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  • Etsy error resulted in large amounts being withdrawn from some sellers’ bank accounts and credit cards February 18, 2019
    An Etsy bill payment error resulted in large amounts of money being withdrawn from several sellers’ bank accounts and credit cards on Friday morning. While the company says the issue has been resolved and was not the result of fraud, the headache isn’t over for affected sellers because Monday is a federal holiday in the United […]
    Catherine Shu
  • Stop saying, “We take your privacy and security seriously” February 18, 2019
    In my years covering cybersecurity, there’s one variation of the same lie that floats above the rest. “We take your privacy and security seriously.” You might have heard the phrase here and there. It’s a common trope used by companies in the wake of a data breach — either in a “mea culpa” email to […]
    Zack Whittaker
  • UK parliament calls for antitrust, data abuse probe of Facebook February 18, 2019
    A final report by a British parliamentary committee which spent months last year investigating online political disinformation makes very uncomfortable reading for Facebook — with the company singled out for “disingenuous” and “bad faith” responses to democratic concerns about the misuse of people’s data. In the report, published today, the committee has also called for […]
    Natasha Lomas
  • What business leaders can learn from Jeff Bezos’ leaked texts February 17, 2019
    Joel Wallenstrom Contributor Joel Wallenstrom is president and chief executive of Wickr, a secure communications company. Before Wickr, Joel co-founded iSEC Partners, one of the world's leading information security research teams, later acquired by NCC Group, and served as Director for Strategic Alliances at @stake, one of the very first computer security companies in the […]
    Jonathan Shieber
  • SeaBubbles shows off its ‘flying’ all-electric boat in Miami February 17, 2019
    We were promised flying cars but, as it turns out, flying boats were easier to build. SeaBubbles, a “flying” boat startup that uses electric power instead of gas, hit Miami this weekend to show off one of its five prototype boats — or six, if you count an early, windowless white boat they’ve lovingly dubbed […]
    Sarah Perez
  • OpenAI built a text generator so good, it’s considered too dangerous to release February 17, 2019
    A storm is brewing over a new language model, built by non-profit artificial intelligence research company OpenAI, which it says is so good at generating convincing, well-written text that it’s worried about potential abuse. That’s angered some in the community, who have accused the company of reneging on a promise not to close off its […]
    Zack Whittaker
  • VCs aren’t falling in love with dating startups February 17, 2019
    Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, Crunchbase News took a look at the state of that most awkward of pairings: startups and the pursuit of finding a mate.
    Joanna Glasner
  • Please stop marking yourself safe on Facebook February 17, 2019
    Let me begin by saying that Facebook’s Crisis Response pages do a lot of good. They are a locus for donations and offers of help. But that said, for the love of humanity, when something bad happens, please stop marking yourself safe on Facebook. They don’t mean to prey on our anxieties. They mean to […]
    Jon Evans
  • Vision system for autonomous vehicles watches not just where pedestrians walk, but how February 16, 2019
    The University of Michigan, well known for its efforts in self-driving car tech, has been working on an improved algorithm for predicting the movements of pedestrians that takes into account not just what they're doing, but how they're doing it. This body language could be critical to predicting what a person does next.
    Devin Coldewey
  • How to read fiction to build a startup February 16, 2019
    “The book itself is a curious artefact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, […]
    Danny Crichton
  • ClassPass, Gfycat, StreetEasy hit in latest round of mass site hacks February 16, 2019
    In just a week, a single seller put close to 750 million records from 24 hacked sites up for sale. Now, the hacker has struck again. The hacker, whose identity isn’t known, began listing user data from several major websites — including MyFitnessPal, 500px and Coffee Meets Bagel, and more recently Houzz and Roll20 — earlier this week. […]
    Zack Whittaker
  • Investor momentum builds for construction tech February 16, 2019
    Although it’s not the sexiest of industries, the hefty construction sector in 2018 attracted not only the attention but, more importantly, the dollars of investors.
    Alex Wilhelm
  • Visa and Mastercard could raise interchange fees February 16, 2019
    According to a report from the WSJ, Visa and Mastercard are considering raising interchange fees on card transactions in the U.S. Visa and Mastercard generate most of their revenue from these small processing fees, and it could have implications for merchants and fintech startups. When you pay with a credit or debit card, merchants pay […]
    Romain Dillet
  • Uber sues NYC to contest cap on drivers February 16, 2019
    Uber filed a lawsuit against New York City, The Verge reported. The company wants to overturn New York City’s rule that caps the number of new ride-hailing drivers. Last summer, the city approved legislation that halts the issuing of new licenses to drivers for 12 months. It has been a multi-year fight between Uber and […]
    Romain Dillet
  • Transportation Weekly: Didi woes, how Nuro met Softbank, Amazon’s appetite February 16, 2019
    Welcome back to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. This is the second edition and seriously people, what happened this week? Too much. Too much! Never heard of TechCrunch’s Transportation Weekly? Catch up here. As I’ve written before, consider this a soft launch. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenkorosec to ensure you […]
    Kirsten Korosec
  • Startups Weekly: Is Y Combinator’s latest cohort too big? February 16, 2019
    Plus, e-scooter subscription services are a thing now, the Vision Fund is betting big on autonomous delivery and Facebook almost bought Unity.
    Kate Clark
  • Steve Jurvetson tells all about his new $200 million fund, his new partner, his new shopping list, and more February 16, 2019
    Steve Jurvetson is staging a comeback, disclosing today that his new San Francisco-based, early-stage venture firm Future Ventures, has raised $200 million for its debut fund. “It’s good to be back in the saddle again,” says Jurvetson, whose career was somewhat derailed in the fall of 2017 when a former girlfriend wrote a Facebook post, […]
    Connie Loizos
  • Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString February 15, 2019
    Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice […]
    Josh Constine
  • Marriott now lets you check if you’re a victim of the Starwood hack February 15, 2019
    Hotel chain giant Marriott will now let you check if you’re a victim of the Starwood hack. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has put in place “a mechanism to enable guests to look up individual passport numbers to see if they were included in the set of unencrypted passport numbers.” That follows a statement […]
    Zack Whittaker
  • Deploy the space harpoon February 15, 2019
    Watch out, starwhales.
    Devin Coldewey