Techmeme
September 20, 2018, 2:55 PM

Top News

Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Amazon unveils $34.99 Echo Input that can plug into any speaker to turn it into a smart speaker; coming later this year to US, UK, and Germany  —  Amazon is introducing a small new device that you can plug into any existing speaker to turn it into an Echo.  It's called the Echo Input …
Natt Garun / The Verge:
Amazon is holding a surprise event in Seattle at 1pm ET today to announce new hardware  —  Remember when Amazon held a “surprise” event last September and introduced a bunch of new Echo devices?  Well, it's doing it again this year in what looks to become an annual hardware event.
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
A look at how Google decides on suggestions for Gmail's Smart Reply, which is being rolled out to its 1.4B accounts, and make up 10% of all Gmail responses  —  Google's automated email replies, which are being rolled to its 1.4 billion accounts, have baffled users with some peculiar suggestions
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.
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 …
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.
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.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Threat researcher: hackers stole customer credit cards in a month-long data breach at online retailer Newegg, between August 14 and September 18  —  Newegg is clearing up its website after a month-long data breach.  —  Hackers injected 15 lines of card skimming code on the online retailer's payments page …

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