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Your second chance for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

If you missed the deadline last week to apply for the renowned Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF, have no fear. There is still one more chance at being part of the action!

Out of all of the early-stage companies exhibiting at Disrupt, three Startup Alley companies will have the opportunity to be selected as one of the “Wild Card” winners. You might be wondering, “what is Wild Card”? Wild Card is a Startup Alley exhibiting company that is selected by our TechCrunch editorial team to participate in the celebrated Startup Battlefield competition. This year we’re selecting three, and if you are exhibiting in Startup Alley, you could be one of the lucky winners.

Last year at Disrupt NY 2017, RecordGram got a table in Startup Alley, where they ended up being selected as one of the Wild Card companies and ultimately went on to win the Startup Battlefield competition — and took home $50,000. Guess what? This year, the grand prize of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF has been doubled to $100,..

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Konsus looks to give companies a way to get specially designed documents in under a day

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

Fredrik Thomassen as a consultant used to have the resources to offload the annoying project tasks — like making PowerPoint presentations — but now that it’s gone, he and his team wanted to make that available for everyone.

Now the startup, called Konsus, wants to turn that around even faster. Konsus is a design marketplace where companies can quickly post design projects that they need for various parts of their jobs, like presentations, and designers can pick up those jobs and submit their work back — a task that could take up a lot of unnecessary time for an employee that might be better spent working on other parts of their job. Konsus said it is compressing that even further by now looking to provide a 12-hour turnaround for those companies. The company launched out of Y Combinator in 2016.

“[Employees] want to be valuable and spend time on core tasks,” Thomassen said. “The average knowledge worker, depending on various specifics, spends around 40 percent of that time on non-cor..

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Reddit launches a ‘News’ tab into beta testing

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

Reddit is rolling out its “news” tab into beta, the company announced this week. The expansion follows on Reddit’s initial test of a news-related feature that began this May, when an alpha version shipped to some users of Reddit’s iOS app. At the time, Reddit explained it wanted to give news its own dedicated home on its site in order to make it easier for those with a lot of subreddit subscriptions to find the news without having to hunt around.

To determine what’s newsworthy, Reddit says it first figured out which subreddits were engaging with news the most. It did this by looking at the most-clicked posts by domain in the subreddits. The company came up with a list of around 1,000 domains from media publishers focused on news. This list was used to help it surface those communities where news was regularly discussed.

To be clear, the domain list was only used to find the appropriate subreddits where news was often discussed – it doesn’t mean Reddit is limiting news stories it surf..

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A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took home the prize for Advertising Excellence in the single commercial category. Directed by Spike Jonze, the person behind movies like Her and Being John Malkovich, the musical short film follows the journey of a young woman, FKA Twigs, as she returns home from a challenging work day to an empty apartment. After asking Siri to “play something [she’d] like” her world is literally transformed as the music of Anderson .Paak’s “Til It’s Over” spills out of her HomePod.

With stunning visuals (most of which were not CGI) and captivating choreography, Jonze breathes life into a product that got mixed reviews after its release in February. This made us think, what other tech commercials have grabbed our attention in the last 35 years and transformed how we think about technology? Here are a few of our favo..

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VC Brian O’Malley jumps from Accel to Forerunner Ventures

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

Brian O’Malley may be the most-poached venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. While rising through the ranks at the global investment firm Battery Ventures, where O’Malley had led deals in Hotel Tonight among others, he was plucked out of the firm by Accel Partners in 2013, where both O’Malley and Accel thought he could be even more successful.

Fast-forward five years and O’Malley is announcing today (through Forbes) that he just joined Forerunner Ventures, the top e-commerce investing firm launched in 2010 by founder Kirsten Green.

That O’Malley is willing to make moves is hardly a knock. For someone whose job it is to create and manage promising portfolios, he seems to be managing his career with that same, smart mindset.

The move also reflects well on Forerunner, a much younger firm than storied Accel but whose star has been soaring in recent years, thanks to early bets on companies like Bonobos (sold to Walmart), Jet.com (sold to Walmart), Dollar Shave Club (sold to Unilever) and..

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Supreme Court restricts police on cellphone location data

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday imposed limits on the ability of police to obtain cellphone data pinpointing the past location of criminal suspects in a major victory for digital privacy advocates and a setback for law enforcement authorities.

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Apple is ordering so many shows, with nowhere to show them

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

Yesterday, Apple ordered its first international series, Calls, adapted from a French series by the same name. It’s the latest addition to its growing pile of projects; currently the count sits at 21. The company is reportedly placing a big bet on original content, spending upwards of $1 billion this year to compete with the likes of HBO, Amazon, and Netflix. But with every day seeming like it’s bringing a new announcement of a new show coming to Apple, the question remains: where will we watch it?

Apple has already begun releasing its own projects: it released Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke last year on Apple Music, but its big slate of original content is expected to begin rolling out as early as March 2019. To prepare for…

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China will partly lift internet censorship for one of its provinces to promote tourism

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

China plans to lift some internet censorship on the southern tropical island of Hainan to promote tourism. Visitors to select areas of Hainan will be able to access Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to a new plan authorities have put together to turn the province into a free trade port by 2020. It’s not clear if other banned platforms will be uncensored.

The three-year action plan was published on Thursday, but removed from the local government website by Friday, as spotted by the South China Morning Post. Though the plan was pulled, state media are still reporting on it as though the plan is on. It’s unclear why the plan was removed.

Part of the Great Firewall of China will be removed for Hainan
For Hainan, China will lift part…

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DNA testing could reunite families at the US border — and fuel surveillance

June 22, 2018 Alex 0

More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the US border as a result of the White House’s new “zero tolerance” policy, and immigration agencies seem to have no clear plan for reuniting them. In one case, a six-year-old’s ability to remember her aunt’s phone number became her only lifeline to her family. “Most children here aren’t able to give names, much less a phone number,” an official told ProPublica. With children less than a year old lost in the system, it’s become heartbreakingly difficult to simply match children to the parents that brought them.

In the midst of the crisis, consumer DNA companies are offering their services as an unlikely solution. After a nudge from a member of Congress, 23andMe has o…

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