Techmeme
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.
Bloomberg:
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Winning hackathon project now helping millions read and write  —  Teacher Merlyne Graves used to spend hours recording for her students who struggled with reading.  Not any more.
IBM:
IBM will give $200,000 to a team that can come up with a solution for natural disaster preparedness  —  Call for Code, The initiative for developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies, to build solutions that can change the world.
eero:
Another day, another cyber security threat. eero keeps your network protected.  —  VPNFilter is the latest router-based malware and is estimated to affect over 500,000 consumer routers.
Zoho:
At Zoho Recruit, We Take Workflows very Personnel-ly  —  Here's the thing about workflows.  They are very difficult to understand until you actually start working with them.  —  But, for recruiters …

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Heather Caygle / Politico:

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