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Daily Digest: Technology and tyranny, lying to ourselves, and Spotify’s $1b repurchase

Daily Digest: Technology and tyranny, lying to ourselves, and Spotify’s $1b repurchase

Want to join a conference call to discuss more about these thoughts? Email Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com to secure an invite. Hello! We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new. Provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at danny@techcrunch.com or Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com if you like […]

Google’s Gboard now lets you create a set of emoji that look like you

Google’s Gboard now lets you create a set of emoji that look like you

Last summer, Google introduced its own take on Bitmoji with the launch of “Mini” stickers in its keyboard app, Gboard, which leverage machine learning to create illustrated stickers based on your selfie. Today, Google is expanding the Mini Stickers with the launch of what it calls “Emoji Minis” – meaning, emoji-sized stickers that look like […]

Google finally adds consumer customer support with Google One

Google finally adds consumer customer support with Google One

You may recall my tale of woe from last year when I recounted how I was locked out of my Google account for a month. It was a tough time, made all the more frustrating because there wasn’t any customer support to contact. That is changing for Google One users though, and it’s about time. […]

To actually change the world, Big Tech needs to grow up

To actually change the world, Big Tech needs to grow up

“Fierce competitor” is one of the biggest, and most culturally ingrained, compliments that exists in sports. The same is true in the technology world. However, as competitors originating from outside of Silicon Valley rise, so do the stakes for previously unchallenged tech firms, like Uber, Facebook and Google, to enter new markets responsibly. Companies that […]

Consumers spent $329M on the top 10 subscription video apps last quarter

Consumers spent $329M on the top 10 subscription video apps last quarter

Last year, the top subscription video apps like Netflix and Hulu raked in a combined $781 million, and that trend is showing no sign of slowing down in 2018. In the third quarter of 2018, U.S. consumers spent an estimated $329 million in the top 10 subscription video-on-demand apps across the App Store and Google […]

KKR’s latest Southeast Asia bet is a $144M investment in PropertyGuru

KKR’s latest Southeast Asia bet is a $144M investment in PropertyGuru

Global investment giant KKR is warming up to Southeast Asia after it made a third high-profile investment. The firm — which has nearly $150 billion in assets under management — has cut a SG$200 million (US$144 million) check for PropertyGuru, the region’s largest property listings group. Founded in 2006, PropertyGuru operates rental and sale listing sites in […]

Google AI listens to 15 years of sea-bottom recordings for hidden whale songs

Google AI listens to 15 years of sea-bottom recordings for hidden whale songs

Google and a group of game cetologists have undertaken an AI-based investigation of years of undersea recordings, hoping to create a machine learning model that can spot humpback whale calls. It’s part of the company’s new “AI for social good” program that’s rather obviously positioned to counter the narrative that AI is mostly used for […]

Google beefs up Firebase platform for the enterprise

Google beefs up Firebase platform for the enterprise

Today at the Firebase Summit in Prague, Google announced a number of updates to its Firebase app development platform designed to help it shift from an environment for individuals or small teams into a full-blown enterprise development tool. Google acquired Firebase 4 years ago to help developers connect to key cloud tools like a database […]

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visage loomed large over the European parliament this week, both literally and figuratively, as global privacy regulators gathered in Brussels to interrogate the human impacts of technologies that derive their power and persuasiveness from our data. The eponymous social network has been at the center of a privacy storm this year. And […]

Waymo is testing what it should charge for its robotaxi service

Waymo is testing what it should charge for its robotaxi service

Self-driving startup Waymo, a Google spin -off owned by parent company Alphabet, has started to test pricing models for rides in its autonomous vehicles in Phoenix, the latest indication that the company is preparing to launch a commercial robotaxi service. Waymo has not launched a wide-scale commercial robotaxi service in Phoenix — or anywhere — just yet. But it is […]