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TechCrunch

Announcing Sight Tech Global, an event on the future of AI and accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired – TechCrunch


Few challenges have excited technologists more than building tools to help people who are blind or visually impaired. It was Silicon Valley legend Ray Kurzweil, for example, who in 1976 launched the first commercially available text-to-speech reading device. He unveiled the $50,000 Kurzweil Reading Machine, a boxy device that covered a tabletop, at a press conference hosted by the National Federation of the Blind

The early work of Kurzweil and many others has rippled across the commerce and technology world in stunning ways. Today’s equivalent of Kurzweil’s machine is Microsoft’s Seeing AI app, which uses AI-based image recognition to “see” and “read” in ways that Kurzweil could only have dreamed of. And it’s free to anyone with a mobile phone.  Read More

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The Next Web

Say hello to SHIFT, our new publication about the future of mobility tech


We are facing a global climate crisis. Our world is changing and so must we, whether we like it or not. We must transition to cleaner fuels and rethink how we move around our towns, cities, and countries to have less of an impact on the environment, whilst still providing accessibility for all.

New mobility tech could help us reduce our environmental impact, improve road and city safety, and make how we get around in our daily lives more sustainable. 

We can fire up an app and hail a ride to take us into town, where we can use another platform to rent an escooter or bicycle for the last mile of our trip. We’re spoiled for choice right now and the mobility tech world is only going to get bigger and offer more. Read More

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TechCrunch

Pompeo says U.S. may take action against TikTok and other Chinese tech companies “shortly” – TechCrunch


Days after President Donald Trump announced he could use an executive order to ban TikTok from the United States, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the administration is “closing in on a solution and I think you’ll see the president’s announcement shortly.”

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo, Pompeo also said that the Trump administration may take action against other Chinese tech companies doing business in the U.S., claiming that some are “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.” Read More

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Engadget

After math: Big Tech gets bigger while AMC’s release window gets shorter


Noam Galai via Getty Images

Trolls: World Tour isn’t the sort of film that one would expect to cause controversy but at the start of the COVID pandemic, AMC and Universal got themselves into a knock down drag out fight over the family film — specifically whether or not it could be released on VOD before its window of theatrical exclusivity closed. Fast forward to last week and the two companies have finally settled their differences. From here on out films will only have to stay in theaters for three consecutive weekends (aka 17 days) before being released on VOD, down from the full 90 days demanded pre-pandemic. Read More

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TechCrunch

ADA turns 30, Panasonic’s new battery tech and delivery (data) woes – TechCrunch


The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox.

Hello and welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future ways people and packages move from Point A to Point B.

Before we get into all the mobility news and analysis of the week I wanted to flag an upcoming event that might be of interest to the budding entrepreneurs out there. TC Disrupt, that BIG annual event we hold each fall, is virtual this year. I can’t tell you everything yet, except we put a lot of effort and tech into making this interactive and exciting. This is not going to some boring webinar. Read More

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TechCrunch

Unicorn IPOs, tech earnings and my favorite VC round from the week – TechCrunch


The TechCrunch Exchange newsletter just launched. Soon only a partial version will hit the site, so sign up to get the full download.

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter for your weekend enjoyment. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free. And it’s made just for you.

You can sign up for the newsletter here. With that out of the way, let’s talk money, upstart companies and the latest spicy IPO rumors.

Affirm dreams of an 11-figure SPAC

If you are tired of reading about special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, we hear you. We’re sick of them as well. But they keep cropping up, this time in the form of a possible IPO alternative for Affirm, a fintech unicorn that has raised more than $1 billion to provide consumers with point-of-sale installment loans. (Rates from 0% to 30%, terms of up to 36 months.) Read More

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Engadget

Digital contact tracing apps in the US that use ENS tech from Google and Apple are still ‘weeks’ away


In the US Google says that 20 states and territories covering about 45 percent of the population are “exploring apps” based on the systems, and the first ones should launch “in the coming weeks.” Read More

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Wired

Big Tech Does Not Agree With That Characterization


Instead, this hearing was all about puncturing the aura of these CEOs and their companies, in the spirit of discontent with Big Tech. The committee chair, Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), made that clear in his opening statement when he decried the massive power of these men as a threat to the economy, to innovation, and to society at large. “Our founders would not bow before a king, nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy,” he said, before waving the green flag to begin the inquisition. Read More

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Wired

For Big Tech, There's No Winning This Round



Accountability is coming—not just because Congress had an impressive hearing this week, but because the confluence of crises now demand action.



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TechCrunch

Opportunities (and challenges) in church tech – TechCrunch


Part 2: Americans are growing less religious, but they’re staying spiritual

More posts by this contributor

Americans are rapidly becoming less religious. Weekly church attendance is falling, congregations are getting smaller or even closing and the percentage of Americans identifying as “religiously unaffiliated” has spiked.

Despite all this, now might be the perfect time for church tech companies to thrive.

A combination of COVID-19-induced adoption, underrated demographic trends and pressure to innovate is setting the stage for new successes in the previously sleepy church tech space. Venture dollars are flowing in, and Silicon Valley is slowly showing serious interest in the sector. Hot new startups are finding creative growth hacks to penetrate a difficult market. Major challenges remain for companies in this space, but their odds seem better than ever. Read More