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Star Wars' new droid BB-8 is yours

Meet BB-8. It's the new rolling droid that makes its big-screen debut in the highly anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The film opens on December 18 -- but you don't need to wait until then. You can take BB-8 home this week. It's one of more than 100 new Disney-licensed Star Wars toys that hit stores Friday. Although very little is known about BB-8's role in the movie, the startup behind...

03 Sep 11:19 PM 0 Read More...

Indiegogo CEO: Want money? Here's the trick

Indiegogo co-founder Slava Rubin [far right] with his team at the company's office in New York City. Forget drones or robots or mind-boggling 3D-printed innovations. Right now, Indiegogo's CEO is laser-focused on peanut butter. "This peanut butter is made with just three ingredients, peanuts, salt and honey. The honey is what makes it really good," said Slava Rubin. His obsession, Good Spread Peanut Butter, i...

26 Aug 7:44 PM 0 Read More...

Toy set teaches kids about diversity

Not all families look alike -- so why should all toys? That's the question that led Ez Karpf to build a new kind of toy company, MyFamilyBuilders. MyFamilyBuilders is a kit that includes 48 wooden pieces -- including heads, torsos and feet -- that snap together to form 2,000 combinations of families. With diversity and inclusion top of mind, the kit allows children to build a family that looks like theirs ...

26 Aug 4:40 AM 0 Read More...

NRA sues Seattle over $25 gun tax

The NRA and other gun groups have sued Seattle over its $25 gun tax. The NRA and two other advocacy groups have sued Seattle over its new gun tax. The National Rifle Association filed the lawsuit in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry group based in Newtown, Connecticut, and the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights group in Bellevue near Seattle. Two Seattle gun shops...

25 Aug 1:38 PM 0 Read More...

Michigan mayor wants to ban flamethrowers

A flamethrower factory? Not in my backyard! The mayor of a Detroit suburb wants to ban the flamethrowers that are manufactured in his city, out of fear that they could cause "catastrophic damage." "This has very deadly potential for a deadly disastrous result, with no benefit," said Mayor James Fouts of Warren, Mich. "I think the biggest fear people have is the fear of being burned alive." A startu...

21 Aug 7:20 PM 0 Read More...

AT&T brings 21st century skills to rural Salinas

AT&T wants to help Silicon Valley improve its diversity by giving students in Salinas, California, a boost. A new program called AdelanTECH Leadership is helping students in the rural community -- which is just an hour from Silicon Valley -- get web development training and leadership skills so they, too, can work in tech. Salinas' population is 75% Hispanic, a vastly underrepresented minority group in S...

19 Aug 10:16 PM 0 Read More...

Zirtual insanity: Livelihoods of 400 in flux as startup shutters

Virtual assistant startup Zirtual burned a lot of people in its unexpected shutdown. The company laid off more than 400 employees via e-mail early Monday morning. There was no advanced notice, access to e-mail was blocked and its Facebook and Twitter pages were shuttered. Less than 48 hours later, founder and CEO Maren Kate Donovan surfaced to apologize and rationalize the decision. The company grew too big,...

19 Aug 10:15 PM 0 Read More...

Startups should reveal how they're spending money

Is "burn rate" a good excuse for shutting down a startup? This week, startup Zirtual abruptly ceased operations and laid off 400 people via e-mail. CEO Maren Kate Donovan cited "burn" as the reason for the shut down -- the difference between what it was bringing in and what it was spending. She said the company was burning $400,000 a month, "which in San Francisco terms is nothing." She's not wrong. Ventur...

19 Aug 10:15 PM 0 Read More...

This messaging app for teens is now worth $1 billion

If messaging apps are the future, Kik is positioning itself to take over. According to a new report from Pew Research Center, 36% of smartphone users use messaging apps such as Kik, WhatsApp or iMessage. Among the younger set, they're even more popular: 49% of smartphone users ages 18 to 29 use these types of apps. According to Kik Interactive, its app has a significant share of these users. The startup says...

19 Aug 10:15 PM 0 Read More...

Why a 175-year-old candle maker is vital to Ohio town

Candle-Lite Company has been making candles in Ohio for 175 years. There's a town in central Ohio where candles are a pretty big deal. Leesburg, Ohio, is a rural farming community of just 1,300 people. In its midst is the Candle-Lite Company's 900,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, warehouse and distribution center. Candle-Lite makes 250 million candles in Leesburg every year. It supplies them to over 40 na...

19 Aug 10:15 PM 0 Read More...