Day: June 2, 2019

June 2, 2019 Off

Google cloud is down, affecting numerous applications and services

By Jill T Frey

A Google Cloud outage is currently affecting a number of services in and out of the Google suite including Snap and Discord as well as Google services like Gmail, Nest, and others.

The problem was first reported by East Coast users in the U.S. in the afternoon, but reports from outage monitor DownDetector indicate that more regions may have been affected by the outage.


In a statement posted to its Google Cloud Platform the company said it was experience a multi-region issue with the Google Compute Engine.

“We are experiencing high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA, affecting multiple service … Read the rest

June 2, 2019 Off

YouTuber gets 15 month prison sentence, $22,000 fine for toothpaste-filled Oreos

By Jill T Frey

YouTube star Kanghua Ren was just handed a 15 month prison sentence and 20,000 euro ($22,300) fine for a January 2017 video.

The video, which generated widespread outrage online, found Ren giving a homeless man in Barcelona repackaged Oreo cookies filled with toothpaste.

“Maybe I’ve gone a bit far, but look at the positive side: This will help him clean his teeth,” the China-born YouTuber (then 19) known as ReSet said in the video. “I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”

The 52-year-old man vomited after ingesting the cookies, later telling a paper that he had, “never been treated so poorly while living on the street.”

Ren was given the sentence on Friday, though The New York Times notes that he’ll likely not actually serve any time, given how nonviolent crimes are generally treated in Spanish court. In addition, his YouTube channel and various social media … Read the rest

June 2, 2019 Off

Where are all the biotech startups raising?

By Jill T Frey

Where are all the biotechnology companies raising these days? We crunched some numbers to arrive at an answer.

Using funding rounds data from Crunchbase, we plotted the count of venture capital funding rounds raised by companies in the fairly expansive biotechnology category in Crunchbase. Click the chart below and you can hover over individual data points to see the number of venture rounds raised in a given metro area between the start of 2018 and late May 2019 (as of publication). Although there are biotechnology companies located throughout the world, we focused here on just the U.S.

Unlike in the software-funding business, where New York City (and … Read the rest

June 2, 2019 Off

Password expiration is dead, long live your passwords

By Jill T Frey

May was a momentous month, which marked a victory for sanity and pragmatism over irrational paranoia. I’m obviously not talking about politics. I’m talking about Microsoft finally — finally! but credit to them for doing this nonetheless! — removing the password expiration policies from their Windows 10 security baseline.

Many enterprise-scale organizations (including TechCrunch’s owner Verizon) require their users to change their passwords regularly. This is a spectacularly counterproductive policy. To quote Microsoft:

Recent scientific research calls into question the value of many long-standing password-security practices such as password expiration policies, and points instead to better alternatives … If a password is never stolen, there’s no need to expire it. And if you

Read the rest
June 2, 2019 Off

Week-in-Review: Apple’s shipping a refresh for its worst device, but why?

By Jill T Frey

Hello, weekend warriors. This is Week-in-Review where I get hopped up on caffeine and scour the hundred of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week and surface my favorites for your reading pleasure.

First, an update on my newsletter last week: I dove into Trump’s Huawei ban and talked about some of the ill effects it could spell for American tech companies caught in the fray. Well, it looks like China is starting to build a list of “unreliable” foreign firms, most likely the partners that are severing ties with Huawei. This might just be a preliminary step, but I’m sure U.S. companies on the list won’t be psyched to be at the frontlines of a massive trade war/ tech cold war…

Onto this week’s topic, which is a new iPod from Apple. There’s really not much to it, it’s an iPod Touch with an A10 chipset, so why … Read the rest

June 2, 2019 Off

Last chance to sign up and save €200 off Disrupt Berlin

By Jill T Frey

We’re trotting out our lousy German to remind you that es ist jetzt oder nie — it’s now or never. This is your last chance to slash €200 off the super early-bird price on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019. If you want to keep those euros in your pocket, you have to sign up for our mailing list before registration officially opens tomorrow, 3 June.

When you join our mailing list, we’ll send you a limited-time discount code to buy your passes. Founders can buy Founder passes for as low as €145 + VAT. Not a founder? Don’t worry, you can buy an Innovator pass for as low as €245 + VAT.

You score solid savings, and you’ll be kept in the loop about all the cool stuff at Disrupt Berlin. We’ll announce world-class speakers and panelists, awesome workshops and demos, Q&A Sessions and all manner … Read the rest

June 2, 2019 Off

China lays out official stance on trade talks with U.S.

By Jill T Frey

On Sunday, China released a comprehensive white paper to formalize its positions on trade negotiations with the U.S. The set of statements come as the trade war escalates and Beijing threatens to hit back with a retaliatory blacklist of U.S. firms. Here are some key takeaways from the press conference announcing the white paper:

U.S. ‘responsible’ for stalled trade talks

The “U.S. government bears responsibility” for setbacks in trade talks, chided the paper, adding that the U.S. has imposed additional tariffs on Chinese goods that impede economic cooperation between the two countries and globally.

While it’s “common” for both sides to propose “adjustments to the text and language” in ongoing negotiations, the U.S. administration “kept changing its demands” in the “previous more than ten rounds of negotiations,” the paper alleged.

On the other hand, reports of China backtracking on previous trade deals are mere “mudslinging,” Wang Shouwen, the Chinese vice … Read the rest