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TechCrunch
Jul 18, 2018

Apple's iCloud user data in China is now handled by a state-owned mobile operator
If you're an Apple customer living in China who didn't already opt out of having your iCloud data stored locally, here's a good reason to do so now. That information, the data belonging to China-based iCloud users which includes emails and text messages, is now being stored by a division of China Telecom, the state-owned telco. […]

TechCrunch
Jul 18, 2018

Google launches its first WeChat mini program as its China experiments continue
Google is continuing to test new strategies in China after the U.S. search giant released its first mini program for WeChat, the country's hugely popular messaging app. WeChat is used by hundreds of millions of Chinese people daily for services that stretch beyond chat to include mobile payments, bill paying, food delivery and more. Tencent, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Kindly Care scores $5.4 million to vet and place caregivers, then help families pay them correctly
There are roughly 45 million unpaid eldercare providers in the United States, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau. It's tough on these family caregivers, many of whom are working women who are also raising their own children. There are alternatives. For example, there is no shortage of agencies willing to place a rotating cast […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Amazon's Show Mode Dock makes the Echo Show mostly unnecessary
Google gave us a hardware blitzkrieg at CES. Among other things, the company announced a new smart display category, aimed at taking on the Echo Show through sheer, brute force. The new Show Mode Dock isn't a direct response, but it's a clever one. Two years ago, Amazon introduced Alexa for the Fire tablet line. […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Undercover report shows the Facebook moderation sausage being made
An undercover reporter with the UK's Channel 4 visited a content moderation outsourcing firm in Dublin and came away rather discouraged at what they saw: queues of flagged content waiting, videos of kids fighting staying online, orders from above not to take action on underage users. It sounds bad, but the truth is there are pretty good reasons for most of it and in the end the report comes off as rather naive.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Niantic acquires Seismic Games
Niantic — the company behind Pokémon GO — is back at it with another acquisition. After acquiring Escher Reality back in February and Matrix Mill back in June, this morning the company announced it's acquiring Seismic Games. Seismic Games is probably best known for its work on Marvel: Strike Force, a mobile, turn-based RPG that […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Nest's CEO is stepping down
Five months ago, Google decided to rein Nest in. After 4 years as a mostly independent division of the company, Nest was rolled into Google's hardware team. Today, more big changes: Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz is stepping down, according to a report by CNET. The reason? Employees at Nest had reportedly been pushing for a […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Twitter is holding off on fixing verification policy to focus on election integrity
Twitter is pausing its work on overhauling its verification process, which provides a blue checkmark to public figures, in favor of election integrity, Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour tweeted today. That's because, as we enter another election season, "updating our verification program isn't a top priority for us right now (election integrity is)," he wrote […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Instagram is building non-SMS 2-factor auth to thwart SIM hackers
Hackers can steal your phone number by reassigning it to a different SIM card, use it to reset your passwords, steal your Instagram and other accounts, and sell them for Bitcoin. As detailed in a harrowing Motherboard article today, Instagram accounts are especially vulnerable because the app only offers two-factor authentication through SMS that delivers […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Bitcoin price passes $7K bringing all 100 top coins up with it
Bitcoin is moving up, and it's taking 99 of its best friends along for the ride. In the last 24 hours, every one of the top 100 coins by market cap was in the green with 84 of them posting gains of over 5 percent. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was sitting at $7,310, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Self-driving car startup Zoox is raising $500 million at a $3.2 billion valuation
Zoox, a once-secretive self-driving car startup, is closing a $500 million at a $3.2 billion post-money valuation, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Prior to the deal, Zoox was valued at $2.7 billion, Zoox confirmed to TechCrunch. The round, led by Mike Cannon-Brookes of Grok Ventures, brings its total amount of funding to $800 million. Zoox's plan, according […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Tax robots and Universal Basic Income
Technological innovation is moving at an ever-accelerating pace, and this comes with vast benefits and inevitable changes. One downside is that machine learning and automation are already replacing jobs. It also has the potential to replace much of that income with Universal Basic Income.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

This insane fighting robot can be yours now for $1,600
Pilot Labs' Zeus Battle Robot captured our hearts at CES back in January, because, well, just look at this crazy thing: Seemingly against all odds, the ‘bot is now available for purchase through Amazon. And the price tag is as insane as the rest of it: $1,600 for the kit and $1,700 for a pre-assembled […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Slack acquires Missions to help users automate work tasks inside chat
As Slack continues to grow its paid business users, the company is looking for ways to help customers build integrations that make sense for the work they do. Slack announced today that it has acquired Robots and Pencils' Missions, an app that allows Slack users to build tools to automate simple routines without code. Terms of the […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

No Man's Sky Next seeks to right the game's wrongs
For a certain kind of gamer, the premise of No Man's Sky, that of an endless procedurally generated space universe teeming with life, was intoxicatingly perfect, almost too good to be true. After overselling that dream to the disappointment of just about everybody, Hello Games is back to make amends with a major new update: […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Sharecuts is creating a community for sharing Siri Shortcuts
With the upcoming release of iOS 12, Apple is introducing a new app called Shortcuts that will allow users to build custom voice commands for Siri that can be used to kick off a variety of actions in apps. While some apps will directly prompt users to add a Shortcut to Siri, the new Shortcuts […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Twitch streamers can now let viewers react with GIFs
Giphy is coming to Twitch . For the first time, Giphy is bringing its library of animated GIFs to the Amazon-owned game streaming service. The company today is launching a Giphy extension for Twitch streamers that will allow viewers to react in real-time using GIFs during a broadcast. The idea is that GIFs could make […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

This $20 DIY kit makes your NES, SNES or Mega Drive controller wireless
I have to hand it to 8BitDo. At first I thought they were just opportunistically hawking cheap hunks of plastic in an era of unparalleled nostalgia for retro games, but... well, who am I kidding? That's exactly what they're doing. But they're doing it well. And these new DIY kits are the latest sign that they actually understand their most obsessive customers.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

This $20 DIY kit makes your NES, SNES, or Mega Drive controller wireless
I have to hand it to 8BitDo. At first I thought they were just opportunistically hawking cheap hunks of plastic in an era of unparalleled nostalgia for retro games, but... well, who am I kidding? That's exactly what they're doing. But they're doing it well. And these new DIY kits are the latest sign that they actually understand their most obsessive customers.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Oculus starts selling $299 Go business bundle
Facebook's virtual reality arm is beginning to sell its Oculus Go headsets directly to business users with a dedicated bundle. Starting today, business users can order a business bundle with a 64GB Oculus Go headset for $299. Oculus isn't charging much of a premium for business users, tacking on an extra $50 for some added […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Dems and GOP unite, slamming Facebook for allowing violent Pages
In a rare moment of agreement, members of the House Judiciary Committee from both major political parties agreed that Facebook needed to take down Pages that bullied shooting survivors or called for more violence. The hearing regarding social media filtering practices saw policy staffers from Facebook, Google and Twitter answering questions, though Facebook absorbed the […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Peelable circuits make it easy to Internet all the things
Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Virginia are now able to create "tiny, thin-film electronic circuits peelable from a surface," the first step in creating an unobtrusive Internet-of-Things solution. The peelable stickers can sit flush to an object's surface and be used as sensors or wireless communications systems. The biggest difference between these […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

UPS is testing an Amazon Key-style delivery program in New York
UPS has been quietly testing a  program that lets the shipping service deliver packages inside multi-unit homes while occupants are out. The service utilizes smart locks created by Latch, a New York-based smart lock startup that teamed with Jet late last year. The system is clearly an attempt to stay up to speed with Amazon, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman moves into Chairman role
Scott Heiferman, Meetup CEO and cofounder, is today moving into the Chairman role at the community-building startup. Meetup launched in 2003 with a simple goal: to give communities an easy way to meet up in real life. Since, the company has grown to 40 million members, with 320,000 Meetup groups and around 12,000 Meetups per […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

BMW's ReachNow adds ride hailing to its car-sharing app
ReachNow can't be described as a car-sharing service anymore. The BMW-owned division is now a ride-hailing service too, putting it in direct competition with Uber and Lyft. At least in Seattle. ReachNow launched Tuesday a new app that combines car sharing and ride hailing using a single shared fleet of cars. The service is live […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

The Sonos Beam soundbar is now available
It took Sonos more than a month, but its new home theater speaker is now available. You can buy it on Sonos' official website for $399 (or €449 if you live in Europe). It's also available on Amazon and other retailers. The Beam is an affordable soundbar for your TV. This isn't the company's first […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Ultimate Software is acquiring PeopleDoc for $300 million
Public company Ultimate Software is acquiring French startup PeopleDoc for $300 million in cash and stock. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. These two companies both make HR solutions. Ultimate Software has been around for a while. It went public in 1998 and switched to a software-as-a-service solution in […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

CrunchMatch at Disrupt SF 2018 opening soon for founders and investors
Excuse us as we mangle U.S. history (apologies to Paul Revere), but "CrunchMatch is coming! CrunchMatch is coming! CrunchMatch is TechCrunch's free business match-making service that connects early-stage startup founders and investors who share similar business interests and profiles. And if you bought — or plan to buy — Founder, Investor or Insiders passes to […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Google's new ‘Grab and Go' project helps business loan Chromebooks to their employees
At Google, the company offers a ‘Grab and Go' program that allows employees to use self-service stations to quickly borrow and return Chromebooks without having to go through a lengthy IT approval process. Now, it's bringing this same idea to other businesses. Chromebooks have found their place in education and a number of larger enterprise […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

The Google Assistant app will walk you through your day
Google's Assistant app mostly functions as a surrogate for its line of connected Home devices. But what about all of that information it's aggregating? The company will start putting that to use, providing a "visual snapshot" of the day to come. The new feature, rolling out to the app on Android and iOS today, pulls […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Google builds its own subsea cable from the US to France
Google, like all major internet companies, often participates in building new subsea cables because it wants to own the connectivity between its data centers around the world. Those cables are typically built and owned by a consortium of companies (and sometimes shared by competitors). Now, however, Google is building its own cable that will span […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Amazon's EC2 gets faster processors, new high-memory instances
It's a big day for Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service today. Not only can you now run EC2 inside a Snowball Edge device, but the company also announced a bunch of new EC2 instance types in the cloud. Thanks to these new instance types, developers now have access to a new instance type (Z1d) with […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

IBM's Dario Gil will showcase quantum computing progress at Disrupt SF
After a few quiet years, the hype around quantum computing is reaching a new crescendo. Quantum supremacy now feels like an achievable goal. Among the large tech firms, IBM — and specifically the IBM Q lab —  has long been at the forefront of the quantum revolution. Last year, the company showed off its 50-qubit […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Original Content podcast: Netflix's ‘Nanette' takes aim at straight white men and comedy clichés
This is the first time we've done an in-depth review of a comedy special on the Original Content podcast, but Nanette (which Netflix released last month) isn't a typical stand-up show. Hannah Gadsby starts off with some light, funny jokes about growing up as a lesbian in Tasmania, where being homosexual was illegal until 1997. […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

With its Snowball Edge, AWS now lets you run EC2 on your factory floor
AWS's Snowball Edge devices aren't new, but they are getting a new feature today that'll make them infinitely more interesting than before. Until now, you could use the device to move lots of data and perform some computing tasks on them, courtesy of the AWS Greengrass service and Lambda that run on the device. But AWS […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Ocean Solutions Accelerator names its first wave of conservation startups
Early this year the Sustainable Oceans Alliance announced that it would be starting its own accelerator with a focus on conservation. The nonprofit has just announced the Ocean Solutions Accelerator's first wave of startups: a particularly varied and international lineup that's easy to root for.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Walmart enlists Microsoft cloud in battle against Amazon
Once a seemingly unstoppable retail juggernaut, Walmart's been scrambling to define its digitally in this Amazon-defined era. This morning, the company announced that it's struck a five-year deal with Microsoft, Amazon's chief cloud competitor. These sorts of partnerships are a regular occurrence for AWS — in fact, it announced one with Fortnite maker Epic Games, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Acorns co-founder nabs another $5 million for Blast, a startup that saves while you game
"It just started as a grand experiment," says Walter Cruttenden, the serial fintech entrepreneur, of his latest foray into the world of low finance. "Let's see if we can reach people through games." Cruttenden, the founder of Roth Capital Partners, co-founder of the micro-investment application Acorns, and the former head of eTrade's investment banking arm, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

