Techmeme
March 8, 2018, 6:05 AM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Amazon updates Alexa to end random laughter, says laugh was triggered when Alexa mistakenly heard “Alexa, laugh”, will change phrase to “Alexa, can you laugh?”  —  Is Alexa laughing at you?  —  In the past few days, some users of Echo home speakers running Amazon …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google releases Android P developer preview with support for iPhone X-style notch, updates to Quick Settings and notifications, and more  —  But don't install it on your main phone  —  As it has for the last couple years, Google is releasing a developer preview of the next version of Android in March.
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Android P preview: multi-camera API to better use dual cameras, Android Runtime speed boosts of up to 11% across popular apps, tightened API policies, more  —  Preview the next major version of Android with the Android P Developer Preview.  —  In what is quickly becoming an annual March tradition …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Alex Heath / Cheddar:
Sources: Snap plans layoffs to its engineering department, the largest layoffs to date; source says about 100 people, less than 10% of the unit, are affected  —  Snap Inc. is preparing its largest round of layoffs to date, Cheddar has learned.  —  The Snapchat-maker plans to announce …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft announces new AI platform for Windows 10 developers ahead of Build, including ability to import different learning models, available in Visual Studio  —  Microsoft is planning to include more artificial intelligence capabilities inside Windows 10 soon.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
SEC issues strongly worded warning on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges, saying “many” appear SEC-approved when they aren't; Bitcoin is down 8%+  —  Bitcoin falls 10 percent after regulators signal crackdown on exchanges.  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission issued …
Stephen Nellis / Reuters:
Apple says it audited 756 suppliers for its annual Supplier Responsibility Report, finds 44 “core violations” of labor rules in 2017, double the previous year  —  (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Wednesday that it had found violations of its labor and environmental policies for suppliers …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Google updates Duo with ability to leave 30-second video messages for users who miss or decline calls, rolling out to iOS and Android users this week  —  30-second ephemeral video messages  —  Duo, Google's take on Apple's FaceTime, is getting video messages today in an update.
Lisa Lee / Bloomberg:
Sources: Uber is seeking $1.25B for its second leveraged loan and has been approaching loan investors directly instead of going through banks  —  Uber Technologies Inc. is seeking $1.25 billion in its second foray in the U.S. leveraged loan market, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
More: Crunchbase News and TelegraphTweets: @shiraovide
Eugene Kim / CNBC:
Filings show Amazon has committed to ~$22B in future food purchases, mostly from Whole Foods supplier United Natural Foods, until 2025  —  - Amazon is now on the hook for an additional $22 billion in future purchase obligations following the Whole Foods acquisition, filings show.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Interview with Peter Thiel on Facebook's board dynamics, Russian interference in 2016 election, his continued support for Trump, his bid for Gawker assets, more  —  Peter Thiel is Silicon Valley's homegrown Cassandra.  He warned for years that the big tech companies were arrogant and clueless …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Changelog: MoviePass updates iOS app to “remove unused location capabilities” following privacy concerns  —  Earlier this week, Mitch Lowe, CEO of the popular all-you-can-eat movie subscription service MoviePass, made headlines for bragging about how the app can track the location of its users.
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Early data from AdStage suggests Facebook's News Feed changes have driven ad prices up by decreasing the amount of time users spend on the social network  —  Mark Zuckerberg said people would spend less time on Facebook after the change.  It looks like that might be happening.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Winning hackathon project now helping millions read and write  —  Teacher Merlyne Graves used to spend hours recording for her students who struggled with reading.  Not any more.
IBM:
IBM will give $200,000 to a team that can come up with a solution for natural disaster preparedness  —  Call for Code, The initiative for developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies, to build solutions that can change the world.
eero:
Another day, another cyber security threat. eero keeps your network protected.  —  VPNFilter is the latest router-based malware and is estimated to affect over 500,000 consumer routers.
Zoho:
At Zoho Recruit, We Take Workflows very Personnel-ly  —  Here's the thing about workflows.  They are very difficult to understand until you actually start working with them.  —  But, for recruiters …

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