TechSummit Rewind 084

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Twilio stock jumps 90 percent in first day of trading


Shares in cloud communication company Twilio’s first day as a public company resulted in shares rising over 90 percent to close at $28.53, at a market cap of $2.03 billion.

“This is another major milestone for Twilio and a point in time in our long term plan. We built the company to the point where the IPO made sense to us, and we’re looking forward to the next decade and beyond as a successful public company.”

-Jeff Lawson, Twilio co-founder & CEO

Apple discontinuing Thunderbolt display


Apple is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display.

According to Apple, the display will still be available through the usual channels while supplies last.

Uber starts showing upfront UberX surge pricing fares


Uber is now testing a new version of its app that’ll make surge pricing nearly invisible to customers. Instead of a lightning bolt and pop-up box notifying riders of the inflated fares, riders will be simply provided with the fare.

Riders will be warned of surge pricing via a line of faint text about “Increased demand” under the fare.

“No math, no surprises.”

-Uber, in a statement

YouTube adds ability to livestream in mobile app

YouTube Live Streaming

YouTube is adding the ability to broadcast live video from its mobile apps, according to a YouTube event at VidCon.

You’ll be able to tap on a red button on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, take a selfie as the video thumbnail, and proceed the broadcast. Viewers will be able to find all of your videos on your YouTube channel, and the service lets you search, review recommendations, and protect videos from unauthorized usage.

The interface lets you notify your subscribers when you’re broadcasting, and you can enable chat and specify whether you want the livestream to be viewable by the public or not.

YouTube stars that’ll begin using the feature include The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJoyls, and Alex Wasabi.

Google uses RankBrain for every search, impacts rankings of ‘lots’ of them


Google is now using its RankBrain machine learning system to process every search.

Facebook Live adds two-person broadcasts, viewer waiting rooms


Facebook has announced three major updates for Facebook Live: two-person remote broadcasts, pre-scheduled streams with a virtual waiting room for viewers, and the ability to broadcast with MSQRD’s face masks.

Friends will now be able to “drop in” on broadcasts and join the conversation (think remote interview). The feature will go live this summer for Verified Pages, before rolling out to everyone else.

Instagram will start recommending video channels to watch


Instagram is rolling out an update to its Explore Section to start recommending video collections. The Facebook-owned social network will be building “channels” around certain topics like “cheerleaders,” “comedians,” “cake decorating,” “pit bulls,” and about 16 others at launch.

Twitter launches tags to location feed with Foursquare

Twitter location feeds

Twitter is rolling out a new location feature, first to iOS, that lets you see when tweets are coming from a specific place (business, sports stadium, event, etc.).

These location tags appear in the main Timeline and on profiles, clueing people into the fact that there are location feeds to browse. The Foursquare branding and design of the location feeds is also new. According to Twitter, a basic version of location feeds was available before, but there was no way to tell a tweet was tagged with a location unless you opened its detail view.

Foursquare is powering precise place identification for the feature, gaining prominent branding, a link back, and the ability to improve its own database in return.

“We’re excited about this integration, which has been getting deeper over time. Location can provide important context for any moment, and our location intelligence is best-in-class. We’re proud to support Twitter in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and many other geographies.”

-Jeff Glueck, Foursquare CEO

InMobi fined $950K for ‘deceptively’ tracking consumer locations


InMobi has been fined $950,000 for allegedly tracking the movements of consumers and serving their location-targeted advertising without their knowledge or consent.

Alongside the financial penalty, the Singapore-based mobile advertising company also would have to establish a “comprehensive privacy program,” according to the FTC in a statement. The vendor’s ad network reached over a billion devices globally through mobile apps, serving geo-targeted advertising to consumers.

According to the FTC, InMobi misrepresented its advertising software with claims that the tool would track only the location of consumers when they opted in and in accordance to the users’ device privacy settings.

However, it was found to have monitored consumers’ whereabouts regardless of whether the apps using the company’s software sought the consumer’s permission to do so, and even after consumers denied permission to access their location data.

According to the FTC, InMobi would use a built database, containing information collected from consumers, to sync up with the location of the consumers – based on the wireless networks they’re near – even when they turned off the location collection option on their device.

The company also violated the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act for extracting data from apps clearly targeted at children, and failed to secure a parent/guardian’s consent before collecting and using children’s personal data.

“InMobi tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, without their consent, in many cases totally ignoring consumers’ express privacy preferences. This settlement ensures InMobi will honor consumers’ privacy choices in the future and will be held accountable for keeping their privacy promises.”

-Jessica Rich, FTC director of consumer protection

According to the FTC, InMobi is also required to delete all data collected from children and consumers that weren’t given prior consent for the data collection. The company will also be expected to abide by consumers’ location privacy settings as well as refrain from collecting their location data unless it had express consent to do so. Its privacy program will also have to be audited by a third-party every two years for the next two decades.

BitTorrent Now is an open, ad-supported music/video platform

BitTorrent Now

BitTorrent Now is a new, ad-supported service that let users stream content from participating artists to their iOS/Android device or the new Apple TV. The Android app is available now, with the others following soon.

The company has a team working to curate some of the service’s hidden gems for its users, along with trending tabs for BitTorrent Now’s most popular content, and a “new releases” section. When you find stuff you like, it can be added to a favorites list where the mobile apps will make them available offline.

Artists can decide whether or not they want to participate in the ad-supported offering, also choosing between a free, email signup option and a “paygate.” According to BitTorrent, artists will receive 70 percent of the revenue generated from ads on their videos, along with the 90 percent they receive from paygated items.

According to the company, over 30,000 artists have released content through its preceding BitTorrent Bundle programs, with 200 million fans using it to watch a film or download music.

Sevenhugs raises $14.6M Series A for smartphone-free connected home future

Sevenhugs Sevenhugs has closed a $14.6M Series A funding round led by Xerys.

The Paris-based smart home company has already developed a sleep tracker and is currently developing a universal smart-remote. At launch, it’ll let users point to control an array of connected-home devices.

Sevenhugs is preparing to launch in the United States, with the new capital being used to generate brand awareness.

Nest starts selling compatible products in company store


Nest is showing off its broader platform by opening its store up to third-party products through its “Works with Nest” program. The Alphabet-owned company currently plans to sell the LIFX Color 1000 smart bulb, Philips Hue Starter Kit smart bulb system, Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, SkyBell HD WiFI Video Doorbell, and the WeMo Switch.

“We believe that people don’t walk into a store to look for a connected home hub. All of these things work on their own, and how they can work together. It all starts with great products.”

-Greg Hu, Nest platform senior manager

Google, Udacity launch Android Basics course for novice coders

Android Basics course

Udacity has partnered with Google to introduce Android Basics Nanodegree, a course covering the basics of Android programming.

The course is aimed at those with little to no programming experience, providing entry points into Java, web APIs, using a SQLite database, and more. Beyond that, it’ll also cover how to develop an idea for an app into reality. The degree will cost $199/month, with course built by Google experts that offer mentorship and coaching.

Google has also pledged to give the first 50 graduates in the course scholarships to enroll in the more advanced Android Developer Nanodegree.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s