August 2017

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Curbside, a startup powering same-day shopping experiences for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, including CVS, is today announcing a new partnership with Yelp that will allow consumers to shop in Yelp’s app, then pick up their items locally. For shoppers, the idea is that they’ll be able to browse area businesses’ products and promotions in Yelp, then drive to the store to pick up their order — without even having to get out of their car to retrieve it. The startup already had a relationship with CVS, which invested in Curbside last year. At the time, CVS said it planned to roll out this new curbside pickup

Rumor has it that Amazon’s AWS cloud computing platform will soon launch its own Kubernetes-based container management service. Those rumors are getting a bit more concrete because AWS today joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the open source home of the Kubernetes project, as a top-level Platinum member. With this, all of the major public cloud providers, including Microsoft, Google and IBM, are now part of this Linux Foundation-based group, which aims to bring modern cloud management techniques to the masses. Amazon already hosts the vast majority of Kubernetes deployments, according to a recent survey, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Amazon is joining the foundation that,

FaceApp, ignoring its own previous missteps and those of others, has wandered back into controversy with a new update launching today that adds “ethnicity change filters,” allowing users to see what it would look like if they were Caucasian, Black, Asian or Indian. When the company launched last year, there were some reports that filters designed to make users look “hotter” was just, in fact, making them whiter. Now, with four of the 10 filters available in the free version of the app being explicitly devoted to “changing” ethnicities, FaceApp seems to be getting a little too focused on races rather than faces. The app,

Starcraft II has been a target for Alphabet’s DeepMind AI research for a while now – the UK AI company took on Blizzard’s sci-fi strategy game starting last year, and announced plans to create an open AI research environment based on the game to make it possible for others to contribute to the effort of creating a virtual agent who can best the top human StarCraft players in the world. Now, DeepMind and Blizzard are opening the doors to that environment, with new tools including a machine learning API, a large game replay dataset, an open source DeepMind toolset and more. The new release of the

For the third installment of this season’s Founder’s Corner podcast, I sat down with Jessie Woolley-Wilson, the inspiring edtech leader who is transforming the way students learn with DreamBox Learning. On this episode, you’ll hear Jessie share the lessons she’s discovered about setting mission and vision, the mentoring she gives young professionals about asking for what they deserve and her perspective on bridging passion and purpose to build great companies. Jessie is the CEO and president of DreamBox Learning, a Seattle-based startup aimed at reimagining learning for kindergarten-8th grade students in mathematics. Previously, she held leadership positions at top edtech companies, including Kaplan, LeapFrog SchoolHouse and Blackboard, where

For the average American, the name “SoftBank” doesn’t mean much. It’s neither soft nor, technically, a bank. It’s a sprawling Japanese mobile carrier, internet service provider and holding company for other businesses ranging from cloud services and self-driving cars to energy trading. And its investment arm has bankrolled some of the world’s largest and most successful upstart technology companies, including many with serious name recognition here in the U.S. Like many large corporations, SoftBank invests its cash across a broad portfolio of asset classes. It also invests some of its substantial capital reserves in earlier-stage technology companies. So where does that cash go, and how is it doled out to startups across the

Tesla is working on self-driving technology specifically tied to its forthcoming electric semi-truck plans, according to a Reuters report. The tech would allow the transport trucks to move in convoy formation with a lead vehicle providing guidance for autonomous follow trucks, according to emails discovered by Reuters in which Tesla discusses the work with the Nevada DMV. Tesla is also set to meet with the California DMV to discuss autonomous trucking technology, according to comments made by that organization to Reuters. Tesla has already confirmed that it is working on an all-electric semi truck, set to be revealed in more detail at a planned event

Facebook has a new home for original video content produced exclusively for it by partners, who will earn 55 percent of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45 percent. The “Watch” tab and several dozen original shows will start rolling out to a small group of U.S. users tomorrow on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps. By hosting original programming, Facebook could boost ad revenue and give people a reason to frequently return to the News Feed for content they can’t get anywhere else. Watch features personalized recommendations of live and recorded shows to watch, plus categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh” and “Shows

When AWS today became a full-fledged member of the container standards body, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it represented a significant milestone. By joining Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and just about every company that matters in the space, AWS has acknowledged that when it comes to container management, standards matter. AWS has been known to go the proprietary route, after all. When you’re that big and powerful, and control vast swaths of market share as AWS does, you can afford to go your own way from time to time. Containers is an area it hasn’t controlled, though. That belongs to Kubernetes, the open source container management

Nextdoor, the social media platform for neighborhoods, is rolling out a real estate listings feature, showcasing housing for sale in local communities. The idea is to formalize behavior that's been happening organically, suggests CEO Nirav Tolia. "These real estate conversations are already happening," he said, so Nextdoor wanted to devote a section to it. The feature isn't just for those looking to buy homes. It also aims to help users assess the changing real estate prices in their respective communities. "People spend the majority of their net worth on their homes, and they want to know how those home values are doing over time." It will also