Techmeme
April 18, 2014, 1:30 AM

Top News

Jan Senderek / Loom:
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
UberX adds $1 ‘Safe Rides Fee’ for passengers, reinstates 20% commission fee for drivers  —  UberX customers, take note: Your rides are about to cost a little more.  In an email sent to UberX Seattle drivers, the company notes a new “Safe Rides Fee,” that takes effect today.
Kim Zetter / Wired:
Grams, a Tor-accessible search engine for contraband, aims to be the Google of Dark Web  —  New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy  —  The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online.
More: TechSpot, The Verge, Gizmodo and SC MagazineTweets: @wired
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook Launches “Nearby Friends” With Opt-In Real-Time Location Sharing To Help You Meet Up  —  Today Facebook begins rolling out a new opt-in feature called Nearby Friends.  It lets friends see approximately how far away you are from them, and you can share your exact, on-going location with them for a limited time.
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
GoogolPlex intercepts Siri commands, lets it control third-party apps like Spotify and Google Maps  —  College kids gave Siri new powers and now you can too  —  We already know Apple is working on improving Siri, but gosh dangit, the folks in Cupertino just aren't moving as fast as some would like.
Kelton Lynn / The Twitter Blog:
Twitter launches mobile app install ads, integrates MoPub ad-buying  —  A new way to promote mobile apps to 1 billion devices, both on and off-Twitter  —  We are excited to announce new ways for marketers and developers to drive app installs and app engagements using our new mobile app promotion suite …
Bertel King, Jr / Android Police:
Unfinished ‘Easy Unlock’ Feature Creeps Into Chrome OS Dev  —  A new feature has snuck into the Chrome OS dev channel that, while not yet fully baked (okay, it's still mostly a block of ice), could one day allow users to unlock their Chromebooks automatically just by having their phone in close proximity.
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Ubuntu 14.04 will power “first commercially available Ubuntu tablets”  —  From May 2013, a tablet running an early version of Ubuntu Touch.  —  Andrew Cunningham  —  Canonical today is releasing Ubuntu 14.04, a Long Term Support (LTS) edition for desktops and servers and an update to the versions of Ubuntu for phones and tablets.
Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:
Instacart Could Raise A Big New Round Of Funding Valuing It At $400 Million  —  On-demand grocery startup Instacart is fielding term sheets for a big new round of funding, according to sources.  We've heard the new financing could be led by a non-VC investor, and according to one source it would value the company at up to $400 million.
Martyn Williams / PC World:
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada  —  Google has expanded its Project Loon tests to the Nevada desert and, for the first time, into licensed radio spectrum.  —  Google declined to comment on the secret trials, but a local official confirmed they are related to Project Loon …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
One Medical Group Raises $40M To Help Reinvent The Doctor's Office  —  Disruptive primary care medical practice One Medical Group, is announcing $40 million in growth capital led by Redmile Group, with participation from current institutional investors.  The company previously raised $77 million …
Josh Ong / The Next Web:
Microsoft's Xbox One passes 5M units sold to retailers, but Titanfall boost not enough to beat Sony  —  Microsoft today announced that it has sold over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the globe, but sales of the system have still lagged behind rival Sony's PlayStation 4.
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Amazon to expand Fire TV's voice search with support for Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime  —  Amazon announced today that the voice search functionality in its Fire TV media streaming box would soon be expanded to include information from Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime.
Microsoft:
Microsoft Brings World's Fastest Texting to Windows Phone 8.1  —  Gaurav Sharma appeared relaxed but focused in his purple hoodie on Jan. 16, 2014.  Less than 20 seconds later, Sharma, a 15-year-old from Lakeside High School in Seattle, found himself the owner of a Guinness World Record® …
Recent Sponsor Post
Jason Del Rey / Re/code:
Lending Club Raises $115 Million, Acquires Springstone Financial for $140 Million  —  Lending Club, the online market that connects borrowers looking for loans with individuals with the money to fund them, has acquired Springstone Financial for about $140 million in cash and stock, the company said this morning.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Microsoft Brings World's Fastest Texting to Windows Phone 8.1  —  Gaurav Sharma appeared relaxed but focused in his purple hoodie on Jan. 16, 2014.  Less than 20 seconds later, Sharma, a 15-year-old …
Atlassian:
Every team needs kick-ass code reviews  —  Code reviews help spread knowledge and coding best practices throughout a team.  In this article we'll take a look at why code reviews are important, and how to optimize the practice.
Zoho Blogs:
2 Ways Live Chat Can Enhance Your Customer Service  —  Landing a new customer is 5x more expensive than keeping an existing customer.  How do we keep our customers happy?  By providing outstanding support.
Silicon Valley Bank:
SVB's Halo Report shares angel investment activity for 2013  —  The 2013 Halo Report finds angel investment activity on the rise with more high-valuation deals closed in 2013 than in 2012.

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Earlier Picks

Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch: