Monday, February 20, 2017

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New Zealand High Court upholds Kim Dotcom extradition ruling

Feb 20, 8:55PM

Kim Dotcom, founder of the Internet Party and founder of Megaupload Ltd., attends a news conference following an event titled "Moment of Truth" at the Auckland Townhall in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he'll declassify intelligence service documents to disprove claims his government engaged in mass surveillance of its citizens after investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published Edward Snowden's leaked U.S. National Security Agency documents last year, said he'll release more NSA files showing New Zealand's complicity in mass surveillance with its partners in the Five Eyes network. Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg via Getty Images Kim Dotcom, founder of Mega and Megaupload, has suffered another defeat in court. In the latest ruling, New Zealand High Court judge Murray Gilbert upheld an earlier decision finding that Dotcom and business associates could be extradited to the U.S. to face charges. Read More

Disrupt NY Startup Battlefield applications are due in a week

Feb 20, 8:29PM

tc-disrupt2 It takes about 15 minutes to fill out an application for Startup Battlefield and they’re due in a week. Stop procrastinating and submit your startup. Applications for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt NY are now open. We’re searching for new, up-and-coming startups to launch and compete on the  TechCrunch Disrupt NY stage. Why Apply? Your team will get to pitch for six minutes and… Read More

Alienware's 13 R3 is testament to small and powerful VR-capable laptops

Feb 20, 7:51PM

l1010254 Alienware’s latest offering is a sort of fresh start for the company. The 13 R3 is extremely compact for a VR-compatible system, but portability comes at a premium. Even so, the laptop has a lot to offer for gamers outside of virtual reality. Read More

Tech War: Prius Prime vs. Hyundai Ioniq

Feb 20, 7:43PM

Left: Prius Prime; Right: Hyundai Ioniq By a lucky coincidence, I had a chance to drive both the 2017 Prius Prime and the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq in the same week. The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid with a futuristic vibe; the Hyundai Ioniq comes in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric versions. The Prius lineup and the Ioniq lineup are competing for the same buyers, so there will be plenty of comparisons in the automotive press. But… Read More

Instagram VP Kevin Weil joins board of social fitness app Strava

Feb 20, 7:26PM

kevin-weil If you’re trying to build the Instagram for exercise, it helps to have the guy building Instagram for Instagram. That’s why Strava has added Instagram head of product Kevin Weil to its board of directors. Formerly SVP of product for Twitter, Weil has proven his skills through a rapid set of launches at Instagram, including its surprisingly successful Snapchat Stories clone. Read More

The implications of the end of net neutrality

Feb 20, 7:00PM

valves-speedometers When Donald Trump pulled off a stunning victory to win the U.S. presidency, the entire world began to speculate about what a Trump administration will look like. As the chief executive of a native advertising network, I — and many others that work in digital media — am keeping a particularly close eye on how the president will handle net neutrality. Read More

What's next for books?

Feb 20, 6:08PM

Books In Library I like Digital Reader editor Nate Hoffelder. He is one of the few bloggers about publishing who doesn’t suck up to the industry nor does he particularly gild the lily. He basically believes that books are great, publishing is probably doomed, and that writing is really important. That’s why I was happy that he surfaced and debunked the claims of Chip McGregor, an agent who… Read More

Fluffy dog tails could be the next step in robot-human interaction

Feb 20, 5:14PM

2013-dogtail-main The IEEE unearthed a fascinating 2013 study that showed that a cute dog tail does more than just amuse – it can communicate. The study, created by Ashish Singh and James Young, posited that a Roomba with a tail attached could communicate quickly and easily with a human – a fast, excited wag means things are going OK while a slow side to side shows disdain. “Any current robot… Read More

WhatsApp launches Status, an encrypted Snapchat Stories clone

Feb 20, 4:58PM

whatsapp-status WhatsApp could put the brakes on Snapchat’s international growth with today’s launch of WhatsApp Status, a new tab for sharing decorated photos, videos and GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. It’s another Facebook-owned Snapchat Stories copycat, but the twist is that it’s end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp messaging. Read More

What to expect at Mobile World Congress 2017

Feb 20, 4:26PM

splash-mobile This year’s CES didn’t offer much in the way of mobile excitement. No surprise, really. The past several years have seen many of the biggest players in the space opt for their own stage to make big announcements — or just hold off a month and a half for the year’s biggest smartphone show, in Barcelona. Last year, Mobile World Congress surpassed the 100,000 attendance… Read More

Monzo, a UK digital-only bank, is closing in on new funding led by U.S.-based Thrive Capital

Feb 20, 3:34PM

monzo-mastercard-1 Monzo, one of a number of new digital only or so-called ‘challenger’ banks in the U.K. aiming to re-invent the current account, is closing in on new Series C funding, which could be announced as early as this week. According to multiple sources, U.S.-based Thrive Capital is leading the round. Read More

ZTE kills its crowdsourced phone Kickstarter campaign

Feb 20, 2:44PM

ZTE Hawkeye Project CSX was a nice enough idea. Get the smartphone community engaged and excited and maybe even gather some good, outside-the-box ideas for mobile devices along the way. In a sense, the project was ZTE’s attempt to foster the sort of community excitement we’ve seen around young companies like OnePlus – and it started off well enough. Things sort of fell apart at the… Read More

Hey Alexa, does this look infected?

Feb 20, 1:01PM

25 Amazon Echo Once you’re done ordering pizza and locking and unlocking your front door, what’s left to do with your Echo? Starting today, HealthTap users will be able to use Amazon’s connected home assistant for medical advice, if they so choose. The online healthcare startup is announcing Alexa integration this week, letting users tap into their voice controlled health services with… Read More

Snap starts selling Spectacles online in the US for $130

Feb 20, 12:58PM

spectacles-on-sale Snap wants to prove to investors in its upcoming IPO that Spectacles can earn money for its business, not just be a brand stunt. So today, Snap begins selling its video-recording sunglasses Spectacles openly online for $129.99 in the U.S. at Read More

Temasek jumps into China's bike-rental startup war with investment in Mobike

Feb 20, 10:20AM

Spin is trying to bring Mobike-style bike sharing to the US. Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, has jumped into China’s on-demand cycle war after it backed Mobike. China’s ride-sharing war is last year’s news. The big battle between Uber and Didi Chuxing is essentially over after the latter agreed to buy the former’s China-based business. The new startup drama du jour is in bikes — services that let… Read More

Alibaba's Ant Financial extends global reach with first investment in the Philippines

Feb 20, 8:46AM

philippines Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial has again extended its global reach after it completed its maiden investment in the Philippines. Read More

Malaysia's Dah Makan raises $1.3M for an organized approach to food delivery

Feb 20, 7:50AM

dah-makan Dah Makan has become the first food-delivery startup to raise significant capital in Southeast Asia this year, bringing some fire back to what has been a popular niche for local investors. The company has closed a $1.3 million seed funding round from backers that include NFQ Capital, East Ventures, Asia Venture Group and Grupara. A former CEO of NestlĂ© is among the angel investors to… Read More

WTF is cloud computing?

Feb 20, 4:00AM

Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch After more than a decade of being in the popular tech lexicon, people kind of get the idea of “the cloud,” but most probably only understand a bit of it. That’s because the cloud isn’t a single concrete thing so much as a concept that encompasses many technologies. Understanding those pieces and how they intertwine is the secret to fully grasping the ideas behind it. Read More

Former Uber engineer says company ignored repeated reports of sexual harassment

Feb 20, 3:59AM

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2015 file photo a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. Uber and advocates for the blind have reached a lawsuit settlement in which the ride-hailing company agrees to require that existing and new drivers confirm they understand their legal obligations to transport riders with guide dogs or other service animals. The National Federation of the Blind said Saturday, April 30, 2016, that Uber will also remove a driver from the platform after a single complaint if it determines the driver knowingly denied a person with a disability a ride because the person was traveling with a service animal. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) Former Uber site reliability engineer Susan Fowler accused the company of rampant sexual harassment and human resources negligence in a blog post published today. It’s the latest in a series of events that point to serious questions about Uber’s company culture. Read More

Oppo teases new mobile camera technology ahead of MWC

Feb 20, 3:00AM

oppo We’ve entered crunch time for getting all those last-minute teasers out before the kick-off of Mobile World Congress. Some have been cagey around their big news ahead of the event in Barcelona, while others, like LG, haven’t left all that much to the imagination. Oppo, the rising-est star in a Chinese market full of them, is playing its cards close to the vest. Read More

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