Techmeme
July 31, 2017, 11:40 AM

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Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
HomePod firmware references new iPhone screen design with a notch cut out at the top, presumably for sensors, and an infrared face detection feature  —  Late last week, Apple released early firmware for its HomePod smart speaker, which won't be launching to the public until December.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Putin signs laws banning VPNs in Russia from Nov. 1 and requiring instant messenger operators to establish the identities of users from Jan. 1  —  Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed controversial legislation prohibiting the use of Internet proxy services — including virtual private networks …
Kara Swisher / Recode:
Sources: some directors worry Travis Kalanick is trying to game the outcome in favor of his return after he told several people he was “Steve Jobs-ing it”  —  As the car-hailing company searches for cohesion, the former CEO has told some he is “Steve Jobs-ing it.”
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Inside Uber's CEO search, and how the divided board lost Meg Whitman, while worrying potential Softbank investment may give too much power to Travis Kalanick  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Some members of Uber's eight-person board were excited about the idea of Meg Whitman becoming the ride-hailing company's next chief executive.
Ryan Smith / AnandTech:
AMD unveils Radeon RX Vega GPUs for high-end gaming PCs launching August 14, the $499 RX Vega 64 and $399 RX Vega 56  —  At this point, one must give credit to AMD for their marketing program for the Radeon RX Vega.  The company has opted to dip feed information over many months …
Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:
Behind the chart-topping anonymous messaging app Sarahah, which gives message recipients no way to respond  —  Text service tops iPhone download charts, but the real challenge is staying there  —  Read next … There are two unusual things about Sarahah, a mobile app topping iPhone App Store download charts around the world.
More: Axios and The SunTweets: @trengriffin
Richard Devine / Windows Central:
Microsoft shuts down its Word Flow keyboard for iOS, suggests downloading SwiftKey instead  —  After the experiment has been completed, Microsoft has closed down its Word Flow keyboard on iOS.  —  Back in February of this year we took a closer look at Microsoft's Word Flow keyboard on iOS …

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