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News (TechCrunch)

  • Mozilla proposes combined WebXR standard for virtual and mixed reality in the browser


     Although we may disagree on the usefulness of VR and AR today, it’s hard to argue with the idea that it should be easier to develop for and deploy — especially on the web. That’s why Mozilla is working on a combined framework that gives developers standardized, well-documented tools with which to access the user’s chosen mixed reality platform. Read More
  • Robert Scoble has allegedly continued to sexually harass women after going sober


     Venture capitalists Dave McClure, Jason Caldbeck and Chris Sacca, SoFi CEO Mike Cagney and a top Uber engineer have all been accused of sexual impropriety in the last six months as a growing number of women have come forward about the harassment they have endured by those in power. However, Robert Scoble, who has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, has so far gone unscathed. Read More
  • Apple and AT&T activate LTE Band 8 to give iPhone users in Puerto Rico cellular service by Loon Balloon


     Apple has been working with AT&T to extend and activate cell service for users in Puerto Rico. To improve what is a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that has been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it has not been licensed. This will allow iPhones to connect to Google’s Project Loon balloons… Read More
  • Vungle CEO arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, lewd act with 3-year-old son


     Zain Jaffer, who has been CEO of fast-growing mobile ad startup, Vungle, is out of the company after being arrested on a slew of charges, including a lewd act upon a child and assault with a deadly weapon. The alleged victim was his three-year-old son, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Wagstaffe told us that Jaffer was initially charged with attempted murder,… Read More
  • Apple hires Amazon Studios exec Morgan Wandell in push for scripted programming


     Apple’s first few pieces of original programming, Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, felt more like stumbles out of the gate. In this era of prestige television from cord-cutting platforms like Netflix and Amazon, the shows weren’t exactly, say, House of Cards or Transparent. But a number of moves over the past several months find the company positioning itself as a serious… Read More
  • Elon Musk gets permission to begin Boring Co. digging in Maryland


     Elon Musk’s week is going pretty great thus far, between meeting the creators of Rick & Morty and now gaining permission to dig even more tunnels — besides the one he already got the OK to begin digging closer to home in Hawthorne. Read More
  • Shopkick lays off about 10 percent of staff


     Shopkick, a shopping rewards app owned by SK Telecom, laid off a little more than 10 percent of its staff (about 30 people) yesterday, TechCrunch has learned. Shopkick CEO Bill Demas confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch, saying they were part of a broader restructuring of the business. Read More
  • Disputed DNA analysis software’s code open for inspection after court order


     If you’re going to convict or acquit based on evidence provided by a piece of software, you’d better be damn sure that software is reliable. One such program, a DNA analysis tool used in over a thousand cases, has been called unreliable by critics — and a federal judge has just ordered that its code be opened for all to see so we can find out one way or the other. Read More
  • Rebecca Kaden joins Union Square Ventures as general partner


     Rebecca Kaden has announced that she’s leaving Maveron to join Union Square Ventures as a general partner on the investment team. She’ll be the first female partner at USV. She said that her faith in the team and also a return to her native NYC were motivating factors in joining the firm. Read More
  • Twitch unveils a suite of new tools to help creators grow their channels and make money


     Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch today announced a number of new features for streamers aimed at helping their grow their online communities and generate revenue from their online channels. Notably, the company will soon debut several features that will allow video creators to better track their path towards achieving either Affiliate or Partner status – a designation… Read More
  • Google says 64% of Chrome traffic on Android now protected with HTTPS, 75% on Mac, 66% on Windows


     Google’s push to make the web more secure by flagging sites using insecure HTTP connections appears to be working. The company announced today that 64 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up 42 percent from a year ago. In addition, over 75 percent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected, up from 60 percent on Mac and 67 percent on ChromeOS a year ago. Read More
  • Flexible car ownership startup Fair nabs up to $1B in debt and equity funding from BMW and Penske


     Fair.com — an all-digital car marketplace that was co-founded by car industry vets Georg Bauer of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla; Scott Painter of TrueCar; and Fedor Artiles of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Tesla — has been largely operating under the radar since quietly launching its business earlier this year. But today, it’s coming roaring down the street,… Read More
  • The Information reveals the startups in its first media accelerator and plans hiring spree


     Business is looking for good for subscription-based tech news site The Information. This summer it announced plans for an accelerator program to encourage others to leap into paid media and today, at its summit event, it revealed the five successful applicants in batch one as well as its own hiring plans. The accelerator has a pretty diverse bunch which cover subjects that include tech —… Read More
  • Sneaker and streetwear reseller Stadium Goods just launched their first app


     Stadium Goods, the online (and brick and mortar) marketplace for highly sought after sneakers and streetwear, is launching its first app. Live today to coincide with the startup’s two year anniversary, the first iteration of the app is basically just a mobile marketplace. But Stadium Goods plans to eventually build out this functionality and take advantage of location services and… Read More
  • Commuter shuttle bus Chariot halts services in SF


     Chariot, the commuter shuttle bus network that Ford Smart Mobility acquired in 2016, has halted its services in San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times first reported. On Wednesday, the California Public Utilities Commission suspended Chariot’s operating permit after the service didn’t pass three consecutive California Highway Patrol inspections. Read More
  • Jaybird’s Run totally wireless earbuds are wire-free wonders for everyone


     The market for totally wireless earbuds is really maturing fast, with many entries from both new and established companies. Jaybird recently joined the crowd, with its own Run earbuds. The Logitech-owned company has long been a really solid competitor when it comes to Bluetooth headphones, and its Freedom and X-line, and in fact made some of the very first wireless sport earbuds that proved… Read More
  • Nike is using its new digital studio to build a community of sneakerheads


    Nike Momofuku A year after acquiring Virgin Mega, Nike is revealing some of the early results of its experiments with augmented reality and community-building. Virgin Mega was a startup backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group that focused on fan communities and shopping. Ron Faris, who led the startup, told me that Nike acquired Virgin Mega in order to explore those same ideas. Since then, the team… Read More
  • Watch a tiny turtle get a 3D-printed mask


     Today is your lucky day because, in my mind, it’s Terrapin Friday! In today’s episode we present Patches, a black-breasted leaf turtle who lives at the Knoxville Zoo. This 30-year-old turtle was living high on the hog for a number of years until she developed a hole near her nostril, probably caused during mating (“Male turtles are very rambunctious when they are trying to woo… Read More
  • BlackBerry’s KEYone ‘Black Edition’ offers more than just good looks


     BlackBerry’s most interesting phone in years – if not an entire decade – is the KEYone, an Android device with a classic BlackBerry hardware keyboard that finally answers the needs of truly dedicated thumb typists with a modern mobile OS. Now, the KEYone ‘Black Edition’ has arrived, and it’s more than just a fresh coat of paint on an older gadget. In fact,… Read More
  • Apple reportedly isn’t producing enough iPhone X units for first weekend sales


     According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is still facing supply chain constraints for the upcoming iPhone X. The company will have around 2 to 3 million units before the launch on November 3rd, which shouldn’t be enough to meet demand. While Apple didn’t disclose exact numbers for first-weekend sales last year, the company sold 13 million iPhone… Read More