Techmeme
March 17, 2017, 11:25 AM

Top News

Johana Bhuiyan / Recode:
Internal docs: Uber's 43 self-driving cars drove 20,365 miles last week with human intervention every 0.8 miles and “critical interventions” every 200 miles  —  A first look at Uber's progress.  —  Some of Uber's self-driving cars aren't driving as smoothly as the company hoped they would.
Janko Roettgers / Variety:
Netflix to replace star ratings with thumbs up and thumbs down in coming weeks after A/B testing showed thumbs got 200% more ratings  —  Get ready to say good-bye to star ratings on Netflix: The company is getting ready to replace stars with Pandora-like thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs in the coming weeks.
Sebastian Anthony / Ars Technica UK:
Google open-sources new JPEG encoder that reduces file sizes by around 35%, and is compatible with existing browsers, photo editing apps, and the JPEG standard  —  New algorithm is based on human psychovisual system.  Images look better, too.  —  Google has developed and open-sourced …
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Some users report Google Home playing a promo for “Beauty and the Beast”; Google says it “wasn't intended” to be an ad, will keep experimenting  —  Google Assistant now does advertising  —  Today some Google Home owners are hearing something extra when they ask …
Ryan Smith / AnandTech:
Snapdragon processors rebranded as “Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform”; lower-end Snapdragon 200 series SoCs will now just be “Qualcomm Mobile Platform”  —  While all eyes are on Qualcomm for the impending release of devices containing their high-end Snapdragon 835 SoC …
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Gmail now lets desktop users stream video attachments rather than downloading them  —  Google's making a small but helpful change to desktop Gmail today that'll be useful for anyone who sends or receives video attachments: from now on, you'll be able to stream them on the page, rather than having to download the file first.
Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac:
Report: Spotify is negotiating with music labels to decrease royalty fees ahead of future IPO, possibly by limiting some releases to paid users for a period  —  Spotify is considering a move that would mean some of its biggest new releases will be restricted to paid users, according to a new report from Financial Times.
Sam Kim / Bloomberg:
Sources: Galaxy S8 will allow Samsung Pay authorization via facial recognition, building on authorization via fingerprint and iris scans  —  It's counting on features to differentiate its flagship phone  —  Phone to feature digital assistant, all-screen front as well
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:
Amazon says Alexa is coming to its iPhone app next week, with the ability to shop, track packages, tell jokes, check the weather, more  —  Starting today and available to all iPhone users next week, you can talk to Amazon's intelligent assistant Alexa while using the Amazon app.

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