Techmeme
February 21, 2018, 8:35 AM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt, a key battery ingredient, directly from miners for the first time, amid fears of a shortage  —  iPhone maker one of the largest end users of the metal  —  Cobalt is a key ingredient in mobile phone batteries
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
Uber launches Express Pool, which gives cheaper fares to those willing to walk to shared rides, in SF, DC, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, Denver, Boston  —  Uber's first new product in three years  —  UberPool has long occupied a weird place in the ride-hailing company's lineup of services.
Jon Fingas / Engadget:
AT&T picks Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco as the first three cities to get mobile 5G service in 2018  —  AT&T is finally willing to say exactly where you'll see mobile 5G in 2018.  The carrier has confirmed that “parts” of Atlanta, Waco and its home turf of Dallas will adopt the standards-based service …
RedLock Blog:
Hackers infiltrated Tesla Kubernetes consoles that were not password protected, took AWS credentials, began crypto-mining; issue now fixed  —  The Cryptojacking Epidemic  —  A few months ago, the RedLock Cloud Security Intelligence (CSI) team found hundreds of Kubernetes administration consoles accessible …
Kyle Wiggers / xda-developers:
Android P will prevent idle background apps from accessing the camera, according to code changes in the Android Open Source Project  —  Android P, the next major version of Android, could be weeks away from an official unveiling, and although its core user-facing features are still unknown to us …
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:
Security researchers and reporters hesitate to report vulnerabilities fearing defamation lawsuits and other legal action  —  Security researchers and reporters have something in common: both hold the powerful accountable.  But doing so has painted a target on their backs …
New York Times:
Daniel Palmer / CoinDesk:
Report: Venezuela debuts its Petro crypto token in pre-sale, with 82.4M available initially, amid fiat currency's hyperinflation woes and US lawmaker concerns  —  The Venezuelan government has officially launched the pre-sale of its controversial “petro” token, according to a report.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Google launches AdSense Auto ads that use machine learning to optimize placement and monetization choices  —  Google is today unveiling a new ad unit for AdSense that taps into the company's big push to add more artificial intelligence into its business, and to potentially bring on more publishers …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Microsoft adds game sales for over 5,000 titles to Mixer, its Twitch competitor, and will pay streamers 5% for every purchase from their channel  —  Twitch has long since allowed its streamers to generate revenue from their channels through things like subscriptions, virtual tipping and game sales.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon 845 standalone AR/VR reference headset with eye and body tracking, faster graphics, and higher battery efficiency  —  Qualcomm has revealed its Snapdragon 845 Xtended Reality (XR) platform for both mobile virtual reality and augmented reality mobile headsets.
More: Engadget and The Verge

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Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch: