Facebook Portal needs more. At least it just added YouTube

To offset the creepiness of having Facebook’s camera and microphone in your house, its new Portal video chat gadget needs best-in-class software.  Its hardware is remarkably well done, plus Messenger and the photo frame feature work great. But its third-party app platform was pretty skimpy when the device launched this week. Facebook is increasingly relying […]

Amazon expands its assortment of Apple inventory, including the latest devices

Amazon has signed a new deal with Apple that will allow the retailer to increase the selection of Apple products on its site, according to a report from CNET, which Amazon also confirmed. The deal will give Apple-authorized resellers the ability to sell a wide range of devices on Amazon — including Apple’s recently launched […]

Dynamic Yield, which builds Amazon-like personalisation for the rest of us, raises $38M

Amazon, one of the world’s largest companies, has transformed the face of commerce in part because it has managed at once to be “The Everything Store” but still with a route into its sea of products that, for most users, surfaces what they might most want to see (and importantly buy or consume). That kind […]

Apple, Amazon, Google and others sign letter opposing Trump’s attempt to redefine gender

A list of 50-plus companies, including some of tech’s top names, joined forces this week to pen a letter calling out the Trump administration over a reported plan to narrow gender definitions. Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and more drafted the letter (full text below) in response to a recent New York Times story […]

Sonos delays Google Assistant integration until 2019, private beta to launch in 2018

Sonos today announced that Google Assistant will not be available on its products until at least 2019. The service was supposed to launch in 2018 but the company said in a blog posting it needs a bit more time. Additional information about timing will be released in early 2019, Sonos says. Eager customers can sign […]

Forget Watson, the Red Hat acquisition may be the thing that saves IBM

With its latest $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, IBM may have found something more elementary than “Watson” to save its flagging business. Though the acquisition of Red Hat  is by no means a guaranteed victory for the Armonk, N.Y.-based computing company that has had more downs than ups over the five years, it seems […]

Confirmed: ShopRunner acquires Spring, raises $40M

ShopRunner chief executive Sam Yagan conquered the online dating world. Can he conquer the e-commerce world, too? Hot off the heels of its first profitable year, ShopRunner is announcing its first infusion of venture funding under Yagan, an acquisition of the shopping app Spring and, sources tell TechCrunch, it’s readying a major overhaul to its mobile […]

Amazon Alexa goes AWOL for many users

Some Amazon Alexa users are currently having problems reaching the voice assistant. Instead of reacting to commands, Alexa simply says “sorry, something went wrong.” Amazon hasn’t commented publicly yet on the issue. Based on tweets and Down Detector, users began having trouble reaching Alexa around 7AM PST. While some had their connection issues resolved quickly, […]

Lyft speeds ahead with its autonomous initiatives

Lyft, the transportation on demand company that is heading to a $15 billion IPO in 2019, is racing ahead with its autonomous vehicle plans. TechCrunch has learned that it is acquiring the London-based augmented reality startup Blue Vision Labs and unveiling its first test vehicle to advance its vision for self-driving cars. The first car from […]

Smart home makers hoard your data, but won’t say if the police come for it

A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These days, it’s near impossible to avoid a non-smart home gadget, and they’re vacuuming up a ton of new data that we’d never normally think about. Thermostats know the temperature of your house, and smart cameras […]