Friday, January 20, 2017

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Come on, let's go to Pluto

Jan 20, 7:43PM

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-2-35-26-pm Hey do you want to go far, far away from this place right now for some reason? Check out Pluto – it’s far. NASA created a video (via Gizmodo) made up of around 100 images snapped by the New Horizons probe, which launched in 2006 and which completed a flyby of the dwarf planet in 2015. The video includes photos shot by New Horizons, but scientists took the black and white originals… Read More

"Track Trump" will compare Trump's promises to policy changes in the first 100 days

Jan 20, 7:17PM

trump2x A new website called Track Trump has launched to monitor the progress President Trump makes on fulfilling his promises for his first 100 days in office. At the end of October, Trump released a plan called “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter,” which focuses on cleaning up Washington, protecting American workers, and restoring the rule of law. The plan’s… Read More

FishTaco can analyze your microbiome before or after you eat a fish taco

Jan 20, 7:15PM

Bacteria Our microbiomes: who understands them? Scientists? The bacteria colonizing our guts? The guy who made the Mexican food we just ate? Wrong. It’s our computers. Researchers have tasked them to create a new way to analyze and understand our microbiomes electronically. The service is called “Functional Shifts’ Taxonomic Contributors” or, obviously, FishTaco. The system,… Read More

Google wants to make YouTube a better place for advertisers

Jan 20, 7:11PM

youtube Despite its massive success with viewers, Google always had a hard time convincing advertisers that its video platform was the best place for them to reach their target audiences. Now, Google promises to give advertisers and agencies better tools to measure their reach and target specific audiences — all with a focus on mobile. As Google notes in today’s announcement, 50 percent… Read More

The Edge Desk goes beyond the ball with a portable ergonomic desk system

Jan 20, 7:04PM

edgenewsetup I’ve done it all. I have a standing desk. I have a sitting ball. I have a treadmill. And now I just might go back to where it all started with the Edge Desk. This Kickstarter darling raised $500,000 to produce what amounts to a portable kneeling desk. It has a huge work surface – 20×30 inches – and costs $350 for the entry level model. It folds up flat for storage and… Read More

President Trump has officially taken over @POTUS

Jan 20, 7:03PM

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  President Donald Trump raises a fist after his inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) It’s official. As of about an hour ago Donald Trump is the 45th President of The United States of America. One question regarding the transition was how the social media handoff would occur between outgoing former President Obama and President Trump. And now about an hour in, some of these accounts are starting to switch over. The most important one is probably @POTUS on Twitter, which… Read More

Uber hires former YouTube exec Kevin Thompson as VP of Marketplace Engineering

Jan 20, 6:40PM

A picture shows a You Tube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis near Paris. Le Web is Europe's largest tech conference, bringing together the entrepreneurs, leaders and influencers who shape the future of the internet.        (Photo: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images) Uber is picking up a lot of ex-Googlers lately – earlier on Thursday, I reported that ex-Google SVP of Engineering Amit Singhal was headed to the ride-hailing startup, and former Google VP of Engineering on YouTube’s ads team Kevin Thompson is also joining the company as VP of Marketplace Engineering. That means Thompson will report into his former colleague Singhal, Uber… Read More

The official White House website has dropped any mention of climate change

Jan 20, 6:14PM

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-12-55-13-pm Trump’s administration is acting quickly to dangerously reimagine reality. It has deleted all specific mentions of “climate change” and “global warming,” as well as removed an entire page dedicated to the subject at the URL, which is no longer an active link. Motherboard noticed the change when it occurred at noon… Read More

The White House's LGBT rights page has disappeared

Jan 20, 6:12PM

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-10-02-20-am And so the transition of power begins. First up is the site where several pages are now changing or altogether disappearing — including a page on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. It’s just been over an hour since Trump took office and has now been replaced by a Trump “transitionsplash” page. Update: There’s no… Read More

Quixey alums launch Sigma, a platform to bring merits and certifications online

Jan 20, 6:00PM

sigma-team-pic A new company named Sigma, founded by alumni of mobile app search engine Quixey, aims to take records and certifications currently trapped in the analog world and bring them online. To do so, the company has raised $4.35 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and other investors. The idea originated in late 2014, during a scuba trip in Belize that Sigma cofounder and… Read More

