Techmeme
January 15, 2017, 1:35 AM

Top News

Kate Conger / TechCrunch:
Cloudflare discloses 2013 National Security Letter, joins CREDO and EFF to challenge the constitutionality of the FBI's NSLs and their accompanying gag orders  —  For more than a decade, CEOs of major tech companies have opened innocuous envelopes to find letters from the FBI inside …
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
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
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.)
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Outgoing FCC chair Tom Wheeler uses his final public speech to make a case for maintaining net neutrality  —  The outgoing head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, used his final public speech to make a closing argument for maintaining net neutrality, the signature achievement of his time at the agency.
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton stepping down; he will become chairman of the board of Snap, 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 …
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.
Jason Del Rey / Recode:
Walmart streamlines retail, web teams internal memos show; e-commerce CTO to oversee tech teams at retail stores, US CMO to lead Walmart.com & Jet.com marketing  —  Can the brick-and-mortar retailer become a tech company?  —  If Walmart is going to better compete with Amazon …
More: CNBC and Consumerist
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.

Sponsor Posts

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Zoho:
Introducing Zoho Academy  —  Today, Zoho is launching a brand new resource.  We're calling it Zoho Academy: an online, self-service archive of educational content designed to help people do business better.  Our intention?
TechCrunch Disrupt SF:
HBO Silicon Valley creator, Mike Judge, to speak at Disrupt SF  —  TechCrunch is excited to chat with Judge about the direction of the show and the evolution of the media industry as a whole.

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