Kairos founder countersues his own company for $10 million

The turmoil continues at facial recognition startup Kairos. Last night, Kairos founder Brian Brackeen filed a counter lawsuit against Kairos and its interim CEO Melissa Doval that seeks $10 million in damages. Kairos is a facial recognition startup that has become well-known for its stance to never sell to law enforcement. At Disrupt SF 2018, […]

Pitching a $99 tax advisory service for the masses, Visor has raised $9 million

The only sure things in this life, according to Ben Franklin, are death and taxes. And a new startup called Visor has just raised $9 million in financing to make one of them as painless as possible. Unlike Nectome, Visor won’t kill anyone, but it may ring the death knell for the high-end tax advisors that most Americans […]

Facebook Messenger is building a ‘Watch Videos Together’ feature

Netflix and chill from afar? Facebook Messenger is now internally testing simultaneous co-viewing of videos. That means you and your favorite people could watch a synchronized video over group chat on your respective devices while discussing or joking about it. This “Watch Videos Together” feature could make you spend more time on Facebook Messenger while […]

Facebook has other ties to Definers, the GOP-led opposition research group

In the wake of a fairly catastrophic behind the scenes glimpse into Facebook’s high-level decision making, one question remains: Who brought a controversial Republican opposition research firm into the fold? In a long call with reporters on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg denied any knowledge of his company’s own dealings with Definers Public Affairs, the firm in […]

Sheryl Sandberg claims she didn’t know Facebook hired agency behind ‘abhorrent’ anti-Soros campaign

Sheryl Sandberg has denied that she obstructed early investigations into election meddling and claimed that she was unaware Facebook was involved with an agency that ran “abhorrent” anti-Semitic campaigns that targeted George Soros, among others. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, with more than 2.2 billion users, spent Thursday doing its best to fight a media relations forest […]

Cassette decks from Crosley take aim at tape-hoarding nostalgia-seekers

Crosley, makers of the “good enough” record players you see in Urban Outfitters and Target, have turned their retro novelty eye on the next obvious format: cassettes. These two new decks from the company have all the latest features from 1985, but also a handful of modern conveniences. Let’s get one thing clear at the […]

Facebook will change algorithm to demote “borderline content” that almost violates policies

Facebook will changed its News Feed algorithm to demote content that comes close to violating its policies prohibiting misinformation, hate speech, violence, bullying, clickbait so it’s seen by fewer people even it’s highly engaging. The change could massively reduce the reach of incendiary political groups, fake news peddlers, and more of the worst stuff on […]

Zuckerberg denies knowledge of Facebook’s work with GOP opposition research firm

Today in a call with reporters preceded by a frantic if fairly uneventful distraction-pushing media blitz, Facebook responded to a damning New York Times story published yesterday that cited interviews with more than 50 sources privy to Facebook’s decision making. The call kicked off with the operator’s suggestion that Facebook is “happy to take a […]

Facebook will pass off content policy appeals to a new independent oversight body

Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of decency when it comes to content policy decisions, similar to how it looked to third-party fact checkers rather than becoming an arbiter of truth. Today on a press call with journalists, Mark Zuckerberg announced that a new external oversight committee would be created in 2019 to handle […]

What the FDA’s restriction of e-cig flavors means for Juul

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed his plans to combat underage use of e-cigs and nicotine, which has grown 78 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018. The commissioner today announced a plan that would remove all flavored electronic nicotine delivery system products — with the exception of tobacco, mint, menthol or non-flavored […]