People-Rating App Peeple Is Live And Not A Hoax | Crunch Report


Pandora launches “Ampcast” for artists to
reach their fans, Vessel gets an ad-free subscription option, that app for rating human beings is
actually a thing now, and more… It’s Tuesday, March 8th, and this is Crunch
Report. For humans, picking something up with your
hand, assuming its functioning normally, is a pretty easy thing to do. But for robots,
that’s still a really hard thing to do. So to teach robots how to better grasp random
objects, Google’s research team dedicated 14 robots to the task of training a deep convolutional
neural network to help its robots predict the outcome of their grasps based on camera
input and motor commands. It’s more or less hand-eye coordination, for robots. The team
says after 3,000 hours of practice (and 800,000 grasp attempts), it’s starting to see “the
beginnings of intelligent reactive behaviors.” Google’s researchers also say the average
failure rate without training was 34% on the first 30 picking attempts. After training,
failure rate was down to 18%. Still a ways to go, but when robots have an 80% chance
of successfully grasping whatever they like… well, hmm… . OG music discovery app Pandora has a lot of
competition these days, but still has 80 million users to keep happy. Today, Pandora launched
a new service called AMPcast – that lets artists “speak to their fans” through audio messages
that they can record on the fly on their mobile phones and post to run alongside their music
streams. Just yesterday TechCrunch wrote about a new service called Superphone, a tool for
musicians that uses SMS and user’s phone numbers to send direct messages to fans. Feels
a little gimmacky, but obviously a trend that artists are looking for new ways to connect
with their audiences. AMPcast seems to be the next generation product of Artist Audio
Messages, which Pandora first launched a year ago and has had 152 million messages heard
to date. AMPCast just makes it easier to do it on the fly, and not have to be in-studio.
It also lets artists track stats on those audio messages as part of Pandora’s Artist
Marketing Platform, the company’s interface for artists and their teams to manage profiles
and other features. Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren said in a statement “This powerful
tool, combined with the scale and reach of Pandora, gives every talented and hard-working
artist a real shot to build a career in music. Marketing and promotion for artists will never
be the same.” Video subscription startup Vessel, founded
by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, has announced a change with its ad model…the Vessel service is
now ad-free for all its paying subscribers, with the free version of Vessel supported
by ads. Feels a bit like what YouTube did recently with YouTube Red, and Kilar said
in a blog post about the change that an ad-free experience has been one of its most popular
requests. Vessel’s unique twist is that it gives access to creators for up to 72 hours
before those videos go live on YouTube or elsewhere. Creators supposedly can make more
money than on the free, ad-supported sites by going along with this model, too. Kilar
says Vessel now offers over 300,000 videos from over 250 content partners – that’s
up over 50% since last summer. The company won’t share actual sub numbers, but says users
in 155 countries pay for early access to Vessel videos. As for the paid tiers, customers can
now choose the standard $2.99 per month, or the new $19.99 annual subscription. Oh god, I thought this one a joke. But no…
Peeple, spelled with two E’s, the people-rating app to rate and review humans, is quite real
and launched last week. You might remember some backlash last fall when a few folks got
wind of the idea. The company has since added some anti-bullying features and settings for
hiding unwanted recommendations, so it’s clear the founders – who are from Canada – have
at least some grasp of why the concept of rating people, or a “yelp for humans” makes
everyone squirm. You sign up to leave reviews of anyone you know – co-workers, bosses,
friends, even local service pro’s. Which would be fine if the human race wasn’t awful,
but we are. I mean…remember Secret? The company says users have full control over
their profiles, and that “no one can add you to the app” – which sounds like an
opt-in experience.. but that’s not really true, because the app’s own website says you
can still write “recommendations” for anyone who’s not on the app. Then there’s
a feature the company’s considering called “Truth License,” where paying users would
be able to read anything that has been written about a person, whether or not the person
published the reviews on their profile. TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez also read the terms
and conditions with a fine-toothed comb, and found that in order to use the app “you
hereby irrevocably grant to Peeple the continuous, non-exclusive, royalty-free right to use your
Content for any purpose whatsoever and in any format. These rights shall be assignable,
transferable, and licensable by Peeple.” I could go on, but i won’t. Seems like a bad
app idea. Amazon is getting into daily live TV… the
show, called Style Code Live, will feature fashion and beauty tips and advice from style
experts and show viewers. But this is Amazon we’re talking about… so the show will also
feature ability to shop for products while you’re watching, access links to those products
on Amazon, and even ask questions in real-time during the show through a live chat interface,
with hosts responding to viewer comments and questions in the live chat. The show premieres
tonight, and even if you’re not super into fashion, is interesting in that it’s not only
Amazon’s debut of a live TV show, but its first experiment with interactive commerce.
The 30-minute stream goes live on weeknights at 9 PM ET and accessible via Amazon.com.
By the way earlier this month, shopping network HSN released its “Shop by Remote” app
for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, which allows users to both watch HSN programming
and shop at the same time, using the device’s remote control. That’s the report for today. I’m Sarah
Lane. Real quick before we go, some personal news… this is my last episode! Don’t worry,
Crunch Report will live on, and it will be great. I’m moving on from TechCrunch, but
I’m going to miss the team here so, so much, and I’ll miss you all too. Thanks for watching,
thanks for the support… and thanks for being you. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on Techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. And someone will see you tomorrow!

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68 thoughts on “People-Rating App Peeple Is Live And Not A Hoax | Crunch Report

  1. @sarahlane you will be missed not doing TC reports… Good luck with your new whatever you off too doing next… Not Goin to be the same 😢

  2. Alas, I knew this day would come. The magnificent force of nature that is our beloved Sarah must rendezvous with a greatness that is surely her destiny. It is we who thank you for being you. Fly my pretty! FLY!

  3. All the Best Sarah for your future endeavors!!! 🙂 We will miss you reading out tech stuff in a very interesting manner

  4. Peeple:
    3, 2, 1, and let all the lawsuits come in.

    Stupid founders… They won't enjoy their company for long.

  5. damn this is the 2nd time i watched her ifive for iPhone and sad she left now again! where is she going now?

  6. I'm gonna miss Sarah ! Can't believe shes leaving techcrunch for good ! All the best with everything that follows , Sarah .

  7. A shame to see you go, +sarahlane, but good luck for the future! Is there a blooper reel +techcrunch could run…? 😂

  8. I subscribed because of Sarah and her humor, I will miss you, best of luck with your future endeavors

  9. Thank you for all the great content, delivered with wit and precision. Good luck in your new endeavours.

  10. Thank you very much, Sarah. No matter who replaces you, you are irreplaceable. Wish you the best on your future ventures.

  11. I'm going to miss you Sarah Lane. You're unique delivery is the reason I subscribed…not so much the tech news.

  12. Does anyone know why Sarah left TechCrunch? This wasn't pre-announced and I see nothing about what Sarah is planning to do.. There's no indication what her next gig is.. Did she just decide to exit? Did the management show her the door?

  13. Please, Don't go from TechCrunch; I had started watching techcrunch because of Sarah Lane and the way she describes everything had always been so much fun

  14. The TechTV/G4 era is dead, of course. But I feel like all the gang from the past (and i mean everyone from TechTV/G4 ) should create a channel and bring back the glory days on their own terms with all the same type of shows. Won't happen, I know, especially when the few that are left are doing well on their own but it would be amazing to see!

  15. It should be completely okay and alright to rate people based off of various topics and subject matters do not see much of the fuss

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