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News (TechCrunch)

  • Instacart agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for $4.6 million


     On the heels of a $400 million round at a $3.4 billion valuation, Instacart has agreed on a $4.65 million fee to settle a class-action lawsuit around claims that the on-demand grocery delivery startup misclassified its personal shoppers as independent contractors, and also failed to reimburse them for their work expenses, Recode reports. There are over 31,000 Instacart shoppers involved in… Read More
  • Crunch Report | Amazon Buys Souq


     Amazon buys Souq, the “Amazon of the Middle East,” Apple acquires Workflow, Instagram blurs sensitive photos and adds two-factor authorization while Facebook rolls out mention alerts and reaction emoji and the latest list of Mac exploits from WikiLeaks. All this on Crunch Report. Read More
  • Twitter remembers it owns Tweetdeck


     It’s been six years since Twitter acquired Tweetdeck, but the company might finally bring new features to the client. In a survey sent to some power users today, Twitter asked which features they would most like to see added to an “advanced” version of Tweetdeck. Read More
  • Apple says recent Wikileaks CIA docs detail old, fixed iPhone and Mac exploits


     Apple says that its preliminary assessments of the Wikileaks documents released today indicate that the vulnerabilities it details for iPhone and Mac were fixed years ago. The documents, which originated with the CIA, detailed a variety of methods for compromising — breaking into — Apple devices if an agent was able to gain physical access to the device. The leaks were a part of… Read More
  • CREDO and Cloudflare argue against national security letter gag orders


     Earlier this week, the FBI finally allowed Cloudflare and CREDO Mobile to identify themselves as recipients of national security letters, which allow the agency to secretly order tech companies to hand over customer data. (The FBI initially allowed Cloudflare and CREDO to disclose some but not all of their NSLs; TechCrunch reported in January the two companies had received additional NSLs… Read More
  • Tour and activities marketplace Zozi lays off 30% of staff


     Zozi, a startup that describes itself as an OpenTable for tours and activities, and which raised $30 million from Richard Branson and others back in 2015, has laid off 30 percent of staff, TechCrunch learned and Zozi confirmed. The company says the restructuring will allow Zozi to focus on its core B2B software platform, Zozi Advance, going forward. The company has 119 employees listed… Read More
  • Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi on the future of two-wheeled EVs


     Electric cars and buses have already begun to take over the world, but the motorcycle industry has been much slower to put out all-electric and hybrid models. TechCrunch recently caught up with Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi, who has been in the motorcycle industry for about two decades, to get his take on what could make electric motorcycles the first choice for riders. Read More
  • Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better


    Post Intelligence robot Social media can be hard. I’m not speaking hypothetically here. There have definitely been days where I’ve thought, Shoot, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted on Instagram or Twitter — and then completely failed to post anyway because I had nothing to say. Maybe I would’ve done better if I’d used Post Intelligence. Read More
  • Theranos is offering investors Elizabeth Holmes’ shares if they promise not to sue


     One way Theranos is hoping to stay afloat is by offering double the shares — including some of founder Elizabeth Holmes’ own shares — to investors if they promise not to sue. Theranos is knee-deep in an avalanche of lawsuits from investors and consumers of its blood-testing products after it was discovered the tests had an accuracy problem. Read More
  • Senators reintroduce a bill to improve cybersecurity in cars


    Kia Motors autonomous driving technologies Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have reintroduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act of 2017. The SPY Car Act places the onus for automotive cybersecurity and privacy standards on the shoulders of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. Read More
  • Online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is looking to sell for $1.5 billion


     Online secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is looking for a buyer and they’re hoping to fetch a price of about $1.5 billion, TechCrunch has learned. According to multiple sources, private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is working with Morgan Stanley to unload Vivid, which could net a tidy profit for the firm a little over a year after acquiring the business for about $850 million. Read More
  • MIT researchers take a cue from color-changing beetles in quest to 3D print robot skin


     When Subramanian Sundaram’s team hit a roadblock in its quest to build a 3D-printed robot, it turned, as roboticists often do, to nature. The team of MIT researchers drew inspiration for the latest step in the process from the golden tortoise beetle — a North America beetle species with a unique form of camouflage. Read More
  • The FCC is talking about everything but the imminent repeal of its internet privacy rules


     It was a productive meeting at the FCC: Chairman Pai talked about putting pressure on phone scammers, preventing phone smuggling in prisons and improving mobile service. But one thing he didn’t want to talk about was the vote taking place in the Senate that very moment that would overturn privacy rules bigger and more important than anything on the agenda. Read More
  • How Everette Taylor went from a homeless college dropout to chief marketing officer at Skurt


     There are roughly 58,000 homeless students on college campuses in the United States (according to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth [NAEHCY] and Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA]). That number could actually be much higher, given students’ reluctance to disclose any issues with their housing. That same dynamic is also in play… Read More
  • Startups downplay tobacco as they talk up cannabis


     Shops patronized by pot smokers have a long tradition of labeling their pipes and vaporizers “for tobacco use only.” But startups developing smoking and vaping gear are basically asking customers to put their weed in it. Self-described cannabis product companies are raising capital in droves, while funding for startups in the e-cigarette space has all but, well, vaporized. Not a… Read More
  • Acer’s S 13 makes the case for the inexpensive ultrabook worth having


     Acer has made a lot of ultrabooks, but the only one worth mentioning is the current S 13. Priced aggressively even for the “high-end” model, as configured, it sports a slim profile, backlit keys and a Core i7 processor. Acer is taking the perks of owning a pricier machine and making them more accessible, creating an ultrabook that’s a good value without a ton of compromises. Read More
  • Samsung is aiming to widen access to contactless payments


     While Samsung’s most high profile contactless payment push is the eponymous Samsung Pay — aka its mobile payments product, which competes with the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay — the company is today bigging up another approach it’s backing, with the not so catchy name of Contactless Companion Platform (CCP). Read More
  • Revolut launches a premium subscription and starts raising a new round


     Fintech startup Revolut has been a free service and that’s not going to change. But the company is adding a premium tier with more features for £6.99/€8.50/$8.50 per month in 42 European countries. If you sign up to the new “Premium Account,” you’ll receive a MasterCard with a new design. There are three different options and I love pink so I think they look… Read More
  • Zenreach raises $30M to help businesses boost their marketing with free Wi-Fi


    Jack Abraham Zenreach is announcing that it has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Founder and CEO Jack Abraham said that Zenreach is “bringing the online and offline world together.” Specifically, businesses that use Zenreach can offer their customers free Wi-Fi. All the customer needs to do is register using their email address, phone number or Facebook account. Read More
  • Alaska Airlines is killing off Virgin America and Richard Branson says it’s okay to cry


     Alaska Airlines has announced they are killing off the Virgin America brand sometime in 2019.Sad? Angry? You’re not alone.Richard Branson, founder of Virgin America, just penned a love letter saying “tears were shed today” and memorializing all the great things Virgin America had accomplished before the merger.In a blog post announcing the decision, Alaska took four… Read More