Streem buys Selerio in effort to boost its AR teleconferencing tech

Streem, an AR startup that is meshing teleconferencing software with computer vision tech, has acquired a small UK startup called Selerio that’s also building out augmented reality technologies. The startups were both members of betaworks’ VisionCamp accelerator program last year where they met and collaborated while tackling separate computer vision …

The Internet and a pile of turtles that goes all the way down

In his 1998 book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking relates the following anecdote: “A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre …

Snap, which has yet to release a diversity report, hires its first head of D&I

Snap has brought on its first-ever diversity and inclusion lead, former Google Director of Diversity Strategy Oona King. In a memo sent to Snap employees today, Snap Chief People Officer Lara Sweet announced King’s hiring. Although Snap is late in the game of hiring a diversity lead and has yet …

Original Content podcast: Dragons love symbolism, and other lessons from the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

This post and podcast include spoilers for “Game of Thrones.” Remember how it felt six weeks ago, right before “Game of Thrones” returned for its final season? The excitement? The anticipation? That was so, so long ago. Darrell Etherington, the original co-host of the Original Content podcast, joins us once …

Zoom, the profitable tech unicorn, prices IPO above range

Zoom, a relatively under-the-radar tech unicorn, has defied expectations with its initial public offering. The video conferencing business priced its IPO above its planned range on Wednesday, confirming plans to sell shares of its Nasdaq stock, titled “ZM,” at $36 apiece, CNBC reports. The company initially planned to price its …

Pindrop raises $90M to bring its voice-fraud prevention to IoT devices, and Europe

When it comes to how humans communicate with each other or with machines, voice is a major interface, with growth in the latter fuelled by the rise of artificial intelligence, faster computing technology and an explosion of new devices — some of which only, or primarily, work with voice commands. But the …

GoDaddy introduces marketplace selling to its Online Store and welcomes Sellbrite

Launching a new product is hard, and one of the biggest challenges can be learning how to sell your product online. Competition is stiff, and breaking through in a crowded market to find new customers can be challenging. About half of all shoppers now start their search for new products …

WikiLeaks’ Assange charged under the Espionage Act in a ‘major test case’ for press freedom

Julian Assange, founder of whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, has been charged with more than a dozen additional charges by U.S. federal prosecutors, including under the controversial Espionage Act — a case that will likely test the rights of freedom of speech and expression under the First Amendment. Assange, 47, was arrested …

Shopify quietly acquired Handshake, an e-commerce platform for B2B wholesale purchasing

E-commerce platform Shopify has quietly made an acquisition to continue its expansion of the services and products that merchants can sell and purchase through its platform. It has acquired Handshake, a New York startup offers a commerce platform for businesses that sell wholesale goods. Shopify has confirmed the deal in …

YC-backed Aura Vision analyzes video footage to provide new data to retailers

Aura Vision, which is part of the current batch of startups at Y Combinator, helps retailers understand who’s visiting their stores and what they’re doing there. In other words, if you want to see the demographics of who’s visiting the store, or which displays and products are actually prompting customers …

Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb has rejoined the venture world — but he hasn’t forgotten Juul

Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration chief, became known during his tenure for his efforts to regulate the tobacco and e-cigarette industries — and for his particular focus on Juul, the fast-growing e-cigarette company that Gottlieb squarely blames for creating a “youth epidemic” of e-cigarette use by teenagers. …

Resources for learning JavaScript in 2019

Why should you make learning JavaScript a development goal this year? JavaScript, often abbreviated as JS, is a simple, powerful language that runs beneath 95 percent of websites, most likely including yours. It’s the juice that turns a static website into an interactive one, controlling dynamic content, animations, pop-up lightboxes, maps …

Microsoft’s new language learning app uses your phone’s camera and computer vision to teach vocabulary

Eight Microsoft interns have developed a new language learning tool that uses the smartphone camera to help adults improve their English literacy by learning the words for the things around them. The app, Read My World, lets you take a picture with your phone to learn from a library of …

Fresh off a $530M round, Aurora acquires lidar startup Blackmore

Aurora, the self-driving car startup backed by Sequoia Capital and Amazon, is in an acquiring mood. The company, founded in early 2017 by Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, announced Thursday that it acquired lidar company Blackmore. The Blackmore purchase follows another smaller, and previously unknown acquisition of 7D …

Cruise says its AV successfully completed 1,400 unprotected left hand turns

Unprotected left hand turns are tough for robots and humans alike. The compounding variables of crossing in front of oncoming traffic make it one of the toughest maneuverers in driving. It’s one of the toughest challenges for self-driving platforms — even more so as drivers often look for non-verbal cues …

From launch to launch: Peter Beck on building an orbital business from scratch

Breaking into the launch industry is no easy task, but New Zealand’s Rocket Lab has done it without missing a step. The company has just completed its third commercial launch of 2019, and is planning to increase the frequency of its launches until there’s one a week. It’s ambitious, but …