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Africa’s agtech wave gets $10 million richer as Twiga Foods raises more capital

Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor Nigerian data analytics company Terragon acquires Asian mobile ad firm Bizense Africa Roundup: Local VC funds surge,

The Orbital 2 is like a Surface Dial that works with Mac

This little peripheral is one of the more interesting new pieces of hardware floating around the halls of TC Tokyo this week. The product, created by local startup Brain Magic, is best described as a more feature-packed take on the Microsoft Dial — one that, as it happens, also works with Mac.

Hong Kong is adding QR code payments to its subway stations

A new dispatch from our ‘QR Codes Are Very Much Alive In Asia’ reporting program: Hong Kong’s subway system will soon allow its commuters to pay by scanning QR codes thanks to a deal with Alibaba that was announced this week.

Alibaba and Amazon move over, we visited JD.com connected grocery store in China

The arms race to build the future of grocery stores is heating up in China. To no one’s surprise, the main contestants are the country’s ecommerce titans Alibaba and JD.com, which are turning offline for growth. Online retail has flourished in China,

The Timbuk2 Never Check sold me on the importance of a good travel backpack

For some who travels a lot, I can be downright reckless when it comes to packing sometimes. I’ve found myself hurling clothes, toiletries and assorted cables into bags on more early mornings than I care to mention. That haphazard approach naturally extends to the bags I’m throwing my things into.

Sheryl Sandberg claims she didn’t know Facebook hired agency behind ‘abhorrent’ anti-Soros campaign

Sheryl Sandberg has denied that she obstructed early investigations into election meddling and claimed that she was unaware Facebook was involved with an agency that ran “abhorrent” anti-Semitic campaigns that targeted George Soros among others. Facebook,

Tidal arrives on the Amazon Echo

One key thing the HomePod has on the competition: streaming service synergy. It’s an important advantage at the heart of the premium smart speaker. While both Amazon and Google have their own streaming options, they pale in comparison to the top services, so third-parties are really the way to go.

Tinder tests ‘Swipe Surge’ in US to connect users during peak times

Tinder today announced the test of a new in-app experience it’s calling “Swipe Surge,” that will send notifications to users when there’s a spike in Tinder usage in their area.

Shyft raises $6.5M to help retail and service workers swap shifts

Ignition Partners and Madrona Venture Group have invested in the app for workers.

Amazon launches ‘Alexa-hosted skills’ for voice app developers

Amazon on Thursday launched a new service aimed at Alexa developers that automatically provisions and helps them to manage a set of AWS cloud resources for their Alexa skill’s backend service. The service is intended to help developers speed the time it takes to launch their skills,

Walmart and Target embrace in-store mobile checkout for the holidays

Two of the U.S.’s largest brick-and-mortar retailers, Walmart and Target, are launching new mobile checkout systems in their stores to accommodate the influx of shoppers expected during the 2018 holiday season.

A leaky database of SMS text messages exposed password resets and two-factor codes

A security lapse has exposed a massive database containing tens of millions of text messages, including password reset links, two-factor codes, shipping notifications and more. The exposed server belongs to Voxox (formerly Telcentris), a San Diego, Calif.-based communications company.

E3 slouches towards irrelevance again as Sony announces it’s skipping the show

I like E3. I really do. But it's also monumentally dumb: game companies spending millions to show off essentially faked content to an increasingly jaded audience. And it's increasingly out of step with how the gaming industry works.

Cassette decks from Crosley take aim at tape-hoarding nostalgia-seekers

Crosley, makers of the "good enough" record players you see in Urban Outfitters and Target, have turned their retro novelty eye on the next obvious format: cassettes. These two new decks from the company have all the latest features from 1985, but also a handful of modern conveniences.

Overnight success now requires a little more time

Building a great consumer company is harder these days. Try anyway.

FCC approval of Europe’s Galileo satellite signals may give your phone’s GPS a boost

The FCC's space-focused meeting today had actions taken on SpaceX satellites and orbital debris reduction, but the decision most likely to affect users has to do with Galileo. No, not the astronomer — the global positioning satellite constellation put in place by the E.U. over the last few years.

Tesla acquires trucking companies to squeeze in more deliveries before Dec. 31

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that the electric automaker had acquired “trucking capacity,” a move aimed to boost deliveries of its Model 3 vehicles before the federal tax credit begins to wind down Dec. 31. Musk at first didn’t explain what “acquired trucking capacity” meant.

Uber joins Linux Foundation cementing commitment to open source tools

Uber announced today at the 2018 Uber Open Summit that it was joining the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member, making a firm commitment to using and contributing to open source tools.

Apple partners with A24, the studio behind ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Hereditary’

Apple has signed a multi-year agreement with A24, which will see the film studio producing multiple movies for Apple. Not much else is known about the deal yet — not the number of films, their genres or the talent involved. Still,

Facebook changes algorithm to demote “borderline content” that almost violates its policy

Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm to demote content that comes close to violating its policies prohibiting misinformation, hate speech, violence, bullying, clickbait so it’s seen by fewer people even it’s highly engaging. In a 5000-word letter by Mark Zuckerberg published today,

Zuckerberg denies knowledge of Facebook’s work with GOP opposition research firm

Today in call with reporters preceded by a frantic if fairly uneventful distraction-pushing media blitz, Facebook responded to a damning New York Times story published yesterday that cited interviews with more than 50 sources privy to Facebook’s decision making.

Citrix pays $200M to acquire Sapho, which connects legacy software with ‘micro apps’

As large organizations grapple with adopting modern work practices without throwing out all of their legacy software, a company that works with them is making an acquisition that it hopes will help with that process. Citrix today is announcing that it has acquired Sapho,

Wonder Ventures aims to dazzle L.A. startups with its new seed-stage fund

Dustin Rosen thinks L.A. has a problem, aside from its famously car-choked highways. There aren’t enough investors willing to write small checks. Most of the so-called micro venture funds have grown their funds to the size of traditional venture firms, and are making bigger bets as a result.

Canonical plans to raise its first outside funding as it looks to a future IPO

It’s been 14 years since Mark Shuttleworth first founded and funded Canonical and the Ubuntu project. At the time, it was mostly a Linux distribution. Today, it’s a major enterprise player that offers a variety of products and services. Throughout the years,

SpaceX gets FCC approval to add 7,518 more satellites to its Starlink constellation

SpaceX's application to add thousands of satellites to its proposed Starlink communications constellation has been approved by the FCC, though it will be some time before the company actually puts those birds in the air.

Facebook will pass off content policy appeals to a new independent oversight body

Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of decency when it comes to content policy decisions, similar to how it looked to third-party fact checkers rather than becoming an arbiter of truth. Today on a press call with journalists,

OpenStack regroups

Only a few years ago, OpenStack was the hottest open-source project around, with a bustling startup ecosystem to boot. The project, which gives enterprises the tools to run the equivalent of AWS in their own private data centers,

Facebook reports a massive spike in government demands for data, including secret orders

Facebook has published the details of 13 historical national security letters it’s received for user data. The embattled social media giant said that the letters dated between 2014 and 2017 for several Facebook and Instagram accounts. These demands for data are effectively subpoenas,

What the FDA’s restriction of e-cig flavors means for Juul

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed his plans to combat underage use of e-cigs and nicotine, which has grown 78 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018.

After first commercial launch, Rocket Lab announces $140 million in funding

When it rains, it pours. And when you're a successful space startup, it pours money. Rocket Lab, the New Zealand-based launch provider,

Meet Uber’s newly promoted Chief Product Officer, Manik Gupta

Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods.

Apple’s Final Cut Pro X just got a big update. Here’s what’s new

Apple’s pro-grade video editing tool Final Cut Pro X is getting a big update today. While much of FCPX is getting polished up in this release, the biggest change is what it allows for moving forward: workflow extensions.

Google partners with MotherCoders to bring tech training to moms in New York City

Diversity and inclusion is a topic that all too often starts and ends with white women. MotherCoders, while targeting women, aims to support moms of all backgrounds — whether they be LGBTQ, single and/or people of color. “If you look at our cohorts, they tend to be really represented,

Lyft launches default tipping, rating protections and more to keep drivers happy

Until autonomous vehicles are here, ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber have to attract and retain human drivers if they hope to sustain their businesses. Lyft announced Thursday a half dozen new driver-friendly features,

Facebook’s weapon amid chaos and controversy: misdirection

The New York Times’ bombshell report into the past three years at Facebook paint a grotesque picture of the company’s attempts to navigate a string of high profile controversies by using unsavory, unethical and dark PR tactics. The Times’ report, citing more than 50 sources, accuses the company of:

Facebook under pressure over Soros smear tactics

Facebook is facing calls to conduct an external investigation into its own lobbying and PR activities by an aide to billionaire George Soros. BuzzFeed reports that Michael Vachon, an advisor to the chairman at Soros Fund Management, made the call in a letter to friends and colleagues.

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