Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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The price of bitcoin is creeping back toward its 3-year high of $1,000

Dec 28, 6:18PM

bitcoin rainbow Does it feel like the only time you hear about Bitcoin is when the price is either abruptly soaring or sinking? Us too! This time it’s soaring. Bitcoin is up about 30% over the last month, and about 50% over the last 3 months. The current price is hovering right around $950. The last time it traded this close to $1,000 was in January 2014 when the price hit $1,023 – right before… Read More

Echo owns the holiday and heads to court: It's The Daily Crunch

Dec 28, 5:50PM

daily-crunch-2x1 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday our daily guided tour of the biggest tech stories from the past 24 hours will appear here on To get The Daily Crunch in your inbox every day of the week, sign up here and be sure to take a look at the rest of our newsletters while you’re at it. Echo sold a lot – but Amazon isn’t telling exactly how many, in typical… Read More

Oculus acquires eye-tracking startup The Eye Tribe

Dec 28, 5:44PM

the-eye-tribe The direction you look could one day control your VR or mobile experience thanks to Facebook and Oculus’ latest buy, The Eye Tribe. Oculus confirms to me that this is an official acquisition. The startup has developed a $99 eye tracking device developer kits for computers, and software that can bring gaze-based interfaces to smartphones and potentially virtual reality headsets. The Eye… Read More

Facebook & Google dominate the list of 2016's top apps

Dec 28, 5:21PM

shutterstock_186292982 Mobile applications from Facebook and Google dominated the new list of the year’s top apps released today by Nielsen. Not surprisingly, Facebook again grabbed the number one spot on the list, with more than 146 million average unique users per month, and 14 percent growth over last year. In fact, Facebook scored several spots on the top 10 chart, thanks to Messenger (#2) and Instagram… Read More

Amazon tries to recreate Prime Day magic with the first-ever Digital Day sales event

Dec 28, 4:58PM

digital_day_ Amazon is known for creating its own, exclusive sales holidays and events to boost its bottom line, as it has done with Prime Day – a day of sales which even tops Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at times. Now, it’s trying to recreate that magic with the debut of a year-end blowout sale it’s calling “Amazon Digital Day.” As the name implies, the new sales holiday… Read More

Ford's newest self-driving test cars have more compute power and better vision

Dec 28, 3:41PM

_mb_0223_1 Ford has developed a new generation of autonomous development vehicle, a hybrid Fusion that uses the same essential platform as its current vehicles, but with a big upgrade to processing power through new on-board computing hardware, as well as improved LiDAR sensors, which deliver a better field of view and improved overall vision to the sensor suite despite dropping two LiDAR units from… Read More

Samsung is bringing an Amazon Echo compatible robot vacuum to CES

Dec 28, 3:00PM

vr2am7070ws-aa_004 Samsung surely (hopefully) has bigger and better things up its sleeve for CES, coming off a year that was, at best, pretty damn rocky for the electronics giant. In the meantime, the company’s looking to build up a little hype ahead of the event by announcing a few things before next week’s great Vegas melee. Its latest offering may well be the most 2017 product we’ve seen… Read More

Watch Tesla's Autopilot system help avoid a crash with superhuman sight

Dec 28, 2:52PM

tesla-crash-avoid @elonmusk Finally the right one. — Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016 Tesla is fond of talking about the safety potential of its Autopilot and upcoming autonomous driving technologies, but it’s rare that we get the chance to see them in action potentially saving lives. That’s the case with this video of Tesla’s Autopilot 8.0… Read More

Hulu is getting over 50 Disney movies thanks to new licensing deal

Dec 28, 2:23PM

mulan In its continuing battle with Netflix, Hulu this week announced a new licensing deal with Disney which sees Hulu gaining the exclusive rights to stream a sizable collection of Disney movies via its subscription service. In total, over 50 titles will become available on Hulu in the months ahead, including “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Mulan,”… Read More

Volkswagen purchases PayByPhone for parking

Dec 28, 2:18PM

VW eGolf PayByPhone, the app that lets you pay for parking (and parking tickets) with a smartphone, has been acquired by Volkswagen Financial Services. PayByPhone is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and operates in Canada, the US, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Australia. In 2016, company processed $250 million in parking payments from 12.5 million users. Volkswagen Financial Services… Read More

Byte Foods raises $5.5 million for smart vending machines that serve local fare

Dec 28, 2:00PM

Byte Foods IoT vending machines are like a smart fridge for the whole office. Apple juniper kombucha or a BBQ chopped salad may soon replace the can of soda and bag of chips in a vending machine at your office. A San Rafael-based startup called Byte Foods has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to popularize its smart vending machines and delivery service stocking them with nutritious food and drinks from local vendors. If the idea of the internet-connected vending… Read More

LG's headset that doubles as a wearable speaker is peak CES before CES

Dec 28, 1:32PM

tone-studio-021 LG will be bringing a collar-like wearable wireless speaker to CES, which also includes in-ear buds for when you don’t feel like being a complete jerk. The sonorous neck horseshoe connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and contains “wearable speakers capable of delivering 3D surround sound” when the attached earbuds are safely ensconced within the electronic noise scarf.… Read More

5G promises to transform the world again

Dec 28, 12:30PM

Networks and computer data around head of businessman We may be on the cusp of a new, simpler world.  From the current era of “peak complexity”, this new era will produce a step-change in society. It builds a platform for growth while empowering the developing world to leapfrog the competition.  At Huawei’s Mobile Broadband event last month, I saw what a 5G future looks like — ultra-fast, always on connectivity, making… Read More

South Korea fines Qualcomm $850 million for its patent licensing practices

Dec 28, 11:58AM

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 06:  Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf speaks during a press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs from January 7-10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) American chipmaker Qualcomm is in trouble in South Korea. The country’s antitrust regulator has fined the company roughly $850 million (1.03 trillion won) for its patent royalty activities in South Korea. Many of you are familiar with Qualcomm for its chips. The next time you read the tech specs of your favorite smartphone, chances are that you’ll find a Qualcomm chip. The… Read More

11 trends that will shape Southeast Asian eCommerce in 2017

Dec 28, 4:30AM

southeast asia map The Lazada-Alibaba deal, Alibaba’s largest overseas acquisition to date, is a pivotal event for Southeast Asia and its implications span the entire commerce value chain from digital advertising, logistics, finance, insurance to even healthcare. Read More

The carrot and stick of data breaches

Dec 28, 2:00AM

Carrot on a stick on black background. Concept shot. Data breaches are on the rise. Just recently we saw new reports confirming Yahoo! suffered another breach back in 2013. It seems like putting personal information in a website today feels a bit like getting into a car 50 years ago — with minimal seatbelts, no airbags and no testing, you just had to hope to avoid a crash. In the same vein, we just have to hope to avoid a data breach. Read More

Rent the Runway raises $60 million

Dec 28, 12:14AM

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: General view of General view of The Rent the Runway DC store Opening at Rent The Runway on November 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Rent The Runway) Fashion e-commerce powerhouse Rent the Runway has confirmed that it raised $60 million in a funding round led by Fidelity Investments. Technology Crossover Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Advance Publications are also participating in the round. Recode, which first reported the news, was told that the valuation was a “significant step up” from the… Read More

An Amazon Echo may be the key to solving a murder case

Dec 28, 12:02AM

amazon-echo Internet-connected devices may start helping in criminal cases. As first reported in The Information, police in Bentonville, Arkansas have issued a warrant to Amazon, asking the company to hand over data from an Echo device to help prosecute a suspected murderer. James Andrew Bates, the suspect in the case, was charged with first-degree murder in November of 2015 after authorities… Read More

Sylvania's new smart bulb connects to Apple's HomeKit without a hub

Dec 27, 11:38PM

unnamed Roughly a week from now we’re going to be drowning in connected home product launches. It seems fairly likely that it’ll be the major story of this year’s CES, with smart home plays from Google, Apple and Amazon duking it out in the middle. Sylvania wisely is getting ahead of the fray, announcing its own offering a full week ahead of the Las Vegas melee. The longtime purveyor… Read More

How startups outside the Bay Area can fundraise in a big way

Dec 27, 10:00PM

toomuchmoney Raising venture capital is tough for any startup. But it can be a little more difficult when you’re located outside of Silicon Valley. More difficult, but definitely not impossible. Read More

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