Alphabet’s Outline lets you run your own self-hosted VPN for free

Jigsaw, an incubator that’s part of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has launched Outline, an open-source virtual private network (VPN) that you can host on your own server at no charge. As an initiative from the human-rights-focused Jigsaw, Outline is being billed as a tool to help journalists securely connect to their newsdesks, sources, media outlets, and the rest of the open internet from anywhere – even from within the borders of countries that censor some sites and block traffic. While you can use other paid services, the benefit of opting for Outline is that you don’t have to worry about…

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Source:: The Next Web – Technology

Facebook is tainted – can we build a better one?

In the face of the Cambridge Analytica exposé that saw Facebook expose 50 million users’ information to a data mining company, as well as other recent fiascos with the social network like Russia influencing voters in the US and the spread of fake news, it’s becoming clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s creation has evolved into a monster that can’t be tamed. The company’s revenues and net worth are made up of essentially ill-gotten gains. Even Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp and sold it to Facebook in 2014 for billions, thinks the site has worn out its welcome. It is time. #deletefacebook —…

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Source:: The Next Web – Technology

CryptoKitties raises $12M from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures

CryptoKitties, the virtual collectible kitten game that turned into a viral sensation has raised $12M in funding and will be spun out from Axiom Zen, the Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio that originally built the game.

The round is being led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, both of which have quickly developed a reputation for backing fast-growing cryptocurrency startups like Coinbase. A bunch of notable angels also participated, including Naval Ravikant (CEO and founder of AngelList), Mark Pincus (founder of Zynga) and Fred Ehrsam (founder of Coinbase) among others.

So what are CryptoKitties? They’re essentially digital collectibles built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Each one is unique and has certain attributes that make them rare and desirable, almost like a digital beanie baby. And users are spending tons of real money on them, with some of the rarest kitties fetching over $100,000 when the game first launched.

While the startup is being pretty mum on what the future looks like and what they’re planning on using this funding for, it’s almost certain that the long term goal is to expand beyond CryptoKitties and use the same Ethereum ERC-721 collectible standard to create other game experiences, especially ones that can be played by regular people who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency.

To this note, Fred Wilson of USV quickly outlined the firm’s thesis behind investing in CryptoKitties, saying “we think digital collectibles is one of many amazing things that blockchains enable that literally could not be done before this technology emerged. We also think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the first, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.”

If you want to find out more about how CryptoKitties works check <a target="_blank" …read more

Source:: TechCrunch – Startups

Self-driving cars are hitting major Sydney roads in NSW state trial

In what can only be described as awkward timing – mere hours after a self-driving Uber accident in the US lead to the death of a pedestrian – the NSW Government has today revealed that the state’s first automated vehicle trials have begun in Sydney.

The trial, which will still involve human supervisors and specifically seeks to test “the affects of driver assist technology”, is set to last until October and follows the State’s earlier tests of an automated shuttle-bus service within Sydney Olympic Park. Luxury car manufacturers such as BMW, Lexus, Audi and Tesla are conducting the trials in partnership with the State Government and toll road operator Transurban.

The cars will be operating under a variety of different conditions and times, and in key areas such as Lane Cove Tunnel, M2 Motorway, Eastern Distributor, and the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel.

Precedence and prudence

A number of self-driving trials are already planned or underway across other Australian states, with Volvo trialling its tech on South Australian roads and the Western Australian Government offering Perth up for a trial on “robo-taxis”.

Despite the timing of the launch, State Roads Minister Melinda Pavey hopes that the automated tech will ultimately save lives and help reduce the NSW road accident death toll, which last year took 392 lives.

Here’s what it looks like to ride inside a Waymo self-driving car …read more

Source:: TechRadar – All the latest technology news