Monthly Archives: February 2017

Investors pour $2 million more into booze marketplace Drizly

DrizlyDelivery Boston-based Drizly used to be known as the on-demand delivery app for alcohol. More recently, the company evolved into a marketplace that helps brick-and-mortar liquor stores to connect with and sell to customers nearby through web and mobile commerce. The Drizly app shows shoppers different prices on the beer, wine and liquor that they’re looking for at local shops, along with… Read More
Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

DARTdrones pitches Shark Tank to build a flight school for drone pilots

SHARK TANK - "Episode 818"- In a special episode featuring millennial entrepreneurs, one will make the deal that takes the award-winning "Shark Tank" across the $ 100 million threshold of deals made in the Tank, on "Shark Tank," airing FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.. (ABC/Michael Desmond) MARK CUBAN, DAYMOND JOHN, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER, ABBY SPEICHER (DARTDRONES), ROBERT HERJAVEC Entrepreneurs who pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank typically make packaged goods and apparel. Occasionally, the high tech breaks through. XCraft, the company behind the PhoneDrone Ethos, scored a rare investment from all of the judges on the ABC show last spring, for example. And tonight, drones are once again flying “in the Tank” as DARTdrones seeks funding to build… Read More
Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Google harnesses machine learning to help publishers thwart abusive comments online

Abuse


Google and its early-stage incubator, Jigsaw, have launched a new tool that uses machine learning to help publishers combat online abuse.

With Perspective, Google is offering online publishers an API they can integrate into any of their platforms that facilitate user comments. Perspective taps a human-generated database of comments that have already been tagged as abusive or toxic. Through the API, publishers can connect their own comments with the hundreds of thousands on Google’s database, and Perspective then rates them based on how similar they are to those previously flagged. Perspective facilities corrections from users, too, so it should improve as it receives more feedback from people using it.

The Perspective API essentially provides the data, and publishers can elect to use this data in different ways. Comments could be flagged by publishers to be manually reviewed by moderators or by members of the community, alternatively, a publisher could decide to illustrate to a commenter in real time that what they’re writing is abusive:

Perspective

Above: Perspective

Online abuse has been a problem since the advent of the web, with many publishers ultimately ditching comments sections due to the difficulties in policing them. Earlier this month, Amazon-owned IMDb shuttered its comments section after years of battling toxicity. The IMDb board has now resurfaced on Reddit (good luck with that).

While most comments sections have a community-led approach for flagging abuse, and many are already able to filter out comments that contain profanities, being able to tap a gargantuan database of pre-flagged comments should prove helpful. And as more publishers pick up on it, Perspective will gain access to additional comments, which should accelerate improvement. Perspective is also now part of Google’s open-source software library, TensorFlow, and its cloud Machine Learning platform.

Google’s latest initiative comes at a time when technology companies are increasingly investing in anti-abuse smarts. Just last week, Twitter unveiled a slew of new tools to battle trolls, while back in August Microsoft announced a similar initiative.

Google says it has been testing Perspective with the New York Times, which has a team dedicated to sifting through comments before they go live — manually fielding some 11,000 comments daily.

“This problem doesn’t just impact online readers,” explained Jigsaw president Jared Cohen, in a blog post. “News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labor, and time. As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help.”

Though the focus of Perspective is on abuse, for now, the technology could also be appropriated for other types of comments. “Over the next year we’re keen to partner and deliver new models that work in languages other than English ,as well as models that can identify other perspectives, such as when comments are unsubstantial or off-topic,” added Cohen.

Social – VentureBeat

iPhone 8 might pack ‘revolutionary’ front camera that snaps 3D selfies


As the iPhone 8 rumor mill continues to swing in full speed, the latest report suggests Apple might be gearing up to introduce a ‘revolutionary’ front camera that has the capacity to register 3D space and enable facial recognition. The new components will allow combining depth information with 2D images from the front camera for applications such as face and iris recognition as well as 3D selfies, according to a note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by 9to5Mac. Kuo speculates the bleeding-edge camera tech will be especially useful for rendering a user’s face inside innovative games and apps. The…

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How Typeform became the world’s most popular online form creator


In the lead-up to Tech5 2017 – the annual competition organized by TNW and Adyen which celebrates Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, France and Sweden – we’re launching a series of remarkable stories of businesses that experienced extreme growth. We asked these companies to tell us the data backed story on how key decisions were made, which growth hacks led to the much loved hockey stick curve, and how this impacted their company. Today, Typeform’s Director of Growth Pedro Magriço shares the story of how Typeform built a Saas-tool that went viral. Typeform is an…

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It’s time to revisit Pokémon Go


The summer of 2016 was the summer of Pokémon Go. Everywhere you went, you could see people playing the popular augmented-reality mobile game. But our love affair with it was short-lived. By the time Winter came along, millions of players had deleted the app from their phones. It isn’t hard to see why. Any game that demands you leave the comfort of your home will struggle in cold and wet weather. There was also the problem that Pokémon Go’s gameplay had become repetitive. It’s hard to work up the enthusiasm to go out in the rain if all you’d catch…

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Ford invests $1 billion in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI to build self-driving cars by 2021

City traffic at night Ford has invested $ 1 billion in a joint venture with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based company with ties to Carnegie Mellon. The goal is to completely outfit Ford vehicles with self-driving technology. Interestingly this isn’t a case of a large company simply hiring talent but the creation of an entirely separate company with an independent equity structure. Ford is the “majority… Read More
Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Samsung is reportedly cramming Sony batteries into the Galaxy S8


Following the string of fire-catching disasters Samsung suffered last year, the South Korean heavyweight wants to avoid another Note 7 fiasco at all costs – which is why the company is outsourcing the battery production for its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship to a variety of manufacturers.   via CNET

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Apple will announce the future of iOS and macOS at WWDC on June 5


Earlier today, Apple announced the 2017 edition of the flagship software Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will take place from June 5 till June 9 in San Jose, California. At the event, you can expect the Big A to unveil the future direction of iOS and macOS in a series of presentations and talks by hundreds of Apple engineers and executives. Here’s how the Cupertino behemoth summed up the upcoming conference: Technology alone is not enough. Technology must intersect with the liberal arts and the humanities, to create new ideas and experiences that push society forward. This summer we bring together thousands of brilliant…

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Kevin is a chatbot that insures the things you buy through Craigslist


Peer-to-peer selling sites – like Craigslist, Trademe, Gumtree, and eBay – are hugely popular, largely thanks to the fact that you can get some serious bargains through them. But they’re not without their risks. When you buy something through these sites, there’s always a chance that you might not get what you pay for. Or worse, that you’ll sell an item, and not receive the money. To address this problem, we’ve seen a flurry of innovative startups and products emerge, like Insto, which allows people to pay for large items on Craigslist through an intermediary, and in installments. And now…

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