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Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

Facebook stock dips after the platform deprioritizes publishers

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:26
 Facebook shares fell around 5 percent on Friday following the news that the company would retool its News Feed to boost social interactions over stories from publishers. Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on Thursday evening in a post on his own Facebook page to expected investor skittishness. Read More

39 million Americans now own a smart speaker, report claims

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:51
 One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research – a figure that’s up 128 percent from January, 2017. Amazon’s Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11 percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4 percent who own a Google Home product. Today, 16 percent of Americans own a smart… Read More

IBM may be prepping for massive changes at Global Technology Services group

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:30
 IBM has been a company adrift for the last several years with 22 straight quarters of declining revenue. Against that backdrop, The Register published an article yesterday suggesting there could be massive changes afoot for the company’s Global Technology Services group. Global Technology Services is the business consulting arm of IBM that deals with infrastructure support and… Read More

Forget the Alexa-powered toasters at CES, these innovations will really shape 2018

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:30
 This year, as CES rolls out troves of new Alexa-enabled toasters, mirrors and even shower heads, the gathering has become just another symbol of Silicon Valley’s disconnect with the needs of everyday people. Read More

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica begins testing in San Francisco

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:54
 Waymo is bringing its self-driving cars back to San Francisco streets for testing. TechCrunch has obtained pictures of the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica autonomous test vehicle on SF city roads, and Waymo confirmed that it is indeed bringing test vehicles back to one of the first spots where it ever tested AVs in the first place. A Waymo spokesperson provided the following statement about its… Read More

Alexa will have her own opinions on beer, TV shows and more

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:44
 Alexa is starting to think for herself. The personal assistant that’s built into Amazon devices like Echo smart speakers and Fire TV may better distinguish itself from competitors like Google Assistant in the future by offering up not just facts or recommendations, but by having her own opinions on things that weren’t explicitly added to her programming. This will come into play,… Read More

Original Content podcast: Looking into the dark future of Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:42
 Netflix has delivered another six glimpses into Black Mirror‘s often-bleak view of technology and humanity. On the latest episode of TechCrunch’s Original Content podcast, one of your regular hosts, Anthony Ha, is joined by Jordan Crook to discuss the fourth season of the science fiction anthology series. While we liked it — in fact, we both thought it might be Black… Read More

Equity podcast: 2017’s top tech acquisitions and what’s in store for 2018

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:01
 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we took a look back at the year’s M&A market, which brought some big wins and some low lights. Equity this week was Katie Roof, Alex Wilhelm, and Jamie Leigh, a partner at Cooley, who joined us to go over the year’s receipts. What to… Read More

New bill bans US government agencies using contractors with Huawei or ZTE tech

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 05:33
 There’s more misery ahead for Huawei, which just saw AT&T pull out of a deal to carry its first smartphone, and fellow Chinese tech firm ZTE. The duo are well known for their growing smartphone businesses worldwide, but it is their more established telecom networking and equipment units that are again under fire in Washington. A new bill introduced to Congress proposes a ban… Read More

GM and Cruise reveal their fourth-generation, steering wheel-free Cruise AV

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 00:01
 GM and Cruise are making progress on their plan to deploy autonomous vehicles on roads for the public: Today, it’s showing off its fourth-generation Cruise Autonomous Vehicle (AV), which comes just a few short months after it first revealed its third-generation vehicle. The fourth generation car is production-ready, according to GM’s Dan Ammann, who discussed the new vehicle on a… Read More

Snapchat’s big redesign bashed in 83% of user reviews

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 23:38
 Confusingly jamming Stories in between private messages has sparked backlash amongst the first users of Snapchat’s sweeping redesign. In the few countries including the U.K., Australia, and Canada where the redesign is widely available, 83 percent of App Store reviews (1,941) for the update are negative with one or two stars, according to data provided to TechCrunch by mobile analytics… Read More

Source: Verizon to sharpen content strategy with OTT video service, IoT platform

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 23:23
 At CES, the big consumer electronics show underway this week in Las Vegas (when the lights are working), TechCrunch has learned that Verizon is working away on a couple of new services that will see the carrier once again trying to grow its business beyond basic broadband and mobile connectivity, as it gears up to compete with the likes of Amazon and other tech companies, as well as other… Read More

Nuheara’s voice amplifying earbuds offer customizable hearing profiles

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 21:19
 Nuheara’s new IQBuds Boost headphones exist in a a strange sort of in-between spot. Like the rest of the company’s line, they’re clearly one of countless devices looking to compete in the crowded world of bluetooth earbuds. Like the standard IQBuds before them, however, they’re also designed to boost hearing. But the Boosts are an attempt to be even more, offering… Read More

This ring lets you bend musical notes on a keyboard with a wave of your hand

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:56
 We saw a small mountain of cool stuff at CES this week, but this one is still on my mind a few days later. It’s a ring you wear while playing a MIDI keyboard. By wavering your hand or sliding your fingers up the keys, you can change the vibrato or intensity of your notes. It’s an effect perhaps best demonstrated on video: Read More

Blocks hopes to court enterprise customers with its modular smartwatch

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:48
 As we noted earlier this week, the mere fact that Blocks was able to bring its modular smartwatch system to market feels like a minor miracle. The company appears to have not taken the easy route in any respect. It could have launched an Android Wear device, but instead opted to skin a scaled down version of stock Android. And then there’s the modules — the company compares… Read More

Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX in-car assistant and smart UI rocks

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:35
 It’s rare that I pay much attention to automaker infotainment and multimedia system updates at CES – usually there’s too much going on with autonomy, electrification and mobility services to give it much thought. This year, however, Mercedes-Benz had one of the most interesting announcements at the show with its new MBUX smart multimedia system and in-car voice activated… Read More

Sensel is shopping around its Morph trackpad tech for use in other devices

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 19:56
 It took two years, but Sensel finally managed to start shipping the Morph to backers. The company apparently ran into every potential pitfall for a brand new hardware manufacture, include a microscopic design flaw that forced it to scrap an entire run, resulting in around $60,000 in costs. That’s not an insignificant number for a startup — even one that’s managed to raise… Read More

Facebook feed change sacrifices time spent and news outlets for “well-being”

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 19:31
 Facebook is making a huge change to its News Feed algorithm to prioritize friends and posts that spark comments between them at the expense of public content, news outlets, and importantly, the total time spent and ads you see on the social network. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook today, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find… Read More

Here’s what it’s like to ride in Byton’s new Concept SUV

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 19:04
 Byton’s electric concept car wowed at CES, and for good reason. The SUV has a lot of strong features, including a max range of 323 miles for the upgraded version, and a starting price of just $45,000. But the real jaw-dropping feature is a 49-inch display that covers the entire dash, providing a multifunctional information and entertainment interface unlike anything else in the… Read More

CES should move to an innovative city

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:29
 CES, the yearly bacchanal of tech and innovation, has outgrown its shell. Las Vegas has been home to the event since the late 1970s and, for better or worse, the city has survived and served the influx of technologists who flock to the event each year to see the latest and greatest. But two things are happening simultaneously that make Las Vegas the last place to find innovation. Read More