Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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Crunch Report | Facebook Smart Speaker on the Way

Jul 26, 3:20AM

Facebook is apparently working on its own smart speaker and has acquired digital rights management company Source3, SoftBank could bet billions on Uber, Duolingo raises $25 million and more. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Momenta raises $46M Series B for its self-driving car software

Jul 26, 3:16AM

 Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital. Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems. Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler also participated in the round. Quite a few U.S. Read More

This facial recognition system tracks how you're enjoying a movie

Jul 26, 1:19AM

 As moviemaking becomes as much a science as an art, the moviemakers need to ever-better ways to gauge audience reactions. Did they enjoy it? How much… exactly? At minute 42? A system from Caltech and Disney Research uses a facial expression tracking neural network to learn and predict how members of the audience react, perhaps setting the stage for a new generation of Nielsen ratings. Read More

Spin brings its pick-up-anywhere bike sharing to South San Francisco

Jul 26, 12:54AM

 Spin, the bike-sharing service that lets you pick up and drop off a bike anywhere in a city, is coming to South San Francisco. The company’s dockless bike-sharing service made its debut in Seattle last week, and is now spinning its way down south to the Bay Area. Read More

AI Grant aims to fund the unfundable to advance AI and solve hard problems

Jul 26, 12:08AM

 Artificial intelligence-focused investment funds are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone knows there’s money to be made from AI, but to capture value, good VCs know they need to back products and not technologies. This has left a bit of a void in the space. AI Grant aims to bankroll science projects for the heck of it to give untraditional candidates a shot at solving big problems. Read More

Here's the schedule for when Legendary Pokémon will come and go in Pokémon GO

Jul 25, 10:54PM

 Ever since the first Legendary Pokémon (read: ultra strong, ultra rare Pokémon that require groups of 10-20 players to capture) appeared in Pokémon GO shortly after the upset that was GO Fest, one thing has remained unclear: were the Legendaries here to stay? Read More

Canaan Partners just closed on $800 million — its biggest fund (by a lot)

Jul 25, 10:23PM

 It’s a years-long trend with no end in sight: venture firms are raising record amounts, owing to growing and sustained fascination from endowments, pension funds, family offices and others who see the sweeping, tech-driven changes all around — from self-driving cars, to new plant-based foods, to far more targeted drugs — and want to be part of that evolution. Read More

Facebook is hiring a (human) AI Editor

Jul 25, 10:20PM

 Human: Oh sweet bot, tell us a story! A nice story! About a very wise human who worked his whole life to save everybody in the world from having to spend time manually tagging their friends in digital photos — and made a magic machine that did it for them instead! Read More

SEC regulators are coming after ICOs

Jul 25, 10:00PM

 It looks like ICOs, shorthand for initial coin offerings, are about to undergo a lot more scrutiny. The SEC has concluded that the digital currency financing events will be regulated as securities, meaning unregistered offerings could be subject to criminal punishment. The decision was announced on Tuesday. To reach its findings, regulators evaluated an offering facilitated by “The… Read More

Blue Apron COO Matthew Wadiak steps down in post-IPO shakeup

Jul 25, 9:21PM

 Blue Apron announced several changes at the executive level today, including co-founder Matthew Wadiak stepping down from the COO role to become a senior advisor. Wadiak’s changing role comes after a painful IPO for the meal kit delivery service, which first had to reduce its original IPO price and has since seen a significant drop in its share price. Read More

$47 billion has been invested into ridesharing startups — here are 10 other things that money could buy

Jul 25, 9:11PM

 When the ridesharing industry emerged in 2007, few would have believed it would grow into the cash-eating behemoth it is today. Dozens of companies, in hundreds of markets, have garnered just over $47 billion in equity and debt investment. To put that into perspective, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you could have bought instead. Read More

AT&T's streaming service DirecTV Now nears half a million subscribers

Jul 25, 9:01PM

DirecTV Now event DirecTV Now, AT&T’s live TV service aimed at cord cutters, has now reached nearly 500,000 subscribers only 7 months after launch, the company announced today as part of its Q2 2017 earnings release. That uptick comes from the addition of 152,000 subscribers this past quarter, and is up from the 200,000 DTV Now subscribers the company had reported in January, following its first month… Read More

ABC News teams up with ATTN: to produce original news videos for social media

Jul 25, 7:54PM

 ABC News announced today it’s teaming up with digital media company ATTN: to develop original news videos that will be distributed across social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The partnership aims to produce videos targeting audiences who no longer tune in to traditional news broadcasts aired on television. However, the news footage featured in the program will… Read More

iRobot's CEO defends Roomba home mapping as privacy concerns arise

Jul 25, 7:47PM

 iRobot CEO Colin Angle has been talking about his company’s plans to map user homes with the Roomba for a while now, but a recently published Reuters interview has raised a number of new privacy concerns. Of particular note is a bit where the executive speculates that the company “could reach a deal to sell its maps to one or more of the Big Three [Amazon, Apple, Google] in the… Read More

Sage Group buys Intacct accounting software for $850M

Jul 25, 7:38PM

 British enterprise software company Sage Group has agreed to purchase Intacct, a 19-year-old accounting software company, for $850 million, the companies announced today. A cash and stock transaction, the deal aims to help build out Sage’s cloud financial management offerings. Read More

ThinkGeek has NES Classics in stock — with a catch

Jul 25, 7:24PM

 If you want an NES Classic Edition (and you should) but don’t want to pay hundreds on eBay (and you shouldn’t), you’re in luck. ThinkGeek has a few in stock that its parent company, GameStop, mysteriously didn’t sell back when everyone was trying to buy them. They’re on sale right now, and will probably run out within an hour. Read More

Sling Studio makes multi-camera video production so damn easy

Jul 25, 6:52PM

Tito Hamze gives an in-depth review of the Sling Studio, a multi-camera production studio that turns your existing cameras wireless and makes your phones into cameras with the ability to control everything from an iPad as a switcher. It’s the most portable multi-cam setup I’ve ever used — and it’s awesome! Read More

Toyota's new solid-state battery could make its way to cars by 2020

Jul 25, 6:22PM

 Toyota is touting its progress on a new kind of battery technology, which uses a solid electrolyte instead of the conventional semi-liquid version used in today’s lithium-ion batteries. The car maker said that it’s near a breakthrough in production engineering that could help it put the new tech in production electric vehicles as early as 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.… Read More

The Envirobot robo-eel slithers along the shore for science

Jul 25, 5:57PM

 The next time you’re swimming in Lake Geneva, don’t be surprised when you feel something eel-like and yet artificial touch your leg. That would be Envirobot, the latest biomimetic creation from Swiss researchers that autonomously swims around bodies of water and tests them for toxins and other factors. Read More

Netflix to debut 'Disenchantment,' a new animated series from 'The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, in 2018

Jul 25, 5:28PM

 The creator of the longest-running scripted primetime series ever, “The Simpsons,” is preparing to launch a new show for Netflix. The streaming service today announced it has ordered 20 episodes of an animated comedy series called “Disenchantment,” from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening. The first episodes are set to debut in 2018, the company says,… Read More

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