Sorry, Oculus, but HoloLens gets my money

The battle between headsets you strap to your heads is being brought to a rolling boil this week, as Microsoft’s HoloLens Dev Kit and Oculus Rift both start shipping to customers. Being the lover of cutting-edge tech that I am, you’d expect I’d be in lust with both technologies, but it turns out that isn’t the case. HoloLens did something to me that Oculus never managed to: It made me think I was leaping into the future with glee and great abandon. AR versus VR The two devices are similar in that…

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Snapchat was wonky or down for some but it’s back now

Snapchat wasn’t working correctly for many users, with Stories failing to load or snaps not sending. [Update 5:10pm PST – Snapchat appears to be back for most users after several hours on the fritz{ The outage comes just days after Snapchat released its big Chat 2.0 update that brought stickers and other new features, but possibly more traffic than the service could handle. DownDetector showed an increase in problem reports over the past few hours. Users also appeared to be having trouble logging in or connecting to the server. In some…

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Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman on getting acquired by Microsoft

Microsoft announced in February its plans to acquire the cross-platform development platform Xamarin; the deal closed about two weeks ago. Even though the ink on the contracts has barely dried, Microsoft already made Xamarin the center of attention at its annual Build developer conference today by announcing its plans to roll Xamarin into every Visual Studio tier, including the free Community Edition version. After the keynote, I had a chance to sit down with both Xamarin CEO and co-founder Nat Friedman and Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Visual Studio Julia Liuson to talk…

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DraftKings and FanDuel strike a deal with NCAA to suspend all college contests

DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest providers of daily fantasy sports in the U.S., have simultaneously announced that they reached a deal with the NCAA to temporarily suspend college sports on both platforms after this weekend’s March Madness tournament ends. While the contests weren’t necessarily a large portion of each platform (NCAA contests constitute just three percent of FanDuel’s total revenue), they didn’t sit well with the NCAA, who are traditionally very protective of using student athletes for profitable purposes. For example, the league doesn’t allow for-profit entertainment companies like EA Sports to use…

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Flex is a tampon alternative you can wear during sex

Things can get messy if you have sex on your period, so many couples avoid it. But The Flex Company wants to replace outdated pads and tampons with a sleek, disc-shaped blood blocker. Flex can be worn during sex to prevent making a mess. The Flex discs are disposable, can be worn for up to 12 hours and even come in a stylish little packet. They’re doctor-approved to be hypoallergenic, BPA-free and they won’t cause toxic shock syndrome. Flex will open for pre-orders in April and ship in September. 20,000 people…

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Beatie Wolfe shows off her NFC-powered musical jacket

Beatie Wolfe On Making Music Tactile The days of CDs and vinyl might be (mostly) over, but singer-songerwriter Beatie Wolfe is making music physical again, in a very literal way. Wolfe stopped by the TechCrunch New York office to show off her jacket designed by Mr. Fish, who also created designs for legends like David Bowie and Mick Jagger. Not only does the jacket look pretty spectacular — it also uses NFC technology, so someone can tap it with their phone (uh, if she’s wearing the jacket, maybe ask permission…

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Apple releases iOS 9.3.1 with fix for bug that causes tapping links to crash iPhones

Well that was quick. A couple of days after a bug affecting iOS started making the news, Apple has released a fix. iOS 9.3.1, now available on the iPhone and iPad, fixes this bug. The changelog is quite short as there’s only one item. “Fixes an issue that caused apps to be unresponsive after tapping on links in Safari and other apps,” it says. As a reminder, many users reported on Apple’s forums that Safari or any other app would crash if they tapped on a link. It turns out…

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Postmates launches Amazon Prime-style subscription service, hits 1 million monthly deliveries

Postmates, which is now completing 1 million deliveries a month, is digging in deeper to the e-commerce space with the launch of Postmates Plus Unlimited, a $9.99 per month subscription service that gets you free deliveries on all “Plus” orders over $30, minus the service fee. Plus merchants include American Apparel and thousands of other partners in the Postmates preferred merchant program. By the end of the year, Postmates will have 10,000 Plus merchants across 40 U.S. markets. Postmates Plus Unlimited kind of sounds like Amazon Prime, amirite? When asked about…

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