Author Archives: Ravi

Chilling effects

The removal of conspiracy enthusiast content by InfoWars brings us to an interesting and important point in the history of online discourse. The current form of Internet content distribution has made it a broadcast medium akin to television or radio. Apps distribute our cat pics, our workouts, and our YouTube rants to specific audiences of followers, audiences that were nearly impossible to monetize in the early days of the Internet but, thanks to gullible marketing managers, can be sold as influencer media. The source of all of this […]

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Google acquires GraphicsFuzz, a service that tests Android graphics drivers

Google has acquired GraphicsFuzz, a company that builds a framework for testing the security and reliability of Android graphics drivers. The news, which was first spotted by XDA Developers, comes on the same day Google announced the release of Android 9 Pie. A Google spokesperson confirmed the news to us but declined to provide any further information. The companies also declined to provide any details about the price of the acquisition. The GraphicsFuzz team, which consists of co-founders Alastair Donaldson, Hugues Evrard and Paul Thomson, will join the Android […]

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Airbnb for Work now accounts for 15 percent of bookings

Business travelers have become an increasingly important part of Airbnb’s business, according to a new blog post. The company says that Airbnb for Work, which launched in 2014, has seen bookings triple from 2015 to 2016, and triple again from 2016 to 2017. In fact, Airbnb says that almost 700,000 companies have signed up for and booked with Airbnb for Work. Interestingly, the breakdown of companies working with Airbnb for traveler lodging are pretty diverse — employees from large enterprise companies (5,000+ employees) and employees from startups and […]

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Challenger bank Monzo launches accounts for 16-18 year olds

When weighing up the likely success of challenger banks in the U.K., two predominant schools of thought emerge. Those who are bullish say that incumbent banks provide a lousy user experience, rip off customers, and innovate incredibly slowly — and therefore are ripe for the taking. Challenger banks just need to focus on what they do best and word of mouth-led switching will follow. And then there are people who are less convinced who say that most consumers are happy enough with their current bank account and […]

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Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Home run exits happen stealthily for biotech While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom Boston has regained its longstanding place as the second-largest U.S. startup funding hub. After years of trailing New York City in total annual venture investment, Massachusetts is taking the lead in 2018. Venture investment in the Boston metro area hit $5.2 billion so far this year, on track to be the highest annual total in years. The Massachusetts numbers year-to-date are about 15 […]

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Rentlogic lands millions to grade NYC real estate for renters and landlords

A company called Rentlogic has raised $2.4 million to take the guesswork out of determining whether that cheap, beautiful New York apartment is actually a deathtrap wrapped in a brownstone’s clothing. Renting in New York is murder already, but using Rentlogic, apartment hunters can figure out if their new housing situation could actually kill them (or put them at significant risk of bodily or property harm… or even minor inconveniences). Investors in the company’s seed round include the Urban-X accelerator (which is a partnership between Urban.US and Mini); Urban.Us, an […]

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Kin expands its celebrity-driven ‘neighborhood’ model for online video

Digital media company Kin has announced a slate of new video series from singer/actress Jordin Sparks, Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (who successfully proposed to Fletcher over on the series). The company also revealed more details about its programming with Vanessa Lachey (who had already signed on with her husband Nick). She’ll be hosting a competition series called Beauty School Knockout, where contestants compete to create specific looks using unconventional products. This is all part of what the company calls its “neighborhood” strategy, where it launches a […]

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Sagewise pitches a service to verify claims and arbitrate disputes over blockchain transactions

Sometimes smart contracts can be pretty dumb. All of the benefits of a cryptographically secured, publicly verified, anonymized transaction system can be erased by errant code, malicious actors or poorly defined parameters of an executable agreement. Hoping to beat back the tide of bad contracts, bad code and bad actors, Sagewise, a new Los Angeles-based startup, has raised $1.25 million to bring to market a service that basically hits pause on the execution of a contract so it can be arbitrated in the event that something goes wrong. […]

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Andreessen-funded dYdX plans ‘short Ethereum’ token for haters

Crypto skeptics rejoice! A new way to short the cryptocurrency market is coming from dYdX, a decentralized financial derivatives startup. In two months it will launch its protocol for creating short and leverage positions for Ethereum and other ERC20 tokens that allow investors to amp up their bets for or against these currencies. To get the startup there, dYdX recently closed a $2 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain, and joined by Kindred and Abstract plus angels, including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and co-founder […]

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Insurance app Lemonade looks set to drop lawsuit against Germany’s Wefox

Lemonade, the New York-based insurance platform, looks set drop the lawsuit it filed against German company ONE Insurance, its parent company Wefox, and Wefox founder Julian Teicke. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of NY, alleged that Wefox reverse engineered Lemonade to create ONE, infringed Lemonade’s intellectual property, violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and breached the contract in Lemonade’s terms of service. At the time of the filing, a statement issued on behalf for Wefox said the allegations had no merit […]

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