David Attenborough to voice Netflix’s nature conservation series, Our Planet

Netflix has persuaded everyone’s favorite naturalist, David Attenborough, to voice its forthcoming original nature documentary series, Our Planet, which is slated to put conservation squarely in the frame, not just offer glorious animal eye-candy. It’s a timely moment to focus on conservation, with climate change posing existential threats to global biodiversity — unless humans act to […]

Facebook launches Lasso, its music and video TikTok clone

Done cloning Snapchat, Facebook is now chasing Chinese short-form video sensation TikTok with the launch of its knock-off Lasso. Available now for iOS and Android, Lasso is Facebook’s answer to the zany mobile lipsyncing playground that’s gained ground with young users, both in China and in the West. The release confirms TechCrunch’s scoop from last month […]

Listen to the music of a Martian sunrise

Two researchers, Dr. Domenico Vicinanza of Anglia Ruskin University and Dr. Genevieve Williams, have “sonified” a video of the 5,000th Martian sunrise captured by the Mars rover, Opportunity. The music is a representation of the experience of seeing the sun rise over the red dunes as light pierces the planet’s atmosphere. It’s beautiful. From the […]

Growing pains at venture-backed Moogsoft lead to layoffs

Eight months after bringing in a $40 million Series D, Moogsoft‘s co-founder and chief executive officer Phil Tee confirmed to TechCrunch that the IT incident management startup had shed 18 percent of its workforce, or just over 30 employees. The layoffs took place at the end of October; shortly after, Moogsoft announced two executive hires. […]

Xiaomi Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A review

This year, Xiaomi has released the new Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A models, updates for last year’s Redmi 5 and 5A. Launched at the same great prices as last year, the new models feature an updated design, larger displays, newer 12nm chipsets, and a few other bells and whistles. Powered by WPeMatico

Rome: Total War game arriving on Android in December

Activision released Rome: Total War for PC in 2004 and the strategy has been capturing our hearts since then. Feral Interactive managed to port the game for iPad in 2016, while an iPhone version appeared this summer. Now it’s time for Android to get it and the developers promised a December arrival. David Stephen, Managing […]

National Grid unveils $250M corporate venture capital arm

National Grid, the Northeast’s natural gas and electricity company, is planting a flag in Silicon Valley with the launch of National Grid Partners. Led by former Intel Capital vice president and managing director Lisa Lambert, NGP has $250 million to invest in growth-stage technology startups over the next two to three years. Based in Las […]

SpaceX’s Starlink aims to put over a thousand of its communications satellites in super-low orbit

SpaceX’s planned communication satellite constellation, known as Starlink, will now be targeting a much lower orbit than originally planned, at least for over a thousand of the satellites, the company revealed in an FCC filing. The move should help mitigate orbital debris and provide better signal for the company’s terrestrial users as well. Starlink plans […]

Facebook Dating arrives in Canada and Thailand

On the heels of Tinder’s plans to go more casual, Facebook is today expanding access to its own dating service, Facebook Dating. First launched two months ago in Colombia for testing purposes, the social network is today rolling out Facebook Dating to Canada and Thailand. The company is also adding a few new features to […]

So I sent my mom that newfangled Facebook Portal

“Who am I going to be worried about? Oh Facebook seeing? No, I’m not worried about Facebook seeing. They’re going to look at my great art collection and say they want to come steal it? No, I never really thought about it.” That’s my 72-year-old mother Sally Constine’s response to whether she’s worried about her […]

AdRoll expands its B2B data and tech by acquiring Growlabs

AdRoll Group announced today that it has acquired Growlabs, a two-year-old startup with business-to-business sales tools and data. While AdRoll is best known for its retargeting technology for consumer advertising, it’s been building out a suite of B2B marketing technology under its RollWorks business unit, which launched earlier this year. The company says that by […]

Japan is cracking down on SoftBank’s revenue

First, a couple of quick follow-ups to our coverage of Form Ds yesterday, and then a deeper dive into the challenges SoftBank is facing with regards to its revenue in Japan. Finally, some notes on recent articles we have read. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of […]

Honor View 10 will be just $349 for Black Friday

Black Friday is this month, and every company under the sun is getting ready for it. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is no exception, and what it’s planned for the US market is rather impressive. Long story short: between November 23 and November 26 you’ll be able to buy an unlocked Honor View 10 from the company’s […]

