Techmeme
April 18, 2014, 7:05 AM

Top News

Jan Senderek / Loom:
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
UberX adds $1 ‘Safe Rides Fee’ for passengers, reinstates 20% commission fee for drivers  —  UberX customers, take note: Your rides are about to cost a little more.  In an email sent to UberX Seattle drivers, the company notes a new “Safe Rides Fee,” that takes effect today.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook Launches “Nearby Friends” With Opt-In Real-Time Location Sharing To Help You Meet Up  —  Today Facebook begins rolling out a new opt-in feature called Nearby Friends.  It lets friends see approximately how far away you are from them, and you can share your exact, on-going location with them for a limited time.
Kim Zetter / Wired:
Grams, a Tor-accessible search engine for contraband, aims to be the Google of Dark Web  —  New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy  —  The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online.
More: TechSpot, The Verge, Gizmodo and SC MagazineTweets: @wired
Josh Ong / The Next Web:
Microsoft's Xbox One passes 5M units sold to retailers, but Titanfall boost not enough to beat Sony  —  Microsoft today announced that it has sold over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the globe, but sales of the system have still lagged behind rival Sony's PlayStation 4.
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Ubuntu 14.04 will power “first commercially available Ubuntu tablets”  —  From May 2013, a tablet running an early version of Ubuntu Touch.  —  Andrew Cunningham  —  Canonical today is releasing Ubuntu 14.04, a Long Term Support (LTS) edition for desktops and servers and an update to the versions of Ubuntu for phones and tablets.
Martyn Williams / PC World:
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada  —  Google has expanded its Project Loon tests to the Nevada desert and, for the first time, into licensed radio spectrum.  —  Google declined to comment on the secret trials, but a local official confirmed they are related to Project Loon …
Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:
Instacart Could Raise A Big New Round Of Funding Valuing It At $400 Million  —  On-demand grocery startup Instacart is fielding term sheets for a big new round of funding, according to sources.  We've heard the new financing could be led by a non-VC investor, and according to one source it would value the company at up to $400 million.
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
GoogolPlex intercepts Siri commands, lets it control third-party apps like Spotify and Google Maps  —  College kids gave Siri new powers and now you can too  —  We already know Apple is working on improving Siri, but gosh dangit, the folks in Cupertino just aren't moving as fast as some would like.
The Sonos Blog:
Sonos software update lets it connect completely wirelessly, $50 Bridge unit no longer needed  —  Our Vision for Rock-Solid Wireless, Evolved  —  From the archives: drawing of the original Sonos architecture, 2003.  —  We created the Sonos Wireless HiFi System to provide music lovers …
Brad Chacos / PC World:
Apache OpenOffice hits major 100 million downloads milestone in under 2 years  —  Microsoft's Office may be the go-to productivity suite in the business world, but there's apparently plenty of room out there for challengers to thrive: On Thursday, the Apache Software Foundation announced …
Kelton Lynn / The Twitter Blog:
Twitter launches mobile app install ads, integrates MoPub ad-buying  —  A new way to promote mobile apps to 1 billion devices, both on and off-Twitter  —  We are excited to announce new ways for marketers and developers to drive app installs and app engagements using our new mobile app promotion suite …

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Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch: