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The Atlantic says it will hire up to 100 new staffers

The Atlantic says it will hire up to 100 new staffers It’s a gloomy time in media, with frequent announcements of layoffs and shutdowns (it even happened today). That’s why it seems remarkable for an established publication to announce ambitious plans for newsroom expansion. The publication in question is The Atlantic, the magazine in which Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective bought a majority stake last year. The magazine announced today that it will be adding “as many as 100 new staffers” over the next year. That would increase The Atlantic’s headcount by 30…

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Onward helps businesses automate their customer service

Onward helps businesses automate their customer service How much can customer service be automated? Onward has some straightforward targets — 40 percent of tickets and 40 percent of messages should be automated, and average response times should be 40 seconds on average. Founders Rémi Cossart and Pramod Thammaiah describe this as Automate40 — basically, a set of goals for businesses looking to bring more automation into the customer service process. They compare these targets to fitness goals: The idea isn’t to hit them right away, but rather to have something…

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Adecco Group acquires recruiting startup Vettery for $100M

Adecco Group acquires recruiting startup Vettery for 0M The Adecco Group, a global HR services firm headquartered in Switzerland, announced today that it has acquired Vettery. The financial terms were not disclosed, but a source with knowledge of the deal told us that the price was a little over $100 million. (It’s not clear how much of that is cash versus stock.) We’ve reached out to the Adecco Group for confirmation and will update if we hear back. A Vettery spokesperson declined to comment. Vettery was launched in 2014. Shortly…

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Hypergiant helps big brands look beyond the AI buzzwords

Hypergiant helps big brands look beyond the AI buzzwords Artificial intelligence and machine learning are phrases that get tossed around a lot these days, to the point where they’re starting to seem meaningless. In fact, Ben Lamm said he’s seen the problem firsthand at his chatbot startup Conversable. “We kind of noticed this huge gap,” Lamm said. “Everybody has an emotional reaction to AI, everybody wants AI, nobody seems to know what that means.” So Lamm founded a new startup called Hypergiant, which will work with large brands and enterprise…

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Federal judge rules that embedded tweets can represent copyright infringement

Federal judge rules that embedded tweets can represent copyright infringement A recent ruling by a New York federal judge could have significant implications for how copyright laws are enforced. The ruling was made in a case where Justin Goldman accused publications including Breitbart, Time, Yahoo, Vox Media, and the Boston Globe of violating his copyright by embedding tweets with his photo of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Broady into their stories. Goldman had posted the photo to Snapchat, but it went viral and other users subsequently uploaded it to Twitter….

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Original Content podcast: We welcome the reign of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

Original Content podcast: We welcome the reign of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ <input type="hidden" name="fallback" value=" This embed is invalid” /> [embedded content] Marvel’s Black Panther officially opens today, but TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington and Anthony Ha have seen it already. Darrell and Anthony are both comic book nerds, and the latest episode of the Original Content podcast includes plenty of discussion about how the latest movie fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Black Panther isn’t just for hardcore comic geeks, so we also talk about how it works as a…

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Streaming service Fandor has a new COO and a new Chief Product Engineering Officer

Streaming service Fandor has a new COO and a new Chief Product Engineering Officer Fandor has expanded its executive team, promoting General Counsel and Chief Distribution Officer Felice Oper to the role of COO, and appointing TS Ramakrishnan as its Chief Product Engineering Officer. Felice joined the company in 2015, around the same time that Larry Aidem took over as CEO. Aidem, who previously worked with Felice at HBO, said that her role at Fandor has expanded organically, where she wasn’t just handling the company’s legal affairs but also orchestrating…

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Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a new high point for superhero cinema

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a new high point for superhero cinema Black Panther doesn’t look like any movie I’ve seen. I don’t want to downplay America’s long history of black cinema (a history that already includes a handful of black superheroes). Nor am I ignoring the fact that Black Panther is the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — so yes, it conforms in a number of ways to the dictates of big-budget Hollywood storytelling. But make no mistake: This is a movie that harnesses Marvel-scale resources to tell a…

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Unsplash raises $7.25M to bring cryptocurrency to its free, curated photo platform

Unsplash raises .25M to bring cryptocurrency to its free, curated photo platform Unsplash is rethinking the way photography gets distributed and monetized, and today it’s announcing a $7.25 million Series A to fund those efforts. The site actually started as a side project for freelance marketplace Crew, but eventually the founders decided to focus on Unsplash and sold Crew to Dribbble. While the Unsplash photo library contains only 400,000 photos (compared to the 150 million on Shutterstock), CEO Mikael Cho explained that he’s deliberately taken a more curated approach. Whenever…

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Social analytics companies MVPindex and Umbel are merging

Social analytics companies MVPindex and Umbel are merging MVPindex and Umbel, two companies delivering social media data to the sports and entertainment industries, are teaming up. The combined company will be led by MVPindex’s co-founders, with Stan Woodward serving as CEO, Shawn Spieth as president and chairman and Kyle Nelson as chief marketing officer. Umbel will be represented on the executive team as well, with CFO Iser Cukierman becoming the overall CFO and manager of the Umbel business unit. Woodward said that the companies have complementary products: MVPindex measures the…

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