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Toyota invests $69M in Japanese Uber rival backed by the taxi industry

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:56 PM PST

 This week isn’t turning out to be great one for Uber in Japan. Two of its investors — Didi and SoftBank — are teaming up to launch a rival service, while one of its existing competitors has just landed a big cash infusion and highly influential backer after Toyota backed JapanTaxi. The auto giant said it will invest 7.5 billion JPY ($69 billion) into JapanTaxi, an… Read More

Xiaomi’s wearable device partner Huami raises $110M in NYSE IPO

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:10 PM PST

 China’s top wearable firm Huami has raised $110 million after it listed on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Fresh from launching iits Apple Watch-like Amazfit Blip this week, Huami sold 10 million shares at $11 a pop, the mid-point of its price range. The company joined the NYSE under the ‘HMI’ ticker symbol. It potentially raised up to $16.5 million more if… Read More

There’s no App Store ’emoji apocalypse,’ just inconsistent policy enforcement

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:00 PM PST

 A number of iOS app developers have been mystified by a new wave of app rejections related to their use of Apple’s emojis. They’ve suspected that a new App Store crackdown is underway. However, the company hasn’t changed its policy on Apple emoji usage in apps, nor its enforcement, according to sources familiar with the App Store review team’s processes. The policy… Read More

China’s Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 06:20 PM PST

 Uber’s tangled relationship with investors Didi and SoftBank is about to get more complicated after the duo inked an agreement to introduce taxi-hailing services that will compete directly with Uber in Japan. Didi dominates the Chinese market — thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China — but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition… Read More

Waymo gets to the heart of its case

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 06:15 PM PST

 Attorneys for Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle spinout, are nearing the end of their plaintiffs presentation against Uber in a trial that is likely to have broad ramifications for the common Valley practice of acqui-hiring talent. The case hinges on whether the jury believes Uber’s assertion that the technology used in its autonomous car project was developed and acquired… Read More

Facebook confirms test of a downvote button for flagging comments

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 05:01 PM PST

 How can Facebook promote meaningful interaction between users? By letting them downvote inappropriate comments to hide them. Facebook is now testing a downvote button on a limited set of public Page post comment reels, the company confirms to TechCrunch. But what Facebook does with signals about problematic comments could raise new questions about censorship, and its role as a news editor… Read More

‘Pod Save America’ is coming to HBO

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:44 PM PST

 HBO is bringing the popular left-wing podcast Pod Save America to TV this fall with a series of hour-long specials. The podcast is hosted Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett, all alums of the Obama administration. They started out by hosting the podcast Keepin’ it 1600 for The Ringer (a site backed by HBO), before launching a new podcast in January from their new… Read More

Nvidia up 10% after Q4 earnings beat, says cryptocurrency demand ‘exceeded expectations’

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:27 PM PST

 Nvidia’s successes are continuing to pile on as the company’s gaming and data center businesses drove revenues up 34 percent year-over-year. Nvidia shares were up around 10 percent after-hours following the company’s release of its fourth-quarter earnings report. The company reported EPS of $1.78 on revenue of $2.91 billion, beating analyst expectations of $1.17 per share… Read More

Nest co-founder Matt Rogers announces exit from Google

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:19 PM PST

 A day after Alphabet announced plans to roll Nest into its hardware team, co-founder Matt Rogers has announced that he’s exiting the company. The story was first noted by CNET and quickly confirmed by Rogers on Twitter. Read More

Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s $121 billion bid

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:04 PM PST

Broadcom headquarters The largest tech acquisition offer in history wasn’t enough. Qualcomm’s board of directors issued a statement on Thursday saying that they are turning down Broadcom’s $121 billion bid to buy the competing chipmaker. Read More

This Old House launches its DIY website House One

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 02:41 PM PST

House One Media executives sometimes say that their companies are like a startup — but in the case of This Old House, that’s actually kind of true, since Time Inc. sold the 40-year-old brand (best known for the home improvement TV show of the same name) to Eric Thorkilsen and TZP Growth Partners less than two years ago. Read More

Judge rules Grubhub properly classified delivery driver as independent contractor

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:45 PM PST

 A few months after hearing closing arguments in the Lawson v. Grubhub case, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has ruled Raef Lawson, the plaintiff, was indeed an independent contractor while driving and delivering food for Grubhub. Read More

Same-day delivery service Deliv launches Deliv Rx for same-day prescriptions

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:09 PM PST

 Deliv, the crowdsourced same-day delivery service which today partners with retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy, Petsmart and Walmart on various initiatives, today announced a new service to offer same-day delivery of prescription medications. At launch, Deliv Rx, as the service is being called, will power same-day delivery of prescriptions for select Walgreens, as well as Kay Pharmacy,… Read More

What’s needed to unlock the real power of blockchain and distributed apps

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:00 PM PST

 There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the future of blockchain lately. With cryptocurrency prices reaching all-time highs and total market capitalization topping $800 billion recently, everyone wants to know if we’re witnessing the second coming of the internet or the craziest bubble of all time. If you ask me, it’s a bit of both. Read More

Now you can use Alexa to create music playlists

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 12:48 PM PST

 The recent arrival of the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max have demonstrated, if nothing else, what a smart speaker can be when it’s music first. On the other hand, audio’s never been as much of a driver on Amazon’s Echo line, though the company did take a small step in that direction with its recent refresh. This week, the company’s adding another small but useful… Read More

Scribd’s new unlimited plan for audiobooks and e-books might be an avid reader’s dream

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 12:33 PM PST

 Avid audiobook nerds tired of dealing with Audible’s nonsense or long library queues now have a new way to get a steady stream of the good stuff. Scribd just announced it will be reinstating an unlimited plan offering relatively unfettered access to e-books, audiobooks, news, magazines, documents and sheet music. Read More

Human sequencing pioneer George Church wants to give you the power to sell your DNA on the blockchain

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:38 AM PST

 The blockchain is the buzziest thing on the internet these days and now MIT professor and godfather of the Human Genome Project George Church wants to put your genes on it. His new startup Nebula Genomics plans to sequence your genome for less than $1,000 and then add your data to the blockchain through the purchase of a “Nebula Token.” Read More

Twitch updates its community policies to crack down on hate speech, harassment and sexual content

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:31 AM PST

 Twitch today is announcing an update to its Community Guidelines that aim to clarify how the company will enforce its existing anti-harassment and hateful content policies, while also ramping up the attention paid to those channels that breach its sexual content guidelines. In the case of the hateful content and anti-harassment guidelines, Twitch says that any hateful conduct will result in… Read More

Apple addresses iOS source code leak, says it appears to be tied to three-year-old software

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:36 AM PST

 Earlier this week, iOS source code showed up on GitHub, raising concerns that hackers could find a way to comb the material for vulnerabilities. Apple has yet to confirm or deny the legitimacy of the posted material, but all signs point to it being the real deal — a fact seemingly confirmed by a DMCA takedown notice issued to the platform. Read More

Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle, will overlap with Google I/O

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:21 AM PST

 Scheduling tech conferences is hard, especially in May, when seemingly every company wants to hold a major event, including Google and Microsoft. Typically, Google I/O and Microsoft Build, the flagship developer conferences for both companies, happen within a week or two of each other in May. But not this year. Read More