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Bitconnect, which has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme, shuts down

 Bitconnect, the lending and exchange platform that was long suspected by many in the crypto community of being a Ponzi scheme, has announced it’s shutting down. In a release on its website the platform said the shutdown is attributed to “continuous bad press” surrounding the platform, two cease and desist letters from both Texas and North Carolina’s securities boards,… Read More

Twitter hits back again at claims that its employees monitor direct messages

 Twitter is pushing back against claims made by conservative activist group Project Veritas that its employees monitor private user data, including direct messages. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Twitter representative said “we do not proactively review DMs. Period. A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, and we enforce strict… Read More

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns to Hulu on April 25 (and here’s a new trailer)

 The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been a home run for Hulu — the series has been embraced by awards voters, and it was one of the streaming service’s most-watched dramas last year. This weekend, Hulu has been working to build up anticipation for the 13-episode second season, with the release of the first images and the announcement that the show will return sometime… Read More

Gillmor Gang: Smart Speakers

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Frank Radice, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, January 12, 2018.
G3: Last Hope — Mary Hodder, Halley Suitt Tucker, Francine Hardaway, Tina Hui, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, January 12, 2018.
@stevegillmor, @dsearls, @fradice, @kteare, @DenisPombriant
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor… Read More

Apple says iCloud China data migration notice sent to some users in error

 Apple says that an email sent to users with Apple IDs with locations not set to China that their iCloud data was being moved to a Chinese company’s servers was done so accidentally. The Cupertino tech giant had announced Wednesday that next month it will begin the process of moving Chinese users’ iCloud data to servers hosted in China by state-owned Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) as… Read More

GM and Cruise reveal their fourth-generation, steering wheel-free Cruise AV

 GM and Cruise are making progress on their plan to deploy autonomous vehicles on roads for the public: Today, it’s showing off its fourth-generation Cruise Autonomous Vehicle (AV), which comes just a few short months after it first revealed its third-generation vehicle. The fourth generation car is production-ready, according to GM’s Dan Ammann, who discussed the new vehicle on a… Read More

Sodexo acquires majority stake in French online restaurant FoodChéri

 Sodexo, a French publicly-listed food services and facilities management company, has acquired a majority stake in Paris-based online restaurant and food delivery startup FoodChéri. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, though François Paulus of Breega Capital, which backed the company’s €6 million Series A, tells me he is “happy with the return”. Read More

China’s Kunlun completes full buyout of Grindr

 Nearly two years to the day of its majority investment in Grindr, China-based tech firm Kunlun Group has fully acquired the gay dating app. Grindr is among the, if not the, world’s most popular LBQT dating app with a claimed 3.3 million daily users. Kunlun, which is best known for games but is part of a consortium that acquired Opera’s browser business, bought 60 percent of the… Read More

Wonderschool gets $2.1M to bring its early childhood programs to New York City

 Wonderschool, a network of in-home daycare and preschools, plans to open 150 programs in New York City after raising $2.1 million in new funding. The capital comes from non-profit investment firm Omidyar Network, Be Curious Partners, Rethink Education, Edelweiss Partners and Learn Capital and brings the startup’s total raised so far to more than $4 million, including a seed round… Read More

VW taps Nvidia to build AI into its new electric microbus and beyond

 Nvidia will power artificial intelligence technology built into its future vehicles, including the new I.D. Buzz, its all-electric retro-inspired camper van concept. The partnership between the two companies also extends to the future vehicles, and will initially focus on so-called “Intelligent Co-Pilot” features, including using sensor data to make driving easier, safer and… Read More

Crunch Report | GoPro Cuts 200-300 Jobs

App revenue reached $60 billion in 2017, Travis Kalanick is selling 29 percent of his Uber shares and GoPro cuts 200-300 jobs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | Telegram and Instagram Are Being Restricted in Iran

Amazon Prime shipped 5 billion Items in 2017, SuperMeat gets $3 million in funding and Telegram and Instagram are being restricted in Iran. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Building AI systems that work is still hard

 Even with the support of AI frameworks like TensorFlow or OpenAI, artificial intelligence still requires deep knowledge and understanding compared to a mainstream web developer. If you have built a working prototype, you are probably the smartest guy in the room. Congratulations, you are a member of a very exclusive club.
With Kaggle you can even earn decent money by solving real world… Read More

What were your best nine Instagram photos from 2017?

 You might have noticed a new end-of-year trend on Instagram the past few days. If so, you can thank 2017bestnine.com, a website that lets you automatically collect and collage your most-liked photos of 2017. Best Nine has been around for a while, so many of you may be familiar with the tool already. But for those of you who are new to that Best Nine game, here’s how it works. First of… Read More

Crunch Report | Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iPhones

Apple apologizes for slowing down iPhones, humans spent $200 million on apps this Christmas and Google retires the Pixel C tablet. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | South Korea Announces New Cryptocurrency Regulations

South Korea announces new cryptocurrency regulations coinciding with the drop in bitcoin prices, YouTube gets pulled from Fire TV and SoftBank will now own about 15 percent of Uber. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

HQ Trivia Is Coming to Android | Crunch Report

HQ Trivia is coming to Android, Amazon Echo is the No. 1 best seller on the site and the founder of LeEco is ordered to return to China. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Elon Musk promises to make a pickup truck ‘right after Model Y’

 On the heels of Elon Musk unveiling the Tesla all-electric semi-truck and a second-generation Roadster in November, Musk took to Twitter today to ask his fans how Tesla can further improve. In response to someone who requested a Tesla pickup truck, Musk said, “I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost… Read More

How augmented and virtual reality will reshape the food industry

 Augmented reality content can be found on everything from wine bottles to IKEA’s catalog and virtual reality experiences are much more detailed, with rich layers of interactivity from hand controllers to gaze triggers, and a VR film has even won an Oscar. With Apple and Google both debuting augmented reality platforms (ARKit and ARCore, respectively), Facebook heavily invested in its… Read More

Vice founders apologize for allowing a “boy’s club” culture at the company

 Vice Media founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi say they are “truly sorry” for not doing enough to stop inappropriate behavior at the company. In a public statement issued shortly before The New York Times published an article on Saturday that described multiple accounts of sexual misconduct by Vice employees, Smith, its chief executive officer, and Alvi said they are taking… Read More

Theranos gets $100 million in debt financing to carry it through 2018, with some caveats

 Theranos has secured $100 million in debt financing. Yes, someone gave the blood testing company known for handing out questionable test results money.
First reported by Business Insider, the company reportedly told investors it had secured the money from Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based private equity firm that was acquired by Softbank earlier this year.
Of course, this is debt… Read More

SpaceX caps a record year with 18th successful launch of 2017

 SpaceX has completed its 18th launch in 2017, marking a record year for the private space company. It’s the most rockets SpaceX has launched in a single year, beating its previous best by ten missions. The launch today was for client Iridium, delivering 10 satellites to low Earth orbit for its Iridium NEXT communications constellation. This is the fourth such mission that SpaceX has… Read More

Mumbrella, a media startup focused on APAC’s marketing industry, gets acquired

 Inside baseball klaxon: media writing about media story incoming:: Mumbrella, the Australia-based media company, has been sold by its founders to U.S./APAC events company Diversified Communications.
Mumbrella operates media and marketing industry-focused websites for Australia and Asia, an events business and a database service called The Source. It has 33 staff across four offices. The… Read More

Uber rival Ola buys Foodpanda India to get into food deliveries

 Ola, the Uber rival in India, is entering the food delivery space after it announced a deal to acquire Foodpanda’s India business from its parent company DeliveryHero. The deal will see Ola scoop up the Foodpanda India business with DeliveryHero taking an undisclosed amount of Ola stock in exchange. Undisclosed all-stock deals are usually indicative of a willingness to sell, and we… Read More

Uber accused of espionage, bribery and hacking by former employee

 The $1.86 billion legal battle between ride-hailing giant Uber and Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo reached a pivotal moment today as the judge in the case released a damning letter based on the account of a former Uber employee. The letter alleges that a special division within Uber was responsible for acts of corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, the bribery of foreign… Read More

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. The company started out in 2015 offering a ride-hailing service for… Read More

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

Techstars is launching its first accelerator program in Asia in partnership with Rakuten

 Techstars is bringing its global accelerator program to Asia for the first time in partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten and its chat app Viber. The companies will run a three-month program in Singapore starting in July, according to a joint announcement made today. The focus will be on social messaging and, in particular, technologies and startups that align with Viber, the… Read More

Holography-based 3D printing produces objects in seconds instead of hours

 3D printers are useful devices for all kinds of reasons, but most have a critical weakness: they simply take a long time to actually make anything. That’s because additive manufacturing generally works by putting down an object one microscopic layer at a time. But a new holographic printing technique makes it possible to create the entire thing at once — in as little as a second… Read More

WorldRemit nabs $40M at a $670M valuation to boost its money transfer business

 WorldRemit, a London-based startup with some 2 million users that offers a quick way for people to send money to each other with a focus on developing markets, has raised more funds to help it take on the likes of Western Union in the remittances market, estimated by the World Bank to be worth some $596 million globally this year. The company has picked up $40 million — a Series C… Read More

Watch the sixth annual Breakthrough Prize awards live right here!

 As we head into awards season, one of the first shows to lead the pack is all about science. The Breakthrough Prize, a cumulative $22 million in awards that go to superstars in the fields of physics, life sciences, and mathematics, is going into its sixth year. The show was founded by Yuri and Julia Milner, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Jack Ma and Cathy… Read More

Tencent CEO joins Breakthrough Prize as founding sponsor

 Tencent founder and CEO Ma Huateng (Pony Ma) is joining the Breakthrough Prize, sometimes referred to as “the Oscars of Science,” as a founding sponsor. He joins the likes of co-sponsors Sergey Brin of Google, Yuri Milner of DST Global, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe and others. “Fundamental science is the bedrock of technological advancement,”… Read More

Apple’s hand is down and its $1 trillion dream now rests with consumers

 As we head into the end of 2017, it’s pretty safe to say that Apple’s fate — barring any major issue with its phones — is now in the hands of its consumers. With the iPhone X now in stores (if you catch them at the right time), Apple has now laid down its hand and waits to see where consumer demand lands. Read More

Flowspace is AWS for warehouses

 Got too much Internet traffic? Get servers on-demand from Amazon Web Services. Got too many pallets of physical goods? Well now you can get on-demand warehousing from Flowspace. The startup aims to become the next critical logistics service by making atoms as easy to store and ship as bits. “We want to introduce flexibility and fluidity into a warehousing market defined by long-term… Read More

Uber’s Indian rival Ola begins offering a bicycle-sharing service

 Ola, the company battling Uber in India, has turned to pedal power after it introduced a bike-sharing service. China’s Didi Chuxing and Grab in Southeast Asia have invested in bike-sharing companies, which offered dock-less bikes that users can pick up across a city and leave anywhere they want when they’re done, and now Ola — which recently raised $1.1 billion in fresh… Read More

WeWork has big plans for Alexa for Business

 Amazon is soon to announce Alexa for Business, and WeWork is one of the first partners to have hopped on the platform. WeWork’s vision is to use technology to help businesses make the most out of their physical space, all while customizing that space to each individual’s personal needs. The co-working giant has been on the Alexa for Business platform for about a month now, as part… Read More

Researchers create a light-based key distribution system for quantum encryption

 Researchers at Duke University, OSU, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have solved one of the biggest problems with new forms of quantum encryption: quantum key distribution. QKD is the process of distributing keys during a transmission and in a way that will tell both sides of the conversation that someone is eavesdropping. The new system, which uses lasers to transmit multiple bits at once,… Read More

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Bitcoin is over $9,000

 Well, it’s over $9,000. Even as you recoup from attempting to explain Bitcoin to your family over the Thanksgiving dinner table, the value of the cryptocurrency is growing at an increasingly hefty pace. As of the time of this writing, the value of a single Bitcoin was above $9,143, climbing nearly 6 points in the past 24 hours. At a certain point, news of clearing these incremental… Read More

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Do VC woes extend to portfolio companies? For Rothenberg, probably not

 As VC brands go, Rothenberg Ventures has seen better days. The firm built up a reputation as an up-and-coming early-stage investor. But Silicon Valley soured on Rothenberg Ventures last year; lawsuits ensued. So it hasn’t been a good year for Mike Rothenberg. But what about the Rothenberg Ventures portfolio? Read More

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Lyft gets approval to test self-driving cars on public roads in California

 Lyft is the latest company to be added to the ever-growing list of those permitted to test their self-driving technology on California state public roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles added Lyft to the list recently (via Axios), following Lyft’s foundation of a self-driving technology development center earlier this year, and its announcement that it would work on both its… Read More

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