• Hear360 begins shipping its ASMR-ready omni-binaural microphone, the 8ball

    Hear360 begins shipping its ASMR-ready omni-binaural microphone, the 8ball

    Magic 8-Balls have been known to hold some disappointing, trivial answers to teenage life’s hardest questions, but one LA startup is hoping to find success in them. Hear360 has just begun shipping pre-orders of 8ball, a souped-up binaural 360 microphone rig geared toward professionals that are all about experimenting in new immersive mediums. Read More

  • Startup that sells your salary data to VCs gets bought by Solium

    Startup that sells your salary data to VCs gets bought by Solium

    Investors don’t want their portfolio companies to pay you too much, or too little. So they pay Advanced-HR for its compensation data pulled from 2,500 startups. With a generic name, the service has flown somewhat under the radar since launching 20 years ago. As startups grow more professional while staying private longer, they’re getting serious about how they structure equity… Read More

  • Camera rental startup KitSplit raises $2.1M

    Camera rental startup KitSplit raises $2.1M

    KitSplit, which operates amarketplace for creative equipment, is announcing that it’s raised $2.1 million in seed funding. The equipment available for rental can include cameras, lights and lenses, but also VR gear and drones. Renters get access to this equipment for a lower price, while the equipment owners get to make some extra money from equipment when they’re not using it. Read More

  • Roku stock tanks 18% after sharing financials, outlook

    Roku stock tanks 18% after sharing financials, outlook

    Despite surpassing analyst expectations for the quarter, Roku disappointed Wall Street when it shared its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. The digital streaming business fell about 18% in after-hours trading, in the minutes following the news release. Roku posted $188.3 million revenue, when Yahoo! Finance estimates showed $182.5 million. It’s also up from $147.3… Read More

  • A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad

    A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad

    The pixel-peepers at DxOMark have shared some of the interesting metrics and techniques they use to judge the quality of a smartphone’s artificial bokeh, or background blur in photos. Not only is it difficult to do in the first place, but they have to systematize it! Their guide should provide even seasoned shooters with some insight into the many ways computational bokeh varies in quality. Read More

  • Signal expands into the Signal Foundation with $50M from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton

    Signal expands into the Signal Foundation with $50M from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton

    Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned about Signal when I spoke with Moxie Marlinspike, the app’s creator, last year at Disrupt, was that it was essentially running on a shoestring budget. A tool used by millions and feared by governments worldwide, barely getting by! But $50M from WhatsApp founder Brian Acton should help secure the app’s future. Read More

  • Blockchain is entering the valley of despair phase, and that’s a mistake

    Blockchain is entering the valley of despair phase, and that’s a mistake

    I’ve had a number of conversations with blockchain-focused people over the past few weeks. In some of those conversations there is a palpable excitement and a belief that this technology is going to end up being their life’s work. I’ve also had significantly more morose conversations with investors who are starting to lose faith in blockchain as a medium for investment returns. Read More

  • UpWest Labs just raised $18 million to bring Israeli founders to the US

    UpWest Labs just raised $18 million to bring Israeli founders to the US

    The micro venture firm UpWest Labs was founded nearly six years ago in Palo Alto with one mission in mind: to bring Israeli founders to the U.S. when their companies are still nascent and provide them with enough financial and other resources to get going. Read More

  • Onward helps businesses automate their customer service

    Onward helps businesses automate their customer service

    How much can customer service be automated? Onward has some straightforward targets — 40 percent of tickets and 40 percent of messages should be automated, and average response times should be 40 seconds on average. Read More

  • Gabi gets $9.5M to help car and home owners find better insurance once it’s available

    Gabi gets $9.5M to help car and home owners find better insurance once it’s available

    If you own a car or home, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding the right insurance plan that’ll cover everything you need and save you some money — but those plans are always changing, and consumers are getting stuck footing a bill they don’t necessarily need, according to Hanno Fichtner. That’s why he started Gabi. Read More

  • Google tries to make Android more enterprise-friendly with new recommendation program

    Google tries to make Android more enterprise-friendly with new recommendation program

    With so many Android devices out there to choose from, it’s not always easy to find one that’s enterprise-friendly. To help alleviate that problem, Google announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program today. As the name implies, it’s designed to point enterprise IT departments at devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. Read More

  • Facebook opens registration for its annual F8 developer conference

    Facebook opens registration for its annual F8 developer conference

    Facebook has just opened up registration for its annual F8 developer conference. Facebook has had a turbulent year in the news, and the company has made some significant moves to restructure how its users are interacting with its products, so expect to hear a lot more details about the evolving future of the platform. Read More

  • Apple could be buying cobalt from mining companies directly

    Apple could be buying cobalt from mining companies directly

    Cobalt is the new oil. Car companies and battery manufacturers are all rushing to secure multiyear contracts with mining companies for their lithium-ion batteries. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is also participating in this game as the company wants to secure its long-term supplies. Read More

  • Qualcomm shares details on its vision for the near-future of mobile VR

    Qualcomm shares details on its vision for the near-future of mobile VR

    Even as headsets based on the Snapdragon 835 reference design — like Lenovo’s positionally tracked Daydream headset — are just gearing up for their stateside release, we’re already looking to what the future of VR that isn’t tethered to something else looks like. Today, Qualcomm showed off a reference design centered around its latest mobile chipset, the… Read More

  • Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

    Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

    Just a quick bit of news for those with Nest cams around the house: a new, cheaper Nest Aware plan is on the way. Nest has long offered two plans: a $10/month plan that lets you store the last 10 days of video history, and a $30/month plan that gives you 30 days of video history. This new plan will cost $5 per month and, yes, will give you five days of video history. Read More