Pusha T's album, produced by West, features a photo of the late singer's bathroom.
Kaltura is expanding its enterprise video platform with the acquisition of Rapt Media.
Kaltura already offers support for some interactivity in videos, particularly with quizzes, but co-founder and CEO Ron Yekutiel predicted that this technology is going to become increasingly important: “The bigger play in the world of enterprise and the world of education is a play towards interactivity and personalization.”
Kaltura isn’t the only interactive video startup — for example, I’ve been impressed by the branching narratives powered by Eko. But Yekutiel said Rapt stood out because it offers true interactivity (not just adding a few buttons and links to a linear video) for marketing, education and HR. He also praised its “high availability and reliability with zero lag time.”
In addition, Yekutiel said Kaltura customers had already expressed interest in integrating with Rapt, and he argued that the biggest benefit comes in bringing the technology into the broader Kaltura platform.
“We consider interactivity as one layer of this layer cake,” Yekutiel said. “Nobody wants to connect to 20 technology companies for video … They want to have one platform for all their video needs.”
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rapt Media was founded in 2011 and has raised $12 million in funding from investors including Boulder Ventures. Yekutiel said Rapt team members will continue to work out of their office in Boulder, Colorado and bring the total Kaltura headcount to more than 450.
“What an honor it is for our vision and technology to be recognized by a video technology powerhouse like Kaltura,” said Rapt Media founder and CEO Erika Trautman in the announcement. “I am excited that Rapt Media customers can now benefit from Kaltura’s wide range of video solutions and easily expand their video strategy to support any use case that may arise today and in the future.”
For being one of the most visited websites on the web, Reddit‘s product has rocked a notoriously basic design for much of its existence. The site is in the process of slowly rolling out a major desktop redesign to users, and today the company announced that part of this upgrade will be native support for night mode.
Night mode will likely be a popular feature for the desktop site that seems to have a core group of users that never sleep. Reddit’s mobile apps have notably had a native night mode for a while already.
While night mode won’t likely be too controversial, some Redditors already seem resistant to the redesign change. Nevertheless, I’ve found it to be a pretty friendly upgrade (classic view is still the best) that gels with the surprisingly great mobile apps the company has continued to update. Reddit’s recent heavy integration of native ads is only more apparent in the new design, something that is understandably frustrating a lot of users, but it was surprising the ad-lite good times lasted so long in the first place.
You can access the night mode feature with a toggle in the username dropdown menu in the top-right corner of the site.
The Amazon Echo and Google Home are amazing devices and both have advantages over the other. In my home, we use the Amazon Echo and have them around the house and outside. I have the original in the living room, a Dot in bedrooms, my office and outside, a Tap in my woodworking workshop and Spots in the kids’ room (with tape over the camera). They’re great devices, but far from perfect. They’re missing several key features and the Google Home is missing the same things, too.
I polled the TechCrunch staff. The following are the features we would like to see in the next generation of these devices.
If you’re on desktop, click the “start here” button to the right. If you’re on mobile web, just scroll down. If you are reading this from anywhere else (Google News, Yahoo, etc), click here to jump into the slideshow.
Earlier this week, it came to light that Apple had removed a number of VoIP-based calling apps from the App Store, at the request of the Chinese government. The apps had been using CallKit, Apple’s new developer toolset that provides the calling interface for VoIP apps, freeing up developers to handle the backend communications. China’s government asked developers, by way of Apple, to remove CallKit from their apps sold on the China App Store, or they can remove their apps entirely.
Notices Apple sent out to the developers were first spotted by 9to5Mac, who shared a snippet from of one of the emails.
The email states that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) “requested that CallKit be deactivated in app apps available on the China App Store,” and informed the developer they would need to comply with this regulation in order to have their app approved.
The regulation only impacts apps distributed in the China App Store.
We understand that the apps can still use CallKit and be sold in other markets outside the region.
Apple is not publicly commenting on the matter.
The pushback against CallKit is another means of discouraging people from developing or using VoIP services in China, without having to go so far as to ban the apps directly. It wouldn’t be the first time China has cracked down in this area. In November, Microsoft’s Skype was also pulled from the Apple and Android app stores.
The government also last year ordered VPN apps, which help users route around the Great Firewall, to be pulled from app stores – another order with which Apple complied.
Other social media apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook, are also disrupted at times, and newspapers’ apps like those from The NYT and WSJ are blocked, too.
According to data pulled by app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, two dozen apps with CallKit had been removed during the week prior to the news reports.
That list, along with the date removed and publisher name, is below:
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