Techmeme
January 14, 2017, 6:30 AM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Sources: Andy Rubin's new startup, Essential, is working on a suite of consumer hardware products; source says the company aims to launch a smartphone this year  —  Android's creator is building a high-end smartphone to be the centerpiece of a series of AI-infused consumer gadgets.  —  by
Barb Darrow / Fortune:
Microsoft buys Maluuba, a Canadian AI startup focused on natural language processing  —  Microsoft is buying Maluuba, a Canadian startup focused on giving software a better understanding of human language.  This natural language processing technology is a key underpinning of artificial intelligence (AI.)
Moxie Marlinspike / Open Whisper Systems:
Contrary to Guardian's report, Signal Protocol contains no “backdoor”; WhatsApp's encryption implementation is appropriate given the company's scale  —  Today, the Guardian published a story falsely claiming that WhatsApp's end to end encryption contains a “backdoor.”  —  Background
Avery Hartmans / Business Insider:
Report: Lyft lost $600M in 2016, up from $412M in 2015, as revenue rose to $700M, up from about $200M in 2015  —  Lyft lost $600 million in 2016 in its battle with Uber for ride-hailing dominance, according to leaked financial data obtained by The Information's Amir Efrati.
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton stepping down, will become chairman of the board of Snap Inc., where he was an early investor  —  LOS ANGELES — The chief executive of Sony's underperforming entertainment division, Michael Lynton, announced Friday that he would step down to focus …
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
Nintendo Switch console/tablet hybrid will launch worldwide on March 3 for $299.99, has a 6.2-inch 720p capacitive touchscreen, 32GB storage, and no region lock  —  Nintendo has announced the launch date and price of the Nintendo Switch at an event in Tokyo; the company's next console …
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Christopher Grant / Polygon:
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
After failing to get 10K bitcoins for stolen NSA exploits, Shadow Brokers post farewell message, dump a cache of Windows hacking tools online  —  With 8 days before inauguration of Donald Trump, leak is sure to inflame US officials.  —  Shadow Brokers, the mysterious group …
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Hacker steals 900GB of data from Cellebrite, the Israeli company that makes products for breaking into mobile phones  —  This is part of an ongoing Motherboard series on the proliferation of phone cracking technology, the people behind it, and who is buying it.  Follow along here.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Amazon rolls out its first branded VOD subscription service, Anime Strike, with 1K+ titles, available for $4.99/month for Prime members  —  Ecommerce giant plans additional subscription VOD channels  —  Amazon is rolling out its first branded on-demand subscription service for Amazon Channels …
Jane Wakefield / BBC:
European Parliament committee recommends rules on robots, calling for mandatory kill switches, insurance, taxes, more; vote set for February  —  MEPs are to vote on the first comprehensive set of rules for how humans will interact with artificial intelligence and robots.

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Karissa Bell / Mashable:
Reuters: