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Rocket Lab launch fails during rocket’s second stage burn, causing a loss of vehicle and payloads - techcrunch

Rocket Lab launch fails during rocket’s second stage burn, causing a loss of vehicle and payloads

Rocket Lab’s ‘Pic or it didn’t happen’ launch on Saturday ended in failure, with a total loss of the Electron launch vehicle and all seven payloads on board. The launch vehicle experienced a failure during the second stage burn post-launch, after a lift-off from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula in New […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
How to watch Rocket Lab launch satellites for Canon, Planet and more live - techcrunch

How to watch Rocket Lab launch satellites for Canon, Planet and more live

Rocket Lab is launching a rideshare mission today which includes seven small satellites from a number of different companies, including primary payload provider Canon, which is flying a satellite equipped with the camera-maker’s Earth imaging technology, including high-res photo capture equipment. The Electron rocket that Rocket Lab is flying today will also carry five Planet […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
This Week in Apps: India bans Chinese apps, Apple freezes game updates in China, iOS developer backlash continues - techcrunch

This Week in Apps: India bans Chinese apps, Apple freezes game updates in China, iOS developer backlash continues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
YETI Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler: Fun in the Sun - readwrite

YETI Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler: Fun in the Sun

With summertime approaching and the ability to go back to enjoying the lake, beach, and parks, it’s time to get out the coolers to take food and drinks along for the day. I’ve dragged all types of coolers with me for years and only recently noticed that some now come with wheels — including YETI. […] The post YETI Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler: Fun in the Sun appeared first on ReadWrite.
readwrite - 16 hours ago
Gozney Roccbox: Commercial-Grade, Portable Pizza Oven - readwrite

Gozney Roccbox: Commercial-Grade, Portable Pizza Oven

Having your own pizza oven typically involves a large kitchen or outdoor space that most people don’t have. However, Gozney Roccbox has found a way to shrink the pizza oven to a portable size while still delivering a commercial-grade appliance. Here’s my review of the Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven, which I’m happy to say […] The post Gozney Roccbox: Commercial-Grade, Portable Pizza Oven appeared first on ReadWrite.
readwrite - 1 day ago
Tesla is taking reservations for its Cybertruck in China - techcrunch

Tesla is taking reservations for its Cybertruck in China

Tesla has opened up reservations for its all-electric Cybertruck to customers in China, a move that will test the market’s appetite for a massive, futuristic truck. The reservations page on Tesla’s China website was first posted in Reddit channel r/teslamotors by user u/aaronhry. Electrek also reported on the Reddit post. The Cybertruck, which was unveiled […]
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EZVIZ C3X AI-Powered Security Camera - readwrite

EZVIZ C3X AI-Powered Security Camera

More security cameras are hitting the market to help homeowners feel more secure about their homes and families whether they are home or away. Now, there is another new WiFi-enabled security camera that incorporates artificial intelligence. This security camera is from EZVIZ, and it’s known as the C3X. Here is my review after I recently […] The post EZVIZ C3X AI-Powered Security Camera appeared first on ReadWrite.
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R&D Roundup: Tech giants unveil breakthroughs at computer vision summit - techcrunch

R&D Roundup: Tech giants unveil breakthroughs at computer vision summit

Computer vision summit CVPR has just (virtually) taken place, and like other CV-focused conferences, there are quite a few interesting papers. More than I could possibly write up individually, in fact, so I’ve collected the most promising ones from major companies here. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft all shared papers at the conference — and […]
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9 deals you can save extra on for the 4th of July - venture beat

9 deals you can save extra on for the 4th of July

SPONSORED DEALS: As odd as 2020 has been, we’re more than halfway through and quickly approaching the Fourth of July if you can believe it. Many are still spending time around home, and VB Deals is bringing you great savings on 9 amazing products that are sure to make your holiday more enjoyable.
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We need a new field of AI to combat racial bias

