Fake news is an existential crisis for social media 

The funny thing about fake news is how mind-numbingly boring it can be. Not the fakes themselves — they’re constructed to be catnip clickbait to stoke the fires of rage of their intended targets. Be they gun owners. People of color. Racists. Republican voters. And so on. The really tedious stuff is all the also incomplete, equally self-serving pronouncements that surround ‘fake news’. Some very visibly, a lot a lot…

Trump cites Facebook exec’s comments downplaying Russian ad influence on election

You’d be forgiven for missing Donald Trump’s multiple retweets of Facebook executive Rob Goldman over the weekend. Perhaps you were spending time with family, watching Black Panther or just attempting to forget politics for a moment by ignoring the manic flurry of social media updates from the leader of the free world. But in amongst a deluge of tweets that blamed Democrats for failing to preserve DACA, called out the…

South Korea aims for startup gold

Back in 2011, when South Korea won its longshot bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the country wasn’t widely recognized as a destination for ski and snow lovers. It wasn’t considered much of a tech startup hub either. Fast forward seven years and a lot has changed. For the next 10 days, the eyes of the world will be on the snowy slopes of PyeongChang. Meanwhile, a couple of…

Digital nomads are hiring and firing their governments

The nation state has survived wars, plagues, and upheaval, but it won’t survive digital nomads, not if people like Karoli Hindriks have something to say about it. Hindriks is the founder of Jobbatical, a platform that allows digital nomads to find work in other countries and helps with the logistics of getting there. The company also embodies a new world of highly-skilled, global migratory workers who work wherever they please….

Facebook didn’t mean to send spam texts to two-factor authentication users

Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos apologized for spam texts that were incorrectly sent to users who had activated two-factor authentication. The company is working on a fix, and you won’t receive non-security-related text messages if you never signed up for those notifications. Facebook says it was a bug. But calling it a bug is a bit too easy — it’s a feature that was badly implemented as it’s clear…

Sqreen wants to become the IFTTT of web app security

French startup Sqreen recently launched a Security Hub with dozens of plugins to put you in control of the security of your web app. In many ways, it feels like enabling tasks on popular automation service IFTTT. Sqreen participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield and Y Combinator’s current batch. The vision of the product hasn’t changed. Sqreen lets you protect your web service with little effort from your side. Big companies…

RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re really windows to the brain. RightEye looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro ball player. It turns out there’s quite a lot…

How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms of…

How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms of…

Montana-based mapping startup onXmaps raises a round of funding fit for Big Sky Country

A mapping startup based in Missoula, Mont., which allows users to download sophisticated offline topographic maps outlining public and private lands and a number of other features geared towards hunting, fishing and camping, has pulled in its first major outside funding. onXmaps has closed a $20.3 million Series A round led by Summit Partners. Bessemer Venture Partners, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Next Frontier Capital and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke also participated in the…

Twitter is killing its Twitter for Mac desktop client

On Friday, Twitter announced that it would abandon its lesser-loved Mac app, directing users to Twitter.com instead. The company declared that it will refocus its efforts on “a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms” rather than continuing development for Twitter for Mac, a message that doesn’t sound great for TweetDeck lovers. The Twitter for Mac app no longer lives in the Mac App Store, though its one and a…

Federal judge rules that embedded tweets can represent copyright infringement

A recent ruling by a New York federal judge could have significant implications for how copyright laws are enforced. The ruling was made in a case where Justin Goldman accused publications including Breitbart, Time, Yahoo, Vox Media and the Boston Globe of violating his copyright by embedding into their stories tweets with his photo of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Goldman had posted the photo to Snapchat, but it…

H-E-B acquires Texas-based on-demand company Favor

H-E-B has acquired Favor, the on-demand delivery service out of Texas. Favor will continue to operate as an independent wholly owned subsidiary of the grocery chain. The company first in 2013, bringing a Texas-tailored approach to on-demand delivery. While many on-demand services, such as Postmates, focus on high-density areas like NYC and San Francisco, Favor built a product that serves the sprawling cities of Texas. Users could order food from…

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts Russian bot farm for election meddling

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just handed down a set of indictments, charging 13 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations with interference in the U.S. presidential election in efforts dating back to 2014. The indictment names the Internet Research Agency, a bot farm and disinformation operation based out of St. Petersburg, as one of the sources of the fake accounts meant to create divisions in American society. Those accounts were…

Online estate agency Home Made raises £850K seed at £4.3M post-money valuation

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the online estate agency market was a done deal in the U.K., evidenced by a plethora of proptech startups and more established companies that help you sell your home or help you list and manage it for rent. But apparently not, if one London startup and its new backers are to be believed. Home Made, which is focused exclusively on London lettings for properties…

Oracle grabs Zenedge as it continues to beef up its cloud security play

Oracle announced yesterday that it intends to acquire Zenedge, a 4-year old hybrid security startup. They didn’t reveal a purchase price. With Zenedge, Oracle gets a security service to add it to its growing cloud play. In this case, the company has products to protect customers whether in the cloud, on-prem or across hybrid environments. The company offers a range of services from web application firewalls to distributed denial of…

Uber is reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab

Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean ride-sharing company that has a big presence in that region, according to a new report from CNBC. This wouldn’t be an unfamiliar story for Uber, which was handily beaten by Didi in China before eventually caving and selling the company to the dominant ride-sharing startup in China. Uber sold its Chinese…

Uber is reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab

Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean ride-sharing company that has a big presence in that region, according to a new report from CNBC. This wouldn’t be an unfamiliar story for Uber, which was handily beaten by Didi in China before eventually caving and selling the company to the dominant ride-sharing startup in China. Uber sold its Chinese…

Assur.com is an insurance aggregator without all the clutter

French startup Assur.com lets you find and compare all sorts of insurance products without having to enter all your personal information. While insurance aggregators are nothing new, they usually ask you for your email address, phone number and more. And chances are those companies are going to spam you with offers. But Assur.com has a different approach as you don’t have to enter any information in a text field. It’s…

Ontario’s Provincial Police reveal a Tesla Model X pursuit vehicle prototype

Tesla’s Model X is arguably the best performing SUV you can buy, so it’s fitting that Canada’s Ontario Provincial Police would select it for a cruiser demonstration vehicle, revealed at this week’s Toronto international car show. The Tesla Model X, a P90D model, features full OPP badging and black and white paint, as well as working lights and sirens, but it’s still just a demonstration vehicle at this point, meant…