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Apple Introduces A Reinvented MacBook, Starting At $1299

At its event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center, Apple today confirmed a long-running rumor that resurfaced back in January: The next major iteration of the MacBook will be a 12-inch Retina laptop that’s thinner and lighter than Apple’s previous trend-setting design.

The laptop Apple revealed …

MacBook

Hands On With The Apple Watch

Apple’s smartwatch was on display again at today’s special Apple event, and this time we actually got to try a live unit. Last September, we were able to wear the hardware on our wrists, but today units had near-final live software so we got get a better idea of how it will actually work when it …

Apple Watch

Apple Expediting The Future Is No Betrayal

Apple’s new MacBook, which limits input and output to a single USB-C port and a simple 3.5mm audio in/out jack, has been characterized by some as a move that’s antagonistic to the consumer. Critics point to the single port, as well as the performance limitations inherent in using an Intel Core M …

Betrayal

Twitter Confirms Periscope Acquisition, And Here’s How The Livestreaming App Works

Today Twitter officially announced its January acquisition of livestreaming app Periscope. According to several sources, it will be launched as a separate app from Twitter with the ability to watch both live and previously broadcasted mobile video streams. That lack of ephemerality is the first of …

Periscope

Ellen Pao “Owns The Room”

Kleiner Perkins’ legendary venture investor John Doerr testified last week that Ellen Pao needed to “own the room” if she wanted to move up in the world of venture capital.

Today, she did just that.

Until her turn on the witness stand today, we hadn’t heard directly from Pao in the several years of …

Gender

What Your Favorite Apps Look Like On Apple Watch (Plus New Ones!)

In preparation for Apple’s first wearable device, mobile developers have been busy creating all kinds of applications designed especially for the Apple Watch’s small screen. The watch, which is said by early testers to be so usable that they found they were no longer pulling out their iPhone as …

Apple Watch

Meet Google’s New Chromebook Pixel

Google’s Chromebook Pixel has always been an aspirational machine meant to show off Chrome OS at its best. The new version, which Google announced today, continues this tradition. If you were hoping for a complete redesign, you’ll be disappointed, but just like the old Pixel, the new Pixel is the …

Google

Facebook Finally Lets Its Firehose Be Tapped For Marketing Insights Thanks To DataSift

Twitter’s firehose of tweets has long been offered as a goldmine for businesses trying to understand how to improve or market their products, and now Facebook will allow privacy-safe peeks at its treasure trove, too. Today Facebook launched a new insights product called “Topic Data” in the U.S. and …

Facebook

Skype, Get Your Shit Together

Skype is part of TechCrunch’s newsroom workflow. It’s the standard way that individual authors converse, share, collaborate and the like. We use other software to work as a team, but for one-on-one chats, Skype is our jam.

The downside is that it just doesn’t work very well. It’s become a running …

Skype

On Secretly Terrible Engineers

They lurk, unnoticed in the great halls of engineering that are the office strips along Highway 101. “Programmers” not programmers, people who have cheated, stolen, and lied their way through engineering careers without anyone realizing they can’t code. They are among us, incompetent Cylons …

Engineering

Selling A Wearable Apple

“Oh, Apple’s making a luxury watch thing, of course it hired the CEO of Burberry to pitch it.” That’s the common line of thinking when it comes to how Apple will change its retail operations to sell the watch.

But I think that’s shortsighted, and ignores several realities about Apple then and now — …

Wearable Tech

Apple Accused Of Poaching Auto Engineers For Advanced Battery Division

Apple is said to be building a new battery division that competes directly with a firm that builds lithium-ion batteries for cars and other large vehicles, in a new lawsuit that accuses Apple of poaching engineers from said firm in order to build said division. Battery maker A123 Systems has filed …

Batteries

Working 24-7 To Bring a 747 To Burning Man

“It’s so intense. This city feels like New York now,” Ken Feldman said right as we sat down for coffee in the Mission.

Feldman last lived in San Francisco in the early 1990s, well before the first dot-com bubble. Now he’s back at the height of another boom.

This time he’s pulling together a …

Burning Man

Listen Carefully

The way technology shapes language is fascinating. And often colloquially cringeworthy (to wit: ‘I don’t have bandwidth right now’… ‘Let’s take this offline’… ‘I’d totally swipe that’…). At bottom it’s a reflection of how our tools influence and shape our social interactions.

The reverse is also …

Charlie Brooker

Silicon Valley Favorite Philz Coffee Gulps Up $15 Million To Expand Nationwide

A lot of coffee shops would love to claim that they’re not *just* a coffee shop. But that can actually be said about Philz Coffee.

