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Andreessen: “I feel 50 pounds lighter” without Twitter
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 11:07 pm

 Speaking at a Strictly VC event in Palo Alto, noted venture capital investor Marc Andreessen talked about why he abruptly quit Twitter this week. “I feel 50 pounds lighter” without it, he quipped. “I feel free as a bird,” Andreessen added, seemingly referencing Twitter’s logo. His departure came as a surprise to some because for a time, he was extremely active on… Read More

Crunch Report | Beyonce, AI Partnerships and Instacart Shopper Boycotts
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 11:05 pm

Stock-trading app Robinhood begins to monetize, Facebook at Work is launching October 10th, Beyonce invests in Sidestep, big tech forms Partnership on AI and shoppers are planning an Instacart boycott. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

HBO’s new show Westworld explores the hedonism and horror of VR
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 10:30 pm

 What if you could shoot or screw whoever you wanted without consequences? Would you feel bad about your decisions? Would you pity your victims, even if their digital memories were wiped clean? HBO dives into the heady, murky depths of virtual reality ethics with its new show Westworld, premiering October 2nd. Based on Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton’s 1973 book, Westworld… Read More

Virtual reality looks to its adolescence
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 8:53 pm

 After more than two years of heavy public hyping since Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of Oculus for $2 billion, virtual reality is reaching an important turning point. VR has been promoted up and down the street and consumers seem to have grown oversaturated with all the media coverage of expensive tech that’s inaccessible to them, but the platform is preparing for a… Read More

Shazam is finally profitable after a billion downloads
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 8:13 pm

 Shazam, the mobile and desktop app that acts as a digital ear and song identifier, crossed the 1 billion download mark recently, according to a report from Billboard on Thursday. The London-based company, Shazam Entertainment Ltd., also announced that it has achieved profitability, at long last, thanks to a new focus on advertising sales, alongside revenue from commissions on digital… Read More

Prowler.io raises $2M to help AI systems make smarter choices
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 8:00 pm

 As we inch closer to a time when we may rely on truly autonomous devices to move us or do things on our behalf, the need for software that’s able to think on its feet (or mid-air) will be essential. Now, an artificial intelligence startup working on this emerging area of machine learning has raised a seed round of funding to try to do just that. Cambridge, UK-based Prowler.io, which… Read More

Spotify could out-dance Apple if it does acquire SoundCloud
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 7:40 pm

 SoundCloud as a company is a disaster, but its the only streaming service with the DJ sets and remixes kids love. So it makes perfect sense that Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire SoundCloud, the Financial Times reports. Spotify already declined to buy it twice over the past year and a half, but talks broke down over pricing. But since then, SoundCloud has hammered out deals with the… Read More

The Gravy Helmet
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 7:38 pm

 It was a hot September night and we were being chased by a ghost. My two friends, Jon and Shane, were sweating. We’re older men, a little wide around the waist, and it was hot down in the basement. We had cleared away the kids’ toys and set up two optical sensors and a high-powered HP Omen desktop. We were playing with the HTC Vive. We were having more fun than we’d had in… Read More

Watson Financial Services is born out of IBM’s purchase of Promontory Financial Group
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 7:18 pm

 If Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest had a big data eating contest brother, IBM would be a serious contender for first place. Today the tech stalwart announced that it had come to an agreement to acquire Promontory Financial Group.  To make sense of this deal, you have to avoid relegating Promontory into the small box of financial services. Instead, it’s most practical to think… Read More

Level is a pair of fitness glasses that might be able to tell if you have diabetes or other diseases
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 6:49 pm

 A pair of glasses, once relegated to nearly blind and blurry-eyed nerds, could one day save your life. At least that’s the pitch from VSP Vision Care. The eye exam provider just launched a new pair of smart glasses called Level that, for now, focus on fitness. Level not only provides the wearer with keen vision but also counts their steps, calories burned while wearing them and… Read More

Google’s Waze Carpool pilot expands to San Francisco-area commuters
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 6:10 pm

 Google-owned Waze is slowly increasing the scope of its Bay-area commute service trial, but now the service is available via the standard Waze app for anyone who wants to sign up to be a driver, or through a separate, dedicated Waze Rider app for riders. Google is still capping trips for both riders and drivers to two rides a day, designed for the morning and evening commutes. Waze provided… Read More

Innovation is in all the wrong places
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 6:00 pm

 I live a pretty cosmopolitan futuristic life atop a glass skyscraper in New York City, but I’ve yet to get a pizza delivered by drone, order a taxi from Alexa or open a hotel door with my smartwatch. We’ve got the questions wrong: It shouldn’t be how are you innovating or which project is doing new things, but why are you doing it and on what level. Read More

Watch Alchemist Accelerator’s Demo Day Right Here
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:40 pm

 TechCrunch is pleased to bring you Alchemist Accelerator‘s Demo Day, today, September 29th, from 3-5pm PT. Alchemist is one of those rare programs that focuses on enterprise startups. But these aren’t your parents enterprise companies. Pitches today will span products that create a mortgage marketplace,  increase connectivity and help apps get more organic downloads. Investors… Read More

Volvo to target luxury buyers with self-driving car coming in 5 years
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:13 pm

 High-end vehicle, chauffeur included? You can see why it makes sense that Volvo would target the luxury end of the market with its upcoming self-driving car. Volvo announced plans to field a vehicle by 2021, thanks in part to a $300 million deal with Volvo that will let it leverage some of their work, but now we have some more details, including the vehicle’s high-end approach. Volvo… Read More

HP issues non-apology for blocking third-party ink cartridges
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:12 pm

 HP was recently caught in the act using a “security update” to prevent its printers from operating with a number of recycled and third-party ink cartridges. After much outcry the company has relented and is issuing a rollback option — but they’ll be damned if they admit any wrongdoing. Read More

MightyTV’s Tinder-style TV recommendation app comes to Android
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:04 pm

 MightyTV, an app that helps you figure out what to watch next, is now available on Android. The startup is led by AdMeld co-founder Brian Adams, and it presents users with a stack of movie and TV recommendations which you swipe through, Tinder-style. If you’ve seen something already, you can say whether or not you liked it, which will influence the recommendations you see next. If you… Read More

The first episode of the MegaBots webseries takes a wrecking ball to its six-ton robot
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:53 pm

 Seems like we’ve been waiting forever for the big showdown between Team USA and Japan. We’re seemingly no closer at the moment, but at least the team at MegaBots can offer a bit of good old-fashioned destruction to tide  us over before the massive machines go toe-to-toe. In the premier of its new web series (the trailer for which was shown off at Disrupt the other week), the… Read More

Broadband access creeps along but DDoS attacks explode
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:36 pm

 Akamai released its quarterly State of the Internet reports today, one detailing quality of access and the other attacks on companies and infrastructure. The slow march continues towards a better and faster internet for everyone — and that includes hackers. Read More

Contractors are preparing to boycott Instacart over elimination of tips
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:22 pm

 Online grocery service Instacart is facing a boycott from shoppers who are unhappy about the company’s decision to eliminate tips in favor of raising guaranteed delivery rates. Although Instacart positioned the move as a way to smooth out the earnings curve for its shoppers, some of those affected by the change say it will instead reduce their incomes dramatically. In the case of top… Read More

ILMxLAB is working on a VR film with Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:09 pm

 VR filmmaking could use some more big-name talent, and ILMxLAB‘s latest project does indeed offer that: The director attached is Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the visionary behind The Revenant and Birdman. A bit of news @slashfilm about an exciting #VR project we are working on with filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu https://t.co/iCnVMdXcfn — ILMxLAB (@ILMxLAB) September 29… Read More

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