The $20 Wyze security camera gets a sequel with improved intelligence and Amazon Echo support

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 The team behind WyzeCam is full of surprises. First they introduced a $20 plug and play security camera in October of last year, and now they’re already back with the sequel. The simply titled WyzeCam v2 is here, less than half a year later, bringing with it some pretty welcome updates. The first version of the camera actually scored some pretty decent reviews for all it was able to… Read More

Combining augmented reality, 3D printing and a robotic arm to prototype in real time

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 Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA) is a joint project out of MIT and Cornell that brings together a variety of different emerging technologies in an attempt to build a better prototyping machine. Using an augmented reality headset and two controllers, the designer builds a 3D model using a CAD (computer-aided design) program. A robotic arm then goes to work constructing a skeletal model using… Read More

Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky has joined Y Combinator as a partner

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 If you follow the startup industry, you likely know the story of smartwatch maker Pebble, including that famous Kickstarter campaign in 2012 that sought $100,000 but wound up raising more than $10 million instead. You might also remember thinking that Pebble’s fate was sealed once Apple launched its own now-ubiquitous smartwatch in 2014. You were right if so. By late 2016, Pebble was… Read More

Molly wants to use your online presence to create an automated knowledge base

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 Isn’t it frustrating when you ask a friend a question – like what’s your favorite restaurant in New York or what trips have you been on this year – knowing that these specific answers are certainly already accessible on social media? The problem is no one wants to spend an hour combing through their friends social media pages (or worse, monitoring them 24/7), so we just… Read More

Join me for an evening of crypto with writers Paul Vigna and Michael Casey

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 Next week I’m pleased to announce that I’m going to have Paul Vigna and Michael Casey, authors of The Truth Machine, on stage with me at Knotel, a co-working and event space in Manhattan. I’d love for you to come. You can RSVP here. It’s happening on February 28 at 7pm and it will feature a 35-minute talk with two of the top writers in crypto. These guys literally wrote… Read More

Robot assistants and a marijuana incubator

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 We’ve had plenty of time to get used to our robot overlords and Boston Dynamics is helping us get there. This week we talk about the company’s addition of a door-opening arm to its SpotMini robot. It’s not spooky at all. We then switch gears and discuss Facebook’s Messenger for Kids. Is it good, bad or the company’s master plan to get every last human being with… Read More

The CC Aurora is actually pretty fun, as far as projectors go

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 Projectors are boring. They remind me of vacation slideshows and school film strips — neither of which I’m in a particular hurry to revisit in my adult life. That said, I’ve always harbored some germ of a notion that some day I might buy one. XGIMI’s CC Aurora is the closest I’ve seen to being a projector that I could actually muster any reasonable amount of… Read More

3D printing company New Matter is shutting down this month

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 Perhaps 2014 wasn’t the ideal time to get into the 3D printing game. After years of hype, the even the biggest names have been struggling to stay afloat. Pasadena startup New Matter is joining the growing list of companies who’ve unsuccessfully made a go at it, announcing that it will be closing up shop by the end of the month. It’s not for lacking of trying — and… Read More

Engineering against all odds, or how NYC’s subway will get wireless in the tunnels

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 Never ask a wireless engineer working on the NYC subway system “What can go wrong?” Flooding, ice, brake dust, and power outages relentlessly attack the network components. Rats — many, many rats — can eat power and fiber optic cables and bring down the whole system. Humans are no different, as their curiosity or malice strikes a blow against wireless hardware… Read More

RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes

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 They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More

Sqreen wants to become the IFTTT of web app security

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 French startup Sqreen recently launched a Security Hub with dozens of plugins to put you in control of the security of your web app. In many ways, it feels like enabling tasks on popular automation service IFTTT. Sqreen participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield and Y Combinator’s current batch. The vision of the product hasn’t changed. Sqreen lets you protect your… Read More

Cloudflare is protecting the internet using groovy lava lamps

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Cloudflare has a unique way of protecting a huge portion of the world’s internet. They call it their Wall of Entropy; a wall lined with lava lamps that are being filmed with a camera. That data is then converted to numbers jumbled up with a couple other sources of randomness in other parts of the world, like a Geiger counter and a chaotic pendulum, and is then fed into an algorithm with… Read More

Original Content podcast: We welcome the reign of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

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 Marvel’s Black Panther officially opens today, but TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington and Anthony Ha have seen it already. Darrell and Anthony are both comic book nerds, and the latest episode of the Original Content podcast includes plenty of discussion about how the latest movie fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Black Panther isn’t just for hardcore comic geeks, so… Read More

Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color goes on sale exclusively at Amazon

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 The Essential Phone is currently in the midst of being rolled out in a range of new colors, including three that will be released excessively on Essential’s own website, with a staged release schedule that began Thursday. On Friday, however, Essential revealed a surprise fourth new color, “Halo Gray,” which will be exclusive to Amazon and which is now available to… Read More

Assur.com is an insurance aggregator without all the clutter

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 French startup Assur.com lets you find and compare all sorts of insurance products without having to enter all your personal information. While insurance aggregators are nothing new, they usually ask you for your email address, phone number and more. And chances are those companies are going to spam you with offers.
But Assur.com has a different approach as you don’t have to enter any… Read More

Barnes & Noble is killing itself

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 I’ve been chronicling the slow demise of B&N for years now, watching the company bleed out, drop by drop, until it has become a shell of its former value. B&N was a cultural center in places without cultural centers. It was a stopover on rainy days in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland and it was a place you could go to get your kids’ first books. That’s mostly over now.… Read More

Ontario’s Provincial Police reveal a Tesla Model X pursuit vehicle prototype

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 Tesla’s Model X is arguably the best performing SUV you can buy, so it’s fitting that Canada’s Ontario Provincial Police would select it for a cruiser demonstration vehicle, revealed at this week’s Toronto international car show. The Tesla Model X, a P90D model, features full OPP badging and black and white paint, as well as working lights and sirens, but it’s… Read More

This autonomous 3D scanner figures out where it needs to look

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 If you need to make a 3D model of an object, there are plenty of ways to do so, but most are only automated to the extent that they know how to spin in circles around that object and put together a mesh. This new system from Fraunhofer does it more intelligently, getting a basic idea of the object to be scanned and planning out what motions will let it do so efficiently and comprehensively. Read More

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a new high point for superhero cinema

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Black Panther Black Panther doesn’t look like any movie I’ve seen. I mean, I don’t want to downplay America’s long history of black cinema (a history that already includes a handful of black superheroes). Nor am I ignoring the fact that Black Panther is the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — so yes, it conforms in a number of ways to the dictates of… Read More

Twitch launches always-on chat rooms for channels

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 Game streaming site Twitch today is debuting an always-on chat room feature it’s simply calling “Rooms.” The addition was first announced at its developer event TwitchCon back in October, and was expected to launch before year-end. That timing shifted a bit, but the feature is going live today across both web and mobile for Twitch users worldwide. Rooms are custom chat… Read More

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