Techmeme
August 13, 2014, 6:55 AM

Top News

Chris Ziegler / The Verge:
Samsung may unveil VR headset at September 3 event; image shows similarities to Google's Cardboard  —  This is Samsung's VR headset  —  Samsung will be showing its rumored virtual reality headset at its upcoming product event in early September, The Verge has learned, where the company widely expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4.
Daniel Cooper / Engadget:
Amazon introduces its $10 mobile card reader, Local Register, and undercuts Square and PayPal transaction fees  —  Amazon undercuts Square and PayPal with its own mobile card reader  —  Square's grand plan to democratize credit card payments has inspired a clutch of imitators, the latest of which is Amazon.
Ina Fried / Re/code:
HTC builds separate business unit to make software for more than just HTC phones, launching Zoe video app for Android this week  —  HTC Builds Software Business Amid Tough Phone Market  —  Despite building some of the sexiest smartphones this side of Apple, HTC's hardware and financial challenges have been well documented.
Kaylene Hong / The Next Web:
WeChat climbs to 438 million monthly active users, closing in on WhatsApp's 500 million  —  Tencent published its earnings today for the second quarter of 2014, revealing a new milestone for its WeChat messaging app: it has risen to 438 million monthly active users, up from 396 million the previous quarter.
Sonja Hegman Andras / AllFacebook:
Facebook Engineers Kill iOS Bug, Reduce Crash Rate by 50%  —  Facebook engineers have solved a long-term mobile bugging issue in iOS, reducing its crash rate by more than 50 percent.  According to the company's engineering blog, one of mobile's top crashes was in the Apple Core Data system.
Steven Levy / Wired:
Ex-Siri engineers promise consumer-friendly digital assistant “Viv” that can teach itself  —  Forget Siri: This Radical New AI Teaches Itself and Reads Your Mind  —  Viv was named after the Latin root meaning live.  Its San Jose, California, offices are decorated with tsotchkes bearing …
Victor H. / PhoneArena:
Samsung launches Galaxy Alpha, 4.7 inch, metal frame, octa-core, $689 off-contract, arrives September  —  Samsung Galaxy Alpha is now official: metal-made and the thinnest Galaxy yet  —  After months of endless leaks, rumors and speculations, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has finally gone official.
Sebastian Anthony / ExtremeTech:
Reversible USB Type-C connector finalized: Devices, cables, and adapters coming soon  —  The USB Promoter Group has announced that the greatest invention in the known universe — the reversible Type-C USB connector — is finally ready for mass production.  The USB Implementers Forum …
Takashi Mochizuki / Wall Street Journal:
New on Messaging App Line: Stock Trading  —  In Asia, people are using messaging apps to do a lot more than just send messages.  Popular Asian apps like Line, WeChat and Kakao Talk all offer many additional features like photo-sharing, games and online shopping.  Now, you can add one more to the list: stock trading.
Jillian D'Onfro / Business Insider:
Internal documents from LinkedIn explain how the Bizo acquisition could lead to a $US1B B2B marketing platform by 2017  —  Leaked: Here's How LinkedIn Plans To Have A New Billion-Dollar Business In 3 Years  —  LinkedIn plans to break into the $50 billion business-to-business marketing space …
More: Bloomberg
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Uber says Lyft cancelled 12.9K Uber rides, and Lyft investors pressured Uber to buy Lyft  —  Accusations Fly Between Uber and Lyft  —  All is fair, they say, in love and war.  And Uber and Lyft, two smartphone-based car services, are most certainly at war.
Roy Goldenberg / Globes Online:
Taxi hailing app co GetTaxi raises $150m  —  The company will expand services to European cities beyond its existing operations in London, Moscow and St. Petersburg.  —  Taxi hailing app company GetTaxi has raised $150 million in a huge financing round.  The company has yet to name …
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Apple Stores to start offering iPhones via carrier financing on Aug. 20th  —  A significant number of Apple Stores in the United States will likely begin offering iPhone sales via the latest carrier financing programs later this month, according to several sources.
More: MacNN and SlashGear
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Shift Is Developing A Debit Card That Lets You Spend Digital Currency, Loyalty Points And Regular Money  —  In the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the world, 100 people are testing out a debit card that lets them pay with bitcoin and ripple, and, in the future, regular money and loyalty points.
Nick Summers / The Next Web:
Sony has sold 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide  —  Sony is on a roll.  During its press conference at Gamescom 2014, the company announced it has now sold 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide.  —  To be clear, this is the number of consoles that have been bought by consumers …
Ben Thompson / stratechery:
BuzzFeed's valuation reflects how the Internet is narrowing the difference between media and software distribution  —  Is BuzzFeed a Tech Company?  —  It's telling that Chris Dixon, in a blog post explaining Andreessen Horowitz's $50 million investment, goes out of his way to explain …

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Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Ina Fried / Re/code: