Only 3 days left to save big on Disrupt SF tickets

Time to pay attention, would-be Disrupt SF 2017 attendees. Time is quickly running out if you want to get your hands on some deeply discounted tickets to the best startup show in the Bay Area. Now through Friday, August 18, tickets will run you just $1,995 each, a cool $1,000 off the final retail price.

Disrupt SF 2017 is shaping up to be one of the best Disrupts yet. We’ve got some amazing speakers lined up for a series of lectures and interviews — folks like Bitcoin Magazine co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Zume Pizza co-founder and co-CEO Julia Collins and Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, to name just a few.

In addition to these incredible interviews, Disrupt attendees will get to check out hundreds of new, early-stage startups that will be on display in Startup Alley, pitching their products and services to the thousands of people wandering the show floor.

Then there’s the read more

Nielsen announces new division unit to measure e-sports sponsorships

Another sign that e-sports are turning into a big business: Nielsen is launching a new division focused providing research and consulting to the industry.

The measurement firm already has a unit focused on gaming — in fact, Nicole Pike, Nielsen’s vice president of gaming, said Nielsen Esports was created in response to growing interest from the firm’s gaming clients. One of the biggest opportunities, Pike said, lies in measuring the value of e-sports sponsorships.

“It’s clear that there’s is a gap in the e-sports industry,” she said. “There’s a huge opportunity for there to be some solid metrics.”

To provide those metrics, Nielsen is drawing on its previous work evaluating sports sponsorships. This new team will sit at the intersection of the firm’s gaming and sports units, with Pike leading the research side and Stephen Master, managing director of Nielsen Sports North America, heading the commercial side.

The firm has already developed a sponsorship tracking read more

Confirmed: Color Genomics is in the final stages of an $80 million Series C financing round

Genetic health screening startup Color Genomics is in the final stages of allocations for an $80 million Series C financing round, TechCrunch has confirmed with the company.

Axios first spotted Color had raised $52 million so far in a recent SEC filing. The company has since told TechCrunch it will soon be closing on $80 million in financing led by General Catalyst, which led Color’s previous Series B round.

Other investors in this latest round include Laurene Powell Job’s Emerson Collective and CRV.

Color is similar to other genetics startups, like 23andMe and Ancestry, in that it provides information to you based on the DNA given in a spit tube test. It’s main focus has been in providing a series of genetic cancer screenings in an at-home kit.

The company recently launched a test for hereditary high cholesterol as an indication for possible read more

Uber’s new head of Asia is a former Goldman exec who once climbed Mount Everest

Regular run-ins with government regulators and battles with well-funded local rivals have made Asia challenging terrain for Uber. The challenge is such that it’s fitting that the U.S. ride-sharing giant has hired a man who once scaled the summit of Mount Everest to lead its business in the region.

Brooks Entwistle, a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Southeast Asia, was announced today as Uber’s Chief Business Officer, Asia Pacific.

“After twenty years working in Asia, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity of shaping how the region moves over the next twenty,” Entwistle, who joins Uber from PE firm The Everstone Group, said in a statement.

In the role he’ll be responsible for business development, corporate development and marketing across Asia, excluding India and China, the latter being a market where Uber is no longer present. Interestingly, Uber said Entwistle will have a focus on “autonomous vehicle alliances.” While Uber has made progress on self-driving cars read more

Run to the rock

The past week has been a tough one for lovers of freedom. Slippery slopes have been slid down and a side of the human mind that once remained in shadow has reared its head. Charlottesville is just the first step down a dark road.

In real life, on the public square, our support of freedom of speech and public assembly – a freedom that has long helped hater and lover alike – is in question. Do we open our squares to men who will fight equality? Do we unlock our school grounds so that fear can reign? Do we simply close our windows on loudspeakers calling out for genocide or do we act? I don’t have an answer, but sunlight has always been the best antiseptic and seeing most of these groups on a bare parade ground lays bare their insignificance.

But what do you about the Internet where everything is shadow hiding inside corporate iron? The Internet is a utility, to a degree, but not one whose sanctity is guaranteed to us by some holy writ. We send bits over corporate networks onto read more

Tim Cook says he ‘disagrees’ with Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville violence

Apple CEO Tim Cook has criticized U.S. President Trump’s reaction to the violent events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one woman dead.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” Cook wrote in an email to staff that was obtained by TechCrunch.

Cook previously tweeted that America must “stand against” white supremacy and racist violence, and he revealed that Apple will make $1 million donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

The company will also match two-for-one employee donations, and introduce a donation option within iTunes soon.

“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History read more

Crunch Report | Apple Spending $1 Billion on Original Content

Crunch Report | Apple Spending $1 Billion on Original Content

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Tech is not winning the battle against white supremacy

Content warning: This post contains racial slurs, homophobic language and very graphic depictions of racism and violence. 

If you were just paying attention to press releases, this week it’d be easy to believe that tech companies are winning the war on hate. Responding to the violence in Charlottesville, Mark Zuckerberg solemnly reflected that there is “no place for hate in our community.” Snapchat announced that hate speech, “will never be tolerated” on its platform. YouTube reassured us that helpful tools are on the way. Tech companies fled Trump’s dual business councils to protest his claim that some white supremacists are “very fine people.”

In other headlines, a coalition of web providers made a controversial and unprecedented choice to yank their services out from under the Daily Stormer, a white read more

Digital Ocean and Cloudflare ditch neo-Nazi client, The Daily Stormer

Following the violent far right demonstrations in Charlottesville at the weekend, another two web services companies have terminated their business relationships with the Nazi propaganda website, The Daily Stormer.

The Daily Stormer, which spews racist, gender-based and homophobic hate speech on a daily basis, was used as a platform to help organize a violent white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville — and, afterwards, to celebrate the killing of anti-fascist protestor Heather Heyer, who died after a far right supporter drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors.

Earlier today cloud hosting platform Digital Ocean was publicly called out on Twitter for providing services to both The Daily Stormer and pro-hate speech crowdfunding platform Hatreon.

The latter has been embraced by the self-styled “alt-right” on account of its lack of hate speech guidelines. Other similar fundraising services, including Patreon and PayPal, do have terms of service prohibiting hate read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 refurbished batteries get recalled due to overheating concerns

This is probably the last bit of news Samsung wanted to pop up in headlines in the weeks leading up to the Note 8 launch. Though, to be fair, this latest battery recall isn’t actually on Samsung.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for refurbished Galaxy Note 4 batteries. While the news has undeniable echoes of last year’s massive Note 7 disaster, this time out, the fault appears to fall at the feet of potentially counterfeited batteries supplied by FedEx.

As the company noted in a statement to TechCrunch, “FedEx Supply Chain handles more than the transportation of these devices. We deliver technology-based solutions for customers that include repair, refurbishment and testing.”

The batteries in question were installed in refurbished AT&T Note 4 units. The scale is much smaller than last year’s issues, impacting a little over 10,000 units, and thus far no injuries or property damage has been reported. Instead, there’s read more