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Windows has a heart of trash

I did a bad thing. I opened a bad file and it borked my PC. So now, in concordance with the grand tradition of frustrated tech bloggers calling on enormous companies to conform to their wishes, here is my rant on how terrible computers are — Windows ones, this time anyway — and how they ought to be. Now, I’m no PC spring chicken. I build my desktops, I seat the CPU, I fiddle with the registry and fiddle with the BIOS (even though it isn’t r......
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Snapcart raises $3M to track offline commerce data in Southeast Asia

Snapcart, a startup helping to bring transparency to the world of offline commerce in Southeast Asia, has raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding. We first wrote about the company when it launched in September 2015 with the aim of providing data on the largely uncharted world of offline commerce in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers and a growing middle class. Snapcart gathers shopper and purchase data by incentivizing......
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Uber grounds entire self-driving fleet as it probes Arizona crash

Uber has now grounded its entire autonomous test fleet in the U.S., following an accident in Arizona which left one of its Volvo SUVs flipped on its side earlier today. The car was in self-driving mode at the time of the incident. As we reported earlier, the company suspended the pilot in Arizona in the immediate aftermath of the crash. But it has now said it’s grounded its entire autonomous fleet — so also in the two other regions where it......
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The days of Google Talk are over

The days of Google Talk are quickly coming to an end. As the company announced today, the messaging service that allowed Gmail users to talk to each other since it launched in 2005, will now be completely retired. Even while Google pushed Hangouts as its consumer messaging service (before Allo, Duo, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet) over the last few years, it still allowed die-hard Gtalk users (and there are plenty of them) to stick to thei......
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AT&T and Verizon join advertising boycott against Google over offensive YouTube videos

AT&T and Verizon are the latest companies to pull advertising from Google’s display network amid concerns that company does not do enough to prevent ads from appearing on YouTube videos promoting terrorism and hate speech. The two telecommunication conglomerates issued statements on Wednesday that they will stop advertising on YouTube and Google’s display network until they are reassured that their ads won’t play ahead of videos with ob......
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Wright Electric unveils its commercial electric plane business

Gas is the biggest cost for airlines. The easiest way to reduce these costs? Don’t use gas at all. That was the pitch from Wright Electric, a startup building an commercial passenger plane that runs on batteries and can handle flights under 300 miles. These short-haul trips make up 30 percent of all flights and a $26 billion market. Today Wright Electric gave its first preview to the world at Y Combinator Demo Day, where Silicon Valley’s mo......
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Facebook rolls out seasonal greetings at the top of the News Feed

Facebook’s News Feed is getting a little more colorful today. Its “Goodwill” team – which is behind efforts like Friends Day and various messages at the top of the feed, including the recently added Weather greetings – is now rolling out new animations to denote the changing seasons. Starting today, people may begin to see an animated message with birds denoting the first day of spring, if they’re in the Northern Hemisphere, or an animation......
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Google offers more control, after ads on offensive content leads to brand boycott

Google plans to give its advertising clients more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network, which posts advertising to third-party websites. It announced the move in a blog post from its European business after major brands pulled ads from the platform because they appeared against offensive content, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism. The U.K. government, the Guardian newspaper and Fran......
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Weekly Roundup: Intel buys Mobileye for $15.3B, Uber’s navigation for drivers improves

This week four people were accused of hacking at least 500 million Yahoo accounts, Spotify partnered with Waze and Intel bought computer vision company Mobileye. These are the top stories of the week, and you can also get this post as a weekly newsletter in your inbox, if you prefer. 1. The U.S. Department of Justice accused of two Russian FSB officers and two criminal hackers of orchestrating the hack of at least 500 million Yahoo accounts......
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Photo-blending app Dubble is back from the dead

“I have no idea why I stuck at it,” says Adam Scott, co-founder of photo blending app Dubble, which is officially (re)launching today, in an overhauled v2, following a year-long hiatus off the app store while the team re-engineered the backend and applied some gloss and community-requested features to the front. The original MVP of Dubble launched on iOS all the way back in fall 2013 — at a time when Frontback was still splicing up people’......
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Justice Department reportedly ready to charge 4 hackers in Yahoo breach

The U.S. Department of Justice is ready to indict four people in the 2013 hack of Yahoo in which data from more than a billion accounts were acquired, according to a Bloomberg report. I’ve reached out to the DOJ for confirmation and more details. Citing someone briefed on the indictments, Bloomberg reports that one of the alleged hackers is currently in Canada, and may face instant arrest. The other three are apparently in Russia, which doe......
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New iPad models being tested around Cupertino, logs show

Several new iPad models have been spotted being tested in Cupertino and nearby locations, according to mobile marketing firm Fiksu – potentially confirming earlier rumors of a planned iPad refresh arriving this spring. According to reports, a leaked investor note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that Apple is expected to update its 12.9-inch iPad Pro model, as well as introduce a new 10-inch or 10.5-inch model with a narro......
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CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna shines hope on the future of genetic modification at SXSW

Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR Cas9 technology, or the ability to program genes using a special enzyme, spoke about the promises of this technology on stage at SXSW this afternoon. In a keynote today, Doudna noted that while this technology is very young (less than five years old), “it’s been deployed very rapidly for existing applications,” she said. For example, CRISPR Cas9 tech has important applications for treating diseases. On......
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Watch Zelda’s directors go deep on creating the masterpiece that is Breath Of The Wild

The newest Zelda game, Breath Of The Wild, is — and I say this without any attempt at being hyperbolic — an instant masterpiece. I won’t go so far as to call it the best game of all time — but if such a title can exist objectively, this one is certainly in the ring. It’s rare to see something like this thrust into the world and have it so quickly and widely recognized for what it is; it’s rarer still to see the creators of such a game get d......
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RealConnex, a platform connecting real estate pros with projects and each other, raises $3.5 million

RealConnex, a four-year-old, Miami and New York-based platform connecting real estate professionals to capital, investments, and services, has raised $3.5 million in strategic funding led by Silver Portal Capital, a San Diego-based real estate investment and merchant banking firm. The round is part of a much bigger trend of startups working to change how properties are built, bought, and sold — and investors are funding their vision. In fac......
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Microsoft is closing the social network you forgot it ever launched

So.cl, the little-known and probably much-forgotten social network project from Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs division, is closing down. The service was launched in late 2011 as a social community where the objective was “collaborative consumption, not communication.” Initially for students, So.cl opened up to anyone once it had gotten going and subsequently added support for mobile devices, too. When word of the project first leaked out p......
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Should Snap buy Twitter?

Now that Snap is flush with public dollars, the question becomes: How to spend it? One suggestion floated as a “what if” scenario among armchair executives in banking, finance and tech over the weekend is that Snap could make a bid for Twitter. To be clear, we have not heard any sources tell us that the two companies are in talks. And reached for comment, Snap said BLAH, and Twitter said BLEURGH. But there’s more logic than one might think ......
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Hollywood producers and executives: what do they know? Do they know things? Let’s find out!

Did you watch the Oscars? Did you care about the Oscars? Statistically, if you’re American, you cared 33% less than 10-15 years ago. US movie theaters sold 5.5 tickets per capita to the American public in 2002, a number which has since declined to 4.1 in 2016. The overall box office looks healthy, thanks to ticket price inflation, but behind the headline numbers, Hollywood is not what was. Of course this doesn’t mean it’s doomed; but it’s n......
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Crunch Report | NBCUniversal Invests $500 Million in Snap

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Original author: Khaled "Tito" Hamze
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One Bitcoin is now worth more than one ounce of gold

