Techmeme
April 11, 2017, 6:30 PM

Top News

Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Instagram Direct now combines ephemeral messages with permanent messages in the same threads; Facebook says Direct now has 375M MAUs, up from 300M in Nov. 2016  —  After successfully cloning Snapchat Stories, Instagram is looking to one-up its competitor in chat with a reimagining …
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Microsoft Word exploit that bypasses Windows safeguards has been sent to millions to push Dridex bank fraud malware  —  Blast could give a boost to Dridex, one of the Internet's worst bank fraud threats.  —  Booby-trapped documents exploiting a critical zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word …
Eileen Naughton / Google:
Google reveals its pay methodology to defend compensation practices, says there's no gender pay gap, and its means of suggesting pay amount is “blind” to gender  —  Pay equity is a huge issue, not just for Silicon Valley companies, but across every industry in every country.
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Facebook's David Marcus clarifies that Messenger's business model focus is advertising and that Messenger is not taking a cut of payments on the platform  —  Messenger is focused on mobile advertising — just like the rest of Facebook.  —  When Facebook hired David Marcus …
Lucia Moses / Digiday:
Forbes, The New York Times, and other publishers abandon or scale back use of Facebook's Instant Articles due to lack of monetization  —  Facebook's Instant Article push is in danger of fizzling.  —  Many publishers are deeply unhappy with the monetization on these pages …
Axios:
Plume, maker of wall plug Wi-Fi extenders, raises $27.5M according to SEC filing; source says Comcast led the round  —  Plume, the maker of a sleek Wi-Fi network extender that can be operated via smartphone app, has raised $27.5 million in a new VC funding round that could total $37.5 million, according to an SEC filing .
Ina Fried / Axios:
Qualcomm responds to Apple suit over patent licensing and files countersuit including charge of limiting performance of Qualcomm modem chips in iPhone 7  —  Qualcomm formally responded to a lawsuit from Apple on Monday, rejecting the iPhone maker's claims and launching its own countersuit.
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Google's image search results for mobile web and the Android Search app now display “similar items” to purchase  —  Google's image search results on the mobile web and in the Android Search app are now showing “similar items” — i.e., if you're looking at “lifestyle” …
Lauren Goode / The Verge:
Fitbit Alta HR review: a stylish fitness tracker with good battery life and additional sensors, but it lacks GPS and has limited options for tracking exercise  —  Not exactly new, but just new enough  —  I don't know about you, but I'm about ready for Fitbit to drop something genuinely new on the world.
More: BuzzFeed and Glamour
Kara Swisher / Recode:
Internal Uber email says Rachel Whetstone, SVP of global public policy and communications, will leave the company and be replaced by deputy Jill Hazelbaker  —  The longtime PR pro is being replaced by her deputy Jill Hazelbaker.  —  According to an internal email from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick …

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