Author: Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Facebook lets you unsend recent messages

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Facebook now lets everyone unsend messages for 10 minutes For up to 10 minutes after sending a Facebook Message, the sender can tap on it and they’ll find the delete button has been replaced by “Remove for you” and “Remove for everyone” options. If you select the latter, recipients will see an alert saying that you removed a message, and they can still flag the message. The feature could come in handy in those moments when you realize, right after hitting send, that you’ve made an embarrassing typo or said something dumb. It won’t, however, let people change ancient history. 2. Alphabet revenues are up 22% but the stock is still dropping The company’s beat of analyst estimates would have been a miss if not for a $1.3 billion unrealized gain “related to a non-marketable debt security.” 3. Toyota’s new car subscription company Kinto is gamifying driving behavior Toyota has officially launched Kinto, a company first revealed late last year that will manage a car subscription program and other mobility services in Japan, including the sale and purchase of used vehicles as well as automotive repair and inspection. 4. Apple pays millions in backdated taxes...

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Daily Crunch: Google launches Live Transcribe

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Google intros a pair of Android accessibility features for people with hearing loss Live Transcribe is, perhaps, the more compelling of the two offerings. As its name implies, the feature transcribes audio in real time, so users with hearing loss can read text, in order to enable a live, two-way conversation. Meanwhile, Sound Amplifier is designed to filter out ambient and unwanted noise, without boosting the volume on already loud sounds. 2. Amazon’s Audible brings Choose Your Own Adventure stories to Alexa devices These are professionally performed, voice-controlled narratives from the publisher of the original Choose Your Own Adventure book series, ChooseCo. 3. Bird CEO on scooter startup copycats, unit economics, safety and seasonality “2018 was about scaling,” he said. “2019 is about really focusing on the unit economics of the business.” 4. Crypto exchange Kraken acquires Crypto Facilities This nine-figure deal is Kraken’s biggest acquisition to date. Following the deal, some Kraken users can now access both spot and futures trading. 5. Why no one really quits Google or Facebook Danny Crichton weighs in on the latest Facebook and Google scandals. Rather depressingly, he argues that nothing will change. 6. Watch the tech-centric Super...

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Original Content podcast: ‘You’ gives us obnoxious millennials and creepy stalkers

“You” first premiered on Lifetime last fall, but it’s moving to Netflix for its second season, making the show a Netflix Original — and fair game for the Original Content podcast. The series stars Penn Badgley of “Gossip Girl.” This time, plays Joe Goldberg, a charming, “nice guy” bookstore manager (the second episode is pointedly titled “The Last Nice Guy in New York”) who becomes obsessed an aspiring writing named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). As the story (based on a novel by Caroline Kepnes) unfolds, we see Joe go to increasingly disturbingly lengths in his pursuit of Beck’s affection. For...

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Watch the tech-centric Super Bowl ads from Amazon, Microsoft and others

Another year, another batch of Super Bowl commercials from tech giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. In fact, Amazon will have different ads focusing on different areas of the business: one highlighting products that won’t be taking advantage of its voice-powered assistant Alexa, and another previewing “Hanna,” an upcoming show on Amazon Prime. Microsoft, meanwhile, is highlighting some of the ways technology can actually make people’s lives better — perhaps as a corrective to the ongoing backlash against the tech industry. There will be star-studded spots from somewhat less ubiquitous companies too, with Bumble enlisting Serena Williams to deliver a...

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Daily Crunch: Facebook fallout continues

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. We dismantle Facebook’s memo defending its ‘Research’ The fallout continues following TechCrunch reporting about a Facebook app that was paying people to collect a huge swath of data from their phones. For one thing, a new memo from Facebook’s VP of production engineering and security provides more detail about exactly what data Facebook was trying to collect from teens and adults in the U.S. and India. We also learned that like Facebook, Google was using Apple enterprise certificates to circulate a consumer-facing data collection app — leading Apple to shut down, then restore access to Google’s internal iOS apps. 2. Amazon and Flipkart pull 100,000s of products to comply with new Indian law Amazon has been forced to pull an estimated 400,000 products in India after new regulation limiting e-commerce businesses went into force in the country. And Flipkart could pull as many as one-quarter of its products in order to comply with the rule, according to analysis from consulting firm Technopak. 3. Apple fixes FaceTime eavesdrop bug, with software update incoming “We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for...

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Vice Media will lay off 10 percent of its staff

Vice Media plans to cut 250 jobs — about 10 percent of its total workforce. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news. When contacted by TechCrunch, a Vice spokesperson confirmed the story but declined to comment further. This comes after a brutal couple weeks in the media business, as companies began the year with major cuts. BuzzFeed is trimming its staff by 15 percent. Verizon Media Group (which owns TechCrunch) laid off 10 percent of its workforce. And traditional media wasn’t immune, with Gannett eliminating as many as 400 jobs. Alongside the broader industry issues, Vice has had a tumultuous...

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Daily Crunch: Facebook beats Wall Street estimates

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Facebook shares shoot up after strong Q4 earnings despite data breach Facebook managed to beat Wall Street’s estimates in its Q4 earnings despite a seemingly constant beatdown in the press. The company said it hit 2.32 billion monthly users, up 2.2 percent from 2.27 billion last quarter, speeding up its growth rate. And it earned $16.91 billion off all those users, with $2.38 in GAAP earnings per share. 2. Robert Swan named Intel CEO Half a year after being named interim CEO, Bob Swan is taking the job full-time. He stepped into the interim role as word emerged of then-CEO Brian Krzanich’s “past consensual relationship” with an employee. 3. New York cracks down on companies that sell fake followers The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has reached a settlement with Devumi, a company that made millions selling fake followers to unsuspecting customers. The state of New York found that Devumi had engaged in illegal deception and illegal impersonation in the course of fluffing up social media profiles with its automated accounts. Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch 4. Google will stop peddling a data collector through Apple’s back door It looks like Facebook wasn’t the...

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Hulu announces a new ad unit that appears when you pause

Just to get this out of the way: Yes, Hulu is introducing an ad unit that will show up when you pause a video. But no, the ad won’t be a video. Hulu says it has 25 million subscribers, the majority of them on an ad-supported plan — so they’re used to seeing TV-style commercial breaks before and during their viewing experience. However, Vice President and Head of Advertising Platforms Jeremy Helfand said the company realizes that having a video ad start playing as soon as you hit pause could be bad for both viewers and advertisers. For the viewer, “It can be jarring — you think you’ve paused the content, but you’re still seeing sight, sound and motion,” Helfand said. As for the advertiser, they don’t want to create a 30-second ad that the viewer doesn’t see because they’ve left for the kitchen or the bathroom, or because they unpause the show five seconds into the ad. Conversely, he said that during testing, Hulu found that viewers accepted the format “if the ad is subtle and relevant.” So the Hulu Pause Ad is more like a translucent banner ad — or, as Helfand put it, “a car billboard on the side of the road” — that appears on the right side of the screen. This makes for a better viewing experience, since it’s less distracting than video and...

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