Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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Oilproject, the Italian MOOC you've probably never heard of, launches WeSchool

May 17, 7:01AM

02 - WeSchool - Wall WeSchool, initially available in English, Spanish and Italian, is aimed at teachers with a product that will go up against established Learning Management Systems (LMS), such as the Moodles of the world, and upstarts like EdModo. Read More

Twitter may remove photos and links from its 140-character limit

May 17, 6:20AM

shutterstock twitter For years, Twitter users have complained about the fact that link and photo URLs count against each tweet’s 140-character limit. Now that may finally change. According to a report in Bloomberg, Twitter will stop including photos and links in character counts, possibly within the next two weeks. Read More

Twitter is testing a Periscope live-streaming button inside its mobile apps

May 17, 4:29AM

periscope-photorealistic_logo Facebook is heaping focus on live video with an entirely dedicated tab for streams, which prioritizes in-the-moment broadcasts, so it’s no surprise to see that Twitter is fighting back in the streaming war with an integration between Periscope, its live-streaming platform, and the Twitter mobile apps. Read More

YouTube for iOS gets full Google Cardboard support

May 17, 3:54AM

IMG_2299 As the tech world waits to see what VR stuff Google shows off at its I/O conference later this week, today, the company snuck in an update to YouTube for iOS that allows you to view any video in VR mode on Cardboard. YouTube’s Android app has had full Cardboard support since November, but iPhone users have been sorely out of luck. With today’s release, iOS users can now tap the icon… Read More

VR gaming startup Lucid Sight nabs $3.5M in Series A funding

May 17, 3:05AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 9.38.08 PM Lucid Sight, Inc., an LA-based VR game studio, announced today that they have closed a $3.5 million Series A round of funding led by Rana Capital Partners, B.V. and Salem Partners. This raise brings the company’s total funding to $4 million. Previous investors included AdColony founder Jonathan Zweig. Coinciding with the funding announcement is Lucid Sight’s release of a VR Ad SDK. Read More

Snapchat goes to space with NASA Live Story

May 17, 2:18AM

Image courtesy of Astronaut Scott Kelly Today, the International Space Station completed its 100,000th orbit around the Earth since its first module was launched on November 20th, 1998. To celebrate that milestone, NASA teamed up with Snapchat for a space-themed Live Story called Day in Space. Up on Snapchat now, the feed features NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Commander of Expedition 47, living and working on the International… Read More

The Garmin vivofit 3 makes me want to move again

May 17, 12:12AM

File May 16, 7 51 51 PM I’ve long been an activity tracker kind of guy. I strapped them all onto my fleshy wrist: the Fitbits, the Nikes, the Polars. I’ve watched circles fill up on my Apple Watch and I’ve watched ghost competitors race me on early GPS watches. But for the past few months I abandoned any wrist-based tracker because the battery in the one I was using kept dying. And so I went… Read More

Starting the food crisis conversation

May 17, 12:00AM

futurecorn What does the future of food look like? Former Vice President Al Gore and 40 entrepreneurs and CEOs in the food industry recently convened in London to try to answer just that. Read More

5 days after Disrupt NY, the beard is still gone and the Red Hook Initiative is $4,500 richer

May 16, 11:53PM

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch) So I know some of y’all were worried about me after I agreed to have my face shaved at Disrupt NY to raise money for the Red Hook Initiative. I just wanted to check in and let you know what life post-beard is like. Read More

Apple's GarageBand picks up traditional Chinese sounds and instruments in new update

May 16, 11:01PM

iOS_3-Device_GarageBand_SimplifiedChinese_PR_CN-ZH-SCREEN Apple’s interests in China, its second-largest regional market, expand far beyond their recent $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing. As the company eyes a larger presence in China, they’re also looking to capture the country’s creativity and imagination with their content creation tools. Today, Apple’s GarageBand music creation software is gaining an update on iOS and… Read More

This machine 3D prints metal structures in midair by lasering nanoparticles

May 16, 10:28PM

feature_wyss One limitation of run-of-the-mill 3D printers is that the structure must essentially be built as a series of layers, each one supporting the next. A new device from Harvard’s Wyss Institute allows metal filaments to essentially be drawn in midair with no support whatsoever. And it uses lasers! Read More

