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Uber-SoftBank deal "very likely" to be finalized in the next week
The Uber-SoftBank deal is almost done, said Arianna Huffington on stage at WSJ DLive in Laguna Beach on Monday. When pressed whether SoftBank's multi-billion dollar investment in Uber could be finalized within the week, the Uber board member replied that it's very likely. The company's work environment had come under fire, leading to the departure of several key executives, including co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. If your culture is so driven by growth at the expense of other things, there are consequences, said Huffington.
Opternative sues Warby Parker for allegedly stealing its online eye exam
Eyewear ecommerce giant Warby Parker is accused of signing partnership contracts and NDAs with online eyeglass prescription test startup Opternative, then stealing the technology to launch its own competing Prescription Check feature. According to the lawsuit, Warby Parker reached out to Opternative back in 2013 about potential partnership opportunities. Warby Parker agreed to sign non-disclosure agreements forbidding the eyewear seller from using info about its technology to reverse-engineer the online eye exam or do anything besides partnering with the startup.
Indiegogo is now an e-tailer, too
In what seems a bigger twist, the San Francisco-based company will also now sell other items, too, opening its new platform - called simply Indiegogo Marketplace - to goods that were successfully crowdfunded elsewhere. Indiegogo will take between 10 percent or 15 percent of the sale price of the product in the process. Launching the marketplace is really the last step of that to ensure that - once they have a product - that is ready for purchase.
Upload exec tasked with turning things around at the troubled VR startup has already quit
Upload has not responded to a request for comment. With this sudden exit, the future grows even murkier for the startup that was once the toast of the VR industry. Last month, TechCrunch reported that the company had settled the sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit with its former social media manager for an undisclosed sum. Ward was criticized inside the VR community for supporting the company and its co-founders, who have faced internal and external calls to step down.
Mapping the blockchain project ecosystem
Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and token sales are all the rage right now. There are many exciting developments coming to market both in terms of improving existing blockchain functionality as well as the consumer's experience. Given the rapid pace at which projects are coming to market, I've found it to be difficult to keep track of each and every project and where each one fits into the ecosystem.
Alphabet's Project Wing now delivers burritos by drone in southeastern Australia
It's been a while since we last heard from Project Wing, X's moonshot drone delivery project. After a few fallow months, the team posted an update today and it looks like the project has made quite some progress. Alphabet's X unit is now testing the Project Wing drones in southeastern Australia, where its flying machines are making deliveries right to its testers' yards. This being southeastern Australia, we're talking about pretty sizable yards, but that's still a step forward for the project.
Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run
Today, Facebook announced it's acquiring positivity-focused polling startup tbh and will allow it to operate somewhat independently as it's done with Instagram and WhatsApp. In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook wrote tbh and Facebook share a common goal - of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together. Tbh already limits you to a answering a few questions at a time so you beg for more.
Google revamps its Security Checkup feature with personalized suggestions for your account
Google today is rolling out a revamped version of its longtime Security Checkup feature - a service that helps users make sure their Google accounts are safe by checking those items that could impact your account's security. Now, Security Checkup will be improved by offering more personalized suggestions, says Google. With the new version of Security Checkup, the guide is tailored to you with personal recommendations about what to fix.
Airbnb eyes expansion with affiliate program for sites with 1M+ users, new API
There's a fundamental incongruency between being inflexibly pro 'free speech' and operating a global social network for civil public discussion. It can't be solved by a little more transparency or by hoping average citizens will do the right thing. Those who disagree with you or that you condemn still have the right to walk away or change the channel. Women and people of color have been attacked this way for years and have been demanding change for years.
MIT's The Engine wants to fuel bold tech ideas in Boston
Boston and its surrounding universities are jam-packed with big ideas, but the problem is that many of them never get out of the lab. MIT president Rafael Reif recognized this and decided the city needed an engine to push those ideas and The Engine - part venture capital firm, part business incubator - was born. The other issue is the problem every smart person with a good idea and no business experience faces.
7 huge business storylines for this quarter's earnings season
If advertisers aren't biting on Snap, it may be that they are just cooling off to alternative platforms in general. On that note, here are a few big storylines we're tracking heading into the next couple of weeks. ) We got a surprise during Apple's last earnings report when the company signaled a better upcoming third quarter than its original forecast. We'll probably get a small-ish update on what's going on when everyone jumps on the phone to talk about its earnings.
Minecraft now lets you export your creations in 3D
Minecraft players will now be able to easily save their in-game creations as 3D models. The feature was teased in a beta a couple months back, but is now a main-branch feature for the game. From there you can share it with others or export again to Paint3D, where you can further decorate it or export to other, more interoperable formats.
The HOLD 10 Index is a passively managed fund of the top 10 cryptocurrencies
One startup is launching a private index fund designed to let you passively hold a stake in the 10 largest cryptocurrencies, weighted by market cap. For this first index fund there's no performance fee and only a 2-3% annual management fee, which for most investors will be well worth it considering the alternatives. First, they could do it the old fashion way and purchase cryptocurrency on exchanges and then hold the private keys.
Google Maps now lets you explore your local planets and moons, too
Google today announced a fun update to Google Maps that'll allow you to virtually visit a dozen additional planets and moons in our solar system. The company has added imagery of Pluto, Venus and several moons to its lineup and also made it easier to find them in Maps. In total, Google Maps now features imagery of sixteen celestial bodies. It's worth noting that while Google has long offered detailed imagery of Mars and the Earth's Moon, these weren't directly accessible from the Maps interface.
North Korea reportedly hacked UK's Channel 4 over 'slanderous' TV series
Channel 4 had earlier announced plans for Opposite Number, series in which the state kidnapped a British scientist and forced him to develop their nuclear arsenal, however the project was later shelved. The Times suggests that North Korea's breach of Channel 4's servers - which didn't appear to have the same devastating impact as Sony - played a role in spiking the series. In true showbiz fashion, it's a very similar plot line to what happened with Sony Pictures.
Here's what you can do to protect yourself from the KRACK WiFi vulnerability
Most devices and routers currently rely on WPA2 to encrypt your WiFi traffic, so chances are you're affected. First, let's clarify what an attacker can and cannot do using the KRACK vulnerability. This vulnerability is like sharing the same WiFi network in a coffee shop or airport. That's why companies should release patches as soon as possible because chances are most attackers just learned about this vulnerability today.
IBM launches two new services to help businesses move to the cloud
IBM today announced two new services that are meant to make it easier for businesses to move their data and applications to the cloud. The company says the IBM Cloud Migration Services and IBM Cloud Deployment Services will make it easier and more affordable to migrate their existing workloads to the public cloud. Cloud Migration Services, as the name implies, helps businesses get ready to move to the cloud.
A Spanish bank is launching an app to solve the U.S.-to-Mexico money-transfer problem
For now, the new app only allows US users to send money to family and friends in Mexico. In a later version of the app, BBVA says users will be able to send voice and video messages, too. Also in a future release, Tuyyo will add support for insurance and micro-financing, with the sender paying bills through the app. The first transfer with the Tuyyo app will only include the FX costs, but won't charge a fee.

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