Mobile social network Path, once a challenger to Facebook, is closing down

It’s that time again, folks, time to say goodbye to a social media service from days past. Following the shuttering of Klout earlier this year, now Path, the one-time rival to Facebook, is closing its doors, according to an announcement made today. The eight-year-old service will close down in one month — October 18 — but it will be removed from the App Store and Google Play on October 1. Any remaining users have until October 18 to download a copy of their data, which can be done here.

Path was founded by former Facebook product manager Dave

Continue reading "Mobile social network Path, once a challenger to Facebook, is closing down"

Uber fires up its own traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars

If the whole map is red and it’s a short ride, maybe you’d prefer taking an Uber JUMP Bike instead of an UberX. Or at least if you do end up stuck bumper-to-bumper, the warning could make you less likely to get mad mid-ride and take it out on the driver’s rating. This week TechCrunch spotted Uber overlaying blue, yellow, and red traffic condition bars on your route map before you hail. Responding to TechCrunch’s inquiry, Uber confirmed that traffic estimates have been quietly testing for riders on Android over the past few months and the pilot program recently expanded to a subset of iOS users. It’s already live for all drivers. The congestion indicators are based on Uber’s own traffic information pulled from its historic trip data about 10 billion rides plus real-time data from its drivers’ phones, rather than estimates from Google that already power Uber’s maps. If traffic
Continue reading "Uber fires up its own traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars"

Facebook rolls out photo/video fact checking so partners can train its AI

Sometimes fake news lives inside of Facebook as photos and videos designed to propel misinformation campaigns, instead of off-site on news articles that can generate their own ad revenue. To combat these politically rather than financially-motivated meddlers, Facebook has to be able to detect fake news inside of images and the audio that accompanies video clips. Today its expanding its photo and video fact checking program from four countries to all 23 of its fact-checking partners in 17 countries. “Many of our third-party fact-checking partners have expertise evaluating photos and videos and are trained in visual verification techniques, such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata, like when and where the photo or video was taken” says Facebook product manager Antonia Woodford. “As we get more ratings from fact-checkers on photos and videos, we will be able to improve the accuracy of our machine learning model.” The goal
Continue reading "Facebook rolls out photo/video fact checking so partners can train its AI"

Google Street View rival Mapillary collaborates with Amazon to read text in its 350M image database

Mapillary, the Swedish startup that wants to take on Google and others in mapping the world by way of a crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, is taking an interesting step in the development of its platform. The company is now working with Amazon, and specifically its Rekognition API, to detect and read text in Mapillary’s database of 350 million images. The first application resulting from the new feature will come from a large US city (that Mapillary will not name right now), which plans to use the information that will now be “readable” from parking signs to build a parking app. “Parking is a super hot space and [parking information] is one of the most asked-for pieces of data that people want to use Mapillary for,” said Jan Erik Solem, CEO and co-founder of the Malmo, Sweden-based startup. He said that while parking will be the first application and one
Continue reading "Google Street View rival Mapillary collaborates with Amazon to read text in its 350M image database"

Snapchat enlists 20 partners to curate Our Stories from submissions

Themed collections of user generated content chosen by news publishers for viewing on and off Snapchat are the teen social network’s next great hope for relevance. Today Snap launches Curated Our Stories with the help of 20 partners like CNN, Cosmopolitan, Lad Bible, and NowThis. Instead of sifting through and selecting submissions to Our Story all by itself around events, holidays, and fads, these publishers can create slideshows of Snaps about whatever they want. They’ll both be featured in Snapchat Discover that sees 75 million Our Stories viewers per month, but also on the publishers’ own properties thanks to Snap’s embeds that have been underused since their January launch.
<script type="text/javascript">
    ( function() {
        var func = function() {
            var iframe = document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-e94feb814020e3f816eeeff52113f7bb')
            if ( iframe ) {
                iframe.onload = function() {
                    iframe.contentWindow.postMessage( {
                        'msg_type': 'poll_size',
                        'frame_id': 'wpcom-iframe-e94feb814020e3f816eeeff52113f7bb'
                    }, "https:\/\/tcprotectedembed.com" );
                }
            }

            // Autosize iframe
            var <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI" border="0"></div>
Continue reading "Snapchat enlists 20 partners to curate Our Stories from submissions"

Airbnb hosts are offering free rooms to people fleeing Hurricane Florence

With Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching the southeastern seaboard, many are leaving the area and seeking accommodation inland. Hopefully people have shelter lined up, but for a handful of those that don’t, Airbnb hosts are offering their spare rooms for free. Well over 300 hosts from Pennsylvania to Alabama are participating in Airbnb’s Disaster Response Program, by which they can easily offer their room or spare unit to people on the run from Mother Nature, free of charge. They don’t get anything out of it except presumably the satisfaction of helping someone in need. The units available are listed here, and you can (and should) activate your own spot by logging in and finding the “urgent accommodation” option. Technically you can opt to charge instead of be free, but that would be a bit rotten in this situation. You’ll need an account, of course, if you’re looking for a place
Continue reading "Airbnb hosts are offering free rooms to people fleeing Hurricane Florence"

