Author: John Biggs

How to run a token sale

TECHCRUNCH Seed funding is drying up. Accelerators are scrambling for revenue. Things are changing drastically in the startup ecosystem. Why? First, as we all know, it’s easier than ever to build a startup. An MVP can hit the app stores in a few days and the need to raise millions for servers and software is over. Second, investors want to see traction, and few will take risks on relative unknowns. So how do you raise money when your product needs more than some Django code and an AWS instance? You run an ICO, right? We’ve heard the hype: It’s...

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Music and Muzak

TECHCRUNCH Next Story Preschoolers get their own Pokémon game with launch of Pokémon Playhouse We are facing a firehose. Data spews at us from all angles, inundating us with ideas, culture, and creativity. We produce terabytes of information a year, changing the world as we know it. We are the most culturally-aware generations in existence. Or are we? An interesting recent post on Marginal Revolution post gives lie to the idea that the world is moving faster than ever. In fact, they propose that we’re moving more slowly because our brains, doused in information daily, are exhausted. Culture does not...

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The PocketBeagle is the tiniest and most whimsically-named single-board computer on the market

TECHCRUNCH Do you need a Linux machine about as big as a few quarters? Man, have I got something for you. It’s called the BeagleBoard PocketBeagle and it’s the smallest Linux computer you can buy for $25. I’m a huge fan of single-board computers for one simple reason: in my childhood, the technology that enables these things simply didn’t exist. Further, a little kit like this one – complete with 512MB RAM, a tiny Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and 72 expansion pins including power and I/O – is a true testament to the power of hobby...

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August announces new smart locks and a smart doorbell

TECHCRUNCH August has updated its smart lock line with a new Pro version with Bluetooth, HomeKit, and Wi-Fi support, as well as the more basic model for $149. They’ve also announced the Doorbell Cam Pro for $199 that lets you see visitors approaching your domicile, even at night. The August is unique in that it depends entirely on the phone for usage, improving security (or reducing usability) but eschewing the keypad. To install it you mount it on the inside of the deadbolt you already have and the system locks and unlocks your door automatically. The new Pro model...

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The Nuada smart glove gives your hand bionic powers

TECHCRUNCH In the future, said Andy Warhol, everyone will be bionic for fifteen minutes. I’m paraphrasing, but it looks like a Portuguese company called Nuada is about to give us that opportunity. Created by Filipe Quinaz and Vitor Crespo, the seed-funded company pitched on our Disrupt stage and showed us one of the coolest pieces of hardware I’ve seen in a long time. The Nuada is a smart glove. It gives back hand strength and coordination by augmenting the motions of your palm and digits. It acts as an electromechanical support system that lets you perform nearly superhuman feats...

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Ethereum will replace Visa in a “couple of years” says founder

TECHCRUNCH The mind behind Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is matter-of-fact about the crypto. In short, he believes what interviewer Raval Navikant called “brain virus” is the true future of security and economics and, with the right incentives, Ethereum can replace things like credit card networks and even gaming servers. Buterin separates the world into two kinds of people. “There’s the average person who’s already heard of bitcoin and the average person who hasn’t,” he said. His project itself builds upon that notion by adding more utility to the blockchain, thereby creating something everyone will want to hear about. “Where Ethereum...

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Zoe Quinn talks about online abuse and her new book, Crash Override

TECHCRUNCH Zoe Quinn went to the heart of Gamergate and has come back with a new book, Crash Override, a meditation on online communities and making the Internet safer. Quinn spoke with me for a few minutes about her new book and how we can help prevent kids from going down the Gamergate path. Her ultimate solution? Talking to people who harass her. By putting a voice to the name she was able to defuse hate by simply responding like a human. When people would dox and call her – before she had to go into hiding because of...

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Metacert’s Paul Walsh on ICOs, phishing, and the future of fake news

TECHCRUNCH Metacert is a company that hunts down and kills fake news. Created by Paul Walsh, it can assess whether or not a link is trustworthy and warn you before you click. Further, he’s found great traction with ICO creators who are using the software to keep people from sending their investors to doctored websites. In this episode of Technotopia I talked to Paul about his work with fake news and how we can stop it from spreading. The prognosis is good: so far his company has stopped hundreds of attacks and classified thousands of links. Computers, it seems,...

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