Daydream update starts arriving on Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones

Google’s brand of VR is, at last, beginning to arrive on Samsung devices. Reports emerged last week that certain Verizon Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices were getting the Daydream update, but today Google confirmed the rollout. Don’t panic if you don’t see the Daydream app on your device quite yet as the company said that the “update will take time to finish rolling out.” The Daydream headset and controller are currently on sale for $59 (normally $79) while Samsung’s latest Gear VR retails for $129. The availability of Daydream support…

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Snap joins rivals Facebook and YouTube to fight terrorism

Snap Inc has joined the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which sees consumer internet companies cooperating to stop the spread of terrorism and extremism online. Facebook, Google and YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter formed the GIFCT last month, and tomorrow it will host its first workshop with fellow tech companies plus government and non-governmental organizations. The GIFCT started as an extension of the shared industry hash database that allows tech companies to share the digital fingerprints of extremist and terrorist content, such as photos and videos, so that once one identifies…

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The Wizards of Armageddon set up shop in Silicon Valley

Like a pitch drop in the dead of winter, the U.S. Government is slow when it comes to recognizing and regulating emerging technologies. But as the years have gone by, we have largely managed to adapt to the dangers of our own advancement — nuclear weapons, bioengineering, cyberwarfare and the Juicero to name a few. Ready and waiting at an arms reach from the government, the Research and Development Corporation (RAND) has helped the U.S. think through some of the toughest scientific and regulatory challenges since the 1940s. This year,…

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Wyndham buys Love Home Swap for $53M

Large hotel chains are feeling the heat from Airbnb and other startups building digital marketplaces for travelers with a more flexible range of places to stay, and more flexible prices to match. And that is leading some of them to make acquisitions. RCI, a division of Wyndham Worldwide, has acquired Love Home Swap, a startup out of London that lets people book time to stay in other people’s homes, while at the same time list their properties for people to book. Wyndham is not revealing the terms of the deal, but…

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Lost My Name, the tech-driven kids book publisher, raises $8.5M and partners with Roald Dahl Estate

Lost My Name, the London-based startup that uses tech to create and publish personalised story books for children, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. It is also revealing an upcoming tie-in with the Roald Dahl Estate, owners of IP such as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The round was led by Ravensburger, a leading European publisher of games, puzzles, and children’s books, so it’s a strategic investment of sorts. Existing investors, Google Ventures, Project A Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group, and Allen & Co, also participated. I understand part…

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Google Calendar now plays nicer with Microsoft Exchange

Google today announced a small but important update to how Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange can work together going forward. It’s not unusual for a company to still use both Google’s G Suite tools and Microsoft Exchange in parallel, and with this update, G Suite admins can now allow their users to see real-time free/busy information across the two systems. This means tools like Google Calendar’s Find a Time feature and Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant can now easily talk to each other, for example. Once an admin has enabled them, these new Calendar Interop…

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Balkan startups offer free housing service after football price-gouging row

Football (or soccer) fans wanting to attend UEFA Super Cup 2017 in Skopje last week found that many of their hotel rooms were cancelled and rebooked at astronomical rates – sometimes 500 to 900 GBP for a hotel room that was originally a fraction of that. In order to fight back against a tarnished global image (and because they are cool people), a group in Skopje, WeTalkIT, created a free booking system that lets football fans stay at local homes. “Motivated by the recent booking scandal in Skopje, the WeTalkIT…

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Bitrise raises $3.2M A led by OpenOcean to attack the complexity of building apps

There’s a problem out there in Developer Land in that developers of apps in iOS, Android and other platforms have to manually set up every step for their application. It means they can easily customize things, but that then creates more maintenance costs. The ideal solution would be the automation of all the mobile building, testing and deployment, allowing developers the ability to concentrate on actually building something. That’s effectively the claim of Bitrise. This former Y Combinator startup describes itself as a “mobile continuous integration and delivery (CI/ CD)…

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