In a tech-saturated world, customer feedback is everything

Jan 20, 6:00PM

Photo: Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images I’ve found that the most valuable design tool in the 21st century is rather old-fashioned: customer feedback. Technology has produced huge breakthroughs in design. A product can be ideated, prototyped and finalized with little more than a keyboard and code. But the ingenuity of modern design often leads to product teams neglecting the basics. Read More

Uber hires former Google search chief Amit Singhal as SVP of Engineering

Jan 20, 6:00PM

Uber's camera-covered mapping vehicle helps make its routes and ETAs more accurate Singhal will be heading up the Maps and Marketplace departments at Uber, while also advising CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber VP of Engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski on their efforts to build out the company’s self-driving technology. The last time we in tech news circles heard from Singhal, he was saying goodbye after a 15-year career at Google, in a farewell letter… Read More

Ford begins testing Transit Plug-in Hybrids in London ahead of 2019 production

Jan 20, 5:24PM

ford_transit_phev_1_1200 Ford has begun testing of its new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid with Transport for London, working with the UK city’s local transit authority to pilot 20 of the new vehicles in use during a 12-month trial with select London businesses for commercial use. The pilot of the vehicles, which feature a pure electric range of around 31 miles according to European agency measurement standards,… Read More

Twitter's latest feature tries to identify your BFF

Jan 20, 5:13PM

twitter-140-media Twitter thinks it has identified your BFF. The company is currently testing a new feature that will highlight the tweets from a select, single account that Twitter thinks you’ll want to see. Yes: a single person’s tweets will get their own special spot on your timeline. The feature is similar to Twitter’s “In Case You Missed It…” which rounds up the tweets… Read More

Payments startup Dwolla raises $6.85M more, debuts Access API

Jan 20, 5:01PM

money cash Some news today from Dwolla, the startup that competes with banks (but also works with them) to provide payments and money transfers with reduced fees by way of more efficient software. The company has raised another round of funding of $6.85 million, and at the same time it’s announcing the relaunch of its white-label API, which it is now calling Access API. The funding round was led… Read More

Buzzvil acquires Slidejoy for a lockscreen ad consolidation

Jan 20, 4:38PM

Buzzvil Slidejoy New York City startup Slidejoy has been acquired by South Korean competitor Buzzvil. Both companies offer a way for Android users to earn rewards in exchange for allowing ads on their lockscreens — in Buzzvil’s case, that’s both through its HoneyScreen consumer app and through its BuzzScreen platform for publishers. The financial terms are not being disclosed, but Slidejoy… Read More

Anti-Trump protestors are outside of Uber's SF headquarters

Jan 20, 4:22PM

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick attends the summer World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shu Zhang Happy Inauguration Day (ughhh). Anti-Donald Trump protestors are outside of Uber’s San Francisco headquarters. Protestors have linked arms outside Uber’s entrance, chanting, “Donald Trump, go away. Racist sexist, anti-gay.” They’re protesting Uber because the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, is a member of Trump’s Strategic and Policy forum. That… Read More

Despite glitches, AT&T's DirecTV Now hits 200,000 subscribers in its first month

Jan 20, 4:11PM

DirecTV Now event AT&T’s new live TV streaming service DirecTV Now has been off to a shaky start in terms of performance, but that hasn’t stemmed the flow of sign-ups, AT&T reports. The company said the service added more than 200,000 subscribers in its first month of operations. These details were included in an SEC filing for the quarter ending on December 31, 2016. DirecTV Now launched… Read More

With 'Dear Angelica,' Oculus finds a story worthy of the VR medium

Jan 20, 4:01PM

da4 “We want to get closer to this kind of perfect representation, so you can capture a moment you had.” The medium of virtual reality is a new one, one that may eventually allow these perfect representations and perfect fictions, but its true power (and danger) lies in its ability to turn anything into what feels like a personal experience. Embodying the emotions of the viewer is at… Read More

Facebook is looking at ways to mitigate the impact of fake news

Jan 20, 3:58PM

disrupt_sf16_adam_mosseri-4023 Fake news has been top of mind for a lot of people as of late. After the presidential election in the U.S. and public outcry over the prevalence of false information on Facebook, the company announced measures to prevent fake news from appearing on the platform. But there are still concerns about the civic consequences of fake news and the effect it has on people once it’s already… Read More

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