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The News Lens takes a big step for Asian indie media with its first acquisition

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 11:15 PM PST

 Founded four years ago to reach millennials disenchanted with Taiwan’s scandal-obsessed media, The News Lens is growing up fast. The Taipei-based company announced it has agreed to buy Inside, one of Taiwan’s best-known technology news sites. Not only is this The News Lens’ (known as TNL) first acquisition, but founder and chief executive officer Joey Chung says it also makes… Read More

Of course China’s forgotten social network is doing an ICO

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 11:09 PM PST

 ICOs were one of the breakthroughs in the tech industry in 2017. Initially it was just those in the blockchain space who were aware, but as the year went on a number of existing business grew attracted to the idea of raising money without the usual route of VCs and lost equity. The year ended with more than $4 billion raised via ICOs. It’s fair to say that the concept is widely-known… Read More

Crunch Report | MoneyGram’s Sale to Alibaba Blocked by U.S. Government

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 08:00 PM PST

Spotify files to go public, BloomThat gets acquired and MoneyGram’s sale to Alibaba got blocked by the U.S. government. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Wi-Fi startup Eero lays off 30 employees

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 07:54 PM PST

 Eero, the mesh Wi-Fi router startup, has laid off 20 percent of its workforce (about 30 employees), TechCrunch has learned. Eero confirmed about 30 employees were let go but declined to comment on its total workforce size. “Our goal is to provide perfect WiFi in every home,” an Eero spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Over the past year we explored several… Read More

Kernel panic! What are Meltdown and Spectre, the bugs affecting nearly every computer and device?

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 05:47 PM PST

 If you’re confused by the avalanche of early reports, denials, and conflicting statements about the massive security issues announced today, don’t worry — you’re far from the only one. Here’s what you need to know about Meltdown and Spectre, the two huge bugs that affect practically every computer and device out there. Read More

Cloud infrastructure vendors begin responding to chip kernel vulnerability

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 04:57 PM PST

 Several cloud vendors began responding to the chip kernel vulnerability that has the industry reeling today. Each Infrastructure as a Service vendor clearly has a stake here because each one is selling CPU cycles on their platforms. TechCrunch sent a request for comment to six major cloud vendors, including AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Rackspace and DigitalOcean. Read More

Instagram tests letting users post Stories directly to WhatsApp

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 04:35 PM PST

 Last October, Facebook extended the usage (and flexibility) of Instagram Stories — the Snapchat-like feature that lets you patch together photos and videos into a slide show — by making it easy to directly post a Story to Facebook. Now Facebook is looking at how to bring WhatsApp into the fold. Read More

Apple readies Siri for the HomePod by adding a podcast-powered news brief

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 04:20 PM PST

 The HomePod had a bit of a notable production setback, back in December, but Apple’s high-end smart speaker is still on track for an “early 2018” release. As it preps for the release of its first Siri-focused device, the company is making some tweaks to its voice assistant. As 9to5Mac first noted, the latest beta version of iOS (11.2.5) sports a new news feature. “Hey… Read More

Apple picks up Reese Witherspoon thriller starring Octavia Spencer

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 03:43 PM PST

 Apple is adding another TV project to its upcoming slate: Are You Sleeping, a crime show based on America’s love affair with true crime podcasts (which are, ultimately, all Apple’s fault). The show has a lot of star power attached, as it’s executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and will star Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. Read More

Google’s Project Zero team discovered critical CPU flaw last year

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 03:01 PM PST

 In a blog post published minutes ago, Google’s Security team announced what they have done to protect Google Cloud customers against the chip vulnerability announced earlier today. They also indicated their Project Zero team discovered this vulnerability last year (although they weren’t specific with the timing). Read More

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s CES appearance has been canceled

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 02:36 PM PST

If you hoped to attend a “candid conversation” with the FCC’s Ajit Pai at CES, I have bad news: he won’t be there. In a tersely worded statement, CTA head Gary Shapiro announced: “Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018. We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with… Read More

Google faces revised gender-pay lawsuit

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 02:32 PM PST

 Google is facing a revised class-action gender-pay lawsuit that alleges Google underpaid women in comparison with their male counterparts and asked new hires about their prior salaries, The Guardian first reported. The revised lawsuit also adds a fourth complainant, Heidi Lamar, who was a teacher at Google’s Children Center in Palo Alto for four years. Read More

Tesla made 2,425 Model 3s in Q4 2017, aims to make 2,500 weekly by end of Q1 2018

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 02:10 PM PST

 Tesla produced a lot more Model 3 cars during the last quarter of 2017 than it did during Q3: it produced 2,425 cars during the quarter, adding to its production total of 23,565 vehicles overall, including Model S and Model X vehicles. That’s a significant increase from the 260 it made in Q3 last year, but still off its expected pace. Read More

Designing blockchains for a frictionless world

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 02:00 PM PST

 Every enthusiast in the crypto and blockchain space that has “seen the light” believes in a future that is collaborative, transparent and frictionless. Peer-to-peer and trustless technology will lead us to a decentralized utopia of equality and inclusion. While the ideals are noble, the decentralized world has some problems that still need solving. Read More

Responding to ‘incorrect’ reports, Intel says major flaw affects ‘many different vendors’

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 12:51 PM PST

 Reports this morning that Intel processors are affected by a serious flaw that may reduce performance significantly hit the company’s credibility and stock hard. Intel has now officially responded to these reports, calling them “incorrect” and “inaccurate,” and saying it had planned to discuss this very issue next week. Read More

Spider silk startup Bolt Threads closes on $123 million in Series D funding

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 12:46 PM PST

 Bolt Threads, the startup making spider silk from microbugs, has raised a giant $123 million Series D round of funding. As we reported in November, an SEC filing showed the company had raised $106 million from Foundation Capital and Formation 8. Bolt now tells TechCrunch it has added to that amount, bringing up its total to $147 million raised so far. Read More

Apple Developer Program fee waivers are now available for nonprofits, schools and government

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 11:55 AM PST

 Apple announced today it will begin allowing select publishers to waive the membership fees associated with its App Developer Program. Specifically, the new fee waivers will be offered to “nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities,” says Apple. For starters, the waivers will be available in the U.S., but the company had said in December… Read More

Didi confirms it has acquired 99 in Brazil to expand in Latin America

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 11:30 AM PST

 Earlier today, we reported that Didi was in the process of acquiring 99, a ridesharing company in Brazil, and now the two companies have confirmed the deal as part of Didi’s plans to expand its service into Latin America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed — we are asking — but earlier today we noted that Didi was effectively putting in $900 million — $600 million to… Read More

Google is about to force you to use its new Calendar design

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 10:51 AM PST

 Last October, Google announced a redesigned look and feel for Google Calendar on the desktop. Not everybody loves the design (including me, though some people have told me I’m wrong), but soon your opinion won’t matter because Google is about to upgrade your Calendar to the new design anyway. As the company announced today, G Suite users whose admins chose to be on the Rapid… Read More

FanDuel is giving away bitcoin to winners of a fantasy football tournament

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 10:23 AM PST

 Daily fantasy sports platform FanDuel just announced The Bitcoin Bowl, a promotion that will last the length of the NFL playoffs and give winners a chance to win some bitcoin. They’ll be two contests – one is a single-entry free contest where the winner wins 1 bitcoin, and one is a multi-entry $3 contest that has a tiered payout – 1st place will get 2 bitcoin, 2nd place will… Read More