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TechCrunch is a group-edited blog that profiles the companies, products and events defining and transforming the new web.

This robot maintains tender, unnerving eye contact

Humans already find it unnerving enough when extremely alien-looking robots are kicked and interfered with, so one can only imagine how much worse it will be when they make unbroken eye contact and mirror your expressions while you heap abuse on them. This is the future we have selected.

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 9:14 am

Finding the Goldilocks zone for applied AI

To find the right opportunity around which to build an AI business, startups must apply the “Goldilocks” principle to find the sweet spot that is “just right.”

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 9:00 am

Revcontent is trying to get rid of misinformation with help from the Poynter Institute

CEO John Lemp recently said that thanks to a new policy, publishers in Revcontent‘s content recommendation network “won’t ever make a cent” on false and misleading stories — at least, not from the network. To achieve this, the company is relying on fact-checking provided by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network. If any two independent […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 8:57 am

‘Unhackable’ BitFi crypto wallet has been hacked

The BitFi crypto wallet was supposed to be unhackable and none other than famous weirdo John McAfee claimed that the device – essentially an Android-based mini tablet – would withstand any attack. Spoiler alert: it couldn’t. First, a bit of background. The $120 device launched at the beginning of this month to much fanfare. It […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 8:38 am

Bird and Lime are protesting Santa Monica’s electric scooter recommendations

Lime and Bird are protesting recommendations in Santa Monica, Calif. that would prevent the electric scooter companies from operating in the Southern California city. We first saw the news over on Curbed LA, which reported both Lime and Bird are temporarily halting their services in Santa Monica. Last week, Santa Monica’s shared mobility device selection committee […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 8:19 am

Smart speaker sales on pace to increase 50 percent by 2019

It seems Amazon didn’t know what it had on its hands when it released the first Echo in late-2014. The AI-powered speaker formed the foundation of the next been moment in consumer electronics. Those devices have helped mainstream consumer AI and open the door to wide-scale adoption of connected home products.  New numbers from NPD, […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 7:57 am

StarVR’s One headset flaunts eye-tracking and a double-wide field of view

While the field of VR headsets used to be more or less limited to Oculus and Vive, numerous competitors have sprung up as the technology has matured — and some are out to beat the market leaders at their own game. StarVR's latest headset brings eye-tracking and a seriously expanded field of view to the game, and the latter especially is a treat to experience.

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 7:15 am

Cytera CellWorks aims to bring cell culture automation to your dinner plate

Cytera CellWorks hopes to revolutionize the so-called “clean meat” industry through the automation of cell cultures — and that could mean one day, if all goes to plan, the company’s products could be in every grocery store in America. Cytera is a ways off from that happening, though. Founded in 2017 by two college students in […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:57 am

Twitter is purging accounts that were trying to evade prior suspensions

Twitter announced this afternoon it will begin booting accounts off its service from those who have tried to evade their account suspension. The company says that the accounts in question are users who have been previously suspended on Twitter for their abusive behavior, or for trying to evade a prior suspension. These bad actors have […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:39 am

Come watch the Equity podcast record live at Disrupt SF 2018

Disrupt SF is right around the corner, which means startupland is prepping to congregate once again in the city for another epic run of investors, startups and celebrities. This year, Disrupt is heading to Moscone West, so the event will be bigger and better than ever. And I have some good news for you. Initialized […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:33 am

HQ Trivia downloads spiral downward as it hits Apple TV

HQ Trivia’s app store ranking has continued to sink the past three months, but it’s hoping a new version on your television could revitalize growth. HQ today launched an Apple TV app that lets users play the twice-daily live quiz game alongside iOS Android players. “Everything about the game is still the same – same […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:31 am

Y Combinator invests in HappiLabs to help scientists shop smarter

To create life-saving drugs or groundbreaking technological advancements, scientists first need the proper lab equipment. Everything from intricate and expensive specialized machines to beakers and rubber gloves must be sourced, price compared and ordered by a lab manager before even the first steps toward discovery can take place. But, says Tom Ruginis, CEO and founder […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:26 am

MoviePass says those cancellation bugs have been fixed

MoviePass is about to roll out its new subscription plan, which will keep prices at $9.95 while imposing a new limit of three movies per month. But it seems that the transition hasn’t been going entirely smoothly. The Verge reports that several users have complained about previously canceling their plans, only to receive emails from […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:19 am

RideAlong is helping police officers de-escalate 911 calls with data designed for the field

RideAlong keeps people in mind, and that’s a good thing. The company, founded by Meredith Hitchcock (COO) and Katherine Nammacher (CEO), aims to make streets safer, not with expansive surveillance systems or high-tech weaponry but with simple software focused on the people being policed. That distinction sounds small, but it’s surprisingly revelatory. Tech so often […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:19 am

Trulia crowdsources neighborhood reviews so you won’t regret your move

Trulia, the online real estate site owned by its former rival Zillow, wants to give you a better idea of what a certain neighborhood feels like before you move there. To do this, the company today launched Neighborhoods, a feature that brings together direct reviews and feedback from residents based on the existing What Locals […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 6:01 am

iOS 12 beta 7 pulled after reports of bugs, crashes

Beta software always presents a risk going in. Companies usually recommend not installing it in primary devices for that very reason. For those who like to live on the edge, however, the latest beta of iOS 12 presented some very real issues. Reports of buggy performance lag, freezes and crashes were pretty widespread for the […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 5:59 am

Alphabet invests $375 million in Oscar Health

Google parent Alphabet has invested $375 million in next-gen health insurance company, Oscar Health. Google has been a longtime supporter of the six-year-old New York company, having previously invested in Oscar through its Capital G investment wing and Verily health and life sciences research wing. “Alphabet has invested in Oscar over many years and has […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 5:38 am

This bipedal robot has a flying head

Making a bipedal robot is hard. You have to make sure maintain exquisite balance at all times and, even with the amazing things Atlas can do, there is still a chance that your crazy robot will fall over and bop its electronic head. But what if that head is a quadcopter? University of Tokyo have […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 5:26 am

FCC accused of ‘dereliction of duty’ in failing to dispel cyberattack ‘myth’

Following the issuance of a report from the FCC's Inspector General essentially saying the reports of cyberattacks on the agency were made up out of whole cloth, several lawmakers are demanding answers from Chairman Ajit Pai.

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 5:06 am

Tinder founders sue parent companies Match and IAC for at least $2B

A group of Tinder founders and executives has filed a lawsuit against parent company Match Group and its controlling shareholder IAC. The plaintiffs in the suit include Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen — Badeen still works at Tinder, as do plaintiffs James Kim (the company’s vice president of finance) and Rosette […]

Posted on 15 August 2018 | 5:00 am