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Uber's self-driving car detected pedestrian 6 seconds before fatal crash
The report said the modified 2017 Volvo XC90 radar systems observed the pedestrian six seconds before impact but the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle. All aspects of the self-driving system were operating normally at the time of the crash, and there were no faults or diagnostic messages, NTSB said. Uber aims to resume self-driving operations this summer, likely with smaller routes and fewer cars, the company said on Wednesday.
Inside Facebook's anti-sex trafficking hackathon
Tech giants put their rivalries aside for two days this week to code for a common cause: protecting children on the Internet. Deep inside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters, teams drawn from Uber, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Pinterest worked through the night to prototype new tools designed to help non-profits in their fight against child sex trafficking. Much of their work from Facebook's third-annual child safety hackathon is actually too sensitive to publish.
Vevo will shutter apps, in order to focus on YouTube
YouTube has long been the key to Vevo's music syndication services, and in a blog post today, the company announced plans to focus even more on the site. On the chopping block are Vevo's iOS, Android and Windows apps, along with the consumer-facing side of its own site. To be most effective in achieving those goals, Vevo writes, we will phase out elements of our owned and operated platforms.
The IndieBeat: Tips from publishers and how to pitch to them
The publishers I spoke to offered some general advice as well as talked about the things they're specifically looking for. Almost across the board, publishers said that having a playable prototype is best, even if it's in its early stages. Some developers might try to pitch the game as sellable based on similar titles in the market, but this can backfire. Depending on the project, publishers and developers could be working together for years on a title, so it's important to get along.
PayPal starts deeper integration with Google; users can now pay directly in Gmail, YouTube and more
Google earlier this year rebranded all of its payment services under Google Pay to help it double down on making transactions across its platform more frictionless. Now comes another development: PayPal and Google are kicking off a deep integration, where users who add their PayPal details to their Google Play accounts will be able to pay bills and for other items, using PayPal, without logging in and without leaving the Google services.
Crowd Cow raises $8M as startup continues to grow its digital marketplace for craft meats
New investors include actor Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, and existing investors including Joe Montana of Liquid 2 Ventures also participated. We are excited to back this incredibly talented team and to work with them as they grow to a national scale. As a proof-of-concept, Crowd Cow started by selling out, or tipping, its first cow within 24 hours. We all knew the meat industry needed disrupting, said Mark Canlis, the Seattle restaurateur who is also an investor in the startup.
Okta Announces Grant to Fast Forward, Technology Nonprofit Community
Fast Forward is focused on scaling tech nonprofits because the combination of original technology and a nonprofit business model unlocks unprecedented social impact. This second grant of the Okta for Good Fund will aid Fast Forward's efforts to support nonprofits in their direct programs and entrepreneurs across the broader nonprofit ecosystem. Applying the best technology to the biggest social problems requires philanthropy and resources from the tech community, said Shannon Farley, co-founder and Executive Director, Fast Forward.
Sinemia, a MoviePass competitor, launches cardless ticketing
Sinemia is further differentiating itself from its main competitor, MoviePass. This comes after a number of new Sinemia customers reported long wait times for their debit cards to arrive. Sinemia Cardless makes it easier than ever for people to get their movie tickets in advance. Sinemia's cardless feature will not just be available to new customers, but to everyone in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.
SuperData: Digital game spending grew 23% to $9.09 billion in April
Digital video game sales generated $9.09 billion in revenue in April, up 23 percent year-over-year from $7.42 billion, according to analyst firm SuperData Research. It sold around 2.1 million copies, twice as many as Naughty Dog's 2016 PS4 exclusive Uncharted 4. Fortnite's outsized popularity continued in April, generating the most monthly revenue from in-game purchases from a console game. Tencent's mobile juggernaut Honor of Kings maintained its spot on top as the highest grossing mobile title, generating increasing revenue month-over-month.
WorkFusion adds $50 million from strategic investors as it bulks up for acquisitions
WorkFusion, a business process automation software developer, has raised $50 million in a new, strategic round of funding as it prepares to start adding new verticals to its product suite. The company's new cash came from the large insurance company, Guardian; health care services provider New York-Presbyterian, and the commercial bank, PNC Bank. Venture investor Alpha Intelligence Capital, which specializes in backing artificial intelligence-enabled companies also participated in the new financing.
Amazon Music's app adds hands-free listening, courtesy of Alexa
In September, Amazon announced it was adding support for Alexa voice control to its Amazon Music app for iOS and Android. It was implemented as a tap-to-talk function - something that didn't quite mesh with the hands-free voice control experience Alexa is known for. Today, Amazon is addressing that problem by rolling out hands-free listening to the Amazon Music app instead, as a result of user feedback.
ClassPass plans to add nine international cities by the end of 2018
ClassPass, the studio fitness platform that gives users access to thousands of boutique fitness classes, has said it plans to expand internationally into nine new countries by the end of 2018. The company already serves parts of Canada, the UK and Australia alongside its 50 cities within the US. As part of the expansion initiative, ClassPass has hired Chloe Ross as VP of International. Ross has worked on international strategy at Microsoft and has helped in developing policy in the UK Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
South Korean 5G carriers expect holograms and videos to force limited data plans
Though Qualcomm and 5G device makers expect unlimited data service to enable the coming 5G era, some cellular carriers are beginning to push back on the idea, Yonhap reports. According to the report, the South Korean carriers hope to offset their large investments in 5G infrastructure by charging customers based on the amount of data consumed. These carriers believe that new data-heavy 5G applications, such as holograms and ultra high definition (UHD) videos, will dramatically increase their per-user revenues.
The future of marketing belongs to the fearless
Presented by Marketo We really are living in a brave new world, where marketing today is barely recognizable compared to marketing ten or even five years ago. Earlier this month, at Marketo's Marketing Nation Summit, our theme was The Fearless Marketer. To be fearless in marketing today means: Embracing transformative new technologies - Technology provides a platform for fearlessness. Building bold marketing teams - Fearless marketing is not a one-person show.
Yelp Collections uses machine learning to serve up recommendations
The new feature uses a combination of machine learning, algorithmic sorting, and manual curation to put the local cream of the crop at your fingertips. The feature is split into three categories: weekly user recommendations, Collections published by Yelp, and personal Collections users create themselves. The weekly recommendations, which feed into a Collection called Recommended for You, are informed by machine learning. Yelp's artificial intelligence engine bases recommendations on which business listings a user has viewed and the recommendations they received the previous week.
Crowd Cow, offering ranch to table meats, picks up $8 million from Madrona, Ashton Kutcher
You and I have never had easy access to this beef outside of hitting up a Michelin-star restaurant. Crowd Cow, based in Seattle, works with small family farms to let users choose their cow and their cut. The company handles logistics and offers users a way to learn about the ranch, the cow, and more via the app. Since launch, Seattle-based Crowd Cow has expanded to offer chicken, olive wagyu, and pork and now serves the entire contiguous United States.
Caffeine social livestreaming platform launches monetization for broadcasters
Caffeine is a new social broadcasting platform for livestreamers, and today the company is launching a new monetization system built around digital items. The new monetization system, which is in a pre-release state, will give all broadcasters using Caffeine the chance to generate revenue from the content they create. When broadcasters are playing a game on Caffeine, game developers or game publishers can earn a portion of the revenue while their games are being played by Caffeine broadcasters.
Pornhub launches VPNhub, its own virtual private network app
Adult entertainment giant Pornhub is entering the busy virtual private network (VPN) space with the launch of its very own VPN service. Private email platform ProtonMail launched a VPN service last year, while a few months back McAfee snapped up popular VPN provider TunnelBear. Well, the company thinks that, because VPNs are popular conduits for accessing porn, VPNhub may be a natural option for many. VPNhub is free and unlimited, anonymous and easy to use, Pornhub VP Corey Price told VentureBeat.
Sentry raises $16M Series B from NEA and Accel to help developers squash bugs more quickly
Created to help app developers find and fix bugs more efficiently, Sentry announced today that it has raised a $16 million Series B led by returning investors NEA and Accel. Co-founder and CEO David Cramer tells TechCrunch that the new round puts Sentry's post-money valuation at around $100 million. This reduces the amount of time it takes to fix bugs from five hours to five minutes, Sentry claims. The company will double down on developers and their adjacent roles, in particular product teams, Cramer says.
CoTrader launches a blockchain fund platform that lets you copy successful traders
The idea is simple - to alleviate pressure for new investors, they can copy the actions of successful traders. Today, CoTrader is introducing a decentralised fund management platform that includes cryptocurrency. A blockchain trading platform, CoTrader has a lofty goal: It aims to disrupt investment funds and become the world's largest outlet for all assets. CoTrader's has a patent pending on technology it built to allow investors to copy the investments of successful traders while maintaining direct control.

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