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  • Google created a fake pizza brand to test out creative strategies for YouTube ads
    by Anthony Ha on August 20, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Google’s Unskippable Ads team has been testing ad effectiveness in a compelling new way: It created a fake pizza brand called Doctor Fork, used stock footage to create 33 ads and then served them up on YouTube and reached 20 million impressions. Ben Jones, creative director at Unskippable Labs, explained that there are certain axioms

  • Twitch Prime ditches ad-free viewing as one of its perks
    by Sarah Perez on August 20, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Twitch Prime, the perks program for Amazon Prime members offering free loot, games and other benefits is ditching one of its best features: ad-free viewing. According to an email sent out to Amazon Prime members today, ad-free viewing will no longer be included as a part of Twitch Prime for new members, beginning on September

  • Animoto hack exposes personal information, geolocation data
    by Zack Whittaker on August 20, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Animoto, a cloud-based video maker service for social media sites, has revealed a data breach. The breach occurred on July 10 but was confirmed by the company in early August, and later reported to the California attorney general. Names, dates of birth and user email addresses were accessed by hackers, but the company said it

  • The SEC has charged Mike Rothenberg for fraud
    by Sarah Buhr on August 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Mike Rothenberg, infamous Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Rothenberg Ventures, has been formally charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for overcharging investors to fund personal projects. It’s important to note a formal charge is not proof of guilt and Rothenberg has not made any admission of guilt under these proceedings. However, Rothenberg

  • Venezuela ties its currency to a state-run cryptocoin
    by Devin Coldewey on August 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Venezuela has just taken drastic and unprecedented steps to stabilize its currency as it grapples with hyperinflation and other economic issues. The country's currency has not only been massively devalued and renamed, but is now tied to a state-issued cryptocurrency called the Petro, which itself fluctuates based on oil prices. Hardly anyone knows what to expect out of this.

  • Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition gains new skills from Disney and others
    by Sarah Perez on August 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Amazon is today rolling out a set of new features to its Echo Dot Kids Edition devices — the now $70 version of the Echo Dot smart speaker that ships with a protective case and a year’s subscription to Amazon FreeTime, normally a $2.99 per month subscription for Prime members. Now joining the Kids Edition’s

  • NYU and Facebook team up to supercharge MRI scans with AI
    by Devin Coldewey on August 20, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Magnetic resonance imaging is an invaluable tool in the medical field, but it's also a slow and cumbersome process. It may take hour to complete a scan, during which time the patient, perhaps a child or someone in serious pain, must sit perfectly still. NYU has been working on a way to accelerate this process, and is now collaborating with Facebook with the goal of cutting down MRI durations by 90 percent.

  • Titan launches its mobile ‘not a hedge fund’
    by Josh Constine on August 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    What Robinhood did to democratize buying individual stocks, Titan wants to do for investing in a managed portfolio. Instead of being restricted to rich accredited investors willing to pour $5,000 or even $500,000 into a traditional hedge fund that charges 2 percent fees and 20 percent of profits, Titan lets anyone invest as little as

  • Keeping artificial intelligence accountable to humans
    by Jonathan Shieber on August 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    As a teenager in Nigeria, I tried to build an artificial intelligence system. I was inspired by the same dream that motivated the pioneers in the field: That we could create an intelligence of pure logic and objectivity that would free humanity from human error and human foibles.

  • CBS brings its ad-supported streaming service to Amazon Channels
    by Sarah Perez on August 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    CBS in the beginning of the year brought its streaming service for cord cutters, CBS All Access, to Amazon’s a la carte TV service, Prime Video Channels. At the time, however, only the higher-priced, $9.99 per month commercial-free subscription was offered to Prime members. At the time, CBS said its $5.99 per month ad-supported tier

  • Audible gets guided meditation and workouts courtesy of Aaptiv
    by Brian Heater on August 20, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Audible is getting into the fitness business with a little help from Aaptiv. The Amazon-owned audiobook giant is adding content from the popular audio fitness app. There are only three guided courses to start — all firmly targeted at beginners. There’s audio coaching to run a mile, a 5K and a guided meditation course, all

  • Only 5 days left to secure a spot in Startup Alley at Disrupt SF 2018
    by Emma Comeau on August 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    You know that feeling when a deadline’s bearing down on you like a runaway train? If you hope to secure a spot in Startup Alley at Disrupt San Francisco 2018 — which takes place September 5-7 — you’d best get moving, because that deadline is coming at you full steam ahead. Your chance to buy

  • What happens when hackers steal your SIM? You learn to keep your crypto offline
    by John Biggs on August 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    A year ago I felt a panic that still reverberates in me today. Hackers swapped my T-Mobile SIM card without my approval and methodically shut down access to most of my accounts and began reaching out to my Facebook friends asking to borrow crypto. Their social engineering tactics, to be clear, were laughable but they

  • Dark Sky’s top ranking weather app gets a big makeover
    by Sarah Perez on August 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Dark Sky, one of the more popular mobile weather applications on the market, is out today with a complete refresh of its app, which has now been re-written from the ground up, the company says. The biggest change is the introduction of a new unified timeline that combines both the precipitation predictions Dark Sky is

  • DraftKings CEO Jason Robins is coming to Disrupt SF
    by Jordan Crook on August 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    In May, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on sporting events in most states. That ruling is set to unlock billions of dollars in new business opportunities for online fantasy sports sites like DraftKings. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have DraftKings CEO Jason Robins join us on

  • Pepsi is buying SodaStream
    by Brian Heater on August 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Pepsi this morning announced its intentions to buy Tel Aviv-based beverage company SodaStream for $3.2 billion. The deal comes as more consumers are turning away from sugary beverages and toward more sustainable, in-home options. The acquisition, which has been unanimously approved by PepsiCo’s shareholders, comes as the soda company is looking to diversify its portfolio

  • Safety and inspection bot startup Gecko Robotics adds $7 million to the coffers
    by Sarah Buhr on August 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Gecko Robotics aims to save human lives at our nation’s power plants with its wall-climbing robots. To continue doing so, the startup tells TechCrunch it has just secured $7 million from a cadre of high-profile sources, including Founders Fund, Mark Cuban, The Westly Group, Justin Kan and Y Combinator. We first reported on the Pittsburgh-based company when

  • Watch Nvidia unveil the RTX 2080 live right here
    by Romain Dillet on August 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Nvidia is taking advantage of the Gamescom in Germany to hold a press conference about its future graphics processing units. The conference will start at 6 PM in Germany, 12 PM in New York, 9 AM in San Francisco. Just a week after the company unveiled its new Turing architecture, Nvidia could share more details

  • RDMD attacks rare diseases with data mined from health records
    by Josh Constine on August 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    You wouldn’t expect a medical app to get its start as a Snapchat competitor. Neither did video chat startup TapTalk’s founder Onno Faber. But four years ago he was diagnosed with a rare disease called neurofibromatosis type 2 that caused tumors, leading Onno to lose hearing in one ear. He’s amongst the one in 10 people with an

  • Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to iPad
    by Sarah Perez on August 20, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Microsoft announced this morning it’s bringing Minecraft: Education Edition to the iPad for the first time. The game, which first launched to the public in late 2016, has been previously available in schools on Windows 10 devices and on macOS. The iPad software will roll out to schools starting in September, the company says. If