Tech

Facebook assigns you a fake-news-flagging trustworthiness score
techcrunch.com
A new way to attack Facebook is to fraudulently report a news story as false in hopes of reducing its visibility, either because someone wants to censor it or just doesn’t agree with it. Sometimes known as “brigading,” a concerted effort by trolls to flag a piece of content can reduce its visibility. Facebook now sends stories reported as false to third-party fact checkers, and these purposefully inaccurate reports can clog the already-overcrowded queues that fact checkers struggle to worth through. That’s why Facebook gives users a trustworthiness score ranging from 0 to 1 depend on the reliability of their flags of false news, The Washington Post reports. If they flag something as false news but fact checkers verify it as true, that could hurt their score and re [...]
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CardMunch founder returns with HiHello, a new app aiming to replace business cards
techcrunch.com
A new app called HiHello is taking aim at business cards. While plenty of apps in the past have tried to kill the business card, they never achieved critical mass. Mainly, this is because most required that both parties — the business card holder and recipient — have their app installed. HiHello is different. Instead of forcing everyone to download its app, it simply generates a QR code that can be scanned by anyone with a modern smartphone. HiHello specifically takes advantage of the fact that today’s smartphones now have QR code readers built in — users no longer need to download a separate QR code scanner app to exchange information over this format. On iPhone, you can use the native iOS Camera app to scan QR codes. And on Android, Google Lens (a part of Google A [...]
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Braavo raises $6M for its app financing business
techcrunch.com
Braavo, a startup that provides financing to mobile app developers, is announcing that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding. The might not seem like much compared to the $70 million that Braavo announced raising last year, but that was debt financing, used to loan money to developers. This new round is equity financing, used to fund Braavo’s own operations and growth. Co-founder Mark Loranger told me Braavo was founded in 2015 in response to the “new dynamics” of mobile app businesses. And it’s worked with developers including Verv, Fanatee and Pixite. “The data is there to create ways to provide financing to companies that otherwise would have to raise more [venture funding] and dilute themselves,” Loranger said. For its first financing product, [...]
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Google launches Cameos, a video Q&A app aimed at celebs and public figures
techcrunch.com
Google has launched a new video-based Q&A app called Cameos on the App Store, which allows people to answer questions about themselves, then share those answers directly on Google. The app is aimed at celebrities and other public figures, who are often the subject of people’s Google searches. With the Cameos app, they can address fans’ questions in their own voice, instead of leaving the answers up to other websites. The feature is an extension of the company’s “Posts on Google” platform which has been slowly rolling out over the past couple of years, giving some people and organizations the ability to post directly to Google’s search result pages. Initially, “Posts on Google” was open only to a small number of celebrities, sports team [...]
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MoviePass says those cancellation bugs have been fixed
techcrunch.com
MoviePass is about to roll out its new subscription plan, which will keep prices at $9.95 while imposing a new limit of three movies per month. But it seems that the transition hasn’t been going entirely smoothly. The Verge reports that several users have complained about previously canceling their plans, only to receive emails from the service suggesting that they were still subscribed. We reached out to a MoviePass spokesperson, who confirmed that there were “bugs” in the cancellation process, but said they’ve since been fixed: On Monday, August 13th, we learned that some members encountered difficulty with the cancellation process. We have fixed the bugs that were causing the issue and we have confirmed that none of our members have been opted-in or converted to [...]
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6 million users had installed third-party Twitter clients
techcrunch.com
Twitter tried to downplay the impact deactivating its legacy APIs would have on its community and the third-party Twitter clients preferred by many power users by saying that “less than 1%” of Twitter developers were using these old APIs. Twitter is correct in its characterization of the size of this developer base, but it’s overlooking millions of third-party app users in the process. According to data from Sensor Tower, six million App Store and Google Play users installed the top five third-party Twitter clients between January 2014 and July 2018. Over the past year, these top third-party apps were downloaded 500,000 times. This data is largely free of reinstalls, the firm also said. The top third-party Twitter apps users installed over the past three-and-a-half years [...]
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Twitter company email addresses why it’s #BreakingMyTwitter
techcrunch.com
It’s hard to be a fan of Twitter right now. The company is sticking up for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, when nearly all other platforms have given him the boot, it’s overrun with bots, and now it’s breaking users’ favorite third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific by shutting off APIs these apps relied on. Worse still, is that Twitter isn’t taking full responsibility for its decisions. In a company email it shared today, Twitter cited “technical and business constraints” that it can no longer ignore as being the reason behind the APIs’ shutdown. It said the clients relied on “legacy technology” that was still in a “beta state” after more than 9 years, and had to be killed “out of operational [...]
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DoorDash raises another $250M, nearly triples valuation to $4B
techcrunch.com
Food delivery startup DoorDash announced this afternoon that it has raised $250 million, just five months since the company announced a $535 million round. Why raise more money so soon? CEO Tony Xu told Axios that he wasn’t actively looking for additional investment, but was open to investor interest because it could help the company expand more quickly. (Maybe he’ll have more to say about those plans at Disrupt SF next month.) The new funding was led by Coatue Management and DST Global. It sounds like the terms were pretty appealing too, with the valuation growing from $1.4 billion to $4 billion. In a blog post, the company said it’s had a good 2018, with deliveries increasing 250 percent year-over-year, restaurant chains like Chipotle and IHOP signing up and last week& [...]
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