Snapchat shares hit all-time low as search acquisition Vurb’s CEO bails

Snapchat’s sagging share price is making it tough to retain talent. Bobby Lo, founder and CEO of mobile search app Vurb that Snap Inc acquired for $114.5 million two years ago is leaving day-to-day operations at the company. That means Lo cut out early on his four-year retention package vesting schedule, which was likely influenced by Snapchat falling to new share price lows. Snap is trading around $9.15 today, compared to its $17 IPO price and $24 first-day close. That’s down over 7 percent from yesterday following BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield gave Snap a sell rating with a target price of $5 saying “We are tired of Snapchat’s excuses for missing numbers and are no longer willing to give management ‘time’ to figure out monetization.” Greenfield is known as one of the top social network analysts, so people take him seriously when he says “We have been
Continue reading "Snapchat shares hit all-time low as search acquisition Vurb’s CEO bails"

HQ Trivia nabs Target to sponsor game with biggest ever single winner prize of $100K

HQ Trivia is aiming to attract more players following a slight decline in downloads with a new, large prize. The company announced today it has bagged Target to sponsor to sponsor a special Emmy-themed game featuring its biggest-ever single winner prize of $100,000. The game will air on Monday, September 17 at 9 PM ET, but will be played in a different fashion than usual. Typically, HQ Trivia players compete to win or split a cash prize, which often doesn’t amount to much more than enough for a cup of coffee. But this time around, HQ Trivia will run in a “one winner takes all” format, meaning only one individual will earn the winnings from the game. Instead of a normal 12-question round with 10 second to answer, the game will continue until only one winner remains. Players can still use their extra lives, but only until question number 15.
Continue reading "HQ Trivia nabs Target to sponsor game with biggest ever single winner prize of $100K"

Apple is releasing iOS 12 on September 17th

Even if you don’t plan on buying a new iPhone, you’ll be able to get a bunch of new features next week. Apple plans on releasing iOS 12, the next major version of iOS, on Tuesday, September 17th. As always, iOS 12 will be available as a free download. If your iPhone or iPad runs iOS 11, you’ll be able to update to iOS 12 as Apple plans to keep supporting all existing iOS 11 devices. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new in iOS 12. The main feature of iOS 12 is a performance improvement, especially for older devices. If you have an iPhone 6 or an iPad Air for instance, you should see a big improvement when it comes to launching apps, triggering the camera and entering text. The other big theme of the year is new features to help you spend less time using your phone. There’s
more iPhone Event 2018 coverage
Continue reading "Apple is releasing iOS 12 on September 17th"

Here are the prices of the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr

Apple just unveiled brand new phones. The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are the two new flagship devices, replacing the iPhone X. The iPhone Xr is replacing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with Face ID and an edge-to-edge design. And maybe you were waiting for this press conference to buy a new smartphone. So here’s a quick rundown of how much you’re going to pay for those devices. The iPhone Xs is are available with 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage for $999, $1,149 or $1,349. You need to add $100 on top of that for the iPhone Xs Max with a bigger display ($1,099, $1,249 or $1,449). There are three different colors — silver, gold and space gray. The iPhone Xr replaces the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It will start at $749 for 64GB, with 128GB and 256GB also available for $799 and $899. There
more iPhone Event 2018 coverage
Continue reading "Here are the prices of the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr"

Say goodbye to Inbox by Gmail

With the launch of the new Gmail, the writing was on the wall, but today Google made it official: Inbox by Gmail, the company’s experimental email client for Gmail, will shut down at the end of March 2019. Google says it’s making this change to put its focus “solely on Gmail.” While that makes sense, it’s a shame to see Inbox sail into the setting sun, given that it pioneered many of the features that have now become part of the new Gmail. I would have loved to see Google continue to experiment with Inbox instead. That, after all, was one of the reasons the company started the Inbox project to begin with. It’s hard to try radical experiments with a service that has a billion users, after all. Today, however, Google now seems to be willing to try new things right in Gmail, too. Smart Compose, for
Continue reading "Say goodbye to Inbox by Gmail"

Dealers remain on Instagram as it pushes drug searchers to treatment

You don’t have to search too hard to find Xanax and Fentanyl dealers posting their phone numbers all over Instagram, but at least it’s starting to push people towards addiction recovery resources. Backlash led Instagram to perform a cursory blocking of exact drug name hashtag searches in April did little to solve the problem, as sellers just moved to unblocked hashtags like “#XanaxLife” and “Oxycontins”. Facebook and Instagram could share some of the blame for 2017’s massive spike in synthetic opioid deaths that skyrocketed from 10,000 to 30,000 according to The Center For Disease Control. So last month, Facebook began redirecting users searching to buy drugs towards a  “Can we help?” box explaining that “If you or someone you know struggles with opioid misuse, we would like to help you find ways to get free and confidential treatment referrals, as well as information about substance use, prevention and recovery.
Continue reading "Dealers remain on Instagram as it pushes drug searchers to treatment"

Google gets more RCS messaging support from Samsung

Google has secured a bit more buy in from Samsung for a next generation text messaging standard it’s long been promoting. The Android OS maker’s hope for Rich Communication Services (RCS), which upgrades what SMS can offer to support richer comms and content swapping, can provide its fragmented Android ecosystem with a way to offer comparably rich native messaging — a la Apple’s iMessage on iOS. But it’s a major, major task given how many Android devices are out there. And Google needs the entire industry to step with it to support RCS (not just device makers but carriers too) if it’s going to achieve anything more than fiddling around the edges. Zooming out for a moment, the even bigger problem is the messaging ship has sailed, with massively popular platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram having already offloaded billions of users into their respective walled gardens, pulling the center of
Continue reading "Google gets more RCS messaging support from Samsung"

Job Today gets a $16M top up as it preps for Brexit bump

Accel-backed mobile-first jobs app Job Today has pulled in another $16M — an expansion to its November 2016 $20M Series B round. It raised a $10M Series A in January of the same year. The 2015 founded startup offers a mobile app for job seekers that does away with the need for a CV. Instead job seekers create a profile in the app and can apply to relevant jobs. Employers can then triage potential applicants via the app and chat to any they like the look of via its messaging platform. The approach has been especially popular with fast turnover jobs in the service industry, such as hospitality and retail. Job Today says it has more than five million job seekers registered on its platform, and claims to have delivered more than 100 million candidate applications to the 400,000+ predominantly small businesses posting jobs via the app to date (with
Continue reading "Job Today gets a $16M top up as it preps for Brexit bump"

I watched HBO’s Tinder-shaming doc ‘Swiped’ so you don’t have to

Have you ever wanted to see one of your “hate-reads” stretched out to feature-film length? If so, you’ll want to watch HBO’s new documentary, “Swiped,” which takes a depressing, trigger-inducing and damning look at online dating culture, and specifically Tinder’s outsized influence in the dating app business. The film evolved from journalist Nancy Jo Sales’ 2015 Vanity Fair piece, entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse,” which was criticized at the time for its narrow focus on 20-something, largely heterosexual women in an urban setting. The piece had extrapolated out their personal dating struggles and turned them into condemnation of the entire online dating market. But the VF piece was actually more memorable for Tinder’s response. The company – well, it went off. In a 30-tweet tirade (that’s still some of the best of the internet, mind you), the company lost its ever-lovin’ mind on both
Continue reading "I watched HBO’s Tinder-shaming doc ‘Swiped’ so you don’t have to"

Ebay’s HeadGaze lets motor-impaired users navigate the site with head movements

The sophisticated head-tracking system like the one built into the iPhone X may have been intended for AR and security purposes, but it may also turn out to be very useful for people with disabilities. A proof of concept app from an eBay intern shows how someone with very little motor function can navigate the site with nothing but head movements. Muratcan Çiçek is one such person, and relies on assistive technology every day to read, work and get around. This year he was interning at eBay and decided to create a tool that would help people with motor impairments like his to shop online. Turns out there are lots of general-purpose tools for accessibility, like letting a user control a cursor with their eyes or a joystick, but nothing made just for navigating a site like eBay or Amazon. His creation, HeadGaze, relies on the iPhone X’s front-facing
Continue reading "Ebay’s HeadGaze lets motor-impaired users navigate the site with head movements"

The best security and privacy features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

September is Apple hardware season, where we expect new iPhones, a new Apple Watch and more. But what makes the good stuff run is the software within. First revealed earlier this year at the company’s annual WWDC developer event in June, iOS 12 and macOS Mojave focus on a running theme: security and privacy for the masses. Ahead of Wednesday big reveal, here’s all the good stuff to look out for.

macOS Mojave

macOS Mojave will be the sixth iteration of the Mac operating system, named after a location in California where Apple is based. It comes with dark mode, file stacks, and group FaceTime calls.

Safari now prevents browser fingerprinting and cross-site tracking

What does it do? Safari will use a new “intelligent tracking prevention” feature to prevent advertisers from following you from site to site. Even social networks like Facebook know which sites you visit because so
more iPhone Event 2018 coverage
Continue reading "The best security and privacy features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave"