New ‘Dark Ads’ pro-Brexit Facebook campaign may have reached over 10M people, say researchers

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 23:05 GMT
Mike Butcher
A major new campaign of disinformation around Brexit, designed to stir up U.K. ‘Leave’ voters, and distributed via Facebook, may have reached over 10 million people in the U.K., according to new research. The source of the campaign is so far unknown, and will be embarrassing to Facebook, which only this week claimed it was […]

Watch BepiColombo’s twin spacecraft launch tonight on a mission to Mercury

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 22:28 GMT
Devin Coldewey
Humanity is about to return to the hottest planet in the solar system. BepiColombo is a mission to Mercury conducted jointly by the European and Japanese space agencies, due to launch in just a few hours aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. But while there's just the one launch, there are two spacecraft.

Convene uses landlord partnership model to outclass WeWork

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 19:58 GMT
Gregg Schoenberg
Recent reports that SoftBank may take a majority stake in WeWork has added fuel to the already hot market for startups in the workspace and property tech sectors. One of the more compelling companies that stands to benefit from this trend is New York-based Convene. Started by co-founders Ryan Simonetti (CEO) and Chris Kelly (president), […]

Domio just raised $12 million in Series A funding to build ‘apart hotels’ across the US

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 19:45 GMT
Connie Loizos
Hotels can be pricey, and travelers are often forced to leave their rooms for basic things, like food that doesn’t come from the minibar. Yet Airbnb accommodations, which have become the go-to alternative for travelers, can be highly inconsistent. Domio, a two-year-old, New York-based outfit, thinks there’s a third way: apartment hotels, or “apart hotels,” […]

Lessons from building Brex into a billion-dollar startup

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 19:30 GMT
Jonathan Shieber
When I think about my experience as an immigrant and entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I remember growing up in Brazil and how we saw tech founders and CEOs as kings. We imagined what it would be like to assume the throne.

Smart home makers hoard your data, but won’t say if the police come for it

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 19:01 GMT
Zack Whittaker
A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These days, it’s near impossible to avoid a non-smart home gadget, and they’re vacuuming up a ton of new data that we’d never normally think about. Thermostats know the temperature of your house, and smart cameras […]

PlayStation Vue is first US pay TV provider to integrate with Apple’s TV app

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 18:40 GMT
Sarah Perez
Sony’s live TV streaming service, PlayStation Vue, announced this week it has become the first U.S. pay TV provider to integrate with Apple’s TV app. Until now, Apple’s TV app has featured content from both free and paid on-demand streaming apps like Hulu, Prime Video, HBO NOW, PBS Kids, The CW and others, along with […]

Tesla is rolling out a cheaper, mid-range Model 3

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 16:23 GMT
Kirsten Korosec
Tesla is now offering a new, cheaper mid-range battery version of the Model 3 that starts at $45,000 before federal tax incentives. CEO Elon Musk announced the new variant, which has an estimated battery range of 260 miles, via Twitter. The company’s website has already been updated. Customers in the U.S. can order the mid-range […]

Facebook launches ‘Hunt for False News’ debunk blog as fakery drops 50%

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 16:19 GMT
Josh Constine
Facebook hopes detailing concrete examples of fake news it’s caught — or missed — could improve news literacy, or at least prove it’s attacking the misinformation problem. Today Facebook launched “The Hunt for False News,” in which it examines viral B.S., relays the decisions of its third-party fact-checkers and explains how the story was tracked […]

Buggy software in popular connected storage drives can let hackers read private data

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 16:00 GMT
Zack Whittaker
Security researchers have found flaws in four popular connected storage drives that they say could let hackers access a user’s private and sensitive data. The researchers Paulos Yibelo and Daniel Eshetu said the software running on three of the devices they tested — NetGear Stora, Seagate Home and Medion LifeCloud — can allow an attacker to […]

Microsoft’s $7.5BN GitHub buy gets green-lit by EU regulators

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 15:42 GMT
Natasha Lomas
Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Git-based code sharing and collaboration service, GitHub, has been given an unconditional greenlight from European Union regulators. The software giant announced its intention to bag GitHub back in June, saying it would shell out $7.5 billion in stock to do so. At the time it also pledged: “GitHub will retain its […]

Microsoft’s new expense tracker Spend hits the App Store

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 15:16 GMT
Sarah Perez
The team behind mileage-tracking app MileIQ, a company Microsoft acquired a few years ago, is out with a new application. This time, the focus isn’t on tracking miles, but rather expenses. The new app, simply called “Spend,” arrived on the App Store on Thursday, offering automatic expense tracking for work reimbursement purposes or for taxes. […]

Hiver lets you manage shared email addresses from Gmail

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 14:48 GMT
Romain Dillet
Meet Hiver, a service that lets you collaborate on generic email addresses, such as, support@, sales@, etc. Hiver isn’t the only company working on shared inboxes. But compared to Front, everything happens in Gmail directly. To be fair, Front has been doing a fantastic job when it comes to multiplayer email — and the company […]

Researchers discover a new way to identify 3D printed guns

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 14:08 GMT
John Biggs
Researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that 3D printers have fingerprints, essentially slight differences in design that can be used to identify prints. This means investigators can examine the layers of a 3D printed object and pinpoint exactly which machine produced the parts. “3D printing has many wonderful uses, but it’s also a […]

PayPal and American Express expand partnership, will allow use of points for PayPal purchases

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 13:56 GMT
Sarah Perez
PayPal this week announced an expanded relationship with American Express that will allow cardholders to use their Membership Rewards points when shopping from PayPal merchants, as well as more integrated experience within both PayPal and the Amex apps, among other things. The deal is similar to those PayPal earlier struck with Visa and MasterCard., and follows a series […]

Facebook hires former UK Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, as global policy chief

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 13:51 GMT
Natasha Lomas
Facebook has confirmed it has hired the former leader of the UK’s former third largest political party — Nick Clegg of the middle ground Liberal Democrats — to head up global policy and comms. The news was reported earlier by the Financial Times. Facebook hires Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, to head […]

Virtual reality makes food taste better

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 13:16 GMT
John Biggs
In another example of VR bleeding into real life, Cornell University food scientists found that cheese eaten in pleasant VR surroundings tasted better than the same cheese eaten in a drab sensory booth. About 50 panelists who used virtual reality headsets as they ate were given three identical samples of blue cheese. The study participants […]

Twilio shops, Uber and Lyft IPO scuttlebutt, and Instacart raises $600M

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 13:10 GMT
Alex Wilhelm
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we had the Three Excellent Friends (Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and Alex Wilhelm) on hand to kick things about with Scale Venture Partner’s own Rory O’Driscoll. As I’ve written the last few weeks, what a pile […]

Vector speeds toward orbital launch capability with $70M in new funding

Friday • October 19, 2018 • 13:01 GMT
Devin Coldewey
The market for small satellites in low Earth orbit is expanding faster than the gas in a thruster nozzle, and Vector aims to be the go-to launch platform for companies looking to put a bird in the air on short notice. The company just raised a $70 million B round and aims to take its first payload into space early next year.