With Storyline, Anyone Can Create Engaging Alexa Skills with Zero Coding
- “Storyline addresses that problem by letting writers focus on the conversation without worrying about the code behind it.” As proof of the power of Storyline’s conversation editor, Shynkarenka points to Adva Levin, who built her entire Kids Court skill—the Grand Prize winner of the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids—using Storyline.
- “We let writers focus on the content, but all the interfaces to create, update, publish, and manage the skill use the Skill Management API.” Shynkarenka says Storyline’s Skill Management API integration allows authors to refresh skill content in real time, without having to redeploy or recertify the skill.
- And now, by integrating the Alexa Skills Management API (SMAPI) into Storyline, users can create, test, publish, and update their skills, without ever leaving Storyline’s drag-and-drop interface.
Netflix is now worth more than Comcast
- Netflix’s market value increased to about $150 billion today; it is now worth more than Comcast.
- Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, has been losing video subscribers as people cut the cord and move to streaming services ...
- Comcast had 22.3 million pay TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, down from 22.6 million a year earlier.
- Meanwhile, Netflix has been gaining streaming users, adding more than seven million subscribers in the first quarter.
- Of course, Comcast and Netflix have completely different businesses.
- Comcast owns a sizable broadband company in addition to cable.
- It’s also planning on bidding on Fox’s movie and TV studios, cable networks and even a stake in Netflix competitor Hulu.
- The company saw $2.5 billion in profits on $2.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2018.
Venture capital firms are running to hire their first female general partners
- Top-tier venture capital firms are moving women into the upper ranks as general partners amid increased pressure to diversify as claims of widespread sexual harassment continue to resound through Silicon Valley.
- Other well-known firms that have added their first female general partners in the last few months include Union Square Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and First Round Capital.
- The cynical take: Venture capital firms are under immense pressure — both from within their community, thanks to organizations like All Raise, and from outside observers — to do better.
- All Raise says 9 percent of decision-makers at U.S. firms are women; it is beginning to route female candidates to venture capital firms seeking women investors (not just general partners) as part of an effort to double that figure over the next decade.
Tinder is testing Places, a feature that matches people through location sharing
- We knew Tinder Places — the dating app’s new way to connect people through location sharing — was coming, but Tinder officially announced today that it’s testing the service in Australia and Chile.
- Places will let users find potential matches based off of the places they travel, whether that be a dog park, restaurant, coffee shop, or movie theater.
- You’ll only be able to view people who have visited the same places as you, and there’s no way to view a user’s entire Places map.
- Samantha Stevens, director of location products at Tinder, just says the company is “looking forward to seeing how users adopt and interact with Places in our test markets,” and that the company will “assess and make adjustments based on user feedback.” That doesn’t give us much to work with!
TechCrunch Include Office Hours with Betaworks in New York AND SF
- On Tuesday, May 29th, partners Peter Rojas and Matt Hartman will be meeting with startup founders in SF and NYC, respectively.
- TechCrunch started the Include program in 2014 with the aim of utilizing its networks to open opportunities for underrepresented and underserved founders in tech.
- Throughout the year, TechCrunch joins with partners at various VC firms to connect with founders in private 20-minute meetings.
- The May Include Office Hours will be hosted by betaworks on May 29th from 2-4pm local time in each city.
- Betaworks is a startup studio and venture capital fund focusing on building and investing in engineering and design driven consumer technology products.
- Peter Rojas is a founding partner at betaworks ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in New York and San Francisco.
- If you are partner/managing director of a firm and are interested in hosting an Include Office Hour, email [email protected]
Battlefield 5 returns to World War II this October
- Returning to the grand and ghastly stage of World War II, this new game will focus on squad-based gameplay, eschewing the explosively popular battle royale competitive modes of games like PUBG and Fortnite.
- I attended a preview event for Battlefield V today, and though it isn’t quite ready to play yet, the developers from Dice provided a comprehensive overview of what’s new and different — and there’s a lot.
- I was also impressed by the fluidity and naturalness of the new motion mechanics for the player character that Dice showed off: you can throw yourself forward, to the side, or even backward while backpedaling and turning your body and shooting at the same time.
- The developers want this to be “a meta game where you’re mindful of your resources at all times.” Scarcity also elevates the importance of support players on squads, as they can resupply their frontline comrades on the move.
Coinbase is shutting down GDAX to launch new ‘Pro’ cryptocurrency exchange
- Popular cryptocurrency exchange desk Coinbase has announced plans to shutter its digital asset platform GDAX to launch the brand new Coinbase Pro which will cater specifically to crypto-traders.
- Needless to say, all your previous GDAX activity will be ported to Coinbase Pro. Aside from the new exchange platform, the San Francisco-based company also revealed it will be launching its own Coinbase Wallet in the near future.
- Combining the two technologies will enable users to trade “hundreds of tokens directly from their wallets.” The company expects to integrate the new wallet into Pro over the next several weeks, starting with customers outside of the US.
- For the record, GDAX currently stands as the eighth biggest cryptocurrency exchange desk with a trading volume of a little over $280 million, according to CoinMarketCap stats.
Tinder Wants to Match You With People Who Go to the Same Places
- Tinder says it might soon have a fix for that specific issue: The dating app is testing a new feature aimed at connecting people who like to hang out in the same bars, restaurants, and other public places.
- Users will have to decide to turn it on, and it won't display locations like doctor's offices, banks, and other non-social businesses you'd rather not broadcast to potential dates.
- Apps like Happn have for years connected people who visit the same locations.
- Tinder too has long been a location-based app: You can already customize how far away you want potential matches to be, tightening your circle up to a one mile radius.
- Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, also stressed that Facebook's new dating feature is designed to facilitate meaningful connections, when it was announced earlier this month.
Tinder Places tracks your location to help you find matches
- As promised earlier, the company today is announcing the launch of a new location-based feature that will narrow your list of potential dating prospects to those who hit up your same bar for after-work drinks, or who stop by your favorite coffee shop for their daily caffeine fix, or who work out at your same gym.
- Tinder claims that it’s not using the location data to target users with its in-app ads, but that doesn’t mean the option is off the table forever.
- Having a massive trove of location data on users could be an advantage there, as well as a way to improve its algorithm, and even potentially to help it expand into real-world events — something Stevens didn’t rule out, saying if that was something a large number of users demanded, Tinder may consider it.
How [and why] I invest in startups
- If we’re happy doing the work that we’re doing on behalf of this company and relatively confident that we can return for our LPs, it’s an investment worth making.
- When I make an investment in a startup company, I plan on the likelihood that I’ll end up working with that person for five to ten years.
- Because if I don’t get that sense or that feeling that I want to quit everything that I’m doing to go work for them, the best person for the job that they are hiring for isn’t going to have that feeling either.
- I only want to work with founders and invest in companies that share my principles.
- And if they don’t understand the domain and have a unique insight, they’re probably not going to be able to build something special.