Apparently, it's totally OK to take to Twitter and declare that you're going to attack an entire country or assassinate its leader.According to Twitter, that's true if you're US President Donald Trump, even if the tweets are a violation of the micro-blogging platform's terms of service.Ever since Trump took office in January, the Internet has been wondering how San Francisco-based Twitter could allow the Tweeting President to routinely violate "The Twitter Rules."Facing criticism that Twitter's most popular tweeter had gone too far again, Twitter responded.The company said the president's tweet hadn't come down, and the president hasn't been banned because his tweets are newsworthy.Twitter said it is now unveiling a long-held "internal policy" and that it would "soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it."
A Texas-based retirement fund that invested in Uber is suing the company and its former CEO Travis Kalanick, accusing the company of making misleading statements about its business to drum up billions of dollars in investment starting in June 2014.The retirement fund, through a Morgan Stanley fund, invested $2 million in Uber at a $62.5 billion valuation in February 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal."In a span of only a few months a shocking litany of corporate misconduct came to the fore, and investors learned startling truths about the willingness of Uber's C-Suite executives to flout local, national and international law, stifle competition, misappropriate trade secrets and seek vengeance against detractors," the suit claims.Additionally, the suit delves into Uber's ongoing lawsuit with Waymo, the self-driving-car company spun out of Google; the theft of a passenger's medical records after she was raped by an Uber driver; and the findings of the investigation, led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, that examined Uber's corporate culture after several allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination arose.You can read the lawsuit here:Plaintiff Irving Firemen’s Relief & Retirement Fund lawsuit filing against Uber and Travis Kalanick by Steven Tweedie on Scribd
Microsoft is building an enviable collection of Windows Mixed Reality headsets in partnership with big names such as Acer, HP, Dell and Lenovo, many of which are launching as soon as next month.Another big name Microsoft could be adding to its partnership roster is Samsung, if some recently leaked images are to believe.Posted by Twitter user WalkingCat, these images show what appears be Samsung’s attempt at a Mixed Reality Headset.The Samsung and Windows Mixed Reality branding is clear, as is the AKG name on the built-in headphones.It appears that the headset would come bundled with the Windows motion controllers but other than that we really don’t have much to go on.Given that most of the Windows 10 headsets coming to the market share very similar hardware specifications, we imagine any offering from Samsung wouldn’t be vastly different.
Conversational marketing company Drift today announced that it has raised $32 million to further its goal of automating conversations between brands and businesses.Based in Boston, Drift has launched a series of bots since it was founded in April 2016.The startup plans to use the new funds to open a San Francisco office, hire an additional 100 employees over the next 12 months, and expand its automated services for sales and marketing teams.Drift now serves more than 50,000 customers and helps them handle tasks like targeting specific kinds of companies and scheduling appointments with qualified leads.In an exclusive report earlier this month, VentureBeat noted that Drift plans to add automated services for inbound and outbound emails to its offerings.In recent months, the company has launched Drift for Enterprise and Playbooks, bots made to carry out specific tasks or meet goals like “grow blog subscriber list” or “increase qualified leads who schedule meetings.”
The 1 dog walking app rolls out the newest evolution of its Quick Match on-demand feature after successful beta tests in Seattle and San FranciscoRover.com , the nation’s largest network of 5-star dog walkers and pet sitters, today announced the launch of a new dog walking technology that enables dog owners to book pet care on-demand or by browsing its network.With this new feature, Rover is the first and only dog walking service that offers customers the option to search and select, or be instantly matched to a certified dog walker for a walk to occur within the hour or at a later time.Rover is the market leader in dog walking with the largest network in the country, consisting of more than 120,000 dog walkers in thousands of cities across the U.S.The launch in Denver is part of the company’s plan for continued expansion of additional dog walking services across the nation.Quick Match is yet another way for us to remove the barriers to pet ownership, by instantly connecting dog owners to certified dog walkers.
They want to believe -- in justice."X-Files" stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny both tweeted out a photo Monday night showing the two actors with arms linked and each on one knee, using the hashtag TakeAKnee.The hashtag and both the arm linking and bended knee refer to the actions of NFL players during the national anthem to protest police injustice against minorities.Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protest movement last football season and it has grown this fall.President Donald Trump made headlines over the weekend for his remarks at an Alabama political rally urging NFL owners to fire players who protest.Anderson and Duchovny appear to be on the set of "The X-Files," which is returning with an 11th season consisting of 10 new episodes expected to air later this year or in 2018.
, which provides a customer relationship manager (CRM) for G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work), announced today that is has raised $53 million to take on industry giant Salesforce.Norwest Venture Partners led the round, with participation from new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures), and returning investors Industry Ventures, Next World Capital, Storm Ventures, and True Ventures.Founded in 2013, the San Francisco-based startup focuses on helping sales managers and reps better manage their teams and workflows through integration with apps like Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar.According to ProsperWorks cofounder and CEO Jon Lee, the number one priority is to make CRM more usable.“We want to do for CRM what Apple did for mobility,” he said, in an interview with VentureBeat.While Lee confirmed that the team is already using artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the new funding will allow the startup to ramp up efforts around automation and to make the system smarter.
The much mooted “cashless society” is taking longer to arrive than some previously predicted, but it’s clearer than ever that paper and coin transactions are on their way out.The trajectory of change from cash to digital will, of course, vary from market to market, which is why Uber has announced that it is to begin accepting cash payments for its UberEats food delivery service in some cities, starting with Mumbai in India in the coming weeks.Uber has been accepting cash through its main taxi app in a number of cities in India since 2015, and the company has since opened up cash payments to many more cities across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.While most would have expected Uber to limit cash transactions to emerging markets where cash is still popular, the ride-hailing giant opened up cash transactions to the U.K. city of Manchester last year, too.Cash, it seems, is far from dead — in some places, at least.Though Uber continues to face the heat in many cities over its main ride-hailing service, food delivery has emerged as one surprise standout for the San Francisco-based company since it first launched UberFresh in Santa Monica back in 2014 and then rolled out UberEats a year later.
, which provides a digital platform to easily manage health savings accounts (HSAs), announced today that it has secured a $4.2 million seed round.Investors include Streamlined Ventures, Transmedia Capital, Y Combinator, SV Angel, PJC, The Durant Company (Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman), Liquid 2 Ventures, Haystack Partners, and other angel investors.The San Francisco-based startup launched its platform in March after graduating from Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 batch.Lively helps employees better manage their HSAs by consolidating all the administrative and financial information onto one platform.While the goal of HSAs is to allow Americans to save tax-free money for their out-of-pocket medical expenses, Lively cofounder and CEO Alex Cyriac argues that HSAs can also create the flexibility to save for health costs over the long-term, well into retirement.“HSAs were not designed to be used as retirement vehicles, but they actually provide more tax-benefits than a traditional retirement vehicle like a 401k or IRA and require no mandatory distributions, so you can save well into your 70s, 80s, and 90s,” he wrote in an email to VentureBeat.
During Apple's iPhone launch two weeks ago, I spotted a 10-second augmented reality demo that could potentially change the way we watch baseball.I said, as Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller teased how fans at a game could see special stats, including how hard a ball was hit, or how far it was thrown, or how fast a player runs in real time simply by pointing their iPhone toward the action on the field using a new AR feature in Major League Baseball's popular At Bat mobile app."Let me get back to you," he replied.A week later, Claudia and I found ourselves jockeying with other reporters in a crowded suite at AT Park in San Francisco -- about a 45-minute drive north of Apple's spaceship campus in Silicon Valley.It's no secret Apple wants its augmented reality developer kit, announced this spring, to be used to create apps for the iPhone and iPad to live long past last year's Pokemon Go phenomenon.The AR feature may also give MLB teams looking to cheat, er um take advantage of getting to use their iPads during games.
Uber has been steadily releasing a series of updates to its driver-side product as part of its ‘180 Days of Change’ campaign, which kicked off with the introduction of in-app tipping.One of those changes, introduced in late August, allowed drivers to set up to six ‘Driver Destinations‘ per day, up from just two previously.Now, it’s reverting that change in four of its largest U.S. markets, citing “increased wait times for rides” and “a few long pickups.”In a communication to drivers obtained by TechCrunch, and confirmed as accurate by the company, Uber noted that while “drivers have been using them, a lot,” the experiment ended up resulting in ETAs that are “bad for riders and drivers,” which has an impact on the driver side in terms of trips available and earnings.These changes are for New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle only, Uber notes, with six daily destinations still available in all other markets.Uber explained in the note that regardless of how much testing it does prior to a feature’s release, the actual impact of said changes isn’t yet well understood until they’re out in the real world.
To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds.But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)?Jonah Disend started Redscout as the founder and chief executive of the agency in 2000 to work to change a consumer’s perception of a brand is to change the way they experience it.From his Manhattan apartment to offices in New York and San Francisco, he has built Redscout from the ground up.They note that their team of “Thinkers and Makers” invent, prototype and commercialize new products, services and experiences that help brands.Before building his own company, Disend was a planning director at DDB Worldwide where he ran strategy on the Johnson & Johnson business.
According to a report conducted by TechCrunch, only 7 percent of partners at top VC firms are women.The big investment firm Fidelity found that female investors outperformed men by 0.4 percent in the past year.For example, Jessica Livingston, founding partner at Y Combinator (one of the world’s most successful startup incubators), was previously VP of marketing at the investment bank Adams Harkness, where she managed an award-winning rebranding of the company.Five women VCs in particular are making strides, each possessing skills that go far beyond venture capitalism.Kristen Green, founder and partner, Forerunner VenturesWith years of experience covering the retail business as an analyst on Wall Street, Kristen Green decided to apply her retail knowledge to a venture capital fund that she began in San Francisco in 2012.
Pinterest Inc. has long sought to support its lofty valuation by wooing advertisers to its image-search platform.Now it is bringing its technology to them.The San Francisco company has struck a deal with retailer Target Corp. TGT -0.75% to license its camera image search tool, which lets users of Pinterest’s app browse similar images and objects to pictures they take with their phones.Target will embed the tool in its own app, allowing shoppers to snap photos on their phones of items they like, and receive suggestions from Target for similar products to buy.The accord shows how Pinterest is hunting for new ways to bring in money and attempt to chip away at the dominance in online advertising by Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.Tim Kendall, the company’s president, said Pinterest expects to take a similar approach with other advertisers, using other technology and data to woo large ad deals.
A felony conviction in Washington DC has been thrown out over police’s use of a mobile phone tracking device without court approvalA Washington DC appeals court has ruled law enforcement officials must obtain a search warrant before using a device that pinpoints a mobile device’s location, concluding that the device’s use otherwise would violate the US Constitution.The Washington DC Court of Appeals said on Thursday that the use of devices such as the StingRay II, made by Harris Corp., violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, unless a warrant is obtained first.The devices have been used by US police and federal agents for years, but civil liberties advocates have argued restrictions should be placed upon how they’re deployed.The ruling, which is the fourth such by a state appeals court or federal district court, agreed with that position and is likely to decide the issue unless the government appeals.The Maryland Court of Special Appeals and federal district courts in New York City and San Francisco previously reached similar rulings on the use of cell-site simulators.
Starting next year, it may not just be peanuts and Cracker Jacks that are associated with baseball America’s national pastime.In an attempt to woo new and younger viewers, Major League Baseball is building augmented reality into its live statistics application, which will overlay three-dimensional graphics on top of real-life view.Major League Baseball reportedly demonstrated its prototype at a San Francisco Giants game last week in front of a gaggle of reporters.Its plan is to launch AR into its popular “At Bat” app by 2018.Using Apple’s ARKit augmented reality platform, the new app will allow ballpark attendees to point their iPhone and iPad to the field and get real-time information about the players, their statistics and other relevant numbers.“We want this to be fun for fans in the stands, to tell them something new about the game they can’t see on the scoreboard or have to search hard for,” said Chad Evans, a mobile product executive with MLB Advanced Media, to CNET.
Google Play picked its top three independent games in the U.S. on Saturday at its Indie Games Festival in San Francisco.The winners included Flipping Legend, Slayaway Camp, and Tiny Bubbles.The three Android-based winners emerged from a list of 10 audience favorites and a total of 20 finalists selected from a grand total of hundreds of entries.The character can also jump backward one square if you get into trouble.But you can only do that a limited number of times.You can play as a Ninja, Archer, or Wizard.
Shared Mobility Company to Provide Electric Vehicles to Benefit Disadvantaged Communities in Bay Area and SacramentoCULVER CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 25, 2017–Envoy Technologies today announced that the company has been awarded $1.5M in funding from the California Energy Commission.The grant will allow Envoy to develop and implement an Electric Vehicle Shared Mobility Program that will primarily benefit disadvantaged communities in the greater Sacramento Metropolitan and the California Bay Area.Envoy provides shared mobility as an amenity where people live, work and stay.Envoy’s turnkey solution enables the real estate industry, companies, communities and municipalities the ability to implement closed and exclusive car sharing, e-bike and e-scooter sharing for any size community.
Uber has hired barrister Thomas de la Mare to lead the appeal against its ban in London, The Telegraph reports.The San Francisco taxi-hailing giant, which found out on Friday that regulator Transport for London (TfL) was not going to renew its licence, has also hired law firm Hogan Lovells, according to the report.Uber has worked with de la Mare before.Earlier this year he helped Uber to convince courts that two of three new TfL restrictions were unlawful.Uber and de la Mare did not immediately respond to a request for comment.TfL wanted drivers to be insured for private hire even when they weren't taking passengers from A to B.
This summer, I had the opportunity to spend some time in the lively city of Shanghai, China.My admittedly narrow-minded worldview coupled with a particular portrayal of China by the media led me to believe that this country resembled a backwards one still stuck in the past.And the ubiquity of smartphones was another clear indication of China’s technological prowess.And it wasn’t just the young millennials or tech-savvy adults connected to a constant stream of data.It was the street vendors selling you lo mein (stir fry) or jianbing (Chinese crepes).In the Xuhui district, the integration of smart phones into daily life seemed to definitely surpass that of metropolitan cities in the US such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.This is what I saw everyday on the metro