Q&A With Facebook’s Josh Miller On Why His Rooms App Isn’t Anonymous, It’s The Early Web Reborn

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Josh Miller Is Rooms the anonymous Facebook app people were expecting? “No. Unequivocally No…because you cannot be anonymous in our app,” Josh Miller tells me. The Branch founder turned Facebook product manager’s new forums app Rooms launches today, and he says lessons from Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, and the early days of the web guided its construction. Rather than a… Read More

Jonny IV Wants To Be Nasty Gal For Men

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Screenshot 2014-10-23 13.16.34 Today marks the launch of yet another ecommerce brand focused on mens apparel, as Jonny IV joins ranks with Buck Mason, Frank & Oak, and many others. Founded by Eugene Kang, the former head of ecommerce at Forever 21, Jonny IV is different from other brands in that it focuses on street wear as opposed to a single, look, like the preppy Frank & Oak, basics-focused Everlane, or the… Read More

Slack Is Raising Another Round At Up To A $1B Valuation

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Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.41.26 AM Slack, the enterprise collaboration platform co-founded by Stewart Butterfield of Flickr fame, continues to defy its namesake: we have heard from sources that the company is raising a new round of funding at a valuation of between $800 million and $1 billion, just six months after raising nearly $43 million. The total raise is said to be eight figures and Sequoia and KPCB are participating,… Read More

Charlie Briefs You On Your Upcoming Meetings By Emailing You One-Pagers On Attendees

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Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.37.17 PM A new web application called Charlie has raised a seed round of $1.75 million led by Lightbank Capital for a product that emails you short, automatically generated one-pagers detailing what you need to know about the people you’re about to meet with, based on your Google Calendar entries. If this idea rings a bell with you, it’s because Charlie is not the first in recent months to… Read More

StumbleUpon’s 5by Relaunches As An App For Chatting About Online Videos With Friends

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5by-screen 5by, the video recommendation startup that became StumbleUpon’s first acquisition last fall, is relaunching its mobile apps for iOS and Android today with a slightly different focus: instead of only helping users find online videos that match their mood, 5by’s new apps are meant to encourage users to seek out videos for themselves, get a head’s up about the next viral… Read More

Android Wear Update Adds Offline Music, Bluetooth Headphone And GPS Support

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batman-dance Android Wear is getting its first big update, with features that make smartwatches using Google’s wearable operating system more standalone devices, including music syncing and GPS location support. That means if you leave your watch at home while you go out for a jog, you’ve still got access to sweet jams, and your watch can still tell you where you are, and how to get home. The… Read More

Mint’s Aaron Patzer Launches Beta Version Of An On-Demand Answers App With $4 Million In Funding From Shasta And First Round

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Context 01 - Fountain in Aaron's SF back yard Aaron Patzer, the founder and former CEO of Mint is placing his next bet with the on-demand info space. He and co-founder Jean Sini (another former Minter) are launching the beta of Fountain, an app that gives you advice from a curated set of experts. The app is currently focusing on the home improvement space and in alpha testing phase with a bunch of friends and family, but Patzer tells us… Read More

Hardware Battlefield Applications Close In A Week

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robot-2015 Stop procrastinating and fill out your application for Hardware Battlefield. The show is set to be even better than last year with participating startups getting free exhibition space at the 2015 International CES and competing for $50,000 and the coveted Metal Man trophy. For the first time, TechCrunch has partnered with the CEA to be an official media partner of the tradeshow. This… Read More

Facebook Launches Pseudonymous App “Rooms” That Lets You Create Forums About Any Topic

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Facebook Rooms It’s not quite anonymous, but forums standalone app Rooms is Facebook’s first product that allows you to ditch your real name. Rooms lets you set up a mobile-only in-app discussion space about any topic, customize the look and moderation settings, set a screen name for the room, and choose who to invite to share text, photos, videos, and comments with others in the Room. It’s… Read More

A Random Walk Through Hardware Alley

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518473767_c_400_225 Where else in the world can you see a 3D printer named after a simian, a 2000-core super chip, and an inexpensive hearing test in the same room? Hardware Alley at Disrupt London, that’s where. I love visiting the hardware booths at Disrupt and this event was no exception. Everyone had some amazing hardware that worked in amazing ways and I was able to visit nearly all of the companies on… Read More

Luxe Aims To Solve San Franciscans’ Parking Woes

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Luxe The situation was already bad when I first moved to San Francisco with my Jeep Cherokee three years ago. The hills were enough with the clutch, but one too many times spent looking for parking for more than an hour in my own neighborhood and my once useful Utah snow vehicle was sold to a nice old man in the East Bay. Circling round and round the block actually accounts for up to 30% of… Read More

AWS Expands Its European Footprint With Frankfurt Data Center

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aws-robot Amazon today announced that it has opened the second data center for its AWS cloud computing service in Europe. The new Frankfurt region follows in the footsteps of the company’s operations in Ireland, which launched back in 2007. The Frankfurt region sports two availability zones (compared to the three zones in Ireland) and offers access to almost all of Amazon’s cloud… Read More

Etsy Moves Further Into The Offline World With Launch Of Card Reader For In-Person Payments

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etsy_in-person_payments Crafts marketplace Etsy this morning announced a further expansion into the offline world with the launch of an Etsy card reader product designed for sellers who want to take credit and debit card payments in person. The move is centered around Etsy’s larger goal to become a one-stop shop for creative business owners who are often marketing their goods in the real world, at craft… Read More

Ello Raises $5.5 Million, Legally Files As Public Benefit Corp. Meaning No Ads Ever

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Ello Ello.co, the ad-free social media network which blew up last month, has nabbed $5.5 million in venture capital funding even as it plants a legal flag in the ground that the company will never make money from selling ads or user data and that no acquirer can do so either. The company filed in Delaware as a Public Benefit Corp., which Ello says makes it legally impossible under US law for… Read More

Google Inbox Invite Hits eBay

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inbox-feature On a scale from one to ten, how desperate are you to try out Google’s new Inbox app? Would you pay for it? eBay user bpatel90, who has listed the invite on the online auction platform, will sell you an invite right now for around $50. Google’s Inbox is a newly announced mobile app that is meant to totally replace the way you used to deal with your email. It was released as a… Read More

GT Advanced Technologies To End Sapphire Business And Settle Debt With Apple

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sapphire GT Advanced Technologies, the company Apple had entered into a deal with worth $578 million last year for the advance purchase of sapphire components, has reached an agreement with the iPhone maker to settle its outstanding debt. As part of the deal, GT Advanced Technologies will exit the sapphire business altogether, and shut down its Mesa, Arizona and Salem, Massachusetts factories, according… Read More

Uber Partners With Vaccine Finder To Bring A Free Flu Shot To You

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uberrush2 The flu is more deadly than ebola and yet a simple vaccine could save your life. In that breath, Uber has partnered with Vaccine Finder to deliver a registered nurse and a vaccine kit for up to 10 people — of course on demand. Best of all the service is free, but the service is limited to just Boston, New York and DC from 10 am until 3 pm EST today, October 23, 2014. This is part of… Read More

Civilization: Beyond Earth Review – Much More Than Just Civilization In Space

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CivBE_Screenshot_Harmony_MindflowerEndgame The Civilization series has repeatedly roped me in for disappearances that span hours and even days, and the newest instalment, Civilization: Beyond Earth continues that storied tradition. The civilization building and management simulation keeps a lot of what has worked about the series, and adds substantial new gameplay elements – this is no warmed-over expansion with some sci-fi… Read More

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