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TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

Australia's Airwallex raises $6M to grow its cross-border payment business
 Airwallex, an Australia-based fintech startup that helps banks and businesses handle cross-border transactions at scale, has closed a $6 million investment ahead of a planned Series B next year. The new funding comes from Square Peg — a VC firm located in Melbourne, the same city as Airwallex HQ — which joins Tencent, MasterCard, Gobi Ventures and Sequoia China as backers of… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

Loot, the digital current account aimed at students and millennials, banks £2.2M Series A
 “There are two types of competition for us at Loot: the banks and the money management apps,” Loot founder Ollie Purdue tells me. The U.K. startup, founded in 2014 while now 24 year old Purdue was finishing up university, offers a digital-only current account aimed at students and millennials. It comes with a Mastercard and mobile app, with a particular focus on spending insights… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

Google is using light beam tech to connect rural India to the internet
 Google is preparing to use light beams to bring rural areas of the planet online after it announced to a planned rollout in India. The firm is working with a telecom operator in Indian state Andhra Pradesh, home to over 50 million people, to use Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC), a technology that uses beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

Go-Jek buys three startups to advance its mobile payment business
 Go-Jek, the company leading Uber and Grab in Southeast Asia’s largest market, has bagged a hattrick of deals to advance its mobile payment strategy. Indonesia-based Go-Jek revealed it has acquired offline payment firm Kartuku, payment gateway Midtrans and payment and lending network Mapan for undisclosed sums. Together, the trio process $5 billion in payment across cards and… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

Crunch Report | FCC Kills Net Neutrality
The FCC kills net neutrality, Snapchat launches Lens Studio and Squarespace reportedly raises $200 million. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

The difference between good and bad Facebooking
 “Social media” is a clumsy term that entangles enriching social interaction with mindless media consumption. It’s a double-edged sword whose sides aren’t properly distinguished. Taken as a whole, we can’t decide if it “brings the world closer together” like Facebook’s new mission statement says, or leaves us depressed and isolated. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 15, 2017

With just one day left in open enrollment, companies turn to Stride Health for help
 The compressed timelines of this year’s open enrollment period for government-mandated healthcare have left some companies in the lurch, and as the final hours to enroll tick by, they’ve turned to the startup company Stride Health for help. Stride manages a number of different tax and healthcare-related information for customers. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Ex-Zynga execs raise $15 million for their new gaming studio, Manticore Games
 In the eight years since Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard launched their last gaming startup, the industry they helped shape now brings in more than $100 billion in revenues globally. There’s been a resurgence in gaming on PCs. User-generated content has produced a string of wildly popular hits. Those trends are exactly what the two are hoping to harness with Manticore Games. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

What telecoms and tech companies are saying about the FCC's net neutrality decision
 The FCC just voted to eliminate the net neutrality rules established by 2015’s Open Internet Order. The blowback has been predictably sudden from many prominent internet companies that are decrying the commission’s decision. Just as pronounced, however, has been the support from prominent telecoms which expressed enthusiasm for the FCC’s vote today’s. Here’s what… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Apple launches its podcast analytics service into beta
 At WWDC this year, Apple announced it would soon offer its own podcast analytics service for show creators who publish on iTunes. Today, that service has launched into beta, offering podcasters the ability to track unique devices and playback metrics for their podcasts, including when listeners drop off in the middle of a show. This sort of client-side data is something podcasters have wanted… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Y Combinator is zeroing in on bigger, breakaway companies with a new growth-stage program
 Y Combinator famously funds a lot of companies, but there’s always more it could be doing, said its president, Sam Altman, in an interview with TechCrunch this fall. “I do think startups are a super important vehicle to make things happen in the world today and I think we are nowhere near the limit of how many we can help.” Altman had added that YC is “always… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Uber investor Shervin Pishevar resigns from Sherpa Capital
 Hyperloop One co-founder and early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar has announced his resignation from Sherpa Capital, the venture capital firm he co-founded, following sexual misconduct allegations. “I have decided on my own accord to end my association with Sherpa Capital, effective immediately,” Pishevar tweeted, as part of a lengthy statement. I have only admiration and affection… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

A timeline of the FCC's quest to destroy net neutrality
 The FCC voted today to roll back the strong net neutrality rules established under the Obama administration in 2015. It’s distressing but at this point no longer surprising — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his partisan pals have been working essentially since the election to accomplish this dubious goal. Here’s how it all went down over the last year. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Edge Mobile Payments buys what's left of Plastc in hopes that there's still life left in smart cards
 The death of Plastc back in April looked to many like the final nail in the smart card coffin. After all, the news came only a few months after the space’s other big player, Coin, called it quits. Of course, the loss of Coin wasn’t totally in vain — the company was ultimately purchased by Fitbit. Now Plastc is getting a second lease on life of sorts. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Apple Maps gets indoor mapping for more than 30 airports
 As of this morning, Apple Maps has expanded to include indoor layouts of 30 airports across the globe. The company has primarily hit American cities thus far, covering what looks to be most of the big cities across the contiguous U.S. There are some key international airports, as well, including Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Geneva, London, Berlin and a handful of Canadian locations. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

New York attorney general announces a multi-state lawsuit challenging the net neutrality vote
 New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a leading voice in the fight against the FCC’s net neutrality rules repeal, has stepped forward with one of the first legal challenges to the commission’s controversial vote. Citing his investigation into the FCC’s public comments process preceding the vote, Schneiderman declared his office’s intention to sue to “stop… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Chromecast is back on Amazon
 Amazon will once again allow sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast on its site, after banning them two years ago in an effort to promote its own Fire TV hardware to online shoppers. The addition of Apple TV is not surprising – Amazon and Apple came to an agreement earlier this year that included the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, and the return of the Apple TV to… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Taylor Swift's new app, The Swift Life, is out now
 In the midst of an reputational makeover, Taylor Swift is debuting a brand new app called The Swift Life. The app is a dedicated social network for Swift’s fans, letting them communicate with each other as well as get exclusive pictures, video, news and more direct from T-Swift herself. And they can communicate with Swift, too. Using an ‘extremely rare and valuable Taymoji’… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

The FCC just repealed net neutrality. What happens next?
 The FCC voted this morning 3:2 to nullify 2015’s Open Internet Order and its strong net neutrality rules, substituting a flimsy replacement with a deeply (and deliberately) incorrect technical justification. The battle is lost. What of the war? Here’s what happens next, and what you can do to help. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality
  Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Google AI helped find the first solar system outside our own with 8 planets
 Google and NASA today announced the discovery of a new planet in solar system Kepler 90, achieved using machine learning. By applying neural networking to Kepler data, scientists have found, for the first time, an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system – this ties the Kepler-90 system with our own system for the most planets in any known system. Kepler-90 i is the new planet discovered… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

The FCC officially votes to kill net neutrality
 Despite overwhelming opposition from Congress, technical experts, advocacy organizations, and of course the American people, the FCC has voted to eliminate 2015’s Open Internet Order and the net neutrality protections it established. The order passed today, “Restoring Internet Freedom,” essentially removes the FCC as a regulator of the broadband industry. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

A new version of Mixer, Microsoft's Twitch rival, hits iOS and Android
 Microsoft today is officially launching a new version of its Mixer mobile gameplay streaming app, its Twitch rival. The app, which is initially available on Android with iOS arriving soon, was first introduced into beta testing this fall, with a focus on improvements to its overall user experience, content discovery, performance and personalization features. For example, the beta build… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Squarespace reportedly raises about $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation
 Squarespace, the 14-year-old platform that makes it easy for essentially anyone to build their own website, is raising about $200 million from General Atlantic, valuing the company at a $1.7 billion valuation, Bloomberg reports. The plan with the funding is to buy stock from early employees and investors, giving them a way to cash out if they’re not trying to wait around for an… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Assembla's new iOS app lets developers manage their repos on the go
 Software development isn’t exactly something that naturally lends itself to mobile. Who, after all, wants to code on a virtual keyboard and a small screen. But you don’t need to be bound to a desktop or laptop to manage your code or to compare the latest revisions of a file while you’re on the go. It’s maybe no surprise then that Assembla, a cloud-based enterprise… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch as it stops subsidizing Live
 Everyone’s least favorite ads are coming to Facebook, but pre-rolls are only coming to original Watch tab videos you purposefully view and not to the News Feed. Facebook is embracing pre-rolls after years of shunning them as it tries to make pay outs to video creators sustainable. Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo tells TechCrunch that it will not renew direct subsidies to Live… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Google adds price tracking and deals to Google Flights, Google Trips and hotel search
 Google today is expanding its booking features for travelers using Google services including Trips, Flights and hotel search, with a focus on helping people find better rates. For example, Google can now tell you when’s the best time to buy an airline ticket or see when room rates are higher, among other things. These price-tracking features are similar to those that some other travel… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Observation of interstellar object ‘Oumuamua shows no evidence of artificial signals
 You may recall that last week, researchers from the Breakthrough Initiatives set out a plan to observe ‘Oumuamua, an object thought to be from an another star system. Based on its shape and density — it’s about 800 meters long and only 80 meters wide, and appears to be more solid than your average asteroid — scientists believed there was a very small chance that it… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

CamSoda rolls our WebRTC for truly portable cam activities
 They say the adult industry usually leads the way with new technology and CamSoda [NSFW LINK], a NSFW cam site, is no exception. The site, which connects models in various states of undress with viewers in similar states of undress, is now supporting WebRTC transmission thereby allowing cammers and viewers alike to stream via mobile phone. The mission is simple: CamSoda wants to let… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Instacart promotes Sarah Mastrorocco to new position of VP of Business Development
 Instacart is going through some growing pains right now, with Amazon buying Whole Foods this summer and target picking up Alabama-based Shipt in the last week. But growing pains come for a reason — the on-demand grocery delivery platform is getting bigger, just recently signing a deal with the third-largest grocery retailer in North America, Albertsons. Primary credit for that goes to… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Genalyte hires Facebook and Google exec Kevin Lo as company president
 Khosla-backed one drop blood test startup Genalyte has hired former Facebook exec Kevin Lo as president of the company. Lo comes to Genalyte after leading “connectivity efforts” at Facebook “for the four billion people not online, and the 1.5B under-served who use the Internet at ‘2G’ speeds,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, Lo worked for… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Snapchat launches augmented reality developer platform Lens Studio
 Snapchat is finally opening up so outside developers can help it offer infinite augmented reality experiences beyond those it designs in-house. Today Snap launches the Lens Studio AR developer tool for desktops so anyone can create World Lenses that place interactive, imaginary 3D objects in your photos and videos. But brands, news publishers, and developers will have to promote their own… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Xage emerges from stealth with a blockchain-based IoT security solution
 Getting the myriad of devices involved in the industrial internet of things provisioned and communicating with one another in a secure way will be one of the great technological challenges facing companies in the coming years. Xage (prounounced Zage) emerged from stealth today with a blockchain-based security solution that could help simplify this. The company also announced that Duncan… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

A week on the wrist with the Alpina Startimer
 It’s refreshing to wear a mechanical watch. The soft sweep of the seconds hand reminds us of the fleeting nature of time while the endless ticking in a dark room is a comfort and a spur to action. Add in a little limited edition provenance with big face and crown and you’ve got a stew going. This particular stew is called the Alpina Startimer. It is a pilot’s watch, a watch… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Pandora listeners can now watch video ads to access on-demand music
 Streaming radio and music service Pandora is today introducing a new way for people to pay for on-demand access to music, without having to upgrade to a Premium subscription. For the first time, radio listeners and those on Pandora’s mid-tier offering, Pandora Plus, will be given the option to watch a video ad in order to unlock an on-demand listening session. The company explains in… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Apple's iMac Pro is a love letter to developers
 The iMac Pro exists because it turns out that there is a lot of air underneath the aging Mac Pro and above the incredibly popular MacBook Pro. A single-digit percentage of Mac customers buy the Mac Pro and, in recent years, Apple had been seeing a major rise in “pro” customers of all shades purchasing iMacs because of their incredible screens, all-in-one form factor and overall ease… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Canary brings person detection to its cameras to help avoid false positives
 Canary’s finally bringing one of its most requested features to its full line of connected home security cameras. After spending some time in beta, person detection will be rolling out over the course of the next six weeks to all of the company’s existing customers. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Andrew Ng's Landing.ai wants to bring artificial intelligence to the manufacturing industry, starting with Foxconn
 AI pioneer Andrew Ng is probably best known for his work on the Google Brain project and for leading Baidu’s AI group. After leaving Baidu earlier this year, it wasn’t quite clear what exactly Ng was up to, but today he announced the launch of Landing.ai, a new startup that focuses on bringing artificial intelligence to the manufacturing industry. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Disney details overarching direct-to-consumer plan possible through Fox deal
 Disney CEO Bob Iger positioned his company’s acquisition of Fox’s TV and movie businesses as a way for the company to prepare for a future in which streaming and direct-to-consumer dominate media consumption, on a conference call this morning to discuss the $52 billion deal. He noted that while they’re still planning to support cable channels and external distribution… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Taiwanese media startup The News Lens lands deal with top video studio Dawin
 Taiwanese digital media startup The News Lens launched only four years ago, but it quickly became one of the country’s most prolific news sources by leveraging social media to reach younger viewers. Today it took another big step by announcing a strategic partnership with Dawin, one of Taiwan’s top video and film production companies, that will help it reach a wider audience. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

It's official: Disney is acquiring Fox's film and TV divisions for $52.4 billion
 We’re about to see two entertainment behemoths come together, as The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox have officially announced a deal. As a result, Disney will acquire Fox’s film and much of its TV operations for a price of over $52 billion in stock. Disney will take over the Nat Geo network, Star TV, Fox’s movie and TV studios and its stakes in both Sky and Hulu,… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Gingko Bioworks secures $275 million in Series D, valuing the company at over $1 billion
 Boston biotech startup Gingko Bioworks has announced the raise of $275 million in Series D funding to build out its Bioworks3 production facility. The funding comes from previous investors Viking Global, Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Cascade Investment, Bill Gates, as well as new investor, General Atlantic. The company previously raised over $154 million, bringing the total up to… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Ginkgo Bioworks secures $275 million in Series D, valuing the company at over $1 billion
 Boston biotech startup Ginkgo Bioworks has announced the raise of $275 million in Series D funding to build out its Bioworks3 production facility. The funding comes from previous investors Viking Global, Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Cascade Investment, Bill Gates, as well as new investor, General Atlantic. The company previously raised over $154 million, bringing the total up to… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Instana raises $20 million for its microservice monitoring and management service
 Instana, a company that helps enterprises monitor and manage their microservice deployments with the help of automation and artificial intelligence, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series B round led by Accel, with participation from existing investor Target Partners. This brings Instana’s total funding to $26 million to date. Launched in 2015, Instana bills itself as… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Andreessen Horowitz has a new, $450 million bio fund
 Almost exactly two years ago, the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz took the wraps off a $200 million “biofund” that aimed to invest at the intersection of biology and engineering and was being led by its (then) new general partner, Vijay Pande. Pande argued at the time that it was finally possible to invest in software-enabled biotech ideas — without having to wait eons for… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Alibaba will soon begin selling cars using these gigantic vending machines
 Alibaba last week announced a deal to help Ford sell electric vehicles in China but, aside from the big names involved, the most intriguing part was a proposed vending machine for sales. Now the firm has spilled details of what exactly that will look like. The ‘Car Vending Machines’ are futuristic buildings that look like a gigantic version of something you’d find in Toys… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Helpster, a platform for temp job seekers in Southeast Asia, raises $2.5M
 Helpster, a two-year-old startup that connects blue-collar workers with employers in Southeast Asia, has closed $2.5 million in new funding. The startup operates in Thailand and Indonesia with around 50 staff split between Bangkok and Jakarta. It aims to disrupt the temporary worker industry, which is dominated by giants like Adecco and Manpower, by vetting its workers closely and using… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Paddle, the software sales platform founded by a Thiel Fellow, raises $12.5M
 Paddle, a U.K. startup that offers software companies a single platform for the entire software sales process — including trials and licenses, payments, and analytics — has raised $12.5 million in further funding. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Finiata, the finance platform for SMEs, freelancers and the self-employed, bags €18M funding
 Finiata, the finance platform targeting SMEs, freelancers, and the self-employed that was founded by Sebastian Diemer, who previously co-founded credit scoring and loans company Kreditech, appears to be on somewhat of a roll. The company, formerly known as Bezahlt, has picked up €18 million of financing of its own, and already claims 5,000 customers. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Teabox raises $7M for its global tea-commerce business
 Teabox, the company pioneered the concept of selling tea to direct to consumers online, has served up $7 million in fresh funding to grow its five-year-old business. This new infusion of capital — last tea joke, I promise — is a Series B round that takes Teabox, which has head offices in India and Singapore, to just shy of $15 million in funding to date. The round was led by… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

China's CCTV surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture BBC reporter
 It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology. This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Exec who reportedly said Netflix doesn't believe Danny Masterson's accusers no longer works there
 The Netflix executive who reportedly told one of Danny Masterson’s alleged rape victims that the company doesn’t believe them is no longer employed there. Andy Yeatman, Netflix’s director of global kids content, was fired on Monday, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

SoundCloud resuscitates home screen with personalized playlists
 After laying off 40% of its staff and securing $169 million in emergency funding, SoundCloud’s first product push is a much needed step in the right direction. It’s filling its home page with personalized playlists and best of collections from top genres rather than other content like it’s feed. The hope is to make SoundCloud instantly accessible to new users and a more… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Crunch Report | Glow-in-the-Dark Plants
Blue Origin’s Crew Capsule 2.0 takes first flight, scientists at MIT make glow-in-the-dark plants and Google is opening an AI center in China. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Samsung refreshes its Notebook 9 laptop line
 They say Christmas season gets earlier every year, and the same seems to apply to CES. The year’s biggest tech show is a little less than a month away, yet Samsung’s already showing off what’s likely to be two of its bigger debuts for the show. Both are updates to the company’s solid Notebook 9 line of Windows PCs. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

Wizeline expands its outsourced IT services business into southeast Asia
 Wizeline, a provider of outsourced programming services, is expanding its global footprint with agreements to partner with a slew of development shops across Southeast Asia. Founded in 2014, the company’s vision is to provide programming jobs for developers in emerging markets to unlock the local talent pool and expose a new generation and geographies to the startup world. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 14, 2017

The price is right! Pace raises £2.5M to automate hotel room pricing based on demand
 Pace, a London startup that has developed tech that uses machine learning to let hotels set room prices dynamically based on demand, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The financing round is led by InterGlobe, with participation from Seedcamp, Speedinvest, and Amadeus Capital Partners. The company says it will use the new capital to invest in its tech and marketing teams. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Plenty of Fish adds new conversation features to differentiate itself from Tinder
 Match Group, which houses a large portfolio of dating app brands – including most notably, Tinder, Match, and OKCupid – is prepping a notable upgrade to one of its older brands: Plenty of Fish. The dating service, often dubbed ‘POF’ by its users, was founded in 2003 then sold to Match Group in 2015 for $575 million. But it has since remained fairly quiet, in terms of… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Microsoft looks to make Bing results smarter with new AI-powered features and Reddit partnership
 At a special AI-focused event today in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a number of feature updates to Bing that it hopes will make results smarter by leveraging the company’s AI research, as well as a new partnership with Reddit. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Microsoft makes Azure Bot Service generally available for developers
 Microsoft introduced the Azure Bot Framework more than two years ago and companies have been building chatbots for a variety of scenarios ever since. Today, the company made generally available the Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Cognitive Language Understanding service (known as LUIS). Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

The new reality of mobile AR and computer vision venture capital
 Mobile AR from Apple, Google and Facebook and computer vision/machine learning (CV/ML) are focusing the minds and wallets of VCs in Silicon Valley, China and beyond. The $2.5 billion invested in AR/VR so far this year was balanced across AR and VR, but now mobile AR and CV/ML are the new hotness. I spoke to a few friends about how the investment market has evolved. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Half of Amazon app users have been switched to a new, swipe-based 1-Click checkout
 Has Amazon’s ‘one-click’ checkout on mobile looked a little different to you lately? A number of users of Amazon’s mobile applications have recently reported seeing a new checkout option that replaces the click – well, on mobile, the tap – with a swipe instead. As it turns out, the option is part of a fairly large-scale test Amazon has underway. Currently… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

PuTTY Begone! Microsoft will ship an OpenSSH client
 The first thing I download on a new Windows machine – after Chrome, of course – is PuTTY. This tried-and-true OpenSSH client has served millions of devs quite well for the past twenty years and I’m sure it will still remain a favorite but Microsoft has added its own ssh client to Windows, a move that points to more openness on the part of Redmond. The folks at ServeTheHome… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

