Here are the 88 companies that launched at YC’s W19 Demo Day 2


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Today was the second half of Y Combinator’s two-day Demo Day for its Winter 2019 class. Over 85 startups pitched on stage yesterday, and another huge batch launched today.

Previously held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, this YC Demo Day instead took over a massive warehouse in San Francisco. Like yesterday’s pitches, today’s were split across two stages (“Pioneer” and “Mission”) running in parallel — so even if you were there, you couldn’t see everything alone.

Here are all of the companies that launched today, and our notes from their presentations.

Pioneer Stage:

YSplit: Splitting utility bills and other recurring payments with roommates or loved ones is a huge pain where one person has to front the money and then nag the others to get paid back. YSplit offers virtual debit cards that make it easy to automatically split bills and collect cash from users’

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Doorport wants to make your apartment building’s front door smarter


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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If you live in a big city, you’ve probably had your fair share of battles with apartment intercom systems. Those electronic gatekeepers with their tiny screens, sticky buttons, and seemingly endless lists of names to tap through in search of a friend who can buzz you in.

Doorport wants to make those existing systems a bit smarter. They’ve built a device that can be wired into existing buzzer systems, allowing you to use your smartphone to unlock your building’s door for yourself and your guests with a quick tap. Once installed, the existing intercom system works just as it did before — just now with a bit more smarts.

The company’s current prototype hardware is about the size of a deck of cards, and is meant to be tucked into the empty space within an already in-place intercom system. The company’s founders tell me it takes about 5 to 10

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Portal automatically opens doors for wheelchair users, no button pressing required


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Buttons or plates (like the one above) that automatically open doors can do a lot to make a building more accessible, but they aren’t always a perfect solution. For wheelchair users with limited upper body movement, the buttons can be tough to hit. Other times, the button is installed poorly — too high, too low, or just too far from the door to be useful, with the door closing too fast.

Portal Entryways is a startup trying to make these existing buttons more useful. They’ve built a device that piggybacks on top of existing access buttons, allowing these doors to be opened automatically (and, importantly, kept open) when a wheelchair user approaches.

Portal’s product has two components: a piece of Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled hardware that hooks into the existing door opening system, and a companion app running on the wheelchair user’s smartphone. The app searches for these Bluetooth Low Energy

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A ridiculously rare copy of Super Mario for NES just sold for over $100,000


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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An extra special copy of Super Mario for NES just sold for a mind-boggling $100,150.

Before you go digging through the attic to find your old copy to throw up for auction, you should know: the version in question here is super, super rare.

So what makes it special?

Super Mario has been released and re-released dozens of times in the past three decades. Even if we’re just talking about the original NES cartridge that came in a black box, there were eleven ever-so-slightly-different versions of the box shipped between 1985 and 1994. Some had tabs for hanging them from store shelves; some lacked a trademark symbol or two in the right spots; others had slightly tweaked graphics for the Nintendo “Seal of Quality” on the face.

The very first few runs, though, had a particularly obvious quirk: rather than being shrink-wrapped, they were sealed with just a little black

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Hands-on with an Alpha build of Google Maps’ Augmented Reality mode


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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I think most of us have had this experience, especially when you’re in a big city: you step off of public transit, take a peek at Google Maps to figure out which way you’re supposed to go… and then somehow proceed to walk two blocks in the wrong direction.

Maybe the little blue dot wasn’t actually in the right place yet. Maybe your phone’s compass was bugging out and facing the wrong way because you’re surrounded by 30-story buildings full of metal and other things that compasses hate.

Google Maps’ work-in-progress augmented reality mode wants to end that scenario, drawing arrows and signage onto your camera’s view of the real world to make extra, super sure you’re heading the right way. It compares that camera view with its massive collection of Street View imagery to try to figure out exactly where you’re standing and which way you’re facing, even when

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Flickr will hold off on deleting photos until March 12th


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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If you’ve got a Flickr account, hopefully you’re already aware: the free 1 terabyte plan is going away. If you’re on a free Flickr account, the company is only going to let you keep 1,000 photos at a time. Anything past that will be auto deleted, starting with the oldest stuff.

The deadline for saving all your old photos was supposed to be yesterday. But due to a bunch of issues experienced by folks at the last minute, they’re pushing it back a bit.

In a statement, a rep from Flickr tells us:

Based on feedback from our members and complications some members experienced when downloading photos yesterday, we’ve extended our deletion eligibility deadline until March 12, 2019.

That gives you a little over a month to get around to downloading — but if yesterday’s issues were any indication, you might not want to wait until the last minute. Need

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Flickr will hold off on deleting photos until March 12th


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




If you’ve got a Flickr account, hopefully you’re already aware: the free 1 terabyte plan is going away. If you’re on a free Flickr account, the company is only going to let you keep 1,000 photos at a time. Anything past that will be auto deleted, starting with the oldest stuff.

The deadline for saving all your old photos was supposed to be yesterday. But due to a bunch of issues experienced by folks at the last minute, they’re pushing it back a bit.

In a statement, a rep from Flickr tells us:

Based on feedback from our members and complications some members experienced when downloading photos yesterday, we’ve extended our deletion eligibility deadline until March 12, 2019.

That gives you a little over a month to get around to downloading — but if yesterday’s issues were any indication, you might not want to wait until the last minute. Need

Continue reading “Flickr will hold off on deleting photos until March 12th”

Sonos CFO Michael Giannetto will retire later this year


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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At the tail end of its shareholder letter for Q1 2019, Sonos disclosed that the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mike Giannetto, will be retiring “later this year”. Giannetto has been with Sonos for seven years, helping to guide the company through its IPO back in August of 2018.

As for who will take over the role: Sonos isn’t sure yet. They’ve hired a search firm to help them find a new CFO, but CEO Patrick Spence writes that Giannetto “will help with that search and be around as long as we need him to ensure a smooth transition.”

Sonos stock dipped by about 17% immediately after the news was announced (from $12.37 at market close to $10.42 after hours) but has climbed its way back up a bit to around $11.76 per share.

Story developing…

Angela Ahrendts is leaving Apple


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Angela Ahrendts will depart Apple in April, almost exactly five years after taking on a role as the company’s senior vice president of retail. Apple says Ahrendts is leaving “for new personal and professional pursuits.”

Ahrendts’ joining of Apple in 2014 was massive news, with her having just served as the CEO of the luxury fashion brand Burberry from 2006 to 2014. She lead the charge to “reimagine” Apple’s retail stores, shifting them to what she hoped felt more like a “modern-day town square”. Her in-store product education program, “Today at Apple”, launched around two years ago, and the company continues to add new courses on the regular.

The company says Ahrendts’ responsibilities will now be handled by Deirdre O’Brien, whose title is changing from “senior vice president of People” to “senior vice president of Retail + People”. O’Brien joined Apple 30 years ago in 1988; her

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Google Home can now translate conversations on-the-fly


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Just last month, Google showed off an “Interpreter mode” that would let Google Home devices act as an on-the-fly translator. One person speaks one language, the other person speaks another, and Google Assistant tries to be the middle man between the two.

They were only testing it in select locations (hotel front desks, mostly) at the time, but it looks like it’s gotten a much wider rollout now.

Though Google hasn’t officially announced it, AndroidPolice noticed that a support page for the feature just went public. We tested it on our own Google Home devices, and sure enough: interpreter mode fired right up.

To get started, you just say something like “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter,” or “Hey Google, help me speak Italian.”

Curiously, you currently have to say the initial command in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish, but once it’s up and running you should

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PSA: Go back up your Flickr photos before they’re deleted


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Do you have a Flickr account? Does it have over 1,000 photos?

Go back them up, or you might lose a bunch of them forever.

We’ve known for a few months now that Flickr was prepping to drop its storage limit for non-Pro accounts from 1TB to just 1,000 photos following its acquisition by SmugMug — and that anything over the 1,000 photo cap would be deleted, starting with the oldest.

If you kept telling yourself that you’d “back it all up later”, “later” is now. Flickr has said they’d start deleting things after February 5th… and, well, that’s today.

So how do you back

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Nest’s security system can now be a Google Assistant


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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A bit over a year after its release, Nest’s security alarm system is picking up a new trick: it can now double as a Google Assistant device.

Nest announced the new functionality this afternoon, saying that its being “pushed out to all Nest Secure systems both new and old” today.

This update effectively turns the Nest Secure’s keypad hub into a Google Home Mini, allowing you to do things like say “Hey Google, turn off the lights” or “Hey Google, arm the alarm” on the way out the door. It’s worth noting, though, that you can’t turn the alarm off with your voice — they don’t want people shouting through your door to disable your alarm, after all. To turn the alarm off, you’ll still need to use either the Nest app, one of Nest’s key fobs, or to punch your PIN into the hub.

Wondering how the heck the

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Nintendo is making Dr. Mario for iOS and Android


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Nintendo held off on building smartphone games for years, but now they just can’t stop. They started with a little stumble with the short-lived Miitomo, but then found an audience with Super Mario Run. Then came Fire Emblem Heroes. Then Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Dragalia Lost.

Next up? Dr. Mario.

Nintendo announced this afternoon that it’s working on a title called Dr. Mario World, built in collaboration with Line (as in the company that makes the Line chat app; they also make Disney’s mobile Tsum Tsum games) and NHN.

For anyone out there who might be too young to remember Super Mario’s stint as an M.D., Dr.

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Nintendo rumored to be working on a smaller, cheaper Switch


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Remember when the rumor mill suggested that Nintendo was already working on a sequel to the Switch? Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa shut that down pretty quickly, saying that no successor was in the works.

Now the rumor mill has shifted gears: Rather than a whole new generation, the whispers suggest Nintendo is tinkering with a cheaper, more portable variation of the original.

The rumor stems from a report by Nikkei (Japan’s predominant financial newspaper), later translated by NintendoEverything. According to their translation, Nintendo “has informed multiple suppliers and game development companies that they intend to release them as early as 2019.”

While the Switch is already kinda-sorta portable, it’s also kinda-sorta not. In its handheld mode, it comes in at around 9.4 x 4 inches — the majority of which is made up of a big, oh-so-scratchable and fully exposed screen. Taking it on the road without some

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Lowe’s is killing off and bricking its Iris smart home products at the end of March


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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If you’ve got any gear from Lowe’s Iris line of smart home products, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.

Lowe’s has announced that the line is toast, with plans to flip the switch on “the platform and related services” at the end of March. In other words: much of this once smart connected gear is about to get bricked.

On the upside, Lowe’s is committing to refund customers for “eligible, connected Iris devices” — with the caveat that you’ve got to go through its redemption portal. “PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CONNECTED IRIS DEVICES BACK TO A LOWE’S STORE,” they note repeatedly. They don’t want it either.

Refunds will be issued in the form of a prepaid Visa card. They also note that some — but definitely not all — Iris-compatible devices work with alternatives like Samsung’s SmartThings platform.

As of November of 2018, Lowe’s was attempting to find

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Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja is retiring


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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At the tail end of Tesla’s earnings call today, Elon Musk dropped a surprise bit of news: the company’s CFO, Deepak Ahuja, will be retiring.

“There is no good time to make this change,” said Ahuja, but noted that after two back-to-back profitable quarters, now might be the best time.

Ahuja first served as Tesla’s CFO from 2008 to 2015, then again from February 2017 on. Zach Kirkhorn, currently Tesla’s VP of Finance, will take over the role moving forward.

Elon notes that Ahuja’s retirement “won’t be immediate,” but didn’t give a specific timeline. He also says that he plans for Ahuja to stay on as a senior advisor “for probably years to come.”

Elon Musk wants Teslas to automatically call a tow truck when something breaks


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As Tesla ramps up production and gets more cars on the road, the company is still working out a few speed bumps when it comes to service. When something goes wrong, getting it fixed tends to take longer than many owners are willing to wait.

In September of last year, Elon Musk promised to make fixing service times a priority. On an earnings call today, he outlined two ways they’re working on it: more spare parts at service centers, and giving Tesla cars the ability to automatically get the process started by calling a tow truck as soon as it detects an issue.

Said Elon on the call:

The next thing we want to add is if a car detects something wrong — like a flat tire or a drive unit failure — that before the car has even come to a halt, there’s a tow truck and service loaner

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Elon says Tesla might unveil its pickup truck ‘this summer’


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Tesla is building a pickup truck. We’ve known that for a few years now. But when?

In an earnings call this afternoon, Elon Musk said that he’s hoping to unveil the truck this summer.

“It will be… unique,” he added.

Note, of course, that “unveil” doesn’t mean “ship.” That, presumably, won’t happen for a while. The company is still knee-deep in Model 3 production, and is finishing its Gigafactory in Shanghai and its long-awaited Semi truck — and is actively working on getting its SUV (tentatively called the “Model Y”) into the tooling stage. The company has a lot on its plate right now.

Apple’s FaceTime bug will be investigated by New York’s Attorney General


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Earlier this week, a bug was found in FaceTime that could let others listen in to your Apple device’s microphone (or, in specific cases, view video from the camera) without you accepting the FaceTime call.

Apple disabled the Group FaceTime feature that enabled this bug server-side, thus preventing its future misuse while they worked on a proper patch. Apple says that patch should land later this week, but it sounds like that won’t be the end of it for the company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Andrew Cuomo have just announced their intent to investigate the matter — how it happened, and what they call Apple’s “slow response.”

While Apple responded with its temporary fix once the bug started going viral, reports suggest that at least two users — a 14-year-old from Arizona and his mother — had been trying to no avail to warn Apple

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Many Xbox Ones aren’t working right now due to Xbox Live outage


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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If you just tried to turn on your Xbox One and were met with nothing but a black screen: you’re not alone.

A particularly bad outage in Xbox Live’s core services is causing the console to get stuck at boot. Microsoft is aware of the outage, and says they’ve “identified the cause”.

The issue seems to be impacting enough users that even Microsoft’s server status page is having a hard time

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