With Tech on the Defensive, SXSW Takes an Introspective Turn

The first five days or so of SXSW in Austin are always heavily weighted toward the interactive portion of the conference. The city’s downtown streets swell with lanyard-laden “entrepreneurs” and “founders” wearing that familiar uniform of T-shirts screen-printed with their company’s clever logo, an outfit made professional by throwing a blazer over the ensemble. They bounce from panel to panel and branded “house” to branded “house” (this year, on scooters, so many scooters) hawking their new apps and software products, each promising to be more revolutionary and life-changing and utterly necessary than the next. For years, the unspoken question at the conference seemed to be which company will become SXSW famous, like Persicope, Foursquare, or, most memorably, Twitter? But this …

Snapchat always proved critics wrong. Then Evan Spiegel pushed for a redesign

Most CEOs would probably prefer not to overhaul their core businesses less than a year after an initial public offering. It’s a pivotal period when executives look to play up their company’s stability and growth to a world of potential new investors on Wall Street. Arlan Hamilton: She invests in tech founders others ignore. And it’s working Mary Barra: Her impatience could save GM. ‘Time is not our friend’ Read all 14 Risk Takers profiles The plan: separate content from friends and publishers — and celebrity users — while attracting new users by making the app easier to use. Spiegel said at the time that the move could be “disruptive” to Snap’s business. That proved to be an understatement. A …

Millions of people may be giving away their privacy through ancestry tests

What a novel idea.Image: Paul Bradbury / getty Cash hasn’t been dethroned, yet.  In the age of Square, Apple Pay, and Amazon Go, buying a sandwich or beer with paper money may feel like a throwback to simpler, neolithic times. But on Feb. 27, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney signed into law a bill requiring that stores accept cash. So those times are guaranteed at least a temporary reprieve from an otherwise looming extinction.  That is a very good thing. SEE ALSO: A judge can order you to use this app to deal with your ex The bill, which takes effect July 1, represents the first time a major U.S. city has codified into law the requirement for most businesses to …

Lyft pulls ahead of Uber in race to IPO

Lyft is the first ride-hailing app to file to go public.Image: Lyft Lyft filed for a $100 million initial public offering on Friday. In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Lyft released its financial history for the first time. With the public disclosure, we now know that for the past three years Lyft has been losing money … a lot of money.  SEE ALSO: Lyft rolls out its own version of Uber Express Pool called ‘Shared Saver’ Lyft pulled in revenue of $2.2 billion in 2018, but also recorded a net loss of more than $911 million. It lost nearly $700 million during the previous two years.  Much bigger competitor Uber is expected to file for its …

Elon Musk always takes the freeway instead of Waze shortcuts so he can use Autopilot

Just you, the open road, and Autopilot.Image: Tesla While making bold predictions about full self-driving cars during a podcast session with an investment firm this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also shared how he gets around – in a very Tesla way. In the conversation with ARK Invest — a Tesla shareholder that wrote a stern letter to Musk after he tweeted about taking Tesla private — Musk said Tesla vehicles would be capable of self-driving by the end of this year and that by the end of 2020 human drivers wouldn’t have to pay attention while the car drives and you could even take a nap until arriving to your destination.

Lyft’s ‘Shared Saver’ is just like Uber Express Pool

Pile in for a crowded ride.Image: Lyft If you’re willing to walk a few blocks, you could save money on your next ride. On Wednesday, Lyft rolled out its version of Uber Express Pool: Shared Saver. Think of it as an on-demand mini-bus. The app gives you walking directions to meet a driver already carrying or on their way to pick up other passengers. After being dropped off, you might also have to walk a few blocks to your destination.  Wait for the app to tell you how far you’ll be walking. Image: LYFt Uber’s version of the feature launched nationwide a year ago, so the concept isn’t entirely new, especially for people who flip between the two apps. (Now …

Samsung’s new foldable smartphone: Gimmick or game changer?

New York (CNN Business)One of my first mobile devices was a 2005 LG flip phone. It was so small I could close both of hands around it and flick it open with one thumb. It taught me a most valuable lesson: how to be patient when logging onto the internet. The Galaxy Fold is a 4.6 inch-smartphone that opens up into a 7.4-inch tablet. Along with the Infinity Flex display, it has a hinge system that can’t be seen from the outside. The device, which will cost a hefty $1,980, hits stores on April 26. It’ll run on Android 9.0 and be available in four colors (black, silver, green and blue). “We are creating a new dimension for your phone …