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  • The Surface 2 Slow Fade @ TechCrunch - 5 hours ago
    The Surface 2 Slow Fade

    The 64GB SKU of the Surface 2 is sold out on Microsoft’s website, and, according to a sales person that Neowin spoke to, it likely won’t be restocked. The sales rep said the company is looking to get rid of inventory of the older device and “focus on the newer version of Surfaces.” Remember the Surface 2?

  • Ridesharing Service Sidecar Raises Another $15 Million, Adds Sir Richard Branson As Investor

    San Francisco-headquartered ridesharing startup Sidecar, which competes with on-demand car services like Uber and Lyft, announced this morning it has raised an additional $15 million in funding. The new round comes from existing investors Avalon Ventures and Union Square Ventures, and includes participation from new investor …

  • Apple Lets You Preserve Your Musical Taste With A U2 Album Removal Tool

    Apple listens to user feedback, which is evident by the introduction of a new tool that lets users remove the U2 album Songs of Innocence from their iTunes library entirely (via 9to5Mac). The album was given away to all of the over 500 million iTunes registered users as part of Apple’s new iPhone 6 launch last week. But …

  • Phhhoto Is An Addictive, Albeit Poorly Named, Gif-Style Photo App

    Phhhoto is a new app that launched in late July that lets users capture moving images and share them across social networks. But the app you see today, with over one million photos shared, started as something very different.The creators, Omar Elsayed, Champ Bennett, and Russell Armand, come from a digital agency called …

  • JibJab Acquires Make Believe Studios, Makers Of Video Calling App Hello Santa

    JibJab Bros. Studios, which is the parent company to JibJab.com and the StoryBots apps, has made its first major purchase in its 15-year history, with the announcement that it’s acquiring a startup called Make Believe Labs, whose product “Hello Santa” we reviewed last year. The company’s three founders will now join JibJab …

  • Netflix Is Available In France, But It Still Needs Work

    French readers, Netflix is here! But don’t get too excited; it’s an imperfect launch. After an astute media campaign to put Netflix under the spotlight, the unlimited movie and TV show streaming service is available for everyone to see. And with a limited catalog, a limited availability on set-top boxes and a limited set …

  • You Can Now Text Groot @ TechCrunch - 5 hours ago
    You Can Now Text Groot

    Groot seems like he’d be a pretty good friend to have. He’ll always have your back in a fight, he can inexplicably summon fireflies out of thin air when your movie needs more 3D effects, and he’s one helluva dancer to boot.He’s also a pretty good texter, it turns out. At the very least, he’s consistent.Want to see for  …

  • With API Calls Up 443% In Last 12 Months, Nexmo Looks To Accelerate Its Revenue Growth

    Nexmo, a telecom API-focused firm that provides both voice and SMS services, saw its revenue rise 177 percent in the first half of 2014 when compared to the first half of 2013, it told TechCrunch. The company had top line of $29.4 million in the period, up from $10.6 million in the preceding half year.Over the course of …

  • DipJar Raises Funding For A Tip Jar Where You Pay With Plastic, Not Spare Change

    The move to a more “cashless” society has not been without its victims – namely, those whose incomes relied on the spare change and small donations that once came from customers emptying their pockets, but are now locked up in digital bits and credit card swipes. The lowly tip jar today often sits empty, as few carry around …

  • Why Facebook Is Deleting Drag Queen Profile Pages

    Trannyshack founder and drag queen Heklina woke up this morning to discover her Facebook profile page had been completely erased from existence. She’d heard of this happening to other queens in her community last week. Then Facebook sent her a personal message last Thursday that asked her to revert to her birth name, as …

  • 500px Co-Founder And Former CEO Ousted From The Startup

    Toronto’s 500px photo portfolio site and marketplace is undergoing some major changes, as co-founder Oleg Gutsol is out from the company he started. The executive shared the information on Facebook on Monday, saying that he was “ousted from the company that [he] created by the people [he] trusted most.” It’s impossible …

  • Watch This Robotic Cheetah Run Like A Real Animal

    It’s not every day that you see a robotic electric cheetah traipse merrily on the MIT quad and football field, but here you go: the Cheetah, a robot that will be able to run as fast as 30 miles per hour, is now wandering about untethered like Big Dog’s jumpy younger brother.The Cheetah was made at MIT’s Biomimetics Lab …

  • Microsoft Confirms Its Windows Event Will Take Place On September 30th

    Microsoft today confirmed its correctly rumored Windows event that will take place on September 30 in San Francisco.The event is widely expected to include a release of the technical preview of Windows 9, the successor to the controversial Windows 8.x operating system that was released in 2012, along with the Surface line …

  • Recruitment Trainwreck BranchOut In Talks To Be Acquired, May Sell Mobile Team To Hearst

    BranchOut‘s story is a brutal lesson about the risk of derailment when you build on someone else’s platform. After raising $49 million and growing to 33 million users, Facebook changed its viral channels leading BranchOut to starve. Now the “Linkedin Within Facebook” wants to throw in the towel.Sources confirm that BranchOut is …

  • The FCC Has Received More Than 3 Million Comments Concerning Net Neutrality

    The FCC has received more than 3 million comments concerning the current net neutrality notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). That figure is dramatically higher than the previously reported 1.5 million figure that was released last week.The massive jump comes from the FCC chewing through a deluge of comments that were filed …

  • CEO Of Guess Watches Welcomes Apple To The Fray

    In what amounts to a “welcome” turned sputtering softball aimed at Apple’s broad side, the CEO of Guess Watches Cindy Livingston wrote an open letter to Apple while, at the same time, proclaiming her own interest in the smartwatch world. Guess, a fashion brand founded in the 1980s, is best known for dress watches known …

  • Swatch Group Head Nicolas Hayek Jr. Is Putting Smartwatches In The “No Fly Zone”

    A source said that Swatch Group head Nicolas Hayek Jr., son of the late SG CEO Nicolas Hayek, is adamant that the company would not be pursuing smartwatches inside Swatch itself or within any of the many Swatch brands. The source said that Hayek Jr. felt “burned” by a 2004-2005 MSN SPOT watch partnership that fizzled and …

  • The $1 Million Race For The Cure To End Aging

    The hypothesis is so absurd it seems as though it popped right off the pages of a science-fiction novel. Some scientists in Palo Alto are offering a $1 million prize to anyone who can end aging. “Based on the rapid rate of biomedical breakthroughs, we believe the question is not if we can crack the aging code, but when …

  • Bellabox, Australia’s Largest Beauty Box Service, Raises $2.7M From Allure Media

    bellabox, Australia’s largest beauty subscription site, announced today that it has received $2.7 million in funding from Allure Media, a digital publishing company owned by Fairfax Media. The capital will be used to expand bellabox’s service offerings and improve its market research, as well hire more staff and expand …

  • Tim Cook Holds Firm On iMessage Security: It’s Encrypted, And We Don’t Have A Key

    As Apple continues to come under some attack for how it handles iCloud security, the company’s CEO Tim Cook is holding firm on the company’s priorities when it comes to data protection.In part 2 of an interview with Charlie Rose, airing on PBS tonight, Cook is adamant that Apple is not in the business of collecting data, …

  • Business Analytics Company RJMetrics Raises $16.5M Round Led By August Capital

    RJMetrics, a company saying it provides sophisticated data tools to businesses of all sizes, is announcing that it has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding.The round was led by August Capital (which, in addition to being a big-deal venture capital firm, also hosts TechCrunch’s annual summer party), with August partner …

  • Flickr Announces “20 Under 20″ Collection Of Young Photographers

    In an effort to promote young artists using its service, Flickr has put together a collection of 20 artists under the age of 20 who have shown exceptional talent in their early work.Users can choose their favorite photographers from the group and nominate their work (on Twitter) in three different categories: creativity, …

  • Qualcomm Quietly Acquires AI-Based Image Recognition Startup Euvision

    Another acquisition in the area of image recognition technology, and another exit for a European startup to a U.S. giant. Qualcomm has acquired Euvision Technologies, a specialist in image recognition applications powered by artificial intelligence, originally spun out of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. …

  • Microsoft’s Safe $2.5 Billion Bet On Minecraft

    Microsoft expects to break-even on its $2.5B purchase of Minecraft maker Mojang in 2015. It’s easy to say that buying Minecraft is a safe bet for Microsoft.The deal was announced this morning following a week of unsubstantiated reports and wide-eyed speculation. Most of the commentary revolves around “one-hit-wonders” like …

  • Forget Siri, Fetch Is A Real Personal Assistant, Contained In An App

    Fetch, a mobile app that serves as a personal buying assistant by allowing you to submit text or photos then have results returned to you by a professional shopper, is expanding beyond product search with a new release out now.In the updated version, which also works over SMS, you can use your buying assistant to book flights, …

  • First Wave Of “Affordable” Android One Phones Breaks Cover In India

    Google has announced the first Android One devices — which are targeting the Indian market, starting at Rs 6,399/$105. Hardware partners for this first wave of affordable ‘Droids are Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek. It added that the Android One program will be expanded to Indonesia, the Philippines and …

  • Microsoft Has Acquired Minecraft For $2.5 Billion

    Microsoft has confirmed that Mojang and Minecraft will join its ranks, but it’ll continue to make the game available across iOS, Android and PlayStation as well as on Xbox and PC, the company announced today. Microsoft says that they started their conversation around bringing the title to the Xbox console, and from there …

  • Yo Still Kicking With More Than 100M Yos Sent, Roughly 15 Per Second

    The end is nigh for the tech industry?Butler startups?Yo?The funding round that launched a thousand aggravated blog posts about the merits or idiocy of an app that lets you send just a single word over and over via push notification is still supporting a living, breathing and perhaps even, thriving, startup.“It’s amazing …

  • Canon Launches A DSLR Built For Speed And A Competitor For Sony’s RX-100

    Canon has a slew of new gear out launching today, but among those the most noteworthy are its new 1-inch sensor compact camera, which will go head-to-head with Sony’s RX-100 series, and the new 7D Mark II, a worthy successor to Canon’s top-end crop sensor DSLR.Canon GX 7Sony has managed to keep its own spot atop the heap …

  • Wikileaks Releases German Spyware That Governments Used To Hack Journalists And Dissidents

    As part of its ongoing Spyfiles series of posts, Wikileaks has released the back and front-end systems used by multiple governments to spy on journalists, dissidents, and others. The files appear to be weaponized Windows malware although the software, called FinFisher, also works on OS X.From the post:FinFisher (formerly …

  • Cloudyn Scores $4M As Cloud Administrative Services Continue To Grow

    Cloudyn, a cloud administrative service that helps companies monitor and optimize cloud utilization and cost across different infrastructure providers, announced today it had received $4M in Series A funding led by Titanium Investments with additional funding from existing investor RDSeed.The funding brings the total amount …

  • B2B Marketplace Kinnek Raises $10 Million From Matrix To Help SMBs Find And Purchase Supplies

    Over the last decade, an increasing number of consumer goods have become available online, leading most users to be able to find more or less anything they could ever want through one website or another. Those goods frequently have detailed product specs, as well as reviews on most frequently purchased items.That’s not …

  • Apple Sells 4M iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Pre-Orders In Opening 24 Hours

    Apple has sold a record number of iPhones during its initial pre-order weekend sales, topping the charts with 4 million units moved between when it kicked off pre-sales early Friday morning and the end of the same day. The store experienced some technical problems owing to volume, but that didn’t stop the 6 Plus from selling …

  • TrustedCompany.com, An E-Commerce Review Site For Emerging Markets, Raises $1M Series A

    TrustedCompany.com, a review platform for e-commerce businesses in emerging markets like Southeast Asia and India, announced today that it has raised a Series A round of $1 million led by Tengelmann Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups and returning investor Asia Venture Group.The company, which launched in November …

  • A Random Walk Down Hardware Alley @ TechCrunch - 16 hours ago
    A Random Walk Down Hardware Alley

    Last week at TC Disrupt I took to the aisles of Hardware Alley armed with a microphone and a full glass of cold brew, highly potent Jittery Joe’s coffee. The result is a series of pratfalls, horrible jokes, and lots and lots of interviews.I welcome you to watch as I make an absolute fool of my self while some amazing entrepreneurs …

  • Up Close With The Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert, The Perennial Hiking Watch For Geeks

    For years the Tissot T-Touch line has been Switzerland’s unique answer to the quartz hiking watch. While other manufacturers offered analog quartz pieces, Tissot has been the only company that has tried to take on the altimeter-barometer-thermometer uber watches made by Casio, Seiko and Citizen. And they’ve done a great …

  • A Tale Of Two Apps @ TechCrunch - 17 hours ago
    A Tale Of Two Apps

    Sometimes multiple apps adopt similar ideas and designs as part of some peculiar cultural zeitgeist. But things get murkier when ideas become shared and adopted by long-time friends riffing on similar concepts.That appears to be what happened to Kevin Rose and Danny Trinh, who built separate photo-sharing apps that ended …

  • Places Is A Sharing Platform That Puts Privacy First

    Places is a privacy-centric startup that’s building a secure Dropbox-style platform for file sharing and messaging — but one that has end-to-end, client-side encryption built in. It’s currently launched in early alpha and is inviting people to sign up for a forthcoming beta at Joinplaces.com. (The alpha is also open to …

  • Sailo Is A Marketplace Connecting Boats, Captains And Renters

    If you think boating sounds vaguely appealing but you’ve never actually made it out on the water, a New York City startup called Sailo aims to help.It’s not the first company to allow you to rent boats from their owners. Early last year, for example, we wrote about Boatbound, a self-described Airbnb for boats. Meanwhile, …

  • Product Hunt Raises $6 Million From A16Z @ TechCrunch - 20 hours ago
    Product Hunt Raises $6 Million From A16Z

    Product Hunt, the aggregation site that many people consider a direct competitor to TechCrunch and other tech blogs due to its ability to surface new tech products and startups, has raised a hefty series A, we’re hearing.We’ve heard that Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and that Product Hunt picked up $6 million at a …

  • Here Are Clips From The First SiriusXM TechCrunch Radio Show

    On Tuesday we launched our SiriusXM radio show, TechCrunch Radio, from Disrupt SF. Jordan Crook and John Biggs discussed the Apple Watch and did a startup pitch-off. A few audio clips from the show can be found below.Catch next week’s show on the Indie 102 channel, airing Tuesday September 16 at 6 p.m. ET. The show also …

  • A Cambrian Explosion In AI Is Coming @ TechCrunch - 20 hours ago
    A Cambrian Explosion In AI Is Coming

    Editor’s note: Dag Kittlaus is co-founder and CEO of Viv, which attempts to simplify the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Siri. You can call it a Virtual Personal Assistant, an Intelligent Agent, an Intelligent Interface or whatever you wish. We call it …

  • Microsoft Has Acquired Minecraft For $2.5 Billion

    Buying a game company is like buying an aging baseball player. You’ll need a miracle to get another hit. And while they might have plenty of fans, they probably aren’t making a lot of new ones. Mojang hit a grand slam home run with Minecraft, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft should pay $2.5 billion for it, as it’s reportedly …

  • PopKey’s iOS 8 Launch Will Replace Written Language With The Expressive Art Of The GIF

    We’re on the verge of a linguistic revolution, made possible by the fact that Apple has opened up its iOS operating system to allow third-party keyboards. One of the first entrants will be PopKey, a project out of the WorkshopX creative studio based in Ottawa, which has created on-demand social photo printing service CanvasPop, …

  • Mobile Payments Are Finally A Reality Thanks To Apple

    Editor’s note: Robert McCarthy has designed, developed, researched and evangelized mobile products and technologies, with a focus on mobile and emerging payment eco-systems, for more than 15 years. At Mobiquity, Robert advises clients in areas including mobile communications, network and mobile security, and cloud infrastructure …

  • Venture Capital Is Prime For A Reverse Gold Rush

    Editor’s note: Jack Studer is a partner at Lamp Post Group. Considering how important proprietary deal flow has become as a tool for differentiation within venture capital, it’s surprising that more VCs aren’t shopping in the South. They simply aren’t looking at the concepts and companies coming out of Nashville, Atlanta, …

  • Gillmor Gang: AppleJacked @ TechCrunch - 21 hours ago
    Gillmor Gang: AppleJacked

    The Gillmor Gang — Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, Benedict Evans, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Tuesday, September 9, 2014. It’s three days later and I’m still going back and forth over which iPhone to buy. The preorders are sold out for 6+, tipping the scale toward the smaller bigger one.What may tip it back …

  • Colorado High Schooler Invents Smart Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

    Colorado has a history with gun violence so it’s only appropriate that 17-year-old Kai Kloepfer, a high school student from Boulder, would want to apply biometric user authentication to firearms. Kloepfer just won the $50,000 Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge for his smart gun prototype.Angel investor and gun reform advocate …

  • Technologists’ Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries

    Editor’s note: Joe Lonsdale is a general partner at Formation 8. Early last year, I wrote an article explaining how our team views the concept of duty for leaders in the technology ecosystem. We believe that this duty involves looking beyond conventional startups to study complex industries and using technology to tackle …

  • 11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

    It’s been an exciting week for us here at TechCrunch with the Hackathon, Disrupt SF and Apple’s product launch all taking place within a few days. Here are 11 of our best stories from the past week (9/6-9/12).1. Apple had a number of new product releases this week. We introduced you to the Apple Watch, the company’s hi …

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