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Science/Tech / TechCrunch

Tesla calls claims of unintended acceleration in NHTSA petition completely false

Tesla pushed back Monday against claims that its electric vehicles may suddenly accelerate on their own, calling a petition filed with federal safety regulators “completely false.” Tesla also questions the validity of the petition, noting that it was submitted by a Tesla short-seller. Last week, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration said it would […]

21 Jan 2020 1:50 am
Court rules Mike Rothenberg must fork over more than $31 million to settle SEC allegations

Mike Rothenberg, the once high-flying VC bent on bringing the party to Silicon Valley, must now pay a whopping $31.4 million to settle a California federal court ruling in favor of Security and Exchange Commission allegations. TechCrunch deemed Rothenberg a ‘virtual gatsby’ back in 2016, when we first broke the news about the downfall of […]

21 Jan 2020 12:40 am
Rocket Labs first launch of 2020 is a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office

Rocket Lab has announced its first mission for 2020 a dedicated rocket launch on behalf of client the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) with a launch window that opens on January 31. The Electron rocket Rocket Lab is using for this mission will take off from its Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) in New Zealand, […]

21 Jan 2020 12:32 am
Israels cybersecurity startup scene spawned new entrants in 2019

Yoav Leitersdorf Contributor Share on Twitter Yoav Leitersdorf is the Silicon Valley-based Managing Partner at YL Ventures, where he accelerates cybersecurity startups in the U.S. market. More posts by this contributor A look back at the Israeli cyber security industry in 2018 Trends in Israel’s cybersecurity investments Ofer Schreiber Contributor Share on Twitter Ofer Schreiber […]

21 Jan 2020 12:30 am
Diligents Vivian Chu and Labradors Mike Dooley will discuss assistive robotics at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI

Too often the world of robotics seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Assistive robotics, on the other hand, are among one of the primary real-world tasks existing technology can seemingly address almost immediately. The concept for the technology has been around for some time now and has caught on particularly well […]

21 Jan 2020 12:25 am
Soft Robotics raises $23 million from investors including industrial robot giant FANUC

Robotics startup company Soft Robotics has closed its Series B round of funding, raising $23 million led by Calibrate Ventures and Material Impact, and including participation from exiting investors including Honeywell, Yahama, Hyperplane and more. This round also brings in FANUC, the world’s largest maker of industrial robots and a recently announced strategic partner for […]

20 Jan 2020 11:59 pm
Decrease user churn by better managing expectations

Julian Shapiro Contributor Share on Twitter Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, the growth marketing team that trains startups in advanced growth, helps you hire senior growth marketers, and finds you vetted growth agencies. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor Direct mail still works if you avoid common mistakes Turning […]

20 Jan 2020 11:45 pm
Three takeaways from the 2019 venture capital market

Hello and welcomebackto our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today we’re digging into the Q4 venture capital market specifically unpacking three pieces of data that stood out as we read the Crunchbase News Q4 global report and Pitchbook and NVCA’s comparative, U.S.-focused Q4 data […]

20 Jan 2020 11:22 pm
Fable Studio founder Edward Saatchi on designing virtual beings

In films, TV shows and books and even in video games where characters are designed to respond to user behavior we dont perceive characters as beings with whom we can establish two-way relationships. But that’s poised to change, at least in some use cases. Interactive characters fictional, virtual personas capable of personalized […]

20 Jan 2020 10:12 pm
Maze raises $2 million and adds Figma support to enable user testing at scale

Maze wants to reinvent usability tests by letting you turn design prototypes into tests in just a few clicks. It could become the equivalent of a developing test suite for developers, but this time for designers it could be something that you run before shipping an update to make sure everything works fine. The […]

20 Jan 2020 9:57 pm
Googles Sundar Pichai doesnt want you to be clear-eyed about AIs dangers

Alphabet and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, is the latest tech giant kingpin to make a public call for AI to be regulated while simultaneously encouraging lawmakers towards a dilute enabling framework that does not put any hard limits on what can be done with AI technologies. In an op-ed published in today’s Financial Times, Pichai […]

20 Jan 2020 7:41 pm
The marketplace of ideas is a weapons market now

The most interesting thing I saw online this week was Venkatesh Rao’s “Internet of Beefs” essay. I don’t agree with all of it. I’m not even sure I agree with most of it. But it’s a sharp, perceptive, well-argued piece which offers an explanation for why online public spaces have almost all become battlefields, or, […]

20 Jan 2020 7:30 pm
Max Q: SpaceX succeeds with a spectacular Crew Dragon test launch

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. We’re off and running with good milestones achieved for NASA’s commercial crew program, which means it’s more likely than ever we’ll actually see astronauts launch from U.S. soil before the year is out. […]

20 Jan 2020 6:38 pm
Google takes on AWS and Azure in India with Airtel cloud deal

Google has inked a deal with Indias third-largest telecom operator as the American giant looks to grow its cloud customer base in the key overseas market that is increasingly emerging as a new cloud battleground for AWS and Microsoft . Google Cloud announced on Monday that the new partnership, effective starting today, enables Airtel to […]

20 Jan 2020 3:30 pm
France improves stock options policies for startup employees

A couple of weeks ago, Frances digital minister Cdric O announced some changes when it comes to stock options in France. President Emmanuel Macron is going to talk about the new policy today ahead of the World Economic Forum. While I dont want to be too technical, heres a quick overview of the changes. First, […]

20 Jan 2020 1:30 pm
Catalyst Fund gets $15M from JP Morgan, UK Aid to back 30 EM fintech startups

The Catalyst Fund has gained $15 million in new support from JP Morgan and UK Aid and will back 30 fintech startups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America over the next three years. The Boston based accelerator provides mentorship and non-equity funding to early-stage tech ventures focused on driving financial inclusion in emerging and frontier […]

20 Jan 2020 10:39 am
Open banking platform Tink raises 90M at a post-money valuation of 415M

Tink, the European open banking platform, is disclosing 90 million in new funding, just 11 months after the Sweden-headquartered company announced a 56 million round of funding. Co-leading this new round is Dawn Capital, HMI Capital and Insight Partners. The round also includes the incumbent postal operator and Italys largest financial services network Poste Italiane […]

20 Jan 2020 10:30 am
Samsung invests $500M to set up a smartphone display plant in India

Samsung, which once led Indias smartphone market, is investing $500 million in its India operations to set up a manufacturing plant at the outskirts of New Delhi to produce displays. The company disclosed the investment and its plan in a filing to the local regulator earlier this month. The South Korean giant said the plant […]

20 Jan 2020 4:30 am
In Los Angeles, the Womens March embraces technology to organize and inspire

The roughly 300,000 marchers that filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles for the third annual Women’s March received more than just an opportunity to hear from some of the state’s high powered politicians, they were also part of a new experiment from local March organizers in bringing technology into the movement. Using an organizational […]

20 Jan 2020 2:00 am
China Roundup: Tencents new US gaming studio and WeChats new paywall

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunchs China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. The spotlight this week is back on Tencent, which has made some interesting moves in gaming and content publishing. There will be no roundup next […]

20 Jan 2020 12:33 am
SpaceX could catch future Crew Dragons with astronauts onboard using ships at sea

SpaceX demonstrated a safety system that will protect astronauts in the case of any unfortunate unforeseen accidents in future Crew Dragon flights, which included the spacecraft splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean, but during a post-mission press conference SpaceX CEO Elon Musk suggested future return trips for the human-rated spacecraft could look very different. Musk […]

19 Jan 2020 11:06 pm
First crewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launch could happen in Q2 this year

SpaceX and NASA hosted a press conference following their successful test of the Crew Dragon’s in-flight abort system on Sunday to discuss the mission and next steps. The first question asked by media in attendance was about what this means for the timeline for a mission with actual crew on board, and SpaceX CEO Elon […]

19 Jan 2020 10:44 pm
Shadows Dylan Flinn and Kombos Kevin Gould on the business of virtual influencers

In films, TV shows and books and even in video games where characters are designed to respond to user behavior we dont perceive characters as beings with whom we can establish two-way relationships. But that’s poised to change, at least in some use cases. Interactive characters fictional, virtual personas capable of personalized […]

19 Jan 2020 9:54 pm
SpaceX successfully completes key test of its Crew Dragon human spacecraft

SpaceX completed a crucial test of a key safety system of its Crew Dragon spacecraft today. The test involved launching its Crew Dragon using a Falcon 9, though without any actual crew on board. The launch was then intentionally cut short, with the In-Flight Abort (IFA) system triggered to separate the Crew Dragon from the […]

19 Jan 2020 9:11 pm
TechCrunchs Top 10 investigative reports from 2019

Facebook spying on teens, Twitter accounts hijacked by terrorists, and sexual abuse imagery found on Bing and Giphy were amongst the ugly truths revealed by TechCrunch’s investigating reporting in 2019. The tech industry needs more watchdogs than ever as its size enlargens the impact of safety failures and the abuse of power. Whether through malice, […]

19 Jan 2020 8:00 pm
Watch SpaceX launch its Crew Dragon astronaut spacecraft for a key safety test

SpaceX is looking to launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket today, in a crucial test of the human-rated spacecraft’s In-Flight Abort (IFA) system. This safety feature will separate the Crew Dragon from the Falcon 9 rocket early, propelling the spacecraft (and any astronauts who would be on board, during a real […]

19 Jan 2020 6:10 pm
Week in Review: Forget cord cutting, here comes the stream slashing

Hey everyone, welcome back to Week in Review where I dive deep into a bit of news from the week or just share some thoughts and go over some of the more interesting stories of the week. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow […]

19 Jan 2020 3:15 am
Taiwans entrepreneurs move forward after tense presidential election

Last Saturday, Taiwanese voters re-elected President Tsai Ing-wen to her second term after an election that split the country among generational and ideological lines. A crucial issue were the differences in how Tsai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and her main opponent, Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT), approach Taiwans fraught relationship […]

19 Jan 2020 1:09 am
Original Content podcast: Netflix goes to the Oscars

When this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced on Monday,Netflix received 24 nominations the most of any Hollywood studio. That’s thanks in large part to “The Irishman,” which received 10 nominations, and “Marriage Story,” which received six (both films were nominated for Best Picture). As a result, Darrell finally watched Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour […]

18 Jan 2020 11:29 pm
Startups Weekly: Plaids $5.3B acquisition is a textbook Silicon Valley win

Hi everyone, my name is Eric Eldon and I’m the new writer of the Startups Weekly newsletter. Ill be picking my favorite explicitly startup-focused articles of the week for you from Extra Crunch (where Im the editor now), as well as TechCrunch (where I was the co-editor years ago long story). Some people tell us […]

18 Jan 2020 11:00 pm
The last radio station

North of Silicon Valley, protected by the Point Reyes National Seashore, is the only operational ship-to-shore maritime radio station. Bearing the call sign KPH, the Point Reyes Station is the last of its kind. KPH is divided between two physical stations: one, knows as the voice, is responsible for transmitting; the other half of the […]

18 Jan 2020 10:05 pm
LaunchDarkly CEO Edith Harbaugh explains why her company raised another $54M

This week, LaunchDarkly announced that it has raised another $54 million. Led by Bessemer Venture Partners and backed by the company’s existing investors, it brings the company’s total funding up to $130 million. For the unfamiliar, LaunchDarkly builds a platform that allows companies to easily roll out new features to only certain customers, providing a […]

18 Jan 2020 10:00 pm
Compounds Mike Dempsey on virtual influencers and AI characters

In films, TV shows and books and even in video games where characters are designed to respond to user behavior we don’t perceive characters as beings with whom we can establish two-way relationships. But that’s poised to change, at least in some use cases. Interactive characters fictional, virtual personas capable of personalized […]

18 Jan 2020 9:57 pm
Microsoft says it will fix an Internet Explorer security bug under active attack

Microsoft has confirmed a security flaw affecting Internet Explorer is currently being used by hackers, but that it has no immediate plans to fix. In a late-evening tweet, US-CERT, the division of Homeland Security tasked with reporting on major security flaws, tweeted a link to a security advisory detailing the bug, describing it as “being […]

18 Jan 2020 9:05 pm
Instagram drops IGTV button, but only 1% downloaded the app

At most, 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded its standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since launch. And now, Instagram’s main app is removing the annoying orange IGTV button from its home page in what feels like an admission of lackluster results. For reference, TikTok received 1.15 billion downloads in the […]

18 Jan 2020 9:05 pm
This Week in Apps: App trends from 2019, Pinterest tops Snapchat, Disney+ hits No. 1 in Q4

Welcome back to This Weekin Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever with arecord 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s […]

18 Jan 2020 9:00 pm
Amazon partners with thousands of mom-and-pop stores in India

Neighborhood stores dot tens of thousands of cities, towns and villages in India. They have survived — and thrived, despite — retail giants billions of investment in the country. So now, Amazon is beginning to embrace them. Amazon said on Saturday it has partnered with thousands of neighborhood stores — locally known as kirana stores […]

18 Jan 2020 4:03 pm
Deep tech VCs on what they view as some of the most impactful young startups right now

During this week’s Democratic debate, there was a lot of talk, unsurprisingly, about ensuring the future of this country’s children and grandchildren. Climate change was of particular interest to billionaire Tom Steyer, who said repeatedly that addressing it would be his top priority were he elected U.S. president. As it happens, earlier the same day, […]

18 Jan 2020 11:28 am
SpaceXs Crew Dragon astronaut spacecraft has a key launch Saturday heres whats going down

SpaceX and NASA are getting ready for a key test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft on Saturday, and this should be the last major milestone that SpaceX has to pass in terms of demonstration missions before actual crew climb aboard the spaceship for a trip to the International Space Station. Starting at 8 […]

18 Jan 2020 3:15 am
As Alphabet crests the $1T mark, SaaS stocks reach all-time highs of their own

Continuing our irregular surveys of the public markets, two things happened this week that are worth our time. First, a third domestic technology company — Alphabet — passed the $1 trillion market capitalization threshold. And, second, software as a service (SaaS) stocks reached record highs on the public markets after retreating over last summer. The […]

18 Jan 2020 2:51 am
Cruise calls for a new way to determine commercial readiness of self-driving cars

Cruise co-founder and CTO Kyle Vogt said Friday that disengagement reports released annually by California regulators are not a proxy for the commercial readiness or safety of self-driving cars. Vogt, in a lengthy post on Medium, called for a new metric to determine whether an autonomous vehicle is ready for commercial deployment. The post suggests […]

18 Jan 2020 2:29 am
Eazes struggles reflect falling VC interest in cannabis startups

Hello and welcomeback to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Yesterday, TechCrunch reported that Eaze, a well-known cannabis-focused startup, is struggling to stay in business amidst a cash crunch, leadership turmoil, banking issues and a business model pivot. It’s a compelling, critical read. The news, however, […]

18 Jan 2020 1:10 am
EU lawmakers are eyeing risk-based rules for AI, per leaked white paper

The European Commission is considering a temporary ban on the use of facial recognition technology, according to a draft proposal for regulating artificial intelligence obtained by Euroactiv. Creating rules to ensure AI is ‘trustworthy and human’ has been an early flagship policy promise of the new Commission, led by president Ursula von der Leyen. But […]

18 Jan 2020 12:42 am
Barajas unique and ingenious take on lidar shines in a crowded industry

It seems like every company making lidar has a new and clever approach, but Baraja takes the cake. Its method is not only elegant and powerful, but fundamentally avoids many issues that nag other lidar technologies. But it'll need more than smart tech to make headway in this complex and evolving industry.

18 Jan 2020 12:32 am
Where FaZe Clan sees the future of gaming and entertainment

Lee Trink has spent nearly his entire career in the entertainment business. The former president of Capitol Records is now the head of FaZe Clan, an esports juggernaut that is one of the most recognizable names in the wildly popular phenomenon of competitive gaming. Trink sees FaZe Clan as the voice of a new generation […]

17 Jan 2020 11:50 pm
The paradox of 2020 VC is that the largest funds are doing the smallest rounds

I talked yesterday about how VCs are just tired these days. Too many deals, too little time per deal, and constant hyper-competition with other VCs for the same equity. VCs are just tired One founder friend of mine noted to me last night that he has already received inbound requests from more than 90 investors […]

17 Jan 2020 10:53 pm
Daily Crunch: NBCUniversal reveals its streaming plans

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. NBCUs streaming service Peacock launches April 15 for Comcast subscribers, everyone else on July 15 NBCUniversal shared the details about its […]

17 Jan 2020 10:40 pm
How scooter charging startups want to make the industry more profitable

In an industry where unit economics are low, operators are seeking ways to improve margins while also maintaining fleet reliability and low prices for riders. Charging stations may be part of the solution. Already, there are a handful of companies, other than the operators themselves, looking to address this issue by deploying charging stations. The […]

17 Jan 2020 10:30 pm
Discount student tickets available for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Revolutionary may be an over-used adjective, but how else to describe the rapid evolution in mobility technology? Join us in San Jose, Calif., on May 14 for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020. Our second annual day-long conference cuts through the hype and explores the current and future state of the technology and its social, regulatory and […]

17 Jan 2020 10:30 pm
Cambridge Analytica email chain with Facebook sheds new light on data misuse scandal

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser has released new documents today that suggest Facebook accepted only a simple acknowledgment on email from the firm that it had deleted data associated with 87 million Facebook users’ profiles. The data was improperly obtained in 2014 by researchers with access to Facebook’s developer platform who were being paid by […]

17 Jan 2020 9:53 pm