Techmeme
January 18, 2018, 5:45 PM

Top News

Colin Lecher / The Verge:
US Senate votes 65 to 34 to reauthorize Section 702 FISA surveillance program through 2023; bill now goes to Trump to sign  —  The Senate has voted to reauthorize a controversial legal authority that enables vast government surveillance programs, including spying operations used by the NSA.
Bloomberg:
A behind the scenes look at Travis Kalanick's fall at Uber: from Susan Fowler's blog post and Waymo's lawsuit to the fight with Benchmark Capital's Bill Gurley  —  Silicon Valley CEOs are supposed to be sacrosanct.  So how did it all go wrong at Uber?  —  A year ago, before the investor lawsuits …
Mariella Moon / Engadget:
Intel admits Spectre and Meltdown patches also affect performance of Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake chips, with a performance impact of 2%-25%  —  Intel has revealed that even its newer CPUs are affected by the frequent reboot problems brought about by the Spectre/Meltdown patches.
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Spotify partners with eight firms, including Buzzfeed, to launch Spotlight, an initiative offering news and political programming, as it vies for radio revenue  —  Eight companies will supply coverage of news, sports, culture  —  Studio head wants ‘content that can be seen and listened to’
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Amazon narrows HQ2 search to 20 cities from 238 proposals, 19 in the US and Toronto in Canada, and says it expects to make a decision in 2018  —  Amazon has selected 20 cities to move to the next phase in its HQ2 selection process, the latest twist in an unprecedented headquarters search that has turned into a national curiosity.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
WhatsApp officially launches its free Android app for businesses in the US, UK, Mexico, Italy, and Indonesia, rolling out globally in the coming weeks  —  WhatsApp today officially launched its new WhatsApp Business app in select markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., ahead of its planned worldwide rollout.
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Apple says it will fix a flaw that crashes Messages app on iOS upon receipt of a malicious link in an update next week  —  A software update coming next week will fix an issue that allows a malicious link to freeze the Messages app on the iPhone and iPad, Apple confirmed to MacRumors this morning.
Raphael Satter / Associated Press:
Researchers find hundreds of gigabytes of files online outlining Lebanon-linked effort to gain passwords and eavesdrop via bogus websites and malicious apps  —  LONDON (AP) — A major hacking operation tied to Lebanon's main intelligence agency has been exposed after careless spies left hundreds …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Microsoft promotes Minecraft boss Matt Booty to corporate VP of Microsoft Studios to oversee game development and publishing for console, PC, and mobile  —  Microsoft has promoted Matt Booty, a leader in the Minecraft games business, as corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios …
Leslie Hook / Financial Times:
Uber's $8.8B deal with SoftBank closes; new board member Rajeev Misra says Uber should return focus to US, Europe, Latin America, Australia to become profitable  —  Uber's largest shareholder has called for the car-booking company to focus on recovering market share in the US and growing …
Horace Dediu / Asymco:
A comprehensive look at Apple's cash reserves, how it uses them, and why it is repatriating its foreign cash to US and paying $38B, or ~15% tax on it  —  - How much cash does Apple have?  —  To the nearest million, as of the end of September 2017, Apple's cash and investments totaled $268,895,000,000.
Apple:

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Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac: