TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


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International money transfer service TransferWise, has made a significant incursion into the US market today, launching a MasterCard debit card alongside a multicurrency account. Mirroring the card it has already launched in the UK and Europe last year, the card will work in over 40 currencies without balance limits, and conversion fees will be competitive with current exchange rates. A similar card aimed at businesses will follow the consumer launch.

Co-founder Taavet Hinrikus told me that the card effectively makes the average person able to act like a millionaire when they are traveling. “Alternative ‘travel’ cards are four times more expensive for every dollar spent and are only available to the top 10% of people who pass credit checks and also pay hundreds of dollars per year,” he said.

He believes this card will democratize the whole market. That means it’s likely that US tourists in Europe or elsewhere

Continue reading “TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers”

TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




International money transfer service TransferWise, has made a significant incursion into the US market today, launching a MasterCard debit card alongside a multicurrency account. Mirroring the card it has already launched in the UK and Europe last year, the card will work in over 40 currencies without balance limits, and conversion fees will be competitive with current exchange rates. A similar card aimed at businesses will follow the consumer launch.

Co-founder Taavet Hinrikus told me that the card effectively makes the average person able to act like a millionaire when they are traveling. “Alternative ‘travel’ cards are four times more expensive for every dollar spent and are only available to the top 10% of people who pass credit checks and also pay hundreds of dollars per year,” he said.

He believes this card will democratize the whole market. That means it’s likely that US tourists in Europe or elsewhere

Continue reading “TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers”

Shopify Ping adds support for Apple Business Chat and Apple Pay


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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Last year Shopify announced Shopify Ping, a free unified messaging platform for merchants to communicate directly with customers in a chat context. Today, it announced it’s adding support for Apple Business Chat to Shopify Ping.

The real benefit to this is that users can not only use Apple’s business chat product to communicate with customers, the customers can pay directly with Apple Pay right inside the chat client, reducing friction, and making it more likely the person will complete his or her purchase.

As the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new integration, this approach is likely to increase sales. “We know that customers who engage in a conversation with a brand are nearly three times as likely to complete a purchase. Live chat also creates a personal connection between a brand and the customer which builds trust and makes them more likely to come back,”

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Tesla reportedly working on its own battery cell manufacturing capability


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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Automaker Tesla is looking into how it might own another key part of its supply chain, through research being done at a secret lab near its Fremont, CA HQ, CNBC reports. The company currently relies on Panasonic to build the battery pack and cells it uses for its vehicles, which is one of, if not the most significant component in terms of its overall bill of materials.

Tesla is no stranger to owning components of its own supply chain rather than farming them out to vendors as is more common among automakers – it builds its own seats at a facility down the road from its Fremont car factory, for instance, and it recently started building its own chip for its autonomous features, taking over those duties from Nvidia.

Eliminating links in the chain where possible is a move emulated from Tesla CEO Elon Musk inspiration Apple, which under

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Why Carbon just raised another $260 million


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Two months ago, we reported that Carbon was set to raise up to $300 million, bringing the 3D printing company’s valuation up to a lofty $2.5 billion. The real numbers released this week by the company aren’t quite so lofty, but are impressive nonetheless. The Series E fetched $260 million, putting its valuation at closer to $2.4 billion.

The latest round follows a $200 million Series D that arrived in late-2017, bringing the company’s total raise to $680 million. What exactly is the bay area-based startup planning to do with that massive sum, in the wake of high profile manufacturing partnerships with companies like Adidas and Riddell?

CEO/co-founder Joseph M. DeSimone and recent addition CMO Dara Treseder (most recently of GE Ventures) stopped by our offices to discuss what the latest round means for the Bay Area-based company.

Asked for a timeline around when Carbon might exit, DeSimon

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D-Wave launches its quantum hybrid platform


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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D-Wave, one of the earliest quantum computing startups, today announced the general availability of D-Wave Hybrid, it’s open-source hybrid workflow platform that makes it easier for developers to build — you guessed it — hybrid quantum applications that combine classical and quantum computing. D-Wave Hybrid is part of the company’s Ocean software development kit, which itself is part of its Leap quantum computing cloud service.

Pretty much by default, all quantum computer systems are hybrids, as you still need a standard classical computer to control the quantum chips. The platform gives developers the tools to develop their applications for D-Wave’s recently launched 2000Q family of machines, as well as future systems.

The general idea behind D-Wave Hybrid and similar tools from its competitors like Rigetti is to help developers build applications that essentially use the quantum computer as a co-processor when it’s useful. D-Wave Hybrid also helps developers to

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To Get to Bed Earlier, Take More Breaks During the Day


This post is by Meghan Moravcik Walbert from Lifehacker


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It might seem a little counterintuitive. Sure, you want to go to bed earlier so that you feel refreshed in the morning. Maybe you’ve been meaning to push up your bedtime for months (years!) but you’re always rushing from this to that to this all day long. If you take more breaks than usual throughout the day, you’ll…

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Low-cost TV streaming service Philo comes to Android


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Despite a slight price increase in April, Philo’s live TV streaming service is still one of the more affordable options on the market because of its strategic decision to not stream sports. That helps keep its costs down while providing an option for cord cutters who mainly want access to the traditional cable TV networks focused on entertainment, news, movies, kids, and other lifestyle content. But until today, Philo hasn’t been well-serving a large portion of its user base: Android users. That’s now changing with the official launch of a native Android app.

Before, Android users could only access Philo from a mobile web browser, while iOS users had their own dedicated app.

Android Home Page

The new Android app will be generally comparable to the iOS experience, though it has a somewhat different layout.  While iOS features navigation buttons for Home, Live, Saved, Search, and Settings, the Android version switches things

Android Recommended
Schedule Screenshot
Android Saved Channels

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Bright Machines wants to put AI-driven automation in every factory


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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There’s a mythology around today’s factories that says everything is automated by robotics, and while there is some truth to that, it’s hard to bring that level of sophistication to every facility, especially those producing relatively small runs. Today, Bright Machines, a San Francisco startup announced its first product designed to put intelligence and automation in reach of every manufacturer, regardless of its size.

The startup, which emerged last fall with $179 million in Series A funding, has a mission to make every aspect of manufacturing run in a software-defined automated fashion. Company CEO Amar Hanspal understands it’s a challenging goal, and today’s announcement is about delivering version 1.0 of that vision.

“We have this ambitious idea to fundamentally change the way factories operate, and what we are all about is to get to autonomous programmable factories,” he said. To start on that journey, since getting its

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Europe should ban AI for mass surveillance and social credit scoring, says advisory group


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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An independent expert group tasked with advising the European Commission to inform its regulatory response to artificial intelligence — to underpin EU lawmakers’ stated aim of ensuring AI developments are “human centric” — has published its policy and investment recommendations.

This follows earlier ethics guidelines for “trustworthy AI”, put out by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) for AI back in April, when the Commission also called for participants to test the draft rules.

The AI HLEG’s full policy recommendations comprise a highly detailed 50-page document — which can be downloaded from this web page. The group, which was set up in June 2018, is made up of a mix of industry AI experts, civic society representatives, political advisers and policy wonks, academics and legal experts.

The document includes warnings on the use of AI for mass surveillance and scoring of EU citizens, such as China’s social credit system

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Facebook squeezes money from Instagram with new ads in Explore


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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Half of Instagram’s billion-plus users open its Explore tab each month to find fresh content and creators. Now the Facebook-owned app will due more to carry its weight by injecting ads into Instagram Explore for the first time. But rather than bombard users with marketing right on the Explore grid, Instagram will instead only show ads after users tap into a post and then start scrolling through similar imagery.

The move feels like a respectful way to monetize Explore without annoying users too much or breaking the high visual quality of the space. Instagram’s director of business product marketing Susan Bucker Rose tells me she believes the ads will feel natural becaus users already come to Explore “in the mindset of discovery. They want to be exposed to new accounts, people, and brands.”

Instagram will test the ad slots itself at first to promote its ailing IGTV product before

Instagram Explore Ads

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Avengers: Endgame’s home release trailer spoils the film for everyone who was waiting for the DVD


This post is by Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge - All Posts


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If you’re one of the roughly dozen people on Earth who hasn’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet because you were waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray, then I would strongly advise you not to watch Marvel’s new video announcing the home video release dates because it reveals, quite literally, the entire film.

It’s not like the marketing team hasn’t been playing things fast and loose with the big reveals from the film after the Russo brothers’ spoiler ban lifted — several more recent TV spots for Endgame were pretty spoilery, too — but the trailer announcing when you’ll be able to buy the film is probably the most egregious spoiler yet.

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve somehow avoided spoilers so far: the film hits digital storefronts like…

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Avengers: Endgame’s home release trailer spoils the film for everyone who was waiting for the DVD


This post is by Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge - All Posts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




If you’re one of the roughly dozen people on Earth who hasn’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet because you were waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray, then I would strongly advise you not to watch Marvel’s new video announcing the home video release dates because it reveals, quite literally, the entire film.

It’s not like the marketing team hasn’t been playing things fast and loose with the big reveals from the film after the Russo brothers’ spoiler ban lifted — several more recent TV spots for Endgame were pretty spoilery, too — but the trailer announcing when you’ll be able to buy the film is probably the most egregious spoiler yet.

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve somehow avoided spoilers so far: the film hits digital storefronts like…

Continue reading…

HER, the dating app for queer women, revamps profiles


This post is by Jordan Crook from TechCrunch


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HER, the app that provides safe space for queer women to meet, has today revamped the app’s profiles.

The updated profiles allow users to express themselves more fully in the categories of gender, sexuality, pronouns, diet preferences, star signs, drinking, smoking and cannabis habits, among others. HER has also added space for a text bio, which is very common on other dating apps but wasn’t a part of Her .

“It was interesting to reflect on how people have changed,” said founder and CEO Robyn Exton, in reference to text profiles. “People used to worry about writing a bio but now they really want more ways to express themselves, and they want to see other people’s writing skills when they’re browsing profiles.”

There is a downside to text profiles, which the Grindr community is all too familiar with, in that it allows users to also express their discrimination against

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MIT AI tool can predict breast cancer up to 5 years early, works equally well for white and black patients


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has developed a new deep learning-based AI prediction model that can anticipate the development of breast cancer up to five years in advance. Researchers working on the product also recognized that other similar projects have often had inherent bias because they were based overwhelmingly on white patient populations, and specifically designed their own model so that it is informed by “more equitable” data that ensures it’s “equally accurate for white and black women.”

That’s key, MIT notes in a blog post, because black women are more than 42 percent more likely than white women to die from breast cancer, and one contributing factor could be that they aren’t as well-served by current early detection techniques. MIT says that its work in developing this technique was aimed specifically at making the assessment of health risks of this nature more accurate for minorities,

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Songtrust adds another 55,000 artists to its rights management service


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Over the past year, Songtrust has added another 55,000 artists to its rights management service.

The company, a subsidiary of Downtown Music Publishing, a publishing and rights management firm that manages rights for artists such as John Lennon, One Direction and Santigold, now has 205,000 artists on its roster and has 2 million songs it tracks.

The company has also opened three offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Nashville to complement existing locations in New York, London and Amsterdam.

The company’s growth follows that of a music industry that continues to enjoy a renaissance (at least in terms of dollars spent).

The global recorded music market grew 9.7% in 2018 to $19.1 billion, according to data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (which has been tracking the industry since the days when the dominant technology was

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300M-user meme site Imgur raises $20M from Coil to pay creators


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


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Meme creators have never gotten their fair share. Remixed and reshared across the web, their jokes props up social networks like Instagram and Twitter that pay back none of their ad revenue to artists and comedians. But 300 million monthly user meme and storytelling app Imgur wants to pioneer a way to pay creators per second that people view their content.

Today Imgur announces that it’s raised a $20 million venture equity round from Coil, a micropayment tool for creators that Imgur has agreed to build into its service. Imgur will eventually launch a premium membership with exclusive features and content reserved for Coil subscribers. Users pay Coil a fixed monthly fee, install its browser extension, the Ripple XRP cryptocurrency is used to route assets around, and then Coil pays creators per second that the subscriber spends consuming their content at a rate of 36 cents per hour. Imgur and

Imgur
Coil Micropayments

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TripIt gets Google Assistant and Alexa support


This post is by Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge - All Posts


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Fans of travel planning app TripIt can now access their travel details directly through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, with the company launching integrations for both smart assistant platforms today, via Android Police.

Adding TripIt works like any other Alexa or Google Assistant integration: users will have to open the companion app for their service of choice and add TripIt there, after which point it should be available through all of your connected smart speakers and devices.

Once you’ve set it up, you’ll be able to ask Google Assistant or Alexa things like when your flight takes off or what the weather is like at your destination. None of this is new information that you couldn’t already get by opening the TripIt app, but if…

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Why are phones so good but batteries are still so terrible?


This post is by Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge - All Posts


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It’s a universal truth that battery life on phones is bad. Even with the giant batteries and external battery packs we tote around, most modern smartphones struggle to make it through a full day of use, while the best devices barely scrape through two.

But it didn’t use to be this way: back in the (relatively) old days, phones had (relatively) fantastic battery life, lasting for multiple days at a time without needing to be charged. And, yes, our phones today are vastly more powerful than, say, a Nokia 3310, but why haven’t batteries kept up with the pace of progress?

According to Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science and an…

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