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The AR thirst is real

Game developer Chip Sineni of TRIXI studios created this clever AR experiment based on A-Ha‘s seminal video for Take On Me. It is pretty fun. I have been talking to a lot of people about AR over the past few months and there is a definable excitement around it. I‘m bullish as hell about AR, which I‘ve covered before. I even wrote in 2013 about when and why this was coming Read More

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30 years of the GIF

Few technologies survive more than 5 years let alone 30 years without significant change. In the last 10 years alone, our phones gained 20x the processing power and added capabilities from multitasking to visual messaging. We‘re on the fifth standard of HTML and have evolved from FLV to MP4 as the dominant video streaming format on the web. As Andy Grove, one of Read More

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Wit.ai is shutting down Bot Engine as Facebook rolls NLP into its updated Messenger Platform

Wit.ai announced this morning in a blog post that it would be sunsetting its Bot Engine. The Facebook-owned company builds developer tools for natural language processing to help engineers build speech and text chat bots faster and with less technical experience. Bot Engine launched as a beta in April of 2016. The tool let developers train their own bots using sample conversations sharing Read More

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Microsoft‘s Imagine Cup crowns its 15th winner, the X.GLU smart glucose meter for kids

Microsoft‘s annual Imagine Cup, a global competition of high-tech student projects, reached its culmination this week accompanied by the usual pomp at the company‘s headquarters in Redmond. The winner of the 100,000 grand prize and 365 days of bragging rights is X.GLU, a Czech team that created a custom smart glucose meter for children with diabetes. Read More

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Patook wants to be Tinder for platonic friendships

Technology isn‘t necessarily the best solution for forging new real life connections, whatever the collective marketing spiel of the web‘s social giants likes to claim. But Patook is having a crack at the tricky feat of remotely sparking friendships, without inviting in the creeps Read More

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Embody an 80s family robot in Funny Or Die‘s feature-length VR flick ‘Miyubi‘

In VR, we‘re all robots, but some experiences make that a bit more apparent than others. Today, Oculus is releasing a VR comedy called Miyubi.The experience, produced by Funny or Die and Felix Paul Studios, is the longest VR narrative to be funded by Oculus to date, clocking in at around 40 minutes. We looked at this like we were making half of a low-budget Read More

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Net30 wants to fix the construction industry‘s payments problem

The invoicing and payments process in the commercial construction industry is broken. It takes a median of about 70 days to get paid, which means contractors are often stuck without enough working capital. Net30, a startup in Y Combinator‘s current batch, wants to solve that problem. Read More

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Cycflix lets you watch Netflix, but only if you keep up the pace

Netflix (and social media, and Seamless, and the convenience economy, and so on) has totally wrecked my fitness routine. But a new program from Dublin Institute of Technology student Ronan Byrne may save the day. Cycflix is a project that lets you hook a stationary bike up with your Netflix account so that your favorite shows only play if you stick to your fitness routine. It works by hooking Read More

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Apple discontinues iPod nano and shuffle and doubles iPod touch capacities to 32GB and 128GB

Get out the Kleenex and hit play on the Boyz II Men musical montages it‘s officially the end of an era. Three years after discontinuing the iPod classic, Apple is finally doing the same its lower-end brethren, the shuffle and nano. It‘s also doubling the capacities of the iPod touch to 64GB at 199 and 128GB at 299 today. It previously sold 16GB and 64GB models at the Read More

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Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler will step down this year

Yancey Strickler, Kickstarter co-founder and CEO, is going to step down from his role at the company later this year, he wrote in a blog post last night. Kickstarter is now actively looking for a replacement. Kickstarter‘s other two co-founders, Charles Adley and Perry Chen, are also no longer in operational roles at the company. Adley left back in 2013 and Chen stepped down from the Read More

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UpCodes makes researching building regulations less exhausting for architects

For architects, complying with building codes means navigating labyrinthine layers of regulations that vary between municipalities. Sorting through different codes and keeping track of updates is a daunting task and, in a worst-case scenario, a mistake can cost thousands or even millions of dollars to tear out and fix. Firms that can afford it hire building code consultants, but a startup Read More

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Comcast‘s ‘Instant TV‘ service for cord cutters could launch by year-end

Comcast‘s newest entry into the market of streaming TV services aimed at cord cutters could be launched later this year, according to statements made by executives on the company‘s earnings call this week. The service, known as Xfinity Instant TV, would be available to subscribers without the need for a set-top box, challenging rivals like Dish‘s Sling TV Read More

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Jeff Bezos beats out Bill Gates to become world‘s richest person

Ahead of its earnings later today, Amazon stock hit an all-time high during intraday trading and with it CEO Jeff Bezos‘s estimated wealth hit 90.9 billion, Bloomberg reports. This number pushes the net worth of the Amazon founder past that of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, still sitting pretty with 90.7 billion, earning Bezos the title of world‘s richest person. Bezos ending the Read More

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Jeff Bezos surpasses Bill Gates to become richest person on earth

Ahead of its earnings later today, Amazon stock hit an all-time high during intraday trading and with it CEO Jeff Bezos‘s estimated wealth hit 90.9 billion, Bloomberg reports. This number pushes the net worth of the Amazon founder past that of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, still sitting pretty with 90.7 billion, earning Bezos the title of world‘s richest person. Bezos ending the Read More

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Twitter is having a very bad day

Twitter reported its second-quarter earnings today, and it did not go over well. As a result, the stock is down more than 12% in trading today which is a very Twitter thing to happen, so to speak. Here‘s the chart, which could pretty much be summed up with a : Today also wiped out most of the gains that it accrued in the year to date. Twitter‘s last report was a rare Read More

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Hear dispatches from the frontiers of security and privacy at Disrupt SF 2017

Your data is in demand: just about everyone, from hackers and scammers to multinationals and governments wants it. How can you keep it safe? How can we set limits on tracking, advertising, and the fast-advancing field of data-sucking AIs? And what does the situation look like from the side of the companies and adversaries? Those are questions we aim to tackle in September at Disrupt SF. Read More

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Peer5 raises 2.5M for its peer-to-peer approach to streaming video

Peer5, which helps publishers stream video to large audiences, is announcing that it has raised 2.5 million in seed funding. I wrote about the startup earlier this year when it was part of Y Combinator. CEO Hadar Weiss said he raised the funding after YC Demo Day from investors includingFundersClub, Oriza Ventures, Tank Hill Ventures, Leorsa Group, Ed Roman and Buddy Anheim. In Read More

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Sling TV to host pay-per-view events, starting this weekend with UFC fight

Dish‘s streaming service for cord cutters, Sling TV, will host its first ever pay-per-view event this weekend, by offering coverage of UFC: 214: Cormier v. Jones 2. The fight between former titleholder Jon Jones and current champion Daniel Cormier is taking place on Saturday, July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Access to the event will be offered to Sling TV viewers Read More

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Cristiano Ronaldo acquires digital agency to launch his 7EGEND venture

Sporting stars have followed Hollywood and music industry celebrities into the world of startups and tech investing, but until now the world‘s biggest soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo, has played the tech ball close to his feet. Not any more. The highest paid player in the world has bought the lion share of one of Portugal‘s biggest digital agencies with a view to create a new Read More

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BuzzFeed is getting into the smart appliance business with the Tasty One Top

Here‘s a sentence I never expected to write: BuzzFeed is making its first smart appliance, the Tasty One Top, available for pre-order. It sounds a little weird for a digital media company to try to sell you hardware, but this is part of BuzzFeed Product Labs, which was created last year following the acquisition of e-commerce startup Scroll. The team‘s goal is to experiment with Read More

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YouTube Red and Google Play Music to merge, says report

Google Play Music and YouTube Red will be merged to create a new streaming service, according to a report from The Verge, which Google then essentially confirmed with a statement indicating that changes are not taking place immediately. The company said users would receive plenty of notice before any changes were made, and noted it was still in the process of evaluating how to best bring its Read More

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We probably still need some more numbers for this Very Important Twitter Chart

I‘m reviewing the transcript of Twitter‘s second-quarter earnings call which definitely did not go well, with the stock crashing more than 10% and it seems like Twitter is beating the drum very hard on its daily active user growth. It‘s referenced nearly a dozen times, by my count, and there were probably a bit more that I might not have caught. But either Read More

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Mitel to buy ShoreTel for 430 million to create unified communications powerhouse

Sometimes combining two companies that compete in the same market provides a quick way to leapfrog your market share. That was likely the thinking behind Mitel‘s decision to buy ShoreTel this morning for 430 million. Combining the two companies catapults Mitel to number two in the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market, according to the company. As for ShoreTel, while it Read More

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Microsoft updates PowerApps and Flow with a focus on deeper integrations and advanced workflows

Microsoft today is launching a couple of major updates to PowerApps, its low-code service for quickly building line-of-business applications, and Flow, its business-centric IFTTT competitor. While these are obviously two very different applications, the general idea to allow businesses to leverage the data that they already generateis similar across both projects. Ryan Cunningham Read More

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