Here’s what’s wrong with the Pocophone F1

Few smartphones have managed to surprise the mobile world in the past few years as much as Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1. Basically the last time a handset promised such high-end specs for such a low price was when the OnePlus One made its debut. In the meantime OnePlus phones have become ever more expensive, which created […]

Notches are coming to Samsung phones

It’s a terrible day for notch haters. Samsung, one of the last holdouts in this regard, is ready to give up and join every other smartphone maker in Notchland. At its developer conference today, the company teased three different notch designs that it plans to use for its devices in the near future. From the […]

Spotify Connect speakers will soon work with its free tier

Spotify’s ad-supported tier has long been one of the service’s differentiators. Naturally, the model’s not nearly as feature-rich as its paid counterpart, though the company’s removing one of those key distinctions as of this morning. In a press release, the company notes that free users will soon be able to stream music through Spotify Connect-sporting speakers. […]

Facebook is facing an EU data probe over fake ads

The UK’s privacy watchdog has asked Facebook’s lead EU regulator to look into ongoing data protection concerns about its ad platform — including how its platform is being used to target and spread fake adverts to try to manipulate voters. Facebook’s international HQ is in Ireland so the regulator in play here is the Irish […]

Social media content and analytics startup PressLogic raises $10M from popular Chinese selfie app Meitu

PressLogic founders Ryan Cheung and Edward Chow PressLogic, a Hong Kong-based social media content and data analytics startup, announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A+ round from Meitu, developer of the popular Chinese selfie app. PressLogic will use the funds to launch its new lifestyle brand GirlStyle and enter e-commerce with its […]

Where’s the accountability Facebook?

Facebook has yet again declined an invitation for its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer international politicians’ questions about how disinformation spreads on his platform and undermines democratic processes. But policymakers aren’t giving up — and have upped the ante by issuing a fresh invitation signed by representatives from another three national parliaments. So […]

The disappearing Form D

We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at danny@techcrunch.com or Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com if you like or hate something here. Ignoring the midterm hysteria, we continue our obsession with SoftBank today by looking at the group’s […]

This tiny house grows with your family

Tiny houses are all the rage, but once you put more than a few people in one you have a problem: Where can you go from there? Nowhere. Exactly. What you do is, if you need that extra push over the cliff, you know what you do? Talk to Brian Gaudio. Gaudio is the founder […]

Brooklinen launches a pop-up shop in NYC

Brooklinen, the direct-to-consumer bed linens brand, has today announced the opening of a four-month pop-up shop in NYC. The company has been around for four years thus far, and recently hit $100 million in revenue after raising just $10 million in funding. Part of the company’s success comes down to its attention to detail. The […]

Verizon restructures its prepaid plans

Today, Verizon has announced some changes that its making to its prepaid tier of plans. Following the new plans on Metro by T-Mobile, Verizon is feeling the pressure to make its plans more competitive by cutting the cost and adding more value-added features to the prepaid service. For starters, Verizon’s unlimited prepaid plan is now […]

Our Huawei Mate 20 video review is up

The Mate 20 Pro may be getting most of the attention nowadays, but let’s not forget that Huawei announced the Mate 20 on the same occasion too. The ‘lesser’ flagship can definitely stand on its own, and if you don’t want to spend as much as the Pro requires, it might just be the phone […]

Oppo RX17 Pro hands-on review

Europe isn’t a terra nova for Oppo, but it has never been an important market either. Or at least it wasn’t until earlier this year Oppo broke ground in Paris with the Find X. And now, hot on the OnePlus 6T heels, the maker is launching its next major phone intended for the EU – […]

This 3D printer squirts out wet paper pulp

Like a kid shooting spitballs, designer Beer Holthuis has figured out that sopping wet paper is the best material for making mischief. His 3D printer, a primitive RepRap clone that literally squirts out huge lines of paper pulp, is designed to allow artists and designers to create more sustainable 3D objects. According to 3DPrint.com, Holthuis […]

Study of political junk on Facebook raises fresh questions about its metrics

A midterms election study of political disinformation being fenced by Facebook’s platform supports the company’s assertion that a clutch of mostly right-leaning and politically fringe Pages it removed in October for sharing “inauthentic activity” were pulled for gaming its engagement metrics. Though it remains unclear why it took Facebook so long to act against such prolific […]

Hours before US Election Day, Facebook pulls dozens of accounts for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

Facebook has pulled the plug on 30 accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that the company says were engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher revealed the latest batch of findings in a late-night blog post Monday. “On Sunday evening, U.S. law enforcement contacted us about online activity that they recently […]

Bots distorted the 2016 Election. Will the midterms be a sequel?

Tiffany Olson Kleemann Contributor Tiffany Olson Kleemann is the chief executive officer of Distil Networks. She formerly served in executive roles at Symantec and FireEye and was deputy chief of staff for cybersecurity operations under President George W. Bush. The fact that Russian-linked bots penetrated social media to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election has […]

Grab pulls in $250M from Hyundai as ongoing round reaches $2.7B

Grab, the Singapore startup that bought Uber’s Southeast Asia business earlier this year, continues to announce strategic investors for its ongoing Series H funding round. The latest edition revealed today is Korean automotive firm Hyundai, which is investing $250 million. Hyundai first invested in Grab in January, and it joins recently announced investors Microsoft (undisclosed) […]

Watch biotech startups pitch at IndieBio’s demo day today

IndieBio, the biotech startup accelerator that’s produced heaps of notable companies (including several that have graced the Startup Battlefield), is holding its twice-annual demo day today at 3PM Pacific Time. An even dozen young companies will be pitching their work, from AI-informed research to artificial meat, and you can watch them present live right here. […]

TransferWise partners with Dutch challenger bank Bunq

TransferWise, the European fintech unicorn that enables low-cost international money transfer, has always had ambitions of being a platform in the truest sense. In addition to its direct-to-consumer app, the company offers an API for integration with other fintechs and banks, although it is fair to say that third-party integrations of this kind have been […]

Photomath raises $6 million for its math-solving app

Photomath just raised a $6 million funding round from Goodwater Capital, with Learn Capital also participating. Photomath has created a hugely successful mobile app for iOS and Android with 100 million downloads so far. Photomath first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt London back in 2014. The company was working on text recognition technology. Photomath was just […]

SoftBank’s debt obsession

We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new. Provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at danny@techcrunch.com or Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com if you like or hate something here. Today, we are focused on SoftBank . The Wall Street Journal and others reported that Masayoshi Son, […]

Huawei Mate 20 Pro torn town by iFixIt

The latest device to be torn down by iFixit is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Starting off, the back glass is heated to soften the adhesive holding the phone inside. One of the first things noticed is because there’s no fingerprint scanner, there isn’t a flex cable tethered to the glass as there usually is […]

Instagram prototypes bully-proof moderated School Stories

Instagram is considering offering collaborative School Stories that only a certain school’s students can see or contribute to. And to make sure these Stories wouldn’t become bullying cesspools, Instagram’s code shows a warning that “School stories are manually reviewed to make sure the community is safe.” School Stories could create a fun space for kids […]

Reverso launches synonyms app and service

Language learning company Reverso is launching a new product on the web and mobile. Reverso Synonyms is a thesaurus service that lets you learn new words and improve your vocabulary. You may have found this feature in the main Reverso translation app already. If you translate a word or a group of words, there’s a […]

Our Huawei Mate 20 Pro video review is up

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the latest to come from Huawei and its shaping up to be the best phone of the year thus far. While that is a bold statement to make, the Mate 20 Pro checks all the right boxes: a large 6.39-inch dual-curved AMOLED screen with QHD resolution, in-display fingerprint scanner, […]

Why we lie to ourselves every day

Human action requires motivation, but what exactly are those motivations? Donating money to a charity might be motivated by altruism, and yet, only 1% of donations are anonymous. Donors don’t just want to be altruistic, they also want credit for that altruism plus badges to signal to others about their altruistic ways. Worse, we aren’t […]

Facebook reorganizes Oculus for AR/VR’s long-haul

Facebook is again looking to whip Oculus into shape for its 10-year journey towards making virtual reality mainstream. According to two sources, Facebook reorganized its AR and VR team this week from a divisional structure focused around products to a functional structure focused around technology areas of expertise. While no one was laid off, the […]