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Showing posts from June, 2018

The five best reasons you don’t want to miss Disrupt SF this September

TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF (Sept. 5-7) is our most ambitious event ever. And if we’re sure of one thing, it’s that people in the startup scene will extract more insights and inspiration from this Disrupt than any before. Here’s why…More, better programming. For the first time ever at Disrupt, we have two stages, plus two additional off-stage “Q&A” areas where Disrupt attendees can ask questions directly to speakers. Sequoia’s Doug Leone, Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd, Sinovation’s Dr. Kai-Fu Lee,  23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki are just a few of the stellar interviews TechCrunch editors will conduct on stage. Disrupt will be live streamed, but only Disrupt pass holders will be able to catch sessions they missed via video-on-demand.Precision-guided networking. We spent years refining CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s founder-investor matching and meeting system, and we’ve got it down to a science that has already produced thousands of meetings. Investors, use the CrunchMatch/Brella app to find the the…

Hydrate, intoxicate, caffeinate, repeat: Meet the startups pouring the future

Joanna GlasnerContributor More posts by this contributorVCs serve up a large helping of cash to startups disrupting foodUS startups off to a strong M&A run in 2018 These days, it seems like everyone with extra cash has some kind of pricey drinking habit. It might be fine wine, craft beer or cocktails. Or it could come in the form of coconut water, cold-pressed juice or the latest frothy caffeinated concoction.No matter what your preference, startups and their backers likely have you covered.In a follow-up to our story earlier this month about food startups gobbling up venture funding, Crunchbase News is taking a look at beverage companies guzzling capital. We found that while drinkables receive a smaller portion of funding than edibles, it’s still a sector that draws hundreds of millions of dollars in annual investment.Where are investors pouring all that money? Some unlikely places. For instance, it appears the largest funding recipient so far this year is a China-based chain calle…

Guidemaster: One-upping the NES Classic Edition with the Raspberry Pi 3 and RetroPie

Andrew CunninghamIn November 2016, Nintendo surprised everyone by going back to its roots and releasing the NES Classic. The delightful emulator/nostalgia-fest sparked unanticipated demand, including near-instant supply issues and 200-percent-plus markups in secondary markets. So in December of 2016, we decided to build our own version instead.Last April, Nintendo bizarrely halted sales of the hot-selling retro console, sparking us to resurface this guide. And with the news that Nintendo relaunched the console this week—but yet again supply is an early hurdle for interested gamers—we're re-running this piece to help those of you with a DIY streak once build your own, more flexible alternative. Hardware recommendations have been updated and lightly edited to reflect current availability and pricing for June 2018.Against my better judgment, I’ve tried a couple of times to snag one of those adorable little $60 mini NES Classic Editions—once when Amazon put some of its limited stock o…

How to Find a Keynote Speaker Who Will Make Your Event Great

Tech companies have increased the number of events they put on over the past few years. It’s almost a requirement now for brands to hold their own user- or industry-focused conferences and summits. These events are a great opportunity for firms to exhibit their thought leadership and engage the people who matter most to their success.If you’re an organizer of one of these gatherings, you know how difficult it can be to find the right speaker. You need someone who knows and understands your industry and can give a speech that will be exciting and engaging to your audience. There are literally hundreds of speakers to choose from, so how do you narrow your search?1. Search for recommended speakers others can vouch for.At the risk of stating the obvious, Google is your friend, and it should be your first stop in seeking a speaker for your event. For example, if you start searching for “Top Marketing Speakers” or “Top Sales Speakers” keywords, you’ll find a number of lists providing recomm…

Announcing TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Latin America in São Paulo on Nov. 8

TechCrunch is excited to announce that the Startup Battlefield Latin America is coming to São Paulo on November 8 this year. This is the first event TechCrunch has ever held in Latin America, and we are all in to make it a memorable one to support the fast-emerging startup ecosystem in the region.The Startup Battlefield is TechCrunch’s premier startup competition, which over the past 12 years has placed 750 companies on stage to pitch top VCs and TechCrunch editors. Those founders have gone on to raise more than $8 billion and produce more than 100 exits. Startup Battlefield Latin America aims to add 15 great founders from Latin America to those elite ranks.Here’s how the competition works. Founders may apply now to participate in Startup Battlefield. Any early stage (pre-A round) company with a working product headquartered in an eligible Latin American country (see list below) may apply. Applications close August 6. TechCrunch editors will review the applications and, based on which…

The hottest investors at The Europas, & your specially discounted ticket

In partnership with TechCrunch, The Europas Conference & Awards, features smaller breakout sessions on key subjects for startups, followed by a glittering awards show for the hottest startups in Europe, based on voting by expert judges and the industry itself. Plus loads of networking opportunities with investors, and the super-fun Pitch Rolette pitch competition.Just some of the investors coming to The Europas this Tuesday, July 3, in London include:Alliott Cole, Octopus VenturesAndrei Brasoveanu, Accel PartnersCarlos Eduardo Espinal, SeedcampDamir Bandolo, Columbus CapitalEileen Burbidge, Passion CapitalEze Vidra, Reimagine VenturesGeorge McDonuagh, KR1 (Blockchain/Crypto)Jamie Burke, Outlier Ventures (Blockchain/Crypto)Jason Ball, Qualcomm VenturesJeremy Yap, Angel InvestorJoe White, Entrepreneur FirstMaria Wagner, BeringeaMichael Jackson, Mangrove Capital PartnersNancy Fechnay, Angel Investor (Blockchain/Crypto)Paul Dowling, Dreamstake VenturesRichard Muirhead, Fabric Ventures…

Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky will reportedly step down from Snap’s board of directors

Benchmark partner Mitch Lasky, who has served on Snap’s board of directors since December 2012, is not expected to stand for re-election to Snap’s board of directors and will thus be stepping down, according to a report by The Information.Early investors stepping down from the board of directors — or at least not seeking re-election — isn’t that uncommon as once-private companies grow into larger public ones. Benchmark partner Peter Fentondid not seek re-election for Twitter’s board of directors in April last year. As Snap continues to navigate its future, especially as it has declined precipitously since going public and now sits at a valuation of around $16.5 billion. Partners with an expertise in the early-stage and later-stage startup life cycle may end up seeing themselves more useful taking a back seat and focusing on other investments. The voting process for board member re-election happens during the company’s annual meeting, so we’ll get more information when an additional pr…

WhatsApp copies Telegram to add one-way ‘broadcast’ mode to group chats

“Good artists borrow great artists steal” is a phrase that Facebook seems acutely aware of.It’s common to speak of Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-app-now-social-network, borrowing from Snapchat, but now Facebook’s WhatsApp chat app is increasingly drawing its innovation from others such as Telegram.This week, WhatsApp outed a new feature for its groups that is essentially a replica of Telegram’s channels — that is, a one-way broadcast communication stream.Telegram channels are popular for setting up a broadcast news feed that allows people to sign up to get alerts from channel admins, who might be news agencies, companies, schools, public interest groups or more. Now WhatsApp is adding the feature to gives its message app new use cases.Actually, as is often the case for WhatsApp, users have unofficially adopted channel-like behavior for some time. Last year, for example, there were reports of a rural journalist using the messaging app to report and broadcast local news. Doing tha…

California man arrested for sending death threats to FCC’s Ajit Pai over net neutrality

While many people in this country are angry with current chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai, arguably with good reason, it’s unfortunate that at least one has descended to the level of sending credible death threats and, unsurprisingly, has subsequently been arrested.Shortly after the FCC voted in December to nullify the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules, Norwalk resident named Markara Man contacted Pai several times threatening him and his family.According to a Justice Department press release, Man first told Pai that he was responsible for the death of a kid who had killed herself because of the loss of net neutrality. Next he sent a list of locations around Arlington, where the chairman lives, and threatening to kill members of his family. The third apparently was just an image of a framed photo of Pai’s family.This clearly rises above the low-level — yet also deeply inappropriate — casual slurs against the chairman one sees in practically every discussion of FCC issues, including this …

Here’s what it was like to stumble into Netflix and Lyft’s activation for GLOW at “Muscle Beach”

Today at “Muscle Beach” in Venice, Calif., Netflix and Lyft joined forces for a promotional campaign in support of the streaming media site’s (really excellent) dramatization of the origin story for the women’s wrestling league — GLOW (or the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling).Your intrepid reporter was taking a walk on the beach and stumbled upon the marketing stunt (which was kind of genius).For those of y’all who don’t know, Muscle Beach is sort of a mecca for weight lifters and body builders — including, back in the 80s, a young Ah-nold Schwarzenegger. A history that made it an ideal spot to celebrate Netflix’s (pretty terrific) ode to all things new wave-d, hair metal-ed, neon accented, high waisted, cocaine addled and muscle bound.Members of the cast posed for pictures, and wrestlers engaged in training sessions and eighties themed exercise classes throughout the day.The activation will be up for the next week and included a Reebok pop up with limited edition 80s styles; a photo boot…

Facebook Files Patent For Exactly the Kind of Spying It Claims It Doesn’t Do

Facebook has filed for a patent describing precisely the kind of phone microphone spying system people have accused it of using for years. It just claims it won't *use* the patent.The post Facebook Files Patent For Exactly the Kind of Spying It Claims It Doesn’t Do appeared first on ExtremeTech.

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What we know about Maryland’s controversial facial recognition database

When police had difficulty identifying the man who they believed opened fire on a newsroom in Maryland, killing five people, they turned to one of the most controversial yet potent tools in the state’s law enforcement arsenal.As the New York Times reports, Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare’s department failed to ID its suspect through fingerprinting. The department then sent a picture of the suspect to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center which combed through one of the nation’s largest databases of mug shots and driver’s license photos in search of a match.That database is the source of some debate. Maryland has some of the most aggressive facial recognition policies in the nation, according to a national report from Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy & Technology, and that practice is powered by one central system: a pool of face data known as the Maryland Image Repository System (MIRS).For facial recognition searches, Maryland police have access …

Replacing pills with a Band-Aid? Avro Life sciences thinks there’s a patch for that

Shak Lakhani, the  21-year-old chief executive and co-founder of Avro Life Sciences, started researching biomaterials when he was 15 years old.Every summer and after school the teenager would travel nearly two hours by bus and train from the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Toronto where he lived to the tissue engineering lab at the University of Toronto and develop three dimensional, in-vitro models of tumors using biomaterials.For three years, Lakhani worked in the lab, before going on to study nanotechnology engineering at the University of Waterloo a short 73 miles away. It was there, in his first year, that Lakhani met another Richmond Hill resident, Keean Sarani, and launched Avro Life Sciences.Sarani, also 21, had his own history in life sciences. A former epidemiologist who worked as a research assistant at the aptly named Hospital for Sick Children, Sarani spent his high school years working in community pharmacies before going on to graduate from the University of Waterloo with…

CIMON AI Astronaut Assistance is Siri for Space Stations

I think a subtle but vital part of the robots’ planned takeover Earth is getting us all extremely comfortable with interacting with digital assistants. Virtual helpers like Siri and Alexa are becoming increasingly […]The post CIMON AI Astronaut Assistance is Siri for Space Stations appeared first on Geek.com.

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Hackers too over the Gentoo Linux Github repository

Popular Linux distribution Gentoo has been completely “totally pwned” according to researchers at Sophos and none of the current code can be trusted. The team immediately posted an update and noted that none of the real code has been compromised. However, they have pulled the Github repository until they can upload a fresh copy of the unadulterated code.“Today 28 June at approximately 20:20 UTC unknown individuals have gained control of the Github Gentoo organization, and modified the content of repositories as well as pages there. We are still working to determine the exact extent and to regain control of the organization and its repositories. All Gentoo code hosted on github should for the moment be considered compromised,” wrote Gentoo administrators. “This does NOT affect any code hosted on the Gentoo infrastructure. Since the master Gentoo ebuild repository is hosted on our own infrastructure and since Github is only a mirror for it, you are fine as long as you are using rsync or…

Instagram PR director Gabe Madway exits, replaced by Facebook’s Anna White

Facebook likes to keep it in the family. Gabe Madway, Instagram’s director of comms who’s run its day-to-day efforts for the past four years is departing to work for a new company later this summer, and he’ll be replaced by Anna White from Facebook’s internal PR team. She’ll report to Kristina Schake, Instagram’s Global Comms Director who leads from behind the scenes.Madway was formerly a correspondent with Reuters before becoming an executive comms manager at Google from 2011 to 2014 when he joined Instagram. He’s been one of the more level-headed and frank PR people I’ve worked with over the course of launches like the massively popular Instagram Stories. White was also a communications manager at Google and YouTube before joining Facebook in 2015 where she’s been the Consumer Comms Director. She’d been handling some announcements around safety, accessibility, and Facebook’s Jobs feature that competes with LinkedIn.The role will see White oversee the massive functionality expansion …

Sign up for the Disrupt SF Virtual Hackathon today

Developers and creators, this is your shot to flex your technical building skills for a chance to win free passes to Disrupt SF 2018 — and maybe even $10,000! Sign up today to participate in the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 virtual hackathon!Here’s how the virtual Disrupt SF Hackathon works. Our expert judges will review, evaluate and score every eligible submitted hack. The 70 highest-scoring teams will each receive 5 Innovator passes to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, where they’ll get to check out hundreds of early-stage startups in Startup and Hardware Alley, hear from several entrepreneurs, investors and innovators in a series of interviews and fireside chats and take in the illustrious Startup Battlefield competition. Plus, you’ll be able to attend all the parties and after-parties that take place during Disrupt, and keep the networking going long into the night.Of that group, the top 30 teams will exhibit their hacks in our Hackathon Demo area at Disrupt SF to more than 10,000 attend…

Tinder bolsters its security to ward off hacks and blackmail

This week, Tinder responded to a letter from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden calling for the company to seal up security loopholes in its app that could lead to blackmail and other privacy incursions.In a letter to Sen. Wyden, Match Group General Counsel Jared Sine describes recent changes to the app, noting that as of June 19, “swipe data has been padded such that all actions are now the same size.” Sine added that images on the mobile app are fully encrypted as of February 6, while images on the web version of Tinder were already encrypted.The Tinder issues were first called out in a report by a research team at Checkmarx describing the app’s “disturbing vulnerabilities” and their propensity for blackmail:“The vulnerabilities, found in both the app’s Android and iOS versions, allow an attacker using the same network as the user to monitor the user’s every move on the app. It is also possible for an attacker to take control over the profile pictures the user sees, swapping them for inapprop…

Floating IBM Robot Ships Out to International Space Station

A floating robotic head called CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) will soon be buzzing around the ISS.The post Floating IBM Robot Ships Out to International Space Station appeared first on ExtremeTech.

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ET Deals: DRM-Free DC Comics Humble Audiobook Bundle Starting at $1

DC Comics has teamed up with the folks at GraphicAudio to deliver a bevy of the best comic book stories in dramatized audiobook format. And with this week's Humble Audiobook Bundle, you pick up 22 audiobooks for just $15. Better yet, you can get a taste for only a dollar.The post ET Deals: DRM-Free DC Comics Humble Audiobook Bundle Starting at $1 appeared first on ExtremeTech.

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A robotic astronaut named CIMON is on its way to the ISS

There’s a new astronaut on its way to the International Space Station this morning aboard SpaceX’s most recent resupply launch, and it’s only the size of a medicine ball. CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) is an artificial intelligence assistant designed by Airbus and IBM to assist the European Space Agency’s astronauts in everyday tasks aboard the ISS. Weighing in at just 11 pounds and roughly the size of a medicine ball, this minute astronaut is equipped with the neural network strength of IBM’s Watson.Crew members will be able to correspond with CIMON via voice commands and access a database of procedures. CIMON will also be able to detect the crew members’ moods and react accordingly, Till Eisenberg, CIMON project lead at Airbus, told SPACE.com.In a February press release announcing CIMON’s arrival, Airbus said that CIMON’s emotional intelligence, in addition to its friendly face and voice, will help it operate like a true crew member aboard the station. To start, CIMON eve…

YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode is live for all U.S. Android users

YouTube has confirmed that picture-in-picture mode – previously a paid-only feature – has now rolled out to all U.S. YouTube users on Android on supported devices. The feature, which works on Android 8.0 (Oreo) or higher, had been slowly rolling out to non-Premium subscribers since this April we understand, and the full rollout had completed on Monday.The website XDA Developers was the first to spot the expansion, noting earlier this week that it seemed as if picture-in-picture mode had suddenly been turned on for several more YouTube users. They suspected that this had been a gradual launch, but didn’t confirm the status with YouTube directly.Picture-in-picture mode, as you likely understand by its name, allows you to continue watching a video in a small window as you continue to browse YouTube, or even use other apps.It’s an especially helpful addition to the service, but had only been offered to YouTube Premium (previously known as YouTube Red) customers following its launch last y…

These 50 founders and VCs suggest 2018 may be a tipping point for women: Part 1

For the last several years, we’ve compiled profiles of women founders and investors at the end of each year because they’ve either raised substantial amounts of money or otherwise achieved notable milestones.This year, we don’t want to wait until December. We’re too excited about the progress we’re witnessing, with women-led startups getting seed, Series A or later-stage funding each week — all while top venture firms grow more serious about pulling women into their most senior ranks, female VCs band together to fund female founders and other women go about launching their own funds.Some of you will note that this list is far from comprehensive, and we’ll readily agree with you. But we think it’s better to celebrate the accomplishments of some of the women who deserve attention than try to capture every last person we’d include if only there were more hours in the day.Herewith, a list of 25 founders and investors who’ve had a pretty good 2018 so far, with a second list of women in the…