Monday, March 6, 2017

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Amazon's AWS buys Thinkbox Software, maker of tools for creative professionals

Mar 06, 9:56PM

 It looks like Amazon’s AWS has made another acquisition to add more productivity tools for customers beyond basic cloud-computing services. It has picked up Thinkbox Software, which develops and sells solutions for media design and content creation aimed at people in the video and wider visual media industries. Examples of services that Thinkbox already offer include systems for… Read More

Disney Research has robots matching verbal styles with kids

Mar 06, 9:13PM

 Roboticists at Disney Research are investigating how to improve the quality of human-robot interactions by studying how speech patterns affect engagement with a creepy anthropomorphic bot that imitates its playmates’ speech. Read More

Should Snap buy Twitter?

Mar 06, 9:05PM

 The idea might not be as dumb as you think (or maybe it is). Read More

Justin Kan launches his own startup incubator program called Zero-F

Mar 06, 9:00PM

 Serial entrepreneur Justin Kan, best known for co-founding Twitch, and Socialcam, has left his position as a partner at Y Combinator to start his own startup incubator program. The venture is called Zero-F — think ‘zero to funding’ — and the idea, Kan told TechCrunch, is to take a very hands-on approach to building new startups in Silicon Valley.… Read More

Snap tumbles 12% on day three, erases gains

Mar 06, 8:35PM

 Snapchat parent Snap Inc. debuted on the stock market Thursday and immediately saw substantial gains on its first two days. But the excitement has already worn off, with shares tumbling over 12% on day three. After finishing Friday at $27.09 per share, Snap closed at $23.77 on Monday, beneath the $24 where it opened on its first day of trading. This is still above the $17 IPO price, but… Read More

How Hazel Technologies keeps fresh fruit and vegetables from spoiling

Mar 06, 8:21PM

 Chicago-based Hazel Technologies is on a mission to reduce food waste. The company has developed packaging inserts that, through the magic of basic chemistry, can ward off fungus, mold and slow the spoilage of fruits and vegetables. How big a problem is food waste? The most recent available reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that each year we waste more than 25… Read More

Google's smarter, A.I.-powered translation system expands to more languages

Mar 06, 8:00PM

 Last fall, Google introduced a new system for machine-assisted language translations, Google Neural Machine Translation system (GNMT), which takes advantage of deep neural networks to translate entire sentences – not just phrases – for greatly improved translations. The company put the system to work in Google Translate for eight language pairs in November, and is today… Read More

Russian hackers reportedly extorting cash from liberal political groups

Mar 06, 7:46PM

 A report from Bloomberg paints a grim picture of left-leaning political groups being targeted by apparently Russian hackers, but don’t worry: this seems to be more “open season on PACs” than Russki cyber-soldiers trying to derail the democratic process (again). Read More

Will the Galaxy S8 let Samsung put the Note 7 behind it for good?

Mar 06, 7:30PM

 This is the Samsung Galaxy S8. Sure, it’s still a couple of weeks until we get the see the thing in person on March 29, but we’ve gotten what appears to be a pretty solid view of the handset from just about every angle. Once rare and coveted, device leaks have long since become part of the release cycles for many manufacturers, built into the hype machine ahead of a… Read More

PlayStation Vue's TV streaming service now lets you watch 3 streams on one screen

Mar 06, 6:19PM

 With a growing number of streaming TV services on the market – including, as of last week, YouTube TV – Sony’s PlayStation Vue is today launching a new feature aimed at differentiating its offering from the rest: “multi-view.” As you might guess by its name, this feature will allow you to watch multiple channels all on the same screen. With multi-view,… Read More

Invite-only accelerator NFX takes the wraps off 21 new startups; here they are

Mar 06, 6:18PM

 Last week, two-year-old, NFX Guild, a Silicon Valley-based, invite-only accelerator program, hosted its newest demo day before 200 venture investors from Sand Hill Road and San Francisco. The outfit — which is backed financially by the venture firms CRV, Shasta Ventures, Greylock Partners, and Mayfield and works only with startups that have been referred to it through a network of… Read More

Spammers expose over a billion email addresses after failed backup

Mar 06, 5:54PM

 At its height, River City Media, run by Alvin Slocombe and Matt Ferris, sent out a billion emails a day, slamming Gmail servers with fragmented traffic in order to ensure all of its email went out on time. After failing to password-protect a remote backup, however, the company has exposed its nearly 1.4 billion email records, some of which contain real names and addresses. The company, for… Read More

Factory raises another €1M to go up against the WeWorks of the world

Mar 06, 5:21PM

 In spite of the fact that you can create a startup entirely virtually these days, with everyone working remotely, the fact remains that you can’t beat real-world interaction. But the commercial property world — especially the thorny world of leases — remains stuck in the 19th Century. Real estate developers are still sleepily optimizing for profits with long-term contracts,… Read More

Most consumers not being turned on by connected home, study finds

Mar 06, 5:20PM

 Connected homes aren’t yet sparking interest beyond the early adopter crowd, according to survey of nearly 10,000 consumers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia conducted by analyst Gartner. Read More

Fiix will send a mechanic to your driveway to repair your car on demand

Mar 06, 5:03PM

 Getting your car repaired is not only costly, it’s frustrating. This is especially true when you have to leave your car in the shop for days at a time. Fiix want to fix this. Part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 class, the startup has built a platform to send a mechanic to your home to fix your car within hours of being requested. Customers request service by calling or chatting… Read More

Lightroom Mobile gains RAW HDR capture on iOS and Android

Mar 06, 4:57PM

 Good news, pocket photographers: Your mobile device just became a much more powerful camera thanks to a new update to Lightroom Mobile. The app for iOS and Android now supports RAW HDR capture on newer devices, including the iPhone 6s and above, as well as the iPad Pro 9.7-inch; on Android, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Google Pixel users can join in the fun. Why would you want this if your phone… Read More

CNN's streaming service opens to cord cutters, adds original programming

Mar 06, 4:35PM

 CNN’s online streaming platform, CNNgo, is shifting its strategy to target those without a pay TV subscription, according to a report from Variety. The Turner-owned news network is introducing an expanded lineup of original programming that won’t require users authenticate using their TV provider’s credentials, beginning with a series called “Mostly Human.” The… Read More

Comcast NBCUniversal is launching a Techstars-powered accelerator called LIFT Labs

Mar 06, 4:00PM

Comcast Technology Center Comcast NBCUniversal is getting into the startup accelerator game with a program called LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs. The plan is to launch the first LIFT (“Leveraging Innovation For Tomorrow”) Labs location in early 2018, in Philadelphia’s Comcast Technology Center, with an Atlanta location also opening next year. In addition to the accelerator (which will be run in… Read More

Jay Z launches Arrive to fund startups, offer branding support and more

Mar 06, 3:48PM

 Jay Z’s new venture capital firm Arrive, has arrived – the rap and business mogul has been planning the launch for awhile, according to reports that surfaced in February, but a press release from parent company Roc Nation made it official on Monday. The investment platform will work with early-stage startups, and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business… Read More

Why Nintendo Switch is amazing now, despite a small launch game lineup

Mar 06, 3:21PM

 Nintendo’s Switch feels almost like a minimum viable product when it comes to software – the menu, when you boot the console initially, looks like a placeholder with big, empty square blocks suggesting some future software arrival. This is where games you download or insert via cartridge would show up, but it feels very work-in-progress. Jump to the store and the situation’s… Read More

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