Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to endorse the idea of a “comprehensive federal privacy law” for the U.S. in a keynote speech tomorrow. He will also back Europe’s approach to data protection and privacy — recently cemented in place via the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — essentially saying technology does not have to be creepy to be innovative. Nor should the tech itself be a cause of harm. Cook will be addressing the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC), which is being held in Brussels this year to coincide with the introduction of GDPR. Europe’s updated privacy framework came into timely force, this May, weeks after the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal had erupted into a major global scandal — further raising the profile of data protection as a consumer need, and convincing governments to prioritize an oft overlooked area. By contrast US lawmakers have found … [Read more...] about Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to flag trust and humanity in major privacy speech
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There's a theory (or perhaps a cautionary tale) among astronomers called the Kessler Syndrome, named for the NASA astrophysicist who proposed it in 1978. In this scenario, an orbiting satellite or some other piece of material accidentally strikes another and breaks into pieces. These pieces whirl around the Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour, destroying everything in their path, including other satellites. It starts a catastrophic chain reaction that ends in a cloud of millions of pieces of non-functional space debris that orbits the planet indefinitely. Such an event could make an orbital plane functionally useless, destroying any new satellites sent into it and possibly preventing access to other orbits and even all of space. So when SpaceX filed a request with the FCC to send 4,425 satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) to provide a global high-speed internet network, the FCC was reasonably concerned. For more than a year, the company responded to questions from the … [Read more...] about Why Satellite Internet Is the New Space Race
Team TechCrunch was back for Day 2 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Days, where we heard from another massive chunk of startups that are taking disruption very seriously, even if they’re aiming to upend companies that only launched in Y Combinator a few classes ago. The total class of on-record Demo Days launches came to 166 startups, after 82 presentations today. If you missed out on our tireless coverage yesterday, check that out too. We also picked our 11 favorites from yesterday’s batch here. All 84 startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1 Here’s what we all saw today: Asher Bio: Starting off YC Day 2, this startup is trying to help your body stave off cancer. Asher Bio is building immuno-therapy drugs that ramp up your immune system to take on cancer cells. Existing therapies can lead to severe side effects, but the ex-Pfizer co-founders claim their early tests on mice have shown that they are “close to solving” the problem with … [Read more...] about Here are the 82 startups from day 2 of Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Days
It’s that time of year, Silicon Valley’s investor technocrati and advice-giving Twitter celebrities descended upon Pier 48 in San Francisco to judge the latest summer batch of Y Combinator startups. TechCrunch was there, as well, and we were tapping away feverishly as co-founders pitched to woo investors. There are 197 companies in total in the summer YC batch, we heard from 84 of them today — in addition to a few off-the-record pitches which we agreed to hold off publicizing as they remain in stealth. We’ll hear from another chunk of them tomorrow, so check back tomorrow for even more startup blurbs. Demo Day used to be the debut for many of these companies, but as Y Combinator’s prestige has grown so has the likelihood that the batch’s best will be closing rounds at outsized valuations before the first pitches have been made. We’ll undoubtedly be reporting on some of these rounds moving forward, but for now here are the 84 companies whose … [Read more...] about All 84 startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1
"Dopamine fasting" may be Silicon Valley's latest wellness trend — but does this sciency-sounding fad actually have evidence to back it up? During a so-called dopamine fast, extreme practitioners abstain from any experience that brings them pleasure, including but not limited to sex, food, exercise, social media, video games and talking, according to Vox. Some people go so far as to avoid making eye contact, chatting with friends or even performing moderately-fast movements, all in an effort to avoid stimulation, the New York Times reported. By taking a break from sins and small pleasures, fasters attempt to "reset" the brain's reward system, a network wired, in part, by a chemical called dopamine. After a fast, they report feeling more focused and finding more joy in the activities they'd avoided, according to Business Insider. Despite its supposed benefits and good intentions, dopamine fasting has stirred up controversy. Dr. Cameron Sepah, a … [Read more...] about Is There Actually Science Behind ‘Dopamine Fasting’?