Home / Tech News / Roku puts a remote on your wrist with new Apple Watch app – TechCrunch

Roku puts a remote on your wrist with new Apple Watch app – TechCrunch

The Roku remote is coming to your wrist. The company announced today the launch of an Apple Watch app that lets you control your Roku device, including Roku media players and select Roku TVs, with a tap — just like the Roku mobile app, but sized for your wrist.

Considered the limited screen real estate, the app is fairly robust in terms of its feature set.

In addition to the expected media controls — like the ability to play and pause what you’re watching –, the app also offers a home button, the select button (“OK”), a back button and directional arrows. And it includes a way to launch your favorite channels, which are organized in order of the most recently launched to make them easier to access. That way, if you always watch Netflix, you don’t have to scroll down to find it.

In addition, the tiny remote app includes voice search functionality. To activate, you just tap the voice icon, then say things like “Launch Hulu” or “search for comedies,” or even change sources, like “switch to HDMI 1” for your Roku TV, the company explains. This will work on Apple Watch versions 1 through 5.

And if you have a Roku Ultra or a Roku TV with the Remote Finder functionality which uses an audible chime to locate a lost remote control in the couch cushions, you can also use the Roku Apple Watch app to signal your Roku remote to start making a noise.

All these features will be familiar to anyone who has already used the Roku remote for smartphones, as the Apple Watch app is just a miniaturized version. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to stream The Roku Channels’ free movies, but obviously that’s not a feature you’ll want on your wristwatch. (I mean…right?)

To get the Roku Apple Watch app, you’ll need to download or update your Roku iOS app to the latest version (6.1.3), and the app will appear on your Watch as long as you haven’t disabled “Automatic App Install” in the Watch’s Settings.

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LIVE: Chris Cox, Former Chief Product Officer, Facebook, in conversation with WIRED's Lauren Goode

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LIVE: We're live with Chris Cox, former Chief Product Officer, Facebook, from our #WIRED25 summit in conversation with WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode.

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Posted by WIRED on Friday, November 8, 2019

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As for what specifically drove him to leave, Cox explained that, “It wasn’t something where I felt I wanted to spend another 13 years on social media. Mark and I saw things a little bit differently . . . I think we are still investigatingu00a0as an industry, how do you balance protecting the privacy of people’s information and continuingu00a0to keep people safe,” Cox said.

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On whether moving toward encryption was part of that, he said he thinks encryption is “great: and that “It offers an enormous amount of protection,” but noted “it certainly makes some of those things more complicated” on the privacy versus safety balance. He complemented Facebook’s efforts to build ways of catching bad actors even if they’re shielded by encryption. That includes digital literacy initiatives in Brazil and India ahead of elections, and offering forwarding systems for sending questionable information to fact checkers. “I think there are pros and cons with these systems and I’m not a hard-liner on any one of them,” Cox said, and noted that what Facebook is building is “resonant with what people want.”

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Cox was asked about the major debate about whether Facebook should allow political advertising. “We think political advertising can be good and helpful. It often favors up and comers versus incumbents.” Still, on fact-checking, he said, “I’m a big fan,” even though Facebook isn’t applying that to political ads. He did note that “I think the company should investigate and is investigating micro targeting . . . if there’s hundreds of variants being run of the creative thenu00a0it’s tricky to get your arms around what’s being said.” He also advocated for more context in the user interface distinguishing political ads.u00a0

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Chris Cox speaks at Wired25

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Cox’s next projects

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Since leaving Facebook, Cox has joined the advisory board of a group called Acronym, which is helping to build out the campaign and messaging technology stack for progressive candidates. “This is an area where my perception is that the progressives have been behind on the ability to develop and use as a team infrastructure that helps you have a good voter file, how to develop messaging —u00a0just basic politics in 2019.”

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Wired’s Lauren Goode asked if he was aligning himself with progressives, taking a political stance, and whether he could do that while still at Facebook. “Absolutely not,” Cox responded.And why is that I think when you’re in a veryu00a0senior role at a platform, you have a duty to be much more neutral in your politics.”

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He then came out with a bold statement enabled by his independence. “I think Trump should not be our president. The other thing I care a lot about right now is climate change and he’s not going to help us there.”

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That led to Cox discussing that he’s also been working to advise San Francisco startup Planet Labs, which is using satellite imagery to track climate change. “The vision was to build these small, about shoebox-size satellites with solar panel panel wings and have a fleet of them in space, which is real-time imaging the Earth.”

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With that data, Cox explained you can track wildfires, deforestation, coal power plants, methane gas and more. Then, “You can start to contribute to having a health system, where you are basically imaging the Earth every hour, and then you’re creating some public data set with tools that plug into decision makers, banks, insurance companies, policymakers, investors, journalists, students…”

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Asked about big tech’s responsibility for addressing climate change, Cox said “I think at the very least it’s making a commitment to being carbon-negative.”

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Acronym and Planet Labs’ work intertwines, as Cox believes climate data proves the need for someone new in the Oval Office. While Cox didn’t discuss it onstage, Wired listed him as part of Shasta Group, which is Cox’s own vehicle for contributing to these projects. Still, he’s not ready to launch a full-fledged company of his own in politics and climate. “I’m still so youngu00a0at this field that I don’t have enough confidence in my own mental model of the world.”

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Cox concluded that by harnessing big company’s employees and having team leaders put more attention on climate change, “I do think tech can lead.”u00a0

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Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the chief product officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. Now […]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

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Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

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Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

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Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

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Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

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[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors and has concluded. Constine’s fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he’s since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents’ estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

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Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

nn

Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

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[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors and has concluded. Constine’s fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he’s since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents’ estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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lung ‘breakthrough’ suggests lethal culprit in THC products could be vitamin E acetate”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on the situation.

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Sadly, the condition has already claimed the lives of at least 39 people, and more than 2,000 cases have been reported collectively from every state but Alaska. At present the only advice offered has been to stop vaping altogether.

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In a media teleconference, the heads of the investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained the basis for pointing the finger at Vitamin E acetate. The substance was cited as a possible problem early on but only recent testing has established it as a bona fide suspect, the team explained.

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Samples taken from the lungs of 29 victims of the condition were sent in from 10 different states, and vitamin E acetate was found in all of them. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate as the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC .

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Although she agreed that this evidence is a “breakthrough,” she noted that it is at present merely a correlative finding u2014 more research is required to establish causation, namely the mechanism of harm, though other work has been done in that area.

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“Previous non-CDC research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function,” she said.

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“It’s important to note that these findings do not rule out other possible compounds or ingredients that may be causing these lung injuries,” she continued. “There may be more than one cause of the outbreak.”

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Equally important are the statistics involved with the sources of the substances in question. As mentioned earlier in the investigation, a huge proportion of those suffering from this condition were using THC products, and specifically ones acquired through unregulated channels like street dealers.

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The vitamin E acetate may have been added for the purpose of essentially cutting the product, Schuchat mentioned in response to a question on the call.

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“That may be done for the illicit purpose, or the profit purpose, of diluting the materials, making it look nice and perhaps not having to use as much THC or other active ingredients,” she said.

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Other potentially dangerous chemicals have been identified in vape products when heated and aerosolized, including many that even the creators might not have predicted.

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Knowing a potential culprit doesn’t get at the heart of the problem, which would be that this chemical (perhaps among others) has already built up over months or years in the lungs of frequent vape users. Treatment is a parallel line of research, but knowing at least one substance responsible should be helpful.

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The CDC’s previous advice still stands, the officials noted: They advise avoiding vaping altogether, as there are very few controls at present over which ingredients are allowed in vape products, and what must be declared on the packaging, or indeed whether those declarations are in any way accurate.

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on […]

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Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He first wrote for TechCrunch in 2007. He has also written for MSNBC.com, NBC News, DPReview, The Economist/GE’s Look Ahead, and others.

nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1458774381/r4iwkrm6qsw3n2ximghe.jpg”,”twitter”:”techcrunch”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/12084691″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”author”:[{“id”:12084691,”name”:”Devin Coldewey”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/devin-coldewey/”,”slug”:”devin-coldewey”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“homepage”:”http://techcrunch.com/author/tcdevin”,”twitter”:”http://twitter.com/techcrunch”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/company/techcrunch”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/devin-coldewey”},”position”:”Writer & Photographer”,”cbDescription”:”

Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He first wrote for TechCrunch in 2007. He has also written for MSNBC.com, NBC News, DPReview, The Economist/GE’s Look Ahead, and others.

nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

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A vape pen exuding vapor.

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how to win customers and influence consumers at Disrupt Berlin”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told.

n

The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. Those are the stories that transform industries and re-contextualize how businesses think of themselves and their competition.

n

On the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt Berlin three of the finest practitioners of the dark arts of branding, public relations, marketing and communications will share their tips and tricks on how to get coverage for a company and how to use that coverage to get at the strategic objectives that companies need to fulfill as they grow.

n

These alchemists of allusive include Collette Ballou, the founder of the eponymous Ballou PR; Katy Turner, the managing director of Multiple; and longtime public relations pro, Joanna Kirk.

n

Ballou began her career in European public relations in the aftermath of the dot-com collapse in the U.S. in 2001. Both an investor and an entrepreneur, Ballou has worked with startups and investment firms including 83 North, Accel Partners, Box, Criteo, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoEuro (now Omio), Lakestar, Pinterest, Stack Overflow, Stripe, TransferWise, Twilio, Waze, WhatsApp and Zendesk. She also is an investor in venture funds, including Cavalry Ventures and Connect Ventures.

n

Before founding Multiple, Turner worked in several different roles across the tech industry in the U.K. and Europe. She began her career at Orange (in a time when it was actually cool to work for a mobile operator, she says). That role led to positions at Eden Ventures, Videoplaza and as the chief marketing officer at Tech City UK. In addition to her work at Multiple, Turner also serves as a mentor for Seedcamp and Techstars and sits on the investment committee for the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Fund.

n

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told. The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. […]

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Earning more dollars from home easily just by working 0nline j0b from home. Makes every month extra $20k or more from this easy h0me j0b. Last month i have made $22759 from this just in my spare time. Every person can now get this and start earning 0nline from the instructions given to this web page.. visit This Site ———->>> http://www.Buzz-Work.com

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/22/learn-how-to-win-customers-and-influence-consumers-at-disrupt-berlin/#comment-677110″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/677110″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1900747″}]}},{“id”:677097,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Rashaverick Overlord”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-10-22T14:42:22″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

Will this be as poorly attended as SF Disrupt and essentially a series of agendaed and scripted press conferences?

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/22/learn-how-to-win-customers-and-influence-consumers-at-disrupt-berlin/#comment-677097″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/677097″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1900747″}]}}]],”authors”:[{“id”:59254947,”name”:”Jonathan Shieber”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/jonathan-shieber/”,”slug”:”jonathan-shieber”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“twitter”:”https://twitter.com/jshieber”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jonathan-shieber/0/baa/b27″,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jonathan-shieber”},”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Jonathan is an editor at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai. He can be reached via email at shieber@techcrunch.com.

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Jonathan is an editor at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai. He can be reached via email at shieber@techcrunch.com.

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look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

n

    n

  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • n

  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
  • n

  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
  • n

  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
  • n

  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
  • n

  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
  • n

  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • n

  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
  • n

  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n

n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

n

Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

n

At USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

n

Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

n

David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

n

People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

n

n

Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

n

With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanut, a social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Star, an astrology app.

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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Horowitz launches free crypto startup school”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Last month, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company is officially launching its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply.

n

With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the a16z team has been involved in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space for seven years, and the firm now wants to share some of its learnings with entrepreneurs.

n

This way, it could give a boost to the crypto community, which could create investment opportunities for a16z down the road u2014 a16z says clearly that participating in the crypto startup school doesn’t mean you’ll receive an investment from a16z. It also positions a16z as a thoughtful investor when it comes to crypto startup investments u2014 not just for participants of the crypto startup school but for the crypto community at large.

n

The a16z Crypto Startup School will be a seven-week program that starts February 21, 2020. The program is free and a16z doesnu2019t take any equity.

n

Lectures will take place in Menlo Park, so you have to be based in Silicon Valley or willing to spend a couple of months there. And because a16z knows that it can be challenging to move to another country just to attend this program, the firm will also be recording all lectures. Anyone will be able to watch videos and download curriculum materials later.

n

Hereu2019s a sneak peek of the course outline:

n

n

    n

  • What are Crypto Networks, and Why Do They Matter?
  • n

  • Blockchain Computing Primitives: Cryptography and Consensus
  • n

  • Overview of Application Development Tools
  • n

  • Applications: Today and 2025
  • n

  • Crypto Business Models
  • n

  • Cryptoeconomics
  • n

  • UX, Product Development and Security
  • n

  • Go-to-Market Strategy and Developer Relations
  • n

  • Community Participation and Governance
  • n

  • Regulatory Landscape and Considerations
  • n

  • Guide to Fundraising
  • n

n

n

As you can, itu2019s a mix of lectures purely focused on cryptocurrencies as well as broader startup 101 lessons (fundraising, go-to-market strategy, etc.).

n

The program is looking for 20 to 25 teams, which should represent approximately 40 participants. You should have prior experience when it comes to building software products, but you donu2019t need to be a crytpo expert. Participants can expect 12 to 15 hours of lectures, workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities per week.

n

At the end of the course, participants will showcase a project idea or a prototype during a demo day.

n

ntt

nttntt

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Last month, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company is officially launching its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply. With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the […]

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He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

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He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

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He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

n

    n

  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • n

  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
  • n

  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
  • n

  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
  • n

  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
  • n

  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
  • n

  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • n

  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
  • n

  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n

n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

n

Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

n

At USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

n

Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

n

David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

n

People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

n

n

Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

n

With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanut, a social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Star, an astrology app.

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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Indonesian capital will impact nation’s startup ecosystem”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Recently reelected, Indonesian President Joko Widodou00a0announced a desire to move the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the East Kalimantan region, citing environmental concerns, the most exigent of these being the fact that Jakarta is literally sinking due to the uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. Widodo said he wished to separate Indonesiau2019s government from its business and economic hub in Jakarta.

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However, what would a move from Jakarta do to Indonesiau2019s burgeoning startup economy?

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Shifting administrative governmental hubs

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According to Widodo, studies have determined that the best site for the proposed new capital is between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara, both located in East Kalimantan. The basis of this selection is due to studies highlighting the regionu2019s relative protection from natural disasters, especially when compared to other regions. This would definitely be a benefit for the governmental heart of Indonesia, ensuring continuous administrative functions in a disaster-prone region. Other governments have separated administrative centers from their economic hubs with varying degrees of success, with some examples being Brazilu2019s creation of Brasu00edlia, as well as Koreau2019s projected move from Seoul to Sejong.

n

What is most interesting to note from prior examples is that these newer branched-out cities are non-surprisingly, heavily government-centric. In Brasu00edlia, roles tied to the government make up nearly 40% of all jobs, while in Sejong, a lack of facilities like public transit and commercial mall space cause many to commute into Sejong for government work, instead of permanently settling in the area. Given the semi-undeveloped nature of East Kalimantan, these anecdotes are quite troubling if the government is actually moving to North Penajam Paser or Kutai Kertanegara.

n

These facts raise the question of economic impacts of such governmental moves. In fact, one may even opine that while these moves do allow for governmental growth, ultimately, they may hurt the country economically due to a divestment between both government and economic hubs. In this specific instance, it is most important to analyze the impact of such a move on Indonesiau2019s startup economy, as the nation is one the worldu2019s leaders in startup growth.

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Indonesiau2019s startup economy

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Indonesia has emerged as a startup hub within Southeast Asia in recent years, with its population of over 260 million marking it as the worldu2019s fourth-most populous country. Additionally, Indonesiau2019s mobile-first population has enabled the full embrace of the internet era, with 95% of all internet users in Indonesia connected to the web via a mobile device.

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Similarly, startup growth has boomed in the island archipelago, with several Indonesian-based unicorns disrupting local, regional, and global economies. Softbank-backed ecommerce giant Tokopedia is currently in talksu00a0for a pre-IPO funding round, while emerging super-app Gojek controls significant portions of the ride-sharing industry in Asia, simultaneously expanding intou00a0separate industriesu00a0to include digital payments, food delivery, and evenu00a0video-streaming. Additionally, online travel portal Traveloka (in which Expedia has a minority stake) has recentlyu00a0entered the financial services space, furthering its impact within Asia. These specific examples of high-growth startups demonstrate a population hungry for innovation, further driving the developing startup economy.

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

A move to East Kalimantan would allow for further development in the startup industry, with a focus on ecommerce and sustainability-focused enterprises.

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Vehicles commute next to a construction site of the LRT (light rapid transit) in Jakarta on October 31, 2019. (Photo by BAY ISMOYO / AFP) (Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP via Getty Images)

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Academy is scaling up a coding program for ‘the heartland’”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re earning a minimum income.

n

The model aligns education providers with students’ career outcomes, and one startup is staking a claim to be the leader in the space; Kenzie Academy, a year-long program with a physical campus in Indianapolis u2014 and a student body that’s 66 percent online u2014 announced a partnership with Community Investment Management (CIM) earlier this week that provides $100 million in debt to cover the operating costs associated with students who defer payment through ISAs.

n

Kenzie co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi says that core to Kenzie’s mission is the goal that its graduates “can stay in the heartland and attract more jobs so that someone coming out of the Midwest no longer has to move to Silicon Valley or New York to have a successful career in tech.” This $100 million is one of the largest commitments yet to financing ISAs and Kenzie is using it to recruit a more diverse population of students who may not be able to afford tuition or qualify for student loans otherwise.

n

I interviewed Ooi to understand how Kenzie differentiates itself from competitors, how it has iterated its model to improve retention and job placement and how he expects the ISA market to evolve over the next couple years. Here’s the transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:

n

Eric Peckham: The landscape of software developer training programs is crowded. Where did you see an opportunity to do something different, and how do you position Kenzie relative to others in the market?

n

Chok Ooi: My co-founder came from Galvanize, so we observed firsthand the proliferation of tech and coding boot camps. These are typically short-term, three-to-five month programs and they tend to do well serving people with college degrees. I would say that they are disrupting the masters’ program space. We saw a major gap in programs that serve a much larger demographic of people who are much earlier in their development. People who never went to college, or did a little bit of college and dropped out, or just never had a professional work experience. A three-month training is insufficient to get them to a point where they could land a technical job and be successful.

n

We saw an opportunity to bring high-quality tech education to the American heartland that is 12 months in length. For about two-thirds of our students, this is their first post-secondary credential training.

n

We are giving them not just the technical skills, but elements from a traditional four-year college as well, like critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

n

Compared to those other bootcamps or training programs, is Kenzie targeting different job outcomes for its graduates?

n

We did a survey of our students that asked them to name the top five tech companies they desired to work for. None of the Silicon Valley companies made the list other than Salesforce. Indianapolis is the second largest Salesforce office outside of San Francisco. The rest of the companies our students named were companies like DMI and Zylo that people in Silicon Valley don’t hear about but are doing very well in the Midwest. Their friends work there. They’re a fabric of the community. If we really want to create job opportunities for the rest of America, we cannot adopt the Silicon Valley mindset.

n

Kenzie Academy co-Founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

Kenzie Academy co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

n

So how do you evaluate technical aptitude and critical thinking in the admissions process? What’s that process look like, and how has it evolved over the last couple of years? What have you learned in order to make that more effective?

n

Prior to founding Kenzie, I started a company nine years ago called AglityIO. The model for AgilityIO was similar to companies like Andela. We were trying to solve the talent crunch in the Bay Area by recruiting and training people with the raw talent in Vietnam. Today, that company works with Google, Uber, NerdWallet, Meetup.com and 150 other tech companies. So Iu2019ve experience in developing processes to identify raw talent in this context.

n

As people are doing the online assessments, we collect data points of how long it takes for them to solve the problem, what their different decision points are and things like that. Then as they get enrolled in Kenzie, we continue to collect attendance data, grades, and then placement data and use that to look at success and failure cases. We constantly refine our assessment.

n

Are you seeing any particular pattern or cluster in the applications youu2019re receiving or the candidates youu2019re accepting in terms of prior field of employment or aspect of their background?

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re […]

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Eric Peckham is TechCrunch’s Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

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Eric Peckham is TechCrunch’s Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

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Photos: Kenzie Academy

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Microsoft is trying to become more innovative”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Microsoft Research is a globally distributed playground for people interested in solving fundamental science problems.

n

These projects often focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, and since Microsoft is on a mission to infuse all of its products with more AI smarts, it’s no surprise that it’s also seeking ways to integrate Microsoft Research’s innovations into the rest of the company.

n

Across the board, the company is trying to find ways to become more innovative, especially around its work in AI, and it’s putting processes in place to do so. Microsoft is unusually open about this process, too, and actually made it somewhat of a focus this week at Ignite, a yearly conference that typically focuses more on technical IT management topics.

n

At Ignite,u00a0Microsoft will for the first time present these projects externally at a dedicated keynote. That feels similar to what Google used to do with its ATAP group at its I/O events and is obviously meant to showcase the cutting-edge innovation that happens inside of Microsoft (outside of making Excel smarter).

n

To manage its AI innovation efforts, Microsoft created the Microsoft AI group led by VP Mitra Azizirad, who’s tasked with establishing thought leadership in this space internally and externally, and helping the company itself innovate faster (Microsoft’s AI for Good projects also fall under this group’s purview). I sat down with Azizirad to get a better idea of what her team is doing and how she approaches getting companies to innovate around AI and bring research projects out of the lab.

n

“We began to put together a narrative for the company of what it really means to be in an AI-driven world and what we look at from a differentiated perspective,” Azizirad said. “What we’ve done in this area is something that has resonated and landed well. And now we’re including AI, but we’re expanding beyond it to other paradigm shifts like human-machine interaction, future of computing and digital responsibility, as more than just a set of principles and practices but an area of innovation in and of itself.”

n

Currently, Microsoft is doing a very good job at talking and thinking about horizon one opportunities, as well as horizon three projects that are still years out, she said. “Horizon two, we need to get better at, and that’s what we’re doing.”

n

It’s worth stressing that Microsoft AI, which launched about two years ago, marks the first time there’s a business, marketing and product management team associated with Microsoft Research, so the team does get a lot of insights into upcoming technologies. Just in the last couple of years, Microsoft has published more than 6,000 research papers on AI, some of which clearly have a future in the company’s products.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Microsoft logo at Ignite 2019

n”},”alt_text”:”Microsoft logo at Ignite 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from China and India can accelerate the green card process”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

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Limits written into existing immigration laws on both the number of green cards issued each year, as well as the number of green cards available based on country of origin, leave some waiting half a century or more for a green card, with people from India and China facing the longest wait times for employment-based green cards.

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In this fiscal year, which ended on October 31, 226,000 family-sponsored green cards and 141,918 employment-based green cards were available. And the per-country cap, which is the maximum number of green cards available to individuals born in a particular country, was 25,754.u00a0

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Although these U.S. laws pose an extra challenge for people born in countries with the highest demand for green cards, if you were born in India or China, there are some things you can do to mitigate this wait.

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Differentiate yourself

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The EB-1 green card is considered the u201cfirst preferenceu201d for those who’ll receive offers for employment-based green cards. It offers three unique and accelerated sub-paths:u00a0

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  • EB-1A green card for individuals of extraordinary abilityu00a0
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  • EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors
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  • EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives
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The EB-1A green card for extraordinary ability does not require an employer sponsor or even a job offer, which means itu2019s one of the few self-petition green cards. To demonstrate eligibility,u00a0you must be able to show you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and that you and your work have received national or international acclaim.u00a0

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Individuals who apply for the EB-1A do not need to obtain labor certification (as required of employers). That means the process is simpler and can be much faster than typical employment-based green cards. Also, an individual applicant may have more flexibility to change jobs than if an employer applied on their behalf.

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The EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors requires an employer to sponsor you. Candidates for the EB-1B green card must demonstrate great achievements in their academic field.u00a0

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And finally, the EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives enables an employer to bring an executive or manager who has been working abroad over to the U.S. to live and work. The EB-1C candidate must have worked outside the U.S. for the employer for at least one year.

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This Cato Institute analysis estimates individuals born in China and India face waiting eight and nine years, respectively, for an EB-1 green card.u00a0Despite the small and growing backlog for EB-1 green cards for individuals born in China and India, it still remains one of the quicker options.
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Invest in a project that creates jobs

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Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

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21 January 2019, Brandenburg, Jacobsdorf: The speedometer of a car indicates the speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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The Roku remote is coming to your wrist. The company announced today the launch of an Apple Watch app that lets you control your Roku device, including Roku media players and select Roku TVs, with a tap — just like the Roku mobile app, but sized for your wrist.

n

Considered the limited screen real estate, the app is fairly robust in terms of its feature set.

n

In addition to the expected media controls — like the ability to play and pause what you’re watching –, the app also offers a home button, the select button (“OK”), a back button and directional arrows. And it includes a way to launch your favorite channels, which are organized in order of the most recently launched to make them easier to access. That way, if you always watch Netflix, you don’t have to scroll down to find it.

n

In addition, the tiny remote app includes voice search functionality. To activate, you just tap the voice icon, then say things like “Launch Hulu” or “search for comedies,” or even change sources, like “switch to HDMI 1” for your Roku TV, the company explains. This will work on Apple Watch versions 1 through 5.

n

And if you have a Roku Ultra or a Roku TV with the Remote Finder functionality which uses an audible chime to locate a lost remote control in the couch cushions, you can also use the Roku Apple Watch app to signal your Roku remote to start making a noise.

n

All these features will be familiar to anyone who has already used the Roku remote for smartphones, as the Apple Watch app is just a miniaturized version. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to stream The Roku Channels’ free movies, but obviously that’s not a feature you’ll want on your wristwatch. (I mean…right?)

n

To get the Roku Apple Watch app, you’ll need to download or update your Roku iOS app to the latest version (6.1.3), and the app will appear on your Watch as long as you haven’t disabled “Automatic App Install” in the Watch’s Settings.

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The Roku remote is coming to your wrist. The company announced today the launch of an Apple Watch app that lets you control your Roku device, including Roku media players and select Roku TVs, with a tap — just like the Roku mobile app, but sized for your wrist. Considered the limited screen real estate, […]

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Sarah currently works as a writer for TechCrunch, after having previously spent over three years at ReadWriteWeb. Prior to her work as a reporter, Sarah worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software.

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Sarah currently works as a writer for TechCrunch, after having previously spent over three years at ReadWriteWeb. Prior to her work as a reporter, Sarah worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software.

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