Monday, January 9, 2017

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Activehours, which makes every day a payday, just raised $22 million in Series A funding

Jan 09, 7:01PM

ramsquare-1 What if you didn’t have to wait every two weeks to receive a paycheck? What if you could be wired the money you earned almost immediately after a shift? What if, unlike with payday lenders, you didn’t have to pay interest on those payments? Instead, you were merely encouraged to donate a kind of tip to the company providing you with this service? That’s the proposition of… Read More

China's Tencent takes on the App Store with launch of 'mini programs' for WeChat

Jan 09, 6:28PM

wechat Today marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, a device that practically invented the smartphone genre in itself, but, over in China, a more modern bellwether of the mobile industry rolled out its own innovation which could shape the future. Read More

Microsoft expands its experimental projects program The Garage to Cambridge, India & China

Jan 09, 6:28PM

israelmaingarage_cropped The Garage – Microsoft’s home to experimental projects like smart news apps, Android launchers, productivity add-ons, smartphone keyboards, and yes – even that app that tells you what sort of dog you look like – is expanding to three new locations including Cambridge, Massachusetts, India and China. In total, there are seven Garage locations now open or under… Read More

Six truths for successful startups tackling the older adult care opportunity

Jan 09, 6:00PM

Hand that knits The current market for older adult care is massive — and growing at an unprecedented rate. According to an AARP report, the 106 million Americans over 50 represent a transformative force that will generate more than $13.5 trillion in annual economic activity by 2032, accounting for more than half of the U.S. GDP. Read More

Sources: Amazon quietly acquired AI security startup for around $20M

Jan 09, 5:46PM

Man typing on a laptop. Amazon’s AWS cloud services division quietly acquired cyber security firm last year, TechCrunch has learned. Read More

Next-gen Samsung EV battery gets 300+ miles of range from a 20-minute charge

Jan 09, 5:34PM

samsung_sdi_presents Samsung’s SDI battery subsidiary announced a new battery cell designed for use in electric vehicles that offers improved density to manage a max range of up to 372 miles on a full charge, with a quick charge capacity that will help it regain 310 miles or so of charge on just 20 minutes of charging. Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show for the first time, the new… Read More

10 of the coolest gadgets we saw at CES 2017

Jan 09, 4:38PM

motiv-pressgold8 It’s difficult to narrow down everything that happened at CES this year. We met tons of promising new startups and went hands-on with brand new gadgets on the floor of the expo hall, nightly events and on our Hardware Battlefield stage. These, in no particular order, were the hottest hardware startups and most interesting gadgets from the show, and you can find our full coverage of… Read More

Samsung rolls out new smart TV services for sports, music & video, plus an updated mobile app

Jan 09, 4:38PM

smart-tv-zone_main_1 Apple last month released a new TV app in an attempt to centralize all the streaming TV options available across Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. Now, Samsung is rolling out its own take on the matter, with the launch of a trio of new Smart TV services focused on sports, music and video on demand. The services are a part of Samsung’s Smart Hub platform, which offers customers a way to… Read More

Facebook to test showing ads mid-video with publisher revenue split

Jan 09, 4:04PM

facebook-video-ads Facebook is doing what many publishers had hoped it would one day do, according to Recode: opening up another key revenue stream for video producers. The so-called “mid-roll” ad unit, which inserts an advertiser’s clip in the middle of a video instead of up front or at the end, will enter testing soon according to the report, with revenue resulting from the ad sales split… Read More

What if the iPhone had never arrived?

Jan 09, 4:01PM

nokia-7610 Ten years ago the cellphone industry was as teeming with life as a coral reef. Weird, multi-colored Nokias and Samsungs flitted between fronds of seagrass while Sidekicks scuttled in and out of tiny sea caves. Blackberries lumbered through the coral like lions on the hunt, eviscerating all “serious” comers with better software. Apple had released a deeply embarrassing clownfish of… Read More

Voxer adds end-to-end encrypted 'private chats'

Jan 09, 3:54PM

Voxer Voice-focused messaging app Voxer has added an end-to-end encrypted ‘private chats’ feature on its Android and iOS apps — powered by Open Whisper Systems’ Signal Protocol. So all content shared within a private chat, including live voice, text, videos, images, GIFs, and document sharing, is fully e2e encrypted. Read More

