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Month: January 2015

Betaworks Launches Idiot-Proof Livestream Broadcast App Upclose

Sick of hassling with Google Hangouts? Now you can start broadcasting video live to the world with just one-touch through Upclose, the newest app from Betaworks. Upclose lets you follow people to get notified when they’re on the air, discover who’s livestreaming now, and then comment on their broadcasts in a chat room with other viewers on the web or mobile. That’s it. And that’s kind of the point. Other livestreaming products can feel clunky, complicated, and decidedly web-first. The lack of options in Upclose translates to a lack of friction to getting a stream up and running. I just did an hour and a half of Upclose streaming, and you can watch the recording of my last chat here if you want. Otherwise, follow me on Upclose so you’ll get notified next time I broadcast. Upclose (for iOS and Android) was built the team from, which was a music community site designed to connect fans directly to artists over video. But now the team says after two years “it’s time to move forward” and has turned its tool into a more open broadcasting platform in the form of Upclose. That’s just the kind of pivot that app studio Betaworks is designed to support. Rather than toiling endlessly on a product no one wants, they encourage rapid iteration until something sticks. “In upclose we love live experiences. That moment...

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Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley

As a woman venture capitalist since 1999, I initially read the Newsweek article “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women” with great interest, and then with increasing sadness.  The scenarios depicted in the Newsweek story were disturbing, but frankly they remained somewhat abstract for me until I taught my class at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business several hours later. That afternoon, three separate female students described incidences of sexism and harassment they’d experienced when interacting with male investors. It’s never easy to learn about the unfortunate experiences of others, even when you don’t know them. However, I can assure you that learning about them from people you mentor and finding them to be commonplace is much more alarming. Still, hope remains. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” While the Newsweek story offered plenty of statistics about women VCs and entrepreneurs, there are a few areas it did not address. Micro VCs are a fabulous example of what can happen when a few good people get together to blaze a trail. I’m looking at you, Aileen Lee, Kirsten Green, Cindy Padnos, Theresa Gouw, and Jennifer Scott Fonstad! Breaking free from the cultural norms that are ingrained in the more traditional VC firms, these high-profile women are adjusting the landscape to suit both their needs and those of their...

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CrunchWeek: Apple’s Huge Quarter, Snapchat Discover, And Newsweek’s Cover Fail

Today’s episode of CrunchWeek is a very special milestone for us here at TechCrunch, marking the 100th time we’ve met up to casually talk about the week’s most interesting news. To commemorate the event, Colleen Taylor and TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsosis reminisced about the first episode of the show. We then went on to talk about news big enough for our hundredth episode: Apple’s “holy cow they blew it out of the water oh my goooooosh” earnings report this week. Big takeaways: more iPhones sold in a quarter than ever before, huge adoption in China and Japan, and solid performance across its other product lines. In non-Cupertino news, Snapchat made a big media play this week with the launch of Discover. Working with partners like Yahoo, Vice, and CNN, Snapchat now lets you watch short clips interspersed with ads, updated daily. It’s an interesting experience that manages to feel different from simply stumbling upon a video in your Facebook or Twitter feed. We also chatted about Newsweek’s controversial new cover. While it’s important to talk about diversity in tech, mainstream media outlets tend to paint an image of sexism in the Valley that sometimes doesn’t reflect the real problems faced by women in the industry. Article source:...

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Becoming a K-Pop Star

The Boston Globe recently shed light on the dreams that thousands of Korean youngsters have, which is to become the next big K-pop star — bringing the once regional trend to the forefront of popular culture. Led by Psy‘s rapid rise to stardom in 2012 with his Korean rap single “Gangnam Style,” which sent shockwaves around the world via a playful YouTube music video, K-pop is an ever-evolving entity with a vast amount of potential. This photo series captures the arduous and gruelling task of gaining recognition in an industry that is saturated with pre-teens and teens striving to make a name for themselves. According to a recent survey, a staggering 21 percent of pre-teen respondents in Korea want to become K-pop stars — the most popular career choice in Korea by a large margin. For more, head over to The Boston Globe and check out the full piece. Article source:...

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Tony Hawk Explains Why McDonald’s Was the Right Sponsor for Him

Often attributed for bringing the sport of skateboarding to mainstream America and subsequently the international stage, Tony Hawk sits down with The Berrics to discuss what it means to sell out. From fast-food deals to a lucrative video game franchise, Hawk explains how each one of his sponsorships allowed him to pursue his passion. He further details the concept of “selling out” as it should be as well as how corporations and skateboarders can co-exist. Article source:...

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