MCX postpones rollout of Apple Pay rival CurrentC, lays off 30, will focus on bank deals

May 16, 10:08PM

currentc-kitchen As merchants like Walmart move ahead on their own mobile payment strategies, a consortium that once counted Walmart — along with a number of other big retailers and brands — behind it, has taken a step back. Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) today announced it would postpone a nationwide rollout of CurrentC, a smartphone payment initiative originally conceived as a mobile… Read More

Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET, joins Twitter's board

May 16, 9:02PM

Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of BET, attends the 23rd Annual White House Correspondents' Garden Brunch in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, April 30, 2016. The event will raise awareness for Halcyon Incubator, an organization that supports early stage social entrepreneurs "seeking to change the world" through an immersive 18-month fellowship program. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Debra Lee, who has been CEO of Viacom’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) since 2005 and its chairman since 2006, has joined the board of Twitter. She tweeted out the news earlier today. Thrilled to be joining the @twitter board. It’s transformed the media and the world like few other things in history (and continues to)!! — Debra Lee (@IamDebraLee) May 16… Read More

How can we control intelligent systems no one fully understands?

May 16, 9:00PM

controlpanel The widespread conversations about AI took a new turn in March 2016 when Microsoft launched, then quickly unplugged, Tay, its artificial intelligence chat robot. Within 24 hours, interactions on Twitter had turned the bot, modeled after a teenage girl, into a “Hitler-loving sex robot.” How should we design intelligent learning machines that minimize undesirable behavior? Read More

Starbreeze teams with Acer in its quest to build a better VR headset

May 16, 8:26PM

Starbreeze StarVR StarVR was undoubtedly overshadowed by larger names during its debut at E3 last year, but those who did manage to demo the high-end headset seemed to walk away impressed. Among other things, Starbreeze’s hardware device offers a wider field of view than either Oculus or HTC, at 210 degrees to those devices’ 110. That’s courtesy of two Quad HD panels, bringing an extremely… Read More

AI learns and recreates Nobel-winning physics experiment

May 16, 7:27PM

The machinery used to create the BEC. You can actually see it: the small orange cloud right of center. Australian physicists, perhaps searching for a way to shorten the work week, have created an AI that can run and even improve a complex physics experiment with little oversight. The research could eventually allow human scientists to focus on high-level problems and research design, leaving the nuts and bolts to a robotic lab assistant. Read More

Roadie is like Uber for shipping

May 16, 7:04PM

stained glass window “Someone is always leaving everywhere”: that’s the idea behind Roadie, a peer-to-peer package delivery service launched last year by Marc Gorlin. There are something like 250 million vehicles on the road every day, Gorlin said, so he decided to take advantage of this resource by allowing people to help their neighbors out by driving things to places they’re already… Read More

Ex-Twitter and Medium exec Jason Stirman launches Lucid, a mental training app for athletes

May 16, 6:17PM

49b9b664-6c1b-4d58-81d1-947a3ab739ec Jason Stirman is part of a select group of early Web 2.0 builders in Silicon Valley. He was there at the beginning of Twitter, jumped with Ev Williams to Obvious Corp and then Medium and is now working on a passion of his – mindfulness for athletes. His new app, Lucid, launches in the App Store today and lends advice and mindfulness meditations from expert sports coaches who train… Read More

GoButler launches Angel.ai to offer natural language tech to commerce companies

May 16, 5:40PM

nlp-example GoButler, the startup that originally offered a virtual assistant that let you request anything on-demand, appears to be pivoting for a second (and maybe final) time. The New York-headquartered company is shuttering the GoButler consumer-facing service altogether in favour of offering natural language processing technology to third-parties. Read More

Oculus announces VR for Good initiative to help students and non-profits capture community life

May 16, 5:16PM

vr-for-good-image-3 For all of the talk there is in how virtual reality is going to usher in some dark, utopian age where people are huddled in corners with VR headsets strapped to their faces… That’s just not where things are headed right now. VR has a lot of impact for social change. We’ve talked about VR as an engine for empathy. Now, Oculus is specifically looking to turn VR into a medium… Read More

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