Bluesky opens up federation, letting anyone run their own server

Social network Bluesky, a competitor to X, Threads, Mastodon and others, is opening up its doors with today’s news that the network is now opening up federation, following its public launch earlier this month. The move will allow anyone to run their own server that connects to Bluesky’s network, so they can host their own…

Google Pay takes its QR soundbox to small merchants in India after trial run

Google said Thursday it plans to roll out the SoundPod, its portable speaker designed to instantly validate and announce successful payments, to small merchants across India over the coming months. The Google Pay expansion in India, where the company is among the mobile payment market leaders, comes even as the firm winds down some of…

Starbucks Odyssey’s community lead sees NFTs as the best way to build brand loyalty

The NFT space may be down substantially from all-time highs, but brands and loyalty programs looking to reach fans in new ways can still find value, said Steve Kaczynski, co-author of the book “The Everything Token” and community lead for Starbucks Odyssey. “Brand anchors” to gated areas like reward programs are something that companies will…

Rabbit’s Jesse Lyu hops into StrictlyVC LA on February 29

We’re announcing an exciting addition to our speaker lineup for StrictlyVC Los Angeles on February 29. Jesse Lyu, founder and CEO of rabbit Inc., will be joining us and showcasing rabbit r1, the pocket-sized AI hardware assistant that took CES — and the broader news cycle — by storm last month.  Lyu is an entrepreneur…

Antler’s founder on its vertical AI bet in Southeast Asia

A growing roster of vertical AI startups is emerging in Southeast Asia to serve sectors ranging from seafood to finance. Singapore-based venture capital firm Antler recently made a bet on 37 of them, investing $5.1 million in total for pre-seed deals. Antler also announced a partnership with Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. “If you look…

Samsung is bringing Galaxy AI features to more devices

Samsung is bringing its Galaxy AI features to more devices through a new One UL 6.1 update coming in late March, the company announced today. The features are coming to the Galaxy S23 series, S23 FE, Z Fold5 and Z Flip5, as well as Tab S9 Ultra, Tab S9+ and Tab S9. The AI features…

US health tech giant Change Healthcare hit by cyberattack

U.S. healthcare technology giant Change Healthcare has confirmed a cyberattack on its systems. In a brief statement Wednesday, the company said it was “experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue.” “Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to…