Waze co-founder Uri Levine joins the TechCrunch Tel Aviv Meetup + Pitch-off, June 28

 The TechCrunch Meetup + Pitch-off in Tel Aviv is drawing closer and we’re super excited to start announcing our speakers for the event. We’ve already announced some guests will be joining our stage for fireside chats. Today we’re delighted to announce Uri Levine co-founder of Waze will be speaking. Uri Levine is a passionate serial entrepreneur and disruptor. He co-founded… Read More

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UK eyeing fines for social media content moderation failures

 A UK minister has suggested the party is open to bringing in financial penalties or otherwise changing the law in order to encourage social media firms to improve their content moderation processes. Read More

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Thoughts on building a bootstrapped business

 Chief executive officer Yaron Ben Shaul originally launched Hometalk as an engagement platform for customers of Networx, his lead generation business for home contractors. That engagement platform, with offices in New York and a research and development center in Israel, has since grown into a social network for the “do-it-yourself” community. “Technology has caused… Read More

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How not to launch a company in the U.S. — lessons learned from LeEco

 After a months’ long parade of endless red flags, LeEco’s Stateside woes finally came to a head this week. The company announced that it would be laying off 325 employees in the U.S. alone. And judging from a number of address forwarding emails I received, the company moved swiftly and without much warning. It’s always easier to Monday morning quarterback all of this after… Read More

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The difference between smartphone gimmick and game changer

 It’s hard to find a legitimately bad flagship phone these days. Sure, one peeks its head out from time to time, but on a whole most phones are pretty good. The screens, the cameras, the internals. There are always a few bits that could use improving (see: battery and durability), but the gulf between good and bad isn’t any near where it once was. And for the past several… Read More

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Judah Vs. The Machines: In which a robot services a hotel room

 Robots remain a rare sight outside of labs in most of the world, but in Silicon Valley, they have already started taking on service jobs. In this episode of Judah Vs. The Machines, Judah visits the Crowne Plaza hotel in San Jose to check out Relay, a hotel service robot that can autonomously bring guests food and other necessities. After poking Relay’s creator, Steve Cousins about equal… Read More

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Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

 Cryptocurrencies are booming beyond belief. Bitcoin is up sevenfold, to $2,500, in the last year. Three weeks ago the redoubtable Vinay Gupta, who led Ethereum’s initial release, published an essay entitled “What Does Ether At $100 Mean?” Since then it has doubled. Too many altcoins to name have skyrocketed in value along with the Big Two. ICOs are raking in money hand over… Read More

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After beating the world’s elite Go players, Google’s AlphaGo AI is retiring

 Google’s AlphaGo — the AI developed to tackle the world’s most demanding strategy game — is stepping down from competitive matches after defeating the world’s best talent. The latest to succumb is Go’s top-ranked player, Ke Jie, who lost 3-0 in a series hosted in China this week. The AI, developed by London-based DeepMind, which was acquired by Google… Read More

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Spotify settles lawsuits, adds board members as it gets ready to go public

 Spotify made a few moves this week that could put them in a better position to join the stock market. On Thursday, it was revealed that the company added four people to its board of directors. The music streaming startup has brought on former Disney COO Tom Staggs; Padmasree Warrior, a Cisco vet who runs an electric car business; Shishir Mehrotra, YouTube’s former head… Read More

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Tragedy strikes as Uber CEO Kalanick loses mother in boating accident, father in serious condition

 We’ve received word from Uber that the Kalanick family suffered a tragic event this weekend. CEO Travis Kalanick’s parents were in a boating accident in Fresno yesterday and his mother Bonnie Horowitz Kalanick has passed away. His father Donald Kalanick was also injured. The company provided the following statement. “Last night Travis and his family suffered an… Read More

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Chasing dreams may be the next sleeper hit for venture capitalists

 After decades spent funding technologies tailored to deprive us of sleep (see: streaming video, gaming, social networks and 24/7 online shopping), the venture capital industry has decided to direct its considerable capital reserves at helping us get more shut-eye. Read More

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British Airways extends London flight cancellations through Saturday amid IT failure

 British Airways has yet to fix the IT outage that caused them to cancel all flights at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports earlier Saturday. They originally thought they would be back online by about 6pm GMT, but they’ve now acknowledged that operations will remain suspended through the rest of the day. Following a major IT system failure this morning, we've cancelled… Read More

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Judah Vs. The Machines: The race for prowess against a toy car

 In the latest installment of Judah vs The Machines, Judah ventures down to Anki, a company combining augmented reality and artificial intelligence to entertain fans of racing games. Anki utilizes smartphone cameras and a dedicated app to recreate the imagery of racing battles happening on a real physical track in front of you. Judah challenges three autonomous Anki cars to a death match… Read More

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Silicon Valley law firm Gunderson Dettmer’s legal advice for Pied Piper

 Gunderson Dettmer is the law firm a good majority of tech startups turn to in the Valley for fundings, mergers, licensing and other deals and it’s been in the business of offering tech companies everyday legal advice to everyone from Oracle to DoorDash since the dot-com boom. It was ranked the “most active law firm globally” in PitchBook’s recently-released… Read More

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Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption?

 Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data. Read More

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Drones aren’t having their mainstream moment yet

 Write about technology for any amount of time, you’ll get run through the hype wringer. It’s impossible to avoid. After all, it’s the excitement of new technologies that drew so many of us to this field in the first place. And when DJI debuts a product like the Spark, the word “game changer” gets tossed around a lot, just like it did with last year’s… Read More

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Chaos as global IT failure takes out all British Airways flights out of London

 British Airways has a problem. Its new IT system has completely crashed five times inside a year, and today it added a sixth global crash to the roster. All flights from Heathrow and Gatwick have been cancelled until at least 6pm in London tonight, affecting all BA flights globally. The airline is asking passengers not to come to the airports. The system failure also took out the BA website… Read More

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Crunch Report | Sprig Is Shutting Down

Sprig is shutting down, Sergey Brin is building a giant airship, Nielsen’s latest data show a ton of people still watch content on TV and bitcoin experiences an outage from all the bitcoin ups and downs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Sam Altman invest $30 million in Change.org

 LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman announced today that he’s making a big bet on Change.org, the site for social justice petitions. Hoffman is leading a $30 million round, with other investors including big names like Bill Gates and Y Combinator president Sam Altman. “Change.org, the global hub for collective action, is a crucial democratizing force in this era of growing… Read More

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Google has reportedly launched a new AI-focused venture capital program

a young sundar pichai Google has launched a new venture capital program focused on artificial intelligence, Axios is reporting. Google declined to comment on the report, which states that the initiative will be led by longtime Google VP of engineering Anna Patterson and involve a rotating cast of engineers instead of the venture investors who work for Alphabet Inc.’s corporate venture unit, GV. It… Read More

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