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The making of a hardware founder

Working in tech, it’s hard to avoid the many stories and congratulatory tweets about the latest company to close a funding round, and little wonder. It’s a milestone worth celebrating before getting back to work. Yet what’s happening in the trenches before those funding announcements roll out is often more …

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The psychological impact of an $11 Facebook subscription

Would being asked to pay Facebook to remove ads make you appreciate their value or resent them even more? As Facebook considers offering an ad-free subscription option, there are deeper questions than how much money it could earn. Facebook has the opportunity to let us decide how we compensate it …

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Playground is betting big on robots

You find robotics in unexpected corners of Playground Global’s Palo Alto headquarters. They’re in the lobby and scattered amongst the cubicles. Inside the venture fund’s labs, an older Spot Mini stands next to RightHand Robotics’ pick and place mechanical arm. A recent video shoot in the space shows Boston Dynamics’ …

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Amazon’s fart app is the best reason to buy an Echo Button

As of this writing, there’s a single, solitary review for Button Tooter. It’s three stars and three sentences, and it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. “They clearly ran out of ideas!” the reviewer writes. “It’s kind of fun! How about a game where you can make music. [sic]” Is Amazon’s …

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Department of Energy hosts competition to train cyber defense warriors

From leaked passwords to identity theft, cybersecurity issues are constantly in the news. Few issues, though, are as important — or as under-reported by the media — as the security of America’s industrial control infrastructure. Oil rigs, power plants, water treatment facilities and other critical infrastructure are increasingly connecting to …

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