House Rep suggests converting Google, Facebook, Twitter into public utilities
Amidst vague and uninformed questions during today's House Judiciary hearing with Facebook, Google, and Twitter on social media filtering practices, Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) dropped a bombshell. "What about converting the large behemoth organizations that we're talking about here into public utilities?" King's suggestion followed his inquiries about right-wing outlet Gateway Pundit losing reach on […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Founder and investor Elad Gil has a new book that aims to help startups with their later-stage challenges — before they get to that point
Serial entrepreneur and angel investor Elad Gil has become renowned in Silicon Valley startup circles, largely because he not only funds startups but he advises many, too. Some of the tech companies he has logged time with include Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square. All have evolved into massive growth companies, and because […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Tinder tests Bitmoji integration using the recently launched Snap Kit
Tinder will begin testing Bitmoji in its app in Canada and Mexico, the company announced today. The new integration comes courtesy of the recently launched Snap Kit, which allows third-party apps to take advantage of Snap's login for sign-up and features, like its Snap Map and Bitmoji, among other things. In Tinder, users in the […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Ubisoft now auto-bans Rainbow Six Siege players who use toxic language
Ubisoft has implemented a new system in Rainbow Six Siege that bans players for using toxic language in the text chat, according to PC Gamer. Yesterday, a number of players started whining about being temporarily banned from the game after using a racist or homophobic slur in the text chat. The first offense results in […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Amazon Prime Day U.S. sales bigger than last year, despite site issues
Despite the massive glitches that prevented online shoppers from being able to browse and buy from Amazon's Prime Day sale yesterday, the retailer is this morning claiming its Prime Day sales in the U.S. are "bigger than ever," and grew faster than last year's Prime Day within the first ten hours of the annual sales […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

An app that uses AI to help you improve your basketball shot just raised $4 million
Let's be real: you are most certainly never going to be as good as Steve Nash, Chris Paul, James Harden — or really any professional NBA player. But it probably won't stop you from trying to practice or model your game around your favorite players, and spend hours upon hours figuring out how to get better. […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Connie Chan breaks the mold at Andreessen Horowitz, becoming the first general partner to be promoted from within
Investor Connie Chan has made such an impact on her colleagues at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) since joining the firm in 2011 that today, they're announcing Chan's appointment to general partner. It's a big deal for the Sand Hill Road venture firm for numerous reasons. First, Chan becomes just the second woman in the firm's nine-year […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

The 21st Century Internet Act aims to enshrine net neutrality in law
Congress may soon vote on a new bill that would set net neutrality down as a matter of law rather than a set of rules to be changed every few years by the FCC. The "21st Century Internet Act," introduced by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), would ban blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and eliminates all questions of jurisdiction.

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Standard Cognition raises another $5.5M to create a cashier-less checkout experience
As Amazon looks to increasingly expand its cashier-less grocery stories — called Amazon Go - across different regions, there's at least one startup hoping to end up everywhere else beyond Amazon's empire. Standard Cognition aims to help businesses create that kind of checkout experience based on machine vision, using image recognition to figure out that […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Certify acquires real-time expense management startup and YC alum Abacus
Expense management software provider Certify is beefing up its artillery against rival Concur with the acquisition of Abacus, which enables companies to deal with expenses in real time. The deal's financial terms were not disclosed. The addition of Abacus will help Certify, which includes other expense management solutions like Nexonia and ExpenseWatch under one umbrella, […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Dialpad dials up $50M Series D led by Iconiq
Dialpad announced a $50 million Series D investment today, giving the company plenty of capital to keep expanding its business communications platform. The round was led by Iconiq Capital with help from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Amasia, Scale Ventures, Section 32 and Work-Bench. With today's round, the company has now raised $120 million. As technology […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

It's official: Brexit campaign broke the law — with social media's help
The UK's Electoral Commission has published the results of a near nine-month-long investigation into Brexit referendum spending and has found that the official Vote Leave campaign broke the law by breaching election campaign spending limits. Vote Leave broke the law including by channeling money to a Canadian data firm, AggregateIQ, to use for targeting political […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Travel giant Booking invests $500M in Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing
Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, has pulled in some strategic capital after Booking Holdings invested $500 million into its business. The deal will see Booking Holdings — which was formerly known as Priceline — work closely with Didi to offer its on-demand car services through its Booking.com apps via an integration. Likewise, Didi customers […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Mention Me, the referral marketing platform, raises $7M led by Eight Roads Ventures
Mention Me, the London-headquartered referral marketing platform, has raised $7 million in further funding. The round is led by Eight Roads Ventures and is the first time the five and a half year old company has raised venture capital, having only ever done a small angel round in 2015. That's noteworthy given the company's two […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Mention Me, the referral marketing platform, raises £7M led by Eight Roads Ventures
Mention Me, the London-headquartered referral marketing platform, has raised £7 million in further funding. The round is led by Eight Roads Ventures and is the first time the five and a half year old company has raised venture capital, having only ever done a small angel round in 2015. That's noteworthy given the company's two […]

TechCrunch
Jul 17, 2018

Online learning platform Unacademy gets $21M Series C from Sequoia India, SAIF and Nexus
Bangalore-based Unacademy will add more educators to its online learning platform, which claims to be India's largest, after closing a $21 million Series C. The funding comes from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Blume Ventures (all four firms are returning from Unacademy's Series B last year). Originally a YouTube […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

ClassPass is headed to Asia via an imminent launch in Singapore
U.S fitness startup ClassPass is headed to Asia after it announced plans to go live in Singapore, its first city in the continent. Four-year-old ClassPass allows its users to book fitness classes and packages across a multitude of gyms. The company claims to work with more than 10,000 fitness partners across over 50 cities globally. That's […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Coinbase reportedly gets approval from U.S. regulators to start listing tokenized securities
Coinbase shared big news Monday that federal regulators are allowing the popular cryptocurrency exchange to proceed with plans to sell cryptocurrency tokens that are deemed securities. Last month, Coinbase acquired Keystone Capital, a California-based FINRA-registered broker-dealer that operates as an alternative trading system. With the announcement, the SF-based cryptocurrency exchange disclosed that it would still need […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Aiming to make billboard advertising more programmatic, Adquick raises $2.1 million
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Initialized Capital and an investor in Adquick, a new service that's looking to bring billboard advertising into the internet age, bought his last billboard ad just this year. For several years, the Reddit founder had turned to outdoor advertising as a tool to troll politicians and advocate for various positions […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

This fan-made Uncharted movie starring Nathan Fillion proves video game movies don't have to be awful
It's not exactly a controversial statement: Movies based on video games are, generally, bad. See Assassins Creed. Or that weird mess that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Or that Super Mario movie where Bowser (renamed "President Koopa" for some reason) was basically just a dude with bad hair for half the movie. Turns out, as this live […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Putin proposes a joint cybersecurity group with the US to investigate Russian election meddling
Over the course of Monday's controversial Helsinki summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed an agenda that would ostensibly see the U.S. and Russia working side by side as allies. The two countries make stranger bedfellows than ever as just days prior, Trump's own Department of Justice indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for the infamous 2016 […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Netflix is falling off a cliff
Netflix didn't add as many subscribers as expected by a bunch of people on Wall Street who, on a quarterly basis, govern whether or not it'll be more valuable than Comcast — and that is probably a bad thing, as it's one of the primary indicators of its future potential for said finance folk. While it's […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Uber is being investigated for gender discrimination in a federal probe
As Uber tries to chart a new course, it still can't manage to outrun news that paints its corporate culture in an ugly light. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Uber is being investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for gender disparities pertaining to hiring practices and pay. The EEOC probe began in August […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

0x lets any app be the Craigslist of cryptocurrency
Centralized crypto exchanges like Coinbase are easy but expensive because they introduce a middleman. Not-for-profit project 0x allows any developer to quickly build their own decentralized cryptocurrency exchange and decide their own fees. It acts like Craigslist, connecting traders without ever holding the tokens itself. And instead of having to bootstrap their way to enough […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Lyft outlines bike and scooter plans
On the heels of Lyft's acquisition of bike-share company Motivate, the company is gearing up to fully integrate bicycle and scooter sharing into the app. There's no word on exactly when this will happen, but it's likely this will happen soon. Lyft is also investing $1 million to advance transportation equity to people in underserved […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Prime Down: Amazon's sale day turns into fail day
Update: Here's how to get around Amazon's error. Use smile.amazon.com. TechCrunch confirmed this workaround works. It's not just you. Amazon Prime Day started 15 minutes ago, and so far, it's not going well for Amazon. The landing page for Prime Day does not work. When most links are clicked, readers are sent to an error […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Nuraphones get active noise cancelling via software update
I like the Nuraphones a lot. In fact, I named the sound-adapting headphones one of my favorite things of 2017. Clearly I'm not alone in that enthusiasm, eithe — the Melbourne-based startup scored $4.7 million to expand its market early last year. Nura announced this week that it's making its headphones even better, courtesy of […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

CRISPR DNA editing may cause serious genetic damage, researchers warn
CRISPR-Cas9, the gene editing tool that is currently the darling of biotech and many other fields, may not be quite as miraculous as early tests suggested. A new study finds that what scientists thought of as a scalpel may be more like a felling axe, causing damage hundreds of times what was previously observed.

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Hear BMW's Dieter May explain the connected car at Disrupt SF 2018
Mobility is undergoing a radical transformation and the topic will be thoroughly examined at Disrupt SF this September. We're excited to have BMW's Dieter May speak on the main stage about how the German car company is addressing the connected car while still building, what they say is, the ultimate driving machine. And bonus! May […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Apple's App Store revenue nearly double that of Google Play in first half of 2018
Apple's App Store continues to outpace Google Play on revenue. In the first half of the year, the App Store generated nearly double the revenue of Google Play on half the downloads, according to a new report from Sensor Tower out today. In terms of dollars and cents, that's $22.6 billion in worldwide gross app […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Uber's head of policy for flying taxis and autonomous vehicles leaves for self-driving car startup Voyage
Uber's head of policy for autonomous vehicles and urban aviation, Justin Erlich, has left the company to join self-driving car startup Voyage, TechCrunch has learned. To lead its policy efforts for autonomous vehicles, Uber recently brought on Miriam Chaum, previously of Philanthropy University. "We wish Justin all the best with his new opportunity at Voyage," […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

‘Serious concerns' at FCC threaten to halt Sinclair-Tribune merger
The FCC has been under serious scrutiny by citizens, advocates, and politicians alike due to its laissez-faire attitude towards, in particular, the proposed Sinclair Broadcasting merger with Tribune. But the agency is showing some backbone today with a no-nonsense declaration that the merger can't go through unless a few "serious concerns" are addressed.

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Instapaper is leaving Pinterest, two years after being acquired
Back in August of 2016, Pinterest acquired Instapaper, the read-it-later bookmarking service originally built by Marco Arment. Just shy of two years later, Instapaper is going back to being independent. In a blog post published this afternoon, the team clarifies that a new company called "Instant Paper, Inc." has been formed to oversee Instapaper, and […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Apple emoji will soon include people with curly hair, white hair and superpowers
In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, that's a thing), Apple is previewing some of its upcoming emoji. Later this year, Apple's emoji set will feature people with a variety of hairstyles and colors, including curly hair, red hair and white hair. What you're about to see are simply Apple's take on emoji that were […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Google Cloud's LA region goes online
Google Cloud's new region in Los Angeles is now online, the company announced today. This isn't exactly a surprise, given that Google had previously announced a July launch for the region, but it's a big step for Google, which now boasts five cloud regions in the United States. It was only three years ago that […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

When In Rome is the first Alexa-powered board game
Years ago, in the heyday of home video, I played a boardgames that used VHS tapes and electronic parts to help spur the action along. From Candy Land VCR to Captain Power, game makers were doing the best they could with a new technology. Now, thanks to Alexa, they can try something even cooler - […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Kapwing is Adobe for the meme generation
Need to resize a video for IGTV? Add subtitles for Twitter? Throw in sound effects for YouTube? Or collage it with other clips for the Instagram feed? Kapwing lets you do all that and more for free from a mobile browser or website. This scrappy new startup is building the vertical video era's creative suite […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Fastly raises another $40 million before an IPO
Last round before the IPO. That's how Fastly frames its new $40 million Series F round. It means that the company has raised $219 million over the past few years. The funding round was led by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners with participation from Sozo Ventures, Swisscom Ventures, and existing investors. Fastly operates a content delivery […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Skype 8.0 launches on desktop with HD video, and soon encryption & call recording
Skype's redesign launched last year was met with mixed reviews, but the company is forging ahead by rolling out a number of its new features to other platforms, including the desktop. Microsoft today is launching Skype version 8.0 that will replace version 7.0 (aka Skype classic), the latter which will no longer function after September […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Klang gets $8.95M for an MMO sim sitting atop Improbable's dev platform
Berlin-based games studio Klang, which is building a massive multiplayer online simulation called Seed utilizing Improbable's virtual world builder platform, has just bagged $8.95M in Series A funding to support development of the forthcoming title. The funding is led by veteran European VC firm Northzone. It follows a seed raise for Seed, finalized in March 2018, and […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Netflix experiments with promoting its shows on the login screen
Netflix is testing a new way to promote its original shows - right on the login screen. A company spokesperson confirmed the streaming service is currently experimenting with a different login screen experience which replaces the black background behind users' names and profile thumbnails with full-screen photos promoting a Netflix Original series or special, like […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Kodak-branded KashMiner Bitcoin mining rig for rent wasn't — and won't be
Write off another piece of crypto craziness: A Kodak-branded Bitcoin-mining rig that was on show at CES in January, where it generated much headshaking and skepticism that it could ever deliver the claimed returns, has evaporated into the ideas ether from whence it came. The BBC reports that the plan to rent access to Kodak-branded […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

The final season of ‘Unreal' debuts on Hulu
Unreal, the critically-acclaimed series that takes viewers behind the scenes of fictional reality TV show Everlasting, has moved to Hulu . Today's announcement confirms earlier reports that Hulu was negotiating with A E Studios to get first dibs on Unreal‘s fourth and final season. The show's first three seasons aired on Lifetime, with the third season recently […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Amazon puts its own devices on sale early for Prime Day
Amazon is kicking off today's Prime Day a bit early. Although its annual sale technically begins at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET this afternoon, it put its own devices on sale 12 hours early. The company is marking down its Alexa-enabled products like Echo, Fire TV, and Fire tablets, as well as its […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Living with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro
When reviewing hardware, it's important to integrate it into your life as much as possible. If you can, swap it in for your existing devices for a few days or a week, to really get an idea of what it's like to use it day to day. There are certain nuances you can only discover […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Wave Uber's new Spotlight or send canned chats to find your driver
Uber is aiming to perfect the art of the pick-up with three features it says minimize cancellations. Guaranteed pickup windows boost confidence that you'll make your flight, and give you a credit of up to $10 if your scheduled ride is late. Pre-written messages let drivers and riders let each other know they'll "Be right […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Roku unveils $200 wireless speakers made for Roku TV
Roku is getting into the speaker business with today's announcement of Roku TV Wireless Speakers. Mark Ely, the company's vice president of product management, said Roku is trying to address a growing consumer problem — the fact that as TVs get thinner, you end up buying "this beautiful TV, but it sounds bad." To address […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

PayPal leads $50M round for cross-border payment specialist PPRO
As payments companies continue to look to the long tail of global markets to expand their businesses, a startup that helps them do business in disparate economies is getting a strategic investment from one of payment world leaders. PayPal is leading a $50 million investment into PPRO, a London-based business that is focused on cross-border […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

PayPal leads $50M round for PPRO, a profitable cross-border payment specialist
As payments companies continue to look to the long tail of global markets to expand their businesses, a startup that helps them do business in disparate economies is getting a strategic investment from one of payment world leaders. PayPal is leading a $50 million investment into PPRO, a London-based business that is focused on cross-border […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

WeWork's biggest rival in China is on an acquisition spree
WeWork may have combined forces with its fiercest rival in China, Naked Hub, in a recent merger, but its new enemy numero uno in the country is also building up a roster of friends through aggressive M&A. Ucommune may not be spending the kind of cash WeWork China did — it reportedly spent $400 million to […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Undo gets $14M to scale to meet the software accountability challenge
Undo, a long time player in the debugging tools space, offering its program execution capture and replay technology to help others diagnose software failures, has closed a $14 million Series B round led by Cambridge Innovation Capital, the Cambridge, UK-based builder of tech and healthcare companies. The 2005 founded startup — initially bootstrapped (out of founder […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

WeWork takes meat off the menu as part of environmental policy drive
WeWork, the co-working startup that's valued at ~$20 billion and has some 200,000 members across 200 locations globally plus nearly 6,000 staff of its own, will no long allow employees to expense meat. It will also no longer serve meat at company events. The policy shift is intended to reduce the business' environmental impact. The new […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Hong Kong's GoGoVan raises $250M from investors including Alibaba's logistics subsidiary
Logistics on-demand service GoGoVan became Hong Kong's first billion-dollar startup via a merger last year, and now is doubling down on growth after raising $250 million in new capital. The new round was led by InnoVision Capital, with participation from the Russia-China Investment Fund, Hongrun Capital and Qianhai Fund of Funds. Two other notable investors include […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Proportunity offers ‘help to buy' loans based on predicting future house prices
Proportunity, a London-based startup and Entrepreneur First alumni, wants to help first time buyers get on the property ladder earlier or purchase a home more to their liking. The company, which recently became an FCA authorised mortgage lender, claims to use machine learning to accurately forecast future house prices and the areas of London that […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Restaurant booking startup Eatigo chows down ~$10M more from TripAdvisor
Eatigo, a Southeast Asia-based dining service that describes itself as an ‘anti-Groupon' for restaurants, had a busy 2017 that saw it expand into a number of markets including India. Now it is primed to continue that growth further still after it gobbled down a fresh serving of capital from TripAdvisor, the travel giant that it already […]

TechCrunch
Jul 16, 2018

Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners announce $88M Southeast Asia fund
There's more money flowing into Southeast Asia's tech startup scene after Singapore's Golden Equator Capital and Seoul-based Korea Investment Partners announced plans for a collaborative $88 million (SG$120 million) fund for the region. The two investment firms will act as joint partners for the vehicle, which is expected to hit a first close before September and […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

Elon Musk tweets he'll "bet ya a signed dollar" that Thai cave rescuer is a "pedo"
Elon Musk seems not only intent on burning all the goodwill he earned for trying to help last week's Thai cave rescue, but rolling around in its ashes, too. In a series of extraordinarily offensive, now deleted tweets, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO called a British diver who participated in last week's dangerous rescue mission […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

A list of ten things that billionaire owners of EV, clean energy and rocket companies should and should not tweet
So… apparently there's been another kerfuffle on the Twitter about some asinine things that a certain wealthy, rocket-building, payment-revolutionizing, electric vehicle company-creating entrepreneur has written in tweets to millions of followers. This billionaire is, by all accounts, incredibly difficult to work for, very visionary and … a bit thin-skinned for someone with such a habit […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

Sacha Baron Cohen is about to add jet fuel to Showtime's rise, starting tonight
Netflix has been killing competitors with its original TV shows and movies. A Morgan Stanley survey released back in May had 39 percent of U.S. consumers naming Netflix as offering the "best original programming" among subscription video services, with everyone else eating its dust, including HBO, which nabbed 14 percent, Amazon Prime Video (5 percent) […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

Liberty, equality, technology: France is finally poised to become a tech power
Once America had an unassailable advantage, an economic flywheel that spun off innovation and Fortune 500 companies like a perpetual-motion machine. Bring in the best, brightest, and most driven from around the world; educate them or their children at its universities; then watch them start companies, succeed wildly, give back to their alma maters, and […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

EV startups Alta, Energica, and Zero could reboot the motorcycle industry
Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 accepted into YC, raises $1.2 million Breaking down France's new $76M Africa startup fund Three e-mobility startups are accelerating into the U.S. motorcycle market. Italy's Energica and […]

TechCrunch
Jul 15, 2018

Why BMW needs to own its customer experience from start to finish
For the last few years now, BMW has wrestled with the question of what it'll mean to be a luxury car manufacturer in the age of electric cars, autonomous driving and rapidly changing — and increasing — customer expectations. What, after all, makes something the "ultimate driving machine" when the driver eventually stops driving? For BMW, […]

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