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Daily Crunch: Apple pulls Hong Kong app

October 11, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Apple pulls HKmap from App Store, the day after Chinese state media criticized its ‘unwise and reckless decision’ to approve it

Less than a day after Apple was criticized by Chinese state media for allowing HKmap in the App Store, the crowdsourced map app said it had been delisted.

This is Apple’s second reversal on the issue, which it explained with a statement claiming it learned that the app “has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong.”

2. Grammarly raises $ 90M at over $ 1B+ valuation for its AI-based grammar and writing tools

Grammarly provides a toolkit used today by 20 million people to correct their written grammar, suggest better ways to write things and moderate their tone depending on who will be doing the reading.

3. Okta wants to make every user a security ally

Okta is giving end users information about suspicious activity involving their login, while letting them share information with the company’s security apparatus.

4. Waymo to customers: ‘Completely driverless Waymo cars are on the way’

Waymo’s existing programs all use a human safety driver behind the wheel. Now the Alphabet-owned company is getting ready for completely driverless rides.

5. Calm and Room made a $ 4,000 branded ‘meditation booth’

From the looks of it, the Calm Booth by Room is little more than a standard Room booth, with frosted glass, softer lighting and “a soothing misty forest interior.” But it’s a pretty smart partnership between two white-hot startups.

6. Creators of modern rechargeable batteries share Nobel prize

The prize this year honors M. Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino, all of whom contributed to the development of what is today the most common form of portable power.

7. Silicon Valley’s competing philosophies on tech ethics with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

Marantz has in recent years trained his attention on the tech world and its contribution to social unrest in the United States and beyond. And he has just published a new book, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.” (Extra Crunch membership required.)

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Annual Extra Crunch members can receive $1,000 in AWS credits

October 5, 2019 No Comments

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Amazon Web Services for annual members of Extra Crunch. Starting today, qualified annual members can receive $ 1,000 in AWS credits. You also must be a startup founder to claim this Extra Crunch community perk.

AWS is the premier service for your application hosting needs, and we want to make sure our community is well-resourced to build. We understand that hosting and infrastructure costs can be a major hurdle for tech startups, and we’re hoping that this offer will help better support your team.

What’s included in the perk:

  • $ 1,000 in AWS Promotional Credit valid for 1 year
  • 2 months of AWS Business Support
  • 80 credits for self-paced labs

Applications are processed in 7-10 days, once an application is received. Companies may not be eligible for AWS Promotional Credits if they previously received a similar or greater amount of credit. Companies may be eligible to be “topped up” to a higher credit amount if they previously received a lower credit.

In addition to the AWS community perk, Extra Crunch members also get access to how-tos and guides on company building, intelligence on what’s happening in the startup ecosystem, stories about founders and exits, transcripts from panels at TechCrunch events, discounts on TechCrunch events, no banner ads on TechCrunch.com and more. To see a full list of the types of articles you get with Extra Crunch, head here.

You can sign up for annual Extra Crunch membership here.

Once you are signed up, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to the AWS offer. If you are already an annual Extra Crunch member, you will receive an email with the offer at some point today. If you are currently a monthly Extra Crunch subscriber and want to upgrade to annual in order to claim this deal, head over to the “my account” section on TechCrunch.com and click the “upgrade” button.

This is one of several new community perks we’ve been working on for Extra Crunch members. Extra Crunch members also get 20% off all TechCrunch event tickets (email extracrunch@techcrunch.com with the event name to receive a discount code for event tickets). You can learn more about our events lineup here. You also can read about our Brex community perk here.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Daily Crunch: Facebook announces Portal TV

September 18, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Facebook launches Portal TV, a $ 149 video chat set-top box

The Portal TV lets you hang out with friends using your home’s biggest screen. It’s part of a new line of Portal devices that bring the platform’s auto-zooming AI camera, in-house voice assistant speaker, Messenger video chat and end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp video calls to smaller form factors.

Facebook says it also will provide a lot more clarity around privacy — although human review of voice recordings is still turned on by default.

2. Apple Watch Series 5 review

The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t include any hardware additions quite as flashy as the LTE functionality and ECG monitor it introduced with previous updates. But taken as a whole, the new features maintain the device’s spot at the top of the smartwatch heap.

3. Google Fi gets an unlimited plan

For the longest time, Google Fi didn’t play the unlimited calls, text and data game. That’s changing this week.

simone gertz

4. Roboticist and YouTube star Simone Giertz is coming to Disrupt SF

With 1.92 million YouTube subscribers, Giertz is best known for her “shitty” robotic creations, including arms that serve soup and breakfast, draw holiday cards and apply lipstick — to hilariously uneven results.

5. Documents reveal how Russia taps phone companies for surveillance

Documents reviewed by TechCrunch offer new insight into the scope and scale of the Russian surveillance system known as SORM, and how Russian authorities gain access to the calls, messages and data of customers of the country’s largest phone provider.

6. Podcast app Pocket Casts is now available for free, with an optional $ 0.99 subscription

Previously, you had to pay a one-time fee of $ 3.99 to access the Android or iOS apps, but CEO Owen Grover said this approach seemed increasingly at odds with Pocket Casts’ goals, and with the vision of the public radio organizations that acquired it last year.

7. In a social media world, here’s what you need to know about UGC and privacy

For a brand, is it worth the effort to incorporate UGC into their marketing strategy? And if so, how can they do it within the rules — and more importantly, in adherence with the expectations of consumers? (Extra Crunch membership required.)


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Daily Crunch: Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 10

August 8, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. This is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and 10+

The landscape has changed dramatically since the Galaxy Note was first unveiled in 2011, with Samsung pulling the rest of the industry into a world of bigger screens.

Now, the question is how to make the latest updates compelling. With the Note 10 and 10+ (available August 23 at a starting price of $ 950), Samsung is splitting the line into two distinct devices, and it’s getting rid of the headphone jack.

2. Google launches ‘Live View’ AR walking directions for Google Maps

The Live View feature isn’t designed with the idea that you’ll hold up your phone continually as you walk. Instead, in provides quick, easy and super-useful orientation by showing you arrows and big, readable street markers overlaid on the real scene in front of you.

3. Lyft’s stock is a roller coaster after its Q2 earnings release

Despite big losses, what made Wall Street happy was Lyft’s optimism for Q3, as well as the full-year 2019.

Netflix app icon iOS

Photo: TechCrunch

4. Netflix signs multi-year deal with ‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal is worth $ 200 million. This follows expensive Netflix pacts with other high-profile showrunners, including Ryan Murphy ($ 300 million) and Shonda Rhimes ($ 100 million).

5. Instagram ad partner secretly sucked up and tracked millions of users’ locations and stories

Hyp3r, an apparently trusted marketing partner of Facebook and Instagram, has been secretly collecting and storing location and other data on millions of users, violating the policies of the social networks, according to Business Insider.

6. Sperm storage startups are raising millions

Both Dadi and Legacy recently raised funding, hoping to leverage venture capital dollars to become the dominant men’s fertility brand.

7. How to fundraise in August

Danny Crichton argues that although August is generally considered a black hole for VC, using it effectively for fundraising is perhaps the single most important factor for success in the coming season. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Mobile – TechCrunch


Daily Crunch: Instagram influencer contact info exposed

May 22, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed

A massive database containing contact information for millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts was found online by a security researcher.

We traced the database back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox. Shortly after we reached out, Chtrbox pulled the database offline.

2. US mitigates Huawei ban by offering temporary reprieve

Last week, the Trump administration effectively banned Huawei from importing U.S. technology, a decision that forced several American companies, including Google, to take steps to sever their relationships. Now, the Department of Commerce has announced that Huawei will receive a “90-day temporary general license” to continue to use U.S. technology to which it already has a license.

3. GM’s car-sharing service Maven to exit eight cities

GM is scaling back its Maven car-sharing company and will stop service in nearly half of the 17 North American cities in which it operates.

4. Maisie Williams’ talent discovery startup Daisie raises $ 2.5M, hits 100K members

The actress who became famous playing Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones” has fresh funding for her startup.

5. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, plans to launch a free music streaming app

The company, which operates popular app TikTok, has held discussions with music labels to launch the app as soon as the end of this quarter.

6. Future Family launches a $ 200 membership for fertility coaching

In its recent user research, Future Family found that around 70% of new customers had yet to see a fertility doctor. So today, the startup is rolling out a new membership plan that offers customers a dedicated fertility coach, and helps them find a doctor in their area.

7. When will customers start buying all those AI chips?

Danny Crichton says it’s the best and worst time to be in semiconductors right now. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


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Daily Crunch: The lonely death of Google+

April 4, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. RIP Google+

This is the end for Google+, Google’s failed social network that once tried to take on Facebook and Twitter. As scheduled, the company has now started deleting user accounts and their data.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, we’ve got a recap of some of our coverage over the years.

2. Andreessen Horowitz isn’t alone in leaving behind VC as we know it — and more company is coming

A story in Forbes suggests that Andreessen Horowitz — whose agency-like model has been widely replicated by other big venture firms — is re-shaping venture capital a second time. It’s doing this by turning itself into a registered investment advisor.

3. iPhones get a price drop in China

Apple has lowered the price on a number of key hardware lines in China, including AirPods, Macs, iPads and, most notably, the iPhone. The move is believed to be the direct result of a 3 percent tax cut that took effect in the country yesterday.

4. DOJ reportedly warns Academy about changing Oscar rules to exclude streaming

The Department of Justice sent the Academy a letter stating that Oscar eligibility changes designed to exclude Netflix and other streaming services “may raise antitrust concerns.”

5. WhatsApp adds a new privacy setting for groups in another effort to clamp down on fake news

Through a new feature, users can control who has permission to add them to groups. The company says this will “help to limit abuse” and keep people’s phone numbers private.

6. Foursnap? Snapchat tries ‘Status’ location check-ins

Snapchat is now testing Status, an option to share to the Snap Map a Bitmoji depicting what you’re up to at a certain place. You could show your avatar playing video games, watching TV, asking friends to hit you up and more.

7. Singapore’s proposed ‘fake news’ law could stifle free speech

The “Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill” had its first reading on Monday and one of the key takeaways is that it will allow the government to force “corrections” to be added to online content that is deemed to be “false.”


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Daily Crunch: Bing has a child porn problem

January 12, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here:

1. Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it

A TechCrunch-commissioned report has found damning evidence on Microsoft’s search engine. Our findings show a massive failure on Microsoft’s part to adequately police its Bing search engine and to prevent its suggested searches and images from assisting pedophiles.

2. Unity pulls nuclear option on cloud gaming startup Improbable, terminating game engine license

Unity, the widely popular gaming engine, has pulled the rug out from underneath U.K.-based cloud gaming startup Improbable and revoked its license — effectively shutting them out from a top customer source. The conflict arose after Unity claimed Improbable broke the company’s Terms of Service and distributed Unity software on the cloud.

3. Improbable and Epic Games establish $ 25M fund to help devs move to ‘more open engines’ after Unity debacle

Just when you thought things were going south for Improbable the company inked a late-night deal with Unity competitor Epic Games to establish a fund geared toward open gaming engines. This begs the question of how Unity and Improbable’s relationship managed to sour so quickly after this public debacle.

4. The next phase of WeChat 

WeChat boasts more than 1 billion daily active users, but user growth is starting to hit a plateau. That’s been expected for some time, but it is forcing the Chinese juggernaut to build new features to generate more time spent on the app to maintain growth.

5. Bungie takes back its Destiny and departs from Activision 

The creator behind games like Halo and Destiny is splitting from its publisher Activision to go its own way. This is good news for gamers, as Bungie will no longer be under the strict deadlines of a big gaming studio that plagued the launch of Destiny and its sequel.

6. Another server security lapse at NASA exposed staff and project data

The leaking server was — ironically — a bug-reporting server, running the popular Jira bug triaging and tracking software. In NASA’s case, the software wasn’t properly configured, allowing anyone to access the server without a password.

7. Is Samsung getting serious about robotics? 

This week Samsung made a surprise announcement during its CES press conference and unveiled three new consumer and retail robots and a wearable exoskeleton. It was a pretty massive reveal, but the company’s look-but-don’t-touch approach raised far more questions than it answered.


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Daily Crunch: How the government shutdown is damaging cybersecurity and future IPOs

January 12, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here:

1. How Trump’s government shutdown is harming cyber and national security
The government has been shut down for nearly three weeks, and there’s no end in sight. While most of the core government departments — State, Treasury, Justice and Defense — are still operational, others like Homeland Security, which takes the bulk of the government’s cybersecurity responsibilities, are suffering the most.

2. With SEC workers offline, the government shutdown could screw IPO-ready companies
The SEC has been shut down since December 27 and only has 285 of its 4,436 employees on the clock for emergency situations. While tech’s most buzz-worthy unicorns like Uber and Lyft won’t suffer too much from the shutdown, smaller businesses, particularly those in need of an infusion of capital to continue operating, will bear the brunt of any IPO delays.

3. The state of seed 

In 2018, seed activity as a percentage of all deals shrank from 31 percent to 25 percent — a decade low — while the share and size of late-stage deals swelled to record highs.

4. Banking startup N26 raises $ 300 million at $ 2.7 billion valuation

N26 is building a retail bank from scratch. The company prides itself on the speed and simplicity of setting up an account and managing assets. In the past year, N26’s valuation has exploded as its user base has tripled, with nearly a third of customers paying for a premium account.

5. E-scooter startup Bird is raising another $ 300M 

Bird is reportedly nearing a deal to extend its Series C round with a $ 300 million infusion led by Fidelity. The funding, however, comes at a time when scooter companies are losing steam and struggling to prove that its product is the clear solution to last-mile transportation.

6. AWS gives open source the middle finger 

It’s no secret that AWS has long been accused of taking the best open-source projects and re-using and re-branding them without always giving back to those communities.

7. The Galaxy S10 is coming on February 20 

Looks like Samsung is giving Mobile World Congress the cold shoulder and has decided to announce its latest flagship phone a week earlier in San Francisco.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Crunch Report | Facebook Helps You Find Wi-Fi

July 2, 2017 No Comments

Crunch Report June 30 Today’s Stories

Facebook is rolling out its ‘Find Wi-Fi’ feature worldwide
Delivery Hero’s valuation surpasses $ 5B following successful IPO
Chat app Kakao raises $ 437M for its Korean ride-hailing service
Cabin secures $ 3.3M for its ‘moving hotel’

Credits
Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Edited by: Chris Gates
Notes:
Tito… Read More
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Crunch Report | Blue Apron IPO Has A Rocky Start

June 30, 2017 No Comments

Crunch Report 6.29 Today’s Stories 

Blue Apron IPO off to a rough start
Microsoft confirms Cloudyn acquisition, sources say price is between $ 50M and $ 70M
Instagram implements an AI system to fight mean and harassing comments
Uber crosses the 5 billion trip milestone amid ongoing issues
A brief history of the iPhone

Credits
Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Edited by: Joe… Read More
Social – TechCrunch