Monday, November 7, 2016

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PetSmart takes on Amazon with launch of same-day delivery and subscriptions

Nov 07, 4:04PM

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-57-26-am With more online shoppers turning to sites like Amazon, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have had to step up their competition on the e-commerce front – including by offering faster deliveries – or risk losing customers. The latest to join the fight is PetSmart, which today is rolling out a redesigned, mobile-friendly website offering same-day, scheduled deliveries and… Read More

Google quietly shutters standalone Google Showtimes movie site

Nov 07, 3:43PM

1125019024_78380c1372_b It looks like the last picture show for one of Google’s efforts at expanding into more detailed vertical search pages. Without much notice, the search giant has closed down its standalone movie site where people were able to search for cinemas, films and show times on a particular date and near a specific location, rolling some of the functionality directly into its main search… Read More

Tesla to charge new owners for Supercharger use after around 1K miles

Nov 07, 3:35PM

tesla-supercharger Tesla’s network of Superchargers have so far offered free, unlimited use to drivers of Tesla vehicles, but that was never going to last forever. Tesla announced upcoming changes to the Supercharger program today, which will introduce a fee for owners who purchase their vehicle after January 1, 2017 – but only if they exceed 400 kWh of charging in a year, which translates to… Read More

Gmail's iOS app gets a familiar new look, improved search and undo send

Nov 07, 3:27PM

img_2923 Gmail users on iOS – if you haven’t downloaded it yet, there’s likely a new version of Gmail waiting in your queue. Google’s near ubiquitous electronic mail application is getting some key upgrades for version 5.0.3, including, notably, a revamped UI that makes it look just like the native Android version of the app. Along with a more defined color scheme and more… Read More

WhatsApp adds GIF support in iOS app

Nov 07, 2:59PM

facebook-whatsapp-screen Amid increased competition from Apple’s iMessage, Snapchat, and Google’s new entry Allo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has now rolled out support for sharing GIFs in its messaging application on iOS. According to the app update text in iTunes, the new feature will allow users to send and receive GIFs, including Live Photos and shorter videos, both of which can be now converted to… Read More

Samsung is building its own AI assistant for the Galaxy S8

Nov 07, 2:34PM

samsung galaxy s7 Samsung needs something big next year. And not necessarily big in the sense of a giant screen. After all, it’s precisely that line that put the company in its current position, up against the ropes during the time of year that ought be its most profitable. In a number of ways, the Note 7 fiasco couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, heading into the holidays, just prior to… Read More

Blippar launches self-service suite of tools so developers can build their own AR

Nov 07, 2:00PM

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-8-42-40-am Blippar, the company that has brought a full augmented reality experience to a smartphone near you, has today announced the launch of its self-service suite of tools. This is the first time that Blippar has made its technology publicly available to developers, letting them tap into Blippar’s Computer Vision API and attach their own augmented reality experiences to real-world objects.… Read More

MyHeritage launches DNA testing service to help you uncover your family's history

Nov 07, 2:00PM

myheritage-dna-kit-components The popular online genealogy service MyHeritage today announced the launch of its MyHeritage DNA service for helping its users uncover more about their family’s history and ethnicity. Users who take the test, which currently costs $79 (plus shipping), will get a detailed ethnicity report that will map their families’ ethnic and geographic origins and, if available, the report will… Read More

FCC ushers in a troublesome new world for online privacy

Nov 07, 11:30AM

fcc1 Along party lines, the FCC voted to impose limitations on Internet service providers’ use of web browsing information disregarding the sensitivity of the information in a way that differs from regulations for online search engines and mobile apps. The new rules are based on an inaccurate understanding that deviates from the approach established by the Federal Trade Commission. Read More

Opera Max update adds privacy tools but annoys some users

Nov 07, 10:35AM

Opera Max Opera has rolled out a set of privacy features to its data-saving proxy for Android, Opera Max. It’s now billing it as a “data management and privacy app”. The company previewed the new privacy mode last month, saying it would be starting a gradual rollout — with the feature first available in Samsung’s S Secure mode on the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime… Read More

Alibaba's Trojan Horse for Southeast Asia

Nov 07, 10:30AM

Image courtesy of Flickr/Mikhail Kirkov. Elsewhere, startup founders and VCs high-fived each other as the move put the region on the global map and they hoped it would lead to more funding and exits in the future. However, everyone has failed to go beyond superficial observations. Alibaba’s acquisition of Lazada is much more than simply growing retail GMV. Read More

Google's Firebase developer platform gets better analytics, crash reporting and more

Nov 07, 10:00AM

firebase_io-1-of-1 Google today launched the first major update to its Firebase backend-as-a-service platform since it first announced its plans to turn the service into its unified platform for developers six months ago. While Facebook decided to shut down its competing Parse service earlier this year, Google decided to double down on Firebase (which it acquired in 2014) as its flagship development platform… Read More

GoOpti, a ride-sharing platform for European shuttle bus services, raises €4.4M funding

Nov 07, 9:35AM

GoOpti GoOpti might be described as an Uber (or UberPOOL) for independent shuttle bus providers. It connects travellers from smaller European cities who want to travel to or from larger city airport hubs, and in doing so ensures economies of scale so that laying on a shuttle bus is viable. Read More

Freespee secures €9.25M Series B to help companies manage conversations with customers

Nov 07, 9:00AM

freespee Freespee, which these days calls itself a “real-time conversation cloud technology company,” has raised €9.25 million in Series B funding. French venture capital firm Ventech led the round, alongside existing investors Sunstone Capital and Inventure. Silicon Valley Bank also participated, signalling that this is a mixture equity and debt financing. Read More

iRobot says 20 percent of the world's vacuums are now robots

Nov 07, 8:57AM

img_3940 Robot vacuums may have once seemed an eccentricity, but they now represent a non-trivial portion of the overall vacuum market – 20 percent worldwide, according to iRobot CEO and co-founder Colin Angle, who I spoke to at TechCrunch Beijing 2016. And Roomba makes up 70 percent of that market, giving iRobot a commanding lead in the space. Exactly how many robots does that translate to? Over… Read More

China's new cybersecurity law is bad news for business

Nov 07, 5:02AM

China Internet Shutterstock The regulation would require instant messaging services and other internet companies to require users to register with their real names and personal information, and to censor content that is “prohibited.” Real name policies restrict anonymity and can encourage self-censorship for online communication. Read More

Not every service needs to be an on-demand service

Nov 07, 4:30AM

delivery In recent months, we’ve seen several well-funded startups with strong teams either going through layoffs or shutting down entirely. The natural question to ask is why? The short answer is that “on-demand” is not the optimal solution for most customer needs. Read More


Nov 07, 4:00AM

wtf-is-crispr-main Say you’ve inherited a rare genetic mutation that guarantees you’ll get a certain form of cancer by the time you reach 50 years of age. And that this is most likely how you are going to die. But what if I told you this cancer gene, passed down from generation to generation, can be snipped out of your genome entirely and you never pass it on to any of your offspring? Read More

Sinovation Ventures' Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is betting big on artificial intelligence

Nov 07, 3:35AM

img_0166 Given that Sinovation Ventures founder Dr. Kai-Fu Lee has around 50 million followers on Chinese social networks, he has become an oracle when it comes to predicting the future of tech in China. Kai-Fu Lee talked about the most important trends in Chinese startups at TechCrunch Beijing 2016. Sinovation Ventures recently raised the equivalent of $675 million in total across a Chinese and an… Read More

Why iRobot's Colin Angle thinks the smart home starts with a robot vacuum

Nov 07, 3:27AM

img_3937 Robots — and the smart home in general — are a hot topic, and it’s one where an enormous amount of investment is happening right now. There are many companies like Nest and Ring that are trying to target segments of the home in the hopes of making everything smarter. But it’s easy to forget that the home is still a physical space, and in order for everything to work… Read More

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