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{"status":"ok","feed":{"url":"https://techcrunch.com/feed/","title":"TechCrunch","link":"https://techcrunch.com/","author":"","description":"Startup and Technology News","image":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/cropped-cropped-favicon-gradient.png?w=32"},"items":[{"title":"Starz launches 14 channels on YouTube TV","pubDate":"2018-06-19 17:30:43","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/starz-launches-14-channels-on-youtube-tv/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1659069","author":"Sarah Perez","thumbnail":"","description":"YouTube\u2019s live TV streaming service is getting a big addition, starting today. Starz is rolling out its 14 channels, including Starz, Starz Encore, and Starz Encore Westerns, to the Google-owned streaming service as an add-on that costs $9 per month. The network joins YouTube TV\u2019s other premium channel options, including Showtime, Shudder, Sundance Now, and [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>YouTube\u2019s live TV streaming service is getting a big addition, starting today. Starz is rolling out its 14 channels, including Starz, Starz Encore, and Starz Encore Westerns, to the Google-owned streaming service as an add-on that costs $9 per month. The network joins YouTube TV\u2019s other premium channel options, including Showtime, Shudder, Sundance Now, and Fox Soccer Plus.</p>\n<p>Notably, HBO is not in that list \u2013 YouTube TV chose not to take all of Time Warner Broadcasting\u2019s channels because it wanted to offer a slimmed down, more affordable live TV service. So Time Warner chose to <a href=\"https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-02/time-warner-saw-youtube-as-threat-used-hbo-in-talks-u-s-says\">stop negotiating</a> a deal for HBO, according to a report from Bloomberg.</p>\n<p>But that could be good news for Starz, as the network will now be one of the few premium cable networks to target YouTube TV\u2019s younger, millennial viewers who often aren\u2019t signing up for pay TV in the first place. They\u2019re not coming to services like YouTube TV to reproduce what they\u2019re missing from cable, but are instead discovering what\u2019s available to stream, including via premium networks.</p>\n<p>Starz says its 14 Starz and Starz Encore channels are available as of today to YouTube TV subscribers, offering its full video-on-demand catalog of popular movies, exclusive documentaries, and Starz\u2019 original programming. The originals include shows like \u201cPower,\u201d \u201cVida,\u201d \u201cCounterpart,\u201d \u201cOutlander,\u201d \u201cAmerican Gods,\u201d \u201cSweetbitter,\u201d \u201cBlack Sails,\u201d \u201cParty Down,\u201d and others.</p>\n<p>Of course, YouTube TV isn\u2019t the only way to watch Starz\u2019 content these days. The channel <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/05/starz-launches-a-streaming-service-for-cord-cutters-with-support-for-downloads/\">has been available over-the-top</a> via Starz\u2019 own app since 2016 which works <a href=\"https://www.starz.com/settings/supported-devices\">across devices</a>, and is available on-demand via other services like <a href=\"https://www.hulu.com/network/starz\">Hulu</a> and Amazon Channels. Its live TV services are available on DirecTV Now and Sling TV, as well as on Amazon.</p>\n<p>The company has also been working to better cater to streaming users over the past year, by <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/10/starz-targets-cord-cutters-with-40-larger-content-library-more-kids-shows/\">offering a larger, more diverse lineup</a> that includes an expanded selection of kids\u2019 shows, more Spanish-language programming, and a 40% increase in its overall catalog by the end of last year.</p>\n<p>YouTube TV itself is a $40 per month package of 60 live TV channels, including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks, and an unlimited cloud DVR for up to 6 people in a household. The add-ons can be found under the Settings screen on YouTube TV\u2019s website.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Media","live tv","starz","streaming","streaming service","television","tv","YouTube TV"]},{"title":"Facebook launches gameshows platform with interactive video","pubDate":"2018-06-19 17:30:14","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/facebook-gameshows/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1659256","author":"Josh Constine","thumbnail":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/hq-trivia-app.jpg?w=680","description":"Rather than build its own HQ trivia competitor, Facebook is launching a gameshow platform. Today the company announced a new set of interactive live and on-demand video features that let creators adds quizzes, polls, challenges, and gamification so players can be eliminated from a game for a wrong answer. The features could help Facebook achieve [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>Rather than build its own HQ trivia competitor, Facebook is launching a gameshow platform. Today the company <a href=\"https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/06/helping-creators-connect-create-and-grow/\">announced</a> a new set of<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/blog/making-video-more-interactive\"> interactive live and on-demand video features</a> that let creators adds quizzes, polls, challenges, and gamification so players can be eliminated from a game for a wrong answer. The features could help Facebook achieve its new mission to push healthier active video consumption rather than passive zombie watching that hurts people\u2019s well-being. Creators and publishers who want early access <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/606514499707489\">can sign up here</a>.</p>\n<p>Gameshow launch partners include Fresno\u2019s What\u2019s In The Box where viewers guess what\u2019s inside, and BuzzFeed News\u2019 Outside Your Bubble where contestants have to guess what their opponents are thinking. Plus, Facebook is testing the ability to award prize money with (Business) INSIDER\u2019s Confetti, where viewers answer trivia questions and can see friends\u2019 responses, with winners splitting the cash.</p>\n<p class=\"p1\">\u201cVideo is evolving away from just passive consumption to more interactive two-way formats\u201d, Simo tells TechCrunch. \u201cWe think creators will want to reward people. If this is something that works will with Insider and Confetti, we may consider rolling out payments tools.\u201d</p>\n<p class=\"p1\">When asked if Facebook was inspired by HQ, Simo repeatedly dodged the question and avoiding mentioning the startup\u2019s name, but relented in saying \u201cI think they\u2019re part of a much broader trend that is making content interactive. We\u2019ve seen that across much more than one player.\u201d</p>\n<p><img class=\"aligncenter size-large wp-image-1556137\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/hq-trivia-app.jpg?w=680\" alt=\"\" width=\"680\" height=\"383\"></p>\n<p>Facebook won\u2019t be taking a share of the prize money in this test. For now, it\u2019s also forgoing its cut of its $4.99 per month subscriptions option that lets fans pay for exclusive content, which rolls out today to more creators. Facebook also just launched its Brand Collabs Manager that <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/18/facebook-creator-search/\">we scooped in May</a>, which helps brands browse creators by demographic and portfolio so they can set up sponsored content and product placement deals.</p>\n<p>Initially Facebook is not taking a cut there either. For all three of these features, though, Simo says \u201cthat doesn\u2019t mean we never will.\u201d</p>\n<p>The new interactive video features will be available to all publishers and creators, alongside the global launch of the Android version of Facebook\u2019s Creator app for web celebs. The tools range from offering basic in-video polls to creating a full trivia gameshow. Creators and will be able to write out their trivia questions and designate correct answers, as well as \u201cwrite down the logic of the game\u201d says Simo.</p>\n<p>While polls will work for Live and on-demand videos, gamification that impacts the outcome of the broadcast is only for Live.\u00a0Brent Rivera and That Chick Angel are two creators who will be testing the features in the coming weeks. Facebook already found that fans enjoyed polling on its Watch show Help Us Get Married, which let viewers influence the wedding planning decisions about themes and the venue.</p>\n<p>Facebook\u2019s last attempt at original video, its Watch hub, saw mediocre adoption as the content felt also-ran rather than something special or must-see. Facebook\u2019s family of apps will get another chance at an original video home run when <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/06/instagram-watch-video/\">Instagram launches its long-form video hub</a> tomorrow, according to TechCrunch\u2019s sources.</p>\n<div class=\"embed breakout\">\n<blockquote class=\"wp-embedded-content\" data-secret=\"AVJeDxB35q\"><p><a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/06/instagram-watch-video/\">Instagram plans to launch Snapchat Discover-style video hub</a></p></blockquote>\n<p></p>\n</div>\n<p>What we\u2019re seeing here is positioning that diverges Facebook and Instagram\u2019s video efforts. Facebook\u2019s might be more interactive, about playing and watching with friends, and embrace more novel new formats like mobile gameshows. Instagram, with its history of polished photos, could house more traditional high-end entertainment content.</p>\n<p>\u201cWe\u2019re not trying to do one show or one trivia game. We\u2019re trying to get every creator to create such gameplay. The beauty of the creators space is that they each have a unique audience\u201d\u00a0Facebook\u2019s VP of video product Fidji Simo tells me. With 2.2 billion users, making an in-house one-size-fits-all game may have been impossible.</p>\n<div class=\"embed breakout\">\n<blockquote class=\"wp-embedded-content\" data-secret=\"ytjxLtkQVc\"><p><a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/11/instagram-long-form-video/\">Instagram plans June 20th launch event for long-form video hub</a></p></blockquote>\n<p></p>\n</div>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Apps"]},{"title":"PUBG juggernaut hits 400 million users, and for a limited time, players can get the PC version for $19.99","pubDate":"2018-06-19 17:01:47","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/pubg-juggernaut-hits-400-million-users-and-for-a-limited-time-players-can-get-the-pc-version-for-19-99/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1658511","author":"Jonathan Shieber","thumbnail":"","description":"Player Unknown\u2019s Battlegrounds, the progenitor and once-reigning champion of last-player-standing battle royale gaming that\u2019s swept the video game world by storm, has hit over 400 million players globally across all platforms. As a perk and potential sop to bring new players to its personal computing platform, PUBG is offering the full version of its full [\u2026]","content":"\n<p><a href=\"https://playbattlegrounds.com/main.pu\"><em>Player Unknown\u2019s Battlegrounds</em></a>, the progenitor and once-reigning champion of last-player-standing battle royale gaming that\u2019s swept the video game world by storm, has hit over 400 million players globally across all platforms.</p>\n<p>As a perk and potential sop to bring new players to its personal computing platform, PUBG is offering the full version of its full throttle game for $19.99 \u2014 a 33.33% cut from the game\u2019s regular price.</p>\n<p>The offer includes classic maps Erangel and Miramar and the all-new Sanhok, launching on\u00a0<span class=\"aBn\" tabindex=\"0\" data-term=\"goog_1064393762\"><span class=\"aQJ\">June 22, according to a statement from the company</span></span>.</p>\n<p>PUBG has already moved 50 million units of its game across PC and Xbox One consoles and has hit 87 million daily players. Roughly 227 million players engage in PUBG\u2019s particular murder-death-kill competition every month.</p>\n<p>\u201cWe are genuinely humbled by the ongoing success and growth of PUBG,\u201d said CH Kim, CEO, PUBG Corp. \u201cWe are not resting on our laurels though, as we continue to focus on performance and content updates for current players to enjoy, and look to our future as we aspire to deliver the signature PUBG experience to fans worldwide.\u201d</p>\n<p>While PUBG\u2019s rise has been swift, hitting the 400 million figure in a little over six months since its worldwide release (and over 15 months since its early access release), the game\u2019s publisher has been beset with competitors nipping at its heels.</p>\n<p>Already, the game has been toppled from the top slot by the new player on the battle royale block \u2014<em> <a href=\"https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/home\">Fortnite</a></em>.</p>\n<p>In April alone, <em>Fortnite</em> <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/25/fortnite-had-a-296-million-april/\">pulled in $296 million</a>\u00a0for its own last-avatar-standing game \u2014 and the game\u2019s popularity likely will only grow once the title takes its bow on the Android gaming platform later this month.</p>\n<p>PUBG, the company, and its parent company, <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/bluehole/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"bluehole\">Bluehole, <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/29/pubgs-creators-are-suing-over-fortnite-similarities/\">aren\u2019t taking the competition lying down</a>. They\u2019ve taken<span>\u00a0</span><em>Fortnite</em><span>\u2019s\u00a0</span><a href=\"https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/29/17404516/pubg-epic-games-fortnite-lawsuit\">creators to court,</a><span>\u00a0filing a suit against Epic Games over copyright infringement concerns. As we reported earlier, the South Korean suit, noted by\u00a0</span><em><a href=\"https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2018/05/134_249598.html\">The Korea Times</a>,</em><span>\u00a0takes particular issue with\u00a0</span><em>Fortnite</em><span>\u2019s battle royale mode.</span></p>\n<p>PUBG leadership declined to comment on the lawsuit.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["TC","Android","battle royale","bluehole","ceo","computing","epic games","fortnite","Gaming","player","Software"]},{"title":"GitHub Education is now free for schools","pubDate":"2018-06-19 17:00:32","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/github-education-is-now-free-for-schools/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1657169","author":"Frederic Lardinois","thumbnail":"","description":"GitHub, the code sharing and collaboration platform that Microsoft is acquiring, today announced that its GitHub Education suite of services is now available for free to any school that wants to use it to teach its students. GitHub previously trialed this program with a few schools and is now making it widely available. It\u2019s worth [\u2026]","content":"\n<p><a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/github/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"github\">GitHub, <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> the code sharing and collaboration platform that Microsoft is acquiring, today announced that its <a href=\"https://education.github.com/partners/schools\">GitHub Education</a> suite of services is now available for free to any school that wants to use it to teach its students.</p>\n<p>GitHub previously trialed this program with a few schools and is now making it widely available.</p>\n<p>It\u2019s worth noting that GitHub has long been available for <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/free-3/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"free-3\">free <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> to individual students and teachers who want to use it in their classrooms. GitHub Education goes a step beyond this and offers schools access to GitHub Enterprise or Business Hosted accounts, as well as access to training, dedicated support for the school\u2019s head of IT or CTO \u2014 and swag.</p>\n<p>As part of this program, students also get access to the Student Developer Pack, which offers free access to tools and credits for services like Datadog, Travis CI and DigitalOcean.</p>\n<p>To participate in this program, a school has to make GitHub available to all of its technical departments, make sure that its faculty and students receive regular announcements about the service and send one person from each department to GitHub\u2019s Campus Advisors training.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Developer","Education","free","GitHub","students"]},{"title":"Pew: Social media still growing in emerging markets but stalled elsewhere","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:52:44","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/pew-social-media-still-growing-in-emerging-markets-but-stalled-elsewhere/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1659060","author":"Natasha Lomas","thumbnail":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-19-at-4.51.13-PM.png?w=675","description":"Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg\u2019s (so far) five-year project to\u00a0expand access to the Internet in emerging markets\u00a0makes plenty of business sense when you look at the latest\u00a0report by the Pew Research Center \u2014 which shows social media use has plateaued across developed markets but continues to rise in the developing world. In 2015-16, roughly four-in-ten adults [\u2026]","content":"\n<p><a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/facebook/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"facebook\">Facebook <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> founder Mark Zuckerberg\u2019s (so far) five-year project to\u00a0<a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/25/internet-org-100-million/\">expand access to the Internet in emerging markets</a>\u00a0makes plenty of business sense when you look at the latest\u00a0<a href=\"http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/06/19/social-media-use-continues-to-rise-in-developing-countries-but-plateaus-across-developed-ones/?utm_source=adaptivemailer&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=6-19-18%20global%20technology&amp;org=982&amp;lvl=100&amp;ite=2757&amp;lea=605454&amp;ctr=0&amp;par=1&amp;trk=\">report</a> by the Pew Research Center \u2014 which shows social media use has plateaued across developed markets but continues to rise in the developing world.</p>\n<p>In 2015-16, roughly four-in-ten adults across the emerging nations surveyed by Pew said they used social networking sites, and as of 2017, a majority (53%) use social media. Whereas, over the same period, social media use has generally been flat in many of the advanced economies surveyed.</p>\n<p>Internet use and smartphone ownership have also stayed level in developed markets over the same period vs rising in emerging economies.</p>\n<p><img class=\"alignnone size-large wp-image-1659085\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-19-at-4.51.13-PM.png?w=675\" alt=\"\" width=\"675\" height=\"548\"></p>\n<p>Pew polled more than 40,000 respondents in 37 countries over a roughly three month period in February to May last year for this piece of research.</p>\n<p>The results show how developing markets are of clear and vital importance for social behemoth Facebook as a means to eke continued growth out of its primary ~15-year-old platform \u2014 plus also for the wider suite of social products it\u2019s acquired around that.\u00a0(Pew\u2019s research asked people about multiple different social media sites, with <a href=\"http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/06/19/global-technology-use-appendix-c-country-specific-examples-of-social-networking-sites/\">suggested examples being country-specific\u00a0</a>\u2014 though Facebook and Twitter were staples.)</p>\n<p>Especially \u2014 as Pew also found \u2014 of those who use the internet, people in developing countries often turn out to be more likely than their counterparts in advanced economies to network via social platforms such as Facebook (and <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/twitter/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"twitter\">Twitter) <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a>.</p>\n<p>Which in turn suggests there are major upsides for social platforms getting into an emerging Internet economy early enough to establish themselves as a go-to networking service.</p>\n<p>This dynamic doubtless explains why Facebook has been so leaden in its response to some <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/13/un-says-facebook-is-accelerating-ethnic-violence-in-myanmar/\">very stark risks</a> attached to how its social products accelerate the spread and consumption of misinformation in some developing countries, such as <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/06/myanmar-group-blasts-zuckerbergs-claim-on-facebook-hate-speech-prevention/\">Myanmar</a>\u00a0and <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/17/fears-mount-over-whatsapp-role-in-spreading-fake-news\">India</a>.</p>\n<p>Pulling the plug on its social products in emerging markets essentially means pulling the plug on business growth.</p>\n<p>Though, in the face of rising political risk attached to Facebook\u2019s own business and growing controversies attached to various products it offers, the company has reportedly rowed back from offering its \u2018Free Basics\u2019 <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/internet-org/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"internet-org\">Internet.org <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> package in more than half a dozen countries in recent months, according to analysis by\u00a0<a href=\"https://theoutline.com/post/4383/facebook-quietly-ended-free-basics-in-myanmar-and-other-countries?zd=1&amp;zi=5vnru42x\">The Outline</a>.</p>\n<p>In <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/13/un-says-facebook-is-accelerating-ethnic-violence-in-myanmar/\">March</a>, for example, the UN warned that Facebook\u2019s platform was contributing to the spread of hate speech and ethnic violence in crisis-hit Myanmar.</p>\n<p>The company has also\u00a0<a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/28/facebooks-dark-ads-problem-is-systemic/\">faced specific questions from US and EU lawmakers</a>\u00a0about its activities in the country \u2014 with scrutiny on the company dialed up to 11 after a <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/story/facebook-responds-to-data-misuse/\">major global privacy scandal that broke this spring</a>.</p>\n<p>And, in recent months, Facebook policy staffers have had to spend substantial quantities of man-hours penning <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/11/facebook-congress-answers-senate/\">multi-page explanations for all sorts of aspects of the company\u2019s operations</a> to try to appease angry politicians. So it looks pretty safe to conclude that the days of Facebook being able to pass off Internet.org-fueled business expansion as a \u2018humanitarian mission\u2019 are well and truly done.</p>\n<p>(Its new \u2018humanitarian project\u2019 is <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/01/facebook-dating/\">a new matchmaking feature</a> \u2014 which really looks like an attempt to rekindle stalled growth in mature markets.)</p>\n<p>Given how the social media usage gap is closing between developed vs developing countries\u2019 there\u2019s also perhaps a question mark over how much longer Facebook can generally rely on tapping emerging markets to pump its business growth.</p>\n<p>Although Pew\u2019s survey highlights some pretty major variations in usage even across developed markets, with social media being hugely popular in Northern America and the Middle East, for example, but more of a patchwork story in Europe where usage is \u201cfar from ubiquitous\u201d \u2014 such as in Germany where 87% of people use the internet but less than half say they use social media.</p>\n<p><img class=\"alignnone size-large wp-image-1659102\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-19-at-5.09.36-PM.png?w=666\" alt=\"\" width=\"666\" height=\"589\"></p>\n<p>Cultural barriers to social media addiction are perhaps rather harder for a multinational giant to defeat than infrastructure challenges or even economic barriers (though Facebook <a href=\"https://twitter.com/WolfieChristl/status/1008812125786079232\">does not appear to be giving up</a>\u00a0on that front either).</p>\n<p>Outside Europe, nations with still major growth potential on the social media front include India, Indonesia and nations in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Pew research. And Internet access remains a major barrier to social growth in many of these markets.</p>\n<p>\u201cAcross the 39 countries [surveyed], a median of 75% say they either use the internet occasionally or own a smartphone, our definition of internet use,\u201d it writes. \u201cIn many advanced economies, nine-in-ten or more use the internet, led by South Korea (96%). Greece (66%) is the only advanced economy surveyed where fewer than seven-in-ten report using the internet. Conversely, internet use is below seven-in-ten in 13 of the 22 emerging and developing economies surveyed. Among these countries, it is lowest in India and Tanzania, at a quarter of the adult population. Regionally, internet use is lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, where a median of 41% across six countries use the internet. South Africa (59%) is the only country in the region where at least half the population is online.\u201d</p>\n<p>India, Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa are also regions where Facebook has pushed its\u00a0<a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2015/04/20/internet-dot-org-indonesia/\">controversial</a> Internet.org \u2018free web\u2019 initiative. Although <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2016/02/08/india-blocks-facebook-freebasics-net-neutrality/\">India banned zero-rated mobile services</a>\u00a0in 2016 on net neutrality grounds. And Facebook now appears to be at least partially rowing back on this front itself in other markets.</p>\n<p>In parallel, the company has also been working on a more moonshot-y\u00a0<a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/29/facebooks-aquila-drone-completes-it-second-testflight-lands-well-this-time/\">solar-powered high altitude drone engineering</a>\u00a0to try to bring Internet access (and thus social media access) to remoter areas that lack a reliable Internet connection. Although this project remains experimental \u2014 and has yet to deliver any commercial services.</p>\n<p>Pew\u2019s research also found various\u00a0digital divides persisting within the surveyed countries, related to age, education, income and in some cases gender still differentiating who uses the Internet and who does not; and who is active on social media and who is inactive.</p>\n<p>Across the globe, for example, it found younger adults are much more likely to report using social media than their older counterparts.</p>\n<p>While in some emerging and developing countries, men are much more likely to use social media\u00a0 than women \u2014 in Tunisia, for example, 49% of men use social networking sites, compared with just 28% of women. Yet\u00a0in advanced countries, it found social networking is often more popular among women.</p>\n<p>Pew also found significant differences in social media use across other demographic groups: Those with higher levels of education and those with higher incomes were found to be more likely to use social network sites.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Social","digital divide","Facebook","Free Basics","Internet.org","Pew","social media","Twitter"]},{"title":"Riskified prevents fraud on your favorite e-commerce site","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:48:03","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/riskified-prevents-fraud-on-your-favorite-e-commerce-site/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1659239","author":"Romain Dillet","thumbnail":"","description":"Meet Riskified, an Israel-based startup that has raised $64 million in total to fight online fraud. The company has built a service that helps you reject transactions from stolen credit cards and approve more transactions from legitimate clients. If you live in the U.S., chances are you know someone who noticed a fraudulent charge for [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>Meet <a href=\"https://www.riskified.com/\">Riskified</a>, an Israel-based startup that has raised $64 million in total to fight online fraud. The company has built a service that helps you reject transactions from stolen credit cards and approve more transactions from legitimate clients.</p>\n<p>If you live in the U.S., chances are you know someone who noticed a fraudulent charge for an expensive purchase with their credit card \u2014 it\u2019s still unclear why most restaurants and bars in the U.S. take your card away instead of bringing the card reader to you.</p>\n<p>Online purchases, also known as <a href=\"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_not_present_transaction\">card-not-present</a> transactions, represent the primary source of fraudulent transactions. That\u2019s why e-commerce websites need to optimize their payment system to detect fraudulent transactions and approve all the others.</p>\n<p>Riskified uses machine learning to recognize good orders and improve your bottom line. In fact, Riskified is so confident that it guarantees that you\u2019ll never have to pay chargebacks. As long as a transaction is approved by the product, the startup offers chargeback protection. If Riskified made the wrong call, the company reimburses fraudulent chargebacks.</p>\n<p>On the other side of the equation, many e-commerce websites leave money on the table by rejecting transactions and false declines. It\u2019s hard to quantify this as some customers end up not ordering anything. Riskified should help you on this front too.</p>\n<p>The startup targets big customers \u2014 Macy\u2019s, Dyson, Prada, Vestiaire Collective and GOAT are all using it. You can integrate Riskified with popular e-commerce payment systems and solutions, such as Shopify, Magento and Stripe. Riskified also has an API for more sophisticated implementations.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Developer","Enterprise","Startups","fraud"]},{"title":"Cyan Banister to tell her story at Disrupt SF","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:45:30","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/cyan-banister-to-tell-her-story-at-disrupt-sf/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1658976","author":"Jordan Crook","thumbnail":"","description":"When we look around at some of the Silicon Valley superstars, it\u2019s easy to wonder how they got here. Was it luck? Brute force? Wits? Charm? At Disrupt SF, Founders Fund partner Cyan Banister is going to tell her story, and it might not be the narrative you\u2019d expect. Not everyone in Silicon Valley goes [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>When we look around at some of the Silicon Valley superstars, it\u2019s easy to wonder how they got here. Was it luck? Brute force? Wits? Charm?</p>\n<p>At Disrupt SF, <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/founders-fund/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"founders-fund\">Founders Fund <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> partner Cyan Banister is going to tell her story, and it might not be the narrative you\u2019d expect. Not everyone in Silicon Valley goes to Stanford or Harvard, but sometimes it\u2019s that alternative perspective that gives someone a leg up.</p>\n<p>Banister\u2019s history isn\u2019t what you\u2019d expect, and at Disrupt SF she\u2019ll explain where she came from and how she became one of Silicon Valley\u2019s most powerful investors.</p>\n<p>Before joining Founders Fund, Banister was a wildly successful angel investor, with portfolio companies including Uber, Thumbtack, SpaceX, Postmates, EShares, Affirm and Niantic. Banister taught herself to code, and held a number of technical leadership positions prior to angel investing, including overseeing support infrastructure and performance at Cisco.</p>\n<p>If Banister had to narrow her success down to one factor, it would be mentorship. Some people see that as an inorganic prospect, but Banister plans to explain how simple it can be to invite someone along to that concert, or conference, or hackathon, and make a difference in their life.</p>\n<p>\u201cWhen I tell people my story, they always tell me that I should write a book,\u201d said Banister. \u201cThat feels very self-serving to me. I\u2019ve been searching for a way to tell my story in a helpful way.\u201d</p>\n<p>At Disrupt SF, Banister will tell her story with the hopes to inspire folks to reach out and touch someone else\u2019s life. The conversation will be livestreamed and recorded to VOD.</p>\n<p>Tickets to Disrupt are available <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2018/?ref=speakerpost17&amp;unii-trigger-open=GSLDXW\">here</a>.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Startups","TC","Venture Capital","cyan-banister","disrupt sf","founders fund"]},{"title":"Lyft\u2019s app code reveals unlaunched bike or scooter feature","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:26:02","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/lyft-scooter-bike/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1658765","author":"Josh Constine","thumbnail":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Lyft-Last-Mile-Bike-Scooter.png?w=680","description":"Lyft hasn\u2019t acquired a bike-sharing startup or gotten a scooter permit yet, but it\u2019s already preparing its app for them with a feature codenamed \u201clast mile\u201d. Code and screenshots dug out of Lyft\u2019s Android app reveal a way to search a map for last mile vehicles, and scan a QR code or enter a pin [\u2026]","content":"\n<p><a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/lyft/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"lyft\">Lyft <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> hasn\u2019t acquired a bike-sharing startup or gotten a scooter permit yet, but it\u2019s already preparing its app for them with a feature codenamed \u201clast mile\u201d. Code and screenshots dug out of Lyft\u2019s Android app reveal a way to search a map for last mile vehicles, and scan a QR code or enter a pin to unlock them.</p>\n<p>These materials come to TechCrunch from <a href=\"https://twitter.com/wongmjane\">Jane Manchun Wong</a>, who\u2019s recently established herself as a prolific app code investigator. Her work has led to TechCrunch scoops on Instagram video calling and Usage Insights, Twitter encrypted DMs, and Facebook\u2019s personalized emoji Avatars that were confirmed by the companies.</p>\n<p><img class=\"aligncenter size-large wp-image-1658767\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Lyft-Last-Mile-Bike-Scooter.png?w=680\" alt=\"\" width=\"680\" height=\"599\"></p>\n<p>Lyft\u2019s entrance into last mile vehicles could win customers looking for quick, cheap, and exciting transportation beyond the longer car trips it already offers. Renting scooters or bikes from the same app as its car rideshare options would allow it to compete with dedicated last mile provides like LimeBike and Bird that don\u2019t benefit from the customer cross-pollenation. It would also help it keep up with Uber, which recently acquired electric bikeshare startup JUMP.</p>\n<p>The screenshots show a map you can browse to find nearby vehicles plus a \u201cScan to ride\u201d button. That brings up a barcode scanner for unlocking the vehicle, though there\u2019s also an option to enter 4-digit pin code on your phone for unlocking. Code reveals that vehicles can have status of \u2018Idle, Unlocking, In Ride, Locked, or Post Ride\u2019.</p>\n<p>Lyft is one of a dozen companies the <a href=\"https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-s-Scooter-sweepstakes-Lyft-Uber-among-a-12977329.php\">SF Chronicle</a> reports have applied for five dockless scooter permits from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Regarding these new in-app materials, a Lyft spokesperson told TechCrunch \u201cAs has been reported\u00a0I can confirm that we\u2019ve submitted an application to the SFMTA but we aren\u2019t sharing any further details at this time.</p>\n<p>Lyft is vying for a permit alongside Uber, Spin, LimeBike, Bird, Razor, Scoot, Ofo, Skip, CycleHop, Ridecell, and USSCooter. SF recently banned scooter rentals after an unregulated invasion by several of these companies saw the vehicles strewn in sidewalks, obstructing pedestrians.</p>\n<div class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\">\n<img class=\"wp-image-1658768 size-large\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Lyft-Last-Mile-Code.png?w=680\" alt=\"\" width=\"680\" height=\"61\"><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Lyft\u2019s Android code includes new \u201clast mile\u201d features</p>\n</div>\n<p>Meanwhile, <a href=\"https://www.theinformation.com/articles/lyft-nears-acquisition-of-motivate-u-s-bike-share-leader\">The Information</a> reports that Lyft is in talks to acquire Mobike, offering $250 million or more for the startup that operates NYC\u2019s Citibikes, and SF\u2019s Ford GoBikes. But <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/uber-motivate-bike-share-lyft-15df00ef-81d8-412f-9d3c-107cf1434fb6.html\">Axios</a> reports Uber is trying to muscle in with its own bid, which could block Lyft or at least force it to pay a higher price. <a href=\"https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/lyft-bike-sharing-in-baltimore/\">Lyft already offers bike rentals in Baltimore</a>, but only through the Baltimore Bike Share app, not its own.</p>\n<p>Some might see all this premature, with scooter rentals existing in few cities and considerable backlash from some citizens. But given the alternatives are either slow walking, or ridesharing that can increase traffic congestion, create more carbon emissions, and be quite expensive for short trips, many who give scooters a shot are finding them quite pleasant.</p>\n<div class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\">\n<img class=\"size-large wp-image-1432347\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/rtx2hel3.jpeg?w=680\" alt=\"\" width=\"680\" height=\"453\"><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">A driver displays Uber and Lyft ride sharing signs in his car windscreen in Santa Monica, California, U.S., May 23, 2016. About a half dozen ride-hailing firms have rushed into Texas tech hub Austin after market leaders Uber and Lyft left the city a little over a monthago in a huff over municipal requirements that they fingerprint drivers. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files</p>\n</div>\n<p>Hopefully, cities will focus on giving permits to dockless bike and scooter companies willing to incentivize proper parking, bike lane riding, and helmet usage, and that build reliable hardware that doesn\u2019t end up broken or out of battery on the streets. Given Lyft\u2019s more cooperative brand in comparsion to Uber\u2019s more confrontational style, it could leverage its public perception to gain access to markets with these vehicles.</p>\n<p>If those permits or acquisitions come through, Lyft clearly wants to move fast to get last mile transportations in customers\u2019 hands and under their feet.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Apps","Mobile","Startups","Transportation","bikes","Lyft","Scooter"]},{"title":"Here is Ford\u2019s plan for Detroit","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:10:36","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/heres-fords-plan-for-detroit/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1659093","author":"Kirsten Korosec","thumbnail":"","description":"Ford will spend the next four years\u00a0transforming at least 1.2 million square feet of space in Corktown\u2014Detroit\u2019s oldest neighborhood\u2014into a hub for its electric and autonomous vehicles businesses. But the automaker\u2019s ultimate aim goes beyond just building a new campus.\u00a0The goal is to create a \u201cmobility corridor,\u201d\u2014Ford\u2019s version of its own Sand Hill Road in [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>Ford will spend the next four years\u00a0transforming at least 1.2 million square feet of space in Corktown\u2014Detroit\u2019s oldest neighborhood\u2014into a hub for its electric and autonomous vehicles businesses.</p>\n<p>But the automaker\u2019s ultimate aim goes beyond just building a new campus.\u00a0The goal is to create a \u201cmobility corridor,\u201d\u2014Ford\u2019s version of its own Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley\u2014that ties hubs of research, testing, and development in the academic hub of Ann Arbor to Ford\u2019s\u00a0Dearborn headquarters, and finally to Detroit.</p>\n<p>Ford, which is celebrating its 115th anniversary this week, announced plans to house 2,500 Ford employees, most from its emerging mobility team, in its new Corktown campus by 2022. The new campus will have space to a accommodate 2,500 additional employees of partners and other businesses. The remaining 300,000 square feet will serve as a mix of community and retail space, and residential housing.</p>\n<p>The Corktown campus is where Ford will develop autonomous and electric vehicle businesses as well as what CEO <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jim-hackett/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"person\" data-entity=\"jim-hackett\">Jim Hackett <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> describes as a new\u00a0transportation operating system designed to make moving from Point A to Point B easier and accessible. The idea is for this transportation operating system to tie all forms of mobility together, including smart, connected vehicles, roads, parking and public transit will be tied together.</p>\n<p>You might remember that Ford announced in January plans\u00a0to develop an <a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/09/ford-and-autonomic-are-building-a-smart-city-cloud-platform/\">open cloud-based platform</a> for cities to use to manage all the disparate transportation modes (as well as data) happening at any given time. The idea is for the platform to help cities optimize their various modes of transit and provide a way for everything in the city such as stoplights, signs, and even bikes to speak to each other and share information.</p>\n<p>The centerpiece of the new Corktown campus will be the long-abandoned\u00a0<a href=\"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/ford-is-betting-big-on-detroit/\">Michigan Central Station</a>, which Ford acquired.</p>\n<p>Ford hasn\u2019t forgotten about its main campus in Dearborn, Hackett emphasized during an event Tuesday in front of the <a class=\"crunchbase-link\" href=\"https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/michigan/\" target=\"_blank\" data-type=\"organization\" data-entity=\"michigan\">Michigan <span class=\"crunchbase-tooltip-indicator\"></span></a> Central Station.</p>\n<p>\u201cOur plans for Corktown won\u2019t compete or won\u2019t replace our campus in Dearborn,\u201d Hackett said. \u201cIt\u2019s actually one whole system.\u201d</p>\n<p>And while Hackett noted that Corktown and the acquisition of the Michigan Central Station is \u201cgreat real estate\u201d and a \u201cgreat investment,\u201d it\u2019s not what drove Ford to make the investment.</p>\n<p>\u201cIt helps us fast track our transformation,\u201d Hackett explained.</p>\n<p>The company says it\u2019s still working on the redesign of its Dearborn campus that started in 2016. This will continue in parallel with the Corktown campus development. This summer the 150,000-square-foot Wagner Place development in West Dearborn is on track to open, as is a new driving dynamics lab located on Ford\u2019s Product Development Campus.</p>\n<p>The acquisition of Michigan Central Station follows the automaker\u2019s\u00a0purchase of the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, two acres of vacant land, the site of an old brass factory and the recent purchase of a refurbished former factory in Corktown.</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Automotive","Ann Arbor","ceo","detroit","Ford","henry ford","Jim Hackett","michigan","operating system","real estate"]},{"title":"Ford is betting big on Detroit","pubDate":"2018-06-19 16:07:59","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/19/ford-is-betting-big-on-detroit/","guid":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1658753","author":"Matt Burns","thumbnail":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GettyImages-978635026.jpeg","description":"The Ford Motor Company now owns one of Detroit\u2019s iconic buildings in the Michigan Central Station. The monumental building looms over Detroit\u2019s oldest neighborhood. It\u2019s long been a symbol of Detroit\u2019s decay, and now it could become the symbol of Detroit\u2019s revival, and Ford\u2019s along with it. The building is set to become the anchor [\u2026]","content":"\n<p>The Ford Motor Company now owns one of Detroit\u2019s iconic buildings in the Michigan Central Station. The monumental building looms over Detroit\u2019s oldest neighborhood. It\u2019s long been a symbol of Detroit\u2019s decay, and now it could become the symbol of Detroit\u2019s revival, and Ford\u2019s along with it. The building is set to become the anchor of Ford\u2019s 1.2 million-square-foot campus in the Detroit neighborhood.</p>\n<p>The Michigan Central Station will house more than just Ford employees, though. The auto company says it will be a mixed-use facility with facilities for up to 5,000 office workers and space for shops, restaurants and maybe even residential housing.</p>\n<p>Ford has a substantial undertaking before employees and businesses move into the building. The Michigan Central Station is nearly literally a shell of its former self.</p>\n<p>The station was built in 1913 by the same firm responsible for New York\u2019s Grand Central Terminal. In its day, the 21-story building stood proudly with marble floors under an arched 65-foot ceiling. It was the tallest train station in the world when its colossal bronze doors first opened to the public.</p>\n<p>Since its closure in the \u201980s the building sat empty, eventually losing nearly everything to looters and nature. The windows disappeared, graffiti covers much of the brickwork, and the ornamental ceiling is crumbling. Barbed-wire fence eventually encircled the structure, attempting to keep people out. But they don\u2019t. The lure of the station is too strong.</p>\n<div class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\">\n<img class=\"breakout size-full wp-image-1659157\" src=\"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GettyImages-978635026.jpeg\" alt=\"\" width=\"1024\" height=\"683\"><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">DETROIT, MI \u2013 JUNE 19: An artist spray paints a canvas at the historic, 105-year old Michigan Central train station prior to a Ford Motor Company press conference to formally announce their plans to renovate the building and turn it and Detroit\u2019s Corktown neighborhood into a hub for Ford\u2019s auto technology on June 19, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The project is expected to be completed by 2022 and will be the workplace for approximately 2500 Ford employees. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)</p>\n</div>\n<h2>Detroit, The Mobility City</h2>\n<p>The Michigan Central Station is set to be the center of a large Ford campus centered around forward-looking automotive technology research and design. Ford sees 2,500 employees occupying the buildings by 2022. The focus is on the future of mobility including electric and autonomous vehicles, and everything from connected vehicles to roads and parking.</p>\n<p>Ford held a large event today announcing its intentions for the campus and Michigan Central Station. CEO Jim Hackett points to the advancing revolution where, as he says, artificial intelligence and big data that will be even more disruptive than the industrial revolution.</p>\n<p>\u201cWhat Rouge was to Ford in the industrial age, Corktown can be for Ford in the information age,\u201d said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said in a released statement. \u201cIt will be the proving ground where Ford and our partners design and test the services and solutions for the way people are going to live and get around tomorrow, creating a Southeast Michigan mobility corridor that spans west from Dearborn to Ann Arbor, and east to Detroit.\u201d</p>\n<p>The plan calls for Ford to occupy at least three buildings in the area as part of a mobility corridor Ford intends to build spanning Detroit to Ann Arbor to Ford\u2019s home in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford says it will redesign its Dearborn campus alongside Corktown campus.</p>\n<p>Hackett was clear on this point: The plans for the Corktown campus will not compete or replace Ford\u2019s Dearborn campus. He stressed that it\u2019s part of the same system.</p>\n<p>\u201cIt\u2019s actually one whole system,\u201d Hackett said. \u201cIn fact, if anything it guarantees the future of Dearborn. Our Dearborn redesign [and] our Corktown revitalization are just steps in the strategy to keep moving forward.\u201d</p>\n<p>Ford largely operates outside the city of Detroit. The company\u2019s headquarters, main development operations and Ford River Rouge Complex are located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. This move into Corktown is more than symbolic; it\u2019s significant.</p>\n<p>The big three automakers, along with countless automotive suppliers located in Michigan, are increasingly fighting with Silicon Valley for talent. Rightfully so, prospective employees are looking for employers that can offer a compelling work/life balance, with that, comes the place of employment. I\u2019ve been through Ford\u2019s Dearborn\u2019s facilities. From an outsider\u2019s perspective, some of these facilities feel like an aging office complex that could crush your soul at any moment.</p>\n<p>Silicon Valley offers engineering talent a unique opportunity previously largely unavailable for such jobs. It\u2019s likely why GM let its self-driving startup, Cruise, continue to operate in the Bay Area.</p>\n<p>Moving engineering teams into a Corktown campus will place these employees in the middle of a historic city on the upswing. By the time Ford moves employees into the facility by 2022, Corktown should be packed with upstart restaurants, bars and shops, ready to take the money of Ford engineers.</p>\n[gallery ids=\"1659119,1659121,1659164,1659161,1659162,1659140,1659130,1659129,1659125\"]\n<p>\u00a0</p>\n<h2>From Trains to Self-Driving Cars</h2>\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2018/06/18/inside-ford-motor-effort-save-michigan-central-depot/702923002/\">Detroit News explains</a> how the deal unfolded. Along the way, the structure was inspected and deemed sound enough for redevelopment. Apparently since concrete encases the steel girders, the structure of the building has fared better than its ornamental adornments.</p>\n<p>The station was in a state of decay before the last Amtrak train left the station in 1988 and was never an overwhelming success on its own. The station is located outside of the downtown core and relied on Detroit\u2019s trolleys to bring riders to the station. The station also lacked a large parking facility, which became problematic after the rise of the automobile caused the trolley system to age and shut down.</p>\n<p>The station\u2019s interior is stunning even in its decayed state. The general waiting room reminds of a Roman bathhouse with soaring arched ceilings covered in Guastavino tile that speak to Detroit\u2019s glorious past. Light pours through the tall windows and glass ceiling. Pillars are throughout the lobby. The arches continue in a lovely arcade that once housed shops and service stalls.</p>\n<p>Space for 500 offices occupied the floors above the station, though the top floor of the station remained unfinished and unused through the building\u2019s history.</p>\n<p>The station lacked windows for years and nature did its best to reclaim the station. Water damage is visible everywhere. Tiles are falling off the arches, revealing the terra cotta backing. Stagnant water is found throughout the lower levels.</p>\n<p>Historic Detroit states ridership peaked following World War 1 with 200 trains leaving the station daily but started to dwindle quickly in the 1950s. Amtrak took over the station from the bankrupt Penn Central in 1971, the year it was founded. The corporation spent $1 million updating the station but couldn\u2019t save it, and the last train departed the station in 1988 heading to Chicago.</p>\n<p>The year Amtrak unveiled the updated station, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This designation didn\u2019t increase riders, but it did save the building from being demolished after Amtrak moved out.</p>\n<p>Since its closure, the building has traded hands several times with each owner unveiling grand plans for the building: a casino and hotel, a rail yard, an international trade center, even a police station.</p>\n<p>The Moroun family purchased the building in 1992 and left it untouched until just a few years ago when it started landscaping the park in front of the station. The family then installed windows throughout the building. It\u2019s unclear if this was to prepare the building for sale or other purposes.</p>\n<p>The station sits just blocks from the former Tiger Stadium that was built in 1911 and torn down in 2008. It\u2019s a mostly residential neighborhood, sitting just outside the downtown area. Corktown has yet to see the redevelopment boom found elsewhere in Detroit.</p>\n<p>Though not ideal when the Michigan Central Station was built, its location is likely what brought Ford to the table. The area has easy access to major highways and is just far enough away from downtown Detroit to mostly avoid the traffic congestion. Real estate opportunities seem ample, too.</p>\n<h2>Amazon turned down Detroit</h2>\n<p>Last year Detroit enlisted the help of real estate mogul Dan Gilbert to help win Amazon\u2019s bid for a second headquarters. It didn\u2019t work out. The city of Detroit and State of Michigan reportedly offered Amazon a massive tax incentive but Amazon didn\u2019t take the bait. The deal would have changed Detroit, but not necessarily for the better. Had Amazon picked Detroit, the city would have had to adjust physically and mentally to handle the supposed increase of 30,000 workers within the city limit.</p>\n<p>Ford seems like a good fit for today\u2019s Detroit. The company is restoring an eyesore and essentially extending the border of the downtown area. Instead of adding tens of thousands of workers like Amazon would, Ford is adding thousands of workers. The streets will get a bit more crowded, but not overwhelmed.</p>\n<p>The area lacks a lot of the infrastructure needed for an Amazon-sized workforce. Public transportation is limited to a couple of short lines, and some suburban leaders are fighting their expansion. Parking is hard to come by and there\u2019s a housing crunch in the downtown core. The roads are a mess and traffic congestion is getting worse.\u00a0Ford\u2019s campus, located outside the downtown areas, should avoid some of those challenges \u2014 besides the terrible roads.</p>\n<p>This deal puts Ford back in Detroit 22 years after it sold the Renaissance Center to General Motors. Even though it\u2019s early, Ford\u2019s return to Detroit could prove to be as pivotal to Detroit\u2019s future as when Dan Gilbert moved Quicken Loans downtown in 2010. Gilbert largely kickstarted Detroit\u2019s revitalization by filling unused office space with Quicken Loans employees, but also buying up blocks of the city and convincing retailers and corporations to move downtown. It worked, and downtown Detroit in 2018 is a much different place than it was in 2008.</p>\n<p>Questions still remain about the purchase of the Michigan Central Station. How much did Ford purchase the building for and what sort of tax incentives were offered to the auto maker and\u00a0Moroun family? Will I ever be able to get a table at Slow\u2019s BBQ again?</p>\n","enclosure":{},"categories":["Automotive","TC"]}]};