As digital assistants like Siri and Alexa become more intelligent, there’s a growing need for them to always be accessible. Current microphone tech has been too power-hungry to keep permanently enabled. As a result, a new class of products, home assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa-enabled products and Google Home, have arisen as power-connected alternatives. Vesper is aiming to… Read More

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 Innovation hubs have become a mainstay of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem. Scratch the surface of the continent’s information and communication building blocks and you’ll likely find connections to a tech space. Over 150 startups have launched out of Kenya’s iHub. MEST’s Incubator seed fund program formed out of Ghana’s Meltwater IT academy. Read More

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 It felt pretty awesome to witness the future of transportation unveiled this summer as China’s Transit Elevated Bus Train (TEB) took to the urban streets of Qinhuangdao for testing. One would think that after such an accomplishment the vehicle would be put to use as soon as humanly possible. Unfortunately, that is not what’s happening. A new report from Shanghaiist tells… Read More

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 Facebook’s board was sued earlier this year, with investors alleging that their interests were not adequately represented when Zuckerberg was permitted to sell most of his shares and still retain voting control of the company. And now court filings uncovered by Bloomberg show that texts sent by board member Marc Andreessen are being used to suggest that he was protecting Zuckerberg… Read More

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 So you bought a Nintendo 3DS to play some Pokemon Sun… but now your Pokedex is complete and you’ve explored every inch of Alola. Now what? If you’ve got a technical background, you might consider poking around the 3DS itself. There might just be a big ol’ stack of cash in it for you. Nintendo has just launched a bug bounty program by way of HackerOne. Find a bug that… Read More

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 The California Department of Motor Vehicles posts a list of all the companies and entities cleared to test self-driving vehicles on public roads in the state, and that list has a new member: Nvidia. The graphics card-maker also builds processing units for use in autonomous driving systems, including those capable of deep learning. Nvidia is working with a number of companies on the list as… Read More

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 Open source laptops — ones not running any commercial software whatsoever — have been the holy grail for free software fans for years. Now, with the introduction of libreboot, a truly open source boot firmware, the dream is close to fruition. The $730 laptop is a bog standard piece of hardware but it contains only open source software. The OS, Debian, is completely open source;… Read More

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 Droughts, climate change and deforestation are putting forests at risk worldwide, so studying these ecosystems closely is more important than ever — but it’s a hell of a lot of work to climb every tree in the Sierra Nevada. Drones and advanced imaging, however, present an increasingly practical alternative to that, as a UC Berkeley project shows. Read More

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 If you’ve been taking your sensitive phone calls at 30,000 feet, well, it’s time to stop. Apparently, the NSA knows about your extremely elaborate privacy workaround — putting your iPhone in the freezer is so 2013 — and can hear your calls at cruising altitude just the same. According to a new joint report from Le Monde and The Intercept on previously unreported… Read More

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 Yik Yak, the once universally recognized anonymous social network that virally took over college campuses back in 2014, is planning to lay off a “significant” number of employees, first noted by The Verge. The company is said to be retaining mostly engineers as it notified its team of about 50 employees earlier this morning. In a statement to TechCrunch, Tyler Droll, CEO of Yik… Read More

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 One more meetup in Poland! I’ll see you all tomorrow in Wroclaw and it’s going to be a hoot! Tomorrow’s meetup is after the IN-FERENCE conference on Friday, December 9 and it’s part of the IN-FERENCE conference. We’ll be talking medtech, biotech and anything non-fintech related. You can submit an application to pitch here. Please note that unless you hear from… Read More

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 Today, Tinder is launching a new M&A branch of the company called Swipe Ventures, which will be led by Sean Rad. As part of the launch, Rad will step down as Tinder CEO and become chairman of both Tinder and Swipe Ventures, with Match CEO and Chairman Greg Blatt swapping out as Tinder chairman to become Tinder CEO. He will remain chairman and CEO of Tinder parent company Match. Read More

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 John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and the oldest human to travel into space, died today at 95 years old. Today, we join the world in mourning the passing of legendary astronaut, senator and Ohioan John Glenn. https://t.co/L66WmMJgHi pic.twitter.com/ny3NPpm0nk — Ohio State (@OhioState) December 8, 2016 Glenn was hospitalized over a week ago at the The James Cancer… Read More

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 BuzzFeed has a new vice president leading its data science team. Gilad Lotan has a long résumé in the field, having most recently served as chief data scientist at New York-based startup studio Betaworks, and before that working in data-related roles at SocialFlow, Microsoft and Endemol. Publisher Dao Nguyen told me that this is a new role at BuzzFeed — the closest equivalent being… Read More

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 Just in time for that cross-country holiday trip, Apple’s bringing some key electric vehicle charging info to its ecosystem, courtesy of ChargePoint. The partnership brings location info for 30,000 charging stations, which will pop up in Maps as badges, along with available pricing and hours of operation. Apple’s AI assistant will, naturally, be getting in on the action, with… Read More

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 Today on “Today,” Sheryl Sandberg dismissed Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election. Still, she didn’t want you to forget that Facebook plays a relevant part in political and social movements, just not in a way that went on to influence the results of the most divisive election in modern American history. “People come to Facebook to share what matters… Read More

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 In addition to exploring the solar system and performing critical and fascinating research on the Earth itself, NASA produces a lot of cool imagery. And as we all know, GIFs are the best way to enjoy pretty much any kind of visual stimuli — so it is with joy that I can relate that NASA now has its own Giphy page, with hundreds of images from its archives and latest missions. Read More

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 The education world has been transformed thanks to the power of technology. But not all communities have been privy to the benefits; low-income students are still shut out of the edtech revolution. The digital divide is no longer just about connectivity. Many edtech startups are not designed with the specific needs of low-income, under-connected kids in mind. That’s where nonprofits come in. Read More

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 Just as Twitter has struggled to find the right business model to grow faster and make profits, so, it seems, have some of the business ideas that have been built on the platform. Today NBC said that, effective December 31, it would be closing down Breaking News, a social media newswire service that (surprise) delivers breaking news headlines, best known for its rapid-fire Twitter account… Read More

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 Amazon is launching a new Amazon Web Services Region today, its first in Canada, in Montreal. The AWS Canada (Central) Region will offer two Availability Zones as of its launch today, which basically means there are two separate physical data center spots separated by enough distance that a physical event affecting one should not affect the other. AWS already had a number of Canadian clients,… Read More

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