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Quixey alums launch Sigma, a platform to bring merits and certifications online

A new company named Sigma, founded by alumni of mobile app search engine Quixey, aims to take records and certifications currently trapped in the analog world and bring them online. To do so, the company has raised $4.35 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and other investors.<p>The idea …

Andreessen Horowitz

Whitehouse.gov petition seeking Trump tax returns flies past 100,000 signature goal

A Whitehouse.gov petition calling for President Donald Trump to immediately release his tax returns has surpassed the 100,000-signature threshold in under a day, garnering a Whitehouse response.<p>It’s not clear that the current administration intends to follow the practice established under Former …

Government

Qualcomm fires back against Apple over lawsuit and FTC action

Never a dull moment in the smartphone wars. This week, Qualcomm started getting serious regulatory heat when the Federal Trade Commission filed charges against the chipmaker, accusing it of anticompetitive tactics designed to shut competitors out from supplying components to handset companies.<p>Apple …

Lawsuits

For dramatic VR to succeed, music must become the director

We’ve all experienced music’s power to change our mood or drum up feelings of nostalgia, fear or excitement. And beyond entertainment, numerous studies have proven that music can inspire action and actually impact change.<p>Retailers have used music to drive shoppers to higher price points and casinos …

Virtual Reality

Jack Dorsey apologizes for Twitter glitch forcing some users to follow Trump’s @POTUS

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey today apologized for what he says were technical problems causing some Twitter users to involuntarily follow the @POTUS account as it was handed over to Donald Trump. As Sarah Perez reported here yesterday, Twitter users were bewildered as to why they were forced to follow …

Twitter

The genomics intelligence revolution

We’ve entered a new phase in the history of whole genome sequencing (WGS). Consider that researchers at University of Toronto just launched a massive project to sequence the whole genomes of 10,000 people per year. This is truly astounding when you recall that it took 13 years and $3 billion to …

Chromosomes

Maker Bre Pettis talks about the way forward for tech in this new century

On this week’s episode of Technotopia I talked to Bre Pettis, former CEO of Makerbot and the founder of Bre&Co. Pettis has been thinking about new manufacturing chains, the rise of the local maker, what what happens when a country falls into disrepair.<p>Pettis is an optimistic realist. He’s been …

Startups

What You Need to Know About the Tech Pay Gap and Job Posts

We know there are more men than women in tech careers, and we know there’s a wage gap. But a recent report conducted by Comparably found something interesting — as professionals age, the gender gap decreases.<p>While there is a 29 percent difference in salaries between men and women entering the tech …

Employment

Casual dating app Down acquired by Paktor

Remember “Bang With Friends?” The controversial app, which later rebranded as Down, was acquired by Singapore-based dating startup Paktor (they’re um…hooking up).<p>The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we’re told it was several million. After raising just $1 million, it was a “positive …

Startups

Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries confirmed controlling $86.7 billion in tech spending

As the nation’s capital prepared to celebrate the inauguration of the nation’s 45th President, Senators confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominees for Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.<p>Retired Generals James (“Mad Dog”) Mattis and John F. Kelly were …

Cybersecurity

Apple Suing Qualcomm for $1 Billion

<b>Today’s Stories</b><p>WHITEHOUSE.GOV REMOVES CLIMATE CHANGE AND LGBT RIGHTS PAGES<br>• Kristen Stewart co-authored a paper on style transfer and the AI community lost its mind<br>• The cost of hot selfie app Meitu? A healthy dose of your personal info<br>• Apple files a billion-dollar royalty suit against</b> …

Qualcomm

A Twitter glitch autofollowed some users to Trump’s @POTUS by mistake

A number of Twitter users tonight are claiming their accounts have somehow automatically followed the Twitter accounts, @POTUS, @FLOTUS and @VP – now in the hands of the Trump administration – even though they had unfollowed these accounts before the transition, or had the accounts blocked.<p>This …

Digital Marketing

Sundance merges VR with real life through props, AR, and vibrating suits

You can’t try this at home, even if you wanted to. Today’s premier of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibit proved there are vivid opportunities for a third kind of virtual reality beyond tethered and mobile: VR installations. Outside the headset, custom art and physical effects …

Virtual Reality

Apple Suing Qualcomm for $1 Billion | Crunch Report

Wearables have got some work to do this year

It’s a wait and see moment for wrist-worn devices. After a few years of betting heavily on the space, this most recent CES didn’t offer much; save for two or three smartwatch announcements, some partnerships and a couple of middling bands, the industry seems to have largely shifted its focus toward …

Gear & Gadgets

Lobster nets £1M to scale its user-generated content licensing marketplace

UK startup Lobster is gearing up to scale its user generated content licensing marketplace, as it closes a £1 million Series A. It’s expecting to have closed out the round next week, with 85 per cent of the funding committed at this point and only its decision on the last few investors …

Lobster

FLYR raised $8 million to change the way we buy plane tickets

Travel tech startup FLYR raised $8 million in Series A funding for technology that predicts the price of airfares by applying artificial intelligence to a database of both open industry data and a proprietary collection of year’s of past prices and fluctuations.<p>The funding round was led by a Peter …

Startups

How to fail at Kickstarter — even if you get funded

The golden age of irrational exuberance on Kickstarter has ended — Pebble is shutting down, marking the fall of crowdfunding’s white knight after a string of other high-profile closures and failures.<p>Originally positioned as a medium for (especially arts-related) projects to garner modest seed …

Kickstarter

Look, a nice round candy-colored mechanical keyboard

Who likes gadgets? You do! Here’s a nice one. It’s a cute wireless keyboard with round, friendly buttons and a shiny, happy look to it. It has no agenda but to be pretty and useful. Everything is fine.<p>It’s called the Lofree (although they use a lowercase “l”) and it’s both mechanical and inspired …

Gear & Gadgets

Recommendations on cyber security for the 45th President… Use more hackers

2016 was an extraordinary year. A record number of security breaches affected billions of people worldwide, including cyber attacks that dramatically impacted the course of businesses and governments.<p>The Unites States, the world’s most connected nation, and the rest of the world will face a deficit …

Cybersecurity

Obama returns to his original Twitter handle and launches Obama.org

Former (😢) President Obama is heading off for a well-earned vacation, but before going to his undisclosed but hopefully sunny and isolated location, he took to his old personal Twitter handle, @BarackObama, to promote the launch of his new website, Obama.org.<p>The old handle has been run by the …

Michelle Obama

Twitter just can’t let go of Vine, launches an online archive

Twitter just can’t seem to let go of Vine. The company announced last fall it would close the video-sharing community site and its accompanying mobile applications, which it then did just days ago. But it has also taken several steps to ensure that the content created in Vine would not be lost, by …

Twitter

Amazon’s latest Dash button will send you a randomly assorted box of candy

Amazon’s latest (physical) Dash button is like a “I’m Feeling Lucky” for candy.<p>When pressed, the button will send you a box with a random assortment of small-batch candy made by “artisans from across the nation”. The box will cost $18 (with two-day free Prime shipping of course) and can be ordered …

Amazon

Apple files a billion dollar royalty suit against Qualcomm

What started off as a rough week for Qualcomm just got worse. Apple is piling onto the lawsuit train just ahead of the weekend, following in the US Federal Trade Commission’s footsteps with a roughly billion dollar suit against the San Diego-based mobile chipmaker.<p>Apple was specifically named in …

Qualcomm

Weekly Roundup: Zuckerberg defends Oculus in court, Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence

President Trump is officially the 45th President of the United States. Minutes after the inauguration, the White House’s LGBT rights page disappeared, as well as any mention of the terms “climate change” and “global warming.” The @POTUS Twitter account has been handed over to Trump and the first …

Mark Zuckerberg

Doug stays dry with an unloseable Bluetooth umbrella

Come on, let’s go to Pluto

Hey do you want to go far, far away from this place right now for some reason? Check out Pluto – it’s far.<p>NASA created a video (via Gizmodo) made up of around 100 images snapped by the New Horizons probe, which launched in 2006 and which completed a flyby of the dwarf planet in 2015. The video …

Space

This new website will compare Trump’s promises to policy changes in the first 100 days

A new website called Track Trump has launched to monitor the progress President Trump makes on fulfilling his promises for his first 100 days in office. At the end of October, Trump released a plan called “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter,” which focuses on cleaning up Washington, …

Foreign Policy

FishTaco can analyze your microbiome before or after you eat a fish taco

Our microbiomes: who understands them? Scientists? The bacteria colonizing our guts? The guy who made the Mexican food we just ate? Wrong. It’s our computers. Researchers have tasked them to create a new way to analyze and understand our microbiomes electronically. The service is called “Functional …

Life Sciences

Payments startup Dwolla raises $6.85M more, debuts white-label API

Some news today from Dwolla, the startup that bypasses banks (and now sometimes works with them) to provide payments and money transfers with reduced fees. The company has raised another round of funding of $6.85 million, and at the same time it’s announcing the relaunch of its API as a white-label …

Startups