Merlon Intelligence. Bradford Cross, founder of the venture capital firm Data Collective is joining the ranks of VCs who have caught the entrepreneurship bug, abandoning a cushy lifestyle for one with considerably more volatility. His latest startup, Merlon Intelligence, services banks, helping them cut down on risk and put a […]

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The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works

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 The FCC has just published the notice of proposed rulemaking that would roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality. Their first and primary justification for doing this is a way of defining broadband access that’s so backwards it’s ridiculous. It would be funny if the future of the internet didn’t depend on […]

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Blispay raises $12 million to help retail customers avoid payments for 6 months

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 If you’re looking to buy something, but don’t want to pay for it yet, Blispay thinks it has the solution for you. The startup works with small and mid-sized businesses to help retail customers defer payments for six months. Baltimore-based Blispay has been gaining traction and raised an additional $12 million in funding after raising […]

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Verizon CEO confirms company’s plan to launch a streaming TV service

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 Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed the company’s plans to launch an over-the-top streaming service later this year, according to a report from Variety, citing remarks the CEO made at a telecom conference in Boston this week. Verizon (which owns TechCrunch parent company AOL), will use the combined platform of AOL and Yahoo – and their 1.3 billion […]

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Google brings expanded AMP support to search and display ads

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 When Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project about a year and a half ago, the focus was squarely on speeding up mobile web pages, with a special emphasis on news sites. Over the last few months, both the scope of supported pages and the range of places where Google surfaces AMP pages increased. […]

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Uber says it accidentally underpaid drivers in New York City

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 Uber has come out and said that it accidentally underpaid drivers in New York City over the past two and half years, the Wall Street Journal reports. On Friday, Uber announced a nationwide change to how drivers see their earnings. While going through that process, the company realized it had been underpaying drivers in New York, […]

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LeEco to lay off 325 people in US, focus on Chinese-speaking American households

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 It’s hard to know where to begin with this mess. It’s only been seven months since LeEco launched in the U.S. with one of the most bizarre press conferences in recent memory, right down to the super weird Michael Bay cameo. Since then, it’s been a constant parade of bad news for the company, cumulating […]

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Warby Parker’s Prescription Check app lets you skip the eye doctor

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 Warby Parker wants to get you the right prescription glasses without forcing you to get an in-person eye test. It’s now testing its new Prescription Test app that uses your phone and computer in tandem to adminster a 20-minute series of eye tests, which are then reviewed by a doctor who makes the final call […]

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Stanley Robotics is building robots that can park your car for you

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 French startup Stanley Robotics just raised $4 million (€3.6 million) from Elaia Partners, Bpifrance and Idinvest Partners. The company is building giant robots that pick up your car at the entrance of a parking lot and park it for you. If you drive your car to the airport, you know how expensive it can be […]

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Embrace.io raises $2.5M to track mobile app performance

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 Embrace.io says it can help developers understand the performance of their apps — and determine whether things like bugs or slow load times are actually driving users away. The company just announced that it has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Eniac Ventures, with participation from The Chernin Group, Techstars Ventures, BoxGroup and others. CEO Eric Futoran […]

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Google’s Unique Reach tells marketers when you’ve seen the same ad a gazillion times

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 At Google’s Marketing Next conference in San Francisco, the company announced Unique Reach, a new measurement tool that captures the number of times the same person has seen an ad. Unique Reach aggregates impressions across devices, campaigns and formats. We have all suffered the pain of seeing the same ad for a BBQ grill we can’t […]

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Judah Vs. The Machines: Facebook’s dog breed recognition robot

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 On the road to making machines artificially intelligent, everything needs to be taught, even the facial structure of a dog that looks like a mop. In this episode of Judah vs. the Machines, actor Judah Friedlander sets about his goal of “challenging the world’s top artificial intelligence robots for the sake of humanity,” by taking […]

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Meet the 21st batch of 500 Startups companies

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 500 Startups’ next batch of accelerator companies is launching now that its previous demo day has wrapped up, this time seemingly having a bit of a wider focus than we’re accustomed to seeing coming out of the firm. This batch, which contains 31 companies, focuses on a range of topics like VR, healthcare, financial technology […]

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Alexa, don’t talk to strangers!

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 “Alexa, how do you hide a body?” Vocal identification is a complicated thing. Alexa doesn’t identify individual users; all us humans are the same. And because Echo has no user identification process, this actually means that anyone within talking range can get access to Echo users’ sensitive emails, documents and other personal data. Read More […]

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Google launches the Chrome Enterprise Bundle for IT admins

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 Google is making it easier for IT admins to deploy and manage its Chrome browser in their businesses. The new Chrome Enterprise Bundle for gives admins a single installer for the Chrome browser, the Chrome Legacy Browser Support extension for running the occasional ActiveX widget, and a number of administrative policy templates. With the launch of Chrome […]

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Microsoft’s Surface line is coming into its own by borrowing from the best

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 Microsoft CVP Yusuf Mehdi isn’t shy about mentioning the competition. As we discuss the company’s recent launch of Windows 10 S, he refers to the pared down operating system as a “Chromebook compete.” The company knows that Google is eating its lunch in K-12 here in the States, so it answered with its own version, […]

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Blockchain consortium R3 raises $107 million

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 People may well remember 2017 as the year that blockchain broke. After years of development and flickering just outside of mainstream consciousness and acceptance, record high prices for the most popular blockchain-based cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and newcomer Ethereum, and an embrace of the technology’s core principles by some of the world’s largest institutions may mean that… Read […]

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Prynt’s new mobile printer uses AR to create Harry Potter-style moving pictures

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 Printing static photos from your phone was so last year. Now, it’s all about AR. Prynt, a startup that makes a small mobile printer that connects to your phone, has just released their newest device, called Prynt Pocket. And the device puts a renewed focus on the company’s AR play, which essentially makes each printed photo […]

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Trove raises $8 million to store your clothing and furniture

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 There are inefficiencies in the giant self-storage market, and startups like MakeSpace and Clutter have already been gaining traction by offering a more consumer-friendly approach. Now there’s another startup entering the picture, with Trove formally launching in the San Francisco Bay Area after a few months of testing the concept in beta. They are also […]

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James Corden is getting his own Snapchat show, the first from CBS

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 Thanks to James Corden, CBS will now join a number of other major media publishers in creating content for Snapchat’s Shows – the social service’s smattering of short-form original video series found in the app’s “Discover” section. The network announced this morning that James Corden will star in a new show on Snapchat called “James […]

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Apple names Denise Young Smith as VP of diversity and inclusion

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 In a not-so-surprising move, Apple has appointed Denise Young Smith as its first-ever head of diversity and inclusion, 9 to 5 Mac first reported. TechCrunch has since confirmed that Smith officially started in this role yesterday. Smith previously served as head of worldwide human resources at Apple for three years, and has been involved in diversity […]

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Facebook shakes up Live with new social chat features

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 Facebook Live might be about bringing the entire community together around events, but sometimes you just want to know the reactions of your buddies. Facebook has already announced that its AR camera effects platform will be coming to Live, an announcement today brings a couple other changes to the platform surrounding social interactions in Live: Live […]

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G2 Crowd raises $30 million for its Yelp for business review service

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 Putting their own money where their business is, the founders of G2 Crowd joined a new $30 million financing for their business review platform. The round was led by Accel and included undisclosed industry executives and corporate dollars from the professional networking site (and Microsoft subsidiary) LinkedIn. The company said it will use the funds to speed up […]

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Desktop CNC machine maker Other Machine Co. changes hands

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 Desktop milling machines aren’t nearly as popular was FDM 3D printers but, it must be noted, they are far more versatile. The pieces that come out of a CNC – essentially a plotter that drags a fast-moving spindle over a material to cut out flat and raised shapes – are nearly finished and ready to […]

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Google’s huge 4K touchscreen whiteboard is now on sale for $5K

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 Google’s Jamboard is not a kitchen app for curating PB&J recipes – it’s a 55-inch digital whiteboard, with pen and touch input, companion iOS and Android apps, an Nvidia Jetson TX1 processor on board and 4K resolution. The behemoth is an enterprise-focused collaboration tool, that comes in three fun colors and has a stand that […]

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The FAA gets a case study with a drone crash inside an MLB stadium

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 PSA, flying your drone over a baseball stadium with tens of thousands of fans is a really really bad (and probably illegal) idea. Yesterday someone flew their drone (which appears to be a GoPro Karma) into Petco Park, the stadium belonging to the San Diego Padres, an MLB team. And yes it was during a […]

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Pinterest brings full dish recognition to its Lens camera search

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 In a move that may seem like an early step toward hitting a ridiculously high valuation, Pinterest is now adding the ability to recognize complete dishes to its Lens camera search. Next time you’re out at a restaurant and you find something that you thought was delicious at the first bite, Pinterest is now going to […]

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Tesla’s next Autopilot update is all about the smooth ride

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 Tesla is improving Autopilot with a forthcoming update, with a focus on making the ride smoother while the autonomous highway driving system is engaged. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted news of the update on Monday night, indicating that the new software would be rolling out beginning in June. While Musk was not super forthcoming regarding […]

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Amazon takes on Etsy with a new shop featuring handcrafted items for weddings

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 Amazon this morning staked another claim in the billion-dollar wedding industry with the launch of a new Wedding Shop dedicated to sales of handcrafted items, including décor, invitations, gifts, jewelry, accessories and more. The shop is an offshoot from the retailer’s less than two-year old Etsy competitor, Handmade at Amazon, which aims to offer the same sort of original… […]

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Fanduel investor Pentech raises new £88M fund for more early stage startups

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 You know it’s spring when VC funds start to announce their new fund raises. But it’s buoying to see a mid-sized fund appears which over the years has been highly geared towards early stage startups, just starting out on their journey. Pentech has closed its third fund, saying it was oversubscribed at £88 million, surpassing […]

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Instagram launches Story Search for hashtags and locations

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 Instagram Stories wants to be your window into what’s going on around a topic or place right now, so it’s adding a way to search Stories two months after Snapchat did the same. Instagram users can now search for a location or hashtag, and see a Story compiled from Story posts by other users that […]

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PandaDoc scores $15 million investment to drive expansion

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 PandaDoc, a 6 year old startup, has always had a simple goal of eliminating the pdf from the sales collateral pipeline, while helping busy salespeople automate the proposal and contract process. Today it landed $15 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Rembrandt Venture Partners, but also included participation by Microsoft Ventures, […]

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Windows 10 and 10 S options are coming for the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro

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 Three weeks to the day after launching the Surface Laptop, Microsoft is back with the latest version of its laptop replacement, the Surface Pro. The company says it eliminated the numbering scheme to streamline things — but sometimes simplification has the exact opposite effect. Things are kind of confusing here, for a number of reasons. […]

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Berlin’s Frontier Car Group lands $22M to disrupt emerging markets car sales

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 European founders, adept at launching startups which cross many international borders are fast ganging a reputation for launching in emerging markets. In countries where markets are often still very chaotic, there remains a host of opportunities. That’s evidenced by the news today that the Frontier Car Group, which builds and runs marketplaces for used cars […]

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Google Attribution is a free and easy way to evaluate marketing efforts

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 At Google’s Marketing Next conference, the company is announcing a new beta for Google Attribution, a free tool for examining the role that different marketing strategies play in customer purchasing decisions. Regardless of device or marketing channel, Google wants Attribution to be a home for evaluating marketing campaigns. By creating a tight loop between strategy, ad spend and… […]

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Snapchat’s Bitmoji get changing expressions and Snapcode placement

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 Snapchat is deepening its Bitmoji integration – your Bitmoji, if you have one set up, will now appear within your Snapcode, and users can also now change their Bitmoji’s expression to reflect their mood when making edits to their cartoonish avatar in the app’s settings. This seems like a small change, but the new offering […]

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Google is now using deep learning to measure store visits

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 Google is announcing a major update to its store visits measurement tool today at its Google Marketing Next conference. Google has used anonymized location and contextual data since 2014 to estimate brick and mortar store visits spurred by online ads. The company is augmenting its existing models with deep learning to bring insights to even […]

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Snapchat now lets you create custom stories for groups of friends and family

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 Snapchat is adding the ability to create custom stories limited to specific friends, or to direct contacts and their friends within a geofenced area. These new custom sttories otherwise operate just like regular Snapchat Stories, but will disappear entirely if no one within the group adds any updates for 24 hours. The custom Story feature […]

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