Thursday, March 2, 2017

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Snapchat stock finishes up 44% on first day

Mar 02, 9:03PM

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: (L to ) Snapchat co-founders Bobby Murphy, chief technology officer of Snap Inc., and Evan Spiegel, chief executive officer of Snap Inc., prepare to ring the opening bell as Thomas Farley, president of the NYSE, looks on, March 2, 2017 in New York City. Snap Inc. priced its initial public offering at $17 a share on Wednesday and Snap shares will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had a great day in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. After pricing the IPO at $17 per share yesterday, the stock opened at $24. It then closed the day at $24.51, a 44% premium to the people who bought it yesterday. But like with all IPOs, not everybody got to access Snap’s IPO price. This is usually reserved for a smaller group of… Read More

As Supreme Court case nears, tech takes a stand for transgender rights

Mar 02, 8:55PM

 Many of tech’s largest and most powerful companies have signed an amicus brief in support of transgender student Gavin Grimm as the first case on transgender rights makes its way to the highest court in the land later this month. Following the news that Apple was drumming up interest in such a brief, a full list reveals 53 U.S. companies that have signed on to date. The amicus brief… Read More

Uber will apply for a self-driving test permit in California

Mar 02, 8:44PM

ubercar-5 Uber is now in the process of getting a permit from the California DMV to resume testing its self-driving vehicles on public state roads. Uber started testing its self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs in San Francisco last year – but the state DMV ultimately opposed the tests since Uber had not applied for its autonomous testing permit prior to beginning service. While Uber took its test fleet… Read More

A Link to the Past

Mar 02, 8:36PM

zelda In the hype period for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game’s creators compared it to the original NES classic. I chalked this up to the usual pre-release silliness; how could a brand-new game be anything like something released in 1986? It turns out I’d underestimated both Nintendo’s candor (understandable) and the timelessness of the first Zelda’s design. Read More

As Messenger's bots lose steam, Facebook pushes menus over chat

Mar 02, 8:23PM

Messenger Facebook’s Messenger bots may not be having the impact the social network desired. Just yesterday, online retailer Everlane, one of the launch partners for the bot platform, announced it was ditching Messenger for customer notifications and returning to email. Following this, Facebook today announced an upgraded Messenger Platform, which introduces a new way for users to interact with… Read More

Millennial lender Upstart just raised $32.5 million to license its tech to other companies

Mar 02, 8:18PM

upstart-founders Upstart, a nearly five-year-old online lending company that prides itself on quickly identifying people who are less likely to default on money leant them, has raised $32.5 million in fresh funding that brings its total funding to date to around $85 million. Partly, the company plans to use the capital to further fuel its current growth trajectory. In fact, according to CEO… Read More

One bitcoin is now worth more than one ounce of gold

Mar 02, 8:05PM

bitcoin-on-gold For the first time ever, the price of one bitcoin has surpassed the price of one ounce of gold. While today’s swap can be attributed to a good day for bitcoin (up ~3%) and a bad day for gold (down ~1.3%), the big picture is that bitcoin has more than doubled in the last year (up ~185% from a year ago) while gold is essentially trading exactly at the price it was a year ago. Even… Read More

Floodgate closes sixth fund with $131 million

Mar 02, 7:01PM

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Deversoirlibere under a cc by 3.0 license Floodgate, a Palo Alto, Ca.-based early stage venture capital firm, has raised $131 million for its sixth fund, according to an SEC filing that shows the 11-year-old firm turned to just eight investors for the capital commitments. Though small by today’s fundraising standards, the fund reflects a bit of a departure for the firm, whose fifth fund closed with $76 million in 2014. (Its… Read More

Startups and nonprofits set sights on closing the achievement gap through internet access

Mar 02, 7:00PM

Internet Login Field With the dawning of the digital age, low-income students face a new, unprecedented challenge: access to high-speed internet. Startups and nonprofits across the country are stepping up to help low-income families connect to the internet. They deliver programs that aim to facilitate the personal, academic and professional growth of their local communities. Read More

Google Assistant hits more Android devices today

Mar 02, 6:59PM

google-assistant Your Android phone is about to get an upgrade. Google today is making good on its promise to bring its Siri alternative known as Google Assistant to more Android devices, starting today. The company announced at Mobile World Congress over the weekend that its Assistant would soon launch in the U.S., followed by English-language launches in Australia, Canada and the U.K., as well… Read More

AWS cloudsplains what happened to S3 storage on Monday

Mar 02, 6:53PM

Person watching light column in cloud of blocks AWS took a lot of heat when its S3 storage component went down for several hours on Monday, and rightly so, but today they published a post-mortem explaining exactly what happened complete with technical details and how they plan to prevent a similar event from occurring again in the future. At the core of the problem was unsurprisingly human error. Some poor engineer, we’ll call him… Read More

NASA released a ton of software for free and here's some you should try

Mar 02, 6:33PM

software-2017-slider NASA has just published its 2017-2018 software catalog, which lists the many apps, code libraries and tools that pretty much anyone can download and use. Of course, most of it is pretty closely tied to… you know, launching spacecraft and stuff, which most people don’t do. But here are a few items that might prove useful to tinkers and curious lay people alike. Read More

Ozlo releases a suite of APIs to power your next conversational AI

Mar 02, 6:25PM

Illustration of laptop connected to bookshelf Building on its promise to give the entrenched a run for their money, conversational AI startup Ozlo is making its meticulously crafted knowledge layer available for purchase today. Ozlo’s new suite of APIs that includes tools for both expressing knowledge and understanding language will help to democratize the creation of conversational AI assistants. In the spirit of the expert systems… Read More

Sign up to volunteer at Disrupt NY

Mar 02, 6:20PM

Disrupt London volunteers If you’re looking to roll up your sleeves to help put on the best startup show in the Big Apple, you should definitely sign up to be a TechCrunch Work Exchange Volunteer at Disrupt NY 2017. TechCrunch is thrilled to announce that we are now accepting applications to the Work Exchange at this year’s show in New York City, and we hope you’ll consider joining us.… Read More lets you ditch Medium with new import tool

Mar 02, 6:01PM

wordpress stickers Publishing platform Medium recently laid off dozens of people. So if you don’t want to hand away your precious writing to a startup that is still looking for its business model, you can move your content to in just a few clicks. Automattic, the company behind, just launched a new importing tool that makes it easier to copy all your Medium content to a… Read More

Blackstorm Labs looks to bring the co-op experience to a Facebook Messenger game

Mar 02, 6:00PM

blackstorm boss raids Co-founder Ernestine Fu hopes that Blackstorm Labs, the makers of a bullet hell-ish fantasy shooter called EverWing, has figured out how to tap into that real-time co-operative experience that you might find in a massive online game like World of Warcraft within Facebook Messenger. The company is calling the experience Boss Raids. EverWing runs on HTML5 within Facebook Messenger, where… Read More

Dating app Sapio wants you to think harder about swiping right

Mar 02, 5:54PM

still1 There is an inherent problem that plagues all dating apps. The world is getting smaller — instead of choosing a mate from the pool of our college classmates or neighborhood friends, we’re now connected to everyone on the planet with a few taps of the thumb. This means that dating apps rarely run short of people to serve up, which means that we’re playing a game of optimization. Read More

Susan Fowler Rigetti hires employment law firm in response to Uber's actions

Mar 02, 5:39PM

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Uber headquarters stands in Queens as hundreds of Uber drivers protest  the company's recent fare cuts and went on strike in front of the car service's New York offices on February 1, 2016 in New York City. The drivers say Uber continues to cut into their earnings without cutting into its own take from each ride. In claiming fare reduction would mean more work for drivers, the San Francisco based company cut its prices by 15 percent last week.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Update 11:25 AM PT: An Uber spokesperson provided the following statement regarding the separate firm it retained aside from Holder’s: The law firm Perkins Coie is looking into the specific allegations raised by Susan. They will report into Eric Holder, who is responsible for the overall investigation into Uber’s workplace practices. To be clear: they are investigating… Read More

unGlue helps parents set screen time limits on any device

Mar 02, 5:37PM

homepage-kidscontrol-1600-web-right-min A new startup called unGlue wants to help kids better manage their time on connected devices. Just don’t call it parental control software, says co-founder and CEO Alon Shwartz. The idea, he explains, is to offer families a simpler solution for setting limits on screen time across devices, whether inside the home or away. Shwartz, a serial entrepreneur, came up with the idea for… Read More

Discors piles new publishers into its pay-once-read-everything service

Mar 02, 5:28PM

2-analysis-grid-graphic News outlets are having the time of their lives as people are flocking in to subscribe, but what if you want to read more than one news outlet? You could keep a giant stack of subscriptions, or you could reach for Discors. The startup recently announced it’s adding The New York Times and the Financial Times to its $4.99 per month subscription model. Read More

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