January 4, 2017, 7:05 PM

Top News

Ev Williams / Medium:
Medium says it's laying off 50 employees, about a third of its staff, and closing its NY and DC offices, as it refocuses on a “less proven” means to pay writers  —  We've decided to make some major changes at Medium.  —  I'll start with the hard part: As of today …
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
With Alexa, Amazon is building the operating system of the home, a strategy that's more evident with each new Alexa-integrated device announcement  —  The concept of an operating system is pretty straightforward: it is a piece of software that manages a computer, making said computer's …
Larry Dignan / ZDNet:
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget:
Samsung debuts two stylus-enabled 12.3" Chromebooks that run Android apps: ARM-based Plus, shipping in Feb. for $449, and Intel-based Pro, coming in Spring  —  Late last year, I lamented that Google didn't make Chromebooks a priority over the holiday season.
New York Times:
Apple removed news apps made by The New York Times from its App Store in China, complying with what it vaguely described as a request from Chinese authorities  —  Apple, complying with what it said was a request from Chinese authorities, removed news apps created by The New York Times from its app store in China late last month.
Tripp Mickle / Wall Street Journal:
Apple confirms $1B investment in SoftBank's $100B technology-focused Vision Fund; SoftBank is investing $25B, and Saudi Arabia's government is investing $45B  —  Apple says fund will support ‘strategically important technologies’  —  Apple Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it plans …
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
ASUS debuts the 5.7-inch ZenFone AR, with Tango and Daydream VR support, Android 7.0, 23MP camera, Snapdragon 821 CPU, 6GB RAM, coming Q2 with pricing TBD  —  The Asus phone leaked earlier this week is now an official product: the ZenFone AR, which puts virtual and augmented reality center stage.
BMW, Intel, and Mobileye partner to test 40 autonomous vehicles in urban areas starting in second half of 2017, with aim of fully autonomous cars by 2021  —  40 test sedans to operate in cities in U.S. and Europe  —  BMW, Mobileye urge industry alignment on common architecture
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
SEC docs show that Zuckerberg could run Facebook while serving in government indefinitely, with stricter limitations if he owned under 30% of the capital shares  —  Mark Zuckerberg is not limited to just two years working in the government while still controlling Facebook, as has been widely misreported.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Chuq Von Rospach:
Apple's sloppiness became evident in 2016 with missed ship dates, lack of significant updates, and long delays on refreshes; company needs to realign in 2017  —  This has been the winter of our discontent.  2016 was the year the tone changed.  There's always been a lot of criticism and griping …
Steve Dent / Engadget:
AT&T will conduct 5G technology trials by streaming DirecTV Now service over fixed wireless to some customers in Austin, Texas later this year  —  In a simultaneous test of wireless broadband and net neutrality, AT&T will test its upcoming 5G tech with DirecTV Now video streaming.
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:
Garmin announces new inReach satellite communications devices, three Fenix 5 smartwatches, and addition of many apps, including Uber, to its Connect IQ Store  —  LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Garmin announced several new products in features as the Consumer Electronics Show prepared to open here this week.

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