SmartHR, a startup helping Japanese employers run HR and staffing smarter — because that’s of course its name — has raised a JPY 1.5 billion ($13.3 million) Series B round led by 500 Startups Japan. The startup is perhaps comparable to the likes of Zenefits and Gusto in the U.S. — it aims to drag Japanese HR departments into today’s digital era. “In Japan… Read More

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Netflix is now worth more than $100 billion, Uber Eats acquires Ando and Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay for the news. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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 I was all set to dislike the “flick,” a time unit just recently invented by Facebook (technically the Oculus team), because I thought it was going to be something worthless like “the average time someone looks at a post.” In fact it’s a very clever way of dividing time that theoretically could make video and audio production much more harmonious. Read More

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 President Trump’s comments about immigrants coming from “shithole” countries are continuing to stir up a shitstorm internationally. And while the language itself is bad enough, the president and his advisors need to also reboot their assumptions about the African continent — not just for the immigration debate but for U.S. foreign policy considerations. Read More

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 Oreo was a bit of a lackluster update on first launch, but the mobile operating system is getting some nice new tricks with 8.1’s updates. The new Speed Labels feature is one of the more compelling of the bunch, offering estimated network signals prior to logging on. Starting this week, users with 8.1 installed will see one of four qualifiers next to open Wi-Fi networks: Very Fast, Fast,… Read More

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 The PX headphones are Bowers & Wilkins’ first noise-cancelling headphones. While Bowers & Wilkins is more known for its premium work with high-end speakers, its first foray into noise-cancelling headphones is a win. Overall the Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones boast big sound and a sharp design, but they come at a high price compared to similar offerings by competitors. Read More

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 Netflix crossed a fun milestone today, crossing the $100 billion mark for its market cap as it once again surprised industry observers with better-than-expected growth in its subscribers. We’ll get to the financial numbers in a minute but, as usual, the big story here is that it continues to wow Wall Street with impressive growth in its subscriber numbers. The company said it added… Read More

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 Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corporation, today issued a statement calling for Facebook and Google to subsidize the news traveling through their platforms. In the statement, Murdoch calls on Facebook to pay a carriage fee, as cable companies do with pay TV, to trusted publishers that are posting their content on the social media platform. Read More

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 After selling his social virtual reality startup to Microsoft in October, Eric Romo, the co-founder of AltspaceVR, is joining the competing social VR team at Facebook as its product director, where he will be “exploring how VR can help communities connect.” Romo is joining the team that has built Facebook Spaces, a social virtual reality app for chatting and collaborating. Read More

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 A startup that’s operating in stealth mode raises an almost stunning amount of money before it releases a product. Investors write outsized checks to the outfit anyway because of the people involved in it, but before you know it, poof, the company is imploding, and the capital is gone. Read More

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 The FCC’s wildly unpopular decision to kill net neutrality has sent legislators, companies and individuals scrambling for ways to keep the Obama-era regulations in place. A new bid by Montana Governor Steve Bullock would cut through much of the red tape and force internet service providers to abide by earlier net neutrality rules. Read More

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 The always outspoken Linus Torvalds, best known for his continuing work on the innermost code of Linux systems, has harsh words to say and accusations to level against Intel. His evaluation of Intel’s latest proposed fix for the Meltdown/Spectre issue: “the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE.” Read More

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 Apple today launched a new dashboard that will allow artists on Apple Music to track fans’ listening and buying habits and view a variety of analytics about their music, according to Billboard, which had the launch exclusive from Apple. The dashboard, called Apple Music for Artists, is currently available only for select beta users ahead of a broader launch planned for later this spring. Read More

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 Brian McClendon, a notable engineering executive at startups and large tech companies, including Google and Uber, has announced his candidacy to run for the open seat of secretary of state of Kansas. He will compete in the Democratic primary scheduled for August 7th. McClendon has been a lifelong engineer, growing up in the state and receiving his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering… Read More

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 Ziro is a nifty programmable robotics kit for kids that had a successful Indiegogo campaign last year. And the company behind it, ZeroUI, is still adding new features. By default, Ziro kits come with a smart glove to control your robots. You can use the mobile app to configure gestures based on hand movements. Ziro now also works with Alexa. Read More

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