Techmeme
December 26, 2017, 10:05 PM

Top News

Amazon.com:
During record-breaking holiday, Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa remote were #1 and #2 top sellers with “tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices” sold  —  Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were the #1 and #2 top-selling products across all categories on Amazon
Chris Hamby / BuzzFeed:
Sources: Safran, which sells fingerprint-analysis software used by FBI, 18K+ US law enforcement agencies, didn't disclose some code was from Kremlin-linked firm  —  In a secret deal, a French company purchased code from a Kremlin-connected firm, incorporated it into its own software …
Washington Post:
Sources: years after FBI began tracking Russian disinformation efforts and US intelligence agencies drew up counter operations, the US still equivocates  —  The first email arrived in the inbox of CounterPunch, a left-leaning American news and opinion website, at 3:26 a.m. — the middle of the day in Moscow.
Greg Bensinger / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Uber to sell US subprime auto-leasing business, Xchange Leasing, to car marketplace Fair.com; net book value of Xchange's 30K+ vehicles was ~$400M  —  Ride-hailing firm had planned to wind down the business after losses  —  Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell …
Lizzie Plaugic / The Verge:
US Library of Congress will no longer archive the text of every tweet, will instead archive tweets on a “very selective basis”; the archive has yet to go online  —  The Library of Congress just announced some changes to its long-running plan to archive all of Twitter.
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
WhatsApp will drop BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone support on December 31  —  WhatsApp has detailed its plans for older mobile operating systems, with less than a week before the end of the year.  The Facebook-owned app will end support for BlackBerry OS (including BlackBerry 10) and Windows Phone 8.0 (and older) on December 31, 2017.
Ben Fox Rubin / CNET:
How Amazon's nascent Alexa economy pays the people building its skills, with opaque reasoning behind unpredictable amounts paid to developers by Amazon  —  On a lark, Joel Wilson started developing skills for Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, this past January.
More: VentureBeatThanks:@benfoxrubin
Rick Tetzeli / Fortune:
History shows Apple's success since 1998 has rarely hinged on initial designs but on innovation and improvement over time  —  A generation of peerless products made Apple the world's most valuable company.  Now some in the i-universe are questioning if the magic—in the post-Steve Jobs era—is still there.
Wall Street Journal:
A look at the limited powers the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have to regulate cryptocurrencies in the US  —  Futures regulators at the CFTC recently sounded an alarm on leveraged trading on unregulated exchanges, while the SEC cracks down on ICOs

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Steven Sinofsky / Learning by Shipping: