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Angry Birds maker craters on bad guidance, losing half its market value

Angry Birds maker Rovio’s stock price tanked cratered after their latest quarterly earnings report painted a dismal future for the game maker. The stock is down 50 percent after the company sent investors a warning in their latest earnings report that revenues were likely to suffer in 2018. Despite a strong over reliance on the Angry Birds brand, which seems to have been integrated into any and every licensing deal possible over the past few years, the 15-year-old Rovio is still making moves. The company had $365 million (297.2 million euros) in revenues in 2017, a 55 percent increase over the previous year as the game-maker made more money off of its titles and brand licensing deals. The strong reaction today was the result of investors feeling misled by the company’s optimism in past fut...

Apple devices are butt dialing 911 from its refurbishing facility – 20 times per day

Since October, emergency responders in Elk Grove and Sacramento County, California have received over 1,600 false alarm 911 calls coming from an Apple repair and refurbishing site in the area. It’s not clear if the calls are coming from Apple’s iPhones or Watches but each time a call originates out of the Elk Grove facility, there’s no one on the other end of the line and it’s gumming up the emergency response system in the area, draining resources and possibly slowing down response teams in actual emergencies. “The times when it’s greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call,” police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told Sacramento CBS Local News, which first repo...

Split raises $17M for its product experimentation platform

Split announced this morning that it’s raised $17 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and new investor Harmony Partners. Split has now raised a total of $26.8 million. The startup allows companies to test out new features and deliver them in a targeted way to select groups of users. Co-founder and CEO Adil Aijaz said the key components of the platform include tools for targeting users and tracking their activity within the product, plus a statistical engine to help businesses understand how feature changes are actually affecting that activity. While this might sound like just another A/B testing tool, Aijaz argued that it’s very different, because it’s used by the product and engineering team (rather than mar...

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel got a $637 million bonus last year

Snap’s stock investors haven’t made much money since the company went public last year, but CEO Evan Spiegel still got a hefty payday. According to an SEC filing, he was granted an RSU of 37,447,817, which vested at the time of the IPO. In other words, that was worth nearly $636.6 million. His salary for the year was $98,078, and he had over $1 million in other benefits, so all in all, Spiegel made $638 million in 2017 alone. That’s a lot of money. But the Snapchat co-founder also started the whole thing. It isn’t the norm, however. It’s said to be the third-highest CEO payout ever.  It’s also just a fraction of Spiegel’s overall net worth, which is estimated to be almost $4 billion. And he wasn’t the only executive to get a big payday. Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan netted over $100 mi...

Visualizing the slave insurance industry

Similar to the way people insure their cars, houses and lives, slave-owners would sometimes insure their slaves. Fearful of not getting their money’s worth from their slaves, owners would sometimes take out insurance policies on them. In the 1800s, for example, some slave-owners who rented out their slaves would insure them so that, in the event their slaves died or were severely injured in the hands of someone else, the owners would not suffer too much of an economic loss, according to The Treasury of Weary Souls. The Treasury of Weary Souls, created by New York University Professor Michael Ralph and engineers from Resilient Coders, examines what slavery looked like after the trade was outlawed in 1808, but continued to exist via the smuggling, breeding and renting of slaves within the Un...

Announcing TC Sessions: Robotics with UC Berkeley, May 11 at Zellerbach Hall

Robotics is an incredibly demanding field because robots demand the best of everything technology has to offer, from machine learning, to sensors and GPUs, to materials technology and of course the “robot” itself. For that reason, there is no better subject for one of TechCrunch’s single-day, single-topic events, and we’re excited to announce that TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics is slated for May 11 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. We are producing this event with UC Berkeley, which is one of the world’s leading universities in robotics research and point of origin for many of the world’s top robotics startups, technologies and technologists. TechCrunch’s editors are working hard on the agenda for the event, which will build on the Sessions: Robotics event TechCrunch produced last year with...

Bump is a peer-to-peer marketplace for streetwear

As the streetwear and sneaker industry continues to explode in popularity, we’re seeing more and more startups popping up to service the industry — all from slightly different angles. Meet Bump, a peer-to-peer take on a streetwear marketplace. Founded six months ago in the U.K. and now part of Y Combinator’s Winter ’18 batch, the startup already has more than 200,000 users buying and selling limited-edition streetwear from brands like Supreme and Kith. After signing up, anyone can create a listing or buy an item — all prices are set by sellers, who pay a 6 percent transaction fee to Bump and 2.9 percent fee to PayPal on all sales. Users can sort by price, size, category or brand — and also can follow specific sellers and “like” items too. There’s also a messaging feature so you can talk to...

Facebook says it’s clarifying its ad metrics

Facebook is looking to clean up and clarify the way advertisers measure their campaign performance. Over the past couple of years, the company has had to acknowledge multiple mistakes in its ad metrics. Last fall, researchers even pointed out that Facebook’s purported reach was greater than the US Census population in every state. So making these kinds of tweaks (and taking other steps to increase transparency) could help restore advertisers’ confidence in the company’s numbers. Facebook laid out the changes in a blog post, and also at a press event this morning, where Vice President of Marketing Science Brad Smallwood was joined by Edward Gaffney, director of implementation research at ad agency GroupM. (Gaffney is part of Facebook’s Measurement Council.) The first change comes in the way...

Snap stock sinks as Kylie Jenner says she doesn’t use Snapchat anymore

At this point, if you haven’t accepted the celebrity influence of the Kardashian/Jenner machine, you probably haven’t been paying attention to pop culture at large. Snap is definitely paying attention. Yesterday, Kylie Jenner tweeted a pretty brutal takedown of Snapchat with the nonchalance that only a celebrity who has mastered social media better than most can do. sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad. — Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018 The words were significant not only because of who was saying it, but because it fits a pretty clear narrative that Snap is slowly losing its bread-and-butter users to Instagram and that its controversial redesign has alienated the core who were still holding on. Even though Snap CEO Evan Spiege...

Amazon’s latest Prime perk is free shipping on its deals site Woot!

Eight years after Amazon snatched up the daily deals site Woot!, the retailer is now leveraging the site to serve as another perk for Prime members. Woot! this morning announced that it will begin offering free shipping on purchases from its site to all Amazon Prime members. Woot!, which was founded in 2004, is no longer the household name it used to be back when Amazon acquired it in 2010 for $110 million. At the time, the site had gained popularity for its gimmick of “one deal per day,” which drove engagement, traffic and, of course sales, as quantities were limited. Woot! was also well-known for its sense of humor, which continues today with its announcement of the Prime deal. In it, the company writes: “YEP. YOU’RE WELCOME,” and then proceeds to quote its monkey mascot, Mortimer. In th...

Snips brings its privacy-focused voice assistant to cars

French startup Snips is announcing two things for its voice assistant SDK. First, the company is showing off an interesting use case in Nuremberg with a Snips-powered voice assistant in a car. Second, you can now build voice assistants in German. Snips isn’t technically competing with Alexa Voice Service or Google Assistant SDK as they’re not designed the same way. Snips lets you build a voice assistant that runs locally. While many hackers have been playing around with the SDK, Snips eventually wants to convince manufacturers that they should embed a Snips-powered assistant instead of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Your voice recordings or instructions are never sent to the cloud with Snips. It respects your privacy and allows some low-latency use cases even if your device isn’t connec...

MyBagCheck lets you drop off your bags anywhere

MyBagCheck is a clever system that ensures that you’ll be able to spend that extra few hours in a foreign city without having to lug around fifty pounds of Samsonite. The founder, Micah B. Lewis, created the app to allow people who have bags to get those bags picked up and stored during the day, something every traveler would love. The app is self-funded and Lewis spent $60,000 of his own money to build it out. It is in the iOS App Store now. “We are the only on-demand mobile application that picks up, stores, and delivers bags/luggage in the NYC Metro 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Lewis. “No other company does this in the United States. “I’ve created an entire new segment of business,” he said. Prices vary based on your location and duration but Lewis’ team will pick up and sto...