TechCrunch

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

12/16/2017 12:15 PM
Apple has a history of choosing cash over startups
 Apple has more cash than any other tech company on the planet. Yet, that hasn’t translated into spending on acquisitions. Over the past five years, Apple has spent the least on M&A out of all the “Big Five” most valuable U.S. tech companies. That’s despite the fact that it is estimated to have more than $260 billion in cash and cash equivalents. So, is it buying… Read More

12/16/2017 12:00 PM
Gillmor Gang: Golden Goose
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Frank Radice, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 15, 2017. G3: Last Hope — Mary Hodder, Halley Suitt Tucker, Elisa Camahort Page, Tina Hui, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 15, 2017. @stevegillmor, @dsearls, @fradice, @kteare, @DenisPombriant Produced and directed by Tina Chase… Read More

12/16/2017 10:30 AM
Welcome to CTRL+T, TechCrunch’s podcast about tech and culture
 Without further ado, it brings us great pleasure to introduce you to CTRL+T, a new podcast hosted by TechCrunch Reporter Megan Rose Dickey and Editorial Director Henry Pickavet. On this week’s episode, we discuss former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya’s declaration that the social network is effectively “destroying how society works,” the FCC’s vote on… Read More

12/16/2017 10:00 AM
Netflix will look for a repeat play in 2018 after a strong year
 Netflix had a pretty good year by very Netflix-y standards: it added a ton of subscribers; its international growth plans seem to be playing out as hoped; it cleaned up in the Golden Globe nominations, and users are watching a ton of Netflix. While the company has continued to show growth with its existing strategy — investing a ton in its original content strategy in the hope that… Read More

12/15/2017 10:46 PM
Uber accused of espionage, bribery and hacking by former employee
 The $1.86 billion legal battle between ride-hailing giant Uber and Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo reached a pivotal moment today as the judge in the case released a damning letter based on the account of a former Uber employee. The letter alleges that a special division within Uber was responsible for acts of corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, the bribery of foreign… Read More

12/15/2017 10:00 PM
Crunch Report | Go-Jek Buys Three Startups
Go-Jek buys three startups, the California Department of Public Health warns against being on your phone for too long and AOL Instant Messenger is officially dead. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

12/15/2017 07:11 PM
Celebrity hologram startup 8i to lay off half its staff
 8i, the New Zealand and Los Angeles-based augmented reality startup bringing celebrity personalities into immersive experiences, is laying off about half of its 70-person staff, according to a report in Variety and confirmed by the company. “Although we’ve made significant progress, we are continuously challenging our assumptions about where the AR/VR market is headed and how it… Read More

12/15/2017 06:30 PM
Feds look to cash in seized bitcoins at record prices
 Federal prosecutors are looking to unload 513 bitcoins seized as part of a drug case in Salt Lake City. Worth about $500,000 when they were seized, their worth has now ballooned to over $8.5 million — and there’s no way the feds are letting that get away. Read More

12/15/2017 05:18 PM
Google kills its Tango augmented reality platform, shifting focus to ARCore
 Google announced today that it’s shutting down its high-end smartphone augmented reality platform, Tango, in order to focus on the more mass market ARCore product. The company had already confirmed this much to us when they announced ARCore in August, but now we have an official timeline for Tango’s demise. Read More

12/15/2017 03:34 PM
Broadband business Casa Systems up 11% following downsized IPO
 Casa Systems had a tough time pulling off its IPO this week. The broadband solutions company wanted to debut Thursday, but pushed its launch back to Friday, likely because of weak initial demand. Casa had planned to sell 8.4 million shares, but reduced it to 6 million following the investor roadshow. The IPO priced at $13 per share, but bounced up almost 11 percent, closing the day at $14.40. Read More

12/15/2017 03:30 PM
Cities do want to rethink regulations and avoid tech clashes, and here’s some proof
 In Jakarta, Indonesia, only 50 percent of the population has access to the piped sewerage system. More than 500,000 residents practice open defecation, and more than one million people discharge wastewater directly into the river, resulting in deteriorated groundwater quality and putting residents at risk to waterborne diseases. The better news: The city has a master plan to improve the… Read More

12/15/2017 02:28 PM
Mozilla’s Mr. Robot promo backfires after it installs a Firefox extension without permission
 If you’re a Firefox user, you may have noticed a weird new extension that suddenly showed up in your browser this week. The extension is called “Looking Glass 1.0.3” and this is its description: MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOURS. Now that sounds ominous. It’s really not, though. Read More

12/15/2017 02:07 PM
Don’t keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns
 The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public. Read More

12/15/2017 02:05 PM
Apple picks up a new space drama from the creator of ‘Battlestar Galactica’
 What the frak is this? According to a report from Deadline, Apple may have actually gotten its hand on a good show – a new space drama from “Battlestar Galactica” creator, Ronald D. Moore – to aid in its ambitions in building out its original video content. The still untitled series comes from Sony Pictures Television and Moore’s Tall Ship Productions, and has… Read More

12/15/2017 01:58 PM
Erik Huggers is stepping down as CEO of Vevo
Erik Huggers Vevo, the music video service backed by major record labels, just announced that its CEO Erik Huggers is departing. Huggers previously worked at the BBC, at Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) and elsewhere. He joined Vevo in 2015. Under his leadership, Vevo was working to become less reliant on YouTube (which was its major syndication partner) by developing more apps and products like the… Read More

12/15/2017 01:28 PM
Finnish autonomous car goes for a leisurely cruise in the driving snow
 It’s one thing for an autonomous car to strut its stuff on a smooth, warm California tarmac, and quite another to do so on the frozen winter mix of northern Finland. Martti, a self-driving vehicle system homegrown in Finland, demonstrated just this in a record-setting drive along a treacherous (to normal drivers) Laplandish road. Read More

12/15/2017 01:00 PM
UPS bets on blockchain as the future of the trillion-dollar shipping industry
 Freight and logistics in the U.S. alone account for nearly $1.5 trillion annually. As the world’s economies scale up, that number is only expected to increase. The industry, however, is not prepared for growth, as it sits on top of an infrastructure prone to systematic inefficiencies and rampant fraud. However, disruption is coming in the form of blockchain technology. Read More

12/15/2017 12:55 PM
Alexa skills top 25,000 in the U.S. as new launches slow
 Amazon this week officially launched the first skills for Alexa offering premium content that customers can purchase while using the voice apps – a move the company had announced was in the works back in November. The ability for developers to generate money from their skills comes at an opportune time, as it turns out, given that new data indicates the rate of skill growth is beginning… Read More

12/15/2017 12:37 PM
Dog-walking app Wag may be raising a huge round of funding
 It looks like Wag may get another huge injection of cash following a big financing round earlier this year, according to a report by Recode, and also based on what we are hearing. We had heard a bit ago that Wag was looking to raise around $100 million, which the Recode report also suggests. But it now looks like Softbank is in talks to invest around $300 million in the dog-walking app.… Read More

12/15/2017 12:19 PM
EyeEm’s new products aim to understand brand aesthetics
Photographer EyeEm is unveiling new tools to help the brands and marketers using the site to source their images. Underlying these tools is a technology called EyeEm Vision, which we described in-depth earlier this year. The goal is to expand image recognition so that it’s not just identifying the objects in the photo, but also its aesthetic qualities. EyeEm’s co-founder and chief product… Read More