Author: Greg Kumparak

Luxe to end door-to-door valet service in San Francisco at the end of May

TECHCRUNCH Luxe, the company that promised to make parking in busy cities less awful with an app that summoned blue-jacketed valets to your location, seems to be moving away from its initial vision — at least in San Francisco. SF users began receiving emails like the one below this afternoon, promising “a new service” by Summer of this year: We started Luxe four years ago to tackle the problem of scarce parking in urban centers — while also helping to build the city of the future. Along the way, we’ve saved our customers countless hours and we’re very grateful...

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Google is fixing up Chromecast’s ‘Cast a tab’ feature and you can try the new version now

TECHCRUNCH I’ve been saying it for a few years now, but I really, really like the Chromecast — Google’s simple little dongle for streaming Netflix/Hulu/YouTube etc. from your devices to your TV with just a tap or two. It does what it’s supposed to do, does it well and doesn’t try to do anything more than that. Well… that’s not entirely true. There’s one feature that’s always been relatively underwhelming: “Cast this tab.” Built to let you stream videos and content from your browser on sites that don’t actually have Chromecast support built in, it’s always been sort of…...

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Apple releases a bit of code to let you put Live Photos on your sites

TECHCRUNCH Apple’s Live Photos are fun — they’ve definitely captured a few unexpected magical moments for me that standard stills would’ve missed. But for the most part, they live on your phone and stay within the confines of your apps. Seeing them floating around the web, especially on a desktop browser, has always been something of a rarity. Tumblr kicked down that wall a bit last year by adding Live Photos to its web version and releasing a tool to let others do the same. When it came to an official Apple-approved method, however, there was nothing to be...

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That fancy smart gadget you plugged into your car could allow hackers to turn off the engine

TECHCRUNCH More and more devices, from smart dash cams to head-up displays to Bluetooth-enabled diagnostics dongles, are looking to tap your car’s built-in diagnostic (or OBD-II) port for power and data. The problem: this port… really wasn’t built to be used like that. Primarily designed to be tapped occasionally to better explain that oh-so-vague “Check Engine” light, it certainly wasn’t built to be connected to an always-attached device blasting out all sorts of different wireless protocols whenever the vehicle is on. Example A: researchers at Argus Security have found a flaw in a commercially available Bluetooth-enabled diagnostics dongle that...

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StarCraft is now free, nearly 20 years after its release

TECHCRUNCH Have you always wanted to check out that StarCraft game you’d heard so much about, but somehow managed to go nearly twenty years without buying a copy? Good news! Nearly two decades after its 1998 release, StarCraft is now free. Legally! Blizzard has just released the original game — plus the Brood Wars expansion — for free for both PC and Mac. You can find it here. Up until a few weeks ago, getting the game with its expansions would’ve cost $10-15 bucks. The company says they’ve also used this opportunity to improve the game’s anti-cheat system, add...

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PSA: Going to a music festival? Keep your phone close

TECHCRUNCH There are rules that every seasoned concert-goer knows: Drink lots of water. If you see someone who looks like they’re about to faint after a day of being blasted by the sun, help them. Don’t be a jerk. Seems it’s time to add another to the list: watch your phone! Concerts and music festivals are like heaven for pick pockets. Cram a few thousand people elbow-to-elbow for hours on end, and no one really notices when someone “accidentally” bumps into them. And if you catch’em in the act? They’ve dissolved into a crowd of strangers by the time...

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You can now live stream to YouTube from your phone if you have at least 1,000 subscribers

TECHCRUNCH Back in February, YouTube gave people the ability to live stream directly to their channel from their phones… with one catch: it was only open to folks with 10,000 subscribers or more. If you’ve been dying to hop on the live streaming train but haven’t hit that 10k mark yet, good news: they’ve dropped the requirement to 1,000 subscribers as opposed to 10,000. It’s still not open to everyone, but that’s a considerably smaller hurdle. The change quietly happened sometime in the past few days, but got swept up amongst the April Fools’ noise that comes with changing anything near the beginning of this month. A support page confirms the change, and a rep from YouTube confirmed that it should be open to everyone with 1,000 subscribers or more — not a random pool. So why not just open it to everyone, regardless of subscriber count? A few possible reasons: Boring content is the bane of live streams, and a lot of people just aren’t consistently enthralling enough to watch live/sans editing. Having some relatively high number of subscribers suggests that the creator at least has some idea what people want to see. Stress testing. Live streams introduce new technical challenges, and limiting the number of people who can participate lets YouTube work out the kinks without disappointing everyone. People are presumably less likely to stream illegal content...

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Stripe acquires Indie Hackers, a knowledge sharing community for entrepreneurs

TECHCRUNCH Stripe has acquired Indie Hackers, a website and community focusing on helping entrepreneurs become profitable while remaining independent. News of the acquisition broke through a blog post by Indie Hackers founder Courtland Allen and was quickly confirmed by Stripe’s twitter account. “When I set out to build Indie Hackers last July, there weren’t many places that put profitable online businesses in the spotlight.” writes Allen, “I wanted to create a community where successful founders could share their valuable stories and insights, and where aspiring entrepreneurs could go for inspiration and advice.” But why might Stripe want something like...

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