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Science/Tech / TechCrunch

How Ryan Reynolds and Mint Mobile worked without becoming the joke

In the past decade, celebrity interest and investment in tech companies has significantly increased. But not all celebrity investments are created equally. Some investors, like Ashton Kutcher, have prioritized the VC pursuits. Some have invested casually without getting overly involved. Others have used their considerable platforms to market their portfolio to varying degrees of success. []

28 Nov 2020 8:30 pm
Original Content podcast: Just dont watch Netflixs Holidate with your parents

You might think that a new Netflix film called Holidate offers holiday-themed romance thats perfect for a family watch party. Youd be wrong. The film stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey as a pair of strangers who agree (in classic romantic comedy style) to keep each other company on holidays. And while the movie cant []

28 Nov 2020 7:30 pm
Black Friday on track for $8.9B+ in online sales as shoppers stay away from brick-and-mortar stores

Black Friday the day that launched 1,000 other shopping holidays may have lost its place as the start of the Christmas shopping season by now (it gets bigger and earlier with each passing year). But the day after Thanksgiving still pulls in a crowd of buyers looking for a bargainand remains a major []

28 Nov 2020 5:42 pm
Tony Hsieh, iconic Las Vegas tech entrepreneur, dies aged 46

Tony Hsieh, the former head of Zappos who catapulted the shoe company into the big leagues with a sale to Amazon and then used the proceeds of his success in a huge project kickstarting regeneration of a run-down part of Las Vegas, Nevada, with tech and wider business investments, has died at the age of []

28 Nov 2020 2:04 pm
Facebooks Libra could launch in January

According to a report from the Financial Times, Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra could launch in January. More interestingly, the Libra Association, the consortium created by Facebook, could scale back its ambitions once again. When it was first unveiled, the Libra cryptocurrency was supposed to be a brand new currency tied to a basket of fiat currencies []

27 Nov 2020 10:31 pm
India sets rules for commissions, surge pricing for Uber and Ola

Ride-hailing firms such as Ola and Uber can only draw a fee of up to 20% on ride fares in India, New Delhi said in guidelines on Friday, a new setback for the SoftBank-backed firms already struggling to improve their finances in the key overseas market. The guidelines, which for the first time bring modern-age []

27 Nov 2020 9:53 pm
Theres no hacker house geared toward undergraduate women, so they created one of their own

Hacker houses are making a comeback for entrepreneurs as remote work drags on. While founders are adapting to quarantine in style, a group of college women in their 20s arent waiting until they are done with undergraduate to plunge into the lifestyle themselves. Started by college juniors Coco Sack and Kendall Titus, Womxn Ignite is []

27 Nov 2020 9:30 pm
No Google-Fitbit merger without human rights remedies, says Amnesty to EU

Human rights NGO, Amnesty International, has written to the EUs competition regulator calling for Googles acquisition of wearable maker Fitbit to be blocked unless meaningful safeguards can be baked in. The tech giant announced its intent to splash $2.1BN to acquire Fitbit a year ago but has yet to gain regulatory approval for the []

27 Nov 2020 7:47 pm
Is Slack overpriced now that the market knows Salesforce might buy it?

The Exchange is technically off today, but were here anyway because theres neat stuff in the world of startups and money to talk about. So, lets yammer this morning about Slacks new valuation and what the market is telling us about what the venerable SaaS company is really worth. The Exchange explores startups, markets and []

27 Nov 2020 7:46 pm
Wall Street needs to relax, as startups show remote work is here to stay

We are hearing that a COVID-19 vaccine could be on the way sooner than later, and that means we could be returning to normal life some time in 2021. Thats the good news. The perplexing news, however, is that each time some positive news emerges about a vaccine and believe me Im not complaining []

27 Nov 2020 4:47 pm
UK to set up pro-competition regulator to put limits on big tech

The UK is moving ahead with a plan to regulate big tech, responding to competition concerns over a winner takes all dynamic in digital markets. It will set up a new Digital Market Unit (DMU) to oversee a pro-competition regime for Internet platforms including those funded by online advertising, such as Facebook and Google []

27 Nov 2020 3:40 pm
Alibaba vies for a piece of Chinas booming EV market

Theres no lack of news these days on Chinas tech giants teaming up with traditional carmakers. Companies from Alibaba to Huawei are striving to become relevant in the trillion-dollar auto industry, which itself is seeking an electric transition and intelligent upgrade as 5G comes of age. State-owned automaker SAIC Motor, a major player in China, []

27 Nov 2020 9:26 am
Gift Guide: Black Friday tech deals that are actually worth checking out

Black Friday approaches! In a year where asking Alexa what day today is feels totally normal, this Black Friday seems like it came out of nowhere. As we say pretty much every year, a lot of Black Friday deals are not that good. While there are certainly deals to be found, theres also a lot []

27 Nov 2020 5:39 am
Facebooks latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation

Reset yer counters: Facebook has had to fess up to yet another major ad reporting fail. This one looks like it could be costly for the tech giant to put right not least because its another dent in its reputation for self reporting. (For past Facebook ad metric errors check out our reports from []

27 Nov 2020 1:56 am
Thanksgiving on track for a record $6B in US online sales, says Adobe

As people prepare and eat their Thanksgiving meals, or just work on relaxing for the day, some consumers are going online to get a jump on holiday shopping deals. Adobe, which is following online sales in real time at 80 of the top 100 retailers in the US, covering some 100 million SKUs, says that []

26 Nov 2020 11:14 pm
AstraZeneca says it will likely do another study of COVID-19 vaccine after accidental lower dose shows higher efficacy

AstraZenecas CEO told Bloomberg that the pharmaceutical company will likely conduct another global trial of the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine trial, following the disclosure that the more effective dosage in the existing Phase 3 clinical trial was actually administered by accident. AstraZeneca and its partner the University of Oxford reported interim results that showed []

26 Nov 2020 10:28 pm
Bigblue wants to automate e-commerce fulfillment in Europe

Meet Bigblue, a French startup that just raised a $3.6 million seed round (3 million) to build an end-to-end fulfillment solution in Europe. If you sell products on your own website and across multiple marketplaces, you can use Bigblue to handle everything that happens after a transaction. Bigblue doesnt try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, []

26 Nov 2020 10:24 pm
Foxconn could move some iPad and MacBook production to Vietnam

Following a request from Apple, Foxconn could be shifting production out of China for some iPad and MacBook models according to a report from Reuters. The new assembly lines would be based in Vietnam. As a recent investigation from The Information highlighted, both companies are intrinsically connected. The Taiwanese manufacturer is Apples main production partner. []

26 Nov 2020 9:40 pm
US Fertility says patient data was stolen in a ransomware attack

U.S. Fertility, one of the largest networks of fertility clinics in the United States, has confirmed it was hit by a ransomware attack and that data was taken. The company was formed in May as a partnership between Shady Grove Fertility, a fertility clinic with dozens of locations across the U.S. east coast, and Amulet []

26 Nov 2020 8:54 pm
GDPR enforcement must level up to catch big tech, report warns

A new report by European consumer protection umbrella group Beuc, reflecting on the barriers to effective cross-border enforcement of the EUs flagship data protection framework, makes awkward reading for the regional lawmakers and regulators as they seek to shape the next decades of digital oversight across the bloc. Beucs members filed a series of complaints []

26 Nov 2020 7:40 pm
Equity Dive: Edtechs 2020 wakeup call

Hello and welcome back toEquity, TechCrunchs venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week, were doing a first-ever for the show and taking a deep dive into one specific sector: Edtech. Natasha Mascarenhas has covered education technology since Stanford first closed down classes in the wake of []

26 Nov 2020 7:30 pm
TikToks epic rise and stumble

TikToks rise in the West is unprecedented for any Chinese tech company, and so is the amount of attention it has attracted from politicians worldwide. Below is a timeline of how TikTok grew from what some considered another copycat short video app to global dominance and eventually became a target of the U.S. government. 2012-2017: []

26 Nov 2020 2:41 pm
Rock-star programmer: Rivers Cuomo finds meaning in coding

Hi, Im Rivers from the band, Weezer, Rivers Cuomo says with a slight smile and a wave. He turns away from the camera for a bit, before launching into his best infomercial pitch. Imagine youre on tour, and youre sitting in your dressing room or your tour bus. Youre backstage. You have stage fright, youre []

26 Nov 2020 4:53 am
Daily Crunch: Amazon Web Services stumble

An Amazon Web Services outage has a wide effect, Salesforce might be buying Slack and Pinterest tests new support for virtual events. This is your Daily Crunch for November 25, 2020. And for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving: Enjoy! There will be no newsletter tomorrow, and then Darrell Etherington will be filling in for []

26 Nov 2020 4:40 am
Gift Guide: 5 solid tech gifts to help decrease stress and increase sleep

Even in a normal year, the holidays can be an anxiety-inducing hellscape. In 2020, though honestly, its hard to say what manner of climactic finale this historically rough year might have on tap. In honor of the one of the most epically rotten years on record, weve cobbled together a list of gifts that could go a ways toward helping folks make it triumphantly across the finish line.

26 Nov 2020 3:36 am
Enterprise investor Jason Green on SPAC hopefuls versus startups bound for traditional IPOs

Jason Green has a pretty solid reputation as venture capitalists go. The enterprise-focused firm the cofounded 17 years ago, Emergence Capital, has backed Saleforce, Box, and Zoom, among many other companies, and even while every firm is now investing in software-as-a-service startups, the firm remains a go-to for many top founders selling business products and []

26 Nov 2020 2:59 am
Flexible expressions could lift 3D-generated faces out of the uncanny valley

3D-rendered faces are a big part of any major movie or game now, but the task of capturing and animated them in a natural way can be a tough one. Disney Research is working on ways to smooth out this process, among them a machine learning tool that makes it much easier to generate and []

26 Nov 2020 2:25 am
Remote-controlled delivery carts are now working for the local Los Angeles grocer

Robots are no longer the high-tech tools reserved for university labs, e-commerce giants and buzzy Silicon Valley startups. The local grocer now has access too. Tortoise, the one-year-old Silicon Valley startup known for its remote repositioning electric scooters, has taken its tech and adapted it to delivery carts. The company recently partnered with online grocery []

26 Nov 2020 1:21 am
France starts collecting tax on tech giants

France is going forward with its plan to tax big tech companies. The government has sent out notices to tech giants, as reported by the Financial Times, Reuters and AFP. There could be retaliation tariffs on French goods in the U.S. For the past couple of years, Frances Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has been []

26 Nov 2020 12:16 am
As IBM shifts to hybrid cloud, reports have them laying off 10,000 in EU

As IBM makes a broad shift in strategy, Bloomberg reported this morning that the company would be cutting around 10,000 jobs in Europe. This comes on the heels of last months announcement that the organization will be spinning out its infrastructure services business next year. While IBM wouldnt confirm the layoffs, a spokesperson suggested there []

26 Nov 2020 12:11 am
What will tomorrows tech look like? Ask someone who cant see

Sight tech or more broadly, eyes-free tech now touches every part of our lives and the devices that we depend on. And its not just blind and visually impaired people who are benefitting.

25 Nov 2020 11:41 pm
Insurtechs big year gets bigger as Metromile looks to go public

In the wake of insurtech unicorn Roots IPO, it felt safe to say that the big transactions for the insurance technology startup space were done for the year. After all, 2020 had been a big one for the broad category, with insurtech marketplaces raising lots, rental insurance startup Lemonade going public, Root itself debuting even []

25 Nov 2020 11:31 pm
Amazon Web Services outage takes a portion of the internet down with it

Amazon Web Services is currently having an outage, taking a chunk of the internet down with it. Several AWS services were experiencing problems as of early Wednesday, according to its status page. That means any app, site or service that relies on AWS might also be down, too. (As I found out the hard way []

25 Nov 2020 11:02 pm
Slacks stock climbs on possible Salesforce acquisition

News that Salesforce is interested in buying Slack, the popular workplace chat company, sent shares of the smaller firm sharply higher today. Slack shares are up just under 25% at the moment, according to Yahoo Finance data. Slack is worth $36.95 per share as of the time of writing, valuing it at around $20.8 billion. []

25 Nov 2020 10:37 pm
Instead of Yule log, watch this interactive dumpster fire because 2020

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes stress, anxiety and the airing of grievances. And this year is worse. Instead of watching a yule log smolder in a warm hearth, were all stuck in our homes watching the world burn. Try this interactive dumpster fire instead of yelling into the void. The []

25 Nov 2020 9:53 pm
Join us for a live Q&A with Sapphires Jai Das on Tuesday at 2 pm ET/11 am PT

Sure, were heading into a holiday weekend here in America, but that doesnt mean that the good ship TechCrunch is going to slow down. Were diving right back in next week with another installment in season two of Extra Crunch Live, our regular interview series with startup founders, venture capitalists, and other leaders from the []

25 Nov 2020 8:45 pm
Cast.ai nabs $7.7M seed to remove barriers between public clouds

When you launch an application in the public cloud, you usually put everything on one provider, but what if you could choose the components based on cost and technology and have your database one place and your storage another? Thats what Cast.ai says that it can provide, and today it announced a healthy $7.7 million []

25 Nov 2020 8:23 pm
Europe sets out the rules of the road for its data reuse plan

European Union lawmakers have laid out a major legislative proposal today to encourage the reuse of industrial data across the Single Market by creating a standardized framework of trusted tools and techniques to ensure what they describe as secure and privacy-compliant conditions for sharing data. Enabling a network of trusted and neutral data intermediaries, and []

25 Nov 2020 7:40 pm
Amazon expands IP Accelerator to Europe after US SMBs register 6,000 trademarks

As we head into the biggest shopping period of the year which this year may well have an even stronger online component than usual because of Covid-19 Amazon has launched its latest effort to combat the sale of counterfeit goods on its site. The e-commerce giant today announced that its free IP Accelerator []

25 Nov 2020 6:41 pm
Tiger Global invests in Indias Unacademy at $2 billion valuation

Unacademy, an online learning platform in India, has added two more marquee investors to its cap table. The Bangalore-based startup, which focuses on K-12 online education, said on Wednesday it has raised new funds from Tiger Global Management and Dragoneer Investment Group. The funding round, which is between $75 million to $100 million in size []

25 Nov 2020 6:19 pm
Coinbase disables margin trading following guidance from Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Just a few months after launching margin trading on Coinbase Pro, the company is disabling the feature. Margin trading lets you trade on leverage. But it works both ways margin trading lets you multiply your gains and your losses. Starting on November 25, 2pm PT, users wont be able to place new margin trades. []

25 Nov 2020 3:07 pm
WeGift, the incentive marketing platform, collects $8M in new funding

WeGift, the London-based startup that has built an incentive marketing platform that lets businesses easily issue e-gift cards and other digital rewards to customers, has raised $8 million in new funding. Dubbed a Series A extension, the round is led by AlbionVC. Existing investors including Stride.vc, SAP.iO fund and Unilever Ventures also followed on. Following []

25 Nov 2020 2:30 pm
As e-bikes boom, FuroSystems raises its first venture funding round ahead of a new model launch

With COVID-19 making commuters switch to bikes, and cities wanting cleaner air, the e-bike revolution is only just getting started. Further evidence of this is the news that today British e-bike manufacturer FuroSystems has closed its first institutional venture funding round of 750,000 with participation by TSP Ventures and European impact investment bank, ClearlySo, as []

25 Nov 2020 2:30 pm