Author: Anthony Ha

The Criterion Channel streaming service is coming on April 8

The Criterion Collection’s streaming service has a launch date: April 8. The company had previously made its library of classic art-house and international films available through streaming partners — first Hulu, then FilmStruck. However, FilmStruck shut down last fall, apparently a victim of its corporate parent WarnerMedia’s bigger streaming plans. Criterion subsequently announced that it would both make its movies available through the yet-to-launch WarnerMedia service and launch a streaming service of its own, called The Criterion Channel. Today, Criterion announced the channel’s launch date and started taking signups from “charter” subscribers. In exchange for signing up early, you’ll...

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Meet the 20 startups in this year’s GCT Startup-in-Residence program

At the end of last year, Grand Central Tech announced plans to work with the Milstein real estate family to transform a midtown Manhttan high-rise into a tech hub called Company. And startups remain an important part of the mix — in fact, Company is unveiling a list of 20 startups participating in this year’s GCT Startup-in-Residence program. What does Startup-in-Residence mean? Well, Company CEO Matthew Harrigan said the program will continue to offer what it’s always offered — desk space, as well as access to events and amenities, for a select group of early-stage entrepreneurs. And participants don’t have to give up equity or pay rent. The deal might seem too good to be true, but Harrigan argued that the startups make Company more appealing to its enterprise tenants: “We are retrofitting this building to look and feel and operate like a brand new building … but the one amenity that cannot be simply rolled out is people.” He also said the program is only taking up 15,000 square feet of the building’s 150,000 square foot total. “It sounds like an exceptionally generous offering and it isn’t,” he said. “It sounds like it doesn’t make a ton of business sense but that’s actually wrong … Fifteen thousand square feet of space to great early-stage founders helps establish a truly remarkable program and campus in New York City. Those...

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Daily Crunch: Apple bans Facebook Research app

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. Apple bans Facebook’s Research app that paid users for data In the wake of TechCrunch’s investigation, Apple blocked Facebook’s Research VPN app before the social network could voluntarily shut it down. The Research app asked users for root network access to all data passing through their phone in exchange for $20 per month. Apple says that yesterday evening, it revoked the Enterprise Certificate that allows...

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Rebooted startup program WeWork Labs celebrates its one-year anniversary

It’s been just about a year since the relaunch of WeWork Labs, an accelerator-type program operating under the WeWork umbrella. Since then, it’s grown to 37 locations in 22 cities. And it’s truly international, operating in 12 countries, including Brazil, China, Germany and India. These Labs offices are often — but not always — housed within a larger WeWork space, and, like an accelerator, they offer mentorship and programming. However, WeWork doesn’t take any equity; instead, it simply makes money by charging rent. (In New York, a desk costs between $450 and $550 a month, but the price varies...

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Knotch raises $25M to help marketers collect data about their content

Knotch announced yesterday that it has raised $25 million in Series B funding. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates, with NEA’s Hilarie Koplow-McAdams joining the Knotch board of directors. Rob Norman, the former chief digital officer of ad giant GroupM, is also joining the board. “Brands have a desire to understand the effectiveness of their digital content across all channels, a gap that hadn’t been filled before Knotch,” Koplow-McAdams said in a statement. “Our conviction around the Knotch platform and team is driven by their impressive traction and comprehensive product offerings. We’re thrilled to partner with Knotch as they continue their growth trajectory, providing transformative marketing intelligence at scale.” When we first wrote about Knotch back in 2012, it was a consumer product where people could share their opinions using a color scale. It might seem like a stretch go from that to marketing and data company, but in fact Knotch still collects data using its color-based feedback system — now, it’s using that system to ask consumers about their response to sponsored content. In addition, Knotch offers a competitive intelligence product, as well as Blueprint, which helps marketers find the best publishers for their sponsored content. “As [brands are building] their own content hubs and recognizing content as a really key piece of their marketing stack, as they’re turning to this space, there’s not a lot...

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Daily Crunch: FaceTime bug allows eavesdropping

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. Apple disables group calling in FaceTime in response to eavesdropping bug Apple has disabled the group calling feature within its FaceTime calling service while it works on a patch to fix a nasty bug that allows eavesdropping. Apple’s status page shows that group calling via FaceTime is “temporarily unavailable” — that’s a stop-gap move while the company works to deliver a more permanent fix. We...

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Casper announces the Glow — a portable, sleep-friendly light

Over the past few years, mattress company Casper has expanded its product lineup to include everything from dog beds to nap pillows. (It’s also opened its own nap store.) The latest addition: the Glow, an $89 light. While the company has never made this kind of Internet-connected hardware before, Chief Strategy Officer Neil Parikh pitched the Glow as part of Casper’s mission to improve sleep. And although there’s already a whole category of light bulbs designed for the same purpose, the Glow has a couple of smart touches that could make it particularly appealing. The basic use of the Glow is pretty straightforward. You turn it on by flipping it over, and it fills your room with warm LED light. The light then dims to darkness over a 45-minute period — as Chief Product Officer Jeff Chapin put it, it’s “mimicking the setting of the sun and it helps you get sleepier as it dims into lower and lower amplitudes.” You can control and customize the Glow with a smartphone app, but Chapin said, “There are some people who are never going to download the app and that’s fine.” That’s because the Glow can also be controlled by gesture — flipping it to turn it on and off again, twisting it (when it’s set on a flat surface) to adjust the brightness and wiggling it to get a low...

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Daily Crunch: Dropbox acquires HelloSign

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. Dropbox snares HelloSign for $230M, gets workflow and e-signature Dropbox’s SVP of engineering Quentin Clark sees this as more than simply bolting on electronic signature functionality to the Dropbox solution. For him, the workflow capabilities that HelloSign added in 2017 were key to the purchase. “What is unique about HelloSign is that the investment they’ve made in APIs and the workflow products is really so aligned with our long-term direction,” Clark said. “It’s not just a thing to do one more activity with Dropbox, it’s really going to help us pursue that broader vision.” 2. Google and IAB ad category lists show ‘massive leakage of highly intimate data,’ GDPR complaint claims The complaint — lodged last fall by Dr. Johnny Ryan of private browser Brave; Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group; and Michael Veale, a data and policy researcher at University College London — alleges “wide-scale and systemic breaches of the data protection regime by Google and others” in the behavioral advertising industry. 3. Too few cybersecurity professionals is a gigantic problem for 2019 That’s according to Robert Ackerman Jr., founder and a managing director of AllegisCyber, an early-stage cybersecurity venture firm. 4....

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