Home / Tag Archives: world

Tag Archives: world

Stratolaunch announces new launch vehicles and reusable space plane

Stratolaunch, the commercial space firm founded by Paul Allen back in 2011, has revealed a bit more of its plan for taking payloads to orbit via one of the world’s biggest planes. It’s now working on a pair of its own rocket-powered launch vehicles, and is in the early phases of creating a reusable, crew-capable space plane. The company’s main claim to fame so far is the unnamed aircraft that will be doing the heavy lifting. Its 385-foot wingspan is the world’s largest — but it’s necessary to provide room in the middle for its intended launch vehicle cargo. The Stratolaunch technique is in some ways similar to that being pursued by Virgin Galactic: use a big plane to get a rocket off the ground and past the worst of the atmosphere, which then drops off and fires up on its own. Looks like this: It saves fuel and is in some ways safer and more reliable, as there’s no need to worry about the weather or other low-altitude problems. Until this announcement it wasn’t clear just what that rocket-powered craft would be, except Orbital ATK’s proven but relatively diminutive Pegasus. Today’s announcement makes it clear that Stratolaunch intends to provide a variety of in-house options. Left to right: MLV, MLV Heavy and Space Plane First is the Medium Launch Vehicle or MLV, which will carry up to 3,400 kilograms up to a 400 kilometer orbit; then there’s its big sibling, the imaginatively named MLV Heavy, which with two additional cores can lift up to 6,000 kilograms. The former is aiming for deployment in 2022, while the latter has no date as yet.

Read More »

Only 48 hours left: Apply to Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin

The action you take within the next 48 hours could change your life. That’s how much time you have left to apply to TechCrunch Startup Battlefield , our world-renowned pitch competition, which takes place at  Disrupt Berlin 2018  on November 29-30. The application deadline expires on August 20th at 9 p.m. PST. Don’t waste another minute — apply right here, right now . TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. Some of today’s biggest names in tech launched their early-stage startup in our premier pitch competition. Companies like Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, TripIt and more. Since 2007, more than 750 companies have competed (and now form our alumni community), collectively raised $8 billion in funding and generated 102 exits. Not. Too. Shabby.

Read More »

Top execs from 6D.AI are joining us at TechCrunch Sessions AR/VR

While the potential for entertainment in virtual and augmented reality has grabbed the most headlines, these new platforms promise radical transformations across industries and the very way that people interact with their world. And no company is doing more to develop the toolkit for how to build applications for these new interactions than 6D.AI . At our inaugural  TC Sessions: AR/VR  event on UCLA’s world-famous campus on October 18, join 6D.AI co-founder and chief executive Matt Miesnieks and head of developer relations, Bruce Wooden, as they discuss 6D’s big vision of using smartphone cameras to build a cloud-based map of the world’s three-dimensional data. The company’s goal is nothing short of supercharging augmented reality content in a way that could actually make it useful to people . Miesnieks certainly knows about the need for applications to drive adoption in a new ecosystem. After a career in the trenches developing mobile software infrastructure for companies like Samsung and Layar, Miesnieks made the jump to AR software infrastructure in 2009. A founding partner of the firm Super Ventures, which exclusively invests in augmented reality startups, Miesnieks was drawn to 6D and its vision as soon as he saw it demonstrated in the labs at Oxford University. Wooden, 6D’s head of developer relations, has his own storied career in the world of augmented reality. He was a co-founder of Altspace (which was sold to Microsoft) and SVVR, the world’s largest virtual reality community. “We want to be a platform that informs AR app developers of the real world without the real world — the structure of the real world, what’s going on in the real world, who else is in the real world — and let them build intelligent apps on top of that,” Miesnieks has said of his company’s mission. TC Sessions: AR/VR on October 18 at UCLA is a single-day event designed to facilitate in-depth conversations, hands-on demos and networking opportunities with the industry leaders, content creators and game changers bringing innovation to the masses. Purchase your Early Bird tickets here for just $99 and you’ll save $100 before prices go up! Students get a special rate of just $45 when they book here .

Read More »

Carbyne raises $15M for its next-gen 911 service, as Founders Fund invests in its first Israeli startup

911 and other emergency numbers have been a key route for people to contact medical, police or fire services, with some  240 million calls are made for urgent help in the US alone each year. But while calling the numbers is a breeze, sometimes passing on crucial information is far from that, with most of these services built and operating on legacy infrastructure that makes pinpointing accurate locations and getting more detail about the problem (including to determine whether the call might have been in error) is a challenge. Now a company that has developed a system to improve emergency response is announcing a round of funding in the race to update those platforms. Carbyne , a startup out of Israel that has developed a new emergency callout platform that helps providers pinpoint a callers’ exact location and enable other services to improve and speed up communication and response times — by some 65 percent on average — has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The round is significant not just because of the boost that it will give to Carbyne itself, but because of who is doing the backing. Led by Elsted Capital Partners, it also includes Founders Fund, the VC that has backed the likes of Facebook and Airbnb, but also startups that have made strong inroads into working with government and other public sector organizations on data-based services, such as Palantir, Anduril and Deep Mind (now a part of Google). Previous backers of Carbyne have included the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, who is also the company’s chairman, and the company has now raised about $24 million, with a valuation that I understand to be in the region of $100 million, although the company is not commenting on the number. Most of the emergency calling services that are in place around the world were built to be used with legacy wired phone networks. In many countries, however, not only are people doing away with their fixed lines, but they are making these calls from mobile phones — in some cases up to 80 percent of all emergency calls are coming from mobile phones. This means that not only are some inbound calls to public safety answering points (PSAPs) unable to provide the data that the legacy systems need, but — coming from smartphones — they potentially could provide a far richer set of data, if the systems were set up to receive it. On top of this, it can simply take too long, or be impossible, for a reporter of an emergency to convey crucial information through a phone conversation. (Indeed, the idea for the service was hatched after founder Amir Elichai discovered how long it took to identify his location and other details to emergency services after he was mugged.) Carbyne — originally called Reporty and rebranded earlier this year to the word for what is now considered to be the world’s strongest substance — lets emergency response providers connect with reporters through two products to fill that gap

Read More »

Nobody minding the store: security in the age of the lowest bidder

So, to recap: Satellite communication systems worldwide are “protected” by easily cracked hard-coded passwords. The private internet connecting the world’s mobile phone operators remains replete with vulnerabilities. Russia has successfully hacked into American power-plant control systems . Oh, and voting machines in use in 18 states can be remotely hijacked . Just stole an election at @VotingVillageDC . The machine was an AccuVote TSX used in 18 states, some with the same software version. Attackers don't need physical access–we showed how malicious code can spreads from the election office when officials program the ballot design. pic.twitter.com/wa97HWqlv5 — J. Alex Halderman (@jhalderm) August 11, 2018 Do you see a theme here? We assume that everything is fine, that the world in which we live rests on solid foundations, that competent grown-ups are in charge of the fundamental infrastructure on which our society rests, which have been constructed as fault-tolerant, resilient systems. We assume somebody somewhere is at the switch, keeping a sharp eye on things

Read More »

Crypto mining giant Bitmain on target for $10B revenue this year

During a gold rush, Silicon Valley’s line is to always invest in picks and shovels instead of mining. Sometimes it pays just to do both. TechCrunch has learned through a company fundraise overview that Beijing-based mining equipment seller Bitmain hit a quarterly revenue of approximately $2 billion in Q1 of this year. Despite a slump in bitcoin prices since the beginning of the year , the company is on track to become the first blockchain-focused company to achieve $10 billion in annual revenue, assuming that the cryptocurrency market doesn’t drop further. Fortune previously reported that the company had $1.1 billion in profits in the same quarter, a number in line with these revenue numbers, given a net margin of around 50 percent. That growth is extraordinary. From the same source seen by TechCrunch, Bitmain’s revenues last year were $2.5 billion, and around $300 million just the year before that. The company reportedly raised a major venture round of $300-400 million from investors, including Sequoia China, at a valuation of $12 billion. For comparison, popular cryptocurrency wallet Coinbase made $1 billion in revenue in 2017 . In addition, Nvidia, a company based out of California that also makes computer chips, generated revenues of $9.7 billion in its 2018 fiscal year (2017 calendar year).

Read More »