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Former TechCruncher Billy Gallagher announces book on Snapchat’s origin

“So much of it is stranger than fiction. It’s a great story, I knew that if I didn’t write the book, someone else would and I’d regret it” says Billy Gallagher, author of “How To Turn Down A Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story”. The book, which starts pre-sales today and debuts on February...

HandUp, the startup that helps homeless people, has been acquired

In slightly bittersweet news, startup HandUp is selling itself to the Detroit-based South Oakland Shelter for an undisclosed amount. This isn’t your typical Silicon Valley exit where the founders and investors made a bunch of money. HandUp CEO Rose Broome described it to me as a “primary philanthropic acquisition.” But it’s still a...

Uber and Deliveroo get a gig economy rights grilling

Uber and Deliveroo execs faced questions from a UK parliamentary committee today as the government continues to deliberate on changes to employment law to account for the rise of gig economy work facilitated by tech platforms. Ride-hailing giant Uber was also grilled over what one committee member dubbed its “aggressive” response to TfL’s recent...

Report: North Korean hackers stole South Korean and U.S. war plans

A member of South Korea’s parliament who sits on its defense committee is claiming that North Korean hackers have stolen some of his nation’s most sensitive military documents — including a plan to assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The South Korean Yonhap news service is reporting that Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of the...

Menlo Ventures into data-driven health care investing with its newest partner

Like a lot of firms, the 41-year-old venture firm Menlo Ventures has decided to jump into health care investing after a long hiatus, hiring a new partner Greg Yap, to lead the charge. A molecular biology major at Princeton, Yap was most recently the CEO of an early-stage medical startup called Pyrames, as well...

Deepgram opens up its machine transcription platform to everyone

Deepgram, a startup applying machine learning to audio data, is releasing its machine transcription platform this morning for free. No more will you have to pay for other services like Trint to get the dirty work of automated transcription done. Hint: it has something to do with data. Machine transcription isn’t solved. In fact,...

Medium opens up its partner program, allowing anyone to publish behind its paywall

Medium is expanding its subscription efforts today by allowing any author or publisher to join its partner program. That’s the program where readers can pay a monthly fee (currently $5) to access content behind a paywall (plus, they get early access to new features). The writers who participate will then get a share of...

Yandex introduces Alice, a Alexa-like assistant that speaks Russian

Yandex is virtually unknown here in the States, but it’s become something approaching a Russian Google (and Amazon and Uber) in the 20 years since its founding. The company controls around 65-percent of search engine market share in its home country, and has branched out into practically every other software category imaginable, so...

Over 5,000 Wells Fargo ATMs now support card-free access via Apple Pay and other mobile wallets

Wells Fargo’s ATMs are getting an upgrade. The bank announced today that more than 40 percent – or over 5,000 of its ATMs – will now allow customers to perform transactions without having to pull out their bank card. Instead, users can take advantage of NFC – aka the “tap and pay” technology...

Used car buying site Carspring goes quiet after Rocket Internet pulls investment

Carspring, the London and Berlin-based startup that makes it easy to buy a used car, has gone quiet, amid reports that its recent £5 million in Series B funding fell through. According to sources, Rocket Internet has pulled its investment in the company, which it co-founded with ex-McKinsey management consultants Peter Baumgart and...