background preloader

Consumer

Facebook Twitter

The summer that changed everything for Uber: China, self-driving cars, and a risky future. Following a series of bold strokes over the past three weeks, Uber has charted a new path toward the future.

The summer that changed everything for Uber: China, self-driving cars, and a risky future

Whether this trajectory will take the ridehailing giant into the stratosphere or over a cliff, well, that’s harder to say. Without knowing all the insider details of Uber’s finances, its profitability, or its burn rate, we could make two equally compelling arguments about the company. The first: In just a few years, Uber — under CEO Travis Kalanick — has emerged as one of Silicon Valley’s most wildly ambitious startups, with even bigger horizons than most could have guessed. Snapchat secretly acquires Seene, a computer vision startup that lets mobile users make 3D selfies. Snapchat has acquired 3D photo app maker Seene (also known as Obvious Engineering) a couple of months ago, TechCrunch has learned.

Snapchat secretly acquires Seene, a computer vision startup that lets mobile users make 3D selfies

Seene lets you capture 3D models from your phone with a simple smartphone camera. Snapchat could use Seene’s format for a brand new category of selfie lenses, a new 3D photo format, and potentially for future virtual reality projects. According to our sources, Snapchat was interested in Seene’s computer vision technology and its engineering team more than for its consumer product. Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Usage. Snapchat Inc. has 150 million people using the service each day, said people familiar with the matter.

Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Usage

That makes the four-year-old messaging app more popular than Twitter Inc. by daily active users. Snapchat has been growing quickly, boosted by its popularity among young people. The app had 110 million daily users in December, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak about the numbers. Twitter Is Betting Everything on Jack Dorsey. Will It Work? Here Are the Internal Documents that Prove Uber Is a Money Loser.

Spotify “Discover Weekly” Personalized Playlists. I was worried about the Minions.

Spotify “Discover Weekly” Personalized Playlists

But it turned out to be okay. Last week Spotify told me it was rolling out a new feature — a weekly “personalized” playlist, automatically generated by the music service based on my listening habits. And for the last week, most of my listening habits have been about the “Minions” soundtrack, because my kids are the age where the “Minions” movie makes them very happy, and they’re also at the age when they want to hear the same thing over and over again.

Blogging's Massive Failure To Topple Mass Media. Posted by Tom Foremski - December 18, 2013 Om Malik, publisher of GigaOm, recently posted some thoughts about his 12 years of blogging and he came to the conclusion that blogs today are where he can aggregate all his fractured expressions across the web: Instagram photos, articles, comments, and whimsical musings.

Blogging's Massive Failure To Topple Mass Media

But he writes, “The concept of blogging as we knew it has lost some of its meaning and even a bit of meaningfulness.” It certainly has and Om is being too gentle in his criticism because blogging has fallen very far from the promise it once had, and in attaining real meaningfulness. Rupert Murdoch Outfoxed? Google Can Resume 'Stealing' His Content. You Need to Win the Battle for Share of Mind. Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Suster (@msuster), a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners.

You Need to Win the Battle for Share of Mind

Read more about Suster at his Startup Blog, BothSidesoftheTable. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the proliferation of startups in the past 2 years. It seems almost incomprehensible that only 2.5 years ago we read the “RIP Good Times” presentation from Sequoia. SecondLife Didn’t Fail. By Sarah Lacy On July 6, 2012 Last night I spoke at an event put on by a site called IdeaMensch.

SecondLife Didn’t Fail

They’re doing a road trip, where the team is traveling city by city, holding events by and for entrepreneurs. The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin. In November 1, 2008, a man named Satoshi Nakamoto posted a research paper to an obscure cryptography listserv describing his design for a new digital currency that he called bitcoin.

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin

None of the list’s veterans had heard of him, and what little information could be gleaned was murky and contradictory. In an online profile, he said he lived in Japan. Airbnb Victim Speaks Again: Homeless, Scared And Angry. Yesterday we wrote about “EJ,” a woman who had her San Francisco apartment burglarized and vandalized by someone who rented her home for a week via Airbnb.

Airbnb Victim Speaks Again: Homeless, Scared And Angry

There was some confusion about how Airbnb was and is dealing with the situation. See the updates to that post above, and CEO Brian Chesky’s post here on TechCrunch later yesterday talking about the situation. The event happened, which is a terrible blow to the company’s reputation. The confusion seems to be around whether or not Airbnb will compensate her for her losses. The Truth About That ‘Landmark’ Twitter Case - Twitter. This weekend The Telegraph reported that Twitter had revealed the name, email address and telephone number of Ahmed Khan, a UK council whistleblower accused of libelling his local authority using a number of anonymous twitter accounts and blog Mr Monkey.

The Truth About That ‘Landmark’ Twitter Case - Twitter

The council in question, Tyneside, took the case to the legal superior court of California, which in turn issued a subpoena to Twitter on April 14th 2011. According to Khan, what Twitter handed over was “just a great long list of numbers” and ordered it to hand over 30 pieces of information relating to several Twitter accounts, including @fatcouncillor and @ahmedkhan01. According to Khan, this included “all private messages sent by other whistleblowers exposing wrongdoing in the council.”

On April 15th Khan was notified by Twitter of the subpoena and was asked if he wanted to dispute it in court. Social Gaming Market Reaches Its Final Stage…and It’s Not Looking Pretty. Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Alex St. John, President and CTO of hi5, on the state of the social gaming market. When Facebook recognized that early social media games were getting a free ride on their network, they shut down the free viral channels these games relied on for audience, started charging market prices for advertising, and demanded a cut of all commerce transactions (see “Facebook Credits”).

This changed the economics of social games dramatically. Reaching a large audience easily and for free ceased to be a benefit of developing social media games. In the downloadable casual game business, game developers get a 25%-35% share of the revenue their games generate online when published via channels other than their own. This same cycle is now taking place in social media. What does it mean that Zynga abruptly canceled its deal with MSN to carry Farmville? Want to see which games dominate the online economy in a competitive market where distribution. New Social Networking Site Changing The Way Oh, Christ, Forget I.

NEW YORK—While millions of young, tech-savvy professionals already use services like Facebook and Twitter to keep in constant touch with friends, a new social networking platform called Foursquare has recently taken the oh, fucking hell, can't some other desperate news outlet cover this crap instead? Hip city-dwellers nationwide are embracing the new, come to think of it, haven't we used this photo for some other tech piece? Launched last year, Foursquare is unique in that it not only allows users to broadcast their whereabouts, but also offers a number of built-in incentives, including some innovative new crap The New York Times surely has a throbbing hard-on for. In fact, why don't we just let them report on this garbage and call it a day? Added Crowley, "[Who gives a shit]. " Paris Diary: The International Geek Brotherhood... Posted by Tom Foremski - December 7, 2009 [I'm in Paris all this week as part of the Traveling Geeks, a collection of journalists, bloggers, and PR people meeting with French startups and also attending LeWeb, France's premier Web 2.0 developer and business conference.]

I took the EuroStar train from London on Sunday afternoon and in less than 3 hours I was in the middle of Paris.

Old stories