Tag Archives: development

Family networking app Life360 acqui-hires PathSense team to boost location-based services

Life360 , the app for networking families together via mobile devices, has acquired the developer team behind PathSense, responsible for the creation of a location-based mobile application toolkit, to build out its location-based offerings. The San Francisco-based Life360 will see all of PathSense’s employees joining its staff, while the tech that PathSense developed will be licensed by the family networking and security monitoring service. PathSense uses location software and sensing technologies that use less battery power than other GPS apps, according to the company. “For Life 360 it is very critical to have accurate geofencing to locate assets especially family members and if they leave specific geofenced areas,” wrote Neil Shahe, an analyst for Counterpoint Research . Specifically, Life360 is applying the technology to crash detection services for families in the event of an accident. “The PathSense technology, and the team’s expertise in utilizing all of the sensors available on smartphones in a unique way, provides our users with a world-class car crash detection and response system,” said Alex Haro, co-founder and CTO of Life360. “This ensures we fulfill our vision to make every family member a safer driver and be there for them when accidents happen.” That service will detect when an accident occurs and initiates a call to the phone of whichever subscriber was in the accident. If the user needs assistance, Life360 says it will notify emergency contacts and dispatch emergency services to a location. The feature is part of the company’s Driver Protect subscription service — which also includes monitoring of phone usage in cars. PathSense’s team, now a part of Life360 was behind the development of Trapster — a Waze -like app using crowd-sourced data to provide traffic and accident alerts. As part of the talent acquisition, Life360 gets a new technology development hub in San Diego — which the company intends to continue to staff up as it develops new location-based applications.

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Family networking app Life360 acqui-hires PathSense team to boost location-based services

Life360 , the app for networking families together via mobile devices, has acquired the developer team behind PathSense, responsible for the creation of a location-based mobile application toolkit, to build out its location-based offerings. The San Francisco-based Life360 will see all of PathSense’s employees joining its staff, while the tech that PathSense developed will be licensed by the family networking and security monitoring service. PathSense uses location software and sensing technologies that use less battery power than other GPS apps, according to the company. “For Life 360 it is very critical to have accurate geofencing to locate assets especially family members and if they leave specific geofenced areas,” wrote Neil Shahe, an analyst for Counterpoint Research . Specifically, Life360 is applying the technology to crash detection services for families in the event of an accident. “The PathSense technology, and the team’s expertise in utilizing all of the sensors available on smartphones in a unique way, provides our users with a world-class car crash detection and response system,” said Alex Haro, co-founder and CTO of Life360. “This ensures we fulfill our vision to make every family member a safer driver and be there for them when accidents happen.” That service will detect when an accident occurs and initiates a call to the phone of whichever subscriber was in the accident. If the user needs assistance, Life360 says it will notify emergency contacts and dispatch emergency services to a location. The feature is part of the company’s Driver Protect subscription service — which also includes monitoring of phone usage in cars. PathSense’s team, now a part of Life360 was behind the development of Trapster — a Waze -like app using crowd-sourced data to provide traffic and accident alerts.

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Google Cloud launches a new text-to-speech engine for developers

Text-to-speech synthesis has made great strides over the course of the last few years, up to the point where many modern systems almost sound like a real person is reading a text. Google has been among the leaders of this development and starting today , developers will get access to the same DeepMind -developed text-to-speech engine that the company itself is current using for its Assistant and for its Google Maps direction. In total, Cloud Text-to-Speech features 32 different voices from 12 languages and variants. Developers will be able to customize the pitch, speaking rate and volume gain of the MP3 or WAV files the service will generate. Not all the voices are created equal, though. That’s because the new service also features six English language voices that were all built using WaveNet, DeepMind’s model for creating raw audio from text. Unlike previous efforts, WaveNet doesn’t do speech synthesis based on a collection of short speech fragments, which tends to create the kind of robotic sounding voices you are surely familiar with. Instead, WaveNet models raw audio using a machine-learning model to create a far more natural-sounding speech. Google says that in its test, people rated these WaveNet voices over 20 percent better than standard voices. Google first talked about WaveNet about a year ago. Since then, it moved these tools to a new infrastructure that sits on top of the company’s own Tensor Processing Units.

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Lerer Hippeau Ventures is taking over management of Binary Capital’s debut fund

Lerer Hippeau Ventures , the New York-based early-stage venture firm, is taking over the $125 million debut fund created by Binary Capital , a young San Francisco-based venture firm whose cofounder’s misdeeds became the talk of Silicon Valley last summer. Axios reported the development earlier this morning. Lerer Hippeau tells us it’s not commenting on the news. The portfolio includes 25 startups, including Bellhops , a five-year-old, Chattanooga, Tn.-based local moving services startup, and Unikrn , a three-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based e-sports wagering service that raised $31.4 million  via an initial coin offering last fall. (Billionaire Mark Cuban is also an investor.) What happens to Binary’s second fund is apparently an open question. Jonathan Teo, a cofounder of Binary, didn’t respond to our requests for more information this morning, but Recode reports that firm has “bogged down in various legal matters, including an attempt by Teo to have his fate decided in arbitration.” Teo’s cofounder, Justin Caldbeck, had brought the firm to the brink of ruin. Last summer, an in expose published by The Information, Caldbeck, who’d previously been an investor with Lightspeed Venture Partners, was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward six women who said they were groped and propositioned during their professional relationship with him. Caldbeck initially denied the claims, telling The Information’s reporter, “Go f— yourself.” A day later, he was apologizing for his behavior and, within short order, was forced to resign under pressure . Teo had apparently hoped to hang on to the firm, which he’s created with Caldbeck in early 2014. Judging by Recode’s report, he’s still fighting to stay involved. Caldbeck meanwhile showed up at his alma mater, Duke University, last fall to discuss the male-dominated world of finance. “If we’re going to make change, men need to behave better,” Caldbeck told the school newspaper afterward. “Part of what needs to happen is more education around these issues.” Caldbeck separately told Bloomberg that he planned to release a website dedicated to the topic of “bro culture” and how to address it.

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Facebook is rolling out its feature showing more stories from local news sources in News Feed, available in US since January, globally to all…

Facebook : Facebook is rolling out its feature showing more stories from local news sources in News Feed, available in US since January, globally to all countries   —  By Alex Hardiman, Head of News Product, and Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships  —  Local news helps people connect to their communities …

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Inside the fight between the Facebook-Google duopoly and Madison Avenue as advertisers get nervous about the Facebook fallout and push aggressively…

Suzanne Vranica / Wall Street Journal : Inside the fight between the Facebook-Google duopoly and Madison Avenue as advertisers get nervous about the Facebook fallout and push aggressively for changes   —  Latest uproar over voter profiling data follows company demands for more control, more transparency from tech giants

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Owner of AlbumJams and ShareBeast, which were shuttered by FBI and DOJ, sentenced to 5 years in prison and $643K in restitution and forfeiture after…

Andy / TorrentFreak : Owner of AlbumJams and ShareBeast, which were shuttered by FBI and DOJ, sentenced to 5 years in prison and $643K in restitution and forfeiture after guilty plea   —  According to the RIAA, ShareBeast.com and AlbumJams.com were responsible for the illegal distribution of “a massive library” of popular albums and tracks.

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How Sequoia, Accel, and Y Combinator ended up with their current stakes in Dropbox; source: YC sold about 50% of its holdings around the time of the…

Theodore Schleifer / Recode : How Sequoia, Accel, and Y Combinator ended up with their current stakes in Dropbox; source: YC sold about 50% of its holdings around the time of the Series B   —  Here's how a few investors — Sequoia, Accel and Y Combinator — managed to score huge, even if not equal, paydays.

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How every Facebook app in 2010 collected users’ personal data, what devs could do with it, and why Facebook can’t close the Pandora’s box it opened a…

Ian Bogost / The Atlantic : How every Facebook app in 2010 collected users' personal data, what devs could do with it, and why Facebook can't close the Pandora's box it opened a decade ago   —  For a spell during 2010 and 2011, I was a virtual rancher of clickable cattle on Facebook.  —  It feels like a long time ago.

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An Amiga 500 For The 21st Century – Hackaday

Hackaday An Amiga 500 For The 21st Century Hackaday The result has a Tynemouth Software USB adaptor for the Amiga keyboard , and a set of nicely designed 3D printed backplates to bring the extended Raspberry Pi ports to the back of the case. The floppy isn't yet interfaced and there isn't a socket for ... and more »

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An Amiga 500 For The 21st Century | Hackaday – Hackaday

Hackaday An Amiga 500 For The 21st Century | Hackaday Hackaday There was a period in the late 1980s when the home computer to own did not come with an Apple logo and was not an IBM, Compaq, or any of the other clones, but instead sported a Commodore logo. The Amiga 500 was an all-in-one console-style cased machine ... and more »

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A look at what happens when algorithms used to automate health assessments in Arkansas start cutting essential state-sponsored home care for disabled…

Colin Lecher / The Verge : A look at what happens when algorithms used to automate health assessments in Arkansas start cutting essential state-sponsored home care for disabled patients   —  Illustrations by William Joel; Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales  —  For most of her life, Tammy Dobbs, who has cerebral palsy …

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Hulu starts opening up more of its limited inventory to advertisers, says time users spent on its ad-supported service increased 50% YoY (Tim…

Tim Peterson / Digiday : Hulu starts opening up more of its limited inventory to advertisers, says time users spent on its ad-supported service increased 50% YoY   —  The old saying that “no one ever got fired for buying IBM” could also apply to ads on Hulu.  But for years, Hulu has limited the amount of inventory available to advertisers.

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GSMA report says the number of tech hubs across Africa has reached 442, up from 314 in 2016; African tech startups raised $560M from VCs in 2017, up…

Abdi Latif Dahir / Quartz : GSMA report says the number of tech hubs across Africa has reached 442, up from 314 in 2016; African tech startups raised $560M from VCs in 2017, up 53% YoY   —  Almost 130 tech hubs have opened across Africa in under two years, showcasing a maturing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a rising interest in the potential of local markets.

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