Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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P2P car marketplace Shift pauses DC operations, lays off 10% of staff

Jan 25, 7:55PM

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-19-41-28 After Beepi shut down its service and transferred its operations to stealth, its closest competitor Shift is facing some downsizing, too — a measure of the challenges of the peer-to-peer car selling business model that both had been trying to establish. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Shift has laid off just under 10 percent of all its staff, or 25 people, and it… Read More

Facebook Messenger begins testing ads…and they're big

Jan 25, 7:51PM

messenger-ads Facebook today is beginning to test integrating ads into its mobile messaging app’s user interface. The company says it will launch what it characterizes as a “very small test” in Australia and Thailand, which will allow businesses to place an ad on the Messenger home screen. These fairly prominent card-style ads include image thumbnails accompanied by text and a link. Read More

Pepper the robot gets a gig at the Oakland airport

Jan 25, 7:40PM

pepper-oak Pepper the robot has apparently been enjoying its time in the Bay this winter. After scoring a gig greeting shoppers at a pair of shopping malls just ahead of the holidays, Softbank’s friendly humanoid ‘bot will be hitting the airport in a [ahem] pilot program. The latest in Pepper’s on-going factotum of jobs finds it taking up residence at a restaurant in Terminal 2 of… Read More

Apple files a $145 million patent suit against Qualcomm in China

Jan 25, 7:34PM

apple-qualcomm Apple doesn’t do lawsuits lightly. Hot on the heel of a suit against Qualcomm here in the States, it’s taking the San Diego-based chipmaker to intellectual property court in Beijing. The damages are considerably less than the Stateside suit, at “just” 1 billion yuan ($145.32 million), compared to $1 billion here, but the allegations are similar, with Apple accusing… Read More

11 books to help prepare for our coming post-apocalyptic future

Jan 25, 7:06PM

apocalypse-now Post-apocalypses are fun. We prepare for them – here’s looking at, you, Petey! – and we love to watch them unfold on The Walking Dead. But they’re not real and probably never will be. So why do we love them so much? By reading them, we can pretend they really happened and when we’re done we can recall the signs and avoid them. I’ve been writing a… Read More

Postmates takes on Drizly with alcohol delivery in 25 minutes or less

Jan 25, 6:00PM

postmates-alcohol-screens2x Alcohol is one of the more perfect on-demand delivery items. However, the industry has been so fragmented for so long that it’s nearly impossible for each local liquor store to operate an efficient online purchasing program (plus delivery). Startups like Drizly and Minibar have gotten in on the game, but now Postmates is throwing its hat into the ring officially. Postmates is now… Read More

Facebook Trending adds headlines for context but drops personalization

Jan 25, 6:00PM

facebook-trending-changes Facebook’s controversial Trending topics feature is sacrificing support for niche interests in favor of an internationally scalable approach that could create nationwide digital water cooler moments you can read at a glance. Facebook is making three significant updates to Trending that will start rolling out in the US today on desktop in the right sidebar. Facebook is adding an… Read More

Trump is apparently still using his unsecured Android phone

Jan 25, 5:52PM

CHARLESTON, SC - FEBRUARY 18: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks talks on the phone while making a stop for lunch between campaign events at Fratello's Italian Tavern in North Charleston, SC on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) Last week, we reported that Trump had somewhat begrudgingly trading his beloved Android phone in for something more secure. An unnamed encrypted device with a phone number that “few people possess.” At the time, it seemed to put to rest the question of whether the new president would finally abandon his personal Twitter machine for the sake of national security. Now, deep in a… Read More

Alphabet to sell Terra Bella satellite unit to Planet, also talked with Climate Corp.

Jan 25, 5:47PM

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-08-11-59 Sources tell TechCrunch that Google parent company Alphabet is in advanced discussions to sell its Terra Bella satellite business — originally acquired as Skybox Imaging in 2014 — to Planet Labs. Alphabet also considered a sale to at least one other company, Monsanto’s Climate Corporation, for around $300 million. A potential sale to Planet was first reported earlier… Read More

Facebook Stories puts a Snapchat clone above the News Feed

Jan 25, 5:36PM

ios-stories Instagram put a dent in Snapchat by placing its own version of Snapchat Stories atop its feed, and now Facebook is doing the same. Today Facebook launched Facebook Stories in Ireland on iOS and Android, with plans to bring it to more countries in the coming months. The feature lets you share ephemeral photos and videos in a slideshow that disappears 24 hours later. The little circles to… Read More

Match's new feature shows you who you crossed paths with in the real world

Jan 25, 5:26PM

match-missed-ios Match is rolling out a new feature that will help its dating app customers see who they’ve crossed paths with in the real world, and say “hi” if they’re interested in chatting. The opt-in feature called “Missed Connections” takes advantage of location-based services on the users’ phones, but is designed in a way to ensure user privacy, Match says.… Read More

Cisco woos AppDynamics away from IPO: It's The Daily Crunch

Jan 25, 5:15PM

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. Cisco buys big, Google gets aggro on bad ads and Zuckerberg is not the next president. But maybe the one after that? All this and more in The Daily Crunch for January 25… Read More

Cisco-AppDynamics $3.7 billion deal all about the data

Jan 25, 4:58PM

Cisco headquarters. When Cisco bought AppDynamics last night for $3.7 billion, it was initially a bit of a shocker, partly because of the timing, just days before the startup was scheduled to IPO. While the acquisition was clearly part of a longer term strategy by Cisco to shift focus from its hardware business to one based more on cloud software, at its core, the deal was a pure data play. Data has taken… Read More

Lyft expands to 40 new U.S. cities on Thursday, 100 by end of year

Jan 25, 4:48PM

lyft amp Lyft is ready to accelerate its U.S. expansion plans. The company’s head of early stage markets and market expansion Jaime Raczka told Business Insider about its growth plans, which include rolling out service for the ride-hailing service to 40 new cities in the U.S. on Thursday, and eventually reaching 100 new cities by the end of 2017, for a total operational footprint of 300 in… Read More

HP recalls an additional 101,000 batteries over fire concerns

Jan 25, 4:17PM

HP booth at Mac World 2011. Back in June, HP recalled 41,000 batteries in the US over concerns surrounding overheating, fire and burn hazards. This week, the company’s tacked a pretty massive number onto that tally, adding 101,000 additional batteries (on top of around 4,000 in Mexico and 3,000 in Canada). The recall, detailed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, covers lithium ion units compatible with… Read More

Apple Watch will soon let you talk to Siri to use your apps

Jan 25, 4:12PM

Apple Watch Hermes The next version of Apple Watch’s software will let you talk to Siri via your smartwatch in order to interact with third-party applications, according to new developer documentation from Apple released on Tuesday. This will let you do things like order an Uber, send a message through a chat application, make a payment, and more. The feature is one of a handful of enhancements expected… Read More

Amazon adds ocean freight to the pieces of the shipping puzzle it controls

Jan 25, 4:11PM

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22:  A fully loaded cargo ship heads into New York Harbor on August 22, 2016 in New York City. The continued global economic slowdown, especially the financial difficulties in China, have hurt profits in the global shipping business. With growth in the industry expected to be near zero this year, hundreds of cargo ships are being sent to the scrap heap prematurely in an effort to cut capacity and raise prices for shipping.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Amazon has begun shipping products from Chinese merchant partners to its U.S. warehouses via ocean freighters, the Wall Street Journal reports. This is something it used to outsource exclusively, and another piece of the overall shipping and logistics picture that it’s now controlling directly, at least in part. Amazon doesn’t own ships, or employ crews, but it now acts as a… Read More

Apple reportedly close to India manufacturing deal in hopes of expanding reach in market

Jan 25, 3:26PM

apple-liveblog0432 The world’s second most populous nation is on track to become its second largest smartphone market, soon surprising the US, according to industry analysts. For Apple, however, it’s been a tough market to crack. A newly published report from Canalys doesn’t even feature the company in a breakdown with Samsung in the top spot at 22-percent, in a market otherwise dominated… Read More

T-Mobile gives former AT&T customers a free year of Hulu, because DirecTV Now doesn't work

Jan 25, 3:16PM

DirecTV Now event In December, T-Mobile ran a promotion which offered customers switching from AT&T a free year of AT&T’s new live TV service, DirecTV Now. The offer was meant to help stem the tide of potential customer losses, given DirecTV Now’s discounted pricing for newcomers, and its promises to zero-rate the streaming service on its network – meaning it wouldn’t count… Read More

Backstage Capital is raising a second fund to invest in as many women of color as possible

Jan 25, 3:14PM

arlan hamilton When Backstage Capital Founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton first stumbled upon Silicon Valley — as an area and a state of mind — she realized she had found her people. But after spending some time there and sussing it out, she realized something that ultimately changed her path. “I noticed it was the land of opportunity, but not for everyone,” Hamilton told me. Read More

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