Germany’s Smava raises $65M to expand its consumer loan portal

 While Google dominates the world when it comes to search, portals for those looking for products and services in specific niches continue to have a place in our online world. In one of the latest developments, Smava, a German startup that has built a marketplace/portal for people to search for and take out loans, has raised $65 million to grow its business across Europe. The funding comes… Read More

Facebook is shutting down its standalone personal assistant “M”

 It was a fun experiment, but it’s time to shut it down. M users received messages today that Facebook is sunsetting the service on January 19th. The company confirmed the news in a statement to The Verge. Facebook first introduced M back in August 2015. While the plan was to progressively roll it out to all users, it has remained in private beta since its initial launch. M was an… Read More

Toyota’s mobility business shifts into high gear at CES

 Toyota took advantage of CES 2018 to signal a major shift in its business, becoming what company president Akio Toyoda termed a “mobility service company” during his keynote presentation. Toyota seems poised to embrace mobility services as a core part of its overall business, rather than an offshoot or subsidiary concern, based on Toyoda’s comments and the vision of the… Read More

Apple releases iOS and macOS updates with a mitigation for Spectre

 Apple just released iOS 11.2.2 with some Safari and WebKit improvements to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability. macOS is also receiving an update. It’s a supplemental update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 and it includes the same fix. As always, you should update your devices with the latest security patches. In this case, Meltdown and Spectre are serious vulnerabilities. With Meltdown,… Read More

James Damore just filed a class action lawsuit against Google, saying it discriminates against white male conservatives

 James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired in August after posting a memo to an internal Google message board arguing that women may not be equally represented in tech because they are biologically less capable of engineering, has filed a class action lawsuit against the company in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California. Read More

Toyota teams up with Uber, Amazon, Pizza Hut and more on mobility services

 Toyota has partnered with a number of companies to form the “e-Palette Alliance,” which is a group intended to help guide its transformation as a mobility services company, and determine how it makes use of its new e-Palette vehicle platform, which is a modular, driverless vehicle intended to suit a number of purposes at once. The alliance at launch includes Uber, Didi, Mazda,… Read More

Study: Seasons have little effect on dieting app reporting but the day of week does

 If you’ve gotten three apps and a Fitbit so you can get skinnier this year, don’t worry so much about summer beach season or holiday weight gain. Instead, worry about Thursday. Researchers at University of South Carolina found that self-reporting of food was integral to weight loss but that self-reporters often fell off, seemingly around the holidays. “A key question we wanted… Read More

Google brings its different payment platforms together under the Google Pay brand

 Google is simplifying the way it presents its different payments tools to consumers, uniting them under a new brand called Google Pay. In a Google blog post, Vice President of Product Management for Payments Pali Bhat described this as more of a rebranding than a change to the underlying products or technology. He said the products being brought together include Android Pay (Google’s… Read More

Kohler wants to make your bathroom smarter with Konnect

 Kohler, a name you may recognize from the faucet, or commercials about a faucet, is delivering a new line of smart bathroom and kitchen appliances called Kohler Konnect. Because why not? With the help of Alexa, these appliances can be given various voice commands to perform specific tasks. The line includes a shower, a bathtub, two toilets, a mirror, and a kitchen sink. The platform primarily… Read More

Collibra snags $58M Series D led by Iconiq and Battery Ventures to simplify data governance

 Collibra, a company that wants to help firms understand data governance, announced a $58 million Series D funding round today led by Iconiq Capital and Battery Ventures.
All of the investors involved in this round were coming back for another dip in the well. In addition to Iconiq and Battery Ventures, early Collibra investors Dawn Capital, Index Ventures and Newion Investments also participated. Read More

Where GoPro goes next

 GoPro, already a beloved camera brand, just couldn’t take flight. The GoPro vision – a little box you can attach to the wing of a plane or your ski helmet and catch unparalleled views of the world – is cloudy now on news that trading halted this morning due to low performance attributed to price slashing, layoffs, and the closing of the company’s nascent drone… Read More

Starry Internet and Marvell want to bust open the ISP industry

 Expanding and upgrading wireless networks requires an astounding amount of investment, both in terms of time and resources. As we head into the era of 5G connectivity, that investment only increases. But Starry Internet, founded by Chet Kanojia, is looking to lower the cost for the entire industry through a new partnership with Marvell. Partnering with Marvell, the maker of the 802.11ac and… Read More

Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO for chat cryptocurrency

 Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources which have spoken to TechCrunch, the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities, after Bitcoin and, later, Ethereum paved the… Read More

Two large Apple shareholders say it needs to research the impact of smartphones on kids

 Two of Apple’s institutional shareholders, hedge fund Jana Partners and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), are calling on the company to study the impact of smartphone use on child development. In an open letter, the two investors said that after reviewing research, they believe that Apple needs to give parents more resources and software tools to make sure… Read More