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Sundance merges VR with real life through props, AR, and vibrating suits
The most visceral collision of VR and our traditional plane of existence comes from strapping a jumpsuit covered in 26 vibrating actuators to your body. You shoot down viruses and soar past shimmering polygons, with your success or failure made much more consequential through the suit's force feedback. Chris Milk, the VR director and creative visionary who leads Within, has divided his Sundance display for Life Of Us into three rooms.
Wearables have got some work to do this year
The disappointing CES was really par for the course following a fairly lackluster - and in some cases toxic - 2016. In October, IDC published a pretty dismal report noting what it deemed significant declines with total shipments dropping 51.6 percent year-over-year. It could be growing pains, it could be the beginning of the next step in the evolution of wearables, or it could be something more troubling for the category. Wearables may well be a victim of their own early success.
Look, a nice round candy-colored mechanical keyboard
It's a cute wireless keyboard with round, friendly buttons and a shiny, happy look to it. It's called the Lofree and it's both mechanical and inspired by everyone's favorite writing mechanism, the typewriter. We engineered round keycaps to give lofree a classic, yet contemporary feel, reads the Lofree website. The keyboard combines the old and new more successfully than the Freewrite, which if you ask me is dead ugly. There are plenty of color combinations to choose from and a nice backlight as well.
Tech startups PetHub and Pebblebee settle lawsuit over pet tracking tags
It's a relief to have the case behind us so that we can focus on the year ahead, said PetHub CEO Tom Arnold in response to GeekWire's inquiry. PetHub alleged that Pebblebee didn't live up to the terms of their agreement, and marketed a competing product in violation of their deal. In previous court filings, Pebblebee denied the allegations and filed its own breach of contract claim against PetHub.
Recommendations on cyber security for the 45th President… Use more hackers
A record number of security breaches affected billions of people worldwide, including cyber attacks that dramatically impacted the course of businesses and governments. Accelerating public and private investment in our cyber workforce is critical to US economic growth and national security. To tackle complex cyber challenges, traditional approaches to information security when security is an add-on are no longer adequate. White-hat hackers around the world who engage in productive, responsible disclosure can help companies and governments boost their security.
Lobster nets £1M to scale its user-generated content licensing marketplace
The business model is a subscription, with various tiers offered, including a month free trial as a taster. Egorsheva says their tech will also automatically pull any new metadata that's added to content in future, meaning users don't have to manually update any synced content. Lobster takes a 25 per cent cut of any licensing revenue - passing 75 per cent to the content creator.
FLYR raised $8 million to change the way we buy plane tickets
The funding round was led by a Peter Thiel fund, and according to an SEC filing, Thiel Capital Principal Phin Upham was involved in the deal. The new round bring's FLYR's total capital raised to $13 million. FLYR already has robust coverage of flights in and between the US and Europe. It will also use its funding to expand in other parts of the world, especially Latin America, the cofounders said.
Obama returns to his original Twitter handle and launches Obama.org
In particular, the Obamas are looking for input on the presidential center they're building in south Chicago. More than a library or museum, it will be a living, working center for citizenship, said Obama in a video introducing the site. Obama.org has a forms to suggest local organizations you like, or to discuss your ideas of citizenship. Obama.org also features some lovely galleries featuring the Obama family, their trips, hobbies, and dogs.
Casual dating app Down acquired by Paktor
The controversial app, which later rebranded as Down, was acquired by Singapore-based dating startup Paktor (they're um. Colin Hodge, founder and CEO of Down, is joining the Paktor team and will keep both the Down and Sweet apps operating. Hodge will also be overseeing Paktor Labs, where he'll be testing new ideas and acquiring other apps.
How to fail at Kickstarter
The golden age of irrational exuberance on Kickstarter has ended - Pebble is shutting down, marking the fall of crowdfunding's white knight after a string of other high-profile closures and failures. Yes, crowdfunding has produced some inspiring success stories that have grown into innovative businesses, like Peak Design and Flow Hive. For a while, it looked to me like these runaway-creators may be getting away with blowing consumers' money on their behalf.
Twitter just can't let go of Vine, launches an online archive
Today, in another move to preserve Vine content, Twitter has launched an online archive of Vine videos - basically a static website containing all the posts made from 2013 through 2017. Then Twitter said Vine's app would merely transition to the more utilitarian Vine Camera app, which rolled out this week. Now Twitter says it's launching a Vine archive on the old Vine website. Says the company in a blog post announced the new site, the Vine archive is a time capsule.
Amazon's latest Dash button will send you a randomly assorted box of candy
Amazon's latest (physical) Dash button is like a I'm Feeling Lucky for candy. When pressed, the button will send you a box with a random assortment of small-batch candy made by artisans from across the nation. The box will cost $18 and can be ordered as many time as you want. It's still in invite-only mode - but Amazon says you will hear from them within a few weeks if you request an invite.

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