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The US government blocks MoneyGram’s $1.2B sale to Alibaba’s Ant Financial

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 11:06 PM PST

 The proposed acquisition of global payment service MoneyGram by Alibaba’s Ant Financial is off after the U.S. government blocked the $1.2 billion deal. Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate which controls Alipay — China’s top mobile wallet — and other financial services, announced a deal to buy Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram in April 2017 after it beat off a rival bid from… Read More

Crunch Report | Telegram and Instagram Are Being Restricted in Iran

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST

Amazon Prime shipped 5 billion Items in 2017, SuperMeat gets $3 million in funding and Telegram and Instagram are being restricted in Iran. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

These psychedelic stickers blow AI minds

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 05:23 PM PST

 Machine learning systems are very capable, but they aren’t exactly smart. They lack common sense. Taking advantage of that fact, researchers have created a wonderful attack on image recognition systems that uses specially-printed stickers that are so interesting to the AI that it completely fails to see anything else. Why do I get the feeling these may soon be popular accessories? Read More

Samsung’s C-Lab projects include smart glasses and a portable directional speaker

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 04:11 PM PST

 Samsung’s Creative Lab is one of the more entertaining additions to CES in the last several years. Deemed C-Lab for short, the department is a sort of in-house accelerator, where Samsung employees can build and spin off startups, all while leveraging the electronics giants’ seemingly bottomless resources. Read More

The FCC is still tweaking its net neutrality repeal (but that’s normal)

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 02:40 PM PST

 You may think, from the pomp accompanying the FCC’s vote in December to repeal net neutrality, that the deed was done. Not so. In fact, the order hasn’t even reached its final form: the Commission is still working on it. While it may be frustrating, this is business as usual for regulations like this, and concerned advocates should conserve their outrage for when it’s… Read More

Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 02:26 PM PST

 Spotify is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher that represents artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter first reported. The suit, filed December 29, alleges copyright infringement, specifically alleging Spotify is using thousands of its songs without a proper license. Read More

You can get that $29 battery replacement, regardless of your iPhone’s health

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 02:25 PM PST

 Apple hasn’t been super specific when it comes to those $29 iPhone battery replacements. After all, the company would no doubt like to the whole business behind it. What precisely it would take to qualify one’s out-of-warranty handset for the $50 discount hasn’t been spelled out, but it seems to be easier than anticipated.  The company had previously mentioned the threshold… Read More

Airbnb beats big property landlord’s lawsuit in California

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:24 PM PST

 A California judge has dismissed Apartment Investment & Management Company’s lawsuit against Airbnb. Last February, Aimco, which owns or manages about 50,000 properties, sued Airbnb, saying that the company is deliberately incentivizing people to breach their leases. Read More

Apple buys app development service Buddybuild

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:02 PM PST

 Apple continues to ramp up its efforts to court developers by making it easier to create and iterate their apps for its platforms. The iPhone giant has now acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver-based app tools startup that describes itself as “mobile iteration platform” focused on continuous integration and debugging tools. Read More

What to expect at CES 2018

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:00 PM PST

 I know, right? Christmas just ended and the New Year hasn’t even dawned — but we’re already ramping up for CES mode, and we’re taking you down with us. The biggest tech show of the year is set to kick off January 9, so here’s what we know (or think we know) about the upcoming show’s biggest news, pulled from exhibitor lists, the rumor mill and an examination… Read More

Some apps were listening to you through the smartphone’s mic to track your TV viewing, says report

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 11:33 AM PST

 There may be a reason why that ol’ “Facebook is listening to you talk” conspiracy theory refuses to die – and not just because Facebook’s ad technology has gotten so good, it’s downright creepy. As it turns out, some apps are actually listening. Well, kind of! According to a recent report from The NYT, a number of apps using software from a company called… Read More

Facebook, not Twitter, will live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 08:45 AM PST

 Facebook has scored the exclusive rights to live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show – a deal that last year went to Twitter. On Tuesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions announced the two-hour event would be exclusively available on the Golden Globes Facebook page from 6 to 8 p.m. ET (3 to 5 p.m. PT) on Sunday… Read More

It’s the New Year and you’re getting laundry-folding robots, because the 1960s thought of everything

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 08:30 AM PST

 The robot laundry-folding wars are heating up. The German appliance manufacturing giant BSH is in the early stages of partnering with the U.S. and Israeli-based laundry-folding robot designer FoldiMate on product development and manufacturing in the latest volley in the battle to bring a commercially viable laundry-folding robot to market. Read More

Amazon shipped over 5 billion items with Prime in 2017

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 07:30 AM PST

 Amazon still won’t officially reveal how many consumers worldwide participate in its Amazon Prime membership program, but it did today offer a few new stats related to that program’s adoption and growth. The company on Tuesday announced that more new, paid members joined Prime worldwide in 2017 than any other year. It also noted that over 5 billion items worldwide shipped with Prime… Read More

UK eyeing ‘extremism’ tax on social media giants

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:21 AM PST

 The UK government has kicked off the new year with another warning shot across the bows of social media giants. Read More

Fast-growing Chinese media startup ByteDance enters 2018 with some uncertainty

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 03:10 AM PST

 One of the fastest rising Chinese startups of last year had a bumpy ride into 2018 after falling foul of China’s internet censors for the first. ByteDance, the new media firm behind news app Toutiao and the owner of Musical.ly courtesy of a $1 billion deal, had a standout 2018. Its valuation jumped to more than $20 billion, it picked a number of international services —… Read More

Telegram and Instagram being restricted in Iran

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 03:03 AM PST

 Messaging app Telegram and Facebook-owned social sharing platform Instagram appear to be being blocked in Iran. Read More

Lab-made meat startup SuperMeat raises $3M seed to develop ‘clean’ chicken

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 02:00 AM PST

 SuperMeat, an Israeli biotech and food-tech startup that is developing lab-made chicken meat, has raised $3 million in seed funding, as it becomes the latest of a crop of so-called ‘clean meat’ companies to get off the ground. Others in the space include Bill Gates, Atomico and DFJ-backed Memphis Meats, and Hampton Creek, which is also exploring lab-grown meat. Read More

YouTube star Logan Paul apologizes for video of apparent suicide victim

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 01:43 AM PST

 January is less than two days old and already we have a reminder of the bad side of YouTube after it emerged that Logan Paul, a brash 22-year-old with over 15 million subscribers and a clothing line in his name, posted then removed a video that included footage of an apparent suicide victim. The video was taken at Aokigahara, a forest in Japan that is known for suicides. Titled “We found… Read More