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German space agency reveals an autonomous, electric urban mobility prototype for use right here on Earth - techcrunch

German space agency reveals an autonomous, electric urban mobility prototype for use right here on Earth

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has debuted a prototype of what it calls ‘U-Shift,’ an urban mobility vehicle designed for multiple uses. U-Shift is a fully electric vehicle, designed for autonomous operation, and could serve in a number of capacities including as an on-demand shuttle, a bus, a mobile distribution center for package delivery, or […]
techcrunch - 29 minutes ago
TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the U.S. from Sunday - techcrunch

TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the U.S. from Sunday

The Commerce Department announced this morning that it will require mobile app stores to remove popular social media apps TikTok and WeChat. New users will not be able to download these apps, and while existing users will still be able to use their existing apps installed on their phones, new updates will not be allowed […]
techcrunch - 48 minutes ago
VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji - techcrunch

VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji

If venture capitalists could predict the future, why wouldn’t they just start companies themselves? That’s the question Hussein Kanji, founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, asked rhetorically at Disrupt 2020. “If anyone says that they have predictive power in this industry and says they know where the future is gonna be, I just question the wisdom […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
China’s vaping giant Relx gears up for US entry - techcrunch

China’s vaping giant Relx gears up for US entry

The backlash against vaping in the United States has not deterred a Chinese challenger from entering the world’s largest vaping market. Relx, one of China’s largest e-cigarette companies, is seeking to submit its Premarket Tobacco Product Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2021. Upon completion of a review process […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations - techcrunch

Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations

Google has pulled Indian financial services app Paytm from the Play Store for repeatedly violating its policies, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Paytm is India’s most valued startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its marquee app, which allows users to exchange money with one another, disappeared from the Play […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19. Grab’s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted. - techcrunch

Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19. Grab’s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted.

Ride-hailing services around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Grab was no exception. The company is one of the most highly-valued tech startups in Southeast Asia, where it operates in eight countries. Its transport business suffered a sharp decline in March and April, as movement restriction orders were implemented. But […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
TikTok’s Chinese rival Kuaishou becomes a popular online bazaar - techcrunch

TikTok’s Chinese rival Kuaishou becomes a popular online bazaar

In China, short video apps aren’t just for mindless time killing. These services are becoming online bazaars where users can examine products, see how they are grown and made, and ask sellers questions during live sessions. Kuaishou, the main rival of TikTok’s Chinese version (Douyin), announced that it accumulated 500 million e-commerce orders in August, […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Benchmark’s Peter Fenton: “10 to 20 years of innovation just got pulled forward” - techcrunch

Benchmark’s Peter Fenton: “10 to 20 years of innovation just got pulled forward”

Earlier today at TechCrunch Disrupt, venture capitalist Peter Fenton joined us to talk about a variety of issues. Among them, we discussed how he’s putting his stamp on Benchmark now that, 15 years after joining the storied firm, he’s its most senior member. Fenton said that he’s mostly focused on ensuring that firm doesn’t change. […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
Meet the five startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt 2020 - techcrunch

Meet the five startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt 2020

TechCrunch hosted an unusual Startup Battlefield this week — the founders, judges, audience and moderator (me) were all in different locations, doing our best to interact over WebEx. But the 20 startups still demonstrated their products and explained their visions, then were grilled by expert judges. And those judges helped the TechCrunch team select our […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Schools are closing their doors, but OpenDoor isn’t - techcrunch

Schools are closing their doors, but OpenDoor isn’t

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Natasha Mascarenhas, Danny Crichton and myself hosted a live taping at Disrupt for a digital reception. It was good fun, though of course we’re looking forward to bringing the live show back to the conference […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Twitter tightens security ahead of election - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Twitter tightens security ahead of election

Twitter takes preemptive steps to avoid election-related hacks, we check out the new Apple Watches and Facebook launches new business tools. This is your Daily Crunch for September 17, 2020. The big story: Twitter tightens security ahead of election Twitter said today that “high-profile, election-related” accounts in the United States will be receiving notifications telling […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say that their accelerator can help diversify Hollywood - techcrunch

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say that their accelerator can help diversify Hollywood

Impact Creative Systems (formerly Imagine Impact) is bringing a startup accelerator-style approach to finding fresh creative talent, and it announced this morning that, with funding from venture capital firm Benchmark, it’s spinning out from Imagine Entertainment — the production company founded by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer. Right after the news broke, the accelerator’s […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Fabletics eyes what’s next for its activewear empire - techcrunch

Fabletics eyes what’s next for its activewear empire

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Golderberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth. We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond - techcrunch

Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond

Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR, thinks the biotech tool could be an essential one for combating COVID-19 and future pandemics. Due to its capacity to be “reprogrammed” like software, CRISPR could eventually be integral to countless tests and treatments. In an interview at Disrupt 2020, Doudna was […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Twitter tightens account security for political candidates ahead of US election - techcrunch

Twitter tightens account security for political candidates ahead of US election

Twitter is taking steps to tighten account security for a range of users ahead of the US presidential election, including by requiring the use of strong passwords. “We’re taking the additional step of proactively implementing account security measures for a designated group of high-profile, election-related Twitter accounts in the US. Starting today, these accounts will […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Why hasn’t digital learning lived up to its promise? - techcrunch

Why hasn’t digital learning lived up to its promise?

What is it about digital learning that has schools so keen on reopening despite the health and reputational risks?
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Startup founders must overcome information overload - techcrunch

Startup founders must overcome information overload

One of a founder's biggest early challenges is figuring out how to sift through all the advice they receive.
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Mozilla shutters Firefox Send and Notes - techcrunch

Mozilla shutters Firefox Send and Notes

Mozilla today announced that it will shutter two products: Firefox Send, the free file transfer service it already put on hiatus in July, and Firefox Notes, its note-taking extension and mobile app. Firefox Send launched in March 2019. At the time, Mozilla described it as a file-sharing tool with a focus on privacy. That privacy […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable - techcrunch

Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa devices owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music, and locks your doors when […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Canix aims to ease cannabis cultivators’ regulatory bookkeeping - techcrunch

Canix aims to ease cannabis cultivators’ regulatory bookkeeping

Growing cannabis on an industrial scale involves managing margins while continually adhering to compliance laws. For many growers, large and small, this consists of constant data entry from seed to sale. Canix’s solution employs a robust enterprise resource planning platform with a steep tilt toward reducing the time it takes to input data. This platform […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
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techcrunch
Facebook doubles down on work-from-office with massive NYC lease near Penn Station

Facebook doubles down on work-from-office with massive NYC lease near Penn Station

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Weve had huge debates about the future of work are we going to be working from home, working from the office, or perhaps, working from anywhere?

Well, Facebook has put its wager down, and its work from office.

In a flurry of articles in the local press overnight, the New York Times and others confirmed that Facebook has secured the main office lease on the James A. Farley Building, located one block south of Penn Station in western Midtown Manhattan. The companys lease was for 730,000 square feet, which will be added to the companys existing 2.2 million square feet that includes 770 Broadway, TechCrunchs nominal NYC headquarters as well as those of our parent company Verizon Media.

The exterior of The James A. Farley Post Office Building. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Its a statement on the future of the Farley Building, which today is the hub of the Postal Services operations in New York. The building has long been central to the schemes for renewing Penn Station, with its gorgeous facade abutting Eighth Avenue that many planners believed could be the locus for a new competitor to Grand Central Station after the original Penn Station was torn down decades ago. After decades of debate, a new Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passenger hall and platform is planned for opening in 2021.

Facebook joins several other tech companies in the neighborhood. Googles New York City headquarters is just down the street on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, which was a similarly massive transaction when Google bought the former Port Authority building in one of the largest real estate deals in New York City history back in 2010. Datadog, one of New York Citys best performing IPOs, is just up the street on Eighth Avenue in The New York Times headquarters building. Meanwhile, Amazon has its headquarters just a few blocks east.

While certainly a strong indication that New York Citys tech scene remains vibrant, the move is curious given the tech industrys broad movement toward remote work over the past few months. Facebook itself has said that it is going to allow remote work well into the future, and also will build more regional hubs in cities like Dallas. From our article in May, The Facebook CEO estimated that over the course of the next decade, half of the company could be working fully remotely.

Rumors about Facebook taking the Farley building have persisted since last year, and even Apple was believed to be eyeing the location to expand its Big Apple presence.

Office space of this size and caliber is hard to find, which is likely why Facebook pulled the trigger now instead of waited for more information related to the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the future of work. Nonetheless, the company seems clear in its mentality: workers are going to have more space to come into work, perhaps with some more flexible working arrangements on the side.

sauce: techcrunch
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