News 

Automating your life on this week’s episode of CTRL+T

People are lazy. Well, let me speak for myself. I am lazy. So it’s no wonder why on this week’s episode of CTRL+T, I was drawn to some news items that touched on home assistants and personal assistants for when you’re out in the wild. Amazon’s Echo Dot was the top-selling product on all of Amazon this holiday season and startup Fin recently launched its human/AI personal assistant. Henry Pickavet, TC editorial director and CTRL+T co-host, and I also explored the HQ Trivia craze. This past week, HQ Trivia launched…

Read More
News 

Equity podcast: 2017 IPO recap and who will go public in 2018?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week the crew — Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Barrett Daniels, the CEO of Nextstep Advisory, an IPO shop that helps companies go public. Guess what we talked about? Yes, we went back through the biggest debuts of 2017, several of the quiet hits and the laggards. We also answered critical questions like “what was the worst IPO of 2017?” (For more results, check the spreadsheet here.) And, it being our holiday…

Read More
News 

The U.S. needs to create civic social networks

Rep. Rick Crawford Contributor Rick Crawford, Representative for the 1st District of Arkansas, served in the Army and started his own agri-communnications business before running for Congress where he sits on the House Agriculture, Transportation, and Intelligence Committees. Whether an elected official is school board member in a small town or a U.S. Senator representing an entire state, constructive dialogue enables those leaders to engage the people they serve. Communication between the electorate and their government representatives has increased dramatically during the last decade, and social media has played a…

Read More
News 

Consumers dropped $200 million on apps on Christmas, up 12 percent from last year

Consumers spent $196 million on apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions on Christmas Day 2017 across the App Store and Google Play, according to new data from Sensor Tower. The report, while excluding Android revenue in China, represents a 12.3 percent increase over last year’s spending of approximately $174 million. That speaks to a still-growing market for apps and games as well as the potential for developers to generate new revenue streams by way of subscriptions sold through their apps. In fact, the recent App Store trend of pixel art coloring…

Read More
News 

You can now pick up an iMac Pro in-store, for $4,999 and up

Apple’s super-powered iMac Pro hit the company’s online store just ahead of Christmas. Now those who’d prefer to pick one up in-person can do so by paying a visit to one of its various retail establishments. Availability was first spotted by MacRumors earlier today, and you can check it for yourself by entering your zip code over on the company’s site. At $4,999 and up, this isn’t check out line impulse buy territory, but the professional version of the company’s well-regarded all-in-one packs a wallop. Matthew spent some time around…

Read More
News 

OKCupid’s rating sinks as users rebel over new ‘real name’ policy

OKCupid’s users are angry – very, very angry. Just ahead of the new year, the company made a radical change to its policies, and now requires people to use real names instead of an OKCupid username, as before. The change eliminates one of the biggest differentiators between the dating app and rivals like Tinder and Bumble, which have users log in via Facebook in order to use their real name on their dating profile. Since the update, announced last week, OKCupid’s app has been slammed with bad reviews on the…

Read More
News 

Amazon did a lot of funky stuff this year and it’s paying off

Holy hell, it’s been a year for Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ former-online-bookstore dumped $13.7 billion to buy a bunch of grocery stores, that speaker you talk to in your living room that Amazon makes is really popular and a bunch of server farms Amazon runs generate more than $10 billion in revenue annually. The confluence of all these things has led to an incredible rise in its stock on the year — one that might be even more impressive than Apple’s slow march toward hitting a $1 trillion market cap (assuming the iPhone…

Read More
News 

All 50 states vote yes on AT&T’s $40 billion emergency response network FirstNet

From wildfires in California to hurricanes on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, communications are the bedrock of emergency response and management. However, those communications can be challenging when quickly evolving situations cross multiple jurisdictions — a truth painfully learned on 9/11, when more than a dozen agencies found it difficult to relay critical information to the right people at the right time. Today, AT&T announced that all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have officially signed on to FirstNet, a government program operated by AT&T to provide…

Read More
News 

Financial technology startups emerged as serious challengers to financial services in 2017

Dana Stalder is a general partner at Matrix Partners and writes at forentrepreneurs.com. More posts by this contributor: All the attention in financial services this year has gone to the newest kids on the block: cryptocurrencies. With bitcoin now eclipsing $15,000 and Coinbase adding more than 300,000 users in one week alone, it’s easy to see why. While cryptocurrencies stole the spotlight, a clutch of companies were quietly working behind the scenes to slowly bring the financial services establishment to its knees. It may turn out that these startup entrants…

Read More