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TechCrunch is a group-edited blog that profiles the companies, products and events defining and transforming the new web.
Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

Next INpact launches a browser extension to see who is tracking you online

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:15
 French tech media company Next INpact just launched an interesting project today. Kimetrak is a simple browser extension that lets you see how your favorite website is tracking you and selling your privacy. The upcoming ePrivacy and GDPR regulations in Europe have been a wake-up call in many ways. Arguably, bitcoin-mining scripts and Spectre JavaScript examples also have made people realize… Read More

Google is shutting down Chrome’s parental control features, replacement to launch later this year

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:38
 Google is preparing to launch a new set of parental control features for users of its Chrome browser. The announcement was made in an email sent this week to users of its current system for parental controls and other restrictions called “Chrome Supervised Users,” which is soon shutting down. Read More

Y Combinator is launching a biotech track

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:32
 Y Combinator is pulling the curtains off of a new experiment, YC Bio. The idea is to fund early-stage life-sciences companies that are still in the lab phase, YC President Sam Altman wrote on the YC blog today. YC Bio’s first area of focus will be on healthspan and age-related disease. Read More

Kuzzle is building the backend for the Internet of Things

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:11
 Meet Kuzzle, an all-in-one backend solution for connected devices and beyond. The French startup is giving you a scalable solution so you don’t have to develop everything from scratch yourself. Think about it as Firebase but for different use cases. Read More

How to build a business-focused ‘cloud-commerce’ marketplace for the less-sexy economy

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:00
 For consumers, huge new internet marketplaces have upended industries ranging from taxis to hotels and even some types of consumer loans. Now, new types of online marketplaces — we call them “cloud-commerce” companies — are popping up to serve businesses. We think they have the potential to radically remake many sectors and generate plenty of behind-the-scenes value. Read More

Xprize finalist Cloud DX’s Vitaliti is a serious health wearable

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:55
 Plenty of wearables companies make health claims that are dubious at best. It’s true that companies like Fitbit and Apple are getting a bit more serious about the whole thing, participating in university studies and working with insurance companies, but on a whole, I certainly wouldn’t trust my own wellbeing to any of them. An outgrowth of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize, Vitaliti… Read More

This AR headset won’t win any style points, but it fills the world with fish

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:55
 Hong Kong-based RealMax came to CES with an augmented reality headset they want to get on to everyone’s faces. The prototype is a little rough around the edges, but it fills more of the world with digital images than any AR device I’ve ever seen. The prototype bests the field-of-view on just about every AR headset. While Microsoft’s HoloLens is stuck with a field-of-view… Read More

Google claims its Spectre and Meltdown mitigation results in no performance degradation

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:40
 It’s been a long week since we first learned about the now infamous Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities. One of the issues with mitigating the danger these vulnerabilities pose is that they could result in serious performance degradation. In a blog post today, Google claimed their solutions resulted in no performance degradation across the different mitigation techniques they… Read More

Lishtot’s TestDrop tells you whether water is safe to drink without even touching it

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:07
 Consistent access to clean water is something billions lack, and part of that is the inability to check whether one’s water is clean or not. Lishtot could help change this with a tiny device that instantly determines if water is safe to drink just by analyzing the electric field around it — no strips, no microfluidics, no toxic chemicals. Read More

Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack was my surprise hit of CES 2018

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 15:25
 Peak Design announced its line of bags on Kickstarter in 2016. It’s my favorite thing at CES 2018. The project raised $6.5 million on Kickstarter and now the company has a full product line designed for photographers and bloggers and people who just like nice things. That’s me. To be clear this is not a new bag. The bag has been out for a bit but I purchased Peak Design’s… Read More

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now an Ecuadorian citizen

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:51
 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is stateless no more. On Thursday, Ecuador revealed that it had extended citizenship to Assange, a controversial figure who moved into London’s Ecuadorian embassy to evade extradition to Sweden back in 2012. Assange alluded to the citizenship status with a Twitter post depicting him in an Ecuadorian football jersey. Read More

More details emerge of Uber’s tactics for thwarting police raids

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:33
 Yet another uncomfortable revelation about Uber’s legacy business and attitude to legal oversight: Between spring 2015 until late 2016 the ride-hailing giant routinely used a system designed to thwart police raids in foreign countries, according to Bloomberg, citing three people with knowledge of the system. Read More

Storage startup Closetbox raises $7.3 million Series A round

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:29
 Startup Closetbox recently raised a $7.3 million Series A round, bringing its total amount of funding to $19.8 million. Closetbox, of course, has competitors like fellow startups MakeSpace and Omni, as well as larger companies like Pods and Public Storage. Closetbox offers “full-service storage,” which means it has professional movers come to your house to do any heavy lifting and… Read More

Nintendo announces raft of new and retro titles for Switch (plus new Mario outfits)

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:26
 The Switch is getting a bevy of new games that should appeal to a broad variety of players, Nintendo announced today in one of its “Direct” videos. A new Mario Tennis game, updates to Odyssey, some classics and indies, and perhaps most unexpectedly, Dark Souls: Remastered. Read More

This $1,600 fighting robot toy kicks serious butt

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:21
 All right, I’m impressed. I’m not sure I’m $1,600 impressed, but I definitely want one of these Zeus battling robots. We probably should have booked the Shenzhen-based startup a bit earlier, because by the time they got to the TechCrunch booth, this model was the last standing of the three models it brought to the show. No one ever said the job of a fighting robot was an… Read More

The Zeeq smart pillow tracks sleep, plays music and more

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:03
 It’s 2018, so it’s high time pillows gain a bit of technology. Rem-Fit’s Zeeq pillow is packed with the goods to, hopefully, improve a person’s sleep in various ways. Some people need music to fall asleep while others need help with snoring and analyzing sleep patterns. The pillow comes in three different flavors. The snore pillow features a vibration feature that… Read More

The House just renewed a warrantless surveillance law without any privacy reform

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:48
 Today in Congress, privacy reform faced a significant setback as the House voted 256 to 164 to extend a controversial piece of legislation that provides for a warrantless surveillance program that at times targets American citizens. The law, part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as Section 702, is leveraged as a loophole that provides for the surveillance of American citizens… Read More

Skype adds e2e encrypted ‘private chats’ powered by Signal Protocol

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:35
 Skype is adding an opt-in e2e encryption feature, utilizing the industry standard Signal Protocol to power ‘Private Conversations’. Read More

Chronext raises $34 million to bring nice watches to your bare wrist

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:34
 There are a number of services that let you sell your used watches or simply purchase new watches but few have the funding war chest of Chronext. This online services lets you buy and sell fancy watches for a fraction of the price and, as evidenced by their performance and the performance of competitor Crown and Caliber, it looks like that market is heating up. Created by Philipp Man and… Read More

Ford cars with SYNC 3 are getting Waze support

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:33
 Ford is bringing crowdsourced navigation app Waze to its SYNC 3 infotainment system, the companies announced at CES 2018. The app will be available via Ford’s AppLink tech, offering up a Waze interface powered by your phone on the in-car central display on vehicles equipped with SYNC 3. The app will support both touch and voice input, and will be available when you plug your smartphone… Read More

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