Amazon to shut down Diapers.com and other Quidsi sites

 Amazon will shut down Diapers.com and the other websites operated by its Quidsi division, the company confirmed to Bloomberg today, citing the division’s lack of profitability as the reason behind the decision. Quidsi’s acquisition by Amazon for $545 million was announced back in November 2010, and included the flagship Diapers.com brand, as well as the other one to two-word… Read More

Is technology contributing to increased inequality?

 As global poverty continues to decline, another issue emerges: According to the World Economic Forum, rising income inequality and the polarization of societies pose a risk to the global economy, and may lead to increased polarization and lack of political stability. Read More

Facebook will launch group chatbots at F8

 Facebook will reveal at its F8 conference a new class of group bots that work inside Messenger group chats. These group bots can keep users informed about real-time news such as a sports game’s progress, ecommerce deliveries, and more, according to three sources familiar with the development of the feature. Facebook is already working with top chatbot makers to prepare for the launch. Read More

Picture yourself as a space tourist in these Blue Origin capsule interior shots

 One of the best parts of writing about transportation tech is that I get to reiterate my desire to go to space – again, for the record, if you’ll have me Blue Origin I would like to go to space. Especially now that I’ve seen the luxuriously appointed interiors of your New Glenn rocket, which are generous with the leather and where every seat is a window seat AND an aisle… Read More

Lyft Shuttle is an experimental new Lyft Line feature that works like a bus route

 Lyft has a new offering in testing called Shuttle, which is part of its Lyft Line commuter ride sharing option, and which operates along a set route with specific pickup and drop-off points. The trial for Shuttle is currently on offer in San Francisco and Chicago, and is intended to offer increased reliability for users who tend to travel the same path every day. Shuttle also includes fixed… Read More

MIT team urges Trump to secure electric grid, financial sector from cyber threat

 In a new 50 page report, a team of MIT cybersecurity researchers asserts that the most vital economic systems in the U.S. are essentially defenseless, imploring the Trump administration to do something about it instead of just waiting for everything to come crashing down. Our nation’s core industries, much like anything connected to the internet, are just so many digital locks waiting… Read More

TechCrunch takes Manhattan: Include Office Hours with Flybridge Capital Partners

 Founders! TechCrunch is taking over Manhattan next week with our first block party ever, and partnering with Flybridge to host Include Office hours at WeWork Grand Central Station. On April 6th from 2-4pm ET, General Partners Chip Hazard and Jesse Middleton will be meeting with underserved and underrepresented founders from the Greater New York area. Submit your application here. Launched… Read More

Report: Free trials push Apple Music ahead of Pandora and Spotify on mobile usage

 Spotify may be the reigning leader when it comes to the largest number of paid subscribers for a streaming music service, but it’s Apple that comes out on top when their respective audiences translate into monthly unique users, specifically on mobile. A report published this week from mobile analytics firm Verto has found that Apple Music attracted 40.7 million monthly unique users to… Read More

Android co-founder’s new smartphone confirmed to run Android

 The new smartphone from Andy Rubin, which will be the debut product of his new company Essential, will indeed run Android for its operating system. It looked that way from the tiny peek at the corner we got from Rubin’s tweet earlier this week, but now Google’s Eric Schmidt has confirmed it’ll be one of a few “phenomenal new choices for Android users coming very… Read More

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will include a video game festival, too

 New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival is getting a sister event — this year, it will include the kickoff of the very first Tribeca Games Festival. The event is being launched in partnership with gaming publication Kill Screen and will take place on April 28 and 29 (during the film festival). Read More

Stance’s app lets you record a message for your Congressperson, then leaves it on their voicemail

 Want to call your senator or U.S. representative to let them know where you stand on an issue, but don’t have the time to hunt down their phone number, wait on hold, or continually redial to get past the busy signals? A new app called Stance aims to help. Instead of simply providing a way to call your reps, as many apps today do, Stance lets you pre-record your voice message to be left… Read More

Rover and DogVacay merge to dominate the pet-sitting market

 Putting an end to a fierce competition to dominate the pet-sitting business, Rover and DogVacay have agreed to join forces. Rover will be acquiring DogVacay in an all-stock deal. Read More

Facebook’s CrowdTangle lets publishers compare performance on social apps

 Heavy with fake news guilt, Facebook is rolling out new social channel benchmarking for publishers in the CrowdTangle tool it acquired and made free last year. Read More

500 Startups launches a short marketing ramp-up bootcamp for startups in Israel

 500 Startups is launching a four-week program in Israel that targets pre-seed and seed companies as they get to the stage where they begin marketing their products. Read More

Aiden closes $750,000 seed round in its quest to amplify marketers

 Aiden, a London-based startup building a machine learning-powered personal assistant to save mobile marketers time and money, closed a $750,000 seed round today from Kima Ventures and a number of angels, including Nicolas Pinto, Pierre Valade and Jonathan Wolf. The team first demoed the capabilities of its service on the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt as a Battlefield finalist. Read More

Facebook opens up 360-degree live streaming to all

 Facebook just made live streaming 360-degree video relatively easy, provided you have the equipment to capture the content. Users of devices like the new 2017 model Gear 360 just announced at the S8 smartphone launch, or the Insta360 Nano (for iPhone) and Air (for Android), or a host of higher-end models designed for pros, you can go live and broadcast an immersive feed for your audience.… Read More

Garmin announces a new watch just for runners and those who think they are runners

 Garmin is back again with the Forerunner 935, a runner-specific sport watch with GPS, heart rate, and compatibility with the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod that offers further information about your speed, gait, and how often you double over in absolute agony as your unexercised organs scream from inside their fleshy fastnesses. The 935 also helps manage training with the TrainingPeaks app and… Read More

So what exactly is a bot?

 As we see the ecosystem continue to develop, bots are increasingly showcasing a wide variety of features, from chat to menus to buttons and visual interfaces. Some bots now almost look like full-fledged apps with a variety of feature-rich options. So it begs the question… what exactly is a “bot”? Read More

Twitter’s live streaming app Periscope gets an analytics dashboard

 Trying to figure out this whole live video broadcasting thing? Good news! Periscope, the Twitter-owned live-broadcasting app, picked up a new trick this morning: a shiny new analytics dashboard. It’s not the most groundbreaking thing in the world, but it makes sense. Making a successful live video on the internet — particularly one that doesn’t involve video games or naked… Read More

The Matrix Voice is an Alexa for your Raspberry Pi

 Matrix Labs just completed a successful crowdfunding campaign for what amounts to an AI voice recognition system for the Raspberry Pi which allows you, a mere mortal, to make your own Alexa in your basement. Created by Rodolfo Saccoman and Brian Sanchez their first board, the Creator, fits right on top of a standard RaspPi and gives you an 8 microphone array, a temperature sensor,… Read More