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Sign up today: 2-for-1 Innovator passes to Disrupt Berlin

TechCrunch is headed to Germany yet again to host Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30. We simply love this city’s startup scene, one of the most innovative and fastest-growing in Europe. If you’re a founder, investor, hacker or tech leader, you can’t

Launch with TechCrunch in the Startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt SF 2018

Hey, this message goes out to all you early-stage startup founders with the drive and determination to take your company all the way to the land of the unicorns. Now’s the time to apply to TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield competition — the world’

Microsoft acquires conversational AI startup Semantic Machines to help bots sound more lifelike

Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Semantic Machines, a Berkeley-based startup that wants to solve one of the biggest challenges in conversational AI: making chatbots sound more human and less like, well, bots. In a blog post, Microsoft AI & R

Progressive advocacy groups call on the FTC to “make Facebook safe for democracy”

A team of progressive advocacy groups, including MoveOn and Demand Progress, are asking the Federal Trade Commission to “make Facebook safe for democracy.” According to Axios, the campaign, called Freedom From Facebook, will launch a six-figure a

Are algorithms hacking our thoughts?

Adriana Stan Contributor Share on Twitter Adriana Stan is the public relations director of W magazine and a writer on media, culture and technology. She is also the co-founder of the Interesting People in Interesting Times event series and podcast. More post

Orbital ATK is launching a cargo rocket for the ISS early tomorrow morning

Wake up in the wee hours of the morning on the East Coast, and you might get a chance to watch a rocket launch more than three tons of cargo for the International Space Station. Set for a 4:39 ET liftoff from NASA’s facility on Wallops Island, Virginia

Nvidia’s researchers teach a robot to perform simple tasks by observing a human

Industrial robots are typically all about repeating a well-defined task over and over again. Usually, that means performing those tasks a safe distance away from the fragile humans that programmed them. More and more, however, researchers are now thinking ab

Bail reform has a complex relationship with tech

On any given day in the United States, more than 450,000 people are behind bars awaiting their constitutionally mandated fair trial. None of them have been convicted of a crime — they’ve been accused of committing a crime, but no formal ruling of

With at least $1.3 billion invested globally in 2018, VC funding for blockchain blows past 2017 totals

Although bitcoin and blockchain technology may not take up quite as much mental bandwidth for the general public as it did just a few months ago, companies in the space continue to rake in capital from investors. One of the latest to do so is Circle, which r

AT&T launches its LTE-powered Amazon Dash-style button

When we first told you about AT&T’s LTE-M Button, the information was socked away in a deluge of AWS Re:Invent announcements. The telecom giant was a bit more upfront when announcing its availability earlier this week — but just a bit. After all, it

After tens of thousands of pre-orders, 3D audio headphones startup Ossic disappears

After taking tens of thousands of crowd-funding pre-orders for a high-end pair of “3D sound” headphones, audio startup Ossic announced this weekend that it is shutting down the company and backers will not be receiving refunds. The company raised

A simple solution to end the encryption debate

David Gurle Contributor Share on Twitter David Gurle is the founder and chief executive of Symphony Comunication. Bill Harrington Contributor Bill Harrington is a former federal prosecutor and a partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter. Criminals and terrorist

Longtime LG Group chairman Koo Bon-Moo dies at 73

South Korean electronics conglomerate LG Group announced this morning that the company’s longtime chairman Koo Bon-Moo has passed away at 73. Koo’s death follows a year-long battle with brain disease, for which he had undergone surgery, according to Reute

Shared housing startups are taking off

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor These schools graduate the most funded startup CEOs The formula behind San Francisco’s startup success When young adults leave the parental nest, they often follow a predictable pattern. First, move

Siempo’s new app will break your smartphone addiction

A new app called Siempo wants to un-addict you from your smartphone and its numerous attention-stealing apps. To do so, Siempo replaces an Android device’s homescreen, while also taking advantage of a number of design principles to push distractions fur

‘My Data Request’ lists guides to get data about you

GDPR is right around the corner, so it’s time to prepare your personal data requests. If you live in the European Union, tech companies have to comply with personal data requests after May 25th. And there’s a handy website that helps you do just that. My

Apple started paying $15 billion European tax fine

It took a couple of years, but Apple has started to pay back illegal tax benefits to the Irish government. The company has paid $1.77 billion (€1.5 billion) into an escrow account designed to hold the fine. Apple has to pay $15 billion in total (€13 billi

La Belle Vie wants to compete with Amazon Prime Now in Paris

French startup La Belle Vie announced a new funding round of $6.5 million earlier this week (€5.5 million). Julien Mangeard, Thibaut Faurès Fustel de Coulanges, Louis Duclert, Kima Ventures and Shake-Up Factory participated in the founding round. Onli

Original Content podcast: ‘Dear White People’ returns to ask more uncomfortable questions

Dear White People has a pretty provocative title — and the show, for the most part, lives up to that promise, with a sharply drawn portrait of racial tension at Winchester University, a fictional Ivy League school. It was originally a film written and direc

Meet the judges for the TC Startup Battlefield Europe at VivaTech

VivaTech is right around the corner, and I’m excited to introduce you to the third batch of judges that will come to Paris for TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Europe. If you haven’t been to TechCrunch Disrupt, the Startup Battlefield is arguably the mo

NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite takes a stellar first test image

TESS, the satellite launched by NASA last month that will search thousands of stars for Earth-like exoplanets, has just sent back its first test image. It's just a quick one, not «science-quality,» but it does give you an idea of the scale of the

Does Google’s Duplex violate two-party consent laws?

Google's Duplex, which calls businesses on your behalf and imitates a real human, ums and ahs included, has sparked a bit of controversy among privacy advocates. Doesn't Google recording a person's voice and sending it to a datacenter for analysis violate two

AI will save us from yanny/laurel, right? Wrong

If you haven't taken part in the yanny/laurel controversy over the last couple days, allow me to sincerely congratulate you. But your time is up. The viral speech synth clip has met the AI hype train and the result is, like everything in this mortal world, di

zGlue launches a configurable system-on-a-chip to help developers implement customized chipsets

The complexity and cost of packing an array of sensors and power inside a small amount of space has opened the door to a wider and wider variety of use cases for internet-connected devices beyond just smart thermostats or cameras — and also exposed a hole f

AWS adds more EC2 instance types with local NVMe storage

AWS is adding a new kind of virtual machine to its growing list of EC2 options. These new machines feature local NVMe storage, which offers significantly faster throughput than standard SSDs. These new so-called C5d instances join the existing lineup of compu

EU parliament pushes for Zuckerberg hearing to be live streamed

There’s confusion about whether a meeting between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the European Union’s parliament — which is due to take place next Tuesday — will go ahead as planned or not. The meeting was confirmed by the EU p

Trump reportedly pushed USPS to double Amazon’s shipping rates

According to new reporting from The Washington Post, President trump personally pushed United States Postal Service head Megan Brennan to jack up shipping prices on Amazon and and other firms. The story comes from unnamed sources, who suggest that, thus far,

Baidu’s top AI exec is stepping down

Baidu’s stocks took a hit earlier today after the company announced that its Qi Lu is stepping down his job as President/COO after just a year and a half. In a press release tied to the news, the executive cited personal reasons for his decision to “trans

MoviePass competitor Sinemia can’t keep up with demand

A number of people are complaining about Sinemia not delivering them their movie membership cards within the seven-day timeframe the company said it would. Although Sinemia has charged people for their memberships, the company has not been able to deliver th

Tiny house trend advances into the nano scale

All around the world, hip young people are competing to see who can live in the tinest, quirkiest, twee-est house. But this one has them all beat. Assembled by a combination of origami and nanometer-precise robot wielding an ion beam, this tiniest of houses m

Apply today for a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package at Disrupt SF ‘18

Every tech founder worth their title knows that investors, customers and media exposure form the life blood of every early-stage startup. And there’s no better way to place your startup in front of these three essential groups than to exhibit in Startup Al

What we know about Google’s Duplex demo so far

The highlight of Google’s I/O keynote earlier this month was the reveal of Duplex, a system that can make calls to set up a salon appointment or a restaurant reservation for you by calling those places, chatting with a human and getting the job done. Th

A leaked look at Facebook’s search engine for influencer marketing

Facebook’s next money-maker could be this tool for connecting marketers to social media creators so they can team up on sponsored content Facebook ad campaigns. The Branded Content Matching search engine lets advertisers select the biographical characte

Bell & Ross releases a new watch for travelers

In my endless quest to get geeks interested in watches I present to you the Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT 24H, a new GMT watch from one of my favorite manufacturers that is a great departure from the company’s traditional designs. The watch is a 41mm rou

Vota turns your credit card transactions into recommendations, helps you spot fraud

Oh my god, someone’s doing Blippy again. If you’ve been around the internet as long as I have (too long), you’ll probably remember the meteoric rise of the social network for sharing your purchases, Blippy, which was hyped up to a $46.2 mill

Lyft hires former Tesla Autopilot manager for self-driving car efforts

Sameer Qureshi has left his role as a senior manager of Tesla Autopilot Programs and has joined Lyft, according to his LinkedIn. We first saw the news over on Electrek. Tesla declined to comment, but Lyft confirmed Qureshi joined the team this week. At Lyft

A leaked look at Facebook’s influencer search engine for advertisers

Facebook’s next money-maker could be this tool for connecting marketers to social media creators so they can team up on sponsored content Facebook ad campaigns. The Branded Content Matching search engine lets advertisers select the biographical characte

Uber’s chief product officer is out

Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden, who oversaw Uber Elevate, has left the company, Recode first reported. His last day was yesterday, TechCrunch confirmed. On a day-to-day level, Holden was not that heavily involved. Manik Gupta, for example, is in charg

Fortnite is finally coming to Android this summer

Fornite is finally coming to Android…in a matter of months. After dominating the iOS gaming charts since March, the wildly popular sandbox survival game will be hitting the world’s top mobile operating system at some point this summer. Creator Epic Games
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