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Innovation is in all the wrong places
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 6:00 pm

 I live a pretty cosmopolitan futuristic life atop a glass skyscraper in New York City, but I’ve yet to get a pizza delivered by drone, order a taxi from Alexa or open a hotel door with my smartwatch. We’ve got the questions wrong: It shouldn’t be how are you innovating or which project is doing new things, but why are you doing it and on what level. Read More

Volvo to target luxury buyers with self-driving car coming in 5 years
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:13 pm

 High-end vehicle, chauffeur included? You can see why it makes sense that Volvo would target the luxury end of the market with its upcoming self-driving car. Volvo announced plans to field a vehicle by 2021, thanks in part to a $300 million deal with Volvo that will let it leverage some of their work, but now we have some more details, including the vehicle’s high-end approach. Volvo… Read More

HP issues non-apology for blocking third-party ink cartridges
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:12 pm

 HP was recently caught in the act using a “security update” to prevent its printers from operating with a number of recycled and third-party ink cartridges. After much outcry the company has relented and is issuing a rollback option — but they’ll be damned if they admit any wrongdoing. Read More

MightyTV’s Tinder-style TV recommendation app comes to Android
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 5:04 pm

 MightyTV, an app that helps you figure out what to watch next, is now available on Android. The startup is led by AdMeld co-founder Brian Adams, and it presents users with a stack of movie and TV recommendations which you swipe through, Tinder-style. If you’ve seen something already, you can say whether or not you liked it, which will influence the recommendations you see next. If you… Read More

The first episode of the MegaBots webseries takes a wrecking ball to its six-ton robot
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:53 pm

 Seems like we’ve been waiting forever for the big showdown between Team USA and Japan. We’re seemingly no closer at the moment, but at least the team at MegaBots can offer a bit of good old-fashioned destruction to tide  us over before the massive machines go toe-to-toe. In the premier of its new web series (the trailer for which was shown off at Disrupt the other week), the… Read More

Broadband access creeps along but DDoS attacks explode
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:36 pm

 Akamai released its quarterly State of the Internet reports today, one detailing quality of access and the other attacks on companies and infrastructure. The slow march continues towards a better and faster internet for everyone — and that includes hackers. Read More

Contractors are preparing to boycott Instacart over elimination of tips
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:22 pm

 Online grocery service Instacart is facing a boycott from shoppers who are unhappy about the company’s decision to eliminate tips in favor of raising guaranteed delivery rates. Although Instacart positioned the move as a way to smooth out the earnings curve for its shoppers, some of those affected by the change say it will instead reduce their incomes dramatically. In the case of top… Read More

ILMxLAB is working on a VR film with Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:09 pm

 VR filmmaking could use some more big-name talent, and ILMxLAB‘s latest project does indeed offer that: The director attached is Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the visionary behind The Revenant and Birdman. A bit of news @slashfilm about an exciting #VR project we are working on with filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu https://t.co/iCnVMdXcfn — ILMxLAB (@ILMxLAB) September 29… Read More

Meal kit service Home Chef raises $40M
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 4:07 pm

 Home Chef just announced that it’s raised a new $40 million round of funding. This Series B comes on top of the $10 million round that Home Chef raised earlier this year. It was led by L Catterton Partners, the private equity firm formed by the recent merger of Catterton with the PE arm of luxury conglomerate LVMH. Founder and CEO Pat Vihtelic has argued that Home Chef differs from… Read More

BlackBerry’s device head outlines the company’s post-hardware future
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 3:49 pm

 In May, Ralph Pini was given the somewhat unenviable task of heading up BlackBerry’s device team. The announcement of his promotion to that role came roughly a month after the one-time smartphone leader announced yet another troubled quarter, with a nearly 30-percent revenue drop. Five months later, the company put the final nail in the coffin of its in-house hardware development team… Read More

Dozr raises $1.9 million to become an Airbnb for bulldozers and excavators
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 3:17 pm

 A startup called Dozr Inc. has raised CAN $2.5 million (or $1.9 million USD) in seed funding to help contractors rent heavy industrial equipment from other construction professionals who have it, but aren’t using it. Based in Kitchener, Ontario Dozr’s marketplace lets builders rent equipment, like excavators, skidsteers or one day drones and industrial robotics, either alone, or with… Read More

Beyoncé becomes a tech startup investor
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 3:02 pm

 Joining celebrity investors like Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher, and Justin Bieber, Queen Bey is bringing her supreme business skills to the tech world. Beyoncé and the management company she started called Parkwood Entertainment have invested $150,000 into Sidestep, an app for buying concert merchandise and skipping the line to pick it up at the show. Sidestep originally started selling… Read More

Qualcomm reportedly in acquisition talks with NXP Semiconductors
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 2:56 pm

 Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm is looking to shrink the silicon space a bit further with a potential acquisition of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors, in a deal that could be worth over $30 billion according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.  The deal could be finalized in as few as two months from now, according to the report. If it goes through, it could signal a big move for… Read More

VC Venky Ganesan on interest rates, diamonds, and quietly imploding startups
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 2:29 pm

 Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers that she’s not ready to hold interest rates low for much longer, but she isn’t raising them right now.  Afterward, we talked about the news and what it might augur for startups with Venky Ganesan, a managing director at Menlo Ventures, the early-stage firm that led Uber’s Series B round (among its many other… Read More

Arrr! Bell & Ross releases three new nautically-themed watches
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 2:19 pm

 Avast, ye hearties! Prepare for your wrists to be boarded by these massive Bell & Ross mechanical watches. B&R is most famous for the aviation-themed pieces – all of them black and square with huge readable faces and handsome straps. Now they’ve taken that same aesthetic and pushed it out to sea, creating three fascinating pieces that look like a cross between a Bioshock… Read More

Apple’s new ad focuses on background animations for Messages
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 2:00 pm

 Apple is releasing a new video advertisement for the iPhone and iOS. Like previous ads, this video shows a stark departure from its predecessors. You can feel Tor Myhren’s influence on this ad. The recently hired VP of Marketing Communications has an impressive background in the advertising industry and is now in charge of Apple’s ads. That’s probably the reason why these… Read More

Google’s Cloud Machine Learning service is now in public beta
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 2:00 pm

 Google announced a number of updates to its cloud computing services at a small event in San Francisco this morning. These updates touch Google’s machine learning services, as well as its database and analytics services, and include an update to how it supports its users. The company’s focus today, though, was clearly on machine learning. Google launched the private alpha of… Read More

Google rebrands its business apps as G Suite, launches Team Drive & upgrades apps
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 1:52 pm

 Google announced today that its now ten-year old service Google Apps for Work (formerly Google Apps for Your Domain), is getting rebranded yet again. This time around, the company will call it “G Suite.” Sounds more hip, right? Alongside the news, Google also noted a handful of upgrades and improvements in G Suite’s existing product lineup, which includes apps like Drive,… Read More

Tales from a Tesla Model S at 200k miles
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 1:49 pm

 Tesloop’s first vehicle, a Tesla Model S they put into service in July 2015, has reached a new milestone: 200,000 miles on the odometer. Tesloop, you’ll recall, ferries passengers between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in electric Tesla vehicles, making it easy to rack up that many miles in a year. Not many electric cars of any make or model have reached this kind of mileage, so I… Read More

There’s a new platform for tech companies to manage unconscious bias
Posted: 29 September 2016 | 1:37 pm

 Unconscious biases can play a role in what type of people get hired, promoted and fired in the workplace. Unfortunately, we all have unconscious biases. Though, some have more problematic (racist and/or sexist) ones than others. That’s why diversity consulting startup Paradigm and HR platform Emtrain have co-launched an online course to teach people how to manage their unconscious… Read More

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