Y Combinator is coming to 6 college campuses this fall

Y Combinator office

Y Combinator is hitting the road over the next few weeks and will be visiting six college campuses in both the U.S. and Canada. The goal seems to be to not only look for interesting startups, but also to pass along some knowledge to students eager to pursue a life of entrepreneurship and tech innovation.

Starting on September 19, the firm’s partners and select alumni will be visiting college campuses. Each one will have designated office hours where students can chat one-on-one and get advice or probably even pitch their idea for a startup.

It all begins at the University of Waterloo and continues on to the University of Michigan, Brown University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Columbia University, and finally wraps up at Carnegie Mellon University. The team will also be returning to its roots, of sorts, with a special two-day visit in Boston, Mass. where office hours will be held — Y Combinator was born in Cambridge.

This isn’t the first time that Y Combinator has been on a college campus. In fact, last year president Sam Altman taught a course entitled “How to Start a Startup” and brought in various guest lecturers to impart wisdom and knowledge on the students.

Passing along its knowledge beyond its accelerator-like program isn’t new for Y Combinator either. It’s always been looking to reach founders no matter their status and it’s apparent with Startup School, the Female Founders conference, and most recently the establishment of a fellowship program.

To get more insights into Y Combinator, read our interviews with Altman and cofounder Jessica Livingston here.

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Yahoo Mail app arrives on Windows 10

Yahoo Wilson Lam Flickr

Yahoo today announced the availability of the Yahoo Mail app for Windows 10. It’s available now in the Windows Store.

“The app brings you brand-new ways to effortlessly access mail and get notified of new messages,” Yahoo director of product management Josh Jacobson wrote today. “In addition, the wide breadth of features already available on the web are all available in a familiar interface.”

The app shows how many unread emails you have on the lock screen. The latest emails show up in a Live Tile in the Start menu. Desktop notifications appear when you’re logged in and receive new emails. And you can personalize the app with themes courtesy of Flickr.

It’s just the latest native app to arrive on Windows 10. Other apps updated for Windows 10 include Duolingo and Fitbit.

But developers have only been able to submit Windows 10 apps to the Windows Store since July 29, so plenty more should be on the way.

Yahoo Mail had 225 million monthly active users as of May.

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Mobilize’s Silverlight bridge lets developers port their apps to Windows 10

Microsoft today announced the availability of a technology preview of a tool that developers can use to convert Windows Phone Silverlight 8.x apps to apps to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. UWP is a big deal because it can allow apps to run on any device running Windows 10, from a Raspberry Pi to a HoloLens.

The bridge tool comes not from Microsoft but Mobilize.NET, an independent company run by Tom Button, a longtime corporate vice president at Microsoft. The tool is easy to use; it’s an extension to Microsoft’s Visual Studio software. You can download it here.

Once the extension is installed, all you have to do is right-click on your app from the Solution Explorer and click “Convert to UWP,” Microsoft program manager Clint Rutkas wrote in a blog post on the news today.

Microsoft promised developers that a bridge would become available for Silverlight apps to become UWP apps at the Build developer conference back in May. Now it’s here, to ensure that older apps can live on.

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With 4M deliveries under its belt, Postmates expands to 10 new cities


On-demand delivery/courier service Postmates has just undergone a major expansion. Today it announced that it’s in 10 new cities, bringing the total number of markets to 40. Cities that are now on-line include Baltimore, Palm Springs, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Kanasa City, Columbus, and Jersey City.

As a treat to its new users (or simply to entice them to download the app), Postmates will deliver Chipotle free to its customers in the new markets now through September 30.

This rapid growth comes on the heels of its expanding partnerships with major brands, such as Chipotle. Earlier this week it announced its relationship with Walgreens. So besides getting local goods delivered, now customers can get items from drugstores, coffee, and even burritos delivered right to their door in under an hour.

We’re told that to date, the company has a fleet of nearly 15,000 riders and drivers and has completed more than 4 million delivered from 65,000 merchants across the country. In 2015 alone, Postmates has expanded to 25 cities throughout the U.S.

What’s interesting about this growth is that Postmates appears to be targeting cities with at least a thriving tech ecosystem, such as Baltimore, Kansas City, St. Louis, and others. However, tackling 10 new cities at once is certainly a monstrous task, but a Postmates spokesperson tells VentureBeat: “We’ve already proven Postmates at scale and we have the ability to launch new markets and get them up and running quickly and efficiently. With 30 successful launches complete, our launch team is incredibly agile.”

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BBC reveals plans to launch a new video-subscription service in the U.S. in 2016

BBC iPlayer

With the BBC facing increasing criticism over its publicly-funded model in its native U.K., the broadcasting giant today revealed plans to boost the coffers of its commercial “BBC Worldwide” arm by launching a new video-streaming service in the U.S.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention in England today, BBC Director-General Tony Hall said that a new over-the-top (OTT) subscription service would arrive for American viewers in 2016. While details are still scant, Hall says it will offer “BBC fans programmes they wouldn’t otherwise get – showcasing British actors, our programme-makers – and celebrating our culture.”

BBC abroad

The BBC offers licence-fee payers in the U.K. an online linear and catch-up TV service called iPlayer, which is hugely popular across the country. The broadcaster has introduced international versions of the service in the past with varying degrees of success, but has yet to formally launch a streaming service in the U.S.

However, last year US network AMC revealed it taking a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America in a $200 million deal. BBC America is available in 80 million American homes through satellite and cable. It’s not clear yet whether the new OTT service will come with the iPlayer brand, but the BBC does say it won’t impact current programming at all — it will be used exclusively for BBC content that doesn’t already have a distribution channel in the U.S.

Elsewhere, the BBC recently launched a new UK premium drama channel called “BBC First” in Australia, and it has signed a deal to launch a BBC Earth channel in India. By looking to International markets, the BBC says it hopes to increase commercial returns from BBC Worldwide to $1.9 billion over the next five years, equating to a rise of 15 per cent than the previous five years.

While the commercial-free BBC remains a widely respected media brand both domestically and abroad, it has faced mounting pressure in the U.K. in an age where consumers have a myriad of alternative entertainment options, from Netflix and YouTube to cable and satellite. Indeed, anyone in the U.K. that watches linear “live” television is required to pay an annual $225 fee — irrespective of whether they ever watch the BBC.

“In today’s financial climate, everyone is being asked to deliver more for less, so we need to have a commercial strategy where BBC Worldwide delivers as much as possible back into public service programmes,” said Hall.

And that is the crux of the problem the BBC is looking to fix. By boosting its commercial income from international viewers, it hopes to help supplement the domestic licence fee and ensure the current cost of it doesn’t rise even further.

Facebook is down with a generic ‘Service Unavailable’ error (Update: It’s back)

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's F8 2015 developer conference

At about 11:04 a.m. PST today (2:04 p.m. EST), Facebook went down. VB staff from across the world confirmed they couldn’t reach the social network — the site either merely loaded a blank page or a generic “Service Unavailable” error message.

We also couldn’t reach Instagram and Facebook Messenger for a few minutes, but those services were quickly restored.

A quick check at DownForEveryoneOrJustMe confirmed the issue was widespread: “It’s not just you! http://facebook.com looks down from here.”

And as always, users took to Twitter to discuss the outage (the time of the tweet lines up with when we first noticed a problem):

We have contacted Facebook for more information and will update you if we learn the cause of the outage.

Update at 11:09 a.m.: For most users, the outage lasted only about five minutes.

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Force Protection Video LE10 Recorders Chosen over Competition


CARY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 17, 2015–

Force Protection Video Equipment (OTC Markets: FPVD), which sells HD body camera systems and accessories for law enforcement, announced that the LE10 on the body camera has been chosen over several other manufactures in a 30 day test and evaluation by a Northern California Police Department. The key positive feedback comments from the Department were size, video quality and pricing.

Force Protection has also received multiple reorders from Police Departments in Tennessee and District Attorneys’ Offices in Louisiana.

The LE10 is a small bodyworn high definition (HD) camera which is half the size and half the price ($195.00) of most law enforcement cameras currently available. The LE10 is rich with features such as still picture ability 8MP, WIFI, 4x zoom and audio recording. The LE10 does not require special software or expensive storage contracts. The video files can quickly be downloaded into a standard law enforcement case file and the micro SD cards are sealed in the provided static evidence bags and then securely stored in the department’s evidence locker.

The Force Protection Video LE10 camera is a rugged HD design which incorporates Ambarella (NASDAQ AMBA) made chips that allow cameras and other devices to record high definition video. It is the chip supplier of the popular GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) sports cameras.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Paul Feldman at FORCE PROTECTION VIDEO EQUIPMENT or email at [email protected].

Force Protection Video Equipment
Paul Feldman, 919-780-7897
[email protected]

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Introducing Disrupt TV Live From Disrupt SF

16748644024_ccb6c7e19d_o We’re just a week away from TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015, and the TechCrunch video team has a packed schedule: broadcasting interviews, updates and all sorts of other great startup action live from the exhibit hall floor. Disrupt TV kicked off at Disrupt NY back in May, and we got such positive feedback we’re doing it again in San Francisco. Eh, we can sleep when we’re dead. Read More