Category: Companies

June 5, 2019 Off

Google offers new treasure trove of air quality data to researchers

By Jill T Frey

Google has employed its network of street-view vehicles to also measure street-level air quality in recent years, through an initiative it calls “Project Air View.” Today, it’s making available to scientists and researcher organizations more of the resulting data from that ongoing initiative. The company is releasing an updated version of its air quality data set that includes information collected with partner Aclima’s environmental sensors gathered between 2017 and 2018.

The combined data cache includes info from the SF Bay and San Joaquin Valley area, originally starting in 2016, along with the additional two years’ worth of data for those areas as well as for other parts of California, and other major cities, including Houston, Salt Lake City, Copenhagen, London and Amsterdam.

All told, Google’s mapping data set for air quality now includes info covering more than 140,000 miles and 7,000 hours of combined driving time spanning 2016 through 2018. … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

iOS 13 will let you limit app location access to ‘just once’

By Jill T Frey

Apple will soon let you grant apps access to your iPhone’s location just once.

Until now, there were three options — “always,” “never,” or “while using,” meaning an app could be collecting your real-time location as you’re using it.

Apple said the “just once” location access is a small change — granted — but one that’s likely to appeal to the more privacy-minded folk.

“For the first time, you can share your location to an app — just once — and then require it to ask you again next time at wants,” said Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi at its annual developer conference on Monday.

That’s going to be helpful for those who download an app that requires your immediate location, but you don’t want to give it persistent or ongoing access to your whereabouts.

On top of that, Apple said that the apps that you do grant location … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Key Vision Fund investors are reportedly lukewarm on a second fund

By Jill T Frey

SoftBank shook up the venture capital world with its unprecedented $100 billion Vision Fund, and the speculation continues around its follow-up.

The fund hasn’t quite closed $100 billion — it is mighty close… — but that hasn’t stopped reports of a sequel from surfacing for the last 18 months. SoftBank has mown through its allocation at speed, dealmaking increased to a record speed in Q1 despite controversy while its hiring has intensified, but the latest chatter suggests that a number of the fund’s key backers are lukewarm at the prospect of a return act.

The Wall Street Journal this weekend reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which anchored the Vision Fund with a $45 billion investment (but also provides the controversy), and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are among those that “plan to make limited or no contributions” to the follow-up vehicle.

Sources told the … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Google’s Cloud outage is resolved, but it reveals the holes in cloud computing’s atmosphere

By Jill T Frey

Five hours after Google publicly announced that it was working to resolve an outage in its Cloud computing network that had taken out a large chunk of Google services as well as Shopify, Snap, Discord and other popular apps, the problem seems to be resolved.

The outage hit everything from the ability to control the temperature in people’s homes and apartments through Google’s Nest to shopping on any service powered by Shopify, to Snapchat and Discord’s social networks.

“The network congestion issue in eastern USA, affecting Google Cloud, G Suite, and YouTube has been resolved for all affected users as of 4:00pm US/Pacific,” the company said in a statement.

“We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence. We will provide a detailed report of this incident once we have completed our internal investigation. This … Read the rest

June 1, 2019 Off

Foxconn halts production lines for Huawei phones, according to reports

By Jill T Frey

Huawei, the Chinese technology giant whose devices are at the center of a far-reaching trade dispute between the U.S. and Chinese governments, is reducing orders for new phones, according to a report in The South China Morning Post.

According to unnamed sources, the Taiwanese technology manufacturer Foxconn has halted production lines for several Huawei phones after the Shenzhen-based company reduced orders. Foxconn also makes devices for most of the major smart phone vendors including Apple and Xiaomi (in addition to Huawei).

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” to protect U.S. networks from foreign technologies, Huawei and several of its affiliates were barred from acquiring technologies from U.S. companies.

The blacklist has impacted multiple lines of Huawei’s business including it handset manufacturing capabilities given the company’s reliance on Google’s Android … Read the rest

May 30, 2019 Off

Susan Fowler’s memoir has a title and a release date

By Jill T Frey

Susan Fowler’s forthcoming memoir, titled “Whistleblower,” is scheduled to hit bookshelves March 3, 2020. The book will be available for pre-order beginning June 12.

In late 2017, Penguin Random House imprint Viking Books acquired the rights to the memoir, which chronicles the harassment and discrimination Fowler faced during her tenure as a site reliability engineer at Uber.

Her memoir “will expose the systemic flaws rampant in the startup culture,” with “previously unreported details of what happened after she went public with the harassment and discrimination she faced [at Uber],” according to Viking. Additionally, it will touch on themes such as women’s role in the American economy, navigating challenging work environments, with an “eye-popping depiction and broad indictment of a work culture where a woman can do absolutely everything right and still encounter tremendous obstacles.”

Twenty-eight-year-old Fowler is best known for her infamous blog post, “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

Use SocialLadder to earn a free pass to TC Sessions: Mobility 2019

By Jill T Frey

TC Sessions: Mobility 2019, TechCrunch’s day-long intensive event focused on the current and future state of mobility, takes place in San Jose, Calif. on July 10. More than 1,000 of the industry’s top technologists, founders, investors, engineers and researchers will join us to discuss, explore and demo transformational technologies that will have a profound effect on people around the world. And you can, too — for free.

Yup, you can earn a free ticket by becoming a TechCrunch ambassador. Simply participate in our referral program, powered by SocialLadder. Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the SocialLadder app on your phone (Apple Store) (Google Play). Already have the SocialLadder app? Tap Find a New Area > Add Invite Code
  2. Share the event code (TECHCRUNCH) with your friends to earn points toward a free ticket
  3. Use the app challenges to earn even more points — share a TechCrunch
Read the rest
May 25, 2019 Off

China’s largest chipmaker is delisting from the Nasdaq

By Jill T Frey

The U.S-China trade war is increasingly influencing tech. Huawei has suffered a turbulent past week with key suppliers pausing work with the company, and now China’s largest chipmaker is planning to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) announced in a filing published Friday that it plans to delist next month ending a 15-year spell as a public company in the U.S. The firm will file a Form 25 to delist on June 3, which is likely to see it leave the NYSE around ten days later. SMIC, which is backed by the Chinese government and state-owned shareholders, will focus on its existing Hong Kong listing going forward but there will be trading options for those holding U.S-based ADRs.

In its announcement, SMIC said it plans to delist for reasons that include limited trading volumes and “significant administrative burden and costs” around the listing and … Read the rest

May 25, 2019 Off

China’s largest chipmaker is delisting from the NYSE

By Jill T Frey

The U.S-China trade war is increasingly influencing tech. Huawei has suffered a turbulent past week with key suppliers pausing work with the company, and now China’s largest chipmaker is planning to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) announced in a filing published Friday that it plans to delist next month ending a 15-year spell as a public company in the U.S. The firm will file a Form 25 to delist on June 3, which is likely to see it leave the NYSE around ten days later. SMIC, which is backed by the Chinese government and state-owned shareholders, will focus on its existing Hong Kong listing going forward but there will be trading options for those holding U.S-based ADRs.

In its announcement, SMIC said it plans to delist for reasons that include limited trading volumes and “significant administrative burden and costs” around the listing and … Read the rest

May 24, 2019 Off

How to avoid an IPO

By Jill T Frey

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We’re back to our old, weekly cadence. Which is all well and good, but after a run of doubling up episodes to keep up with the news cycle, showing up just every seven days nearly feels like vacation. But hey, we’re here for you (you follow us both on Twitter, right?).

There was a lot to go over, so please enjoy the following:

An IPO update: First up we checked in on our favorite children, the recently public. Uber and Lyft are still down. Fastly is still far up while Luckin Coffee is losing air like a pinched balloon. Also, Slack has a new ticker symbol, and we have thoughts about it.

Changes at YC: In case you hadn’t heard, YC has a brand new president by the name … Read the rest