posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 As more business moves online, service industry professionals are leveraging new tools to improve how they connect with their customers. To serve those customers, Booker has raised $35 million in new funding to help small and medium-sized business providing services in the offline world manage customer relationships online. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 In one of the craziest sell-offs in Silicon Valley history, PCH International has closed its acquisition of e-commerce site Fab. The deal, which we first reported back in November, was announced today as a stock-and-cash deal for an undisclosed amount. According to our sources, Fab was selling to PCH for around $15 million. That price is a fire sale for the remaining assets of the company after… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Crowdsourced driving navigation app Waze is getting a boost from parent company Google at this year’s Mobile World Congress – the free app is now included in the section of apps that make up Google Mobile Services, or the pre-installation software bundle Google offers to smartphone and device OEMs building Android gadgets. The GMS designation means that Waze can join the likes… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Pebble announced Pebble Time last week, the next-generation version of its Pebble smartwatch, and today it’s revealing another new product: Pebble Time Steel. This is the stainless steel version of the Pebble Time, boasting the same interface and software, but in a machined metal case that comes in silver, gold and black finishes, and that also manages to add three days to maximum… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Publishing conglomerates Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster are facing tough times this quarter as ebook sales fell and total profit dropped 5.6% at S&S and approximately 12% for RPH. The potential culprits? A lack of blockbuster books and low ebook sales. While ebooks sales are still dwarfed by paperback and hardback sales, publishers are now seeing even less revenue from… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Finland’s Jolla, the plucky startup that’s built its own mobile OS, called Sailfish, atop the Mer open source project, is showing off its forthcoming, crowdsourced tablet here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s the follow up to Jolla’s first device, the eponymous Jolla smartphone, which was released at the end of 2013. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Email-focused startup ToutApp has raised a $15 million Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz. The company started out as an email-tracking tool, but founder and CEO Taweed Kader told me that his team discovered that salespeople “used the product the most, complained the least, and stuck around the longest” — so ToutApp decided to do a “zoom in pivot” and focus on… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Blackberry was once the big dawg in mobile phones. It was in the hands of practically every knowledge worker on the planet, but its days of dominance began a precipitous drop after Apple brought the iPhone to market in 2007 and Android followed in 2008, and today it’s a tiny blip on the smartphone marketshare radar. That’s why it’s interesting that new company, Silent… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Montblanc, a Swiss luxury company, recently announced a little add-on to its mechanical watch line – the e-Strap, a small OLED system that displays notifications on the bottom of your watch band. I snorted at the concept back in January but now we get to nod sagely at the implementation. To be clear I don’t think Montblanc is doing anything wrong here. They know smartwatches are… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 No matter how far or close by, a good friend of mine always texts to say he’s “20 minutes away” when he’s running late. SeeYou, which calls itself a ‘pre-meeting app’, is almost certainly not for him. Available for iOS and Android, the app lets you alert friends that you are OMW (on my way), chat with them during your journey, and continually share your… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Alibaba Group’s announcement yesterday that it will launch a non-profit NTD $10 billion ($316 million) fund for entrepreneurs in Taiwan was overshadowed by a government investigation into its local operations. During a speech today at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma briefly acknowledged the situation. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 BlackBerry has gone back to making touchscreen phones again after it unveiled the Leap, a device that the company believes will appeal to young people and startup founders, in particular. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 If 2014 goes down as the year when smartphone sales globally passed the 1 billion mark (1.2 billion, to be exact, from a total of 1.9 billion mobile phones overall), Q4 will go down as the quarter when Samsung lost its footing as the world’s leader in the category for the first time since 2011. Today, Gartner published its figures for smartphone sales for the year and final quarter… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 TrulyMadly is a Tinder-like dating app that has adapted to India’s culture to offer different ways to connect, primarily via a trusted source system that helps give peace of mind when chatting to strangers. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Twitter last week announced plans to begin tracking troublesome users via their mobile phone number. Along those lines, it has begun forcing users of anonymous web browser Tor to provide a number in order to open a new account. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Yep, here’s another card that promises to consolidate all your credit cards into one. But unlike the others, the Stratos Card appears to be worth a longer look. Stratos, the company behind the card, has a novel approach and has seemingly worked through all the niggles so far associated with universal credit cards Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 For years, Y Combinator has shied away from doing any kind of follow-on funding. That’s out of concern that this would create signaling risk and ward VCs away from supporting startups that don’t get this seal of approval. However, under the firm’s new leadership with Sam Altman at the helm, it’s possible that Y Combinator will consider doing growth-stage investments… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Y Combinator-backed Kickback is looking to expand the scope of the e-sports market by building competitive ecosystems around pre-existing games. Its initial release is built upon Minecraft, the adventure toolbox now owned by Microsoft. Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 As far as gaming computers go, there are bound to be trade-offs: bigger size means better performance, and more portability is going to naturally lead to compromises when it comes to pure gaming muscle. The Asus Republic of Gamers G751 is a top-tier gaming notebook, but it still falls prey to that essential truth about gaming notebooks, making for an experience that stretches the definition… Read More

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posted 1 day ago on techcrunch
 Remember that custom Millenium Falcon quadcopter from a few weeks back? It better look out. The Rebel Alliance isn’t the only one with birds in the air, anymore. As a followup to his Millenium Falcon project, French RC hobbyist Olivier_C has built a second quadcopter — but this time around, he’s building for the Empire. Modeled after the TIE Interceptor from Return Of The… Read More

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posted 2 days ago on techcrunch
 Tinder’s “Rewind” functionality just went live, finally giving users the ability to go back in time and swipe right instead of left. The “Rewind” feature is included in the premium tier of the service, Tinder Plus, which was unveiled today and costs anywhere between $9.99 and $19.99 in the United States, depending on the age of the user. That’s right.… Read More

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posted 2 days ago on techcrunch
 A pair of Twitter vets today launched a handy mobile application called OneShot that makes it easier to share screenshots of text to Twitter, along with your comment and a link to the page in question. The new app also optionally allows you to crop the image, highlight a selection of text, and even add a brightly colored background to make your screenshot stand out better when displayed in… Read More

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posted 2 days ago on techcrunch
 If you visit the main TechCrunch office, you’ll note an open office filled with nerds, about half wearing headphones. Everyone is typing on Apple laptops, either by themselves, plugged into one monitor or several, or essentially ‘docked,’ with the user employing a standalone keyboard and touchpad to interact with the machine. Missing from that mix? Anyone using a fucking iPad… Read More

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posted 2 days ago on techcrunch
 Disrupt Battlefield finalist Valor Water is graduating out of Y Combinator just in time to help solve the world’s water crisis. Valor provides a suite of business-intelligence tools for water utilities. In a drought, consumers are encouraged to conserve water and they often do. In California this past December, conservation was up from 10 percent in November to 22 percent in December,… Read More

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posted 2 days ago on techcrunch
 Twitter has launched an embedding feature for Twitter-hosted videos, letting you put any movies shot using its native video capture and publishing tool on your site, complete with an embed button on Twitter’s on website. Clicking the “Embed Video” option in the “…” expanded options menu from a tweet featuring a native Twitter video will expose a snipped of… Read More

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