Tech

Coinbase acquires Distributed Systems to build ‘Login with Coinbase’
techcrunch.com
Coinbase wants to be Facebook Connect for crypto. The blockchain giant plans to develop “Login with Coinbase” or a similar identity platform for decentralized app developers to make it much easier for users to sign up and connect their crypto wallets. To fuel that platform, today Coinbase announced it has acquired Distributed Systems, a startup founded in 2015 that was building an identity standard for dApps called the Clear Protocol. The five-person Distributed Systems team and its technology will join Coinbase. Three of the team members will work with Coinbase’s Toshi decentralized mobile browser team, while CEO Nikhil Srinivasan and his co-founder Alex Kern are forming the new decentralized identity team that will work on the Login with Coinbase product. They’ll [...]
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Square can now process chip cards in two seconds
techcrunch.com
If you’ve made any payments with a chip card, you’ve probably had awkward moments — those long seconds after you’ve inserted the card and everyone behind you is (literally or metaphorically) tapping their foot, waiting for the card to be processed. Well, Square has been working on this problem for a while now. Last fall, for example, CEO Jack Dorsey said the company had gotten the processing time down to under three seconds. Today, the company is announcing that it’s shaved even more time off, and that Square contactless and chip Readers and Registers can now process chip cards in two seconds. To achieve this, it says it’s worked closely with payment partners — and it’s also streamlined the process so that you can remove your card as soon as it̵ [...]
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HQ Trivia downloads spiral downward as it hits Apple TV
techcrunch.com
HQ Trivia’s app store ranking has continued to sink the past three months, but it’s hoping a new version on your television could revitalize growth. HQ today launched an Apple TV app that lets users play the twice-daily live quiz game alongside iOS Android players. “Everything about the game is still the same – same questions, same time, same rules,” says a spokesperson, except you’ll play with the Apple TV remote instead of your phone’s screen. But that might not be enough to get HQ’s player count rapidly growing again. According to App Annie’s app store ranking history, on iOS HQ has fallen from the No. 1 U.S. trivia game to No. 10, from the No. 44 game to No. 196, and from the No. 151 overall app to No. 585. It’s exhibited a simil [...]
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Samsung announces Spotify as its go-to music partner
techcrunch.com
Samsung didn’t just unveil new devices like the Galaxy Home, the Galaxy Watch and of course the new Galaxy Note 9 at its Unpacked event this morning — it also announced a partnership with Spotify. The goal is to create a seamless cross-device listening experience on Samsung devices, including the ones announced today. As demonstrated onstage, you should be able to start playing a song on your phone, then switch over to your TV, then over to your Galaxy Home. This integration that will allow you to play Spotify on your Samsung Smart TV through the SmartThings app deepens the integration between Spotify and Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby, making Spotify the default choice whenever you ask Bixby to look for music. In addition, Spotify will become part of the set-up experience [...]
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Facebook buys Vidpresso’s team and tech to make video interactive
techcrunch.com
Zombie-like passive consumption of static video is both unhealthy for viewers and undifferentiated for the tech giants that power it. That’s set Facebook on a mission to make video interactive, full of conversation with broadcasters and fellow viewers. It’s racing against Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to become where people watch together and don’t feel like asocial slugs afterward. That’s why Facebook today told TechCrunch that it’s acqui-hired Vidpresso, buying its seven-person team and its technology but not the company itself. The six-year-old Utah startup works with TV broadcasters and content publishers to make their online videos more interactive with on-screen social media polling and comments, graphics and live broadcasting integrated with Fa [...]
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Musical.ly investor bets on internet radio with $17M deal for Korea’s Spoon Radio
techcrunch.com
One of the early backers of Musical.ly, the short video app that was acquired for $1 billion, is making a major bet that internet radio is one of the next big trends in media. Goodwater Capital, one of a number of backers that won big when ByteDance acquired Musical.ly last year, has joined forces with Korean duo Softbank Ventures and KB Investment to invest $17 million into Korea’s Spoon Radio. The deal is a Series B for parent company Mykoon, which operates Spoon Radio and previously developed an unsuccessful smartphone battery sharing service. That’s much like Musical.ly, which famously pivoted to a karaoke app after failing to build an education service. “We decided to create a service, now known as Spoon Radio, that was inspired by what gave us hope when [previous [...]
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What the Facebook Crypto team could build
techcrunch.com
Facebook is invading the blockchain, but how? Back in May, Facebook formed a cryptocurrency team to explore the possibilities, and today it removed a roadblock to revealing its secret plans. Former head of Messenger David Marcus, who leads the Facebook Crypto team, today announced he was stepping down from the board of Coinbase, the biggest crypto startup. Marcus was formerly the president of PayPal and helped Facebook Messenger adopt chatbot commerce and peer-to-peer payments, so he was both a natural choice for Coinbase’s board and Facebook’s blockchain skunklabs. Facebook told CoinDesk this was to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, which is exactly what it was. Marcus provided a statement to TechCrunch explaining he was stepping down “because of the new [...]
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Dropbox is crashing despite beating Wall Street expectations, announces COO Dennis Woodside is leaving
techcrunch.com
Back when Dennis Woodside joined Dropbox as its chief operating officer more than four years ago, the company was trying to justify the $10 billion valuation it had hit in its rapid rise as a Web 2.0 darling. Now, Dropbox is a public company with a nearly $14 billion valuation, and it once again showed Wall Street that it’s able to beat expectations with a now more robust enterprise business alongside its consumer roots. Dropbox’s second quarter results came in ahead of Wall Street’s expectations on both the earnings and revenue front. The company also announced that Dennis Woodside will be leaving the company. Woodside joined at a time when Dropbox was starting to figure out its enterprise business, which it was able to grow and transform into a strong case for Wall Str [...]
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