Author: Darrell Etherington

Elon Musk gets permission to begin Boring Co. digging in Maryland

TECHCRUNCH Elon Musk’s week is going pretty great thus far, between meeting the creators of Rick & Morty and now gaining permission to dig even more tunnels – besides the one he already got the OK to begin digging back closer to home in Hawthorne. The new tunnel will be a 10.3-mile one that undercuts a state-owned operation of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland,and could eventually become the anchor point for a network that would span Washington to New York, with stops in between at urban centres in Baltimore and Philadelphia, according to the LA Times. The Boring Company,...

Read More

Jaybird’s Run totally wireless earbuds are wire-free wonders for everyone

TECHCRUNCH The market for totally wireless earbuds is really maturing fast, with many entries from both new and established companies. Jaybird recently joined the crowd, with its own Run earbuds. The Logitech-owned company has long been a really solid competitor when it comes to Bluetooth headphones, and its Freedom and X-line, and in fact made some of the very first wireless sport earbuds that proved you could also get good sound with Bluetooth. Now, the Run proves that Jaybird can play well in the totally wire-free market, too. It’s the company’s first attempt at the category popularized by Apple’s...

Read More

BlackBerry’s KEYone ‘Black Edition’ offers more than just good looks

TECHCRUNCH BlackBerry’s most interesting phone in years – if not an entire decade – is the KEYone, an Android device with a classic BlackBerry hardware keyboard that finally answers the needs of truly dedicated thumb typists with a modern mobile OS. Now, the KEYone ‘Black Edition’ has arrived, and it’s more than just a fresh coat of paint on an older gadget. In fact, the ‘Black Edition’ doubles the internal storage of the KEYone, from 32GB up to 64GB (and it retains its expandable memory capability via microSD) – plus, it boosts RAM up to 4GB, which is a very welcome change from the 3GB on the original, if only because the one complaint I had about the original KEYone was that it could feel a bit pokey in places in terms of the speed of elements of the OS and some aspects of a few applications. The ‘Black Edition’ feels speedier in all regards, after a few days of testing, and still retains all the charm of the original. The all-black design feels a bit less retro, but on the whole is probably a more appealing look for a larger segment of the population vs. the dual-tone silver and black of the original. And the phone benefits from months of production of the KEYone by TCL, which should mean it’s got less in the way of manufacturing quirks....

Read More

Nintendo nabs two-thirds of monthly game hardware sales thanks to Switch

TECHCRUNCH Nintendo has managed to lead the industry in video game hardware sales – by a wide margin – for September, which is a very promising sign going into the holiday shopping season. The Nintendo Switch helped this immensely, leading the industry as the top-selling console for the third straight month, and the fifth month overall that Switch has led sales since its introduction seven months ago. Switch’s U.S. sales have now topped 2 million units, which is great considering that the Wii U sold all of 6.23 million units across North America during its entire time on market. Nintendo Switch’s success was also bolstered by continuing 3DS device family sales, as well as Super NES Classic Edition sales, both of which helped it not only lead, but essentially dominate the video game hardware market. Nintendo Switch is moving into some high-profile software releases for Switch that should help it gain even more consumer traction, including Super Mario Odyssey, which lands on October 27 and which has been widely praised by early players and critics, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which, despite being a port of a game that’s now nearly six years old, will still no doubt be a popular download. Nintendo also just released a software update for the Nintendo Switch that allows data transfer between consoles, including saves, and I can confirm that this works...

Read More

Lyft raises $1 billion at $11 billion valuation led by Alphabet’s CapitalG

TECHCRUNCH Ride-hailing company Lyft has raised a new $1 billion funding round, putting its post-money valuation at $11 billion total. The round was led by Alphabet’s CapitalG, its growth-focused investment fund, and CapitalG partner David Lawee will join Lyft’s board as part of the transaction. Lyft shared the news in an official blog post, and noted that it has run over 500 million rides to date, and expanded its coverage in the U.S. to 95 percent of the population, which is up from just 54 percent at the start of 2017....

Read More

Boeing invests in company building autonomous aircraft

TECHCRUNCH Boeing’s HorizonX venture arm has invested in Near Earth Autonomy, a Carnegie Mellon spin-out company that focuses on building autonomous aircraft systems for things including site inspection, defence and potentially automated cargo delivery and personal transportation systems – i.e., flying taxis. Near Earth Autonomy is led by CEO and co-founder Sanjiv Singh, along with his founding team Marcel Bergerman, Lyle Chamberlain and Sebastian Scherer, all of whom are former Carnegie Mellon faculty or students focusing on robotics at the world-leading robotic studies school. The company’s expertise ranges from collision avoidance, to motion planning, to navigating without GPS and...

Read More

Elon Musk’s Boring company readies its second, poetic tunnel digger

TECHCRUNCH The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s third or fourth company (who can keep track) is nearly ready to double its tunnel digging capacity: The venture’s second boring machine is “almost ready” according to Musk, and it’ll be named ‘Line-Storm,’ borrowing its name from a poem by Robert Frost. Maybe this is what Steve Jobs really always meant when he talked about the intersection of technology and liberal arts – we should name our industrial excavation equipment after seminal works of art. Also, Musk brought specific attention to the line “And be my love in the rain,” which could mean this one is designed or all-weather operation or something. But it’s probably just a fan of Frost expressing appreciate for a great power that also feels vaguely like it could refer to the enterprise of digging tunnels. Meanwhile, Musk is also hawking The Boring Co. hats via the official website for his company. I’ve seen these in person and they seem like a quality product, if that’s your thing. It’s probably not quite as lucrative as pre-selling Model 3 reservations in terms of helping raise capital quickly, but there are apparently almost 5,000 sold, which is more than most startups ever manage. Also, The Boring Company’s name, which seems like the ultimate dad joke and therefore definitely in Musk’s wheelhouse, was actually conceived by Musk’s former flame Talulah Riley, according...

Read More

Garmin’s new Vivosport is an ideal lightweight smart activity tracker

TECHCRUNCH If you’re looking to get pretty much all the benefits of a smartwatch without a watch, and to track your activity and sport performance with tools that are more than up to the task, Garmin’s Vivosport is a strong option, with a price tag that comes in well under that of most dedicated smartwatches. It works well with both Android and iOS devices, has a built-in heart rate tracker and GPS, and provides access to all kinds of preset activity types for a range of workout options. The Visoport is the first Garmin wearable I’ve used for any...

Read More

Right Now in Politics