The $1.86 billion legal battle between ride-hailing giant Uber and Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo reached a pivotal moment today as the judge in the case released a damning letter based on the account of a former Uber employee. The letter alleges that a special division within Uber was responsible for acts of corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, the bribery of foreign… Read More

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Go-Jek buys three startups, the California Department of Public Health warns against being on your phone for too long and AOL Instant Messenger is officially dead. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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 8i, the New Zealand and Los Angeles-based augmented reality startup bringing celebrity personalities into immersive experiences, is laying off about half of its 70-person staff, according to a report in Variety and confirmed by the company. “Although we’ve made significant progress, we are continuously challenging our assumptions about where the AR/VR market is headed and how it… Read More

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 Federal prosecutors are looking to unload 513 bitcoins seized as part of a drug case in Salt Lake City. Worth about $500,000 when they were seized, their worth has now ballooned to over $8.5 million — and there’s no way the feds are letting that get away. Read More

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 Google announced today that it’s shutting down its high-end smartphone augmented reality platform, Tango, in order to focus on the more mass market ARCore product. The company had already confirmed this much to us when they announced ARCore in August, but now we have an official timeline for Tango’s demise. Read More

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 Casa Systems had a tough time pulling off its IPO this week. The broadband solutions company wanted to debut Thursday, but pushed its launch back to Friday, likely because of weak initial demand. Casa had planned to sell 8.4 million shares, but reduced it to 6 million following the investor roadshow. The IPO priced at $13 per share, but bounced up almost 11 percent, closing the day at $14.40. Read More

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 In Jakarta, Indonesia, only 50 percent of the population has access to the piped sewerage system. More than 500,000 residents practice open defecation, and more than one million people discharge wastewater directly into the river, resulting in deteriorated groundwater quality and putting residents at risk to waterborne diseases. The better news: The city has a master plan to improve the… Read More

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 If you’re a Firefox user, you may have noticed a weird new extension that suddenly showed up in your browser this week. The extension is called “Looking Glass 1.0.3” and this is its description: MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOURS. Now that sounds ominous. It’s really not, though. Read More

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 The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public. Read More

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 What the frak is this? According to a report from Deadline, Apple may have actually gotten its hand on a good show – a new space drama from “Battlestar Galactica” creator, Ronald D. Moore – to aid in its ambitions in building out its original video content. The still untitled series comes from Sony Pictures Television and Moore’s Tall Ship Productions, and has… Read More

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 Vevo, the music video service backed by major record labels, just announced that its CEO Erik Huggers is departing. Huggers previously worked at the BBC, at Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) and elsewhere. He joined Vevo in 2015. Under his leadership, Vevo was working to become less reliant on YouTube (which was its major syndication partner) by developing more apps and products like the… Read More

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 It’s one thing for an autonomous car to strut its stuff on a smooth, warm California tarmac, and quite another to do so on the frozen winter mix of northern Finland. Martti, a self-driving vehicle system homegrown in Finland, demonstrated just this in a record-setting drive along a treacherous (to normal drivers) Laplandish road. Read More

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 Freight and logistics in the U.S. alone account for nearly $1.5 trillion annually. As the world’s economies scale up, that number is only expected to increase. The industry, however, is not prepared for growth, as it sits on top of an infrastructure prone to systematic inefficiencies and rampant fraud. However, disruption is coming in the form of blockchain technology. Read More

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 Amazon this week officially launched the first skills for Alexa offering premium content that customers can purchase while using the voice apps – a move the company had announced was in the works back in November. The ability for developers to generate money from their skills comes at an opportune time, as it turns out, given that new data indicates the rate of skill growth is beginning… Read More

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 It looks like Wag may get another huge injection of cash following a big financing round earlier this year, according to a report by Recode, and also based on what we are hearing. We had heard a bit ago that Wag was looking to raise around $100 million, which the Recode report also suggests. But it now looks like Softbank is in talks to invest around $300 million in the dog-walking app.… Read More

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