This blockchain-based startup will cut out the middlemen in travel booking


The travel and tourism industry is worth nearly $ 1.6 trillion globally and accounts for one-tenth of the world’s GDP. Despite this vast market, the industry is dominated by monopolies. This is quite evident in the space for travel booking services. Major players like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb have become the go-to places for finding hotels and rooms but they all charge fees for the vendors while payment processing charges a fee on the customer. According to the Vietnam-based travel tech startup Concierge, up to 50 percent of transaction value goes to middlemen like booking services and not the actual service…

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Signal’s secure messaging app gets a $50 million lifeline from WhatsApp co-founder


One of the first messaging services to offer end-to-end encryption for truly private conversations, Signal has largely been developed by a team that’s never grown larger than three full-time developers over the years it’s been around. Now, it’s getting a shot in the arm from the co-founder of a rival app. Brian Acton, who built WhatsApp with Jan Koum into a $ 19 billion business and sold it to Facebook, is pouring $ 50 million into an initiative to support the ongoing development of Signal. Having left WhatsApp last fall, he’s now free to explore projects whose ideals he agrees with, and…

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Bowers & Wilkins PX Review: Beautiful sound – after I got a haircut


Bowers and Wilkins’ PX are among the best Bluetooth headphones I’ve tried in recent memory. It’s just weird it took a trip to the barber to get the best sound out of them. The PX are a $ 400 pair of noise cancelling headphones that launched to rave reviews for their classy looks and pristine sound. Unfortunately, my experience out of the box was not quite the same. The sound seemed to lack body, especially when noise cancelling was off, and more importantly, sound was dramatically better with it on. And then I got a haircut. It turns out my somewhat…

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Hologroup’s MR Guide makes Microsoft’s HoloLens your new tour guide


Russian startup Hologroup recently released MR Guide for HoloLens developers. The software gives anyone the ability to make a holographic tour for Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset, with no programming necessary. Currently the HoloLens hardware is available to the public only in a costly developer’s edition, but it’s already seeing useful software. MR Guide gives early adopters the tools to create experiences directly in the HoloLens’ native interface, without the need for any additional software. According to Holograph CEO Alex Yakubov: With the help of MR Guide, creating a holographic tour is no more difficult than making a PowerPoint presentation. Now, museums, showrooms,…

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Twitter users cry foul when asked to verify their identities


Some Twitter users woke up to an unpleasant surprise this morning: Upon attempting to access their Twitter accounts, they were told they were temporarily locked out of their accounts. Shortly after this, the hashtag #TwitterLockout began trending, as users began to complain of being censored or persecuted by the site. That wasn’t all of it. Upon logging in, they discovered they had lost a number of followers. Some users have speculated that the loss of follower numbers is part of a “bot purge.” Trumpers try to understand; the followers you are losing tonight are not real people. They were bots…

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