Samsung opens up iOS compatibility for its wearables

Jan 09, 3:44PM

Samsung Gear S3 After a long stint as a closed ecosystem, Samsung’s wearables are now opening up to make some new friends. The Korean tech giant today announced, on the heels of CES 2017, that Samsung wearables would now come with iOS compatibility, allowing iPhone owners to use the smart watches and fitness bands whether or not they have a Samsung smartphone. The news includes iOS compatibility for… Read More

Ford CEO Mark Fields on building mobility services, acquisitions and partnerships

Jan 09, 3:25PM

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-22-09-am Ford CEO Mark Fields was at CES this year, and I got some time to talk to him about what Ford’s doing with its Smart Mobility business, why it made sense to acquire Chariot, to partner with Amazon for in-car Alexa integration, and to generally build out its services portfolio. Fields told us how Ford evaluates when it makes more sense to own something itself, and when it makes sense to… Read More

Netflix & Amazon score a few Golden Globes, HBO won none

Jan 09, 3:02PM

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08:  Actress Claire Foy, winner of Best Actress in a Drama Series for 'The Crown', attends The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globe Party, presented with FIJI Water, Grey Goose Vodka, Lindt Chocolate, and Moroccanoil at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company) Top streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and HBO didn’t fare as well as in previous years at last night’s Golden Globes. Despite entering the race with 14 nominations, HBO – which streams for cord cutters via HBO NOW and various internet TV services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now – walked away without a single win. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon didn’t rack… Read More

Cloud Elements scores $13 million Series B to advance API integration tools

Jan 09, 3:01PM

Data flying over group of laptops to illustrate data integration/sharing. Cloud Elements, a company that builds API integration tools aimed at developers, announced $13 million in Series B financing today. The round was led by Harbert Partners with participation from Rally Ventures, Access Ventures and Grotech Ventures. Tom Roberts, who is a general partner at Harbert, will become a member of the Cloud Elements board when the deal closes. Today’s funding brings… Read More

Ford's Chariot ride-sharing service will expand to 8 cities in 2017

Jan 09, 2:44PM

chariot_ford_go_bike Ford-owned Chariot, the on-demand commute ridesharing service it acquired through Ford Smart Mobility last September, is going to expand to eight new cities in 2017, including one outside the U.S., Ford announced at the North American International Auto Show this year in Detroit. Chariot currently operates in its home city of San Francisco, and in Austin, TX, with a pilot project launched… Read More

Volkswagen's I.D Buzz concept is a microbus for the self-driving era

Jan 09, 2:28PM

Autodesk VRED Professional 2017 SP1 Volkswagen’s new I.D. Buzz electric vehicle concept is a futuristic take on the microbus that revives the family camper for an era when we’ll spent just as much of our time on the road relaxing or hanging out with our fellow passengers as we will driving. The new EV design, Volkswagen’s second concept car in the I.D. line, was revealed at this year’s North American… Read More

Atlassian acquires Trello for $425M

Jan 09, 2:00PM

trello Atlassian today announced that it has acquired project management service Trello for $425 million. The vast majority of the transaction is in cash ($360 million), with the remainder being paid out in restricted shares and options. The acquisition is expected to close before March 31, 2017. This marks Atlassian’s 18th acquisition and, as Atlassian president Jay Simons noted when I talked… Read More

Tesla moves towards greater autonomy with Autopilot rollout for HW2 cars

Jan 09, 1:59PM

Tesla Autopilot Tesla will begin rolling out its Autopilot features for vehicles with second-generation in-car computing and sensing hardware on Monday, Elon Musk announced via Twitter. The new revision will be deployed a to small test group of 1,000 initial testers, as well as all other Tesla vehicles equipped with the new hardware. Initially the update will be in shadow mode for those beyond the test pool,… Read More

Take a ride with us in a self-driving Audi Q7 using Nvidia autonomous tech

Jan 09, 1:26PM

nvidia4 Nvidia had a strong showing overall at CES this year, but its most impressive demo had to be the self-driving vehicles it was showing off in a cordoned course built in a parking lot. The demo wasn’t on city streets, as were others like the Delphi ride, but it was impressive in a different way; mostly because no human sat in the driver’s seat of Nvidia’s cars. Two cars were… Read More

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