Harrison Weber

About the Author Harrison Weber

AllumetteEntrepreneurMediaOculusOffBeatPenrose Studios

‘Allumette’ proves that virtual reality cinema is no joke

Allumette, a lovely animated feature by Penrose Studios, illustrates why virtual reality film should be taken just as seriously as traditional film. The folks at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival have already figured this out — both festivals showcased virtual reality this year. But in such early days, the quality of each VR experience varies wildly from project […]

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Meet the Oasis: Amazon’s $290 Kindle feels more like a book in your hand, ships April 27

Let’s talk about Amazon’s most expensive Kindle yet. The company’s latest reading device, the Oasis is launching in just over two weeks and will cost you $290. That’s about all the news left to reveal, after a series of leaks spoiled Amazon’s surprise (or built up hype, depending on how you look at it). The shape The Oasis’ high price […]

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Everything Facebook announced at F8 2016 so far

This week Facebook is unveiling the future of its developer platforms during its annual “F8” conference in San Francisco. For more on the future of Messenger, Facebook live video, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and Internet-beaming satellites, read on — and check back for more as we update this list today and tomorrow with breaking stories from our reporters on the ground at […]

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Delivery.com acquires BrewDrop to boost alcohol orders in Texas

Food, drink, and laundry delivery site Delivery.com announced today that it’s acquired BrewDrop, an Austin, Texas-based alcohol delivery app. Delivery.com declined to share how much it paid. The acquisition arrives as like-minded startups moving alcohol around both expand — like Drizly — and consolidate — including Thirstie and Drinkfly and Minibar and Booze Carriage. Following the deal, Delivery.com’s second acquisition, BrewDrop will eventually shut down and redirect […]

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Twitter acquires employee feedback tool Peer

Twitter has acquired Peer, an employee and manager feedback tool launched by former Salesforce COO George Hu, the startup quietly announced yesterday. Peer sought to reinvent performance reviews and create an environment where employees could monitor their performance continuously — similar to how Uber drivers can keep tabs on their rating from ride to ride. Hu’s original launch announcement, published in 2015, sums […]

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Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 orders surpass $14 billion in one week

One week after Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Model 3, the company’s first mass-market car, hundreds of thousands of people have paid $1,000 to reserve the car despite its expected late-2017 launch. That reservation figure totals to $14 billion dollars in sales, or 325,000 cars, with one big caveat: with only $1,000 down, some, perhaps many, of these orders […]

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Why Pinterest forces you off its mobile site and into its app

Ever had services like Yelp and Pinterest mercilessly boot you off their mobile site and force you to download a native app whether you want it or not? Pinterest’s product lead for growth, Casey Winters, can tell you why that happens because he’s “the asshole that makes Pinterest do that,” as Winters himself put it at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit conference. […]

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Your Pebble smartwatch now tracks long naps

Smartwatch maker Pebble released a new OS update today, introducing support for tracking long naps — arguably the best kind of naps one can take. The release, version 3.11, also expands the smartwatch’s ability to send iMessage replies; the feature now works for iPhone-owning Verizon subscribers, in addition to AT&T support, which debuted in November. Although Pebble’s ability to integrate closely with […]

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Aussie wine startup Vinomofo (yes, that’s its real name) raises $19 million

Curiously-named Australian wine site Vinomofo announced today that it’s raised its first major round of funding, $19 million (AUD $25 million), from fellow Aussie Blue Sky Venture Capital. Vinomofo says it raised the funds to expand its self-described “most epic wine site on the planet” for “wine-loving mofos” into New Zealand, the U.K., Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and […]

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Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon voice support for Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Tech giants Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have submitted a joint brief to the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court in support of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The CPP aims to empower the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions from power plants across the U.S. The CPP was blocked (for now) by the Supreme Court yesterday after “five separate stay applications were filed […]

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Tesla finally unveils the Model 3: Its first car for the masses

At long last, here’s our first look at the Tesla Model 3, the company’s debut mass-market electric car starting at $35,000 and (perhaps) launching next year. Telsa CEO Elon Musk unveiled the vehicle to the press and relentless devotees during an event at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California this evening. We’ll update this story as the event unfolds (and, by the way, […]

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Tesla’s Model 3 event: Everything we know, plus how to watch live

The tedious wait for Tesla’s Model 3 continues. Tonight Tesla CEO Elon Musk is set to unveil the company’s first mass-market car, the Model 3, and you can watch the event live on Tesla’s website starting at 8:30 p.m. PT (11:30 p.m. ET)  — or maybe later, Tesla isn’t always punctual. Like an iPhone launch, excitement for the Model […]

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Everything Microsoft announced at Build 2016 so far

On stage at its biggest event of the year, Microsoft executives unveiled the future of Windows 10, Xbox, and HoloLens, as well as dozens of updates and teasers for developers. Here’s a list of everything the company announced at the event so far. We’ll update this story all week. Windows 10 Anniversary Update Microsoft shared details on […]

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Streaming music now drives more revenue than downloads in the U.S.

The business of streaming is only getting bigger. A report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a vocal music industry group, claims streaming music surpassed downloads for the first time by revenue last year in the U.S. The milestone was shared in the RIAA’s 2015 year-end sales report, as the Wrap notes, marking the industry’s fifth year of consecutive revenue […]

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Apple unveils CareKit, an open-source framework for health apps, launching in April

Today Apple’s Jeff Williams announced CareKit, an open source framework “framework to build apps that empower people to take an active role in their care.” The app is being launched as a patient-side counterpart of ResearchKit. Speaking about ResearchKit, Williams said that “virtually overnight, the research studies that we launched became some of the largest in history.” […]

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Apple’s iPhone SE event: Everything you need to know, plus how to watch live

Apple’s long-rumored iPhone SE event kicks off at 10 a.m. PDT today (1 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. GMT and UTC) and you can stream it live right here via Safari, Microsoft’s Edge browser, or an Apple TV (2nd generation or newer). Follow along with us during the event on Twitter — @VentureBeat — for quick updates as the news rolls out. […]

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Adobe sees ‘record’ $1.38B revenue in Q1, adds 798k paying Creative Cloud subscribers

Today Adobe reported its first quarter earnings for 2016, yet again revealing ‘record’ quarterly revenue. This time the company raked in $1.38 billion and $0.66 earnings per share (non-GAAP). Adobe has set a revenue ‘record’ for the last three quarters. Analysts expected Adobe to report $1.34 billion in revenue and $0.61 non-GAAP earnings per share. As […]

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The photos you see on Instagram will soon be decided by an algorithm

Mirroring the moves of parent company Facebook, Instagram today warned users and businesses that their photo feeds “will soon be ordered to show the moments [it believes] you will care about the most.” Up until now, Instagram organized its feeds in reverse-chronological order. That is, photos in your feed appeared whenever they were shared. The change was inevitable. […]

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Lyft and GM say new rental program lays ‘infrastructure’ for self-driving car network

Today Lyft and General Motors kicked off a rental car program designed to make “car ownership optional on both sides” of the equation, said Lyft president John Zimmer. The initiative marks Lyft and GM’s first project since Lyft announced it had raised a hefty $500 million from GM in January. The two companies teased a rental program two months […]

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Indiegogo partners with Dell and Girls in Tech to support female entrepreneurs

Today Indiegogo announced a pledge to “offer extra support for women-run crowdfunding campaigns” for one year. The initiative starts now, on International Women’s Day. Materially, Indiegogo is partnering with a number of organizations to host events “focused on supporting female entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground.” Those organizations include Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Girls In Tech (U.S. and […]

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On playing a virtual drum kit made of cheeseburgers

It’s a strange feeling, contemplating the future of music making while playing a drum set made of cheeseburgers. But George Michael Brower‘s Playthings warrants the discussion. The artist’s experience, created solely by Brower, drops you inside an awww-inspiring mini-game made of cartoon gummy bears, musical scales, jelly beans, synths, burgers, and snares. It’s disarmingly cute, […]

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