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Archive for the ‘Other Misc. Articles’ Category

MIT showcases soft robotic sensors made from flexible, off-the-shelf materials

A team at MIT’s CSAIL demonstrated a new kind of “skin” designed to bring a sense of touch and place to soft robotic arms. The findings, which debuted in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters this week, find the researchers covering a soft robotic “trunk” in flexible sensors made from material used for “electromagnetic interference ...

Tinder tests new social features, including prompts and a ‘Share to Matches’ option

Tinder is testing a series of new social features designed to boost conversations between users on its service. One of the new features is a conversational prompt, first teased during parent company Match Group’s recent earnings. The prompt encourages users to respond to questions or finish a sentence in order to better showcase their personality ...

As 5 more startups join the $100M club, are we just making a pre-IPO list?

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today we’re adding five names to the $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) club and listing all preceding members in a single post. This series, which was a bit of an accident, if I’m being honest, ...

Los Angeles-based ‘deep tech’ investment firm Riot Ventures is raising a $75M fund

Riot Ventures, the Los Angeles-based, early-stage and deep technology investment firm is going out to market to raise a $75 million second fund to finance the development of startups in LA and beyond, according to fundraising documents viewed by TechCrunch. The firm has largely flown under the radar, but it has been investing in startups ...

Surprise! Audit finds automated license plate reader programs are a privacy nightmare

Automated license plate readers, ALPRs, would be controversial even if they were responsibly employed by the governments that run them. Unfortunately, and to no one’s surprise, the way they actually operate is “deeply disturbing and confirm[s] our worst fears about the misuse of this data,” according to an audit of the programs instigated by a ...

Portfolio bloat: what’s happening to thousands of startups going nowhere fast

Earlier this week, much was made of the e-commerce business Brandless deciding to shutter its doors. Industry observers found its fate particularly interesting, given that Brandless had opened its storefront recently as these things go, in July 2017, and raised so much funding, including $100 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund alone. Still, Brandless is ...

Judge halts Microsoft work on JEDI contract after AWS request

A sealed order from a judge today has halted the $10 billion, decade long JEDI project in its tracks until AWS’s protest of the contract award to Microsoft can be heard by the court. The order signed by Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith of the US Court Federal Claims stated: The United States, by and through ...

Phone manufacturers eye their next move as 5G goes mainstream

For two years running, Samsung played the same trick and front-loaded its annual event by announcing a new foldable. Last year’s announcement of the Fold was a huge one — the first viable (relatively speaking, of course) foldable handset from a major manufacturer. Of course, some stuff has happened in the intervening months, taking a ...

Trump administration aims to protect GPS with new exec order

GPS increasingly runs the entire planet. Supply chains, oceanic shipping, port docking, and even our daily movements in cars, on bikes, and walking around cities is dependent on a constellation of satellites hovering above us to make all this activity work in synchronicity. Increasingly though, GPS is under attack. GPS spoofing, where the signals from ...

Walmart shuts down its experimental personal shopping service, Jet black

Walmart is shutting down its personal shopping service, Jet black, on February 21, after struggling to find adoption or additional investment. The service had allowed New York-area customers to text message orders for home delivery. According to its website, Jet black will now no longer accept new orders and will refund its customers their most ...