Technology

Technology

Netflix magic market number larger than big cable company’s magic market number

Netflix’s market cap is now larger than Comcast, which is pretty much just a symbolic thing given that the companies are valued very differently but is like one of those moments where Apple was larger than Exxon and may be some kind of watershed moment for technology. Or not. A couple notes on this largely symbolic and not really important thing: Netflix users are going up. That’s a number that people look at. It’s why Netflix’s magic market number is going up. People are cutting cable TV cords. Netflix has no cable TV cords. It does, however, require a cord connected to the internet. So it still needs a cord of some sort, unless everything goes wireless. Netflix is spending a lot of money on content. People consume content. Cable is also content, but it is expensive content. Also, Comcast...

GOAT launches electric scooters in Austin

Dockless electric scooter company GOAT has launched in Austin after receiving official permits from the city’s transportation department for its pilot program. Unlike what’s happened in San Francisco with startups Bird, Lime and Spin, GOAT says it wants to work in tandem with city officials in Austin. GOAT is currently bootstrapped, but says it plans to continue partnering with local cities to launch its electric scooter service across the nation. GOAT has permission to launch up to 500 scooters as part of the pilot program, but is currently incrementally deploying scooters 20 at a time. The company tells TechCrunch it’s also working with other cities in pursuing permits in multiple areas. “In April we watched two California-based companies enter our market, ignore the balance, and exploit...

Vevo will shutter apps, in order to focus on YouTube

YouTube has long been the key to Vevo’s music syndication services, and in a blog post today, the company announced plans to focus even more on the site. The effort, which finds Vevo, “focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities,” also involves trimming away some of the elements it deems unnecessary to that strategy. On the chopping block are Vevo’s iOS, Android and Windows apps, along with the consumer-facing side of its own site. “To be most effective in achieving those goals,” Vevo writes, “we will phase out elements of our owned and operated platforms.” Those who have been viewing service’s content through its proprietary offering will get access to tools for importing things like playlists to YouTube. Of course, the Universal/Sony/Warner Music-owned ser...

Microsoft’s Twitch rival Mixer gets a revamp, including new developer tools for interactive gameplay

Microsoft is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its game streaming service and Twitch competitor, Mixer, with a host of new features, including a refresh of the user experience and the launch of an expanded developer toolkit called MixPlay. The new streamer tools will roll out along with the revamped version of Mixer .com across desktop and mobile web, and will initially be available to Mixer Pro subscribers. The company claims the service saw more than 10 million monthly active users in December 2017 – a figure, we should point out, may be higher because of holiday sales and the accompanying bump in game downloads and playtime seen across platforms. However, Microsoft also says that the Mixer viewing audience has grown over four times since its launch, and the number of watched strea...

Instapaper on pause in Europe to fix GDPR compliance “issue”

Remember Instapaper? The Pinterest-owned, read-it-later bookmarking service is taking a break in Europe — apparently while it works on achieving compliance with the region’s updated privacy framework, GDPR, which will start being applied from tomorrow. Instapaper’s notification does not say how long the self-imposed outage will last. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation updates the bloc’s privacy framework, most notably by bringing in supersized fines for data violations, which in the most serious cases can scale up to 4% of a company’s global annual turnover. So it significantly ramps up the risk of, for example, having sloppy security, or consent flows that aren’t clear and specific enough (if indeed consent is the legal basis you’re relying on for processing people’s ...

Macron defends the European way of tech regulation

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech at VivaTech in Paris, alternating between French and English. He defended a third way to regulate tech companies, which is different from the U.S. and from China. Macron thinks Europe should have a say when it comes to regulation — and it shouldn’t be just about privacy. Of course, he defended GDPR and online privacy, but he also talked about taxes, cyberbullying, the protection of independent workers and more. What is at stake is how we build a European model reconciling innovation and common good Emmanuel Macron Yesterday, Macron hosted 50 tech CEOs to talk about leveraging tech for the common good, especially when it comes to education, labor and diversity. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about the event before Macron took the stage. Mac...

Revolut adds Ripple and Bitcoin Cash support

Fintech startup Revolut is adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its cryptocurrency feature. While cryptocurrency isn’t really Revolut’s focus point, it’s a good way to get started with cryptocurrencies. If you have a Revolut account, you can now buy and hold Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash. Behind the scene, the startup has partnered with Bitstamp to process the transactions. Revolut currently charges a 1.5 percent fee for cryptocurrency transactions. There are currently 100,000 cryptocurrency transactions per day. Compared to a traditional cryptocurrency exchange, you can’t send or receive cryptocurrencies from your Revolut account. You don’t get a bitcoin address for instance. All you can do is buy tokens in the app. If you want to transfer those tokens somewhere else, ...

Go-Jek officially announces Southeast Asia expansion to fill void left by Uber’s exit

There’s good news for consumers in Southeast Asia who are feeling the void after Uber left the region. That’s because Go-Jek, the Indonesia-based ride-hailing company backed by Google, Tencent and others, has officially announced plans to move into four new markets. Go-Jek said today it will move into Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines initially offering ride-hailing but with plans to additional services, including on-demand shopping and services, over time. The company began offering a bike taxi service in Indonesia but has moved to taxis, private cars, mobile payments, food delivery and services like massages on-demand. The firm said it will invest $500 million on the expansion plans, which have been rumored for some months. In a slight twist to the likes of Uber and Grab, ...

Square brings its Stand for iPad tablets to the UK

Square, the company that provides payments and other business services to merchants, is today taking another step in its gradual expansion outside of the U.S. Stand — one of Square’s key pieces of hardware, turning an iPad into a point of sale system — is launching in the U.K. It will sell for £64 (+VAT) and will be sold alongside existing products that Square offers in the U.K. — Square Reader, its Point of Sale app, Instant Deposit, Virtual Terminal and Cash app. (Square Register, the company’s all-in-one product for larger businesses that sells for $999, is not yet available outside the U.S.) The move comes just over a year after Square launched in the U.K., its first market in Europe, and also on the heels of a big move from two of its biggest competitors: last week, PayPal said it wou...

Facebook is updating how you can authenticate your account logins

You’ll soon have more options for staying secure on Facebook with two-factor authentication. Facebook is simplifying the process for two-factor verification on its platform so you won’t have to give the company your phone number just to bring additional security to your device. The company announced today that it is adding support for third-party authentication apps like Duo Security and Google Authenticator while streamlining the setup process to make it easier to get moving with it in the first place. Two-factor authentication is a pretty widely supported security strategy that adds another line of defense for users so they aren’t screwed if their login credentials are compromised. SMS isn’t generally considered the most secure method for 2FA because it’s possible for hackers to take con...

GUN raises more than $1.5M for its decentralized database system

GUN is an open-source decentralized database service that allows developers to build fast peer-to-peer applications that will work, even when their users are offline. The company behind the project (which should probably change its name and logo…) today announced that it has raised just over $1.5 million in a seed round led by Draper Associates. Other investors include Salesforce’s Marc Benioff through Aloha Angels, as well as Boost VC, CRCM and other angel investors. As GUN founder Mark Nadal told me, it’s been about four years since he started working on this problem, mostly because he saw the database behind his early projects as a single point of failure. When the database goes down, most online services will die with it, after all. So the idea behind GUN is to offer a decentralized da...

Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

Elon Musk has, as I imagine he often does during meetings or long car rides, come up with an idea for a new thing. Unlike the HyperLoop, which was cool, and various space-related ideas, which we know he’s at least partly expert about, this one is just plain bad. It’s basically Yelp But For Journalism. Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018 He may as well have said, I found this great can marked “worms” and I’m going to open it up, or, I’ve determined a new method for herding cats. The idea of holding publications and people accountable is great. Unfortunately it is the kind of problem that does...