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Here’s everything Amazon announced at its latest hardware event

From new Ring flying indoor drone cameras to an adorable new kids version of one of its most popular Amazon home products, Jeff Bezos’ Seattle retailer unveiled a slew of new hardware goodies just ahead of the holiday shopping season. Echo updates Amazon kicked off its latest hardware showcase by unveiling a new version of […]

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Amazon redesigns the Echo line with spherical speakers and swiveling screens

Amazon today announced a lot of new products including the new Echo speaker line. And the products look dramatically different. Gone are the cylinders. They’re spheres now and look like nothing else on the market. The lights are now on the bottom, while there are still rounded buttons on the top. The Alexa software got […]

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YouTube will add vetted info about mail-in voting to counter election misinformation

YouTube has been relatively quiet about its strategy to battle the flow of misinformation leading into the 2020 U.S. election, but the platform has a few new measures in store. The video-sharing site will begin attaching a box with vetted facts about mail-in voting on any videos that discuss the topic. The new mail-in voting […]

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Facebook gives more details about its efforts against hate speech before Myanmar’s general election

About three weeks ago, Facebook announced it will increase its efforts against hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar before the country’s general election on November 8, 2020. Today, it gave some more details about what the company is doing to prevent the spread of hate speech and misinformation. This includes adding Burmese language warning screens […]

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The Oculus Quest’s unofficial app store gets backing from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey

Facebook garnered the ire of some virtual reality developers last year when they announced that they would be more aggressively curating the content that was for sale in the Oculus Store on their then-upcoming Quest headset. Developers who had been used to a more self-serve experience on the PC storefront were unexpectedly put in the […]

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Instagram’s TikTok clone Reels updates to allow longer videos, easier edits

Instagram is today rolling out a few changes to its TikTok competitor, Reels, after early reviews of the feature criticized its design and reports indicated it was failing to gain traction. The company says it’s responding to user feedback on a few fronts, by giving Reels users the ability to create longer videos, extend the […]

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Facebook denies it will pull service in Europe over data transfer ban

Facebook’s head of global policy has denied the tech giant could close its service to Europeans if local regulators order it to suspend data transfers to the US following a landmark Court of Justice ruling in July that has cemented the schism between US surveillance laws and EU privacy rights. Press reports emerged this week […]

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Social networks are doing a voter registration blitz this week

With the most uncertain election in modern American history fast approaching, social networks are doing a final big push to get their users registered to vote. The efforts align with National Voter Registration Day, which punctuates ongoing efforts from companies like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat to get people to the polls, whether IRL or through […]

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Chinese propaganda network on Facebook used AI-generated faces

Facebook removed two networks of fake accounts spreading government propaganda on the platform Tuesday, one originating in China and one in the Philippines. In its latest report on this kind of coordinated campaign, the company says it took down 155 Facebook accounts, 11 pages, 9 groups and 7 Instagram accounts connected to the Chinese activity […]

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Event discovery network IRL raises $16M Series B after refocusing on virtual events

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the way a number of companies have had to do business. For the event discovery startup, IRL, it meant pivoting into the virtual events space. This April, the startup quickly reacted to government lockdowns and restrictions on in-person gatherings to focus on helping people find their online counterparts and other virtual […]

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Facebook’s new Rights Manager tool lets creators protect their photos, including those embedded elsewhere

Facebook today is introducing a new tool that will allow rights holders to protect and manage their photos across both Facebook and Instagram. With the newly launched “Rights Manager for Images,” Facebook is offering creators and publishers access to content-matching technology similar to what it introduced in 2016 to combat stolen videos. The new feature, […]

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It’s game on as Unity begins trading

Unity Software, which sells a game development toolkit primarily for mobile phone app developers, raised $1.3 billion in its initial public offering. The company, which will begin trading today with the ticker symbol “U,” priced its shares at the top end of its expected range, selling 25 million shares at $52 per share. The company’s […]

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Daily Crunch: Twitter tightens security ahead of election

Twitter takes preemptive steps to avoid election-related hacks, we check out the new Apple Watches and Facebook launches new business tools. This is your Daily Crunch for September 17, 2020. The big story: Twitter tightens security ahead of election Twitter said today that “high-profile, election-related” accounts in the United States will be receiving notifications telling […]

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Facebook tries to clean up Groups with new policies

Facebook this morning announced a series of new rules designed to further penalize those who violate its community standards, specifically around Facebook Groups. It also introduced rules meant to crack down on the spread of misinformation through these more private networks. The changes will impact those who had helped lead groups that were later banned […]

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Facebook launches Facebook Business Suite, an app for managing business accounts across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger

Facebook this morning launched a new app designed to make it easier for businesses to manage in a single place their pages and profiles across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. The app, Facebook Business Suite, combines access to the business’s key updates and priorities, and offers a way to draft and schedule feed posts for both […]

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Daily Crunch: Facebook unveils the Oculus Quest 2

Facebook makes its next steps in VR, Apple releases iOS 14 and the PlayStation 5 gets a launch date. This is your Daily Crunch for September 16, 2020. The big story: Facebook unveils the Oculus Quest 2 Facebook announced the smaller, more affordable follow-up to the Oculus Quest VR headset launching on October 13 at […]

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The Oculus Quest is getting its own Fortnite ripoff

Fortnite may not be available in VR (or on iOS), but Oculus Quest users will soon be getting their own Fortnite clone for virtual reality. Nearly two years after its funding and initial launch announcement, BigBox VR is finally ready to roll out its battle royale game, “POPULATION: ONE” to players on the Quest (and […]

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Facebook debuts Infinite Office, a virtual reality office space

Facebook wants to turn the Quest into more than a gaming device. Today, the company shared early demos of “Infinite Office” a new set of features that will bring solo productivity to the Oculus Quest. The features, which will begin rolling out this winter will allow users to work across multiple customizable screens built on […]

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Facebook is launching smart glasses in 2021, its ‘next step’ to an AR device

At Facebook’s first big event since moving away from the Oculus brand and rebranding its AR and VR efforts as “Facebook Reality Labs,” announced a new consumer wearable and dove into its ongoing research into augmented reality devices. At the fittingly virtual event, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would launch “the next step on the […]

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Facebook is officially killing off the Oculus Rift line

Facebook is officially killing off the Rift. The company showed off its latest headset at its newly renamed Facebook Connect online event today, but they also revealed that they would be ending sales of the PC-based Oculus Rift S early next year. Facebook will soon only be selling the new Quest 2, and pushing users […]

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Review: Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 is outstanding

Facebook’s virtual reality dreams have been a headache for the company. At CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s prodding, the company has spent billions on Oculus and dealt with huge added complexities to their business, while encountering countless issues regarding the company’s founding team, a massive IP lawsuit, crippling supply chain issues and an impossible-to-satisfy user base. But […]

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Ubisoft teases Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell VR titles for Oculus

One of the biggest complaints around VR is the same issue that’s plagued generations of gaming platforms: content. A console is only as good as its games, as the saying goes. Today at Facebook Connect, however, Oculus just added two of gaming’s biggest franchises to its slate of upcoming titles. Ubisoft marked the event by […]

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Facebook launches a smaller, more powerful Oculus Quest 2 starting at $299 and launching in October

At Oculus Connect 7 Facebook Connect today, the company announced a big follow-up to the Oculus Quest and it’s been improved in almost every way. Yes, it’s the same headset as the leaks foretold, but there’s more to be seen. The Oculus Quest 2 is $100 cheaper, 10% lighter, a bit smaller, and now comes […]

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Balderton’s Chandratillake doffs his cap to Clubhouse, says enterprise audio is next

Suranga Chandratillake has (almost) seen it all. After being the early CTO for Autonomy, he went on to found the blinkx video search engine in 2004, long before many thought we’d even need one. He scaled the company to San Francisco and the U.S. market, eventually IPO’ing blinkx for more than $1 billion. On his […]

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Facebook addresses political controversy in India, monetization opportunities, startup investments

At the beginning of the previous decade, Facebook had a tiny presence in India. It had just started to slowly expand its team in the country and was inking deals with telecom operators to make access to its service free to users and even offer incentives such as free voice credit. India’s internet population, now […]

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Twitter flags Indian politician’s years-old tweet for violating its policy

Twitter has flagged a post from Indian politician T. Raja Singh for violating its policy days after TechCrunch asked the social giant about the three-year-old questionable tweet. In a video tweet, Singh urged India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others citizens in the country to move Rohingya Muslim immigrants, including those “who supported terrorism,” out […]

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Messenger VP details use of forwarding limits and fact-checking to fight misinformation

A few weeks ago, Facebook Messenger introduced new rules around message forwarding to limit the spread of misinformation on its platform. Speaking today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, Facebook Messenger VP Stan Chudnovsky offered more detail about how Facebook views its role in fighting the spread of misinformation and other harmful content across its messaging platform, […]

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Austin-based EmPath’s employee training and re-skilling service snags seed funding from B Capital

By the time Felix Ortiz III left the Army in 2006, the Brooklyn, New York native had spent time taking classes at the City University of New York and St. John’s. Those experiences led him to found Viridis Learning, which aimed to give universities a better way to track student development to help graduates land […]

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Facebook announces $4.3 million grant for small businesses in India, introduces support for gift cards

More than a third of small and medium-sized businesses on Facebook in India expect cash flow to be a challenge for them as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic in the next few months, according to a report by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank. Facebook, which reaches nearly every internet […]

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Facebook launches a climate change information center and commits to eliminating ‘scope 3’ emissions by 2030

Even as Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, admits that climate change “is real” and that “the science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day” the platform appears unwilling to take steps to really stand up to the climate change denialism that circulates on its platform.  The company […]