February 14, 2018, 3:55 PM

Top News

Jon Chase / Wirecutter:
HomePod can leave white rings when left on unprotected wood surfaces; Apple says “the marks can improve over several days” after HomePod is removed  —  Apple's HomePod is the best-sounding wireless smart speaker available, and you can control it by voice using Apple's virtual assistant, Siri.
David Pogue:
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google details how Chrome's optional ad blocking, which goes live tomorrow, will work: the kind of ads that will trigger it, how Chrome will notify users, more  —  Chrome's built-in ad blocker will go live tomorrow.  It's the first time Google will automatically block some ads in Chrome …
Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal:
Sara Salinas / CNBC:
Six US intelligence chiefs, including the heads of the CIA, FBI, and NSA, said that they would not advise citizens to use Huawei and ZTE products or services  —  - The directors of the CIA, FBI, NSA and several other intelligence agencies express their distrust of Apple-rival Huawei and fellow Chinese telecom company ZTE.
Nitasha Tiku / Wired:
Analysis finds Facebook has financial ties to 7+ members of its 13-person Messenger Kids advisory board used to shape the product, with limited disclosure  —  IN DECEMBER, WHEN Facebook launched Messenger Kids, an app for pre-teens and children as young as 6, the company stressed …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Bill Gates says by resisting legitimate oversight, tech giants are at risk of similar government intervention that once plagued Microsoft  —  In an interview with Axios, Bill Gates warned Apple and other tech giants that they risk the kind of nightmarish government intervention that once plagued his Microsoft if they act arrogantly.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Microsoft launches Microsoft for Startups program with $500M committed over two years for joint sales forces, access to technology and working spaces, more  —  Over the last few years, Microsoft has launched a number of programs for startups that range from free BizSpark credits for Azure …
Cherlynn Low / Engadget:
Qualcomm announces Snapdragon X24 LTE modem with support for 2 Gbps speeds, likely to be integrated into its next mobile chips that will power 2019's flagships  —  Even as the race toward real-world 5G picks up steam, LTE technology as it exists will remain crucial for most of us in the next few years.
Chris Baraniuk / BBC:
Chief scientist at Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project says crypto miners buying up most high-end GPUs has hindered expansion of two observatories  —  Scientists listening out for broadcasts by extra-terrestrials are struggling to get the computer hardware they need …
Lauren Goode / The Verge:
Fitbit acquires cloud-based software startup Twine Health, which connects patients with health coaches and doctors and had raised ~$10M according to Crunchbase  —  Nearly all Twine Health employees will join Fitbit  —  Fitbit announced today that it has acquired a small …
Richard Lai / Engadget:
HTC's President of Smartphone and Connected Devices Business Chialin Chang has resigned; no replacement has been announced  —  The exec has quit due to ‘personal career plan.’  —  Not long after letting go of its Pixel team in exchange for some much needed cash from Google, HTC is now also losing its smartphone lead.

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