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  • On lying AIs September 19, 2020
    A yellow-eyed cat tilts its eyes at the camera, gazing up from a grey bedspread. ‘London Trip’, is the AI’s title for this photo-montage ‘Memory’ plucked from the depths of my iPhone camera-roll. It’s selected a sad score of plinking piano and sweeping violin. The algorithm has calculated it must tug at the heart strings.  […]
    Natasha Lomas
  • This Week in Apps: iOS 14’s surprise arrival, Apple’s app bundle, TikTok & WeChat banned from app stores Sunday September 19, 2020
    Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day […]
    Sarah Perez
  • Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range September 18, 2020
    Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price. On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s […]
    Jonathan Shieber
  • Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape September 18, 2020
    “Like most of the best things in my life,” Conan O’Brien explains, with a wry smile, “the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” The answer is a typically self-effacing one from the comedian. Since launching “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” nearly two years ago, the show has quickly risen up the podcasting charts […]
    Brian Heater
  • Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC and SPAC as he SPACs the world with SPACs September 18, 2020
    SPACs are going to rule the world, or at least, Chamath’s future portfolio. Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of Social Capital, has already tripled down on SPACs, the so-called “blank check” vehicle that takes private companies and flips them onto the public markets. His first SPAC bought Virgin Galactic last year, and his second SPAC bought […]
    Danny Crichton
  • Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent September 18, 2020
    The Trump administration moves forwards with plans to ban TikTok and WeChat (although TikTok gets a partial extension), Unity goes public and we announce the winner of this year’s Startup Battlefield. This is your Daily Crunch for September 18, 2020. The big story: US TikTok ban is imminent The U.S. Commerce Department has released details […]
    Anthony Ha
  • SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled September 18, 2020
    Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying […]
    Ron Miller
  • Gaming companies are reportedly the next targets in the US government’s potentially broader Tencent purge September 18, 2020
    Some of the biggest names in online gaming in the United States have received letters from the U.S. government requesting information about their relationship with the multibillion-dollar Chinese technology company, Tencent, according to reports. Even as the U.S. Department of Commerce moves to block new downloads of the Chinese company’s popular messaging and payment app, […]
    Jonathan Shieber
  • Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon September 18, 2020
    At Disrupt 2020, we got a chance to see some never-before-seen footage from HBO’s upcoming documentary The Perfect Weapon. The documentary, which was executive produced by John Maggio, is based on the book by the same(ish) name written by David Sanger, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. We got to sit down for an […]
    Jordan Crook
  • Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1,000 September 18, 2020
    In a case of bizarre timing, Salesforce announced it was laying off 1,000 employees at the end of last month just a day after announcing a monster quarter with over $5 billion in revenue, putting the company on a $20 billion revenue run rate for the first time. The juxtaposition was hard to miss. Earlier […]
    Ron Miller
  • And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix September 18, 2020
    We started this competition with 20 impressive startups. After five days of fierce pitching in a wholly new virtual Startup Battlefield arena, we have a winner. The startups taking part in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. It was an unprecedented year as we moved all […]
    Lucas Matney
  • Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers? September 18, 2020
    It’s great to improve your subscription app’s retention rates, but don’t do it for the 85/15 split.
    Walter Thompson
  • MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce September 18, 2020
    Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees […]
    Darrell Etherington
  • Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020 September 18, 2020
    It was a trickle at first that has evolved into a slow and steady stream. Now, a wave of new electric vehicles is building, promising to deliver an unprecedented number of models to North America, Europe and China over the next two to three years. There might not be a better time to dig into […]
    Kirsten Korosec
  • Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California September 18, 2020
    Zoox, the automated vehicle technology startup that was acquired by Amazon this year, has been issued a permit from California regulators that will allow it to test driverless vehicles on public roads. The permit is not for all public roads in the state, but it’s still notable, considering the company will be able to test […]
    Kirsten Korosec
  • Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing September 18, 2020
    The tagline from today’s announcement from the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York says it all: “Adam Rogas Allegedly Raised $123 Million from Investors Using Financial Statements that Showed Tens of Millions of Dollars of Revenue and Assets that Did Not Exist.” Rogas, the co-founder and former chief executive and […]
    Jonathan Shieber
  • The stages of traditional fundraising September 18, 2020
    What you think when you hear "seed funding" and "A rounds" might be different from what investors think. You both need to be on the same page as you move forward.
    John Biggs
  • How the NSA is disrupting foreign hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine research September 18, 2020
    The headlines aren’t always kind to the National Security Agency, a spy agency that operates almost entirely in the shadows. But a year ago, the NSA launched its new Cybersecurity Directorate, which in the past year has emerged as one of the more visible divisions of the spy agency. At its core, the directorate focuses […]
    Zack Whittaker
  • Instagram CEO, ACLU slam TikTok and WeChat app bans for putting US freedoms into the balance September 18, 2020
    As people begin to process the announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce detailing how it plans, on grounds of national security, to shut down TikTok and WeChat — starting with app downloads and updates for both, plus all of WeChat’s services, on September 20, with TikTok following with a shut down of servers and […]
    Ingrid Lunden
  • Chime adds $485M at a $14.5B valuation, claims EBITDA profitability September 18, 2020
    In the midst of IPO week we have to add another name to our future debuts list, namely Chime, which announced a huge new round of capital today. The $485 million Series F values the consumer fintech giant at $14.5 billion, a huge figure given that Chime was most recently worth $5.8 billion after raising […]
    Alex Wilhelm