YC-Backed Instavest Wants To Help Investors Make Smarter Trades

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Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 3.28.21 PM Instavest, a Y Combinator-backed startup, wants to help retail investors benefit from the trades of others. It also wants to help savvy speculators profit by sharing their trading data. Investors can list their trades on Instavest, including the company, share amount and rationale behind the investment. Other users can invest alongside the people willing to share their own purchases and sales.… Read More

Google made a tablet for Ebola fighters that can be sanitized with chlorine

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Doctors working to fight Ebola in West Africa must wear full body suits, gloves, and masks in 90-degree weather. They also work with limited resources — one important, but laborious aspect of treating Ebola involves recording medical information on paper. Doctors in a medical enclosure must write a patient’s information down, walk to the edge of the enclosure, yell the information to their colleagues outside the tent, and then destroy the paper. Up until now, that was the safest way to contain the disease while transferring information. Now, a new Google tablet that can withstand chlorine sanitization renders that process unnecessary, Wired reports.

Jay Achar, a doctor stationed in Sierra Leone as part of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF),…

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I did SoulCycle with Hudson Mohawke, and it was the best set at SXSW Music

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As the sun began to set here in Austin on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, I headed down to the fitness center in my hotel, just to get a bit of a run in, because due to the length of my stay (10 days / years), I have found it necessary to become one of those people who works out at SXSW. Trying to be healthy at SXSW is a lonely endeavor; there’s a general sense that if you’re not eating BBQ and tacos and craft beer for every meal you’re somehow squandering your time in Austin. Of course nobody was in the gym when I got there, except for one early-casualty reveler asleep and drooling on the weightlifting bench.

Trying to be healthy at SXSW is a lonely endeavor

I got on the treadmill and started up one of my very old, very silly Spotify…

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Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated

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hackathon Today was career day at my son’s school. He’s seven. Like every other seven-year-old, he lives for Minecraft and wants to be a video game developer. And so today he donned his favorite Minecraft shirt and proudly went to school as his favorite video game developer, Markus Persson. But his teacher thought differently. She told him that he had to sit out the day’s activities… Read More

This Week On The TechCrunch Bitcoin Podcast: Millennials Hate Banks

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imgo (1) Welcome back to another episode of TCBTC, TechCrunch’s premier and only bitcoin podcast. This week John Biggs and I riffed through data regarding Kids These Days and banks, and also interviewed Boris Wertz, a venture capitalist and former entrepreneur who invests in bitcoin related startups. We are always looking for awesome guests to come kick it on the show. Shoot me, Alex, an email… Read More

YC Graduate GiveMeTap Offers Free Water, Footfall Data For Stores, AND Helps Africa

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iphones_large Despite the growth in reusable water bottles, keeping them refilled is tough. Ironically, consumers either end up buying a plastic bottle of water, are forced to use a toilet to refill, or feel obliged to buy something from a store before asking for a refill of water. GiveMeTap is a new graduate of the Y Combinator accelerator with a rather clever idea. It sells and produces stainless steel… Read More

YC-Backed SmartHires Helps Startups Find Tech Talent Within The Same Investment Portfolio

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unnamed Finding good tech talent is a challenge right now. The Obama administration poured $100 million into the new TechHire initiative this last month to fill half a million open IT jobs in the U.S. for that reason. Y Combinator-backed SmartHires (not to be confused with the recruiting site SmartHire or job search site Smart Hires) tackles that challenge with the creation of a startup… Read More

Rumored Amazon ‘Unlocked’ program sounds like Prime for Android apps

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Amazon has long been giving away free Android apps and games through its own Amazon App Store, but now the company is apparently ready to try a more ambitious tactic to get more people using its storefront. According to an internal presentation acquired by TechCrunch, Amazon is getting ready to launch “Unlocked,” something of an Amazon Prime for apps. Text in the leaked document claimed that Unlocked would offer “paid apps and in-app purchasing now completely free from Amazon.”

The document showed off a few examples of games and apps that may be offered through the Unlocked program, including Sega’s Sonic Dash and UsTwo’s Monument Valley, as well as the OfficeSuite 8 + PDF Converter app — an app that is traditionally free but offers…

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The Wearables Road Ahead

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wristwatches I had a meeting with a smartwatch maker last night who showed me one of the coolest wearables I’d seen in a while. It will launch in a few days and it looks gorgeous with amazing attention to detail and a deep understanding of what has been missing in the smartwatch space thus far. He and his team have been working on it for a while and they know what they’re doing. From the case… Read More

CrunchWeek: Messenger Adds Payments, Lyft’s Financials, And TechCrunch Does SXSW

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crunchweek-4-3 Welcome back to our temporary CrunchWeek set as we rebuild Video Land here at TCHQ. This week Sarah Lane, Ryan Lawler and myself dug into the week’s most important topics: Facebook’s work to bring user-to-user payments to Messenger, the inside scoop on how fast Lyft is growing, and what was the big new thing at this year’s SXSW festival. Read More

The Obama administration imposes stricter standards on fracking in the US

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The Obama administration announced new regulations today that impose restrictions on fracking in certain areas of the country. The rules require companies to disclose the chemicals they use when drilling for gas or oil, and properly dispose of waste materials, The Washington Post reports.

Fracking — a process by which sand, water, and chemicals are used to extract natural gas from the earth — is a controversial method. Today’s ruling has been in draft form for more than three years while energy companies, environmental groups, and the public all weighed in, The New York Times reports. The White House’s updates are a response to fracking’s potential health and environmental risks in the face of its increasing popularity. The hydraulic…

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This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: Android Wear, Nintendo, And Microsoft Windows 10

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gadgets150320 Weeks keep happening with no end in sight, and so we press on with our weekly gadgets podcast. This week, TAG Heuer, Intel, and Google announced a partnership that would bring Android Wear to a TAG Heuer-designed smart watch. Meanwhile, Nintendo finally gave in to pressure and announced it would enter the world of mobile gaming, and Microsoft is making a land grab with Windows 10. We discuss… Read More

TC AppleCast 10: 13-inch MacBook Pro And Apple TV

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TC-applecast16-9 This week, we reviewed the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and we liked it. A lot. Apple’s MBP line is now the best value for money for anyone who wants to really be able to do work on the road, bar none, and the 13-inch size has great portability. But we can’t help but wonder what’s next for the MacBook Pro lineup, in light of the big changes signalled by the… Read More

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