Techmeme
December 31, 2017, 1:35 AM

Top News

Ina Fried / Axios:
Apple makes $29 iPhone battery replacement price effective immediately, rather than in late January, but warns initial supplies of some batteries may be limited  —  Aiming to further stem controversy over how it handles aging iPhone batteries, Apple said Saturday that its lower replacement price …
Victor H. / PhoneArena:
LG, HTC, Motorola say they don't throttle phones with older batteries; Samsung says it doesn't throttle via software updates “over the lifecycles of the phone”  —  Two of the biggest Android phone makers - Samsung and LG - have just confirmed that they do not slow down phones …
Apple:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
OKCupid's average App Store rating for December sinks to 2.2 stars amid backlash over new policy requiring people to use their real names  —  OKCupid's users are angry - very, very angry.  Just ahead of the new year, the company made a radical change to its policies, and now requires people …
Justin Sink / Bloomberg:
In a tweet, President Donald Trump calls on the United States Postal Service to charge Amazon “much more” in postage fees  —  Latest criticism of online retailer and its CEO Jeff Bezos  —  Amazon stock opens as much as 0.6 percent lower after tweet
Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Gamers say deadly shooting of a man Thursday night by Wichita police was the result of a swatting prank; police in LA have arrested a man connected with it  —  A 28-year-old Kansas man was shot and killed by police officers on the evening of Dec. 28 after someone fraudulently reported a hostage situation ongoing at his home.
Theodore Schleifer / Recode:
Telegram, citing ToS, suspends public channel that incited violent anti-government protests in Iran; Telegram is a major platform with ~40M users in Iran  —  “There are lines one shouldn't cross,” says the CEO of the popular messaging app.  —  The executives of Telegram …
Evelyn Cheng / CNBC:
Ripple surged 50%+ on Friday and is now valued at ~$85B, surpassing Ethereum's market cap and becoming the second-most valuable cryptocurrency  —  - Officially called XRP, ripple climbed 55.9 percent to a record high of $2.23 Friday afternoon, according to CoinMarketCap.
Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal:
Startups aim to provide an alternative route to internet access via VPNs and mesh networks, amid net neutrality repeal, but their approaches are as yet unproven  —  From VPNs to mesh networks, efforts to find an alternative route to internet access are gaining ground in Silicon Valley
Thanks:@vscpr
M.G. Siegler / 500ish Words:
Amazon's “Alexa everywhere” strategy is winning the smart speaker battle and Apple's delayed and high-priced HomePod may not be able to compete  —  And what that might mean for Apple's HomePod  —  My post a couple days ago about the opportunity for Amazon Echo devices in hotels …
Financial Times:
Pavel Lerner, an executive of Bitcoin exchange Exmo who was kidnapped in Ukraine, was released after paying $1M+ ransom in bitcoins, according to a Ukrainian MP  —  An executive of a UK-registered cryptocurrency exchange kidnapped in Ukraine this week has been released after paying a ransom …

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