Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya says ‘we need to return to the roots of venture investing’

In the first of many annual letters Chamath Palihapitiya will be penning as part of his firm’s new era as a technology holding company, the founder of Social Capital criticized the venture capital industry. After highlighting the latest trends within VC — i.e. SoftBank’s Vision Fund, private equity activity in VC deals and inflated valuations — Palihapitiya divulged ...

Twitter tests homescreen button to easily switch to reverse chronological

Twitter is digging one of its most important new features out of its settings and putting it within easy reach. Twitter is now testing with a small number of iOS users a homescreen button that lets you instantly switch from its algorithmic timeline that shows the best tweets first but out of order to the ...

GM looks to cut costs by offering buyouts to 18,000 employees

General Motors has offered voluntary buyouts to 18,000 salaried employees in North America who have at least 12 years of experience, as the automaker looks to cut costs all while investing in its electric and autonomous future. The company has described this as a proactive measure aimed at preparing for coming headwinds such as  slow ...

Mercedes drivers sweep controversial second F1 Esports event

Leigh, who came into the event with a healthy points lead having won two of the opening three races of the season, took a controversial victory in the first race of the day at Paul Ricard. Polesitter Leigh was locked in a tense wheel-to-wheel fight with Frederik Rasmussen in the second half of the race, ...

Watch this little robot transform to get the job done

Watch this little robot transform to get the job done
Robots just want to get things done, but it’s frustrating when their rigid bodies simply don’t allow them to do so. Solution: bodies that can be reconfigured on the fly! Sure, it’s probably bad news for humanity in the long run, but in the meantime it makes for fascinating research. A team of graduate students ...

Some law enforcement drones are dropping out of the sky

The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority is cautioning police departments and other emergency services to suspend operations of a specific drone model after some of the devices lost power unexpectedly and fell while in flight. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety warning applies to DJI Matrice 200 series drones, used by some emergency services in the U.K. The ...

Influencer marketing startup Mavrck raises another $5.8M

Mavrck has raised another $5.8 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $13.8 million. When the company raised its Series A back in 2015, it was focused on helping brands work with “micro-influencers” who were already using their products. Now it describes itself as an “all-in-one” influencer marketing platform, offering a number of tools ...

Fitbit earnings beat expectations on strength of smartwatch sales

Fitbit is slowly righting its financial ship, courtesy of a successful push into the smartwatch category. The wearable company reported a profit (when adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation) thanks to growing sales in the new category.    Total revenues rose slightly to $393.6 million in the third quarter compared with the same period ...

Xiaomi doesn’t want Lyft using its electric scooters

Xiaomi, the electric scooter manufacturer that a handful of the shared electric scooter services in the U.S. (like ones from Lyft, Spin and Bird) rely on, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lyft. In the letter, obtained by TechCrunch, Xiaomi says it did not consent to associate its brand with Lyft. Xiaomi alleges Lyft has ...

Snapchat’s PR firm sues influencer for not promoting Spectacles on Instagram

Influencer marketing could get a lot more accountable if Snapchat’s PR firm wins this lawsuit. Snapchat hoped that social media stars promoting v2 of its Spectacles camera sunglasses on its biggest competitor could boost interest after it only sold 220,000 of v1 and had to take a $40 million write-off. Instead, Snap comes off looking ...