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Friday, September 4, 2015

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Toyota Pledges $50M To Research AI For Autonomous Vehicles, Hires DARPA's Dr. Gill Pratt

Sep 04, 5:37PM

7666334816_f6240401a6_k Today, Toyota announced that it had hired Gill Pratt to drive its autonomous car research. Pratt is best known in this field for his work at DARPA and MIT, including starting the Robotics Challenge. The company is also investing $50M in the research over the next five years as well as partnering with MIT and Stanford. Pratt has spent the past five years with DARPA, and laid out what’s… Read More

Fly Or Die: Vapium Summit Weekender Edition

Sep 04, 5:16PM

With Labor Day around the corner, and Labor Day weekend already underway, it makes sense for us to have a celebratory look at the Vapium Summit Weekender Edition. The botanical vaporizer, at $189, is different from others in that it comes with its own solar panel, so you can charge it on the go without any access to a power outlet. So if you’re getting back to nature (and enjoying… Read More

Apple TV's Share Of Over-The-Top, Authenticated TV Viewing Is Growing

Sep 04, 5:14PM

apple-tv-pacman1 Ahead of next week’s Apple event where the company is expected to debut new Apple TV hardware and software which may include support for an app store and a cable-replacing streaming TV service, Adobe has released its new video benchmarking report that indicates Apple TV has been increasing its share of over-the-top viewing. Specifically, over the past quarter, Apple TV increased its… Read More

Former Prisoners Rethink Criminal Justice Through Entrepreneurship And Civic Technology

Sep 04, 5:00PM

prisonvisit “Reentry has to begin the moment you’re sentenced to prison. You’ve got to start planning to come home.” That’s the motif of Teresa Hodge, who co-founded Mission: Launch in 2012 with her daughter, Laurin. The Hodges never imagined prison in their future, but when Teresa began serving an 87-month sentence in a West Virginia facility, they quickly discovered that… Read More

13 TechCrunch Stories You Don't Want To Miss This Week

Sep 04, 4:28PM

weekly roundup USE This week, rumors swirled about the new Apple TV, Google changed its logo, Chrome killed Flash ads, and BB-8 scared our office dog. These are the stories to catch you up on this week’s tech news. Read More

ThingThing Is An iOS Keyboard That Shortcuts App Switching

Sep 04, 4:27PM

ThingThing Now that it’s been a year and change since Apple revealed it would be opening up access to the system wide keyboard in iOS we’re seeing some pretty interesting stuff going on right within the keyboard. No, not GIF keyboards; something a lot more interesting. Read More

LinkedIn Open-Sources FeatureFu, A Toolkit For Building Machine Learning Models

Sep 04, 4:13PM

LinkedIn chocolates LinkedIn today announced that it is open-sourcing an internal tool called FeatureFu. The FeatureFu toolkit is meant to make it easier for developers to build their machine learning models around statistical modeling and decision engines. Read More

This Week On The TechCrunch Bitcoin Podcast: You Spilled Maple Syrup On My Cryptocurrency

Sep 04, 4:13PM

bitcoin Hello friends, and welcome back to TCBTC, TechCrunch’s premier and Most Excellent bitcoin podcast. This week we are back on audio, our own John Biggs has returned to us, and we even called in a friend to help. We spent a chunk of time discussing how bitcoin is disrupting the fruit market, why you can’t mind bitcoin on your iPhone, and, of course, what the heck is going on in… Read More

Students, Get Your Discounted Disrupt London Tickets Now

Sep 04, 3:34PM

disrupt london startup alley Are you an undergraduate or graduate student looking to attend the hottest show in tech? We’ve set aside a series of tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 exclusively for students, and you can snag one of these tickets for just £100 plus VAT with a valid university ID and your current transcripts. Read More

Spotify Rolls Out A Revamped, "Plain Language" Privacy Policy Following Controversial Update

Sep 04, 3:24PM

spotify-overview Spotify has now made good on its promise to rewrite the controversial update to its privacy policy, which incurred a bit of backlash thanks to its vague language and requests to collect all sorts of personal data, including things like contacts, photos, and media files stored on users’ devices as well as location data and Facebook “likes” and posts. Not surprisingly,… Read More

500 Startups Closes Its Newest Fund with $85 Million

Sep 04, 3:01PM

dave-mcclure6 500 Startups, the five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based venture firm, has closed its third global fund with $85 million. The nearly 500 investors in the vehicle include Tokyo-based Dentsu, Yahoo Japan and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad, a venture firm backed by the Malaysian government. Read More

Israel Could Grow Into A Global Cannabis Startup Superpower

Sep 04, 3:00PM

israel-cannabis1 Israel is already a leading global player in clinical testing and Israeli growers have been leveraging clinical trials to produce new strains for decades. These growers have developed unique grow-how to deliver a medical grade product. Read More

Human Rights Groups Lambast Twitter For Banning Service That Tracked Politicians' Deleted Tweets

Sep 04, 2:31PM

twitter-censor Seventeen international human rights and transparency groups, including the Sunlight Foundation, EFF, Free Press, Open State Foundation, Human Rights Watch and others, are taking Twitter to task for its decision to ban the Politwoops tool last month, which was used to track politicians’ deleted tweets. Twitter had earlier banned the U.S. version of this tweet-tracking service in May,… Read More

Videogram Offers Broadcasters New Ways To Engage Viewers Beyond Just YouTube

Sep 04, 2:09PM

film Cinemacraft, the Japan-U.S. company that provides interactive online video technologies, has launched a series of news tools aimed at giving broadcasters and brands new ways to boost engagement on their clips, beyond just relying on repositories like YouTube. Read More

BlackBerry Goes Shopping Again, Buys Good Technology

Sep 04, 1:29PM

BlackBerry phone BlackBerry pulled a surprise move this morning when it announced that it’s purchasing mobile device management vendor Good Technology for $425 million in cash. It signals that BlackBerry, which has lost most of its worldwide handset marketshare, is shifting its focus by expanding its mobile enterprise security platform. In a way, this shift makes sense, as BlackBerry has always been… Read More

Hipster Barbie Shows Us How Plastic We All Really Are On Social Media

Sep 04, 9:23AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.15.37 AM “Could I be any more authentic?!” Socality Barbie is an Instagram account that primarily pokes fun at the social media app’s “community” culture, but it also offers a broader commentary on how our culture is evolving in how we portray ourselves online. Authenticity on social media can be a tough trait to find. The culture on Instagram in particular has made… Read More

WhatsApp Hits 900M Monthly Users, Edges Closer To An Actual Business Model

Sep 04, 8:09AM

whatsapp-money1 It’s WhatsApp monthly active user number update time, folks. The Facebook-owned messaging service, which doesn’t yet have a business model, has now crossed 900 million MAUs, as CEO, co-founder and (now) Facebook board member Jan Koum revealed on Facebook. (Of course.) Read More

Baidu's Student Q&A App Zuoyebang Lands Investment From Sequoia and Legend Capital

Sep 04, 5:02AM

Screenshot 2015-09-04 11.47.12 Baidu, China’s largest search engine and an investor in Uber, is giving its Zuoyebang ‘after school’ service, which helps school students with their studies, wings of its own after it revealed that the business raised an undisclosed Series A funding round. Read More

Mozilla Drops First Public Preview Of Firefox For iOS

Sep 03, 10:29PM

firefox-ios Mozilla is beginning to preview its iOS Firefox browser, rolling it out today for testing in New Zealand, according to a company blog post. The goal is for the company to gather data so that they are able to bring Firefox for iOS to the App Store for the rest of the globe “later this year.” Firefox specified the goal of the preview in a blog post: Our goal is to create a… Read More

Now Kids Can Build Their Own HD Display With The Kano Screen Kit

Sep 03, 9:48PM

Kano Kano‘s crazy cool educational PC is about to get a bit more visual. Kano CEO Alex Klein tweeted out that the company has launched a pre-order for an HD display kit. Kano, which raised a $15M Series A in May, has been aiming to create an invaluable educational experience for kids by helping them get acquainted with how computers work through putting the kit together. The Raspberry… Read More

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