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Perhaps you’ve been watching the BBC’s Spy in the Wild, in which meticulously recreated robotic animals cohabitate with their fleshy brethren and record all their secret goings and doings. But haven’t you ever wondered what fruit gets up to during the long trip from its homeland to your local produce department? These robo-fruits, from Swiss
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Vice Media is moving into scripted video programming, thanks to a partnership with digital media studio Blackpills. Until now, Vice’s videos (whether online and on its daily news show for HBO), have been news- or documentary-focused. These new shows, on the other hand, include programs like Playground, created by Fifth Element and The Professional director
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Facebook is testing an enhanced local search feature that could see the social network creeping in on Google Maps, Foursquare and Yelp territory, TechCrunch learned and Facebook confirmed. Facebook users are now able to surface recommendations of nearby places – like “dinner nearby” or “bars nearby,” for example  – by entering a query in Facebook’s search box on
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Entrepreneurs who pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank typically make packaged goods and apparel. Occasionally, the high tech breaks through. XCraft, the company behind the PhoneDrone Ethos, scored a rare investment from all of the judges on the ABC show last spring, for example. And tonight, drones are once again flying “in the Tank” as DARTdrones seeks funding to build its national flight school
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When Apple decided to strip its flagship phones of the headphone jack, certain people were angry. Those relying on the headphone jack for non-music things were grumpy, but so were those of us who had recently dropped hundreds of dollars on new, high-end headphones. Jack — a Kickstarter campaign in its final hours — offers
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Online finance startup SoFi got its start refinancing student loans but gradually has been adding other services to members. To expand into new regions and move closer to becoming a full-service financial services company, SoFi has confirmed that it raised an additional $500 million in equity financing led by Silver Lake. The new funding round, which previously had been reported
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Layer, the messaging platform that won TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield back in 2013, is making two big announcements today: It’s raised $15 million in Series B funding, and it’s acquiring another startup, Cola. Layer makes it easy for businesses to add messaging capabilities to their iOS, Android and web products — customers include Trunk Club, Staples
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So much for sticking “nuclear weapons” in carriers’ dumb pipes. Shine, last year’s enfant terrible of mobile ad blocking is pivoting (again!) — in both tone of voice and business model. It’s also rebranding to, er, Rainbow. So, to keep tabs, since 2011 this Disrupt startup battlefield alum has moved from trying to sell mobile antivirus (Shine Security), to threatening
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Privacy Labs, a stealth-stage startup that wants to enable internet users to “regain control” of their personal data, has landed a $4 million seed funding round. The company doesn’t have a product right now and is cagey about what it will eventually release, but nonetheless its promise has persuaded Initialized Capital to lead this round. Other investors