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Crunch Report | Google and Tencent ink patent agreement

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:00 PM PST

Google inks a patent deal with Tencent, Tile lays off 30 people and Apple hires the tech team from Silicon Valley Data Science (SVDS). All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Yes, cities should indeed fight for tech jobs

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 06:15 PM PST

 Few events have jolted the urban planning crowd quite like Amazon’s process for selecting the company’s new second headquarters (dubbed HQ2). The company put up a massive carrot of 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment, and then proceeded to demand proposals from cities across North America (lovingly written up by Clickhole). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Amazon received 238… Read More

Spend a week fielding sensitive HR complaints in ‘Grayscale’ web game

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 04:18 PM PST

 If you’re looking for a way to close out your week that’s entertaining, edifying, and looks like you’re doing real work, check out Chimeria:Grayscale, a game where you act as an HR person dealing with everyday office problems via email. Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound that exciting, but there’s more to it than that. Read More

Twitter updates total of Russia-linked election bots to 50,000

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 03:30 PM PST

 Twitter has provided updated details on its investigation into Russian election interference on its platform in 2016. Its identification of more than 13,000 more Russian-linked bots that made election-related tweets puts the total over 50,000. In addition, about 3,800 (up 1,000 from Twitter’s data in the fall) were associated with the now-notorious Internet Research Agency. Read More

Google CEO: ‘I don’t regret’ firing James Damore

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 03:14 PM PST

 Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he still believes that it was appropriate to fire James Damore. “I don’t regret it,” said Pichai, in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. It’s been almost six months since the company dismissed the engineer, who authored a controversial memo about purported gender differences. Read More

These high-speed ‘nano-cranes’ could form molecular assembly lines

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 02:53 PM PST

 Things aren’t going well down at the ol’ nano-factory. They’re having trouble getting all those tiny workers to synchronize and move quickly together. But leave it to the Germans to get things running smoothly! All it took was a careful application of that newfangled technology “electricity.” Read More

Sundance doc ‘Our New President’ presents psychedelic vision of US election through a fake news lens

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 02:29 PM PST

 If the feeling at the fairly liberal leaning Sundance Film Festival — held last year after Trump’s election but before the inauguration —was one of impending doom, this year it’s all about prophecy fulfilled. Read More

Inside Oculus and Black Eyed Peas’ VR comic book

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 01:56 PM PST

 “When people view VR, it’s an over-sensory experience like ‘What the fuck?!’ ” will.i.am says, wildly spinning his head around as you can see in the GIF below. That was the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman’s inspiration for creating a 90-minute VR comic book that moves at your pace and lets emotion sink in instead of battering you with visuals. Read More

MoviePass says it will start acquiring movies, too

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 01:44 PM PST

 On the heels of hitting a 1.5 million subscriber milestone and bringing on a new marketing chief, the subscription service for watching movies in theaters, MoviePass, today announced it’s going to start buying movies, too. The company says it will begin to invest in films so it can share in their success beyond the box office, including on other platforms like streaming, DVD, and… Read More

Facebook’s latest News Feed update will prioritize trustworthy publishers

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 01:42 PM PST

 Facebook is gearing up to prioritize news content by publishers a group of Facebook users have deemed trustworthy. Facebook head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said the company surveyed “a diverse and representative sample” of U.S.-based people about their familiarity and trust in various sources of news. That data, Mosseri said, will serve to inform News Feed rankings. Read More

With ‘Wolves in the Walls,’ the ex-Oculus team at Fable Studio makes its debut

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 01:19 PM PST

 Wolves in the Walls, directed by Pete Billington and premiering today at Sundance, is the unique product of a tight, scrappy team of pioneering creatives, with most of them sharing a common element of their past, as they were laid off from Facebook last year when the company’s VR original content arm Oculus Story Studio was shut down. Read More

Yahoo Finance launches social savings app Tanda, an alternative to credit cards

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 12:44 PM PST

 Yahoo Finance today launched a new app called Tanda that allows small groups of either five or nine people to save money together for short-term goals. The app uses the concept of a “money pool” – that is, everyone participating in one Tanda’s collaborative savings circles will pay a fixed amount to the group’s savings pot every month. And every month, one member… Read More

Moritz sabotages Sequoia, again

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 12:25 PM PST

 Michael Moritz is legendary for many of the investments he has led throughout his long career with the venture firm Sequoia Capital. But Moritz has placed a target on Sequoia’s back — again — by publishing a controversial opinion piece comparing Silicon Valley unfavorably to China. To say it is extreme is an understatement. Read More

Education technology is a global opportunity

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 12:00 PM PST

 Education used to be simple: there was a blackboard, a teacher and desks in a classroom. Today, a student can practice English online, upload homework through a portal and learn chemistry through 3D immersion — such is the rise of educational technologies. And nowhere is the advent of edtech climbing more quickly than in Asia. Read More

Tesla’s Model 3 is coming to some of its East Coast showrooms

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:32 AM PST

 Tesla is bringing its newest production vehicle to its showrooms in some East Coast locations for the first time, so that potential (and many actual) customers will be able to check it out in person. The carmaker will have Model 3 demo units on display at showrooms in New York, Boston and Miami starting this week, CNBC reports. The Model 3 will be on display in Manhattan’s Meatpacking… Read More

Apple has hired tech team from data science startup SVDS

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 10:04 AM PST

 Apple has made a quiet but interesting move in its longer-term strategy around courting more business from enterprises. The company has hired the tech team — at least 18 people, including at least two co-founders, one of whom is the CEO — from Silicon Valley Data Science (SVDS), a startup based out of Mountain View that provides business transformation consulting to enterprises… Read More

Amazon brings voice control to its Alexa app for Android, with iOS coming soon

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 10:01 AM PST

 Amazon’s slow push into mobile is getting a lot more real this morning with the addition of voice integration into its Android app for Alexa. Up to now, the app has been little more than a way to manage settings for the Echo and other smart home devices built around its smart assistant. The addition of voice commands means users can speak directly to their handset the way they would an… Read More

Spotify accidentally showed ads to paying subscribers when testing new ways to promote originals

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:44 AM PST

 Spotify says advertisements that recently appeared to paying subscribers of its music streaming service were loaded by mistake. Over the past few days, a number of Spotify customers complained their music listening experience was interrupted with ads inserted into their playlists. To be clear, the ads being weren’t those from third-parties, but were rather in-house promotions for… Read More

TPG Growth and CAA’s investment firm Evolution Media buy into Africa’s music business

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:13 AM PST

 Private equity and media giants from the U.S. are starting to pay attention to Africa’s burgeoning online media and culture scene. TPG Growth and Evolution Media have acquired a majority stake in the South African multimedia entertainment company, TRACE. Read More

OnePlus confirms up to 40,000 customers were impacted by credit card hack

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:09 AM PST

 If you gave your credit card number to OnePlus sometime between mid-November and last week, your card may have been compromised. The smartphone maker confirmed this morning through its online forum that upwards of 40,000 customers may have had their numbers exposed to hackers. “Only a small subset of our customers is affected,” a spokesperson for the company told… Read More