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Palmer Luckey's new defense company Anduril looks interested in AR and VR on the battlefield
Palmer Luckey's new defense startup Anduril has aspirations well beyond a high tech border wall. Following months of controversy, Luckey left the VR company he co-founded in March of this year. It's not yet clear what role Luckey will play at Anduril, but now we know more about the team. Former Oculus engineer Torin Herndon is also listed as an Anduril engineer, joining the company in September.
Twitter bans "Hateful Display Names" and shares Safety roadmap
Twitter has comitted to a specific timeline for rolling out changes to its Safety features and announced new policies including a ban on hateful display names, and improvements for second-hand witness reporting of abuse. Witness Reporting - Twitter will use how you're related to the victim and abuser when you to more strictly enforce rules against harassment. This could help ensure reports aren't actually concerted trolling efforts and are instead coming from people legitimately offended by an abusive tweet.
Quest to depict CG sperm leads to real biological advances
An effort to make a 3D animated sperm for a short film has ended up producing a model of unprecedented detail and considerable scientific value. If you were ever curious what goes on inside those things, this is probably the best depiction yet. It started when Don Ingber of Harvard's Wyss Institute decided he wanted to show a biological process on screen that was accurate at the atomic level.
What washing dishes, driving a truck and working in a cemetery taught me about the power of 'blue-collar' software
I don't think this is the usual route to a job in tech and venture capital. Indeed, more than 60 percent of US workers - and even more globally - fall into these blue-collar industries. These more basic needs can be solved with seemingly simple technologies - software for billing, scheduling, navigation and many other business workflows. The only challenge was that the basic technology infrastructure to make this type of solution viable just wasn't available yet.
Atlassian is on one heck of a run
A lot of that is thanks to an insane run this year so far, where the stock is up more than 65%. That run continued today after reporting a financial quarter that clearly mopped up, finishing well above the expectations of Wall Street. Called Stride, Atlassian launched it in September, but that really only represents one of Atlassian's multi-pronged approach to collaboration layers.
Facebook attacks Pinterest with "Sets" of posts
Now Facebook wants to let you share the niches of your interests while stealing thunder from Pinterest's boards. Facebook has been toying with ways to compete with Pinterest more directly for years now. Facebook is also testing Secret Sets that default to only being visible to a private selection of friends you choose. Facebook could eventually monetize the feature by offering a special button on product ads that save a business' items to your Sets.
Nintendo nabs two-thirds of monthly game hardware sales thanks to Switch
Nintendo has managed to lead the industry in video game hardware sales - by a wide margin - for September, which is a very promising sign going into the holiday shopping season. The Nintendo Switch helped this immensely, leading the industry as the top-selling console for the third straight month, and the fifth month overall that Switch has led sales since its introduction seven months ago.
Amazon and Techstars host first-ever Alexa Accelerator Demo Day
That's exactly what happened over the past 13 weeks in Seattle, where Amazon teamed up with Techstars to operate the first-ever Alexa Accelerator. On Tuesday the program culminated with a Demo Night at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. The nine companies worked closely with Amazon over the past 13 weeks and had access to the technology behind services like Alexa Skills Kit, Alexa Voice Services, Amazon Web Services and Amazon Launchpad.
Amazon's original Echo gets a much-needed upgrade
That was always the case with Amazon's original Echo, but even as Alexa continues to do all of the hard work, the grandaddy of smart speakers was in dire need of an update. In that time, the company added six new members to the Echo family - and in the case of the Echo Dot, did one full product refresh. Announced at an event at Amazon's Seattle headquarters last month, the all-new Echo finds Amazon looking to remain competitive in the field it pioneered.
PayPal's quarter exceeded expectations across the board
PayPal, the digital payments company, shared its growing financials after the bell on Thursday. The company beat Wall Street's expectations for the third quarter, posting an adjusted 46 cents per share. Revenue was also better than predicted, with $3.24 billion, versus the $3.16 billion forecast. PayPal now has 218 million active accounts, compared to 192 million in the same period last year. Venmo, the peer-to-peer payments platform, accounted for part of that growth.
Stitch Fix has filed for an IPO, and the numbers look good
Stitch Fix has filed to go public, finally revealing the financial guts of the startup which will be a test of modern e-commerce businesses that are looking to hit the market - and the numbers look pretty great!. We talk a lot about companies that are planning to go public that show pretty consistent losses, but Stitch Fix looks like a company that has actually managed to build a healthy business.
MongoDB finishes up 34% in database IPO
New York-based MongoDB went public on the Nasdaq on Thursday, finishing the day at $32.07, up 34% above its IPO price of $24. This is also above the proposed range of $20 to $22, which had been increased from $18 to $20. The IPO netted $192 million for the company and valued it at about $1.18 billion. Some of MongoDB's offerings include its name-bearing MongoDB open-source database and the Atlas database-as-a-service offering.
Mighty AI co-founder Matt Bencke dies at 45 after battle with pancreatic cancer
Matt Bencke, a fixture in Seattle's technology community and co-founder of the startup Mighty AI, has passed away after a battle with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. It's difficult to express what a profound impact Matt has had on my life, as well as the lives of our Mighty AI colleagues, Nakhuda wrote. In addition to being a good friend and just all-around wonderful human being, Matt was a visionary leader.
Apple makes the case that even its most banal features require a proficiency in machine learning
Amidst narratives of machine learning complacency, Apple is coming to terms with the fact that not talking about innovation means innovation never happened. Here's five things that make the Hey Siri functionality harder to implement than you'd imagine and commentary on how Apple managed to overcome the obstacles. The detector is listening for the phrase, ideally using fewer resources than the entirety of server-based Siri.
Apple's enterprise strategy begins to take shape
If you consider the notion of digital transformation and what it really means, a big part of it is the mobile experience. Then if you examine the enterprise partnerships the company has forged over the last several years, you begin to see a picture emerging of a company with a pretty darn concrete enterprise strategy. Those partnerships include some of the biggest enterprise names in the business, starting with IBM, Cisco and SAP, and finally and that new partnership with GE.
Bipartisan bill seeks to regulate ads on Facebook, Twitter and Google
A new bipartisan bill known as the Honest Ads Act is the first major attempt to regulate online platforms that sell ads with rules akin to those that apply to more traditional advertising on TV, radio and in print. We don't want to slow down innovation on the internet, we don't want to slow down technology. The senators added that Google and Facebook command 85% on online political ads.
Data is the name of the game, as Intel Capital puts $60M in 15 startups, $566M in 2017 overall
The focus on big data in this latest group of startups comes out of a new turn for Intel and how it's been making strategic investments in recent times. Intel Capital is one of the bigger names when it comes corporate tech investing. The world is undergoing a data explosion, said Wendell Brooks, Intel SVP and president of Intel Capital, in a statement. A million self-driving cars will create the same amount of data every day as 3 billion people.
The first episode of 'Bubbleproof' sets the stage of chaos on Sand Hill Road
Bubbleproof is a new mockumentary series following the misadventures of Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik and venture capitalist David Cowan as they launch a new fund. In this first episode, Fertik is dealing with newfound celebrity as the visionary behind femto management, and as one of the few people to predict the success of Donald Trump. Fertik is increasingly dissatisfied with his current life - to the point where he wants to blow it all up.
SendGrid files for marketing email IPO
Denver-based SendGrid has filed for an IPO. The company, which helps marketers send emails to customers, says in its S-1 that it's processed more than one trillion emails. Revenue for last year was $79.9 million, compared with $58.5 million in 2015 and $42.3 million the year before. SendGrid acknowledges that it competes with SparkPost, MailChimp and divisions of Amazon, Salesforce and Oracle. Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are managing the IPO.
Two Google alums just raised $60M to rethink documents
Two MIT graduates, coming in from Microsoft and Google, have built up a team that for the past three years has quietly been trying to rethink how we approach documents. Every team we looked at, you'd ask them what they use to run things they'd name off all these different applications. They have task trackers, CRM tools, inventory tools, but if you looked over their shoulders they'd spend all day in documents and spreadsheets.

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