Downtown Las Vegas Is the Great American Techtopia
Tony Hsieh, the charismatic founder of Zappos.com, invested $350 million into turning Las Vegas into a startup. Buying 60 acres, setting up his own school, his own medical clinic, his own venture fund and restaurants, Hsieh is creating an innovation city in his own image. It is strange. And it is struggling. But it's the most ambitious experiment in building a 21st century utopian city in the U.S. In this Re/code special series, we explore what it means to live there -- and why its startups could flourish, or fail.
CloudFlare Adds SSL To All Customers In Advance Of Google’s Focus On Security | TechCrunch
“We didn’t just enable basic SSL for free, we enabled cutting-edge cryptography and made it free and easy for anyone,” said Nick Sullivan, Security Engineering Lead at CloudFlare in a release. “The cryptographic systems we’re rolling out as part of Universal SSL are a generation ahead of what is used by even the top Internet giants. These certificates use elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) keys, ensuring all connections with CloudFlare sites have Perfect Forward Secrecy, and they are signed with ECDSA and the highly secure SHA-256 hash function. This is a level of cryptographic security most web administrators literally couldn’t buy.”
Virginian Reactor Will Test an Output-Boosting Fuel Design | MIT Technology Review
A new fuel rod design will be tested in a full-size reactor, but some worry it could bring fresh safety problems.
Why And How To Hire A Game Designer | TechCrunch
I think the best route is to approach it like dating. Rather than hire a game designer with a traditional interview approach, hire her on a consulting basis first. Start slow. Ask her to conduct a review of where the project is to sanity check it, but also get a sense of whether the fit seems right. Then ask to see some work on specific problems as identified, maybe working for an iteration or two. Through consulting that kind of relationship can be grown and the team can grow comfortable with this outsider rather than risking tension or an allergic reaction. The downside is that the designer will likely have other clients doing the same.
Facebook Ads Will Now Follow You No Matter What Device You're Using | WIRED
In an apparent dig at Google, Johnson writes that the method advertisers have traditionally used to track consumers—cookies—is flawed, because consumers are no longer using one device at all times. “Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world,” Johnson writes. He offers “people-based marketing,” that is, marketing based on Facebook’s data, as the solution. It can not only track users between devices, but it can also connect online campaigns to offline sales to determine how effective a given campaign really was.
How Your "Always Busy" Pace Is Ruining Your Decision-Making
Take a step back to examine your own strengths, areas of development, and your values system. “Most leaders don’t take sufficient time to step back and understand themselves,” says Cashman. One way to take this pause is to start each day by setting an intention for the day. Consider your priorities for the day and write down your top priorities for the day to keep you on track and focused on the bigger picture, and end each day by reflecting on how well you met your intentions.
Not all of Samsung's curved displays are gigantic
Want a curved display from Samsung but don't quite have the scratch to bring one of its gigantic models home? Maybe try the 27-inch S27D590C monitor on for size when it releases at some ambiguous point in the future. The firm seems to be targeting gamers specifically with the monitor, saying that the curve creates a wider field of view (178 degrees horizontally and vertically, if you're curious) and gives the screen a "3D-like" effect when you're playing shooters and racing games, among other genres. There's even a one-button game mode that makes a few adjustments to compensate for motion blur, color and contrast too. Unlike Dell's not-flat display , however, this one's limited to a paltry 1,920 x 1,080 lines of resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This'll probably be fine for us commoners, sure, but it might not be enough for the PC Master Race.
RetroArch authors: RetroN 5's emulators, code violate licenses
Hyperkin's RetroN 5 , a five-slot console that plays cartridges from the NES up to the GBA, violates several licenses, according to the group behind open-source project RetroArch. A post from the group claims that the RetroN 5 incorporates the Genesis Plus GX and SNES9x Next emulators, both of which are filed under non-commercial licenses that restrict them from being used in a commercial product.
The post also argues that the RetronN 5's use of open-source emulators FCEUmm (for NES games) and VBA Next (for GBA games) is problematic. Both emulators are licensed under General Public License version 2 (GPLv2), but the RetroN 5 uses GPLv3-grade code, which is technically incompatible with FCEUmm and VBA Next's coverage under GPLv2.
Lastly, the authors claim there are traces of RetroArch source code in the RetroN 5's frontend (the interface that users interact with). The RetroArch code appears to be licensed under GPLv3, which forbids TIVO-ization , the act of incorporating open-source/copyleft software in a locked-down piece of hardware that doesn't allow users freedoms granted by a license like the GPL.
Join us tomorrow for Microsoft’s Windows 9 event
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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ranked the world's best smartphone cameras
Yet they forgot to put in many of the newest flagship devices such as the LG G3, Motorola and the Note and a couple others. I would hope that the iPhone 6 camera is better then all those older phones but id like to see it compared to phones that are closer in age as it may be more accurate. I wonder who supplies them with the devices to test and compare? because it seems they intentionally left out some close competitors.
Apple’s iPhone 6 Has Finally Convinced Me To Ditch My Compact Camera | TechCrunch
It’s the low-light picture quality (without triggering the flash, this isn’t amateur night) that really seals the deal on this phone becoming my primary personal camera. For bar outings and nighttime gatherings, I’ve been a slave to carrying at least a large-sensor compact, first Canon’s S100 and then later the Sony RX-100 (first generation). These produced good results, without triggering the fun-time-ruining, in-camera flash — even in bars where it’s hard to make out the features of the person sitting next to you. But for all their size advantages over DSLRs and interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras, they’re still cumbersome, and they’re still an added gadget in addition to your phone.
Ferguson Protesters to Hong Kong: Stay Strong
FERGUSON, Missouri — Along with signs dedicated to Mike Brown, protesters in Ferguson on Sunday night also had banners of support for Hong Kong, where political demonstrations have turned the city into a scene of tear gas-fueled clashes .
Kevin Smith Says He Has Clerks 3 Financing Now - IGN
“A year and change ago, I was desperately trying to get Clerks III made for the 20th anniversary, and that desperation — I must have reeked of it because I couldn't [expletive] find money and [expletive],” Smith said. “But it was Tusk, people going, ‘Holy [expletive], what else do you have?’ and I was like Clerks III and they're like ‘Done.' So, everybody that's like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I'm like ‘Thank you, I failed into doing Clerks III.”
Free Windows 9 For Some Isn’t Too Crazy | TechCrunch
At some point, speculating about what will become quickly obvious is difficult. Still, on the cusp as we are of the release of the first preview of what may be called Windows 9, it’s reasonable to take a few notes of the latest rumor cycle: Will Windows 9 be free ?
'SNL' Spoofs Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda' in Skit With Chris Pratt [VIDEO]
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Is this the kitchen of the future?
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Taking A Ride With The Luminox P-38 Valjoux Automatic 9461 Chronograph | TechCrunch
This watch isn’t particularly unique – 7750s are all over the place these days – but it does offer something new from Luminox and the lume is excellent. While the design is derivative of the Omega Speedmaster and I’d love to see some luminescent tubes on the smaller hands, the price, size, and build quality are excellent. If you’re looking for a watch you can easily read in the dark, looks great, and won’t break the bank (much) then this P-38 is a mighty fine ship.
Living with the Moto G (2014): How good can a budget phone be?
The only modification Motorola makes is the addition of a few genuinely useful features -- essentially a scaled-down suite of what's available on the higher-end Moto X flagship. The new Moto G has Motorola's Assist app, for instance, which lets the phone recognize when you're driving, in a meeting, or at home and then modify its behavior accordingly -- but it doesn't have the X's always-on voice command system, which requires more resources than this device can offer.
AT&T is offering double data for its largest Mobile Share plans with new promotion
Now that's a ton of mobile data to burn through in a month, but the low prices might be good enough reason to join a large shared data plan with your friends or family to save some money. The new 30GB plan, which is the most interesting of the bunch, costs $130 per month, just $30 more than the carrier's oft-advertised 10GB for $100 plan. That's $4.33 per gigabyte compared to $25 for the 1GB plan. However, the double data is just a temporary promotion — you can only get it if you sign up by October 31st, though you'll be able to keep it for life once you're signed up. It's also worth noting that if you already have one of these plans, you will need to contact AT&T to get the double data upgrade.
Why it’s critical to find early customers outside of Silicon Valley
But the truth is, predictive analytics has been in use outside of the Valley for at least five years. Some of the earliest adopters of our predictive applications for marketing and sales were actually companies like Dell, PC Connection, SunTrust Bank, and Staples. They have a similar set of challenges to emerging tech companies — it’s about growth, whether capitalizing on market opportunity or needing to find new growth. What’s different is that they keep a much closer eye on justifying returns on investment and are much less likely to dabble with a technology just because it is cool. And they have a high level of complexity, not to mention massive amounts of data.
Adobe project brings Photoshop to Chrome, Chrome OS - CNET
Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription, which costs $50 per month for a one-year commitment, has been a mixed bag for Adobe since its introduction in 2012. Although 2.8 million customers so far have signed up for the top-end subscription or for cheaper $10 monthly plans just for Photoshop and Lightroom, plenty of other customers were angry when Adobe said new versions of its software will be available only through subscriptions. In contrast, with the earlier Creative Suite sales of perpetual licenses, customers paid more up front, but their software didn't stop working if they stopped paying.
Peter Thiel Talks to Digits, Part 2: The World Hates Tech
“The easiest way to see this is you just look at all the movies Hollywood makes,” he said. “They all show technology that doesn’t work; that kills people; that’s destroying the world, and you can choose between ‘Avatar,’ or ‘The Matrix,’ or ‘Terminator’ films.” (Mr. Thiel has previously lashed out at Hollywood, including criticizing how Silicon Valley was portrayed in the movie, “The Social Network”–which documents Facebook’s creation and Mr. Thiel’s part in it.)
GoPro’s New Entry-Level Hero Could Be The Category King | TechCrunch
GoPro has a new lineup of Hero cameras , including the next-gen Hero4 with fancy 4K video features and touchscreen back displays, but the introduction of a new entry-level Hero today could be what brings the action camera category to the next level. The Hero is similar to the “White” tier of devices GoPro has sold until now, but it’s especially cut-rate at just $130, and packs features the competition just can’t match, like integration into a waterproof housing and automatic low-light shooting mode optimizations.
As Protests Rage, These Dizzying Photos Show Life In One Of The World's Densest Cities
The series began after several trips to the city. "I started exploring alleyways and places like the infamous Chungking Mansions for a look at the grittier side of the city and its structures," Stewart says. "On a photowalk with a friend one day I was taken to one of the big public housing estates in Kowloon. … From there on, the fascination formed with photographing these structures."
Coca-Cola is adding Wi-Fi to its vending machines
How about some free Internet browsing with your ice cold beverage? Coca-Cola and British Telecom are teaming up to test out Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines in South Africa, hoping to bring invaluable online access to some of the poorest communities in the world. The scheme will start in two locations to begin with before rolling out further if it proves a success.
365Scores, An App To Keep Sports Fans In The Loop, Bags $5.5M In Fresh Funding | TechCrunch
Israeli startup 365Scores , which offers a fully localised mobile app to keep sports fans in the loop, has scored a funding round of its own. It’s raised $5.5 million from Russia’s LETA Capital, Israel’s Cedar Fund, Alexander Ayvazov’s Titanium Investments, and a number of unnamed private investors — adding to the previous $1.2 million Series A round raised in January last year.
5 Questions About Facebook’s New Ad-Targeting Program
Facebook Monday unveiled a revamped version of Atlas, the ad platform it acquired from Microsoft last year. The new Atlas will incorporate data from Facebook users to place ads. What does that mean?
A look at how Assassin Creed Unity’s co-op emphasizes customization
Assassin’s Creed Unity introduces an emphasis on cooperative play for the first time in the series’ history, and player customization is a big part of that. This new trailer takes a peek at how all of those systems fit together when up to four human players guide a marauding band of assassin’s through French Revolution-era Paris.
Xbox One finally debuts in China - CNET
While Microsoft strives to offer all the best games and entertainment content where Xbox One is sold, there may be certain games that are not available in certain territories from time to time. In China, our vision is to bring as much of the full Xbox One portfolio as possible. We are working hard to bring the content gamers want to see, while taking great care to meet regulatory standards. Critical to this effort is our strong local partnership with BesTV and our local and global relationships with developers.
This Is TechCrunch Radio On Sirius XM 102 Indie | TechCrunch
Last week, we discussed our first weeks with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While I’m more partial to the iPhone 6 (or even the 5s, in terms of size), John is truly excited about the new screen real estate on the iPhone 6 Plus, entirely comfortable with the much larger, thinner smartphone.
I snuggled with a stranger using new app Cuddlr, and my fellow cuddlee had a gun
There’s nothing you want to hear more when meeting a stranger you’re going to cuddle with than that they have a gun. I had never actually seen one in person, aside from on a cop’s holster, so she led me into the bedroom and took it out from its hiding place, discharging the holster before teaching me how to aim. As I held its weight in my hand, I thought – I am the world’s biggest idiot for walking into a stranger’s home. Sure, I had set up a safety system with my colleague to call the cops if she hadn’t heard from me, but a lot could happen before that.
Hong Kong Protests: Live Updates From the Pro-Democracy Demonstrations
A pro-democracy demonstrator gestures after police fired tear gas towards protesters near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)XAUME OLLEROS
Ello Users Experience Further Downtime After DDoS Attack | TechCrunch
The suddenly hip social networking site Ello experienced its first major outage today, suffering a Distributed Denial of Service attack that brought it down for approximately 45 minutes. The company says that it was able to fix the issue by blocking the IP addresses responsible for the attack.
Brooks Newmark scandal: Woman whose photo was hijacked by tabloid says MP 'did nothing wrong' - Telegraph
Mother whose picture was used to create fake Twitter 'honeytrap' profile
sympathises with disgraced minister and voices concern about tabloid
A Wearable Drone That Launches Off Your Wrist To Take Your Selfie | TechCrunch
“Oh man, this would make a great picture. I wish there was someone else here to take our picture for us so we didn’t have to take a selfie!”
Ken Shirriff's blog: Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper: 0.67 hashes per day
I decided to see how practical it would be to mine Bitcoin with pencil and paper.
It turns out that the SHA-256 algorithm used for mining is pretty simple and can in fact be done by hand. Not surprisingly, the process is extremely slow compared to hardware mining and is entirely impractical. But performing the algorithm manually is a good way to understand exactly how it works.
A pencil-and-paper round of SHA-256
The mining process
Bitcoin mining is a key part of the security of the Bitcoin system. The idea is that Bitcoin miners group a bunch of Bitcoin transactions into a block, then repeatedly perform a cryptographic operation called hashing zillions of times until someone finds a special extremely rare hash value. At this point, the block has been mined and becomes part of the Bitcoin block chain. The hashing task itself doesn't accomplish anything useful in itself, but because finding a successful block is so difficult, it ensures that no individual has the resources to take over the Bitcoin system. For more details on mining, see my Bitcoin mining article .
A cryptographic hash function takes a block of input data and creates a smaller, unpredictable output.
Apple iPhone 6 bending fears 'seem overblown'
Initial reports by users of bending iPhone 6 Plus phones were followed up by video tests displaying a bent 6 Plus. Some reviewers of the smartphone have also found that their iPhone 6 Plus phones were either bent initially or bent during the course of their testing. The Guardian has not seen bending during testing of the iPhone 6 Plus, though it was not carried in trouser pockets.
Vista Equity to buy Tibco Software for $4.3 billion
(Reuters) - Business software maker Tibco Software Inc ( TIBX.O ) on Monday agreed to be bought by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $4.3 billion, the latest software company to go private after becoming a target for activist investors.
CloudFlare reveals 'Universal SSL': Free, headache-free encryption for websites
Having encryption may not seem important to a small blog, but it’s critical to advancing the “encrypted-by-default future” of the Internet, according to CloudFlare. Every byte that’s protected makes life more difficult for those who wish to intercept, throttle, or censor the web, the company said in a blog post on Monday.
Hey Amazon Web Services: Time to open up
So when Jeff Barr opens that Amazon Web Services blog entry with "Today I’ve received a few questions about a maintenance update," it raises some red flags. No, Amazon isn't beholden to anybody to reveal more about AWS. And in total fairness, Amazon Web Services has really picked up its game with talking to the developers who make up its core audience with more local events and its Re:Invent conference. But some days, it seems like all we hear about Amazon Web Services are price cuts, outages, and bizarre server reboots. It doesn't always inspire a huge degree of trust. So maybe -- just maybe -- opening up a little bit wouldn't be the worst thing.
Garmin Vivosmart Review: Part Activity Tracker, Part Smartwatch, All Awesome | TechCrunch
Meet the Garmin Vivosmart . It’s a no-nonsense combination of an activity tracker and smartwatch. And that’s why I love the Vivosmart. It’s not flashy, but rather mundane. Utilitarian. It’s purpose-built and rugged but supremely enjoyable. The Garmin Vivosmart is the best fitness-focused activity tracker yet.
UK orders 'sharing economy' review - but workers need not apply
A number of companies have sprung up - mainly in Silicon Valley near San Francisco, California - to act as middlemen between those with such “surpluses” and would-be users. Airbnb connects people who want to rent out rooms or houses with those who want to rent them; TaskRabbit lets people outsource small jobs and tasks to others nearby through an auction system; Uber connects people with cars to people who want a car ride. The companies take a proportion of the value of each transaction in return for trying to guarantee certain quality levels of both providers and clients.
Idiots are destroying iPhones at Apple Stores to prove they can bend
For some people, apparently it's not enough to see Apple's iPhone 6 Plus abused on YouTube. They've got to experience mustering every last bit of their strength to bend Apple's 5.5-inch phablet firsthand. But unlike Unbox Therapy and Consumer Reports , who at least paid for the phones they broke or mutilated during stress tests, these people are going out and destroying Apple's property.
Apple Retina iMacs Could Be Coming Next Month, Cementing Our High-DPI Future | TechCrunch
The fact is the current resolution on Apple’s desktops probably still suits the needs of most. From the seated distance most use them at, they also won’t betray any particularly “low-res” visual assets like pixelation, but the jump up will afford a level of clarity that will make using your desktop similar to the experience of working with print-resolution images and documents. Still, while the future is definitely high-DPI, any Macs we see next month in this category will probably be aimed at higher-end consumers and professionals to begin with.
I like the iPhone 6 so much that I may not buy a new Android: Review
Then there’s the 1334 x 750 resolution display. It has the same 326 pixels per inch as last year’s iPhone 5s [BUT?] has 38 percent more viewing area, and my eyes have been crying for that extra screen space for a while now. I’m used to a 4.7-inch display, because the Moto X — my primary Android phone for 13 months (a record!) — uses the same size of screen. But even though it only has a slightly higher pixel count, the iPhone 6 display is noticeably better in terms of brightness, contrast and viewing angles. There are times when the screen output looks as if it’s painted on the glass, almost like it’s a still image and not a dynamic screen.
Google Now Adds Flight Price Tracking for Google Flight Users
Google has started rolling out a handy new card that tracks price drops in flights, presumably for flights that were considered but not booked. The card keeps it simple, showing the flight number, the new price and how much it's dropped, and itinerary. Then if you want to see more about the flight, you can click to be directed to Google Flights.
Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd: Our IP will help us win in the cloud
Hurd: I think it’s about the [intellectual property]. We bring to market what [Oracle customers] actually use in production [on-premises]. I think it’s difficult for a customer to say, I’m going to build something in the cloud and then convert that to another set of technologies. There are no conversions to do after you’ve built it. For PaaS, the real attractive part of the market is in [development and testing].
Solve Your BendGate Woes With This 3D Printed iPhone Case | TechCrunch
Did your surprisingly tight pants bend your iPhone 6 Plus? Did your bony butt ruin your iPhone 6? Did you place your iPhone into a vice and bend it with pliers? 3D printing can help!
Ello, Ello? New ‘No Ads’ Social Network Ello Is Blowing Up Right Now | TechCrunch
In March a new social network launched promising the opposite business model to Facebook, i.e. not selling ads based on user data and instead relying on, perhaps, paid premium features to keep going. Ello then sunk without a trace until, in the last 24-48 hours or so, activity on the site completely blew up. And this is a pretty basic social network with the bare minimum of features. Why? A combination of factors.
iPhone 6 bending: Common sense for an uncommon problem
This is a problem that exists that shouldn't exist at all. And now consumers are being encouraged to accept a major flaw and buy the phone with the possibility of it happening to them when they encounter an unexpected scenario. Square Trade and Consumer Reports must have mutually beneficial ties with Apple. The figures you are basing your argument on were reported by Apple. Do you really believe that 6 days is even an adequate cross section for "real world use" over the entire life of a phone? As you wrote, time will certainly tell. However, there is enough evidence out there right now to suggest that this is a defect. You have to look at where you get your information and the behavior of those companies and media outlets over time. It hasn't taken very long to notice a pattern of behavior that has encouraged everyone to sweep this under the rug rather than think about what it means to accept the flaw's existence as a perfectly normal part of owning the phone. That is unacceptable. Apple should be held accountable for everyone's sake. This kind of an error at this stage of development in this industry should be corrected swiftly, not left to dissatisfy consumers out in the wild.