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The case against behavioral advertising is stacking up

No one likes being stalked around the Internet by adverts. It‘s the uneasy joke you can‘t enjoy laughing at. Yet vast people-profiling ad businesses have made pots of money off of an unregulated Internet by putting surveillance at their core. But what if creepy ads don‘t work as claimed? What if all the filthy lucre []

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Thanks to Hulu, Disney lost 580 million last fiscal year

The streaming media business is tough. Disney, which has a 30 percent stake Hulu, saw losses of 580 million last fiscal year, according to an SEC filing. This was, the SEC filing states, primarily due to a higher loss from our investment in Hulu, partially offset by a favorable comparison to a loss from BAMTech []

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The AI market is growing, but how quickly is tough to pin down

If you work in tech, you‘ve heard about AI:how it‘s going to replace us,whether it‘s over-hyped or not and which nationswill leverage it. Our interest? How much money is going into startups?

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Facebook launches petition feature, its next battlefield

Gather a mob and Facebook will now let you make political demands. Tomorrow Facebook will encounter a slew of fresh complexities with the launch of Community Actions, its News Feed petition feature. Community Actions could unite neighbors to request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies. But it could also provide []

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Uber is exploring autonomous bikes and scooters

Uber is looking to integrate autonomous technology into its bike and scooter-share programs. Details are scarce, but according to 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson, who said Uber announced this at a DIY Robotics event over the weekend, the division will live inside Uber‘s JUMP group, which is responsible for shared electric bikes and scooters. Im []

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Technology‘s dark forest

We used to be such optimists. Technology would bring us a world of wealth in harmony with the environment, and even bring us new worlds. The Internet would erase national boundaries, replace gatekeepers with a universal opportunity for free expression, and bring us all closer together. Remember when we looked forward to every advance? I []

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Stung by criticism, Facebook‘s Sandberg outlines new plans to tackle misinformation

Stung by criticism of its widely reported role as a platform capable of spreading disinformation and being used by state actors to skew democratic elections, Facebook‘s COO Sheryl Sandberg unveiled five new ways the company would be addressing these issues at the annual DLD conference in Munich, staged ahead of the World Economic Forum. She []

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Following a record year, Illinois startups kick off 2019 on a strong foot

Illinois‘s startup market in 2018 was very strong, and it‘s not slowing down. Let‘s take a quick look at the state of venture in the Land of Lincoln.

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TechCrunch Conversations: Direct listings

Last April, Spotify surprised Wall Street bankers by choosing to go public through a direct listingprocess rather than through a traditional IPO. Instead of issuing new shares, the company simply sold existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors directly to the market - bypassing the roadshow process and avoiding at least some of Wall []

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The social layer is ironically key to Bitcoin‘s security

A funny thing happened in the second half of 2018. At some moment, all the people active in crypto looked around and realized there weren‘t very many of us. The friends we‘d convinced during the last holiday season were no longer speaking to us. They had stopped checking their Coinbase accounts. The tide had gone []

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Welcome to the abnormalization of transportation

Bill Goodwin Contributor Share on Twitter Bill Goodwin is the head of legal policy at Airmap. Tyler Finn Contributor Tyler Finn is the policy manager at Factual. Something odd is in motion in Los Angeles. On a recent day at the office, colleagues debated the merits of the Boring Company‘s proposal to alleviate Dodger traffic []

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Startups Weekly: Squad‘s screen-shares and Slack‘s swastika

We‘re three weeks into January. We‘ve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. We‘ve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018. Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, avirtualinfluencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk []

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Watch builders construct a life-size Chevy truck with 300,000 LEGO bricks

Behold, the LEGO Chevrolet Silverado. The full-size truck is basically a giant ad for Chevy and the new LEGO Movie, which is due out in February. Apparently they have to fight Duplo blocks from outer space. No, seriously, that‘s the plot. Anyway, the 2019 Silverado is six-feet tall, weighs 3,307 pounds and took 18 builders []

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Snap‘s exec team continues to shrink as more reports of internal drama surface

Days after Snap announced the departure of its CFO, reports have emerged that the company‘s HR chief was asked to leave following an internal investigation late last year that had led to the firing of its global security head. WSJ is reporting that Snap fired global security head Francis Racioppi last year after an investigation []

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Facebook fears no FTC fine

Reports emerged today that the FTC is considering a fine against Facebook that would be the largest ever from the agency. Even if it were ten times the size of the largest, a 22.5 million bill sent to Google in 2012, the company would basically laugh it off. Facebook is made of money. But the []

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FanDuel co-founder Tom Griffiths just closed a seed round for his decidedly noncontroversial new startup, Hone

Tom Griffiths has founded four companies, two of which weren‘t much to write home about, he jokes. The third captured the world‘s attention: FanDuel, the fantasy sports company that was routinely in the press not always fordesirable reasons from nearly the day it launched, to its near merger with rival DraftKings, to its []

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Curious 23andMe twin results show why you should take DNA testing with a grain of salt

If you‘ve ever enthusiastically sent your spit off in the mail, you were probably anxious for whatever unexpected insights the current crop of DNA testing companies would send back. Did your ancestors hang out on the Iberian peninsula? What version of your particular family lore does the science support? Most people who participate in mail-order []

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Curious 23andMe twin results show why you should take DNA testing services with a grain of salt

If you‘ve ever enthusiastically sent your spit off in the mail, you were probably anxious for whatever unexpected insights the current crop of DNA testing companies would send back. Did your ancestors hang out on the Iberian peninsula? What version of your particular family lore does the science support? Most people who participate in mail-order []

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Free to play games rule the entertainment world with 88 billion in revenue

They may be free, but they sure pay. Games with no upfront cost but a plethora of other ways to make money generated a mind-blowing 88 billion in 2018 according to SuperData‘s year-end report - leaving traditional games (and indeed movies and TV) in the dust. While it may not come as a surprise that []

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Curious 23andMe twin results show why you should take DNA analysis services with a grain of salt

If you‘ve ever enthusiastically sent your spit off in the mail, you were probably anxious for whatever unexpected insights the current crop of DNA testing companies would send back. Did your ancestors hang out on the Iberian peninsula? What version of your particular family lore does the science support? Most people who participate in mail-order []

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FanDuel cofounder Tom Griffiths just closed a seed round for his decidedly noncontroversial new startup, Hone

Tom Griffiths has founded four companies, two of which weren‘t much to write home about, he jokes. The third captured the world‘s attention: FanDuel, the fantasy sports company that was routinely in the press not always fordesirable reasons from nearly the day it launched, to its near merger with rival DraftKings, to its ultimate []

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Backing Culture Genesis, T.I. launches Tech Cypha, an investment syndicate for tech deals

With an inaugural investment into the Los Angeles-based entertainment startup Culture Genesis,Clifford Harris Jr., who‘s better known as T.I., haslaunched a new syndicated investment vehicle called Tech Cypha. Launched by the music and cultural impresario with more hustle than hustleand his business partner Jason Geter, the new collaborative investment strategy focused on tech startups will []

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Wine-by-the-glass subscription service Vinebox raises 5.9 million

One SF startup wants you to get home from a day at work and polish off a bottle of wine by yourself. Vinebox isn‘t really trying to get you wasted, these bottles are cute and tiny. The small startup is hoping that they can get consumers into the idea of buying premium quality wine-by-the-glass and []

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Salesforce is building new tower in Dublin and adding hundreds of jobs

Salesforceput the finishing touches ona tower in San Francisco last year. In October, it announced Salesforce Tower in Atlanta and today it was Dublin‘s turn. Everyone gets a tower. Salesforce first opened an office in Dublin back in 2001, and has expanded to 1400 employees today. Today‘s announcement represents a significant commitment to expand even []

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