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Maison Me nabs $1M from Google’s Assistant fund and more for made-to-order clothes

Amazon’s focus on using its camera-enabled Echo devices to help you figure out what to wear everyday  has highlighted how the tech world sees a big opportunity in building fashion-related tools and services beyond the now-ubiquitous but still quite basic business of e-commerce, where clothes are displayed on websites, and ordered for delivery to your home. Now one of the latest startups in the space has raised a seed round from an interesting group of investors. Maison Me, a startup that has built a platform that lets people provide either a few clues, or very specific detail, of a piece of clothing that they would like, and then makes it to order, has raised $1 million to build out its business from backers that include Founders Fund, the new Google Assistant investment program , Gagarin Capital and others that are not being named for now. Maison Me’s co-founder and CEO Anastasia Sartan said that the startup will be using the money to continue optimising its services and building for new platforms such as Google Home. That particular device is a notable one to build for: currently Google doesn’t have a camera or screen, but many reports speculate that it will be launching a new version very soon that will. Meanwhile, Amazon is also level-pegging on me-too functionality. Google of course is not saying anything about any upcoming hardware, and sees Maison Me as something useful for the Google Home speaker that we know today, and for the displays out there not made by Google that are being powered by it. “A lot of people start their daily routines asking their Google Home speakers for a weather forecast, looking for some help before they pick out their outfits for the day,” said ​Ilya Gelfenbeyn, head of the Google Assistant investment program, in a statment. “Smart Displays with the Google Assistant make it possible to build services and recommendations in such a visual industry like fashion, and we believe that personalized what-to-wear recommendations can really simplify the morning routines for people.” Maison Me will have its first Google app of its clothing service ready in the beginning of November. But Maison Me (and Epytom, which is the name of the actual startup) has been in business for a while already, starting first with a chatbot that helped people figure out what to wear — data, Sartan said, has been used to help feed its algorithms for its clothing-making service. That bot is still active and has racked up 300,000 users so far. “Google is emphasizing routines in voice assistants,” Sartan explained

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You can try Siri Shortcuts today in these iOS 12-ready apps

With today’s release of iOS 12 , Apple is also rolling out a new feature called Siri Shortcuts, which allows users to create their own voice commands to take actions in apps. For example, you could create a shortcuts for ordering your morning coffee, playing your favorite music, getting your daily schedule, and much more. In preparation for the iOS 12 launch, a number of app developers have already added support for Siri Shortcuts – sometimes even through a dedicated button in their app – in order to help nudge users towards adoption. You can configure Siri Shortcuts in iOS Settings or create more complex voice commands using Apple’s new Shortcuts app , also out today. But these are things that will appeal more to power users – at least for the time being. Mainstream users, meanwhile, will likely come across Siri Shortcuts for the first time when using their favorite iOS apps. With iOS 12, app developers can integrate an “Add to Siri” button right in their app’s interface for common tasks that their app can perform – like playing a favorite playlist, for instance. When a user taps this button, they’ll be directed to a screen where they can record their own custom voice command to launch whatever task or action the developer is suggesting. In time, a number of apps will roll out this functionality. But if you’re keen to play with it today, on day one, here are some of the early adopters of this feature. Pandora A new playlist isn’t the only update Pandora is rolling out today – it’s also one of the first apps to launch a Siri Shortcuts button. With the app’s iOS 12-optimized update, users can head to the Settings in the Pandora app and tap “Add to Siri.” They can then choose a specific station, album, or playlist and record a custom phrase to say the next time they want to hear it. Streaks Habit-tracker Streaks is also among the first to include an “Add to Siri” button.

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Let’s Encrypt has issued 380M+ free TLS certificates on 129M unique domains in three years since launch, making it the largest certificate issuer in…

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch : Let's Encrypt has issued 380M+ free TLS certificates on 129M unique domains in three years since launch, making it the largest certificate issuer in the world   —  Bon anniversaire, Let's Encrypt!  —  The free-to-use nonprofit was founded in 2014 in part by the Electronic Frontier Foundation …

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An in-depth review of Android 9 Pie, which comes with a lot of useful user-facing changes and, maybe, improved battery life, but the gestures remain a…

Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica : An in-depth review of Android 9 Pie, which comes with a lot of useful user-facing changes and, maybe, improved battery life, but the gestures remain a mess   —  The time has come for our annual deep dive (~19,000 words) into the latest Android release.  —  It's time for another big Android release …

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Profile of Procore, a cloud-based platform for the $1T US construction industry that has raised $200M+ and is thinking about IPO after barely…

Alex Konrad / Forbes : Profile of Procore, a cloud-based platform for the $1T US construction industry that has raised $200M+ and is thinking about IPO after barely surviving in 2008   —  n a quiet street in Montecito, California, a suburb of Santa Barbara, Procore CEO Craig “Tooey” Courtemanche is considering how best to break into his own house.

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HYP3R, a location-based marketing platform, has raised $17M Series A; HYP3R says it has geofenced ~300K hotels worldwide for extremely accurate…

Kimberly Collins / ClickZ : HYP3R, a location-based marketing platform, has raised $17M Series A; HYP3R says it has geofenced ~300K hotels worldwide for extremely accurate location data   —  Today, HYP3R announced $17M Series A funding to continue innovating location-based marketing for brands in travel, retail, and entertainment.

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Study: Facebook engagement for sites identified as publishing fake news dropped by 50%+ between 2016 election and July 2018, while shares on Twitter…

Will Oremus / Slate : Study: Facebook engagement for sites identified as publishing fake news dropped by 50%+ between 2016 election and July 2018, while shares on Twitter kept rising   —  Facebook's efforts to reduce misinformation in its news feed since the 2016 election have opened the company to all manner of criticism …

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European website finds that a free app is exposing the exact locations of Grindr’s 3.6M+ active users via unauthorized access to Grindr’s private API…

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News : European website finds that a free app is exposing the exact locations of Grindr's 3.6M+ active users via unauthorized access to Grindr's private API   —  The gay dating app Grindr is still exposing the precise location of its more than 3.6 million active users although it has long been aware of the issue.

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Sources: prototypes of Google’s Dragonfly search engine for China link the search app on users’ Android devices to their phone numbers (Ryan…

Ryan Gallagher / The Intercept : Sources: prototypes of Google's Dragonfly search engine for China link the search app on users' Android devices to their phone numbers   —  Google built a prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users' searches to their personal phone numbers, thus making it easier …

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Airware, a drone startup that has raised $118M from Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s GV, Kleiner Perkins, and others, is shutting down (Josh…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Airware, a drone startup that has raised $118M from Andreessen Horowitz, Google's GV, Kleiner Perkins, and others, is shutting down   —  Drone operating system startup Airware today suddenly informed employees it will cease operations immediately despite having raised $118 million from top investors …

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Nasdaq to buy Cinnober, a Sweden-based exchange and real-time clearing technology provider, for ~$190M (Philip Stafford/Financial Times)

Philip Stafford / Financial Times : Nasdaq to buy Cinnober, a Sweden-based exchange and real-time clearing technology provider, for ~$190M   —  Nasdaq, the US exchange, has made a $190m bid to buy Cinnober, a Swedish trading technology group, to deepen its push into technology and analytics.  —  In a statement on Friday Nasdaq …

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