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Science/Tech / TechCrunch

North now offers Focals smart glasses fittings and purchases via app

North’s Focals smart glasses are the first in the category to even approach mainstream appeal, but to date, the only way to get a pair has been to go into a physical North showroom and get a custom fitting, and then return once they’re ready for a pick-up and final adjustment. Now, North has released […]

18 Sep 2019 8:06 pm
India bans e-cigarettes citing youth health concerns

India’s government has announced an immediate ban on e-cigarettes — citing youth-focused public health concerns. In a news statement following a cabinet meeting today finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ban covers production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of e-cigarettes. Sitharaman suggested India’s youth are viewing e-cigarettes as a “style statement”, […]

18 Sep 2019 6:44 pm
The portable $399 Sonos Move is like having two great speakers in one

Sonos has released their first ever portable speaker with a built-in battery: The $399 Sonos Move, which starts shipping to customers on September 24. After spending a few days with the Move, I can confidently say that it offers everything that’s great about the Sonos wireless audio system, but with all the added advantages of […]

18 Sep 2019 6:30 pm
Facebook launches Portal TV, a $149 video chat set-top box

Facebook wants to take over your television with a clip-on camera for video calling, AR gaming, and content co-watching. If you can get past the creepiness, the new Portal TV let you hang out with friends on your home’s biggest screen. It’s a fresh product category that could give the social network a unique foothold […]

18 Sep 2019 5:31 pm
DxOMark’s night and wide-angle camera tests push today’s smartphones to their limits

Sure, you could take Apple’s word for it that the new iPhone’s cameras are amazing — or you could let some obsessive pixel-peepers perform some (mostly) objective tests and really get into the nitty-gritty. Pixel peepers in extraordinary DxOMark are here to help, with new tests focused on evaluating the latest gadgets’ night modes and […]

18 Sep 2019 5:31 pm
The portrait of an avatar as a young artist

Alice Lloyd George Contributor Share on Twitter Alice Lloyd George is an early stage investor based in New York and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributor Matt Cauble on changing consumption with Soylent and Kin Elysium and the quest to bottle the […]

18 Sep 2019 10:00 am
FarmWise and its weed-pulling agribot harvest $14.5M in funding

Automating agriculture is a complex proposition given the number and variety of tasks involved, but a number of robotics and autonomy companies are giving it their best shot. FarmWise seems to have impressed someone — it just raised $14.5 million to continue development of its autonomous weeding vehicle.

18 Sep 2019 5:06 am
GoCardless launches U.S. debit payments solution and opens San Francisco office

GoCardless, the London fintech that aims to become the one-stop shop globally for businesses that want to let customers pay via recurring bank payments, has launched a U.S. debit solution. The company has also opened an office across the pond in San Francisco’s financial district, headed up by Andrew Gilboy, General Manager, North America, who […]

18 Sep 2019 4:30 am
Biology as technology will reinvent trillion-dollar industries

We face two major threats today: one to the health of our planet and the other to our own. Fortunately, biology and technology are creating fixes for the planet as well as for the human body.

18 Sep 2019 3:30 am
Tutoring business-in-a-box service Clark has been acquired by edtech startup Noodle

Clark, the tutor management business-in-a-box service, has been acquired by the New York-based education startup Noodle for an undisclosed amount, TechCrunch has learned. Founded by John Katzman, the serial entrepreneur behind education technology giants including The Princeton Review and 2U, Noodle offers education search services to help people apply to the right programs that meet […]

18 Sep 2019 2:52 am
Lyft faces lawsuit that alleges kidnapping at gunpoint and rape

Lyft is facing another lawsuit pertaining to its handling of alleged sexual assaults at the hands of drivers on its platform. In a suit filed today in the San Franciso Superior Court, Alison Turkos accuses Lyft of eleven counts, including general negligence, vicarious liability for assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, and sexual battery, […]

18 Sep 2019 2:28 am
GoDaddy upgrades its website builder with customized marketing action plans

GoDaddy’s website-building product GoCentral is getting an upgrade today — and along with new features, there’s a new name, Websites+Marketing. As you can probably guess, Websites+Marketing isn’t just a website builder. After all, as Senior Director of Product Management Heidi Gibson put it, a small business website is now part of a “a whole ecosystem […]

18 Sep 2019 1:40 am
Facebook’s new policy Supreme Court could override Zuckerberg

A real check to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s control is finally coming in the form of a 11- to 40-member Oversight Board that will review appeals to its policy decisions like content takedowns and make recommendations for changes. Today Facebook released the charter establishing the theoretically independent Oversight Board, with Zuckerberg explaining that when it […]

18 Sep 2019 1:30 am
Twitch acquires gaming database site IGDB to improve its search and discovery features

Amazon-owned Twitch has made a small but strategic acquisition designed to improve its search capabilities and better direct viewers to exactly the right content. The company is acquiring IGDB, the Internet Games Database (no relation to Amazon’s IMDb), a website dedicated to combining all the relevant information about games into a comprehensive resource for gamers […]

18 Sep 2019 12:40 am
Colorcon, which develops colorants, coatings, and films for pharmaceutical giants, has a new $50 million fund

Colorcon, a 58-year-old company that develops, supplies, and supports specialty products for the pharmaceutical industry — think food colorants, nutritional coatings, the film on time-release medications — is getting into the business of funding startups. It isn’t bringing aboard any traditional venture investors or taping off a corner of its Harleysville, Pa., offices so a […]

18 Sep 2019 12:24 am
Macron announces €5 billion late-stage investment pledge from institutional investors

French president Emmanuel Macron announced in a speech ahead of France Digitale Day that the French government has convinced institutional investors to invest more heavily in late-stage VC funds and asset managers in one way or another. Institutional investors have committed to investing $5.5 billion (€5 billion). “We’ll have €2 billion that will go in […]

18 Sep 2019 12:22 am
Daily Crunch: The iPhone 11 goes to Disneyland

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. Review: The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 do Disneyland after dark Matthew Panzarino continues his tradition of testing out the […]

17 Sep 2019 11:42 pm
Clever hide-and-seek AIs learn to use tools and break the rules

The latest research from OpenAI put its machine learning agents in a simple game of hide-and-seek, where they pursued an arms race of ingenuity, using objects in unexpected ways to achieve their goal of seeing or being seen. This type of self-taught AI could prove useful in the real world as well.

17 Sep 2019 11:06 pm
Google starts highlighting key moments from videos in Search

Google today announced an update to how it handles videos in search results. Instead of just listing relevant videos on the search results page, Google will now also highlight the most relevant parts of longer videos, based on timestamps provided by the video creators. That’s especially useful for how-to videos or documentaries. “Videos aren’t skimmable […]

17 Sep 2019 11:01 pm
Pax Labs’ Bharat Vasan is out as CEO

Bharat Vasan is no longer the Chief Executive Officer at Pax Labs, the consumer tech company that makes cannabis vaporizers. A source familiar with the situation said that the board of directors made the decision to remove Vasan from the CEO role. His last day was Friday. We’ve reached out to Vasan for comment. Pax […]

17 Sep 2019 11:00 pm
Natural lighting is the key to Apple’s remodeled Fifth Ave. store

When it opened in 2006, Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship quickly became a top destination for New York City residents and tourists, alike. The big, glass cube was a radical departure from prior electronics stores, serving as the entrance to a 24-hour subterranean retail location. Location didn’t hurt either, with the company planting its flag across […]

17 Sep 2019 10:53 pm
In a social media world, here’s what you need to know about UGC and privacy

Consumers are rejecting traditional advertising in favor of transparent and authentic communications. Now, more marketers are leveraging user-generated content in marketing and e-commerce strategies.

17 Sep 2019 10:35 pm
Roboticist and YouTube star Simone Giertz is coming to Disrupt SF (Oct. 2-4)

Here’s a fun thing to look forward to next month. Simone Giertz, she of the shitty robots fame, will be appearing onstage at Disrupt SF (October 2-4) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The U.S.-based Swedish inventor has built a massive online following (currently at 1.92 million YouTube subscribers) with DIY videos that examine […]

17 Sep 2019 9:53 pm
AT&T faked DirecTV Now numbers, lawsuit alleges

AT&T faked the numbers for its DirecTV Now streaming service ahead of the company’s Time Warner merger, according to a lawsuit filed by investors, Bloomberg reported. The suit alleges the media giant pressured employees to boost DirecTV Now’s numbers by secretly adding the product to existing customers’ accounts. It also claims the company touted DirecTV […]

17 Sep 2019 9:37 pm
The team behind Codementor launches Arc to help companies hire talented developers around the world

Arc, a platform that wants to simplify the process of hiring developers who work remotely, is launching officially today. The new company grew out of Techstars-backed Codementor, an online education platform for software developers. Codementor will continue to operate as a standalone product under Arc. While there are already many freelancing platforms, Weiting Liu, the […]

17 Sep 2019 9:30 pm
Google Fi gets an unlimited plan

For the longest time, Google Fi didn’t play the unlimited calls, text and data game and instead focused on offering pretty affordable and flexible plans with a price cap of $80 (before taxes and government fees). Today, however, Google is introducing Fi Unlimited, which, as you’ve probably figured out from the name, is more akin […]

17 Sep 2019 9:30 pm
IEX’s Katsuyama is no flash in the pan

When you watch a commercial for one of the major stock exchanges, you are welcomed into a world of fast-moving, slick images full of glistening buildings, lush crops and happy people. They are typically interspersed with shots of intrepid executives veering out over the horizon as if to say, “I’ve got a long-term vision, and […]

17 Sep 2019 8:40 pm
‘The Big Bang Theory’ goes to AT&T’s HBO Max streaming service for over a billion

‘Friends’ is getting some new neighbors at HBO Max. The streaming service from AT&T’s WarnerMedia has signed a big deal, reportedly worth over $1 billion, for the exclusive streaming and syndication rights for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ over the next five years. The deal comes as streaming media services look to shore up their original […]

17 Sep 2019 8:13 pm
NBCU’s streaming service ‘Peacock’ announces originals slate, including a Battlestar Galactica reboot

NBCUniversal is sharing a few more details about its new streaming service, due to launch in April 2020, including the service’s name and content lineup. In a nod to the NBC logo, the service will be called “Peacock,” (yes, really), and will offer subscribers over 15,000 of content, including both film and TV, plus original […]

17 Sep 2019 7:46 pm
SpaceX’s orbital Starship prototype construction progress detailed in new photos

SpaceX is making progress assembling its Starship orbital spacecraft prototype, as seen in new photos shared by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk . This full-scale testing version of the Starship will take over for the StarHopper, which was a scaled down version used to test the Raptor engine initially with low-altitude ‘hop’ flights. The Starship Mk […]

17 Sep 2019 7:20 pm
Remagine secures $35M fund backed by media giants to focus on entertainment and media tech

Remagine Ventures is a relatively new European VC fund which focuses on investments in entertainment tech, including AI, gaming, sports & eSports, AR/VR, consumer and commerce. It’s now completed $35 million in funding from a number of entertainment and media corporations, including Axel Springer and ProsiebenSat1, Japanese Adways and American Liontree LLC. Last year global […]

17 Sep 2019 7:18 pm
Amazon launches Amazon Music HD with lossless audio streaming

Amazon has a new, high-quality streaming tier of its music service called Amazon Music HD. It’s priced at $12.99 per moth for Prime members ($14.99 per month for everyone else) and you can add it to your existing Amazon Music subscription for an additional $5 per month, whether you’re an individual or family plan subscriber. […]

17 Sep 2019 6:51 pm
Meet Venn, the company hoping to build MTV for the gaming generation

Maybe a network will be the thing that replaces the single streaming media star. VENN, a new company launching with $17 million in funding from some of the biggest names in gaming is hoping to harness the power of streaming media’s online celebrities and funnel them into a channel that can command the kind of […]

17 Sep 2019 6:33 pm
LinkedIn launches skills assessments, tests that let you beef up your credentials for job hunting

LinkedIn, the social networking service for the working world, is today taking the wraps off its latest effort to provide its users with better tools for presenting their professional selves, and to make the process of recruitment on the platform more effective. It will now offer a new feature called Skills Assessments: short, multiple-choice tests […]

17 Sep 2019 6:30 pm
Ironclad raises $50M Series C round for its digital contracting platform

Ironclad, a startup that makes it easier for legal teams to manage their contracts workflow, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round led by Y Combinator Continuity, with participation from Emergence Captial, as well as existing investors including Access and Sequoia Capital. This round brings Ironclad’s total funding to $83 […]

17 Sep 2019 6:30 pm
Casper has created CBD gummies in partnership with Plus

That’s right: Mattress startup Casper is launching its own version of CBD-infused gummies, created in partnership with edibles company Plus. This is just the latest in Casper’s efforts to expand beyond mattresses with the addition of sheets, pillows, dog beds, portable lamps and more. In a recent New York Times profile, the company said its […]

17 Sep 2019 6:30 pm
GitLab hauls in $268M Series E on 2.768B valuation

GitLab is a company that doesn’t pull any punches or try to be coy. It actually has had a page on its website for sometime stating it intends to go public on November 18, 2020. You don’t see that level of transparency from late-stage startups all that often. Today, the company announced a huge $268 […]

17 Sep 2019 6:30 pm
The Sony RX100 VII is the best compact camera you can buy

Sony’s latest advanced compact camera is the highly pocketable RX100 VII, the seventh iteration of the RX100. Since its debut, this line of cameras has proven a very popular option among enthusiasts looking for a great travel camera, vloggers, and even pros who want a compact backup option just in case. The RX100 VII should […]

17 Sep 2019 6:27 pm
Apple awards another $250 million to precision glass maker Corning

As part of Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, Apple is investing $250 million in Corning, a supplier that has been working on glass for the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad. Apple had previously invested $200 million in May 2017. The company says that the new investment will support research and development for precision glass processes. While […]

17 Sep 2019 5:58 pm
Snapchat is adding in a 3D Camera Mode, the latest salvo in its feature race with Instagram

The newest version of Snap’s Spectacles already has a 3D feature that lets you see the world with immersive filter effects, and now the company’s flagship app Snapchat is levelling up. Today the company announced a new 3D Camera Mode that will let users make and share images with diorama-like depth effects that move when […]

17 Sep 2019 5:30 pm
FairMoney raises $11 million for its challenger bank for emerging markets

Fintech startup FairMoney is building a challenger bank in Nigeria. The company first started offering microcredit and now plans to expand to current accounts and savings. FairMoney just raised an $11 million Series A round (€10 million) led by Flourish, DST Global partners and existing partners Newfund, Speedinvest and Le Studio VC. FairMoney lets you […]

17 Sep 2019 4:55 pm
Review: The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 do Disneyland after dark

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: iPhone 11’s Night Mode is great. It works, it compares extremely well to other low-light cameras and the exposure and color rendition is best in class, period. If that does it for you, you can stop right here. If you want to know more about […]

17 Sep 2019 3:33 pm
TuSimple adds another $120 million to its self-driving trucks war chest

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple has added another $120 million to a Series D funding round led by Sina, operator of China’s biggest microblogging site Weibo, bringing the total haul to $215 million as it seeks to expand. The company, which launched in 2015 and has operations in China, San Diego and Tucson, Arizona, hit unicorn […]

17 Sep 2019 3:30 pm
Africa focused Andela cuts 400 staff as it confirms $50M in revenue

Africa focused tech talent accelerator Andela will cut 400 junior engineers across Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, CEO Jeremy Johnson told TechCrunch. The layoffs come as the startup released first time income figures indicating it will surpass $50 million in annual revenues for 2019. Yes, the news seems a bit disjointed. Not everything moves in the […]

17 Sep 2019 3:00 pm
Holidu raises €40M Series C for its holiday rentals search engine

Holidu, the Munich-headquartered holiday rentals search engine that is now active in 21 country markets, has raised €40 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Prime Ventures, with participation from coparion and MairDuMont Ventures. Existing investors, including EQT Ventures, Venture Stars, Senovo and business angel Chris Hitchen, also followed on. Founded in […]

17 Sep 2019 2:30 pm
Google is bringing data saver feature to Android TVs

Google said on Tuesday it is bringing a set of new features to Android TVs to improve the experience of users who rely on mobile hotspots to connect their giant devices to the internet. The features, developed by Google’s Next Billion Users team, will be first rolled out to users in India and then in […]

17 Sep 2019 2:22 pm
Startup Battlefield Berlin applications extended by one week

Missed the deadline to apply for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019? We get it. Founder life is tough. Well guess what, we’re extending applications by one week. The extension ends September 27th at 11:59pm (PT). It’s time to buckle down and apply to the Startup Battlefield right now! It’s easy and free to apply. Add your […]

17 Sep 2019 11:37 am
Fieldwire just raised $33.5 million more to give PlanGrid and its new owner Autodesk a run for their money

Fieldwire, which makes task management software for construction teams that helps organize everyone involved in a project so things don’t fall through the figurative (or literal) cracks, has raised $33.5 million in Series C funding led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Brick & Mortar Ventures, Hilti Group, and Formation 8. It isn’t a huge […]

17 Sep 2019 10:20 am
Computer scientist Richard Stallman, who defended Jeffrey Epstein, resigns from MIT CSAIL and the Free Software Foundation

Computer scientist and open software advocate Richard Stallman said he has resigned from his position as a visiting scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) after describing a victim of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as “entirely willing” in emails sent to a department list. Stallman has also stepped down from his roles […]

17 Sep 2019 9:47 am