News

 

Ports of Auckland goes driverless to boost container numbers

Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:17:21 +1200

In the high-tech equivalent of "look Mum, no hands," Ports of Auckland's new 70-tonne straddle carriers will hurtle around at up to 22km/h, without anyone at the controls.This Luddite's nightmare means no human contact with the...

Fran O'Sullivan: Plenty on the menu for Winston Peters' dinner date

Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:16:06 +1200

COMMENT: Chinese Ambassador Wu Xi has taken a leaf straight from the Winston Peters playbook by throwing a dinner for him as the relationship between China and New Zealand becomes increasingly vexed.Peters will no doubt accept....

Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 22:02:19 +0000

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice […]

Marriott now lets you check if you’re a victim of the Starwood hack

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 21:54:21 +0000

Hotel chain giant Marriott will now let you check if you’re a victim of the Starwood hack. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has put in place “a mechanism to enable guests to look up individual passport numbers to see if they were included in the set of unencrypted passport numbers.” That follows a statement […]

Tech entrepreneur's $50,000 gamble on mum's credit card made him a multi-millionaire

Sat, 16 Feb 2019 08:51:22 +1200

A British tech entrepreneur has revealed how he "stole" more than £30,000 ($56,291) from his mum for a gamble that ultimately put him on the path to become a millionaire.Bark.com founder Andrew Michael was just 17 in 1997 when he...

Deploy the space harpoon

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:42:54 +0000

Watch out, starwhales.

GoTrendier raises $3.5 million to take on Spanish-language fashion marketplaces

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:04:57 +0000

Thanks to environmentally conscious young buyers, throwaway culture is dying not only in the U.S., but also in Latin America — and startups are poised to jump in with services to help people recycle used clothing. GoTrendier, a peer-to-peer fashion marketplace operative in Mexico and Colombia, has raised $3.5 million USD to do just that. […]

Even years later, Twitter doesn’t delete your direct messages

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:57:50 +0000

When does "delete" really mean delete? Not always, or even at all, if you're Twitter.

Opendoor files to raise another $200M at a $3.7B valuation, documents show

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:30:45 +0000

The housing market is predicted to cool this year, but the market for startups selling houses? It seems to be heating up. Opendoor, the company that aims to bypass real estate agents and brokers by providing an online platform — by way of a mobile app — for people to buy and sell properties direct, has […]

Daily Crunch: Amazon scraps HQ2 plans in NYC

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:30:37 +0000

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Did New York lose anything with Amazon’s rejection? It’s complicated. Amazon announced yesterday that it’s taking its ball and going home, […]

As GE and Amazon move on, Google expands presence in Boston and NYC

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:06:48 +0000

NYC and Boston were handed huge setbacks this week when Amazon and GE decided to bail on their commitments to build headquarters in the respective cities on the same day. But it’s worth pointing out that while these large tech organizations were pulling out, Google was expanding in both locations. Yesterday, upon hearing about Amazon’s decision […]

Uber reports $3B in Q4 revenue, rising operating losses

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:00:01 +0000

Ahead of its anticipated initial public offering this year, Uber reported a net loss of $865 million in the fourth quarter. That figure, however, was aided by a tax benefit that saved the company from reporting a $1.2 billion net loss in the period. On an adjusted, pro-forma basis, Uber’s net loss in the final […]

Top tech to take the stress out of family road trips

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:00:00 GMT

A happy road trip with children means being prepared, here are some tips to keep them occupied and quiet.

Back-up plan if 2019 Rugby World Cup coverage blacks out

Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:00:38 +1200

Spark and TVNZ have privately agreed on contingency plans in the event of a major malfunction of a Rugby World Cup broadcast by the telco provider – the most significant of which is the promise that the test will be shown on free-to-air...

Weird Science: Did Jaws kill off The Meg?

Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:00:26 +1200

The giant prehistoric predator that inspired Hollywood's latest piece of low-brow sharksploitation became extinct much earlier than first thought – and it was today's great whites that drove its demise.The 15m-long Megalodon – meaning...

Twitter considering a tweet ‘clarifying’ function

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:19:54 +0000

Clarification hasn’t always been Twitter’s strong suit. Fittingly, there’s a bit of confusion around the longstanding suggestion that the service could add an “edit” button in order to save users from silly typos and, well, much, much worse. At a Goldman Sachs event this week, Jack Dorsey clarified that, rather than adding a controversial edit […]

Amazon leads $700M round in electric automaker Rivian

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:08:43 +0000

Rivian, the electric automaker that debuted its first two vehicles just three months ago, has raised $700 million in a round led by Amazon . The news follows a report earlier this week by Reuters that GM and Amazon were in talks to invest in the electric vehicle company. “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for […]

Palmetto gets $20 million credit line for its solar and energy efficiency installation marketplace

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:56:01 +0000

For homeowners that want to go green, but have trouble figuring out how to do it, Palmetto Clean Technologies has the answer. The company has an army of salespeople to pitch the benefits of solar power and energy efficiency, and will connect would-be clean energy consumers with financing options, installers, and software to monitor and manage […]

Dubai airport briefly halts flights after drone spotted

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:39:28 +0000

Earlier today, Dubai’s International airport shut down flights for roughly half an hour, owing to the sighting of a drone flying nearby. Departures were halted from 10:13 a.m. to 10:45 a.m over “suspected drone activity,” though arriving flights were still able to land.  The airport’s social team took to Twitter to update the situation, while […]

Urban unicorn renewal

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:21:20 +0000

Three cities, three dead urban unicorn renewal projects. In just the past few days, we’ve had Foxconn renege on Wisconsin, Amazon renege on NYC and GE renege on Boston. Each followed the Anna Karenina principle that every unhappy economic development deal is unhappy in its own way: for Foxconn, it was trade tariffs and slowing […]

Coinbase users can now withdraw Bitcoin SV following BCH fork

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:53:40 +0000

If you’re a Coinbase user, you may have seen some new tokens on your account. The Bitcoin Cash chain split into two different chains back in November. It means that if you held Bitcoin Cash on November 15, you became the lucky owner of Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. And Coinbase just started handing out […]

How to decarbonize America — and the world

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:30:50 +0000

The Green New Deal has burst onto the American stage, spurring more conversation about – and aspiration for – ambitious climate policy than at any point in at least a decade.

3DEN raises $2M to create pay-as-you-go urban spaces

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:14:42 +0000

3DEN is building spaces for what it calls the “in-between moments” of your day. The name (pronounced “Eden”) comes from the idea of the “third place” — a space that’s neither home nor work. Founder and CEO Ben Silver told me the goal is to create a space that people can use if, say, they’ve […]

Peloton pedals toward an IPO, self-driving is big business and SaaS’s new highs

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:10:57 +0000

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was a treat. We had TechCrunch’s own Connie Loizos in the studio along with your humble servant and General Catalyst’s Niko Bonatsos. A fine group for a busy week. We had to pare our topic list […]

BRCK acquires ISPs EveryLayer and Surf to boost Africa’s public Wi-Fi

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:30:30 +0000

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK has acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a deal of an undisclosed amount.

Samsung’s new tablet sports Bixby 2.0

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:00:25 +0000

Bixby’s been on a bunch of phones and several appliances. Until now, however, Samsung’s smart assistant has been largely MIA on the company’s tablets. Of course, I’ve never pretended to have the faintest idea of the company’s strategy here. Anyway, just ahead of MWC and its own Unpacked (S10) event, the company just dropped a […]

Seven things you may not know about Netflix

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 05:45:00 GMT

OPINION: Now a household name, Netflix almost ended up being called Blockbuster in 2000.

NZ scientists awed at buoys' 6500km, year-long journey

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:44:25 +1200

Solar-powered wave buoys dropped in the world's strongest ocean current have drifted an incredible 6500km in just a year, wowing Kiwi oceanographers.In February 2018, MetOcean Solutions deployed five solar powered wave buoys – called...

Elon Musk's AI writes fake news story after being given a few words

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 03:53:24 GMT

This software can produce authentic-looking fake news articles after being given just a few pieces of information.

Revenge porn may be why men are the main offenders of Harmful Digital Communications Act

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 02:36:53 GMT

Rise in revenge porn blamed for the high number of convicted men, but there's concerns few are sent to jail.

Instagram is rife with cyberbullying, it's time for parents to step in

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 02:28:38 GMT

OPINION: Teens are being bullied and manipulated online by strangers and friends - we need to stop it.

Facebook, Federal Trade Commission negotiating 'multibillion dollar' fine

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:26:18 +1200

A report says Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a "multibillion dollar" fine for the social network's privacy lapses.The Washington Post said Thursday that the fine would be the largest ever imposed on a...

The minefield of email protocol

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:12:07 +1200

Email. It's a quick and efficient form of communication, often forming the majority of workday connections with clients, customers and even colleagues seated two desks away. However, without body language or voice cues, email can...

Too big to sell: Airbus bids pained adieu to superjumbo A380

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:36:00 +1200

To passengers, the A380 feels immediately different — spacious, smooth and oddly elegant for a jet so gargantuan. Yet to Airbus, it's become a burden so super-sized that the European manufacturer is ending its production for good.The...

Vodafone and Vocus team for fibre unbundling fight with Chorus

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 05:00:00 +1200

Vodafone and Vocus are teaming to take advantage of a pending law change, which will potentially give them a degree of freedom from Chorus.The move would give the pair more flexibility over pricing, and the ability to offer new...

Amazon's Alexa is set to become more 'person-like' and invisible

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:35:20 GMT

Alexa's is learning to connect users to the services they want, even if they don't know it exists.

Huawei boss says US 'ban' is motivated by trade war

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:14:41 +1200

Huawei has hit back at mounting US pressure on the Chinese company, claiming American calls for allies to block its technology from the rollout of 5G telecom networks will have minimal impact on its global business.Speaking with...

Emoji wars: Kim Kardashian West sued for $430m over the use of iconic 'Kimojis'

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:10:44 GMT

Who would have thought an emoji of your butt could cost you so much?

Hardcore pornographers, gambling operators beat Apple's family friendly safeguards

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:48:05 GMT

Apple bans porn and real-money gambling apps from its App Store, but some find a side door.

Arm wrestle begins over structure of ultrafast broadband market

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 04:41:11 GMT

Vodafone and Vocus 'unbundle' Chorus UFB connection to home in Parnell as battle looms over network pricing.

Colmar Brunton survey shows Kiwis care more about personal data safety

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:07:16 +1200

Kiwis are becoming more concerned about how companies protect their personal information online - but not enough to effect big businesses.Colmar Brunton's Better Futures survey this week revealed 62 per cent of respondents identified...

Gwynne Dyer: Magnetic reversal: Don't panic

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:28:35 +1200

The magnetic North Pole wandered a bit over time, but it followed a fairly predictable path around a relatively small tract of territory among Canada's Arctic islands.For a moment there I thought we had a new global threat to deal...

Nintendo Direct: New Zelda remake, Mario Maker and Fortnite-like Tetris coming to Switch

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:52:49 GMT

Surprise new Switch games announced by Nintendo, including remake of beloved Legend of Zelda title.

Millions of Instagram followers disappear

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:51:38 GMT

Kylie Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Selena Gomez have lost more than a million followers.

Is Facebook sexist? New search glitch uncovered by hacker

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 21:47:04 GMT

Is Facebook sexist? A new search glitch makes stalking female friends easy, but not men.

Cryptopia breach highlights gaps in cybersecurity, and cryptocurrency regulation, experts say

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:00:00 GMT

Think of the Cryptopia hack like this: robbers got the keys, changed the locks and blacked out the windows. Customers still can't see in.

Apple and Google under fire for Saudi app that lets men track women

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 06:02:18 GMT

This time for an app that lets Saudi men control women's travel and what healthcare they can access.

Gwynne Dyer: New food tech may help save us

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:53:30 +1200

'Right now, growing cells as meat instead of animals is a very expensive process," said Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientist of Israel-based startup Future Meat Technologies.But it will get cheaper, and it probably will be...

Fortnite effect strikes again: Activision to lay off 800 workers

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:20:17 +1200

Video game maker Activision Blizzard is laying off nearly 800 workers as the company braces for a steep downturn in revenue following the best year in its history.The cutbacks announced Tuesday illustrate the boom-and-bust cycles...

Layoffs at Chorus partner Visionstream start of 'sweeping change': union

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:16:22 +1200

Despite Chorus partner Visionstream subcontractors being in the gun over the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) rollout, a union says the company is now adopting the same model for maintenance work on older copper lines. E tū says...

Ankiti Bose is 27, and leading a $1.4 billion startup in Asia

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 02:14:59 GMT

Meeting people at parties paid off for fashion entrepreneur Ankiti Bose.

Hidden Te Papa collection now available as digital TV art

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 01:50:59 GMT

Is digital art the way of the future? Te Papa collection can be seen on TV.

Chorus trials wireless technology as fibre alternative for street-to-home

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 11:09:36 +1200

Chorus says it has successfully trialled a wireless solution that could provide gigabit speeds without the need for fibre from the street into a customer's premise. MORE: Layoffs at Chorus partner Visionstream start of 'sweeping...

'Wireless' UFB option could provide gigabit speeds without the cabling

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 22:40:22 GMT

Wireless option would do away with need for cable from street to the home.

Police give Cryptopia green light to re-open; it doesn't

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:32:36 +1200

Police say hacked cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia can "open again whenever they like."However, Christchurch company's website remains offline, with a minimalist "maintenance mode message" - and its founders did not immediately...

Mistress' brother believed to have outed Jeff Bezos to National Enquirer

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 20:17:33 GMT

Trump-loving brother behind Bezos leak.

Google, Apple face backlash over app that lets men track women

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:18:10 +1200

Human rights groups are calling on Apple and Google to reconsider hosting an app on their platforms that allows men in Saudi Arabia to track and control the movement of women.Absher, an app people can download on the Google Play...

Russia plans to disconnect from World Wide Web

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:25:44 GMT

The concept appears similar to China's Great Firewall, and could see Russia temporarily cut off.

Juha Saarinen: The heat is on for cheaper solar power

Wed, 13 Feb 2019 05:00:30 +1200

COMMENT: With the earth heating up and burning due to carbon emissions, who wouldn't be keen on going solar to generate electricity? The technology's getting better. Panels are cheaper and easier to come by, but solar still seems...

A human just triumphed over IBM's 6-year-old AI debater

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 14:29:22 GMT

IBM fell short in its latest attempt to prove machines can triumph over man. But it came close.