Techmeme
January 8, 2018, 9:20 PM

Top News

Pali Bhat / The Keyword:
Google consolidates its payment offerings, including Android Pay and Google Wallet, under a single brand: Google Pay  —  If you've ever paid for groceries with Android Pay, used Chrome to automatically fill in your payment info, or purchased an app on Google Play, then you've already experienced …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: AT&T has walked away from a deal to sell smartphones made by Huawei, a partnership that was expected to be announced on Tuesday at CES  —  Reversal is set back for Chinese electronics giant's hopes to crack U.S. market  —  AT&T Inc. T .24% has walked away from a deal …
Janko Rottgers / Variety:
HTC unveils Vive Pro VR headset with 2880x1600 resolution, a 78% increase over current Vive, and wireless adapter, so customers can lose the wired PC connection  —  HTC used its virtual reality (VR) keynote at CES in Las Vegas Monday to unveil an updated version of its Vive virtual reality headset …
Connie Loizos / TechCrunch:
James Damore, author of controversial diversity memo who was fired by Google, files class action suit claiming it discriminates against white male conservatives  —  James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired in August after posting a memo to an internal Google message board arguing …
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Apple releases macOS 10.13.2 supplemental update and iOS 11.2.2 with security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate Spectre vulnerability  —  Apple just released iOS 11.2.2 with some Safari and WebKit improvements to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability. macOS is also receiving an update.
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Oculus to launch the Mi VR in China, which will be similar to Oculus Go but with partner Xiaomi providing software for the headset instead of Facebook  —  The new headset comes thanks to a partnership with Chinese tech giant Xiaomi.  —  Facebook is taking a major step toward its goal …
TechCrunch:
Sources: Telegram to launch Telegram Open Network on new blockchain with native Gram cryptocurrency, ICO pre-sale of $500M, with only real fiat currency buy-ins  —  Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google Assistant is coming to smart speakers from a variety of companies this summer, including speakers with displays from JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony  —  Google Assistant is coming to a ton of speakers, some with their own screens  —  If Google's gigantic “Hey Google” …
Sara Salinas / CNBC:
GoPro issues weak guidance, drops CEO cash compensation to $1, will cut staff by 20%, exit drone business; CEO says he'd consider selling firm; stock down ~15%  —  GoPro lowered fourth quarter guidance Monday and confirmed layoffs of at least 250 employees.  —  Shares were halted in premarket trading.
Thuy Ong / The Verge:
PMA/Airfuel developer Powermat joins rival and Qi developer Wireless Power Consortium; Powermat CEO says Qi is now the dominant wireless charging standard  —  Powermat was pushing its own wireless charging standard, but has now signed on with the competition
Roger McNamee / Washington Monthly:
Facebook and Google's influence on the US election and Brexit calls for regulations for more transparency, letting users own their data and social graphs, more  —  An early investor explains why the social media platform's business model is such a threat—and what to do about it.
Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed:
Facebook says it's sunsetting M as a standalone concierge bot, but its context-based suggestions will live on inside Messenger conversations  —  Facebook's standalone concierge bot M will soon be no more.  —  On Jan. 19, Facebook is sunsetting the initial version of M, which has been available in closed beta since fall 2015.
Variety:
Facebook has signed a multi-year, multi-territory licensing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, allowing users to upload and share media from the catalog  —  Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Facebook on Monday announced the signing of a licensing agreement.  —  The multi-territory …
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
After breach exposing millions of parents and kids, toymaker VTech handed a $650K fine by FTC  —  VTech, the maker of smart toys whose poor security practices exposed data from millions of parents and children, has been slapped on the wrist by the FTC to the tune of $650,000 and probation.
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
HP, Asus, Acer, and others plan to integrate Alexa into some of their Windows 10 desktops and notebooks this year  —  Amazon Alexa will soon arrive on Windows PCs, creating new competition for Microsoft's built-in Cortana voice assistant.  —  Hardware makers HP, ASUS …

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Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat: