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News (TechCrunch)

  • FBI reportedly overestimated inaccessible encrypted phones by thousands


    The FBI seems to have been caught fibbing again on the topic of encrypted phones. FBI director Christopher Wray estimated in December that it had almost 7,800 phones that investigators were unable to access from 2017 alone. The real number is likely less than a quarter of that.
  • Zuckerberg didn’t make any friends in Europe today


    Speaking in front of EU lawmakers today Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg namechecked the GDPR’s core principles of “control, transparency and accountability” — claiming his company will deliver on all that, come Friday, when a new European Union data protection framework, GDPR, starts being applied, finally with penalties worth the enforcement. However there was little transparency […]
  • Amazon facial recognition software raises privacy concerns with the ACLU


    Amazon hasn’t exactly kept Rekognition under wraps. In late 2016, the software giant talked up its facial detection software in a relatively benign AWS post announcing that the tech was already being implemented by The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon for suspect identification. The ACLU of Northern California is shining more light on the […]
  • Watchdogs ask Googlers to stop it favoring its own search results


    A new coalition of activist groups led by Yelp and TripAdvisor are renewing the fight to get Google to give a fair opportunity to all sites instead of putting its Knowledge Cards atop the results for subjective search queries. The alliance that includes Fight For The Future and Consumer Watchdog.org has assembled tens of thousands […]
  • The birth of the Universal Digital Profile


    It is a well-known fact that Europeans are generally more concerned about privacy than some other countries.
  • Alexa gets smarter about calendar appointments


    As digital assistants improve, we’re learning new things to expect from them, but the tasks that a real-life assistant may have handled before can still be a bit of a challenge to home assistants. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is gaining functionality to help it get smarter about working with your calendar. The new abilities will […]
  • Zuckerberg avoided tough questions thanks to short EU testimony format


    Mark Zuckerberg got to cherry-pick the questions he wanted to answer from EU Parliament after it spent an hour taking turns rattling off queries in bulk before leaving just a half-hour for his batched responses. Zuckerberg immediately trotted out his dorm room story of not expecting Facebook’s current duty to safety and democracy, and repeated his […]
  • Baidu spins out its global ad business to sharpen its focus on artificial intelligence


    Baidu, the Chinese search giant, is spinning out its business unit responsible for utility apps and its mobile ad business to sharpen its focus on artificial intelligence. As part of the spin-out, Baidu is selling a large chunk of its equity in the ‘Global DU’ business to as-yet-undisclosed investors. The plan is to sell “a […]
  • Watch SpaceX launch the GRACE-FO and Iridium NEXT satellites here


    Today's the day for SpaceX's launch of Iridium's NEXT communications satellites and a pair of twin birds from NASA that will monitor the fresh water on the surface of the Earth. You can watch the launch right here.
  • The Kata Containers project launches version 1.0 of its lightweight VMs for containers


    The Kata Containers project, the first non-OpenStack project hosted by the OpenStack Foundation, today launched version 1.0 of its system for running isolated container workloads. The idea behind Kata Containers, which is the result of the merger of two similar projects previously run by Intel and Hyper, is to offer developers a container-like experience with […]
  • Drink-a-day startup Hooch raises $5M as it plans blockchain initiative


    Right on the heels of launching its concierge service Hooch Black, Hooch announced today that it has raised $5 million in seed funding. The company’s basic subscription of $9.99 gets you one free drink per day from a variety of partner bars and restaurants. Hooch Black (which you have to apply for, and which costs […]
  • Twitter is killing several of its TV apps, too


    Twitter is shutting down its TV apps on Roku, Android TV and Xbox starting on May 24, the company announced this morning. The news of the apps’ closure comes at a time when Twitter is now trying to steer its users to its first-party mobile apps and its desktop website by killing off apps used […]
  • Stickman is Disney’s new headless acrobatic robot


    The team at Disney Research never fails to deliver fascinating (if not always particularly useful) experiments. Take Stickman. The robot is essentially one long limb, capable of some cool acrobatic maneuvers. The system, detailed in a new paper from DR titled “Towards a Human Scale Acrobatic Robotic,” has two degrees of freedom and a pendulum […]
  • Slack introduces Actions to make it easier to create and finish tasks without leaving


    As Slack tries to graduate beyond a Silicon Valley darling to the go-to communications platform within a company, it’s had to find ways to increasingly pitch itself as an intelligent Swiss Army knife for companies — and not just a simple chat app — and it is trying to continue that today once again with a […]
  • Real Vision, a media platform for finance and business, raises $10 million


    Real Vision is entering the crowded business and financial new space with a bang. The company, which recently raised a $10 million Series B after a $5 million A round, is working on a number of new initiatives including distribution on Apple TV, a content distribution partnership with Thomson Reuters and an upcoming documentary on […]
  • Po.et launches lab for developers to build apps on publishing blockchain


    Po.et is an open source, not-for-profit publishing network built on the blockchain with the broad ambition of changing how we distribute, license and monetize content on the internet. Today, it announced it was opening the Po.et Development Labs, a place for developers to experiment with new ideas on the po.et platform. It also announced the […]
  • ‘Solo’ is a serviceable Star Wars story


    In the trailer for Solo, Chewbacca dangles for dear life from a high speed train barreling through a snowy landscape. “Chewie!” the young Han shouts, as the Wookiee’s head comes within spitting distance of a rocky mountainside, moments before everything goes black. For those with even a passing familiarity with the Star Wars universe, it’s […]
  • Dropbox beefs up mobile collaboration in latest release


    Dropbox announced several enhancements today designed to beef up its mobile offering and help employees on the go keep up with changes to files stored in Dropbox . In a typical team scenario, a Dropbox user shared a file with a team member for review or approval. If they wanted to check the progress of […]
  • Circle Invest lets you buy the cryptocurrency market


    Circle Invest is one of the easiest products when you want to get started with cryptocurrencies. When Circle first launched the app, I compared it to Coinbase. And Circle is making it even easier to get started as you can just “buy the market” now. Circle Invest started with just a handful of cryptocurrencies — […]
  • Starbucks’s mobile payment service is slightly outpacing Apple’s


    People really love getting their coffee more quickly. Starbucks, which has operated its own mobile payments service since 2011, is the market leader in terms of mobile payments users, beating out Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, according to a new reporter from eMarketer out this morning. However, Starbucks’ lead over Apple Pay is […]