Group of employees calls for end to Microsoft’s $480M HoloLens military contract


This post is by Lucas Matney from TechCrunch


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More than 100 Microsoft employees have signed a letter sent to CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith criticizing the company’s plans to build HoloLens AR tech for the military, the organizing group said Friday. The development is part of a $480 million military contract that Microsoft won this past November.

The group’s letter demands that the company cancel their work on the contract and cease development of weapons technologies. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used,” the letter further states.

Microsoft has been focusing its augmented reality efforts on enterprise customers but had aggressively pursued the military contract, beating out other applicants including billions-backed startup Magic Leap. The contract is essentially a pilot program to begin outfitting the U.S. military with augmented reality visors

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Make Your Google Home Quiet Down Automatically at Night Using This Mode


This post is by Emily Price from Lifehacker


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The Google Home Max in our living room has been great for settling arguments ranging from the correct pronunciation of ciabatta to when some of our favorite shows are going to return from their winter hiatus, but it’s loud. Very loud.

Read more…

ICANN warns of “ongoing and significant” attacks against internet’s DNS infrastructure


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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The internet’s address book keeper has warned of an “ongoing and significant risk” to key parts of the domain name system infrastructure, following months of increased attacks.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, issued the notice late Friday, saying DNS, which converts numerical internet addresses to domain names, has been the victim of “multifaceted attacks utilizing different methodologies.”

It follows similar warnings from security companies and the federal government in the wake of attacks believe to be orchestrated by nation state hackers.

In January, security company FireEye revealed that hackers likely associated with Iran were hijacking DNS records on a massive scale, by rerouting users from a legitimate web address to a malicious server to steal passwords. This so-called “DNSpionage” campaign, dubbed by Cisco’s Talos intelligence team, was targeting governments in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Homeland Security’s newly founded Cybersecurity Infrastructure

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Canadian transit agency teases amazing new transportation technology: the bus


This post is by Sean O'Kane from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Xf3s-PyEMRo3W3mt7EcN3SqZeM4=/207x0:2586x1586/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100592/Screen_Shot_2019_02_22_at_6.27.27_PM.0.png" />

Last week, one of Toronto’s regional public transit services teased a radical, futuristic mode of transportation on Twitter. In a dramatic video full of lightning strikes and movie trailer music, GO Transit asked viewers to imagine this scenario: you hop in a vehicle, slide into a comfortable seat, and text or browse cat memes until you arrive at your destination. Best of all, you never even need to input where you’re going. The vehicle just gets you there.

And then pow! Another lightning strike! Surprise! It’s a bus!

The cheeky video…

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Death Generator lets you put custom text in all the classic video games


This post is by Dami Lee from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Or5A3VRs3jAETXRx97xjw135tQA=/20x0:680x440/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100590/download__1_.0.png" />

There exist a lot of meme generators on the internet, but few are better organized or authentically made than the Death Generator. Created by programmer Foone Turing, the open-source tool first began as a generator for death screens from Sierra games, starting with Police Quest 2 in 2017. Turing gets most of his screenshots by actually playing through the games, and he’s now up to dozens of classic titles and newer games alike, from SimCity 2000 to Animal Crossing: Wild World.

“The inspiration was just seeing a bunch of screenshots going around, of games like PQ2 and vague memories of a Something Awful Photoshop post where they made fake SimCity 2000 advisor messages,” Turing told The Verge. “These games have very distinctive dialog…

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Patreon’s future and potential exits


This post is by Eric Peckham from TechCrunch


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Through the Extra Crunch EC-1 on Patreon, I dove into Patreon’s founding story, product roadmap, business model and metrics, underlying thesis, and competitive threats. The six-year-old company last valued around $450 million and likely to soon hit $1 billion is the leading platform for artists to run membership businesses for their superfans.

As a conclusion to my report, I have three core takeaways and some predictions on the possibility of an IPO or acquisition in the company’s future.

The future is bright for creators

First, the future is promising for independent content creators who are building engaged, passionate fanbases.

There is a surge of interest from the biggest social media platforms in creating more features to help them directly monetize their fans — with each trying to one-up the others. There are also a growing number of independent solutions for creators to use as well

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‘Don’t get mad, get a web page’: this week in tech, 20 years ago


This post is by Adi Robertson from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="“Ghostcatching,” Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/NthjQ5l1kCtuuA43VFqDAA8DVf8=/0x0:1350x900/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100584/Screen_Shot_2019_02_22_at_2.06.55_PM.0.png" />

The year is 1999. Microsoft, accused of using its market power to strangle web browser company Netscape, is still embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit. The first sections of the International Space Station have entered orbit. Companies and governments alike are working to fix the Year 2000 Bug, which threatens to crash computers across the world. And email is maybe ruining the English language. Welcome to a new year of This Week in Tech, 20 Years Ago.

This February, we’ll be following how the internet transformed writing, music, and revenge — plus stories about spy satellites and dances with computers.

It was the 🙂 of times, it was the 🙁 of times

Analyzing internet slang, The New York Times notes, wasn’t a new field of research in…

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Airbnb, Automattic and Pinterest top rank of most acquisitive unicorns


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from TechCrunch


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It takes a lot more than a good idea and the right timing to build a billion-dollar company. Talent, focus, operational effectiveness and a healthy dose of luck are all components of a successful tech startup. Many of the most successful (or, at least, highest-valued) tech unicorns today didn’t get there alone.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be a major growth vector for rapidly scaling, highly valued technology companies. It’s a topic that we’ve covered off and on since the very first post on Crunchbase News in March 2017. Nearly two years later, we wanted to revisit that first post because things move quickly, and there is a new crop of

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Adobe has fixed a Premiere Pro CC issue that blew some MacBook Pro speakers


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jI3x8Xy6robmxEEiseYEp25kPHA=/0x27:640x454/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63101138/adobe.0.jpg" />

Earlier this month, CNet and 9to5Mac reported that a number of Adobe Premiere CC users experienced a worrying problem with the program: a bug seemed to be blowing the speakers on their late-model MacBook Pros in some instances. This week, Adobe released a patch for the program that corrected the issue.

In a forum post, a user reported a “really loud screatching [sic] noise,” that wouldn’t let them turn it off. “After it stopped, the speakers were really quiet, and after the next restart they’re clearly blown.” Others chimed in with the same complaints, and posted examples on YouTube.

On Friday, an Adobe representative confirmed in a reply on the forum that “a small number of users reports an issue in Premiere Pro that could affect the…

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/23/18237501/adobe-premiere-pro-cc-macbook-pro-speakers-blown-patched">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

9 new trailers you should watch this week


This post is by Jacob Kastrenakes from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/i9zi1Ms56ycy_pRdP-R7oKyTeuQ=/0x0:3763x2509/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100573/rm_09883r.0.jpg" />

I saw Marry Poppins, last year’s designated family-friendly, non-controversial, just-accept it holiday film, over the holidays, without particularly high hopes. It was more entertaining than I expected, but I also feel compelled to say that I don’t think the Mary Poppins mythology makes any sense.

A friend explained it to me as a mythology designed to follow children’s logic, which is to say that it legitimately doesn’t make sense and anything can happen. Which does somewhat make sense within the film, which talks sometimes about how it’s important to be childlike and imaginative. But also, that never had any effect on the plot… it was just kind of there. And so it really just doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, I’m now done overthinking Mary…

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Discounted Ring home security tech, and DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro for $150 off are this week’s best deals


This post is by Cameron Faulkner from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Opm2dNPBtWF98Tcan0w71cHh0uI=/84x0:846x508/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63097332/r-1-930x508.0.0.jpg" />

The week is wrapping up, and there were a whole lot of good deals that came to the surface. From discounted Ring doorbells and DJI drones to Samsung Galaxy S10 preorder bonuses, there’s a lot to cover.

Amazon’s weeklong sale of its Ring home security products is coming to an end tonight at 2:59AM ET / 11:59PM PT, so it’s your last chance to get in on some decent deals on the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring Floodlight Camera, and more.

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/2/23/18235207/best-tech-deals-ring-home-security-dji-mavic-2-pro-amazon-fire">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

A cartoon monster puffing on a Juul stars in the vaping giant’s latest lawsuit


This post is by Rachel Becker from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Mab7KrVj2XBdQ6Na15v38SiQJTw=/0x135:808x674/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100580/juul_monster.0.jpg" />

Juul Labs is suing four more companies trying to ride Juul’s coattails to profit. Their suit, the latest case in a string of lawsuits filed by the vaping giant, alleges that four New Jersey-based companies — one of them called Juul Monster — infringed on Juul’s trademarks. Part of the suit revolves around the use of a cartoon logo, also called the Juul Monster.

Juul filed the suit Thursday against Juul Monster, K&R Products, Status Distribution, and Status Vapes, as well as people associated with the companies. The suit alleges that the defendants use the names “Juul Monster,” “Juul Mega Store,” and a cartoon Juul Monster logo to market a variety of pods and vapes, including but not limited to Juul products.

Posted by JuulMonster on T…

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Oppo announces 5G and 10x lossless zoom handsets


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Saturday afternoon is a rough time for a press conference — particularly with the official kickoff of Mobile World Congress still a few days away. That said, there are certain advantages to being an early bird. Chief among them is the ability to claim firsts — namely having the first 5G handset of the show.

That might not mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, but in a week that’s expected to be dominated by 5G announcements, it’s a way to stand out from the crowd. Of course, like the rest of the promised 5G handsets we’ve heard about so far — with the noble exception of Samsung’s — details are still pretty scarce

What we do know is that the handset — along with so many others set to be announced this week — will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. Fitting, given that we can almost

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NASA’s New Horizons sends back the clearest view yet of a flattened space peanut


This post is by Rachel Becker from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="&lt;em&gt;The New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) snapped 14 different images that NASA scientists made into a movie. &lt;/em&gt;" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/D8LgSPN6uscyiAWVbfLevQk5j9c=/0x0:512x341/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63100463/2019_02_22_11_11_01.0.gif" />

New photos sent back by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal mysterious light patches and dark divots on the strange, frozen space rock known as 2014 MU69. These photos are the clearest ones yet, giving scientists the chance to explore the distant object’s terrain from 4.1 billion miles away.

Located in the Kuiper belt, a stretch of frozen objects at the edge of the Solar System, 2014 MU69 is the most distant object humanity’s gotten a close-up look at, according to a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory news release. It’s roughly 20 miles long, and it’s thought to be basically unchanged since the Solar System’s early days — making it a tiny, enticing, far-away object to study.

  <cite>Credit: NASA/Johns...</cite></figure>

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Startups Weekly: Flexport, Clutter and SoftBank’s blood money


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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The Wall Street Journal published a thought-provoking story this week, highlighting limited partners’ concerns with the SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment strategy. The fund’s “decision-making process is chaotic,” it’s over-paying for equity in top tech startups and it’s encouraging inflated valuations, sources told the WSJ.

The report emerged during a particularly busy time for the Vision Fund, which this week led two notable VC deals in Clutter and Flexport, as well as participated in DoorDash’s $400 million round; more on all those below. So given all this SoftBank news, let us remind you that given its $45 billion commitment, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the Vision Fund’s largest investor. Saudi Arabia is responsible for the planned killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Here’s what I’m wondering this week: Do CEOs of companies like Flexport and Clutter have a responsibility to address the source of their capital? Should they be

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YouTube demonetizes anti-vaccination videos


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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YouTube will demonetize channels that promote anti-vaccination views, after a report by BuzzFeed News found ads, including from health companies, running before anti-vax videos. The platform will also place a new information panel that links to the Wikipedia entry on “vaccine hesitancy” before anti-vax videos. Information panels (part of YouTube’s efforts to combat misinformation) about the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine had already appeared in front of anti-vaccination videos that mentioned it.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a YouTube spokesperson said “we have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”

This is the second issue this week that has prompted YouTube advertisers to suspend their ads BuzzFeed News’

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Microsoft reportedly plans to discuss next-gen Xbox consoles at E3 2019


This post is by NIck Statt from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/vpTjWH2xF1OYOkhArlUfcj2fYgw=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63099469/microsoft-xbox-e3-2018-stock-1.0.0.jpg" />

Sony may have decided to skip the video game industry’s largest annual expo this year, but Microsoft plans to be back at E3 2019 with its usual blow-out press conference. And now, French gaming news outlet JeuxVideo is reporting that Microsoft plans to discuss its next-gen Xbox lineup as well.

We likely won’t get pricing details or product names, the report states, but we’ll certainly get some official confirmation of the two devices Microsoft is planning to release next year. The news lines up with the company’s slow and steady approach to unveiling its future console roadmap following the launch of the Xbox One X in fall 2017.

At last year’s E3, Microsoft…

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NASA gives SpaceX the okay to launch new passenger spacecraft on uncrewed test flight


This post is by Loren Grush from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="&lt;em&gt;An artistic rendering of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon docking with the International Space Station&lt;/em&gt;" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/e3QPk4eZev4W8nUQmY-iXWQC3uc=/469x0:5532x3375/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63099422/CrewDragon_ISS_6k.0.jpg" />

It’s official: the first uncrewed flight of SpaceX’s new passenger capsule, the Crew Dragon, is set to launch on March 2nd out of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Both NASA and SpaceX agreed to move forward with the flight today after doing a full day of reviews, determining that the vehicle was ready to see space and travel to the International Space Station. If the capsule successfully makes it to orbit, SpaceX will be one crucial step closer to putting the first humans on board its spacecraft.

This flight, called Demonstration Mission-1, or DM-1, is a major milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew program, an initiative to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard private vehicles. Since the Shuttle program ended, NASA has…

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The provocateur who went out into the cold


This post is by Bijan Stephen from The Verge - All Posts


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jFQcL_pve2TKmovazylanlrURb0=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63098467/bstephens_190226_protest_0001.0.jpg" />



     Laura Loomer protested at the Twitter building in New York a second time

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Verizon trials Stitch Fix-like mystery box service to sell gadgets


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/nv-zo6FMHkkVfF_ENoh7ECzUUoA=/505x0:2164x1106/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63098441/techbox__hero_oversized.17288ba3.0.jpg" />

Verizon has launched a mystery box service that delivers gadgets to customers’ homes, lets them try the gadgets for two weeks, and then charges them for what they choose not to return. The service, called Tech Pack, was announced today through emails sent out to select customers. Verizon is limiting how many people can sign up to start and expects to run out of slots by the end of the weekend.

The service works like Stitch Fix or any number of other mystery box delivery services. When signing up, you take a short quiz about what kind of things you like, and Verizon uses that information to choose which gadgets it’ll send you. Verizon will mail out a box of three tech products every so often, and you can keep or return as many as you’d…

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