Fire TV owners can now control Hulu, NBC, CBS and other video apps via their voice

 Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to control more video apps using Alexa and their voice, the company announced today. This feature lets you ask Alexa to “watch,” “play,” “pause,” “rewind,” “fast forward,” and more. It can also take you to an individual show, network, or specific genre of programming. Before, Alexa could… Read More

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Google Cloud brings in former Intel exec Diane Bryant as COO

 There are now two Dianes running the show at Google Cloud. The company announced that Diane Bryant has been hired as the COO of the division. She joins Diane Greene, who came on board as Senior VP of Google Cloud in November 2015. Greene appeared to be excited about the prospect of her joining the team. “I can’t think of a person with more relevant experience and talents. She is… Read More

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Super Mario takes a sugar odyssey with a new breakfast cereal

 The last time Mario had a breakfast cereal, he had to split the billing with Link. I bet that’s what it felt like being in the Beatles at the end. Flying high from a recent string of high profile titles — including Mario Run and Odyssey — the cartoon plumber is finally getting a cereal box to call his own, joining the elite ranks of Steve Urkel and Gizmo from Gremlins.… Read More

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GoFundMe drops 5% Platform Fee for U.S. personal campaigns, adds tips

 GoFundMe, the popular fundraising juggernaut that now has 50 million users and has raised over $5 billion in funding for causes to date, is making an interesting change today that could see those numbers getting a boost — or at least help it fend off competition from other fundraising platforms like Facebook’s. GoFundMe is dropping the five percent Platform Fee that it charges… Read More

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FCC Commissioner Clyburn takes down Chairman’s net neutrality doom and gloom

 Back in 2015, then-Commissioner of the FCC Ajit Pai submitted a lengthy paper detailing his reasons for voting against the incoming net neutrality rules. He made a lot of predictions about harm those rules would cause — predictions that, as fellow Commissioner Clyburn points out today, pretty much all failed to come true. Read More

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Google Assistant can now help you find a plumber and other local services

 Google Assistant is about to get a bit more home-savvy. The voice assistant will be gaining local discovery skills that will help you locate home services nearby. The company specifically detailed that Assistant would be gaining insights to help users locate “nearby services like an electrician, plumber, house cleaner and more.” Saying something like, “Hey Google, I need… Read More

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Facebook will temporarily disable a tool that lets advertisers exclude people of color

 Facebook has been under fire for its practices and policies that enable advertisers to exclude “multicultural affinity” groups from the audiences they reach via the social network. Now, in light of a ProPublica investigation and pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus, Facebook says it’s committed to taking a closer look at its advertising policies, its COO Sheryl… Read More

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9 smart home gifts for a smarter smart home

 Welcome to the 2017 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We check out a lot of really cool stuff here at TechCrunch, so we figured we ought to put that experience to good use and help you get your holiday shopping done quickly. Need help with some other ideas? Check out the full Gift Guide here!
It’s hard to build a smart home. It’s even harder to buy smart home gifts for someone else. Read More

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Dropbox acquires publishing platform Verst, will shut it down on Dec. 21

dropbox verst The team behind Verst is joining Dropbox, in an acquisition that marks the end of the Verst publishing platform. The startup actually started life as DWNLD, a platform that transformed websites into mobile apps. It raised a $12 million Series A led by Grelock Partners before shifting focus to Verst, which launched earlier this year as a blogging platform that has traffic and revenue… Read More

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