For the first time ever, the price of one Bitcoin has surpassed the price of one ounce of gold. While today’s swap can be attributed to a good day for Bitcoin (up ~3%) and a bad day for gold (down ~1.3%), the big picture is that Bitcoin has more than doubled in the last year (up ~185% from a year ago) while gold is essentially trading exactly at the price it was a year ago. Even though Bitcoin and gold are both thought of as alternative as......
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Facebook brings suicide prevention tools to Live and Messenger

In Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent manifesto, he wrote about how Facebook is in a unique position to help prevent people from doing harm to themselves. Worldwide, there is a suicide attempt every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. Among those aged 15-29 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Today, Facebook is unveiling new tools to provide support to people who may be suicidal, as well as resour......
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Innovation was the epic fail of 2016

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler Crunch Network Contributor Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler is director of The Israel Democracy Institute’s Democracy in the Information Age program. In the spirit of a new year, let’s talk about innovation. In Israel, 2016 will long be remembered for its many novel endeavors. In January of last year, an official Innovation Authority was established and “innovation platforms” sprouted up as r......
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Live from Samsung’s 2017 MWC press conference

A very happy Mobile World Congress to you and yours. The world’s largest smartphone show is still a couple of days from its official kick off, but there’s plenty of news to be had this weekend. Samsung will be taking the stage tonight in Barcelona to show off – well, not the Galaxy S8. That much we seemingly know for sure. The company announced a few weeks back that it’s holding off on the release of its latest flagship – perhaps unsurprisi......
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Crunch Report | Tesla and Rollercoasters

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Original author: Khaled "Tito" Hamze
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Apple says iOS 10.2.1 has reduced unexpected iPhone 6s shutdown issues by 80%

Over the past couple of iPhone versions users have complained of “unexpected” shutdowns of their devices. Some iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus devices could basically go dark unexpectedly, forcing a user to have to plug them into an outlet to get them to power back on. Apple has been working on this very annoying bug and it says that it has come up with a fix of sorts that should mitigate the problem on a majority of iPhone 6 and 6S device......
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MobileIron adding IoT management to its arsenal

MobileIron, which went public in 2014, has been known mostly for helping large companies manage mobile devices, especially in a time when people tend to bring their own. Today it announced it was expanding that mission to the Internet of Things. When you think about it, it’s a logical move for a company that is used to overseeing a large number of devices and helping IT keep them secure. “Where we are working, [IoT] is a nice natural adjace......
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Alibaba’s Ant Financial expands to Korea with $200M investment in Kakao Pay

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is making yet another M&A deal. The firm is investing $200 million into a fintech project belonging to Kakao, the $5 billion firm that runs Korea’s dominant messaging service. Ant Financial, which manages payments service Alipay and Alibaba’s digital banking business, will invest the capital into Kakao Pay, a soon-to-launch Kakao fintech division. The deal will see Ant Financial begin to offer its financi......
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How mobile technology is transforming lives in rural India

Melissa Jun Rowley Crunch Network Contributor Melissa Jun Rowley is a journalist, entrepreneur and activist focused on the intersection of storytelling, technology and social justice. As the founder and CEO of Humanise, Inc., she is developing The Toolbox, a data-driven humanitarian initiative created by musician Peter Gabriel. More posts by this contributor: How to join the network Deep in a rura......
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Ford invests $1 billion in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI to build self-driving cars by 2021

Ford has invested $1 billion in a joint venture with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based company with ties to Carnegie Mellon. The goal is to completely outfit Ford vehicles with self-driving technology. Interestingly this isn’t a case of a large company simply hiring talent but the creation of an entirely separate company with an independent equity structure. Ford is the “majority stakeholder” but will operate with “substantial independence.” Empl......
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Samsung vice chairman arrested on bribery charges

Samsung vice-chairman/heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee has been arrested in Korea on charges of corruption. Lee is accused of paying bribes to an advisor of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors. The New York Times reported that he is alleged to have given a total of $36 million to Park’s secret advisor in order to win government support for a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries. Park, Korea’s first female leader, is in troub......
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