Navigation: India Samachar | World Samachar | USA Samachar | UK Samachar | Technology Samachar | Bollywood Samachar | Cricket & Sports Samachar |
1/19/2019 10:30:51 PM Sign In




India Samachar (News) and more

Google

Yahoo

Bing

Web

Images

Videos

News

Maps

Web

Images

Video

News

Maps

Web

Images

Video

News

Maps

JAN
19
 A  A  A 
1111
  BGR Show All 
Spider-Man, John Wick 3, and all the other new movie trailers from this past week
New Trailers

Like I told you last week, the first half of January lacked any exciting trailers, but that was about to change. And that’s exactly what happened. In a matter of days, we saw not one, but two Spider-Man: Far From Home trailers — yes, the international version does count. Moreover, John Wick fans will be excited to see the first footage for Chapter 3. And then there’s the new Ghostbusters to talk about.

However, when it comes to new movies, it’s going to be a rather boring week at the box office, with M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass being the only blockbuster-sized movie launching this week.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale
  2. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device

Trending Right Now:

  1. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  2. Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?
  3. Sonos just kicked off a huge Super Bowl sale with better deals than Black Friday

Spider-Man, John Wick 3, and all the other new movie trailers from this past week originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 19 Jan 2019 at 14:07:32 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


The 10 best video games of 2018
Best Games of 2018

2018 felt like a turning point for this era of video games. We're undoubtedly closer to the next generation of video game consoles than we are to the last, and there's a chance that 2018 was the last year before the PS4 and Xbox One begin to wind down as developers ramp up for new platforms. But the good news is that, with over five years of experience under their belts, studios are able to push these consoles to their limits.

Back in 2013, when the PS4 and Xbox One launched, we could only dream of games like Spider-Man, God of War, and even Sea of Thieves existing. But this generation may very well have peeked in 2018, and since there's no telling what 2019 will look like, it's worth taking a step back and appreciating that.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device
  2. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale

Trending Right Now:

  1. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  2. Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?
  3. Sonos just kicked off a huge Super Bowl sale with better deals than Black Friday

The 10 best video games of 2018 originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 19 Jan 2019 at 12:05:06 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


You don’t need to be rich to make delicious espresso thanks to this best-selling $52 espresso maker
Best Espresso Machine On Amazon

You don’t need to head out to Starbucks and spend $5 a cup for good espresso. You also don’t need to be rich and buy a $2,000 espresso machine. Believe it or not, you can pick up a fantastic espresso maker on Amazon for just over $50. The Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECM180 Steam Espresso Machine with Starter Set is Amazon’s best-selling espresso machine right now and it’s on sale for just under $52. It makes delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and more, and it even has a built-in milk frother.

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso System with Milk Frother, ECM160: Price too low to display

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • Steam system brews up to 20 ounces of delicious Espresso Coffee
  • Powerful milk frothier for creamy cappuccinos and lattes
  • Features cord length of 24 inches with 900 Watt capacity
  • Stainless steel frothing pitcher
  • Measuring scoop, glass carafe, 2 ceramic cups are in clouded

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso System with Milk Frother, ECM160: Price too low to display

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device
  2. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale

Trending Right Now:

  1. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  2. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  3. Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?

You don’t need to be rich to make delicious espresso thanks to this best-selling $52 espresso maker originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 19 Jan 2019 at 10:32:47 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


These are 10 of the biggest TV shows ending this year
TV shows ending in 2019

The showrunners and creative teams behind many of our favorite shows don't always get the luxury of an advance warning when the network decides to pull the plug on their series. Sometimes it's a sudden, surprise decision, forcing a creative shift that doesn't always work with an unexpected imposed deadline. The alternative, of course, is plenty of time to script a satisfying conclusion for a series that provides enough time to stick the landing before a sign-off for good, as is the case for the titles below. Many of the biggest franchises on TV -- like HBO's fantasy series about, you know, some warring kingdoms and an iron throne -- have had plenty of time to telegraph that the end is in store. For others, well, read on for a rundown of what's going to leave your TV for good this year, and when.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device
  2. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale

Trending Right Now:

  1. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  2. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  3. Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?

These are 10 of the biggest TV shows ending this year originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 19 Jan 2019 at 09:31:32 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Sonos just kicked off a huge Super Bowl sale with better deals than Black Friday
Sonos Sale

Sonos had a few solid sales available this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they were nothing compared to the deals that the world's top smart speaker maker just let loose for Super Bowl 53. For a limited time beginning right now, you can save a whopping $200 on the Sonos PlayBar TV Sound Bar as well as the Sonos PlayBase. The more compact Sonos Beam Sound Bar with Alexa is also on sale, and you can save $50 on this awesome speaker. The Sonos SUB is a must-have with either of those speakers if you really want to feel each and every hit during the big game, and it's $100 off during the sale. Finally — and this isn't part of the official Sonos sale — Amazon's hidden deal still lets you snag two Sonos Play:1 speakers for just $298, and you get a free $30 Amazon gift card when you do.

Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar

  • Complements HD television screens with crisp and powerful sound from nine Amplified speaker drivers. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too.
  • Connect your Playbar to any Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled device, then just ask for the music you love.
  • Syncs wirelessly with other Sonos speakers so you can listen to TV or music in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Pair with two Ones and a Sub for a 5.1 surround system, the ultimate home theater experience.
  • Simple two-cord setup. One for power and one for the TV. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly Connect on the Sonos app from your smart device.

Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker. Works with Alexa.: $599.00

Sonos PLAYBASE for Home Theater and Streaming Music

  • Full-theater sound for tvs on stands and furniture. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too
  • Pair with Sub and two Play:1s for full surround sound. Sync wirelessly with other Sonos speakers to enjoy TV, sports and music throughout your home.
  • Custom-built 10-speaker array delivers a completely immersive audio experience. Robust construction securely supports tvs up to 75 lbs
  • Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.28 x 28.35 x 14.96 inches, feet must be at least 2.3 inch tall to allow for PLAYBASE clearance
  • Simple two-cord setup. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly connect on the Sonos app from your smart device

Sonos PLAYBASE for Home Theater and Streaming Music (Black): $599.00

All-new Sonos Beam

  • Listen to music, TV, movies, podcasts, radio, audiobooks and video games. Experience rich, detailed sound that fills the entire room.
  • Thoughtfully designed for your home. Place on your TV stand or wall mount.
  • Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app.
  • Add the latest Alexa-enabled video streaming device such as Fire TV for remote-free control. Find, start and manage shows and movies just by asking.
  • With software updates, your listening experience is always improving.
  • Set-up is quick and easy. Download the Sonos app, connect Beam to power and your TV, then follow the app instructions.
  • Connect Sonos speakers wirelessly to create a home sound system. Create a home theater system with a pair of rear speakers and a Sub.
  • Play sound from your Apple devices to Sonos with AirPlay, and Ask Siri to play music all over your home.

All-new Sonos Beam – Compact Smart TV Soundbar with Amazon Alexa voice control built-in. Wire…: $349.00

Sonos Sub

  • Adds dramatically deeper bass to any Sonos wireless speaker. Hear parts of the music you’ve never heard before
  • Connect wirelessly to Playbar, Plabase, Beam, One, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, and Connect:Amp
  • Two force-cancelling speaker drivers positioned face-to-face offer deep sound with zero cabinet buzz or rattle.
  • Simple one button set up
  • Display it or hide it. This slim Subwoofer sounds great standing up or on it’s side. You can even place it under a couch. Available in black or white.

Sonos Sub – Wireless Subwoofer that adds bass to your home theater and your music. (Black): $599.00

Two Room Set with Sonos Play:1 + $30 Amazon Gift card

  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
  • Fill two separate rooms with different music, or link them together to hear the same song in both. Great surround speakers for your Sonos home theater, too
  • Versatile, compact fit. Place them wherever you want and enjoy rich, room-filling sound
  • Streams all your favorite music services like Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and more
  • Easy 10-minute wi-fi set up. No Bluetooth pairing problems or interruptions
  • Connects wirelessly to Sonos speakers in other rooms so you can expand your Home Sound System when you’re ready

Two Room Set with Sonos Play:1 + $30 Amazon Gift card: $298.00

BGR Top Deals:

  1. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale
  2. You can get 3 of these multicolor smart LED bulbs for the price of one Philips Hue bulb

Trending Right Now:

  1. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  2. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  3. Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?

Sonos just kicked off a huge Super Bowl sale with better deals than Black Friday originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 19 Jan 2019 at 08:24:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


How a dangerous piece of Android malware snuck into the Google Play store
Android Malware

Security researchers from Trend Micro recently unearthed a piece of Android malware known as Anibus that managed to sneak into the Google Play Store with a little bit of creativity. The malware in question was found on two separate apps, though neither of them were widely downloaded.

The way the apps managed to get on the Google Play Store is actually quite clever. In an effort to evade detection from emulators designed to detect behavior associated with malware, the malicious apps were uploaded to the Google Play Store but remained dormant unless motion was detected. Once motion was detected, the payload would spring into action.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale
  2. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device

Trending Right Now:

  1. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  2. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  3. New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ theory sheds light on a mystery from ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

How a dangerous piece of Android malware snuck into the Google Play store originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 18 Jan 2019 at 23:07:13 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?
Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed during a media event earlier this week that Microsoft will soon launch a Microsoft 365 subscription service for consumers, following reports that suggested such a move was in the making. Microsoft 365 isn’t exactly new, as it has been available to business users since 2017. However, the new product targets commercial consumers who presumably already have access to a computer of some sort.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale
  2. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device

Trending Right Now:

  1. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  2. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  3. New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ theory sheds light on a mystery from ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly? originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 18 Jan 2019 at 22:05:47 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Tesla to slash workforce by 7% in effort to boost profits
Tesla

To say that Tesla has been unprofitable for the majority of its existence may be truthful, but it isn't exactly fair. As a relatively new automotive upstart, Tesla for quite some time wasn't so much focused on profits as it was with spending boatloads of cash on growth, investing in itself, and boosting production. Wall Street, though, isn't inclined to give a company a seemingly endless amount of time to turn a profit, which is to say Tesla over the past few quarters has been under a lot of pressure to demonstrate that it can be profitable.

Lo and behold, Tesla during the 2018 September quarter did just that. When the dust settled, Tesla posted a quarterly net income of $312 million. It's not a staggering amount by any means, but it was nonetheless a symbolic victory for Tesla and proof that the mass market Model 3 was capable of helping the company turn a corner.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. New iPad Pros start at just $611 in this special Amazon sale
  2. I refuse to ever cook steak again without this awesome $69 device

Trending Right Now:

  1. Google Maps is about to get one of Waze’s best features
  2. Leak reveals yet another way the Galaxy S10 will outshine Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9
  3. New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ theory sheds light on a mystery from ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Tesla to slash workforce by 7% in effort to boost profits originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 18 Jan 2019 at 21:03:36 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


1111
  TechNewsWorld Show All 
The Evolution of Software Security Best Practices
Independent software vendors, along with Internet of Things and cloud vendors, are involved in a market transformation that is making them look more alike. The similarities are evident in the way they approach software security initiatives, according to a report from Synopsys. Synopsys has released its ninth annual Building Security in Maturity Model, or BSIMM9. The BSIMM project provides a de facto standard for assessing and then improving software security initiatives, the company said.

Lenovo, Verizon to Reincarnate Motorola Razr as Foldable Smartphone: Report
The Motorola Razr -- once the hottest flip phone available -- is being revived as a smartphone with a foldable screen, according to reports. It will be offered exclusively through Verizon in the United States, possibly in February, although the device is still being tested and the launch date is not firm. Its starting price reportedly will be $1,500. Unlike Apple and Samsung, Lenovo may not have the chops to push a $1,500 smartphone, suggested Ramon Llamas, a research director at IDC.

Court: Cops Can't Compel the Use of Body Parts to Unlock Phones
Authorities can't force people to unlock their biometrically secured phones or other devices, according to a federal judge. "The Government may not compel or otherwise utilize fingers, thumbs, facial recognition, optical/iris, or any other biometric feature to unlock electronic devices," Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore wrote. An attempt by law enforcement authorities in Oakland, California, to force two suspected extortionists to unlock their mobile phones with biometrics violated Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

1111
How My E-Commerce Business Soared From 0-$100K in Less Than 4 Months
Over the past 10 years, I've been a part of at least that many startups. The tools of the trade have changed rapidly, but the core elements of successful entrepreneurship remain relatively unchanged. When I first started out, "social media marketing" was a brand new concept and existed almost entirely on Myspace. Now entrepreneurs have a slew of tools to amplify their brand and grow their e-commerce revenue, but it's easy to get lost in the noise. As a consultant and a company founder, I can tell you success isn't easy, but it is attainable.

Verizon Trying Its Hand at Cloud Gaming
Verizon has a new cloud-based gaming service that is in the alpha testing stage, based on recent reports. Verizon Gaming is being tested on Nvidia Shield set-top boxes. The Shield devices, which were unveiled in 2015, were updated two years ago when Nvidia rolled out its own streaming service. Verizon Gaming will give greater software support to the Nvidia Shield, but the service also will be opened to Android smartphones in the near future. Whether on the Shield or a smartphone, the games will be playable with a paired Xbox One controller.

NetSuite's Revelations at NRF
NetSuite announced results of its sponsored study at this week's National Retail Federation show in New York, shedding light on technology adoption in a retail setting. The study suggests that merchants are not doing what customers would want and that they have a misguided perception of the situation. For example: Seventy-three percent of retail executives believed that the overall environment in retail stores had become more inviting in the past five years. Only 45 percent of consumers agreed.

Netflix Raises Subscriber Rates to Wall Street's Delight
Netflix has decided to hike prices by $1 to $2 for all 58 million of its subscribers in the U.S., as well as customers in about 40 Latin American countries who are billed in U.S currency. Customers in key international markets such as Mexico and Brazil reportedly will be exempt from the increases. Netflix had nearly 79 million subscribers overseas at the end of September. The basic plan will go from $9 to $10; standard plan from $11 to $13; and the premium plan from $14 to $16.

1111
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant duke it out at CES 2018

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant duke it out at CES 2018CES 2018 had more than its fair share of wacky items and compelling gadgets, but one of the biggest trends to emerge, once again, from the popular tech expo was voice-enabled devices. And, of course, it was all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.



The weirdest tech of CES 2018

The weirdest tech of CES 2018Here are seven items at CES 2018, some of which address legitimate use cases and some of which may be closer to mad-scientist territory.



Sennheiser co-CEO: Why we're betting on AR and VR with 3-D audio

Sennheiser co-CEO: Why we're betting on AR and VR with 3-D audioAt CES 2018, Sennheiser announced two new products that focus on recording or playing back 3-D audio.



Honda wants to prove robots can help you, not kill you

Honda wants to prove robots can help you, not kill youHonda wants to change your perception of robots. And it's hoping to do so with four new concept robots.



1111
  News Show All 
Temporarily not available
1111
Winter storm disrupts travel across U.S. - CBS News
Winter storm disrupts travel across U.S.  CBS News

A large, powerful and dangerous winter storm is taking aim at about one-third of the nation this weekend. It rapidly moved from the Central Plains to the Midwest ...

View full coverage on Google News

How an engineer and a crack dealer teamed up to sell scores of unlicensed guns - CNN
How an engineer and a crack dealer teamed up to sell scores of unlicensed guns  CNN

Washington (CNN) They were an unlikely duo: An aerospace engineer with a government security clearance and a house in the suburbs, and a gun-toting crack ...


1111
  Latest news Show All 
Websites can steal browser data via extensions APIs
Researcher finds nearly 200 Chrome, Firefox, and Opera extensions vulnerable to attacks from malicious sites.
Amazon Fire TV Recast review: A prime example of how over-the-air DVRs should work
Amazon's over-the-air DVR is something you set up and forget about but has one big catch.
Amazon insists it's helping small retailers grow
The retail industry is still struggling to adjust to the digital era, but Amazon released new stats to argue it's helping SMBs
DNC says Russia tried to hack its servers again in November 2018
Democrats say the spear-phishing attack, which was attributed to Russian group Cozy Bear, was unsuccessful.
WiFi firmware bug affects laptops, smartphones, routers, gaming devices
List of impacted devices includes PS4, Xbox One, Samsung Chromebooks, and Microsoft Surface devices.
Mobilizing 5G Millimeter Wave
In this infographic, you’ll learn how the mmWave spectrum delivers huge bandwidth increases for mobile devices, what it took to get this breakthrough ready for consumers, and how it will unlock new experiences like extended realit
Verizon to roll out free robocoll spam protection to all customers
Call Filter service to be made available to all wireless and wired customers with compatible phones in March 2019.
Windows Phone users: Your reminder that support ends in December 2019
Microsoft will no longer provide free security updates or hotfixes for Windows 10 Mobile after December 10, 2019, and recommends users go with Android or iOS. (Yes, really.)
1111
GoFundMe launches campaign for government workers hit by shutdown
People have frequently used GoFundMe to lend a helping hand to others in need of some help, but the site itself is getting involved in light of the US government shutdown. The company has teamed up with Deepak Chopra to launch a donation campaign fo...

Showtime offers a peek at Desus and Mero's talk show
How will podcasters Desus and Mero handle a late-night talk show on Showtime? You now have a slightly better idea. Showtime has posted a teaser for Desus & Mero that has the duo shopping for set decorations ahead of their February 21st premiere...

Amazon adds remastered 'Baywatch' to Prime Video on January 20th
If you're feeling nostalgic for the 90s, Prime Video may have something you can binge on. Amazon is adding Baywatch -- yes, the classic TV series and not Dwayne Johnson's flick -- to its lineup for US, Canada and Australia. You'll even be able to enj...

iPhone SE goes back on sale as a $249 clearance item
Do you deeply regret passing on the iPhone SE before Apple cut it out of the lineup? You now have another chance to get it. Apple has quietly resumed selling the iPhone SE as a clearance item in the US, starting at $249 for a 32GB model (down from th...

Stratolaunch axes launch vehicle and rocket engine projects
Stratolaunch is axing several projects in an effort to scale back its operations a few months after founder Paul Allen, who's more recognized for being Microsoft's co-founder, passed away. According to GeekWire, the company will continue developing t...

EU copyright laws face uncertain fate after 11 countries reject proposal
Internet giants like Google might breathe a little easier in Europe... at least, for now. The EU has called off January 21st negotiations for a final vote on the controversial Copyright Directive after 11 countries, including Germany, Italy and the...

Tesla hikes Supercharger prices worldwide to reflect changing costs
Tesla's efforts to improve its bottom line go beyond layoffs and disappearing perks. Electrek has learned that Tesla is raising Supercharger rates around the world, with per kWh rates climbing about 33 percent in numerous markets. While it's still...

Recommended Reading: How we got two Fyre Festival documentaries
Fyre Fight: The inside story of how we got two warring Fyre Festival documentaries in the same week Scott Tobias, The Ringer We've known for a while now that Hulu and Netflix were both working on documentaries chronicling the ill-fated influencer...

1111
Common Sense: Why Jeff Bezos’ Divorce Should Worry Amazon Investors
The Amazon chief’s split from his wife raises questions about the disposal of their enormous stake in the company he founded. Investors deserve answers.
AT&T to Advertise on YouTube Again After a Nearly 2-Year Holdout
AT&T, one of the biggest advertisers in the U.S., had balked because offensive content too often accompanied its ads. Now it says YouTube has addressed the issue.
Bits: The Week in Tech: How Google and Facebook Spawned Surveillance Capitalism
A new book argues that Google and Facebook created a new business model that profits off private human behavior.
On Technology: How Secrecy Fuels Facebook Paranoia
The social platform knows everything that happens within its walls — that’s the whole point — but it is oddly reticent when it comes to misinformation campaigns.
Are ‘10-Year Challenge’ Photos a Boon to Facebook’s Facial Recognition Technology?
The meme encourages people to post a photo of themselves from 10 years and one from today. It’s just a drop in a big bucket of data Facebook has already amassed.
Do You Take This Robot …
Today we fall in love through our phones. Maybe your phone itself could be just as satisfying?
F.T.C. Is Said to Be Considering Large Facebook Fines
The agency’s investigation, which began in late March, is continuing, and the commissioners and staff have not reached a final conclusion.
D.N.C. Says It Was Targeted Again by Russian Hackers After ’18 Election
In new filings submitted late Thursday, the Democratic National Committee, whose computers were breached in 2016, said it was on the receiving end of a so-called spearphishing campaign in November.
1111
  WSJ.com: WSJD Show All 
The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email
Frustrated and fatigued by social-media challenges, businesses and others looking for an audience turn to an old standby.

Two Snap Executives Pushed Out After Probe Into Inappropriate Relationship
Snap in recent weeks pushed out two senior executives after an investigation found that one of them had allegedly engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an outside contractor.

Tesla to Slash More Jobs in Effort to Lower Model 3 Price
Tesla is cutting its full-time workforce by 7% to help lower costs so it can sell the Model 3 sedan at a lower price. Shares fell 13%.

American Railways Chug Toward Automation
Rio Tinto calls it the world’s largest robot: mile-long driverless trains traversing the sparsely populated Australian Outback. American railroad companies call it the future.

Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype
The hype that has consumed the nascent driverless car industry over the past few years has moved into a new period of cautious optimism.

U.S. Close to Ending Its Facebook Probe
The federal government’s privacy investigation into Facebook appears to be nearing a conclusion, with the prospect of a large fine looming for the social-media giant.

Airbnb Has Held Talks to Buy Hotel Tonight
Airbnb has held talks to acquire hotel-booking site Hotel Tonight, as the home-sharing company seeks to bolster its offerings and make itself more attractive to investors ahead of an eventual IPO.

'Super Blood Wolf Moon' Makes Astronomers Howl
Scientists call it a total lunar eclipse, but everybody else has grabbed hold of its new name; ‘Sounds more at home in a vampire novel.’

1111
  CNET News Show All 
Boo, the 'world's cutest dog,' has died, and family is 'heartbroken' - CNET
The fluffy social-media celeb was the star of a calendar and a book and appeared on national talk shows.
Prize-winning underwater photos will make you want to learn to dive - CNET
Move over, Aquaman: These astonishing ocean images rule the seas.
Paddle through 16 breathtaking and prize-winning underwater photos - CNET
From curious seals to graceful devil rays, the creatures of the sea posed for some spectacular shots.
DNC says Russian hackers hit it with phishing effort after midterms - CNET
The Democratic National Committee apparently hasn't lost its allure for Russia-linked hacking groups like Cozy Bear.
How to make your audio system sound better for free - CNET
Move your speakers into the middle of the room, and listen to them from 4 or 5 feet away.
Nissan NV300 van concept lets you woodwork in the sticks with ease - Roadshow
Its portable power pack makes off-grid life a little easier.
Euro style and high-end sound in an apartment-friendly speaker - CNET
Trenner & Friedl's Osiris speakers produce amazing sound without taking over the room.
Here's every iPhone ever made from 2007 to today - CNET
Apple's 21 iPhones never looked this good.
1111
  SlashdotShow All 
Is California's PG&E The First Climate Change Bankruptcy?
"California's largest power company intends to file for bankruptcy as it faces tens of billions of dollars in potential liability following massive wildfires that devastated parts of the state over the last two years," reports the

Mark Zuckerberg's Mentor 'Shocked and Disappointed' -- But He Has a Plan
Early Facebook investor Roger McNamee published a scathing 3,000-word article adapted from his new book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. Here's just one example of what's left him "shocked and disappointed": Facebo

Are You Ready For DNS Flag Day?
Long-time Slashdot reader syn3rg quotes the DNS Flag Day page: The current DNS is unnecessarily slow and suffers from inability to deploy new features. To remediate these problems, vendors of DNS software and also big public DN

Venezuela's Government Blocks Access To Wikipedia
Haaretz (with contributions from Reuters and the Associated Press) reports: According to NetBlocks, a digital rights group that tracks restrictions to the internet, as of 12 January, Venezuela largest telecommunications provider

Is US Surveillance Technology Propping Up Authoritarian Regimes?
A senior policy analyst from a non-partisan national security think tank -- and one of their cybersecurity policy fellows -- sound a dire warning in an op-ed shared by Slashdot reader schwit1: From facial recognition software to

'I Got Death Threats For Writing a Bad Review of Aquaman'
The Huffington Post recently published a post by one of the 300 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association -- and a contributing writer to Variety: I saw "Aquaman" on a brisk Monday morning in December. Though I appreciate

Larry Lessig Will Headline Friday's 'Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain' Event
An anonymous reader quotes the Internet Archive's blog Please join us for a Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain, featuring a keynote address by Creative Commons' founder, Lawrence Lessig, on January 25, 2019. Co-hosted by the I

GitHub Seeks Feedback on 'Open Source Sustainability'
Devon Zuegel, "a developer with a passion for governance and economics," recently became GitHub's open source product manager to "support maintainers in cultivating vital, productive communities" -- specifically open source softwa


1111
  Gigaom Show All 
Temporarily not available
1111
  CIO Show All 
Temporarily not available
1111
  WSJ.com: WSJD Show All 
The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email
Frustrated and fatigued by social-media challenges, businesses and others looking for an audience turn to an old standby.

Two Snap Executives Pushed Out After Probe Into Inappropriate Relationship
Snap in recent weeks pushed out two senior executives after an investigation found that one of them had allegedly engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an outside contractor.

Tesla to Slash More Jobs in Effort to Lower Model 3 Price
Tesla is cutting its full-time workforce by 7% to help lower costs so it can sell the Model 3 sedan at a lower price. Shares fell 13%.

American Railways Chug Toward Automation
Rio Tinto calls it the world’s largest robot: mile-long driverless trains traversing the sparsely populated Australian Outback. American railroad companies call it the future.

Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype
The hype that has consumed the nascent driverless car industry over the past few years has moved into a new period of cautious optimism.

U.S. Close to Ending Its Facebook Probe
The federal government’s privacy investigation into Facebook appears to be nearing a conclusion, with the prospect of a large fine looming for the social-media giant.

Airbnb Has Held Talks to Buy Hotel Tonight
Airbnb has held talks to acquire hotel-booking site Hotel Tonight, as the home-sharing company seeks to bolster its offerings and make itself more attractive to investors ahead of an eventual IPO.

'Super Blood Wolf Moon' Makes Astronomers Howl
Scientists call it a total lunar eclipse, but everybody else has grabbed hold of its new name; ‘Sounds more at home in a vampire novel.’

1111
Austrian data privacy activist files complaint against Apple, Amazon, others
Apple and Amazon are among eight tech firms named in a complaint filed in Austria by non-profit organisation noyb, which cited their failure to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Philippine financial service firm flags data breach affecting 900,000 clients
Cebuana Lhuillier, a Philippine financial service provider, said on Saturday that the data of 900,000 clients had been accessed without authorisation and that it had already alerted authorities to investigate the incident.
Tencent weighing bid for holding company behind Korea's Nexon: sources
Chinese gaming titan Tencent Holdings Ltd is considering a bid for the holding company that controls South Korean gaming company Nexon, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Canada dismisses China's warning of repercussions over Huawei ban
Canada's government on Friday dismissed China's warning of repercussions if Ottawa banned Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] from supplying equipment to 5G networks, saying it would not compromise on security.
U.S. regulators discuss fining Facebook for privacy violations - report
U.S. regulators have met to discuss imposing a fine against Facebook Inc for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of personal data, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing three
Netflix shares fall as weak forecast dampens investor optimism
Shares of Netflix Inc fell nearly 5 percent on Friday, as investors looked past its record subscriber numbers and instead focused on its lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter.
Apple ordered to pull part of press release in Qualcomm case
Apple Inc has been ordered by a German court to stop using part of a press release claiming all iPhones would be available in the country through carriers and resellers, a copy of the ruling seen by Reuters showed.
Tesla cuts jobs as it looks to make Model 3 more affordable
Tesla Inc said on Friday it would cut thousands of jobs to rein in costs as it plans to increase production of lower-priced versions of its crucial Model 3 sedan, sending its shares down as much as 10 percent.
1111
   Show All 
1111
Temporarily not available
1111
  TechCrunch Show All 
The social layer is ironically key to Bitcoin’s security

A funny thing happened in the second half of 2018. At some moment, all the people active in crypto looked around and realized there weren’t very many of us. The friends we’d convinced during the last holiday season were no longer speaking to us. They had stopped checking their Coinbase accounts. The tide had gone out from the beach. Tokens and blockchains were supposed to change the world; how come nobody was using them?

In most cases, still, nobody is using them. In this respect, many crypto projects have succeeded admirably. Cryptocurrency’s appeal is understood by many as freedom from human fallibility. There is no central banker, playing politics with the money supply. There is no lawyer, overseeing the contract. Sometimes it feels like crypto developers adopted the defense mechanism of the skunk. It’s working: they are succeeding at keeping people away.

Some now acknowledge the need for human users, the so-called “social layer,” of Bitcoin and other crypto networks. That human component is still regarded as its weakest link. I’m writing to propose that crypto’s human component is its strongest link. For the builders of crypto networks, how to attract the right users is a question that should come before how to defend against attackers (aka, the wrong users). Contrary to what you might hear on Twitter, when evaluating a crypto network, the demographics and ideologies of its users do matter. They are the ultimate line of defense, and the ultimate decision-maker on direction and narrative.

What Ethereum got right

Since the collapse of The DAO, no one in crypto should be allowed to say “code is law” with a straight face. The DAO was a decentralized venture fund that boldly claimed pure governance through code, then imploded when someone found a loophole. Ethereum, a crypto protocol on which The DAO was built, erased this fiasco with a hard fork, walking back the ledger of transactions to the moment before disaster struck. Dissenters from this social-layer intervention kept going on Ethereum’s original, unforked protocol, calling it Ethereum Classic. To so-called “Bitcoin maximalists,” the DAO fork is emblematic of Ethereum’s trust-dependency, and therefore its weakness.

There’s irony, then, in maximalists’ current enthusiasm for narratives describing Bitcoin’s social-layer resiliency. The story goes: in the event of a security failure, Bitcoin’s community of developers, investors, miners and users are an ultimate layer of defense. We, Bitcoin’s community, have the option to fork the protocol—to port our investment of time, capital and computing power onto a new version of Bitcoin. It’s our collective commitment to a trust-minimized monetary system that makes Bitcoin strong. (Disclosure: I hold bitcoin and ether.)

Even this narrative implies trust—in the people who make up that crowd. Historically, Bitcoin Core developers, who maintain the Bitcoin network’s dominant client software, have also exerted influence, shaping Bitcoin’s road map and the story of its use cases. Ethereum’s flavor of minimal trust is different, having a public-facing leadership group whose word is widely imbibed. In either model, the social layer abides. When they forked away The DAO, Ethereum’s leaders had to convince a community to come along.

You can’t believe in the wisdom of the crowd and discount its ability to see through an illegitimate power grab, orchestrated from the outside. When people criticize Ethereum or Bitcoin, they are really criticizing this crowd, accusing it of a propensity to fall for false narratives.

How do you protect Bitcoin’s codebase?

In September, Bitcoin Core developers patched and disclosed a vulnerability that would have enabled an attacker to crash the Bitcoin network. That vulnerability originated in March, 2017, with Bitcoin Core 0.14. It sat there for 18 months until it was discovered.

There’s no doubt Bitcoin Core attracts some of the best and brightest developers in the world, but they are fallible and, importantly, some of them are pseudonymous. Could a state actor, working pseudonymously, produce code good enough to be accepted into Bitcoin’s protocol? Could he or she slip in another vulnerability, undetected, for later exploitation? The answer is undoubtedly yes, it is possible, and it would be naïve to believe otherwise. (I doubt Bitcoin Core developers themselves are so naïve.)

Why is it that no government has yet attempted to take down Bitcoin by exploiting such a weakness? Could it be that governments and other powerful potential attackers are, if not friendly, at least tolerant towards Bitcoin’s continued growth? There’s a strong narrative in Bitcoin culture of crypto persisting against hostility. Is that narrative even real?

The social layer is key to crypto success

Some argue that sexism and racism don’t matter to Bitcoin. They do. Bitcoin’s hodlers should think carefully about the books we recommend and the words we write and speak. If your social layer is full of assholes, your network is vulnerable. Not all hacks are technical. Societies can be hacked, too, with bad or unsecure ideas. (There are more and more numerous examples of this, outside of crypto.)

Not all white papers are as elegant as Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper. Many run over 50 pages, dedicating lengthy sections to imagining various potential attacks and how the network’s internal “crypto-economic” system of incentives and penalties would render them bootless. They remind me of the vast digital fortresses my eight-year-old son constructs in Minecraft, bristling with trap doors and turrets.

I love my son (and his Minecraft creations), but the question both he and crypto developers may be forgetting to ask is, why would anyone want to enter this forbidding fortress—let alone attack it? Who will enter, bearing talents, ETH or gold? Focusing on the user isn’t yak shaving, when the user is the ultimate security defense. I’m not suggesting security should be an afterthought, but perhaps a network should be built to bring people in, rather than shut them out.

The author thanks Tadge Dryja and Emin Gün Sirer, who provided feedback that helped hone some of the ideas in this article.


TechCrunch Conversations: Direct listings

Last April, Spotify surprised Wall Street bankers by choosing to go public through a direct listing process rather than through a traditional IPO. Instead of issuing new shares, the company simply sold existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors directly to the market – bypassing the roadshow process and avoiding at least some of Wall Street’s fees. That pattens is set to continue in 2019 as Silicon Valley darlings Slack and Airbnb take the direct listing approach.

Have we reached a new normal where tech companies choose to test their own fate and disrupt the traditional capital markets process?  This week, we asked a panel of six experts on IPOs and direct listings: “What are the implications of direct listing tech IPOs for financial services, regulation, venture capital, and capital markets activity?” 

This week’s participants include: IPO researcher Jay R. Ritter (University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business), Spotify’s CFO Barry McCarthy, fintech venture capitalist Josh Kuzon (Reciprocal Ventures), IPO attorney Eric Jensen (Cooley LLP), research analyst Barbara Gray, CFA (Brady Capital Research), and capital markets advisor Graham A. Powis (Brookline Capital Markets).

TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. Consider this a recurring venue for debate, where leading experts – with a diverse range of vantage points and opinions – provide us with thoughts on some of the biggest issues currently in tech, startups and venture. If you have any feedback, please reach out: Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com.


Thoughts & Responses:


Jay R. Ritter

Jay Ritter is the Cordell Eminent Scholar at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. He is the world’s most-cited academic expert on IPOs. His analysis of the Google IPO is available here.

In April last year, Spotify stock started to trade without a formal IPO, in what is known as a direct listing. The direct listing provided liquidity for shareholders, but unlike most traditional IPOs, did not raise any money for the company. [According to recent reports], Slack [is considering] a direct listing, and it is rumored that some of the other prominent unicorns are considering doing the same.

Although no equity capital is raised by the company in a direct listing, after trading is established the company could do a follow-on offering to raise money. The big advantage of a direct listing is that it reduces the two big costs of an IPO—the direct cost of the fees paid to investment bankers, which are typically 7% of the proceeds for IPOs raising less than $150 million, and the indirect cost of selling shares at an offer price less than what the stocks subsequently trades at, which adds on another 18%, on average. For a unicorn in which the company and existing shareholders sell $1 billion in a traditional IPO using bookbuilding, the strategy of a direct listing and subsequent follow-on offering could net the company and selling shareholders an extra $200 million.

Direct listings are not the only way to reduce the direct and indirect costs of going public. Starting twenty years ago, when Ravenswood Winery went public in 1999, some companies have gone public using an auction rather than bookbuilding. Prominent companies that have used an auction include Google, Morningstar, and Interactive Brokers Group. Auctions, however, have not taken off, in spite of lower fees and less underpricing. The last few years no U.S. IPO has used one.

Traditional investment banks view direct listings and auction IPOs as a threat. Not only are the fees that they receive lower, but the investment bankers can no longer promise underpriced shares to their hedge fund clients. Issuing firms and their shareholders are the beneficiaries when direct listings are used.

If auctions and direct listings are so great, why haven’t more issuers used them? One important reason is that investment banks typically bundle analyst coverage with other business. If a small company hires a top investment bank such as Credit Suisse to take them public with a traditional IPO, Credit Suisse is almost certainly going to have its analyst that covers the industry follow the stock, at least for a while. Many companies have discovered, however, that if the company doesn’t live up to expectations, the major investment banks are only too happy to drop coverage a few years later. In contrast, an analyst at a second-tier investment bank, such as William Blair, Raymond James, Jefferies, Stephens, or Stifel, is much more likely to continue to follow the company for many years if the investment bank had been hired for the IPO. In my opinion, the pursuit of coverage from analysts at the top investment banks has discouraged many companies from bucking the system. The prominent unicorns, however, will get analyst coverage no matter what method they use or which investment banks they hire.


Barry McCarthy

Barry McCarthy is the Chief Financial Officer of Spotify. Prior to joining Spotify, Mr. McCarthy was a private investor and served as a board member for several major public and private companies, including Spotify, Pandora and Chegg. McCarthy also serves as an Executive Adviser to Technology Crossover Ventures and previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer of Netflix.

If we take a leap of faith and imagine that direct listings become an established alternative to the traditional IPO process, then we can expect:

  1. Financing costs to come down – The overall “cost” of the traditional IPO process will come down, in order to compete with the lower cost alternative (lower underwriting fees and no IPO discount) of a direct listing.
  2. The regulatory framework to remain unchanged – No change was / is required in federal securities laws, which already enable the direct listing process. With the SEC’s guidance and regulatory oversight, Spotify repurposed an existing process for direct listings – we didn’t invent a new one.

  3. A level playing field for exits – Spotify listed without the traditional 180 day lock-up. In order to compete with direct listings, traditional IPOs may eliminate the lock-up (and the short selling hedge funds do into the lock-up expiry).

  4. Financing frequency; right church, wrong pew – Regardless of what people tell you, an IPO is just another financing event. But you don’t need to complete a traditional IPO anymore if you want to sell equity. Conventional wisdom says you do, but I think conventional wisdom is evolving with the realities of the marketplace. Here’s how we’d do it at Spotify if we needed to raise additional equity capital. We’d execute a secondary or follow-on transaction, pay a 1% transaction fee and price our shares at about a 4% discount to the closing price on the day we priced our secondary offering. This is much less expensive “financing” than a traditional IPO with underwriter fees ranging from 3-7% (larger deals mean smaller fees) and the underwriter’s discount of ~36% to the full conviction price for the offering. You simply uncouple the going public event from the money raising event.


Josh Kuzon

Josh Kuzon is a Partner at Reciprocal Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in NYC focused on FinTech and blockchain. An expert in payments and banking systems, Josh is focused on backing the next generation of FinTech companies across payments, credit, financial infrastructure, and financial management software.

I think the implications of direct listing tech IPOs are positive for venture capitalists, as it creates a channel for efficient exits. However, the threat of low liquidity from a direct listing is significant and may ultimately outweigh the benefits for the listing company. 

Direct listing tech IPOs offers a compelling model for company employees and existing investors in pursuit of a liquidity event. The model features a non-dilutive, no lock-up period, and underwriting fee-less transaction, which is a short-term benefit of the strategy. Additionally, as a publicly traded company, there are longer-term benefits in being able to access public markets for financing, using company stock to pay for acquisitions, and potentially broaden global awareness of an organization. However, these benefits come with tradeoffs that should not be overlooked. 

One concern is the circular problem of liquidity. Without a defined supply of stock, it can be difficult to generate meaningful buyside demand. A floating price and indeterminate quantity will dampen institutional interest, no matter how great the listing company may be. Institutions require size and certainty; not only do they desire to build large positions, but they need to know they can exit them if needed. Without consistent institutional bids, sellers are less motivated to unwind their stakes, for fear of volatility and soft prices.

I believe institutional investors and their brokers are crucial ingredients for a properly functioning public equities market structure. They help make markets more liquid and efficient and serve as a check on companies to drive better business outcomes for their shareholders. A lack of institutional investors could be a very expensive long-term tradeoff for a short-term gain.

For companies that have significant brand awareness, don’t need to raise additional capital, or already have a diverse institutional investor base, the direct listing model may work out well for them. Few companies, however, fit this profile. Many more will likely have to work a lot harder to persuade the capital markets to participate in a direct listing and even if successful, may ultimately come back to bite them as they evolve and require additional capital markets cooperation.


Eric Jensen

Eric Jensen is a partner at Cooley LLP. He advises leading technology entrepreneurs, venture funds and investment banks in formation, financing, capital market and M&A transactions, and in in the past seven years was involved in over 55 offerings, raising over $21 billion, for companies such as Appian, Atlassian, Alteryx, Avalara, DocuSign, FireEye, Forty Seven, LinkedIn, MongoDB, NVIDIA, Redfin, SendGrid, ServiceNow, Tenable, Zendesk, Zulilly and Zynga.

It is challenging to draw market lessons from a single completed “direct listing.” The degree of interest I am seeing, often without folks knowing what it means, shows that the IPO model has issues. So first I describe to a client what it means – an IPO without the “I” and the “O”, meaning you are not selling any stock and therefore you don’t have a set initial stock price. These factors mean that a direct listing is relevant only for a small subset of private companies – those that:

  1. Sold stock to a number of institutional buyers that are likely to hold or increase their interest once trading begins;
  2. Are large enough (and didn’t restrict transfers) such that an active trading market developed as a private company, to be used as a proxy for the public trading price;
  3. Don’t need to raise primary capital, and
  4. Want to make their mark by doing something different, at the expense of placing IPO stock in the hands of new investors they have selected.

There is no evidence to indicate that it accelerates public market access, any company that can do a direct listing could do an IPO. The SEC doesn’t go away, and compared to the highly tuned IPO process, SEC scrutiny is actually higher. As least based on Spotify, it doesn’t put investment bankers out of a job, nor does it dramatically reduce total transactions costs. Spotify had no lock-up agreement, so the VCs I know love this feature, but it is not inherent in a direct listing, and IPOs don’t require lock-ups.

In my book, too soon to tell if it is the reverse Dutch Auction of its day.


Barbara Gray

Barbara Gray, CFA is a former top-ranked sell-side Equity Analyst and the Founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge investment research firm focused on structural disruption. She is also the author of the books Secrets of the Amazon 2.0, Secrets of the Amazon and Ubernomics.

Although Spotify successfully broke free of its reins last April and entered the public arena unescorted, I expect most unicorns will still choose to pay the fat underwriting fees to be paraded around by investment bankers. 

Realistically, the direct listing route is most suitable for companies meeting the following three criteria: 1) consumer-facing with strong brand equity; 2) easy-to-understand business model; and 3) no need to raise capital. Even if a company meets this criteria, the “escorted” IPO route could provide a positive return on investment as the IPO roadshow is designed to provide a valuation uptick through building awareness and preference versus competitive offerings by enabling a company to: a) reach and engage a larger investment pool; b) optimally position its story; and c) showcase its skilled management team.

Although the concept of democratizing capital markets by providing equal access to all investors is appealing, if a large institution isn’t able to get an IPO allocation, they may be less willing to build up a meaningful position in the aftermarket. The direct listings option also introduces a higher level of pricing risk and volatility as the opening price and vulnerable early trading days of the stock are left to the whims of the market. Unlike with an IPO, with benefits of stabilizing bids and 90 to 180 days lock-up agreements prohibiting existing investors from selling their shares, a flood of sellers could hit the market.


Graham Powis

Graham A. Powis is Senior Capital Markets Advisor at Brookline Capital Markets, a division of CIM Securities, LLC. Brookline is a boutique investment bank that provides a comprehensive suite of capital markets and advisory services to the healthcare industry. Mr. Powis previously held senior investment banking positions at BTIG, Lazard and Cowen.

While Spotify’s direct listing in 2018 and recent reports that Slack is considering a direct listing in 2019 have heightened curiosity around this approach to “going public,” we expect that most issuers in the near-to medium-term will continue to pursue a traditional IPO path. Potential benefits of a direct listing include the avoidance of further dilution to existing holders and underwriter fees. However, large, high-profile and well-financed corporations, most often in the technology and consumer sectors, are the companies typically best-suited to pursue these direct listings. By contrast, smaller companies seeking to raise capital alongside an exchange listing, and with an eye on overcoming challenges in attracting interest from the investing public, will continue to follow a well-established IPO process.

A case in point is the healthcare segment of the US IPO market, which has accounted for one-third of all US IPO activity over the last five years. The healthcare vertical tilts toward small unprofitable companies with significant capital needs and, as a result, direct listings aren’t likely to become a popular choice in that industry. Since 2014, unprofitable companies have accounted for more than 90% of all healthcare IPOs completed. Furthermore, the biotechnology subsector has been by far the most active corner of the healthcare IPO market, and biotechnology companies are voracious consumers of capital. Finally, healthcare IPOs tend to be relatively small: since 2014, healthcare IPO issuers have raised, on average, only 47% of the amount raised by non-healthcare issuers, and more than half have already returned to the market at least once for additional capital.


Following a record year, Illinois startups kick off 2019 on a strong foot

Illinois’s startup market in 2018 was very strong, and it’s not slowing down as we settle into 2019. There’s already almost $100 million in new VC funding announced, so let’s take a quick look at the state of venture in the Land of Lincoln (with a specific focus on Chicago).

In the chart below, we’ve plotted venture capital deal and dollar volume for Illinois as a whole. Reported funding data in Crunchbase shows a general upward trend in dollar volume, culminating in nearly $2 billion worth of VC deals in 2018; however, deal volume has declined since peaking in 2014.1

Chicago accounts for 97 percent of the dollar volume and 90.7 percent of total deal volume in the state. We included the rest of Illinois to avoid adjudicating which towns should be included in the greater Chicago area.

In addition to all the investment in 2018, a number of venture-backed companies from Chicago exited last year. Here’s a selection of the bigger deals from the year:

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that 2018 was the best year for venture-backed startup acquisitions in Chicago “in recent memory.” Crunchbase News has previously shown that the Midwest (which is anchored by Chicago) may have fewer startup exits, but the exits that do happen often result in better multiples on invested capital (calculated by dividing the amount of money a company was sold for by the amount of funding it raised from investors).

2018 was a strong year for Chicago startups, and 2019 is shaping up to bring more of the same. Just a couple weeks into the new year, a number of companies have already announced big funding rounds.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the more notable deals struck so far this year:

Besides these, a number of seed deals have been announced. These include relatively large rounds raised by 3D modeling technology company ThreeKit, upstart futures exchange Small Exchange and 24/7 telemedicine service First Stop Health.

Globally, and in North America, venture deal and dollar volume hit new records in 2018. However, it’s unclear what 2019 will bring. What’s true at a macro level is also true at the metro level. Don’t discount the City of the Big Shoulders, though.

  1. Note that many seed and early-stage deals are reported several months or quarters after a transaction is complete. As those historical deals get added to Crunchbase over time, we’d expect to see deal and dollar volume from recent years rise slightly.

Watch builders construct a life-size Chevy truck with 300,000 LEGO bricks

Behold, the LEGO Chevrolet Silverado. The full-size truck is basically a giant ad for Chevy and the new LEGO Movie, which is due out in February. Apparently they have to fight Duplo blocks from outer space. No, seriously, that’s the plot.

Anyway, the 2019 Silverado is six-feet tall, weighs 3,307 pounds and took 18 builders 2,000 hours to assemble the 334,544 pieces at a LEGO Master Builders shop in Connecticut. Chevy says it’s the first of its vehicles to be built full-scale in this manner.

The video is just over half-a-minute, but offers some interesting insight into how a team of people who get paid to build stuff with LEGO utilize computer models to complete the task.


Startups Weekly: Squad’s screen-shares and Slack’s swastika

We’re three weeks into January. We’ve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. We’ve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018.

Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, a virtual influencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk about is Slack’s new logo… As part of its public listing prep, Slack announced some changes to its branding this week, including a vaguely different looking logo. Considering the flack the $7 billion startup received instantaneously and accusations that the negative space in the logo resembled a swastika — Slack would’ve been better off leaving its original logo alone; alas…

On to more important matters.

Rubrik more than doubled its valuation

The data management startup raised a $261 million Series E funding at a $3.3 billion valuation, an increase from the $1.3 billion valuation it garnered with a previous round. In true unicorn form, Rubrik’s CEO told TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden it’s intentionally unprofitable: “Our goal is to build a long-term, iconic company, and so we want to become profitable but not at the cost of growth,” he said. “We are leading this market transformation while it continues to grow.”

Deal of the week: Knock gets $400M to take on Opendoor

Will 2019 be a banner year for real estate tech investment? As $4.65 billion was funneled into the space in 2018 across more than 350 deals and with high-flying startups attracting investors (Compass, Opendoor, Knock), the excitement is poised to continue. This week, Knock brought in $400 million at an undisclosed valuation to accelerate its national expansion. “We are trying to make it as easy to trade in your house as it is to trade in your car,” Knock CEO Sean Black told me.

Cybersecurity stays hot

While we’re on the subject of VCs’ favorite industries, TechCrunch cybersecurity reporter Zack Whittaker highlights some new data on venture investment in the industry. Strategic Cyber Ventures says more than $5.3 billion was funneled into companies focused on protecting networks, systems and data across the world, despite fewer deals done during the year. We can thank Tanium, CrowdStrike and Anchorfree’s massive deals for a good chunk of that activity.

Send me tips, suggestions and more to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or @KateClarkTweets

Fundraising efforts continue

I would be remiss not to highlight a slew of venture firms that made public their intent to raise new funds this week. Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures filed to raise $350 million across two new funds and Redpoint Ventures set a $400 million target for two new China-focused funds. Meanwhile, Resolute Ventures closed on $75 million for its fourth early-stage fund, BlueRun Ventures nabbed $130 million for its sixth effort, Maverick Ventures announced a $382 million evergreen fund, First Round Capital introduced a new pre-seed fund that will target recent graduates, Techstars decided to double down on its corporate connections with the launch of a new venture studio and, last but not least, Lance Armstrong wrote his very first check as a VC out of his new fund, Next Ventures.

More money goes toward scooters

In case you were concerned there wasn’t enough VC investment in electric scooter startups, worry no more! Flash, a Berlin-based micro-mobility company, emerged from stealth this week with a whopping €55 million in Series A funding. Flash is already operating in Switzerland and Portugal, with plans to launch into France, Italy and Spain in 2019. Bird and Lime are in the process of raising $700 million between them, too, indicating the scooter funding extravaganza of 2018 will extend into 2019 — oh boy!

Startups secure cash

  • Niantic finally closed its Series C with $245 million in capital commitments and a lofty $4 billion valuation.
  • Outdoorsy, which connects customers with underused RVs, raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from Aviva Ventures, Altos Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and Tandem Capital.
  • Ciitizen, a developer of tools to help cancer patients organize and share their medical records, has raised $17 million in new funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Footwear startup Birdies — no, I don’t mean Allbirds or Rothy’s — brought in an $8 million Series A led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Slow Ventures and earlier investor Forerunner Ventures.
  • And Brud, the company behind the virtual celebrity Lil Miquela, is now worth $125 million with new funding.

Feature of the week

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine introduced readers to Squad this week, a screensharing app for social phone addicts.

Listen to me talk

If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Crunchbase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I marveled at the dollars going into scooter startups, discussed Slack’s upcoming direct listing and debated how the government shutdown might impact the IPO market.

Want more TechCrunch newsletters? Sign up here.

Welcome to the abnormalization of transportation

Something odd is in motion in Los Angeles. On a recent day at the office, colleagues debated the merits of the Boring Company’s proposal to alleviate Dodger traffic via levitating tunnel pods. I stepped out for coffee in the afternoon and was almost run over by an elderly man on a dozen scooters, balanced precariously as he rebalanced dockless inventory. And that night, I sat in traffic on the 10 Freeway listening to commentators discuss Uber’s ostensibly imminent eVTOL aircraft, while a venture capitalist friend rested his head in the sleeping compartment of a Cabin bus, carrying him back to Silicon Valley from Santa Monica.

Welcome to the abnormalization of transportation.

Even without hover-sleds and flying cars, the Los Angeles megalopolis is in the midst of a transformation in mobility. Neighborhoods from downtown to Silicon Beach have been carpeted in scooters and bikes. The Uber and Lyft revolution faces competition from the various dockless two wheelers and Via’s ridesharing as a service, launching in Los Angeles soon. Flixbus, looking to expand out of European dominance, targeted LA as its hub for inter-city private bus service. And Cabin’s luxury sleeper bus has been offering a premium alternative to Megabus to and from the Bay Area for months.

Cabin sleeping bus

Cabin’s cabin

Los Angeles is far from the exception. Autonomous cars are driving people to and from school in Arizona, senior citizens around retirement homes in Florida, and a small army of journalists in an endless loop around Northern California. Starship’s delivery bots have rolled through more than 100 communities, and Kroger shoppers can let Nuro bring them the milk in Scottsdale today. And drone companies from around the world are vying for permission to replace vans and bikes with quadcopters for just-in-time deliveries, while nearly three dozen cities have signed onto the Urban Air Mobility Initiative to make flying cars a reality.

If even a fraction of the promise of this technology comes to pass, the movement of things and people in cities will be both bizarre and beautiful process in the near future.

Yet we fear that this future may not be realized if start-ups are given the red light by well-meaning regulators. As the cities of the world experience a shakeup they haven’t seen since the subway, we have three ideas to help policymakers bring about more equitable, efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation systems, and answer a fundamental question: how on earth do you plan for a future this wild?

  • Rule 1: Play in the sand before you carve in stone.

It’s far from clear how these transformative, and multi-modal, technologies will fit together. Equally uncertain is the right framework to govern this puzzle. Proscriptive solutions risk killing innovation in its infancy. The solution is to encourage regulatory sandboxing. Regulatory sandboxes are mechanisms to allow emerging technologies to operate outside the constraints of normal regulations and to inform the development of future rules. These protected spaces, increasingly common in areas like fintech or crypto, allow the evolution of what Adam Thierer calls “soft law” before policymakers make hard decisions.

Perhaps the best example of regulatory sandboxes is a place, coincidentally, with a lot of sand. Arizona has aggressively moved to relieve regulatory burdens that would make testing in the real world effectively impossible. Cities across the state, including Tempe and Chandler, have competed for autonomous vehicle companies to launch their services. These deployments have surfaced a host of practical challenges like how frustrating autonomous cars can be for everyone else, how manned vehicles respond to unmanned grocery bots, and the safety challenges cities should consider when vehicles are operating at partial autonomy.

The federal Department of Transportation has recognized the value of such ecosystems and the lessons they bring. Last year, the DOT created the drone Integration Pilot Program which allows a number of state, local, and tribal governments to work with companies to test advanced drone operations, including the right balance of rules to govern such operations. Recognizing the early success of the IPP, DOT recently announced they would be creating a similar program for autonomous vehicles. These flexible environments promote critical collaboration between the companies building cutting-edge technologies and the regulator. New regulations are constructed on real-world experience, rather than hypotheses developed behind closed doors.

  • Rule 2: Don’t pick winners and losers.

Regulators tend to be cautious folks, so more often than not, they favor incumbents. And even when they embrace innovation, too often, authorities takes sides and decide which companies, or even which technologies, are allowed to operate.

For example, some cities are writing off the scooter sector entirely, just as they did a few years ago with ridesharing. Beverly Hills has banned dockless scooters and impounded more a thousand, in an effort to send a message to Bird. Bird responded by suing the city, stating that the scooter ban violates several California laws.

Other cities haven’t gone so far as to ban scooters outright, but are nonetheless falling into the trap of replacing old cartels with new technocumbents. Santa Monica came very close to banning Lime and Bird, the two most popular scooter companies among locals, in favor of Uber and Lyft, who had never deployed scooters in the city before. Only after outcry from ordinary beach dwellers did the city council allow all four companies to operate. Still, no other scooter companies are allowed to operation within city limits.

We should let the market determine whether these technologies will succeed and which companies should deploy them. Cities should play an orchestration role, instead of adjudicator, facilitating connections between new technologies and the existing transit infrastructure. The alternative is to kill innovation in the crib.

Remember PickupPal? They were around well before Uber or Lyft, but you can’t call a PickupPal today. A Canadian pioneer in ridesharing in the early days of smartphones, the company was thwarted by incumbents raising a law banning pickups for profit. Rather than recognize the benefits of ridesharing, authorities crushed it (along with another popular ridesharing company Allo Stop). A technology-enabled last mile solution was regulated out of existence.

By contrast, Uber was able combat efforts to thwart its access to markets. They did so, in many cases, by taking an adversarial approach and changing the law to ensure ridesharing could continue. While this preserved ridesharing as an industry, it delayed the opportunity to connect ridesharing to existing transit networks. Regulators and ridesharing companies remain more at odds than not continuing to delay solutions to the systemic transportation challenges cities face.

  • Rule 3: Embrace the challenge and the tools that will help you address it.

Transportation is inherently local, and the future of of mobility innovation will be as well. Even aviation, an industry that long soared above concerns of the urban environment, is being forced to rethink its relationship with the metropolis. EVTOL aircraft are revisiting the lessons helicopters learned in the 1970s and drone companies face the hyperlocal concerns that arise when your neighbor decides 3am is the ideal time for his Eaze order to be facilitated by a flying lawnmower.

And therein lies one of the most exciting opportunities for the cities of the future. The negative externalities accompanying changes on, under, and over our roads, can be mediated by the same technologies that have sparked new headaches. Cities may use platforms like RideOS to smooth autonomous traffic, Remix to incorporate scooters into transit planning, Via to offer ridesharing as a public service, or our company, AirMap, to integrate drones drones today and flying cars tomorrow.

Ultimately, solutions, not sanctions, will allow cities to welcome this weird new transportation future and realize it’s transformative potential. The abnormalization of transportation presents a tremendous challenge for city officials, planners, and legislators. It’s a road worth traveling.

 


Snap’s exec team continues to shrink as more reports of internal drama surface

Days after Snap announced the departure of its CFO, reports have emerged that the company’s HR chief was asked to leave following an internal investigation late last year that had led to the firing of its global security head.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Snap fired global security head Francis Racioppi late last year after an investigation uncovered that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an outside contractor he had hired. After the relationship ended, Racioppi terminated the woman’s contract, the report says.

Racioppi denied any wrongdoing in a comment to the Journal. A report from Cheddar also adds that a security manager of Racioppi’s was fired for aiding in an attempt to cover up the scandal.

The investigation’s findings reportedly contributed to CEO Evan Spiegel asking the company’s HR head Jason Halbert to step down. Halbert announced his plans to leave the company this week.

While today’s news pins two high-profile executive departures to a single incident, Snap’s executive team has seemed to be losing talent from its ranks at a quickening pace.

Snap did not comment on the reports.


Facebook fears no FTC fine

Reports emerged today that the FTC is considering a fine against Facebook that would be the largest ever from the agency. Even if it were 10 times the size of the largest, a $22.5 million bill sent to Google in 2012, the company would basically laugh it off. Facebook is made of money. But the FTC may make it provide something it has precious little of these days: accountability.

A Washington Post report cites sources inside the agency (currently on hiatus due to the shutdown) saying that regulators have “met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine.” We may as well say here that this must be taken with a grain of salt at the outset; that Facebook is non-compliant with terms set previously by the FTC is an established fact, so how much they should be made to pay is the natural next topic of discussion.

But how much would it be? The scale of the violation is hugely negotiable. Our summary of the FTC’s settlement requirements for Facebook indicate that it was:

  • barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information;
  • required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences;
  • required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account;
  • required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and
  • required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected.

How many of those did it break, and how many times? Is it per user? Per account? Per post? Per offense? What is “accessing” under such and such a circumstance? The FTC is no doubt deliberating these things.

Yet it is hard to imagine them coming up with a number that really scares Facebook. A hundred million dollars is a lot of money, for instance. But Facebook took in more than $13 billion in revenue last quarter. Double that fine, triple it, and Facebook bounces back.

If even a fine 10 times the size of the largest it ever threw can’t faze the target, what can the FTC do to scare Facebook into playing by the book? Make it do what it’s already supposed to be doing, but publicly.

How many ad campaigns is a user’s data being used for? How many internal and external research projects? How many copies are there? What data specifically and exactly is it collecting on any given user, how is that data stored, who has access to it, to whom is it sold or for whom is it aggregated or summarized? What is the exact nature of the privacy program it has in place, who works for it, who do they report to and what are their monthly findings?

These and dozens of other questions come immediately to mind as things Facebook should be disclosing publicly in some way or another, either directly to users in the case of how one’s data is being used, or in a more general report, such as what concrete measures are being taken to prevent exfiltration of profile data by bad actors, or how user behavior and psychology is being estimated and tracked.

Not easy or convenient questions to answer at all, let alone publicly and regularly. But if the FTC wants the company to behave, it has to impose this level of responsibility and disclosure. Because, as Facebook has already shown, it cannot be trusted to disclose it otherwise. Light touch regulation is all well and good… until it isn’t.

This may in fact be such a major threat to Facebook’s business — imagine having to publicly state metrics that are clearly at odds with what you tell advertisers and users — that it might attempt to negotiate a larger initial fine in order to avoid punitive measures such as those outlined here. Volkswagen spent billions not on fines, but in sort of punitive community service to mitigate the effects of its emissions cheating. Facebook too could be made to shell out in this indirect way.

What the FTC is capable of requiring from Facebook is an open question, since the scale and nature of these violations are unprecedented. But whatever they come up with, the part with a dollar sign in front of it — however many places it goes to — will be the least of Facebook’s worries.


1111
  The Next Web Show All 
How IoT-enabled scooters, bikes, and cars are making streets safe

The flurry of anti-dockless electric scooter headlines reached critical mass last summer. “This town seriously hates electric scooters,” screamed the link to a story focused on Santa Monica, Calif. “San Francisco Is Fighting the Scooter Trend With Poop and Vandalism,” blared another. There’s even an Instagram account devoted to images of destroyed rideshare scooters. And, of course, “bike share” bashing is old news by now. Chalk it up to predictable, initial backlash to disruptive technologies. The ironic truth is that these nontraditional two-wheeled machines are redefining urban transportation and – along with ongoing innovations in autonomous vehicles and evolving connected-city technologies…

This story continues at The Next Web

How 2018 became Facebook’s worst year in privacy and security

In early December, Facebook’s developer team declared the discovery of a security bug that gave developers access to photos users hadn’t shared on their timeline, including photos they had posted in Facebook Marketplace or Stories. More worryingly, apps could find access to images users might have uploaded to Facebook but didn’t post anywhere. For example, this could be pictures you uploaded to a profile update you abandoned and did not complete. These are pictures that users haven’t shared with anyone. According to Facebook, up to 1,500 might have made use of the bug and up to 6.8 million users might have been…

This story continues at The Next Web

Hiveage streamlines your freelance and small business invoicing for just $50

Hiveage is trusted by 60,000 small businesses and freelancers around the globe -- and with this offer, you can get a lifetime of access to their suite of invoicing features for only $49.99, hundreds of dollars off the regular price.

The security threats of neural networks and deep learning algorithms

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI. History shows that cybersecurity threats evolve along with new technological advances. Relational databases brought SQL injection attacks, web scripting programming languages spurred cross-site scripting attacks, IoT devices ushered in new ways to create botnets, and the internet in general opened a Pandora’s box of digital security ills. Social media created new ways to manipulate people through micro-targeted content delivery and made it easier to gather information for phishing attacks. And bitcoin enabled the delivery of crypto-ransowmare attacks. The list goes on. The point is, every…

This story continues at The Next Web

Government use of blockchain will shape our digital identity

To be honest, I hate the word “identity.” There’s a lot of talk about this now, but if anyone is telling you they’re building “identity” on a public network, you should run immediately. Why? Because it’s probably the worst thing to do. The irony of this all, is that the more we advance into the future – with devices, IoT, blockchain technology, and hyper-connectivity – the more data is going to be brought into the ecosystem. And the more data that is brought into the system, the more we’ll find companies and, naturally governments, are going to want to focus…

This story continues at The Next Web

Recycling the world’s plastic garbage could buy you the NFL, Apple and Microsoft

This year, I served on the judging panel for The Royal Statistical Society’s International Statistic of the Year. On Dec. 18, we announced the winner: 90.5 percent, the amount of plastic that has never been recycled. Okay – but why is that such a big deal? Much like Oxford English Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” competition, the international statistic is meant to capture the zeitgeist of this year. The judging panel accepted nominations from the statistical community and the public at large for a statistic they feel shines a light on today’s most pressing issues. Last year’s winner was 69.…

This story continues at The Next Web

AI isn’t here to steal your job, it’s here to make it better

The belief that AI will displace jobs has been well countered with arguments that AI actually empowers workers to focus on higher-level thinking and creating. It’s an advantage in the workplace, not an obstruction. But there’s another, less discussed advantage of adopting AI at work. One with the potential to level the playing field for underrepresented groups at the very top levels of many corporate environments.   I see a not-too-distant future in which AI enables new voices and perspectives to emerge from within the ranks. A recent survey from Marketforce and Pega of top executives around the world supports…

This story continues at The Next Web

Facebook’s secretly working on LOL — a meme hub meant to lure teens from Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok

Facebook hasn’t given up on attracting teens. After numerous failed products aimed at teens — including LOL, Facebook Watch, and IGTV — the company is now hard at work on LOL, a meme hub of sorts meant to win the hearts and minds of teens fleeing for greener pastures at TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. First reported by TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, LOL would bridge the gap of a traditional News Feed with meme-focused content that Facebook hopes will attract teen attention. For the 100 or so high schoolers currently testing it (each bound by NDA with parental consent), the feed replaces…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Facebook,Instagram,Snapchat

1111
  WIRED Show All 
Temporarily not available

NEW THREAD REQUIRED 18
starting thread
Feedback About Us Banner IPAD / IPhone Website Icons Help Videos
  COPYRIGHT © 2010 NEWSAMACHAR.COM