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China’s Didi Chuxing is close to launching a taxi-booking service in Japan

Days after raising $500 million via a strategic investment from travel giant Booking Holdings, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has continued its international push with the launch of a local business in Japan. Its new Japan-based unit is a joint venture with SoftBank, a longtime Didi investor, which has been in the works since an announcement back […]

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And now, here’s a ‘Trumpy Cat’ augmented reality app from George Takei

Anyone who follows George Takei on Twitter can tell you that Star Trek‘s original Sulu is not a fan of President Donald Trump. But he’s found a new way to express that criticism — not just in tweets, interviews and op-eds, but also in an augmented reality app called House of Cats. The app was […]

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Worried about a slowdown? It already happened in 2016, says one new venture study

In today’s market, it’s hard to make sense of what’s what. Deals have grown incestuous for the first time, with outfits like GV investing alongside Uber last week — just months after its parent company, Alphabet, was at Uber’s throat. A $10 million-plus round of seed funding is no longer a joke. Venture firms continue […]

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Midwest rising

Emerging venture capital firms in smaller American cities from Indianapolis to Princeton, NJ are attracting increasingly larger funding as investors see opportunities for returns beyond the coastal confines of the nation’s largest cities and the innovation epicenter of Silicon Valley. For the last four years, AOL co-founder Steve Case has been criss-crossing the country preaching […]

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‘Underwater Pokéball’ snatches up soft-bodied deep dwellers

Creatures that live in the depths of the oceans are often extremely fragile, making their collection a difficult affair. A new polyhedral sample collection mechanism acts like an "underwater Pokéball," allowing scientists to catch 'em all without destroying their soft, squishy bodies in the process.

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Senate wants emergency alerts to go out through Netflix, Spotify, etc.

An emergency alert goes out, trying to let you know about incoming bad news — a missile, a tsunami, or something else terrifying. Your phone starts shouting.. but it’s downstairs. A warning ticker pops on TVs, if you’re watching cable… but you’ve got your eyes glued to Netflix, or Hulu, or some other online streaming […]

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Hyundai teams up with Amazon to offer virtual showroom

Next time you’re grabbing a new charging cord on Amazon, you might be tempted to grab a new Hyundai as well. Hyundai announced today a partnership with Amazon to create a digital showroom to allow customers to compare pricing and reviews, book a test drive and find a dealer in their area to purchase the […]

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The Galaxy Note 9 is leaking out all over the place

The Galaxy Note 9 won’t be announced until August. You wouldn’t know it by reading the internet, however. Every nook and cranny of the upcoming phablet has been bared for the world, in a series of leaks over the past several weeks. Sure, not all of them will pan out, but plenty have come from […]

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Roblox responds to the hack that allowed a child’s avatar to be raped in its game

There’s a special place in hell for people who think it’s funny to rape a 7-year old girl’s avatar in an online virtual world designed for children. Yes, that happened. Roblox, a hugely popular online game for kids, was hacked by an individual who subverted the game’s protection systems in order to have customized animations […]

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Essential discounts its 360 Camera to $19, a day after its phone was half-off

At $250, the Essential Phone was arguably the best deal of Amazon Prime Day. Which is saying a lot. But no matter how you slice it, 50 percent off an Android flagship is a pretty tough deal to beat. I know of at least one TechCruncher who couldn’t resist the lure of that kind of […]

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Coinbase didn’t get (or need) SEC approval for acquisitions after all, company says

Hmm. Well, after Coinbase confirmed to Bloomberg (and us) that they had received regulatory approval for some acquisitions that would let it eventually usher in trading tokenized securities on its exchange, the company is now walking back which agencies it received approval from. While a Coinbase spokesperson had initially indicated that the company had received […]

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New law forces Airbnb to open its books to New York authorities

The New York City Council has voted in favor of a new law requiring Airbnb and similar companies to share data on their users. The company has fought the law tooth and nail, but city authorities say it's basically common sense for the local government to be informed of the number and nature of residents using the service.

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Facebook can now sync your Instagram contacts to Messenger

Facebook wants to expand your Messenger contact list with a little help from Instagram. The company has launched a feature in Messenger that pulls in your contacts from Instagram, if you opt to connect your account. The option appears in Messenger’s “People” tab, alongside the existing option to sync your phone’s contacts with Messenger. The […]

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Rolls-Royce demonstrates robotic bugs as the future of engine maintenance

Rolls-Royce showed off its new vision for the future of engine maintenance this week at the Farnborough Airshow, and it might make your skin crawl. As part of its IntelligentEngine vision (which the company announced at the Singapore Airshow earlier this year) it demonstrated plans for both a robotic snake and swarm of cockroach-like miniature robots […]

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Reddit expands chat rooms to more subreddits

If you’d rather spend time chatting with strangers who share a hyper-specific interest rather than keeping up with your coworkers’ stale memes on Slack, Reddit is ready for you. The platform has quietly been working on a chat room feature for months now and today it expands beyond its early days as a very limited […]

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