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Come to TechCrunch’s party and SXSW panels

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 01:32 PM PST

 TechCrunch invites you to our annual Crunch By Crunch Fest party in Austin, Texas. RSVP to come meet our writers while enjoying free drinks and musical performances by live electronic pop wizards Autograf, digital RnB drummer Mobley, angelic songwriter MIEARS, and yacht dance DJs Glassio. It’s going down from noon to 4pm, Sunday March 11th. We’re teaming up with Splash to take over… Read More

Air’s app lets you record high-quality home movies without running out of space

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 01:30 PM PST

 These days, home movies aren’t recorded with handheld video cameras, but rather with our smartphones. Unfortunately, there’s a downside. Our iPhones default to lower quality video so recordings won’t eat up storage space; and while you can adjust that all the way to 4K on newer devices, that would drastically increase your storage consumption. You’d soon receive… Read More

Blockchain will work in trucking — but only if these three things happen

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 01:00 PM PST

 Sometimes a buzzword gets so overhyped that it deserves some light-hearted mockery. That seems to be the case with “blockchain.” While it’s true that not every industry can benefit from a distributed-ledger technology, the trucking industry most certainly can. Here are the three things I think must happen to make blockchain viable in trucking. Read More

These robotic skiers hit the slopes in style

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 12:12 PM PST

 Researchers took part in the Ski Robot Challenge last month and the resulting videos – essentially quick cuts of robots in ski jackets totally whanging off the gates and spinning out in the powder. The Challenge, run by the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement, is sort of a Winter Olympics for wonky androids. The rules are pretty complex. According to Spectrum: Each robot must… Read More

UiPath raising around $120M at $1B+ valuation for its ‘software robots’ for internal business tasks

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 12:03 PM PST

 The initial hype around bots — applications that run partly or entirely using natural language processing, machine learning, computer vision and other AI tech to help consumers ask and answer questions, buy things and get other stuff done — may have waned a bit, but a startup building the equivalent for the enterprise world, in a fast-growing field called robotic process automation,… Read More

Amazon Prime Video will now slake your thirst for bad but great reality TV

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 11:54 AM PST

 Amazon Prime Video just added a heaping helping of reality TV to its catalog, including multiple seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, River Monsters, Whale Wars, Miami Ink, Survivorman, Hoarding: Buried Alive and a whole lot of other shows that have ruined the once sterling reputations of networks like TLC, A&E and others (via Variety). These shows are pure, unadulterated trash and… Read More

Another small business complains of counterfeiters on Amazon

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 11:46 AM PST

 It’s become a standard part of my Amazon shopping trips that I check the reviews and merchants carefully to make sure I’m not buying a poor-quality counterfeit of the item in question. But not everyone is as suspicious as me — especially when Amazon sells the counterfeit under the official listing for the original. The creators of a popular doodad had this happen to them,… Read More

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn reiterates need to fight for open internet

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 11:20 AM PST

 When the FCC rolled back net neutrality protections in December, advocates for the free, open internet came out en masse. Although the decision has been made, the fight isn’t over yet, and that’s what FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn reiterated today at the fifth annual Lesbians Who Tech conference at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. “What the FCC did was to depress… Read More

Micropodcasting? Facebook tries Voice Clip status updates

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 10:53 AM PST

 More intimate than text but easier to record than video, Facebook hopes voice could get people sharing more on its aging social network. And internationally, where users may have to deal with non-native language keyboards, voice lets them speak their mind without a typing barrier. Read More

Fret Zealot adds lights and learning to your guitar

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 10:22 AM PST

 I’ve been messing around with LED-embedded guitars since the original GTar. Designed to help beginners learn and players look like all supersonic freakadelic on stage, they have quickly become commonplace if expensive. Now Fret Zealot has something that can turn your guitar into a laser light show in a few minutes. Designed as an $199 add-on to any acoustic or electric guitar, this… Read More

Galaxy S9’s display takes honors alongside its camera

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 10:02 AM PST

 Earlier this morning Samsung’s Galaxy S9’s camera was awarded the highest-yet score from DxOMark, and now its screen gets the best-of-all-time nod from DisplayMate and display wonk Ray Soneira. The margins between the victor and the vanquished, however, are growing thinner every generation. Read More

Voice shopping estimated to hit $40 billion across U.S. and U.K. by 2022

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 10:01 AM PST

 The growing popularity of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home will lead to an explosion in voice-based shopping, according to a new market research report from OC&C Strategy Consultants out this week. The firm is bullishly predicting that voice shopping will grow to a whopping $40 billion-plus in 2022, up from $2 billion today across the U.S. and the U.K. This sizable increase… Read More

Citi wants fintech startups to disrupt institutional banking

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 09:57 AM PST

 Financial services giant Citi reckons fintech startups are missing out on a major opportunity to disrupt institutional banking. Indeed, it’s inviting entrepreneurs to do so.  Read More

Alexa has literally lost her voice as users report outages and unresponsiveness

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 09:15 AM PST

 Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant seems to be down this morning. We’ve been hearing reports over the last hour of either delayed responses or just total loss of connection. While Amazon doesn’t have a status page for its consumer products, Down Detector is reporting a huge spike in Alexa-related complaints over the last hour. For example, Alexa is giving me replies like… Read More

Twitter is now specifically focusing on increasing black, Latinx and female representation

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 09:00 AM PST

 Twitter met or surpassed many of the diversity and inclusion goals it set for itself for 2017, the company announced today. Twitter is now 38.4 percent female, compared to 37 percent in 2016. Regarding underrepresented minorities at Twitter, representation increased from 11 percent in 2016 to 12.5 percent in 2017. Read More

Facebook’s wider Kremlin Brexit ad sweep draws a blank

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 08:43 AM PST

 Facebook has claimed to have found no further evidence of co-ordinated Russian-backed ad purchases on its platform targeting the 2016 Brexit vote in addition to the ad buys it previously reported.  Read More

Despite Uber debacle, HackerOne’s CEO argues why every company should work with hackers

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 08:00 AM PST

 In November, Uber disclosed that a year earlier, hackers stole 57 million driver and rider accounts and that it paid them a $100,000 ransom to delete the information. The breach was reportedly part of Uber’s bug bounty program. At an event in San Francisco this week, Marten Mickos, the CEO of HackerOne (which runs Uber’s bug bounty program) answered questions about… Read More

Google expands snippets to answer more questions right in the search results

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 07:56 AM PST

 For years, Google’s “featured snippets” have offered quick answers to users’ search queries by pulling information from web pages and placing it in a box above the search results. This week, Google began rolling out a new snippet experience for web searchers with multiple answers to the question posed in the search box – something that addresses the problem of… Read More

MIT study shows how much driving for Uber or Lyft sucks

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 07:45 AM PST

 Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are delivering pitiful levels of take-home pay to the hundreds of thousands of US independent contractors providing their own vehicles and driving skills to deliver the core service, according to an MIT CEEPR study examining the economics of the two app platforms. The report catalyses the debate about conditions for workers on gig economy platforms, and… Read More

eBay joins Amazon in battle with Wish with launch of an ‘Under $10’ storefront

Posted: 02 Mar 2018 07:03 AM PST

 The popularity of low-cost online deals, like those found on Wish, led Amazon in January to launch an “under $10” selection of products that ship for free. This week, eBay is following suit. The company announced on Thursday a new “under $10” shopping destination of its own, also with the perk of having items ship for free. The selection includes  fashion, tech,… Read More