“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” — Francis Bacon and/or Lady Gaga  Kirakira, an app that allows people to become shinier, is at the time of this writing the No. 1 paid app in the iOS App Store. Its creator, Kentaro Yama, is a Japanese developer who works full-time for tha ltd. design studio in Tokyo. He did not expect his… Read More

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 At the risk of being ostracized by the vast majority of my TC teammates, let me propose that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would — in a fairer universe — be the last Star Wars film… (Spoiler alerts!) Read More

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 2017 has not been a good year for good news in the startup world. VCs repeatedly sexually harassing founders, often over a period of years. Products that are dangerous, stupid or a mix of both. Company executives breaking the law in pursuit of delirious growth. Dumb product launches that insult whole ethnic groups. Hiring models for parties to disguise tech’s massive gender problem.… Read More

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 The ICO regulators are here, and they’re carrying big sticks. (PDF) “Coins or other digital assets issued on a blockchain may be securities under the federal securities laws… tokens were securities as defined by Section 2(a)(1) of the Securities Act because they were investment contracts … An investment contract is an investment of money in a common enterprise with a… Read More

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 Digital security solutions provider Gemalto has agreed to a €51 per share acquisition offer from French aerospace and defense group Thales — in a deal worth around $5.43BN.  Read More

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 Sorry… I had to. For some actual wise words about crypto, read this. Read More

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 As we grow as a culture, especially for newer generations, we need to start asking important questions: ‘how as a species do we begin the education process of device addiction?’ And more importantly, ‘how do we begin taking back control?’ Read More

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 There has been a veritable explosion in the use of initial coin offerings (abbreviated ICO, sometimes also referred to as a token generating event or TGE, or a WTFLOL) to fund startups. Calculating the total investment in these offerings is complicated, but Coindesk puts the total right now at about $3.8 billion cumulatively, with the bulk invested in 2017. That total volume pales in comparison… Read More

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 Apple has more cash than any other tech company on the planet. Yet, that hasn’t translated into spending on acquisitions. Over the past five years, Apple has spent the least on M&A out of all the “Big Five” most valuable U.S. tech companies. That’s despite the fact that it is estimated to have more than $260 billion in cash and cash equivalents. So, is it buying… Read More

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 The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Frank Radice, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 15, 2017. G3: Last Hope — Mary Hodder, Halley Suitt Tucker, Elisa Camahort Page, Tina Hui, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 15, 2017. @stevegillmor, @dsearls, @fradice, @kteare, @DenisPombriant Produced and directed by Tina Chase… Read More

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 Without further ado, it brings us great pleasure to introduce you to CTRL+T, a new podcast hosted by TechCrunch Reporter Megan Rose Dickey and Editorial Director Henry Pickavet. On this week’s episode, we discuss former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya’s declaration that the social network is effectively “destroying how society works,” the FCC’s vote on… Read More

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 Netflix had a pretty good year by very Netflix-y standards: it added a ton of subscribers; its international growth plans seem to be playing out as hoped; it cleaned up in the Golden Globe nominations, and users are watching a ton of Netflix. While the company has continued to show growth with its existing strategy — investing a ton in its original content strategy in the hope that… Read More

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 The $1.86 billion legal battle between ride-hailing giant Uber and Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo reached a pivotal moment today as the judge in the case released a damning letter based on the account of a former Uber employee. The letter alleges that a special division within Uber was responsible for acts of corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, the bribery of foreign… Read More

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Go-Jek buys three startups, the California Department of Public Health warns against being on your phone for too long and AOL Instant Messenger is officially dead. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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 8i, the New Zealand and Los Angeles-based augmented reality startup bringing celebrity personalities into immersive experiences, is laying off about half of its 70-person staff, according to a report in Variety and confirmed by the company. “Although we’ve made significant progress, we are continuously challenging our assumptions about where the AR/VR market is headed and how it… Read More

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