Author: Brian Heater

Nintendo Labo review

TECHCRUNCH I’m here to tell you first-hand: Nintendo Labo is no joke. I’m a grown-up human person, who has spent many hours of his life building things: office furniture, websites, a model of the Batmobile from the 1989 Tim Burton movie. In the fourth grade, I attempted to build Mission Santa Barbara out of sugar cubes. It didn’t go great, but the point (I’m told) is that I tried. We’re talking multiple decades of building things. Following instructions, backtracking, trying again. I’m sure there are all sorts of valuable lessons I learned along the way; self-discipline, patience, teamwork, why sugar is not a structurally sound building material. But event with all of that building under my wisened belt, Nintendo Labo is no walk in the park. It’s literal child’s play. It says right there, on the box, “6+.” I’ve been six-plus for — let’s just say… a while now. And yet, it took me around two hours this morning to build a cardboard piano. Now I’ve got a table full of scraps, a small paper cut on my ring finger and a surprise sense of accomplishment. Oh, and the piano is pretty cool, too. Labo is one of the most fascinating products to come across my desk in recent memory. It’s unique, bizarre and as frustrating as it is fun. In other words, it’s uniquely Nintendo — not so...

Read More

ZTE says export ban will ‘severely impact’ its survival

TECHCRUNCH It’s been a hell of a week for ZTE. News Monday that it was being hit with a seven-year export ban sent the company scrambling. The Chinese handset maker suspended its earnings report and reportedly sent its lawyers to meet with Google to see if anything could be worked out about a punishment that could hamper its ability to utilize Android and various key services. Four days after we first reached out, ZTE has finally offered us an official reaction to the news. And it’s a doozy. The six-paragraph official statement from corporate mulls over the punishment and...

Read More

Twitter is down again for some

TECHCRUNCH Rough week to be in Twitter support. Three days after the site experienced downtime across the globe, the site was hit by another outage. Status.io’s service site is currently listing a “active incident,” leaving many users unable to tweet. In other cases, the site isn’t loading at all, instead serving up internal server errors or messages stating that the service is “over capacity.” Here in the States, at least, the issue doesn’t appear to be quite as widespread as Tuesday’s incident. We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment and will update as soon as we hear...

Read More

Cambridge Analytica was reportedly exploring an ICO

TECHCRUNCH In the most 2018 thing of the year so far, Reuters and The New York Times are both reporting that Cambridge Analytica was talking to crytpocurrency experts in preparation for the launch of its own initial coin offering. Of course, things may have gotten a bit off-track when the company was revealed to have obtained the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users. Life, as they say, comes at you fast. According to Reuters sources, the embattled firm was looking to issue its own digital currency in an effort to raise upwards of $30 million. Understandable,...

Read More

Apple has a new iPhone recycling robot named ‘Daisy’

TECHCRUNCH Meet Daisy. Apple’s latest recycling robot was revealed, not coincidentally, a few days before Earth Day, in a press announcement summing up the company’s recent environmental accomplishments. The new ‘bot is an update to Liam, the recycling robot the company announced back in 2016. Daisy was developed in-house by Apple engineers, using some of Liam’s parts — a recycling of sorts. The industrial robot is able to disassemble nine different versions of the iPhone, sorting all of their reusable components in the process. In all, Daisy is capable of taking apart a full 200 iPhones in a given...

Read More

Laura Tyson will be speaking at TC Sessions: Robotics May 11 at UC Berkeley

TECHCRUNCH We’re less than a month out from TC Sessions: Robotics, and we’ve still got some key names to share with you for the big event. We’ve already announced some of the top names in robotics, including Playground’s Andy Rubin, Boston Dynamics’ Marc Raibert, Ayanna Howard of Zyrobotics, Chris Urmson of Google and U.C. Berkeley professor and SuitX founder, Homayoon Kazerooni. Today we’re excited to add Laura Tyson to the list. Tyson is the Faculty Director, Institute for Business & Social Impact at Berkeley’s Haas Business and Public Policy Group. She has previously served as the Director of the...

Read More

3D printing marketplace Shapeways raises a $30 million Series E

TECHCRUNCH Investors, it seems, aren’t entirely soured on the world of 3D printing. The technology is still making progress in the enterprise sector, and Shapeways is certainly continuing to make a case for it in the world of online marketplaces. This morning, the New York-based company announced the closing of a $30 million Series E.  The round, led by  Lux Capital, puts its total funding north of $100 million. That’s no small chunk of change, particularly as 3D printing has lost much of its luster in the consumer world over the past several years. But the company has been...

Read More

Motorola introduces four new phones

TECHCRUNCH Motorola’s phones aren’t always the flashiest, but there sure are a lot of them. And today, there are even more. The Lenovo-owned brand is launching not one, but four new handsets for your budget-phone-buying pleasure. The new handsets were launched at an event in São Paulo, Brazil. We, sadly, were not there. Instead, we played around with the things at an event in New York City, where it’s currently 40 degrees in mid-April. No one ever said this job would be easy — or involve getting a tan. The Moto E5 handsets are the flashiest of the bunch....

Read More

Right Now in Politics