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Charlotte, Raleigh, Oklahoma City are AT&T’s next 5G cities in 2018

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

AT&T said it would roll out a real 5G network in a dozen cities in 2018, and now we know the next three cities on the carrier’s list: Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma City will get the 5G treatment.

The three cities join the previously announced rollout in Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco that AT&T began in February, and the new additions should help AT&T stay on track for its 12-city goal. AT&T explained that it’s rolling out in smaller cities because it feels that “all Americans should have access to next-gen connectivity to avoid a new digital divide.” It’s also a clear shot back at T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray who thumbed his nose at AT&T’s choice of smaller cities a few months ago when announcing T-Mobile’s plans for 5G, saying, “Why are we in…

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Prices for Disrupt SF 2018 passes increase in a few days

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

There isn’t a business person alive who doesn’t appreciate an advantage, but sometimes folks need to be reminded of an advantage that’s staring them right in the face. This is that reminder. Your opportunity to save up to $1,200 on passes to Disrupt San Francisco 2018, which takes place on September 5-7, comes to an end on July 25 at 5 p.m. PST. Why pay more? Go buy your passes today.

Disrupt SF 2018 is the place to be if you’re at all interested in tech startups. Whether you’re a founder, an investor, a marketer or a job-seeker, you’ll find plenty of inspiration, opportunity and blow-your-mind technology at Disrupt. And this year, we’ve gone all-out to produce our biggest Disrupt event ever.

What’s that mean? Well, take Startup Battlefield for example. We’ve upped the ante on the world’s best startup pitch competition by increasing the prize money to $100,000 in non-equity cash. Yeah, we did. You know the battle will be even more fierce, exciting and epic.

It also means we’ve tripl..

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Tempow’s Bluetooth stack can improve your TV setup

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

French startup Tempow has been working on improving the Bluetooth protocol at a low level to make it more versatile. The company is introducing a new audio profile for your TV or set-top box.

TV and set-top box manufacturers can license Tempow’s software and integrate new features in their devices. It works with regular Bluetooth chips, but it opens up new possibilities.

In particular, Tempow has been working on a one-to-many pairing model. You can pair multiple Bluetooth speakers with your TV to create a wireless surround system using good old Bluetooth speakers.

The reason why soundbars slowly replaced 5.1 systems is that you don’t have to run cables on the floor to the back speakers. Tempow solves that, and Bluetooth speakers are much cheaper than a bunch of Sonos speakers.

With Tempow’s stack, you can also stream different audio tracks to different devices. In other words, you could pair multiple headphones with your TV and watch a movie in different languages. If your kid is t..

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Dish is the first TV provider to offer support for Apple’s Business Chat

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

Dish today announced it’s becoming the first TV provider to offer customer support over Apple’s Business Chat. Launched earlier this year, Business Chat allows companies to communicate with their customers over iMessage in order to answer questions, provide customer service, or even enable purchases. In Dish’s case, the TV provider says its customers can use Business Chat to reach a live agent with their questions, make account changes, schedule an appointment, and more.

They can even use their credit card in Business Chat to order a pay-per-view movie or sporting event, then watch it within minutes of confirming the purchase, Dish says.

This feature takes advantage of Apple Pay, which lets you quickly make purchases using your stored payment information without having to leave the iMessage conversation.

Business Chat is as secure as placing a call, where customers would have had to provide information to identify themselves as the account holder. As Dish explains, Apple Business Ch..

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Zoox’s fresh $500M, how to spend $6.3B and Microsoft’s fine fiscal year

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had another full house which made for a good time. Our own Connie Loizos, Matthew Lynley and I were joined by Renata Quintini, a partner at Lux Capital.

Today’s episode is a grab bag of topics, including some self-driving stuff, late-stage venture noodling, and Microsoft. So, this show hit on every topic I used to have listed on my OkCupid profile.

First up was Zoox’s epic $500 million infusion. The self-driving company is notable for its full-stack approach, and, as Lux is a long-time investor in the project, we had the perfect guest on hand to help us discuss it. As you can imagine, we dug around who else is working in the space, what SoftBank is up to, and why Zoox might need so much capital.

Oddly enough everyone ’round the table found the dollar amount pretty reasonable. We apologize for the lack of drama.

Next up we peeked at Insight V..

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Facebook, Google and more unite to let you transfer data between apps

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

The Data Transfer Project is a new team-up between tech giants to let you move your content, contacts, and more between apps. Founded by Facebook, Google, Twitter, an Microsoft, the DTP today revealed its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join. While many companies already let you download your information, that’s not very helpful if you can’t easily upload and use it elsewhere — whether you want to evacuate a social network you hate, back up your data somewhere new, or bring your digital identity along when you try new app. The DTP’s tool isn’t ready for use yet, but the group today laid out a white paper for how it will work.

Creating an industry standard for data portability could force companies to compete on utility instead of being protected by data lock-in that traps users because it’s tough to switch services. The DTP could potentially offer a solution to a major problem with social networks I detailed in April: you can’t find your frien..

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White House’s tariffs could raise prices on Apple, Sonos, Fitbit products

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

Consumer technology devices like phones and laptops have dodged the White House’s imposed tariffs so far, but the latest proposed round has the potential to hike up the costs of goods from familiar brands like Apple, Fitbit, and Sonos.

According to Reuters, the latest set including $200 billion worth of Chinese imports would classify products like the original Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge, and Sonos speakers as “data transmission machines,” and therefore include them on the list. The tariffs are working through a public comment period right now. If the devices remain listed, prices on these products could raise by 10 percent.

There is time for this to change before the tariffs take effect. To bypass the tariffs, the products need to fall…

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Editor’s Choice: LG G7 ThinQ

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

My favorite phone released this year doesn’t have the fastest performance, doesn’t have the best camera, and has worse than average battery life. It also has a superfluous button for a virtual assistant that I can’t reprogram to something more useful and has the worst name for a phone I’ve seen in years. It’s not a phone that I recommend most people should buy. But LG’s G7 ThinQ (I told you it has the worst name) is my favorite phone right now because it meets my specific set of wants and needs better than anything else at the moment.

The primary reason why I like the G7 so much is that it’s the Android phone that best mimics the iPhone X’s ability to cram a large screen in a frame that can still be managed in one hand. I love the…

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Does Instagram reveal who’s stalking your feed?

July 20, 2018 Alex 0

Instagram knows all of our secrets, particularly the people we love to stalk. Some people think the company outs our habits to other users in their story. These users believe that the people who populate at the top of your story viewers are the ones who stalk you the most. Maybe your crush is always at the top or maybe it’s your nemesis. It doesn’t matter who.

We visited Instagram to speak with Julian Gutman, product lead for Instagram Home, which includes Stories and the Feed to figure out whether there’s any truth to this idea. Also while we were there, Julian and I chatted about the algorithm and the company’s switch to the algorithmic feed. Watch the video above if you want to know how people end up at the top of your viewers list or…

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