Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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Fitbit gets another holiday bump and much-needed breathing room

Dec 27, 6:00PM

Fitbit Flex 2 The holidays have come and gone and — as usual — Fitbit got a bit of a lifeline. Once again, everyone is buying Fitbits for gifts. We won’t know exactly how many, but if you just take a quick look at the download charts, Fitbit hit the top off the App Store (even in the presence of the gargantuan promotions of Super Mario Run). In fact, it looks like it’s a pretty… Read More

The Apple Watch rolls out a new challenge for the New Year

Dec 27, 5:40PM

img_2140 Making excuse for breaking New Year’s resolutions used to be a hell of a lot simpler. Now that we’ve got social media for every life choice and are wearing our fitness levels on our wrists, there’s really no reason not to keep up. Which isn’t to say, of course, that we all couldn’t use an extra jolt. Back in November, Apple offered another holiday-themed… Read More

Cujo adds parental controls to its home firewall device

Dec 27, 5:00PM

_cujo-in-context-family Cujo certainly felt like the right product at the right time when the smart firewall’s creators took to the Disrupt stage to debut the device back in May. Since its debut, IoT attacks have grown in prominence as users add more and more failure points to their home security ecosystem one connected device at a time. Since then, the startup has raked in crowdfunding and scored favorable… Read More

LG is bringing a little floating speaker to CES

Dec 27, 3:40PM

prnewswire2-a-akamaihd LG’s apparently not much for surprises at this year’s CES. The company has already announced a number of the devices it plans to debut at the show, including a bunch of smartphones and monitors. Maybe it’s still got enough up its sleeve to present some legit excitement – then again, maybe it’s holding back the big phone announcements for Mobile World Congress.… Read More

Samsung's CES C-Lab startups are focused on skincare and kids

Dec 27, 2:58PM

ces2017_c-lab_main_1 Samsung’s C-Lab experiments are rarely earth-shattering, but they’re usually fairly interesting. Since last year, the electronics giant has used the Creative Lab as a way to foster innovation within its walls, including everything from a wearable 360-degree camera to smart belt with the unfortunate but rhymey name Welt. The company’s once again using its presence at a big… Read More

How blockchain can create the world's biggest supercomputer

Dec 27, 2:30PM

916142_ddc2fd0140_o As our desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc. stand idly by for a huge portion of the day, the need for computing resources is growing at a fast pace. So how can we make a more economic and efficient use of all the computing power that’s going to waste? Read More

2016's top programming trends

Dec 26, 9:00PM

Aerial view of container terminal Last January I wrote a TechCrunch post predicting the major programming trends of 2016. But in the software development world, things can change very quickly. It can be difficult to see the high-level trends clearly through all the chatter about shiny new development languages, frameworks and tools. So, as we near the end of 2016, how accurate were my predictions? Read More

Apple leaps into AI research with improved simulated + unsupervised learning

Dec 26, 8:04PM

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-3-05-45-am Corporate machine learning research may be getting a new vanguard in Apple. Six researchers from the company’s recently formed machine learning group published a paper that describes a novel method for simulated + unsupervised learning. The aim is to improve the quality of synthetic training images. The work is a sign of the company’s aspirations to become a more visible leader… Read More

No Signal: Egypt blocks the encrypted messaging app as it continues its cyber crackdown

Dec 26, 7:35PM

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Egypt has intensified its cyber crackdown under president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In recent years authorities have blocked Facebook’s controversial Free Basics program for not allowing it to spy on users, imprisoned citizens for satirical Facebook posts and reportedly used Deep Packet Inspection technology allowing for extensive surveillance of Egyptians’ online activities. Read More

Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

Dec 26, 6:08PM

img_6134 It’s the holidays and that means it’s time to watch robots cream humans in bouts of skill. The latest example of robotics winning over a meatbag? This amazing air-hockey robot powered by a smartphone, Arduino board and a plotter-like robotic arm. The system works by watching the puck on the surface of the table and moving to where the puck is going. It actively blocks attacks on… Read More

Oculus engineer Dov Katz arrested in sting after allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl

Dec 26, 5:24PM

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-12-20-47-pm Seattle police arrested Oculus’ Head of Computer Vision Dov Katz on December 23rd in a sting operation in which a police officer posed as a 15-year-old girl. Katz allegedly arrived at an Embassy Suites in Tukwila, Washington with $600 after agreeing in texts messages to pay $300 for sex without a condom. Katz told police he was there to rescue the girl. GeekWire has screenshots from… Read More

40 female founders who crushed it in 2016

Dec 26, 5:02PM

women The stats are nowhere near where women need or deserve them to be, but when it comes to female founders receiving venture funding, we’re beginning to see a significant shift — maybe even a kind of tipping point. Not only was it comparatively easy this year to find female founders who continue to run their companies (in the past, many more have assumed other positions within… Read More

How to grow your app

Dec 26, 5:00PM

grow-app The app ecosystem is strong and growing. By 2020, App Store consumer spend is supposed to exceed 100 billion dollars. Mobile now represents 65 percent of digital media time; 86 percent of this time on phones is spent in apps. Building a mobile app is building the most frequently used digital property type on the most frequently used digital device. Sounds like a solid place to start a business. Read More

WTF is a liquidation preference?

Dec 26, 4:00AM

liquidation-preference You may have experienced a chill as the words fell upon your ears, too. There’s a non-medical reason for this: liquidation preferences are created to ensure that investors get paid before anyone at a startup when the company either sells or goes out of business. In short, they’re good for investors and less good for founders, employees or even earlier investors. WTF?… Read More

Privacy is still alive and kicking in the digital age

Dec 26, 1:00AM

Photo: Getty Images/Jasper James/Stone Our lives are lived in data. Data crossing borders and connected in virtual space. Most often, it appears, we live in open and too easily accessible data networks. States and corporations are watching us through data, and we are watching each other through data. What does individual privacy mean in this data saturated environment? Read More

The drought is over… a torrent of tech IPOs is expected in 2017

Dec 25, 9:00PM

New York, United States of America - November 18, 2016: Facade of the Stock Exchange building on Wall Street (Photo: olli0815/iStock) We’ve just witnessed one of the most surprising tech IPO markets in decades. Wall Street set record upon record throughout 2016, and tech stocks led the way, hitting all-time highs. And yet, we saw a mere 13 IPOs for venture-backed U.S. technology companies during the entire year. I’ve been in this industry for more than 40 years and I can’t remember anything like it. Read More

Will technology prevent the next food shortage crisis?

Dec 25, 5:00PM

Field of corn growing in Kentucky (Photo: Getty Images/Universal Images Group) According to scientists, the answer to an impending food shortage might be found in a new age of digital technologies that have proven their worth in different fields and have the potential to transform agriculture and food production and meet the consumption needs of the growing human population before we’re driven to eat cockroaches — or worse, each other. Read More

Snapchat has quietly acquired an Israeli startup for a reported $30 million to $40 million

Dec 25, 2:26PM

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-9-24-58-am Snapchat sewed up its first acquisition in Israel this week, according to the outlet Calcalist News. It acquired four-year-old Cimagine, whose augmented reality platform lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy in their intended location, paying what Calcalist says was between $30 million and $40 million. According to its LinkedIn page, Cimagine currently works with brands… Read More

Dear Air Canada: a systems analysis of a comically colossal cascading failure

Dec 25, 2:00PM

air-canada I’ll be blunt; I’m here to vent my fury. On your behalf, dear reader! Honest. When a corporation gets things terribly wrong, those of us with platforms need to turn our wrath upon them. It’s the only feedback that actually matters. But there’s a larger issue here: the way that poisonously rigid corporate software, when it meets reality, can cause whole companies to… Read More

Italian incubator H-Farm prepares for a new crop with a campus slated to open in 2018

Dec 25, 3:30AM

27041314611_5c000d2ffc_o There’s a farm outside of Venice, Italy, that cultivates tech talent the way other farms grow crops. Read More

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