Friday, May 6, 2016

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SpaceX successfully landed another rocket on a drone ship

May 06, 5:49AM

spacex landing pic SpaceX successfully launched the Japanese communications satellite, JCSAT-14 on their Falcon 9 rocket at 1:22am EST today from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After the launch, the company soft-landed the first stage of the rocket on their drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” – the second time this has ever been done. Landing confirmed. Second stage continuing to carry JCSAT-14… Read More

New York's ff Venture Capital has raised a new, $54 million fund

May 06, 3:10AM

IMG_3811 The eight-year-old, New York-based venture firm ff Venture Capital, has raised $53.8 million for its fourth seed-stage venture fund, according to an SEC filing that shows fundraising began in the fall of 2014. The firm had closed its third seed-stage fund fund in January 2014 with $52 million. Since then, ff Venture Capital has hired two new partners, including Adam Plotkin, who was… Read More

I've got a few questions for virtual reality filmmakers

May 06, 1:37AM

16017605340_e3984082bf_o So, I’m sitting aboard a flight to Boston at the moment. I just finished a bout of midterms at Northwestern University that allegedly went well enough for me to make it through undergrad. I have an $8 beer in my hand that Spirit Airlines is using to subsidize their garbage service, but more importantly, I’m grappling with a lot of questions surrounding reality and stuff. Where… Read More

Skoog 2.0 brings wireless connectivity to the multi-use educational musical instrument

May 05, 9:36PM

photography of Skoog music machine “The key was to create an instrument for all children,” explains Skoog co-inventor Dr. Ben Schögler. “That includes kids with disabilities, whether physical or learning disabilities. It was made to be an inclusive instrument, because musical instruments are beautiful, they’re fantastic, but they’re difficult to play.” Born out of Edinburg University in… Read More

Only humans, not computers, can learn or predict

May 05, 8:00PM

artificial intelligence In late January, Nature magazine announced that a computer designed by Google’s DeepMind defeated a human master in the ancient Chinese board game, “Go.” This impressive achievement once again raised the expectations for a predicted future in which computers will have artificial intelligence. No matter which side of the debate one falls on, DeepMind’s achievement… Read More

Sean Parker's Airtime acquires WebRTC video chat wizards vLine

May 05, 7:57PM

Airtime Video Chat It takes some serious engineering magic to build low-latency group mobile video chat and simultaneous content viewing. That’s why Sean Parker’s recently relaunched video chat room app Airtime acquired vLine, which offered video chat infrastructure to SaaS companies. Founded in 2010, vLine was backed with $1.5 million from Kleiner Perkins and Harrison Metal. vLine’s team will… Read More

SAP announces new partnership with Apple to expand iOS in the enterprise

May 05, 7:33PM

A man walks up the stairs at the Apple Store in Grand Central Station February 25, 2016.   Apple has been in a legal fight with the government in the San Bernardino case, where the FBI wants the company to help hacking the iPhone of Syed Farook, a US citizen, who gunned down 14 people with his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik in the California city in December. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) SAP announced a broad partnership with Apple today to bring iOS to SAP’s enterprise customer base. The announcement comes almost two years after Apple made a similar deal with IBM. Steve Lucas, president for SAP’s Digital Enterprise Platform says while it’s natural to see similarities between the two deals — two large enterprise companies making a deal with Apple… Read More

Launcher lets you create iOS widgets that display or hide based on day, time or location

May 05, 7:29PM

iPhone6-WidgetScreen You may remember Launcher as the once-banned iOS widget that Apple booted from the App Store after its approval, then months later allowed back in. The problem Apple had with the app, seemingly, is that its sole existence was to be a widget provider — the app by itself didn’t offer any standalone functionality beyond widget configuration. Today, Launcher is out with its first… Read More

Ultra-cute bugbots cooperate to climb a step together

May 05, 7:24PM

robots_cooperate Anything is possible if we all work together — and no one gets left behind. That is the lesson these tiny “VelociRoACH” robots taught me today. Read More

A closer look at Samsung's connected Family Hub Refrigerator

May 05, 7:16PM

Samsung Smart Hub Imagine for a moment that you’re a fly on the wall of a Samsung executive board meeting. It’s pretty easy to imagine why the Family Hub Refrigerator seemed like a great idea. Someone probably said something about leveraging the smart home and disrupting the kitchen and they were off to the races. And sure, there are certainly pieces of the fancy new smart refrigerator that make a… Read More

YouTube VP Matt Glotzbach graduates to CEO role at Quizlet

May 05, 6:59PM

Quizlet CEO Matthew Glotzbach, and Andrew Sutherland, founder Quizlet, the makers of popular web and mobile study tools, hired a new CEO, Matt Glotzbach, former Vice President of Product Management at YouTube. Glotzbach led the creation of YouTube’s music subscription service, and fan-funding business platforms. But Quizlet will not be his first education-focused initiative. A 12-year Google veteran, he was part of the founding team of Google apps… Read More

TrapTap maps speed traps and more

May 05, 5:46PM

TrapTap TrapTap, which has raised over $200,000 on Kickstarter with about a week to go, alerts drivers to speed traps, school zones, speed zones, and red light cameras by blinking red, green, or blue. But it’s not a radar detector; it’s more like connected car training wheels. TrapTap says it has mapped every school zone and red light camera in 60 countries. You stick the little round puck… Read More

eBay acquires AI-powered big data processor Expertmaker

May 05, 5:34PM

ebay-angled eBay announced today that it is acquiring Expertmaker, a Swedish company that specializes in analysis of big data with a machine-learning twist. Read More

Amazon poaches AI guru from Xerox PARC to work on Alexa virtual assistant

May 05, 5:02PM

amazon-echo Amazon has hired Xerox PARC employee and artificial intelligence (AI) researcher Ashwin Ram to head up AI R&D for Alexa, the e-commerce behemoth’s virtual assistant. Ram first tweeted about his appointment on Tuesday, and a spokesperson for Amazon has now confirmed the hire but declined to offer any further comment. Read More

Fintech doesn't just disrupt banks, it makes them platforms

May 05, 4:44PM

shutterstock_392496349 It’s easy to move your money between banks. What’s annoying is moving your apps. There’s been a recent explosion of fintech products in spaces like stock trading, wealth management, payments, loans, remittance and insurance. It’s been fueled by a massive uptick in venture investment in private fintech companies, which hit $19 billion in 2015 according to CB Insights. Read More

City carpooling service Via picks up $70M further funding, another $30M to come

May 05, 4:15PM

ride with via Via bills itself as an ‘on-demand transit company’ and in some ways is competing with Uber, specifically within the city carpooling space. Today the company announced $100 million in Series C funding, when actually only $70 million of that has closed, with, we’re told, another $30 million in strategic investment to come in the coming weeks. Who that will be from, Via… Read More

Netflix now lets you control how much data it uses when streaming from your smartphone

May 05, 4:09PM

netflix-ios Netflix announced this morning a new way for consumers to control how much data its app uses when they’re accessing the service by way of a mobile device. In the updated version of the iOS or Android application, there will be a new setting called “Cellular Data Usage,” where you’ll be able to switch off the automatic, default setting then choose either a higher or… Read More

Drawbridge raises $25M as it takes its cross-device tech beyond advertising

May 05, 4:08PM

Drawbridge Drawbridge, a startup that helps businesses identify when a single person is using multiple devices, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Every time I write about Drawbridge, I’m contractually obligated to mention that the company is backed by two of the best-known venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. For this round, Drawbridge went back… Read More

Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand launches in U.S., inks global deal with McDonald's

May 05, 3:54PM

soundtrack your brand mcdonald's As Spotify continues to grow its consumer subscription business and expand the services it provides to artists, one of its side bets is making inroads in another route to music streaming riches. Spotify-backed and co-founded Soundtrack Your Brand, which streams music in business locations, is launching in the U.S. And to mark the news, it’s also announcing that it has signed a… Read More

A few words on chatbots

May 05, 3:38PM

vintage toy robots Lo and behold! A new wave of technology is preparing to crash down upon the unsuspecting consumer. Chatbots are surging towards our conversations at breakneck speed! Read More

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