Philz has become an institution of sorts in its native San Francisco Bay Area, with many a tech industry product or deal being hatched over a cup of its strong brew. …

Silicon Valley

A Year Later, $19 Billion For WhatsApp Doesn’t Sound So Crazy

Messaging is the center of mobile. Snapchat is raising at around a $20 billion valuation. And no one cares who owns apps. On February 19, 2014, we didn’t know any of these things for sure. So when Facebook announced it would pay $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp — an app most American pundits had …

Facebook

Raspberry Pi Sales Pass 5 Million

A round of applause for the U.K.-made Raspberry Pi microcomputer — which has just passed the 5 million sales mark, some three years after it was first launched with the over-modest goal of selling “a few thousand” Pi over its entire lifetime, as creator Eben Upton has said. How wrong can you be, …

Raspberry Pi

One Year In, Nadella Is Planning Microsoft’s Long And Short Game

Golfers like to talk about their long game and their short game. Maybe it’s useful to look at Microsoft’s strategy that way too. Since Satya Nadella took over just over a year ago as CEO at Microsoft, he has started to redirect the company, looking at the short term, while perhaps beginning to …

Microsoft Windows

Don’t Be Google

Dear Google: what happened? Android sales are falling. Chrome has become a bloated hog. Analysts are calling you the new Microsoft, or, much worse, “the new Yahoo!” And most damning of all: you have squandered our trust. You used to be special, Google. Or at least we used to believe you were …

Google

Xiaomi’s Mi Note Is A Great Phone You’ll Probably Never Get To Buy

Last week Chinese electronics company Xiaomi gave Western media an in-depth look at its products and business model. From its phones and the Android variant that powers them to its ambitions in the smart home of the future, Xiaomi demonstrated its approach to capturing the demand for premium …

Phones

Microsoft Officially Launches Azure Machine Learning Platform

You know all that big data that’s streaming into your company from sensors, customers, social media, Excel spreadsheets, and data sources all over the internet? Microsoft wants to help you process all of it, build APIs and make use of that data in the cloud with machine learning technology.

And to …

Microsoft Azure

LinkedIn Expands Marketing Platform With Off-Site Ads And New Lead Targeting Tools

LinkedIn is launching an expanded version of its Marketing Solutions platform today. There are new products, an expansion beyond Linkedin Itself, and a broader vision for helping advertisers reach potential customers throughout the sales cycle.

The platform now has five main pieces — LinkedIn Lead …

Marketing

Rise Of The Micro-Tinders

Different strokes for different folks. But what about different apps? Tinder brought ruthless efficiency to online dating. Yet the same way people gravitate to distinct nightlife spots depending on their style, we’re seeing an explosion of niche dating apps all based on Tinder’s familiar swipes. No …

Tinder

The Lesson of Peter Molyneux

Editor’s note: Tadhg Kelly is a games industry consultant, freelance designer and the creator of leading design blog What Games Are. You can follow him on Twitter here.

“Sooner or later the bullshit has to stop.”

This is the long-running sentiment surrounding Peter Molyneux, the British game development …

Peter Molyneux

FAA Proposes Rules To Open The Sky To Some Commercial Drones, But Delivery Drones Remain Grounded

After a number of delays, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today officially announced its proposed rules for small commercial drones. Most of the proposed rules already leaked earlier this weekend. Overall, the proposed rules are pretty straightforward and more lenient than expected, …

Drones

Elemental Path Debuts The First Toys Powered By IBM Watson

A company called Elemental Path is developing a new line of smart toys for children which will be powered by the super computing system IBM Watson, enabling the toys to engage in real and personalized conversations with kids, and evolve with the child as he or she grows. CogniToys, as the toy line …

Toys

Watch SpaceX’s DSCOVR Launch Live Right Here

This is the third time SpaceX has attempted to launch the DSCOVR, a satellite designed to go about four times further from the earth than the moon, and then provide whole-disc imagery of Earth, as well as warnings of extreme reactions from the sun that might be able to knock out power grids and …

SpaceX

Obama Signs Executive Order Encouraging Private-Sector Companies To Share Cyber Security Information

President Barack Obama asked for more collaboration and the open sharing of information between private-sector companies and the U.S. government at the White House Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford today.

While pushing for that collaboration, he admitted it would be a challenge to both keep up with …

Security

Apple, The Record Label?

You better believe that when Apple’s streaming music service comes out later this year, it’s going to come hard. Apple’s MO is to arrive late but with superior firepower, as it did with the iPhone and will with the upcoming Apple Watch. What does that mean for its quest to steamroll Spotify, Google …

Record Labels

Watch The New Phorm iPad Mini Case Generate Physical Keys Out Of Thin Air

Apple’s touch-based devices have changed the way we interact with computers entirely, but that hasn’t stopped users from occasionally thinking wistfully of the days when physical keyboards ruled the roost. Tactus has taken that desire to heart, and the startup’s first consumer product, the Phorm, …

iPad Mini