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News (TechCrunch)

  • Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users…and responsibility


     “We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do to make social media the most positive force for good possible,” Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox told TechCrunch about the company’s new milestone. 13 years after launching and less than 5 years after hitting 1 billion, Facebook now has 2… Read More
  • A massive new ransomware attack is spreading around the globe


     A month after the WannaCry ransomware attack paralyzed connected systems worldwide, a new threat appears to be spreading quickly. As reports emerge, today’s attack paints a picture of businesses and governments around the world held hostage by a second major wave of ransomware. Read More
  • Target’s next-day essentials delivery service opens to customers in pilot test


     Target announced this morning it’s opening up a new, next-day home delivery service called Target Restock to consumers. The company had said in May the service was live and being tested with company employees, ahead of a consumer-facing pilot program that was due to arrive sometime this summer. The service is initially available to Minneapolis-area customers, which is near Target… Read More
  • Yahoo Mail rolls out a rebuilt, redesigned service, including a new ad-free option


     Following its Verizon acquisition, Yahoo today is rolling out a revamped and rebuilt Mail application for its 225 million monthly active users. The update includes a new design, feature set, and technology stack, as well as a new subscription plan for desktop and mobile called Yahoo Mail Pro. The news is part of several changes ahead for Yahoo, under its new corporate parent  – Oath,… Read More
  • Watch this Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer made entirely on a 1984 Apple IIc


     Sometimes I see something that makes me wish we’d never evolved our technological graphics capabilities beyond where they were at in the 1980s. This shot-by-shot remake of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer is such a thing.Created by Twitter user Wahyu Ichwandardi, this was created using a vintage Apple IIc computer from 1984, using Dazzle Draw, a bitmap paint program from the same year. Read More
  • Acquired.io launches with $2M funding to take the grunt work out of user acquisition


     Acquired.io launches today with a funding round of $2M. Founded by the team behind AppScotch (acquired by App Annie), they claim to be taking the grunt work out of user acquisition. It allows publishers to manage user acquisition channels from a single place and also help them discover new ones. The investors include Jonathan Zweig, founder of AdColony (acquired by Opera), and John… Read More
  • Pandora CEO Tim Westergren is officially out amid company shakeup


     Following rumblings of a shakeup over the weekend, Pandora confirmed today that co-founder Tim Westergren is stepping down from his role as CEO. Naveen Chopra, who stepped in as the company’s CFO back in February will be filling in the top spot as interim CEO while the board of directors looks for a permanent replacement.Westergren was one of three founders of the music streaming service. Read More
  • View raises $200M for their electrochromic smart glass


     When you hear about companies raising tons of money for “smart glass,” the first thing that hits your mind might be something augmented reality-related like the HoloLens. But View, which just closed a $200 million funding round, is using smart glass to make better windows that adjust to the outdoor environment. Read More
  • JASK emerges from stealth with $12 million and an automated threat detection service


    Digital security key concept background with binary data code JASK is emerging from stealth today with $12 million in the bank and a machine learning technology that automates network monitoring and management for overtaxed security teams. The thesis behind JASK’s service is the somewhat depressing (and frightening) thought that these days there aren’t enough security experts to meet the demands of running a modern business. Read More
  • Facebook improves its AI Messenger assistant ‘M’ with new wits


     Facebook M, the company’s AI-powered assistant that lives inside Messenger, was launched widely back in April, giving suggestions to users based on the context of their conversations. Today, M is getting a bit smarter and more socially capable. Read More
  • App economy to grow to $6.3 trillion in 2021, user base to nearly double to 6.3 billion


     The global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion last year, according to a new report this morning from app analytics firm App Annie. During that same time frame, the user base will almost double from 3.4 billion people using apps to 6.3 billion, while the time spent in apps will grow to 3.5 trillion hours in 2021, up from 1.6 trillion in 2016.These figures… Read More
  • Justin Kan’s video Q&A app Whale gets Tinder-style swipes in major redesign


     Whale, the Q&A app backed by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, has gotten a major update and refreshed design that makes it easier to discover video content on the service. The iOS-only app launched in October 2016, pivoting from a music app after Kan was inspired by Chinese Q&A service Fenda. The goal was to enable users to ask questions or get advice from subject matter experts, such… Read More
  • Feather launches a high-end furniture rental service for liminal living


     People already rent housing and lease cars, why not rent the furniture, as well? Read More
  • Nootrobox is now HVMN and will sell biohacking products beyond nootropics


     If none of what’s in the above headline makes sense, you probably weren’t following the biohacking trend for the last couple of years. But Silicon Valley is brimming with tech execs trying to become faster, stronger and smarter by “hacking” their genetic code through various experimental methods called biohacks. These would be the people drinking buttered coffee,… Read More
  • Box deepens partnership with Microsoft and turns its attention to AI and machine learning


     When I spoke to Box CEO Aaron Levie last year at the Boxworks customer conference, I had to ask the obligatory machine learning question. Surely Box was of sufficient size with enough data running through its systems to take advantage of machine learning. All he would say was they were thinking about it. Today, the company announced a deepening relationship with Microsoft in which Box will… Read More
  • Online thrift store ThredUP is opening physical retail locations


     ThredUP, the online secondhand clothing store that has raised over $130M in funding is going old school.The startup has announced they will be opening at least five brick and mortar retail stores by the end of the year, with the first one soft-opening today in San Marcos, Texas.Why San Marcos, a small town of ~60,000 located somewhere between the cities of San Antonio and Austin? Because… Read More
  • Fiverr launches a Pro tier and acquires video production marketplace Veed.me


     Freelance marketplace Fiverr has for years worked on connecting buyers and sellers of online services that range from writing to design to programming to digital marketing. Today the company is launching Fiverr Pro, a new offering that highlights a curated group of professional freelancers on its marketplace. Read More
  • Cloudflare launches app development platform, announces $100M investment fund


     Cloudflare launched a brand new app development platform today called Cloudflare Apps, and announced the $100 million Cloudflare Developer Fund, started by its investors to back some of the better ideas. The platform lets developers build apps that take advantage of the Cloudflare ecosystem, place them in the Cloudflare Apps store and provide an easy way to add new functionality such as a map or… Read More
  • Ludlow Ventures has closed its second fund with $45 million


     Ludlow Ventures, a young, early-stage venture firm in Detroit, has closed its second venture fund with $45 million in capital commitments, founder and managing partner Jonathon Triest tells us. Ludlow’s team, which includes partner Brett deMarrais and associate Blake Robbins, was originally targeting $40 million; its investors, or limited partners, include four institutions, along… Read More
  • Uber now lets you request a ride for someone else


     Uber is adding a new feature that lets you specify someone else in your phone’s contact book as the rider for the trip. It was always possible to hail a ride and specify another pickup point if you wanted to, but the new feature really streamlines the process, allows both rider and driver to contact one another directly and still makes sure the requester is the one who foots the bill.… Read More