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Engineering against all odds, or how NYC’s subway will get wireless in the tunnels  Never ask a wireless engineer working on the NYC subway system “What can go wrong?” Flooding, ice, brake dust, and power outages relentlessly attack the network components. Rats — many, many rats — can eat power and fiber optic cables and bring down the whole system. Humans are no different, as their curiosity or malice strikes a blow against wireless hardware… Read More
Digital nomads are hiring and firing their governments  The nation state has survived wars, plagues, and upheaval, but it won’t survive digital nomads, not if people like Karoli Hindriks have something to say about it. Hindriks is the founder of Jobbatical, a platform that allows digital nomads to find work in other countries and helps with the logistics of getting there. The company also embodies a new world of highly-skilled, global… Read More
Sqreen wants to become the IFTTT of web app security  French startup Sqreen recently launched a Security Hub with dozens of plugins to put you in control of the security of your web app. In many ways, it feels like enabling tasks on popular automation service IFTTT. Sqreen participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield and Y Combinator’s current batch. The vision of the product hasn’t changed. Sqreen lets you protect your… Read More
A peek inside Alphabet’s investing universe  Chances are you’ve heard of Google. You’re likely a contributor to one of the 3.5 billion search queries the website processes daily. But unless you’re a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur or a slightly obsessive tech journalist, you may not know thatGoogle, or, more properly,Alphabet, is also invests in startups. And, like most of what Google does, Alphabet invests… Read More
RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes  They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More
Gillmor Gang: Where’s The Beef Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, February 16, 2018. The Gang catches its breath as cryptocurrency crashes and rebounds, Facebook attacks its stream or does it, while publishers and their aggregators cozy up to a wave of bundling @stevegillmor, ekolsky, @DenisPombriant Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor… Read More
Uber, Google and other tech employees form Coalition of Black Excellence  When black employee resource groups from a variety of tech companies come together, black magic happens. More specifically, black excellence happens. The Coalition of Black Excellence Week, spearheaded by Uber Litigation Counsel Angela Johnson in collaboration with black ERGs from over 40 tech companies like Facebook, Google, eBay, Lyft and Microsoft, kicks off this Monday in the San Francisco… Read More
How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook  At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms… Read More
Facebook didn’t mean to send spam texts to two-factor authentication users  Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos apologized for spam texts that were incorrectly sent to users who had activated two-factor authentication. The company is working on a fix, and you won’t receive non-security-related text messages if you never signed up for those notifications. Facebook says it was a bug. But calling it a bug is a bit too easy — it’s a feature that… Read More
Telegram has raised an initial $850M for its billion-dollar ICO  It looks like Telegram’s billion-dollar ICO has reached its first milestoneafter the chat app company raised an initial $850 million, according to a filing. A document submitted to the SEC earlier this week states that the money was raised “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The security… Read More
Visa confirms Coinbase wasn’t at fault for overcharging users  Yesterday,we wrote that Coinbase customers were being charged multiple times for past transactions. While some speculated that the erroneous withdraws were down to a Coinbase engineering issue, Coinbase issued a statement saying it wasn’t liable for the duplicate charges. The blame, instead, rested with Visa for the way it handled a migration of merchant categories for… Read More
Montana-based mapping startup onXmaps raises a round of funding fit for Big Sky Country  A mapping startup based in Missoula, Mont., which allows users to download sophisticated offline topographic maps outlining public and private lands and a number of other features geared towards hunting, fishing and camping, has pulled in its first major outside funding. onXmaps has closed a $20.3 million Series A round led bySummit Partners.Bessemer Venture Partners, Millennium… Read More
Twilio will soon launch Flex, a dedicated contact center solution  Twilio’s Engagement Cloud, its suite of products for building new customer experiences, is about to get a new feature, TechCrunch has learned. The company plans on launching the beta of a full contact center solution for businesses at the Enterprise Connect conference in March, according to a tip we received this afternoon. When reached for confirmation, Twilio had no comment. Read More
Twitter is killing its Twitter for Mac desktop client  On Friday, Twitter announced that it would abandon its lesser-loved Mac app, directing users to Twitter.com instead. The company declared that it will refocus its efforts on “a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms” rather than continuing development for Twitter for Mac, a message that doesn’t sound great for TweetDeck lovers. Read More
People are trolling iPhone users with the ‘killer symbol’ that crashes their apps  Surprise! Assorted jerks on the internet have weaponized the Unicode-based bug we reported yesterday to insta-crash apps running on an iPhone or a Mac. The result is somewhere between the old Alt + F4 trick and a script kiddie stunt, and it ranges from being annoying to rendering a deviceunusable, depending on the tenacity of the troll. Read More