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

Snips lets you build your own voice assistant to embed into your devices

 French startup Snips is now helping you build a custom voice assistant for your device. Snips doesn’t use Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service or Google Assistant SDK — the company is building its own voice assistant so that you can embed it on your devices. And the best part is that it doesn’t send anything to the cloud as it works offline. If you want to understand how a… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:59 am

Net Neutrality advocates plan protests for December 7 at Verizon stores

 On December 14, the FCC will vote on whether or not to roll back Obama-era policies protecting a free and open internet. In fact, during yesterday’s announcement of the upcoming vote, the FCC neglected to mention the historic 22 million comments on the issue, the majority of which were negative. In response, protests are being held on December 7 at Verizon retail stores across the country. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:35 am

FCC releases final draft of ‘Restoring Internet Freedom,’ which would not do that

 The FCC yesterday announced a December 14 vote on “Restoring Internet Freedom,” an order that, far from restoring freedom to the internet, would allow it to be restricted in new and harmful ways. Actually, when you think of it as restoring internet freedom to ISPs and cable companies, it makes a lot more sense. At any rate the Commission has released the text of the order, as promised. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:23 am

Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

 Facebook is building out a tool to show which Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts associated with Russian Internet Research Agency election troll farm you Liked or followed. Launching by the end of the year as part of the Facebook Help Center, the tool will show a list of all the IRA accounts you followed. The IRA is a group based in St. Petersburg, Russia with ties to Kremlin. It’s… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:20 am

Apple could use machine learning to shore up LiDAR limitations in self-driving

 Apple has a new paper published in Cornell’s arXiv open directory of scientific research, describing a method for using machine learning to translate the raw point cloud data gathered by LiDAR arrays into results that include detection of 3D objects, including bicycles and pedestrians, with no additional sensor data required. The paper is one of the clearest looks yet we’ve had… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:06 am

Minted rolls out an on-demand photography service for around $100 per session

 When you go through a big life event — say a milestone birthday for a parent or a wedding — there are probably going to be a lot of mini-events that happen before and after the big one. But you might not think to hire a professional photographer for them and stick with a couple phone cameras because it can be tough to find those photographers. So Minted, a company that’s… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:00 am

Salesforce keeps rolling with another monster quarter, as it sets $20 billion revenue goal

 Ho hum, Salesforce announced its quarterly earnings yesterday and the news was all good once again with revenue up 25 percent to $2.68 billion. The company has blown through its $10 billion yearly revenue goal and has boldly set one for $20 billion by FY2022. I wouldn’t put it passed them. The company also announced some big executive moves. More on that later Salesforce is the anti-IBM. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:22 am

With Ethereum wallets under constant attack, Jibrel Network decided to build their own

 Since blockchain technologies appeared people have been trying to figure out how to put traditional assets like currencies, bonds and other financial instruments onto it in a way which has regulatory compliance and is secure. If you could do that you could sell securities in a legitimate way, thus disrupting large swathes of the asset management industry. In case you didn’t happen to… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:01 am

UK Budget courts tech sector with $663M in investments in AI, 5G networks and more

 With the UK government continuing to face down criticism over how it is handling plans to remove the UK from the European Union, today the country’s Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered an annual Autumn Budget that underscored its continuing push to win over the tech world. In a wide-ranging speech laying out proposals for investment and taxes for individuals and businesses, the… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:10 am

Senator Schatz on net neutrality: “This has to be a real political movement”

 Following the news yesterday morning that the FCC will be voting on the proposal to kill net neutrality come December 14, officials and advocacy organizations have been issuing statements left and right decrying the impending upending of the internet as we know it. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is among them, but took a moment to talk with TechCrunch about his misgivings in a bit more detail. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:02 am

Early-bird ticket pricing for Disrupt Berlin ends at midnight tonight

 All good things, as they say, must come to an end. That definitely holds true for early-bird pricing on Disrupt Berlin tickets. In just a few short hours — at midnight tonight, local Berlin time to be precise — the general admission ticket price increases 30 percent. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:00 am

Lyft gets approval to test self-driving cars on public roads in California

 Lyft is the latest company to be added to the ever-growing list of those permitted to test their self-driving technology on California state public roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles added Lyft to the list recently (via Axios), following Lyft’s foundation of a self-driving technology development center earlier this year, and its announcement that it would work on both its… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:43 am

PacketZoom lands $5M Series A investment to speed up mobile apps

 PacketZoom, a startup that helps app developers speed up and optimize app delivery on mobile devices, announced a $5M Series A today. The round was led by Baseline Ventures with participation from First Round Capital, Tandem Capital and Arafura Ventures. Today’s investment brings the total raised to over $9M, according to Crunchbase. The company combines a content delivery network (CDN)… Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:53 am

Uber data breach “raises huge concerns”, says UK watchdog

 The fallout from Uber’s disclosure yesterday of a massive data breach affecting 57 million users and drivers that it concealed for a year continues: The UK’s data protection watchdog has put out a strongly worded statement saying the company’s announcement “raises huge concerns around its data protection policies and ethics”.  Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:24 am

Facebook’s ad system shown failing to enforce its own anti-discriminatory policy

 Results from a new ProPublica investigation suggest the tech giant is failing at even simple self-policing. Read More

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:16 am

Announcing our Disrupt Berlin Hackathon judges and the third release of free hack tickets

 The third time could be the charm if you haven’t yet scored your free tickets to the Disrupt Berlin Hackathon. Today, we’ve released a third batch of tickets to the most exciting, grueling, 24-hour test of a developer’s chops. Tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so get your tickets now before they’re gone for good. Read More

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:01 pm

Ten years on: Seedcamp outs new £41M seed fund and says it’s ready to invest in tokens

 The London-based VC firm recently sold its first two funds to Draper Esprit, and today is announcing the first close of a new £41 million fund, double the size of its last. This year the VC is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Read More

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:00 pm

New York attorney general slams the FCC for ignoring net neutrality comments investigation

 If the FCC’s refusal to acknowledge the vast public outcry against its plan to gut net neutrality isn’t enough of an outrage, its total disinterest in investigating how that same comment system may have been gamed by fake users posing as real Americans adds a bit more insult to injury. Suspicions arose earlier this year that a person or an organization of some kind was… Read More

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:54 pm

AppLovin scraps acquisition and takes debt financing instead

 The story of AppLovin‘s acquisition has taken another turn. We first reported that the mobile ad startup was in acquisition talks in August of last year, and the announcement came a month later: AppLovin would sell a majority stake Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital. Today, however, CEO Adam Foroughi revealed that the deal is (sort of) off. Instead of an outright… Read More

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 2:57 pm

Crunch Report | The FCC sets vote to kill net neutrality and Bitcoin hits $8,000

 Today’s stories: FCC highlights plan to kill net neutrality, Android secretly sending location data, Bitcoin just passed $8,000 and Toyota’s new robot can be controlled in VR. Read More

Posted on 22 November 2017 | 2:00 pm