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.

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Tim Hardwick / MacRumors: