13 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

It was a big week for Google, Elon Musk, and the UK Prime Minister. We took a look at Xiaomi’s new phablet and learned what a real teenager thinks of social apps. These were our best stories of the week (1/10-1/16).

1. Kim-Mai Cutler wrote a long form piece about the history of East Palo Alto, and how the seemingly small policy choices surrounding the make-up of Silicon Valley have had enduring, multi-generational consequences on its inhabitants.

2. Facebook launched Facebook At Work, a new service that aims to let businesses create their own social networks amongst their employees that are built to look and act like Facebook itself. Josh Constine also examined how Facebook At Work could shrink faceless enterprises.

3. TechCrunch received a private document from 2013 which reveals Palantir’s extensive trove of data analysis tools and lists many of its key clients. Thanks to this leaked information, we now know far more about the secretive company.

4. UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech calling for encryption to be banned on national security grounds, deeming himself an idiot in a time where European politicians have been calling for increased surveillance of online activity to combat terrorism, in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Paris.

5. The Cyber Caliphate hacker group which claims association with terrorist group ISIS seized control of the @CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube.

6. It was a big week for Elon Musk, who announced a donation of $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, as well as plans to build a Hyperloop track for ultra-high speed transport tests.

7. The Google Glass Explorer project shut down, and now exists as a standalone project headed by former Apple executive and Nest founder Tony Fadell. Was Google Glass doomed from the start? Or will it relaunch with a comeback? 

8. Xiaomi released its new Mi Note phablet, and we got to go hands on with the 5.7-inch screen device.

9. Samsung released the Galaxy A7, a smartphone that packs an 8-core processor into a 5.5-inch phone.

10. We got to meet Andrew Watts, the teenager who’s Medium post about social media apps got over 500K page views, and we learned what a real teen actually thinks of social apps.

11. Disney research labs built a robot called Beachbot, that works by dragging a set of pins through the sand, sort of like a rake. Beachbot works automatically, or can be controlled manually by an artist.


12. Google Domains, Google’s own domain name registration service, exited private testing and launched in the U.S. with support for Blogger integration, templates and more domain endings.

13. Greg Kumparak wrote about a fake phone charger called the KeySweeper. It looks like a phone charger, but is really a spy device capable of sniffing out every key you type on that wireless keyboard on your desk.