Monday, May 9, 2016

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PayPal nixes Purchase Protection for payments made through crowdfunding platforms

May 09, 5:49AM

paypal If you use your PayPal account to support a crowdfunding campaign, you can’t rely on its Purchase Protection plan anymore. The payment platform has announced that after June 25, payments made on crowdfunding platforms will no longer be eligible for the program, which allows users to open disputes for items that don’t arrive or are different from described. Read More

Afraid of the future? Try Technotopia

May 09, 1:12AM

Over the past few months I’ve been on a mission: I want to prove that the future is not going to suck. While this project was originally going to end up in a book – and it still will – I’ve started recording a weekly podcast called Technotopia in which I speak to amazing thinkers about the future. We’ve covered the environment, bitcoin, and why the future will… Read More

The digital age of data art

May 09, 1:00AM

data-art Many artists use as material for art the raw data produced by our societies, seeking innovative means of display or transforming it into a work of art. By blurring boundaries between art and information, data art dispels the myth of the romantic artist while offering a fundamental artistic act in a critical commentary of the digital age in which we live. Read More

Rapper and founder Ryan Leslie explains why his latest music isn't on streaming services (for now)

May 08, 11:00PM

ryan leslie build If anyone wants to text Ryan Leslie and have a one-on-one conversation with a big-deal rapper, here’s his number: 646-887-6978. That’s not a secret. Leslie shares the number publicly and encourages people to message him — it’s a way for him to develop a direct relationship with his fans. And now with his startup SuperPhone, he’s building tech tools to manage… Read More

AlexaSite wins the Disrupt NY 2016 Hackathon Grand Prize

May 08, 6:59PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8734 It’s been a long night at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. But this time, you couldn’t see anyone waiting for a boat. Instead, the Cruise Terminal hosted a very special competition — the Disrupt NY Hackathon. Around 650 engineers and designers got together to come up with something cool, something neat, something awesome. The only condition is that they only had 24 hours to work… Read More

Lilwil's personalized learning engine teaches teachers how to teach

May 08, 6:46PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8666 Every student has a unique learning style, but it’s tough for teachers to figure out if they learn best through lectures, images, reading, self-directed practice, or group projects. By using publicly available education progress data and personality analysis, Lilwil is able to automatically identify a the best teaching method for a student and recommend it to their instructor. Read More

Helix conducts research as you write

May 08, 6:44PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8702 Researchers often need to go beyond Google to find the kind of medical journal articles and flat data files necessary for their work. But many journal articles are locked away in databases like JSTOR or PubMed, which don’t have the reliable search capabilities of an engine like Google — so researchers have to waste time tracking them down. Read More

Teach-U: VR uses virtual reality to let anyone learn piano or drums

May 08, 6:42PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8658 NYU Shanghai students Sean Kelly and Sam Shi wanted to use VR to help increase access to information. Over the weekend at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in New York, the duo initially looked at helping students learn brain surgery but they switched their target and developed Teach-U: VR — a platform that helps students, and particularly young people, learn music. Read More

E-susu aims to close the gap between community loan groups and traditional banking services

May 08, 6:34PM

e-susu An interesting hack presented on stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt New York 2016 is a platform for non-traditional banking services. Called e-susu, the app is designed for people who are involved with informal loan groups to help them better manage the process of lending money within a family or community group, as well as encouraging the saving process via increased transparency. Read More

Your voice is your password with Sesame's Alexa app

May 08, 6:08PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8668 Between Alexa’s built-in functionality and Skills API, you can now use the platform to do almost anything. Simple voice commands let you do things like order a pizza, send someone money on Venmo, or even buy another Echo. But here’s the thing – anyone using your Echo can do these things without your permission, potentially putting you on the line for fraudulent… Read More

The Blind Date Club turns your Echo speaker into a matchmaker

May 08, 5:49PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8635 Can Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa serve as a matchmaker? That’s the idea behind The Blind Date Club, a project from a team of coders presenting today at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 Hackathon. Designed as a voice-activated app for the Echo speaker, The Blind Date Club lets you search for dating profiles by voice, have them read aloud to you, and then get connected with your… Read More

VR Party is a social DJ dance club for virtual reality

May 08, 5:37PM

VR Party Twelve hours into last night’s Disrupt NY Hackathon, Andre Smith still wasn’t sure what he was doing. “People ask me about what my ideas are before the Hackathon,” he explains in a bit of a sleep-deprived daze. “I have no idea. I was already in deep. I didn’t really have a clear vision. I had all of this technology on my desk, but I didn’t know what to… Read More

Hungry Host uses Alexa to help you figure out what to cook tonight

May 08, 5:36PM

tcdisrupt_NY16-8639 You have a bunch of ingredients in your fridge, and you don’t know what you want to cook. You just bought an Amazon Echo, dying to figure out some new things to do with it. Well, you can do both of these with a hack put together at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon that does just that. Read More

Deep Focus saves you from being inundated by unimportant messages

May 08, 5:06PM

deep focus If it’s your birthday, Mother’s Day or some other significant occasion, it’s likely you’ll receive a barrage of text messages, emails and calls. Even if it’s not a special day, between your friends, significant other and boss, there’s probably a fair amount of action on your phone. Read More

The Eliza app makes mental health tracking as easy as talking to yourself

May 08, 5:02PM

Tae Hong Min and Kathryn Hodge, developers of the Eliza app. Makers of an app called Eliza want to make it as easy for people to track their psychological well-being as it is to track their physical fitness. The Eliza app asks users to record a voice memo, say, venting about an issue they’re dealing with at work or simply reflecting on their day. The app turns the user’s speech into text that’s ready for sentiment analysis. Read More

This chat bot pretends to be you so you can keep up with your friends

May 08, 4:48PM

chatbot (2 of 1) Too busy to keep up with your friends? There’s a chat bot for that. Read More

CrowdBuilder is a new app that's taking on the fragmented event promoter market

May 08, 4:47PM

IMG_1950 According to the research firm IBISWorld, there are currently more than 65,000 event promoters in the U.S., most of who have limited geographic reach. Even including the industry’s largest player, Live Nation Entertainment, the biggest companies in the space account for no more than a quarter of industry revenue, estimated to be $23 billion annually. Read More uses Uber to direct homeless people to shelters

May 08, 4:42PM hackathon Coders stayed up all night at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon this weekend in Brooklyn, New York. With just 24 hours to build something meaningful, it was no easy task. But four gentlemen met at the event and decided to build an app that could help keep homeless people off the streets and give them the care that they need. Read More

MenuMe turns menu text into photos

May 08, 4:32PM

menume At the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 hackathon, a team of engineers from MasterCard teamed up to create an app that can help travelers visiting a foreign country better understand what food is being described on a menu. Just by pointing their phone at the restaurant’s menu, the app will recognize the text and translate that into an image of the food item in question which is then overlaid… Read More

911bot is a chat bot that could save your life

May 08, 4:21PM

911bot (2 of 1) When you find yourself in an emergency situation, it’s hard to know what to do. And even if you do, panic can take over. 911bot, a product built at the Disrupt Hackathon here in New York, aims to help you out in a pinch. The Facebook Messenger-based chat bot lets you report emergencies to the authorities through a quick image-based interface. And as your report is sent through the system,… Read More

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