Friday, May 12, 2017

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Tencent doubles down on game studio Pocket Gems with $90M investment

May 11, 11:58PM

 Chinese internet Tencent has continued its recent investment spree after it backed U.S.-based game studio Pocket Gems to the tune of $90 million. Tencent invested in Pocket Gems back in 2015, when it put in a reported $60 million for a 20 percent stake. This time around the Wall Street Journal reported the investment as $90 million, which TechCrunch has confirmed independently. That deal,… Read More

Salesforce aims to save you time by summarizing emails and docs with machine intelligence

May 11, 11:00PM

 We have all seen the studies — some American workers spend upwards of six hours a day handling email. It’s not a great use of time, it destroys productivity and it ultimately costs businesses money. A new paper written by a team Salesforce MetaMind researchers could eventually provide summaries of professional communication. More effective text summarization tools would… Read More

Check out these paintings drawn on iPad Pro at the PGA TOUR

May 11, 10:51PM

 Over the last few years the PGA TOUR has gotten more creative about how it keeps fans at home in touch with what’s happening on the course. For example, during last year’s THE PLAYERS Championship they commissioned an iPhone-only photographer to capture professional-quality photos from the course, which greatly cut down on the time it took to upload these photos and share them… Read More

Mario Andretti vs. semi-autonomous tech on the track

May 11, 10:02PM

Sam Schmidt and the SAM car On Saturday, May 13, famed race car driver Mario Andretti will be back on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This time, he’ll be racing one guy: Sam Schmidt, a quadriplegic race car driver, in semi-autonomous cars. Schmidt was paralyzed from the neck down in a racing accident in 2000. Since 2014, he’s been working with Arrow Electronics to develop custom-made… Read More

Hasselblad's X1D puts other medium format cameras on notice

May 11, 9:31PM

 Back in June of last year, I previewed the Hasselblad X1D. Then, it was a pre-production model, which I had hoped would launch and become the powerful mirrorless medium format camera that it is now. Read More

Improbable grabs $502M led by Softbank at a $1B+ valuation for its virtual world Spatial OS

May 11, 8:56PM

 Improbable, the London startup that has developed a platform for third parties to build vast virtual and simulated worlds, has landed a stratospheric round of funding to double down on its product and expand its ecosystem of developers. The company, which also has offices in San Francisco, has raised $502 million in funding led by SoftBank, with previous investors Andreessen Horowitz and… Read More

Uber enters Myanmar with a licensed taxi service

May 11, 8:54PM

 Uber has launched its service in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma, over a month after going public with its expansion plan. With a population of 50 million people and rapidly increasing internet adoption, Myanmar is seen by many tech firms as a market with much growth potential. Grab, Uber’s chief rival in Southeast Asia, entered the country’s… Read More

Scope AR brings its enterprise augmented reality authoring platform to HoloLens

May 11, 7:43PM

 Microsoft’s $3,000 HoloLens dev kit has gathered more attention over the past couple years than a lot of consumer products, but it’s important to remember that the augmented reality headset’s ambitions lie in building a new standard for spatial computing with enterprise customers. Today, Alberta-based Scope AR announced that it will be launching a version of its… Read More

Trump signs long-delayed executive order on cybersecurity

May 11, 7:12PM

 President Trump signed a executive order today commanding a review of the United States’ cybersecurity capabilities. Trump was initially set to sign the order shortly after his inauguration in January and held a press conference on the issue, but ultimately delayed the signing. The version of the order signed today bears some similarity to the earlier draft, but does contain some… Read More

Meet Cuba's first internet entrepreneurs at Disrupt New York

May 11, 7:02PM

 Cubazon. Kewelta. Knales. These aren’t house hold names in the US but they’re at the vanguard of entrepreneurship in Cuba and they’ll be joining us on stage at Disrupt New York. We’ll be talking with Bernardo Romero Gonzalez, CEO & founder of Cubazon, an online store for the Cuban diaspora that lets them send products to their relatives back home. He earned his MBA… Read More

Creativity is overrated

May 11, 7:00PM

 Today’s creative workplaces work hard to obscure the uncreative labor that makes them run. While “creativity” is presented as the panacea for our overly cubicled society, this often leads to a narrow-minded focus on the stuff that dreams are made of — to the detriment of those keeping the company afloat. Read More

Trolling the patent trolls

May 11, 6:39PM

 “Don’t feed the trolls,” the popular wisdom goes. But with a new project, Cloudflare is taking things a little farther — the company is trying to starve its trolls out by taking away their revenue. Patent lawsuits against tech companies are fairly common, and most companies will simply settle with their opponents rather than fund an expensive, lengthy legal defense.… Read More

Vice's Director of Mobile Apps Ben Jackson is creating his own startup advisory firm

May 11, 6:36PM

Ben Jackson Ben Jackson, whose résumé includes work at Vice Media and The New York Times, is launching a startup advisory firm called For The Win. Jackson was most recently Vice’s director of mobile apps, where he said he created a team that built nine apps during his tenure, as well as the company’s first unified content API. He’s also worked at the iOS lead at Longform and as a… Read More

Truepic fights photo fraud on apps like Tinder and Airbnb

May 11, 6:35PM

 “Is that what they really look like?” “Did they Photoshop the pics of the house we’re renting?” “Is this actually what I’m buying or just a photo ripped off the Internet?” These are the questions Truepic wants to answer with the startup’s photo verification technology. Today Truepic unveils its SDK for embedding its tech in other products… Read More

Apple's Watch can detect an abnormal heart rhythm with 97% accuracy, UCSF study says

May 11, 6:30PM

 According to a study conducted through heartbeat measurement app Cardiogram and the University of California, San Francisco, the Apple Watch is 97 percent accurate in detecting the most common abnormal heart rhythm when paired with an AI-based algorithm. The study involved 6,158 participants recruited through the Cardiogram app on Apple Watch. Most of the participants in the UCSF Health… Read More

Google's neural network-generated custom face stickers are like Bitmoji that aren't horrible

May 11, 6:02PM

 So let me just say really quick that I really dislike Bitmoji. Everything about it/them. The one thing that’s good about Bitmoji is that the user really can easily customize a representative avatar, even if the results are universally terrible in every way. Fortunately Google has just blown Bitmoji out of the water with a genuinely excellent alternative. Unfortunately, it’s only… Read More

Robo-advisor Wealthsimple raises another $37 million from Power Financial

May 11, 6:00PM

 With more than 30,000 clients and $750 million in assets under management, Toronto-based investment platform Wealthsimple continues to grow both in its home market and in the U.S. To bolster that growth, the company has raised an additional $37 million ($50 million Candian) in funding from Power Financial. Read More

Microsoft announces its own motion controllers for mixed reality

May 11, 5:06PM

 Microsoft doubled down on its commitment to what it called “mixed reality” today at its Build developer conference, revealing motion controllers that work closely with VR headsets from Acer. With a $399 bundle containing all you need coming later this year, it could be one of the more affordable ways out there to get into the VR game. Read More

Microsoft's HoloLens will come to China later this month

May 11, 5:06PM

 HoloLens, Microsoft’s advanced “mixed reality” headset, will launch in China later this month, making it the tenth market for the device. While some pundits expected that Microsoft would launch a new version of the HoloLens at its Build developer conference this week, it doesn’t look like that’s happening. The current version of the HoloLens started shipping to… Read More

Watch 500 Startups Batch 20 Demo Day here

May 11, 5:00PM

 TechCrunch is pleased to bring you 500 Startups Demo Day today, May 11th at 12:00pm to 5:00pm PT. As a global seed fund and startup accelerator, 500 Startups invests in various technology around the world. 500 Startups is holding a Demo Day today for their Batch 20 companies. The theme for this batch is Summer of Love. This group of 41 companies comes from 10 countries representing over… Read More

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