December 7, 2017, 11:55 AM

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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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 …

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