Techmeme
June 9, 2017, 5:20 AM

Top News

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Softbank is buying robotics firms Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Alphabet  —  Here's a surprise turn of events: Softbank — maker of the friendly Pepper robot and a major M&A player in the tech world — has just announced that it is acquiring two more robotics companies from Google owner Alphabet …
Bloomberg:
Sources: Tim Cook, Satya Nadella, Jeff Bezos, Safra Catz, other tech execs, to visit White House June 19 for first meeting of The American Technology Council  —  Meeting at White House comes despite Paris climate discord  —  Trump-created council given goal of modernizing government
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Taylor Swift's full catalog is returning to Spotify and other streaming services, reversing her stance against free music on ad-supported services  —  After breaking upin 2014, Taylor Swift and Spotify are getting back together.  To celebrate her album 1989 hitting 10 million records sold …
Kara Swisher / Recode:
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, in a 2013 email, advised employees on when sex is permissible for a Miami company celebration  —  “Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS ...”  —  In what is arguably an unusual email for the very top executive to send to employees, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick advised …
James Vincent / The Verge:
Amazon ends its unlimited data storage plan for Amazon Drive, now offers up to 100GB for $11.99 a year or up to 1TB for $60  —  Time to check you don't have auto-renew turned on  —  Amazon has killed off its generous unlimited cloud storage deal for Amazon Drive.
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Google releases Android O Developer Preview 3 with final APIs  —  Google today launched the third Android O developer preview, available for download now at developer.android.com and via the Android Beta Program.  The preview includes an updated SDK with system images for the Nexus 5X …
Zac Hall / 9to5Mac:
AirPods automatically appear as a new speaker option on Apple TVs running tvOS 11 developer beta  —  When you pair AirPods to your iPhone, the wireless earbuds are automatically paired to iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches with the same iCloud account thanks to automatic setup.
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Sources: Verizon will cut about 15% of AOL-Yahoo staff, or as many as 2.1K jobs, after merger closes  —  The proportion of jobs being made redundant across AOL and Yahoo is around 15 percent globally, we have confirmed with our sources.  —  This shakes out to as many as 2,100 jobs being lost as part of the corporate merger.
Jason Del Rey / Recode:
Home design firm Houzz is raising a $400M round at a $4B valuation, source says led by Iconiq Capital  —  The company expects to close a deal for a new $400 investment.  —  Houzz, the popular photo site used by homeowners to plan renovations, is finalizing a new funding round of $400 million …
More: Fortune and Wall Street JournalTweets: @delrey
Valentina Palladino / Ars Technica:
HTC U11 review: outdated design, but solid performance, good battery life, Edge Sense works well and is convenient  —  Improving on the HTC 10 where it matters, even if it sports a flashy, outdated design.  —  HTC introduced the “U” smartphone line back in January with the U Ultra and U Play handsets …
More: Phone Scoop, ZDNet, and ZDNet
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Microsoft to acquire Israel-based cybersecurity company Hexadite, sources say for $100M, to bolster its advanced threat detection services  —  Yet more activity in the world of cybersecurity.  Microsoft today confirmed that it has acquired Hexadite, an Israeli startup that uses AI to identify and protect against attacks.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Testing a datacenter under the sea  —  Envisioned to be resilient and self-sustainable, Project Natick enters a new research phase off the Scottish coast.
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:
It's go time for Go Zoho!  —  It's not often that you hear of a tech company taking a vintage Airstream trailer on the road to help users in their own neighborhood.  Then again, Zoho's no ordinary tech company.

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Tim Hardwick / MacRumors: