Techmeme
December 7, 2017, 12:05 PM

Top News

Casey Newton / The Verge:
Instagram is testing Direct, a standalone private messaging app that replaces the current inbox, in six countries; there is no timeline yet for a global launch  —  Messenger 2.0  —  Instagram is testing a standalone app for private messages called Direct, a first step toward possibly toward …
Reuters:
NiceHash, a Slovenia-based marketplace for cryptocurrency mining, says it was hacked and 4,700 bitcoins, worth about $60M+, were stolen from its wallet  —  (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash said the contents of its bitcoin wallet had been stolen in a security breach and one executive said nearly $64 million had been lost.
Michael McWhertor / Polygon:
Steam ends support for bitcoin payments citing volatility as fees move toward $20 per transaction vs. ~$0.20 when support via Bitpay was enabled April 2016  —  “It has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option”  —  Valve is ending support for Steam purchases made with bitcoin …
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:
Patreon says it will reduce pledge fee from 5% to 2.9%, but add a $0.35 charge for each individual pledge, causing concern among some creators  —  Patreon announced a new service fee policy that it says will help creators keep more money, but many are worried because they believe it will instead discourage their patrons from pledging.
David Meyer / Fortune:
Bitcoin price reaches $16K+ despite bubble warnings, with a total market capitalization of ~$270B  —  Bitcoin broke through the $15,000 barrier on Thursday morning as it continued what has been a remarkable run even by the cryptocurrency's usual bubblelicious standards.
Shannon Liao / The Verge:
Google adds video responses from celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Gina Rodriguez, and Mark Wahlberg, for popular questions as a trial in US  —  Using selfie-style videos  —  Google today is launching a new search feature that will have celebrities answering commonly searched questions …
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
Lyft launches first self-driving car pilot in Boston; select riders will be paired with a nuTonomy autonomous car, human safety drivers will be behind the wheel  —  Robot taxis by NuTonomy  —  Lyft's first self-driving car pilot is officially underway.  The company is sending autonomous vehicles …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
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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:
Planned maintenance of our US Data Center: July 7th, 2018 - 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM PST  —  We have planned a network infrastructure upgrade on our primary data center in the USA on July 7th, 2018 from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM PST.

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