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Amazon built an electronic vest to improve worker/robot interactions

Over the course of last year, Amazon began rolling out a new worker safety wearable to 25+ sites. From the looks of it, the Robotic Tech Vest is really more like a pair of suspenders  attached to to an electronic utility belt.

University of Virginia announces $120m gift to fund new data science school

One of America’s oldest universities is launching a school for one of the world’s youngest disciplines. The University of Virginia announced today that it has received a $120 million private donation to endow a new School of Data Science. The donation is the largest in the university’s history,

Whyd now helps companies create their custom voice assistant

Y Combinator-backed startup Whyd is pivoting from hardware to software. The startup had been working on a connected speaker with a voice-control interface specifically designed for music. But a couple of years later,

More scooter dollars, Slack’s revenue projections, and the IPO traffic jam

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back! After what I think was our first-ever break, Kate Clark and I sat down to dig into the latest startup venture news. There was a lot.

The ‘Stuff You Should Know’ podcast has been downloaded 1 billion times

Stuff You Should Know, the explainer podcast hosted Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant (pictured on the left above), has now surpassed one billion total downloads. The podcast is published by How Stuff Works/Stuff Media, which was acquired by iHeartMedia last fall.

Zipwhip raises $51.5M for businesses to text customers from any kind of phone line

A surge of audio services using AI are giving voice a boost in customer service, but when it comes to communications in the age of mobile, messaging continues to be a critical platform. Now, a startup called Zipwhip,

This $350,000 Swiss watch looks like an Apple Watch, chimes to tell the time

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alps is back with another Apple Watch lookalike. The $350,000 Watch Concept Black is a ludicrous take on the classic minute repeater design. And on this version, the wearer can only tell the time by chiming the watch.

Momo, Vietnam’s top payment app, lands big Series C investment led by Warburg Pincus

Fintech in Southeast Asia continues to pique the attention of global investors. Alibaba, Tencent and others have jumped into the region and deployed hundreds of millions of dollars, and now Warburg Pincus is joining them. The U.

Tesla to cut workforce by 7% and focus on Model 3 production

Tesla is cutting 7% of its full-time workforce. The company disclosed the headcount reduction in an update emailed to all employees and also posted to its website. In the email, CEO Elon Musk says the focus must be on delivering “at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets”.

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak raises $50M

The chances are you may be familiar with Tokopedia, especially after it commanded a $7 billion valuation last November when it raised $1.1 billion from investors like Alibaba and SoftBank’s Vision Fund, but fewer people outside of Indonesia are aware of another sizable local online retail unicorn:

SimplyCook dishes up £4.5M Series A for its subscription-based flavourings and recipe service

SimplyCook, the recipe kit service that focuses on flavour ingredients, has closed £4.5 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Octopus Investments. Unlike other recipe or meal kits, such as HelloFresh, Gousto and Marley Spoon, U.K.

Flash, the stealthy e-scooter and ‘micro-mobility’ startup from Delivery Hero founder, raises €55M S

Flash, the stealthy mobility startup from Delivery Hero and Team Europe founder Lukasz Gadowski, is de-cloaking today, with news that the Berlin-based company has raised a whopping €55 million in Series A funding. Despite rumours that multiple VC firms would be involved,

AR startup Meta’s assets sold to a mystery ‘known name’ that will support existing headsets

Augmented reality technology enables us to see things in places where they may not actually exist. And sometimes, that paradigm might also apply to augmented reality startups themselves. Meta,

Tesla to recall 14,000 Model S cars in China over faulty Takata airbags

China’s top market regulator said on Friday that Tesla will recall a total of 14,123 imported Model S vehicles in the country over potentially deadly airbags. The recall is part of an industry-wide crackdown on Takata-made front passenger airbags,

Coinstar machines will start selling Bitcoin at the grocery store

You know those machines at the grocery store that transform your gallon jugs worth of change into more usable currency? They’re about to start selling Bitcoin . To make this impulse shopping dream come true, Coinstar, the company behind those ubiquitous change-counting kiosks,

Nike’s auto-laced future

Why does the world need a self-lacing shoe? Haven’t you heard of Velcro? How will you tie your shoes when the Wi-Fi is down? That’s the gist of the instant response I got when I mentioned the new Adapt BB, a shoe from Nike with, yes, powered laces that tighten to a wearer’s foot automatically. […]

Here’s how SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will look motoring in from sea

If you're coming back from space at high speeds, it's generally safer to descend over water than land, for a number of reasons. Certainly SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule will do so, and this is how it'll look when it comes back to land aboard the Go Searcher retrieval ship.

Judge orders net neutrality lawsuit to go ahead despite shutdown

This week the possibility emerged that the ongoing government shutdown could delay net neutrality's day in court — but the court was not sympathetic to the FCC's request that the lawsuit be put off.

Tesla will end its buyer referral program for ‘adding too much cost’

At the end of the month, Tesla will end a long-running referral program that offered incentives for existing Tesla owners to help drive sales. In its recent iterations,

VC funding of cybersecurity companies hits record $5.3B in 2018

2018 wasn’t all bad. It turned out to be a record year for venture capital firms investing in cybersecurity companies. According to new data out by Strategic Cyber Ventures, a cybersecurity-focused investment firm with a portfolio of four cybersecurity companies, more than $5.

Google remains the top open-source contributor to CNCF projects

According to the latest data from Stackalytics, a project founded by Mirantis and hosted by the OpenStack Foundation that visualizes a company’s contribution to open-source projects, Google remains the dominant force in the CNCF open-source ecosystem. Indeed, according to this data,

Netflix adds 8.8M paid subscribers globally, says it now accounts for 10 percent of U.S. TV screen t

Netflix just released its fourth quarter earnings report, which looks mixed compared to Wall Street expectations. The company added 8.8 million subscribers, well above the 7.6 million that it had predicted at the beginning of the quarter.

How Lyft envisions bringing VR and AR to your ride

Lyft is exploring ways to integrate virtual reality and augmented reality into your Lyft rides, according to a couple of patent applications TechCrunch came across today. The first, filed in July 2017,

In defense of screen time

Silicon Valley engineers who design our tech gadgets won't let their kids anywhere near those devices -- they're convinced too much time in front of smartphones and iPads is rotting kids' brains.

Walmart adds four grocery delivery partners

Walmart has partnered with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie to expand its grocery delivery program across four states. Walmart’s grocery delivery is currently available in more than 800 stores, and plans to be in 800 more this year. To use Walmart’s delivery program, customers go online,

A look at Birdies, the popular slipper shoe startup that just raised $8 million more from investors

Bianca Gates is a first-generation American, her parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Latin America. As such, she says, after waitressing her way through college at UC Irvine, she was expected to get a safe job with a 401(k) plan and to live with her parents until she was married.

Redpoint Ventures is raising another $400M to invest in Chinese companies

Redpoint Ventures is doubling down on China. The firm, headquartered in Menlo Park, has filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $400 million across two new China-focused funds. The firm has set a $300 million target for its second flagship China fund,

Amazon shareholders want the company to stop selling facial recognition to law enforcement

Amazon shareholders are demanding the company stop selling Rekognition, the company’s facial recognition software, to law enforcement. Unless the board of directors determines the technology “does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights,

‘Star Wars’ returns: Trump calls for space-based missile defense

The President has announced that the Defense Department will pursue a space-based missile defense system reminiscent of the one proposed by Reagan in 1983. As with Reagan's ultimately abortive effort, the technology doesn't actually exist yet and may not for years to come.

Dolby quietly preps augmented audio recorder app “234″

Dolby is secretly building a mobile music production app it hopes will seduce SoundCloud rappers and other musicians. Codenamed “234” and formerly tested under the name Dolby Live, the free app measures background noise before you record and then nullifies it.

NPR turns comedy game show ‘Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!’ into an Alexa and Google voice app

NPR is turning its popular game show program “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” into a voice application for smart speakers, including both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-powered devices.

Facebook says it will ask employees to take down glowing Portal reviews on Amazon

The reception to Facebook Portal has been, at best, a mixed bag. Between the company’s ongoing privacy woes and a lackluster response, Facebook likely didn’t get the response it was anticipating for its first in-house hardware creation. Still,

Slack’s product chief is out ahead of direct listing

Slack's chief product officer April Underwood is stepping down to focus on investing full time.

Twitter bug revealed some Android users’ private tweets

Twitter accidentally revealed some users’ “protected” (aka, private) tweets, the company disclosed this afternoon. The “Protect your Tweets” setting typically allows people to use Twitter in a non-public fashion. These users get to approve who can follow them and who can view their content.

These are all the federal HTTPS domains that’ll expire soon because of the US government shutdown

We like to think of ourselves as nerds here at TechCrunch, which is why we’re bring you this. During the government shutdown, security experts noticed several federal websites were throwing back browser errors because the TLS certificate,

Google is buying Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40 million

Rumors about a Pixel Watch have abounded for years. Such a device would certainly make sense as Google attempts to prove the viability of its struggling wearable operating system, Wear OS. Seems the company is finally getting serious about the prospect.

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