Chinese Mobile Development Giant NetDragon Raises $52.5M For Its Online Education Business

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online education shutterstock NetDragon, one of China’s leading mobile and games development companies, has raised $52.5 million in Series A funding for its online education business from investors including IDG Capital, Vertex Venture, and Alpha Animation, an animation studio based in Shenzhen. The round values NetDragon’s online education subsidiary at $477.5 million. Targeted at students in kindergarten… Read More

The Vergecast 132: CES 2015, Day 1

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On this, the first official day of CES 2015, The Vergecast is a reflection on the day’s experiences. Nilay Patel yells across the floor to Sony’s booth, Chris Ziegler relinquishes control to a self-driving car, Chris Plante breaks things on the show floor, and special guest Joanna Stern has a selfie stick. Join us, won’t you?

We’ll be back again from the show floor Wednesday evening with more Vergecast!

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The Next MacBook Air Will Be A 12-Inch Beauty With An Edge-To-Edge Keyboard

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keyboardsilver-copy Apple’s 12-inch MacBook Air has been rumored for a while now, but the computer is very real, according to a new report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman. The resourceful and consistently accurate site has revealed specs and renders of a 12-inch MacBook (which is pegged for release anytime between the near future and mid-2015) that pushes the limits in terms of thickness, input and… Read More

FTC Closes Its Yelp Investigation Without Taking Action

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Yelp API One of the biggest and most influential review platforms in the world, Yelp has constantly been hit with claims that it manipulates reviews so its advertisers get higher rankings. This led to an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in early 2014 after 2,045 complaints were filed against the company. Now Yelp says the FTC has closed its investigation into Yelp’s business… Read More

Sennheiser’s luxurious Momentum headphones cut the cord with new Bluetooth models

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With every passing day, I get more and more tired of headphones with cords. Sennheiser knows it, too — the company is showing off three new sets of Bluetooth headphones that are based on the company’s existing designs. The two pairs of its Momentum line —over the ears and on-ears — are now wireless and contain the same noise canceling features that are found in the standard models. They manage to keep pretty solid battery life, as well — Sennheiser said they last 22 hours between charges.

Given that they’re priced at $399 and $499 (for the on-ears and over the ears, respectively), we expected excellent sound and comfort and weren’t let down when they tried them on. We only tested them for a few minutes, but the noise canceling features…

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We made steak at CES with the Anova sous-vide cooker

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Immersion cooking, otherwise known as sous-vide, has exploded in popularity with the tech crowd in recent years, mostly because it makes it easy to say you’re a home chef. Put your meat of choice into a plastic bag, plop it into a pot of boiling water, and you’re pretty much there. (That is unless you’re bad at following basic instructions.) Anova is making it easier to cook your next meaty meal by letting you very nearly forget about what’s on the stove.

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Tales Of CES: How Many Selfie Sticks Are Too Many?

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Creative Soundblaster CES is in full swing — the doors of the show officially opened this morning, tens of thousands of people took over the show floor, going from one stand to another. The Las Vegas Convention Center was as overwhelming as I expected, but one thing in particular struck me. CES is a trade show, it wasn’t designed to entertain the press. And in some way, selfie sticks are the star of… Read More

BMW Shows Off Gesture Controls And Automated Parking

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bmwthumb BMW is showing off a bunch of new or new-ish technologies this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On the just-announced side, there are in-development gesture-based controls — so, thanks to an in-car camera, you may soon be able to draw circles in the air to adjust the volume of your music, or point in a certain way to answer a phone call. Read More

Intel Promises $300M To Boost The Representation Of Women And Minorities In Tech

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DSC06889 In an afternoon keynote at CES 2015, Intel‘s CEO Brian Krzanich bounced on stage to pass out some slightly platitudinous statements about the future of technology, and to bring the audience dancers, a cello, and what appeared to be a boy band, all fused to trippy lights. It was fun.   The most important part of the keynote came at the end, however, when Intel pledged to spend… Read More

Intel’s Curie Module lets anyone build wearables the size of a button

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Intel spent most of 2014 shifting its focus to wearables by buying fitness band company Basis Science and creating partnerships with fashion companies. But CEO Brian Krzanich just announced a major extension of that focus at the company’s CES keynote presentation with the Intel Curie Module. It’s a low-power hardware module that could be used to build wearables out of things like rings, bags, pendants, or glasses.

The module uses a new version of Intel’s Quark chip — the Quark SE — to enable such compact wearable technologies. It’s capable of being integrated into such small form factors that Krzanich even showed it off in a coat button on stage. Curie uses Bluetooth LE and includes a low-power sensor hub, a pattern-matching accelerator…

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Neil Young’s high-quality Pono music player goes on sale Monday for $399

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Neil Young’s high-quality music player, the Pono, is finally going on sale. After completing a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the Pono is heading into retail stores on Monday. It’s a niche product, so it won’t be everywhere — just 80 locations — but you will be able to find it at a number of Fry’s stores across the US. It’ll sell for $399.

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Samsung’s new speakers are like Portal turrets for your music

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Samsung unveiled its new 360-degree speakers a week before CES even started, but seeing them in person hammers home just how much they look like they sprung out of a Valve game. Not only do they produce room-filling sound — Samsung says it’s because of “Ring Radiator” technology — but they also look like they’ll hop up and shoot you down with a friendly remark.

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