Author: Jordan Crook

Former Facebook engineer picks up $15M for AI platform Spell

TECHCRUNCH In 2016, Serkan Piantino packed up his desk at Facebook with hopes to move on to something new. The former Director of Engineering for Faceboook AI Research had every intention to keep working on AI, but quickly realized a huge issue. Unless you’re under the umbrella of one of these big tech companies like Facebook, it can be very difficult and incredibly expensive to get your hands on the hardware necessary to run machine learning experiments. So he built Spell, which today received $15 million in Series A funding led by Eclipse Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures. Spell...

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We Company CEO in hot water over being both a tenant and a landlord

TECHCRUNCH The company formerly known as WeWork has come under scrutiny for potential conflict of interest issues regarding CEO Adam Neumann’s partial ownership of three properties where WeWork is (or will be) a tenant. TechCrunch has seen excerpts of the company’s prospectus for investors that details upwards of $100 million in total future rents WeWork will pay to properties owned, in part, by Adam Neumann. In March 2018, The Real Deal reported that Neumann had purchased a 50 percent stake in 88 University Place alongside fashion designer Elie Tahari. That property was then leased by WeWork, which then leased...

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HyperScience, the machine learning startup tackling data entry, raises $30 million Series B

TECHCRUNCH HyperScience, the machine learning company that turns human readable data into machine readable data, has today announced the close of a $30 million Series B funding round led by Stripes Group, with participation from existing investors FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures as well as new investors Battery Ventures, Global Founders Fund, TD Ameritrade, and QBE. HyperScience launched out of stealth in 2016 with a suite of enterprise products focused on the healthcare, insurance, finance and government industries. The original products were HSForms (which handled data-entry by converting hand-written forms to digital), HSFreeForm (which did a similar function for...

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Rumor suggests Apple’s AirPower mat has finally gone into production

TECHCRUNCH In 2017, Apple announced the Qi-compatible AirPower Mat, a device that would charge multiple devices at once simply by placing them on the mat. That product has been seriously delayed due to reported interference and overheating issues, with a whole year going by without hearing much about the availability of the product. In fact, Apple’s total silence on the matter led some to believe it may have been canceled altogether. Today, however, a new rumor has breathed life back into hopes for an AirPower Mat. Hong Kong website ChargerLAB tweeted that a credible source in the supply chain said Luxshare Precision (the same manufacturer that builds Airpods and USB-C cables) has started production on the AirPower charing pad. Breaking: AirPower is finally coming. We just learned from credible source in supply chain that the manufacture Luxshare Precision has already started producing Apple AirPower wireless charging pad. Luxshare Precision is also the maker of Apple AirPods and USB-C cables. pic.twitter.com/UqgWIAh3sx — ChargerLAB (@chargerlab) January 12, 2019 MacRumors took a look at the tweet and used Google Translate to translate the WeChat screenshot included in the tweet, saying that the conversation is consistent with the information in the tweet. ChargerLAB went on to tweet that another manufacturer, Pegatron, would start production on January 21st alongside Luxshare Precision. A report from June said that Pegatron would also be involved in manufacturing,...

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Elon Musk shows off the assembled Starship test rocket

TECHCRUNCH After weeks teasing renderings and production photos, Elon Musk finally showed off the finished Starship test rocket last night. As you can well see, the Starship test rocket has a stainless steel skin, which had a few people scratching their heads. Steel is indeed quite durable, but weighs more than other materials used in rockets like carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium. Musk argues, however, that stainless steel’s resistance to extreme temperature, especially heat, makes it a better fit for this type of rocket. The Starship rocket, previously called the BFR, is an integral piece of the SpaceX road...

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Epic Games receives an “F” from the Better Business Bureau

TECHCRUNCH The Fortnite community may be polite, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting the customer service they deserve. The Better Business Bureau gave Fortnite maker Epic Games an “F”, the lowest possible grade. The Better Business Bureau, which is not a government agency but rather a national network of non-profits that measures how well businesses handle dispute resolution and relays that information to customers, says that 247 of 271 BBB complaints filed in the last year have gone unanswered by Epic. An Epic spokesperson told Kotaku that “Epic Games is not affiliated with the Better Business Bureau and has...

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Check out the trailer for Jordan Peele’s new YouTube series “Weird City”

TECHCRUNCH Mastermind Jordan Peele is a very busy man these days, working on new projects including the movie Us, an upcoming Twilight Zone reboot, a Netflix stop-motion animated movie called Wendell and Wild, as well as two Amazon shows. But the Academy Award winner is also making time for YouTube. The first trailer for Weird City, a sci-fi anthology series with an absolutely amazing cast, dropped today. [embedded content] The series was created by Peele and Key and Peele writer Charlie Sanders, and follows the lives of various characters in the future city of Weird, where the middle class...

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Managed By Q ends 2018 with a fresh $25 million in funding

TECHCRUNCH Managed By Q, the office management platform that launched back in 2013, has today revealed that it raised an additional $25 million as a part of its Series C, led by existing investors RRE and Google Ventures, with participation from new investors DivCo West, Oxford Properties and others. The fresh capital brings the total round to $55 million. Managed By Q launched as a all-encompassing platform for office management, offering IT support, supply inventory management, cleaning, and equipment repair. Since, the company has added a full-fledged marketplace, allowing office managers to choose vendors for various needs around the...

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