Techmeme
September 20, 2018, 3:25 PM

Top News

Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Amazon announces an update to the $49 Echo Dot speaker with improved sound quality  —  A new, fabric design and better sound comes to the other members of the Echo lineup  —  Amazon has just announced an update to its most popular Echo speaker, the Echo Dot, along with its larger Echo Plus model that it had introduced last year.
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Amazon adds Alexa Guard to Echo devices enabling them to listen to sounds like breaking glass or smoke alarms and notify users  —  Amazon is adding a few new features to the Echo that turn it into one of the basic pieces of a smart security system.  Since Echo speakers are always listening …
More: CNET and TechCrunch
Natt Garun / The Verge:
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
A look at Facebook Dating, which launches today in Colombia as a test and limits users to expressing their interest in a maximum of 100 people per day  —  Does deeper data produce perfect matches?  Facebook is finally ready to find out, starting today with a country-wide test in Colombia of its Dating feature.
Sean O'Kane / The Verge:
GoPro launches Hero 7 Black with live-streaming, super slow motion, smooth stabilization, and 4K video at 60 fps for $399, going on sale September 27  —  With new cheaper options at $199 and $299  —  Just a few hours after a last-minute leak, GoPro has officially announced the new Hero 7 line of cameras …
Noam Cohen / New Yorker:
Reporter says Linus Torvalds' decision to temporarily step away from Linux maintenance came after he was asked a series of questions about his conduct  —  The e-mails of the celebrated programmer Linus Torvalds land like thunderbolts from on high onto public lists, full of invective, insults, and demeaning language.
Wall Street Journal:
A look at how Google decides on Gmail's Smart Reply suggestions, which make up 10% of all Gmail responses, as the feature gets rolled out to all 1.4B accounts  —  Google's automated email replies, which are being rolled to its 1.4 billion accounts, have baffled users with some peculiar suggestions
Dani Deahl / The Verge:
Spotify says it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to the service; the upload feature is debuting in beta on an invite-only basis in US  —  The beta program is still invite-only  —  Spotify has announced a new beta feature that will allow independent artists to upload …
Mallory Locklear / Engadget:
Amazon updates the $180 Ring Stick Up camera and adds a wired version with an ethernet cable, available later in the year  —  Amazon is rolling out a bunch of new gadgets today, a few of which are focused on home security.  Among those is a new Ring Stick Up Cam, which will come in both wired and battery-powered versions.
Suzanne Barlyn / Reuters:
John Hancock, one of the largest life insurers in the US, will now only sell policies that track fitness and health data via wearable devices and smartphones  —  (Reuters) - John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance …
BBC:
Equifax fined the maximum £500,000 by UK's Information Commissioner's Office for failing to protect the personal data of ~15M Britons in 2017 breach  —  Credit rating agency Equifax is to be fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after it failed to protect the personal data of 15 million Britons.
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Study: online ad sales will increase 16% this year to $106.6B accounting for more than half of all US ad sales  —  - With new video services, their next phase of growth targets TV  — Politics bolster local, national TV, Magna Global report says  —  Online advertising will account …
More: Bloomberg and Axios
Wolfie Zhao / CoinDesk:
Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange Zaif says it was hacked and ~$60M worth of cryptocurrency, including 6,000 bitcoin, were stolen from exchange's hot wallets  —  Yet another Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange has been hacked with a loss of total 6.7 billion yen, or $60 million worth of cryptocurrency, including 6,000 bitcoin.

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