Friday, May 26, 2017

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With new realities to build, Unity positioned to become tech giant

May 26, 12:39AM

 There are few verticals filled with more utopian dreams than the studios and startups building VR and AR experiences. While some are looking to craft 3D experiences that integrate into the real world, others are aiming to create massive worlds we can escape to. The one thing many of them have in common, however, is that they are built on a game engine from a company called Unity. Read More

Feast your eyes on this 600-DPI e-paper screen

May 25, 11:12PM

 I have to say, I really like e-paper. And it’s come a long way since the crude early Kindles — nowadays you have e-readers that are as high-resolution as the best phones and iPads. And they’re set to get even better if E-Ink’s latest screens make it into a few products, as I hope they do. Read More

These flat-pack turtlebots will crawl across minefields for safety's sake

May 25, 10:33PM

 The threat of minefields is an ongoing and horrifying one, and the duty of clearing them is as difficult as it is dangerous. All the more reason, then, that it should be done by robots! A new type of inexpensive, versatile bot modeled after turtles could be a great tool for this and other jobs. Read More

Wearables suck at tracking calories burned, study shows

May 25, 10:25PM

 New data out of Stanford is lending credence to common wisdom that fitness trackers suck at counting calories. Heart-rate monitoring, on the other hand, fared surprisingly well in the school’s Medical Center studies. Read More

SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin is leaving the company

May 25, 9:07PM

 Another one of the co-founders of online lending startup SoFi is leaving the company, TechCrunch has learned. Dan Macklin, who served as VP of Community and Member Success at SoFi, has announced internally that he’ll be stepping down from his position on June 6th. Read More

HBO's Silicon Valley gets renewed for fifth season, Erlich Bachman won't return

May 25, 8:42PM

 HBO confirmed today that Silicon Valley will indeed be returning for a fifth season, but one of its stars, T.J. Miller, who plays the ever moronic Erlich Bachman, will not be rejoining the cast. Read More

App maker Appian soars 25% on first day as a public company

May 25, 8:10PM

 It was off to the races for Appian, which debuted on the Nasdaq on Thursday, soaring 25 percent on its first day on the stock market. After pricing shares at $12, the company closed the day above $15, valuing the company at about $900 million. Read More

Binded raises another $950K for its copyright-protecting tools

May 25, 8:08PM

Nathan Lands Binded aims to make it easier for photographers to protect their intellectual property by creating a permanent record of their copyright in a public database, namely the blockchain. The startup was previously known as Blockai, but it’s rebranding today — the new name is meant to focus less on technology and instead emphasize the idea of creating a legally binding record. Read More

Zuckerberg tells Harvard we need a new social contract of equal opportunity

May 25, 7:58PM

 Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard commencement speech centered around how we can improve life through big projects, equal opportunity and building both local and global community. He outlined a plan “to create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose.” Read More

Target just gave Casper $75 million

May 25, 7:41PM

 Target has reportedly rolled $75 million into Casper, the direct-to-consumer mattress startup you may have heard about in all those podcasts. The funding is a good chunk of what should end up being a more than $100 million round. Read More

Mark Zuckerberg gets trolled on Harvard's student newspaper ahead of commencement speech

May 25, 7:38PM

 Ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s commencement speech at Harvard today, the school’s much-lauded student newspaper had some… interesting headlines to share. Read More

A U.S. senator has introduced the first bill to give gig workers benefits

May 25, 7:03PM

 While some in Silicon Valley indulge in free meals, laundry service and egg freezing, an estimated 50 percent of the workforce won’t even have basic benefits by 2020 — and Virginia Senator Mark Warner wants to do something about that. Read More

Rulai launches 'low-code' chatbot development tool and raises $6.5 million

May 25, 6:45PM

 Customer experience chatbot developer Rulai has launched a new “low-code” chatbot development tool and raised $6.5 million to roll it out. Yi Zhang, the company’s chief technologist, and her team are launching a product that customer service managers can use to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations, and that can be created without a single… Read More

Watch Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard commencement speech here

May 25, 6:40PM

 College dropout-turned-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally got his degree today, and now he’s about to give Harvard’s 366th commencement speech. You can watch him speak here now, where we’ll embed the Facebook Live broadcast on TechCrunch, and provide frequent updates on any news or insights he mentions. For a deeper look at the substance of his talk, read our follow-up… Read More

Tips for mastering Magikarp Jump, the next Pokémon masterpiece

May 25, 6:29PM

 The Pokémon company has come out with another true masterpiece. It’s called Magikarp Jump, which came out for iOS and Android earlier today. It’s about training Magikarp, the most beloved Pokémon in the universe, to jump as hard as it can and squash the hopes and dreams of its opponents. Here are some tips to get started. Read More

Judge orders Uber to hand over to Waymo unredacted term sheet with Otto

May 25, 6:09PM

 Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ordered Thursday that Uber needs to hand over to Waymo the full, unredacted term sheet between Uber and Otto. By the end of the day. Corley ultimately decided there was no basis for Uber to redact the information because there was no privileged information shared with Otto prior to the acquisition. Read More

Instagram direct messages now support web links and different photo orientations

May 25, 6:06PM

 Instagram’s Direct feature just got more generally useful as a messaging option, with support added for external web links, and the ability to send photos and video in their original portrait or landscape aspect ratios without cropping. The first is really far more important than the second, mainly because it means users have less reason to go seeking other messaging options outside… Read More

Anatomy of a managed marketplace

May 25, 6:00PM

 Managed marketplaces have been one of the hottest categories of venture investment over the past several years. They garner a lot of press because the consumer experiences are often radically different than what’s previously been available in the market. But there is confusion over what a true “managed” marketplace is. It’s fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for. Read More

The Oculus Rift's best VR game comes to the HTC Vive

May 25, 5:46PM

 There are only a few virtual reality titles that I’ve played where I need a bit of a “come down” period to regroup my thoughts and start thinking like a real human again. SUPERHOT VR is one of those titles. Today, the Rift-exclusive is finally coming to the HTC Vive natively via the Steam store, nearly six months after its launch on the Oculus Store. Read More

Judah vs. the Machines: Robots are still laughably awful at playing soccer

May 25, 5:30PM

 Robots may have the upper hand on math and science, but when it comes to athletics, no one can kick around a ball quite like a human can. In this installment of Judah vs. the Machines, Judah Friedlander heads to the University of Miami to see how the school’s RoboCanes robotic soccer team fares in a challenge against his own soccer abilities. Read More

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