Responsibly managing machine learning processes is no longer just a desirable component of progress but a necessary one.
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Earlier this week, GGV Capital’s Jeff Richards and Hans Tung joined TechCrunch for an Extra Crunch Live session. During our hour-long chat, we touched on startup profitability, the global venture capital scene, why GGV doesn’t have an office in Europe, how the venture industry is responding to its stark lack of diversity and other issues. […]
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As Q3 kicks off, four more companies join the $100M ARR club - techcrunch

As Q3 kicks off, four more companies join the $100M ARR club

Welcome back to our $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) series, in which we take irregular looks at companies that have reached material scale while still private. The goal of our project is simple: uncovering companies of real worth beyond how they are valued by private investors. The Exchange is a daily look at startups […]
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Dating app S’More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA - techcrunch

Dating app S’More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down dating app S’More — at least according to CEO Adam Cohen-Aslatei, who said that the app’s daily active user count doubled in March and hasn’t gone down since. “When people are working form home, they have much more time to dedicate to their relationships,” Cohen-Aslatei told me. The app (whose […]
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The UK government to acquire satellite company OneWeb in deal funded in part by India’s Bharti Global - techcrunch

The UK government to acquire satellite company OneWeb in deal funded in part by India’s Bharti Global

Distressed satellite constellation operator OneWeb, which had entered bankruptcy protection proceedings at the end of March, has completed a sale process, with a consortium led by the UK Government as the winner. The group, which includes funding from India’s Bharti Global – part of business magnate Sunila Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises – plan to pursue OneWeb’s […]
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US plans to rollback special status may erode Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem - techcrunch

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Lime puts Jump bikes back on London streets - techcrunch

Lime puts Jump bikes back on London streets

Jump bikes are returning to London — this time through its new owner Lime . London is the first city in Europe to see Jump bikes return since Uber offloaded the company to Lime in a complex deal that unfolded in May. Lime raised $170 million in a funding round led by Uber, along with […]
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Intel to invest $253.5 million in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms - techcrunch

Intel to invest $253.5 million in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms

Intel said on Friday it will invest $253.5 million in Jio Platforms, joining a roster of high-profile investors including Facebook and Silver Lake that have backed India’s top telecom operator in recent months. The chipmaker’s investment arm said it is acquiring a 0.39% stake in Jio Platforms, giving the Indian firm a valuation of $65 […]
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The Value of AI-Based Visual Inspection in 2020 - readwrite

The Value of AI-Based Visual Inspection in 2020

For over a decade, manufacturers have turned to automated solutions to improve their bottom line. Automation and machine vision are now being augmented and even replaced by AI. Here is the value of AI-based visual inspection in 2020. Value of AI-Based visual inspection Being replaced by AI is especially true when it comes to visual […] The post The Value of AI-Based Visual Inspection in 2020 appeared first on ReadWrite.
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Festo’s latest biomimetic robots are a flying feathered bird and ball-bottomed helper arm - techcrunch

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You could be excused for thinking that German robotics company Festo does nothing but put together fabulous prototype robots built to resemble kangaroos, jellyfish, and other living things. They do in fact actually make real industrial robots, but it’s hard not to marvel at their biomimetic experiments; Case in point, the feathered BionicSwift and absurd […]
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Sprint 5G is no more, as T-Mobile focuses on its own network - techcrunch

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A day after formally completing the sale of Boost, Virgin and other Sprint prepaid networks to Dish, T-Mobile is pulling the plug on Sprint 5G. The move is one in a long list of issues that need sorting out in the wake of April’s $26.5 billion merger. And like a number of other moves, it’s […]
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techcrunch
Jeremy Conrad left his own VC firm to start a company, and investors like what he’s building

Jeremy Conrad left his own VC firm to start a company, and investors like what he’s building

techcrunch - 1 month ago

When this editor first met Jeremy Conrad, it was in 2014, at the 8,000-square-foot former fish factory that was home to Lemnos, a hardware-focused venture firm that Conrad had cofounded three years earlier.

Conrad —  who as a mechanical engineering undergrad at MIT worked on self driving cars, drones and satellites — was still excited about investing in hardware startups, having just closed a small new fund even while hardware was very unfashionable. One investment his team had made around that time was in Airware, a company that made subscription-based software for drones and attracted meaningful buzz and $118 million in venture funding before shutting down in 2018.

By then, Conrad had already moved on, deciding in late 2017 that one of the many nascent teams that was camping out at Lemnos was onto a big idea relating the future of construction. Conrad didn’t have a background in real estate or, at the time, a burning passion for the industry. But the “more I learned about it — not dissimilar to when I started Lemnos — It felt like there was a gap in the market, an opportunity that people were missing,” says Conrad from his home in San Francisco, where he has hunkered down throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Enter Quartz, Conrad’s now 1.5-year-old, 14-person company, which quietly announced $7.75 million in Series A funding earlier this month, led by Baseline Ventures, with Felicis Ventures, Lemnos and Bloomberg Beta also participating.

What it’s selling to real estate developers, project managers and construction supervisors is really two things, which is safety and information. Using off-the-shelf hardware components that are reassembled in San Francisco and hardened (meaning secured to reduce vulnerabilities), the company incorporates its machine-learning software into this camera-based platform, then mounts the system onto cranes at construction sites. From there, the system streams 4K live feeds of what’s happening on the ground, while also making sense of the action.

Say dozens of concrete pouring trucks are expected on a construction site. The cameras, with their persistent view, can convey through a dashboard system whether and when the trucks have arrived and how many, says Conrad. It can determine how many people on are on a job site, and whether other deliveries have been made, even if not with a high degree of specificity. “We can’t say [to project managers] that 1,000 screws were delivered, but we can let them know whether the boxes they were expecting were delivered and where they were left,” he explains.

It’s an especially appealing proposition in the age of coronavirus, as the technology can help convey information that’s happening at a site that’s been shut down, or even how closely employees are gathered. Conrad says the technology also saves on time by providing information to those who might not otherwise be able to access it. Think of the developer who is on the 50th floor of the skyscraper he or she is building, or even the crane operator who is perhaps moving a two-ton object and has to rely on someone on the ground to deliver directions but can enjoy far more visibility with the aid of a multi-camera set-up.

Quartz, which today operates in California but is embarking on a nationwide rollout, was largely inspired by what Conrad was seeing in the world of self-driving. From sensors to self-perception systems, he knew the technologies would be even easier to deploy at construction sites, and he believed it could make them safer, too. Indeed, like cars, construction sites are astonishingly dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of the worker fatalities in private industry in 2018, more than 20% were in construction.

Conrad also saw an opportunity to take on established companies like Trimble, a 42-year-old, publicly traded, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company that sells a portfolio of tools to the construction industry and charges top dollar for them, too. (Quartz is currently charging $2,000 per month per construction site for its series of cameras, their installation, a livestream and “lookback” data, though this may well rise at its adds additional features.)

It’s a big enough opportunity in fact, that Quartz is not alone in chasing it. Last summer, for example, Versatile, an Israeli-based startup with offices in San Francisco and New York City, raised $5.5 million in seed funding from Germanys Robert Bosch Venture Capital and several other investors for a very similar platform,  though it uses sensors mounted under the hook of a crane to provide information about what’s happening. Construction Dive, a media property that’s dedicated to the industry, highlights many other, similar and competitive startups in the space, too.

Still, Quartz has Conrad, who isn’t just any founding CEO. Not only does he have that background in engineering, but having founded a venture firm and spent years as an investor may serve him well, too. He thinks a lot about the payback period on its hardware, for example.

Unlike a lot of founders, he also says he loves the fundraising process. “I get the highest quality feedback from some of the smartest people I know, which really helps focus your vision,” says Conrad, who says that Quartz, which operates in California today, is now embarking on a nationwide rollout.

“When you talk with great VCs, they ask great questions. For me, it’s best free consulting you can get.”

sauce: techcrunch
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