A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had long been a target of a Saudi troll army, according to the report, which employed hundreds of people to stifle the speech of government critics, like Khashoggi, who left the kingdom to live and…

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China is funding the future of American biotech

China is funding the future of American biotech

Silicon Valley is in the midst of a health craze, and it is being driven by “Eastern” medicine. It’s been a record year for US medical investing, but investors in Beijing and Shanghai are now increasingly leading the largest deals for US life science and biotech companies. In fact, Chinese venture firms have invested more this year into life science and biotech in the US than they have back home, providing financing for over 300 US-based companies, per Pitchbook. That’s the story at Viela Bio, a Maryland-based company exploring treatments for inflammation and…

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Early-stage SaaS VC slip snaps recovery as public software stocks soar

Early-stage SaaS VC slip snaps recovery as public software stocks soar

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor International growth, primarily in China, fuels the VC market today Corporate venture investment climbs higher throughout 2018 A few months ago, Crunchbase News reported that a longstanding period of SaaS investment stagnation had come to an end. However, the investment boom times didn’t necessarily carry over to the seed and early-stage end of the subscription software businesses. The chart below displays deal and dollar volume of seed and early-stage venture investments1 made…

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Khashoggi’s fate shows the flip side of the surveillance state

Khashoggi’s fate shows the flip side of the surveillance state

It’s been over five years since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden lifted the lid on government mass surveillance programs, revealing, in unprecedented detail, quite how deep the rabbit hole goes thanks to the spread of commercial software and connectivity enabling a bottomless intelligence-gathering philosophy of ‘bag it all’. Yet technology’s onward march has hardly broken its stride. Government spying practices are perhaps more scrutinized, as a result of awkward questions about out-of-date legal oversight regimes. Though whether the resulting legislative updates, putting an official stamp of approval on bulk and/or warrantless collection as…

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In State Tectonics, an explosive ending for the future of democracy

In State Tectonics, an explosive ending for the future of democracy

An omnipotent data infrastructure and knowledge-sharing tech organization has spread across the planet. Global conspiracies to disseminate propaganda and rig elections are ever present. Algorithms determine what people see as objective truth, and terrorist organizations gird to bring down the monopoly on information. Malka Older faces a problem few speculative science fiction authors face in their lifetimes: having their work become a blueprint for reality. The author, who began formulating her Centenal Cycle series just a few years ago, now finds that her plots have leapt off the page and…

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Hackers breach Healthcare.gov system, taking files on 75,000 people

Hackers breach Healthcare.gov system, taking files on 75,000 people

A government system used by insurance agents and brokers to help customers sign up for healthcare plans was breached, allowing hackers to siphon off sensitive and personal data on 75,000 people. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed the breach in a late Friday announcement, but revealed few details about the contents of the files stolen. The hacked system was connected to the Healthcare.gov website, the front-facing portal for anyone signing up for an insurance plan under former President Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Hackers targeted the behind-the-scenes…

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Free societies face emerging, existential threats from technology

Free societies face emerging, existential threats from technology

Bilal Zuberi Contributor Share on Twitter Bilal Zuberi is a partner at Lux Capital, and is on the boards of Evolv Technology, CyPhy Technologies, and Nozomi Networks, among others. Silicon Valley is currently, and correctly, under fire for the failure of leading platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to protect against the spread of disinformation, hate speech and efforts to disrupt our elections. I don’t know why these companies behaved as they did. But whatever the reason – naiveté, excessive focus on near-term profits, or simply a lack of…

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Gearing up to step into virtual reality

Gearing up to step into virtual reality

Makula Dunbar Contributor Makula Dunbar is a writer with Wirecutter. More posts by this contributor 5 apps and services for productivity and wellness The best gear for starting a small business Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions. For the past two years, we’ve been closely following the advances of new VR experiences. Much of this gear is still in development, but if you’re eager to dive in and get…

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Apply for free tickets to Startup Battlefield Latin America 2018

Apply for free tickets to Startup Battlefield Latin America 2018

We’re just a few short weeks away from the inaugural Startup Battlefield Latin America 2018 that takes place November 8 at the Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo, Brazil. That’s when up to 15 of Latin America’s exceptional early-stage startup founders will launch their companies to the world as they compete for cash, glory and investor love. It promises to be a fierce competition, and we want you to come revel in the excitement, the knowledge-sharing, the networking and the opportunities. Best of all, spectator tickets are free — simply…

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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Queen Biopic To Showcase Immersive ScreenX Format

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Queen Biopic To Showcase Immersive ScreenX Format

The new Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody will be showcased in the ScreenX format, the second 20th Century Fox film to be released using the new technology following Kingsman: The Golden Circle. CJ 4DPLEX, 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises made the announcement today. ScreenX is a multi-projection system used within a theater setting. It was created in 2012 by CJ CGV, part of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, as one of the “next cinema formats,” along with 4DX, the…Read full story

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