Facebook urged to give users greater control over what they see

Thursday • January 17, 2019 • 0:00 GMT
Natasha Lomas
Academics at the universities of Oxford and Stanford think Facebook should give users greater transparency and control over the content they see on its platform. They also believe the social networking giant should radically reform its governance structures and processes to throw more light on content decisions, including by looping in more external experts to […]

Google raises its G Suite prices

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 23:00 GMT
Frederic Lardinois
Google today announced that it is raising the price of its G Suite subscriptions for the first time. In the U.S., the prices of G Suite Basic and G Suite Business editions will increase by $1 and $2 per user/month, respectively, while increases in other regions will be adjusted according to the local currency and […]

Ford’s iconic F-Series trucks are going electric

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 22:55 GMT
Devin Coldewey
Ford's iconic and popular F-series pickup line will soon have electric options, the company announced today. The move is intended to "future-proof" the enormous truck business against rising gas prices and regulations favoring electric vehicles over internal combustion.

Resolute Ventures sticks to its knitting with $75 million fourth fund

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 22:24 GMT
Connie Loizos
Resolute Ventures, an early-stage firm with offices in San Francisco and Boston, just closed its fourth fund with $75 million. It’s an almost shockingly conservative amount of capital in today’s era of big-is-better funds. And with valuable companies like the real estate startup OpenDoor, the applicant tracking system company Greenhouse and the dog products company […]

US will reportedly seek criminal case against Huawei for stealing tech secrets

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 21:24 GMT
Taylor Hatmaker
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, U.S. federal prosecutors are preparing a criminal indictment against Huawei for stealing trade secrets. The report, which cites sources with knowledge of the indictment, specifically mentions Huawei’s actions surrounding a T-Mobile smartphone testing tool known as “Tappy.” The report notes that the current investigation is far […]

SpaceX opts for Texas over LA to build Starship prototypes

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 21:10 GMT
Devin Coldewey
SpaceX will center its largest-scale operations not in its Los Angeles-area headquarters but in south Texas facilities, the company said today. Development of its next-generation Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle will take place in Texas, while Falcon 9 and Dragon work will remain at Hawthorne.

Shutdown could delay challenge of FCC’s net neutrality rollback

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 20:41 GMT
Devin Coldewey
The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has already had adverse effects on millions nationwide, and now could even delay a major legal challenge to the FCC’s infamous net neutrality repeal. The agency moved yesterday to delay oral arguments scheduled for just two weeks from now. The arguments in a consolidated lawsuit against the FCC […]

Steve Carell is coming to Netflix in a new comedy about the US government’s new Space Force

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 20:36 GMT
Jonathan Shieber
Steve Carell is coming back to small-screen comedy for a new Netflix series about the people tasked with creating the “Space Force” — the proposed sixth branch of the military. Details about the new show from Carell and Greg Daniels, who was the mind behind the American version of “The Office,” are sketchy. Netflix hasn’t […]

Facebook poaches Google’s AR/VR engineering lead to take over Portal team

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 20:26 GMT
Lucas Matney
Facebook is bringing on the engineering lead for Google’s entire AR/VR team to tackle Portal hardware. Ryan Cairns comes aboard after 12 years at Google, where he was most recently the engineering lead for a team of more than 500 people tackling AR/VR at the big G, including Daydream, Lens and ARCore, according to his LinkedIn. […]

TV broadcaster Sinclair launches STIRR, a free streaming service with local news and sports

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 20:11 GMT
Sarah Perez
Local TV broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcast Group today announced the launch of a new streaming service called STIRR that aims to bring local TV news and other content to the growing number of cord cutters across the U.S. The company today owns more than 190 TV stations, which it’s leveraging in order to create its […]

Email security company Tessian is closing in on a $40M round led by Sequoia Capital

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 20:02 GMT
Steve O'Hear
Continuing a trend that VCs here in London tell me is seeing an increasing amount of deal-flow in Europe attract the interest of top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms, TechCrunch has learned that email security provider Tessian is the latest to raise from across the pond. According to multiple sources, the London-based company has closed […]

Behold, Slack’s new logo

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 19:23 GMT
Brian Heater
New year, new you, new Slack. The popular workplace chat service’s resolution clearly involved a bit of a facelift, starting with a new logo. A redesigned version of the familiar grid logo launched this week, and appears to have rolled out on most major platforms. Slack did the customary thing of explaining the hell out […]

Lance Armstrong just wrote his first check as VC

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 19:09 GMT
Connie Loizos
Lance Armstrong revealed last month that an early investment in Uber — courtesy of a $100,000 check that he funneled into the company in 2009 through Lowercase Capital — “saved” his family from financial ruin. This was after evidence surfaced in 2012 that he used performance-enhancing drugs and he was stripped not only of his […]

Robots learn to grab and scramble with new levels of agility

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 19:06 GMT
Devin Coldewey
Robots are amazing things, but outside of their specific domains they are incredibly limited. So flexibility — not physical, but mental — is a constant area of research. A trio of new robotic setups demonstrate ways they can evolve to accommodate novel situations: using both "hands," getting up after a fall, and understanding visual instructions they've never seen before.

Apple reportedly looking to subsidize Watch with Medicare plans

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 18:41 GMT
Brian Heater
If nothing else, the addition of ECG/EKG reinforced Apple’s commitment to evolving the Watch into a serious medical device. The company has long looked to bring its best-selling wearable to various health insurance platforms, and, according to a new report, it’s reaching out to multiple private Medicare plans in hopes of subsidizing the product. If […]

Ubiquity6 acquires AR music startup Wavy

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 18:38 GMT
Lucas Matney
Today, Ubiquity6 has announced that it is acquiring Wavy, a small AR music startup founded last year. In a blog post, the Wavy team confirmed they’ll be joining the Ubiquity6 team and won’t be continuing their work on the Wavy app. “When we met the team at Ubiquity6, it became apparent that joining the team […]

Driving down the cost of preserving genetic material, Acorn Biolabs raises $3.3 million

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 18:38 GMT
Jonathan Shieber
Acorn Biolabs wants consumers to pay them to store genetic material in a bet that the increasing advances in targeted genetic therapies will yield better healthcare results down the line. The company’s pitch is to “Save young cells today, live a longer, better, tomorrow.” It’s a gamble on the frontiers of healthcare technology that has managed […]

Sprint customers can now use Apple Business Chat to reach an agent

Wednesday • January 16, 2019 • 17:43 GMT
Sarah Perez
Sprint today announced it will support Apple’s Business Chat — the new platform that allows businesses and customers to interact over iMessage. According to the carrier, customers can now message a Sprint customer service agent, get info about plans and other services, as well as look up store information in Maps, Safari and with Siri […]