Friday, July 14, 2017

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Here's a sneak peek of what Disney's Star Wars Land will look like

Jul 14, 3:48AM

 This weekend is Disney’s D23 expo, where the company often unveils the first glimpses into what it has in store for the years ahead. Our own Editor-and-Disney-aficionado-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino is down in LA for the event’s early access press day, and they’ve just pulled back the curtain on a bunch of stuff that’ll appear in the Star Wars Land parks that are set to… Read More

Crunch Report | DraftKings and FanDuel No Longer Merging

Jul 14, 3:00AM

Uber is merging with Yandex.Taxi in Russia, DraftKings and FanDuel call it quits on their merger, Amazon is working on a premium Echo Home and gives New Yorkers smart locks for their home deliveries. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Roku is planning an IPO for this year

Jul 14, 2:12AM

 Internet TV provider Roku is planning an IPO for this year, sources tell TechCrunch. Confirming an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal, sources tell us that Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Allen & Co. have been selected as underwriters for the offering. The company is said to be seeking a $1 billion market cap in the public markets. Roku has been able to capitalize on the… Read More

Researchers 3D print a soft artificial heart that works a lot like a real one

Jul 13, 10:30PM

 The science of prosthetics has been advancing by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and research into soft robotics has been especially complementary. The same techniques that go into making a robot arm that flexes and turns like a real one can go into making more complex, subtle organs — like the heart, as Swiss researchers have demonstrated. Read More

A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail

Jul 13, 10:00PM

 I have long been fascinated by the promise of the world of autonomous transport. However, as the conversation at a recent event turned to the complexities that autonomous cars might introduce to the urban thoroughfare, I had an insight: We need to think of people not just as consumers but collectively as the society that shapes technology just as much as technology shapes society. Read More

Google adds salon and spa bookings through Maps and Search

Jul 13, 9:58PM

 Look out StyleSeat and other salon booking apps, starting today Google will let people book hair and spa appointments. The addition is an expansion through Reserve with Google, which rolled out a feature last year to book wellness and fitness classes right from a business listing within Search and Maps. Read More

Jefferies gives IBM Watson a Wall Street reality check

Jul 13, 9:35PM

 IBM’s Watson unit is receiving heat today in the form of a scathing equity research report from Jefferies’ James Kisner. The group believes that IBM’s investment into Watson will struggle to return value to shareholders. In recent years, IBM has increasingly leaned on Watson as one of its core growth units — a unit that sits as a proxy for projecting IBM’s… Read More

Net Neutrality Day of Action spurs millions to speak out for online freedoms

Jul 13, 7:57PM

 Yesterday was the much-ballyhooed “Net Neutrality Day of Action,” an online protest day on which thousands of websites, people and services called attention to the impending revocation of net neutrality rules by the FCC. And the turnout, it turns out, was quite impressive. Read More

Razer's Blade Pro THX Edition is an epic mobile production powerhouse with noisy fans

Jul 13, 7:48PM

 When Razer bought THX off of George Lucas’ hands, no one knew what they’d use their new multimedia technology arm for — until they announced the improvements to their most powerful laptop: the Blade Pro. Read More

DraftKings and FanDuel will no longer merge

Jul 13, 7:07PM

 DraftKings and FanDuel, the two biggest daily fantasy sports platforms that originally announced their intention to merge, have called it quits. This comes a month after the FTC announced they would sue to block the merger to prevent a potential monopoly in the industry, as the combined company would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market for paid daily fantasy sports contests. Read More

NYC passes tipping option rule that applies to ride-hailing apps

Jul 13, 6:59PM

 The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) passed a proposed rule on Wednesday requiring that all for-hire vehicle drivers be provided a way to receive tips, including ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Lyft, Juno and Gett. The rule was proposed by the Independent Drivers Guild, a member group representing over 50,000 drivers for app-based ride-hailing services in NYC. The rule states… Read More

Here are the winners of the Google Cloud machine learning pitch-off

Jul 13, 6:14PM

 Back in March at Google’s Cloud Next conference, the company announced plans to run its own machine learning startup competition side-by-side with Data Collective and Emergence Capital. Four months later, 10 startups, pulled from a pool of 350+ applicants, presented onstage at Google’s Launchpad Space in San Francisco. The startups vied for three prizes; here are the winners. Read More

Insticator raises $5.2M to help publishers make their stories more interactive

Jul 13, 5:36PM

Zack Dugow Insticator is announcing that it has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding. The startup allows online publishers to add quizzes, polls and other interactive elements (either created by Insticator or by the publisher themselves) to their stories. They then make money from those widgets by running ads in them, too. Read More

HBO and Netflix lead this year's Emmy nominations

Jul 13, 5:21PM

 Streaming services once again top the list of this year’s Emmy nominations – another indicator of the shift in how today’s consumers are watching TV. HBO, which has been available over-the-top since 2015 via HBO NOW, leads all networks with a total of 110 nominations, and Netflix is close behind, with a total of 91 nominations. HBO’s lead is even more remarkable this… Read More

Pendo closes $25M Series C from Meritech to scale its customer understanding platform

Jul 13, 4:21PM

 Just seven months after announcing a $20 million Series B, Pendo, a platform to help businesses better understand their customers, has closed a new $25 million Series C led by Meritech Capital Partners. The North Carolina-based startup has been growing at a rapid clip — ballooning to 106 employees across offices in San Francisco, New York and Raleigh. Read More

Box introduces Box Elements, pre-packaged content services for developers

Jul 13, 4:09PM

 Box introduced a new type of developer tool today called Box Elements, pre-packaged application pieces designed to deliver Box functionality with a few lines of code. Eventually there will be three types of Elements: UI, app and services. Today, the company is launching the UI pieces, which include Content Uploader, which lets developers add drag and drop file capability into any… Read More

Cover raises $8 million to insure your belongings

Jul 13, 4:05PM

 Applying for homeowner’s insurance should be as easy as waving your phone camera around your room. That’s the premise behind Cover, an app that recommends insurance based on what’s photographed in your home. Whether it’s electronics, jewelry or even your pet, Cover will cover just about anything. Read More

AT&T's streaming service DirecTV Now is getting cloud DVR, parental controls, and other features

Jul 13, 3:56PM

DirecTV Now event AT&T’s streaming TV service for cord cutters, DirecTV Now, is finally getting a cloud DVR, among other features, the company announced today. The addition is part of a larger platform upgrade for AT&T’s TV applications, which includes both the streaming service DirecTV Now and the app for current DirecTV pay TV subscribers. The cloud DVR is among the most anticipated,… Read More

Amazon said to be working on a premium version of the Echo

Jul 13, 3:46PM

 Amazon’s Echo is a lot of things to a lot of people — but the word “premium” never really enters the conversation. That’s because, like most of the devices Amazon makes, the product isn’t really about the hardware at all — it’s a content delivery channel that’s helped the company land in millions of living rooms. That said, the device is… Read More

Open Listings raised $6.5M to help you buy a home without an annoying agent

Jul 13, 3:42PM

 Open Listings, the YC-backed startup that lets buyers purchase homes and get a 50% refund on whatever fee their real estate agent would normally make, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners. Initialized Capital and Arena ventures also participated as new investors. As a refresher, Open Listings is an end-to-end real estate platform for buyers – meaning you can find… Read More

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