Technology

Technology

Apple issues Meltdown fix for Macs running Sierra and El Capitan

A wise person once said, “don’t upgrade to the latest OS X until it’s been patched a few times. And even then, sometimes it isn’t really worth it, though maybe for security stuff.” These words (from before the name change to macOS) have inspired many to stay on older versions of the OS, though lately that meant remaining vulnerable to Meltdown while those on the latest version were protected. Fortunately Apple has brought Sierra and El Capitan into the fix fold. The latest batch of security updates fix a few random exploits here and there, but the marquee feature is definitely closing the Meltdown vulnerability on Sierra and El Capitan Macs. If you’re running one of those, and who can blame you, you should upgrade as soon as possible. Interestingly, Jann Horn, the Google Project Zero resea...

While the U.S. waits, China has been CRISPRing human cancer patients since 2015

While the U.S. is just gearing up to the idea of CRISPRing its first humans, China seems to be benefitting from the “move fast and break things”…or cut them with the CRISPR scissors motto. As the Wall Street Journal reports, China has already gene-edited 86 people using CRISPR-Cas9 since 2015. Unhindered by rules and regulations like the ones we have in America to prevent science experiments gone wrong, Shanghai doctor Wu Shixiu has been using the technique on cancer patients. In fact, it only took a half hour one afternoon, according to the Journal, for hospital administrators to sign off on Dr. Wu’s plans. It’s not clear if these experiments worked — though some preliminary reports suggest some of the various trials have had some success. However, this is not the first time China’s used ...

GoDaddy is acquiring social media marketing platform Main Street Hub for $125M

GoDaddy is acquiring Main Street Hub, an Austin-based social media marketing platform. The deal is for $125M in cash plus up to $50M in potential future earn outs, and is expected to close late in Q2 2018. Founded in 2010 Main Street Hub has raised a total of $93M in debt and equity financing from Silicon Valley Bank, Vista Equity Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and other investors. For a monthly fee, Main Street Hub handles all aspects of a small business’ online presence including marketing automation, CRM, social media, reputation management and mobile, web and email marketing. But of course these days the most important part of a business’ online presence is their social media activity, which is where Main Street Hub shines. The company has a team of photographers, writers, designe...

Facebook acquires ID authentication startup Confirm.io

Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s acquired…Confirm.io. The startup offered an API that let other companies quickly verify someone’s government issued identification card like a driver’s license was authentic. The Boston-based startup will shut down as it’s rolled into Facebook. Confirm.io had raised at least $4 million from investors including Cava Capital. The money funded advanced forensics used to pull information from an ID card, as well as mobile biometerics and facial recognition to confirm a person’s identity before the startup deleted the personal data. Clients could quickly integrate the tech, which could be used to fuel on-demand startup staff onboarding. The startup writes “When we launched Confirm, our mission was to become the market’s trusted identity origination...

The latest iOS update fixes a glitch that would let others crash your phone with a text message

Last week, software developer and researcher Abraham Masri shared details of a bug that would allow others to freeze your iPhone with little more than a quick text message. Apple has just pushed out iOS 11.2.5, which patches that issue back up. This bug, the likes of which are often referred to as a “text bomb”, had a would-be attacker send a URL via text message. When the recipient’s phone started processing it for preview, the device would start doing all sorts of weird things — from freezing, to homescreen crashes, to kernel panics. The company rarely says much about the whats and whys of a bug, but it mentions in the security notes that it stemmed from the way links received in text messages are processed and presented. Apple credits Masri for finding the bug. This update also preps iO...

Protecting intellectual property rights in the billion-dollar world of virtual gaming

Brianna Howard Contributor Brianna Ricque Howard is a Los Angeles-based associate at global law firm Nixon Peabody LLP. She primarily practices complex commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation and is a member of the firm’s esports task force. Virtual reality may have found a game-changing partner: esports. Recently it was announced that Justice League VR: The Complete Experience is making its way from IMAX VR locations to PlayStation VR headsets, enabling video game users to step into the shoes of their favorite superheroes, such as Batman and Wonder Woman. The news comes on the heels of announcements that the publisher of the wildly popular video game Halo will team up with Microsoft to incorporate mixed reality headsets into the game and that Intel will cre...

Tradeshift Frontiers innovation lab hopes to drive blockchain adoption in the global supply chain

Today, Tradeshift, a procure-to-pay supply chain management platform for SMBs and enterprise, announced Tradeshift Frontiers.  Frontiers is a innovation lab and incubator that will focus on transforming supply chains through emerging technologies such as distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. “The use cases we’re working through Frontiers cover a very wide variety of themes, including supply chain financing, asset liquidity, and supply chain transparency,” said Gert Sylvest, co-founder and GM Frontiers, Tradeshift. “There is so much more potential than just cryptocurrencies,” Sylvest said. In the supply chain, as on Tradeshift’s commerce platform, every interaction is based on questions of trust and transparency, which require strong business and governan...

Stripe is ending support for bitcoin payments on April 23

Payments platform Stripe will stop supporting bitcoin in April, citing the cryptocurrency’s volatility and long transaction times, among other things. It’s a logical decision, but one likely to anger the easily provoked crypto-crowd. The problems with BTC are hard to deny for anyone who use it regularly. For one thing, entering a transfer into the blockchain may take hours, which is already a bummer for merchant transactions, but during that delay the value of the transferred BTC may also have shifted considerably, producing the wrong fiat dollar value. Fees have also increased as the value of BTC has risen, something that has stifled commerce and trading using the coin elsewhere as well. As Stripe’s Tom Karlo points out, the truth is that BTC has evolved to become an asset rather than a c...

Study: 6 in 10 Americans have heard about Bitcoin

While crypto may be obvious to us overlords of digital media, awareness of all facets of cryptocurrency still belongs to a small – but growing – minority. In a large scale survey by SurveyMonkey and the Global Blockchain Business Council, 5,000 responded to an extensive poll about the popularity and use of cryptocurrency. Some interesting findings? First, only 5 percent of people own Bitcoin but an additional 21 percent say “they are considering adding it to their portfolios.” Further, six in ten Americans have heard of Bitcoin in general and most Bitcoin owners are non-partisan but overwhelmingly male (71%) and non-white. Further, most Americans – 69% – see considerable upside and expect the price to rise in the next five years. Only 13% believe it will fall. The survey continued: “But ri...

France Digitale wants to teach French parliament members about tech

France Digitale presented its roadmap for the upcoming 12 months. France Digitale is an association that acts as a lobbying organization when it comes to defending the interests of the startup community in France. And the organization had a couple of new things to announce. Rachel Delacour first introduced the event. She is now co-president with Jean-David Chamboredon. Today, the association is launching the France Digitale Campus, a six-month training for members of the National Assembly and Senate learn about technology and the digital economy. While Emmanuel Macron’s presidential victory led to a big renewal of the National Assembly, there are still some parliament members who don’t really get technology. For instance, back in 2009, then Minister for Culture Christine Albanel said that ...

Uber has hired a chief diversity officer

Uber has hired Bo Young Lee, the former global diversity and inclusion leader of insurance company Marsh LLC, to be its first-ever chief diversity. Lee will begin in March, Recode first reported. This means Uber’s global head of diversity and inclusion, Bernard Coleman, will now be reporting to her. “As I was interviewing for this role, it became very clear that Uber is taking their cultural transformation seriously and truly wants to create a culture where every single person feels proud and heard,” Lee said in a statement to TechCrunch. “There’s much more work to be done, and I’m excited to bring my experience to the table solving tough D&I challenges in partnership with Uber employees.” It’s no surprise Uber now has a chief diversity officer, given the recommendations from former U....

Here’s how Vine replacement v2 will work

First, don’t call it “Vine Two”. Details are starting to emerge about v2, the forthcoming video app built to replace Vine by its former co-founder Dom Hofmann. TechCrunch has learned that v2 has begun reaching out to former Viners and social media star managers in hopes of establishing ties with some top content creators to get feedback and fuel the app’s eventual launch. Twitter acquired Vine before its launch in 2013 but never gave the short-form video sharing app the support it deserved. Eventually, facing economic struggles, Twitter opted to kill off Vine, leaving users only with an archive of old videos and a Vine Camera app for shooting but not sharing new videos. Instagram is focused on photos and longer clips up to 60-seconds, so there’s still no viable home for browsing punchy 6.5...