39 Senators tell FCC: 'Abandon this radical and reckless plan'
 In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, 39 Senators (all Democrats, though Republicans have also voiced concern) urge the agency to stop its plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. Where the objections have come in ones and twos before, this is the largest official complaint we’ve seen against the FCC’s proposal, which is due to be voted on tomorrow. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

39 senators tell FCC: ‘Abandon this radical and reckless plan'
 In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, 39 senators (all Democrats, though Republicans have also voiced concern) urge the agency to stop its plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. Where the objections have come in ones and twos before, this is the largest official complaint we’ve seen against the FCC’s proposal, which is due to be voted on tomorrow. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Redbox unveils its service for digital movie purchases and rentals
 Redbox, the company behind the ubiquitous supermarket kiosks for renting DVDs, is moving into the world of digital streaming. Technically, Redbox On Demand is still in beta, but this marks the broader launch of the streaming service that Redbox was testing last year. It’s available on the web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and LG and Samsung smart TVs. To be clear, this… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Comcast reiterates a shifting promise of ‘no paid prioritization'
 Comcast has promised before that it does not and will not engage in paid prioritization, and today the company has reiterated that stance — after being called out for having apparently weakened it over the last year. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Gfycat wants to fix your low-fidelity GIFs with machine learning
 We all love to share GIFs — and there are plenty of ways to do that, through online portals or keyboards — but often times because there is so much content, you’ll end up surfacing up a lower-fidelity GIF. There can be plenty of copies of the same video clips as a GIF, or maybe it’s just difficult to capture and upload, but Gfycat hopes that it can be solved at a… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Security robots are being used to ward off San Francisco's homeless population
 Is it worse if a robot instead of a human is used to deter the homeless from setting up camp outside places of business? One such bot cop recently took over the outside of the San Francisco SPCA, an animal advocacy and pet adoption clinic in the city’s Mission district, to deter homeless people from hanging out there — causing some people to get very upset. Silicon Valley game… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

INSIKT raises $50 million to lend to low-income communities
 Loans can be the hardest to get for the people who need them the most. An estimated 45 million Americans don’t have a credit score and others have trouble bringing up their scores, even if they are in a better financial position than in years past. While most lenders would consider low-income families with bad credit scores to be too risky, a startup called INSIKT believes that it… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Twitter says Russians spent ~$1k on six Brexit-related ads
 Twitter has disclosed that Russian-backed accounts spent $1,031.99 to buy six Brexit-related ads on its platform during last year’s European Union referendum vote. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Here are the deadlines for all your online holiday shopping orders
 While some folks still head to the stores on Black Friday and throughout December, many of us are turning to the web for Christmas shopping. Just one complication: shipping tends to bottleneck during the holidays and some gifts simply don’t arrive on time. But we’ve sorted all that out for you. Here are the order deadlines for folks buying their gifts online who want them delivered… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Pepsi one-ups Budweiser brewer by ordering 100 Tesla electric semi trucks
 PepsiCo is the latest company to reveal that it’s placed orders for Tesla’s forthcoming electric semi-truck – and also the company with the largest order so far. The beverage company has ordered 100 of the trucks per Reuters, meaning it’s placed at least a $20,000 deposit for each of those since Tesla rose the downpayment amount for its original $5,000 starting… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso just raised venture funding for her new company
 Sophia Amoruso famously founded the retailer Nasty Gal, growing it from an eBay store that sold vintage items to a darling of the fashion world that was seeing more than $300 million in sales at one point. Somewhere along the way, however, Nasty Gal lost its way. In the meantime, Amoruso is on to a new business, and now it’s venture-backed. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Commission Impossible, part two: How enemies gathered around net neutrality
 One would think that the classification of internet providers as telecoms or not, and which federal agency has authority over them, is about as in the weeds as it gets. But it is a symptom of the times in which we live that no issue, however technical, provincial, or jurisdictional, can escape being swept up in the eternal hurricane of partisan politics. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets
 The Google Assistant has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that feature built-in support for the Assistant. Google is now bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 and tablets running Android 6.0 and 7.0. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Why content crowdfunder Patreon is halting its hated fee change
 Overhauling the creative economy turns out to be quite tricky. Following massive backlash, Patreon is at least temporarily pausing its plan to change its payment processing fee stucture on December 18th from charging creators 2%-10% on the first of the next month to charging patrons 2.9% plus $0.35 per transaction up front and on the monthly anniversary of their first pledge beyond the 5%… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Aurora Flight Sciences demonstrates a fully autonomous helicopter in action
 Aurora Flight Sciences is a company working on making full-scale autonomous combat craft a reality, and now some of its work is ready for prime time. The company showed off an autonomous helicopter created to demonstrate its Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System contribution for the Office of Naval Research’s ongoing work in the field, and it successfully navigated a UH-1H helicopter… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Fanchest raises $4M in seed funding to become the best gift for sports fans
 Here’s a great present for a sports fan this holiday season: Fanchest is a Brooklyn-based startup that curates and sends team-themed gift boxes as gift. The boxes start at $59 and include about $80 worth of apparel and gear from whatever pro or college team you choose. Today the startup has announced $4M in seed funding with a diverse group of investors like New Orleans Saints… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Lily raises $2M from NEA and others for a personal stylist service that considers feelings, not just fit
 One of the reasons recently IPO’d Stitch Fix became so popular among female shoppers is because of how it pairs the convenience of home try-on for clothing and accessories with a personal styling service that adapts to your tastes over time. But often, personal stylists bring their own subjective takes on fashion to their customers. A new startup called Lily aims to offer a more… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Mario Bear has come to save 2017
 It’s been a long year – it feels like it actually spanned about 50, in fact. But now, at the end, some relief: Mario Bear. Yes, it’s just a bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop. And a ‘brand collaboration,’ that horrific thing that usually just means some executives get a larger Christmas bonus and more people are convinced to part with their hard-earned money on… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Aiming to be the LinkedIn for creatives, The Dots raises £4m
 Professional social networks like LinkedIn have long been a mainstay of business, but what if you are more of a creative bent where LinkedIn looks pretty stuffy? In the US, Behance, a network for creatives raised $6.5m in the past and now the general idea has moved across the pond in the shape of The Dots. Aimed at the so-called ‘No Collar’ professionals (creatives in T-shirts, if… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Berlin's Joblift raises €10M to attack legacy sites, in a round led by DN Capital
 Joblift, a European job site in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, has raised €10 million in a funding round led by the London/Berlin VC DN Capital. The round was joined by Picus Capital and existing investors Cherry Ventures, btov and TruVenturo. The fundraising brings the total raised by two-year old Joblift to €12m. The Berlin-based startup aggregates jobs data from multiple… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads
 WhatsApp has always said that it has no plans to put ads into its own app, but this is not stopping Facebook, which now owns WhatsApp, from figuring out other ways of monetizing the hugely popular messaging service. Today, Facebook is launching a new ad unit that will let businesses create a link between the two platforms: advertisers can now include a button on their ads so that people can… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Target is buying Alabama-based same-day delivery service Shipt for $550 million
 Target, America’s other favorite old-line retailer (the one that’s not Walmart, with the arguably better commercials), is buying the Alabama-based delivery startup Shipt in a $550 million all-cash transaction. The deal, announced today, is another example of how every single store in America is responding to the very real threat that Amazon will drink their milkshake and eat… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Target is buying Alabama-based, same-day delivery service Shipt for $550 million
 Target, America’s other favorite old-line retailer (the one that’s not Walmart, with the arguably better commercials), is buying the Alabama-based delivery startup Shipt in a $550 million all-cash transaction. The deal, announced today, is another example of how every single store in America is responding to the very real threat that Amazon will drink their milkshake and eat… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

NASA to screen ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi' on the International Space Station
 Being an astronaut living and working aboard the International Space Station shouldn’t mean that you have to miss out on much-anticipated movie releases like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In fact, it should probably mean the opposite, which is why it’s great news that NASA will work with Disney to arrange a screening for ISS crew of the new movie, which is arriving in theatres in the U.S. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Facebook's Brexit probe unearths three Russian-bought 'immigration' ads
 Facebook has provided more details about the extent of Russian digital interference related to the UK’s Brexit vote last year. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

EBay acquires Terapeak to provide more analytics to marketplace sellers
 EBay today announced another acquisition today that underscores the company’s current focus on building out better data tools for third-party sellers on its platform, to help it compete better with the likes of Amazon and other marketplaces to attract their business. It’s acquiring Terapeak, a Toronto-based startup that has built a platform that crunches data about supply, demand… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

ispace just raised $90 million to launch two private moon missions by 2020
 Japanese company ispace has raised $90.2 million in a Series A funding round, an amount it’s calling the “largest ever” Series A in commercial space financing. The funding comes from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Development Bank of Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Konika Minolta and others, and will help the company continue its progress towards a very… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

T-Mobile plans pay TV service in 2018 fueled by Layer3 TV acquisition
 T-Mobile is getting into the paid TV business, with the acquisition of Layer3 TV, a TV tech company, and plans announced to launch its own offering sometime next year. T-Mobile’s John Legere revealed the pay TV ambitions for the so-called “Un-carrier” on its YouTube channel today. The plan involves building a service that avoids long-term contracts, as well as complex bundles… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Scientists make kale plants glow in the dark with firefly enzymes
 A team of MIT research have engineered plants that glow in the dark, using luciferase, the enzyme that lights up firefly butts. The answer to the question of why, precisely, anyone would want to do such a thing is clearly, “because science is cool.” The longer and slightly more boring answer, however, has to do with energy savings. Thus far, the scientists have only been able to… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

This app will help you figure out if you can fit that Costco-sized paper towel box in your apartment
 You’re probably going to get a better deal when you buy consumer products — like paper towels — wholesale, but at the same time you’re also buying a very, very large package of said consumer products. So, they might not always fit in your apartment. Wholesale goods are the primary play for a startup called Boxed, a retailer looking to play the sort of… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Indiegogo now lets you fund via token sale
 Crowdfunding service and Kickstarter-competitor Indiegogo is now offering an ICO service alongside its partner, MicroVentures. The company will allow users to participate in SEC-complaint ICOs and, like its slow-burning equity crowdfunding service, will pick and choose startups that match certain exacting criteria. These tokens sales will be SEC complaint and the sales are performed within… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Amazon expands same-day delivery and one-day shipping to thousands more cities
 Amazon announced today it has expanded its same-day delivery and one-day shipping service to thousands more markets across the U.S., just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. Before, these services were available to Prime members in 5,000 cities and towns, the retailer tells us. Now, they’re available in over 8,000. The market expansion is not just focused on serving major metros,… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Amazon Echo's multi-room music streaming feature now supports Spotify and SiriusXM
 Just in time for all of those ridiculous holiday playlists, Amazon’s added two key players to the Echo’s multi-room streaming feature. Spotify and SiriusXM now join the ranks of TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Pandora and, naturally, Amazon’s own Music Unlimited service. The feature, which hit the smart speakers over the summer, makes it possible to stream songs to multiple Echos on… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Events management platform Bizzabo raises $15M growth round
 Just eight months after its last round of funding, events management platform Bizzabo has raised another $15 million. The new round, which brings Bizzabo’s total funding so far to $30 million, was led by Pilot Growth Equity, with participation from Maor Investments and returning investors. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Events management platform Bizzabo raises $15M Series B
 Just eight months after its last round of funding, events management platform Bizzabo has raised a $15 million Series B. The new round, which brings Bizzabo’s total funding so far to $30 million, was led by Pilot Growth Equity, with participation from Maor Investments and returning investors. Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Nvidia and construction giant Komatsu partner on AI for job site safety
 Nvidia is teaming up with Komatsu, one of the largest manufacturers of heavy equipment for construction and mining in the world, to deploy AI at worksites across these industries in order to promote safety and increase efficiency. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced the partnership at GTC Japan today, and described how it’ll make use of Nvidia GPU hardware to provide virtual… Read More

TechCrunch
Dec 13, 2017

Mixbook photo book service acquires WedPics
 In 2012, a Raleigh, NC-based company called WedPics launched on to the scene to make wedding photos a little less of a headache. Five years and seven million users later, WedPics is being acquired by Mixbook, the platform for digitally collecting and editing physical photo books. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. WedPics is an app that lets a bride and groom aggregate all the photos… Read More

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