John Biggs

Virtual reality makes food taste better

Virtual reality makes food taste better

In another example of VR bleeding into real life, Cornell University food scientists found that cheese eaten in pleasant VR surroundings tasted better than the same cheese eaten in a drab sensory booth. About 50 panelists who used virtual reality headsets as they ate were given three identical samples of blue cheese. The study participants […]

 John Biggs

Proxxi saves workers from getting electrocuted

Proxxi saves workers from getting electrocuted

There are some gadgets that are nice to have – iPhones, sous vide wands – and some gadgets that you must have. Proxxi fits in the latter camp. Proxxi is an always-on sensor that buzzes when it gets too close to high voltage electricity. It’s worn by mechanics and electricians and alerts them when they’re […]

 John Biggs

The new normal

The new normal

When we first started writing about startups at TechCrunch the idea of a startup – a small business with global ambitions – was a pipe dream. How could a side hustle like Twitter turn into a mouthpiece for heroes and villains? How could a video uploading service like YouTube destroy the media industry? How could […]

 John Biggs

This robot uses lasers to ‘listen’ to its environment

This robot uses lasers to ‘listen’ to its environment

A new technology from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University will add sound and vibration awareness to create truly context-aware computing. The system, called Ubicoustics, adds additional bits of context to smart device interaction, allowing a smart speaker to know it’s in a kitchen or a smart sensor to know you’re in a tunnel versus on […]

 John Biggs

Want to reduce fraud? Make a better password, dummy!

Want to reduce fraud? Make a better password, dummy!

Researchers at Indiana University have confirmed that stringent password policies – aside from being really annoying – actually work. The research, led by Ph.D. student Jacob Abbott, IU CIO Daniel Calarco, and professor L. Jean Camp. They published their findings in a paper entitled “Factors Influencing Password Reuse: A Case Study.” “Our paper shows that […]

 John Biggs

SpankChain spanked

SpankChain spanked

SpankChain, a cryptocurrency aimed at decentralized sex cams, has announced that a hacker stole about $38,000 from their payment channel thanks to a broken smart contract. They wrote: At 6pm PST Saturday, an unknown attacker drained 165.38 ETH (~$38,000) from our payment channel smart contract which also resulted in $4,000 worth of BOOTY on the […]

 John Biggs

Watch Shimon the marimba-playing robot play along to jazz, reggae, and hip hop

Watch Shimon the marimba-playing robot play along to jazz, reggae, and hip hop

Shimon is a marbima-playing robot with some real soul. This crazy little robot, created by Gil Weinberg at the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, can listen to the other players around it and play out little ditties in response to the music. In short, it’s the world’s best jazz and hip hop collaborator because, […]

 John Biggs

The Hack Fund will use crypto to give startups early liquidity

The Hack Fund will use crypto to give startups early liquidity

Now that “utility” tokens have become a popular and international way to fund major blockchain projects, a pair of investors are creating a new way to turn tokens into true equities. The investors, Jonathan Nelson and Laura Nelson, have created Hack Fund, an early stage investment vehicle that allows startups to launch what amounts to […]

 John Biggs

Humbition is a new fund led by the Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin

Humbition is a new fund led by the Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin

Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi and Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin have created a new $30 million fund called Humbition aimed at early stage, founder-led companies in New York. “The fund is focused on connecting startups with investors and advisors experienced in building and growing successful businesses,” said Rubin. “We are seeking to fill a void in […]

 John Biggs

D-Wave offers the first public access to a quantum computer

D-Wave offers the first public access to a quantum computer

Outside the crop of construction cranes that now dot Vancouver’s bright, downtown greenways, in a suburban business park that reminds you more of dentists and tax preparers, is a small office building belonging to D-Wave. This office — squat, angular and sun-dappled one recent cool Autumn morning — is unique in that it contains an […]

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