Aibo learns to be a better watchdog

I wanted to love the new Aibo. Really, I did. But once I aactually spent some time with it, it turned out that it was a $3,000 dog with only a handful of tricks. It seems the days of buying true robot dog companionship are still a long ways away. A few months after bringing the pup to market, Sony’s announced a few updates that should rekindle some interest. First, there’s a new paint job. Aibo now comes in Choco Edition — a dark brown and bronze edition that makes it look a bit more like Read more […]

Facebook may proactively close Pages and Groups before they’re in violation of policy

Facebook today announced changes to the way it handles the removal of content from Facebook Pages that’s in violation of the social network’s Community Standards, as well as when the Page has posted items that are rated false by a third-party fact checking service. It says it will also make it harder for those whose Pages have been shut down for violations from returning with new Pages featuring the same, duplicated content by proactively banned other Pages and Groups, in some cases. To Read more […]

YC-backed Our World in Data wants you to know that the planet is doing okay

News is exhausting. Mexican murders are sky-high. Ebola is ravaging the eastern Congo. China is erasing an entire culture of Islam from its Western hinterlands. That news — negative and intense though it is — can easily occlude the many positive, longer term stories that are fundamental drivers of the world. Africa is reaching new levels of prosperity. Violence around the world is in retreat. Famine is down, a lot. These trends are present, but getting high-quality data around them and correctly Read more […]

A new ABC documentary and podcast about Theranos features never-before aired depositions

The rise and fall of Theranos, the blood-testing company whose technology never worked despite its promises otherwise, has already been covered extensively. Most notably, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who broke open the story of Theranos’s secrets and lies, John Carreyrou, went on to author a best-selling book about the saga in Bad Blood. Still, with Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes continuing to face criminal charges that she knowingly defrauded investors, along Read more […]

Sherpa, a Spanish voice assistant, expands Series A to $15M as it passes 5M users

When we think of the AI platforms that are shaping how we use voice to interact with phones, home devices and other services, we tend to think of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google and Microsoft’s Cortana. But there are other players that may prove to have a compelling value proposition of their own. Sherpa.ai, a voice assistant out of Spain that also provides predictive recommendations with a focus on the Spanish language, today is announcing that it has expanded its Series A Read more […]

Sequoia-backed NEXT gets $97M as investment in logistics heats up

Despite its “unsexy” reputation, the logistics industry is attracting massive investment from venture capitalists. With a fresh $97 million in Series C funding, NEXT joins a fleet of heavily funded logistics platforms, including Flexport, Huochebang and Convoy. The company, which connects shippers and carriers through an online marketplace, raised the capital from Brookfield Ventures, with participation from Sequoia Capital and logistics solutions provider GLP. NEXT declined to disclose Read more […]

Millions of bank loan and mortgage documents have leaked online

A trove of more than 24 million financial and banking documents, representing tens of thousands of loans and mortgages from some of the biggest banks in the U.S., has been found online after a server security lapse. The server, running an Elasticsearch database, had more than a decade’s worth of data, containing loan and mortgage agreements, repayment schedules and other highly sensitive financial and tax documents that reveal an intimate insight into a person’s financial life. But it Read more […]