Google Home Max is the best smart speaker for the money. Period.

There’s never been a better time to buy a smart speaker. Once dominated by Amazon, the space has exploded in recent months to include stellar offerings from Apple, Sonos, Microsoft, and my pick for best in class: Google. Google’s Home Max isn’t perfect, and the $399 price tag might be a bitter pill to swallow for those looking to upgrade from the original Google Home (or an Amazon Echo) but it checks enough boxes to make it the most well-rounded offering in its class. Weighing in at almost 12 po...
Tags: Reviews, Google, Amazon, Startups, Gadgets, Google Google, Google Home, Google Home Max, Apple Sonos Microsoft

This dildo orders Domino’s pizza after you cum

You have never experienced this level of comfort before: adult webcam platform CamSoda has engineered a hi-tech dildo that will not only help you achieve robust orgasms, but will also hit up Domino’s and order a pizza for you after you’ve cum. Unlike your dumb dildo, the so-called RubGrub has been equipped with an internet-connected button, which users can press to place a delivery for a pizza after a heated rubbing session. Why would someone want a contraption like this? Well, because “the body...
Tags: Startups, Gadgets, Apps, Tech, Gear, CamSoda, RubGrub

Samsung’s HMD Odyssey is the best way to experience Microsoft’s Mixed Reality

When Microsoft announced its entrance into the VR headset market, its partner products were attractive and relatively inexpensive, but didn’t live up to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in terms of pure image quality and specs. Enter Samsung’s HMD Odyssey, a $499 headset that can compete with the best of them. I’ve been living with the Odyssey for the past couple of months, spending many an hour immersed in Microsoft’s mixed reality world. The Odyssey’s combination of some of the highest resolutions...
Tags: Reviews, Startups, Gadgets, Microsoft, Samsung, Virtual Reality, Htc Vive

Researchers are wirelessly charging devices by blasting them with lasers

Even the most futuristic of devices start to feel dated when you plug them into charge. Sure, there’s wireless charging, but it’s just plugging in your device without actually plugging it in, right? I mean, you’re still plugging in the mat that it sits on to charge. You know what sounds futuristic? Lasers. Researchers think so too. A team of scientists recently discovered a way to charge our favorite devices using laser beams. Using a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter, the researchers ...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Science, Insider

This bizarre reality special from Netflix tries to get people to commit ‘murder’

 Netflix’s original programming is some of the best content out there, but an upcoming reality special called The Push looks bizarre at best and disturbing at worst. The company just released a trailer detailing the premise of the show, which you can watch below. According to host Derren Brown, a mentalist and illusionist (who, in the words of his website, has become “synonymous… Read More
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Entertainment, Netflix, Derren Brown, The Push

Boston Tech Watch: Nuance, Harvard, MIT, Jobcase, Panjiva & More

It’s time to catch up on some of the latest headlines in the Boston-area tech scene: —Nuance Communications is planning to phase out the Swype mobile keyboard apps for iOS and Android smartphones, according to a post from Xda Developers, which said it got confirmation from Burlington, MA-based Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN). Nuance bought Swype in 2011 for $102.5 million. —S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) said it has reached a deal to acquire Panjiva, which uses machine learning and related technologies to...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Apps, Boston, Trends, Tech, Cybersecurity, Mit, Vc, Software, Harvard, Bain Capital Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Nuance, Burlington, Swype

Teampay raises $4m so you don’t have to steal your CEO’s credit card anymore

 Few problems are as much of a headache for the modern corporate worker as buying things on the company’s dime. Companies are loathe to hand out credit cards to everyone in the building, but they also want their employees to do your job without having to fill out six forms in triplicate to requisition a pencil. They also want to control spending and track who bought that $2,000 bottle… Read More
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Enterprise, Tech, Teampay

Airbnb is rolling out a new tier aimed at higher-end travelers

 Airbnb today is rolling out a few new additions to their home-booking system, including new tiers that are aimed at higher-end customers called Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb. The new Airbnb Plus tier has homes that are verified for “quality and comfort,” rolling out with around 2,000 homes to start that have been inspected against a thorough checklist. The Luxury tier, called… Read More
Tags: Social, Startups, TC, Mobile, Apps, Tech

San Francisco's housing market is so dire, people need to make over $300,000 a year to afford the typical home

The household income required to buy a typical home in San Francisco is now $303,000, according to a report from Paragon Real Estate. Only 12% of households in the city can afford the median-priced home. The high cost of living is making it harder for tech companies and non-profit organizations to recruit and retain employees in San Francisco.   Being part of San Francisco's middle class doesn't mean you can afford middle-class living. A new report from Paragon Real Estate reveals that the h...
Tags: San Francisco, Trends, Silicon Valley, Paragon, Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, Wikimedia Foundation, Maher, St Petersburg Florida, Bay Area San Francisco, San Francisco Being, Paragon Real Estate, Katherine Maher, Mike Rosenberg, Patrick Carlisle

Roku’s CEO explains why he hasn't been crushed by giants like Apple and Amazon — and why a newcomer can conquer the streaming TV market (ROKU)

Roku, the streaming TV platform company, competes with giants like Apple and Amazon. But even though those big tech companies have similar gadgets, Roku continues to thrive. Roku CEO Anthony Wood attributed the company's success to a variety of factors like its superior software designed specifically for TVs. Roku CEO Anthony Wood is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with industry heavyweights. The scrappy streaming TV company he leads is a tiny player, with a relatively modest $5 billion mar...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Trends, Netflix, Roku, Hulu, Wood, Business Insider, Google Apple, Apple Amazon, Amazon Join, Anthony Wood

Here's how the 'unlimited' plans from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile compare (VZ, TMUS, S, T)

With the availability of unlocked devices, it's easier than ever to switch carriers and get the best "unlimited" data plan that works for you. There are a few things to consider when choosing a carrier and its unlimited data plan, like how carriers interpret the meaning of "unlimited." For most of them, it means capping your speeds after you reach a certain amount of data usage.  Each carrier also offers its own perks, like free Netflix, Hulu, or HBO. They also have their own limitations to mob...
Tags: Verizon, Hbo, Trends, Sprint, Virgin, T Mobile, AT T, Netflix Hulu, Jeff Dunn, Verizon AT amp, Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile, Mbps Sprint

Saudi Arabia is building a $500 billion mega-city that's 33 times the size of New York City

The Saudi Arabian government says it will build a $500 billion mega-city, with the goal of diversifying its economy to focus less on crude oil. The project, called NEOM, will measure 10,230 square miles. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the government will aim to make NEOM run on 100% renewable energy — a highly ambitious goal. This month, the country started awarding contracts to build palaces there.   Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter, but falling oil prices have ...
Tags: Saudi Arabia, New York City, US, Trends, Egypt, Norway, Jordan, Iceland, Reuters, Riyadh, Saudi Aramco, Mohammed bin Salman, Red Sea, Salman, Burlington Vermont, Siemens AG

Elon Musk shared the first images of SpaceX satellites that could change the internet

SpaceX on Thursday launched two experimental satellites. The satellites are designed to test Starlink, a concept to bathe all of Earth in high-speed broadband internet using a fleet of 12,000 satellites. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, posted a video of the new satellites deploying into orbit. Musk named the satellites "Tintin A" and "Tintin B." The first pieces of a radical plan to bathe Earth with high-speed internet access just launched into space. SpaceX, the rocket company founded by ...
Tags: Spacex, Elon Musk, Fcc, Youtube, China, Los Angeles, Trends, Tesla, Earth, Federal Communications Commission, Pacific Ocean, Musk, Falcon Heavy, Falcon, Don, McGregor Texas

Facebook Messenger now lets you add friends during calls without stopping the party

Facebook Messenger is making it easier to invite friends to your calls. Starting today, you can add friends onto an ongoing session. Previously you had to close your call, create a new group, and then initiate a call again. Now you can just tap on the screen while on a call and select the ‘add person’ button. It’s small change, but one that’ll make the calling experience more seamless. Say you want to surprise a friend for their birthday and discuss details with someone else beforehand, or perha...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Insider

Google doesn’t want you to ‘send a message to Barack Obama’

… Well, kind of. It appears that the Google app for Android is suffering from a bizarre glitch that breaks its interface anytime someone tries searching how to send a message to Barack Obama. As spotted by observant users on Reddit, what triggers the bug is the search input – or namely ‘how to send a message to Barack Obama.” Instead of Obama’s contact details, the search breeds a long string of incomprehensible characters. Here’s what happens when you type in the ‘magic’ words: Whatever the cau...
Tags: Google, Startups, Apps, Obama, Barack Obama, Reddit

Hotshot Marketing Business Intelligence: How to Crush Marketing ROI Goals

Today’s hotshot marketing execs often find themselves in really tough positions from the C-suite to the boardroom. Charged with growing business AND proving the value of marketing, marketing leaders need critical insight more than ever. Proving success and value – often with less-than-perfect visibility into how marketing components are working together can lead to heartburn, sleepless nights and a lot of stress. Successful marketers feel this pinch on a daily basis, and it makes sense. Why ...
Tags: Google, Business, Big Data, Seo, Business Intelligence, Google Data Studio, Data Studio, Hotshot Marketing Business Intelligence

Spotlight: Franchise Takes a Unique Approach to Dog Training

The pet industry is booming. But it’s not all about boutique grooming products or homemade treats. Service businesses like Zoom Room are also appealing to pet owners. The company takes a unique approach to dog training, focusing on training with dog owners and also giving the animals a place to exercise and socialize. You can read more about the business in this week’s Small Business Spotlight. What the Business Does Provides dog training services that focus on helping dog owners. Mark Van Wy...
Tags: Cary Grant, Sales, Philadelphia, Clyde, Katharine Hepburn, Small Biz Spotlight, Marmaduke, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Venice CA, Mark Van Wye, Small Business Trends Zoom Room, Zoom Room Zoom Room, Van Wye, U S Company Mascot A Komondor, Clyde Van Wye, Komondor

Employees at $93 billion Qualcomm brace for layoffs after Apple sparks a boardroom battle — it’s straight out of ‘Game of Thrones’ (QCOM, AVGO, AAPL)

Chip maker Qualcomm is in a fight for its life, which will culminate during its March 6 shareholders meeting. Qualcomm's board members are fending off a hostile takeover by their rival Broadcom, which would be the largest tech merger in history. To fend off Broadcom's offers, Qualcomm has adopted a "poison pill" defense — basically, Qualcomm is paying more for major acquisition of its own, in the hopes of making itself less attractive to Broadcom. Meanwhile, Qualcomm's 34,000 worldwide employ...
Tags: Apple, South Korea, Fcc, Aaron Sorkin, China, Samsung, Trends, Bloomberg, Tim Cook, San Diego, Qualcomm, Broadcom, NXP, Jay Lee, Apple Qualcomm, Broadcom Should Broadcom

Bitcoin is back below $10,000

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the fourth time of 2018 on Thursday morning. The world’s largest cryptocurrency, which makes up 39.4% of the total market cap for digital coins, has had a volatile year so far. Its price climbed in 2017, but has seen regular swings as much as 20% in either direction in the first months of 2018 so far. Less than a month ago, on February 6, bitcoin plunged as low as $5,922. That’s just 45% of its high of $16,932 set in early January. Most cryptocurrencies are down ...
Tags: Microsoft, US, Trends, Brad Smith

HOW TO: Turn your food waste into clean energy

Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food ends up lost or wasted — 46 percent of the world’s garbage. While the global food waste situation is what you’d call a “doozy,” consumers and companies like HomeBiogas are determined to turn food waste into clean, usable energy. Read on to find out how. What Is HomeBiogas? HomeBiogas is one of several successful projects to come about from Kickstarter. The Israeli company, which began its crowdfunding efforts in 2015, focuses on turning everyday food wast...
Tags: Design, Cook, China, Renewable Energy, Features, Uganda, Innovation, Clean Energy, Jordan, Greenhouse Gases, Composting, Alternative Energy, Waste Disposal, Green Energy, Clean Power, Recycling And Composting

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 over 200,000 users buying… Read More
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Y Combinator, Tech, Bump, U K, Streetwear

Sustainable forests: training and jobs add fire power

The longleaf pine ecosystem in the United States has shrunk from 90 million acres to just 3.4 million over time. Consequently, nearly thirty animal species that rely on it for habitat are now endangered or threatened.
Tags: Business, News, United States

A new company plans to launch huge, inflatable spacecraft into orbit — and sell reservations to countries and tourists

On Tuesday, hotel billionaire Robert Bigelow announced the launch of Bigelow Space Operations. The new company will operate inflatable space stations called B330s, which are being developed by Bigelow Aerospace (a space hardware company). The first two B330 modules are slated for launch in 2021. BSO is also working with the International Space Station to carry its payloads. Bigelow hopes to build an inflatable space station more than twice as big as the ISS. Robert Bigelow, who made his bill...
Tags: Spacex, White House, China, Russia, Trends, Nasa, Earth, International Space Station, Iss, Donald Trump, Pacific Ocean, Falcon Heavy, Trump, Robert Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace, Bigelow

Kylie Jenner just announced the death of Snapchat (SNAP)

Kylie Jenner is one of the biggest influencers on Snapchat. But now she says it "is so sad" that nobody opens Snapchat anymore.  Snapchat may have just lost a very influential user. Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian family, tweeted on Wednesday to her 24.5 million followers: " sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad" "still love you tho snap .... my first love," she followed up in a second tweet.  Perhaps Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wants ...
Tags: Instagram, Trends, Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jenner, Kylie, Travis Scott She, Kylie Snapchat

Tech M&A is going to pick up in 2018

There may be more M&A in the near future in the technology sector. Tech execs confidence level in the global economy has risen from 20% to 80%. More than half of tech execs say they will pursue deals in the next year. And the tax plan doesn't have that much to do with it.  While 2017 was a wash for tech M&A, we’re barely a month into the new year and that narrative is already changing. This is hardly a surprise. In a single year, tech executives’ confidence in the global economy increased to...
Tags: Trends, Tech, Trump

YouTube still hasn’t fixed its Trending problem

YouTube is in hot water again after it failed this week to catch a conspiracy theory video before it topped the Trending section — proving the company still doesn’t have a handle on its own algorithms, despite being raked over the coals for this multiple times in the past. The video in question — which, in the interest of good taste, I’m not going to embed or link to — is about David Hogg, one of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting rampage which happened last week. The video claim...
Tags: Google, Startups, Video, Opinion, David Hogg

Trump Jr: ‘Nonsense’ that family’s profiting from presidency

NEW DELHI (AP) — Donald Trump Jr. says any talk that his family is profiting from his father’s presidency is “nonsense” as he kicked off a highly publicized visit to India to promote real estate deals that bear his family’s name. The eldest son of President Donald Trump arrived in India on Tuesday to meet […]
Tags: Business, News, India, Ap, Donald Trump, New Delhi, Donald Trump Jr, Trump Jr, Nation & World

Small Toy Companies Thrive While Toys R Us Announces Store Closings

Toys ‘R’ Us is slated to close 180 stores across the US as the 115th North American International Toy Fair gets underway in NYC. But the market is rewarding nimble small businesses creating new toys faster than large established corporations. Fox Business reports Toys ‘R’ Us hopes to restructure and recover after the company filed for bankruptcy. The 180 stores it is closing represent around one-fifth of its locations, but it is not affecting the US toy industry as expected. The $27 billion US ...
Tags: US, Sales, Economy, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Chen, Wall Street Journal WSJ, Hasbro Mattel, The Toy Association, 115th North American International Toy Fair, Fox Business reports Toys R Us, Shay Chen, Flycatcher Inc

APPLY NOW: Business Insider is hiring a paid news intern to work weekends

Business Insider is looking breaking news editorial intern to join our news team in NYC. This intern will be primarily working with our weekend editor, so the schedule for this 40 hour a week internship is Thursday through Monday. This intern will help the news and politics teams with research and social media promotion, and will have ample opportunities to both write and syndicate news stories.  We need someone who is enthusiastic about social media, curious about politics and tech, and broadly...
Tags: Trends, Manhattan

Amazon will reportedly open up to 6 more cashierless stores this year (AMZN)

Amazon will open more of its cashierless stores this year, according to Recode. At least three more locations in Seattle have been identified, as well as one at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles. It's possible that Amazon could open even more of the stores this year in spots not yet disclosed. Amazon Go is expanding. The company's cashierless store featuring "just-walk-out" technology could grow to up to six new locations in at least two cities this year, according to a new report fro...
Tags: Amazon, Los Angeles, Trends, Seattle, AMZN, Happy Belly, Los Angeles The Los Angeles