Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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T-Mobile's Digits calling service is designed to make phone numbers device agnostic

Dec 07, 5:34PM

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-12-28-24-pm T-Mobile’s pitch is simple, “We’re dragging the phone number into the internet age.” The actual functionality is a bit trickier, which is why the carrier looked to do a little bit of analyst handholding and a consumer Twitter Q&A (at 10:30AM PT today) ahead of launch. The underlying idea is to tie user identity to a single phone number, available across devices,… Read More

Watch Pitch@Palace Global Now

Dec 07, 5:30PM

pitch-at-the-palace-logo TechCrunch is pleased to bring you the Pitch@Palace Global, live from St. James’s Palace. Established by The Duke of York in 2014, Pitch@Palace offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their business in front of an audience of influencers. During 2016, the initiative has expanded internationally, with the aim of developing links between U.K. and overseas entrepreneurs in a number… Read More

Slack and Google announce partnership focused on better integrating their services

Dec 07, 5:00PM

slackgoogle-cloud-logo Slack announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud this morning, which will bring a number of new features, including deeper integrations with Google services, to its collaboration platform for teams. Among the additions are new bots for notifications, as well as support for Google’s recently launched Team Drives, document previews, permissioning and more. The move comes at a… Read More

November 2016 was the best month ever for App Store sales

Dec 07, 4:55PM

app-store-purge-hero Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller announced today that the App Store had hit a new milestone. According to a statement he posted to Twitter, the App Store had a record-breaking month in terms of sales this November. Sales and download numbers were not provided, however, which makes it more difficult to put this announcement into perspective compared with prior… Read More

Unity poaches Uber's machine learning head to tackle AI in AR/VR

Dec 07, 4:54PM

1441576529unity-logo Unity has hired Dr. Danny Lange to take on the next generation of AI and machine learning problems at the game engine startup. For Lange, this comes after just over a year as Uber’s head of machine learning. Previously Lange worked on machine learning products for Amazon and Microsoft. Lange joins Unity at a time of particularly high growth for the company. Unity raised $181 million… Read More

Pebble confirms it's shutting down, devs and software going to Fitbit

Dec 07, 3:48PM

Pebble 2 RIP Pebble… The wearable maker that pioneered wrist-based notifications before Apple and many others waded into the smartwatch space has confirmed it’s closing its doors as an independent entity. Read More

DST leads $80M round in Brazil's Nubank to take on the big boys in financial services

Dec 07, 3:00PM

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-13-10-18 As Brazil continues to reel as a result of its economic turmoil and its worst recession in 80 years, one of the country’s first financial tech startups has raised significant funding. Sao Paulo-based Nubank, whose first (and to-date only) product has been a “no-fee” credit card that is managed only through a mobile app, has raised $80 million in a Series D round of… Read More

Pandora's Spotify competitor launches next year

Dec 07, 2:57PM

pandora_bkgd_spark Pandora’s Spotify competitor is on its way. Announced this week at press event in New York, Pandora Premium, as the service is called, offers on-demand listening of millions of songs, streamed ad-free, and supports offline access to music. But the company is aiming to make personalization its biggest differentiator from rivals including Apple Music, Spotify and others. The new service… Read More

Apple Music reaches the 20 million subscriber mark

Dec 07, 2:33PM

apple-music-big Apple Music’s growth has been nothing if not steady since launching in June of last year. The streaming service hit 13 million paid subscribers in April and beat the 17 million mark in September. This week, the company announced a nice round milestone, telling Billboard that it now counts 20 million paid members among its ranks, making that a 15-percent increase in three months. Read More

GE puts Amazon Alexa inside a funky table lamp

Dec 07, 2:00PM

unspecified Seems Alexa’s made her way into everything these days. Between Amazon’s own Echo offerings and an ever-growing array of third-party participation, the steady home automation takeover of the company’s AI assistant appears to be going about as well as could be expected. Between Alexa connected washing machines and a detergent ordering Dash-enabled dishwasher, GE’s… Read More

Belgium's Doctoranytime raises €1M

Dec 07, 12:54PM

doctoranytime It looks like the demise of food delivery startup Take Eat Easy is going to produce a number of interesting new startups, not least in its home country of Belgium. Read More

SnapLogic snaps up another $40 million

Dec 07, 12:00PM

Casual woman inside a cafe downloading or sharing information with a smartphone . A lot of apps, media and other information flying out or into the phone SnapLogic solves a big problem for companies. It helps them connect legacy data sources to the cloud or to an in-house data lake. Today, it announced a $40 million round, almost exactly a year after announcing a $37.5 million round. The round was led by European private equity firm Vitruvian Partners with participation from previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Capital One, Ignition… Read More

Hands-on with VR Sports Challenge, the Oculus Touch version of Wii Sports

Dec 07, 5:51AM

vr-sports-challenge When the Wii launched, no one knew what motion controllers were or why we even needed them. So to get people excited about the new input method, Nintendo released Wii Sports as a free game to anyone who bought the Wii. The game came with Boxing, Bowling, Golf, Tennis and Baseball – all mini games designed to show off the motion controller. It proved to be extremely popular – to… Read More

Airbnb plummets, Facebook ranks top in tech on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work 2017

Dec 07, 5:08AM

Inside a Facebook office. Facebook has risen to the top spot among tech companies on the annual Glassdoor Best Places to Work U.S. rankings. That seems fitting for the company in a year when it is taking on Slack, Microsoft-owned Yammer, and other workplace collaboration platforms with its own Facebook Workplace. Facebook’s Head of People, Lori Matloff Goler, told TechCrunch that the social media giant focuses… Read More

The 20 startups shown off at HTC's Vive X accelerator demo day

Dec 07, 3:07AM

vivex-landing-tc Today, HTC hosted a demo day event in San Francisco highlighting 20 of the startups that have made their way through the company’s Vive X virtual reality accelerator program. Vive X is dedicated to accelerating the virtual reality industry as a whole, something that is undoubtedly useful to HTC as the company doubles down on its virtual reality bets. A good deal of the startups… Read More

Trump fires a member of his transition team for tweeting fake news

Dec 07, 12:34AM

Image (1) axen.jpg for post 188265 So-called fake news has real consequences, and everyone in the U.S. keeps learning that the hard way. Not just executives at social networks like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. Or disgruntled and brilliant Weather Channel meteorologists. Driven by misinformation masquerading as news, in the latest tragic incident, a gunman on Sunday opened fire in a kid-friendly Washington, D.C. pizzeria… Read More

Reddit overhauls upvote algorithm to thwart cheaters and show the site's true scale

Dec 07, 12:33AM

Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco Reddit has just completed a major redo of its scoring algorithm aimed at cracking down on bots and vote brigades while also showing just how big the site has gotten. Read More

You should probably still avoid toys that talk with your kids

Dec 06, 11:35PM

ique-cayla If you were thinking of getting your kid a little doll or robot that they can talk to — and, critically, that responds — you should probably hold off for a few years. A complaint to the FTC filed by consumer watchdog groups highlights ongoing privacy and security concerns with this creepy class of toy. Read More

Martian adds Alexa to its hybrid smartwatch

Dec 06, 10:42PM

mvoice If you’ve already gone through all of the trouble to stick a microphone and speaker on your hybrid smartwatch, you might as well make the most of the thing. Martian’s taking advantage of the opportunity with the addition of Amazon Alexa functionality to its mVoice wearable. Honestly, as silly as it sounds, this may be one of the most logical third-party implementations of Alexa yet. Read More

AeroVironment: official charger of the Chevy Bolt

Dec 06, 9:20PM

Chevy Bolt + AeroVironment charger The 2017 Chevy Bolt is coming to California and Oregon before the end of 2016, and along with it comes its very own official charger from AeroVironment. The company’s EVSE-RS charger has been available for some time, and AeroVironment is not new to the EV charging game. The company is kind of an unofficial charger for everyone else; it sells models compatible with just about every EV… Read More

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