Saturday, November 5, 2016

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Welcome to the hardtech era

Nov 05, 1:00PM

complexity Good news, my friends! The day we have all ostentatiously longed for has arrived. I come to announce that the days of sugar water are over. The era of SoLoMo photo apps, messaging copycats, new niche social networks, “Uber for X”, and on-demand delivery of artisanal civet coffee is behind us at last. No more trivial apps and web services. At long last it is time to solve the… Read More

Facebook Messenger is testing "Instant Games" like this one from King

Nov 05, 5:30AM

facebook-messenger-games Facebook Messenger is preparing to launch a new “Instant Games” platform that will let people  play lightweight games against friends. Candy Crush maker is already testing one of these Instant Games called “Shuffle Cats Mini” in New Zealand, TechCrunch has discovered. And other studios including Big Viking also appear to be prepping for the Instant Games… Read More

Pokemon GO finally gets a new Pokemon tracker in select places outside San Francisco

Nov 05, 3:10AM

header Remember when Pokemon GO got a new system for finding nearby Pokemon (to replace the one that’d broke almost immediately after launch) … but it worked pretty much exclusively in San Francisco? Well, good news/bad news time. The good news: more people outside of San Francisco are getting it now! The bad news: its still not for everybody. The company just announced a small roll out on… Read More

Crunch Report | Facebook's Election Hub

Nov 05, 3:00AM

Google Capital has rebranded to CapitalG, Facebook hub gives its election hub top billing in hopes of making you a more informed voter, Wish is rumored to be raising $500 million, Lucas Matney was really impressed by Doppler Labs’ Here One device and the NFL is launching a virtual reality series on YouTube. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Google and Blizzard team up on a StarCraft made just for AIs

Nov 04, 11:17PM

starcraft_ai AIs have more or less mastered chess, Go and a number of other highly cerebral games — how will they do on something like StarCraft II, which combines high-level strategy with the need for quick reaction times and tactical thinking? Probably great, honestly. And this collaboration between Google’s DeepMind and Blizzard will ensure it. Read More

Are smart cities just a utopian fantasy?

Nov 04, 11:00PM

Futuristic cityscape with dense architecture and flying aircrafts. When cities are designed and deployed as a single unit, they don’t carry the cultural vibrancy of a city built organically in response to the needs and desires of its denizens. The piecemeal approach to integrating smart city technology is more appealing than the built-from-scratch approach — it’s the only way to preserve the character of the city. Read More

The Happy Home Company shuts down, team members move to Google

Nov 04, 9:32PM

Happy Home Company The Happy Home Company is the latest home services startup to call it quits. The company was founded by Doug Ludlow, who sold his previous startup, Hipster, to AOL (which also owns TechCrunch). Its goal was to take some of the confusion out of the home maintenance process — when something broke in your home, Happy Home’s “home managers” would help you find the right… Read More

Samsung will release a software update to stop unreturned Note 7s from charging above 60%

Nov 04, 9:27PM

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 This morning Samsung announced that it was issuing a voluntary recall to address some 700-plus reports of malfunctioning top-loading washing machines, including one very unfortunate case of a broken jaw. It was the cherry on top of what has already been a rough few months for the hardware giant, driven mostly by the prolonged saga of the Galaxy Note 7. Heading into the weekend, the… Read More

Weekly Roundup: Tesla's solar roof, Facebook's killer Q3 and new emoji

Nov 04, 9:26PM

press_solar_roof This week, Facebook’s Trending Topics system was notably late to a huge social media protest, Elon Musk announced new solar roof panels that the company hopes will change how we consume electric power and Instagram tested shoppable tags. These are some of this week’s top stories in tech. Want to receive the Weekly Roundup in your inbox? Well, turns out you can. Read More

Finally, at long last, someone hacked Amazon's Alexa into one of those singing fish

Nov 04, 9:22PM

billy Do you, like many others, wake up each morning, gaze upon your Amazon Echo, and think, “Damn it, Echo. Instead of a shiny cylinder, why can’t you be a singing fish?” Good news, friend. Your dreams have come true. On his Facebook profile, artist Brian Kane briefly demonstrates what happens when you take one of those oh-so-classy singing fish — “Big Mouth Billy… Read More

Google Capital changes its name to CapitalG (Update: and quietly confirms it invested in Snapchat)

Nov 04, 8:38PM

capg2 And the post-Alphabet Google rebranding continues. Google Capital — the company’s venture arm that focuses on growth-stage companies (read: those that have proven their idea and are now growing) as opposed to earlier-stage startups — is now “CapitalG.” All this, it’s worth noting, is a separate thing from GV, Alphabet’s investment arm that focuses on… Read More

PR analytics startup TrendKite raises $16.3M

Nov 04, 8:29PM

TrendKite dashboard TrendKite announced today that it has raised $16.3 million in Series D funding. The company says it helps businesses understand the impact of their news coverage and public relations strategy — like which articles are driving the most awareness of their brand, the total audience that’s being reached by the coverage and the sentiment of that coverage. TrendKite also shows you… Read More

Periscope Data pulls in $25 million in Series B

Nov 04, 8:25PM

periscopedata Periscope Data, the company that lets data scientists quickly build customized, highly detailed visualizations of their data, has signed the term sheet on a ~$25 million funding round, according to sources close to the matter. Sources told TechCrunch that the pre-funding valuation was at $100 million, and the round was led by existing Periscope Data investor DFJ. DFJ also led Periscope… Read More

Uber and Lyft try to get out the vote

Nov 04, 8:11PM

Vote button for the 2012 Election Sure, for many of us next Wednesday can’t get here soon enough to finally put an end to this multi-year election cycle, but before that day arrives, it’s time for some civic duty. Uber and Lyft, for their part, are taking steps to remove a little bit of pain from locating and getting to the proper polling place. Uber’s teamed up with Google to offer up an in-app “Find… Read More

Winning the race to the digital economy by cracking the code on the gender gap

Nov 04, 8:00PM

Six year old girl learns keyboard strokes in computer class at school. We are faced with a huge gender imbalance in technology that is only getting worse. Today, just 24 percent of the U.S. computing workforce is female. New research from Accenture and Girls Who Code estimates that if we stay on our current course, the number of women in computing will fall to 22 percent of the workforce by 2025. The connection is undeniable and decisive action is needed. Read More

Apple provides a soft(er) landing for MacBook Pro buyers with deep discounts on peripherals and dongles

Nov 04, 7:15PM

img_2488 Apple is addressing the sudden and wide inexplicable fear of dongles driven by the MacBook Pro’s USB-C only approach with a store-wide discount on adapters. The price cut applies to a bunch of dongles, accessories and peripheral devices that allow users to attach legacy devices to the new laptops, which ship with between 2 and 4 Thunderbolt 3 capable USB-C ports, and nothing else. The… Read More

Facebook will test ads on Apple TV and Roku

Nov 04, 6:35PM

old television Facebook’s ad ambitions are expanding to encompass Internet-connected TVs — it will be conducting a test of its ad network on Apple TV and Roku next week. Other online ad companies (including TechCrunch-owner AOL) have explored TV advertising already. In Facebook’s case, the company will use Facebook data to target ads for A+E and Tubi TV — basically, what the… Read More

The Powerbeats3 bring some nice upgrades for iPhone owners

Nov 04, 6:30PM

img_2605 The Powerbeats3 don’t look all that different from their predecessors. There are a few tweaks here and there, mostly aimed at getting them to fit better. The primary distinction is tucked away inside, a happy addition to the Bluetooth earbuds that arrives as a result of the headphone company’s acquisition by Apple. While the brand wasn’t exactly front and center at the… Read More

The Here One smart earbuds are the coolest gadget I've tried in a while

Nov 04, 6:26PM

4_here_one_buds_white I spend most of my days chatting with virtual/augmented reality companies, so the world of Black Mirror always seems a bit more imminent than it perhaps is. That being said, the future felt frighteningly close after my brief demo with Doppler Labs’ Here One smart earbuds. At face value, the Here Ones are just another pair of expensive wireless earbuds that have been created because… Read More

Tribeca Enterprises brings VR to the Westfield World Trade Center

Nov 04, 6:02PM

Doug Liman, Julina Tatlock, Hal Kirkland Visitors to the Westfield World Trade Center (the recently opened mall below the World Trade Center) will be able to get a hands-on virtual reality experience this month — an experience curated by Tribeca Enterprises, the organization behind the Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca has held a number of VR events before, but programmer Loren Hammonds noted that those events are part of the… Read More

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