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How FaZe Clan is continuing to lead the esports world - techcrunch

How FaZe Clan is continuing to lead the esports world

The esports world is evolving quickly and so are the professional organizations that drive it. FaZe Clan is among the world’s most popular. At TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 we talked to FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink, investor Troy Carter, and Nick Kolcheff, better known as NICKMERCS, about the shifting industry landscape. Carter first explained the motivation […]
techcrunch - 51 minutes ago
Original Content podcast: ‘Wireless’ shows off Quibi’s Turnstyle technology - techcrunch

Original Content podcast: ‘Wireless’ shows off Quibi’s Turnstyle technology

“Wireless” is probably the best showcase so far for Quibi’s Turnstyle technology. That’s the technology that allows the streaming video app to switch seamlessly between landscape and portrait mode depending on the orientation of your phone. With other Quibi shows, you’re essentially getting two views of the same footage — but with “Wireless” (which is […]
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Trump administration’s WeChat ban is blocked by U.S. district court - techcrunch

Trump administration’s WeChat ban is blocked by U.S. district court

A few days ago, the U.S. Commerce Department published a series of rules that aimed to block the downloading of TikTok and WeChat by American users, following an executive order signed by President Trump back in August. TikTok got a last minute reprieve yesterday following its signing of an investment and cloud services deal with […]
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The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing - techcrunch

The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing

Well… that was pointless. After debasing the idea of free commerce in the U.S in the name of a misplaced security concern, stringing along several multi-billion dollar companies that embarrassed themselves in the interest of naked greed, and demanding that the U.S. government get a cut of the profits, the TikTok saga we’ve been watching […]
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President Trump reportedly has approved the Oracle deal for TikTok’s US operations - techcrunch

President Trump reportedly has approved the Oracle deal for TikTok’s US operations

President Donald Trump said has has given his stamp of approval “in concept” on the Oracle bid for the U.S. operations of the wildly popular social media app, TikTok, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to the Bloomberg report Trump said, “I have given the deal my blessing,” as he left the White House […]
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Homeland Security issues rare emergency alert over ‘critical’ Windows bug - techcrunch

Homeland Security issues rare emergency alert over ‘critical’ Windows bug

Homeland Security’s cybersecurity advisory unit has issued a rare emergency alert to government departments after the recent disclosure of a “critical”-rated security vulnerability in server versions of Microsoft Windows. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, better known as CISA, issued an alert late on Friday requiring all federal departments and agencies to “immediately” patch any […]
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On lying AIs - techcrunch

On lying AIs

A yellow-eyed cat tilts its eyes at the camera, gazing up from a grey bedspread. ‘London Trip’, is the AI’s title for this photo-montage ‘Memory’ plucked from the depths of my iPhone camera-roll. It’s selected a sad score of plinking piano and sweeping violin. The algorithm has calculated it must tug at the heart strings.  […]
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Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range - techcrunch

Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range

Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price. On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s […]
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Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape - techcrunch

Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape

“Like most of the best things in my life,” Conan O’Brien explains, with a wry smile, “the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” The answer is a typically self-effacing one from the comedian. Since launching “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” nearly two years ago, the show has quickly risen up the podcasting charts […]
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Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent

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SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying […]
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Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon - techcrunch

Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon

At Disrupt 2020, we got a chance to see some never-before-seen footage from HBO’s upcoming documentary The Perfect Weapon. The documentary, which was executive produced by John Maggio, is based on the book by the same(ish) name written by David Sanger, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. We got to sit down for an […]
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Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000 - techcrunch

Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000

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And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix - techcrunch

And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix

We started this competition with 20 impressive startups. After five days of fierce pitching in a wholly new virtual Startup Battlefield arena, we have a winner. The startups taking part in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. It was an unprecedented year as we moved all […]
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Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers? - techcrunch

Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers?

It’s great to improve your subscription app’s retention rates, but don’t do it for the 85/15 split.
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MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce - techcrunch

MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

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Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020 - techcrunch

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It was a trickle at first that has evolved into a slow and steady stream. Now, a wave of new electric vehicles is building, promising to deliver an unprecedented number of models to North America, Europe and China over the next two to three years. There might not be a better time to dig into […]
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Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California

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Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing - techcrunch

Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing

The tagline from today’s announcement from the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York says it all: “Adam Rogas Allegedly Raised $123 Million from Investors Using Financial Statements that Showed Tens of Millions of Dollars of Revenue and Assets that Did Not Exist”. Rogas, the co-founder and former chief executive and […]
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techcrunch
Rally wants to make big group video calls more fun, more real and maybe less exhausting

Rally wants to make big group video calls more fun, more real and maybe less exhausting

techcrunch - 4 days ago

Another day, another video meeting. Or video happy hour. Or video birthday party. Another grid of 30 faces, all sort of trying to have one conversation.

While it’s beyond wonderful to have access to these big group video chat platforms during this pandemic dumpster fire, they’re all a bit… exhausting. Part of that is just the inherent weirdness of talking with a screen, but a big part of it is that video gatherings just dont flow the way their real world counterparts do. When you get people together for a real-life party, you’re usually not cramming 30 people into one big group, the collective focus silently shifting to whichever face managed to get a word out. You break off into smaller groups. Everyone holds their own little conversations, moving to whichever chat catches their ear on the way to the food/bar/bathroom/whatever.

Rally, a company competing in the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield this week, is building a video chat platform with this in mind.

Rally builds group video calls around “tables” think breakout rooms, except that you can juuuust barely hear the chatter from group to group. Not so much that it’s distracting, but enough that if another table starts talking about the latest episode of a show you love, it might grab your attention. You can hop to another table with a click, then jump right back into your last conversation just as quickly.

Tables live within “rooms,” each of which supports up to 35 users at a time. Larger events can have multiple rooms, allowing for things like live music events where each room plays a different genre.

Image Credits: Rally

The whole approach is meant to give the platform an almost physical feel, without requiring much more complexity than the Zooms and Meets of the world that everyone has already grown used to. There’s no 3D aspect to it, nor virtual animated avatars to learn to control.

Need to keep others from eavesdropping? Maybe youre at a virtual pub trivia night, for example, and don’t want other teams overhearing your answers. A privacy toggle lets you lock down your tables conversation temporarily, and quickly take the walls back down when the time comes. You can also adjust the volume of the other tables if the background buzz gets too distracting.

Beyond being able to configure things and boot troublemakers from the event, hosts get a few bonus features that guests don’t. They can “take the stage” (alone or with a guest of their choosing) to make announcements to everyone at full volume, or they can opt to randomly shuffle the tables to discourage people from hanging with the same fellow event goers the whole time.

Rally co-founder Ali Jiwani tells me that their initial focus was a bit specific: They were building a platform for hosting live comedy events, so much of which depends on the energy of the crowd. When users started asking to use the platform for other things, they retuned it for broader use cases. People are still welcome to (and do!) host live comedy on the platform it’s just not the primary focus anymore.

Rally is built to work within the browser without any downloads, with the catch that browser here currently means Chrome. It might work in other browsers, but Rally strongly suggests sticking with Chrome for now.

sauce: techcrunch
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