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watch this racing drone set the guinness world record for fastest drone

a 1.76 pound drone can now move faster than a tesla at top speed in ludicrous mode.yesterday, the drone racing league set the guinness world record for fastest drone, or the category of “fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled quadcopter.” called the drl racer x, the drone can fly at a top speed of 179.6 mph.the test was done in a field outside of new york city – with an official guinness world records adjudicator on hand to verify the speed. the drone was clocked flying back and forth across a 100 meter long field – with the official record being the average of the top speed from each trial. so the official world record ended up being 163.5 mph.there was no prior record for this category – but guinness mandated that the minimum speed requirement would need to be 128 mph in order to be included in the record book.the drone used to set the record isn’t the same one used in races. the drone used in the league’s races is called the racer3, and has a top speed of 85 mph. however, this prototype racerx is built on the same core platform as the racer3, meaning one day the startup may be able to mass produce a drone as fast as the racer x that can be reliably used in official races.but for now, the prototype drone (which has propellers that spin at 46,000 rpms) was just built to break the record and show off the future potential of drl drones. case in point – during one of the trials a prototype racerx set on fire while hitting the highest point...





google’s life sciences unit is releasing 20 million bacteria-infected mosquitoes in fresno

verily, the life science’s arm of google’s parent company alphabet, has hatched a plan to release about 20 million lab-made, bacteria-infected mosquitoes upon fresno, california — and that’s a good thing!you see, the zika-carrying aedes aegypti mosquito is prevalent in the area. earlier this year, a woman contracted the first confirmed case of zika in fresno through sexual contact with a partner who had been traveling. now there’s the fear of the inevitable mosquito-meets-patient if we don’t do something about it. verily’s plan, called the debug project, hopes to now wipe out this potential zika-carrying mosquito population to prevent further infections.could messing with the mosquito population have some unforeseen disastrous consequences? not likely. this particular mosquito species entered the area in 2013.so what’s the plan to get rid of them? verily’s male mosquitoes were infected with the wolbachia bacteria, which is harmless to humans, but when they mate with and infect their female counterparts, it makes their eggs unable to produce offspring.bonus, male mosquitoes don’t bite, so fresno residents won’t have to worry about itching more than they usually would.no word from the company on how much something like this will cost, but linus upson, an engineer on the team releasing the mosquitoes, told mit technology review the company planned to do something similar in australia next.“we want to show this can work in different kinds of environments,





crunch report | fastest drone ever world record set

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uber acqui-hires social app studio swipe labs

why would uber buy a team that builds snapchat competitors? to make its driver app feel more human. uber has acqui-hired swipe labs, the social product studio run by marwan roushdy. he and a selection of engineers from the dozen-person startup will join uber to work on the driver experience within the driver earnings team. a source from the venture capital industry described the deal to techcrunch as “definitely acquihire. they were running out of cash,” rather than being a lucrative acquisition.over the past four years it had raised $8.2 million and built four apps for sharing photos, videos and group texts. but while the terms of the acqui-hire weren’t disclosed, the deal’s valuation is almost surely much less than the $56 million valuation swipe labs scored with a $5.6 million late-2014 series a from first round, lowercase, sherpa and now-disgraced binary capital. that’s the risk of investing in early-stage social startups: the odds are against them ever capturing lightning in a bottle and growing huge.swipe labs co-founders marwan roushdy and addison hardy (from left)swipe’s founders roushdy and addison hardy met while working at now-defunct social map app connect. they set off to launch a furniture rental startup called fonzy but that flopped. the two managed to raise a seed round to build tag for privately sharing photos with groups of friends, and it too never gained traction.but the duo took the ideas and built them into swipe, which lets you post photos a...





microsoft’s path guide is an unconventional approach to indoor navigation

indoor mapping is one of those stubborn problems that seems to only have solutions that involve a great deal of money and infrastructure: beacons, lasers, emitters, scanners… who wants to install those in malls and office complexes across the world? microsoft research has produced an indoor navigation app that keeps things simple, utilizing existing sensors and the fact that people already go most of the places you want to go.path guide is an app currently available only on android that focuses on the navigation part of indoor mapping. it makes no attempt to visualize the entire volume in which the user is traveling, but trusts other users to create “traces” to and from static locations.it uses the sensors already in the phone, from accelerometers (to count steps) to magnetometers (to sense the general area where one is starting). no need for gps, wireless beacons or anything like that.for example, one trace might take you from the front entrance of the office building to a certain meeting room on the 12th floor. someone would open the app while in the lobby, start the trace then walk normally to the room. the next person would follow that trace, which has been processed and rendered into basic navigational stages: “in 20 steps, take a right,” that sort of thing.the trace creator can augment the path with notes, images and voice recordings in case there are pins, secret doors or spoken passwords. traces can be capsulized and sent in emails as well, for people who do...





this 32-year-old state senator is trying to get patent trolls out of massachusetts

when the internet security company cloudflare decided to engage in all-out war with what it calls a “dangerous new breed of patent troll,” it found a receptive audience with eric lesser, who became the youngest state senator in massachusetts when elected to office in 2014.senator lesser, now a 32-year-old in his second two-year-term, was in the same harvard fraternity as facebook ceo mark zuckerberg, but says he didn’t really think much about tech until after working on president obama’s first presidential election campaign in 2007. “i was traveling around with him and carrying suitcases and handling logistics for his traveling team,” he explains.when the campaign was over, he joined then-senior advisor david axelrod at the white house as a special assistant; he also became involved with the council of economic advisors and more specifically with the agency’s chairman at the time, economist austan goolsbee. “that’s really when i started to get exposure to a lot of tech policy and some of the issues,” he says.fast-forward and today, among the issues senator lesser has become most focused on — because he sees it as among the bigger threats to massachusetts’s economy — is patent trolling. indeed, while he’s not sure how much he can do to help cloudflare, which has a boston office, a bill that senator lesser helped craft will be heard in committee next tuesday, and it would put a serious crimp in what he calls “shakedown operations” more broadly.mo...





betterworks and ceo sued by ex-employee for alleged sexually suggestive assault

beatrice kim is suing her former employer, betterworks, and its ceo kris duggan for allegedly assaulting her in a sexual manner during a company retreat. the lawsuit also implicates the performance management software startup’s regional vp matt hart and vp of people operations tamara cooksey for allowing sexual harassment in the workplace and not taking action against duggan after the alleged assault was reported to the company.kim is suing over sexual harassment and discrimination, assault and battery, demanding a jury trial, kim’s lawyer conor d. mack of arena hoffman llp told techcrunch,“as described in the verified complaint, we intend to prove that betterworks ceo kris duggan assaulted plaintiff bea kim in a sexually suggestive manner, ignoring her protests and attempts to free herself from duggan until a co-worker had to physically intervene. we also intend to prove that betterworks fosters a hostile and discriminatory work environment for women by tacitly endorsing and actively covering up abusive misconduct by members of senior management.” techcrunch reached out to betterworks for comment. ceo kris duggan called techcrunch, but only gave the on-the-record statement that “we are not commenting on any pending litigation.”betterworks co-founder and ceo kris dugganduggan co-founded betterworks in 2013 to create enterprise software so a company’s employees could set and track performance goals. betterworks has raised $35 million from investors, including ...





scout it out is a new york marketplace for arts spaces

anyone who’s tried to do anything artistic in new york city knows that one of the toughest things to do is find a space to make the things they want to make or do the things they want to do.(hello 2001-era-would-be-found-sculptor-me).well, a new service called scout it out has launched in the city that never sleeps to provide would-be artists, directors, actors, interpretive dancers and anybody else with spaces they can use to fulfill their procreant urges.it’s a hard business to crack. several companies have launched to try to find creative ways to connect unused real estate with potential short-term renters, but so far the businesses haven’t stuck.scout it out has the benefit of being founded by three women with deep experience in technology and the singular joy of grappling with the new york arts scene.kendra curtis, a 15-year veteran of google inc. and an aspiring actor who got bit by the showbiz bug when she moved to new york in 2008 is the chief executive officer of the young company, whose founding team also includes noël neeb, chief operating officer, and a morgan stanley control analyst of 15 years who’s also a director and producer, and finally rachel mckinney, the company’s chief design officer, a new york-based actress.spaces range from a 72-square-foot space in the bloomingdale school of music to 5,400 square feet in the event space the muse.the business, which co-founder neeb says provides an opportunity for arts spaces to make additional money when ...





microsoft’s path guide is an unconventional approach to indoor navigation

indoor mapping is one of those stubborn problems that seems to only have solutions that involve a great deal of money and infrastructure: beacons, lasers, emitters, scanners… who wants to install those in malls and office complexes across the world? microsoft research has produced an indoor navigation app that keeps things simple, utilizing existing sensors and the fact that people already go most of the places you want to go.path guide is an app currently available only on android that focuses on the navigation part of indoor mapping. it makes no attempt to visualize the entire volume in which the user is traveling, but trusts other users to create “traces” to and from static locations.it uses the sensors already in the phone, from accelerometers (to count steps) to magnetometers (to sense the general area where one is starting). no need for gps, wireless beacons, or anything like that.for example, one trace might take you from the front entrance of the office building to a certain meeting room on the 12th floor. someone would open the app while in the lobby, start the trace, then walk normally to the room. the next person would follow that trace, which has been processed and rendered into basic navigational stages: “in 20 steps, take a right,” that sort of thing.the trace creator can augment the path with notes, images, and voice recordings in case there are pins, secret doors, or spoken passwords. traces can be capsulized and sent in emails as well, for people wh...





this 32-year-old state senator is trying to get patent trolls out of massachusetts

when the internet security company cloudflare decided to engage in all-out war with what it calls a “dangerous new breed of patent troll,” it found a receptive audience with eric lesser, who became the youngest state senator in massachusetts when elected to office in 2014.senator lesser, now a 32-year-old in his second two-year-term, was in the same harvard fraternity as facebook ceo mark zuckerberg but says he didn’t really think much about tech until after working on president obama’s first presidential election campaign in 2007. “i was traveling around with him and carrying suitcases and handling logistics for his traveling team,” he explains.when the campaign was over, he joined then-senior advisor david alexrod at the white house as a special assistant; he also became involved with the council of economic advisors and more specifically with the agency’s chairman at the time, economist austan goolsbee. “that’s really when i started to get exposure to a lot of tech policy and some of the issues,” he says.fast forward and today, among the issues senator lesser has become most focused on — because he sees it as among the bigger threats to massachusetts’s economy — is patent trolling. indeed, while he’s not sure how much he can do to help cloudflare, which has a boston office, a bill that senator lesser helped craft will be heard in committee next tuesday, and it would put a serious crimp in what he calls “shakedown operations” more broadly.mor...





is amazon working on a new messaging app called anytime?

messaging apps today are one of the most popular ways consumers communicate today, not just with each other but, increasingly, with businesses and services. now there are signs that we could see another big player enter the messaging fray, alongside more established services from facebook, snapchat, wechat and more.amazon appears to be sounding out the market on a new service called anytime, a full-featured, standalone messaging app for smartphones, tablets, pcs and smart watches designed to let people chat with text and video, send each other fun photos with filters, play games and engage with other amazon services like music and food ordering (and other shopping), and interact with businesses.the company has been running a survey getting feedback on the new app, according to aftv news, which has published screenshots detailing the anytime name and some of the features, provided by a user who claimed to have received the survey.the description in the survey notes that the app would also allow people to connect to each other without needing to know their phone numbers — a common connector among other messaging apps like whatsapp or viber. “reach all your friends just using their name. no numbers needed,” it notes.one thing to flag is that one of the survey’s pages shared by aftv also contains a typo in a section describing privacy on the app: “keep chats private and encryt important messages,” it reads. this could point to this either not being a real survey from ...





betterworks and ceo sued by ex-employee for alleged sexually suggestive assault

beatrice kim is suing her former employer betterworks and its ceo kris duggan for allegedly assaulting her in a sexual manner during a company retreat. the lawsuit also implicates the performance management software startup, regional vp matt hart, and vp of people operations tamara cooksey for allowing sexual harassment in the workplace and not taking action against duggan after the alleged assault was reported to the company.kim is suing over sexual harassment and discrimination, assault, and battery, demanding a jury trial. kim’s lawyer conor d. mack of arena hoffman llp told techcrunch,“as described in the verified complaint, we intend to prove that betterworks ceo kris duggan assaulted plaintiff bea kim in a sexually suggestive manner, ignoring her protests and attempts to free herself from duggan until a co-worker had to physically intervene.  we also intend to prove that betterworks fosters a hostile and discriminatory work environment for women by tacitly endorsing and actively covering up abusive misconduct by members of senior management.” techcrunch reached out to betterworks for comment. ceo kris duggan called techcrunch, but only gave the on-the-record statement that “we are not commenting on any pending litigation.”betterworks co-founder and ceo kris dugganduggan co-founded betterworks in 2013 to create enterprise software so a company’s employees could set and track performance goals. betterworks has raised $35 million from investors including k...





adquick raises $1.1m to bring online tools to outdoor advertising

adquick is looking to make billboard advertising easier and more transparent.the startup is announcing that it has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from initialized capital (founded by former y combinator partners garry tan and alexis ohanian), vtf capital (founded by tony hsieh of zappos) and haystack ventures.adquick founder matthew o’connor said he ran into the billboard ad world repeatedly while working at startups, including instacart. each time, he found himself “perplexed at why it’s so hard to find and buy outdoor advertising.”he said it’s a buying process that’s still dominated by email, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations, and where ad-buyers rarely get a clear sense of what all their options are — or whether their campaigns are actually paying off.other companies, including adstruc and adsemble, have also tried to bring more of the process online, but o’connor argued that even compared to these competitors, adquick is taking more of a “technology-first” approach.similarly, in a blog post announcing initialized’s investment, ohanian (who’s done some outdoor advertising himself) wrote, “we’ve seen pitches for this business for almost a decade, but this was easily the most impressive technical execution and at a remarkably early stage.” what does that technology entail? well, on the ad-buying side, adquick aggregates inventory from a variety of different companies. the goal is to give buyers a comprehensive view of their options...





google’s life sciences unit is releasing 20 million bacteria-infected mosquitoes in fresno

verily, the life science’s arm of google’s parent company alphabet, has hatched a plan to release about 20 million lab-made, bacteria-infected mosquitoes upon fresno, california — and that’s a good thing!you see, the zika-carrying aedes aegypti mosquito is prevalent in the area. earlier this year, a woman contracted the first confirmed case of zika in fresno through sexual contact with a partner who had been traveling. now there’s the fear of most likely inevitable mosquito-meets-patient if we don’t do something about it. verily’s plan, called the debug project, hopes to now wipe out this potential zika-carrying mosquito population to prevent further infections.could messing with the mosquito population have some unforeseen disastrous consequences? not likely. this particular mosquito species entered the area in 2013.so what’s the plan to get rid of them? verily’s male mosquitoes were infected with the wolbachia bacteria, which is harmless to humans, but when they mate with and infect their female counterparts, it makes their eggs unable to produce offspring.bonus, male mosquitoes don’t bite, so fresno residents won’t have to worry about itching more than they usually would.no word from the company on how much something like this will cost, but linus upson, an engineer on the team releasing the mosquitoes, told mit technology review the company planned to do something similar in australia next.“we want to show this can work in different kinds of enviro...





light starts shipping the l16, its 16-camera pocket dslr challenger

light’s l16 was a radical design concept when it was originally introduced in october, 2015 — but the concept has become a reality, as the company is now shipping the first production units to its pre-order customers. the final design is quite similar to the concept it showed off back then, with a few minor tweaks, and, despite some setbacks, customers are probably excited to get their hands on the innovative shooter.the light l16 is so-named because it has 16 camera modules, and it combines images from multiple modules at once to create images with greater depth, clarity, detail, color rendering and general quality than you’d otherwise be able to get out of a device that’s essentially the size of a thick smartphone. the l16’s sample images show depth-of-field and sharpness that would leave many dslrs in the dust, in fact, which is the whole idea of the multi-module array.to get here, light had to build its own application-specific integrated circuit (asic) chips, and create its own 70mm and 150mm camera modules, since those focal lengths weren’t yet available from suppliers that typically create much wider angle lenses for use in smartphones, as those are a better fit with the photographic needs of most customers.juan_cruz_7_11_2017-edit-2l16_00186-edit-editsuperbloom_d-0790_l16_00070-edit-2 view slideshowpreviousnextexitlight also notes it had to create its own image-fusing algorithms to combine all the images captured from the discrete units, and to do so quic...





scoutitout is a new york marketplace for arts spaces

anyone who’s tried to do anything  artistic in new york city knows that one of the toughest things to do is find a space to make the things they want to make or do the things they want to do.(hello 2001-era-would-be-found-sculptor-me).well, a new service called scoutitout has launched in the city that never sleeps to provide would-be artists, directors, actors, interpretive dancers and anybody else with spaces they can use to fulfill their procreant urges.it’s a hard business to crack. several companies have launched to try and find creative ways to connect unused real estate with potential short-term renters, but so far the businesses haven’t stuck.scoutitout has the benefit of being founded by three women with deep experience in technology and the singular joy of grappling with the new york arts scene.kendra curtis, a 15-year veteran of google inc. and an aspiring actor who got bit by the showbiz bug when she moved to new york in 2008 is the chief executive officer of the young company,  whose founding team also includes noël neeb, chief operating officer, and a morgan stanley control analyst of 15 years who’s also a director and producer, and finally rachel mckinney, the company’s chief design officer, a new york-based actress.spaces range from a 72 square foot space in the bloomingdale school of music to 5,400 square feet in the event space the muse.the business, which co-founder neeb says provides an opportunity for arts spaces to make additional money when...





uber acqhires social app studio swipe labs

why would uber buy a team that builds snapchat competitors? to make its driver app feel more human. uber has acqhired swipe labs, the social product studio run by marwan roushdy. he and a selection of engineers from the dozen-person startup will join uber to work on the driver experience within the driver earnings team. a source from the venture capital industry described the deal to techcrunch as “definitely acquihire. they were running out of cash”, rather than being a lucrative acquisition.over the past 4 years it had raised $8.2 million and built four apps for sharing photos, videos, and group texts. but while the terms of the acqhire weren’t disclosed, the deal’s valuation is almost surely much less than the $56 million valuation swipe labs scored with $5.6 million late 2014 series a from first round, lowercase, sherpa, and now-disgraced binary capital. that’s the risk of investing in early stage social startups: the odds are against them ever capturing lightning in a bottle and growing huge.swipe labs co-founders marwan roushdy and addison hardy (from left)swipe’s founders roushdy and addison hardy met while working at now-defunct social map app connect. they set off to launch a furniture rental startup called fonzy but that flopped. the two managed to raise a seed round to build tag for privately sharing photos with groups of friends, and it too never gained traction.but the duo took the ideas and built them into swipe, which lets you post photos and videos...





betterworks and ceo sued by ex-employee for alleged sexually suggestive assault

beatrice kim is suing her former employer betterworks and its ceo kris duggan for allegedly assaulting her in a sexual manner during a company retreat. the lawsuit also implicates thehe performance management software startup, regional vp matt hart, and vp of people operations tamara cooksey for allowing sexual harassment in the workplace and not taking action against duggan after the alleged assault was reported to the company.kim is suing over sexual harassment and discrimination, assault, and battery, demanding a jury trial. kim’s lawyer conor d. mack of arena hoffman llp told techcrunch,“as described in the verified complaint, we intend to prove that betterworks ceo kris duggan assaulted plaintiff bea kim in a sexually suggestive manner, ignoring her protests and attempts to free herself from duggan until a co-worker had to physically intervene.  we also intend to prove that betterworks fosters a hostile and discriminatory work environment for women by tacitly endorsing and actively covering up abusive misconduct by members of senior management.” techcrunch reached out to betterworks for comment. ceo kris duggan called techcrunch, but only gave the on-the-record statement that “we are not commenting on any pending litigation.”betterworks co-founder and ceo kris dugganduggan co-founded betterworks in 2013 to create enterprise software so a company’s employees could set and track performance goals. betterworks has raised $35 million from investors including...





adquick raises $1.1m to bring online tools to outdoor advertising

adquick is looking to make billboard advertising easier and more transparent.the startup is announcing that it has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from initialized capital (founded by former y combinator partners garry tan and alexis ohanian),  vtf capital (founded by tony hsieh of zappos) and haystack ventures.adquick founder matthew o’connor said he ran into the billboard ad world repeatedly while working at startups including instacart. each time, he found himself “perplexed at why it’s so hard to find and buy outdoor advertising.”he said it’s buying process that’s still dominated email, spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations, and where ad-buyers rarely get a clear sense of what all their options are — or whether their campaigns are actually paying off.other companies, including adstruc and adsemble, have also tried to bring more of the process online, but o’connor argued that even compared to these competitors, adquick is taking more of a “technology-first” approach.similarly, in a blog post announcing initialized’s investment, ohanian (who’s done some outdoor advertising himself) wrote, “we’ve seen pitches for this business for almost a decade, but this was easily the most impressive technical execution and at a remarkably early stage.” what does that technology entail? well, on the ad-buying side, adquick aggregates inventory from a variety of different companies. the goal is to give buyers a comprehensive view of their options in...





light starts shipping the l16, its 16-camera pocket dslr challenger

light’s l16 was a radical design concept when it was originally introduced in october, 2015 – but the concept has become a reality, as the company is now shipping the first production units out to its pre-order customers. the final design is quite similar to the concept it showed off back then, with a few minor tweaks, and despite some setbacks, customers are probably excited to get their hands on the innovative shooter.the light l16 is so-named because it has 16 camera modules, and it combines images from multiple at once to create images with greater depth, clarity, detail, color rendering and general quality than you’d be able to get out of a device that’s essentially the size of a thick smartphone otherwise. the l16’s sample images show depth-of-field and sharpness that would leave many dslrs in the dust, in fact, which is the whole of the multi-module array.to get here, light had to build its own application-specific integrated circuit (asic) chips, and create its own 70mm and 150mm camera modules, since those focal lengths weren’t yet available from suppliers who typically create much wider angle lenses for use in smartphones, since those are a better fit with the photographic needs of most customers.juan_cruz_7_11_2017-edit-2l16_00186-edit-editsuperbloom_d-0790_l16_00070-edit-2 view slideshowpreviousnextexitlight also notes it had to create its own image-fusing algorithms to combine all the images captured from the discrete units, and to do so quickly and ...