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TechCrunch is a group-edited blog that profiles the companies, products and events defining and transforming the new web.
Updated: 33 min 36 sec ago

Google’s New Street View Image Recognition Algorithm Can Beat Most CAPTCHAs

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:45
 Here is an interesting conundrum for Google: it has created an algorithm that's significantly better at reading street numbers in Street View images, which helps it give you more accurate directions. At the same time, though, it turns out that this algorithm is so good, it can decipher 99 percent of CAPTCHAs (those squiggly text puzzles you often have to solve to prove you are human). Read More
Categories: IT News

Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop On Android, Allowing Mobile Access To Your PC

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:24
 Google this morning launched a mobile client application called "Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android" (whew!) which allows for remote access to your Mac or PC from your Android device, whether smartphone or tablet. The new app is an extension of Google's previously launched Chrome Remote Desktop screen-sharing service, which allows you to share your desktop's screen with other Chrome browser or… Read More
Categories: IT News

Google Camera App Brings Lens Blur Background Defocus To Any KitKat Android Devices

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:14
 Google has a new standalone camera app available in the Google Play app store, and it can be installed on any smartphones or tablets running KitKat 4.4 or higher. The new app will also be rolling out to other devices in the future according to Google, so that might expand beyond just KitKat to those on other versions of Android. The app offers a 100 percent viewfinder to show you exactly what… Read More
Categories: IT News

Turnkey Mobile Apps Startup AppsBuilder Raises New Cash From United Ventures

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:53
 AppsBuilder, which has developed a platform to “easily” (they say) develop mobile apps has taken in a $1.5 million round of funding from United Ventures. The investment brings the company’s funding total to $3.5 million. Previous investors included Annapurna Ventures, Zernike Meta Ventures and Angels. The cash will be used to consolidate growth and build business in the UK and… Read More
Categories: IT News

Talkwheel Raises $1.2M To Visualize Customer Conversations Across The Web

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:25
 Talkwheel, a startup that aggregates the social media conversation around a company or topic in, yes, a wheel format, is announcing that it has raised $1.2 million in funding. The idea sounds a little odd at first, but founder and CEO Jeff Harris said it solves a major problem for brands. He argued that the traditional linear format for presenting comments and social media posts doesn't really… Read More
Categories: IT News

Instagram Just Got A Whole Lot More Biden

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:24
 What photo sharing network would be complete without U.S. Vice President Joe Biden? The answer is none, which makes Instagram the first network to qualify. The veep signed up and posted his first image today, though the first pic is actually from his office staff and not Biden himself, ol’ Joe will be posting his own shots too, and those will be signed by the man himself to distinguish them… Read More
Categories: IT News

Google I/O To Elevate Focus On Design

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:00
 For Google to win, it needs to attract the best designers to its team and get beautiful third-party apps built for its platforms. Yet, right now it's Google's rival Apple and the iOS ecosystem that are known for their style. So Google tells me it's "doing a really big push around design" at its 2014 I/O conference by adding sessions on Android UX, wearable app design, speech interfaces, and more. Read More
Categories: IT News

Urban Storage Startup Boxbee Raises $2.3 Million From Floodgate, Google Ventures, And Others

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:00
 About a year ago, Boxbee launched to create a new paradigm for how people use storage in urban settings. Today, it's announcing that it's raised $2.3 million from investors that include Floodgate Capital, Google Ventures, 500 Startups, Techstars, Jason Calacanis, and Ludlow Ventures, to make its storage service available to more users. Read More
Categories: IT News

Bing Home Page Gets Some Of Cortana’s Smarts

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:35
 Two weeks ago, Microsoft debuted its Cortana personal digital assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, which uses the Bing platform to learn about your preferences and interests. Starting today, the Bing home page will also get some of Cortana's smarts. You can now find a set of personalized cards that help you keep track of news, weather, flights and stocks. Read More
Categories: IT News

Google’s Cloud Platform Gets Improved Hadoop Support With BigQuery And Cloud Datastore Connectors

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:13
Google has long made it possible for its users to run Hadoop -- a framework for storing and processing large amounts of data -- on its Cloud Platform. Until now, however, the only way to get in and out of Hadoop on Cloud Platform was through Google's Cloud Storage service. Starting today, however, Google also makes it possible to run Hadoop jobs against data in its BigQuery SQL and Cloud Datastore… Read More
Categories: IT News

Oroeco Tracks Spending To Help Reduce Users’ Carbon Footprint

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:05
 I'm the kind of person who cares about their environmental impact ... but aside from basics like recycling, my ideas about how to do better get kind of fuzzy. That's why a new service called Oroeco is pretty appealing. Since its successful Indiegogo campaign in 2012, Oroeoc tested out an invite-only version of the service and then quietly opened up the website before publicly launching today. Read More
Categories: IT News

ShopLocket And PCH Launch Blueprint, A Media And Resource Site For Hardware Startups

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:00
 When ShopLocket was undergoing its transformation from an ecommerce provider to a platform designed to support hardware startups from concept to consumer launch, it had a lot of learning to do. Key to making that transition was gathering resources and talking to industry experts to find out best practices and find examples of hardware startups that have successfully made the journey themselves.… Read More
Categories: IT News

Anki Drive Expands Its Robotics Expertise With New Cars, Tracks, And AI

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:00
 There are a couple of things that differentiate Anki from any other robotics company. First, it's the only one I know of to launch on an Apple keynote stage, with an introduction from Tim Cook. Second, it's one of a select few that's actually advancing the robotics industry by building toys — not industrial equipment. Read More
Categories: IT News

Photo-Sharing App Frontback Comes To Android

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:20
 Frontback just released the Android version of its popular photo-sharing app. Previously, the app was only available on iOS. But even with just the iPhone app, the app was downloaded one million times over the past eight months. With the new Android release, the company can certainly expect many new users. Frontback started as a photo-taking app to capture fleeting moments. A Frontback post is a… Read More
Categories: IT News

Twitter And Tumblr-Focused Analytics Provider Union Metrics Now Does Instagram, Too

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:10
 Union Metrics, the social analytics platform whose most recent claim to fame was being the first to receive Tumblr’s blessing, is today rolling out a similar service for Instagram, as well as introducing a new suite which will pull Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram into one platform. The company had previously been testing the Instagram analytics service in a private beta with around 15… Read More
Categories: IT News

RealtyShares Raises $1.9 Million From General Catalyst To Crowdfund Real Estate Projects

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:00
 RealtyShares is kind of like a "LendingClub for Real Estate," providing a platform for crowdfunding real-estate development. And the company just raised $1.9 million led by General Catalyst to make its offering available both to more developers and more investors. Read More
Categories: IT News

Aereo Shows Off Their Rooftop Antenna Farm Ahead Of Supreme Court Ruling

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:54
A lot has been said about Aereo's technology — so much, in fact, that there are hundreds of pages worth of legal documents discussing the matter as it relates to the law. That said, we thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at how Aereo actually works when it lets customers rent out remote DVR antennas and watch what amounts to live television on any device. Read More
Categories: IT News

Amazon Merges Kindle Personal Documents With Cloud Drive

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:11
 Amazon announced this morning through an email to its customers that all personal documents archived in your Kindle e-reader library are also now being made available from Amazon Cloud Drive. The files will be placed in a new folder called “My Send-to-Kindle Docs” where you’ll then be able to manage the items as you would any other file, including being able to organize, share or… Read More
Categories: IT News

YouTube Network The Young Turks Raises $4 Million To Expand To New Platforms

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:00
 Over the years, many people have come to love The Young Turks for its particular brand of progressive politics and news commentary on cable TV and online. Now that it's completely digital, though, the company behind the show is looking to grow the business, with $4 million in new funding. Read More
Categories: IT News

SuperAwesome Acqui-Hires Sales And Ad Teams From Kids Virtual World Bin Weevils

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 09:59
 SuperAwesome, the European ad network and marketing platform for kids and teens, continues to roll up talent in the space. Read More
Categories: IT News