Techmeme
December 22, 2017, 4:20 AM

Top News

Jillian D'Onfro / CNBC:
Eric Schmidt to step down as executive chairman of Alphabet's board of directors, will transition to technical adviser and continue to serve on the board  —  Eric Schmidt will be stepping down as the executive chairman of Alphabet's board of directors and transitioning to technical advisor, the company announced.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Goldman Sachs is setting up a cryptocurrency trading desk and expects it to be running by June 2018  —  The business may be running by the end of June, two people say  —  CEO Blankfein has said the firm is mulling a bitcoin strategy  —  At least one of Wall Street's biggest firms …
Alex Webb / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is developing an EKG heart monitor for Apple Watch  —  Electrocardiogram can help detect arrhythmia, stroke risks  —  Apple Watch already has a built-in heart rate monitor  —  Apple Inc. is developing an advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch …
Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac:
Throttling iPhones with older batteries was the right decision, but Apple's lack of transparency undermines customers and fuels conspiracy theories  —  Apple caused a furore yesterday when it admitted that it deliberately slows down older iPhones.  —  The issue first came to the fore …
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Universal Music Group and Facebook sign multiyear deal to license UMG's recorded music and publishing catalogs across Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus  —  Facebook and Universal Music Group today announced a global, multi-year agreement under which UMG becomes the first major music company …
Katie Roof / TechCrunch:
Mattermark to shut down after being acquired by FullContact, source says for under $500K in cash plus stock; common stockholders will get nothing in the deal  —  Mattermark, the site for startup and company data, is shutting down its own business after selling in a disappointing outcome to FullContact.
Ben Kuchera / Polygon:
Apple says apps with loot boxes or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose odds of receiving items prior to purchase  —  This is a big change  —  The rise of loot boxes in premium video games was one of the most controversial stories of the year …
CNBC:
Comcast claims it will award $1K bonuses to 100k+ employees due to net neutrality repeal and tax cut; AT&T to award $1K bonuses to 200k employees and invest $1B  —  - The House of Representatives on Wednesday sent tax reform legislation to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it soon.
Nathaniel Popper / New York Times:
Winklevoss twins reflect on their risky bet on Bitcoin, now worth ~$1.3B, made using the $65M settlement they received from Facebook  —  The virtual currency stockpile that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss began amassing in 2012 is now worth around $1.65 billion.  They have no plans to sell.
Nicholas Megaw / Financial Times:
Long Island Iced Tea Corp, an unprofitable soft drink maker, rebrands as Long Blockchain Corp and pivots to blockchain exploration; shares rise as much as 500%  —  A US securities regulator has warned investors against “potential scams” following a surge in stock prices of hitherto obscure companies …
Monica Alleven / FierceWireless:
3GPP, the organization that governs cellular standards, signs off on the first specification for 5G, dubbed 5G NR; full details coming later this week  —  As expected, members of the 3GPP ratified the Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) specification for what will form the basis of commercial 5G products …

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