Techmeme
January 17, 2018, 3:25 PM

Top News

Apple:
Apple says it plans a $350B “direct contribution” to US economy over next five years through repatriating overseas profits, new infrastructure projects, more  —  $350 Billion Contribution to US Economy Over Next Five Years  —  Cupertino, California — Apple today announced …
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google launches Cloud AutoML, a service to build image recognition and other custom AI models for developers, including those with no ML expertise  —  Google today announced the alpha launch of AutoML Vision, a new service that helps developers — including those with no machine learning …
Fitz Tepper / TechCrunch:
Anonymously-run cryptocurrency lending and exchange platform BitConnect, long suspected of being a Ponzi scheme, shuts down  —  Bitconnect, the lending and exchange platform that was long suspected by many in the crypto community of being a Ponzi scheme, has announced it's shutting down.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Google to make page speed a factor in mobile search ranking starting in July, says change will only affect pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users”  —  Google today announced a significant change in how it ranks websites for mobile searches: it will now take page speed …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook begins testing Watch Party, a new feature for groups that lets members watch videos simultaneously while continuing to comment and interact  —  A new feature for groups  —  Facebook today began testing Watch Party, a new feature available to groups that lets members watch videos …
Brian Boucher / artnet News:
Google's Arts & Culture app becomes the number one free app on the iOS App Store after its face-matching feature that was added in December goes viral  —  The search behemoth's app was all the rage on social media this weekend.  —  Googling yourself took on a whole new meaning this weekend.
Zeynep Tufekci / Wired:
Free speech online has grown even as Facebook, Google, Twitter control more attention; most effective censorship now is meddling with trust, not muzzling speech  —  FOR MOST OF modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated.
Liz Hamren / Windows Blog:
Microsoft brings 15-inch Surface Book 2 to 17 more countries starting today; both 15-inch and 13-inch variants will come to more countries over next two months  —  Surface Book 2 is the most powerful Surface we've ever built, and customers love that they can run their most demanding applications from anywhere.
Greg Ip / Wall Street Journal:
Examining the arguments for antitrust regulation against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon suggests they are safe for now, but history shows that could change  —  A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did.  Should they be broken up?
Evelyn Cheng / CNBC:
Cryptocurrency values decline sharply, with Bitcoin down 25%+, briefly below $10K, Ethereum down as much as 30%, and Ripple down 40% at one point on Tuesday  —  Bitcoin briefly plunged below $10,000 late Tuesday afternoon on Coinbase, after first topping the psychologically key level in late November.

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Todd Spangler / Variety:
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