Techmeme
January 18, 2016, 1:25 PM

Top News

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
WhatsApp Ditches $1 Annual Fee, Tests Business Accounts But No Ads, Says CEO  —  Today at the DLD conference in Munich, Germany, the CEO of Facebook-owned WhatsApp made a couple of big announcements about how the messaging app plans to evolve to its next phase as it approaches 1 billion users …
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Karma restores 5 Mbps speeds for $50 Neverstop unlimited data plan but will throttle to 64-128 Kbps after 15GB a month  —  Karma revamps unlimited data plan in response to heavy users  —  About 10 days ago, Karma announced that it would be cutting the speeds of its Neverstop data plan …
Sarah Jeong / Motherboard:
From impersonation and spammers to Gamergate: how Twitter's rules evolved from the tension between its free-speech ethos and business reality  —  The History of Twitter's Rules  —  “Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor and will not censor user content, except in limited circumstances described below.”
Jillian D'Onfro / Business Insider:
AOL considering changes to its brand, including a name change, to better reflect properties like Huffington Post, TechCrunch, ad platforms, CMO Allie Kline says  —  AOL's identity crisis: The company may ditch the ‘AOL’ brand  —  Verizon-owned AOL has an image problem.
Wall Street Journal:
Airbus CEO says it will provide helicopters to Uber's chopper service in a trial project launching in a few weeks  —  Airbus to Join Forces With Uber for On-Demand Helicopter Service, CEO Says  —  European aerospace company looking to expand its audience for helicopters
BBC:
BT takeover of EE gets final Competition and Markets Authority clearance  —  BT Group's takeover of mobile phone network EE has been given final clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  —  The £12.5bn deal brings together the UK's largest fixed-line business and the largest mobile telecoms business.
Gabriel Avner / GeekTime:
Neura raises $11M for its privacy-focused consumer IoT automation platform, announces SDK  —  Israeli Neura raises $11M to bring privacy back to IoT  —  Internet of Things personalization innovators Neura announced today that they have closed their Series A funding round, pulling in an impressive $11 million in new financing.
Geoffrey A. Fowler / Wall Street Journal:
Truly wireless $300 earbuds from Bragi and Earin are available now, but suffer from bluetooth connectivity issues and poor sound quality  —  Review: Truly Wireless Headphones Arrive, But With a Few Strings Attached  —  Bragi Dash and Earin earbuds may usher in an era of ‘hearable’ computers, but they're also works in progress
More: MacRumors
Kevin Tofel / ZDNet:
Alexa can now read Kindle books aloud from an Amazon Echo for free  —  You won't get the tone of a professional voice actor, but Alexa can read your Kindle books aloud: Best of all, there's no charge.  —  With so much recent focus on using an Amazon Echo to control smart home devices …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Hackathon app helps prison inmates learn to code  —  The Coding Unbarred app will teach inmates tech and programming skills, a goal of nonprofit Unloop to help decrease recidivism, in which inmates often cycle in and out of lockup.
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