Wattpad is further expanding into Asia with a new partnership and undisclosed strategic investment from Times Bridge, the global investment arm of The Times Group in India. The deal aims to help the storytelling community establish a larger presence in the country where it already counts more than 2.6 million monthly users who have shared
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Twitter’s video streaming app, Periscope, is cracking down on spam and, specifically, fake engagements. The company says it’s updating its policies around how it enforces its anti-spam rules, and is making improvements in terms of how those rules are enforced. This means users will see increased enforcement actions, Periscope notes — and these may even
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Indian agriculture tech startup AgroStar announced today that it has raised a $27 million Series C for its platform, which helps farmers increase crop production, manage orders and buy supplies online. The round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, with participation from returning investors Accel, Chiratae Ventures and Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. AgroStar bills its app
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F5 Networks took a dive yesterday after the company announced it was acquiring open-source web server NGINX. While media coverage of the deal was largely positive, the public markets appeared much more skeptical, as F5 stock finished the day down nearly 8%. As most analyses noted, the logic behind the deal is clear. F5’s existing
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A independent report commissioned by the UK government to examine how competition policy needs to adapt itself for the digital age has concluded that tech giants don’t face adequate competition and the law needs updating to address what it dubs the “novel” challenges of ‘winner takes all’ platforms. The panel also recommends more policy interventions
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Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and Bixby–almost all virtual assistants have something in common. Their default voices are women’s, though the role that plays in reinforcing gender stereotypes has been long documented, even inspiring the dystopian romance “Her.” Virtue, the creative agency owned by publisher Vice, wants to challenge the trend with a genderless voice
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Your startup will not succeed unless you, the founder, build an exceptional team. Great teams are built on top of great culture. Yet any venture-backed startup founder will tell you, myself included, that developing a positive corporate culture is more art than science, requiring constant and creative recalibration as your company grows. What then does
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Voice recognition is a standard part of the smartphone package these days, and a corresponding part is the delay while you wait for Siri, Alexa or Google to return your query, either correctly interpreted or horribly mangled. Google’s latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating that delay altogether — though of course mangling is still
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Artificial intelligence, or what passes for it, can be found in practically every major tech company and, increasingly, in government programs. A joint Harvard-MIT program just unloaded $750,000 on projects looking to keep such AI developments well understood and well reported. The Ethics and Governance in AI Initiative is a combination research program and grant
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Stash, the fintech startup and app that aims to introduce new people to the world of investing, is unveiling some interesting new services while also announcing that it has raised more funding to expand its business. The company is introducing mobile-based banking accounts from Green Dot Bank; and alongside it, a new rewards program it
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Pitched as “travel insurance for people who don’t like insurance,” U.K.-based Pluto Insurance is officially launching today with an online travel insurance product targeting millennials. Citing research that says 40 percent of millennials don’t actually buy travel insurance, mistakenly believing that it isn’t required, the mobile-first offering not only attempts to demystify travel insurance, but
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Twitter today is joining the podcasting arena. This morning, the social network is launching its first-ever podcast series with a new show focused on Twitter’s advertising business, which it’s calling “Character Count.” The company says, for now, it’s testing the waters with five already-produced episodes of around 25 to 30 minutes in length. It plans
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