Author: arkanaya
Sean Parker’s govtech Brigade breaks up, Pinterest acqhires engineers

Sean Parker’s govtech Brigade breaks up, Pinterest acqhires engineers

Facebook co-founder Sean Parker bankrolled Brigade to get out the vote and stimulate civic debate, but after five years and little progress the startup is splitting up, multiple sources confirm to TechCrunch. We’ve learned that Pinterest has acqhired roughly 20 members of the Brigade engineering team. The rest of Brigade is looking for a potential…

Two former Qualcomm engineers are using AI to fix China’s healthcare problem

Two former Qualcomm engineers are using AI to fix China’s healthcare problem

Artificial intelligence is widely heralded as something that could disrupt the jobs market across the board — potentially eating into careers as varied as accountants, advertising agents, reporters and more — but there are some industries in dire need of assistance where AI could make a wholly positive impact, a core one being healthcare. Despite…

Xiaomi-backed electric toothbrush Soocas raises $30 million Series C

Xiaomi-backed electric toothbrush Soocas raises $30 million Series C

China’s Soocas continues to jostle with global toothbrush giants as it raises 200 million yuan ($30 million) in a series C funding round. The Shenzhen-based oral care manufacturer has secured the new capital from lead investor Vision Knight Capital, with Kinzon Capital, Greenwoods Investment, Yunmu Capital and Cathay Capital also participating in the round. The new…

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in leak of Jeff Bezos’ private messages

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in leak of Jeff Bezos’ private messages

In his extraordinary Medium post last week accusing American Media Inc of “extortion and blackmail,” Bezos hinted (but did not explicitly state) that there may be a connection between Saudi Arabia and the publication of his personal messages with Lauren Sanchez. Now Saudi Arabia’s minister of foreign affairs has denied it was involved, stating during…

Users complain of account hacks, but OkCupid denies a data breach

Users complain of account hacks, but OkCupid denies a data breach

It’s bad enough that dating sites are a pit of exaggerations and inevitable disappointment, they’re also a hot target for hackers. Dating sites aren’t considered the goldmine of personal information like banks or hospitals, but they’re still an intimate part of millions of people’s lives and have long been in the sights of hackers. If…

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ is lethally dull

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ is lethally dull

Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and writer-director Dan Gilroy — who worked together on the creepy crime thriller “Nightcrawler” — have reunited for a new Netflix Original film, “Velvet Buzzsaw.” While “Nightcrawler” wasn’t perfect, it was tense and unsettling, filled with eerily beautiful shots of nighttime L.A., plus a career-best performance from Gyllenhaal. It’s hard to…

Companies raising supergiant VC aren’t getting any younger

Companies raising supergiant VC aren’t getting any younger

This week, point-to-point “microtransit” service company Lime announced it raised $310 million in a Series D round, which valued the company at $2.4 billion, post-money. That is pretty impressive for a startup founded just a couple of years ago. Since 2017, Lime has raised more than $765 million in venture funding, which is due in part to the…

Privacy is a commons

Privacy is a commons

“The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society,” quoth Wikipedia, “held in common, not owned privately.” We live in an era of surveillance capitalism in a symbiotic relationship with advertising technology, quoth me. And I put it to you that privacy is not just a virtue, or a…

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”,…